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, 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.

Let’s Go Visit Arcadia Avenue

Today’s blog is a very special one to me, with a custom quilt that I was told by my client, the amazing Geri Schick, to do my thing on because she had faith in me.  I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to have clients that have that kind of trust.  Piecing a top takes a lot of both time and money and to be put in care of this next step in the process is just an amazing feeling.

Before I show you the final results, I really want to take you on a “walk” to Arcadia Avenue (the pattern name for this quilt!) and show you a few aspects of prepping for a custom quilt job.  Let’s get started!

When a quilt comes in, I like to take some time with my customer to go over the things they like to see for quilting patterns (traditional/modern, feathers/flowers/lines, pebbles/swirls, etc.) and the things they don’t care for.  In learning just that, I can start to formulate ideas.  Sometimes, I’ll ink those ideas onto clear acetate and place it over the quilt, to show right on the spot.  Other times, I need to let the quilt “marinate” in my mind and stew around for a bit before I present the ideas in the form of an email with pictures.  Once my client agrees with my design ideas, the quilt gets marked, loaded, and quilted.  Let me show you first this quilt, as it was, before quilting.  You may be able to see some faint chalk lines in the blue areas:IMG_2522

This quilt is what I consider to be fairly heavy custom quilting, all freemotion, so the quilt had to be marked with linework to define the spines of feathers and other rulerwork.  First, I lay a piece of clear acetate over the quilt and mark my idea with a dry erase marker.  I then use my rulers and place them on the designs to determine the size of circle rulers to use and the spacing that will exist between straight lines.  I write on that acetate those dimensions so that I know as I roll the quilt and lose view of what has been done:

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Then, I lay those rulers on the quilt, center them along the centerline so that they are equally spaced along that centerline from side to side and I mark on the quilt where the spine rests:IMG_2525

Time to stitch that spine with the ruler:IMG_2530

Next, I get to stitch the feathers in along that spine and fill up the quilt with all the quilting detail.  For each of the pieced hexagons, I did the same thing…marking my design out on acetate over the quilt so that I knew how I wanted to treat each area.  Here are the finished results:

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And, the closer details:IMG_2571

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And, the amazing paper piecing of Geri Schick and how each hexagon was quilted:IMG_2568

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I am really pleased with the results.  I am so happy that Geri Schick decided to bring this quilt to me and I would love to see this hanging at a future show so that I pay it a visit once again…  It’s always nice to get to see quilts like this again and they’re missed once they go out the door with their owner 🙂

If you have a quilt you’d like to send my way, please go to my “contact me” tab and drop me an email.  I would love to bring your quilt top to life.

Have a fantastic day and I hope you get the time to be creative.

As The Sun Rises

I can see some amazing things taking place here at The Threadworks Factory.  First, my new Intelliquilter digital quilting software and tablet are now here and installed perfectly by the amazing Mr. and Mrs. Higginbotham of Classic Quilt Studio.  Servo driven, I can engage or detach the motors with the click of a box and just two seconds of my time.  Servo driven means utmost accuracy.  The stitching is gorgeous.  I can edge to edge or custom quilt digitially, as well as free-motion now!  Second, I have seen, over this past month, an increase in customer requests, which tickles me pink.   I am truly blessed to be getting in amazing quilts.  Thank you one and all!

This will be a short post on a quilt that recently came off frame.  A delightful Hunter Star done in batiks with a Kaffe Fassett backing.  Vibrant and cheery has nothing on this quilt.  The request was made by my customer, the talented Karen Gottschall, to do what I could to pop out the hunter stars and to stitch this in an Omni Variegated thread and use a quilters dream wool batting.  After the A-OK from Karen as to my thoughts of the custom quilting, the quilt was loaded.  Here is my view as the fun is about to start in this sunrise colored quilt:

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And, here is the final result for this 56″ x 56″ quilt!  Since the stars were quilted with the same fabric as the other pieces, the only way to give some sort of pop to them was to stitch in the ditch around them and leave them otherwise untouched, so that they would spring up from the other quilted areas.  It was the best I could do.

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A bit of detail.  I simply placed vertical lines (known as piano keys) in the narrow pink border to help separate the feathers that were installed in the body from the feather in the border.  It helps to vary curved and straight stitching so that there is added interest and I think the marriage between the two worked perfectly.

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And even more detail:

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And, here is the fun, fun, fun back. This is honestly two quilts in one:

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Thank you for stopping in and seeing what I am up to.  We have six more custom quilts in the cue, so check back over the next month!

If you would like to receive notifications of my blogs, look over to the right side of this page and you’ll find a registration area.

If you’d like me to quilt your quilt, drop me a line and I can forward you the intake form.  Once I have your quilt in my possession, the designing will begin.

Get your Christmas quilt(s) to me soon…quilts for Christmas must be to me by October 15, 2017.  Please mark that on your quilting calendar!

Have a fantastic day and I hope you get a little time to be creative.

Wedding Bells

First off, let me just say that I truly have the best clients.  The kindness, love and charity that they show on a regular basis simply astounds me.  Sometimes, a quilt comes in that is being donated to charity and the quilt maker wants something nice done.  Sometimes, it’s a gift to their Mother and sometimes, it’s a wedding gift.  I understand this.  My second and third quilts went to my family members.  I am only piecing my fourth currently.  But, this quilt that this blog is about is simply a stunner.  The fabrics and hues and pattern were just all perfect.  The piecing was spot on and great care went into it.  It truly showed.  The border was an added touch and this quilt top sparkled with it.

My client brought in the magazine from which she got the pattern and wished for her quilt to be quilted the same way.  We only made two changes… We added intermittent feathers in the white blocks to help dress them up a tad and since she put a border on it, we ran feathers up the border.

Here it is:

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A more detailed look at it:

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My client brought Warm and Natural cotton batting for this quilt, which will give it an aged/antique look once it is washed.  I used glide thread throughout this quilt.

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I placed a freemotion feather along the edge, marking in chalk the spine for it and placing a corner element to it to help dress it up.

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This was such a gorgeous quilt and the pictures just don’t do the vibrancy of it justice.  I am sure the receiver of this beautiful quilt is just going to be stunned by it.  Such care of work went into it and I was honored to longarm it for this very special occasion.  May this union be truly blessed.

Have a fantastic day and I hope you get a little time with which to be creative!

Red, White and Quilted

Today we have up a recent finish on a custom quilting job done on a red and white quilt.  This quilt is from a good customer of mine who works in the quilting industry and will be selling a book entitled “Red, White and Quilted”, by Linda Lasco.  My customer (www.quiltedchristmas.com), fell in love with a quilt in that book, quilted by the world renowned longarmer, Margaret Solomon Gunn, and wanted her quilt longarmed just like Margaret did it.

So, it was up to me to study the picture and mark out this quilt for such a fantastic design produced by Ms. Gunn.  Onto the frame it went, and half a workweek later, it rolled off absolutely stunning.  Everything was quilted with rulers and freemotion.  I do not have a computer on my BRAND NEW Innova longarm currently. (If you’re interested in checking Innova longarms out, you can visit www.accomplishquilting.com.)

I used two layers of quilters dream batting… blend on the bottom and wool on the top… to give great relief.  I also used glide thread in three colors: white, red and an aged gold thread.

Without further delay, here are the results:IMG_1891

The quilting process involved rulerwork first on the diamond areas in order to keep things as straight as possible.

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Once the rulerwork was done, it was off to fill all of the areas of quilting.  A simple continuous curve pattern was run in many of the red and white squares, followed with a running feather placed around two of the focal diamonds in the larger white blocks.

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The centers of the focal diamonds were microquilted into a very dense fill so that they were nearly embroidered.  Feathers and pebbles were placed around it.

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The feathers had a slight arc of their spine to help give them just a touch of movement.  the spine of these feathers was marked with a water soluble “Mark-B-Gone” pen, but no rulers were used to stitch the feathers out… the spine marking was simply there to help guide me.

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I just loved the detail work in the quilting.  Margaret Solomon Gunn did a fantastic job of quilting the original out and it was inspiring to recreate her work.

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My customer brought me the most lovely backing fabric and I just adored the end result.

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Thank you for visiting my webpage.  If you liked what you saw and would like to be notified of my blog posts, please subscribe to my page.  You can find that button on the right-hand column of my page.

Additionally, if you are interested in watching my educational videos and learning freemotion quilting, go to my youtube page here and click on the red “subscribe” button below the masthead picture:

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If you’d like to contact me for quilting services, you can email me from the “contact me” tab on this page.

Have a fantastic day.  I hope you get to spend a little time being 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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