AQS Spring Paducah 2018, Here WE Come!

Well, today I bring to you a blog I’ve been quietly excited about for several months.  The time has come to share with you a very cool project my dear client, the incredibly talented and skillful Joyce Hite created.  Joyce does absolutely stunning and immaculate work and has such command of hand applique, machine applique and machine quilting.  With so many projects, Joyce has turned to me at times to complete the quilting on her beautiful work.  For this quilt, The Flower Basket (pattern by Sue Nickels), Joyce said to me, with a huge smile on her face, “Let’s make this a show quilt”.  Such exciting news, I must say.

Joyce’s quilt was machine appliqued with precision and beauty.  How she cut the scalloped edges so perfectly is absolutely beyond me.  Every piece was fused and then blanket stitched.  It was perfectly flat and perfectly square.  And, it was gorgeous.

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I sat down at the drawing table and began the design of this special piece.  Once approved by Joyce, I set out to mark the quilt for quilting….for NINE hours!  When you’re longarming a show quilt, you take the time to make sure you get things right and mark everything out.  And, this special quilt demanded it.

I used two layers of Quilters Dream batting…Blend on the bottom and Wool on the top.  Glide thread in three colors was used on the top and in two colors on the bottom.  The quilting went on for days and days and ended when the last of 713,417 stitches were laid down.

Unfortunately, I was delayed in getting this quilt done, which left poor Joyce in a terrible pinch to finish it in time for submission into AQS Spring Paducah.  With one day to go, Joyce successfully completed and entered the piece at the beginning of December.  Fast forward to a few days ago, and my phone rang to find Joyce on the other end….Her gorgeous quilt made Paducah!  And, not only did this quilt make it in, but Joyce created another quilt that ALSO made Paducah!  Talk about success!  I’m so honored to introduce you to The Flower Basket:

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Time to enjoy the details of this spectacular quilt.  Here is the center body.  The framework around the flower basket went in first.  Once that was done, in went the feathers, followed by the fill.

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And more of the body of the quilt.  Joyce’s applique was stitched around and there was selective longarming within some of the applique to add another layer of detail on her beautiful work.IMG_3141

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Here is a shot of the outer and inner border and the beautiful work Joyce did on the applique.

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And, a few more shots of the inner border.IMG_3139

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So, what about the back you ask?  I just love when a client chooses a solid backing…doing so really shows off the quilting detail and this backing didn’t disappoint.  Since two thread colors were used on the backing, the visual interest was really expressed nicely:

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And, in more detail, here is more of the back:

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I just loved the vertical stitching along the outer edge…all done freemotion on my amazing Innova.  It gave it such a beautiful organic look and I am so happy with the results.IMG_3147

Thank you for spending part of your day with me.  If you are interested in either digital edge to edge or custom freemotion or digital quilting, please email me from my “contact me” page.  If you can’t find that, my email address is: threadworksfactory@outlook.com.

Register yourself today to get in line for 2018!

I hope you get a little time to be creative today!  Take care.

Patricia Heinrich Hechler

What a Portland Rose!

It has been a very busy end of 2017 and beginning of 2018. With a grand influx of custom quilting requests, my Innova longarm has been quite busy. That’s a great thing. Even better, today, I get to share with you all a magnificent flannel with wool applique quilt that found its way to my “factory”, delivered to me by its maker, the incredibly talented and wonderfully kind Joyce Hite. Joyce hand-blanket stitched the appliqué beautifully. I’m so fortunate to say that this is the third quilt I have custom quilted for her over this past 8 months and I have been incredibly blessed with all of these opportunities.

This quilt pattern, Portland Rose, was once quilted by the incredibly talented Linda Hrcka of The Quilted Pineapple, and took first in its class at Paducah in 2014. I took design inspiration from Linda for a number of areas.   I was tasked with reducing the 100 hours it took her to quilt this (by removing a lot of the fill-work and detail Linda quilted her show stopper with) and still give it a nicely detailed custom finish.

This is the first quilt on frame for me that was flannel both front and back with wool applique and since I had done some prior investigation and reading, I knew to increase the stitch length, as flannel quilts (especially ones with wool batting, such as this one) really tend to sink the stitches. I drafted out a few design options and Joyce picked one.

Joyce and I agreed that this would be the perfect quilt to play a little with the new Intelliquilter computer on my longarm and after I experimented a bit, I recorded three motifs onto practice muslin that I then digitally re-drafted and saved. Intelliquilter (IQ) is great for this, as any pattern can be rotated, trimmed, joined or scaled differently. I was all set on the digital side of things with custom digital motifs! Off we went to mark up the quilt and load it.IMG_3613

I first placed the digital motifs onto the quilt (the center medallion seen above, along with the border corners and body edge heart motifs), followed by the big freemotion quilted feathers and then the ruler work. All that was left was the freemotion fill…which took up the bulk of the quilting time. Detailed fills do take time and the fill I used on this quilt really did go rather quickly, all things considered.  I must pay my respect to Judi Madsen, who quilts with this type of fill.  After 622,000 stitches and 42 hours, we were done with this 105″ x 105″ quilt.

The most amazing thing happens after completion. After spending 40+ hours staring at this quilt in 26” sections, I get to unfurl it from the leaders and remove it from the quilt frame. Only then can I truly step back from it, take it all in, and feel the excitement that my design work and quilting actually came together to add such a gorgeous layer to the quilt. Its excitement (that I am seeing the full quilt), sadness (that the process is over) and relief (that the quilt made it through the process without incident). My clients put so much time, money and skill into producing their magnificent tops and it’s really a scary honor to longarm them.IMG_3602

Here it is in more detail…enjoy!

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Thank you so very much for spending part of your day here with me. Should you wish to have any digital edge to edge or freemotion or digital custom quilting done on one of your tops, you can reach out to me through email at: threadworksfactory@outlook.com. Reserve your slot in my schedule for 2018. If you have any questions, please just let me know. You can review my pricing by going to the pricing tab on this website.

Have a wonderful day and I hope you have a little time to be creative.

Christmas in June?

Seems a little off to me, but maybe that’s just me.  I guess, when your customer owns this Christmas quilting website (Quilted Christmas), your mind is never far from the 25th of December.  And, so goes this next quilt.  This was a digital panel that my customer brought to me, hoping that I could make this panel look like a quilt in time for the launch of this new Moda pattern.

She requested a double layer of batting and a quilting job that would render this as much of a pieced quilt look as possible.  So, we brought out two layers of batting:  Quilters Dream Blend for the base and Quilters Dream Wool for the top layer.

My customer has many years in the quilting business and knew exactly how she’d like this quilted, so I took her inputs and worked them up in my style of longarming.  As you learn longarming, you’ll learn that you have your own unique style, much  like your own handwriting, and while you can vary the look of things, they begin to take on a very identifiable trademark of sorts.  I guess I am no different and I am beginning to see that!

This digital panel from Moda, called Sugar Plum Christmas, needed a lot of stitch in the ditch in order to pop each “piece” as though it were appliqué and not remain in the “printed” look it started life as.  Ditchwork is tedious and tiring and often requires rulers.  When it’s a digital print like this one, there is no ditch to guide yourself along in, so it’s even slower and more tedious.  We plodded along…

You would think, by now, that I would remember to take a picture of the quilt top BEFORE it is quilted, but I seem to be lacking a few extra brain cells with which to record something like that.  So, let us all just skip ahead a bit and give the reveal!

Without further adieu, here is:

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Moda’s Sugar Plum Christmas, Quilted by Patricia Hechler at The Threadworks Factory for http://www.quiltedchristmas.com

This was fully free motion custom quilted, as I do not have a computer on my longarm.  Glide thread was used throughout and there were just 2 colors used–red and white.  The border spine was pre-marked with a Bohin chalk pencil and that was it.  Let’s look at the details a bit closer up:

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Moda’s Sugar Plum Christmas, Quilted by Patricia Hechler at The Threadworks Factory for http://www.quiltedchristmas.com

 

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Moda’s Sugar Plum Christmas, Quilted by Patricia Hechler at The Threadworks Factory for http://www.quiltedchristmas.com

And here are some even closer images:

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Moda’s Sugar Plum Christmas, Quilted by Patricia Hechler at The Threadworks Factory for http://www.quiltedchristmas.com

 

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Moda’s Sugar Plum Christmas, Quilted by Patricia Hechler at The Threadworks Factory for http://www.quiltedchristmas.com

I placed a freemotion holly and curl spine in the red borders and it added such a cute touch. I also echoed the stars to help pop the out a bit more.

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Moda’s Sugar Plum Christmas, Quilted by Patricia Hechler at The Threadworks Factory for http://www.quiltedchristmas.com

 

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Moda’s Sugar Plum Christmas, Quilted by Patricia Hechler at The Threadworks Factory for http://www.quiltedchristmas.com

 

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Moda’s Sugar Plum Christmas, Quilted by Patricia Hechler at The Threadworks Factory for http://www.quiltedchristmas.com

 

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Moda’s Sugar Plum Christmas, Quilted by Patricia Hechler at The Threadworks Factory for http://www.quiltedchristmas.com

 

Well, that does it for this installment of “What Came Off My Longarm”.  Until next time, I hope that you get the chance to be creative!

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