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.

A Finely Feathered Goose

Can I just open by saying that I have the world’s best job?  Honestly.  I see such amazing quilts come in and this one, pieced by the very accomplished piecer AND quilter, Joyce Hite, had me step back and admire the absolutely perfect paper piecing and precision in construction.  I mean, it sat as flat as a sheet of paper.  It was spotlessly ironed and is just an amazing rendition in solids of Judy Neimeyer’s Feathered Goose.  Usually, a JN quilt is done in batiks, but this was such a treat to see in solids.  It was striking:

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My client has shown in national quilt shows and her work, both piecing and quilting, is simply astounding to look at, so receiving this one from her to help her lighten the quilting load was exciting and daunting at the same time.  I mean, how could I possibly present a finished product as nicely as she constantly does?  Well, I championed my enthusiasm and jumped in with an acetate overlay to sketch out my ideas.  Once my client and I had our decisions made, it was loaded onto the longarm with Quilters Dream Blend batting and stitched out on my new 26″ Innova with Glide thread, top and bottom.  251,010 stitches and 15.25 hours later, this 60″x60″ quilt was done!…though it had shrunk to 59″ due to all the quilting 🙂

Here it is:

IMG_2314Quite the amazing result, don’t you think?  While I’m still getting comfortable with this new longarm and how it moves, I think it is going to be one fantastic machine.  Here are some detail shots:

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This is my view as the freemotion quilting takes place.  One thing that I love about this Innova is it’s field of vision.  Look at that!  You can see!  Even this open-toe hopping foot is tall enough for ruler work, which is great when you need to see where you are stitching, which, for me, is all the time 🙂

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Such fun colors with such depth of hue and perfect saturation.  Here are a few more shots:

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You can see the mix of ruler work and freemotion.  The diagonal lines were placed 1/4″ of an inch apart, making for some dense quilting.

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I chose to quilt the five medallions a little on the light side to give a break to all the dense areas and allow them to stand up a bit on the quilt.  The curly cues were a new fill for me, but all it took was a few minutes of practice on a fat quarter I loaded before I got how they traveled.  I rather like that fill!

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Some of these cream points were rather small, but that didn’t stop me from feathering them!  Like Joyce Hite, I much prefer dense quilting and this quilt certainly had a bit of that.

As if this all wasn’t some pretty cool news, I have even more news to share… The Threadworks Factory and this 26″ Innova with Lightening Stitch will be sporting an Intelliquilter computer on it in the next few weeks.  I will be able to stitch both freemotion AND digitally (and even on the same quilt!) in just a few week’s time.  I’m thrilled to make this addition to my company and I know this partnership of this servo driven computer will create amazing things for you.

Shoot me an email if you’d like to entertain me quilting your next top.

Have a great day and I hope you have a little time with which 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:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDrvlVKQrP4CJYEGK3nepsg

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!

As always, if you liked this blog and would like to subscribe to it, you can do just that.  Look over on the right hand column and track up or down to the subscription area.

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If you’d like to see some educational tutorials, I am on youtube and will be posting more as the summer starts up.  Visit my channel here.

“Wonder” Is Right!

Dare I tell you what that title is all about?  Well, let’s get to it, then!  This custom quilt job was recently completed on what is called a “One Block Wonder”.  So named because the fabric for the main part of the body is created by fussy-cutting a single piece of fabric.  My dear customer who is prolific at quilting (I have no idea how she does it, leading such a busy and fabulous life), created this masterpiece of precision and perfect fussy-cutting and allowed me the honor of free-motion custom quilting this.

My goal in tackling this, after my nervous reaction of “Oh, boy, is sure hope I don’t ruin this gorgeous quilt” was to think about the piecing of it and let the piecing process drive the quilting.  I wanted to help unify the quilt and the floral theme of the fabric, so I set about designing, after taking a picture of it and printing it out.  I also drew up a life-sized hexagon in AutoCAD and printed out a bunch of them, so that I could design at full scale.  Eight Different designs were drafted out for the hexagons, all carrying a “flower” type design.  When I had them drawn at full scale, I picked out the rulers that would be used on each one and marked those drawings so that I had complete understanding of how each would be done.

Here it is all quilted:

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The triangle edge was pebbled, in order to recede it and allow the hexagons along the edge to pop out more.  A custom border was applied through free-motion with a simple curl and leaf pattern.  I wanted to carry the flower theme there, but I did not want the border to upstage the body of the quilt in any fashion.  A cute flower was placed in the corner of each border to added effect.

You can see the randomization of the blocks.  To achieve this, I numbered each of my patterns from 1-8 and wrote over the top of my picture printout.  That became my “instructions” and along with the pattern sketches, which I dimensioned.  I had the perfect roadmap to break this quilt down into simple-to-understand directions.

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It was fun to watch this quilt “grow”.  Row by row and advance by advance, things really started to take shape.  I used two different thread colors for the stitching and monofilament for the stitch in the ditch on the borders and cubes.

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I loved seeing how the different areas of the quilt expressed different things all due to the fabric patterns.  I cannot believe this quilt’s body was cut from one fabric, what with all the colors that went on.  My customer showed me the initial fabric, and that was an eye-opener for what all became of it once pieced.  This was truly a spectacular quilt and the piecing was amazingly accurate.

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And from the back:

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I used two layers of batting.  The base was a layer provided by my wonderful customer, and I believe it may have been a Pellon cotton.  The top layer was Quilters Dream Wool.  It’s such an amazing product that holds it’s bounce tremendously well and it’s a favorite of mine.

I used glide thread in a medium purple and medium blue.  With that slight sheen of this amazing polyester trilobal thread, it was perfect for this very showy and bright quilt.  I was so happy (and relieved) that my customer loved her quilt.  I get handed a very big dose of responsibility with each quilt I am given, and I’m so happy when my customer is happy.  That makes everything worth it!

If you’d like to learn more about me, you can explore this website.  If you’d like to see some educational videos on how to longarm, please visit my youtube channel, The Theadworks Factory.  Many thanks for stopping in to visit.  I appreciate your time!

Have a great day and go out and create something!