Bold Colors are Back!

February 8th, 2019

My oldest brother needs to have bypass surgery next week, so I’m working on a lap quilt for him to use during his recovery.  He is an aging hippie who loves bold red colors and is also a graphic designer.  I went with another giant-scale orange peel pattern but in very loud and rich colors.  Here is a shot of it on my basting wall:

I ended up outlining the fabric color changes in the orange peel sections and I think that helps to accentuate the graphics of the fabric designs:

The centers of the orange peel blocks are quilted with simple ruler work:

The blue border is quilted with a loop-d-loop design and the outermost border is quilted with a series of arched swags with tapered channels inside:

Here’s a shot of the whole thing quilted:

Hope he likes it and hope he does great with his surgery!

Quilted and Bound!

November 10th, 2018

This quilt was the quickest quilt I’ve made in eons and it was totally fun from start to finish.  There is something invigorating about working with rich, saturated colors that really gets me “into” a project.  The center section is quilted with featherettes:

The outermost border is quilted as series of arched swags with tapered channels inside.  These were made using the PTD 12 arc:

…and the blocks themselves are just quilted with stitch in the ditch.  I did those as ruler work using my PTD staright ruler:

Besides being incredibly fun to piece together, these donation quilts are teaching me about quilting for bed quilts/snuggle quilts.  I am exercising tremendous restraint in my quilting because densely quilted quilts don’t keep folks as warm (you need to be able to trap air in the batting layer to provide warmth), and a stiff quilt is not as inviting to snuggle as a “poofy” quilt.

Hospice Donation Quilt #3 for the period 10/1/18-9/30/19 completed!

 

Charity Quilt Ta-Done!

October 10th, 2018

My pledge to myself to use up orphan blocks to make donation quilts has paid off-my first one has been pieced and quilted!  I’m very fond of blues/greens/and purples so it was very easy to work on this quilt.  I used my PTD ruler starter set for all the ruler work.  You can see the ruler work design pretty clearly in the sections made w/solid color fabrics:

 

 

…and the same design is used inside the large center blocks inside the stars, although it’s not as obvious because of the print fabrics:

 

 

 

One of the things I love most about ruler work is that it’s easy to create larger secondary designs that are formed by multiple adjacent blocks, as seen below:

 

 

 

The half triangles and squares along the outermost “pieced section” were filled with featherettes, and the outermost border is a mirror image pair of feathers in each border:

 

 

 

My goal is to piece at least 12 quilt tops over the next 12 months and if I can also get them quilted in that time frame, I would be on the moon!

 

 

 

The back side does not show the quilting well because it’s too busy of a print:

 

 

 

One last look:

 

 

 

Hospice donation quilt #1 for the period of 10/1/18-9/30/19!

Wool Felt Embroidered Applique

September 22nd, 2018

This is another machine embroidery applique flower but this time, I used a variety of wool felt textiles for the applique shapes.  These applique shapes are all cut using my Sizzix cutter, just as I would cut cotton applique shapes.  These are not fused into place before embroidery because the wool is so thick that my mini iron really can’t melt the fusible web on them!  All of the textiles are hand dyed.

I am really intrigued by the texture that the wool adds.  Here’s a closeup of the flower section:

There is woven wool, a wool/rayon felt, and some type of a faux suede that I hand dyed using procian dyes.  All of the threads are polyester or rayon, again because I like the sheen of those thread types.  Each piece of applique is outlined with invisible thread to make the applique shapes “pop.”  Here’s a closeup of the stem/leaves section:

(For that stem, I also outlined the inner embroidered area because it seemed to poof out just a bit too much.)  Here’s a tangential shot that gives a better sense of how rich the texture is:

I feel like I have 20 million stitch-outs of various MEA flowers and I need to do something with them.  This one will be another donation for the silent auction at the Asheville Quilt Show next week.

Finishing a Long Quilt Project

September 14th, 2018

I think I started making the blocks for the center of this quilt 2 years ago.  I remember wondering how long this quilt might take as my father in law had been diagnosed with esophageal cancer about 4 months earlier, and we were spending a fair amount of time traveling to visit family.  At the time, I had no idea that other family members would also need help and that would be the real cause of stretching this project out for such an extended period of time.  The anniversary of my FIL’s death will be 2 years this December, and so much has happened since then.  One thing I like about making quilts is there is always a “background story” for every quilt, the background story being all the memories of the things that were going on in one’s life as stitches were being laid down.  This quilt’s story covers a very unique time in my life of elderly parents/in-laws declining and needing help.  In many ways, working on this quilt and others during this time has been my therapy.  Choosing colors for fabrics and threads, dreaming up different ways to bring shapes and colors together, is warm respite for a worried mind/heart.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, thank goodness I learned how to quilt so young!  Enough on background, let’s talk about the quilt!

 

 

The applique is all machine embroidery applique that was done using an embroidery machine.  The shapes were all cut using my Sizzix cutter.  This quilt is largely quilted by creating ruler work frameworks in between applique shapes and then filling those in w/free motion quilting.  All of the ruler work on this quilt was done using my PTD ruler starter pack.  The center 9 blocks have a framework made with dark purple Glide polyester thread and the background was quilted with a black rayon thread by Sulky.  I used black for the background because I thought the purple might be too busy for the background fill, but it all seems so subtle to me now that I wonder if I should have used purple for both. 

 

 

For some reason, the center of this quilt was particularly difficult to move across my machine bed.  I still don’t know why that was, but it gave me a bad attitude about quilting this quilt pretty quickly after I’d started it.  I set it aside for 2 months just because the thought of quilting is was so unpleasant!  I finally decided that if I wanted to have a quilt to enter in our fall quilt show, I’d better get moving.   I’m glad I did because once the center was quilted, the rest of the quilting was very fun and went by very quickly.

 

 

The triangles that line the outer border of that second zone (the zone above w/the swirly flowers) were supposed to be stitched in that same purple thread.  I didn’t realize that I’d forgotten until one entire side was complete and there was no way I was going to rip it out!  That part of the quilting design falls flat to me.  I find myself wondering it it would have been an interesting frame had it been stitched in the intended purple, but I’ll never know now.

 

 

The outermost applique border is my favorite part of the quilting.  The quilting in that section went lickety-split.  It’s hard to see here, but the ruler work in that zone was correctly done in purple thread.  A few more photos:

 

 

and

and

Binding, a hanging sleeve, and label are in my near future…