The “Circuit Rider” Quilt

Customer Quilts | March 25, 2016 | By

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!


Sedona Star

Customer Quilts | March 11, 2016 | By

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 ūüėČ 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”.

Shirt Pocket Quilt

Customer Quilts | March 4, 2016 | By

I’m sharing a quilt I did for a customer from a couple of years ago. I saw it in my pictures the other day and every time I see it, I want to make it! Not that I have the time, but I love everything about this quilt. I’m sorry I don’t have the pattern name for you. I do know that my friend, Gwen, who made this, said it was difficult because the shirts were all different.

Gwen shirt 1


Her purpose for this quilt was to showcase some of her hankie collection in the pockets. It was a challenge to quilt in the placket area of the shirt, due to the thickness and the buttons that she left on the shirts, but I figured it out!


Gwen shirt 2


She also did the black embroidery around each pocket that gave it the finishing touch!

Gwen shirt 3

What a GREAT finish to a unique quilt! How ’bout that border!!?

Gwen shirt

Red, White and Blue……

Customer Quilts | February 12, 2016 | By

I finished this beautiful July 4th themed quilt last week. Made by Suzanne, it was a UFO she couldn’t even remember where it came from. I agree, it always feels great to finish a project you put away many years ago!






I kept with the patriotic theme and used lots of stars and shapes that were in the quilt fabrics. Lots of ruler work, which I love!






My lesson for today, don’t think too hard about the quilting! Let the fabrics be your guide.


“Belle the Squirrel, Circa 1975” by Jenifer Dick

Customer Quilts | February 1, 2016 | By

I’m so excited to share this fabulous quilt, designed by¬†Jenifer Dick. The pattern will be in the book, “The Applique Book”, by¬†Casey York.


When Jenifer brought me this top, I studied it for a LONG time. The only thing I knew for sure was that I would outline the squirrels. Luckily, the quilt started to speak to me and the rest came from that first outline. Thanks to Jenifer’s superb piecing and accuracy, I could design the squirrel outline and echo in my Art and Stitch computer software, then repeat it 36 times!



I think of all these squirrels running through a tree, and the nuts are falling from the top. There’s a varied mix of pebbles and “nuts”, falling from the top and getting larger as they get to the bottom.


Yes, I used all these colors!! I think my bobbin color was a medium gray. Changing threads was probably the most tedious part of this quilt, but necessary!



Before and after!


¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† I hope this quilt made you smile! It’s a super fun quilt and the book will be out soon. Watch for it!

squirrel book

Last Custom Quilt for 2015!

Customer Quilts | January 1, 2016 | By

This gorgeous quilt made by my friend and customer, Joy, was my last big custom finish for 2015! The pattern is a BOM, by Nancy Rink, called El Camino Real. It was a real challenge because I chose to do an intricate border, loaded with ruler work. I mixed free motion work with computer quilting. It hardly pays to work so hard in a busy fabric that will never be seen. Save the spectacular stuff for solid areas of fabric!
















Just for fun I measured how many feet of ruler work went into that crazy border……33 linear feet! Trust me, it was worth it in the end, but it almost drove me to drink ;)!! I love how it turned out and so did Joy. I look forward to many more beautiful quilts in 2016. Thanks for following my journey! Happy New Year!!!


Quilted Heirloom “Reticello” Linen

Customer Quilts | November 18, 2015 | By

I was completely intimidated by this 100+ year old linen! Probably because it was a commission piece by another fabulous long arm quilter, Nancy Fishpaw, at¬†Sew Easy To Quilt. ¬†Created by her Italian great, great, grandmother over one hundred years ago, this piece is very well done! To find out more about Reticello needlework, I contacted¬†Jeanine in Canada, Italian Needlework expert! Now, let’s get this process started. I will warn you this is a long post, with as many steps as I could remember to photograph.


I quilt on a Handi Quilter Fusion long arm. At times I use the Prostitcher computer, but this linen was completely free motion quilted, which means I drive it myself. I start with my backing, then layer two battings, Hobbs 80/20 on the bottom and Hobbs 100% wool on top. On top of the batting is a layer of satin, right side up, which will be my background fabric. The dimension of the linen is 22″ x 33″. As you might notice, the piece is slightly out of square and not very flat. I don’t get too concerned about the squareness of a piece this old, it is what it is, embrace it!


These close up pictures show the delicacy of this needlework. The satin backing will give it a shiny pop when the work is completed. I also found a Reticello tutorial on YouTube that will really blow you away!


Once I have the linen centered, I run a stitch across and down the inside drawn thread work, using the horizontal and vertical channelocks, so I can get it as square as possible.


I also outline all of the needlework so there is no movement. When I have this all squared and outline stitched, the fun begins! This is where I can really see the canvas and the designs start to swirl in my mind.


This wide open space stumped me for awhile. It usually helps to break down the negative space or look to the embroidery or needlework for some design features. That’s exactly what I did! If you’ll notice the close up picture above, I decided to mimic those shapes as much as possible. I rarely mark my pieces, but this one needed to be exact, so I used a disappearing, purple pen. Sometimes I will choose the blue water erase pen, but frankly, they all scare me just a tad. What will happen 100 years from now? Will that ink decide to pop out again???

I always start stitching with what I know FOR SURE. I knew this would start with the center circle and work out from there.


You can see things start taking shape. I like to do most of the outline before I fill, but you can also see I couldn’t wait to see what it would look like. I had to stop myself and continue with the outline.




After so much geometric line work, I thought it needed some softness, so I started adding some circles and arcs.


It was also such a traditional piece that I had to add some feathers. I really didn’t know what to do in that arc area at this point. After studying the lines for a bit and taking a few pictures, I figured out what to do next. Sometimes it just takes squinting your eyes!


Cream on cream is NOT the best piece to photograph, but I think you can see the purple pen to know my plan!




I needed an eye “resting place” around the crazy inside, so I stitched piano keys around the inner border.


At this point I worked the rays in the satin background by lifting the outer border and stitching underneath. I did use the Prostitcher computer to do this work because I wanted it to be exact and honestly, it’s just easier to let the computer do the stitching sometimes!


After I had all the rays created, then I went back and stitched the outer edge of the linen and did an all around traditional feather border. This is one of those beautiful corners of the needlework. To bring down the incredible pouf that was created by the double batting, I added glass beads at each intersection.


Here is the fabulous finished piece! The best part of the whole thing, that makes it “human”, is the NOT square nature of the corners. The entire piece was relatively square and then I got to the outer edge. I wonder if great, great, grandmother would be upset that it really wasn’t completely square? Or would she be shaking her finger at Nancy and myself for doing this to her incredulous linen?


My granddaughter walked in as I was photographing the back and you can see she loved texture! I always enjoy watching her feel a quilt.

Nancy has talked about binding and framing this piece. I can hardly wait to see the end result! Thanks for allowing me to quilt this special heirloom, Nancy!!


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!


Mexican Stars

Customer Quilts | September 25, 2015 | By

I recently finished quilting this beautiful quilt, made by my good friend, Gwen. The pattern is called Mexican Stars, by Annette Ornelas, at Southwind Designs. The chosen colors are fabulous and really make this quilt pop! Yes, it is 3D in some areas. I used one layer of 80/20 batting and Glide threads. Enjoy the show!

mexican stars 1


mexican stars 2


mexican stars 3


mexican stars 4


mexican stars 5

My grandson liked it too!

The “Ladies Dream” Quilt!

Customer Quilts | September 10, 2015 | By


This is quite a quilt! It all began when my cousin, Bonnie, showed me this lovely appliqued top she had gotten from an auctioneer. She had helped with an auction and he gave it to her for helping! I love a story behind a quilt! I just wish we had known who the maker might have been. She asked if I would quilt this for her upcoming grandsons’ wedding. It has recently been gifted, so I feel it can be talked about now!


I kept this quilt hanging for awhile when I first received it. I wanted to study the shapes and really figure out what type of quilting it needed. I wanted to keep in the era as much as possible. The workmanship was exquisite and I made sure to take photos of the back because even I didn’t want to cover it all!


YES! This is the back. Meticulous! Such perfect, tiny stitches. The back looked as good as the front!


I was more than excited to find this catalog on Ebay! It gives some history, but you can also find information on the¬†Mrs. Danner’s Quilts¬†website. Mrs. Danner created a mail order business for her patterns out of her home in El Dorado, Kansas. Founded in 1930 and later sold to Helen Ericson in 1970. Unfortunately, the owner has retired, so finding a pattern may be difficult. I’m guessing this top was made in the 1930’s or 40’s, due to the cotton prints.


This is a fabulous vintage photo from the catalog, showing Scioto Imhoff Danner stitching on the very likeness of the quilt I was quilting! I know I squealed when I opened the small catalog and saw this.


I started the quilting with the computer, something never imaginable back in the 1930’s! I wanted something big and beautiful in the negative spaces. I knew I should do some traditional cross hatching, which became somewhat of a nightmare across this large quilt!


Once I started the crosshatching, the quilt came to life! This may sound crazy, but I needed some vintage inspiration, so this quilt started my marathon watching of “Downton Abbey”. I bet I watched two full seasons during the quilting, which gave me a sense of the time period and put me in the zone. Hey, whatever it takes to keep going!


I used one layer of 80/20 Hobbs Heirloom batting and Glide white thread. I also only ditch stitched the applique as I didn’t want to go into the shapes and take away from the makers handwork.






I hope you enjoyed this quilt as much as I have. I quilted this a year ago, so it was fun to take a look at it again. It resides with a young couple now and I hope they will appreciate the history and enjoy it as much as their grandma and myself!

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