Leslie's Dresden Plates

I trimmed all the blocks to a consistent size, then added sashing fabrics and corner stones for frames.  Then the real fun began because I got to quilt them!
First I used the seams of each segment as a spine for feathers, and stitched in the ditch around the center circle.  I didn't want my cream thread to compete with the black hand embroidery, so I didn't stitch around the appliques.  I added a background fill of a loose meander to just hold everything together.

All of the sashing strips received a feather that met in the middle.  That way there is no top or bottom to the design, and it can go any direction.
Last was to add a small feathered wreath in each of the corner stones.  What a lovely quilt, and it's going to be a lovely gift for Leslie's 86 yo mother, daughter and grand-daughter of the women who made the blocks in the first place.  What a great ending to a lovely collection of blocks.

Stars by Debra

Isn't this fun?  You don't realize how cool the shading of the colors is until you see it at a distance.
I got quilting rulers for Christmas so used them on the border.

Continuous curves in the stars to allow them to pop out, and a tight background fill in the black to make it recede.  Most of the top was done with "Military Gold" thread by Glide, but I used black on the backgrounds so that it wouldn't be overpowering.  Quite effective, I think.

Rail Fenc by Carol

I love Rail Fence blocks.  They are quick, fun and satisfying.  Besides, how can you go wrong with purple and yellow?

Quilted with a panto of dragonflies, made even more appropriate since the backing has dragonflies on it.

Mexican Stars or 8 pointed stars by Pat.

Pat brought me another stunner to quilt for her. This one is for her Sister in Law, the lucky lady!  Here's what Pat had to say about the recipient of the quilt.
 When I think about my sister in law (whom the quilt is bound for), I think of words such as snazzy, somewhat glittery in that she likes rhinestones on her western garb, not afraid of color and a amazing seamstress.
So we went for "Snazzy".  I used "Glide" thread since it's got a bit of a sheen to it.  I was going to do something else for the quilting, but it just hit me that this is what this quilt needed.  Snazzy, but still feminine. 

I love the continuous curves in the stars, and how the feathers fill the background.  Such a fun quilt to work on.

Butterflies by Carol

Carol contacted me about quilting this quilt for her grand-daughter.  Now it's going to go under the tree, so SHH!  No telling!

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I am rather slow I guess. It took me 2 days to realize that the design I was quilting mimicked the swirls of the antennae of the butterflies.

Unicorn Mosiac by Xande

I can't be the only person who is amazed that all of the unicorns march around the border in the same direction!

Sheep!  The backing is flannel, most of the sheep are white, but there's a blue one plopped throughout.  So cute.

Baby quilt for Winslet

Quilted with an all over design of hearts and loops.  Perfect for a little girl.

Ruler practice

New pantos!

I was looking online for a baseball panto for Terri's quilt, and she liked this one best.

Since I didn't want to pay shipping for just one panto, I had to keep looking.  While looking, I learned that a friend is going to be a new grandma, so this was perfect for the as yet not even started baby quilt.  African pull toys.

Another snowflake panto! Get those winter quilts out and ready to quilt!

Dad's quilt for Lindsay

Lindsay had contacted me about making Nissen's quilt earlier in the year.  This time she and her sister needed a quilt for their father who was recently given a difficult diagnosis.  This is a small quilt, about 48x58" and about as fast of a quilt as it's possible to make.  Lindsay and her sister came to my house and sorted through my collection of "Nickel Squares".  So called because they are 5" squares.  I prompted them to choose fabrics that reminded them of their dad.  Either the color, or the print in the block.  I then sashed all the blocks with black to make a frame for them and quilted it with an edge to edge design.

This reminded them of swimming with turtles in Hawaii.

Dad loves dogs, so there are several dog fabric blocks.  There are also hearts to show how much they love him, nurses to represent both sisters whom are nurses.  What a great way to show your support of someone going through a difficult time.

Terri's baseball t-shirts

Okay, so technically they are her daughter's shirts, but Terri is the one who made them into a quilt.

And what a quilt!  Most of us take the shirts, and cut them down to a uniform size.  If necessary, build them up with extra fabrics, and maybe add sashing strips between the blocks to frame them.  Not Terri, at least not this time.  She made the shirts into blocks, or made blocks into sashing strips.  Quite amazing.  I love the checkerboard border too.
The quilting design is called "Flaming Baseballs".  Perfect on this quilt.

Green ladders by me.

This is another of the charity quilts that started out as the mystery that didn't get solved.  I spent a day sewing with friends, and decided to take this project along with me.  Plan A, prior to measuring, was to incorporate these with the little squares that were leftover.  Then I measured and realized that wasn't going to work.  (More on the little squares at another time).

 I ended up taking these assorted green rectangles of fabric and then sewing them together into strips.  When I left my friend's house I still wasn't sure what I was going to do with them, but I started to play around and decided that I liked this idea.  All the strips are different lengths, so I figured out which was the longest and added fabric to the ends to build the rest up to the same size.  All the while I was piecing this quilt top, I knew that it needed to be quilted with my Swirls board, and I love how it turned out.  I used Superior Threads Rainbows in the top, a color called "Jester".  Lots of purple and pink and many other colors.
The backing is a piece of leftover flannel from making 2 walker bags for my mom and a friend from work oh so long ago.  It was the perfect size, and great to get it out of my stash.  I know, sacrilege, but I'm not a big fan of flannel.  Don't even get me started on Minkie!

This one went to the Portland Police Sunshine Division today.  Just in time to be passed out for the holidays.

Winken, Blinken and Nod by Sharyle

 I can't say why Sharyle is making this yet, but...  She's made an attic window block to frame the panels of Winken, Blinen and Nod, then it's quilted with an edge to edge star pattern.

 You can't really see the attic window effect in a close up shot, but I also wanted to show the details.

No, the backing isn't grey, it's a perfect match of the same lime green in the front, but in Minkee fabric.  I love how the quilting design really shows on the backing.  This also gave me a chance to realize that I had completely missed quilting a 6" square in the bottom corner of the quilt.  Due to the way the pattern is quilted, I had just missed that when I was trying to not quilt off the edge of the quilt.  Back on the machine, and a quick finish in that little spot.

Reindeer by Jan

Isn't this fun?!  I love the reindeer, but have sadly erased the full shot.  I have SID around the entire deer and his ribbon, then used Glide "Military Gold" thread for the quilting in the rest of the quilt.  Swirls in the background to make you think of snow and wind, a pine needle design in the border and lots of little circles in the "ornament" that you can't see the fully.  Trust me, it's way cool!

Table runner by Jan

Jan is another customer that I have yet to meet, but I'm hopeful that soon we shall.  Here is a table runner that she mailed to me with the the dreaded "Do whatever you want" for quilting.  Okay, not dreaded, but thought provoking.  I decided to play with the quilting on this and used some different fills in all the blocks.  No quilting in the border, it is so narrow that by the time the binding is on, only minimal quilting would show.
I love how the diagonal lines in the red squares almost make a leaf shape.

Snowflakes by Michael

 I am still wondering where Michael finds the time to sleep and eat.  Maybe he doesn't.  Anyway, here's his most recent project.  Fussy cut snowflake designs in the center of the blocks, and a lovely glittery snowflake patterned fabric in the background and borders.  Quilted with "Flurry" panto of snowflakes and white "Glide" thread.  Makes me long for snow and not the current deluge of rain that we are having.  Oh well, you don't have to shovel rain!

"Christmas Favorites" by Judee

I LOVE Christmas!  Warm and snuggly quilts, warm fires, cookies and hot cocoa!

Judee made this quilt for her grandkids, and it's such a great kid quilt.  The pattern is from "Art to Heart", but she has modified it slightly.  Still lots of applique, and pieced blocks.  Judee chose to use wool batting so it's got a great loft, and I quilted it with a pretty tight all over quilting design.  I left some things empty, most of the lettering, and parts of Santa.  This way they've are more dimensional from the rest of the quilt.  There's an unwritten "rule" as well that you don't quilt over applique.  Sometimes though, you have to do some quilting on the applique to keep the batting from shifting as the quilt is used.  That's why Santa has a curly beard, and some more swirls in his coat. A few strategic designs in the candy cane and the ornaments.  Wish I could be there when the kiddos see this one for the first time.

Terri's Layer Cake

More quilting terms.  A "Layer Cake" is a package of 10" squares of fabric, pre-cut and usually from a fabric line so that they all coordinate.  I believe that Terri said she won these, and how come I didn't get in on that contest?  Kind of a 1930's theme, but updated at the same time.  It's amazing to me what you can do with a 1/2 square triangle.  Take a square of fabric, cut it in 1/2 on the diagonal to make a triangle.  Sew it with another triangle to make a square again, but with two different fabrics.  Lay them out in various patterns until you are pleased with the results.  Terri also used 4-patch units in the corners of the square.  Quilted with the Swirls board and So Fine! thread.

Double Wedding Ring by Pat

 Oh my!  I dream of "someday" piecing a DWR (double wedding ring) quilt, but I haven't yet.  I so admire people who take on these amazing challenges.  Pat told me that this quilt is for "a non-traditional couple, but they want a traditional quilt."  We chose traditional quilting designs for this pattern with lots of feathers and stitching in the ditch.  I love that this quilt is even included in the pre-nup agreement.  If the relationship ends in under 5 years, the quilt reverts to Pat.  Great idea!  After all the work that she put into this, I can't believe that she's giving it away.

 Each block has been SID around all the seams, then I added feather quilting in just the cream triangle shapes.  This allows the rest of the parts of the block to pop up.  The quilt will live in Wisconsin, so a chilly climate.  Pat chose wool batting, and the higher loft of the batt really allows the quilting to show. 
When Pat and I met for her to drop off her quilt, we talked about quilting designs so that she would know what her quilt was going to look like when I was finished.  I found myself quilting along, sticking to the described plan, but then thinking "It needs something else here."  So I'd add a little bit.  "Oh!  I like that."  Quilt some more in a different section and realize that it needed more quilting in that area too.  I must admit, that I had one vision, and started to quilt it that way, but it was quickly removed.  It just didn't work.  I'm very pleased with how this turned out, and I surely hope that Pat loves it too.
 I call this block, above, a "ghost block"  Pat left several open spaces on the border of the quilt that are the same size as the pieced blocks.  I quilted these the same as the pieced blocks, but they only show the texture of the quilting since there is no piecing.  Way fun!  Except for marking where the quilting would go.  I don't like to mark quilts because then I have to get those marks out.  Sometimes though, you just have to bite the bullet and mark up someone else's handwork.  Gives me the shivers.

 These two blocks above show the traditional quilting design for this pattern.  They are frequently quilted with feathers in the center squares and the "football" shapes.  I also cross hatched the background to emphasize the angular designs in the pieced blocks.

 Here's the back of the quilt.  The fabric is actually a pretty deep burgundy, but the camera read it as red and then orange.  I was trying to show the lovely quilting though.

This shows the "ghost quilting" along the border.