Sunday, February 23, 2014
Okay, I will be the first to admit that when I started seeing chevron patterns in quilts and in fabrics, I wasn't a fan. However, the look has really grown on me over the past year. I quilted a quilt for a 4-H girl last summer that had Dresden Plates made out of the brights on whites chevrons from Riley Blake. I must admit that it was a very cool quilt. She got a Reserve Grand Champion ribbon on that quilt at the NE State Fair, and I really wish now that I had taken a picture of it!
The quilt pictured above is a very simple chevron baby quilt made out of easy half square triangles in pinks and grays. It was really fun and turned out so nice with the simple quilting that I put on it for my customer. Anyone could accomplish the straight line quilting with some patience and a walking foot. I did use a serpentine line on the seam lines to add variety and to strengthen the seams to withstand plenty of washing since it was a baby quilt. The blocks were about 5 inches finished, but you could easily make your half squares from 5 inch charm squares, being careful to make sure that the layout had strong light rows and dark rows so that you would see the chevron pattern. This quilt reminded me of the afghans that my mom and I used to make. Hmmm...maybe I should dig those out of the closet. Everything old is eventually new again!
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
So, let me start out by saying that I am a longarm quilter. I don't have to pay to have my tops quilted, and I do understand the ramifications of paying someone else more money to custom quilt your work. Having said that, I really believe that almost every quilt top deserves to be quilted in a way that makes it truly special. Granted, there are quilts made from super busy fabrics that wouldn't show the custom work. There are kids quilts that will be used, abused, and eventually thrown out. These quilts are fine to have an edge to edge design. But, so many of our quilts could be truly special if they just had that extra "something" added with the quilting.
This quilt could have been done with an edge to edge design. The fabrics don't have a lot of variation in value; the pattern isn't anything special or difficult, and it is just a small little lap quilt. What did I do to make it special? Well, I did custom work in certain areas. I used a ruler to make straight lines in the striped areas. I used rulers to create crossed lines in the pieced work. The extra special touch was that I quilted trees into the center panel in the same style as the fabric print using darker thread. I made one large tree, and two smaller trees. In the trunk of the large tree, I quilted a heart and place my husband and my initials in the heart. In the two slightly small trees, I quilted hearts with my son and his wife's initials on one tree, and my daughter and her husband's initials in the other. Under my son's tree, I quilted two smaller trees and added my grandson's first initial on one and my granddaughter's first initial on the other. Finally, I McTavished all around the trees to make them stand out. Now, this quilt is truly special! I may still add some paint or crystals or other embellishments, but I am letting it "gel" for awhile before I add anything else.
As a longarmer, so often I have customers who simply want "the least expensive" quilting on their quilt. I do what they ask, but I am often thinking, "What a shame. This quilt could have been something special, but now it will just be utilitarian." We spend money and time to create beautiful quilt tops, why not go the extra mile (and expense) to make them truly beautiful?