Memories Are So Sweet!

It’s an odd thing to first, bring you this blog after yet another surgery, and, second, to announce that this is a very, very special quilt that my quilting partner, Joyce Hite, meticulously pieced, applique’d and blanket stitched on her wonderful Bernina.  This quilt was just juried into Road to California, 2020 and we are totally excited over this news.  This particular quilt also received an Honorable Mention in it’s class at AQS Spring Paducah 2019 and just last month took a 2nd in class at IQF Houston.  It is a very special quilt for Joyce, as it represents her memories of growing up on a farm here in Ohio.  I will give a few more insights on this as you scroll through the pictures and this blog will be FILLED with quilting photos with an immense amount of custom freemotion (with ruler work) quilting!

“Memories” is a “taupe” quilt, designed by Joyce using many EQ (Electronic Quilt) patterns and a few blocks from one of her favorite quilters, Yoko Saito, using Japanese fabrics.  Here it is as it arrived to my “factory”:IMG_4286

Joyce created the beautifully wide border for some intricate quilting on my part…she really wanted to give me a space to have fun in and it didn’t take me long to channel my love of Sharon Schambler’s work and create a border for this quilt.  The remaining blocks took a bit longer…over 40 hours of designing on tracing paper with pencil over images that I printed out of each quilt block.  I would later use those drawings to record arc sizes and thread choices, as this quilt used somewhere around 45 thread colors on the top and around 7 colors on the backing.

Here’s a look at the beautiful quilt as it came off of my longarm. Over 1.3 million stitches and about 450 hours of work:IMG_5208

And a few closer looks, with the batting combination of Quilters Dream Blend and Wool giving such nice stitch definition.  Three colors of Glide 40 weight trilobal thread were used in the border to bring a slight hue of color into it.  A different frame was placed around each of the 7 different applique blocks:IMG_5191

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And, here is the quilt winning it’s Honorable Mention at AQS Spring Paducah 2019:IMG_6211

You can see the three colors of thread in the border here….An off-yellow, a lighter grey and a darker grey:
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And, here is my mass-dump of all of the detail photos of the blocks within the quilt.  Joyce is a remarkably talented quilter and her work is just something incredibly special to see up close.  Her sense of color, care with her applique, and level of stitching talent is truly special.  Her machine blanket stitch is just breathtaking and I am so thrilled to have her as a friend and partner in national show quilts.  Joyce and I have worked together since I was longarming for just 18 months (about two years ago!), placing nationally at that time, and her faith in me is something I will ALWAYS treasure.  She believed in me when I didn’t, and it means the world to me to be supported in that fashion.  She is truly an amazingly wonderful, kind and talented quilter!d13

Joyce’s first block she ever made was a churn-dash block, so this was a significant block in this quilt:d12

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Joyce’s Mother was very skilled at flower arranging and all of her flower applique blocks pay homage to her memories of her mother’s very special talent:d9

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Now, Joyce doesn’t know this, but the acorn block here has a very special meaning to me and my family memories.  I grew up on a small parcel in Mentor, Ohio.  We had a HUGE Scarlet Oak in the backyard that dated over 200 years old.  The property, and that tree, were once owned by our President, James A. Garfield with his “Lawnfield” homelocated just to the west of the top of our street.  Our childhood was spent using that tree as “home” in games of tag, left us huge piles of rust-colored leaves in the fall that we jumped into, gave us acorns for acorn fights and painted acorn people with painted acorn “hats” and dropped on us sticks and leaves to form make-believe house outlines in the back yard in which we “lived”.  When one Memorial Day found a teenage version of me at the window, hearing a huge crack and shaking the picture window, I exclaimed to my Mom that the tree was literally cracking in front of me.  An emegency Arborist’s crew cinched it back together with a huge chain link cable system, but about 5 years later found the tree too bad to keep and it was, unfortunately, cut down.  The crew on that fateful day consisted of men who asked to be on that job crew, because, they too, loved the history of that tree.  It was a sad day, but I will never forget what that tree meant to us kids and my parents.d7

The “J” block is, obviously, a monogram for Joyce:d6

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Joyce spent her childhood growing up on a farm, and this barn block represents that special time in her life:d4

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This flower applique happens to be my favorite block on this quilt.  It’s hard to actually pick a favorite, but this was just such a gorgeous block with such dainty leaves that bent in the wind.  I loved the fabrics used on this one and I loved the french knots Joyce made in the stamens of the flowers.  Add to this that my first collegiate degree was in Horticulture and with my Master’s degree and the passage of my State Boards, I became a Registered Landscape Architect, and, well, it all makes sense:d2

I loved using Cindy Needham’s Ultimate Background Stencil set to mark out the basketweave on the flower basket and I think it turned out beautifully:d1

Well, that does it for the eye candy!  I thank you for taking the time to pop in for a visit!  I’m excited to announce that Joyce and I are currently working on the next show quilt (well, Joyce is done piecing and waiting for me to finish the longarming…which is taking a lot longer than first anticipated, but all good things must come in due time)!

May this Holiday Season fill you with warmth, love, support and kindness.  Take care and I hope you get a little time today to be creative!

Patricia Heinrich Hechler

 

Trip around the world and back again

Joyce Hite’s Trip Around The World quilt is done and, boy, was it a beautiful one!

One of my prolific clients, Joyce Hite (and my collaborator in show quilts), pieced this beautiful Trip Around The World quilt just recently.  I was extremely excited to get the chance to freemotion quilt this 38″ square piece.  Joyce asked me about specialty threads and inquired about metallic thread.  It was her hope to stitch with metallic in the dark blue border, but after my search, all I could find was royal blue metallic threads.  Until…I came upon Superior Thread’s Glitter thread line.   I settled on Midnight Blue Glitter thread, which is a holographic film that is rather like tinsel.  18 hours and 170,000 stitches later, this is what came off my Innova frame:IMG_5667

I just loved how the corner work turned out with the Signature Glitter thread.  While you can’t see it very clearly here, when the light hits it, it really looks like frost has settled over the stitches.  It’s a stunning effect:IMG_5670

A close-up of the center medallion.  It was so much fun to fill the “trips” around the world in different fills.  Each color of fabric received it’s own thread color, in Glide 40 weight.  Two layers of Quilters Dream batting were used…Blend (70/30) on the bottom and Wool on the top:IMG_5669

Here’s what the corner looks like from the solid back:IMG_5665

And, finally, another shot of the beautiful back:IMG_5664

I am so blessed with the gorgeous quilts that come to me and I’m hoping to blog a few more over the coming weeks!   If you’d like to get into my 2019 longarming schedule, simply drop me an email at:  threadworksfactory@outlook.com.

Thank you so much for stopping by to visit!  If you’d like to subscribe to my blog, please fill out the formwork to the right of this page.  I hope you have a little time to be creative today.  Take care!

Patricia Heinrich Hechler

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Holidays!

I had so much fun freemotion quilting this cheery and bright Christmas wall hanging for my dear client.

While I could do away with the cold and snow in January, February, March and April, having it arrive in December is always very special to me.  Christmas cards, cookies, and decorated trees, along with the festive shopping and visits with friends over a nice bottle of wine, make for such a great time to be alive.  Add to that sitting on the comfy couch with a nice cup of hot cocoa in my hands and a warm fire crackling, and I cant help but take in this magical holiday season.

I have to say, getting to see the quilts at this time of year, whether they are for special gifts or for the quilter to display within their own home warms my heart at the specialness of quilters–their love and support of their friends and family and their handmade gifts they have toiled over for months are really special to see and to longarm.  Today, I bring to you a wall hanging that a very prestigious quilter in my area made for herself (for a change!).  She is always making quilts for friends and family and has such a great heart for those who are in her life.  This one was an applique quilt that was simply darling.  Cheery, colorful and whimsical, I loved seeing this one pop out of her bag at the local quilt guild meeting.  For those of you interested in this pattern, you can find it at www.eazypeazyquilts.com.  It is called “Angels In The Snow”.

My mind immediately began whirling with all the possibilities.

Unfortunately, I cannot share with you the pattern or the batting.  And, as usual, I was so excited to start this project that I forgot, once again, to take a picture.  But, I certainly got some pictures after the quilting was done.  Here it is!:

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Isn’t it a darling quilt?  I just adored all the different blocks in this sampler and all the cute snowmen.  And the kitty and doggie angels!  Pinwheels and holly and color everywhere!  OMGosh!

Here are a few more colorful details:

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and…

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And, even closer up…

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and..

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and, lastly, a real close up of the adorable snowmen and holly…

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I had such a wonderful time getting to take in this season by quilting this quilt.  Nothing puts me into the holiday mood quicker than submersing myself into a whimsical holiday quilt and enjoying the work of my clients up close like this.

I hope you and yours have a wonderfully merry holiday season filled with love and laughter.  God bless us all and Merry Christmas!

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