Monday, March 23, 2015


Here is where I left off last week, with a few pretty good ideas about the direction I would go on this quilt. I did a few more sketches on the plexiglas before I felt ready to start quilting. If you are here for the first time, I use plexiglas to audition different designs on a quilt top without having to commit to anything.  See this post and this one for my process with the plexiglas. This is not a marking tool, it is a drawing tool I use to develop a pleasing composition and it sure beats the sit and stare that I am also quite proficient at.

 I ended up quilting a combination of straight lines, swirls, mazes and in the sashing a traditional orange peel treatment and some circles. I used the fabric to dictate a lot of the quilting within the panel. Straight lines work to add texture and movement without distorting the images.

I always love adding some windy sky when I have the opportunity.

I followed the bamboo leaves with my stitching to accentuate the designs in the fabric.

 I used a series of mazes to fill in the borders and I did change thread to ivory to quilt the small sashing and the other light areas.

I love mimicking the Japanese motifs and adding straight line work to offset the designs.

Here is a close up of the different sashing and border treatments, this was quilted entirely freehand.

I think the finished quilt came out well and the quilting enhanced the quilt adding interest but not distracting from everything that is going on.
As quilters our biggest challenge is finding that balance in quilting that adds to the pieced top without overwhelming it,  quilting "enough" but not too much. 
Balance is golden.

In other exciting news, I managed to steal away some time for myself and took a class from one of my good friends and local teachers, Katie, who blogs at Sewkatiedid.
Her color, aesthetic and overall sense of design always inspire me and after my husband seemed to like her pillows better than mine when we were at their house for dinner I decided I needed to up my game in the pillow department.
 I love how Katie uses painters tape on her design wall to back into her designs 
and define the space for herself. 
These were some of her examples and step outs for the gradual curves class that I took.

Here is what I completed in the 3 hour class, which went by way too fast!
As an educator, I am finding that one of the best ways to be a better teacher is to continue taking classes as an open minded student. I have a lot of thoughts on this but can't seem to put them into words. It kind of goes back to the miracle of sharing,  it really does all come full circle. 

I played with my curves a bit more and hopefully once I get my studio cleaned I will finish this pillow!

My studio was clean for a total of 23 seconds before I decided it needed a total overhaul. I am adding two design walls and getting rid of a LOT of stuff. Right now it just looks like it threw up all over itself and no one wants to see that. Hopefully I will make some progress this week and come up with some brilliant functional work space ideas in my very cramped space.

Clearly, I have my work cut out for me.  It is good to be looking forward towards a renewed studio space that flows better. I'm excited for the prospect of having more time to focus on my own work as I wind down quilting for others. Finding the balance really is a beautiful thing. 
I hope you have a superb week ahead and find some balance in your life too.


  1. You are so creative! I love how you quilted that panel quilt, so awesome to custom quilt it. Most panel quilts I am commissioned to quilt are for simple edge to edge, custom quilting brings the panel to life! I enjoy seeing others creative space and yours in no exception, I had a giggle at your domestic machine set up on the table of your Gammill :-)

  2. I so love seeing all the quilting on the blue quilt, it is just beautiful. I also agree about taking classes to be a better teacher, especially when you take such a great class. I never thought about using the back of the long arm as a sewing table, won't work with my current set up but I shall keep it in mind when I next move the long arm.

  3. Oh my gosh, Krista, that is just gorgeous. May I ask a question? Do you keep the plexiglass near you as you quilt as a guide? (Or perhaps your memory is a whole lot better than mine...)

  4. Tell Mike I like your pillows better than mine;)

  5. I'm loving this series - I can hear your voice as I read and that makes me very happy indeed. <3

  6. I, too, am in the process of cleaning up a space too full and too small. I will be watching to see what ideas you come up with. Nice quilting, i continue to learn from you.

  7. It's pretty neat to see how intricate the designs are which you made. I know that I wouldn't be able to do that. My wife is an avid quilter and sewer and I'm looking at getting her something to show her my appreciation. Given that I don't have the skills to make her something, I'll have to see about getting someone else to make it for me.