Sherron McCleery’s Sophie’s Garden BOM

Today’s quilt was one that has waited to get on frame for around one year. Yes, that’s how long (and sometimes even longer) the wait can be to get onto my Innova. I have quite an extensive client list and 95% of what I quilt has been heavy custom work, so the wait can be quite the pistol. Sherron McCleery, who hails from Lakewood, California, was a GREAT sport about this reality and patiently waited. She pieced and appliqued a Block of the Month quilt called Sophie’s Garden. The pattern is from Pamela Curo and can be purchased here: Sophie’s Garden

Before I go any further, however, I’m going to run a little commercial of my own. (Afterall, this blog costs me over $300 a year to maintain and use, so I might was well get my money’s worth, right?) I not only have a longarming business, but I also created an Artisan Luxury Small-Batch soap company. I make cold-process luxury face and body soaps by hand, along with luxury shave soaps for men and women, solid block eco-friendly dish soaps and soon will launch both gardener’s soap and mechanic’s soap, both packed with scrubbing agents like ground walnut shells and pumice. I use luxury oils (olive oil, avocado oil, cocoa butter, and shea butter), as the biggest volume of my base oils, to make these wonderfully wholesome and natural products and I also sell various other bath and dish cleaning accoutrements. I have beautiful gift boxes you can custom build for all occasions. If you love my quilting, you will love my soap. It’s all we use in my entire family. Shop me at www.soapworksfactory.com

OK, thank you for humoring me on that front!

My client Sherron told me that she changed out two house blocks that were original to this quilt for the two leaf blocks that you can see in the top that arrived to me. I think her leaf blocks are perfect for this quilt!

As always, I got down to shooting a photo of the quilt and doodling over it until I drew out what I wanted. I tape what we Registered Landscape Architect’s call bumwad or trash paper (tracking paper) and place it over a light table to see through the papers. I mark with either a pencil or a fine sharpie.

I photographed the image and sent it out to Sherron for review. Once I received approval from Sherron, it was to marking and loading. Along the quilting way, I picked out a plethora of threads from my 200 thread cone stash and worked this quilt from top to bottom.

This is the part everyone is itching to get to, I just know it. Enough with the shameless plugs and stalling. Without further adieu, I present to you Sherron McCleery’s wonderful wall quilt!

It always amazes me, honestly, what quilting does to a quilt. This quilt was longarmed using two layers of Quilter’s Dream Blend Batting. Since this will be displayed on a wall, two layers helps this beauty stand up to the demands of vertical presentation. I just loved the thin piano-key quilting that I put into the border…nothing fancy because I wanted the frame to just push your eye into the interior and I think a simple treatment like this in the border is a perfect fit.

Here are the four quadrants of the quilt now, looking at things a little closer…

Going up a little closer, you can see more of the detail:

And here are more close ups of the wool applique blocks that Sherron created:

These last two shots are very cool to me, because there were thread changes as the motif traveled amongst the fabrics in the block. It takes a bit of work to do this, but it’s so worth this beautiful effect, I believe:

Well, that does it for Sherron McCleery’s marvelous Sophie’s Garden BOM. I thank you greatly for popping on in for a visit and I welcome you (or implore you…you pick!) to visit my luxury soap shop online at www.soapworksfactory.com.

Take care and I hope you have a little time to be creative today!

Patricia Heinrich Hechler

A Quilt Montage

Today, on Black Friday, 2020, I bring you a little quilt montage and a Black Friday special for my fledgling artisan luxury soap company, Soapworks Factory!

First, let me tell you that we have 15% orders of $15 or more and free shipping with orders over $75. We have beautiful magnetic-closure gift boxes, and 7 options to customize them. If you love my quilting, I have a feeling you will love my luxury soaps. They are packed with Olive oil, Shea Butter and Avocado oil. They are all plant-based and infused with only steam distilled, plant-based essential oils. Good things for your skin! Look us up at www.soapworksfactory.com.

Ok, on with the first quilt…. This one was pieced by the wonderful Amy Valentine, who works at The Little Shop of Stitches (you can shop them at www.thelittleshopofstitches.com). The little shop has a brick and mortar store that is utterly lovely and also sells online. Visit them! I did this quilt as only my second longarm quilting services job and was completely frightened to touch this with my needle. Sometimes, we are our own worst enemy.

Onto our next beauty! This quilt was pieced by my friend, Darlene Griffith, who happens to own an online christmas fabric shop! In need of Christmas fabric? Why, you can shop at www.quiltedchristmas.com. Darlene carries so many patterns and fabrics and what a great online shop she has.

And here is a beauty done by Melanie Hitch. This is one of her One Block Wonders and it was the first One Block that I ever quilted (I have since done several due to this picture! Melanie is such a wonderful friend of mine.

Next up is a VERY special quilt from Elaine Miller. This was still very early on in my longarming career and this is still one of my most favorite quilts. The colors are breathtaking and my collaboration with Elaine was simply a fantastic lesson in learning. That she trusted me with this one was something I really was humbled at.

Ok, here is a another quilt from Darlene Griffith. This quilt was from the book “Red, White and Quilted” and showed quilts that were remade from their old version and longarmed by current national longarmers. Margaret Solomon Gunn takes full credit for the longarming pattern done here, as I was asked to merely replicate what she had done in the book. So, this is NOT my design, but I did freemotion and rulerwork it according to how Margaret Solomon Gunn did.

Next up? Why, it’s the talented Joyce Hite, my national show quilt partner. This is “Portland Rose” and I actually incorporated some self-designed digital patterns onto this quilt. The center medallion, the border corner and the heart quilted blocks were digitally created by me. The remainder of the quilt was done freemotion and with rulers.

And, here we have another beauty from Joyce Hite. I digitally created the pearl border (just the circles of it) and did freemotion and rulerwork on the rest of it. Joyce perfectly pieces and how she does it baffles me.

The last quilt of this “trunk show” is by Melanie Hitch again. I remember her telling me, when she handed it off, that this was a quilt that she had lost interest in and didn’t care for any longer. When she got it back, she exclaimed, “well, you once again turned a sow’s in into a silk purse”. Ha! it was always a silk purse in my eye. I just added a little “glitter” to it.

Well, I hope you liked that little trip down memory lane. Please don’t forget all the small businesses that are struggling this year. 2020 has not been an easy year on any one of us and I’m so thankful that my family has all remained healthy and happy. Please take care of yourself and please, even in these hard times, find a little time to be creative. It is so important to our mental self.

Should you wish to shop my fledgling small business for luxury soaps (and shave soaps!), please visit me at http://www.soapworksfactory.com. I could certainly use your business as we pay off these holiday bills! Come see our gift boxes and peruse our web shop!

http://www.soapworksfactory.com

Buds and blooms has budded and bloomed!

It’s been a little while since I have blogged a quilt but this next one is a real show-stopper, I promise! But, before I debut Dawn Gerber’s amazing applique quilt, I want to take this time to place a tiny commercial here. You see, this blog actually costs me $300 a year just to blog these quilts to you and I am contemplating whether it is worth that fee to run this. So, I’m hoping this little plug helps generate some interest (from y’all) in my other home business…artisan luxury cold-process soap for face and body (and, they’re for sale, imagine that!) I currently hand-produce 16 versions of my essential-oil and plant-based soaps. If you love handmade soap, you will love my all-natural soaps. By the end of November, we will have 3 women’s shave soaps and 4 men’s shave soaps available as well, and we will even have magnetic-closure gift boxes available for the holiday gift-giving season. You can shop us at www.soapworksfactory.com. OK, see, that shameless plug was easy enough to get through!

On with this marvelous show quilt!

Dawn Gerber came to me way back in 2019, asking if I would consider longarming her next national show quilt, a turned-edge absolute work of wonder in blue and white. Knowing that Dawn was currently showing a quilt longarmed by the internationally acclaimed Judi Madsen, I bashfully agreed to take on this daunting project. National show quilts are unlike any other type of quilt, in that I know the work will be scrutinized, up close, to incredible standards. Dawn was advised that my schedule would slot her in in 2020 and the day came (and so did the quilt). Here is it as it arrived into my possession:

I got to work designing things by taking photos of this quilt and then printing them out. I always design old-school….placing tracing paper over the photos and sketching things out with pencil until I am satisfied. Here is one sketch that I brought into AutoCAD to draft out and create custom-cut marking templates from, after Dawn had approved the sketches. You can see the photo of the quilt below the sketch:

The sketch is scaled to size and then I draft out the sketch in the areas that a marking template is needed. I cut them out on a scrapbooking cutter and, poof, I have my own custom marking templates! The quilt was painstakingly marked with a water-soluble Mark-B-Gon blue pen and this step took over a day to accomplish.

We decided upon a double layer of Quilters Dream Blend batting, which would give the quilt wonderful quilting relief and substantial support for the demand of vertical presentation.

The quilt was loaded and around 95 hours of work later, we had the finished product. Care to see it? OK, OK, here it is:

I wanted to share with you more of the close-up’s, where you can really see where all that time was painstakingly invested. Here is some eye-candy of the border:

And….

So very cool, I must say! Totally custom and boy, did it pop! Onto more eye-candy, I say! Here is the very center block:

And, here is more detail shots of some of the other blocks:

Dawn Gerber and I can only hope that 2021 begins to have live quilt shows once again. While virtual quilt shows are nice, they are rather hard to take when we know how much work has gone into these quilts and how they really deserve to be seen up close and personally. Here’s to hoping 2021 finds many of us shopping and taking in these beautiful quilts first-hand.

Thank you for stopping in and please remember my fledgling soap company, Soapworks Factory. I hope you get to have a little time to be creative today!

Patricia

Carol’s Octagon Shimmer

Today, I bring to you a quilt from a local quilter who normally pieces a more traditional quilt. Carol Schottelkotte came to me in 2019, when she lost her longarmer and was in search of a new one. I’m so glad she found me. Carol went outside of her comfort zone when she found Octagon Shimmer by Jennifer Sampou. You can find the pattern for sale here: https://www.ctpub.com/octagon-shimmer-quilt-epattern-download-1/

Carol came over and we hatched out a gameplan on a piece of acetate over the quilt. My job was to help define the two different main shapes, bring in a little modern quilting and introduce some feathers onto the quilt. Feathers aren’t Carol’s particular cup of tea, but she was very willing to give them a go.

I wish I had snapped a picture of the quilt before loading it, but, once again, my feeble mind failed me and it wasn’t until after it was loaded that it dawned on me that I had missed my opportunity. So, without further adieu, here is Carol’s quilt!

I quilted this on two layers of Quilters Dream Blend batting and I just really loved the shimmer of the fabrics and the color spectrum of this quilt. We didn’t skimp on feathers, either! There were 219,922 stitches total, using about 7 different colors of glide thread on the top and one color always in the bobbin. I used Glide’s Warm Grey 4 on all the parts within the octagon blocks and matched fabric colors on the triangular blocks where the feathers are. Here are more detailed shots:

and…

and some closer shots of the beautiful flying geese border on this quilt:

What a wonderful quilt and I had such a blast quilting this. I’m going to miss her!

http://www.soapworksfactory.com

Many of you know that I don’t just longarm…I hand-craft luxury cold-process soaps and sell them online at my shop. I am introducing my next new soap today and it is Grapefruit and Colloidal Oatmeal (Pictured below). My soaps are gentle and moisturizing with luxury oils of shea butter, avocado oil and olive oil, among the other oils I use. I incorporate coconut milk into each and every bar. And, they are entirely plant-based, scented only with steam-distilled essential oils and they are incredibly kind to your skin. I am so proud of these soaps and they have been incredibly well received. If you’d like to check them out for yourself, visit my shop at: www.soapworksfactory.com. Let your skin drink in the goodness that is our soap.

http://www.soapworksfactory.com