Friday, December 2, 2011

This week in review

Every customer project so far this 'year 3' has had interesting challenges or learning experiences. Here are two:

Pillow tops ...those small things on a long-arm could be more easily loaded if the back was one large piece and you could just place the pillow tops across the table and quilt them. So...if you're thinking about having your long-arm quilter quilt pillows, consider having 1 large back for the totale of your pillow tops. These pillows coordinate with a quilt I did in Year 2 - CQ84. They asked for a similar motif of the quilting. This collage shows all 3 and the backs so you can actually see the quilting--a big bunch of grapes still on the vine.

Fancy front AND back ...When designing a quilt, sometimes there are elements that just won't work together, so you decide to do something special on the back too. Well, as soon as it is special and has borders that kind of match the front--this is a major challenge to the long-arm quilter. Unlike domestic machine quilting, we don't put the sandwich together and THEN load it...we bring all 3 pieces together as we quilt down the the way the fabric stretches or has been pieced is going to show up as we sandwich it when quilting. This week I had a quilt with a 'charm pack' pieced quilt top with a border, and the 'backing' was a large piece of fabric with borders and then applique in two corners across the center and border. The borders didn't EXACTLY match and the overall dimensions were roughly the same. Besides the "I can't match this exactly" issue, I needed to go back to pinning the bigger piece onto my backing leaders (which was the charm pieced top) instead of using my Red Snappers and to grab the sides, I had to grab all 3 layers--just no choice. We really need 4-6" each direction on the bottom layer to NICELY attach and grab the sides when doing the quilting. The client seemed happy with what I did....and here it is. I should say..I am too given the situation.


I quilted it from the 'BACK' checking where the border seam was as I went with a feather / leaf treatment in the border and then migrating into loops in the center from the feather so that it appeared to be intentionally flowing rather than a clear start/stop at the border seam. It worked well on 3 sides, but by the time I got to the bottom border it ran over a little on the true 'front' of the quilt's border. This quilt will be headed to Germany with the military family and baby and I'm sure will be well loved regardless. How else could it have been done? - Applique the letter on the true front and let the back be blocked together to just be the back. It doesn't need to be pieced together symmetrically. It will give the back some character. This was a new quilter doing a favor for an ill quilter, so it will be ok.

If you're reading this Dec. 2-4, 2011 ...please check out Quilting Gallery's 'star' themed quilt contest this weekend. You'll see my Starlight-Flutterbright. This week a client dropped off a 'blue/purple' colorway and elongated version of this quilt. That is going to be fun to do!

Going to Ireland with me in June 2012?? I hope so!!

Interested in making a block for the welcome exhibit?? Make one along with me within the next month.

May the stars be bright where you are tonight.

1 comment:

  1. great job of the quilting - that's a tough one - I had a quilt that the client wanted the centre seams to match, front and back - it didn't turn out too badly - lots of measuring and I haven't got my red snappers yet, so pinning is the norm - it was wierd laying the top about 8 inches from the pinned edge though!