Egyptian Border

barbeq2I’ve almost finished the first border on this quilt.  Check out my motif and the stylized straight feathers:


I still need a bit more quilting in my cornerstone design.  The gold areas have hieroglyphic quilting in them, quilted after this picture was taken.  You can see my chalk markings, I sketch my ideas right on the quilt top.

I’ll keep plugging away on this quilt.  It’s slow going because I quilt part time nowadays.  Plus I have a lot of straight line and stitch-in-the-ditch quilting to do.  This is called “ruler work,” and I like to take my time and do it right.

The motif in the pictures above was hand drawn by me, then  made into a stencil so I can replicate it on this quilt.  I have developed a new and easy technique for making your own stencils for quilting or other projects.   Hmmm…  guess I had better add that one to my book, right?   LOL!

Hugs, Carla

Handmade Holiday Gifts

This month, I’ve decided to write some more tutorials to celebrate the season.   These will be gifts you can make yourself to give to friends, family, teachers, etc.  My first one is almost finished, all I have left is to photograph the individual steps for the visuals.  All of them will be geared for beginners.

How’s that for a teaser?  LOL  I’ve decided to make some of my gifts this year.  Not only is it economy friendly,  you are giving of yourself to others: your time, effort, etc.

Speaking of gifts, I did finish my first one yesterday.  It is a freeform crochet scarf for someone, and I love the colors in this one:


For new visitors to my blog, I already have a tutorial on how to make this present.  You can also click on the birdy link on the right side for a list of all my free tutorials.


Quilting Update:  I just ordered some black batting for a number of quilts I need to do.  Since I can’t start the Egyptian quilt until the batting arrives, I’m starting another kimono quilt that looks like this:


That’s all for now!  Hugs, Carla

Guild Show Opening

My local guild, the Gold Bug Quilters, is having their once-every-two-year quilt show.  I entered 2 of my own quilts, plus this one I quilted and is owned by my friend, Barb.  It is called , “Sunrise, Sunset” and you may see the front of the quilt here and here on my Flickr page.

The following pictures are of the back of the quilt, which showed up nicely in the light as I was sewing on the show label this morning:

and some detail quilting:

and one more picture:

All of the quilt is freehand, except for a portion of a lovely flower stencil by Pat Campbell you can find here.  I love that flower and can now do it from memory.

Friday night, I’m treating Barb to dinner and the quilt preview show!  I’m glad she can come with me.  Barb is a talented quilt piecer and designer, we have collaborated on many quilts together- and some in the future!

This show is non judged, by the way.  I’m not sure how many quilts that I’ve worked on will be in this particular show, my guesstimate is a dozen or so.  I will take pictures of all the quilts on display that I like and share them with you.  Regards, Carla

Quilting Plan

This gives you an idea of how I approach quilts with regards to my quilting plan.  In case anyone is curious, I sketch in Photoshop directly onto my tablet laptop using a stylist pen.

Step 1: Take a picture of the quilt and import into Photoshop for drawing.

Here is the quilt shown minus any quilting lines:

Step 2: Sketch or draw various quilting ideas right on your digital image of the quilt.  For Photoshop or PS Elements users, I create a new layer for each area of the quilt.  If you later want to alter it, you may now easily do so by working on a layer.

And here is my rough sketch of the quilting plan:

Note: this sketch is used for reference only.

Step 3: Quilt your plan!

I start quilting at the top and work my way down the quilt, advancing as I go.  When you load a quilt, you only see a small portion or slice of it at any time to work on, so you need to know what you quilt on border one, so you may replicate it down at the bottom of the quilt.

This quilt will have no markings,  it is faster for me to do freehand.  The only tool I will use is a heart shape pattern board for the center heart shape.

The borders on this quilt has some slight fullness issues, so I couldn’t quilt what I really wanted to in the borders.  I knew I wanted to quilt some texture in the body of the quilt, but I also wanted to bring some structure to the borders to change it up a bit.  I’ve decided to instead quilt the borders using my freehand border quilting- which I know can “quilt out” any extra fullness easily.

Bargello quilts, by their inherent design, have no well defined areas.  Instead there is a blending of fabric from space to space.  I am using Continuous curve quilting to break up the darker areas and define areas where I will change the quilting.  If the quilt had less fullness, then I might decide to quilt in faux borders or lines and visually break up the spaces with the quilting lines.

My goal with the quilting is to “enhance” the quilt, taking advantage of the focal point of the quilt- which to me is the heart shape and center of the bargello heart.  By the way, to all the non-machine quilters reading this, the light areas in this quilt is where the quilting lines will most show when I am finished.

I change thread when I quilt, I  will use one color for the borders and dark areas in this quilt, a medium tone thread for the medium value areas, and then a lighter thread for those light spots.  I do this because I am enhancing the quilt and not trying to change the color or hue on the quilt top.  By using similar thread value to the colors used in the quilt, this will allow the quilt top to shine.

My biggest advice to newer quilters is to find what works for you, then go with it!

Happy quilting from Carla

PS: Today I got about half way finished in my quilting.  Here is the center:

Last Day to Enter

I’m celebrating a milestone on my blog, so I am having a blog contest that ends tomorrow. See the May 5th blog entry for more details. I will post the winner tomorrow, so be sure to check back for your name in case you win. Good Luck!!

I’ve been busy quilting my poppy quilt, I’m just having fun with the free motion quilting. Using many different colors of thread on this one, in some areas I want the quilting to show and in others I do not. Here are two pictures of my progress so far:

The first picture shows a small portion of the quilting machine I use. I’m quilting the designs freehand- which means I am simply quilting as I go and as the mood hits. It’s like painting with thread. I am using a lovely variegated thread color called “Citrus” (Rainbows by Superior Threads). All told, I am using about 4-5 different colors.

This has been a fun quilt- certainly no award winner, but a fun quilt nonetheless!

Btw, a HAPPY MOTHER”S DAY to all the moms (“mums” in Australia) out there.

Hugs from Carla

Fancy Log Cabin

Been in a quilty mood, so here’s a log cabin quilt I finished today:

Who says you can’t quilt a humble log cabin quilt fancy?? Molly, this one’s for you, if you are reading this….

I started with a stencil by Anita Shackelford– one I used last year on that Carolina Lily quilt, then freehanded in between, repeating motifs used elsewhere in the quilt.

See those straight lines in the first picture? Yes, those were freehanded, too. LOL! Also, In the blue sashing is my fancy oak leaf border design. Overall, this was a very fun quilt to do!!

Hugs from Carla

How to quilt Various Feathers, etc.

Want to make lovely feather motifs like this one?

I decided to write  a simple “how-to” for quilting basic feather types.  This post is also for the students in my class yesterday who had questions about simple feathers, “continuous curve” quilting, and how I would quilt a wedding ring quilt.  If you scroll down to the bottom of the post, you will see the difference between a feathered “flurry” quilt and a “feathered meander.”

Here is my simple tutorial for drawing and quilting freehand feathers:

Ever struggle with your feather shape?  Here is a helpful page to print out and practice. HInt- if you print it out and laminate the page, you can practice with dry erase pens over and over:

Here’s my how-to for Heirloom Feathers:

Here is the order for the Continuous Curve quilting in a 9-patch:

I also mentioned the Wedding ring quilt on my table at the moment- and how I take photos of the quilt and send suggestions to the friend who owns it. Suzie, this is relevant for you since you will be teaching a Wedding Ring class. Here are the 4 suggestions I drew for this friend:

jane-option1.jpg jane-option-2.jpg jane-option-3.jpg jane-option-4.jpg

The first two examples are stencil inspiration, the last two are my own drawings and ideas. My friend, the quilt’s owner picked #2, by the way, so I am busy implementing it. See the finished quilt here:

(Click on for larger view)

I also mentioned a technique called, “The Flurry,” a design created by my good pal, Jamie Wallen (thanks Jamie!). Flurrying a quilt is fast when you have the design down pat. Here is what is looks like quilted on a quilt:



If I were to draw it out, it would look like this:

Here is what Megan Best spine method looks like used on a quilt:

and the back:

I do hope this is helpful for all you beginning quilting students our there! Happy Quilting!

Regards, Carla

PS: Here is the link for the finished wedding ring quilt shown above. Some other great posts about quilting are shown here and here.

Quilting Down Memory Lane

Here are some older quilting pictures to share with you. The following quilts represent a cross section of “regular” quilts which I have had the pleasure to work on. Most of these are client quilts, quilted in the last couple of years.

Anyhow, I thought over the next few days to repost older work- both quilting and fiber art- to my current blog.

First up, a “flurried” asian-fabric quilt by Bev. (Thanks to pal, Jamie Wallen, for his flurry design):

asianbackweb.jpg asainback2.jpg asianfront.jpg


Then some “doodles” and fun fill:

carladoodle.jpg eggback.jpg eggquiltback.jpg

A flower quilt for Jill:


A silk small quilt for Barb:


And some baby quilts:

1436_mollybaby_1.jpg mollycu.jpg

teri2.jpg teripinwheel.jpg

Hope you have enjoyed my mini- quilt show. I enjoy quilting for others and especially love working with my clients.

Hugs, Carla

Carolina Lily Quilting

My arm aches, my legs are tired, but the quilt is finished!! It came out very nice, a pretty quilt, if I do say so myself. May I present the finished Carolina Lily quilt:

nancyfinished.jpg nancyfinished2.jpg

and the corner:

nancyfinished3.jpg nancy-finished4.jpg

I’m too tired to reposition it for a back view, please use your imagination- LOL! My next step is to trim it, then ship it off to its owner.

In case you are curious, I use 2 batts for the quilting to give it extra loft with the applique and alternating blocks.  The blank blocks I used a stencil pattern by Anita Shackelford. The edge triangle blocks, I simply quilted an undulating freehand feather and the edge border was my Carla freehand fill. No marking, I simply quilt a freehand design as I go. There was a reason I did this- the 4 borders were not even, so I wanted to quilt something that she could trim anywhere and it would still look good.

Onto the next quilt now. Hope you have enjoyed my approach to this quilt. I like doing custom quilts for special people- and this owner is a very sweet, southern lady. I’ll let you know what her reaction is when she receives it.

Enjoy your weekend! Carla