Friday, July 28, 2017

Debbie's Whole Cloth Quilt

It's been a long time since my last post.  Summer has been crazy with moving, hail, teaching and all the normal busy-ness that comes with this glorious time of year.  Quilting has for the most part been put on the back burner.  However, I HAVE finished this fat quarter-size wall hanging for a super special friend who asked for a whole cloth quilt for her birthday.

The fabric is iridescent Dupioni Silk.  I used a gorgeous floriani thread in Fuscia for the main design and 100 weight Micro Quilter from Superior Threads for the background quilting.  It was sandwiched with two layers of Hobbs Tuscany Cotton/Wool.  

My goal in putting this together was a lovely focal point surrounded by feathers.  Since my friend loves flowers, this rose was perfect.  I think the grid work really brings out the flower and love how this turned out.  Smaller whole cloth quilts can provide great satisfaction quite quickly.  

It's glad to be back.  I'll be showing photos of my new studio soon.  I'm not used to such a large space.  Have a super quilty weekend and check out the blogs on my sidebar!.

Friday, May 19, 2017

An Experiment

Now that I've taught the same beginning Ruler Work class many times and accumulated the same wallhanging from doing demos or preparing samples, an interesting experiment has surfaced.

In teaching over the past several years, questions have often risen regarding the necessity for quality batting and how two layers of batting affected the appearance of a quilt.

My hope is that you will find the following comparison quite interesting.

First sample
Batting - one layer of "I don't know what" given to me by the dealer
Thread - 50 weight Aurifil in a variegated color throughout
Embellishment to basic design - none

Second sample 
Batting - two layers of 50/50 cotton/bamboo
Thread - Isacord (40 weight) in purple, pink and lime green
Embelishment:  feathers in scallops 

Third Sample
Batting - two layers of Hobbs 80/20 cotton/wool
Thread - So Fine (50 weight) by Superior Threads in Lavender, Turquoise and Rose AND 60 weight
               Bottom Line by Superior Threads
Embellishment:  Feathers in scallops, lines in flower & background squiggles in crosshatching and

Now, two of these projects have not been finished with binding and as beginning projects, they were not intended to include the additional and more difficult quilting.  However, it is still amazing the difference between the three samples.

Sample number one has no depth to it and the use of a beautiful variegated thread is somewhat wasted as nothing really stands out.  (Sorry, at the last minute I saw a couple of "blue line" marks on this)

Sample number two had a little depth but even with simple feathers, just didn't have any special character.  It was like looking at a flat map.

Sample number three, at least to me, had so much  more depth and character with the extra quilting in the background of the cross hatch.  The flower stands out a bit more too with stitching just one half of each petal.  Even the border has just a bit more character with the background stitching.  

So although we can complain when something is "over quilted", we can also see here how a lack of quilting can affect a project as well as the batting used.  It can take a scientist to get just the right balance of batting, thread and stitching!

Here is a photo of the two double batted projects side by side.

And a full view of all three side by side.

So, really no conclusions, just some pretty amazing observations.  I hope this helps you in your quilting!  Have a super quilty weekend!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Blue Fairy Wall Hanging

What an incredible customer quilt!  I asked Rose how many hours she estimated she spent on all the handwork in this wall hanging.  Somewheres around 400!  Can you imagine?  

This little Fairy quilt is an original design and done all by hand other than adding the borders.  The responsibility for quilting a project of this caliber was truly incredible.

-  Quilt size:  approximately 29" square
-  Batting:  Hobbs 80/20 cotton wool (the customer used one layer behind the center medallion only,  
    when completing the handwork.  I used one layer to cover the entire quilt.)
-  Thread:  Superior Threads 100 weight Microquilter

So where do we start?  First I stitched around all of the handwork as if it were appliqué.  Then I stitched in the ditched around each section:  the medallion and each border.  Finally, it's time to start the good stuff!  The flowers around the bottom represent periwinkles, so we decided to continue the flowers in the bottom and up slightly on both sides.  The also went just slightly onto the dark blue border.

Up at the top we added a few butterflies and then several dense quilting designs.  The idea was to create a complete fairyland.

It's very hard to see but feathers were used in the dark blue border and worked around the periwinkles that extended into the border and the outside border was completed with a lattice grid design.  They are much each to see from the back side.

The quilting on this quilt took about 13 hours in total but it is well worth it.  Rose was thrilled with the finish and so was I.

Have a super quilty weekend and check out some of the links on my side bar!  Thank you for stopping by!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Rocky Mountain Elk!

I don't know if this panel was really taken from the Rocky Mountains but it just feels like it!!  Regardless, this is a gorgeous customer quilt that required a little more than the flowery beauty I love.  The photo was taken in our wonderful Wyoming wind so the borders look a little wonky but we had a hard time keeping the quilt flat.

The quilting started in the panel itself.  The goal was to create dimension and we did that on the double batting with Superior Threads 60 weight Bottom Line and as well as a little 100 weight Microquilter.  Not everything was quilted, just the elk, some trees, a little in the mountains, a few leaves, and the small spruce tree.  Just enough for dimension.

Then we moved to the three borders and stitched in the ditch of each one but using the finer weight Microquilter.  Next came the animal shots above and below the elk.  These were stitched in the ditch in the sashing area.  Rather than quilting on the blocks, the green sashing was quilted on a grid using an Aurifil 50 weight thread in hunter green. 

On to the outside border.  The quilting needed to be kept simple on the print but yet worth doing.  So we added a little more dimension and texture with a diamond effect using an Aurifil 50 weight thread in brown.  I really like how this turned out.

At this point the quilting appeared very sophisticated so we kept with that and just echo quilted twice inside the bear claw corner stone blocks.

I just love how refined this quilt turned out.  My husband and son REALLY want a quilt like this!

I hope you enjoyed Rocky Mountain Elk!  Enjoy your weekend!  Take a peek at some of the quilty sites on my sidebar and don't forget Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts here:

Friday, March 24, 2017

Embroidery Snowmen!

It may technically be spring but here in Wyoming we are having a bit of snow so my embroidery snowmen are perfect!

Whimsical!  Whimsical snowmen!  With hearts and birds!  Love it!  All of the embroidered blocks were found on line at  Aren't they great?! Once I figured out how many great designs I could find that I loved, I pulled out graph paper and first determined the size of the finished quilt and what part of that would be the inner panel.  I decided upon a 4" grid so the finished embroidery blocks would be 8" and the flannel squares finished at 4".  Then I marked on the graph paper where to put the snowmen and the center heart block and placed the squares around the embroidery.  That was my pattern!  Aren't these guys incredibly cute??  They were stitched on my Bernina 770.

So now the quilting!  This is our new second quilt for the top of our bed during winter; it's designed for warmth and snuggling. So I used up the rest of my bamboo batting using just one layer along with a fun variegated 50 weight Aurifil thread for the quilting.  The first step was to stitch around the snowman blocks and around the larger elements in the blocks as though they were appliqué.  This quilt will be utilitarian and everything laid flat so I broke the rules and did not stitch around all the 4" blocks.  Now!  Let's just pull everything out of the hat that says winter, combine it with simple loops and go with it!

Candy canes!

Ribbon Feathers!


A winter scarf!!

 Ribbon Candy!

Holly and Berries!

Groups of Stars!

I did something fun in the inner border and went all the way around with words I thought of with winter, snowmen and even Christmas.  Here are a few.  They were not marked; I just went for it.

The outside checkerboard border went back to using a variety of motifs but I stitched a vine and had them come off of the vine.  I just love the warmth and joy this quilt brings!

I hope you enjoyed my Embroidery Snowmen!

Check out some of the links on my sidebar and don't forget Crazy Mom Quilts at!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Kitty Kat Quilt


This has got to be one of the cutest quilts I have done for a customer and I am not a cat fan!  But it's soooo cute!

This adorable quilt measures approximately 58.5" x 70" and was completed by the same customer who brought me the Purple Curvy Log Cabin quilt.  

Frances does awesome quilts and makes my job so much easier in that she always has an idea for each quilt she brings me.  This time she wanted paw prints in the center section and cat silhouettes in the open border areas.  No other quilting in the border but to outline the appliqué.  And........she wanted all the quilting in black.  She winced when she made the announcement to me and gave me that quizzical look.  Wow!  Talk about pressure!

So, on to Pinterest again for cat templates.  That was pretty easy.  What took time was getting each one, I used four, to approximately the right size for the border area.  I was shooting for about 5 - 5 1/2" tall.  Next was to remember to use my lightbox and mark the designs on the quilt PRIOR to sandwiching.  Yes!  Got it done!

So here's the paw prints in the center that I mixed in with large meandering, something I don't often do but it looked good in this case.  We ended up using Aurifil 50 weight thread in black in both the top and bobbin.

Instead of a design on the smaller black border, we stitched in the ditch on both sides to keep it simple.

The outside border?  Oh my goodness!  First I stitched around each appliqué and then stitched the stencils.  Here's each corner.  Aren't they cute?

And that's Kitty Kat Quilt, waiting and ready to go home!

Have a super weekend and remember to check out the links on my sidebar for some wonderful quilty spots and don't forget Crazy Mom Quilts at for Finish It Up Friday!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Wool Appliqué with Free Motion Quilting

Wool Appliqué with Free Motion Quilting

I tried something new!  There seems to be very little time to actually sew, so I decided to broaden my horizons and try some projects that would give me something to do with my hands in the evening or while riding in the car.  I really like the look of wool and decided to give wool appliqué a try. 

 It didn't turn out great as I know nothing about threads to use or embellishing techniques.   In fact, I used sewing thread.  It's not bad, just not what would be expected.

The design was appliquéd onto a gorgeous fat-quarter piece of hand-dyed Cherrywood fabric that looks like suede.  I added some stabilizer to the fabric prior to adding the appliqué.  When I realized I was off base with the appliqué, I decided to see if I could salvage it with some free motion quilting.  

So I sandwiched the fabric with two layers of Hobbs 80/20 cotton wool, planned a lovely feather spine, grabbed some So Fine 50 weight thread, and started quilting feathers.  Then I took a 60 weight Mettler embroidery thread and micro-stippled on the inside of the feathers around the appliqué and outside of the feathers by the border.  

 It doesn't fix it completely, but I like it!  I think I'll get a kit next time and try to follow some directions!  Have a super quilty week!