Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Nancy's Quilt

This is Nancy's quilt, my first quilt customer. Nancy is yet another yoga student, former teacher, speaks French, sews, and is a newer quilter. She wanted to make a quilt for her new nephew who lives in England. She showed me the fabrics she'd collected, beautiful blues and greens, from several quilt shops. She said that was her favourite part, was gathering the fabrics! She's smitten for sure.




She hadn't settled on a pattern though, just knew she wanted to incorporate as many of the fabrics as she could; more is better... She's definitely a quilter after my own heart! We talked about quilt ideas and petted those pretty fabrics a few times, and eventually  I suggested she may like to make my Blue Skies & Sunny Days pattern, as it's terrific for a controlled scrappy look, and goes together so quickly, great for a beginning quilter. She loved it and said, "That's the one!"

Outside of our library monthly get-together time we sewed at her house one day. I worked on my Bear Paw Dance quilt and helped her get going on the blocks once she had everything cut out. She had the top together within a week.

When it came to backing, I suggested she may like to check out A Stitch in Time in Leamington where there is a wonderful supply of Minky. Well, she loved the idea of that on the back, despite being told by someone that it's too slippery for quilt backs. I offered to quilt it for her if she liked, but no pressure. Well, she liked that idea.

Around that time I myself had been in A Stitch in Time to buy the extra Minky needed for Brady's football quilt. I'd got talking to the owner and found out her regular longarmer was retiring, so she was keeping her ears open to find another... I'd showed her my For the Love of Lilacs quilt that was in McCall's magazine and she was over the moon about my quilting, so she said if I was interested in taking on some of the work she'd love it. She gave me the longarmer's number so I could talk to her about things, which I did. This is how I knew a basic idea of what was charged around here, so I could come up with a figure for Nancy.

Nancy loved the idea of feathers like I'd quilted my pattern cover versions of Blue Skies & Sunny Days.

I suggested she grab some Hobbs 80/20 Cotton/Polyester batting at Michael's with a coupon, which she did. I love this batting, and it's great with a Minky backing. So in short order she brought me the quilt top, Minky and batting. I got home and opened up the quilt and found out she'd not only added another row of the stairs blocks, but she'd put on a 6.5" wide border! It was nearly a twin size! She told me later that it's a little boy quilt, so he can use it for even longer. Smart! And? She'd added some heart appliqués, such a nice touch. I love it when people make my patterns their own; I do the same quite often.

Once I had my mum's quilt all done, I started in on hers. I used Superior So Fine on the top, #403, which is a soft beige so it would blend in everywhere. I did a gentle meander in the 'stairs' areas since the quilting doesn't show up that well anyhow.
Bet you can't tell where I've stopped and started!

People asked before when I did my first two if I quilt the feathers in one go, unrolling and rolling back up the quilt. No is the short answer. The short rows I do, but the first few long rows of the feathers I stop as Angela Walters teaches, at a strategic point, so that when you unroll the quilt to do the next section, you can easily blend in the feathers. This is also the technique for doing feathers in the long vertical borders. Some people take a quilt off and turn it sideways when doing feathers in a border, not I. It, and several other worth their weight in gold tips and techniques I learned in that former-Craftsy class, now on bluprint: Free Motion Quilting With Feathers. (affiliate link)
I did extra curlicues to fill in the stairs.

I'd suggested perhaps a piano keys border like I did on the Lilacs quilt, but I told her I'd think on it while I quilted the centre. It wasn't long into the quilting that I had the idea of doing the ribbon candy. I sent her a photo of some I'd done around the blocks in my Midnight Mystery quilt. She liked it. I switched to Isacord in royal blue 40 weight so it would mostly blend but still be visible. I'm so glad Avril loves all threads. The Bottom Line went in the bobbin.
That's a 2" wide ribbon candy with echoes 1/2" apart on either side.

I also suggested I quilt in her name as well as the baby's, and she loved that idea.


In the churn dash cornerstones, I did a Dot to Dot design, another terrific worthwhile class on bluprint, Dot to Dot Quilting, and I even took it from Angela in person a few years ago, worth every penny!

It, like all the quilting, shows up so well on a Minky backing.

I simply outlined the hearts she'd appliquéd as I knew they'd show up nicely on the back. Minky may be a touch more finicky as in it's a little bit stretchy to pin onto the longarm, so you have to take extra care, and it's thicker, so I bind with a 2.5" instead of a 2.25" binding. I always use a batting with it, though some don't, and I always lay the Minky so the nap or pile is going down, as in you'd pet it downwards towards the bottom of the quilt. If you're joining Minky, you need to be sure to have that nap all going the same direction.
Sidenote: Brady told his mum that his football quilt (with Minky on the back) is the best blanket he's ever had. He's had several quilts from me and lots of blankets for his bed over his 11 years, so that's quite the compliment!

I was pretty nervous quilting this, but Avril was a dream, and 10 hours of quilting time later, the quilt was done. This is the first time I've kept a close track on my quilting hours. I call this a semi-custom quilt job.

Although I do not want to be quilting as a business, doing someone's quilt here and there as they fit in with my own things was fun and another challenge/new experience! I've offered to help her bind it too, since she's only bound one quilt before, so we most likely will get together once more to finish this up.😊

A note on threads: Connecting Threads, who I have supported before, as well as during, my affiliation with them, which is back. I mentioned my longarm, Avril, loves all threads, and their Essential line is one I've used a lot. They actually have them on sale right now, and even their regular price is great, $2.79US for a 1000 metre spool. It's 50 weight 100% cotton. Their sets are on right now for 30% off. Click below or that 30% off link which is an affiliate one, to check them out. I love this rainbow set, 10 colours for just $24.43, but ha, I have almost every one of those colours anyhow! I love their free shipping policies for more than just the US!!
Thank you for the support here; it help pay for the linky parties I run, as you have to pay monthly for that. Tomorrow is Throwback Thursday by the way, and I'm hosting!



20 comments:

  1. I love how the minky shows off the quilting on the back. It seemed like kismet when your quilt shop owner told you that her longarmer was retiring. I'm glad you were able to talk to someone to get a feel for local rates.

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  2. You have begun something a bit new, and that's great. Good that you can begin at your own pace too. I'm sure that quilt is cuddly with that Minky on the back. Great that the two of you can work on this together, a win-win for both of you!

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  3. Such a lovely job. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. Beautiful, and the quilting is perfect with the pattern, and the backing shows it off so well, Love it all over. and then you are helping a new quilter so much, she must be so happy to have found you.

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  5. Oh, Sandra, this turned out so beautifully. Thanks so much for sharing your techniques and trainings.

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  6. Hi Sandra! Love that minky on the back - I can just feel the wonderful texture through the computer. I'll bet Laura is over the moon with how it turned out. And thank you, as always, for those wonderful closeup photos of your quilting! I would not have thought to use a dot-to-dot over the churn dash blocks but it sure looks nice. All of it looks fab . ~smile~ Roseanne (no need to reply!)

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  7. How wonderful of you to share with a new quilter! She will be a friend for life. It's great you have a chance to test the waters for professional quilting, though with all you usually have on your plate, I don't know how you can fit any more in! Your quilting is just gorgeous. I've heard so much negative about using Minky it is good to have your feedback.

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  8. Oh that minky really shows off your great quilting! For a beginner she did a great job on making the quilt her own, must have been the great teacher she has.

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  9. Fun to work with someone who is filled with excitement and enthusiasm for quilting. I'm very certain she gleaned a lot of that enthusiasm from you! I always love the quilting that shows up so well on Minky. I always show my clients the back first - makes a strong impression! Enjoy your new endeavor!

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  10. Great job! I call that custom. I love how the quilting looks with the minkee!!!

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  11. Beautiful work, and so pleased for you for the opportunity that has come from all your hard work and generosity to date.

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  12. Beautiful quilting! I love the feathers!

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  13. Those feathers across the diagonals are just lovely! Your friend made an excellent first quilt, and your quilting makes it an heirloom for her nephew :)

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  14. I adore quilting with minky, with or without batting. The quilting shows up so well on it...makes me want to go super custom!! The quilt turned out so beautiful...you both did a fabulous job!

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  15. You did a fantastic job on the quilt and how fun to have someone make a quilt with your pattern and then custom quilt it. She is one lucky quilter.

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  16. Great job on the mentoring, the quilting and the story! It's a lovely quilt, and you can take pride in it from start to finish. I see several wonderful careers starting here, one for you and one for your student. Congratulations!

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  17. It turned out just lovely! She’s a lucky girl having you guide her and doing such a beautiful job with the quilting!

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  18. Beautifully pieced and beautifully quilted. You both work well with each other.

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  19. The quilting on this one is simply magical, Sandra.

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  20. Nancy could not have picked a better person to get initiated. No wonder she chose the Blue Skies pattern. It is so beginner friendly. Love love love the quilting. The enthusiasm (in her work and your quilting) is infectious!!!

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