This quilt could be yours! I’ll explain how at the end of the blog 🙂
I got my longarm, an Innova, in Sept. of 2014 and immediately began to experiment with this awesome method of machine quilting. I wanted a project that would be a teaching tool and couldn’t have picked a better quilt that this one. Titled “In The Meadow” this piece in the 2 pictures below was designed and quilted by quilter, pattern designer and teacher Judi Madsen. The 3rd picture below is of my finished project from her book: Quilting Wide Open Spaces. The book is chock full of wonderful ideas and even includes templates!
So here I am below, piecing my blocks, getting everything laid out on the design wall, working with colors that make me uncomfortable!!! I am a fall season color quilter. Give me the rich and warm burgundies, greens, browns, oranges, golds, etc., etc. This project was WAY OUT of my comfort zone! But look at how great it’s going!
I made the blocks as identical as I could to her original quilt but when I loaded it onto the longarm I realized it was upside down. Oh well…not a big deal as the quilt top is not directional. I finished the piecing in late 2015 and began the quilting in 2016. The stitch in the ditch process alone took 3.5 hours to complete.
Earlier I mentioned the templates for the motifs are included. There’s a CD on the back of the book with everything you’ll need. I printed the motifs onto ivory card stock, carefully cut them out and proceeded to draw around them using an EZ International Blue Water Soluable Marking Pen.
With the quilt top finished I threw all caution to the wind, loaded it on the longarm and began quilting. But first things first: I double batted this project with a layer of Hobbs 80/20 and also their Poly-Down. Judi bravely backed her quilt in “traffic cone orange” so I did the same thing. My guild friend Kelley Bennett owns “5 Bucks a Yard” and had a fantastic orange fabric in stock so I ordered the backing from her.
Thread: I used Fil-tec’s Glide white #10000. Judi Madsen also used a metallic in the block sashings. I wasn’t ready to tackle metallic threads yet so I chose a military gold by Superior Threads, Magnifico #2068.
I began by blue pen marking the large motifs and outline quilted them across the entire piece. I then gave the motifs their inside quilted details. Next on to the sashings with all the ruler work and finally to the background fill in the white blocks and the borders. What a great opportunity to play with feathers, pebbles, curly cues, etc! I was hesitant initially with the background fill but by the middle of the quilting process was gaining confidence with my work.
Let me just say further: Thread Matters! I love the two threads I used in this project. They enhance rather than distract from the quilting process. Choose your thread(s) wisely and you’ll be a Happy Quilter!
For the straight line quilting below I did not mark but rather I relied on the increment markings on my longarm ruler/template. Notice the corners of each of the blocks; the lines splay out from the center inside corner. It’s little things like this that make the quilt/quilting so interesting.
After I quilted the big motif outlines I used either water or Sew Clean on the blue lines. By the way, have you noticed, there are just three large motif patterns: butterflies, dragonflies and lilies.
Here are the first pictures that show just how orange the backing fabric is!
I love the backs of quilts that have a solid color. What a great way to feature intense quilting. I was a little afraid to use the solid orange, but look how great it turned out:
By the end of this project let’s just say I was getting comfortable with:
- following a marked motif
- ruler work (think sashings)
- echo quilting
- changing bobbins 🙂
- intense quilting
After finishing this project I was ready to tackle the world!
So here’s my finished quilt. Binding and everything! Whew, what a project! (Have I mentioned how much I love my longarm?)
This 62×74″ project took a total of 31.5 hours to quilt and required 17.5 bobbins.
Here’s the exciting thing: This quilt can be yours! I donated this completed project to my guild, the Quilt Guild of Greater Houston and with written approval of Judi Madsen, this is our Opportunity Quilt for 2017. Think raffle quilt. By spending just $1.00 this quilt could live at your house forever!
If you’d like to purchase tickets they are $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00. Email me (info below) and I’ll help you know how to buy tickets.
Also, live anywhere near Houston, TX? This quilt will be on display and tickets may be purchased at the guild Quilt Show, May 5-6th, at The Stafford Centre.
It was a joy to make, a joy to quilt and a joy to donate to my guild. Hope you’ve enjoyed this blog!
Happy quilting and blessings,