Monday, March 2, 2009

Spring Fling - Butterflies and Pinwheels

More like Spring Fever. I've got a bad case of it. Well, what do you expect when the weather is 80 degrees one day and 31 the next night. I'm sooo ready for spring. Of course here in the Texas gulf coast spring is only a precursor to summer and our endless summer is usually pretty darn hot -- but bring it on! I love hot humid Houston!!

Okay, back to the Butterfly part of my post...Butterflies and Pinwheels to be exact. This is the Waterwheel pattern from Square in A Square and it's a class sample for an upcoming spring class at one of the local quilt shops. It's also a 'booth sample' for the upcoming Dallas Quilt Show next week where I will be giving hands on demos in the A-1 Professional Quilting Machine booth. The show's theme is playful pinwheels so I thought this quilt would be just right.

The fabric is from P&B and is a new line called Siena. I purchased it back in January when I was in Dallas for the SnS reunion. So how 'bout that, a new record -- fabric purchased and quilt quilted in less than three months. Actually less than two months! Of course, I still have to do the binding (but that will be done this week, can't hang an unbound quilt in a quilting booth now can I?)

Here's the full view. It's 65 x 88 and was custom quilted. Techniquely 'heirloom quilted' -- anytime I have to SID (stitich in the ditch) the catagory changes! I don't want to even disclose how many hours it took me to SID around the pinwheels and the light border. That's my least favorite part of quilting, but I've learned through trial and error (usually on my own quilts) that it just pops better when this extra step is done.

And what photo op would be complete without my faithful pup, Pixxie the professional quilt model?!?! Funny side story ... Saturday a new quilting friend came over to pick up some longarm is my custom when I answer the door I have Pixxie in my arms -- she's one wiggle worm that's for sure because she gets so excited when we have company...well, since this lady and I had never met I make our introductions -- to which she replies "oh I know Pixxie from the longarm list and your blog" (smile).

Okay, back to the quilt rambling. I've also learned through playing around with personal quilts that I really like the Hobbs Tuscany Wool batting -- can you see the texture in the close up of the quilting? It's sorta hard with the matching thread, but when the light hits it just right it really has a lot of movement and can at times look like faux trapunto. Yummy batting. The quilts are sooo soft and cuddly too. And they don't seem to wrinkle or crease like my other quilts. Good thing since most of my quilts are used and can usually be found rotating between the couch and the bed.

When I first started quilting I developed this habit of signing my initials KEO in the body of the quilt along with the year. It's hard to see unless you have a way of making the photo larger (or going to my webshots to see it there) but in this bottom pinwheel I indeed have KEO 2009. Later I added my signature butterfly to the mix and lately have been using a butterfly as a focal point in the top corner of a quilt (My Dangling Carrot quilt is an example of that). Well, this quilt just screamed that it needed butterflies. So...why just do one when you can do seven!!

Makes it more springie don't you think? If you go back to the overall photo can you find all seven? The first one is easy.

I've also offered my customers this design element as an additional service. Some like just one, a few have asked for three, but I think so far this is the most I've done in one quilt. And it was fun.

I spent too much time quilting the interior of the quilt -- well, not too much time for therapy but too much time considering it doesn't show! True confessions. I needed to do dense quilting to make this quilt lay flat...

See, I made the mistake of piecing this one two different machines. Have you heard not to do that? Some of the flying geese units were made on one machine and some were made on another. Between the two machines the needle setting was not the same, hence my quarter inch was not consistant. When I pieced it I had to fudge a little. (surly you've had to fudge some too in your quilt life haven't you? that's when you 'unch' it in -- I like to call it fudge because it reminds me of chocolate and who doesn't love chocolate! makes the task more tolorable).

Okay. So there you have it. When you aren't a good seamstress you sometimes don't get the flatest laying quilts. That's why you really have to measure to make sure you don't have wavy borders. (That's a topic for another day, or go visit my website for detail instructions on preventing this qulter's nightmare). I have to say I was pleased with the way the mitered borders turned out and my quilt did turn out straight -- but it only lay flat because I nailed it down with dense quilting!! And as my husband reminds me, I did enjoy the process.

Hope you like my new quilt. PS the colors are more vibrant in person, wish you could see it - I just love the backing!!


Millie said...

Karen, your heirloom quilting is absolutely stunning. And you are so good with the SID work around the pinwheels. I love you quilted butterfly, so perfect on that quilt. It sounds like we are all ready for spring!

Zlaty said...

I love your quilt Karen!!!
You have done awesome job quilting it as well as piecing it! I like the 3 different types of thread you used. I love the butterfly and I saw you sign it with thread. I like the dark background. WOW you are fast less then two months!
Have a lovely day!
Happy sewing!

Gudrun said...

I like the black in that quilt, (as well as the colours) I haven't found many 'almost' solid blacks that I like.
Would you be so kind as to share the name of the maker?
The butterflies are terrific! I guess you stopped at seven because you were tired :) When it comes to butterflies more is magnificent.

Karen E. Overton said...

The background fabric is a tone on tone from P&B called Rambling Spray Dk, it's a current fabric so you should be able to find it (or have your local quilt shop order a bolt). And the butterflies...well, 7 is the 'perfect number' so I decided it would be perfect for this quilt (God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th)

Lynn Douglass said...

That should really draw customers into your booth! Gool luck at the show!

Muddling Through said...

I like your new quilt, and the butterflies are great! You do such a good job with your quilting. Trying not to get into envy here. :)

Jeanne Turner McBrayer said...

Just beautiful! The butterflies add the perfect elegant touch.