Champagne and Caviar

“Champagne and Caviar”, is the title I’ve given to this spectacular quilt! It began as a 100 year old, silk embroidered tablecloth, purchased from an estate sale. Unfortunately, I have no information about the maker, who is the major artist on this work!

This tablecloth was incredible when I found it! Exquisite handwork comprised of drawn thread work and a padded satin stitch using silk thread. Seriously incredible because the maker essentially DOUBLE embroidered this piece. First, with a white cotton floss to create a trapunto effect, then she stitched over the first embroidery with silk floss. Of course, pictures don’t do it justice. I will hope you might see it in person someday!


To begin this quilt, which is 75″ square, I stitched around every bit of embroidery and thread work. I backed the entire piece with white satin to give it a subtle sheen. I used the new Glide Cream color, 60 weight thread for the outlining. It’s a great super fine, polyester thread. There is a double batting in this quilt, Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 on the bottom and Hobbs 100% wool on the top. This gives the quilt fabulous loft and a trapunto effect.


I started in the middle, knowing this focal point would be an important part of the quilt. I used Handi Quilters’ Preview Paper, which is a sturdy, clear plastic to audition and play with designs. I also used Cindy Needham’s Ultimate Stencil  to plan out the middle. You can see what I decided on in the next photo.


I worked different areas of this quilt depending on each days’ mood! I stayed on this for over a month, maybe 250 hours, which is really impressive if you know me! I get tired of working on the same thing and often hop from project to project. This was actually fun and I could hardly wait to get up every morning and work on something different.

At one point I realized I would need to start doing some embellishing as I quilted, so that I would make a show deadline. Yikes! Thank goodness I use Red Snappers, which made the loading process take just a few minutes each morning. I spent my evenings beading and my days, quilting!



Using all my rulers on this one! Especially the Kelly Bean for the curved cross hatch. I also use it to guide my hopping foot around applique.


Maybe the most difficult decision I had, was to eliminate some of the makers’ embroidery. It was the only part of this pristine piece that had some wear. I either had to repair the work that was missing or take it out completely. I spent many evenings taking out her work, which made me feel terrible. Once the quilt was finished, I loved that I made that decision!




A few more pictures of my process. This quilt is off to the Utah Quilting and Sewing Marketplace show in Sandy, Utah. It can be seen live and in person from May 4-6 at the South Towne Expo Center. Later this summer, it will hang at the Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival, held June 15-17, in Overland Park, KS. Finally, it will hang in an exhibit titled, “Gilding the Lily-Embroidery In Quilts Past and Present”, at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts. This is the exhibit it was created for. I’m so excited to show her off and particularly the historical value associated with this one of a kind piece. I’ve never seen anything quite like it!



This quilt is something I consider to be my masterpiece, as I wonder if I will ever have the patience to work on something so intricate again. I am beyond thrilled with the final product! I hope you enjoy this quilt in pictures and especially if you are able to view it in person. Yes, it is hard to believe that someone actually did all of this by hand, especially in our modern day world of machines. It was created in a simpler time, where TV and computers did not exist, when women used their spare time to perfect the handwork that they had learned from generations before. I also respect the imperfections and the fact that this piece is not square. I couldn’t bring myself to trim any part of this tablecloth and kept the shape as I found it. Maybe the maker is looking down on me and deciding that my quilting brought her work to another level, I hope so!

Thanks for visiting!


  1. Leave a Reply

    Eileen Bayda
    April 27, 2017

    Absolutely beautiful. You give me such inspiration to try new techniques. Thank you

      • Leave a Reply

        Rurh gerko
        April 7, 2019

        Like you, I despise altering prior exquisite work but thank you for respecting the original, I only wish I were that talented. Thank you for sharing.

    • Leave a Reply

      April 7, 2019

      Kelly, you have produced an heirloom upon an heirloom… magnificent.

    • Leave a Reply

      Christine D Pembrook
      January 13, 2021

      Kelly, I would like to make something like this. I have a tablecloth, lace, that I think would be beautiful. However, I don’t machine quilt. Can I hand quilt something like this, one batting only?

      • Leave a Reply

        January 14, 2021

        Absolutely you can! By hand, domestic or longarm machine, it’s all possible. Just takes some marking and patience with the quilting if you are stitching by hand, but it’s completely possible!

  2. Leave a Reply

    Jackie C
    April 27, 2017

    Another exquisite piece. I can’t wait to see the final pictures. Thanks so much for sharing your fabulous work.

  3. Leave a Reply

    Jeanette L
    April 27, 2017

    Unbelievable! Words can’t describe. A true work of art!!!

  4. Leave a Reply

    Lori Spaulding
    April 27, 2017

    This piece is absolutely beautiful! I love the before picture as well as all of the close-ups of the different areas, and your explanations of how you tackled it. Beautiful!

  5. Leave a Reply

    Patty Hecke
    April 27, 2017

    Kelly your talent is beyond words. This is more beautiful than I can say. Can’t wait to see it at the KS. Show! I’m going just to see this quilt!

  6. Leave a Reply

    Lesley Morris
    April 27, 2017

    Stunning work and a love of labor on this one. These are the pieces we quilt for. Kelly, would love to follow this quilt’s future, hope you post. Thank you!

  7. Leave a Reply

    Yanicka Hachez
    April 27, 2017

    This is fantastic and I am sure the original artist approve of your work. I have many antic linens and I am waiting for the perfect time to work on those

  8. Leave a Reply

    Martha Irish
    April 27, 2017

    This piece is absolutely gorgeous. I so admire your work. Thank you for inspiring me to try a small piece. Traverse City MI is a beautiful place to visit especially in the summer!

  9. Leave a Reply

    April 27, 2017

    Your work is stunning Kelly! This post has helped me get my inspiration back! I’m working on a quilt for my son and his wife right now and there’s some open space that had me stymied and quite frankly I’m gonna borrow a little something from your quilt to challenge myself! Hope you don’t mind!

    • Leave a Reply

      [email protected]
      April 27, 2017

      Thanks Linda-Kaye! Borrow away! That’s what it’s meant for, inspiration and ideas. Why re-invent the wheel??!

  10. Leave a Reply

    April 27, 2017

    This quilt is absolutely beautiful. I love looking at all the vintage pieces that are taking on new lives in the quilt world.

  11. Leave a Reply

    April 27, 2017

    Thank you for saving this beautiful, vintage piece…..and another thank you for sharing it with all of us! Your vision and work is awesome! I always look forward to your posts.

  12. Leave a Reply

    April 27, 2017

    Kelly, absolutely fantastic! What you do is unbelievable, so exquisite. I’m always in awe of your work. I have a question. Are you using a blue washout marker? I see the blue lines in one picture. If so, how do you remove them. And if so, it therefore appears you trust this product even on very old fabric items. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    • Leave a Reply

      [email protected]
      April 27, 2017

      Hi Lynn, thank you! I am usually very reluctant to use marking pens, but on this one it was necessary to get it all right! I used a blue, water soluble pen. I have found that a mix of baking soda and water will remove the marks, permanently. My dear LA friend, Becky Collis, tells me that the soda water changes the PH of the pen. Seems to work and the marks do not return like they do when using just water. Now, who knows what will happen 50 years from now? I guess I can’t worry about that! Where possible, I make small, registration marks only. Thanks for asking!

  13. Leave a Reply

    Irene Kennedy
    April 28, 2017

    I just love seeing what you are working on! This is truly a magnificent piece. I’m sure that whoever made this would be happy with your results. You have saved someone’s love of sewing and made it MORE.

  14. Leave a Reply

    Maria Gardner
    May 23, 2017

    Phew, you take my breath away! I’m tempted to embroider my own tablecloth just so I can follow your design. It is truly an heirloom for future generations. Thanks for sharing.

  15. Leave a Reply

    Jacqui delchau
    July 10, 2017

    I’m in awe of your quilting….I’ve just foubd your website thanks to Martingale books…..I have some beautiful old doileys that belonged to a dear friend and now have an idea of how to use them in a quilt? Your ribbons are so well deserved,congrats, Jacqui in Australia

  16. Leave a Reply

    Denise Nash
    September 2, 2017

    Absolutely spectacular! So much to see, everywhere you look on this beautiful piece.

  17. Leave a Reply

    December 1, 2017

    I came across this through a link. I saw the picture & started reading your blog about this table cloth. I usually read a couple of lines of a blog
    & go on. I was interested in how close you keep it to the original quilters vision. I was very impressed with your work and talent. I am also happy to see you care for the history and love that went into the original. Thank you for your love and care of the tablecloth.

  18. Leave a Reply

    LaVerne Schneider
    September 23, 2018

    Kelly Thank you for your very interesting presentation at the MOKA meeting this last weekend! I enjoyed all of it and learned so much! Your work is awesome! I am hoping to see U in Springdale on Wednesday. Thank U again.

    • Leave a Reply

      September 30, 2018

      HI LaVerne, thanks so much!! It was a great weekend!

  19. Leave a Reply

    Susan Ironside
    April 7, 2019

    From a former Kansan……Absolutely stunning!

    • Leave a Reply

      April 9, 2019

      Thanks Susan! Once a Kansan, always a Kansan! 😉

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