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:

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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

Carol’s Octagon Shimmer

Today, I bring to you a quilt from a local quilter who normally pieces a more traditional quilt. Carol Schottelkotte came to me in 2019, when she lost her longarmer and was in search of a new one. I’m so glad she found me. Carol went outside of her comfort zone when she found Octagon Shimmer by Jennifer Sampou. You can find the pattern for sale here: https://www.ctpub.com/octagon-shimmer-quilt-epattern-download-1/

Carol came over and we hatched out a gameplan on a piece of acetate over the quilt. My job was to help define the two different main shapes, bring in a little modern quilting and introduce some feathers onto the quilt. Feathers aren’t Carol’s particular cup of tea, but she was very willing to give them a go.

I wish I had snapped a picture of the quilt before loading it, but, once again, my feeble mind failed me and it wasn’t until after it was loaded that it dawned on me that I had missed my opportunity. So, without further adieu, here is Carol’s quilt!

I quilted this on two layers of Quilters Dream Blend batting and I just really loved the shimmer of the fabrics and the color spectrum of this quilt. We didn’t skimp on feathers, either! There were 219,922 stitches total, using about 7 different colors of glide thread on the top and one color always in the bobbin. I used Glide’s Warm Grey 4 on all the parts within the octagon blocks and matched fabric colors on the triangular blocks where the feathers are. Here are more detailed shots:

and…

and some closer shots of the beautiful flying geese border on this quilt:

What a wonderful quilt and I had such a blast quilting this. I’m going to miss her!

http://www.soapworksfactory.com

Many of you know that I don’t just longarm…I hand-craft luxury cold-process soaps and sell them online at my shop. I am introducing my next new soap today and it is Grapefruit and Colloidal Oatmeal (Pictured below). My soaps are gentle and moisturizing with luxury oils of shea butter, avocado oil and olive oil, among the other oils I use. I incorporate coconut milk into each and every bar. And, they are entirely plant-based, scented only with steam-distilled essential oils and they are incredibly kind to your skin. I am so proud of these soaps and they have been incredibly well received. If you’d like to check them out for yourself, visit my shop at: www.soapworksfactory.com. Let your skin drink in the goodness that is our soap.

http://www.soapworksfactory.com

I swear Maureen Wood doesn’t sleep!

I get amazing quilts on my doorstep and it’s always so cool to see what comes in and what fabrics and techniques are used.  I’ve had the privilege of longarming for Maureen Wood on several occasions and she patiently waited for her next chance on frame.  In came a Jaqueline De Jonge quilt called “Dream Flight” and it was a stunner.  We decided to double bat this with Quilters Dream Blend, for show reasons.  Once I had inked my ideas, emailed them to Maureen and received her approval, we marked it and loaded it.

OK, If you’re like me, you just want to see the pictures!  So, here you go:

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And, the detail shots are so pretty.  This corner medallion went in by marking the main spine and the extent of the feathers.  It was stitched in a dark grey so that it had some pop from the black background.

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The corner motif was stitched in a dark red and rulerwork was done to stitch the star out.  I loved the feather that this motif had in it.

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And, the black background was stitched in a very dark blue so that it ever so slightly popped off the black.  It turned out beautifully.

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Each circle had different stitching in it and all the colored areas were stitched in a warm grey.

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This is probably my favorite picture.  You can really see the background fill and the red motif I put in.  Just so pretty!!!

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Just another pretty shot on this area. I loved the feather I put into the white circle here and that feather around the black zone was just too pretty!

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Well, that does it for this beautiful quilt.  I’m really hoping that Maureen enters it into a show.  Heck, I hope we have a show again.  But, at least I get to longarm these beautiful quilts and I have another gorgeous one on frame right now.  Lucky me!

Just a few weeks ago, I launched another fun project I’ve been working on in the evenings and on the weekends…a luxury artisan cold-process soap company!  I’ve been so fortunate to have had a fantastic start to this business and I’ve already been fortunate to have repeat customers!  Our soaps are incredibly kind to your skin and we have 9 different essential oils combinations.  We use only essential oils to scent our soaps.  We also use copious amounts of olive oil, avocado oil and shea butter.  If you’d like to pamper yourself with a luxury soap, visit us at http://www.soapworksfactory.com

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Kathryn Bailey’s Pandemonium Quilt

Good morning, everyone!  I’m so sorry that I’ve been absent from blogging for a while.  Life has been crazy hectic as usual, even with the national shutdown from Covid-19.  I am still working full time (and even recorded a 13 hour workday this week!) for a few reasons.  Namely, we are stuck finishing our basement ourselves due to having the work crew stopped mid-stream by this outbreak and we are left with no countertops and no carpet anywhere due to it.  I also opened up another side business to run as I work through the quilt load I have that my husband will help me manage…I will blog a bit more about that in about an hour!  Stay tuned!

Onto this wonderful quilt that my client brought to me to custom quilt.  Kathryn hails from the GREAT State of Texas.  I wish I had some before pictures and an overall picture, but with the state of my basement right now, the area I use for photography is left in limbo 🙁  I am completely dismayed by that and could not get a full picture.

When I had talked with Kathryn via emails, I had told her that I envisioned quilting this top with two thread colors.  Does this look like two thread colors to you?  I mean, I just couldn’t do that.  When you see the masterpiece, you’ll understand why.

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May I  now introduce to you Kathryn’s Pandemonium quilt.  Kim McLean was the designer.  Kathryn pieced this with Kaffe Fassett fabrics and it was thousands of applique pieces that went into this top.  I can only show you sections of it, and I am terribly sorry about that.

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Well, there it is, in bits and pieces. I have another potential show quilt on frame right now and it will be done next week.  If I can share pictures of it, I shall.  If not, please know that I’m busting at the seams to share more gorgeous quilts with you!

Please stay safe and healthy.  I hope you find some time to be creative today.

Take care, Patricia