Quilt for Robert Kaufman Highlighting London Calling Prints

Here's a piece I recently quilted for Robert Kaufman Fabrics highlighting their London Calling combed cotton line. There was a lot of negative space on this quilt top, so I used the structure of the boxes on point for the quilting design to mimic the colored boxes, and tie the overall look of the project together. 

Not only is this fabric beautiful, it is also incredibly soft to touch and behaves like a cotton voile. I'm already wondering what I could make with some of these fabrics. The fabric softness would be ideal for a baby quilt.

Curls and Feathers

I recently finished Karen's quilt.  With this being a traditional sampler-style quilt, the challenge was how to create differentiation between the blocks, yet find unity so it all belnds together in a singular piece. In this case, I mostly used feathers and several different curl patterns, among a few others. I especially liked how the border came out, with lines radiating out to the edges with curly cues on each side.

In the full size pic below, one can see how the feathers and curls worked together. The center panel also has curls. Yet within the center, I used two different curls, one being more dense than the other. This provided further differentiation within the block itself.

I really like when customer jobs like this come in. The opportunity presented by a creative puzzle is not only challenging, but extremely satisfying when the puzzle is solved and completed.

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Who's the winner? It's me!

I was excited to find out this morning that I was awarded two ribbons for my quilting on Peggie's Little Monsters quilt at the South Bay Quilters Guild 2013 Quilt Show.

I was awarded 3rd Place overall for machine quilting, and 1st Place for machine quilting on an applique quilt. I hope this means I get to take the rest of the day off, and be treated like a queen by my husband and teenage children. Nah, that's probably not happening. But I'm thrilled with the recognition. Thanks Peggie for the opportunity!

Peggie's Little Monsters

Peggie made this quilt for an auction benefiting the Haight Ashbury Community Nursery School. I quilted pebbles behind all the monsters creating a background texture from which the creatures could POP. There were certainly plenty of popping monster eyeballs looking up at me while I was quilting this adorable quilt top. I used white Omni Superior thread on all the white portions of the quilt, blue Glide thread on the inner border and yellow Magnifico Superior thread on the colorful triangles on the outer border.  

The Harley Quilt

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and a great start to the new year. For me, it's been back to work and busy since January 2. I want to share a quilt that was completed and delivered to the customer at the end of last month. 

I received a call from Jim wanting a quilt made from his Harley Davidson t-shirts. As a Harley rider, each shirt holds a special memory for him of road trips and friendships. I had no time to piece a quilt, in addition to the quilting, with three active teenagers at home, including the twins who are getting ready to go to college. So I called Lisa Redmond (who I've blog-mentioned here, here and here) to partner with me on this quilt. I think Lisa is an extremely talented quilter and I've enjoyed partnering with her on projects. She constantly amazes me with the ideas she comes up with for quilts.

We used fabric from Tula Pink's Halloween-themed Nightshade line, more specifically the Spider Blossom and Raven Lace patterns. Even better, it was post-Halloween on sale at Sew Modern. The Nightshade fabrics were an ideal choice for the themed quilt. The dark grays and muted lavendar of the Eveningshade colorway, and the pattern designs with subtle skulls and crossbones, lightning bolts and cobwebs were perfect for a masculine Harley quilt, yet not over the top like a giant tattoo. We also included a Michael Miller print, Tiny Houndstooth in grey. The houndstooth gave the quilt a little retro Route 66 feeling. And the last fabric we used was from Aneela Hoey's "a walk in the woods" collection for Moda. It is a coral-colored near solid with little dashed white circles. This fabric picked up, and was nearly the same, as the Harley orange.

Lisa used every part of the shirt, from sleeve graphics to pockets. She even loved the woven labels and appliqued them to the front of the shirts. The difficulty Lisa ran into when piecing the quilt is the art/designs for Harley t-shirts are large and take up a lot of landscape opposed to other t-shirts. So in order for Lisa to get the amount of blocks/shirts in the quilt and maintain the promised queen-size for the customer, little room was left for sashing, and abosolutly no room left for borders. Although Lisa is a modern quilter and prefers no borders, her concern was that the quilt felt like it needed at least a little something to frame it more than just the binding. Lisa solved the problem by using the bias binding foot on her sewing maching and adding a little binding edge to her binding. I think it is fantastic!

I custom quilted each block based on the graphic found in each shirt. In some areas, I went around individual letters allowing them to pop in almost a trapunto-type of fashion. I used a wavy loop pattern for all the sashing. I had to be careful not to go into some of the actual graphics due the heavy layer of silk screening as I was afraid it would be like quilting into a thick rubber ball. Polyester batting was used because of the weight from the jersey fabric of the t-shirts.

One last picture... the happy customer with his Harley quilt on his Harley!


Tina's Circle Pizzaz in Progress

I thought I'd show a quick peak of what I'm working on now.

Tina pieced this beautiful quilt as a wall hanging to gift to her beloved beauty salon. She attended the Judy Sisneros Circle Pizzaz workshop that was offered by the Westside Quilters this past August, and this quilt is her fabulous result. Tina did an amazing job piecing this quilt, her detailing is extremely precise.

I am using a "squares on top of each other" type of quiting pattern so they will appear to be behind all the circles. When complete, the circles will appear to be floating on top of the squares background. It is a labor intensive quilting design, but a real joy to do. Especially when the pieced top is so well done. I'm looking forward to the finished result on this one!

Nothing's Like a Grandmother's Love

This quilt is the "Lovie for Noel" as a proud grandmother calls it. Daryl, the grandmother in question, gave me the completed cross stitched piece in the middle of this quilt and the old bed skirt that she used for her baby girl, Noel's mother.  I don't normally piece together quilts from beginning to end for customers, but Daryl touched my heart and was so sweet and she really wanted her cross stitch work and her daughter's infant bedskirt incorporated into a quilt for her granddaugher, Noel.    

I used the bedskirt material as the hearts, decorative bias tape (inspired by the designs of Latifah Saafir), and for the bias binding on the scalloped borders.

This quilt was a labor of love for me because my own grandmother Bernice (of blessed memory) was one of the brightest shining stars in my life.  Anything to support a grandmother's love is a special project for me.

4 Fat Quarters in Harmony - Design by Sylvia Davis

This is my most recent customer quilt piecedby Sally Wright, who used a design called "4 Fat Quarters in Harmony" created by Sylvia Davis. Earlier this year, Sylvia taught this design in a class hosted by the Westside Quilters in Los Angeles. Sally used four "4 Fat Quarters in Harmony" panels, added sashing and additional coordinating side rectangle blocks to create this beautiful twin size bed quilt. I'll post a full picture of the quilt later.

Angles of a Jaybird Quilt

Here's my latest customer quilt that was pieced using the Fast Forward pattern from Jaybird Quilts.

Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts uses the long arm quilting services of Angela Walters for all her quilts. I follow Angela's blog and like what she does. But I wanted to put a new spin on this quilt pattern and not replicate what Angela had done for Julie. The beauty of quilts is they can have many different looks with the same pattern based on fabric choices and quilting designs. My customer chose solids for her piecing to start, and I chose to, in a sense, echo the central design of the quilt.

As I saw it, the challenge for quilting this pattern was to incorporate the overall design, fill all the negative space surrounding the central design of the quilt, and not make them look like two separate parts. I wanted the central design and the negative space to have unity. My solution was using the angles from the shapes to build the quilting patterns that radiate off the to the edges of the quilt.

I'm pleased how this came out, and I enjoyed the experience of this particular challenge. I appreciate quilts that challenge me.

Below is a picture of the quilt on the long arm before quilting commenced. By the needle, you can see one of my rulers that I used to create the straight angles to echo the quilt pattern.

What do you think? If you were quilting this pattern, how would you do it?


Happy Birthday Lulu

I'm back from Ireland. It's been a couple of weeks now, and my head and body are finally beginning to feel they are aligned and on Los Angeles time. Guess I'm a little slow in the readjustment department. This quilt was a group birthday present that was pieced by some of Lulu's friends. I actually finished quilting it before I left for Ireland, but I could not post it because this quilt was a surprise for the very special Lulu on one of her major milestone birthdays...29 maybe. Who cares what birthday Lulu was celebrating? This is a fun and whimsical project, so I added to the whimsy by quilting her name in between all the birthday cakes using color coordinated King Tut thread.

Pebbles, Curves and Straight Lines

Here is my latest customer quilt in which I used a variety of quilting patterns and thread colors to enhance the overall design of the quilt top. This is an excellent example of how quilting can really bring a quilt to life and further enhance the beauty of the pieced design.

The use of pebbles, curves and straight lines add multiple layers of textures and dimension to the quilt, which basically is comprised of two colors, red and black. My philosophy in quilting is to always work with the quilt design, so it was important for me to pursue the Asian theme of the quilt and not take away from its design. As nature is a common theme in Asian art, the pebbles worked especially well in the black, creating a pattern in a solid. In regards to the straight lines with gold thread I used in the red solid, I created a different pattern for each, replicating the gold Asian Seals that are in the print scattered among the other Asian font characters.

In the picture below, the pieced quilt is on the long arm just as quilting began. By comparing the two pictures, it is easy to see how quilting allows a quilt to reach the pinnacle of its pieced design beauty and take on a personality all its own.

 The quilt was made by the fabulous Luann, who I know from the Westside Quilters.

A Perfect Summer Quilt

One of my favorite parts of quilting is coming up with a pattern that works with and enhances the design of the quilt itself. And my latest customer quilt is a perfect example of that. 

The quilt was made by Lisa Redmond, who I think is extremely innovative in her quilt designs. I've done several quilts for her, both as a client and quilts she has done for charity for the Cancer Support Community. I also know her through the Los Angeles Modern Quilt Guild.

Lisa likes to play with patterns and colors, and does it well. For this quilt, she told me that she liked the idea of wonky improv quilts but wanted to find a way to create blocks without all the waste that often comes from improv piecing. Lisa shared that she took 10" squares of fabric and cut them all at the same vertical and horizontal lines, making polygons (remember those from 8th grade geometry?). This design idea is so simple and versatile because you can cut up the block at whatever angle you want, just as long as you keep it consistent through out the quilt. I can't wait to try this design concept myself. In the end, Lisa has created a dynamic quilt with her continuity of matching the fabrics in the blocks next to each other. Plus I loved her color choices on the cusp of the summer season.

When it came to quilting, Lisa left it completely up to me on what to do.  I wanted to play off Lisa's use of connecting like fabrics between the blocks, and still maintain the geometric look of the quilt. I tied the connected fabrics together with a dual lines and a design on the line that stayed within those matched fabrics. 

I used a pale yellow thread, although it may be hard to see in the photos. I chose the pale yellow because I wanted the color to blend in and enhance whereas I thought a bright white or a matching blue would overtake the design. My thread of choice is glide. Their colors blend well and make a quiet statement on a quilt. And they are strong and easy to work with.

I'm extrememly pleased with how this quilt turned out. I look forward to another quilt from Lisa.