"When life gives you broken dishes.....

..... use paper plates!" That's the name of the most recent quilt from a fantastic artist Kim Montagnese. This quilt is a new twist on the old favorite Broken Dishes.  Kim added lots of fun to this quilt pattern with a new method of applique, rubber stamping, and even silverware! My favorite part is the expression stamped on the quilt top that says "You can lead me to the kitchen, but you can't make me cook".  That's fits me perfectly!

Kim wanted "fun" quilting on this one! Here are some pictures:

There's a cute story about what happened when Kim was working on this quilt over at her blog Colorz My World. She had a little "boo boo" that needed a band-aid -- literally!

Kim sells her patterns, and teaches fun classes on making them. You can reach her by sending an email to Kim Montagnese at Montagnese@oh.rr.com.

Thanksgiving Embroidery

All five of our adorable Thanksgiving designs, combined into one collection for you at a special introductory price! To purchase these designs, click here.

The Chubby Bees!

The Chubby Bees have come to visit, and they just LOVE little babies! This collection of designs features just a touch of applique, making them simple -- and fun! These designs are a joy to stitch, and will keep you -- and baby! -- smiling all day long! To purchase this collection, click here.

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.

Floral Applique Motifs

These designs combine the best of applique and embroidery! Fast and fun, these are sized for the 5x7 hoop. You can use them on blue jeans and jackets, curtains, towels, etc. Click on each picture below to see the details of the actual stitch-outs. To purchase these designs as a collection of six designs, click here.  To purchase any of these designs individually, click here.

The School Bears head back to school!

These little bears are having fun at school! You'll see them on denim, backpacks, lunch totes... they're starting to show up everywhere! Just click on the pictures below to see all seven designs in this adorable collection! Then, click here to order!

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.

Hanging Garden Quilt

This beautiful quilt was created by Priscilla Madsen of Madsen Originals. The lace embroidery is spectacular! It was just published in the most recent issue of Designs in Embroidery Magazine.

I'd like to share some close-up pictures with you, so you can see the quality of the stitching. Click on the image to have it open on a new page. Then, click on the image again, and you will be able to see a larger version.

It was a real pleasure to do the quilting for this project! Priscilla is wonderful to work with -- and so talented!

Funky Native Art Embroidery

See all of the abstract art shapes in this fun and funky collection! These designs were featured in Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine -- July/August 2007 issue! Click on each picture to enlarge, and then click here to order!

Patriotic... and Proud!

Now available as a pattern for you to download today!Order the quilt pattern here!

It was an honor and a privilege to complete this quilt! Measuring 55 by 48, it's a contemporary version of the American flag. You can see by the close-up picture of the square section, the detail of the eagle that is quilted with a circle of stars surrounding him.

Inside of all of the white stripes, there is lettering for the entire Pledge of Allegiance. Inside the red stripes, you will find quilted stars.

To highlight the area that traditionally has a blue background, you will find a blue and white checkerboard. This left the center square available to the light shade of gold that features the eagle. This is a very quick quilt to make, and is a wonderful gift for someone who is very patriotic and proud. Order the pattern here.

Annette Williams entered her quilt, and won first place! (See picture below). Congratulations, Annette!

Congratulations, Annette!

Lavender and Lace

Done in many shades of lavender, burgundy, green, and cream.... this quilt by Maureen was perfectly pieced, and so much fun to work with! Maureen chose feathered blocks by Kathy Olson, and a wonderful feathered border to compliment her squares and triangles!

Click on the images, and then click again for a full-sized image.

April Blossoms Quilt

This pattern was featured in the March/April issue of Quiltmaker Magazine. When I saw it, I knew that it would be the perfect stash-buster! It's so much fun to use up old fabric, so I can go shopping for more!

This quilt is made by hand-appliqueing a central square that measures 24 inches. Then, seven different borders are added that consist of half-square triangles, piano keys, standard borders, and four rectangular areas with more hand-applique. Having lots of large sections made the quilt top go together very quickly, and it was lots of fun!

To complete the quilt, I used a very small stipple in the areas surrounding the appliques, and patterns from Anne Bright's Merrily Blooming collection for all of the other areas.

To finish everything and add a little more pizzazz, I made yo-yos from fabric, attched them to the flowers, and then added buttons on top! If you click on these images below, and then click again, you will be able to see the full size pictures.

Cheaper isn't always.... well.... cheaper!

In today's economy, everyone is concerned about getting the most for their money. I'd like to show you how to do a little comparison shopping when you are ready to have your quilt top turned into a family treasure. Most people in the quilting industry price their service per square inch. It's quick, logical, and fair. An overall pattern will be less expensive per square inch than a custom or heirloom quilting service.

I decided to do some research on quilting prices, because the rates at Candy Apple Quilts have not gone up in a few years now, and I have seen quite a lot of variance across the pricing board. In an effort to glean the most accurate info, I interviewed 17 quilters nationwide, and 3 more who are in my general vicinity, for a total of 20 comparison companies. I intentionally chose quilters with rates starting at 1.5 cents per square inch to see if they were indeed cheaper in the long run. I compiled all of the information into a spreadsheet, and renamed the least expensive quilter "Company X" for our purposes here.

Look at the chart below, and it will be easy for you to follow along with the logic. 

Price comparison
Price comparison

When pricing your quilting service, you need to ask questions about extra charges. Each of the 20 companies that I interviewed had extra charges for various services, including the edge treatments, the threads chosen, and set-up and turning fees. As you can see from the chart above, I have listed a few of these fees so you could get an idea of how much they typically run. While looking at the rows titled "Set-up fee" and "Edge-trimming fee", notice that these charges are not in the Candy Apple Quilts pricing structure. In my way of thinking, asking for a set-up fee is comparable to a mechanic charging you to pull your car into the garage so he can work on it! You will never see a set-up fee here. As for the treatment of the edges of your quilt.... that's another area where I firmly stand my ground.

When you receive your quilted project, you want to be able to get your binding on RIGHT NOW --- right? The last thing you need to deal with is sloppy basting stitches, or even worse -- an overall pattern that runs off the edges of your quilt and into the "batting no-man's-land". It can ruin the quilting design along the edges of your quilt, and it can also make it harder for you to attach your own binding. All of the edges done by Candy Apple Quilts are machine-sewn with a regular stitch length (not basted) just inside of the binding line, making it easy for you to have a guide-line to follow when attaching binding. All excess batting is trimmed away cleanly and evenly. You know how hard it can be to do that trimming if you don't have a quilt-sized table to work on! Your quilts are returned to you "ready to go" --- you just sit down and bind. Or, we can do that too!

Back to the chart above.... lots of folks work through their local quilt shop, and some quilt shops take a portion of the final price, or a "cut" of twenty to thirty percent that gets added on top. Ouch! You will never find that at Candy Apple Quilts, either! The example uses a hypothetical quilt that is 45 inches square, and shows the pricing for an overall design at 2 cents for Candy Apple Quilts versus 1.5 cents for Company X. You can easily see by the total at the bottom of each column that cheaper is not always.... well ..... cheaper!

Click here for a complete pricing schedule, including sample pictures of each quilting type!

Spring Fresh!

Karen has really captured the freshness of the season with this quilt! I'm always awed by her fabric choices, and her piecing... but this is my favorite one so far.Spring Fresh Quilt I just love everything about this quilt --- the hydrangeas are gorgeous! Karen and I both think of fresh linens and sunny spring days when we look at these fabrics, and I think she chose the perfect feathered design for the quilting!

Computer quilting meets 1930's fabric

Jean chose a wonderful design to place in the empty area of her Dresden project! All of the fan blades were done using a curved line instead of traditional stitch-in-the-ditch, creating a much softer feeling:

Looking for a design to combine with the soft feel of the fan blades, Jean choose a design that could have created a problem if it had stitched in the fan blades. Using the Statler Stitcher and Creative Studio software, if was simply a matter of trimming away all parts of the design that we didn't want. This trimming function created a smooth-stitching design that filled the empty areas perfectly.

Connie celebrates her mother

I had the rare privilege of working with Connie to complete a quilt that her mother Eunice pieced. It was done in bubble gum pink and apple green, and completely hand-appliqued. Eunice duplicated this beautiful pattern that was originally published in the mid-1800's, and her applique is so perfectly done! Connie will be keeping this quilt in a special place to honor all of the beautiful hand work that her mother used to finish this beautiful quilt:

Garden Party Quilt is a prize winner!

I posted pictures of a quilt called A Mother's Love last November, and have received many compliments on how beautiful it turned out to be.... but the real credit for this amazing quilt goes to a wonderful lady named Leslie Clarke. She spent countless hours piecing it, with applique and crystals in perfect proportion. She even added her own border to the entire edge that included more applique and crystals! This quilt was made with love for Leslie's daughter Nicole, and it was truly a labor of love. I had named the quilt A Mother's Love, but the actual name of the pattern is A Garden Party, and is available from Smith Street Designs. This past week, Leslie received word that she had won second place in a quilting contest for this quilt! Congratulations, Leslie! Here is part of the story that Leslie included with her entry:

"This quilt was my first quilting project on my new embroidery machine. When the instructor teaching the class on how to use the machine pattern became ill, I decided to forge ahead and also to really stretch and make the queen-size quilt. My daughter was moving to a new apartment, and -- since her favorite color is red -- it had to be for her!"

If you're anything like me, the first thing you think of when you are this happy is the Snoopy Dance theme song --- this music has been dancing around in my head ever since Leslie told me she won the prize!

Redwork Valentines!

It's the timeless story of romance. Boy meets girl... romance is in the air. These adorable redwork designs sew very quickly, and will bring you joy for years to come. Stitch them on felt squares, cut the edges with pinking shears, and tuck into an envelope or hang on a gift bag. Use in the center of quilt squares for a fast way to hold all of your layers together. All of the designs fit in the 4 by 4 hoop. Try these any time of year for a touch of sweetness. To purchase these designs, click here. Or, to purchase these designs and a quilted wall-hanging pattern, click here.

Placemats to embroider!

embroidered1
embroidered1

There have been lots of requests for these placemats, and we have various colors to choose from! Just think of what you can do with these! You can use them unadorned, and embroider them when you have some free time. You can make a set for yourself, and your best friend at the same time. You can turn them into book covers, cake or bread baskets, tote bags or make-up bags --- the possibilities are endless! 

This has been one of our top sellers in embroidery blanks! Check back often for new colors, or feel free to contact us with a specific request. You can also send in your own fabric --- this makes it easy for you to coordinate with your existing items! With custom orders, we will need a 2-3 week lead time to create your special items.

What you will receive with your order: Four placemats measuring 18 x 13 inches that are all in one large panel. You will have extra fabric surrounding the placemats that you can use to test your embroidery stitches, or painting techniques, or coloring ideas. You will be supplying your own binding fabric so that you can coordinate colors with your embroidery stitches or make a set of matching napkins. If you want the exact matching fabric for the placemats, please make sure to order it as a separate item.

Due to high demand, placemats are temporarily out of stock --- please check back soon.

The design that is embroidered on the peach placemat above is from A Design by Lyn and is called One by One. Thank you, Lyn!

tea-time
tea-time

This placemat features an adorable butterfly from Designs Sew Fine and is part of the Butterflies II collection.  A contrasting fabric was added to the edge of the placemat, and finished just like a small quilt. This is a great idea! You can make napkins to coordinate with your binding! Download a PDF with instructions now, and you can see how easy it is to create your own custom look!