Mom wanted it bigger.

This quilt was originally a gift to my mother for Christmas, but she told me she wanted it bigger so that it could be a comforter for her queen size bed. I guess it’s a good thing she told me she wanted it bigger before I quilted it.

I do not normally use huge borders, but that was the most expeditious way to enlarge this quilt top.  Expeditious when it came to sewing, but not finishing. The delay was caused by the matching fabric being on back order at my local quilt shop, Sew Modern. Now it’s become a late Christmas/Mother’s Day gift. This quilt is a mix of a vintage floral fabric and two solids. The border is Moda’s Cross Weave Woven Blue Blue, and there’s also hint of a Kona solid gold color. The Cross Weave looks more like a turquoise than a blue, but whatever you call it, it’s my mom’s favorite color.

Now the quilt is on my long arm, swiftly on its way to a (delayed) expeditious finish!

Baby Stripes Squared

I pieced this top using Chez Moi Coquette Watercolor Stripes fabric that I purchased from Sew Modern.  I quilted it with a digital panto design called Whole Lotta Bubbles from Urban Elementz.  You can see this beautiful striped fabric in the first photo which is the back of the quilt.   This particular striped fabric is perfect for making squares because the stripes vary thoughout the fabric so that each square is a little bit different depending on the section used to construct the square.  

I recently added a computer guided contraption to my ABM Innova long arm quilting machince called the NAVIGATOR.  This magical addition runs my machine on its own with whatever pattern and scale of design I choose to use on a particular quilt.  I felt the Whole Lotta Bubbles design was a perfect contrast to this square- based baby quilt.   If you use computer guided or paper pantos, I urge you to check out Urban Elementz because they have loads of patterns I have not seen elsewhere.

Of course, I still LOVE doing my own custom hand guided quilting, but some quilts really call for an all over pattern rather than a super custom design.   Also, I can charge much less for an all over Navigator operated quilting pattern than I charge for my custom work.  

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!


Quilt for my dear friend, Kerry

My very dear friend Kerry is celebrating a milestone birthday and I wanted to make her a quilt to recognize this time in her life. It's no surprise for Kerry since I told her about it in advance because I wanted her to have what she wanted. I involved her from the beginning with design ideas, color and fabrics.

The main block in this quilt comes from Elizabeth Hartman's second book, Modern Patchwork: 12 Quilts to Take You Beyond the Basics. This block is from her Metropolis quilt, but placed in a whole new setting. I loved this block so much that I wanted to come up with a way to connect the design thoughout the quilt.


Kerry and I went shopping at Sew Modern for the fabrics she wanted me to use in her birthday quilt. She wanted a contempory design, so I went searching for inspiration and found what I was looking for in Elizabeth's book. I needed to modify the setting to make the quilt a specific size and to best incorporate Kerry's chosen fabrics.

I used mostly angular quilting in all the neutral areas and quilted the other areas to best suit the fabric designs.

Although I still need to get the binding on, I was able to show it to Kerry this weekend at her birthday celebration. Happy Brithday Kerry!

Quilt for my dear friend, Kerry


I'm Teaching a Class at Sew Modern

I am teaching a Long Arm Quilting Skills class at Sew Modern in West Los Angeles on Saturday, October 20. The class is for students who have some experience on the long arm, but are ready to move beyond basic stippling and other edge-to-edge quilting designs.   It's not necessary that your prior long arm experience has been on Sew Modern's long arm machine.   You should just be aware that the term "long arm" does not refer to an upper body extremity.  Honestly, we just want to know that you've actually used a long arm machine and are basically comfortable pushing the buttons.   

I'm really excited and looking forward to teaching this class. I've been talking with Lauren Hawley, the owner of Sew Modern, for a while now about this class. At Sew Modern, they have a Gammill Vision V-8 long arm quilting machine they've affectionately named Harley. Sew Modern customers rent out time on Harley for their own projects. But before you can use Harley on your own, you're required to take the Meet the Longarm with Lisa class taught by Lisa Alexakis. I think Lisa is a very talented long arm quilter herself, and many people I know who have taken her classes tell me what an excellent teacher she is.   Again, for the purposes of my class, you don't need to have taken Lisa's class.   However, if you do not have a long arm of your own, you may want to take Lisa's class so that you can take advantage of Harley on your own time.  Sew Modern's rental rates for the long arm are very reasonable, and Harley is pretty darn comfortable.


Thanks to Sew Modern

This Bento Box style quilt was made with fabrics donated to the Cancer Support Community by Lauren Hawley, owner of Sew Modern. Lauren has been tremendously generous to the Cancer Support Community, as well as to many other charitable organizations.  

Lisa Redmond pieced this quilt. I did the long arm quilting on this particular quilt. This quilting is an example of the concept that less is more. Long arm quilters, and myself most definitely included, tend to overquilt just because we can. This is a simple quilt intended to provide comfort for someone that is hurting, and called for a simple and functional quilting pattern.  

I'd also like to mention that Lisa Faulkner Alexakis who does long arm quilting out of Sew Modern, also generously donates her time to long arming quilts that are donated to the Cancer Support Community.