hand quilting

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!

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.

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!

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!

Roses Galore!

Just as I finished picking the last roses of the season from my garden, I received this beautiful quilt top from Priscilla Madsen. I opened the box to see many gorgeous embroidered roses, and instantly I knew how I wanted to quilt this! I had been wanting to use a collection called "Carmen's Roses" from One Song Needle Arts, and this was the perfect time. With lots of bias piecing, and tons of red roses, I considered using stippling or hand-quilting to tame any puffiness that may occur after quilting. As it turned out I decided to combine both! The hand stitching is right next to the embroidery, which makes the roses stay a little bit closer to the surface.

This quilt was done with a Gammill machine and a Statler Stitcher, allowing the roses to be trimmed where necessary to fit in with the blocks that only had room for certain segments of the designs. If you enjoy machine embroidery, these red roses can be purchased through the Stitchery Mall .  Having seen this embroidery, I have to say that it is exquisite!

The quilting designs can be purchased from One Song Needle Arts, and can be seen here:

A Mother's Love

This quilt was one of my favorites to work with! Brought to me by a wonderful woman who embroidered every block, she told me the story of how she was making it for her daughter. It has more work, joy, and talent, and love than any other quilt I have had the honor of doing. Here is a picture of the entire quilt: Each block demanded different treatment, so we put our heads together, and came up with designs that incorporated hearts --- to play on the theme of love and family. My favorite: We added lots of hearts throughout the quilt, in many surprising places!

Receiving a hug from Leslie when this quilt was done was one of my happiest moments!

Adding hand stitches to machine quilting

I just love where machine quilting is headed these days -- the effects that are achieved are truly amazing. Sometimes, though..... I just want to sit down and stitch by hand. Oh, sure -- I'm still doing the binding by hand, but that's not quite the same as doing quilting stitches. I guess you could say I've missed it a bit, since I was a hand-quilter for so long.

If you do any machine quilting (long arm or short arm), and you want to add something really special and fun to your quilts, try adding just a touch of hand stitching!

Here is a little whole cloth quilt that I did a few months ago.

I thought it would look nice with a little touch of color in the center. Here is a close-up of the machine embroidery that was added.

You can see that there are also hand quilted stitches a quarter of an inch away from the machine stitches. I like the effect of the two types of stitches combined! Each of the corners had a little heart inside of a square, and I think it really softens things up a bit when there are a few extra stitches added.