“Under the Needle” Quilters Style

Well haven’t got up to too much this past weekend. The weather has turned sunny and warm here in Victoria but other than working and sewing not much else is going on. My partner and I were invited to a pot luck by a neighbour on Saturday night. At the townhouse complex where I live there is a clubhouse that can be rented for a very reasonable rate. My neighbour is a member in a band that plays songs from the 50’s and 60’s. I helped make the banner for the band called Trilogy. It was a lot of fun singing along to all of the old songs I remembered as a child. Of course I remembered afterward that I didn’t take any pictures. There were people there who took some videos so I will see if I can’t get hold of some pictures and video to post here.

I am currently making a quilt for someone who has to undergo an operation due to cancer. It started out as a lap quilt but it kinda grew. Now I think it will be almost a bed quilt when it is done. I got my inspiration from a quilt in a book that was scrappy and used 2.5 inch strips cut into 5 inch logs. I have so many scraps so I thought this was a good idea. I didn’t totally like the design of the quilt in the book just the “brink” idea so I changed it up and started designing on my design wall.

The Light Within-1

Not sure why I didn’t stop there but I wanted more colour so I continued. Before I knew it I had to move the quilt from the design wall to the design floor. I am happy with the way the quilt is progressing but it is now pretty much queen sized. Oh well. To top it all off, even though I used many scraps I still have a ton of 2.5 inch strips left!!

I worked on it until late last night (that is about 10:00 pm for me these days) and was up early this morning trying to get things to a place where I could get the top and strips up off the floor but at the same time not lose all of the hard work I did with the colour placement.

The Light Within-2

Here is a shot of the quilt top with the brinks sewn into rows which I completed last night. As you can see there is not a lot of room to walk around this sucker so I needed it up off the floor so I could walk in my studio. As mentioned it kinda grew but I am liking how this is turning out. Not sure if the person I was making this for could use a bed quilt or if I should make another quilt that is more of a lap size. We’ll see how this turns out and how time permits. I wanted a project that was fast and easy and used up my scraps. Well, this was fairly easy, used up my scraps but fast…not so much. It takes awhile to see 33 2.5 inch rows  that are 82 inches long together even with all of the seams being offset. Thank goodness they are!!

Behind every quilter there is a huge pile of fabric!

Happy Quilting


Coming Up with Quilting Designs

I have a client quilt on the frame and although I know what design I will be quilting on this one as it is just an all over design it got me thinking about how I come up with different quilting designs. My fall back design for all over is a leaf pattern, leaves are easy to do and if they are not perfect that’s OK because nature doesn’t make perfect leaves either. It’s also the first quilting design I learned how to do.

When it comes to all over designs I try to take hints from the quilt itself, for instance one of my client’s quilts was green and red and had nature and leaves in a lot of the fabrics. The quilt design was simple so the meandering leaf design I came up with seemed to fit the bill.

In another quilt I did, a Bonnie Hunter mystery there was so much going on with the design and the many different fabrics I just kept with a simple all over echoed flower design. With that quilt I used a thinner thread (Superior Threads So Fine 50) as I just wanted the texture to show as the quilt was so busy as it was. When I was quilting that design I was thinking oh no not sure I like this but when I got that quilt off of the frame I really, really liked it. The quilt is now on the bed in the spare room.

As I have mentioned in previous posts I don’t do much pantograph quilting as I prefer to quilt from the front of the machine but I did piece and quilt a quilt for a client that was a cat quilt. This quilt called out for paws and I did do that as a pantograph as it would have been to hard to do this totally free hand.

Cat Quilt-1

There are other quilts though that just call out for more custom designs like a design in the blocks and another in the sashing and border. I find deciding on what to quilt in these particular quilts more difficult as the choices are so vast. I try to take some clues from the fabrics used but I will admit sometimes I have to drape those types of quilts over my stairwell and stare at them for awhile well I go looking for inspiration.

The next quilt on my list to quilt is a Judy Niemeyer Bali Wedding Quilt. I started the top a few years ago and worked on it while going through cancer treatment. I finished the top two years ago and it has been sitting in my “to be quilted” pile ever since. Time to get this one finished I think so I have been sketching out ideas on what to quilt where. I will post pictures of that process in a future post. Meanwhile here is a picture of the pattern. I bought the extra papers for this one and made my top queen size.

My latest favourite quilting quote

I’d rather be stitchin’ than in the kitchen!






Another Client Quilt

I finished another client quilt. This client’s quilt was a sheer joy to work on. I have never seen such beautiful piecing. My quilting group teases me about how precise and clean the back of my quilt tops are but this client literally put me to shame. I didn’t take a picture of her seams but should have. Actually I have another one of her quilt tops downstairs so I will take a picture of that one later so you can see what I mean.

Donna's Quilt-2

Isn’t this beautiful. It is such a simple design but the colours in the batiks just make it sing. The client asked for an allover meander style. I went one step further (with her permission) and added a leaf design as leafs were a predominant theme in the batiks and quilted an all over loop and leaf design with some curls thrown in.

Donna's Quilt-1

Here is a closer look at the quilting design. I think the curves of the loops and leaves really soften up this very linear design. As in the last quilt I quilted I used Superior Threads King Tut thread on the top. I used colour 913 Jewel of the Nile as it has all of the colours represented in the quilt in the thread. I used Bottom Line in the bobbin colour 608 Periwinkle as she had a light purple backing which I just realized I forgot to take a photo of. I really loved how this turned out.


I found a list of quilting quotes which I really like so I will end this post with one of them.

A day patched with quilting seldom unravels.

Happy Quilting


More Inspiration Journals

I have been busy making more Inspiration Journals. This time I was asked to make a tropical one. I checked my fabric stash to see what I could come up with. I had some nice fabric with tropical scenes on it that I picked up in Hawaii a few years back and another with a Hawaiian sunset scene and some classic cars but it didn’t really do it for me. I finally dug up some fabric that had hibiscus flowers on it that I had picked up in Papeete  Tahiti. This was more like it. I only had one issue with it and that was the flowers were spaced quite far apart. I fixed that by cutting out individual flowers and used raw edge applique to fill out the flowers.

I then thread painted the flowers and the leaves. I do this before I put the backing on the journals as I don’t want all of the thread to show. I really enjoy thread painting. It is very relaxing as you just move the piece back and forth. When I am thread painting I use up lots of old bobbin thread. I am normally a very organized person but not so when it comes to bobbins. My bobbins are all in nice bobbin cases but I have no idea what thread is wound on which bobbin. When thread painting it doesn’t really matter if the thread is the exact same as the top especially if you are using variegated thread which I am usually using.

I like the way the journal turned out. I sewed seed beads onto the hibiscus stamens as an embellishment. The journals have plain paper inside and also some pockets made from scrapbook paper so you can add pictures cut out from magazines or maybe drawn or doodled on other paper.

I took more pictures this time as I was assembling this one so I will be writing a pattern soon. Well onto complete more sunflower ones.

Happy Quilting



Meandering Magic

Meandering Magic

I just finished quilting a quilt for a customer. It was a fun quilt to do. I believe the quilt is to be a wedding present and the couple requested red and green. My customer used a variation of the yellow brink road pattern and I think the quilt turned out to be beautiful. My customer wanted an allover design quilted on it and I thought it could really do with leaves as there are many nature fabrics used in the quilt top. The border is a green forest and there are many fun fabrics included throughout the quilt.

I personally love using Superior Threads King Tut line of variegated threads for these types of quilt tops. There is so much going on in the quilt top design that the thread is able to move and blend with the different fabrics but still be visible without getting lost in all of the different fabrics. On this quilt I used 987 English Ivy on the top and for the bobbin I used Superior Threads Bottom Line 613 Sage.

I don’t do a lot of pantograph quilting designs as I do prefer to work from the front of my machine. On this quilt I used a variation of a design from the book Meandering Magic  by Suzanne Earley. I first saw her demonstrate this technique on QNN video a few years back now. Even though I took my inspiration from the book the quilting always ends up looking different. I love that about free hand quilting. Everyone has their own signature style just like everyone has their own unique handwriting.

Here is a look at the quilt top, I couldn’t get it all in as it was raining today and so I had to take the pictures inside.

Diane Customer Quilt-1

You can’t really see the quilting in this photo however it does show off the design of the quilt top nicely.

Diane Customer Quilt-9

This picture shows the quilting better. I am really happy with the way it turned out and I am hoping my customer will be too.

I have heard Angela Walters say in the craftsy classes I have taken of hers that if you make a few mistakes or some bobbles that are OK but not perfect when you get the quilt off of the frame you will never notice them. I have found this to be so true. When you are working on just 10 inches at a time you are so aware of every stitch that is just not quite as perfect as you would like. Once you get the quilt off of the frame and you look at the overall effect it always amazes me of how wonderful it always turns out.

My client choose an Ikea fabric for the back and I think it is budgies. It looks really cool though and you could almost use this as a two sided quilt if you so chose.

Well on to the next quilt which will be leaves again but this time quilted in purple. I haven’t decided whether I want that one as meander quilting such as above or something a little looser like a leaf with a loop de loop. I will figure it out once the quilt top is on the frame.

Meanwhile happy quilting!