12.30.2016

Machine Quilting: Scrappy Wedding Stars

I absolutely adore the colors in this quilt. It's just so rich and cozy feeling which will be perfect for the newlyweds receiving this quilt!
 This quilt is so scrappy that it's almost too much to take in at first. I really had to study this quilt to see what was going on. I love the arrangement of the stars and the different scaling as they're placed across the quilt. Since that was a constant I focused on the stars and chose to quilt them different than the rest of the quilt.
 The stars alternated feathers and back & forth lines in the center, but I continued the back & forth lines in the outer points too.
The rest of the quilt was filled with curls, they're one of my new favorite fillers! Knowing this quilt was made as a wedding gift, I try really hard not to make the quilting too girly or too manly. I try to find that happy medium that both people can enjoy.

Thanks, Barb! It was fun to discover your stash while working along this quilt. (That's so fun for me with scrappy quilts, discovering fabrics that I have, fabrics I've never seen before, fabrics I didn't know I needed but now I want...)

12.29.2016

Machine Quilting: Beatrix Potter

Pat made this adorable baby quilt and we had a slight issue on our hands...
 You see that pink-ish batik surrounding each of the blocks? Well, it was the backing fabric too and it's one of those weird colors. It's orange-y next to pink and too pink next to orange. I laid out the quilt with a light pink thread, an apricot color and a light orange over a couple days through changes in the light and then made my decision of which thread would work the best. It actually was the light pink that won out (It's a Girl - So Fine).
Not to take away from any of the blocks and the fussy cut panels, we kept the quilting simple with an overall swirl.

I wish you could have seen this quilt in person, the colors were beyond perfect! I grew up collecting Beatrix Potter and I never would have picked these colors, I always would have picked more dusty hues, but this quilt was refreshing!

Thank you, Pat! Your quilt was so much fun to work on (as always!).

12.27.2016

Happy Holidays!!!

Phew! We made it through our first Christmas with little Maura and she did so well! Much better than I anticipated considering the hustle and bustle and excitement the last few days.
Sorry it's blurry, it's off my phone, but she had the most adorable Christmas jammies that she didn't actually wear on Christmas because we had a heat wave and it was just too hot for fleece! That's definitely not the norm here in Ohio, yesterday we hit a record high of 68* and today it's supposed to snow later. It's weird.

Anywho, as far as quilting goes I am taking this week to do some selfish sewing of this guy:
I finished this top almost two years ago and it's just begging to be quilted. I had a plan, it was all drawn out - but somehow in the last couple weeks of Christmas chaos it disappeared and I'm starting over. Hopefully I can figure out the plan this morning and get to quilting tonight after everyone else is asleep... Cross your fingers. I have coffee, a pencil, a printout (or three) and a napping baby at the moment, I think I can, I think I can! 

I'm hoping to get this one quilted up and enter it into the Lake Farmpark show this year, which means I have to quilt fast! The quilts need to be entered in just a few weeks. I think I can! I think I can!

After this little pause it will be back to quilting and cooking and playing with the baby (whose not such a baby anymore I guess). I'm taking in quilts and planning ahead for this year, if I play my cards just right I may even be able to post my schedule here soon. Granted the computer and I don't get as much one-on-one time as we used to, but that's okay with me! 

I'll be posting more soon. From my little family to yours - I hope you had an amazing Christmas and I hope 2017 has all the best in store for you! I have a feeling it's going to be wonderful! -Rebecca

12.16.2016

Machine Quilting: Opportunity Quilt

Sue and the other ladies in the Flying Geese Quilt Guild in Irvine, CA sent me this quilt to work my magic on...
 This quilt is large and absolutely covered in amazing applique! Seriously, the only "real piecing" in the entire quilt are the HSTs in the sashing. That's it. Everything else you see is applique. You also have an opportunity to win this quilt - keep on reading and prepare yourself for photo overload! I love this quilt and took a TON of pictures. I couldn't help myself!
 The challenge with a quilt like this is to make the quilting be functional and emphasize the details without competing for attention. This border was one of those moments where less-is-more. Simple straight lines to fill the background accent the curvy swirly applique and make it pop.

 Each block had it's own feel and design. Some blocks are blatantly seasonal where some are a little more subtle like this one.
 We only chose a few background designs and I think two different fillers for the vases. Again, less is more when there's so much to look at with this quilt to begin with.
 I love some applique pieces that show up to me looking like blobs. These flowers for instance, I knew they were supposed to be flowers, but without being familiar with the pattern I wasn't sure what type of flower.

Remember when you take a quilt to a quilter - you've been staring at that pattern for a long while, they may have never heard of it. Don't assume your quilter is familiar with every pattern you're working on.

I wasn't sure if they were something specific that I needed to be aware of or if they were just a blob that needed to look like a flower. They were just non-typical blobs in this case and I'll show you below what I did in the details.
 When in doubt with flowers, most radiate out from a central point so I started there and used wavy lines to fill the flower until I got to the edge. Each one is a little different!

 The center block was this amazing house and I used the details in the fabrics to guide me and filled in the other details as I could. All those art perspective lessons are still coming in handy!
 I don't know why, but I loved these eggs. And seriously, all of this applique was AMAZING! It all makes what little I've dabbled in applique look wonky and rough. These ladies use the most teeny tiny stitches that are absolutely perfect!
 Oh, here's more details on the house!


 I really enjoyed working on this quilt block by block and watching it come to life. It was one of those projects where at the end of each day I got to stand back and be like - did I do that??? This is really my job??? Say it isn't so!
 The HSTs in the sashing perplexed me when we were planning the quilting because of all the contrast in the fabrics. I was originally thinking of coming up with two different designs, one for the light and another for the dark. But you know what, the more I stared and pondered at this quilt, simple was best again and this orange peel was the winner! It filled the area well but also was the perfect divider for each block and border. It's amazing how it looks on the back too (you'll see that in a bit).
 The colors, the textures. This is one of those times that a quilt being full of amazing batiks with a few prints dabbled in here and there was the perfect mix. This quilt could not have been this vibrant without all those batiks!
 Here's some more shots of the quilt as best I could get laying this monster on the floor of the studio.


 And here's the back. I love a good pieced back and I love how you can see each and every block and detail from the front of the quilt.
 Here's the house! Isn't it too stinkin' adorable?!
 Again, you can see the orange peel in the sashing separating all of the blocks and the border. Seriously click on each of these pictures of the back and zoom in  to see all the details. It's amazing what you can see!

Oh, and before you ask, this entire quilt was done with only two threads, both tans. One just a tad darker than the other.

And now for the even more fun part. Remember how I said you could win this quilt? Well, this is the Flying Geese Quilt Guild's Opportunity quilt for 2017. Kinda like a raffle quilt with a different title. If you're going to be in the Irvine, CA area the beginning of June 2017, you could see this quilt in person. The quilt winner will be drawn at the quilt show on June 4th.

Not going to be in Irvine? Not even in California? Maybe you're stuck in Ohio like me? No worries, you can purchase tickets! Just contact Sue at sue.glass (at) verizon (dot) net for ticket information. Trust me, this quilt is amazing and whoever gets to win this quilt will forever be stalked by me. Okay, maybe that's a bit harsh, maybe I'll just get my tickets and cross my fingers that this quilt gets to come back to Ohio and live with me forever. Just drop Sue a line and she will get you all the info you need to get your own tickets!

I couldn't wait to share this quilt with all of you, but I had to be patient and persistent and catch up in my quilty photos. Don't worry, I still have plenty more quilts to share, but for now, get your tickets from Sue and drool over these photos until you get the call in June that you won the quilt. I will remind you all before the big day seeing as how it's almost Christmas and all. There's still plenty of time! Email Sue and tell her I sent you!

12.11.2016

Machine Quilting: Big Blocks

Karen made this simple quilt and even though it's simple, it is the perfect canvas for these fabrics!
 Sometimes the best pattern you can choose is the simplest one of the bunch. There are quite a few large scale florals in this quilt and if they were chopped up any smaller, you would lose the charm of the print.
Karen and I both love swirls so it's pretty common that when she and I are discussing quilts and she doesn't immediately have a quilting plan in mind, it will probably be swirls. They just work so well - I swear I can make an excuse to use swirls in every quilt if given the chance.

Thanks for bringing this beautiful quilt to me, Karen!

12.10.2016

Machine Quilting: Bright Bubbles

There's just some quilts that arrive at my doorstep that just make you smile every time you look at them. This is one of those quilts.
 This quilt is bright but soft. It's busy but simple. It's so many things and so much more. Trying to keep the quilting simple was my goal because you really weren't going to be able to see the quilting much anyway and I didn't want the quilting to compete with the fabrics.
 I told Ruth I thought these bubbles would be great. All this design is - it's extra jumbo sized pebbles! Ruth likes a pop of color and I'm usually a bit more subtle so we auditioned different thread colors and this is actually a light lavender that won out. We also tried blue, green and white, but that purple just had a little something to make it special. Blue was too blue (the fabrics are a bit more aqua), green was too green and white was just boring.
Here you can see the blocks and the fabrics a bit better. Again, this quilt is bright and bold, yet soft. It's a conundrum on the eyes but you can't stop looking at it.

Thanks for bringing this fun quilt to me, Ruth! It's always fun to play with your quilts!

12.09.2016

Machine Quilting: Scrappy Baby

Barb made this adorable baby quilt!
 She wanted to make something soft and cute for baby, but not within the novelty baby genre. This scrappy quilt is the perfect gift!
 To keep the quilt soft yet functional, these fun swirls do the trick. Like the quilt itself, there's nothing that's too anything - it's not too girly or boyish, it's not too bright and not too theme specific. And I think it worked perfectly because I don't think I know what the baby was and I'm not positive the parents knew... I think they were waiting to be surprised.
The size of Barb's quilt was perfect for baby, but not for fabric... A normal width of fabric was just a bit too small for a backing so Barb used some of the same scraps to make this fun pieced strip to grow her backing fabric just enough so it would fit the quilt top. I love me a good pieced back that has as much personality as the front of the quilt!

Thanks, Barb! I loved working on this little quilt for a new little one!
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