Tuesday, February 20, 2007
This quilt looks like it should be called Mardi Gras. It is full of greens and vibrant purples with spirals and scroll work. It has black with curls to add a touch of drama. Mary likes the sparkle in Rainbows thread by Superior; I used Rainbows #848 Buncha Violets. I put a Signature #555 Berry Wine thread in the self-wound bobbins.
This is my second quilt for Mary. She knows what she wants. Her fabric is always quality cotton in the most vibrant colors. Her piecing is exact and those borders ...well, she should teach a class on borders. They are perfect. She wanted tight curly-qs in the black and harlequins in the green on this quilt and she wanted heavy quilting.
At first, I tried using my Circle Lord to make the Harlequins. I love the CL for cross-hatch work. But these harlequins have a different angle. I had to reach way back to Geometry class (1964) to define the angle as 60 degrees. That was a real tweak for the Circle Lord. I had to draw the lines on anyway in order to ensure that I got the correct angle. Then, using the crosshatch template with those wonderful long straight lines, I lined the CL up with the chalk line on the quilt. I worked a bit. It took a while to set the first line up and then I could just move it to the next chalk line keeping the same angle. But I kept running into the front carriage wheels. Grrrr.
So I decided to try using a ruler. This was my first time trying any ruler work on a customer quilt. I had the heavy hopping foot installed a couple months ago. And then I got the RulerMate expanded plate for Christmas. It was back-ordered so I didn't actually get it until January. A RulerMate replaces the needle plate so it stays installed all the time.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the Megan Best ruler
was the exact width that I wanted for the harlequins so I used that ruler to draw the lines and then used the other side of the ruler to guide the hopping foot as I quilted. OK, now that was easy. Why didn't I try this before? I had to concentrate about keeping a firm but not deathgrip on the ruler. The hopping foot snugged up to the ruler and off it went. I zipped through those chalked lines very quickly. It is still a lot of work but I am about one-third done so far.
This is the second quilt that I have done for this customer. This one is for her 4 year old grand-daughter's birthday. It is very bright and cheerful. I love it. The only instruction that Lauren got from her daughter (the mother of the 4 year old) was "No more orange, Mom". Oops, too late.
Both the front and back are pretty busy so I just wanted to add some texture that the child could feel. I really wanted to use a pale yellow thread and put circles all over it based on the circles in the backing. But Lauren wanted white thread. I used PermaCore white thread on the top and Superior Bottom Line prewounds in the bobbin.
She nixed the circles, too and opted for the Butterfly Charm panto by Hermione Agee for Lorien. It came out great. Lauren is a great piecer. Trouble-free quilting. I used a stencil on the border. It was alternating hearts and snall circles.
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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