Starch and steam are my best friends on a quilt that needs a little help. Lots of piecing, hand stitching and over handling of fabric, can cause a quilt to change shape. Sometimes this isn’t known until a top is on the frame and the quilting has begun. This particular quilt was found by some friends at a garage sale for $5!! Oh my gosh, all that piecing! I finished it for their church raffle coming soon. All the starch and steam was worth the beautiful finish. I’ve got a video at the end to show the flattening process.
Before starch there is quite a bit of wave to the border.
This is after the starch and steam trick. I did have about 8 ‘sessions’ with the starch and iron. If it doesn’t happen on the first go over, don’t be afraid to do it again. After the first spray of starch, I only use water on the next rounds.
The finish is fabulous! I used thjis digitized design by Anne Bright Designs, Snowballs. It’s a great design that also settles down any of the puckering that might have been in the quilt top.
There you have it! If you’ve ever had this wavy border on a quilt top, check out my YouTube video.
Have a great day everyone!!
Last month I helped my cousin, Bonnie, make her family heirloom complete. She had given me the top months ago, but traveling and teaching kept me from getting it finished. Her county fair in July made it a priority! All of the bits and pieces of embroidery were done by her mother, Mildred. She used a churn dash block to frame the beautiful work done by her mother over many years. Her mother, my aunt, was a prolific embroiderer and quilter. There is no pattern to this quilt. Maybe these photos will inspire you to gather your family heirlooms into one big beautiful quilt!
Bonnie is the maker on the right and I know her mother is smiling from heaven!
I LOVE this quilt by Victoria Findlay Wolfe! It is currently being exhibited at the Festival of Quilts in the U.K. The exhibit is called, “Victoria Findlay Wolfe:Traditions Made Modern”. I’m so excited for Victoria and the adventures she is having. How cool to have an entire exhibit with your name on it!!! You go girl!!
I quilted this quilt for her last summer and had forgotten about it until it showed up in my Facebook feed this morning! What a surprise! It’s hanging in Birmingham, UK, August 10-13. I hope some of you will be visiting what looks to be a fabulous show!
Victoria and I met a few years ago when she visited my quilt guild in Lawrence, KS, and also did a workshop. I typically sew the way she does, improvisational and never follow a pattern! I loved her workshop and always try to get in ’15 minutes of play’ when I’m home and near my machine.
She had asked me to quilt this quilt in the spirit of artist, Matisse. I had SO much fun with each area, using bits and pieces from his artwork.
It’s such an interesting quilt and you’ll need to see it close up to really understand the Matisse influence.
There was an incredible amount of ruler work on this one, but then again, I LOVE ruler work, so WIN WIN!!
I hope you will get to see this in person one day. It’s just fun! Have a lovely weekend folks, especially those of you attending the Festival of Quilts.
This is a recent finish by my customer, Leanne. I love the colors and the mix of fabrics! Jewel tones in cotton, linen. wool and silk. The design is by Lynn Schmitt Gallagher, A Different Box of Crayons. Definitely one of those quilts that needed to be touched in every special piece. Details…..2 layers of batting, 80/20 on the bottom and 100% wool on top, Glide thread in multiple colors to match each fabric. Enjoy the pictures!
I love this quilt, designed by Jenifer Dick. It was quilted last year and she will be teaching this quilt and others next year at the Road to California show. See her website for more details.
Simple quilting for a simple, yet powerful message.
Only ruler work on this quilt! Thankfully, I LOVE ruler work!
Have a wonderful weekend, be kind.
Many times a quilter needs to keep a quilt “under wraps”. I’m good at it, but it’s probably the worst part of my job! I have learned to quilt a top, then absolutely forget about it. This quilt is a prime example! Quilted for Mary Kerr’s latest book, “Twisted: Modern Quilts with a Vintage Twist”, it’s at the top of my favorites list!
In this book, Mary takes abandoned blocks and vintage fragments, then incorporates them into modern settings to create one-of-a-kind quilts. She then sent them off to longarmers across the nation, with no rules, to finish them as they desired. This book is a wonderful collaboration of many talented quilters. I am thrilled to be a part of this group!
Mary asked everyone to send pictures as we worked, so there are progress pictures from each quilter. We also shared our reasons why we quilted it a certain way or what inspired us. My ideas originated from a dream I had about the quilt! It has to do with “stirring my coffee”, hence, the appropriate title!
This top was very simply created. Mary used vintage Dresden Plates and treated them as applique on white fabric. I was thrilled I had taken a photo of the original top right from the box! I must have stared at it for a month, all that white space!!! I had so many ideas of complicated background designs. Then, I realized the simplicity of this quilt was just that, KISS……..keep it simple, sister! Thankfully, I had a dream. I was stirring my coffee, and the cream would NEVER stir in. It was making me crazy; but in the morning, I knew this had to do with swirls on those Dresden Plates. I got started right after that dream!
I used various swirls from my ProStitcher computer on my Handi Quilter Fusion long arm. The lines were created using the channel locks on the machine. My greatest feat was creating the half circle swirl in the largest area of the quilt.
You can see the texture on this quilt is outrageous! Trust me, I wanted to keep touching it; and I did, right until I packed it up. The back is just scrumptious texture!
One last closeup on the swirl. I used Glide, white thread, and two layers of batting, Hobbs 80/20 on the bottom and Hobbs 100% wool on the top. If I know a quilt will be in a show or photographed for a book or magazine, I will use double batting. You can see from my pictures that it’s automatic trapunto, without the work!
NOW, if you enjoyed this story, there are 21 other stories in this fabulous book that are must reads! You can order it directly from Mary on her website. Have a wonderful holiday weekend!
YES, it can be done! I learned this method from a wonderful class with Sharon Schamber. You can use starch and heat to reduce wobbles and waves from any quilt top, border, or block! I did this last week with a beautiful, vintage top. The quilt was machine pieced and hand appliqued in the blocks.
This is what the block looked like before I created the magic! There was at least 2 inches of extra fabric in the center. After I sprayed the block and ironed, it was almost flat. I was able to start stitching at this point with NO WRINKLES OR CREASES!
The final block looks like it was perfectly flat to begin with!
As usual, I used my favorite quilting rulers for lots of ditch stitching on this quilt.
Now, if you’re still wondering how this whole starch and shrink thing works, watch this quick video. I learn by watching, so I hope the visual helps you too!
Get ready for some incredible embroidered eye candy! This piece was sent to me by Freda, in Florida. She had asked if I could quilt the background. Of course, I said yes, she mailed, and I proceeded to stare at it for a few months because I was simply overwhelmed by it’s beauty. I will also admit I was somewhat intimidated by her meticulous stitching and was afraid to even start!
The original piece is 18″ x 24″ and the background is more of a cream color than white. Pictures never show the depth of color, but trust me, this one is amazing!
The pattern is called, “Flower Dancer”, and you can see from the photos it is absolutely stunning without doing anything else to the piece. You can order the kit at JDR Brazilian Embroidery. I finally felt the mood one day and decided I’d better get started!
I like to quilt the outline of an embroidery before I do anything else. Using my ruler, I rest it against the hopping foot and move around the embroidery. You can watch my YouTube video, to see this in action!
I begin the design process by dropping flower motifs around the embroidery and a few butterflies to mimic the embroidery. I always like to duplicate an element from the embroidery or fabric, if quilting a quilt.
After all the motifs were placed, I used a whimsical fill of paisleys, swirls and bubbles, to give the feeling of movement or dance to the overall embroidery. One more picture since the sun was shining just right later in the day!
There you have it! A beautiful piece, enhanced even more with quilting! Freda plans to create a small, crazy quilt border. It will be a wall hanging for a special granddaughter. I hope you enjoyed my Flower Dancer adventure! YES, even I ordered the kit and will be checking Mary Corbet’s video library for the new stitches I need to learn! Have a fabulous weekend!
I finished this a few weeks ago for my dear friend, Gwen. The pattern is called, The Circuit Rider, by Jenifer Dick.
I needed to finish quite a few quilts for our upcoming guild show, so I was looking for a quicker way to finish an applique. I used the Bethanne Nemesh method of mid-custom quilting.
I probably saved 3 hours by NOT ditch stitching most of this quilt. Instead, I worked the feathers and motifs right UP to the applique. It’s brilliant! What a time saver!
Everything on this quilt is free motion and the echoing on the applique is simply “eye balled”. Once you get the rhythm and movement, it goes fairly quick! Total time on this quilt was 10 hours.
The back is a good illustration of how the motifs work up to the vine. No ditch stitching required!
Love those backs!!
You can see this quilt and about 100 others at our annual guild show, April 2nd and 3rd, in Lawrence, KS. Join us if you are in the area!
This amazing quilt was a labor of love and a year in the making by my friend and customer, Shari. The pattern is Sedona Star, by Sarah Vedeler. I used at least a dozen thread colors, all Glide brand by Fil-Tec. Finished size is 106″ square and contains a lot of my heart and soul 😉 Enjoy the picture overload!
I use my favorite quilting rulers for ditch stitching and as resistance against the hopping foot when I outline around the applique.
All of the inside quilting is hand guided. I changed thread colors to blend with each fabric. I like a balanced mix of ruler work and free motion curves.
I did use a digitized computer design for the wide border.
The back is almost as beautiful and definitely looks galaxy-like, fitting of the title, “Sedona Star”.