Diamonds ARE a Girl’s Best Friend!

Well, they are, aren’t they?  My local quilt shop kindly referred me to a customer.  My shout out goes to them:  The Little Shop of Stitches.  Such a wonderful shop and such a great customer they brought me.

Ms. Deanna Allen embroidered and pieced a Marilyn Monroe quilt she designed.  This was such a striking piece at nearly 75″ wide and 84″ long.  We consulted and my customer picked out Quilters Dream Wool batting.  This batting is washable and dryable and has fantastic loft and softness.  It really is dreamy!

I sat down over the next few days when thoughts popped into my head and it wasn’t long before I figured out what I thought would be the perfect compliment of straight lines and curves.  Deanna had seen a feather border I had done and she really wanted it onto her quilt.  Done!

The quilt was laid out and a Bohin chalk pencil ( was used to mark the spine of the border feather.  I also marked on the inside of the quilt for where I was going to place huge feathers (ala Bethanne Nemish) to help take up the space within the red areas of the interior.  The quilt wasn’t quite square and the width varied by just under 3″, but we had a plan to address this and take some of the ripple out of it.  The interior body was marked as such:IMG_1509

The outer border had just the spine marked as such:IMG_1512

I used glide thread throughout this quilt, stitching in the ditch where needed.  I placed a vertical line design in the pictorial border to help offset all the curves that were going to be stitched out.  It provided great interplay of design work.IMG_1605

Some of the detail work, with the “Nemishing” visible, along with the feather border detail.IMG_1607

I chose to treat the four sides of the border separately, as there was a black sash that separated them.  So, the feather was wrapped and ended on each end of the four borders.  The feather was made up of heirloom feathers, ribbons and curled feathers so that there was major drama in this area.  I mean, we are talking Marilyn Monroe here!IMG_1613

The embroidery work just blew me away.  Deanna did such a fantastic job of capturing Marilyn Monroe and her mystique.  It was a beautiful quilt and I was so glad to be a part of this quilt’s journey.  Deanna is one talented quilter!IMG_1608

Thank you for stopping by and popping in for a spell.  I have several more blogs to drop here in the next few weeks, so stay tuned!

If you’d like to learn more about the art of longarm quilting and even try some freemotion quilting, look me up on Youtube.  I will be adding more videos there over the next month or two.

If you’re the facebook type and love to scroll, you can like me on facebook.  Look up “The Threadworks Factory”!

Have a fantastic day and I hope you get a little chance to create!






We are officially on Youtube!

Yes, you heard that right!  We have videos on Youtube!

The Threadworks Factory has a channel.  It is:

To see our newest video on hook feathers, watch this:


To see how to stitch out a beautiful simple leaf and curl border, watch this:

If you want to learn how to stitch a custom heirloom feather, watch this:

We have more videos on the channel and we hope to build the library with time.  As a former college professor, it feels great to spend a little time teaching.  Stop in to YouTube to watch, share and/or subscribe to my channel.

Thank you for your visit and I hope you have a wonderfully fantastic day!  Take care.

“Wonder” Is Right!

Dare I tell you what that title is all about?  Well, let’s get to it, then!  This custom quilt job was recently completed on what is called a “One Block Wonder”.  So named because the fabric for the main part of the body is created by fussy-cutting a single piece of fabric.  My dear customer who is prolific at quilting (I have no idea how she does it, leading such a busy and fabulous life), created this masterpiece of precision and perfect fussy-cutting and allowed me the honor of free-motion custom quilting this.

My goal in tackling this, after my nervous reaction of “Oh, boy, is sure hope I don’t ruin this gorgeous quilt” was to think about the piecing of it and let the piecing process drive the quilting.  I wanted to help unify the quilt and the floral theme of the fabric, so I set about designing, after taking a picture of it and printing it out.  I also drew up a life-sized hexagon in AutoCAD and printed out a bunch of them, so that I could design at full scale.  Eight Different designs were drafted out for the hexagons, all carrying a “flower” type design.  When I had them drawn at full scale, I picked out the rulers that would be used on each one and marked those drawings so that I had complete understanding of how each would be done.

Here it is all quilted:


The triangle edge was pebbled, in order to recede it and allow the hexagons along the edge to pop out more.  A custom border was applied through free-motion with a simple curl and leaf pattern.  I wanted to carry the flower theme there, but I did not want the border to upstage the body of the quilt in any fashion.  A cute flower was placed in the corner of each border to added effect.

You can see the randomization of the blocks.  To achieve this, I numbered each of my patterns from 1-8 and wrote over the top of my picture printout.  That became my “instructions” and along with the pattern sketches, which I dimensioned.  I had the perfect roadmap to break this quilt down into simple-to-understand directions.


It was fun to watch this quilt “grow”.  Row by row and advance by advance, things really started to take shape.  I used two different thread colors for the stitching and monofilament for the stitch in the ditch on the borders and cubes.


I loved seeing how the different areas of the quilt expressed different things all due to the fabric patterns.  I cannot believe this quilt’s body was cut from one fabric, what with all the colors that went on.  My customer showed me the initial fabric, and that was an eye-opener for what all became of it once pieced.  This was truly a spectacular quilt and the piecing was amazingly accurate.


And from the back:


I used two layers of batting.  The base was a layer provided by my wonderful customer, and I believe it may have been a Pellon cotton.  The top layer was Quilters Dream Wool.  It’s such an amazing product that holds it’s bounce tremendously well and it’s a favorite of mine.

I used glide thread in a medium purple and medium blue.  With that slight sheen of this amazing polyester trilobal thread, it was perfect for this very showy and bright quilt.  I was so happy (and relieved) that my customer loved her quilt.  I get handed a very big dose of responsibility with each quilt I am given, and I’m so happy when my customer is happy.  That makes everything worth it!

If you’d like to learn more about me, you can explore this website.  If you’d like to see some educational videos on how to longarm, please visit my youtube channel, The Theadworks Factory.  Many thanks for stopping in to visit.  I appreciate your time!

Have a great day and go out and create something!

It Sparkled! Honest!

First off, Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!  My love of Irish music and my past life, living in Dublin, Ohio, make today a very special day today.  I have to admit, I was saddened when I took a DNA test for ancestry and found zero Irish in me.  It won’t keep me from playing jigs and reels, however!

Onto quilting, I say!  I am very lucky to have a dear customer provide me some beautiful quilt tops as of late.  She is such an interesting person who has lived such an interesting life and it’s very neat to learn more about her as our friendship grows.  I’ve quilted more tops for her in a month than I, myself, have made!

This blog is about one of these quilts; one that I picked up at my local quilt shop ( and ohh’d and ahhh’d over.  All this negative white space really excited me, as it presented some great opportunities to showcase custom quilting.  It sparkled!  It glistened like a freshly fallen snow and it was just much more magnificent than any picture could show.  We were off to design!  I snapped this picture, printed it out, and placed a sheet of tracing paper over the picture so that I could doodle away until I found the perfect design.  Well, that didn’t take long… my first design was perfect.  When you see a quilt that you love, the designing of it goes smoothly.  Your mind’s eye has already started to dabble with ideas and this one was just going to be gorgeous.


Armed with my sketch, I began quilting.  All the sashing was stitched in the ditch.  This was for two reasons:  1.  I wanted to help pop them out a little, since I wasn’t going to be taking the block design into them and, instead, would be quilting them as stand-alone blocks and, 2.  Because I was going to be traveling in those seams to travel within each block for quilting purposes.  It would look silly, on the back, to only travel part way in the seam of the sashing.  So, before each block was quilted, all the sashing was stitched in the ditch.  This is a time-consuming process, but very worth the effect it brought.


You can see, now the finished block.  The light blocks and the white areas were all stitched with a cream thread.  This allowed the thread to just slightly appear over the white areas and to pop a bit on the lightly colored areas as well.  for the dark purple and dark blue areas, a slightly lighter hue of the same color was used.  This also allowed the threads to slightly appear.  There was a LOT of ruler work on this quilt, but it sure makes for a beautiful finish.


A picture from slightly farther back. Now you can see the darker blocks and how the rays in them helped to give a bit more movement to the block.


Wow!  What a gorgeous quilt with all this quilting! 202,791 stitches in this beautiful piece.  I was sad to see it leave my sight, but so happy to return this to its rightful owner.  I’m going to miss this one, but I’m happy to have some pictures of it for keeps.

IMG_1225 final

And the back… what about that back!  I love backings that allow the quilting to show through and this one was perfect.

IMG_1228 final

So ends another project with more custom quilts on the horizon!  I’m going to have a full week next week, dabbling with designs and then, with sweet sorrow, parting with them, but I just love longarming.  My clientele is growing and I have to say, I have just the nicest quilters.  I get to live vicariously through them and I get to submerse myself in all sorts of quilting genres and I just love that!

I have created a youtube channel.  If you’re interested to see a video on the creation of this quilt (or watch any other instructional videos I have made), go to and seach for “the threadworks factory”.  Subscribe to my channel to get notices of any new videos.  You can also visit my facebook page @thethreadworksfactory and follow along there.  Lastly, you can also register for blog updates right her on this site.  Look to the right of this screen and find the registration button.

Have a wonderful day and I do hope you get to make some time for yourself!