Quickie Quilted Wall Hanging

July 19th, 2018

This is my donation quilt for the Silent Auction held this September at the Asheville Quilt Show.  One thing that’s been nice is I have so many blocks that are preliminary stitch outs of machine embroidery applique designs that it’s always pretty easy to come up with a basis for a  donation quilt.  I made this one by coupling design files from other block designs.

Quilting it was a total blast.  Once I’d outlined the applique shapes with invisible thread, I started with very basic straight line ruler work to create a frame:

I never fill 1/4 inch wide channels, so those are added only to add intricacy to the design.  I filled the 1/2 inch wide channels with the “fingertips” design, then added a 1/4 inch channel to each lateral side as I created triangles for 2 featherettes.  All of those design elements were added in this next shot:

I then filled in the inside space with a loose variation of the “igloos” free motion quilting design.  Note that I change my thread color as the background color changes:

At this point, I started feeling that frame was too understated, so I drew a temporary soap line to create a boundary for feather tips, then added plumes to the outside edge of the frame:

If that part about the soap line didn’t make sense, look closely at the shot above.  There was a temporary soap line that ran the length of the outer border of those plume tips.   I use that soap line to tell me how “wide” to stretch each individual plume.  This is how you achieve a sense of symmetry when you are working freehand.

I then added the background fill design.  Just like I did with the interior, I changed my thread color a few times as the background fabric color changed:

I love the luscious texture of the background fill design.  If you are wanting to try stitching this out yourself, here is a video we made last year that shows how to do it:

And here are some other shots:

-Fabric:  Hand-dyed cotton sateen for background; 100% cotton batiks for applique shapes

-Batting:  Hobbs Tuscany Wool/Cotton Blend

-Threads:  Variety of Filament Polyester Threads and Rayon Threads

Want it?  This could be your wall hanging!  Be sure to visit the Asheville Quilt Show September 28-30, 2018!

Finished a Wall Hanging!

July 6th, 2018

This was my preliminary stitch-out for the 24-inch Fantasy Flower Block, another machine embroidery applique design.  I ended up changing a number of things but I’d invested so much time into this block (and  also liked it), so I figured I should go ahead and quilt it.  I began with a basic ruler work framework.  What you see below eventually had another 1/4 inch parallel channel added to both the large and small squares:

As basic as it appears above, that straight line ruler work framework really “makes” this wall hanging design special.  I am still amazed by how much ruler work can elevate a design!  Anyway, here are some additional shots.  This first one is a close up of the both frameworks once they’ve been filled in:

…and the center-most framework:

I don’t know how well these photos show it, but there’s a nice 3-D texture to the piece:

And here’s one last one:

How I Spent my 4th of July

July 4th, 2018


I had a glorious day, dyeing fabric out in the hot sun:

These are 1 yard pieces of cotton sateen that I use for backgrounds of applique scenes.  These 4 baking on the blacktop are nearly dry, so the colors are close to what they should be once washed:

I also dyed several smaller pieces of 100% Egyptian cotton to use for applique shapes.  Those have much less variegation of color in them:


Most of the dye powders I worked with today are over 10 years old, so I’m not allowing myself to get excited yet because old dye powder usually means not so great color.  Several of my dye platters were still damp when I brought my stuff in this evening, so the washout will have to wait until tomorrow…I just hate waiting!

 P.S.  The washout went great and all my luscious reds and oranges are still luscious and saturated colors after the washout!!  Yippee!!

Hope you had a nice 4th of July, I sure did.