Sunday, May 23, 2021

Meadow by Jen Kingwell: The Quilting

The Close Ups

I want to get this post out this morning as there's so much happening. May is a crazy month between garden and studio. Some days I think I've got things hammered down, and a day or so later I'm backed up both places. 

Beneath the busyness, I'll think, "This is something I think people would enjoy seeing," and then I'll forget. That's irritating. Also, subjects and threads are easiest for me to write about while they're still relevant. When I'm deeply involved with a subject, I have a swirl of emotions along with the process. It's that I hope to convey.

I often spend so much focused time with someone's quilt, I tend to see parts in isolation rather than as a whole. It was so with this quilt made by Donna Young. It hung for weeks in the studio while I studied it. It's a beautiful pattern, and Donna did lovely work. The plan was on paper before I touched the quilt with the longarm, and that's important to know--what will go where, and when.

There are 2 layers of batting. One is Hobb's 80/20 underneath, and a thin layer of poly on top. I like Fairfield low loft. The whole quilt is first stitched in the ditch to anchor everything. Ditching is time consuming--each block, each border. Then I went back into the center to do the 4 quadrants. These were done by repeating a block 4 times in each quadrant to keep the scale equal to the rest of the quilting that would follow.

The flying geese were next. A motif in each center triangle then ruler work in the outside wings. Outside small borders that were horizontal were next, and then off the large longarm, and onto the smaller one. 

Backside view

The ruler base back on for all the outlining of the applique using a ruler. Off for the background fills as it tends to catch on the bungies. 

Note Bene for Custom Quilting Customers: Provide an extra large backing for custom work. 7" on all sides is appreciated here. That keeps it out of the way of any clamping system, top, bottom, or sides. Also, whenever you send any backing, be sure to square it on all sides. Custom quilts are often turned to accommodate vertical borders, and often an E2E pattern will dictate a quilt be loading a certain way. If your sides aren't straight, your quilt will not load properly. If you are sending a pieced backing, a 1/8" stay stitching around the edge after squaring is also helpful.

I used three different fills on Donna's quilt. There were 7 blocks across so either-or wasn't an option. Small swirls, pebbling, and tiny scallops provided variety.


This has been the week for poppies in my beds. Tall flowers on long stems were everywhere, and it's obvious how flowers become the focus of quilts.

Alliums are mixed in this bed.

Wild phlox has seeded itself on this side, but will be dug out after flowering. The bees love it so, but I need the space for transplants.

Miss Kim lilacs have been here nearly 30 years. The smell is the first thing you notice when you enter the garden. It's glorious!

Enjoy these days of flowers in your own meadow.

Come on, Doxie girls.
Let's go sew.



Nancy said...

Your gardens are glorious, Julie! A little heaven on earth, I think.
I love this quilt you're working on. I like the subtle symmetry provided by the arrangement of colors and the flowers around the borders are delightful.

Linda Swanekamp said...

Oh my, my little postage stamp flower garden is shamed by all your bounty! I had to pick myself off the floor reading you transfer one quilt from one longarm to another. I have enough difficulty working with one quilt on one longarm. I took a longarm course once from someone who quilts peoples' show quilts and she used a wool batting over a 80/20 for loft. I think I would like to try the polyester thin idea as I love texture. The quilting is beyond fabulous.

Lisa in Port Hope said...

I like how the applique puffs up but do you ever worry that it will wear off prematurely? As to the thoughts swirling around but not making the paper (or screen) I agree with you! I too need to take a few minutes more often to share the progresses, the mistakes, and the uncertainties, as well as the triumphs