Machine Quilting: China Shop

Fair warning here - you are about to experience photo overload. There was just no other way to show this quilt...
 Sue sent me this quilt and here's what I learned very quickly - it's Kaffe Fassett so it pretty much rocks from the start, Sue is an applique phenom and I love her work, and I pretty much couldn't wait to get started on this one but wasn't sure where to start at first.

This quilt took a ton of planning, moreso than I usually do for most quilts. Part of the reason being there were so many different types of vases and dishes and we wanted to keep the same quilting in each one if possible - the goal was to use a few different designs and repeat it as much as possible. Originally I was all set - this vase will have this quilting and this background... And then I took another look at the quilt. Some vases were in individual blocks, some blocks had 5 vases, some had three... My plan wasn't going to work how I thought.
 So I started with what I knew and chose a design for each vase and went from there. It was still a challenge to have an even mix of designs scattered throughout the quilt and then to choose a background that would both work well with the vases and the surrounding blocks too, but with a little perseverance it happened and I think the results are magical.
 Basically the sashing was quilted with ribbon candy. That left the vases to be quilted in straight lines, cross hatching, double cross hatching, and curved cross hatching. The backgrounds were generally filled with more organic flowy shapes like pebbles, clamshells, swirls, curls, etc.
 Again the hardest part of planning this quilt was making sure the blocks had enough contrast within the quilting designs as well as contrasting to the designs around them while trying to balance out the designs overall. Phew. Makes me tired just thinking about it.
 There were a few special blocks that only appeared once or twice in the quilt like these platters.

 This center block was fun and unique due to the raw edge applique. In the flowers I followed Sue's lead and just followed along her stitching or just did enough extra to tack down the flowers without adding in another visual design.
 I improvised here. I originally planned to have this background as all straight vertical lines... But the block was too large for the span of my quilting machine (and it's one of the biggest out there), so I did a little echoing and then continued on with the lines. It was less adjusting and I think it turned out better than the original plan!
 This was quite a large quilt and a little challenging to quilt it custom without going super crazy. I know it doesn't look like it in photos, but we chose to quilt this a little more open than I normally would... It still has a lot of quilting but only a fraction of what I thought we were going to do.

 I love how each vase and each block has a personality but it all works so well together. I can only say planning ahead and keeping meticulous notes on this quilt was my saving grace. I could have gotten off track so easily with all this going on!
 I LOVE this quilt. This is normally not my colors, not my style, but there's something so captivating about this quilt that I didn't want to give it back... But I did... Even though I wanted to keep it and love it forever...
 I did stare at this quilt for days and could still do it. There are so many details just within the fabrics and what Sue chose to put where... Kaffe will do that to you, but in this pattern with the contrast available it allows for so much more...
 Normally Kaffe quilts have the fabrics all run together and it's just a big mass of color and flowers. This is the same but not. Even though it's really bright and bold it's almost calming...
 Not the back though. The back is all wild and wonderful Kaffe too. Sue pieced this back and appliqued circles here and there (like she's not an overachiever already).
I always love pulling the quilt off of the machine and flipping it over to see the back and this quilt did not disappoint. I love when you can see the blocks and the details without seeing the pieces parts. It's like a second version of the quilt that's just as nice. As a quilter I always want the back to look as good as the front, no detail too small!

Thank you, Sue!!! I always enjoy working on your quilts and your applique is beyond words. Seriously, I can't say enough good things about it, it's perfect every time! And the teeniest tiniest little stitches! Perfection!

If you have a quilt you'd like me to work my magic on for you, please check out the information page (click here), or you can call me at 440-567-1688 to discuss details or email me at rubybluequilts (at) gmail (dot) com.


  1. OMG. . . That is surely one of the most beautiful quilts I have ever seen. With the theme being vases, etc. and it being so big, is she going to use this on a bed? No matter, it is gorgeous.

  2. Oh, this is a first place grand prize winner for sure!!! Love all the different quilting motifs! Your quilting is stunning on a gorgeous quilt!!!

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. WOW! both for you, and Sue for the vision and design focus. Love Kaffe Fassett colors!


Keep the conversation going! Leave your comments here:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...