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….!