Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Lug Nuts

I've been looking forward to quilting this quilt since I first decided to make it, over a year ago.

The pattern is Lug Nuts, from Highway 10 Designs    I really enjoy making Lori and Kathy's patterns.  The only change I made to this one was I changed the pressing instructions so the seams would lock.  It pieced up nice and easy.

I had had my eye on the Little Black Dress fabrics for a while, and that was what Kathy and Lori had used for their cover quilt, so I decided to use Little Black Dress fabrics too.  The quilt uses 9 fabrics.

Here's the flimsy when I finished it in October 2014 (try not to let the lovely carpet in the boardroom at the hotel we use for retreat boggle your brain)

and then it had to wait and wait for its turn to be quilted.  I quilted it in August, and it took until early October to get the hand stitching finished on the binding, so, all told, about 1 year from start to finish.

I had so much fun quilting this quilt, each of the 25 blocks in the quilt (23 whole blocks and 2 blocks that are in 1/2 at the top and bottom) is unique, so I applied the same idea to the quilting, and each block is quilted uniquely--several of the elements are repeated, but no two blocks were the same.

Now, the hardest part I think, and what's been delaying the blog post, is deciding which photos to share, I love them all so much....

It's a big quilt--about 80x88.   Not quite big enough for our king size bed, and probably too big for a couch quilt, but that's what I wanted it for...

 This block was handguided triangles, but looks like ruler rays. 

 OK, so by now you may have figured out I didn't do a great job in selectively choosing photos--but truly I've added less than 1/3 of them to the blog.

The rays in the block below used a ruler to keep them straight.

 This block below is one of my favourites.  It's all ruler work, and I think looks like a lovely flower.
and then a few of the blocks got an 'E2E' treatment, where the whole block just received an edge to edge design.

 and the back is as yummy as the front

 simple shapes like loops, u-turns and s-curves can be very effective
 and here is the quilt in its natural habitat--flung upon the couch (we're not big on folding neatly around here)--waiting for someone to come and cuddle under it

Friday, 9 October 2015

Maple Swirls

This quilt was a block of the month quilt from Along Came Quilting in 2009.  My good friend Tara and I did it together--it's a great excuse reason to get together each month to sew for a few hours.  She finished her quilt long ago.

There were a few reasons why these blocks lingered in my UFO (unfinished object) pile for so many years.  1) I didn't have a purpose for the quilt, so didn't know what size to make it and 2) applique!  I'm not great with scissors and I didn't enjoy the thought of cutting and stitching the applique.

When I saw Tara's finished top, though, the applique leaves really made it sing, so I knew I would have to do the applique.

And then I saw a Brother Scan n Cut machine in action!  That's the way to cut out applique (short story--scan in your images, let the machine cut the fabric).  And then I was fortunate enough to have someone be willing to let me play with their Scan n Cut--it took quite a few hours last September to cut out all the leaves, even with the machine.  I truly appreciate their generosity and sharing.

And I had discovered in the 6 years between 2009 and now that you can just 'quilt' the applique and not have to stitch it down first. Yay!  There may be some fraying on the edges over time, but I'm prepared to accept that.

 I wish I had taken a photo of the top before the applique leaves were added--they really do make the top, but you'll just have to use your imagination as to what it would look like without them.

 For the quilting, I wanted it to be all freehand, no ruler-work.  I hadn't stitched down the leaves before quilting--they were to be stitched on with the quilting stitches themselves.  And I decided on each block, as I came to it, how to quilt it.  This would be a light-medium custom quilting job.  No SID, as I was using King Tut thread, which is thick and unsuited to that task. 

 I repeated shapes to hopefully give some cohesion to the sampler block style of quilting.

 The background got a swirly stitching path with lots of movement to simulate the wind, blowing leaves on a fall day. 
 The thread is a varigated King Tut cotton, and I used several different vein designs in the leaves. 

 And the backing is appropriate to the theme as well.
I hope I haven't bored you with too many photos.  I'm thrilled with how this quilt turned out.  And I'm glad I 'aged' the blocks it until now, as I wouldn't have been able to quilt it like this is 2009. 

Monday, 5 October 2015

A Christmas Quilt

This is a customer quilt.  I'm not going to name names, so I don't give away any surprises....

This is a nice quilt with lots of Christmas-y fabrics.  There's not a definite block size or shape to highlight with custom quilting, and the fabrics were going to hide most of the quilting design anyway, so this quilt was a great candidate for an E2E (edge to edge) design.    Then I looked to the fabrics for inspiration, since this quilt is overtly Christmas, the quilting can be too.  I saw poinsettias in the fabric, and decided I could quilt poinsettias (my first quilt with poinsettias I had to follow a pattern, but my skills have grown and I decided I could freehand these now).
  Such cheerful fabrics!    I chose a gold Magnifico thread--again, there was gold in the fabrics, and gold thread is actually a great blender. 

Here are some more shots of the back--as the quilting shows more there.  It's a lovely Minkee backing with stars, again keeping the Christmas theme.    The color is fairly true here--a really nice red.

 I tried modifying the settings on this last photo, so get a better view of the overall design of the quilting, but I'm not sure it accomplished what I wanted it to do, I might need some photo editing lessons.  I was just randomly pushing buttons in Windows Live editor.
Thank you for trusting me with your quilt, unnamed quilt maker :)  I hope the recipient truly likes it.