December 26th, 2009


Sometimes, I learn a lot by making a mistake, and the center of this quilt is a good example of that. I had thrown a couple of Amish quilts together so I’d have somewhere to stitch out some new feathered border designs after the first of the year. The quilt center of this one also mattered because I wanted to stitch a feathered “frame” for that center wreath. Well, I was in such a hurry that I raced through the initial stitching without giving a thought to thread choices..big mistake! I ended up with this:

cool amish quilt 2

BOOORRRIINNNGGGG!! Oh my gosh, what was I thinking? Everything just kind of runs together and you really can’t appreciate the frame at all! So, the only way to solve this was to get myself back in there with some other thread colors to achieve better definition of all of these “zones” of quilting that contribute to the overall design. My first step was to hyperquilt the 4 corner feathered designs: (BTW, notice that all of these pictures are a bit distorted; it’s the only way I can upload a full size pic into this updated version of wordpress):


That helped, but not nearly enough, so I hyperquilted the entire frame:


…and that was a big step forward. Next up, I echo-quilted the center wreath with a few rows of another color thread. I always love how this adds a “halo of color” around a wreath, and then I quilted the inside of the wreath with a background fill design. At this point, I was hoping I could get away without quilting a background fill design outside the wreath, but I ended up adding that later on:


And here it is as I’m hyperquilting the center wreath with turquoise thread, stitching single curly cues inside each plume:


And the final center block is done. It looks a lot better, but if I could start over from scratch, I’d use some different colors from the get-go:


Getting Ready to Play

December 16th, 2009

I have a bunch of new feather border designs that I’ve played around with on paper, but that’s just not the same as stitching them out in fabric and thread. So, I’ve been busy throwing together some Amish quilts like these:

cool amish quilt

warm amish quilt

so I would have some borders that needed to be filled. My hope is to get into these border designs right after the holidays are over, so I wanted to get the center blocks quilted so only the borders remained. I wasn’t really thinking about anything other than getting these centers done quickly and I ended up not thinking my thread choices through at all. It started with a bad choice for the center wreath, and then I did the same thing for the corner motifs:

cool amish quilt 1

…and then I used the same boring thread for the short feathers that frame the center wreath:

cool amish quilt 2

Argh!! What was I thinking? Can this quilt be saved?! Stay tuned!

Plugging Away on the Tulip Quilt and Featured Gift of the Week (aka-it’s a great deal!)

December 8th, 2009


I started quilting the tulip quilt today, and you can start to see the tulips beginning to poof out as they were being outlined with invisible thread. The tulips in this center section have 3 layers of batting behind them. Here was the backside of this quilt early this morning before it went into the final quilt sandwich:


I was kind of nervous about that center section because the top has been manipulated so much over the last couple of weeks that I was worried the batting layer may have stretched and that would cause big problems when that final quilting took place. Fortunately, it didn’t and everthing worked out just fine. Here is the center section shot from the side as all the initial outlining was done:


Next, I began quilting the background of that center section. That green fabric is a cotton sateen, which means it has a slight sheen to it, so I am using a solid color rayon thread that matches in color. Here it is on the machine bed as the bulk of that center section was done:


And here’s a shot of it pinned to my design wall. There’s still a lot of work to go, but I’m having lots of fun with this one:


And completely unrelated, we are featuring a gift of the week and this week it is the Bendable Bright Light, which normally retails for $49.95 but is on sale for one week at $35.95-that’s $14 off! If you haven’t seen one of these in action, watch our bendable bright light infomercial to see just how helpful this light is!