Saturday, December 22, 2007

A QUILTER'S CHALLENGE

It's not infrequent for those of us who make our living as longarm quilters to get several quilts in that are pieced from the same pattern. Be it a club quilt, a class quilt from the local quilt shop, or the current favorite pattern out on the market, such repeat quilts create a special challenge to us encouraging us to keep our creative juices flowing as we give each piecer a unique stitching pattern to enhance the top and fit the recipient of the quilt.

Chris's mother is a customer of mine who has pushed my creativity. She's found a pattern that works for her and has made it several times. In fact, according to her daughter Chris, I think this is the only pattern her mom uses. Each quilt is made with different fabrics according to the favorite color palette of the person receiving the wonderful gift or what she has in her stash that will go together, ...but, she always uses the same pattern. The pattern is by Terry Atkinson and is called Shooting Stars ... http://www.atkinsondesigns.com/patterns/patternDetail.asp?productID=119 and as Terry says, "All of your star points will be perfect because the stars are "floating" - the star points do not go out to the edge of the block."

I've quilted about six of these quilts for Chris's mother. Three of them have been E2E designs and three have been custom. I thought it might be fun to put each of the custom quilts up to compare designs. The challenge with this quilt is the way she has used different fabrics in the sashing strips creating an interlocking design where the blocks meet. And other times she set the blocks so there is an obvious star block and a double sashing all through the middle of the quilt top but only a single sashing on the outside edges. Definitely not your run of the mill click on the four corners and drop in the block. You can see from this picture the challenge created with the setting of the sashing around the blocks.

For the first quilt (back in 2005) she wanted me to do something with feathers. I remember having her quilt up on the design wall for almost a week waiting for inspiration - waiting for the quilt to "talk" to me. After much pondering I came up with the following patterns from Legacy Quilting (Designer:Anita Shackelford and Digitizer: Todd Brown) http://www.legacyquilting.com/
  • Blocks: #650 Wild Rose
  • Sashing and Outer Border:" #657 Feather Border
  • "Faux" Cornerstones: #443 (a little open feather flower)
What a nice surprise the way everything went together! I like the way the Wild Rose block fills in the corners opposite of the star points, and I love the way the Feather Border looks when the design is flip-flopped back and forth. I chose to drop the Feather Border into a pre-determined space as a rectangular block. This created what I call a "faux" cornerstone block in the sashing which was a perfect space for dropping in the little open feather flower.












The next one ... love the colors with the greens, blues and purples. This was the quilt I decided to try the P2P function for real. No more practicing. Just keep track of which way you think the machine is going to go and hope it actually goes that way! Whatever did we do without Point-to-point!

I used the designs from Kim Diamond http://www.sweetdreamsquiltstudio.com/index.php

  • Blocks: Juanita from Kim Diamond
  • Space filling: Holly 1 from Precision Stitch
  • Borders and the open spaces between the blocks: P2P Peak and a resized repeat of Juanita.



When I go back and look at these pictures couple of years later, I wish I had done more quilting in the open areas of the border around the outside edges of the curved diamond. Just goes to show, we're always learning and growing in our skills.


And now for the POSIES quilt ... the quilt I just completed this last week. Her request for quilting was feathers and flowers. I digitized all of the designs for her quilt. I call it the "Posie Collection." I wanted to create the look of a flower garden with a trellis. I eneded up digitizing three different designs for the border to come up with a good balance of density and size across the quilt top from the blocks and out to the border. The final result with the posies trailing through the trellis was a good idea ... and I have a couple of Posie E2E designs as a bonus. I'm really pleased (and so was Chris and her Mom) with the results.



And of course we always love to check out the view from the back!



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