Custom Quilting

I can now share a picture of the baby quilt I quilted a little while ago, as the shower has taken place and no surprises will be leaked.  This quilt was pieced by Dana Tartal for a special baby boy.

Holy Hexagons and Triangles, Batman! Wow, there are a lot of pieces in it.  Personally, I don’t know how she’s still sane.  But she brought it to me on her own two feet and she wasn’t even cross-eyed, so she clearly survived.  (She might even have enjoyed it, but of course, you are getting this story from my perspective!)

And in case you haven’t ventured over to the customer quilts page, here are a few more that were originally uploaded to that section but not shared here on the main page. I think I’m going to start posting pictures of each custom quilting project here first so you can all see the variety of styles, ideas, and piecing designs that other people have for their quilts. All pictures are shared with permission 🙂

Blue and yellow quilt pieced by my mom, Mayerthorpe, AB.

Jungle baby quilt, pieced by Pam Fritsche, Dawson Creek, BC.

Flower vases, pieced by Pam Fritsche, Dawson Creek, BC.

Bargello quilt, pieced by Carol Tulloch, Mayerthorpe, AB.

Red and white double Irish chain quilt, pieced by Judith Burns, High Prairie, AB.

Sandwiches Anyone?

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So I’ve received a few custom quilting jobs here, and that means it might be a while before I post a completed quilt, but just to keep you posted and involved, I thought we might play a little game.

TWO OF THESE THINGS ARE NOT LIKE THE OTHERS … Do you remember that song from Sesame Street? Well, they sang “one of these things is not like the others …” but what the heck, it still works.

Based on what you’ve already read or heard about where my time is most happily spent (and where it isn’t), take a look at these six quilt sandwiches I’ve made over the past couple of days in preparation for a good couple of weeks or more of quilting.

 

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#1 Red Flowers

 

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#2 Dogs & Cats

 

 

 

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#3 Music Montage

 

 

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#4 Owls

 

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#5 Charm Squares

 

 

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#6 Black & White

 

Can you tell which two are mine?  Be careful, you might get tricked … If you want to take a guess, leave a comment below and the first person to get it right will get a prize.  Not sure what it will be yet, but I’m sure you’ll like it 🙂  Make sure you include a way for me to contact you!

(The two ladies who already know the answer will have to sit this one out – YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!)

 

Keeping in Touch

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I don’t have a new quilt to post yet because I’ve been working on a couple of custom quilting projects that I can’t even share right now; they were brought to me by ladies who are giving the completed quilts as gifts in the near future and with the way things go around the internet we don’t want to take chances and spoil any surprises!

But I’m still here, and I’m still quilting.  So I decided to write a post to let you know that, because apparently if you don’t post often enough on a blog people think you’ve dropped off the face of the earth or something.  And I thought I’d post a picture of my awesome new Fons & Porter cotton (much cooler for my hands) quilting gloves in case you’re dying to know what kinds of things I use behind the scenes.  Isn’t it great that they match my rotary cutter and the lines on my ruler?  Almost like I planned it.  Actually, I wanted the blue ones to fit, but the yellow ones are my size.  I’ll live with it.

I’ve also been doing a lot of reorganizing in my craft room because after a long time pondering it I came to a very definite decision this week:  I’m selling off my entire collection of stamping and paper crafting supplies.  And it’s a LARGE collection.

I know, it’s major, but my crafting path has taken a sharp turn down a road I hadn’t imagined – and we all know which one it is! – so I’ve been neglecting my stamps and the numerous accessories that go along with the craft.  I wondered at first if I was being hasty; this quilting obsession kind of took over my life out of nowhere and I questioned if it might just as dramatically leave me somewhere between fat quarters.  But the more I looked at my cupboard full of stamping supplies, and the less I cared to even pull something out and make just one card, I realized that right now, at this moment in my life, I no longer care to stamp.  It’s been a great ride, but it’s over.  For now.  And the people snapping up the great deals on my stuff are going to have so much fun!

If at some point in the future I find myself missing this activity and wanting to do some of it again I can always start fresh with new colors and styles that are current in the time that it happens, if it happens.

In the meantime, I’m eagerly awaiting a couple of orders of beautiful threads and yummy solid colored fabrics to get me going on some modern quilts I want to try with cool techniques I’ve been learning.

So that’s been my week and hopefully, in the not-too-distant future, I’ll have a pretty new quilt to post.  Right now I have to go load up my car with some quilts for a trunk show I’m going to.  Doesn’t that sound fancy?

Ok, it’s a small one, but it’s still going to be fun.

OK, IT’S AT MY MOM’S.  But her good friend – a quilter extraordinaire – is arriving any minute for a few days of girl time, fabric shopping, and probably a lot of learning (on my part).

Hey, a show is a show!  Until next time …

 

Hush Little Baby Quilt

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…oops I did it again… (but unlike Britney Spears, I did it on purpose!)

I wild quilted a baby quilt and to make it even more challenging I added some scrappy flower appliques first (will be re-thinking this one …)

It started out as a test for these cute flower cut-outs my mom had. She has a whole whack of them; the stuff came on a bolt and someone – probably my aunt – thought mom needed a couple of yards in each of two color schemes. They already had the bonding agent on the back and it seemed like a good idea for layering parts and getting a nice bright colorful random flower look.  AND I wanted a wide open background to quilt.  Wildly.  So I cut out a few and sewed them on.

Not sure what was on the back, but it gummed up my sewing needle like crazy and my thread broke a few times (read as “abundant profanity ensued”) but once I started I had to keep going or waste the nice pink background so I persisted and finally got them sewn on in a somewhat acceptable manner.  Before I began quilting I laundered the whole top because I wanted to make darn sure that whatever the adhesive was washed out and everything got nice and soft for whichever cute little bundle of joy gets this quilt, instead of remaining stiff.  And it worked, so I was happy and went about quilting.

I wanted to quilt some words in the centre of the large partial flower at the bottom on this one (totally stole that idea from another quilter so I’m just being honest here) and it’s funny to see that my quilted writing actually resembles my handwriting.  I wonder if it’s like that for others too?

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Anyway, I think the whole thing looks pretty cute.  Well actually, when I stitched those tiny flowers inside the bigger flower petals at the top right I thought they were “stinkin’ cute”!  Once again, I’m posting pictures before the super cute checkered binding is sewn to the back because I have difficulty waiting.

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Are you a wild quilter?  Check out Christina Cameli’s class on Craftsy.com if you are interested because she makes it look so easy you’ll want to dig right in.  It’s soooo much fun, it should almost be illegal….

(This quilt has been sold.)

 

Quilt as you go

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I thought I’d try it since I’ve seen all kinds of it online, this quilt-as-you-go thing.  Not the sew one piece of fabric to another on top of the batting and backing fabric kind, but the quilt all your blocks separately and then join them together kind.  I have quite a few fat quarters from Andover’s Downton Abbey fabric collection (BTW Andover fabric is absolutely lovely to work with, such great quality and it feels so nice!) so I decided to put a few together and try this out.

There are a few different methods for doing this and you can search them out, read about them, and see which one suits your style.  But this method is the only one I found that interested me because it doesn’t involve sewing batting together into the adjoining seams – which just makes it sound and look unnecessarily bulky – and it gives a smooth and tidy finish.

The contrasting strips between blocks make the rest of the fabric pop, so some sashing is always nice, and this way you get it on the back too.  So if you want to get really creative with colors and plan your layout (maybe prints on the front and solids on the back) you can have a cool and totally reversible quilt.  Not to mention the fact that your backing fabrics can be smaller pieces rather than one large piece and even if they’re random, those joining strips tie it all together.  I chose one fabric to back all my blocks, mostly because it was available to me and went well enough with the color scheme and print style of the front to fit my needs, and partly because I planned to do different stitching patterns in the blocks and I wanted a back that would hide all the random changes and look consistent.  Maybe next time I will try for an adventure.

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I won’t give you a tutorial because instructions are easily found online, but here is a link you can check out if you’re interested: The Happy Zombie QAYG

Some people like to machine stitch everything together, but this tends to stiffen up the areas where blocks are joined, so I prefer hand stitching the folded pieces that hide the seams on the back, just as I prefer to hand stitch my bindings to the back side of the quilt.

After trying this out, my humble (haha) opinion is that Quilt as you go would be good for:

  • people who like to work in small chunks rather than dealing with a whole quilt at once
  • people who like portable projects that can be taken anywhere that their sewing room isn’t
  • people who have lots of practice blocks or fat quarter sandwiches that they’ve quilted during a class and want to put into something other than a  reference pile
  • people who prefer hand quilting and like to use a small frame in their lap

I might do this again, I might not;  I’m kind of neutral on the idea.  I do prefer working on a whole quilt, moving around it organically, to just quilting a smaller section, but I can see the practical application of the QAYG process for certain projects.

(As an aside, check out the new addition to the customer quilts page to see the one I just finished for my mom.  She bought a piece of fabric that looked like blocks and asked me to quilt it.  However, she has a real thing for burgundy, green, pink and flowers, and I’ve told her I’m declaring a moratorium on that combo because I’m just sick of getting a little bored with it …!)

 

 

Print your own quilt labels

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As indicated in my previous post, I tried the freezer paper method to print my own quilt labels and I believe it worked!  So now I can use whatever coloured fabric I choose, and save money on buying recut paper backed sheets.

There are instructions all over the internet for doing this, so I’m not going to write up a fancy tutorial here, but it’s pretty easy.  Just pick your fabric (I used the lovely quilter’s muslin I generally use for backing), iron freezer paper shiny side down onto the back of the fabric, cut it to fit your printer, and go for it!  After they printed I peeled off the paper, left them to air dry for a couple of hours and then pressed them for a good heat set.  Then I put them through a regular wash and dry laundry cycle just to make sure, and this is how they came out.  I’m happy with them 🙂

Note: I have an ink jet printer so I have no idea how this would work on a laser, but do some checking and you’ll find lots of opinions and ideas!