Now THAT’s A Fancy Forest!

The quilt this blog is centered around has been in the making for quite some time.  I remember seeing this in bits and stages nearly 2 years ago, as my client, Connie Tieche tediously pieced a Fancy Forest quilt from Elizabeth Hartman.  This came as a kit and I have to say, there are so many wonderful fabrics that I think they were all my favorite!  The color spectrum and the layout were just perfect.

When longarming, I always like to start by taking a few photos of the quilt.  One of the full quilt and several of detail areas.  I then print out the photos, put tracing paper over them and design them with pencil.  Once I have what I like, I draft it out with ink on tracing paper and take photos, wiring the images to my client for approval.  If I feel that I don’t have a firm grasp on the finished scale, I place a piece of acetate over the quilt top and mark on it the design intent.  That way, I can check things and make sure I have it all figured out (and it’s a this step that  I can lay my circle and arc templates over the design to determine what sizes to use).  I’m not a load-and-go kind of quilter, where I just load a top without any design thought and start stitching.  Something tells me that wouldn’t end well for me!  Here is a picture of my drafted ideas:IMG_5884I used around 40-45 different colors of Glide thread on this quilt.  I can’t say for sure, because there were so many cones of thread out on the floor behind me that I had to clear it all up twice just to advance the quilt into another color range and plop down more thread colors!  When you carry over 160 colors of Glide thread, this part is a whole lot easier!  I don’t charge for thread changes on custom quilting, as an hourly rate is much more fair for things than a $5 charge for each color change.  I think my clients agree!

Let’s take a look at the full finished quilt.  This was quilted with a double layer of Quilters Dream Batting.  A 70/30 blend was used on the bottom for strength and a layer of wool was used on top for puff.  That combination always quilts so lovely:IMG_5914I always love to peer in closer, so here is more of the eye candy of this quilt:IMG_5916and:IMG_5915And peering in even closer gives yet more detail and allows you to see the wood grain background fill:IMG_5917IMG_5919IMG_5920IMG_5918It was such a fun time quilting this masterpiece that finished at over 405,000 stitches on my Innova.  I enjoyed every minute of breathing yet more life into this gorgeous quilt of Connie’s.

If you are interested in having me custom freemotion or digitally pantograph your quilts, just reach out to me through this website or email me at: ThreadworksFactory@outlook.com.  My schedule is nearly full through May now and we are booking June arrivals and beyond.

Thank you for spending time with me today and I hope you have an opportunity to be creative!

Kiss Kiss

I know, I know…it’s been a while, hasn’t it?  Life has a way of stopping you from doing the things you intend to do.  Fortunately, for me, those diversions have all been wonderful excursions through this path I call my life.

Along the way, I somehow managed to pick up national acclimation in the form of an AQS ribbon at Spring Paducah, where a quilt I longarmed actually went on to place 3rd in the Large Wall Quilt, Moveable Machine category.  Pieced and owned by Joyce Hite, we were both completely in shock to receive this news.  With life in a total whirl after an amazing trip to Paducah, this blog is a bit late in dropping.  But, we shall obliviously carry on 🙂

Today’s quilt is such a fun little one (60″ square) that was pieced by the ever-charming Cheri Sherley, who hails from Amarillo, Texas.  She is such a delightful person to work with and I know this quilt was created for a special person in her life.  Here is her Kiss Kiss quilt, complete with Tula Pink fabrics.IMG_3797Isn’t it adorable?  I just love the gothic Elizabethan stately portraits on this fabric.  I got a few pointers from Cheri on her likes and dislikes and I’m always thrilled when my client informs me that they love feathers…what an uncanny coincidence…I do, too!  I received approval on my sketches and away I went, longarming this quilt freemotion and with rulers.  Nearly 12 hours later and with 173,394 stitches hitting their mark, here is the beautiful result:

IMG_3832Pretty awesome!  Cheri let me know beforehand that she loved the way the talented Angela Walters quilted one of these quilts and I took my cue of framing the faces with the arcs from Angela.  I really wanted the center aqua blocks to have their own design, so I came up with what you see here as a way to dress up the quilt with yet another pattern for your eye to examine.

IMG_3837Here’s a closer look at the quilting detail.  I quilted around the face and accentuated the details in the fabric to help enhance the beauty of the printed image.  Rulers, swirls, circles and matchstick quilting all played a roll in the final result.

IMG_3836And, here’s a view from a little further out, showing the beadboard quilting along the outer border.  I decided to “fan” it around the corners to give it just a pop of drama.  Afterall, this quilt is all about attitude (and drama).

This was such a fun quilt to dabble with and working with Cheri was simply a wonderful experience.  I thoroughly enjoyed my time with her and her quilt.

IMG_3838Lastly, a view of the beautiful backing fabric Cheri chose for this lovely quilt.  Such a perfect match, I must say!

Thank you for stopping in today and seeing what was on my longarm.  I’m really hoping to have a little more time to blog over the summer.  Yea, right… we all know how frantic summers are!

If you are interested in having me longarm your beautiful top, please send me an email.  You can either click on the “contact me” tab at the top of this page or you can simply drop the email to me at: threadworksfactory@outlook.com.

I can quilt digital edge to edge and digital or freemotion custom.  Anything is possible at The Threadworks Factory.  My edge to edge starts as low as 1.5 cents per square inch for a basic meander, with most edge to edge digital patterns running at 2-3 cents per square inch.  Digital and freemotion custom is $30 per hour for designing and longarming.  Reserve your spot on my calendar today, before it’s booked up for 2018!

Have a great day and I hope you get to spend a little of it being creative!

Patricia Heinrich Hechler

 

 

 

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.