As Quilters we all have quilts to make on our bucket list. I personally have probably 2 pages of bucket list quilts to make, but I just don't seem to have the time, which is fine. I am happily busy quilting quilts for folks and that is such an honor and joy. I love being able to work from my home and spend the summer with my family. I quilt in the morning and go to the pool after lunch. Not a bad gig.
Well, lets talk about the Dear Jane quilt. The first time I heard about this stunner was in 2006. My husband was deployed to Iraq, I had 3 kids in diapers and I was new to quilting. I was in the obsessive phase of making quilt after quilt. I made them for all my friends and family and I haven't really slowed down since. I was part of a quilt group with my church. At the time I was in my late 20s and the rest of the group was all easily double or triple my age. They knew SOOOO much! I am so blessed to have fallen in with them. The leader of the group was working on this amazing quilt that was made up of a zillion tiny squares and whenever she would bring it to the group all the older ladies would stand around it and murmur words of awe and adulation. It was almost a holy thing. I, not knowing much at all about the whole process and how FREAKING complicated it was, fell in love with this quilt. Judy patiently told me about it and explained what a Block Of the Month was and that there were Online quilt shops that would send me the fabric to make several blocks each month. All I had to do was pay them a little money. I was hooked. As soon as I got the kids down for bed that evening I booted up my computer and signed up for the next Dear Jane BOM which would begin in a couple months. It would be a 24 month project. I was so excited and being newly out of the Army I was such a task oriented lady, I just had no doubt at all that I would easily keep up with the program.
Well, my husband got home from Iraq and we moved to Alice Springs, Australia and the blocks kept coming....and coming and coming! And I got behind. In 10 years I have only made 33 blocks. They really are maddeningly fussy. Especially since I have broken up with precision piecing.
Fast forward 10 years. I am quilting day in and day out. Each quilt fabulous in their own way. I received an email from a client who wanted me to quilt her Dear Jane quilt. All I could think was what a motivated lady she must be to have the intestinal fortitude to power through all the blocks. Susan sent her quilt to me and it was just stunning. I had such a blast quilting this beauty. And now, since I quilted one Dear Jane quilt I figure I had mark it off my bucket list right? Or maybe I should drag the sack of organized BOM blocks in ziplock bags out and get to it.
I knew there would be miles and miles of stitching in the ditch and that alone would probably be fine for this quilt , but I wanted to do a little more...but not too much. I did a great deal of echoing the blocks and some tiny feathers here and there.
I made melons into wee little Welsh leaves.
Tiny corner blocks and pearls were quilted in as well as mini piano key borders.
After I found my stride it was just so fun to quilt this quilt. I didn't rush it and did about 2 and a half rows a day.
The corner diamonds really threw me as to how to quilt them. I had to physically force my self NOT to swirl them. I am trying hard to rein in the swirling.
Susan is going to bind the quilt with a traditional scallop so that will look lovely right beyond the pearls.
I quilted a little bouquet of flowers in the basket, but they are hard to see in this picture.
I had such a good time quilting this quilt. I hope Susan loves it even more now that it is ready to be used.
What a masterpiece. What are you working on? Is a Dear Jane on your bucket list?
It seems like it has been ages since I blogged. I keep thinking I will find the time, but when I have a lull I just don't have the energy to blog especially when just posting on Instagram is so darn easy! I can only talk about myself and what I am doing so much. With that said I do want to show the quilting on the last couple quilts I got to work on.
This butterfly quilt is one I quilted for Taylor. She wanted to butterflies to be flying through windy clouds, but she wanted to clouds to look asian. Luckily she sent pictures and I did my best to quilt Asian clouds.
All the quilting in the body of the quilt was hand guided, and Taylor did not want it densely quilted.
The borders were done by the computer. She wanted Ginkgo leaves and a basket weave. No problem.
The butterflies were very fun to quilt. The whole quilt was fun to work on and took about a week.
Hey there! I have been busy quilting away. April/May is always a big quilting time for me. I cut back on the amount of quilts I did this Market and I have been pretty pleased. I love quilting for market, it is so cool to quilt for quilt market, but the stress of getting things done super quick is tricky in what should be a pretty laid back job.
So let me show you some of the quilts I have quilted since my last blog post. Only 2 of these are market quilts and I think all are custom. I did a heap of E2E quilts, but for some reason those don't jump in front of the camera like the custom ones do.
This first one was For Kolleen here in town. I did really cool quilting but it is hard to see because me camera lens had a smudge on it. Huzzah!
I took these pictures of Heathers quilt on the same day with the same smudged camera. I custom quilted feathers all around the blocks.
This one I did for me. YAY Me! The quilting is Welsh inspired and the quilt itself is just a simple Ohio Star. The grey background fabric is Essex linen and the rest is either hand dyed by me or a piece of hand dyed Ombre by Marcus brothers. The quilting really stands out because I used 2 layers of batting. Wool as the top layer and blend as the bottom layer.
I had the best times with these borders.
I made this leaf too big, so it became a snake
My favorite border is harder to see..I will take more pictures later after the rain ceases and I have the quilt bound.
I quilted this one for Kari. It was tricky to figure out how I wanted to quilt it, but after I committed I just loved it!
This is a Quilt Market quilt for Latifah Saafir out of her new fabric line Grafic. I have had a quilt crush on her FOREVER and was so excited to quilt for her. And I got to quilt a Glam Clam quilt! I have wanted to quilt one of these FOREVER. She has the most awesome acrylic templates to go with this pattern (and a bunch of other patterns as well. And she was so kind to send 2 templates along with her quilt. Now I just need to find the time to make myself a quilt with them!
So, I quilted this one with echoing arcs and bricks and lines....it was just super fun to quilt.
I finally finished this order of baby quilts for twin girls. I think I started it 2 years ago? Luckily the quilts are big enough to work as toddler quilts.
The backs have the girls names pieced. The first twin had a pretty short name, the other twin had a LOOONNNGGG name. I like the contrast with the fabric I used in Larkyn's quilt better.
The front of Larkyn's quilt is pretty cool too. More of my large Appliqué study.
Lyra got a big star. Still cute.
And the last custom quilt I finished was this one for Gina Martin. It is a secret quilt, so this is just the back. I will show more pictures after Quilt Market.
OK, quilts need to be quilted I will pop back later. Have a great day folks!
I have been thinking a great deal about time lately. Specificity about how much time I spend quilting and kinda in general about how much time we have on Earth. My mind wonders quite a bit while I work doesn't it? I really like Instagram. I like looking at all the quilts folks make and the beautiful quilting my fellow long arm quilters do. I think about how much time they have spent honing their craft and how much time they spend on each project. You can't really tell in a photo, especially a nicely edited photo. I also think about value. Do the people I quilt for value the work I do? I assume they do, after all they pay me nicely. I do both custom and e2e (Edge to edge) quilting. Most of my custom quilting is hand guided because that is what I love to do, and I am pretty good at it. My e2e quilting is done by my computerized machine. I of course have to set the quilt up and program the machine to do what I want it to do. In general e2e designs are quicker and easier than driving the machine around a quilt so they cost less. Custom work cost more. Right now I am totally booked up with custom work. I have about 3 times more custom quilts to quilt than e2e quilts. Needless to say I am feeling a bit of pressure. I am delighted that people trust me with their wonderful quilts and want me to be a part of making them into useful, beautiful works, but I get a bit of panic in my gut when I look over at the rack and see the Queue of quilts waiting their turn. Normally when ladies send their quilts to me (or drop them off) they say to do it when I have time, no rush. But sometimes they want their quilts back the next day or within the week (those ladies I normally refer to some of the other quilters in the area) sometimes people don't seem to know the work and time that goes into a custom quilt. The quilt in the last post took 3 weeks! That's a great deal of time spent in the basement studio working on one project and that's a bunch of time that makes me behind on my work for others. I have always prided myself in speedy, quality work and it frustrates me not to be able to whip through quilts like I used to. Some quilts just take so much more time. The style of quilting also makes quilting take longer. I am still very fast with "modern" quilting. I love the swirls and lines and angles, so I can quilt them quickly. Traditional quilting takes ages. I have to use rulers with traditional quilting and I have to slow down so I don't break my rulers and my needle.
OK, I don't really know where I am going with all this. I just want you to know that if I have your quilt I haven't forgotten you I am working through my list! I promise. At any time you can email (or call) me and I will give you a status update.
Ok, now lets look at some pictures. I don't get much time to blog, so when I do I pack a whole lot of quilts into one post. This post has some lovely quilts.
This first one was made by Kelly. We are both in the KCMQG and I love quilting for her. All the solids are linen and the little kites are made from Cotton+Steel fabric. I thought it looked like little space ships flying around in a dog fight, so I broke them up into teams. The blue team got cross hatching and the tan team got swirls and pebbles. I didn't want her hexagon piecing to get lost, so I outlines each block.
Kelly left the border rather irregular. I wasn't sure what her binding plan was, so I quilted all the way to the end. I figure she could do a fancy zig zag binding or just cut the pointy bits off and make the quilt into a regular rectangle.
The one mustard color block got curved cross hatching.
This quilt also had 2 layers of batting (one cotton and the top layer was fluffy wool). I loved quilting this quilt. I think it took me 3.5 days.
Next up is a quilt I quilted for Heather. She brought it to me as an e2e, but I really wanted to custom quilt it as I knew just what I wanted to do to it. I know that is not something I should do. Its not my quilt and an e2e would have been lovely, but it is fun to quilt away with my Statler. The majority of this quilt was done with my Statler Stitcher (my computer quilted it) but I hand guided the double arcs inside the star. I could have programed the computer to do them, but it would have added at least another day onto the job).
I used wool batting on this quilt and I love how the puff really showcases the quilting. This quilt didn't take long at all. I think I worked on it for a day and a half.
Next up is a quilt I finished yesterday. Or at least I thought I was finished with it. When I was photographing it I noticed a couple spots that I had let un-quilted and meant to come back to, but couldn't immediately see on my quick once over before taking it off the frame.
Stephanie did some beautiful needle turn applique on this quilt. I did a more modern feather in the sashing and border and cross hatched the backgrounds of the blocks. The cross hatching took ages. I thought if I free handed the cross hatching it would go faster, but I wasn't happy about how the lines were matching up, so I had the computer do them.
This was a fun quilt to work on. It took almost 8 days to quilt. The feathers were very fast, the cross hatching took a week all by itself. Oh! And Stephanie came by to visit on Friday, so she got to see her quilt in progress. I think that is the first time that has happened. Besides some local clients most of my customers mail me their quilts. It is fun to meet the ladies I work for in real life.
Here is the back. If you look close I bet you can find the un-quilted spots.
Last up is this Texas Flag quilt. it is #20. It is a remake of #19 which wasn't quite big enough. Now I have a massive Texas Flag quilt in the basement that I neither need, nor do I particularly want. I may put it in my etsy.com shop. At any rate I like the quilting on this one. And it is sooooo big. But things are bigger in Texas aren't they?
I think this is my favorite star of all the 20 Texas flag quilts I have made.
OK, so this was rather wordy, but some good pictures too. I think I will be blogging more now that Instagram has become a popularity contest. That makes me a bit sad, but I don't want to have to compete. I am a pretty what you see is what you get woman. I am a very busy woman and Instagram was so easy to mini blog on. Oh well, it is nice to have more of a journal type record. I do like looking back through my other blog (Camp Follower Bags) and seeing my cute little kids and beautiful Australia.