Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Big Bold in Black and White

Hello and welcome, thank you for taking the time to stop by to see what quilts I have been working on. Mary has been busy sewing up a storm in readiness for her grandson's 21st birthday.

A fabulous collection of black and white fabrics set out in strips and circles. Mary gave me free range to custom quilt this big quilt.

Ditch stitching the sashings and around each circle takes time on a big quilt (and small quilts too :-) but it is so worth it. Mary's grandson's quilt measures 84" x 92". Black backing and black batting.

After the necessary ditch stitching it was onto the fun stuff! Like swirls on the appliqued circles, double straight lines set on the diagonal, horizontal 'organic' echoing of the strip sets, some half circles in the background of the black strips. The black thread I used was a YLI thread called ' Darkula'.

 Mary had used white thread for the embroidery , this set me up for quilting some random circles and half circles on the border filled with a swirl, as well as 'hap hazard' twin echo lines, creating, I hope a modern feel to the quilt. I triple stitched the outer part of the white circles to really make them POP!

This was another difficult quilt to photograph, the light has to be just right for the quilting to show.
Thank you Mary, I know you love how it turned out, lets hope your grandson does too.

Looking through some photo's the other day I found this cute one of Simon and his sister when they were babies.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Custom quilting Mariners Compass quilt and a Round Robin Quilt.

Two very different quilts to share today, a Mariners Compass - custom quilted and a Round Robin quilt - all over quilting design (E2E). First is Annah's Mariner's Compass made for her son who is a sea captain.

Although Annah wanted custom quilting she didn't want it densely quilted. There are lots of bulky seams due to the foundation piecing. This quilt measures : 66" x 70".

To keep the 'compass points' dimensional I quilted only the dark side with a simple pattern meander.
There are parts quilted and others that only have the required ditch stitching. The background was easy as I just followed the vertical lines of the linen fabric.

Annah loved the addition of a cable on the border. This was marked using my white Bohin chalk pen.
The part of this quilt I am most excited to share with you is the most perfect backing fabric, an old world type map...........yes New Zealand is there!

A couple more photo's of the back......................

                               Thanks so much Annah, I hope your son loves his quilt.
                                          Next is Janette's Round Robin quilt.

Janette asked for all over quilting (E2E) in a contempory design. I used a square spiral design and a putty coloured thread called Mother Goose.

Janette told me the appliqued baskets were left over from a project from several years ago that she threw into her 'Round Robin bag'. The quilt grew from there with friends adding their part.

Winter seems to be hanging on even here in 'The Winterless North', lucky winter is my favourite season! I am filled with the wonders of nature and all her beauty not matter the season.

Thank you for stopping by, here's hoping your weekend is enjoyable. I will leave you with some very wise words, something to ponder.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Down on the Farm!

                                                         Hello and welcome!

        Mary made two country themed quilts and asked for custom quilting but no dense quilting.

A McKenna Ryan design called "All Cooped Up". Mary wanted the backgrounds quilted the same as the patterns, which was basically following the patterns on the batik fabrics. Mary had blanket stitched all the applique shapes, usually with McKenna Ryan design you don't do this. How McKenna finishes the edges of the applique is at the quilting stage with a Monolon thread.

        I used Madeira's Monolon thread for the background quilting and the stitching in the ditch.

When you have feathered creatures a feather border seemed the perfect partner. For the border I used a rust coloured Glide thread.

 I liked the peeper, it adds a 3D dimension that I did have watch I didn't catch under my hopping foot.

Back lovers..............................

Mary's next quilt, Home Sweet Home, a selection of country houses. Really beautiful blanket stitch.

            Ditch stitching, loose background filler of loops and leaves and a leafy border.

                                                          I love this house best!

                                           Until next time, Simon says have a restful weekend!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sue's Charming Sampler..................

Howdie friends! It's full steam ahead in my studio, some lovely quilts coming through the door, many come locally from here in Whangarei, some from the South island, Auckland and even Australia! Sue and I have been following each others blog for some time now, so when Sue emailed me all the way from Australia and asked if I would quilt her charm sampler I was ever so so happy to say yes!

Cheerful batiks set off by a solid black background. Sue gave me free range only to say she didn't want dense quilting. I was keen to use a contrast thread in the black areas. Plenty of ditch stitching to crisp up Sue's  near perfect piecing.

Because this was a sampler quilt I treated each block separately but quilted similar designs in each block to give a nice cohesion throughout the quilt. You will notice pebbling, sun-like designs and straight lines.

I found it very tricky to get good photo's, this is a common problem for me when photographing black quilts.

There was so much more quilting I was itching to do, a bit more here and some more there! I had to be well behaved and put the handbrake on from time to time!

Sue chose a wool/poly batting which helps show up the textures. I used a Gunold variegated thread.

Thanks so much Sue, here's hoping you love it! I invite you to pop over to Sue's blog *here* she has nearly daily postings that are always interesting and inspiring.

On a personal note my two youngest children have had birthdays this month, my youngest turning 17 & my eldest boy turning 19. This year has had me really pondering where the years go and why must they go by at high speed?

My Camo Boys!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Feathers, cross hatching and stitchery.

Hello poppets! Two quilts to share with you all, first is Janette's simple yet effective quilt.

No intricate piecing going on in this quilt, a square of lovely tone on tone taupe floral fabric, sashed then a border absolute playground for the quilter!

Janette wanted fairly dense quilting to create textures, so I let loose with my hand guided fabulous fancy filigree free flowing feathers! Say that fast ten times!

I don't mark spines or feathers, I just turn the machine on and quilt! Usually with some good music going.
For the rich ruby red sashing I quilted a rope. The brown border was framed with more feathers.

                    So much fun to let loose with this type of custom quilting, thank you Janette!
Next is a sweet soft quilt, featuring stitchery and simple piecing, made by Kerryn for a shop sample at The Country Yard.

Kerryn used Michelle Ridgway's Alphabet stitcheries for babies. She has created a beautiful soft quilt that will surely become a treasured heirloom.

Wanting to keep this quilt soft and not too 'heavy' looking and also a classic timeless look I opted for cross hatching over the stitcheries, whenever I do this I always use a very fine thread so as to not detract from the stitchery.

The feature fabric was quilted with a simple meander and the sherbet coloured squares I quilted orange peel, the borders received swirls. What a soft pretty quilt for a boy or a girl and a cuddly flannel backing. Thank you Kerryn!

Speaking of The Country Yard I have finished a redwork stitchery for a sample. The design is by Wildcraft Farm. I used Aurifil 12 weight red!

For a change I decided to staple the bordered stitchery onto an artist canvas. I am quite happy with the finished result.

Part of my fancy high tech storage system for my Pantograph patterns (all over quilting) I use long cardboard rolls. I cut these to about 30cm in length for storing my patterns neatly. I bought one home from a fabric shop the other day and lay it on the floor ready for when I had time to cut it up. I snapped the 'Supervisor' thinking he could stuff his face into the roll!

"Surely I can fit in here?"