Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Touch of Pizazz

This picture was taken just a few months ago. My mom, Nancy, started our longarm business over a decade ago and has taught me all the in's & out's of quilting. She's a fabulous coach and skill instructor! Occasionally, I post some of her work on my blog as well as mine. Below is a lovely chocolate brown and blue quilt she just finished for a customer & long time friend who's name also happens to be Nancy. The overall water-ripple meandering complimented the quilt without dominating it. The quilting added some needed pizazz without taking away from the snuggly feel of the colors and pattern. You go MOM!

This quilt was a large twin. Here it looks bigger than that, but it is because Mom loaded it lengthwise. This made doing the directional quilting much easier. (Another tip I was reminded of, I'm always learning from her!)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Quilting Around...last pics of the Epic Quiltathon

Something different in all 5 borders...

When I had taken the quilt off the machine and laid it out, I could see how the quilting had made the quilt...all the textures of all the different designs showed up beautifully.

The house was the center piece. I had a lot of fun with it.
This block turned out so elegant....
it was the perfect candidate for fancy, fussy quilting.

Here's the door on the front of the house. I decided it needed a doorknob, so I added one. It's slighly wrinkled in the middle because of being folded up after quilting. Brenda did a such a good job piecing the top; quilting it was a breeze. Thanks Brenda for giving me this opportunity to play!!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Dynamite Highlights from 3 Day Quiltathon

I am so proud of myself! It took hours of practice and planning to learn how to make the feathers fit in any shape. Here they are in the squares and triangles in the border. Now it's a breeze, and so fun to do.

Lots of tiny stippling...that's my baby finger by the way...

The chimney on the house.

This overall paisely design gives such an elegant touch.
A funky monkey new design...just winged it! So fun!

Ribbons & Swirls...

Freeform Flower...more from the 3 day Quiltathon

I briefly fiddled around with sketches for the perfect flower to fill this block with. I soon decided to "just go for it." Usually I make myself draw, re-draw, practice, practice, & practice a new design until I feel confident in my ability to sew it smoothly. Occasionally, as in this case, I've felt more confident just taking the plunge and designing on the go. Of course, I always have a basic idea in mind of what I'm going for, but sometimes I even surprise myself with how it turns out. This flower just kept "blossoming." All creative juices were gushing out with this one.

While I did tight, heavy quilting in the gold sections, I purposefully did not quilt in the blue areas. This resulted in highly textured gold areas that made the blue areas stand out in relief. The camara did a pretty good job of capturing this...but it was really fabulous in person. I loved doing this block.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A Highlight from the 3 Day Quiltathon

Loved how this turned out. Didn't have to rehearse this one because I had done it on a quilt before. I enjoyed the ease of doing it for the second time. The tight stippling made the green star stand out. It really did look 3D. You can't see that as well in the photos. The block fit in nicely in the overall quilting scheme. As you can see in the picture below, the quilting in the green star block matched/blended with the other quilting.

Easy as 1, 2, 3

It's easy as 1,2,3....hah! not really! By the time I actually sew it's that easy! The most time - consuming part about custom quilting (getting fancy wid' the freeform) is rehearsal. It takes forever to come up with a solid plan on how to git' er' done! However, once the plan is in place everything usually runs fairly smooth. Above I'm marking the vein (discussed in the prev. entry) with my handy dandy chalk wheel and makeshift template. Blue tape makes a great marking line.
Here's the final result of much planning...lovely mini feathers. They looked great in the big cream triangles in the border. It definitely needed something exciting. They really made the border.

Tools & Tricks for the 3 day Quiltathon....

As you can see from the picture above, this quilt was a biggon'!!! It was a large king...something in the neighborhood of 120"x120"....yeah like I said....humongous!!! My sisters strained to hold it up for the 3 minutes it took to snap a couple of pictures. They are actually standing on our 12 foot deck holding the quilt over the railing - it still almost touched the ground!!!

Planning, rehearsing, birthing ideas, ditching ideas, sketching, refining sketches, practicing new designs a bizillion times, figuring out how to execute my ideas in the most productive way, strategizing.....these are just of few of the things I did for the 3 days. I always keep a sketchbook and I have certain quilting books I love to reference when doing a challenging quilt.

I made several paper templates that were identical in size to the triangles in the border that I was working on. Upon completing the 20th/25th sketch, I decided I was ready to tackle the real thing.

This acrylic template was the perfect size for marking the vein of the feather! When I sew my feathers, I usually only mark the vein and do the feather entirely freehand. I only need a middle line of reference...More pics to come!!!