Memories Are So Sweet!

It’s an odd thing to first, bring you this blog after yet another surgery, and, second, to announce that this is a very, very special quilt that my quilting partner, Joyce Hite, meticulously pieced, applique’d and blanket stitched on her wonderful Bernina.  This quilt was just juried into Road to California, 2020 and we are totally excited over this news.  This particular quilt also received an Honorable Mention in it’s class at AQS Spring Paducah 2019 and just last month took a 2nd in class at IQF Houston.  It is a very special quilt for Joyce, as it represents her memories of growing up on a farm here in Ohio.  I will give a few more insights on this as you scroll through the pictures and this blog will be FILLED with quilting photos with an immense amount of custom freemotion (with ruler work) quilting!

“Memories” is a “taupe” quilt, designed by Joyce using many EQ (Electronic Quilt) patterns and a few blocks from one of her favorite quilters, Yoko Saito, using Japanese fabrics.  Here it is as it arrived to my “factory”:IMG_4286

Joyce created the beautifully wide border for some intricate quilting on my part…she really wanted to give me a space to have fun in and it didn’t take me long to channel my love of Sharon Schambler’s work and create a border for this quilt.  The remaining blocks took a bit longer…over 40 hours of designing on tracing paper with pencil over images that I printed out of each quilt block.  I would later use those drawings to record arc sizes and thread choices, as this quilt used somewhere around 45 thread colors on the top and around 7 colors on the backing.

Here’s a look at the beautiful quilt as it came off of my longarm. Over 1.3 million stitches and about 450 hours of work:IMG_5208

And a few closer looks, with the batting combination of Quilters Dream Blend and Wool giving such nice stitch definition.  Three colors of Glide 40 weight trilobal thread were used in the border to bring a slight hue of color into it.  A different frame was placed around each of the 7 different applique blocks:IMG_5191

and…IMG_5181

And, here is the quilt winning it’s Honorable Mention at AQS Spring Paducah 2019:IMG_6211

You can see the three colors of thread in the border here….An off-yellow, a lighter grey and a darker grey:
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And, here is my mass-dump of all of the detail photos of the blocks within the quilt.  Joyce is a remarkably talented quilter and her work is just something incredibly special to see up close.  Her sense of color, care with her applique, and level of stitching talent is truly special.  Her machine blanket stitch is just breathtaking and I am so thrilled to have her as a friend and partner in national show quilts.  Joyce and I have worked together since I was longarming for just 18 months (about two years ago!), placing nationally at that time, and her faith in me is something I will ALWAYS treasure.  She believed in me when I didn’t, and it means the world to me to be supported in that fashion.  She is truly an amazingly wonderful, kind and talented quilter!d13

Joyce’s first block she ever made was a churn-dash block, so this was a significant block in this quilt:d12

and…d11

and…d10

Joyce’s Mother was very skilled at flower arranging and all of her flower applique blocks pay homage to her memories of her mother’s very special talent:d9

and…d8

Now, Joyce doesn’t know this, but the acorn block here has a very special meaning to me and my family memories.  I grew up on a small parcel in Mentor, Ohio.  We had a HUGE Scarlet Oak in the backyard that dated over 200 years old.  The property, and that tree, were once owned by our President, James A. Garfield with his “Lawnfield” homelocated just to the west of the top of our street.  Our childhood was spent using that tree as “home” in games of tag, left us huge piles of rust-colored leaves in the fall that we jumped into, gave us acorns for acorn fights and painted acorn people with painted acorn “hats” and dropped on us sticks and leaves to form make-believe house outlines in the back yard in which we “lived”.  When one Memorial Day found a teenage version of me at the window, hearing a huge crack and shaking the picture window, I exclaimed to my Mom that the tree was literally cracking in front of me.  An emegency Arborist’s crew cinched it back together with a huge chain link cable system, but about 5 years later found the tree too bad to keep and it was, unfortunately, cut down.  The crew on that fateful day consisted of men who asked to be on that job crew, because, they too, loved the history of that tree.  It was a sad day, but I will never forget what that tree meant to us kids and my parents.d7

The “J” block is, obviously, a monogram for Joyce:d6

and…d5

Joyce spent her childhood growing up on a farm, and this barn block represents that special time in her life:d4

and…d3

This flower applique happens to be my favorite block on this quilt.  It’s hard to actually pick a favorite, but this was just such a gorgeous block with such dainty leaves that bent in the wind.  I loved the fabrics used on this one and I loved the french knots Joyce made in the stamens of the flowers.  Add to this that my first collegiate degree was in Horticulture and with my Master’s degree and the passage of my State Boards, I became a Registered Landscape Architect, and, well, it all makes sense:d2

I loved using Cindy Needham’s Ultimate Background Stencil set to mark out the basketweave on the flower basket and I think it turned out beautifully:d1

Well, that does it for the eye candy!  I thank you for taking the time to pop in for a visit!  I’m excited to announce that Joyce and I are currently working on the next show quilt (well, Joyce is done piecing and waiting for me to finish the longarming…which is taking a lot longer than first anticipated, but all good things must come in due time)!

May this Holiday Season fill you with warmth, love, support and kindness.  Take care and I hope you get a little time today to be creative!

Patricia Heinrich Hechler

 

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!

Dianne’s Masterful One Block Wonder

Dianne Edgar Lowe’s One Block Wonder was a fun quilt to freemotion longarm!

My client, Dianne Edgar Lowe, hails from the state of Washington and found me on a One Block Wonder forum on Facebook.  After getting her quilt back from a longarmer, Dianne made the difficult decision to arduously unpick everything and spent 160 hours doing so.  Here it is as it landed at my “factory”:IMG_E5568After sketching out my ideas and getting Dianne’s approval, I loaded it and went to work.  Here is the final result:1This was quilted on a double batting of Quilters Dream Blend and Wool with Glide 40 weight thread in over 25 different colors, so that the thread would blend more into the myriad of fabric colors.  Here are more detail shots of this quilt as we move in a little closer:3

 

4And, for more detail, here are more close-ups of the hand-guided quilting:8

10Dianne chose a gorgeous backing to go with this amazing top.  It really showed the quilting beautifully:IMG_E5763-001

I just loved this shot, where you can see the 12 different designs I did in the blocks:13I thank you greatly for popping in to see this beautiful quilt from Dianne Edgar Lowe.  If you’d like to get onto my 2019 quilting schedule, please reach out to me at threadworksfactory@outlook.com.  My schedule is filling up for March and April, so book your spot now!

I hope you have a little time to be creative today.  Take care!

Trip around the world and back again

Joyce Hite’s Trip Around The World quilt is done and, boy, was it a beautiful one!

One of my prolific clients, Joyce Hite (and my collaborator in show quilts), pieced this beautiful Trip Around The World quilt just recently.  I was extremely excited to get the chance to freemotion quilt this 38″ square piece.  Joyce asked me about specialty threads and inquired about metallic thread.  It was her hope to stitch with metallic in the dark blue border, but after my search, all I could find was royal blue metallic threads.  Until…I came upon Superior Thread’s Glitter thread line.   I settled on Midnight Blue Glitter thread, which is a holographic film that is rather like tinsel.  18 hours and 170,000 stitches later, this is what came off my Innova frame:IMG_5667

I just loved how the corner work turned out with the Signature Glitter thread.  While you can’t see it very clearly here, when the light hits it, it really looks like frost has settled over the stitches.  It’s a stunning effect:IMG_5670

A close-up of the center medallion.  It was so much fun to fill the “trips” around the world in different fills.  Each color of fabric received it’s own thread color, in Glide 40 weight.  Two layers of Quilters Dream batting were used…Blend (70/30) on the bottom and Wool on the top:IMG_5669

Here’s what the corner looks like from the solid back:IMG_5665

And, finally, another shot of the beautiful back:IMG_5664

I am so blessed with the gorgeous quilts that come to me and I’m hoping to blog a few more over the coming weeks!   If you’d like to get into my 2019 longarming schedule, simply drop me an email at:  threadworksfactory@outlook.com.

Thank you so much for stopping by to visit!  If you’d like to subscribe to my blog, please fill out the formwork to the right of this page.  I hope you have a little time to be creative today.  Take care!

Patricia Heinrich Hechler