Embroidery contest at Urban Threads!

The premise was simple, and a really great idea! Everyone who wanted to enter could download a free embroidery design, and it was up to us how we wanted to color it. I stitched mine on off-white fabric with copper colored thread. I know, I know..... everyone does these things in black and white, right? But since when do I do anything "the right way"?

Between now and May 10th, you can vote for my entry at Urban Threads.

Then, I started painting it, and painting it, and then painting it some more. When it was all finished, I mounted it on the quilt machine and added outlines around all of the elements, and a ton of tiny stippling around the outside area. 

If you aren't too busy right now, I hope you will have time to vote for me at Urban Threads.

Here is how my finished project turned out, and I had soooo much fun doing it!

Please head on over to Urban Threads and cast your vote.... I really appreciate it!

Coffee Break

OK, I'll admit it.... I am a coffee-holic. I drink at least two pots of "leaded" coffee every day. I consider myself a professional (kids, don't try this at home!). Drinking this much coffee allows me to thread a sewing machine while the needle is going up and down -- truly my best skill!

In a moment of serendipity, I spotted some Debbie Mumm fabric with coffee (or maybe tea?) cups on it, and it was in the perfect colors to coordinate with my kitchen. The fabric followed me home from the fabric store, and I set it aside thinking that I would use it for placemats, or a table runner, or...... I had no idea.

Then, I spotted some coffee designs over at Urban Threads, and an idea just JUMPED together in my head. Must be from drinking so much coffee......

Since I LOVE to combine quilting and embroidery, I knew just what I wanted to do!

 

 I chose my three favorite designs from the Coffee Break Collection and started stitching. By the time I assembled the wall-hanging, I was on my third pot of coffee (just kidding)! I just love the way this turned out. All of the coffee really helped when it came to doing the tiny stitching though...

Adding borders made a nice difference, and was something that just sort of happened.

 

Here are my three favorite designs from the collection --- enjoy! Coffee lovers unite!

Bloom where you are planted

With spring finally arriving, I had the urge to embroider some designs with flowers in them. One of my favorite expressions is "Bloom where you are planted", so when I saw this design from Embroidery Library I knew I had to stitch it. Other designs from their garden department shortly followed, and then they just "grew" into a quilt! Isn't it amazing how a small project can just grow into something larger, and then blossom into a rare gem?

My favorite thing to do around embroidery is called scribbling. It's a type of micro-stippling that is very forgiving --- you just can't make a mistake!

I hope you enjoy the pictures below, and that all of your spring days are filled with flowers.

Route 66 Quilt

route 66

 I had the pleasure of quilting one of the Route 66 quilts from Crabapple Quilt Studio recently. What an absolute thrill! The proper name of the pattern is Vintage Tin --- perfect!

According to their description of the pattern: "Vintage cars, trucks and cycles cruise down Route 66 on this 63 1/2" x 69 1/2" quilt. Simple, simple stitching and easy piecing make this quilt a snap. The perfect gift for the men in your life! There's even a quilt label included that "reads" like a speeding ticket! A giant step into the past...how much fun is this??"

And I have to add how much fun it was to quilt! There was lots of hand embroidery, and all of the designs just added to the "flavor" of the quilt. If you have been considering getting this one, I strongly encourage you to do so right away. You will love every minute of working on it!

Elaine's Quilt

This quilt was partially hand quilted, and then Elaine decided to try stitching the outer border on her sewing machine. After trying to tackle something so large on her home machine, she called me to ask if I could finish it for her. Only half of her blocks were cross-hatched, and none of the sashes or cornerstones were stitched. There were lots of basting threads holding everything together, and grey pencil marks in all of the backgrounds on the un-stitched blocks!

Elaine had drawn a cable pattern around the outer border of the quilt, and managed to complete machine stitching the entire area. The remaining sections to be finished were all of the sashes, the cornerstones, and half of the cross-hatched blocks. The beautiful applique needed to be held in place too.

 

Elaine has been doing hand-applique for a long time, and has really shown that she is ready (willing and able!) to tackle any pattern she wants to try. With numerous projects started, she really wanted to see this one finished. It was going to be a gift for a special family member.

 

I duplicated her cross-hatching and chose the designs for her sashes and blocks. After the quilt was finished, she was thrilled with the results. Enjoy the gallery below to see close-ups of the blocks in Elaine’s quilt.


Painting a Rose

Inspiration struck the minute I saw this design from Christy Dillon at My Creative Stitches. I love roses, and this is one of the prettiest ones I have seen. This pattern has so many possibilities! I could see it as an edge to edge (the way it was designed), and I could see the rose as a motif in pretty white blocks done with a pale pink thread. I also started dreaming of a whole cloth, and ways to add a touch of color to the beautiful design. That's when the idea of painting it occurred to me.

I stitched out a sample at 12 inches high on a quilt sandwich. Perfect. I love the way the frame completes the design. I sat down with my acrylic paints, a bit of water, and some shaving cream. The shaving cream is wonderful for mixing with paint in a cup to thicken it just a bit. That helps keep the paint from bleeding outside of the lines. I mixed three containers of paint: one in pink, one in green, and one in bronze. Using three brushes (so I wouldn't have to rinse in between colors), I painted a base coat on each area.

For the pink section, I used the color as it came out of the bottle (mixed with shaving cream), and then kept adding a little white paint to make the pink softer and lighter. As I added each thin layer of paint, I blended with the previous areas to achieve a shaded appearance. When the pink portion looked the way I wanted it to, I used a new cup to mix white paint with a little water. Staying away from the edges, I added this thin color wash to the entire pink rose.

 

I used the same technique for the leaves, but instead of adding white to my dark green, I added light green to the shaving cream mixture to lighten it up. When the leaves looked the way I wanted them to, I used a new container with the palest shade of green and just a tiny bit of water. Again, staying away from the edges, I added a wash to the leaves.

The bronze frame was the easiest part since it is all one color. When it was done, I used a new cup and mixed metallic gold with water for a wash. Now my sample was complete, but what to do with it? I knew I wanted a wall hanging that would be approximately 40 inches square for hanging over my desk. I wanted to duplicate the look of the bronze border because I really like the way it is shaped.

I cut pieces of freezer paper and taped them together to make my 40 inch square. That way, I had something to draw on. I placed my newly painted rose sample toward the upper left side. It looked a bit lonely there, and as I said, I wanted to duplicate the bronze border. But.... how to do that? I enlarged the rose pattern by 54%, and then used just the one section that I wanted as a pattern. Using a freezer paper applique technique, I cut out my bronze pieces and laid them on my master pattern. This left me with quite a bit of open area.

It was easy to draw straight lines from the smaller bronze frame out to the larger intersections, and I knew that I wanted different shades of pink fabric for each of the blades. Since I was already working on freezer paper, I knew I would be able to cut up my master pattern and use those pieces for cutting the pink sections. For the green outer section, I pieced together 2 inch squares cut from 2 1/2 inch strips in different shades of green to match the leaves. I only pieced a section that was large enough to cover the open space on the pattern.

Green pumpkin seeds - Copy.jpg

I cut my pink sections with the patterns from the freezer paper master pattern, and sewed them together. Then I put them on top of the green section and added the completed bronze pieces. Using a machine blanket stitch, I sewed the bronze pieces in place and trimmed away anything on the back that didn't need to be there. Time to head to the quilt machine.

Using a Gammill machine with a Statler Stitcher, I chose the design that I wanted for each pink blade. I had to modify a design that I owner so that it would fit into the area. After the design was sewn in each pink section I micro-stippled around each design. I then used a white thread and micro-stippled around the open white area in the original rose section. The green squares stitched quickly with a point to point curve. I added the binding while the quilt was still on the machine, and finished it by hand when I was done.

I'm still pondering a couple of thoughts with this project. It would be easy to "open" the rose from the back and add a little stuffing to it to make it stand out more. Also, I'm thinking that some crystals may look nice in the larger bronze sections. I really think it’s amazing how our quilts go through the blooming process. Please feel free to give me your opinions.

Happy quilting to all, and may your bobbins never be empty!

Vintage Table Runner

What happens when you walk past a vintage piece of linen?  You stop in your tracks, back up, and take it home with you! This is the piece that I found, and it just spoke to me.... I envisioned quilting this piece, and adding to the life of something that had been lovingly stitched many years ago.

Adding three layers behind the original, I began the journey of joy. The piece already had hand-stitched carnations and a beautiful crocheted border along the edge. I wanted to keep those features, and also highlight the hand-stitched bow and fan details. I added lots of quilting, and I am very happy with the results!

 This vintage table runner has now been added to the Quilts for Sale category! Only $175.00 for a short time, offering you an introductory price!

Update: The Vintage Table Runner has been sold!

Sketches of Spring

Truly a labor of love, this quilt was a combination of log cabin blocks and printed panels featuring butterflies and flowers that are so realistic!  Pieced by Lyn Christian of A Design by Lyn and quilted by Candy Apple Quilts, this quilt is a treasure.  It finishes at 90 inches square --- perfect for a queen sized bed.

The log cabin blocks in the center feature a beautiful quilted motif, and the blocks with the birds have a nice grid pattern to them. I just love all of the borders because it really gives an opportunity to play with lots of designs, such as these hearts:

PinkHeart Corner

Side

Be sure to see all of the pictures so you can examine the quilt in detail. Price is $1,000 plus shipping costs --- continental US only please.

Update: The Sketches of Spring Quilt has been sold.

Ring of Posies Wall-Hanging

It all started when I read Linda Poole's newest book called Painted Applique. I've included a link at the bottom, because you are going to want this book! I knew that I would become addicted to applique, and that's exactly what has happened!  Linda has beautiful projects in her newest book, and I just fell in love with the one called Ring of Posies. There were various techniques that I have been wanting to try, and having lots of white space enabled me to do just that. Surprisingly, the first area I considered was the outer corners. I knew this wall-hanging would need to lay flat against the wall, so I wanted something that would be even and stable.  I decided on a one-inch grid. That's one of my favorites.

Corner
Corner

Since feathers are my absolute favorite, and just had to add the circular feather wreath design in the center. And speaking of the center, this ring of posies is not perfectly circular, which (in my opinion) makes it perfect! It's much easier to feature a design in the center of something if you don't have to fret over whether all of the circular elements are perfectly aligned. I extended the feathered wreath by echoing it. As you can see in the pictures, some of the echoing travels out further in some parts than in other parts. Being able to do that just added to the fun!

I knew that I wanted to have some micro-stippling close to the applique, just to make it pop up a bit.

Partially echoed quilted circle
Partially echoed quilted circle

Here's another angle on the center section:

Feathered circle
Feathered circle

And the entire wall-hanging:

Posies
Posies

You will LOVE doing this project!  And the great thing about Linda's new book is that every project in it is featured in applique (like this one)and also in a painted version of applique! She has some gorgeous birds that she shows you how to paint, and it looks like a very easy process. That may just be my next project! Here's a link to Linda's Painted Applique book

Or, save some time and purchase the finished 40 x  40 wall-hanging! Available for a short time only, this quilt is priced at $275.00 including shipping to your location inside the continental United States only.

Update: Quilt has been sold!

Christmas Applique Quilt

Recently, I was lucky enough to meet Carolyn Burgess, the owner of Applique, Quilts, and More.  She has the most wonderful applique kits, and they are all available with or without fusible on the back.  I think that's a great idea, because sometimes I like to do needle-turn applique, and I prefer not to have any fusible on my pieces. She has lots of themes to choose from, and her Christmas blocks are my very favorite!  Carolyn brought her quilt over, and we decided on an overall motif --- quilting right through her appliques.  There are lots of opinions on this because some people think that you can never do that with a fused applique because there is too much stiffness.  These appliqued pieces were soft and had a very nice drape, so there was no problem at all stitching right through them.

Another fun thing about Carolyn's approach to this quilt is that you can order individual blocks and make as many projects as you can imagine just using your favorites!  For instance, I love the cardinals that are featured in the Applique Christmas Block of the Month section, and I would like to do a few of them as gifts.  I can buy as many of those sections as I want, without having to buy an entire kit! And better yet, I can send a favorite fabric of mine to Carolyn, and she will cut my pieces out of my fabric for me! She really has a great selection of pieces, and I can see lots of future inspiration coming from her pre-cut applique pieces and kits. She has just saved a lot of time for me!

Painted Denim Shirt

OK.... some times I get just a little bit carried away.  I just love to sit and look at all of the pretty quilt designs that I have on my computer.... but they seem so lonely in there.  They want to come out and play!  I decided to use some of them on the front of a denim shirt.  Then, I added fabric paint and crystals!  It was just way too much fun to do!

Painted Denim Shirt
Painted Denim Shirt

 I just LOVE the Swarovski crystals, and the best place to buy them is from Designs by Dawn. She has so many to choose from, and is wonderful to her customers!

I've included lots of close-up pictures for you. Enjoy!

Patriotic Eagle Quilt

I was thrilled when Barbara brought this quilt in to be finished!  I love anything patriotic, and this was a true original! It's based on a Lone Star quilt, with the different areas being changed to suit the design of the eagle in the center section.  Barbara took it a step further though, and added her own ideas for the borders.  Using her embroidery software, she added lettering in the large outer border, and also appliqued swags.

 

I love the circle of stars that she designed!

 

And the back is striking too, because we decided to use various colors to match the stitching on the front:

All of the pictures are below.  Make sure to "open" them by clicking on each one, and then clicking again, so that you can make them larger and see all of the detail.

Celebrating Labor Day!

It was an honor and a privilege to make this quilt! Measuring 55 by 48, it’s a contemporary version of the American flag.  There's nothing better than this quilt to honor a veteran. The pattern is available in our store and you can even request that your quilt be done just like this one --- including all of the words to the Pledge of Allegiance in the white stripes of the flag.

Baby Boy Bunny Quilt

Baby Boy Bunny Quilt
Baby Boy Bunny Quilt

Just perfect for a baby boy, our Baby Boy Bunny Quilt is ready for gift-giving.  This quilt measures 41 inches by 41 inches -- just the right size for snuggling with your precious new angel. There is a soft shade of blue 100% cotton fabric, and a white Kona cotton solid, and subtle blue quilting thread. The border features a double heart stitched in each section. The binding is finished completely by hand, with the quality that you have come to expect from Candy Apple Quilts. Small hearts are stitched in the block center areas -- and the center square has a beautiful quilted bunny design. This quilt is as pretty on the back is it is on the front. Please click on each of the pictures below to enlarge them, and look at the fine details. This item has a 100% satisfaction guarantee! If you aren't happy for any reason, just return the quilt to Candy Apple Quilts in it's original condition, and you will receive a refund of your purchase price. Order yours today to have on hand as a perfect gift. Just 199.99 plus shipping. Only one available, so order quickly!

ITEM SOLD — PLEASE WATCH FOR OTHER QUILTS AVAILABLE SOON!

Baby Girl Bunny Quilt

Baby Girl Bunny Quilt
Baby Girl Bunny Quilt

Just perfect for a baby girl, our Baby Girl Bunny Quilt is ready for gift-giving.  This quilt measures 42 inches by 42 inches -- just the right size for snuggling with your precious new angel. There is a soft shade of pink 100% cotton fabric, and a white Kona cotton solid, and subtle pink quilting thread. The border features a double heart stitched in each section. The binding is finished completely by hand, with the quality that you have come to expect from Candy Apple Quilts. Small hearts are stitched in the block center areas -- and the center square has a beautiful quilted bunny design. This quilt is as pretty on the back is it is on the front. Please click on each of the pictures below to enlarge them, and look at the fine details. This item has a 100% satisfaction guarantee! If you aren't happy for any reason, just return the quilt to Candy Apple Quilts in it's original condition, and you will receive a refund of your purchase price. Order yours today to have on hand as a perfect gift. Just 199.99 plus shipping. Only one available, so order quickly!

ITEM SOLD -- PLEASE WATCH FOR OTHER QUILTS AVAILABLE SOON!

Valentine's Day Project

What would be more perfect for Valentine's Day (or any day?) with your sweetheart than fluffy towels, a bottle of wine, and a warm candlelight bubble bath? You could even applique this romantic design on to a matching nightie, or cover for your wine bottle. Order this project today and celebrate in style!

You will receive a zip file with an embroidery file of your chosen machine format, a PDF of instructions for stitching the applique that includes photos to make this romantic project quick and easy -- even for a beginner!

 

 

Love Quilt

Just in time for Valentine's Day We've had so many requests for finished quilts! In response to those requests, we have decided to start featuring completed quilts, and making them available to you for purchase. Just in time for Valentine's Day, our Love Quilt is the first quilt in a new venture for Candy Apple Quilts! This quilt measures 60 inches by 53 inches -- just the right size for snuggling with your sweetheart. There are eight different shades of red and pink 100% cotton fabrics. The border features a double heart stitched in each section, with a scalloped outer edge. The binding is finished completely by hand, with the quality that you have come to expect from Candy Apple Quilts. Small hearts are stitched in the center area -- and the center square has a light feather design. Please click on each of the pictures below to enlarge them, and look at the fine details. This item has a 100% satisfaction guarantee! If you aren't happy for any reason, just return the quilt to Candy Apple Quilts in it's original condition, and you will receive a refund of your purchase price. Order yours today to receive it in time for Valentine's Day. Just 299.99 plus shipping. Only one available, so order quickly!

ITEM SOLD -- PLEASE WATCH FOR OTHER QUILTS AVAILABLE SOON!

Quilted Coffee Cup Kit

I received a Quilt In a Cup kit from my friend Dawn the other day --- and it was so much fun to make! The kit comes with a white inner liner, a clear acrylic outside piece, batting, a template, a lid and a straw.

You can use any scraps you have, and place them however you would like on the batting. Then just use a log cabin method of adding pieces in a clock-wise fashion until you have covered the entire piece of batting.

You only need to finish one side with a binding because the other side won't show from the outside. Then collect all of your pieces, and a bottle of white glue. I didn't follow all of the directions, because I didn't want the piece permanently glued inside of the cup. I want to be able to change my little quilted piece with the seasons. The only place that I used glue was down the length of the side binding. When I was all done, my finished cup was ready to fill with coffee (or a cold beverage). This was so much fun to make!

Taking your time

Connie Repro Quilt
Connie Repro Quilt

The secret to an amazing quilt? The inside. That's right --- the part that no one can see. Connie pressed each tiny block in this quilt, and paid a lot of attention to the squaring of each block, and the direction of her seams. When she joined each block together she made sure to alternate her seam allowances, and there are no lumpy areas in this quilt. Waiting until the end of piecing the quilt top) or even the piecing of just one row SEEMS like a time-saver, but in reality you save time by taking care of each tiny issue along the way. This reminds me of something a house painter explained to me years ago. "A wall can only look good painted if it's smooth before the paint is applied. If you paint over all of the lumps and bumps, trying to hide them, you'll still be able to see them in the end."

Adding a feathered over-all design to this quilt in a nice even density enables the eye to go to Connie's accurate piecing and enjoy her vast selection of fabrics. It also makes the back of the quilt as pretty as the front. This quilt measures 103 inches square, and will be used and washed frequently. An over-all design is perfectly suited for a high-use quilt.

Connie's quilt also reminds me of something that George Washington said because I firmly believe in this principal.... people won't remember how QUICKLY you did something, they will remember how WELL you did it. Relax and take a little extra time pressing along the way, and enjoy your piecing. Years later, you'll be happy you did!

All About.....the 1930's!

Susan's quilt design I love vintage quilts, and I love 1930's reproduction fabrics! This pretty quilt was done by Susan Mars, owner of All About Blanks, where you can see the most gorgeous linens and holiday items. Susan is so creative, and she created the layout for this quilt by combining the best ideas from different sources and sprinkling them with her imagination!

I asked Susan how she created this adorable quilt, and here is what she has to say...

"The idea for this quilt began as a Block of the month club from Grandma's Attic." Wanting to expand upon the idea, and do something fun with the setting, Susan went to Block Central and found an idea in the 2008 "Somewhere In Time" quilt. Says Susan, "...it worked out PERFECTLY for my 1930's block of the month.  I made it a little scrappy, using a variety of the 1930's repros for my sashing.  I adore the way it turned out.  I have always wanted to do a 1930's reproduction quilt ...".

Susan, I love your approach!