Lou Ellen’s Paradise in Blooms


Wow!   Another beautiful Paradise In Blooms entrusted to me.   This one was a little difficult, I knew she wanted detailed quilting but the fabrics really did not want to let the quilting outshine their own beauty.   I wen…

Ring Cycles


Isn’t this quilt fabulous!    Those scrappy colors on that black background and the way Lou Ellen finished the outer rings.  WOW.   We decided to go a little more bold and quilted using King Tut’s De Nile variegated thread…

Arizona Sunrise


This client quilt is one I also purchased the pattern for several years ago.   I hope mine turns out as nice as hers if I ever find my “round tuit”.  There is a lot of space to quilt on this wall hanging.  Sometimes it is hard holdi…

Modern Hexie


This quilt was so much fun to quilt.  It sounds like it was fun to make also.      I ghosted in hexies around the sides of the quilt.   This comparison shows the difference between Hobbs 80/20 on the left and whit…

WAQG Auction Flower Appliqué


Look at this lovely Baltimore Album style floral appliqué quilt that will be offered for bidding at the guild’s live quilt auction held every 3 years.  The blocks were made by individuals in the guild during a workshop teaching the technique, then a group set the quilt, then I quilted, another bound, and yet another will label.  Team effort folks!
 
I custom quilted this with a little scalloped border breaking up the space and setting off the chain effect in the piecing.  I echoed the applique and created a stem so that I could stitch continuously around the applique without starts and stops or without the need to do tiny dense work to pebble and ditch the designs (all hours donated).  I tried to develop a plan that I could fit into a week’s schedule but I still ran over.   There are 42 blocks, my first estimate planning in my mind is 1 hour per block plus a geometric border…. that’s estimating 46 hours quilting time!   Plus planning, advancing, breaks etc.  Typically I have a 15 minute break for every hour of quilting.   I’m having shoulder and back issues, this job is backbreaking trying to work 30″ of quilting area on your frame.  I knew I had to come up with a larger, more open design.  I think it works well!
 
 
 
I ran continuously around the larger units THREE times!  Once putting in the ruler work border up and down one side, then back the other direction with the fill inside the chain, and over to the next side and continuing around the quilt (3 trips up and down and up again on the chain too).   Next,  I came back and echoed the floral design around the block.   Third trip around is the fill without breaking the thread from the echo.   Whew.   BIG blocks, 22″ on point if I remember correctly.   My back was screaming due to ongoing issues that I can’t find time to take off to get into PT.
 
Completely bound, handwork complements of Sally G.   That’s a ray of sunshine coming in the window creating a few shiny spots on the quilt.
 
 
 
Centered left over blocks on the back.   Look at all that light thread in the blocks on the back!   I love the back designs on a quilt.
 
 
Back panel insert
 
This is how I audition designs.  I was torn between the 2 with scallops or crosshatch frames.
 
Original plans were going to have scallops in border with feathers inside and beadboard outside.  But I ran out of time so did a feather design in the borders, turning the quilt so I could work all sides continuously.   I did not subtract out breaks on this quilt, just kept a rough time sheet of start and stops with lunch breaks.   44 hours quilting.   Not load, not design time but from when I started quilting to when I finished.   If I rested my back for 15 minutes or answered a phone call… I did not subtract that from my log as time sheets weren’t really needed because… it was donated time.    I rather think all that should be built into the quilting schedule but I don’t.  My billable schedule averages about 6 hours a day for actually quilting most days.  That really reduces the rate of pay when you figure how long your day is… and how many hours you actually get paid for.  
 
By the way, there is much talk about donated time.   As a professional, we do not get to write off hours worked at our professional rate as a donation on tax returns.   We can only write off products used, for example batting.   There is NO tax break for hours worked for free for charitable contributions for the longarm quilter.   I have had this quilt on my log to quilt this month for many moons.  My custom quilts are booked  months in advance and do not have wiggle room.   I recently had to do some re-arranging on my schedule due to health issues with my inlaws requiring 2 trips for my hubby and me to take off for 2 weeks to help out with the household and settling my mother in law back home from rehab hospital to a newly created bedroom on the 1st floor.   Talk about a no income month!   2 weeks off, 1 paying client (that has not picked up) and a donated quilt.   Geesh!    It’s hard to pay my bills like that.   So I better get back to the quilt on the frame now….!
 
 
 
 

Blue and Green Beauty


This quilt has very blended color choices and when Sally and I first talked about this one, she thought she wanted an allover design and I agreed.   Sometimes those deep, mottled colors won’t show thread and detailed quilting is lost.   An allover can be prettier in most of those situations and provide more quilting that a light custom.   But when this one came up the line to it’s day for quilting, those beautiful points and cornerstone designs just jumped at me begging to be played up.   So, I grabbed my acrylic panel and started doodling.
 
 


 
I drew out a plan that I was happy with that ran continuously with lots of detail yet allowed  me to stitch most of this without the added expense of everything needing to be stitched in the ditch.  Most of this is completely freehand with a template only used for that 8 point petal center design.  Sally agreed, we had to try this!

 
I was so happy that the texture did translate to the fabric!  Look at those beautiful points and all that piecing detail in this quilt that is now showcased.   Plus its not so dense that it is stiff, it is still very soft and snuggle as this is a bed quilt.  I will say that I have been disappointed a few times.  When we draw, we of course have a high contrast  marker, the line is thicker than any thread we use and it just doesn’t always translate as beautifully as what is on the acrylic pad.

 
 
Plus, this fun border!    I don’t think I have a picture of the backing, it was a little deeper than the outer border and blended coloring as well.   The pattern is a Debbie Caffrey or Charlotte Angotti classroom project if you are wondering what the pattern is.