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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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!

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“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!

 

 

What a Block of the Month Masterpiece!

I was up at my local quilt shop last week to pick up a quilt from one customer and low and behold, I had something that’s never happened before…suddenly happen!  Four different people momentarily pulled me aside to say, “I have quilt for you to quilt”.  I nearly started looking around, for surely they could not all mean ME.  Really.  I was rather shocked, thinking that I’m not at that stage of the game just yet to be searched out and requested as a longarmer.  I wasn’t one to turn this cool thing down, however.

I met up with one of these new customers at the local guild, where I gave a lecture on longarm quilting (another very cool and surprising thing to get the chance to do, I might add).  We went over a few small things and scheduled a meeting with me to dial this quilt in.  A pantograph was picked after lining up a few and quoting prices and thread colors were chosen.  Quilters Dream 70/30 blend was chosen and once the frame was free, the quilt got loaded.

This was excellently pieced by my wonderful customer and loading went great.  I wish I had a “before” picture, as it was lovely, but what was about to happen would make it even more lovely.  This quilt had a beautiful  flannel backing that was just so luxurious.  I was in love with this.  Here is a picture of it on frame with some advancing already taking place.  You can see the wonderful flannel backing:

img_0978This pattern is from Urban Elementz and is called “echo blossom”.  It was stiched at 10 stitches per inch (to show more of the thread) with Glide thread for both the upper and bobbin thread.  A slightly darker color was used on the backing so that it’s wasn’t so bold.

img_0979This was a block of the month quilt kit offered by The Little Shop of Stitches in Miamisburg, Ohio.  You can find them at:

http://www.thelittleshopofstitches.com

Here’s a view of several blocks of this quilt:

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Here is the full quilt.  What a gorgeous block of the month quilt this was.  The fabrics were gorgeous:

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Have a wonderful day!