Riley Blake Challenge – A bit of Tradition, A bit of Whimsy

Riley Blake Challenge November 2013 2

A traditional basket, the basket and background quilted first, then the Riley Blake print “flowers” added using Cristy Fincher’s applique’ technique. Get a load of the quilting texture! I love, love, love the way this little baby turned out! It is destined for a raffle of small quilts in the spring, but I’m sorely tempted to keep it…

Quilted Name Tag


Since February, there has been an item on my to-do list:  Create a quilted name tag that includes the logo of my guild.  That is 8 months that I have been writing that project on my weekly list of things to get done and I am thrilled to announce that I have finally crossed it off – project completed.

I wanted to include my business logo as well as my guild logo; I wanted to showcase my long arm quilting – since that is my business after all; I wanted to play with hexi’s.  I will be sporting it for the first time at my guild meeting tonight.

I have to admit, I’m a bit afraid it looks something like a barmaid’s undergarment… or maybe a bib…  But at least it is off my list and I won’t have to pay the $0.25 guild charge for “forgetting” my name tag!

Avoiding the Dreaded Wavy Border – aka, Preparing a Quilt for Your Longarm Quilter

Wavy Borders 2 June 2013I’m pretty new in this longarm quilting business and at about quilt number 30, I’ve encountered the dreaded “wavy” border. I knew this quilt was going to be a challenge to quilt when I had trouble getting it to lay flat to get its measure! The story behind it is wonderful – a quilt begun by a grandmother by hand, found years later and finished by a family friend for the granddaughter’s 21st birthday. I’m so honored to be part of this story.

A picture is worth a million words – gaze at the picture here, and I hope you will be convinced to measure through the middle of your quilt, cut two borders exactly that length and ease your quilt sides to fit that border on two opposite sides, then repeat for the remaining two sides. Look here for a full explanation (shared by Marcia Stevens and MQX copyright free): Nice Flat Borders – Eliminate the Wave

In the end, I did the best I could with this customer quilt – but the result could have been better with properly applied borders. I would love to hear from other longarm quilters – what would you have done to correct the wavy borders on this quilt?

Granddaughter's Quilt June 2013

Modern Quilting vs Traditional Quilting

Starburst at NW Quilters Show 2013

I recently spent three exhilarating days at the International Quilt Market in Portland, Oregon.  I spent half of my time in presentations and classes led by authors, pattern designers, fabric designers, and tool makers and the other half of my time wandering the unending aisles of vendors.  The presentations and classes were led by a “who’s who” in the quilting world.  My favorites:  Jinny Beyer, Angela Walters, Bill Kerr, McKenna Ryan, Jodi Barrows, Penny Haren, Tula Pink.  It was a hoot to see in person the “Sew-lebrities” that I’ve been following, in some cases, for years!  From my personal list of favorites, you might see that while I’m firmly rooted in traditional quilting, I’m also drawn to the modern quilting movement.

Where is the excitement?  Modern quilting!

What do I love about modern quilting?  Dense, texturizing quilting that forms an integral part of the overall effect, thanks to large amounts of light colored negative space in modern quilt designs.

Where is the opportunity?  Is there a place in the modern quilting phenomenon for the traditional quilter?  Can there be a melding of the modern and the traditional in a way that inspires traditional quilters with something new, while still honoring their traditional roots?  I think the answer is, “Yes!”

This is my “Starburst” quilt, inspired by “Spin Doctor” from In the Studio with Angela Walters, by Angela Walters.  The design is modern, because it is not created with identically repeated and placed pieces, though the general shape of each wedge is the same.  The fabrics, on the other hand, are traditional.  Many of them are Jinny Beyer fabrics and I used her book, Color Confidence for Quilters, to tie together burgundy, bright red, and gold (the colors chosen by my 13-year old son for his room).  This quilt allowed plenty of room to showcase my quilting in the large open spaces around the burst of colored fabrics.

How about you?  Do you think a melding is possible?  Please share an example!