Statler Stitcher

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!

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!

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.

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!

Holly Lane

Christmas is my favorite time of year, and this quilt tops my list of things that can make me start singing Christmas carols! While working on this beautiful quilt, I could imagine cookies baking, twinkling lights, and the sound of jingle bells.

Bev did a beautiful job piecing this quilt from The Quilt Company, and it was truly a joy for me to do the quilting on it! The quilt is called Holly Lane, and you can see it here. We decided to use Christmas bells, holly leaves, hearts, and stars in the separate borders to add even more fun to the quilt. Each of the four corners has a crisp snowflake. Bev still has a little more work to do. There are red buttons to be sewn on all the way around the outer border, tiny door knobs to add, slower buttons in the windows, and hand-stitched smoke from one of the chimneys. A dark green binding will finish the edges of this quilt. Each house features a layer of high-loft polyester batting to make it really stand out from the background.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Antique Lone Star

I can just imagine how this happened..... Linda's mother started piecing this Lone Star back in 1939. Sometimes, life gets in the way, and she set it aside for "someday".

Years go by, and Mom passed away. Linda and her sister were going through some of Mom's possessions, and they found this project --- that was back in the 1980's. Linda decided that she would be the one to finish this quilt... for Mom.

Years pass again, and the project was set aside... again. Just recently, Linda decided to finish this quilt for her daughter. When she looked at the quilt top, she noticed that the white fabrics were starting to disintegrate from age. She lovingly replaced all of the white fabric, and brought it over for me to quilt it for her.

I was honored (and thrilled!) to be able to finish this quilt! When the binding is put on, it will be displayed with antique photos of.... Mom. How fitting.

Double Wedding Ring

Double Wedding Ring Quilt
Double Wedding Ring Quilt

Have you ever started a project, and then .... just sort of... lost interest in it? That's what happened with this challenging Double Wedding Ring project. Maureen started it a few years ago, and then moved on to other projects before she had a chance to finish this. She intended to make the quilt bed-sized, and was using a set of acrylic templates to make the job easier. Even with the aid of the templates, Maureen packed up the project for a "rainy day", and never went back to it. She was chatting with her friend Pat recently, and Pat said that she had a wedding coming up, and would like to make a Double Wedding Ring as a gift for the couple. Knowing how challenging this would be, Pat decided a lap-sized quilt would be a nice alternative to a bed-sized version. Maureen and Pat worked together to finish this beautiful Double Wedding Ring quilt, and I'm sure the bride and groom will be very happy!

Using Creative Studio, version 4, enabled me to size each design specifically for each tiny section of this quilt. The process was pure joy!

SID

OK, who is SID? SID refers to a common expression in quilting -- Stitch In the Ditch. SID can make quilters tremble with fear, because it's a real challenge to stitch exactly in a ditch without wobbling. Many quilters will go to great lengths to avoid learning the process, and some quilters will turn down any job that involves SID.

If you are using a computerized system, you may have been taught to click in lots of places along your seam in an effort to have your stitching match the quilt's slight imperfections. This can consume a TON of time, and it just isn't necessary. Think about it logically --- a straight line consists of only two points, the beginning and the end. Clicking anywhere in between these two points implies that the line is not straight, and that you don't want it to be stitched straight.

I know what you are thinking..... "But my customer hasn't sewn a straight seam!" Or, maybe you are just thinking that SID takes too much time because you have been making too many clicks to accomplish your straight lines. Or "My customer hasn't ironed her quilt correctly!".

Ironing is a topic better saved for another day, but if the quilt top you are getting ready to work on has tragically wobbly seams due to an ironing technique, I'd like to suggest that you spend a few minutes correcting the problems before you mount the quilt on your machine.

In the following example, Linda has sewn perfect seams, and her ironing technique is fantastic, so no issues there.

Linda wanted a slight custom treatment of this quilt, with just a bit of SID. She wanted to highlight the gold areas, and have the striped sections recede just a bit. In order to accomplish this, we decided to do SID only around the gold sections, and have the "logs" all blend together as one area.

If you look verrryyyy closely, you can see that there was just one seam that wasn't ironed perfectly.(And I really had to look hard to find this one! LOL)  I could have clicked about 6 times in order to make the stitching follow the slight wobble, but then that "unstraight" line would be obvious on the back of the quilt which was done in a solid color with contrasting thread.

As you can see from the picture, a better approach to take is to click at the beginning and the end only. If you slow down the speed of the machine just a bit, the fabric can be manipulated with your hands as the machine moves, resulting in a nearly perfect straight line.  Straight lines always look better on the back of the quilt.

The larger flower motifs follow the gold sections, and the smaller designs are in the striped section. The denser quilting makes the stripes recede, which is what Linda wanted for this quilt.

Many people wander whether they should do all of the SID first, and then go back and fill in the areas inside. I don't have a particular preference -- it all depends upon the quilt. If there is a lot of horizontal SID, I like to do that first to stabilize the entire piece. I may do SID near the upper border(s), and then more near the belly bar, knowing that the entire area is now stable and I can "wander around" in an efficient manner. If the SID is mostly vertical, I don't worry as much as long as I keep an eye on keeping the quilt square as I work. If there is diagonal SID, as there was in this quilt, I do prefer to do that first so that everything is held in place before the designs are entered.

On your next small project, try incorporating SID. Even if you don't use it between every block, SID can be very effective making certain areas recede and allowing other areas to move forward. You will be happier with the backs of your quilts, too. Keep in mind that a straight line only has one point at the beginning, and one at the end, and your project should move along quickly. Mastering SID is something that takes practice, but you will be very happy when you have mastered the technique.

Calligraphy Art

This embroidery collection from Priscilla Madsen of Madsen Originals is one of my favorites. If you look closely, you can see beautiful birds in each of the embroideries. Priscilla wanted quilting that would emphasize the gorgeous fabric she used for this quilt. Here is a screen shot of the layout that we used:

Each embroidered block has a small stipple, combined with a little bit of stitching following the embroidery to hold the layers together. If you click on each of the pictures, you can see close-ups of the designs that are included in this collection called "Calligraphy Art". You can also see the back of the quilt, which shows the designs that were placed in the blocks that were not embroidered.

Working with Minkee

I have a love/hate relationship with Minkee — but mostly love! Leslie brought two quilts recently that both have Minkee involved. One of the quilts had a Minkee backing, and the other quilt featured Minkee on the front for applique fabrics. Minkee can be tricky to work with on a longarm machine. Keeping the stretch parallel to the rollers will help to keep the stretchiness of a wild Minkee backing  tamed. Also, keeping the side clamps very loose —- so loose that you will think that the quilt top looks rather baggy —- will also help you to avoid having the backing shrink up when you remove the quilt from the machine. The most important tip I like to pass along is: REMEMBER NOT TO ROLL THE QUILT TOO TIGHTLY.  If that’s the only tip you remember, you will avoid a lot of headaches.

Backings pieced from Minkee should be avoided if possible. Because of the thickness of the Minkee, the seam on the backing can show through to the front of the quilt. Also, it’s a bit difficult to piece Minkee without having it slide around, causing a backing that looks square on the table to look like this on the machine:

If this backing had been pieced out of any other fabric but Minkee, I would have removed it from the machine and done the piecing over. As it was, I held my breath and let the extra fabric be absorbed by the dense snowflakes that would be quilted on it.

If you have any frustrations during the process of working with Minkee, just slide your hand across the wonderful fabric and you will be guaranteed to smile!

If you would like to experiment with a little touch of Minkee, but don’t want to use it for the entire quilt, consider using it for your appliqué fabric. Leslie brought over a quilt that had adorable elephants appliquéd on it, and she used various pieces of Minkee as the appliqué fabric. She used flat Minkee, striped, nubby… a little bit over everything. The elephants look so cute with the little bows on their heads!

Baby's Bow Wow Blankie

Puppy Love There's nothing better than having someone come to pick up her quilt, and having her give me a giant hug!  Karen worked hard on this adorable quilt for her little grand-daughter, and it was worth every minute.  Her piecing is perfect, the applique is precise and smooth, and the finished project is wonderful!

Karen wanted to have a quilting design that reflected something to go along with the puppy theme. We chose a design from Vickie Maleski that has small bones and paw prints. She requested that there be no quilting on the puppy appliques that surround the outer border.

Puppy

All the quilting was done to surround the puppys, but not stitch over them. Karen is deciding if she would like to leave the puppys unquilted (as shown in the original pattern), or if she would like to add some hand quilting to them.  The quilt is adorable just as it is, but the nice thing about adding hand-quilting is that she can add it at a later date, even after the quilt has been laundered numerous times. Now that's flexibility!

The Baby's Bow Wow Blankie  pattern was created by Bonnie Sullivan of All Through the Night Folk Art Designs, and is available by clicking here.  Be sure to click on the pictures below to see more of Karen's quilt project!

Kelly's quilt

This quilt has "been in the making" since 1991. My parents chose the four calico fabrics for this quilt that was intended for my young daughter, and I chose the blocks from a book called "Scraps, Blocks, and Quilts" by Judy Martin that had names of lots of traditional patterns. (This is an older book, but you can still get one from Amazon by following the link below. I LOVE this book!)

I wanted blocks that pertained to my daughter, such as "Eyes of Blue" and "March Winds" and "Puppy Love" --- things that were special to her at the time.

I started this quilt with ten-inch blocks, hand-quilting each one with a "quilt as you go" approach. After a short time, I decided that it would take too long to finish this quilt, even though it would only be sized for a twin bed. I made a trip to the local copy shop, and had the patterns enlarged substantially. I cut the pieces from these larger patterns, and used the larger seam allowance shown on the new templates.

Time went by, and life got in the way. Another daughter came along, and this project was hung up in the closet to finish later. All of the blocks were pieced, and hanging up on clip-type pants hangers.

Now that my oldest daughter is a mother, and my parents have passed away, I felt it was important to finish this quilt. I joined all of the blocks together, including the ones that had already been hand-quilted. Using Creative Studio with my Statler Stitcher, I was able to choose quilting patterns AND create new patterns from elements contained within the original ones.

This quilt will be a gift to my grandson this year. He will be moving out of his crib, and into his first "big-boy bed", and he will be able to enjoy the colors of the quilt that his great-grandparents chose with love.

Don't throw it away -- SEW it away!

Don't give up on that project! Reading the book "That Dorky Homemade Look" by Lisa Boyer has really energized me to finish my UFO's. How could I resist buying her book when her first "Principle of Dorky Quiltmaking" is to buy fabric that you "feel sorry for"! That is soooo ----- ME! Many times I've bought something that I thought would make an adorable project, and my husband and kids would look at me like I had finally gone over the edge. I would dive head-first into my idea, get half-way through the project, and then run out of steam. Whether it was my own creation, or whether I was following a pattern, sometimes things just didn't look quite right.

Quoting Lisa Boyer, "Enjoy the process. Don't worry about judgements, and realize that the rules are something you can embrace or reject at will, whatever suits you. Quilting styles, fabric colors, opinions and rules change with time. The only truly lasting thing in a quilt is the love you sew into it."

How many times have you gotten half way through a project, and then gave up? It just wasn't turning out the way you expected that it would. The disappointment was strong, and it was easier to toss the project aside than it was to think about wasting any more time finishing. it. After all, you thought.... how could it possibly get any better if it looks this bad now? Of course, then the guilt sets in --- and you think of not just the time that has been wasted, but also the money for all of the materials that are in your project. Occasionally, you question your own skill set, thinking that your project doesn't even resemble the picture on the front of the pattern!

If this ever happens to you, try to find a box to store this project, and consider finishing it someday. Why store it in a box? Because throwing everything into a bag just leads to having the contents become wrinkled and messy. If everything is in a box, ready to begin work again, chances are that you will want to "play" with this project. Store the fabric, any pieces that have been cut, embellishments, the patterns, etc. in your box. A clean pizza box can be wonderful for this. Next time you are in the pizza shop, get a few boxes for yourself. You can label the top or front with the project name, and stack the boxes neatly on a shelf. Almost every project is worth finishing, even if you use the item for a different plan than the original idea. Taking a break from the frustration can give you a fresh outlook, and you can return to finish the project sooner if you actually "can't see it" for a few days.

Consider the project below. Susan bought a pattern for a beautiful Asian wall-hanging. She carefully chose a printed panel and all of the coordinating fabrics, trims, medallions, border fabric, backing, batting, and metallic thread. Following the directions closely, she executed every step with careful consideration. The piecing was perfect. All of the ribbons were inserted in the correct places. Even a soft satin binding was added to the outer edge.

But for some reason, Susan wasn't pleased with all of the work she had done on her project. The directions called for stitch in the ditch between blocks, and stitching around the graceful flying cranes with metallic thread. All of the steps were done perfectly, yet Susan felt something "just wasn't right" with her finished project, and it had been tossed aside for many months. Last week, she brought the wall-hanging to my studio for my opinion.

After one glance, I decided that the thick fluffy polyester batting was the culprit. While it served the intended purpose of making the detail stand out on the flying cranes, it also made the entire background puffy. The outer borders were five inches wide, and without any quilting inside to hold the layers together, each one looked slightly lumpy. The weight of the metal medallions pulled on the fabric, and without any support, the fabrics in those two squares hung there limply. Each of the squares looked pretty.... but again, puffy. We had to plan a way to save this project. In it's current condition, Susan didn't want to hang it up on her wall.

We looked through lots of designs for the various areas, and chose patterns and borders to add to her project. Two of the medallions that were on the quilt were glued on, and could not be removed, so we had to plan around those. Also, there were ribbons and braid to avoid. I love a challenge!

Here's a picture of the five inch wide puffy border without any quilting:

Puffy

And this is how it looks with quilting to hold the layers together:

New Border

I've had many projects come through the door that just need a little bit more work to make them truly finished. When Susan came to pick up her wall-hanging, she was jumping for joy. Her Asian wall-hanging had been set aside for months, and now it's ready to hang. A few days later, she wrote to me saying "You inspired me to try another quilt!  Thank you from my heart! " It's a great feeling of accomplishment to finish a project. Having my partially completed projects neatly organized has helped me to finish some that I had thought would never be finished. Some of my UFO's have become gifts, and other's have been donated to charity upon completion. I will always remember Lisa Boyer's words of wisdom: "The only truly lasting thing in a quilt is the love you sew into it."

And for another great book by Lisa Boyer, check out "Stash Envy and other Quilting Confessions and Adventures"!

Ribbons and Bows

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Sue Jackson of Sue's Sew EZ Designs created a pattern "Ribbons and Bows" that is just perfect for the cause. It can be used as a remembrance -- or -- made in different colors for a totally different look! Ribbons and Bows

Marie made this adorable quilt for Taylor with so much love. She started with the Ribbons and Bows pattern, and took it a step further by changing the color scheme to beautiful shades of blue and teal. This quilt will be hanging in Taylor's bedroom, and it's a perfect gift for a wonderful young lady! I asked Marie to tell me a little bit about Taylor, and she said "Taylor will be turning 11 on her birthday in early January. She is in 6th grade and her cheerleading squad is going to regional competition. She is a very classy young lady and I think this quilt just suits her." I agree! The pretty fabrics that Marie used to make this quilt are very classy, and embroidering her name on it is just the perfect finishing touch!

Most of the patterns used in this quilt are from One Song Needle Arts, including the background section around the bow. I added two layers of polyester batting behind the bow, stitching along the edges, and then trimmed away the excess.

Polyester batting

This was done on my regular sewing machine, but I could have just as easily done it on the longarm machine. When this stage is complete, the results can be a bit puffy, as shown in the picture below:

Puffy bow

The quilting that happens afterward tames everything down in the surrounding area.

Finished trapunto

After all of the extra batting was trimmed, I mounted the quilt in the usual manner. All of the borders have special treatments to them, including modifying designs to fit in between the "ribbon" sections. Marie wanted to tell Taylor how much she loves her, so we chose to quilt "I love you" all the way around one of the borders.

ILY border

I think Taylor will be very happy to receive this quilt!

Click twice on any of the pictures to enlarge them.

Quick idea for setting an autumn table

I needed a quick idea for dressing up the kitchen table for autumn. I quilted two yards of fabric, and then added a binding to it for a quick tablecloth.

Then, I used a pattern from One Song Needle Arts to do these placemats. The pattern has cross-hatching built right into the sides of it. It's easy to decide how large to make your placemats by using the following method:

Open the pattern on your screen in Creative Studio, and use a grid to see the size of the central area. You can use a grid of 1-inch to make the pattern size easy to measure. Decide if you want to adjust the pattern up or down a little bit after studying it on your grid. I cut three strips of fabric 1 1/2 inches wide, and pieced them together for each side. The inner square was cut 14 1/2 inches wide. After piecing the placemat, I basted it to my batting and backing on the machine. Using the head of the machine, I placed a p2p line on the exact edge of my center section of the pieced placemat. I then marked this line as sewn -- this is very important to do so your line doesn't stitch. You can then tweak the design on the screen to line up perfectly with your edges of the center section by sizing with the handles of the design. Click on start, and your design will stitch exactly where you need it to be. Add your binding while you still have the placemat on the machine, and then all you have to do is hand-sew it to the back. Very quick and easy!

Hunter's Star

Tons of beautiful batiks --- and lots of patience! The black pieced stars in the corners of the blocks are only 2 inches across. Ronnie wanted the stars to "pop", so there is stitch-in-the-ditch around each segment. The sashes are ditch-stitched, too.

The pattern for the Hunter's Star is by Jan P. Krentz, and is in her book titled Hunter Star Quilts and Beyond. You can purchase it from Amazon here:

The quilting designs are from the Enchanted Collection from Anne Bright.

Summer at Mom's Quilt

Romantic pinwheels and hand applique The quilt was made possible with a lot of help from my friends on my Candy Apple Quilts Yahoo group. I asked for everyone to send a 6-inch strip of floral fabric to me so I could have lots of variety. The response was overwhelming! Here are just some of the fabrics that I received:

Lots of florals!

Shades of green for the leaves

I was intrigued with finding a faster way to create all of the half-square triangles that would be needed for the center section, and for the border. Using a Gammill machine with a Statler Stitcher enabled me to do most of the work with the computer! I put a solid white fabric on the machine first. Then, I placed a strip of floral fabric right side down on the white fabric with a pin at each end to hold it in place. Using the computer, I set up all of the sewing for the half square triangles.I then cut the strips apart and ironed the pieces open to create all of the pieces I needed for the pinwheels.

When all of the pinwheels were complete, it didn't take long to sew them together into the center portion of the quilt.

Each of the fabric strips right sides together

From the various green fabrics, I cut all of the leaves for the appliqued border. All of the applique was done by hand.

Back to the quilting machine with more white fabric, and a pretty lime green. All of the half square triangles were laid out in advance, and sewn row after row, non-stop.

After cutting the rows and blocks apart, I had all of the half square triangles that I needed for the outer border of the quilt!

The only job left was to measure the applique borders and the outer borders, and apply them. I added the binding, sprinkled a few yo-yos on for fun, and it's done! Click on the images below to see the full-sized pictures.

This pattern for the quilt is available from McCall's Magazine. For the half square triangle Statler pattern, please email Gary and Linda Schmitz at ewok335@centurytel.net, or check their web site for patterns.