Painted Ladies Quilt Project

A lot of photos appear as I’m scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed each day, and many of them are crafty things because, of course, Facebook knows what I look at online and makes sure to flash me more of the same!  I see various quilt-y pictures, especially when friends share patterns and such, and one day I was particularly glued to a post about the Painted Ladies Quilt.  The design is based on the row houses of San Francisco.

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I think house quilts are cute in general, but I’ve never felt like I had to make one, until I saw the one my friend shared; I was immediately drawn to the rows of feathers quilted between the rows of houses, and the fact that these houses were on an angle.  I clicked the link and ended up finding Love Shack Quilts and Sharon Blackmore (she quilted the one in my friend’s photo) who I didn’t know before but have now met in person.  You can hear more about that in the video at the end of this post 🙂

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It was a stretch for me to track down the pattern and purchase it, not being an avid buyer of books or patterns myself, but I found it and started looking for fabrics.  I had a color palette in mind but just couldn’t quite get it together; I wanted to use pre-cuts to get a wide variety of prints so I finally decided to go with the most appealing collection I could find instead of waiting forever to find exactly what I’m still looking for and end up not making the quilt at all! LOL  I’m pretty sure I will be making this one again 🙂

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It turned out pretty cute and, as my above mentioned friend calls it, “folksy”.  It wasn’t an intense piecing project so I got through it without incident and I do recommend the pattern!  I kept track of the hours on this one because I’m often asked how long it takes me to make a quilt from start to finish and I thought it would be fun to record some clips of my process and have a complete video documenting the whole project.  That video is below, so check it out if you’re interested in seeing how it all came together!  The details are at the end so grab a coffee before you start…

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Feather Pizzaz

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I prepared a sample and a promo video for a feather class I’ll be teaching in the fall –  which meant doing several individual recordings and then editing them down to a bite sized clip – and once it was all done I thought it might be fun to share the photos and video here for my readers as well 🙂  The promo title screens have been removed in this version, because you don’t need class info, but you can see the variety of designs and listen to some funky music while you’re at it!

Here are some close-up shots of the different sections of the class sample, video is at the end.

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Even after all this stitching on a 36″ square mini, I’m still looking at it like “there are so many more things we could do with feathers here!”  However, while I could go on and on until the fabric runs out, I’m sure the students will eventually need to go home … haha

Only love can build a home…

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I recently finished quilting this wall hanging for a client and while I don’t always post about each customer quilt I do, sometimes there’s something specific I would like to share and I can use the project as an example.

When I’m working on a panel of any size or style, there are decisions to make about how to take it from flat to textured without interfering with the artwork already present.  A pieced quilt top will generally have a little bit of dimension already with the various seams going on, but with a panel you are basically working with a flat picture.  When it’s a baby quilt, I try to keep it more open (less dense) and often the shapes and pictures are large enough to outline and work inside of without adding too much stiffness.

On a wall hanging, the density is more welcomed and can actually help in the end to keep everything stabilized so that it doesn’t droop on the wall.

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This one has a lot of detail all over it so I was dealing with grass and trees and buildings and people and sky and … you get the picture, literally! haha So I wanted to give it lots of texture and at the same time keep certain areas from becoming too densely stitched so they would pop up (or “off” the wall) for dimension.  In this case, I chose to let the buildings pop and pack down the landscape.  So they got some thread work – leaving them totally unquilted would definitely cause those areas to droop when it hangs – but just enough to bring them to life.  the blending thread lets you see the texture but not necessarily all the stitching.

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I LOVE this old white house; I think it’s my favourite part.  It reminds me of the Waltons 🙂

Video – Figure Eight Quilt

I missed adding the video to my post on the Figure Eight Quilt this morning !  I’ve added it to the original post now, but many of you subscribe by email and you won’t know it’s been updated, so the only way for me to make sure you see it is to publish another post.  Enjoy!

Figure Eight Quilt

If I had to pick my favourite thing about this quilt, it would be the bicycle print fabric!  The colors are fun, and certainly the quilting was fun, but honestly, those bicycles …

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I had all the solids in stock and was looking for a grey background and for some reason the picture on the quilt pattern made me think of bicycles.  The print used was actually slices of orange or lemon or something from the citrus family, and it was used on the eights instead of the background which was solid grey, but the slices made me think of  bicycle wheels and the idea stuck in my head so that’s what I wanted to use.  I was happy to find it online at one of my regular go-to shops and, although I loved it, I only ordered enough for this one quilt because I never like to over commit and then find out it isn’t as sweet as it looked!  However, as soon as it arrived I was hooked and I immediately placed an order for LOTS more.

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And then I got the backorder notice.  Still hopeful, I waited it out.  But after six weeks I was informed that they could no longer get it.  Thankfully, I managed to find some still in stock on another site so I grabbed it and it’s currently on its way to my little stash pile.  Yay!  I think it will work for various projects because 1) it’s grey, which goes with many other colors and is trending everywhere, and 2) IT’S BICYCLES!

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This pattern is called “Eight O’Clock” and it’s from the book Modern One-Block Quilts by Natalia Bonner and Kathleen Whiting.  Yes, this is the fifth quilt from their book that I have made.  Me, the person who isn’t typically “into” using patterns!  If you are, and you like modern quilts, then Get. That. Book. It’s really cool.

I liked Natalia’s close together wavy little line background stitching idea so I did that myself, and then I changed up the stitching for the solid colors.  She used a ribbon candy design – which looked great – but I’m currently on a kick to get this darn wishbone into as many different shaped areas as I can so that’s what I chose.

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It’s colourful, kind of trendy looking, and big enough to use as a coverlet on a twin bed, or even a double if it’s a second layer or a folded up accent at the foot end.  And of course, it works as a large throw too 🙂

Here is a video showing some of my stitching on this quilt.

A Few Helpful Hints

I had an uncommon fairly acceptable hair day yesterday so it was a good time to step in front of the camera for a change and record a video with a few things I wanted to share 🙂  Hope you find it useful, or at least entertaining!

It’s been craaaaazy windy for the past few days where I live but I have to keep my enjoyment of the cool temperatures to myself because there are a lot of summer lovers out there who are probably getting really frustrated right about now 🙂  For me, it’s a happy break from heat that was and heat that I know is still coming our way.  Every cool day is a gift to me!  I’m not looking forward to going out for the mail though – thankfully I’m not a skinny gal or I might just blow right from my house to my car … no “haha” here, I’m serious!  It’s blowing limbs off trees!

A “Summer Quilt” + video

I worked on a few quilts for a regular client in BC this past week; one of them she calls her “summer quilt”.  Of course there was one part where I had the most fun of all and if you guessed it was in that solid white border then you really have been paying attention to what you read here 🙂

When I receive quilt tops with a request for me to just do my thing with the quilting – her usual request! – it means not only that I get to have fun being creative and using any stitching designs I choose, but also that my client has confidence in my work and trusts me to add a special touch to something they’ve already put a lot of themselves into.  Being asked to stitch all over someone else’s handmade project is quite a responsibility and I’m humbled when I’m the one chosen to take on that creative task.

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I posted a couple of the smaller ones I did for this same lady over on my Customer Quilts Gallery page. The three finished quilts are now back in her possession so I can post the photos without spoiling anything!

I have another big one here to quilt for her and – I was told today – two more heading my way.  Thankfully she’s never in a hurry 🙂

If you’d like to watch a video showing how I joined the feather border to make it look continuous even though it was stitched in sections, along with some of the other stitching, you can find the link below.

Have a good weekend!

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If you’re going to dream, dream big … + video

If you’re following anything “quilty” online recently you’ve probably seen a few versions of this beautiful digitally printed panel from Hoffman fabrics.  They’re kind of a big deal!  The colors are gorgeous and they have lots of potential for creative stitching.

I’ve seen them quilted out in various ways, all lovely, and I knew when I bought my panel that I would be defining the petals and using different designs in each because I purchased it with that specific idea in mind.  The no-piecing aspect was VERY appealing to me, and it was actually going to be a practice panel on my new longarm a couple of months ago, but the more digging I did for ideas, the more I leaned towards making it a sit down project because of how I wanted to work on it – personal preference only, I might do another on the longarm down the road!

This panel is suitable for free motion quilters of all levels.  If you’re a beginner, don’t be intimidated by all the fancy stitching you see here, or on others you will find online.  You can define each petal and then practice stitching patterns in a specific space; take it one petal at a time.    It’s just such a beautiful floral design and no matter how you quilt it, I’m sure you will love it 🙂

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I wasn’t going to bind it; I wanted to face it so that there would be nothing cutting off the flower.  But I used a double layer of batting and quilted very densely so I realized when I was all done that I would never get that edge seam to fold nicely towards the back within a seam allowance and I wouldn’t be happy with it, so I gave in and bound it.

There’s not a lot to say about my technique here because you can see I simply used various feathers, swirls, and other fillers you’ve seen me do a number of times before to achieve the final result.   So I’m just going to throw a bunch of yummy photos your way,  with a video at the end so you can watch some of my quilting process if you’re interested 🙂

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Longarm free motion quilting in manual mode + video

Since I got my longarm I’ve been using the regulated stitching mode to keep my stitches looking consistent through my learning curve – it’s a bit of a brain twist to go from free motion quilting on the sit down machine to doing it on the longarm because they are very different processes.  But recently I followed a tutorial showing examples of the differences between regulated and manual modes with ideas for when to use which one to your greatest advantage, and decided to turn off the regulator and just stitch.

Of course this kind of spontaneous stitching in wide open space is what I love most, but I wasn’t sure how it would go without regulation.  However, it was just fine and in fact I found that everything felt smoother and more free in manual mode, just as it was described.  Of course, there are times when the regulator is very helpful, especially when using rulers and having to adjust hand position without causing glitches, but I am definitely loving the feel of manual mode for free motion and will begin incorporating it immediately 🙂

Here’s a video of my trial on Friday; the big circles were done with rulers (I was testing out some new ones that morning just before I started my manual mode run) and everything else is free motion.  You’ll notice that in manual mode I’m not stopping here and there to think, which keeps my brain looking to the next idea as I go rather than slowing down and having the regulator keep my stitches even for me while I decide where to go and what to stitch! This is a cool way to free myself (a recovering perfectionist!) from any constraints, and just focus on keeping the machine moving at an even pace.  Designing on the fly isn’t uncommon for me, but keeping the machine moving at the same speed and trying not to stop anywhere so that the stitching just keeps on going is a really good exercise for the artistic part of my brain.

Thinking too much slows everything down, so I really enjoyed the free flow of this play time 🙂