Custom Longarm Machine Quilting

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Nativity Quilt

This quilt was brought to me by a lady who works at Gracie Lou's. It is for a friend of hers. The applique Nativity is so cute, she wanted me to just stitch around it, in an outline, and then do an allover pattern with stars.

She had stitched on some stars and a saying at the bottom, which I quilted around as well.

A close-up of the stars and loops pattern I used. I used a wheat colored thread, that matched the backing fabric perfectly, and didn't draw too much attention to itself on the front of the quilt either.

Flannel Rag Quilt

I did a quilt similar to this one a few months ago for Gracie Lou's Quilt Shoppe. One of the ladies who works there made this quilt, and wanted it quilted similarly to how I quilted the shop sample.
I did a small star in the center square, and then a loop with stars in the borders. It turned out really cute.

I used a baby blue color of thread.

Baby pinwheels

This cute baby quilt was brought to me by my client "Joy". She also brought in the pattern because she wanted it quilted as closely to the sample as possible.
I stitched in the ditch on the small pinwheel, and quilted a square on its side around it. The block itself is also stitched in the ditch. The big pinwheel blocks are only quilted in half the triangles, and are not quilted around the outside in the ditch. In the sashing there are both horizontal and vertical lines, about 1/4 inch from each side. The outer blue border has 2 lines in it as well, about 1/2 inch from the edges, and about 1/2 inch from each other. In order to achieve straight lines, I used my horizontal and vertical channel locks on my Gammill Classic Plus machine.

In the outer border there are flowers quilted in the squares. They are outlined by what looks like a near perfect circle, but are really just arcs on each side of the square.

I think this quilt is so fun! I love the baby boy fabrics she used!

Anniversary Quilt

This was such a cute idea! I got a call last week from a lady who was doing an anniversary quilt, and needed it rushed through. She was willing to pay the rush charge, so I took it. I wish I could've taken more pictures, but since there was personal information all over the quilt, I cannot post them.
I did a continuous loop/heart pattern. I love that they found old pictures of the couple and put them at the top of the quilt. She used a lot of iron-on photo transfer. Underneath the center picture at the top, it had the names of the happy couple and their wedding date. Below that, in three columns, they had pictures of what I assume are the children and grandchildren of the couple. The quilt was relatively small, about the size of a wallhanging, but was so cute!

In the lower bottom corner was this small white square with "50 years" printed on it. She wanted hearts done in the corner, since she had run out of iron-on transfer for what she wanted to put there.
Congratulations for making it this far and best wishes on continuing your journey together for a long time hereafter!

Feathers, feathers, everywhere!

This one was the second quilt I did this month for my client, "M". It was huge! But it turned out really nicely. It took me about a week to complete the quilting, which surprised even me, because I did a lot of quilting on it.
There were 99 blocks on this quilt. I took sets of 4s and quilted a feather 'x' motif through them. Then I meandered throughout the background.

In the border I did a long feather. It streched from the middle of the short sides of the quilt, around the corner, and ended in the middle of the long side of the quilt. This made two continuous, long feathers in the border. It looked really cool. There was a smaller border that I did a continuous squiggle in.

I love the way it looks on the back of the quilt! I used navy blue thread, and she provided me with wool batting, which quilts up beautifully, so the end effect was really quite splendid.

The feathered 'x' is a design I came up with in one of my "doodle sessions" as I call them, and is available for use in other quilts if desired.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


This cute quilt is for another of the ladies up at Gracie Lou's. It had such cute fabric. It was all racing themed, with several flame fabrics in the mix.
It has black Minkee on the back. I used a black thread,and quilted flames across the quilt. It turned out so cute!

I had tried to find a flame pantograph, but nobody had one like I wanted, so I ended up freehanding the flames with the quilting machine. I had originally drawn several designs out on paper, but ended up just using them as a guide. I also used the flame fabrics as a reference for how I wanted the flames to turn out. For the most part, the flames are all a continuous pattern across the quilt, with several small flames quilted in empty spaces.

Charm Pack Table Runner

This is the best idea! A customer at Gracie Lou's had me quilt this one with a stipple. She used fabrics from a Merry & Bright charm pack (Moda fabrics).
It was a super simple quilt, but it turned out so cute, and will definitely make her table a little more festive during the holidays!

Flower Garden

This quilt was such a cute quilt! It is for one of the ladies up at Gracie Lou's. She used a lot of really cute fabrics. A few of them had floral prints. I decided to quilt a continuous floral pattern.
I also deliberately left some empty spaces for little garden bugs to be quilted in. I quilted a butterfly....

....and a dragonfly....

...and a lightning bug....Or I guess it could be a little fly, or a lady bug, or any number of cute little garden bugs. But I like to think it is a lightning bug.
It turned out so cute! And it looked really good on the baby pink Minkee. I used a baby pink thread, that matched perfectly.

Lots 'o lines

This is a quilt I did for my client, "M". She wanted it heavily quilted, but wasn't sure how tight I could go with Minkee on the back. I did some research, and a lady on one of my long arm quilting groups had mentioned that she had quilted about 1 inch apart. That was good to know.

I got to work thinking of how I could quilt this one. It is for a man, so I couldn't really do anything to feminine, and I didn't want to do just a stipple, since I had stippled one for her a few weeks ago. This left me in a bit of a pickle, but I finally figured out a cool-looking pattern.

In the dark blue pieced squares I quilted a continuous snaking square design. Then, I quilted in the ditch around each square-in-a-square block unit. In the corner triangles, I quilted at a diagonal.
In the triangles on the edges I quilted vertical lines (along the top and bottom borders) and horizontal lines (along the side borders). In the inner navy blue border I did perpendicular lines. In the maroon/pieced border I did a squiggle, and then in the outer border I did a zig-zag.

I love the way it looks on the Minkee back. Very cool! And, it is quilted closer than 1 inch. I think maybe 1/2 inch in most places.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Christmas Panels

Someone brought in 4 of these cute Christmas panels to be done. I have finished two of them so far. Sorry about the total lack of detail on these pictures, apparently my lighting was not as good as I thought it was when I took them.
I did a little loop in the outer border.

In the smaller panel sections I did stars.
In the bigger panel sections I did holly leaves. In the center panel section, with the Holy Family, I did a holly leaf at the top, and a star on the Holy Family. It turned out really cute.

Lines and Feathers

After a week of intense quilting, I have finally finished this beautiful quilt by my client "Joy". She wanted it quilted similarly to the quilt pictured on the pattern she used. The quilt pictured had diaganoal lines across the quilt 1/8 in apart with a very intricate feather pattern (they called it angel wings) in between the lines.
I did the lines 1/4 in apart, with a similar feather pattern, although not exactly the same.

I quilted the lines clear out to the edge of the quilt so that no matter where she puts the binding it will look like they go right into it. This actually made it quite easy for me, since I did the lines first, because I didn't need to use any pins once the lines were completed.

This is the back of the quilt. I think this is my favorite view.
The fabrics she used were so beautiful, too. She wanted an off-white, pearl color. The thread I used is called "eggshell" and it matched beautifully on the front and the back of the quilt.

Notice that the feathering pattern alternates direction every section. I did one direction all the way from bottom to top, then took the quilt off, repinned it, and quilted the other direction.
Q&A about this quilt:

Q: How did you get the lines so straight?
A: I have a tool called a Gam-guide, made for Gammill machines. That is how I did the center line on all of the sets of lines. Then, I used my normal 6 1/2 x 24 1/2 in Omnigrip ruler to add in the rest.

Q: You said you didn't need any pins. What does that mean?
A: I generally float the batting and quilt top on top of the backing, which is pinned at the top and bottom to my canvas leaders. By quilting all the way to the edge of the quilt top, I didn't need any pins, as the stitching across the top had already secured it to the batting and the backing fabric.

Q: What do you mean when you say you worked from the bottom up? Is that normal?
A: Usually you would start quilting at the top, and work your way down a section at a time. With this quilt, to make sure that the feather design flowed well and was spaced correctly, I started at the bottom and worked my way to the top.

Q: Why did you have to take the quilt off and turn it around?
A: In order to get a more uniform pattern, it was better to take the quilt off and repin it so that I could again start from the bottom and go up. The end result is the same as if I had left it on, but started at the top and worked my way down, doing the feather pattern backwards and upside down, only with better results.

Have another question about this quilt? Feel free to leave it in the comments, or contact me by email:

Friday, November 7, 2008

A "Heart"-y Quilt

This quilt was left for me at the quilt shop. She wanted loops and hearts. She also wanted me to use pink and purple threads. I searched everywhere for a pink/purple variegated thread, but as far as I can tell, none exists. Why not? That might be cute! Anyway, I ended up using a light pink thread for the quilt top, and a light purple thread in the bobbin.

Above and Below: Loops with hearts. I did varying sizes of hearts throughout the quilt. It turned out so cute!

Three Quilts for "M"

I have a client, we'll call her "M", and she recently brought me 3 quilts to do. She was giving them away as gifts. I actually finished these last week, but it's taken me a while to get them posted...sorry!

This first one was red, black, and white, and for one of her adult nephews. The lighter red fabric (as seen in the thinner of the two borders) had almost a zebra-looking pattern to it. I immediately knew I wanted to do something similar to the pattern in the quilting. I also decided that I wanted to make some of the pieces pop more. To achieve this, I did a really, super tight meander in all of the dark red/black print fabric, and stitched in the ditch around everything else.

Above: Hard to see, but it is the variation of the zebra print theme in the outer border of the quilt.
Below: the back view of the center of the quilt. As you can tell, I used a solid black thread for all of the quilting.

This next one was for my client's daughter. She turned 21 this year. In the bottom right corner I quilted her name and date of birth. Then, everywhere else I did a fairly tight meander using a green/white/tan variegated thread.
This next one was my favorite of the three! This third one was for a female co-worker of my client's husband. But, she told me that her husband might want to keep it instead. This influenced me to do a non-gender specific pattern. I did a fairly tight looping meander in a burgundy colored thread.

Below: I love the colors she used in this quilt. I didn't have a thread that looked to match exactly, but once I started quilting in the burgundy it was obvious how perfect it was for the fabrics. I especially like how beautiful it looks on the gold and tan fabrics.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

End of the Year SPECIAL!

From November 1 thru Dember 31, 2008 an all-over or edge-to-edge quilting design is $0.01 (reg. $0.015). Also, Hobbs Heirloom batting is $7.99 per yard (reg. $10.99). Take advantage of these great deals today! As long as your quilt is received before the 31st of December, you will get these great deals, even if the quilting isn't finished until January!

If you have any questions about this promotion, or machine quilting in general, please feel free to contact me.