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What happened to June

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Who knew July would sneak up on me so quickly?  I did get another quilt finished although I’ve had trouble posting about it.  For some reason wordpress has decided to act up for the last few days on this blog but not my other one.

This is Gordon’s quilt.  I love the colors and the layout.  All that bias in the piecing and then more bias of the setting can be tricky to keep straight on the machine.

Quilts - Gordon 2015He left the quilting up to me.  I decided the back should look good without overwhelming the front. What I mean is that the quilting would not show on the pretty floral fabric front but would look nice on the back.  Umm…. its better if you see it.  Click the photo for a closer view.

Quilts - Gordon 2015 052Do you see now how the floral fabric has a nearly invisible design that looks good on the back? It would have been easy to use a simple straight line design like piano keys or crosshatching in those areas.  I wanted them to be better than that.

Quilts - Gordon 2015 073The border has a pretty feather design even if it can’t be seen.  Hard to see the stitching isn’t it?  Well here it is from the back, looking at that corner.

Quilts - Gordon 2015 053And another view a little away from the corner.

Quilts - Gordon 2015 067That picture also shows the inside border feather design.  Here it is from the front.  You can actually see the stitching on it.

Quilts - Gordon 2015 072The setting triangles were done with a sort of triangle (or horseshoe) feather design.  Nearly invisible on the front but look nice on the back.

Quilts - Gordon 2015 059I wanted to do something different with the pieced blocks.  The design is visible but subtle.  There is a leaf design on the triangles and a different leaf design around the star.  Is that a star?

Quilts - Gordon 2015 069Here it is from the back.  The tiny sashing creates a nice border for the block.

Quilts - Gordon 2015 060Hmm…. that doesn’t show very well either.  Here is my original sketch of the design.  I did the whole thing in one continuous line.

Quilts - Gordon 2015 074Here is the sketch for the leaf design around the star.

Quilts - Gordon 2015 075I think it turned out rather nice.  I hope he thinks so too.  I’ve called and left him a message its finished but he hasn’t called me back.  He might be out of town or something.  There are alot of retreats going on around here.  Maybe he’ll see it on the blog.  What do you think?  Were my choices good?

Bobby’s quilt finished

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This one was finished in May.  Bobby likes minimal quilting and always asks for it.  I thought a dark blue thread too dark on the white and white thread too bright on the blue squares so I chose a very pale, almost white, blue grey thread.  It was just right for going over both colors.
Quilts - Bobby 2015 001On this quilt Bobby wanted just a simple crosshatching except not on the embroidery squares.

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The corners of the snowball embroidery blocks are loose and were not to be stitched down.  I stitched a line just barely under the loose corners in order to have continuous lines of stitching.

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She wanted meandering on the snowball blocks but without any stitching on top of the design.  I used a clear monofiliment thread for the meandering.

Quilts - Bobby 2015 008This is a view of the back.  When she picked up the quilt she said it was exactly how she wanted it quilted.

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I’ve not gotten a lot of quilts finished this year due to so much time spent away from home and the problem with my arm.  I hope things get better soon.

Nancy’s baby quilt

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This quilt was finished in May but I couldn’t post about it until after she gave it to her grand daughter at the baby shower.

Quilts - Nancy 2015 001Its a crib size and her own design.   She likes panels in the center of her quilts and I help her work out the math so everything else fits.

Quilts - Nancy 2015 002I did simple line dancing on the blocks and center area and a swag design on the outside border.  I attached the binding ready for her to sew to the back.

Quilts - Nancy 2015 003This is a look at the quilt from the back.  It should be a well loved blankie for a special little boy.

Quilts - Nancy 2015 004I have another quilt to show but it too will be put on a separate post as a 2015 finish.

A month? Really?

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Yes, a whole month since I wrote the last post on the blog.  I’ve had several things going on that have required me to be away from home alot this past month.  I’ve had several appointments which kind of mess up my day. I get into a rhythm of quilting just as its time to turn off the machine and catch a bus. Traveling by bus is very time consuming. By the time I get home I’m usually pretty tired so I do things that don’t require a lot from me.  My mother is not doing well. She has trouble swallowing her food.  Its getting into her lungs and choking her as well as giving her pneumonia.  Needless to say I’ve been spending a great deal of time with her.

Anyway, I do have a quilt finish.  This one belongs to Sheila in South Carolina.

Quilts - Sheila 2015 014I had intended to do a different design.  I did a small area and wasn’t happy with the look.  I picked it out to do something else.  I think it looks nicer now.  I can save that design idea for another quilt at another time.  This is the main block area.  I did a square outline within the block to give it a surprise element. This mimicked the triangles in other parts of the quilt.  The center is treated as a square and the corners treated as separate parts.  Hmm… I’m not explaining it very well.  Click the photo to see it up close and it will explain itself.

Quilts - Sheila 2015 010Ok, here is another view to enlarge and see the stitching of the center treated as a square within the square.

Quilts - Sheila 2015 006After putting a feather design on the brown corner triangles I moved to the next triangles which are the green ones.  I put an angular design there.

Quilts - Sheila 2015 007The next area is the 9 patch blocks that got a line dancing pattern.  Its simple but works well with the angles of the design next to it.

Quilts - Sheila 2015 009Here is a look at part of the back.

Quilts - Sheila 2015 013Here is another look at another area of the back.

Quilts - Sheila 2015 012And….  this is the very center block of the top.  A special design for my friend and her hubby.  Please click to see it up close.

Quilts - Sheila 2015 005I have a couple of other finishes to show too but I’ll make them separate posts.  I’ve got just a few minutes before I need to catch a bus again and I want to put some groceries away before I go.

It is done

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I hope everyone had a good Mother’s Day.  I finally finished the quilt I had on the machine.  All the photos should be clickable for a closer view of the stitching.  Sorry but my table is only large enough to photo half a quilt.

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These are the thread colors I choose.  Chicory Blue and Jean Gold.  On the cone the color is very intense but on the quilt its subtle.  The thread color is just enough to show the design without overwhelming the fabric.

Quilts - Gordon 2015 049I knew I wanted to do a complicated design with ghost images for this quilt.  I chose to do a version of cross hatching that forms a diamond shape instead of a square.  Actually I’ve wanted to do this type pattern for quite awhile now.  So, I went searching the internet for quilting with diamond shapes.  I came across  this diamond post on Kathleen quilts.  Her style is very much like Krista Withers, Jenny Pedigo, Judy Madsen, Angela Walters, and a couple of others. Anyway that is the design I chose to do on this quilt.

Quilts - Gordon 2015 042All the quilters (the ones I’ve seen) who do ghost imaging in their designs use two battings.  Usually one batting is flat to keep the quilt stable and one is puffy for the faux trapunto.  This quilt I used Quilters Dream bamboo for the flat and wool for the puffy.  I’ve been wondering if two batting are really necessary?  I’m thinking I could get almost the same look with only the wool batting.  I’ll have to give that a try.   Do you see the dragonfly ghost image?

Quilts - Gordon 2015 041You may remember I had to frog stitch the first feathers because they were too flat.  Well this is how they are supposed to look.  I wanted the feathers to appear to be coming from behind the quilt to the front which is why the bottom ends are along the outside edge.

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Here is another photo of the ghost image and the diamond pattern.  I know its hard to see the stitching so just click on the picture.

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After I got started with the quilting, I immediately regretted choosing this design.  I even ranted to Kathleen how much I regretted using it.  I kept asking myself “What in the world was I thinking when I chose such a complicated design?”  Then, after a couple of days away from the machine, I had to laugh at myself because I really love the design.  I chose it for the challenge so why was I getting upset?  My problem was actually my straight line ruler.  It is just a simple piece of plastic that I found a few years ago.  I’m not sure what its original purpose was.

Anyway, after ordering a brand new (expensive) piece of plastic the whole design worked much better. I bought the “Janet Lee’s favorite” from The Gadget Girls.  Anytime I do a pattern for the first time it can be frustrating.  With practice it becomes easier.  I had forgotten the first rule of machine quilting…… practice practice practice.

Quilts - Gordon 2015 036My design is similar to Kathleen’s but just slightly different.  She can do the design in one continuous line and I cannot.  I could do only 1/2 a diamond at a time, turn the quilt, do the other half, start a new 1/2 diamond, turn the quilt, etc.  I chose to leave the center one blank instead of using a background fill.  Here is a look at the back but it really doesn’t show up much.

Quilts - Gordon 2015 046Many of my customers choose to use plain fabric backing so the quilt becomes reversible.  The back becomes a whole cloth quilt.  Other customers prefer a busy fabric which is fine too.  So.  Would I want to do this design again?  Absolutely.  I believe this design would work better on a solid color rather than a busy fabric.  It is definitely a “modern” pattern.

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