Posts Tagged ‘Quilts’

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.


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I joined a blog challenge to complete some of my unfinished quilt project. Of which I have MANY!  I  stated in a previous post that I would finish 4 quilts,  two mini’s, one I am making for my husband and a jelly roll quilt.

I finished the minis and the one for my husband.  The jelly roll is close. I just have to sew the binding down.  That should get done within the next week.  Here’s what I did.

2 Mini quilts ready to hang on a wall.


Jelly Roll Quilt


Used a woodgrain pantograph to quilt it.


Syncopated Ribbons Pattern


Turning Twenty Pattern

The last one is a quilt I made for my husband. I took a workshop given by Beth Helfter on her Syncopated Ribbons pattern.  The colors w20160407_124310ere chosen for the vintage snowmobiles my husband restores and collects. Many snowflake fabrics were used.  The back came from a collection of plaid fat quarters I had. The Turning Twenty pattern makes for a interesting design on the back of any quilt.  It looks very masculine. I quilted the main part of the quilt using a snowflake pantograph pattern.  In the border I used a snowmobile design from another pantograph I have. He loves it!

Now to figure out what to finish in the next quarter.


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Last May. Gyleen Fitzgerald came to speak at the Merrimack Valley Quilters Guild.  If you ever have the chance to see Gyleen in person, I would definitely recommend you do.  She has a unique way of looking at quilting. Her philosophy of going with the flow and make a beautiful quilt really inspired me.  Sometimes one gets bogged down in the preparation, causing us to lose the fun aspect of quilting.  Quilting should be fun!

Anyway, I was not signed up for her workshop, but after hearing her speak I wanted to attend.  That gave me one day to prepare for the workshop.  I needed at least 100 2″ strips cut by Saturday morning.  The guild meets on Thursday nights.   The workshop was for her pattern Anything Goes Star Tessellation.  You would think that after her lecture I wouldn’t stress out about the fabric I would choose for the workshop.  But nooo,  I had to find my inspiration fabric and choose fabrics which match my inspiration fabric.  I did follow the rule that the fabrics did not necessarily have to go with each other, but I wanted to match the inspiration fabric.

I feverishly pressed and cut all day Friday.  Luckily, I work from home.  Otherwise, I would not have been able to get this done.  By the way, I like to heavily starch all my fabrics before cutting.  I find I have better accuracy with cutting and sewing when the fabric is slightly stiff.  The fabric shifts less, therefore you are more accurate without trying too hard.  And yes, I go through a lot of starch.  So much so I started purchasing the concentrate so I can just mix up a batch as needed.  It’s much cheaper that way.

Anyway,  I got to the workshop with all my fabrics cut.  I had always wanted to make a star tessellation quilt but never wanted to spend the time planning out the tessellation.  With Gyleen’s pattern and instructions, you did not need to.  I had to see how she did this.

She was right, you don’t need to pre-plan a star tessellation in order to make it look good. I’m not going to tell you how it works you will just have to get her pattern.  But I will tell you it is so easy.  I couldn’t believe it.  You start with one block then build your first row. Once you complete your first row you move on to the next.  As you finish each row you sew them together.  Adding rows until the quilt it the size you want.  As usual, I never make anything small.  I put together 9 rows with 9 blocks each.  Which gave me an 81″ square quilt.

Some in the class used a background fabric, some used a specific color pallet.  We also set up a space for sharing strips.  I only took one of those.  I could see why she said anything goes.  I only got two rows made in the class.  But when I got home, I added more fabric to my selection.  It didn’t matter how well they matched each other.   I did keep to a specific color pallet, blues, burgundy, greens, browns, beige, dusty pink, golden yellows.  Well maybe not that specific, but I didn’t use purples or any bright colors and no blacks, greys or white.

Once I had all my rows together,  did I stop there?  Of course not.  I wanted to give the illusion of the stars tessellating into the border.  I used all of the lighter neutral fabrics and created half blocks for the first pieced border.  It doesn’t really look like a border. It just looks like part of the piecing.  But it really is a border.

The next border I attached is made up from the neutral scraps.  I pieced them together on the diagonal.  Then I put on three more borders, a burgundy, a taupe, and a green print with burgundy and taupe in it. (The last border is mitered.  The print has a strip effect that cried out to be mitered.)  Needless to say, it got big.  I think I ended up with 108″ square.

Center of Quilt

Center of Quilt

Now I was stuck.  How I was going to quilt it.   I asked my buddies from LANE ( Long Armers of New England). They gave me a few ideas.  I didn’t plan it but the quilt ended up with a light neutral in the center.

That became my starting off point.  I used a swirl in the center that came out into a star-flower design in the center 9 blocks.  I repeated a smaller version of the star-flower as a border around the larger one.  Followed by a fern feather, followed by more star flowers followed by another fern feather.  Then just a fern type meander in the corners of the main quilt area.Tesselation borders

In the pieced border that really doesn’t look like a border, I quilted half star flowers.  In the rest of the borders I quilted a ribbon, then swirls, a small wave, and lastly more ferns.

I love the way this quilt came out.  The colors just flow.  You can’t really see the quilting unless you get right on top of it.  Gyleen was right, “Anything Goes.”

Let me know what you think.  Do you like it?


CTesselation 2


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I finally finish Ellen’s quilt.

Ellen's Quilt finally Completed

Ellen's Quilt Completed

I had a tough time with it though.  At first the design I wanted to do in the green sashing did not look that great.  Though Tom didn’t think it was all that bad.  But need less to say, I had to rip it all out.  I was trying to put feathers in with a simple curved spine.  But I couldn’t execute the feather to look good.   I ultimately used an “S” shaped  spine which worked out perfectly.  As I was quilting those feathers, the thread kept on shredding.  I tried everything from silicone spray, different needle, looser tension.  I never really got rid of the problem completely but I got through.  After attending classes at the Machine Quilters Expo, I realized I should have used a smaller needle.  Oh well, lesson learned.

Close Up of quilting

Close Up of quilting

Once the green sashing was complete I went back to quilt the half square triangles.  Mind you,  I have been working on this for over a week at this point.  I wanted to put a small feather design in the white half of the half-square triangle blocks.  But again, I couldn’t execute it to my satisfaction.  I ended up putting a simple loop design in each half triangle following the diagonal.   As I was going along, I realized I had two large blocks in upside down.  I got out my seam ripper and removed the two blocks, then hand stitched them back into place correctly.  Then I continued on with the loops.   The loop design really accentuated the barn raising setting of the blocks.  For those who don’t know, the barn raising setting is when the blocks are placed in such a way as to create a diamond effect.

I didn’t think I was ever going to get this quilt done.  I was working on a deadline.  I had entered the quilt into the Hannah Dustin Quilt Guild annual show, which was a couple of weeks away.  And I still had to do the binding.

When I got to the first border, my original plan of using a ribbon candy design did not look good. Surprise Surprise.  It seemed like all my ideas for this quilt were completely wrong.  It was very frustrating.  I ended up doing a double crossed loop design.  Which is simple but very ellegant.

Ellen 8By the time I got to the last border I was so exhausted artistically.  Everything I was going to do throughout this whole quilt just didn’t work.  The border is a busy print, so if I did any feathers or other fancy stitching, it would just not show up.  I called my friend Katie for some advise.  As it happened she was up the street and was able to stop by.  We decided the quilt just needed something simple in the border.  With everything else going on in the quilt it didn’t require any major quilting.  I settled on simple wavy piano keys.  Piano Keys is when you stitch lines in the quilt so it looks like a set of piano keys along the border.  But I wanted to give it more life, so I used my wave edge ruler.  It was the perfect design.  When you see the quilt hanging, it just looks perfect.  It brought out the water color look of the print.

Ellen 11For the back of the quilt I found a very pale pink printed with roses in white.  I wanted to break up all that pink so I used a piece of the border fabric as a sash going through a little off center.  I like the way it looks.  It has a whole cloth feel to it.

close up of the back

close up of the back

Well, I finished the quilt in time for the show.  I took a second place ribbon for the quilt.  I was very satisfied.  I had entered a quilt last year which I had made for my sister Paula.  It too took a second place ribbon.  But my overall score for Ellen’s quilt was higher than the score I received for Paula’s.  I was thrilled that I had got a better score for Ellen’s quilt. It shows improvement.  Which is what I was hoping for.

I have entered three quilts into the Lowell show this summer.   I’ll keep you posted if any of them are accepted and if they receive any ribbons.  I don’t expect any.  The caliber of quilters at that show is much higher than at the local guild show.   I’ll be happy to get accepted into the show.

Ellen loves her quilt.  When all is said and done that is what’s most important.


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I have a busy weekend.  Both the Hannah Dustin and the Merrimack Valley quilt guilds have there annual quilt shows this weekend.  I am a member of both guilds and volunteered to help at both shows.  If you want more information about the shows click on there links above.

I finished Ellen’s quilt.  It will be at the Hannah Dustin Show,  along with Josh’s necktie quilt.  If you want to see either of these up close and personal, they will be in Hudson, NH this weekend.

I am planning on entering a few quilts the Images show in Lowell, MA later this summer.  I just have not decided which.  But I need to decide soon because the entry deadline in May 1.

I will be entering my niece Amber’s quilt in the Lowell kids division.  She had a very good score when we entered it in the MQX show.  She scored a 59 our of 80 possible points.  That’s not bad for your first quilt.

I will be posting a few of my quilts for sale in the next couple of weeks.  So watch for the pictures.

See you at the shows.


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