“Champagne and Caviar”, is the title I’ve given to this spectacular quilt! It began as a 100ish 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. Seriously incredible because the maker essentially DOUBLE embroidered this piece. First, with a white cotton floss to create a 3-D 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.
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. You can see what I decided on in the next photo. LOVE preview paper!!!
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!
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.
I’ll share the final photos in a week or two. I want her to get through her very first competition in Utah next week. I’m so excited to finally have had time to work something for myself. I’m sure it was the makers heirloom piece and now it’s mine. I couldn’t be more thrilled!
It’s been awhile! Websites are difficult to keep up with! I use Facebook for my daily posts, but for my friends who aren’t on FB, this is a great place to share my work. I also sell my rulers here and have information on my speaking and workshops. What did we do before social media!???
I’ve just finished another hankie, but this time I used the computer for 90% of the piece. It’s for an upcoming class I’m teaching in Australia (yes, I said AUSTRALIA!!!) I am super excited and finishing up so many sample pieces for the variety of classes. This is for a class called, “Prostitcher and Beyond”. The PS (as we call her in the Handi Quilter world) is a fabulous computer that some days does a majority of my work. She is my very loved, personal assistant, that goes by Patty Sue, when we are alone in the studio 😉
The hankie began very simply, stitched onto a piece of white satin, roughly 20″ square. The wonderful “pouf” is created by two layers of Hobbs batting, wool on top of 80/20. I always use Glide thread, this color is Cream.
White on white is tough to see in photos, especially when there is nothing there. Now, add some quilting magic and it starts to take shape! I forgot to take a photo of JUST the motif, but it was an outlined shape, without anything filled in. The digitized motif is by Kim Brunner and can be found here. It is free in my PS library! Over 1000 designs come in that library and rarely do I need to purchase anything.
I used a different fill in each space, bubbles, scribbling and some ruler work.
The tatting on this piece is unbelievable, which is why I chose it! OH, and that sweet butterfly!
The finish! I added a piano key border, also found in my PS library, created by Susan Manry.
I added glass beads to tack down the tatting. The dime gives an idea of the scale.
Each finished piece becomes my favorite! I’ll add this one to the list!
Another quilted hankie! Can you tell I love this combination of a satin backing with a hankie on top? I made this one for a class sample for Melissa, aka, MK Quilts. It all starts with the satin backing as the “frame”, with the hankie quilted right on top. I used a double batting of 80/20 Hobbs on the bottom and 100% wool on top.
If I am using a hankie with LOTS of white space, I use Cindy Needham’s Ultimate Stencils. Her square and circle grids make it a breeze to design almost anything. They come with an enormous e-book of possible designs that will help you through the process. I think I’ll be ordering her ultimate background stencils soon, especially helpful if you are a domestic machine quilter.
So, pair the Ultimate Stencils with my favorite rulers, and you’ve got a great combination!
I’ve found the rounded end of the rulers make for a great scallop! I always look to repeat a shape or design, so I wanted to repeat the scalloped edge of the hankie on the background. The slim ruler is 1 1/2″ wide, so it made the smaller scallop. Then, I used my Palm ruler for the larger scallop echo. The width on the Palm ruler is 2 1/2″, so it was a perfect echo!
As if there weren’t enough scallops, I also made them inside the scallop! I was going for an open and lacy look.
I like to sign my name when I can work it into a piece.
And viola! I just love these pieces. Fun and fasts to design and stitch. I usually design as it’s on the frame. Each section tells me what to do with the next. They always speak to me!
I spent an evening with beads and the TV. I like a bit of sparkle where it can be added.
This little beauty flew off to Florida the next day, ready to share for show and tell at a few guilds. I will be speaking and teaching in the Tampa, Florida, area in November. My sit down, domestic machine workshops will be following this piece and I’ll guide you in the process. It can be accomplished on the longarm or on your domestic machine. Hope to meet you somewhere in my travels!
I have TUBS of linens and embroideries! One of my good friends, Shelley, mailed me this linen she found in an antique store recently. This did not get to the tub! I was compelled to stitch it the day I got it, but oogled over it for a few weeks before loading on the longarm. Originally, this was a 100ish year old pillow cover.
Having found a few of these, they date somewhere between 1900-1920. They were pre-printed/tinted pillow covers and were dyed in the areas where you would stitch. Some ladies chose to embroider the whole area, while others did smaller areas, leaving some of the printed colors showing. A few companies that produced these were Richardson’s, Royal Society and Vogart. I love when the selvage has the name of the maker as it can also give me clues to the date of the embroidery. This one did not have that information.
This treasure had quite a few stains when I received it, but I’m never bothered by smell or stains as I’ve experimented plenty with great results. My favorite cleaner is called Retro Clean. It is a powder that is dissolved in warm water for best results. You can find it in antique shops and quilt stores, also on the internet. I soaked this piece for 24 hours and it sparkled when it dried! The heavy stains were gone and it brightened the linen considerably.
I always begin by basting around the edge of the entire piece. I work like that is my frame. Then I stitch around all of the embroidery, as you would stitch in the ditch around applique. I use my very favorite palm size ruler to use as resistance against the hopping foot to guide the machine.
Once I have all of the outlining done, the fun begins! I did a very small fill in the center and the outside felt like it needed some flowing feathers to move with the stalks of what I think may be milo. I’m pretty sure I created the movement I wanted.
I always begin with what the linen is “telling” me. They don’t all speak the same way, but I definitely get a feeling from each one. The density of the french knots made me start with the pebbles and spirals in the center. YES, those are all french knots! The trapunto effect was caused naturally by using two layers of batting, 80/20 Hobbs Heirloom on the bottom and 100% Hobbs wool on top. This double batting will cause some drag on the machine when starting, but the effects are dramatic!
I made sure to work the feathers into the same direction as the stalks of milo. Beginning with a spine to follow that line, I worked the feathers right up to the original embroidery.
What was I thinking when I made a 1/2″ grid! It was a bit tedious, but the end result is fantastic! This ruler is so great for small areas. For design purposes, I often balance straight lines and circular forms. You don’t want too much of anything!
I can’t decide which is my favorite, the checkerboard or the feathers!
AAAAAAND the almost finish! I can’t ever wait to share these things, so no binding yet. For traveling purposes, I’ll put a tiny binding on so it lays flat in my suitcase! Have a fabulous weekend folks!
I LOVE these unique pieces of handwork! I found this one at D. Palma & Co. Mercantile last weekend and I just had to get it on the frame!
This style of lace is called Teneriffe. I sent a quick note to Mary Corbet, Needle ‘N Thread, who was a doll to identify this for me. I’m always concerned with correctly identifying handwork. I visited YouTube to see how this is done and WOW! Amazing!
The lace piece is about 10″ square. It’s so delicate, which intrigued me when I saw it. I did my best to press and give it a good starch. Those circle laces were rather loose, so they took a bit of moving, stretching and starching, to get them to behave!
My favorite background these days is satin! On this particular piece I used a double batting of Hobbs 80/20 on the bottom and 100% Hobbs Wool on top. You’ll see this gives some great loft to this piece. I stitched around the perimeter of the inside square first.
Next, I stitched around the outside edge, outlining around all of the lace circles. My hand gives you an idea of size.
Once I have all the outlining and edges stitched down, I start the design process.
I added a “piano key” border with my longarm ruler.
Beads and rhinestones add the finishing touch!
One of my most recent favorites! This began as a 100 year old pillow cover. Lovingly embroidered, most likely by a woman from Iowa. Because, only a lover of her state, would spend the time embroidering kernels of corn! OH MY GOSH, I love this piece! It was stunning in it’s original state, but of course, I took it to a whole new level.
These early patterns were color tinted, so the embroiderer could decide what parts they would like to stitch and could choose more or less embroidery. I’ve seen some that are very heavily stitched and some that have only been outline stitched. This is the way I found it, a little wrinkled and a few aging stains. I chose not to soak this one as I really didn’t know what might happen to the floss. I recently had soaked a piece in Retro Clean, which I consider very safe. I had also put Shout, Color Catchers, in the water. I still had bleeding from the brown floss. I sure couldn’t take a chance on this beauty!
When working these old patterns, I also remove this tiny edge with the pattern name and number, then attach it to the back when I’m finished.
Mostly, when I quilt a piece like this, I know what I’m going to do and the designs are free flowing. This one was different and seemed to need a plan. I have a few different methods for auditioning designs. I used Handi Quilter’s Preview Paper. It comes in a roll with a dark black line, so you don’t accidently take your design over the edge and onto your fabric. I use a black sharpie so it’s fast drying, then rubbing alcohol to wipe the slate clean.
I always start a piece like this by outlining the entire design. It stabilizes and sets the boundaries for me to start the background work. I used two layers of batting on this piece, 80/20 Hobbs on the bottom and 100% Hobbs wool on the top. This makes for an easy trapunto look without all the work. I also stitched inside the original embroidery and chose to go around each and every kernel of corn for some fabulous dimension!
And there you have it! Finished piece is 20″ square. All free motion quilted. I always hope the original maker would be thrilled with what I have done with her work. I think she would!
It all began this way. On the left, is a simply printed tea towel from my granddaughter. On the right, is the fabulous print that will create the border. HERE WE GO!
This may have been the most fun I’ve ever had in quilting! Probably because it began as the very simple artwork of my 3 year old granddaughter, Juniper. She printed it using fruit dipped in paint. I always say, I’ll quilt anything, but kid art is the BEST!
Appropriately keeping with the theme, I added this fabulous fruit print border I had picked up from my guilds’ “share pile” the night before. I made it 6″ wide, really not knowing where I might go with this project.
I wasted no time and got it on the frame as fast as I could. I didn’t mean to work on it for so long, but it did consume about 3 days. I’m guessing it might have been 15 hours of quilting. I had no pre-plan and designed as I worked. Thread color is always difficult for me. It scares the BA-G-BEES out of me to use a contrasting color, always afraid I will make a mistake and it will JUMP out of the quilt! Thankfully, I had a couple of longarm friends who encouraged me to GO GREEN, so I dove right in!!! (the color is Kiwi, by Glide)
I used a double batting of 100% wool because I wanted some big fluff! This was all stitched free motion, so I used round templates and eyeballed a lot of the circles. I wasn’t terribly concerned about perfection on this piece. I wanted to keep some of the child and whimsy that it was screaming!
Before going any further, I wanted to make sure to get a signature in. Since it is a collaborated piece, it deserved both our names AND a date!! Label and date your quilts! I like using my own handwriting. Try it, you’ll be surprised that writing with your longarm will look a lot like your regular handwriting!
Then there were the lines! I’m a little particular about lines, maybe OCD about them!!! I like them straight and I use my ruler, moving it along and beside the entire time. These are 1/8″-1/16″ over the entire piece. Eeeek!!!!
It’s hard to see, but I continued the line work into the border, adding a line of pearls at random spots.
After getting the circles where I wanted, lines where they needed to go, I went inside the painted circles and organically stitched where the paint had landed. I like the juxtaposition of the inside and outside circles.
Then there were the rhinestones!! OMG!! I have waited for the right quilt to do some intense embellishing and this was the one! Once again, hard to see in photos, but I placed about 150 stones throughout. This was the icing on the cake!
At this point, I was so thrilled I had put our names in before I even started. I got a little carried away and before I knew it I had filled in all the space! I let a few circles and ghosted shapes flow over into the border. I love asymmetry and use it whenever I can.
Here is the finished piece before I stretched it onto an artists’ canvas, next step! I wanted it to hang and be self framing, so the hubs helped and we stretched it over a canvas, stapling to the inside as we stretched. The hardest part was making sure we kept it centered and equal on all sides. I had also quilted it to the edge, so I had plenty of excess fabric to use for stretching.
And who doesn’t love a back!!! Oh my gosh, I may love it even more!
I always believe the back of a quilt tells the real story. You can see things you will never notice on the front. I was sad that by choosing to stretch on the canvas, I lost the back view! Ah, well, “C’est la vie!”
Before I let Juniper have it back, I hung it on my wall for a few days. I decided if it were me, I might hang it sideways. Pieces like this are so great, they can go a few different ways and you can have a new piece of artwork each direction! I hope you enjoyed this piece and are inspired to re-purpose a special fabric from a child. I guarantee fun!!!
My sweet friend, Denniele, Louanna Mary Quilt Design, brought me this beautiful antique linen all the way from New Zealand. What a treat! I should also mention, she bought it in an antique store on KANSAS STREET! (I live in Kansas) I have scads of linens, but this one was calling me, NOW! I popped it on between some customer quilts yesterday and OHHHH, what a finish! I can’t get over how it glows.
My layering on the longarm is as follows, backing, double batting of 80/20 and 100% wool, Dupioni silk and finally, the vintage embroidery. The double batting always gives a piece the look of Trapunto, without any extra work.
I use my small, palm ruler as resistance against the foot, to outline around the edge of the linen and do some ditch stitching. It’s small, fits your hand perfectly, and the rounded ends won’t get caught up like the annoying corners on a straight ruler. You can order them here, Kelly Cline rulers! I usually ship them out the same day you order them, so you’ll be a ruler pro in no time!
This is before any stitching. Sweet to begin with!
Stitched down and then I started with a few lines of echoing.
And there you have it! These linen pieces stitch up in an afternoon, unlike days on a large quilt. Maybe too, they are just beautiful! A wonderful presentation for someone’s amazing handwork from the past. I always hope they would be proud!
This dresser scarf was more of an experiment than anything else. I wanted to see how tiny I could quilt this wine glass/orange peel pattern. The linen is only 6″ x 12″, if that gives you an idea of small!
The layering of this piece is backing, a layer of wool batting, satin and linen. I always like something special to show through the cutwork. I usually don’t mark on my linens, but I had to for this pattern. I created a grid of 1/2″ squares with a purple air erase pen.
The next step is to stitch down the outer edge, which I stay inside the satin embroidered edge so I’ll have an area to trim off at the end. Before I start quilting, I also outline all the embroidery. I loved this piece because it was so perfectly stitched. I can’t even imagine doing the work that these ladies did so long ago!
This gives you an idea of scale. I’m thinking this would be easier on a domestic machine, but on a long arm it’s really tedious. I usually love working small, but this was crazy small!
Each linen has it’s own personality, which means every edge is treated differently. After I took it off the frame, I used a curved scissor to stitch as close to the stitch line, on the back, as possible.
This shows the completed back. You can see it’s cut close! I don’t worry about the raw edge on this one because I plan to mat and frame it soon.
Hard to see, but I added a few rhinestones in the tiny flower middles. I always try to pop in a few beads or sparkles to finish a linen.
Such a sweet little piece that was given new life! Have a wonderful weekend!
I antiqued through the states of Iowa and Nebraska last week. My favorite shop was found in Missouri Valley, Iowa, at Missouri Valley Antiques, just west off Hwy 29. I had a particularly good time in this booth!
I spent a whopping $23 and I gathered at least a dozen linens. My choice to pop on the frame when I got home, was this beautiful, drawn thread embroidery. I started with a cotton backing, then a layer each of 80/20 and wool batting, then a piece of shiny, blue polyester.
Next, I put a piece of lightweight, shiny white poly. I always like a little bit of shine under the open work. I could have left the blue to come through, but I wanted to tone it down just a bit.
I use the channel locks on the long arm to square the linen to the backing. The locks allow the machine to literally lock into a horizontal or vertical track, therefore keeping my stitching square. I spray a bit of water on the linen so that I can manipulate and slightly stretch the piece to square.
I stretch and stitch with a vertical channel lock in this photo. Lots of one handed work on these linens. I also let the embroidery or cutwork guide my lines.
Next, I cutaway any of the excess underlying material.
I like to outline all of the embroidery and cutwork before I start to quilt. It’s like getting my canvas ready for the paint! At this point all of the prep work is finished and the quilting begins.
You can see at this point how much pouf there is to the drawn thread areas that weren’t quilted. This is where I like to add glass beads, then I always yell, TA-DA!