A professional longarm machine quilter for hire and some of the work I've done.
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.
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.
I 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.
All 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?
You 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.
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.
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.
My 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.
Many 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.