Monday, November 30, 2015

Modern Tennis Shoes

Just finished another quilt for my customer who has the two adopted grandchildren coming from Africa.  She is making a throw for each of her grandchildren for Christmas.  The last two should be in my hands tonight or tomorrow.

This is definitely a very "hip" grandma as she has tried hard to match each quilt with the style of the grandchild.  This quilt is NO exception.  The teen boy to receive this quilt loves tennis shoes so there is even tennis shoe fabric in the quilt!

As for me, this is WAY out of my league.  It was quite the effort to come up with quilting that would fit the fabric and design.  My thought process in determining the quilting took in to consideration that the pattern blocks consist of a large and small rectangle beside each other and off-set.  The next block  is flipped and the process continues  to accomplish six blocks in a row.  Also,  since there is so much color in this quilt, an all over design might get lost and Grandma is NOT an "allover" design person.  So...using an Aurifil, 50 weight  gray thread (#2610), I quilted simple swirls in each of the large rectangles because those were all busy fabrics and the quilting would be somewhat obscure.  In this photo the swirls are in the blue plaid and the tennis shoes.

The more slender rectangles were pretty much solid but I didn't want to add too much more busy- ness to the quilt, so I did a simple "electrical spiral" with an "l" or "e" in 50 weight Aurifil thread but with a variegated called Rainbow (#3817).  I did them facing each other to spiff up the design and fill in the block.  I really like how this turned out though you really can't see the variegated thread in the photos.

The black border was hard to figure out because it moved with the blocks.  So I ended up with a more modern design that I worked down the small one inch sashing.  Using black Aurifil, again in 50 weight, as I approached a black square or rectangle, I entered it and echoed it toward the center.  I lightened up these two photos extensively so the quilting would show up.

The border needed a break from the rectangles so I went back to the gray and did a double circle, while working my way across the border.  Not to deviate too much, the corners are quadroned into squares like cornerstones.  I marked with a  blue line marker 1/2" away from the edge of the quilt so the stitching would not be lost in the binding but had not yet removed the marking when I took these photos.

The depth of quilting really shows on the back and is very cool.

So that's my Modern Tennis Shoe finish; it was a creative challenge.  

 I hope you are enjoying the Christmas spirit.  My computer has been busy making noises today with each new email announcing cyber Monday or  cyber week.  Don't let the shopping overwhelm the joy!  Tomorrow our family will decorate!

Friday, November 27, 2015

A Quilt for Joy!

I hope everyone had a most glorious day of Thanksgiving; we had a wonderful time with a couple of friends.  Today we head to Denver for a little Christmas shopping and to help sort boxes for Operation Christmas Child.  Before we head out, I am thrilled to have another finish, albeit for a customer.

A couple of posts ago I shared "A Quilt for Rose":  a beautiful little girl quilt completed with the Turning Twenty pattern for five year old Rose.

This quilt is for three year old sister Joy; both are to be given for Christmas by the grandma.  The quilt pattern is more of the square in a square concept but both were made with the same fabric by Riley Blake.

The body of Joy's quilt was quilted with the same design I used for Rose's quilt,  with the same 40 weight soft pink Signature Thread.  The quilt design was taken from Tracey with Whirls 'n Swirls Quilting out of Canada.  Tracey has great, unique, quilting designs she presents each week on  If you are a longarm or free motion quilting, definitely check her out.

Another difference between these two quilts is that Joy's quilt has a large red border in which I quilted simple free form feathers.

And finally, Joy's name was embroidered in Blue (torquoise) towards the middle of the quilt.

Like the quilt for Rose, Joy's quilt also had minky on the back but Joy's was done in a beautiful light, soft, pink:

It's amazing to me how two quilts can look entirely different with the same fabric.  Both are beautiful and I'm sure will be most treasured.  

Apparently both children AND their mother have seen the quilt tops and are waiting in anticipation for the finished quilts.  They have no idea that each has been personalized with their name.  I wish I were a little elf in their house Christmas morning!

Enjoy black Friday and all the great deals out there!  I will be taking my computer with me so I can hook up to wifi and check in with and

Monday, November 23, 2015

New Colors of Christmas!

As I look at this this gorgeous Christmas tree skirt which was brought to me for quilting,  I am amazed how much the colors of Christmas have changed from traditional red, green and gold, to include purples, turquoise, light blues, pink and probably any other color one would like to include.

It is wonderful to see how unique each individual is as they decorate for the season.  And colors are beautiful no matter what they may be.

This tree skirt will be given to a new mom and dad celebrating their first Christmas with a baby in the home.  Grandma is ecstatic!

At the request of the owner, the border was quilted simply, yet elegantly, with large flowing feathers in the outside body of the skirt.  A  light lavender Isacord 40 weight thread was used.

After stitching around each appliquéd snowflake, I did simple snowflakes and loops in the center with the same thread.

I think the owner used something from her stash for the back but it actually blends well with the thread.

The feathers show up nicely on the back.

Oh my, Christmas is approaching quickly!  I hope you are ready with all your quilty gifts!

Friday, November 20, 2015

In Memory of Linda Diane (aka Nikki's quilt)

Today is a very different type of post for me.  It is about a quilt for someone I have never met and do not know because of someone they love very much who I also have never met and do not know.  It is amazing how people can be brought together.  Nikki was put in contact with me through the wife of my huband's nephew in Texas; they are close friends.  You can read the full story of Nikki's Quilt in the posts at the beginning of my blogging: and here:

I had a hard time making myself finish this quilt because I have been swamped with quilting AND because I was terrified.  For those of you who have done t-shirt quilts, you may understand my concerns.  I have heard that it is difficult to quilt on t-shirts and that it can be a disaster.  The only part of this quilt that was t-shirts was the backing so that helped.  The front of the quilt is from cotton blouses and the border is from a blue jean top.  However, the blouses were often worn and seemed somewhat thinner than I would have liked so they were a slight concern.  Soooooo, I used the best of everything when I put this quilt together.  I can't remember the stabilizer but I did a lot of research and made sure it was put together well.  Because of that, the embroidery and quilting were absolutely no problem.  I am thrilled with the finish and Nikki is too!  If you haven't read the older posts, this quilt was made from clothes worn by Nikki's mom, Linda, who died from cancer.

So my finish for this week:  Nikki's Quilt (in memory of her mother, Linda Diane).  Please note that I have removed part of Linda's name in these pictures.  So if the top part of the quilt looks funny, I used a tool I found to cover part of the name.

I made a very simple rail fence, because I understand Linda was a very simple lady.

The two pieces at the top were actually taken from a t-shirt that Nikki remembered her mom wearing.  I couldn't fit it into the blocks so I cut these pieces from the shirt.  They have crystals on them and showed up beautifully on the quilt.

The embroidery was completed with my Bernina 770 and worked like a charm.  I used to do this by hand with free motion embroidery but creating it with software was much easier.

The border on the blue jean fabric was quilted with feathers but I used very simple free form feathers to keep the quilt clean and simple but yet elegant.

The crystals on the appliqué show up well in this photo:

Here is the backing.  The center was created from two themed t-shirts and then surrounded by other t-shirts.  

The quilting in the center was done using a light blue Signature 40 weight cotton thread.  I was concerned about using the heavier thread with the top but the quilting was simple with loops and large petal flowers.

All I know about Linda is what Nikki has shared but I understood Linda to be a very simple lady and yet elegant and the goal of this quilt was to mimic the feeling of who Linda was.  Nikki is very happy so I would say "mission accomplished".  

I'll be linking up my finish today over at   Come join me and see what other's are making.  Have a wonderful weekend and consider how you can be a blessing to someone else!

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Quilt for Rose!

Sometimes it feels like life has become overwhelming!  I've been in that boat again!  So it's time to rein in the wandering mind and get back to enjoying life.

I've been qulting a couple of my own quilts but can't seem to get the binding completed so hopefully that will be soon.

In the meantime, everyone is wanting quilts done!  Must be getting ready for Christmas.  So today I completed a very precious quilt for a five year old granddaughter of a special client.  Kelly asked me to embroider her name on the quilt as well.  That was a first on my Bernina since I've gotten embroidery but it turned out great and was a good challenge.  Rose loves purple so although the quilt does not have purple in it, the finished product looks beautiful.

Here's a close up of the embroidery:

The fabric is by Riley Blake and the quilt was quilted with 40 weight Signature cotton thread.  the embroidery was completed using Isacord.  The quilting is a design by Tracy with whirlsnswirlsquilting.  You can find her designs on youtube.  They are great!  I believe Tracy uses an APQS longarm; I use my Bernina sit-down.  Here are a few close ups of the quilting.  I also threw in some occasional feathers.

I just love this design; it is fast and cute.

I was a little nervous about the backing: a minky by Shannon Fabrics..  I haven't used minky much but it was fantastic!   No slipping or anything and the quilting shows up well.   I am thrilled with how this turned out.

Kelly is happy and is now waiting for the second one for grand daughter Joy.  My boys are going hunting this weekend so I hope to get a good bit accomplished.  

Join me today as I link up my finish with

Have a great weekend!