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Lot of excess fabric right where the points come together Lots of excess fabric right where the points come together

What do you do when you are asked to quilt a top that is filled with 30 blocks, each of which creates a C-cup’s worth of extra fabric?   Return it to the customer undone?   Quilted with lots of pleats?   resew each block before quilting in order to make them lay flat?    Or attack them in a brute force way with TOOLS??   We chose the latter.

Un-ironed and unevenly sewn points Un-ironed and unevenly sewn points

The cause of the problem is the lack of ironing of the seams and intersections and well as just a general unevenness of seam construction.  By the way, this is an old ‘found’ quilt, resurrected from an abandoned family truck.   The fabrics are probably from the 1950’s or 1960s.

Mallet, spray starch and iron Mallet, spray starch and iron

Although we tried ironing the entire quilt top, hoping it would eventually lay flat, we had to resort to the heavy hitters of tools and techniques.  Out came to rubber headed mallet, a full bottle of spray starch and the hottest iron possible.   Working from the wrong side, we opened the seams, swirled the points as much as possible, beat the intersection into submission with the mallet, and starched and ironed the heck out of it on the from and back.

A lessened C-cup.  Maybe now barely an A? A lessened C-cup. Maybe now barely an AA?

All that hammering and ironing paid off!   The excess fabric was tamed into submission and now the probability of introducing pleats into the quilting was lessened.    We have not yet quilted the top so I can’t tell you the whole story but we know it will be easier than before we used the tools.

 

Update:  These tools made a difference and we were able to create a really useable quilt with a minimum of lumps and bumps.

Susan

20131203-201814.jpg
Lot of excess fabric right where the points come together Lots of excess fabric right where the points come together

What do you do when you are asked to quilt a top that is filled with 30 blocks, each of which creates a C-cup’s worth of extra fabric?   Return it to the customer undone?   Quilted with lots of pleats?   resew each block before quilting in order to make them lay flat?    Or attack them in a brute force way with TOOLS??   We chose the latter.

Un-ironed and unevenly sewn points Un-ironed and unevenly sewn points

The cause of the problem is the lack of ironing of the seams and intersections and well as just a general unevenness of seam construction.  By the way, this is an old ‘found’ quilt, resurrected from an abandoned family truck.   The fabrics are probably from the 1950’s or 1960s.

Mallet, spray starch and iron Mallet, spray starch and iron

Although we tried ironing the entire quilt top, hoping it would eventually lay flat, we had to resort to the heavy hitters of tools and techniques.  Out came to rubber headed mallet, a full bottle of spray starch and the hottest iron possible.   Working from the wrong side, we opened the seams, swirled the points as much as possible, beat the intersection into submission with the mallet, and starched and ironed the heck out of it on the from and back.

A lessened C-cup.  Maybe now barely an A? A lessened C-cup. Maybe now barely an AA?

All that hammering and ironing paid off!   The excess fabric was tamed into submission and now the probability of introducing pleats into the quilting was lessened.    We have not yet quilted the top so I can’t tell you the whole story but we know it will be easier than before we used the tools.

 

Update:  These tools made a difference and we were able to create a really useable quilt with a minimum of lumps and bumps.

Susan

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Cooper's Cubes

 

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Cooper's Cubes We immediately fell in love with this quilt top. The simplicity of the design, the inventive use of color and the great proportions made this very attractive. But when we heard that it was designed by a 10 year old boy, we were floored. Although his grandma Lynda sewed it together, she did so under his direction.

The batiks were richly combined and made a perfect canvas for some wonderful quilting on the front. But when we discovered that the backing was Minkee, it was even more fun! Using a deep pile fabric on the back allows the bobbin thread to really sink in and make wonderful shadows.

I used my brilliant APQS Quilt Path on my Millennium to quilt it using Anita Shackelford’s design. Modern Snails, which I just love for it’s playfulness and depth.

We learned that Cooper really enjoys manipulating fabric and in particular, shows real talent as a designer. He is someone to watch as he grows up. Remember his name; we may be enjoying his quilts in a few years to come.

Susan

A few years ago, here in Texas, we met a delightful couple, Katie and Brian, who needed help completing a few quilts. We watched them create a family with each new baby. And we helped complete the quilts for those new babies.

Ellery's

Then we got the news that they would be moving to Brooklyn, NY. But before they packed up and left, Katie brought over a large box of Brian’s old sports T-shirts and asked us to make them into a quilt. We were given full creative license on the sashing, border and backing fabrics and we had a ball picking them out. Although the quilting is simple, it went so easily using our APQS Millennium longarm machine.Brian's sport shirts

The sashing is a combo of whites and grays, signifying the edginess of Brooklyn living. The border is a more subdued gray, almost corporate-tie-like to recognize Brian’s work in Texas. And the back is special. It looks like birds on a wire, ready to soar which is exactly what we expect from this young, beautiful, vibrant and talented family.

So, are Katie and Brian Texans per their birth or New Yorkers per their current location? We say they are both – the best of both at that too.

Susan

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You’ve heard of the new practice, called Trash the Dress where brides at the end of their wedding reception jump into a pool or wade into the ocean, fully attired in their wedding dress? It’s obviously the opposite to saying Yes to the Dress and honestly, is not something we fully understand or appreciate. Instead, we so enjoy preserving the dress in some way as a cherished memory.

And that’s exactly what Andria decided to do for her wedding remembrance. She wanted to have us create 3 wall hangings from her mother’s early 1970’s wedding and give them to members of her family. Since there was not much that was not stained, aged or an abundance of usable lace, we decided to fussy cut out individual sections and highlight them in a pretty design. We quilted around each piece, making it stand out and be the star of each 27″x27″ quilt. The corners were done using a formal pattern from APQS’ computerized system Quilt Path.

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I think this was a much better use than just ‘trashing the dress’. What do you think?

Susan

What do you get a one year old for their birthday?  Why, a quilt made from her baby clothes, of course.   So that’s what we did!

Modern clothes, modern colors, even modern straight line quilting!

Modern clothes, modern colors, even modern straight line quilting!

 

Here’s what the sweet clothes looked like after we cut them apart.   We saved the best parts for the quilt itself!

The detritus of baby clothes

The detritus of baby clothes

To stay with the modern feel of the quilt, it was quilted by Chris using irregularly spaced parallel straight lines, a piece of cake to do with the channel lock on our APQS Millennium Longarm machine.

So the next time you are searching for a gift for a one year old (or the Mom of a one year old), think quilts!

Susan

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