Friday, January 23, 2015

Christie's Quilt

I am so excited to share my sister-in-law's quilt.  I have had it ready for a little while, but wanted to wait until after her birthday to share pictures and this quilt's story.

The year was 1997 B. K. (Before Kids),  when my sister-in-law Christie signed up for a quilting class.  A HAND PIECING class.  Christie has always liked hand work so that didn't send her running.  You can see on the back of these blocks all the pieces were sewn together by hand. Her stitches are even and lovely and so are her points!

Jump ahead to 1998 and I was expecting my first daughter, and my wonderful sister-in-law puts aside said quilting project to produce a spectacular heirloom Baptismal gown for her first goddaugter.  (As I pulled out the gown today for a few photos, I realize that I have a task ahead of me to remove the stain.  Any advice?  My concern is the silk ribbon embroidery.)

I am amazed at all the details she included in this piece.  A true labor of love!

A little more time passes and a few of blocks have sashing pieces joining them together, but now we are in the year 1999 A.K., and Christie has her first child and said quilting project gets tucked far, far away.  A little over a year ago we got to talking and Christie pulled the project out, and we had fun looking at it.    She knew she wasn't going to get back to it anytime soon, so I took it home thinking maybe one day I would get the top together.  Well, it is now 2015 and Christie and family made their traditional New Year's visit.  We thought we might work on the quilt top together, but fishing got in the way, so I decided that finishing it would be the perfect gift for her 40th Birthday. Christie had mapped out where the blocks were to go and in which direction, so finishing it  - with the assistance of a sewing machine was a breeze.  The original layout made for a pretty small lap, so I added the four patches on point to the top and bottom to make the quilt a more usable size.

Christie had no idea that I got the top together, and I showed her a few quilting pictures for "someday".  She found my photos of feathers busy, so I new I wanted to try to keep the quilting a little simpler to match her taste.

I was really pleased with how the design in the yellow sashing and cornerstones turned out.  I hadn't done anything like that before, but I really like the effect.

The outer border got some free hand flowers.

My original thought was to do some crosshatching in the green triangles around the four patches, but decided on the simple echoed lines.  I love how it all looks on the back.

All of the blocks had a little bit of a different design. Here are a few.

This center Tumbling Blocks block is Christie's favorite.  I stitched in the ditch and did a tight background fill to make the blocks and the perfect piecing stand out.

You may have noticed that in some of the pictures the binding is sewn to the front of the quilt, but isn't finished on the back.  I thought that since Christie put the first stitches into this quilt by hand, it would be fitting that she put in the last.  Happy 40th Birthday Christie!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Paisley Playtime

This very pretty quilt belongs to Marg.  She made it for her own bed.  I love to hear that quilter's make something for themselves every once in a while.

Marg choose the "Paisley Playtime" panto.  It is one of the denser pantos in my collection, but the smaller scale seems to balance very nicely with some of the small scale prints in the quilt.  The cream coloured backing really show off the quilting nicely.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Scrappy Quilting

I admire quilters who can turn their scraps into lovely quilts.  I do not have that gift, but luckily I have some clients who do.

 Ina made this lovely disappearing nine patch with a pretty yellow background.  I used the "Fascination" panto on this one and I like the texture that it added.  A light mossy green was the thread choice that played nicely on both the soft yellow background, blue border and everything in between.

Sherry made this stunning string quilt from some of her blue fabrics. This quilt is even more stunning in person.

When I look at the individual fabrics Sherry put together into a single block I am amazed.  I know I would have pulled some out because they "didn't match" to my eyes, but the variety of fabrics is what makes the quilt sparkle.  There is truly a little bit of everything in this one, and the bits of turquoise really brings it to a whole new level.

 We decided on the "Raindrops" panto with a medium blue thread.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Getting back into a routine!

It really has taken me longer than I thought to get back to a normal routine after Christmas and New Year's celebrations.  I think I am finally there, and have the energy to write something semi-intelligent!  Here is a neat piece that I did for Bev, that was she wanted to keep a surprise until Christmas.

This panel is a handmade batik that was brought back from overseas.  (It was originally meant to be a pillow cover as it had a back and a zipper.)  Bev's daughter loved it, but hoped it could be a table topper instead.  The only obstacle was that Bev's daughter has a round table and this panel is rectangular.  Bev thought about trying to cut into it and remake it to suit her daughters table, but with the handmade nature of the panel and its irregularities, the best decision seemed to be to leave it rectangular and make it into a wall hanging instead.

With the decision to make it a wall hanging we decided that adding something special in to open centre panel would be a good idea.  I had quilted some flowers on Bev's Cactus Star wallhanging that matched the flowers in the fabric and we decided to do the same here.  I played on the computer and cut and pasted images from the fabric into something I thought was pleasing.  I am not an artist, so trusting my self to draw without a reference in not in the plan.  You can see my reference and my chalk reference lines below.

I used a few colors of thread and did a little thread painting.  It always looks a little scary with just one stitching line, but as you go over it three or four times it starts to come together.

With the rest of the quilting I just wanted to bring out the beauty of the batik.  The top and bottom sides of the borders were different widths than the side ones, so I had to choose my designs with that in mind.