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