Saturday, May 30, 2009

Go Mom!

Here's a beauty of a quilt done by my lovely mother for a family friend. See below for a larger blerb on this...

Above: My mom Nancy and I. Here are a few pics of a quilt my lovely mother just finished quilting for a friend of ours. She's the one who's taught me most of what I know about quilting. She also started the quilting biz, and I began learning how to use the longarm when I was about 16. She is very talented artistically and really knows what she's doing. If I'm ever unsure about something I know I've always got a brilliant opinion handy. She and I love to bounce ideas off of eachother. Thanks Mom! Enjoy these pics of her beautiful handiwork.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Debbie's Quilt Up Close

CLICK ON any of the pictures to make them larger. You can see some of the details better this way.
Lot's of ribbon was thrown here and there. Looked terrific in the skinny red borders.
This part of the quilt is the 'busiest' due to the fact that it has a stippled background, basketweave pattern in the basket, special quilting in the petals to make them pop, careful accent quilting around and in the stems of the flowers, and more ribbon in the red border that frames this center block.

This corner of the quilt showcases the 3 different types of feather designs I used. Well, technically it's the same feather...but bent in whatever direction it needs to go in order to fit in a triangle, square or gynormous border!

Planning, Rehearsing and Actually Sewing!!!

I spent well over twice the time drawing this border than I did sewing it!!!! I toyed with different ideas for the border - mainly different feather variations. I knew from the beginning I'd do a feather in the border. I proceeded to sketch and sketch and sketch some more until I was satifisfied with the results. No wabbles or wiggles allowed! Feeling quite confident after all that sketching I marked the center of the feather with white chalk. I rehearsed with my finger, the path of the feather. Then I actually sewed it...FINALLY!!! The preparation for this took a loooong time. I made a template in order to be able to evenly space the undulating areas of the feather. Below are a few pics of this step by step process.
Sketches and circular template that aided in the design a border feather template.

Making the template.

Cutting out the template along the marked line.

The template is ready to be used! (the dark brown wavy line down the middle of the border there is just basting stitches.)

Feathering...My pics finally uploaded!!!!

Here's more of Debbie's quilt! Finally...This is a "zoomed in" part of the big border. You can see a "zoomed out" pic of the big border in the last post. The feather overall undulated up and down in a wave pattern. In order to fill in the border sufficiently and make a fuller, more elegant feather I added some branches where the feather dipped up or down. These pics show the evolution of the branches step by step. It required much practice...but was worth all the hard work! Gotta' love that white chalk!
Step #1 mark path of feather with chalk wheel.
Step #2 Following premarked line sew the first side of the feather from tip to base.

Step #3 Starting at the tip again, but using the first side of the feather instead of the chalk as a guide, sew the other side. It is important with this step, because of the tight curve, to be sure to make an extra long "stem" on each plume of the feather. Also none of my feathers have spines. This avoids a "messy" looking center vein where all the plumes of the feather meet unevenly - with my method they simply don't meet. After adding the branches to the feather it was completed after I echo quilted it entirely. It turned out smashing!

I am Sooo Annoyed!!!

For some reason I can easily post at work with photos from the internet. But anytime lately that I've tried to post on this blog from home with pics from my camera it has malfunctioned!!! Arrrrgh! So I haven't forgotten about posting more pics of Debbie's quilt! And by this time of several other quilts! I've just got to work out some technological bugs!!!!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

PRESTO!!! Here it is!

Debbie did a fantastic job putting this quilt together. I enjoyed the challenge of quilting it. As I said earlier, it was quite an adventure!
I have been able to sew free-form feathers for several years now. This was the first time I ever sewed them from front to back, instead of back to front. This involved more stopping and starting. It was tricky at first, but the results were worth all the hard work. I literally drew each type of feather (there were three) over 20 times. I learned so much with this quilt. Old techiques were adapted and sharpened and new ones were aquired. This really turned out to be quite a masterpiece. I look at it as a significant milestone, a mark of accomplishment, in my quilting career. I feel like a little girl showing a drawing to her mother loudly exclaiming, "Look what I did all by myself!!!" Yes, a bit goofy, but I can't help it! I am so excited! I feel like I am on a plateau. I can see how far I've come and feel ready to continue hiking up more mountains and embarking on more adventures.

The feathers had to fit into the squares and triangle shapes. The squares were the most intimidating/challenging so I saved them for last. By the time I got to them it was a piece of cake because I had practically been doing "backflip" feathers in the border.
Tear drop paisleys always add an elegant touch wherever sewn. Below is a pic of the border feather before I echoed it. It is beautiful in this stage, but somehow echoing finishes a feather. I'll have to do a post on "the evolution of the feather" if I get the chance. But not now. I am sooo tired! Whew! I am goin' to bed people! Enjoy! And stay tuned! Because there's more of where this came from!

Sunday, May 10, 2009


I have got a few new tricks I'm perfecting. Soon I'll be posting pics about my latest quilting adventure. And let me tell has been quite an adventure. I've been stretched but am learning so much. Wait til you see this one!