As The Sun Rises

I can see some amazing things taking place here at The Threadworks Factory.  First, my new Intelliquilter digital quilting software and tablet are now here and installed perfectly by the amazing Mr. and Mrs. Higginbotham of Classic Quilt Studio.  Servo driven, I can engage or detach the motors with the click of a box and just two seconds of my time.  Servo driven means utmost accuracy.  The stitching is gorgeous.  I can edge to edge or custom quilt digitially, as well as free-motion now!  Second, I have seen, over this past month, an increase in customer requests, which tickles me pink.   I am truly blessed to be getting in amazing quilts.  Thank you one and all!

This will be a short post on a quilt that recently came off frame.  A delightful Hunter Star done in batiks with a Kaffe Fassett backing.  Vibrant and cheery has nothing on this quilt.  The request was made by my customer, the talented Karen Gottschall, to do what I could to pop out the hunter stars and to stitch this in an Omni Variegated thread and use a quilters dream wool batting.  After the A-OK from Karen as to my thoughts of the custom quilting, the quilt was loaded.  Here is my view as the fun is about to start in this sunrise colored quilt:

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And, here is the final result for this 56″ x 56″ quilt!  Since the stars were quilted with the same fabric as the other pieces, the only way to give some sort of pop to them was to stitch in the ditch around them and leave them otherwise untouched, so that they would spring up from the other quilted areas.  It was the best I could do.

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A bit of detail.  I simply placed vertical lines (known as piano keys) in the narrow pink border to help separate the feathers that were installed in the body from the feather in the border.  It helps to vary curved and straight stitching so that there is added interest and I think the marriage between the two worked perfectly.

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And even more detail:

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And, here is the fun, fun, fun back. This is honestly two quilts in one:

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Thank you for stopping in and seeing what I am up to.  We have six more custom quilts in the cue, so check back over the next month!

If you would like to receive notifications of my blogs, look over to the right side of this page and you’ll find a registration area.

If you’d like me to quilt your quilt, drop me a line and I can forward you the intake form.  Once I have your quilt in my possession, the designing will begin.

Get your Christmas quilt(s) to me soon…quilts for Christmas must be to me by October 15, 2017.  Please mark that on your quilting calendar!

Have a fantastic day and I hope you get 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.

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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!

It Sparkled! Honest!

First off, Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you!  My love of Irish music and my past life, living in Dublin, Ohio, make today a very special day today.  I have to admit, I was saddened when I took a DNA test for ancestry and found zero Irish in me.  It won’t keep me from playing jigs and reels, however!

Onto quilting, I say!  I am very lucky to have a dear customer provide me some beautiful quilt tops as of late.  She is such an interesting person who has lived such an interesting life and it’s very neat to learn more about her as our friendship grows.  I’ve quilted more tops for her in a month than I, myself, have made!

This blog is about one of these quilts; one that I picked up at my local quilt shop (www.thelittleshopofstitches.com) and ohh’d and ahhh’d over.  All this negative white space really excited me, as it presented some great opportunities to showcase custom quilting.  It sparkled!  It glistened like a freshly fallen snow and it was just much more magnificent than any picture could show.  We were off to design!  I snapped this picture, printed it out, and placed a sheet of tracing paper over the picture so that I could doodle away until I found the perfect design.  Well, that didn’t take long… my first design was perfect.  When you see a quilt that you love, the designing of it goes smoothly.  Your mind’s eye has already started to dabble with ideas and this one was just going to be gorgeous.

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Armed with my sketch, I began quilting.  All the sashing was stitched in the ditch.  This was for two reasons:  1.  I wanted to help pop them out a little, since I wasn’t going to be taking the block design into them and, instead, would be quilting them as stand-alone blocks and, 2.  Because I was going to be traveling in those seams to travel within each block for quilting purposes.  It would look silly, on the back, to only travel part way in the seam of the sashing.  So, before each block was quilted, all the sashing was stitched in the ditch.  This is a time-consuming process, but very worth the effect it brought.

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You can see, now the finished block.  The light blocks and the white areas were all stitched with a cream thread.  This allowed the thread to just slightly appear over the white areas and to pop a bit on the lightly colored areas as well.  for the dark purple and dark blue areas, a slightly lighter hue of the same color was used.  This also allowed the threads to slightly appear.  There was a LOT of ruler work on this quilt, but it sure makes for a beautiful finish.

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A picture from slightly farther back. Now you can see the darker blocks and how the rays in them helped to give a bit more movement to the block.

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Wow!  What a gorgeous quilt with all this quilting! 202,791 stitches in this beautiful piece.  I was sad to see it leave my sight, but so happy to return this to its rightful owner.  I’m going to miss this one, but I’m happy to have some pictures of it for keeps.

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And the back… what about that back!  I love backings that allow the quilting to show through and this one was perfect.

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So ends another project with more custom quilts on the horizon!  I’m going to have a full week next week, dabbling with designs and then, with sweet sorrow, parting with them, but I just love longarming.  My clientele is growing and I have to say, I have just the nicest quilters.  I get to live vicariously through them and I get to submerse myself in all sorts of quilting genres and I just love that!

I have created a youtube channel.  If you’re interested to see a video on the creation of this quilt (or watch any other instructional videos I have made), go to http://www.youtube.com and seach for “the threadworks factory”.  Subscribe to my channel to get notices of any new videos.  You can also visit my facebook page @thethreadworksfactory and follow along there.  Lastly, you can also register for blog updates right her on this site.  Look to the right of this screen and find the registration button.

Have a wonderful day and I do hope you get to make some time for yourself!