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Quilting Leslie’s Kaffe Fassett Quilt

Leslie's Kaffe Quilt

Man, oh man!  I had the honor of quilting this awesome Kaffe Fassett quilt by Leslie Tucker Jenison.  Leslie pieced her quilt based on Kaffe Fassett’s quilt pattern from the book Quilts in Sweden (pictured below-photo from amazon.com), using his fabric.  Leslie also pieced the backing using some awesome linen and polka dots.

Leslie had requested some straight line quilting to follow the lines of the fabric pattern–I loved that idea.  Quilting a quilt like this using a concentric design can be a challenge on the longarm, and you sometimes end up advancing and rolling back the quilt on the frame back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, (did I say back and forth already?) etc.  To avoid doing that ONE MILLION times, I connected some of the lines, and I really liked the outcome of the quilting look.

Quilting close up

The lines of this fabric are so amazingly deceptive and provide the illusion that this was painstakingly pieced.  I love the wonky look of the finished quilt and really found the design brilliant!  I have been wanting to do a stripe study (kind of like how some people do color or quilt block studies) for so long, and this made me move that up my priority list.  Someday soon I’ll start that project.

The thread used was Magnifico in black and batting was Quilter’s Dream Orient with Quilter’s Dream Wool layered beneath the quilt top.  This was quilted using electric channel locks on my Innova longarm (hand guided), and those electric channel locks make all the difference.  I recently upgraded and had those installed from the basic manual channel locks that come on the machine.

The difference is this:

Manual channel locks:

  1. walk to the back of the machine and engage the channel lock
  2. quilt a straight line
  3. stop the machine
  4. walk to the back of the machine and disengage the channel lock
  5. walk to the front of the machine and move to new point
  6. repeat 1-5 over and again

Electric channel locks:

  1. Push remote button from front of machine to engage channel lock
  2. Quilt a straight line
  3. stop the machine
  4. push remote button from front of machine to disengage channel lock
  5. move needle to new point
  6. repeat 1-5 as needed (and your legs are breathing a huge sigh of relief from all that walking you just saved yourself)

I digress.  Here’s some more amazing eye candy from Leslie’s quilt.

Leslie’s Kaffe Quilt
Angled close up

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can check it out here on Amazon.

 

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Science Class DayDreams

I am always blown away by the awesomeness of the quilts my clients bring me.  This one was especially fun to quilt…

I have a friend that I had the honor of quilting a special quilt for.  The pattern was JayBird Quilts “Science Fair” pattern in some gorgeous Kate Spain fabrics.  I’m not sure that I’ve had more fun quilting something with such a fun concept.  My client had discussed her thoughts about having the colored/patterned hexagons be quilting with straight lines and lots of structure (kind of like science class).  And the remaining white would be quilted like a daydream, rising up from the structure of the science class.  Such an ingenious idea for a quilting layout! 


So the bottom of the quilt, close to the clustered patterned fabrics, was quilted in a lighter thread than the top, with slightly less dense quilting.  The more white fabric there was, the denser the quilting got–and thread colors changed to get gradually darker towards the top as well.  

And the back of the quilt had beakers pieced into it.  Come on.  It doesn’t get any better than that! 

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T-shirt quilts

Have you ever picked up someone’s journal or diary and caught a glimpse of who that person is and what drives them?  Even if it belonged to a total stranger?  That’s how I often feel when I get a t-shirt quilt commission.  Sometimes It’s t-shirts, sometimes ties, sometimes clothing from a deceased loved one, but what my clients may not realize is that by the time I am done with the finished item/quilt, I feel like I personally know the person the items belonged to. 


I recently completed a t-shirt quilt for a graduating senior who was an avid football player.  And let me tell you…Momma did an awesome job of saving shirts from elementary school on up!  This was probably the largest t-shirt quilt I’ve done, being nearly king-sized when completed. 

Seriously…this sucker was a monster.

This is going to sound totally lame, but I feel like I know this kid and went through each achievement with him!  While cutting out the shirt blocks, sometimes your mind just wanders.  A lot of things about this quilt reminded me of when I was in high school.  Thinking about football games and pep rallies and all the fun and carefree days. 

It is such a joyful process to make something that parents are putting so much thought into to gift their child.  Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?  I am so happy that I’ve found my thing–and that it can bring other people a little joy and happiness.  
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Insert Harry Potter theme song here…


So…It pretty much seems like everyone I know is either pregnant or just had a baby here lately.  I am in that season of my life where the wedding invitations have stopped and the baby shower invitations are lining my mailbox!  That being said, I get a LOT of joy making things for people’s new babes.  While I work on it, I wonder if they’ll be curled up on the couch with it, playing outside and dragging it through the mud, becoming a couch fort in the living room…I love it!

 This was the appliqued fabric before I started quilting it.  


I had a close friend from college ask me to make a Harry Potter themed baby quilt for her brother’s first child.  She pretty much gave me free reign to come up with whatever (which is AWESOME!!!), so I thought I would applique the deathly hallows symbol, followed by “lways” so that it kind of looked like “always”-just google it, I’m sure there are examples!  I made a fun template out of poster board and traced it onto the fabric I wanted, used some Wonder Under and fused that bad boy to my background fabric to get ready to applique! 
I was really excited about the quilting process and wanted my free motion quilting to LOOK like MAGIC would look.  
Just pulled from the longarm frame!

I’m not really sure what that means, but I tried my best to quilt what I thought magic looked like in thread form.  And I loved the outcome. 

I used the Harry Potter-y chevron fabric that I think was really meant to be college colors for the backing and really love how it turned out.  I’m not usually a huge applique person, but I definitely will be trying it with more projects in the future!  And I really hope and pray that this kiddo is a Harry Potter fan!

Roughly crib sized finished baby quilt!
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Longarm quilting a double wedding ring quilt

How many times have you looked at a quilt top and been totally stumped on how you would quilt it?  I feel like this is a skill that really is developed over time and trial and error.  I’ll be the first to admit that my very first quilts–after quilting–didn’t really showcase the quilt pattern with the quilting as they could have.  My quilting designs made little sense and didn’t work with the existing pattern to make the quilt pop.  Basically, I was just quilting to get it done and keep all the layers together.  

It’s a little difficult to see the quilting, but it’s orange thread in squiggly lines…obviously my photography skills were lacking as well 😉  This was the first quilt I ever made, in October of 2011.  
I think that typically, for beginning quilters, the quilting is all about function.  It’s difficult enough to remember 1/4″ seam allowance, minding your bobbin so you aren’t sewing without thread, etc.  I know that I was just relieved to be finished, and I was very proud of the quilting at the time.  

Fast forward 5 years, and quilting is now my favorite part.  I’m enamored with the process of evaluating a quilt top, selecting batting, figuring out what quilting design will best display the awesomeness of the quilt pattern.  I know that I still have a long way to go, and I pour over Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, books, etc. to find every piece of information and inspiration I can get before I start planning to quilt a quilt.  

I recently had the opportunity to quilt my first Double Wedding Ring quilt.  My client’s quilt was pieced entirely by her grandmother (prior to her passing) from vintage fabrics and feed sacks.  It was the greatest honor to be trusted with a family heirloom.  I used plastic overlays to audition different quilting designs, and finally came up with a combination of a few simple designs that I felt would work well together and really make the quilt pop.  

This was actually the first row that I quilted with a feather.  I hated them and ripped them all out and started over.  

I stewed over the newly blank quilt after ripping the first row out and finally re-started.  

I was very pleased with the outcome and can’t wait until I can return it to the customer.  
Here is the full quilt:

I love the finished look of ruler work with free motion quilting.  I think the structure really works well with the free-flowing quilting and I can’t wait to play around with this some more.  I can’t wait to see where my work is in another 5 years…