“Stirring the Coffee”, Quilt for Mary Kerr

Customer Quilts | July 1, 2016 | By

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!

Recycle an Antique, Hexagon Quilt!

Customer Quilts | October 22, 2015 | By

My quilt guild, Kaw Valley Quilters Guild, in Lawrence, KS, had Mary Kerr as our guest this week. Mary’s current book, “Recycled Hexie Quilts”, includes two beautifully transformed tops that I had the pleasure to quilt. The first one is titled, “A Summer Breeze”.


Mary used four floral applique blocks along with fragments of a hexie top. The finished size is 45″ square. This top had so many possibilities for design. I was so pleased with the results!









The second top, “Lovebirds”, was the marriage of a red embroidered block from the 1940’s and a portion of an 1890 mosaic top. I wanted to keep this simple and make sure the original embroidery would pop. The border was very simple, straight line quilting.






Don’t miss a Mary Kerr lecture if you get an opportunity. She has a vast knowledge of quilt history and can entertain her audience as she weaves her wonderful stories.


Kelly Cline and Mary Kerr


Finally, don’t miss this book! It has loads of ideas to reuse, repurpose, and recycle those hexie pieces from the past. Best of all, I’VE GOT ONE TO GIVEAWAY! Comment here for your chance to win by telling me if you had a quilting grandparent. Good luck! I’ll draw a name, Sunday night at 8:00 pm!


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