Wednesday, April 20, 2016

A Few Client Quilts

So many things are happening in my world I don't even know where to start!  First, I have another article coming out very soon in Machine Quilting Unlimited.  This time I wrote about using pantographs, focusing quite a bit on ways for those of us hand guided quilters to use them more efficiently.  Some day I completely want a computer for my machine, possibly a second machine too - but for the time being I'm quilting those babies out as carefully and neatly as I possibly can by hand...with good results I might add that folks often cannot tell is hand guided!  That's definitely the goal for me.  :)

Here's one panto quilt I just finished up for my client Jane...the pattern is Scenic Bypass by Antler Quilt Designs.  It measures approxmiately 86" x 66" and we used Deja Vu by Patricia E. Ritter and myself for the quilting, Glide thread in Light Olive, and one layer of Hobbs 80/20 batting.


Originally Jane had requested a deep purple shade of thread.  I have a handful of purple thread on hand but none looked quite right so instead I suggested this pretty deep green to pull from the green in her fabrics, and also the green leaves on her backing fabric.  I think it turned out so great, now I cannot imagine if we had used another color!  I really like the blending look of the green in the lighter fabric, the only other shade I think would have looked equally as nice would have been a golden/honey color.


People often ask me what to use for their backings.  My suggestion is generally a medium tone (unless your front is all very dark fabrics) that will look good with whatever color thread is going to be predominant on the front.  I tend to use the same or similar shade thread in the top and bobbin, so you want something that will compliment the thread used to blend with the front.  Many times folks like to send an all white or all dark colored backing - this is fine so long as there isn't going to be a lot of backtracking and you don't mind high contrast thread against it.  No matter how impeccable my backtracking or how thin the thread, a couple of passes in white against navy blue is just not going to look as nice as a lighter blue.  While the quality of the quilting is extremely important, I have really learned that color choice and quality of fabric matter just as much for the best possible outcome.


In the case of Jane's beautiful quilt, I think the green really worked beautifully with both the front and back of the quilt - she chose well!  :)

Another recent finish that I have been itching to share is my client Michele's Gravity quilt!  Michele is the cousin of my neighbor and I'm super excited about the quilts she is going to have me work on as she is a big fan of solids.  To me that means I get to have some SERIOUS fun! 


I had been just WAITING for someone to send me one of these! I'm not sure if just quilting it has satisfied my urge to make one or not...there never seems enough time to make all that I want to make, and because I really get my kicks from making and entering show quilts I'm not sure how soon I'll actually get to it. This certainly was fun to play on though!


We used one layer of Quilter's Dream Cotton Select for this one as this is Michele's batting of choice.  We opted for Bottom Line thread in the top and bobbin in a light gray shade.  Her backing was a black and gray print so much of the detail shows best on the front.


I just cannot get enough of those colors!  There were a lot stretchy bias edge triangles to the outer edge of the quilt with this one but they did not give me much issue.  Luckily much of the quilting allowed for me to pull and extra fabric in and (hopefully) we tucked it hidden pretty well.  No pleats or tucks but some creative quilting happened here.  :)




The Gravity quilt pattern (by Jaybird Quilts) measured approxmiately 96" x 95". 

One more show and tell piece...this is Wanda's quilt.  The center pattern is called a Stargello and she created it using a Stargello ruler tool - the borders were added by guild members to create one beautiful and awesome quilt!


This one was somewhere around 85" x 85".  We used two layers of batting - I believe she sent Quilter's Dream cotton and I used a layer of Hobbs 80/20 overtop.  This one I approached a little differently.  I stitched in the ditch the entire quilt first.  Then I went back and filled in.  I have been hesitant to do that with quilts that do not have a significant amount of piecing in the past but I really think it made for a neater, crisper finish.


My favorite part is the quilting in this open space around the star...


I also really enjoyed quiltnig in the snowball border!  The sort of curly cue design was something different but really effective I think.


The back is where I think stitching in the ditch prior to adding filler quilting really made a difference.  If you look carefully the ditched lines show little to no backtracking - not because there wasn't any backtracking but because it was very little.  Long continuous lines were done all at once in one long smooth motion - where as often when you ditch as you go, things don't always line up and look neat.  The difference is small - but overall it really adds to the polished look of the quilting.




I think there are always things you look at after and say, "oh, I could have done that better or differently".  I'm pretty pleased with this one!

I have been so fortunate to work on some very lovely quilts lately!  I have started a new show quilt and I'll get to that in an upcoming post, along with some of my thoughts on MQX.  I did not place this year but I'm happy to say I DID receive a teacher's ribbon from Angela Huffman!  How exciting!

More to come...happy quilting!

22 comments:

Sewing Junkie said...

Valerie, You are so talented and so open for changes. I can see your work evolving as your work progresses. Hopefully you will keep up the good work and your dreams will all come true. Chris

Michele said...

Your work is always so terrific and it gives me something to work towards.

kupton52 said...

Your quilting is beyond gorgeous...I've read your blog for a couple of years now...the evolution of your quilting is so evident. I am new to longarm quilting...only since about a month ago....but I bought Glide based on a comment you made. Other than I had difficulty at first winding it on a bobbin ( I made adjustments---tightened the tension on my bobbin winder and slowed the speed) I just love this thread. The sheen is gorgeous and the stitches look so nice. So please know your posts are read and paid attention to. I really do miss your videos though. So thank you, not only for the eye candy and inspiration, but for pointing me to Glide thread as well. Blessings....Kathy in WV

Jen @ Faith and Fabric said...

I can't get over this quilting - it's just stunning! It's amazing how much detail you packed into those small solid spaces.

Kathy said...

Your quilting is beautiful. Some day I hope to make a quilt worthy of a professional quilt job!!

Lori Smanski said...

congrats on your ribbon. your quilting is lovely.
quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

Karen Rowland said...

Beautiful quilting!!

sam said...

Your quilting is so beautiful.

anna brown said...

Wow very nice quilting and even nicer quilts...Loved the blue one ty for sharing.. happyness04431@yahoo.com

Deborah said...

I am amazed at your quilting, it is stunning.

Kathy H said...

Your quilting is so beautiful. You are a great inspiration.

Martina said...

Beautiful quilting! Wow! Quilting makes the quilt even more special!

JanineMarie said...

What beautiful quilts you get to work on--and your quilting makes them absolutely stunning. Thanks for sharing your process of choosing thread color--that is so helpful. I have not used double layers of batting before. Is that to help the quilting stand out more?

OhioLori said...

Wow! Your quilting is Amazing!! I am just learning to FMQ on my home sewing machine! Thank you for sharing the quilting info.... tho I don't have a longarm machine...the help is so encouraging.

Jennifer Fulton Inquiring Quilter said...

Oh my! Your quilting is so inspiring. Just love the Gravity quilt quilting. No wonder you couldn't wait to get your hands on one.

Teresa in Music City said...

It's always such a pleasure to see your quilting Valerie - but so much in one day is almost overwhelming! Love the work you've done on the Gravity quilt... I also wanted to make one of those and just knew I wouldn't have the time to do it justice. Seeing what you've done with the quilting, I'm really sorry I didn't go ahead and do it!

lauraluvsloons said...

I always love to see your beautiful quilting. Thanks for sharing some applique inspiration on Lara's book blog hop too:)

Connie Kresin Campbell said...

Your quilting is so neat and beautiful! That Gravity quilt looks perfect with the quilting you did on it!

LJ said...

Visiting from BuzzinBumble. Fabulous quilts. Not only do I love the solid colored one but your quilting is gorgeous.

Sandra @SewofCourse said...

Your quilting is outstanding! It is an art in itself to quilt a quilt suited to what piecing is done on the top, you nailed it in all of these, thank you for showing them!

Shelley E said...

Fantastic quilts and luscious colors. You are talented indeed!

Kathy's Korner said...

Your work is stunning!