Senior Center Samplers

I quilt for a few of the women who take a quilting class at the local senior center.  This past year, they all worked on a sampler quilt. It was interesting to see the various fabrics chosen by each.

Most were quilted with an all-over design. Two were custom quilted with specific designs in the blocks and with different design in the sashing. It was fun to choose designs for each.  Even though they are the same pattern.  They look very different. Each called for different quilting designs.

Which one do you like best?  Is it the color or the quilting?

C

The Math Quilt

At least that’s what I call it.

It was made by one of my customers who has a math degree. She made it for a nephew, who is also a mathematician. It’s his wedding present to another mathematician.  So it is perfect!

The basic quilt is an enlargement of another quilt she made.  Then she put 4 appliques on it representing 4 different mathematical proofs.

  • Tennebaum’s Proof of the Irrationality of the Square Root of 2
  • Pythagorean Theorem
  • Nicomachus’s Theorem
  • Geometric Series

My only instructions were to not disrupt the proofs with my quilting.

The background fabric is actually white with a silver thread woven through similar to a shot-cotton.  A shot-cotton is woven with 2 different color threads, with one as the weft and one the warp.  It is a very modern-looking quilt.  I love the way it came out.

M1My only issue is I do not have high enough ceilings to hang this quilt.  So the bottom is on the floor.

I still have not heard if the bride and groom liked it or not?

I always enjoyed math when I was in school. So would this make you like math?

C

Dimentional Illusion

This is a quilt I quilted a couple of years ago for a customer and was reminded of it when I saw it in a local guild show.  This customer is an accomplished art quilter.  She does amazing work.  But her pieces are usually small and non-traditional.  This piece was made for a special exhibit at a group studio she belongs to.  The goal was to make the quilt appear 3 dimensional.

It is a traditional bow tie qD3uilt with specific color placement which gives it the illusion of dimension.  She got the idea from a pattern, of which I do not know the name.  I used a greek key design in the bow tie area and I used a background fill of interconnecting rectangles and squares which gives it a woven fabric texture.

The center is set off with some straight-line quilting and more of texture background fill. I then added interlocking circles in the center.D2

You can really see the quilting on the plain light color backing.  It was hung in the show in such a way to enable me to get a good picture of the back.D4

The quilting is all free motion and ruler work.  This was before I upgraded my A1 with Quilt-EZ system.

I was pleasantly surprised to see it again at the local guild show.  What a treat.

C

Baby Elephants

A Quilting For Customers Continuation

I have a few very prolific customers.  One of which made a quilt for a new baby in her family.  It was a sweet quilt with applique elephants.  This customer is one who lets me do whatever I feel the quilt needs.  While I personally do not make “cute” quilts, I love to quilt them.

With pinwheels set on point and fused applique elephants, which were left unfinished, I took on the challenge.  The pinwheels on-point had extra setting fabric on the sided so I would need to extend a square or triangular design into edges. This is one of the first quilts I custom quilted with my new Quilt-EZ computerized system.  I was excited and apprehensive.  I wanted it to come out spectacular!

I decided upon using the point to point feature in the software.  This aE5llows you to set a  design between two points on the quilt.  For example, opposite corners of a block or two of the three corners of a triangle.  I love this feature; it allows you to create unexpected designs from what otherwise would be simple triangle designs.

I chose a circle/curls design and a straight line design. E4The circle/curls went in the pinwheel blocks and the lines in the setting triangles.  To extend the design into the extra wide setting triangles on the sides, I added a ¼” line just inside the border.  In the applique elephants, I used the circle/curls design to help keep the elephants from coming off with use.

I choE3se to stitch in the ditch around the narrow inner border. I then used both the lines and the circle/curl design in the outer border. E2

By the way, the thread color is white.

What do you think?

Cute isn’t it?

C

My hiking partner has been telling me about a quilt she was making for her niece as a wedding present.  I have never been the type of person who can picture something accurately when it is described to me.  Not to mention, she would describe it while we were hiking.  That’s not my most attentive time. Especially if it’s hot or a tough steep trail, which most in the White Mountain region of NH are.  But I digress.

Moonlight Through the trees aCarol, my hiking partner, was trying to capture the look of the woods with the moonlight shining through the trees.  But it was a pieced pattern, on the bias no less.  She sent me a picture of the quilt top laying across a bed all bumpy and wrinkled.  I could see where she was going with the quilt.  When she brought the quilt to me, it thought it was stunning.

This is another instance where my customer knew exactly what she wanted.  Which in this case, was an all over leave pattern with rays of moonlight interspersed randomly throughout the quilt.  We spent some time going through leaf edge to edge patterns until we settled upon one.  Once I finished the edge to edge, she came over and pointed out exactly where she wanted the moonlight.  With the use of a straight edge ruler, I quilted the diagonal lines in and around the leaves.Moonlight Through the trees b

Now if you think you can come and sit over my shoulder while I quilt your quilt you are sorely mistaken.  This was a special circumstance.  Carol thought I would be able to put the lines in without her.  But I think I would have been heavier handed than she was.  We make a great team.

Here is the final quilt.  It’s stunning!Moonlight Through the trees c

Quilting for customers can be fun.  It can also be taxing.  I have some customers who have very specific ideas as to how they want a quilt quilted. Yet others have absolutely no ideas for quilting their quilt.  Over the next few posts, I will take you through my process of how I quilt some quilts.

This first couple will be quilts where the customer knew exactly how they wanted a quilt quilted.

This quilt customer pieced a very pretty quilt from the book “A Piece of Cake” by Peta Peace, published by That Patchwork Place. It was for her daughter, who was having her very first grandchild.  She wanted the quilt quilted exactly like it was in the book.  Which is great because I didn’t have to think of how to quilt it.  But on the other hand, the quilting was intense.  But I was up for the challenge.

I first ditch stitched around the letters. Then I put all the straight-line quilting, dividing the various sections, using a ruler. Some of the designs I followed exactly. Others I quilted a variation similar to the book.  The original can be found here.

Some of the original quilting designs required marking the quilt. I prefer to mark as little as possible. With this quilt being white, I shied away from marking it at all. I knew this quilt was going to be traveling in an airplane, that left out the Frixion pens. The ink from these pens will reappear when the ink gets cold. I tried using painters’ tape but did not like the results. So, I altered the designs to mimic the original, but where I would not need to mark. That meant more ruler work.

Wrapped-in-Love 2

The differences are subtle. The customer loved it. Her daughter did too.

Marking a quilt is not my thing.  I try to mark as little as possible. I generally mark guidelines for the area I want to quilt.  For feathered wreaths, I will mark the outer and inner circles to designate the inner and outer edge of the feathers.

I needed to mark a white quilt, but my go-to marking tool is white chalk.  I have a fear of using one of the various tools out there for marking quilts.  I’m afraid I won’t be able to get the marks off the quilt.  If it was my own quilt, I would have tried something.  But as I was working on a customer quilt, I was hesitant.

So here is what I did.FMQ Feather Wreath 9

I took a piece of freezer paper twice as wide of the design I needed.  Folded it in half and pressed the shiny sides together.  Creating a stiff but flexible template blank.  I then marked centering lines to assist in getting the circles centers.  I drew the inner, center and outer circles for the size wreath needed. For this quilt, the measurements I used were 8.5″, 5.5″ and 2.5″.

Once the circles were drawn, I cut on the inner and outer circle lines. This created outer and inner circle templates, leaving a large donut the size of the desired wreath. Using the original centering lines, I lined the large outer circle template up within the block.  Centering the template proved difficult, so I added more lines corresponding to the quilt block to assist in alignment.  I pinned the template in place.  If I had used template plastic, I would not have been able to pin through the plastic.FMQ Feather Wreath 6

To center the inner circle.  I found using the donut left from cutting the inner and outer circle as a guide worked best.  I pinned the inner circle in place.

With that done, I used my 5″ circle template to stitch the center spine, knowing my hopping foot would add a 1/2″ to the overall diameter of the stitched circle. I have a set of nesting circles.  If you are using whole circle templates, it would be easier to stitch the center spine then pin the inner circle template in place.FMQ Feather Wreath 2

A few years ago, I took a feather class from Suzanne Early.  She had a tip when stitching free motion feathers.  It helps to draw in the first few feathers.  Otherwise, the first feather can look less feather like.  Brilliant.  But how was I going to do this with my templates?  I used the remaining donut piece to draw my beginning feathers. Then I cut the template along the line of the last feather.FMQ Feather Wreath 4

With the center spin stitched, I stitched the outer feathers next. Then I stitched the inner feathers. Once the inner feathers were stitched, I echoed the inner feathers and stippled in the center.  It is at this point I stopped to cut the threads.  So I was able to stitch the spine, outer feathers, inner feathers, echo quilting and stippling in the center without cutting the thread.  Lastly, I echoed the outer feathers and stippled around the entire wreath.

The first few wreaths took a bit to get used to. But once I got going, the rest went fairly quick. This quilt needed 24 wreaths. FMQ Feather Wreath 1

I love the way they came out.  And, I can reuse the templates.  The only thing I would change is making the outer circle 1/2″ larger than the finished size.  I found my hopping foot would hit the template on occasion. With a larger template, I won’t have to hold the template down for the foot to go over it. I also got too close a couple of times and stitched the template down to the quilt.

It may sound like a lot of work but I believe it saved me time in not having to mark out all blocks requiring wreaths.

What do you think?  Do you like the feathered wreath?

C