Saturday, December 1, 2012

A T-Shirt Adventure

Today I want to share my latest quilting adventure. I call it an adventure because this quilt took me places and led me to create quilting designs that I had never done before.

The quilt top was done by a wonderful lady named Kit who made the t-shirt quilt for her friend, Faith. The t-shirts were all Harley Davidson tees that had belonged to Faith's late husband. It was very evident how much time and love had gone in to creating this work of art. It was my job to make the quilting as special as all the memories that came with the 30 t-shirts that made up this very large quilt.

Take a look at the finished product....

Every block is different, so I want to show closeups of some of the blocks.

I used a dark brown variegated thread on the borders, sashings, and most of the blocks. However, some of the t-shirts were light colored and required the use of lighter threads.

The blocks were from Harley Davidson locations and events from around the country.

A little  wood grain background.

Of course, no Harley quilt would be complete without "Sturgis" tees.

Tire treads for the asphalt!

I hope Faith enjoys the special memories from all of these t-shirts. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to add my interpretation of the blocks in the quilting designs.

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Piece of the Past

As much as I love doing machine quilting for myself and others, I am finding that I also love meeting people and hearing their stories behind their quilt tops.

The quilt I am going to share in this post is from my friend, Jennifer. She found this quilt top (among others) in her late mother's things. The top had been hand-pieced from small blocks cut from handkerchiefs, many of them silk. There was a note attached that indicated that the handkerchiefs had all belonged to members of one family. The top was small (only 39 inches X 56 inches). Jennifer came to me to see what could be done with the top so that it could be enjoyed by her and others in the family.

Initially, I was terrified at thought of machine quilting on such a delicate hand-pieced top. However, after talking with some of my quilter friends, I came to the realization that my fears of "devaluing" the quilt top by machine quilting were trumped by the need to help write the "next chapter" in this quilt's story. This quilt needed to be finished so that it could be enjoyed and cherished by Jennifer and her family.

So, I lined the quilt top with white fabric to give the voile and silk fabrics greater stability. I chose a mint green backing and binding for the quilt. My quilting design was a medium density leaf/vine design because I did not want the quilting to compete with the wonderful variety of handkerchief fabrics.I hope Jennifer loves it as much as I do!

 As I worked on this project, it occurred to me that my quilting is so much like the creative writing activity that I used years ago in my classroom. I would have a student write a paragraph of a story and then pass it to the next student in the row to write the next part and so on down the line. It was always so much fun to see where the stories would lead with so many "authors" involved. And so it is with quilts...I just stitch "one chapter" in the story. Thank you, Jennifer, for allowing me to be one of the "authors" in this quilt's story!

Time to Catch Up!!

Wow! I just realized that over two months have passed since I last posted to my blog. It's not that I didn't have anything to post, I guess I just got lost in all the things I have been working on. Also, the beginning of the school year is a really busy time for me with my Instructional Technology Consulting work. So, here's what I have been doing....

First I want to share this wonderful quilt from my friend Margaret. This "sew inspired" spool design quilt has wonderful colors. The narrow strips that make up the thread on each spool have such deep, rich tones that I can just imagine the spools of thread on an old wooden shelf in the mercantile stores of years past.

As quilters, most of us want our spools of thread sitting in nice, neat, even rows. But it's when that one spool falls off the rack and begins unwinding that we find some of our most wonderful creations. And so it is, with the last spool (bottom row on the right) on Margaret's qult...the unwinding thread leads to a beautiful vine of leaves and floral elements.

In the empty blocks between the spools, I quilted an "echo" of the spool design. I just love the way it turned out!

Thanks, Margaret, for letting me be a "thread" in this wonderful creation!


Over the last few weeks, I have also quilted some tops created by my mother, Wanda. I guess I was in such a hurry to get them to her, I failed to take photos of both of them. But, I did manage to get pictures of this adorable hand-appliqued teapot quilt. The colors were so bright and energetic that I was easily inspired as to the machine quilting designs.

I was really pleased with the effect of the wavy quilting lines in the "picture frame" sashing around each of the teapot blocks.

This was such a fun quilt to work on, and as always, my mom's hand applique is impeccable! Thanks for letting me be a part of the work you do!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Latest Projects

I've completed two quilts in the last four days! My new longarm machine is sooo fast. And the motorized fabric advance makes it so easy to move back and forth on the quilts....without "an act of Congress!" It goes without saying that I'm loving my APQS Millenium!

I finished a 1930's style quilt with appliqued flower blocks for my friend Bernice. The border fabric reminded me of gross-grain ribbon, so I quilted piano keys with the stripes. You can't see the quilting, but it gives the borders a nice texture.

I carried the "ribbon theme" into the quilting on the narrow red border...

Next I quilted a top made by my mother called "Fresh Cut Flowers." It's a combination of hand applique with Shoo-fly and Churn Dash blocks. It had lots of negative space that I filled with feathers. I really like the look.

A close-up of the center medallion...

The quilting on the back of the quilt....

As you can tell, I've been busy! Now on to my next project....

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Beautiful Machine Applique

Wow! I can't begin to tell you how beautiful the machine applique was on this quilt!

Gloria's quilt, made from Kim Diehl's "Bittersweet Briar" pattern, was absolutely fabulous. She used an invisible machine applique technique that was very nice.

It was a real challenge for me to make the quilting as wonderful as the applique. However, I was really pleased with the finished product...lots of McTavishing in the background made the applique really "pop"...feather arches in the border triangles.

I apologize for the quality of this picture...I didn't have my glasses on when I snapped it with my phone! I guess I didn't realize that it wasn't in focus.

Some close-ups of the details in this lovely quilt....
So glad that these close-ups were in focus!

Thank you, Gloria for giving me the opportunity to work on your beautiful quilt. I can't wait to see it in the quilt shows!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I am usually one of those quilters that tries to "overthink" the design...taking hours and sometimes days trying to decide on just the right design to quilt. However, when I saw this lap quilt at Country Living Quilts in Flynn, TX, I immediately thought...."fossils."  Then the more I thought about fossils, my mind began to see fern imprints and snail shell designs. Without studying the quilt top for an extensive period of time, I knew I would need to use ferns and snail shell swirls to quilt it.

The full length photo just doesn't give you the full effect of the quilting, so here are some closeup views....

But I think the back is as beautiful as the top...

Thank you to Teri at Country Living Quilts in Flynn, TX  for giving the opportunity to share my quilting. I just loved quilting this wonderful quilt with the flowing design. If you haven't visited Country Living Quilts yet, you need to stop in...located half way between Dallas and Houston....just a hop off of I-45. It's a great shop with a good variety of fabrics, patterns, notions, and classes!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Spring in Bloom for 2013

I just finished quilting this gorgeous iris themed quilt for the Gun Barrel Quilters Guild of Mabank, Texas. It will be the Guild's raffle quilt for 2013. All of the blocks in the quilt were made by various members of the Guild. Raffle tickets will go on sale this month and continue until the annual quilt show in April 2013.

The combination of hand applique blocks and piecing make this quilt really special.

I used what I call my "Las Vegas showgirl feathers" on the pieced tree blocks.

The background quilting around the applique consists of two of my versions of McTavishing. I just love the look of these backgrounds. They provide the movement and interest that is needed in negative spaces.

The dark purple borders were quilted with overlapping arches with microstippling accents.

 And a close-up view of the center block...

Another member of our quilt guild is binding the quilt...can't wait to see the finished product!!

Monday, April 16, 2012

A Piece of History

Thanks for joining me today.

I just had to share a project I recently completed for a friend. I created two baby-size quilts for her using blocks I was able to retrieve from an old quilt that her grandmother had made.

The old quilt was made from blocks cut from family members' clothing...overalls and jeans. The quilt was lined with several layers of flour sacks and tied with string. The quilt was in very bad condition and coming apart. However, I cut enough blocks and sewed them back together to make the center section of each quilt. I added a 1930's cowboy print border and used the same fabric for the quilt back.

Now my friend can share her grandmother's quilt with each of her sons through these smaller quilts. I'm so glad I had the opportunity to help preserve these "pieces of history" for her.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Wildflowers are in Bloom!!

It's a beautiful day here in Texas...sunny springtime weather. And that means wildflowers! Roadsides in Texas are bursting with color as the Bluebonnets and Indian Paintbrushes are in full bloom.

So this seemed to be the perfect time for me to post my "Bluebonnets Etal" quilt. Being a retired teacher, I find that I am often using "Etal" which is an abbreviated form of the Latin term et alia meaning "and others."

Now back to the subject...My "Bluebonnets Etal" quilt combines bluebonnet and other wildflower fabrics as well as other coordinating prints with a  "Turning Twenty" pattern. The colors and flowers remind me of the Texas Hill Country in the Springtime...and some of the wildflowers I see in our pastures as well. The quilting is an edge-to-edge pantograph design called "Linna's Charm #2."

This quilt will also be on display at the Gun Barrel Quilters Guild Quilt Show 2012 on April 27-28, 2012 at the Cain Center in Athens, TX.

I hope the wildflowers are blooming in your neck of the woods as well!

Spanish Cross Wall Hanging

Since my longarm machine is out of commission at the present time, I decided I would use the "down time" to share some of my other completed projects.

The "Spanish Cross" wall hanging has three hand embroidered crosses set in Attic Windows. I chose shades of brown and tan for this project because those colors remind me of ancient carvings in stone.

I worked on the embroidery on the cross blocks at night while watching TV...seemed like for weeks! Then the idea to use Attic Windows blocks came to me. I was picturing crosses carved into the stones of Spanish missions. The swirls on the background and border fabrics seemed to suggest the carvings of Spanish architecture or Spanish missions here in Texas.

This wall hanging will be one of my entries in an upcoming quilt show, "Birds of a Feather Quilt Together" which is sponsored by the Gun Barrel Quilters Guild. The show will be at the Cain Center in Athens, Texas on April 27 & 28.

In future posts, I will feature some other quilts that I will have in this show.

In the meantime...some close-ups...

Until next time...happy quilting!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

It's Finished!

It's finished!! The Primavera quilt that I have been working on is finally finished. I had posted photos of some of the individual blocks as I finished them last week. But now you get to see the final product. I am really pleased with the way the quilting looks on this quilt.

All of the wonderful hand applique is the work of my very talented mother.

Take a closeup look at some of the other blocks in this quilt.