I purchased this stained, hand pieced red and white quilt top at a local flea market for $12. The quilt top had holes, different shades of white fabrics and did not lay flat, but I could see the finished look. I love to take old quilt tops and bring them alive with various types of quilting. This one needed lots of small quilting to flatten down the unevenness. I could not find the name of this pattern, but many saw turtles, geometric design and birds. I had a book that had a fish pattern in a circle and I thought it looked close, so I decided they were fish. I loaded the quilt top on my Handi-Quilter frame and could immediately tell I had my work cut out for me because the quilt top was very wavy. I thought this would be a perfect time to learn free-hand quilting. I first basted the quilt down and started with red thread to create the fish. I quilted gills and eyes on the fish. I then quilted with off white thread double circles on the cream/white and beige fabrics to matte down the quilt top and to give it a continuous look instead of drawing the eye to all the different shades of white. It was a lot of fun! I love this quilt! After it was quilted I was told the pattern is doves. I see fish, what do you see?
Sue Meggenhofen brought me her antique quilt top to be quilted. Her quilt top has cinnamon pink, plaids, stripes, indigo and depression blues. Sue said this quilt top was given to her grandmother as a baby gift in 1904 and has been passed down through the generations. Sue decided the quilt needed to be quilted. I was honored that she trusted me with this heirloom because I love to bring quilts to life with my quilting. The quilt maker would rather the quilt be finished and used instead of stored away. Some of the stars had come loose and needed repaired before quilting. I quilted in the ditch to stabilize the hand stitches and added simple designs. For the age of the quilt the fabrics were in great shape. Sue will add a label to the back for future generations to know the history. Many believe that a hand pieced quilt top should be hand quilted, but I also believe quilt tops should be finished so they can be enjoyed. So if you have a quilt top stored away, I say get it out and get it finished!
As a long arm quilter I am always up for a challenge, like when Marcia asked me to quilt her tree skirt. I heard other quilters talk about quilting them so I knew it could be done. She embroidered on shining satin fabrics and sewed ties together from the recipients late relative. I stitched in the ditch with Mono Poly clear thread between the ties, so it did not distract from the focal point of the skirt. I wanted the ties to pop out and bring back memories of when they were worn. I added a few swirls and piano keys around to finished out the quilting. She provided cotton batting and I used red embroidered thread on the red fabric. She received a red ribbon at the Common Threads quilt show in 2018. Many asked about it and took pictures liking the idea of the ties being used in a quilted tree skirt. Another great way to preserve memories. Go create yours!
Do you have too many T-shirts that you don’t want to part with? Keepsake T-shirts make great memory quilts and I can turn them into a double-sided T-shirt quilt. I use the largest T-shirts on the back and you have two quilts in one! I cut the T-shirt’s and sew them back together to make the front side, then I cut the large T-shirts and sew them together to make the other side. I add 100% cotton batting and quilt it on my long arm machine. I finish the quilt with binding to secure the edge. This is a basic throw size quilt for $250.
I attend the Common Threads Quilt Guild and at a meeting, a lady brought in this hexagon marquise quilt top and all the hexagon pieces to finish it. She said she started it a long time ago and was not going to finish it and wanted to give it away. I gladly accepted the challenge. The hexagons are from polyester and sweater material, meaning very unstable and stretchy. If you look closely at the last row of blue you would find where the next row would start, but I had no intention of finishing it in the normal fashion. I decided to place the quilt top onto a piece of white fabric, quilting around each hexagons to attach it to the white background fabric. I then quilted a digitized design in the white with a light blue colored thread. This was the quickest way to finish it. Polyester is very heavy making this quilt great to snuggle under. I plan on showing the lady how I finished her quilt and see if she wants it back. I like to try new ways of finishing quilts and making memories come alive. If you have a project you don’t want to finish in the traditional way, then think outside the box.
My younger brother Mark, likes wolves and when I found this panel I had him in mind. Panels are sometimes not straight and can make it difficult to cut apart. I left the panel as one unit then I added gray fabric to the top and bottom of the panel. I finished the quilt with a brown border. I am making quilts around the size of 50×70, a nice couch size quilt. On this quilt, I added two layers of batting behind the panel to make the animals pop more. I quilted an edge to edge design, while cropping out the circles and free hand quilting in the circles. I have made a list of people I have not made quilts for and I am marking them off. So my brother told me I could mark him off my list!
A dear friend asked me to make a baby quilt with the theme of elephants and in the colors of purple and gray. Some months earlier, I had purchased seven tea towels at a garage sale that were hand embroidered elephants with the days of the week. I thought they would be perfect for this baby quilt. I cut a rectangle from each towel, added gray sashing, then purple borders. I embroidered one elephant to balance the quilt top. I free hand quilted the piano keys on the purple and swirls around the elephants and her name. I added a sleeve on the back so she could hang it in her room. So adorable!