Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Mary has a monkey wrench

Don't you just love the colors in this quilt. (Ignore the chalk) It reminds me of sunshine or sherbet. It is so light and sunny. This is my first quilt for Mary. She is very new to quilting. But she knows what she wants. She takes her time with fabric selection. She always chooses quality fabrics with vibrant colors. And she likes a little sizzle in the thread for the quilting, too. Mary pieced this Monkey Wrench (or Snail's Trail) quilt in a Susan Baker class at the Crazy 9 Patch in Ramona, CA. With a monkey wrench quilt, it's all about the contrast. If you don't have the contrast, then you won't be able to see the wrench in the quilt.

I first met Mary one Saturday morning as I stopped by the Crazy 9 Patch. She and the instructor, Susan Baker from San Bernadino, were laboring over her choices for backing. She must have pulled 8 or 9 bolts off the shelf to lay across her quilt. She wanted a certain look. I knew which one I would have picked, it was this sherbet color with reds, corals and oranges in a cool wash on batik fabric. But I didn't say anything. Several quilters got into the cluster looking at the choices. And when it was done, Mary had chosen the sherbet batik.

She heard that I did longarm quilting and asked for a business card. The shop had my cards and brochures. You never know whether you'll hear from folks just because they accept your business card. There are a lot of people who quilt for money. There are quilters who quilt to supplement their income. And there are professional quilters with the required state license and an investment in quilting supplies. They have a zest to continue learning new techniques by attending classes and quilt shows. Passing on the state tax they assess their customers (in California, that is for fabrication labor) is just part of the business. Quilting, whether on a longarm or a domestic sewing machine, is work. It can be artistic work or it can be as simple as nailing the quilt down. Some of that work depends on the talent of the quilter but the amount of work done on a quilt is ultimately the choice of the quilt owner. Afterall, the quilt owner is the one paying for the quilter's service. So it was a nice surprise when the quilt shop called to tell me that Mary had dropped off a bag with a quilt in it for me.

After witnessing the backing selection process firsthand, I was not surprised what was waiting for me in the bag at the quilt shop. Mary had found a picture of a Monkey Wrench with the quilting that she wanted done. There were tight curls in the setting triangles and undulating lines that follow the swirl of the monkey wrench. She wants curls in the orange border, too. Yeah, I can do that.

I had a class with Mary a few days later and took the bag with the unquilted quilt in it. Also in the bag were 14 cones of thread. I wanted her to choose the thread that she wanted for the front and the back. Not surprising, she chose a thread with some pop. It is Superior's Rainbows thread Mango Mango. She wants it in the top and bobbin. I've never run Rainbows in the bobbin before. This will be something new for me.

I mentioned earlier that Mary is a new quilter. You would not know that from her piecing. Her 1/4 inch seams are consistent and her borders are flat, no waviness at all. I hope she likes what I did with her quilt and I hope she brings me another one.

Update: Feb 19th Mary picked up her quilt today. She "love, love, love"d it. That makes all the hassle worthwhile.


Anonymous said...

Love seeing the quilts! I'm so glad that you include photos of the backs after the quilting has been done. It's not often that I leave comments on blogs, but that doesn't mean that no one is visiting you. I've been following your blog for a while now.
Looking forward to seeing more quilts.
Rose Marie

Linda in CA said...

Hi Ramona
I just discovered your blog on Jeanne's Spiral blog comments. I am enjoying very much your posts. The pictures are great. Inspiring. And as a long armer at the beginning of the learning curve, I find your thought processing very educational. Thank you!
Linda in CA

My life has changed in the last couple of years - some bumps, I retired from quilting, and then I moved to Texas. I'm anxious to see what new adventures await me in the next phase of my life.

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Ramona, California, United States
I started quilting when a quilt shop opened in our little town in January 2004. I have been hooked ever since.

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This is called Fruit Cocktail

This is called Fruit Cocktail
It is all batiks