Friday, February 16, 2018

Curvy Log Cabin Bright and Bold,

I call this Curvy Log Cabin quilt Bright and Bold for an obvious reason!  It is!!!!

Isn't it gorgeous?  This is the second Curvy Log Cabin I have quilted and it's amazing how different the quilt top is depending upon the artist.  The first I did was primarily purple and white.  What a "wow" quilt!

Bright and Bold was quilted completely different.  We started out with Peg's own batting, Warm and Natural.  Then we picked out some wild thread that blended with the quilt.  Is this not awesome?!?!  
Actually, the threads blended in beautifully.  They are both Isacord, 40 weight tri-lobal polyester threads.  They went beautifully with this quilt.  We used the green in the main body and orange in the border.  

Rather than quilting each section of the pinwheel design, we decided upon an easier allover design.  In this case the quilter, Peg, chose curls as she loves them.  So the main body has curls throughout and it turned out beautifully!

Peg left the rest of the quilt up to me.  I decided to stitch in the ditch around the inner border and then had some fun with rulers on the outer.  I had pushed this design into the back of my memory but it was brought to the forefront again when I perused part of a ruler work class recently done by Patsy Thompson.  I tweeked it to fit this quilt and.......oooooooo la la!  Love it!  After marking the design, I used my trusty Line Tamer Ruler to stitch it all out.  

The corner design really makes it unique!

Finally, you probably can't see much of the quilting on the back, but is this not the coolest fabric?  I love it!

I hope you enjoyed Peg's Curvy Log Cabin, "Bright and Bold".  It is truly is a dynamic quilt!

Be sure to check me out on Facebook at Penny Olive, Free Motion Quilting Educator!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

The fairy quilts!!!

The quilt I will be sharing in this post is one done by the same lady who did this little fairy quilt!  Its actual title by the artist is Fairies in the Dutch Iris.  It is  approximately 29" square and won first place in the art quilt division as well as the Judges Choice Reserve Best of Show award at the Cheyenne Heritage Quilt Show this past August, 2017.

The quilt I will focus on here is approximately 31" x 34" and I call it Fairy Hidden in the Poppies and Daisies!  This quilt was planned several years ago as a quilted wall hanging birthday gift for the daughter of the Artist.  Although I would have loved to go all out on the quilting, Rose just wanted this to be a nice wall hanging and memory for her daughter.  Do you know how hard it is to reign in your quilting??!!???!!

But I do love this!  Rose wanted to keep it simple so she only wanted to include some small little daisies that spread into the borders and a few butterflies.  She was not concerned that this quilt be heavily quilted.  

I wanted to do some really special butterflies so before sandwiching the quilt, I found a couple of lovely ones on pinterest that had no user protection and printed them out.  The printed designs were placed on my lightbox, followed by the quilt top, and I drew the designs with a blue line marker.  It was perfect!

The top was then sandwiched with Hobbs Tuscany 80/20 cotton wool.  First, each border area was stitched in the ditch.  Then I stitched around every portion of the appliqué, inner and out.  This secured it to the sandwich and gave a nice finish.  Now it was time for the butterflies and daisies.  This was great but I didn't feel like there was enough quilting.  After speaking with Rose, it was decided to add some poppies, making them part of the rest of the grouping.  GREAT!  I had already sandwiched the quilt and I'M NOT AN ARTIST!  So I spent quite a bit of time on pinterest trying to find the easiest rendering of a poppy and a poppy leaf.  It was too late to use the light box! After some practicing, here's what I came up with:

And finally, we left the the flying geese border pretty empty other than just stitching in the ditch around each block.   The outer border added swirls and some designs from the quilt itself.  

Simple and sweet but I think it turned out lovely! 

I can't seem to add videos on my blog but I did put one for doing the poppy on my business Facebook page.  You can find me on Facebook at:

Penny Olive, Free Motion Quilting Educator

Enjoy your quilting and be sure to stop and smell the poppies!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Purple with Feathers!

When Cathy brought me this quilt, I started to drool.  Well, not literally, but I imagine my eyes and face showed the enthusiasm within.  I LOVE PURPLE!!!!!  And this is a gorgeous quilt!

There was no doubt that this quilt would lend itself beautifully to feathers.  

The first thing I did was to pull out a dry erase marker and cover a portion of the quilt with my plexiglass.  Since the corner areas are different than the main portion of the quit, I decided to cover the corner and a repeated block.  It just wasn't clicking.  I like the drawing within the block, but not the corner flower nor sashings.  I needed to brainstorm just a bit more.  

I decided to take a photo of the quilt and put the whole photo on the drawing program on my iPad.  I use Procrete with an I-pencil and can blow up portions of the photo to draw in.  This is what I sent Cathy next, with several options for the sashing.  Some of the feathering is a bit wobbly due to using the I-pencil but all I wanted was a quilting plan.

Cathy was thrilled; she chose ribbon candy in the sashing except for the two small pieces by the feathered heart.  She stuck with the little hearts in the sashing there.  

I used my favorite ruler from the Quilted Pineapple to come up with the long curves, and two different threads:  a deep purple Isacord and a lavender Floriani.  Both are tri-lobal polyester threads and are great to bring the desired sheen to the quilt while maintaining strength in the fibers.  We also used 80/20 cotton/wool batting from Hobbs Tuscany Heirloom.  This would give the quilt a little "poof" in the quilting.

First, we stitched in the ditches of the main block areas, the sashing and the borders.  Then, it was time for the fun using the plan Cathy accepted.  Here is a view of parts of the quilting completed.

And finally, a completed Purple with Feathers!!

 This quilt is beautiful; the piecing is fantastic.  Deciding what to quilt in the corner area was the most difficult of the quilting but Cathy loves the hearts.  I love how it turned out!

Have a wonderful week and be sure to check out some of the quilty places on my sidebar!

Penny Olive, Free Motion Quilting Educator

Friday, October 27, 2017

Linda's Feathered Star Quilt

When Linda first brought her Feathered Star Quilt for quilting, my first thought was "Oh my, how do I get myself into these situations?"  It is gorgeous and I wanted to do it justice!

I think it turned out lovely but it all started with Linda's ideas, plexiglass and a dry erase marker.  This is the process I follow almost every time a quilt comes in:  draw!

Many times it's just a brainstorming process and in this case we simplified the quilting in the blocks in the bottom photo substantially.

The quilting was done with 50 weight Aurifil thread and Hobbs Tuscany 80/20 Cotton/Wool batting.  The main thrust of the quilting was feathers and beautiful ruler work with Linda Hrcka's rulers from The Quilted Pineapple.  

I think it turned out beautifully!  I'll let the quilting speak for itself.

Linda is an awesome quilter and I am honored each time she trusts me with her jewels!  This is definitely one of them!

Enjoy your weekend and check out some of the quilty spots on my sidebar.  Hope you get to quilt soon!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Feathers on Rose-Colored Lamé

When we recently moved into our new home, I found this pile of fabric while organizing my new stash cabinet:

I'm pretty sure this is a very sheer lamé fabric that was purchased at a garage sale thinking it could be used for a whole cloth quilt.  The first question was what kind of needle to use.  So I resourced my awesome Bernina Q20 Facebook group.  It was suggested that I back, or stabilize, the fabric and use a ballpoint needle and give it a try.  After several months, I finally remembered to pick up a pack of needles while at the sewing store.  

First up, a test on a small piece of silver lamé with a sweet little feather:

It was so exciting working with something new, that I completely forgot to stabilize the fabric but I was thrilled with the results, using two layers of batting.  

So next, a whole cloth quilt on a beautiful piece of light rose colored lamé:

I wasn't too worried about this being perfectly symmetrical but I did locate and market the horizontal, vertical and diagonal points of the cut fabric and began working from there.  Here is the resulting center section:

That center section was completed primarily using these two rulers/templates from Linda Hrcka with The Quilted Pineapple and some gorgeous Floriani thread:

Not knowing exactly where it would lead, I ended up with this circular design:

There was still quite a bit of unquilted fabric so the circle was squared off with scribbles in the squares around the design and a grid was added behind the main design using my Line Tamer Ruler. from Four Paws Quilting.

Then, because it still looked a little empty, I added a little floral motif in each corner area using the grid, and echo'd it.  A small crystal was added in the project center and in the center of each of the four floral designs.   It was then bound with a teal colored piece of Cherrywood fabric.  The result? Feathers on Rose-Colored Lamé:

And the back:

This experiment with Lamé with fun and very easy.  I had no problems stitching with it, even with that heavy scribbling.  So if you are adventurous, try a piece of Lamé!

Have a great quilty week and try something new!!!

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!