Thursday, 17 May 2018

Painted Ladies

Katherine made this Painted Ladies quilt as a gift for her Mother.  The pattern company is called Eye Candy Quilts.  What a great name!! 

The pattern is inspired by some famous houses in San Fransisco called the Painted Ladies.

 Katherine used great textural fabrics (seriously, I could pet this quilt all day long), and we added lots of straight lines, architectural details, and feathers in the sky.   

I had fun!
 Wool batting shows the texture nicely.

 And if you can ignore the furniture around the edges, here's the full quilt. 

Look at the great label Katherine incorporated into her backing....a narrow strip she's written on pieced right in.  Love it!   It's even got my name!  As well as the name of the quilt, the recipient, the occasion, the maker and a date and location.    I try hard not to have to piece my backings, but next time I do, I will remember this. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Peacock Panel

I went to write this post the other day, and got distracted by the fact that I hadn't yet updated the date on the bottom of the blog---which resulted in playing with new themes (formatting and background), and messing everything up, and then finding something that would work for me temporarily, and then changing it a little today--and through all of this I have not remembered how to change that date at the bottom (it was so easy 16 months ago, sheesh).      So, if things have been looking a little crazy around the blog lately....

So, on to the good stuff.

This Gorgeous panel was made by Deb, and I just love how this looks.  She took this panel and added 6 borders to it.   I asked Deb if I could post a step by step of this, and she said yes.  In no way do I want to dismiss her skills as a quilter.  I've quilted for her before, and they've all been beautifully pieced.  This is just a hallmark of what can happen with panels and borders and borders and borders.

I knew when I measured the top before loading that there were going to be issues.  The panel itself wasn't square.  This isn't unusual.  They often are not, and the piecer might not even realize this, just trimming the panel according to the edges that are given.   And then with 6 borders, the quilt has the potential to get even more out of alignment, as borders can easily stretch and if they're not measured properly can make things even more off.  This panel was 1 1/2" off in width from top to bottom.  On a wall hanging this would be noticeable and should be fixed if at all possible.  It started with the panel being off, and the blue border also seemed to be an offender.

So, I started with the narrowest measurement (39 1/2" wide), and the narrowest panel size (22 1/2") and the narrowest black border measurement (32 1/4").  The excess seemed to be in different places across the top--so it cannot all be attributed to one border or the panel itself and easily repaired by removing and resewing borders.
I basted the whole quilt using those three measurements, basting right beside the black border and the inside edge of the panel to keep those straight.  Then I ditched the black border and the panel.  Next step was roughly outlining the flowers and fill in the black--curls or stipple, whatever I had room for.  I had to do a few lines across a few flowers--but mostly the flowers were allowed to poof and its OK if they're 3D because its a wall hanging :)  I was pleased to only have one visible "pinch" of fabric in that area.
 Then, around the peacock feathers and flowers at the bottom, again filling in the black.  And, so I didn't have to change threads more than necessary, I then moved to the outer border and stitched a ribbon candy there-- all that border needed was a little regular texture, and because all the squaring etc took a long time, I no longer had budget to follow the original plan of piano keys in that border.
 Next, back to the peacock, where I switched to Glide Aquamarine thread--removed the basting stitches, and around his body and then free flowing quilting out into the feathers, following the curving lines of the feathers as best I could.  I was THRILLED with how the peacock turned out!!  One tiny little pinch of fabric near his head, and that was they only indication of how much fullness there had been there.
The remaining challenge was the blue borders....I couldn't treat it all as one border because I had to get those gold borders square.  So, threads changed to Glide Bright Blue, and I ditched the gold borders, using my rotary ruler to make sure they were square before stitching.  (I did all the ditching without rulers--Love my Innova)   I had hoped for a little less fullness in the blue border, so I could ribbon candy there too, but I was a little worried about working in all the fullness in a quite narrow border with ribbon candy--figured I would get lots of pinches, and didn't want to use piano key because the fullness was in both directions, so chose that old standard fullness eater of a meander.  NOT what I would have chosen had there not been the fullness, but beggars cannot be choosers.  I didn't want to try and use starch because I wasn't sure if the panel or the fabrics might bleed into the gold, and also because, as a wallhanging, I'm sure it likely won't be washed.    Again, a few fabric bubbles and pinches, but not noticeable from more than 8" away.
 above: before ditching
 above: after ditching

 and with the blue border stitched in a meander

When all is said and done, I consider I won.  The quilt is square side to side (39", so lost 1/2" in the quilting) and top to bottom it is off by 1/4".  It was much harder to keep that straight as there were no lines through the middle of the piece to line up on, so I can live with 1/4".    I think it would have also been better if I had added a second batting, that would also have helped soak up excess.
 He's such a lovely, proud fellow, full of life.  Deb is entering this quilt in the 23rd Annual Festival of Quilts at Heritage Park May 26-27 if you're there, you can keep an eye out for him. 

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Kaffe Lollipops

 This is Lisa's Kaffe Lollipop quilt. 

 I just love how she fussy cut all those fabrics on the appliques. 
 We kept the quilting simple--an edge to edge design to provide texture and to hold it together, but not to compete with that wonderful applique and fabrics.
 the thread is an apple green magnifico--light enough to not be obvious on the white backgrounds, but neither does it stand out on the colors of the fabrics.  Just right.

This blue one above makes me think of a butterfly.
 and she found a fabulous backing fabric too

Friday, 13 April 2018

Yellow Brick Road - turquoise and chocolate

 There's no yellow in this quilt, but that is the name of the pattern.    I love how that zinger (narrow little border with a little zing to it) just glows.  I wouldn't have come up with that color on my own--that was Colleen's vision.
 This is a quilt for the church also, I guess when I feel like I haven't been piecing much lately, I have to recall this quilt and the strip tube quilts from the previous post.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Two at Once

These are quilts for the church, and as you can see, I loaded and quilted two at once, it's a very efficient way to use a wide backing.

I also pieced them at the same time--gives a little more variety in the blocks.   I've made quilts with 4 strips and with 5 strips before, so thought I'd try 6.  It's a strip tube quilt, each block has 3 colored strips and 3 neutral strips.  So 42 colored and 42 neutral strips resulted in 2 lap quilts. 

With these tops I had to let go any hope of great points--the neutral strips were often wider than 2 1/2", but I didn't figure this out until well into the process....the great thing about using the strip tube ruler is that the blocks are all square, so they go together nicely, it's just a matter of forgiving the points, and once these quilts are washed and loved a little, the points won't matter.

 The two tops are quilted differently--this one got a square boxy meander...

 and the second one what I call a Maori fishhook. 

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Charlotte's Under Covers

Charlotte made one of these mystery quilts too, but she changed the borders up a bit. 

 I love the soft blues in this quilt, and how distinct the green chains are.  The stars are a prize for looking closely. 
 I quilted concentric swirls on this top.  I love the motion it adds, and I think it's age appropriate for the recipient of this quilt.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Sunny Irish Chain

 This is the Double Irish Chain, oversized king (108x108) that Yvonne made for her Son and new DIL for their wedding.  They picked the Irish Chain pattern as that's what Yvonne had made for an anniversary quilt for her and her DH.   Her new DIL said that she liked blue, grey and yellow, so that's what Yvonne had in mind when she picked fabrics. 
 Yvonne is a hand quilter, and was originally going to have me do most of the quilting and leave the grey borders for her to hand quilt, but she decided she'd like them to have their quilt before their 20th I quilted the whole thing.

 My bed is a king and this quilt still comes down and hits the floor.  It will be lovely and cosy and lots of room for a pillow tuck and no-one has to worry about not having enough quilt to cover them.
 The batting is a cotton/wool blend, so lovely texture for the quilting and I'm sure it will be fabulous to sleep under as well.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Noreen's Shadow quilt

Noreen almost always gives me the names of the patterns, so I'm sure she did, and I just didn't write it down properly, because all I have is Shadow quilt.    This is another lovely quilt for showcasing great fabrics.

 doh....the photo came in upside down.  Oh well, it's a neat way to see how the shadow effect is created, and you can still see these great fabrics up close.

 I guess I quilted it upside down too :)  I stitched a modern greek key to match the linear aspect of the quilt.  I remember being told a quilt with all straight lines in piecing needs some curving quilting, but I've moved on from that concept.

 Love how the blocks just seem to float (when you get the photo orientation right LOL)