How much quilting is too much?

Have you ever entered a quilt to a quilt show and gotten a comment back from a judge or two stating that it needed more quilting?

A few months ago,my mom and I took a landscape class offered at the quilt guild that I belong to. I thought I’d share a couple “in progress” photos. Most of the applique is done, as well as most of the quilting. I’m trying to learn and practice quiltiing different designs.

Originally I had the idea of quilting whispy clouds and “breezes”. When I finished quilting the sky, I showed my mom and asked what she thought. She liked it, but suggested that I do more quilting in the sky because that’s what the judges like. At first, I said that I was quilting it for me and this was how I envisioned it. I didn’t want it to have heavy dense quilting. Then, I thougth about it, and decided to add more stitching. The whole point in taking a class is to learn new things and step outside my comfort zone.

Lighthouse landscape more quilting

I have to say, this is the first time I’ve quilted something, taken a photo, then added more quilting. It’s interesting to compare the two ideas.

I got the inspiration by googling “sky quilting designs” and coming across an image of Angela Walters’s “Busy City Quilt”. Although I’m not entirely thrilled with the quilting I did here, I’m pleased that I tried something different.

What do you think? Do you like the “less quiling” version or the “more quilting version? I’d love to hear which version you prefer? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section. There’s no right or wrong. That’s the beauty of quilting!

I still have to add some fence posts and a little more quilting on this project. I’ll post another picture when it is finally done and let you know which version I prefer.  I’ll post a photo of my mom’s finished lighthouse too.

Things that make me smile:

  • Great food and dancing with Jim at the River Grill along the water. This was the last weekend they were open until next spring. The fish tacos were excellent!
  • A beautiful sunny day picking apples in Niagara County at Baker Farm Market.
  • All the homemade applesauce, apple pie, apple cake, etc. made from the fresh apples!

Let’s go spread some sunshine!

-Melanie

Mom’s Yo-Yo Coverlet

Moms Yo-Yo Coverlet

Moms Yo-Yo Coverlet

In February, I posted a few pictures of the yo-yo’s that my mom had been making. She’s finally gotten enough of them sewn together to cover her bed! She said she might add more yo-yo’s to make it bigger, but she was anxious to get it on the bed in timer for it to be her summer coverlet.

Yo-Yo Close-up

Yo-Yo Close-up

 

There’s definitely over 1,000 yo-yo’s, possibly close to 1,500! She tried to use as many different fabrics as possible.

Hand Embroidered bird by Maria Giunta

Hand Embroidered bird

 

The delightful birds on the pillowcases were hand embroidered by a mysterious member of my very good friend Mary-Louise’s family. I say mysterious, because I thought it was her mother, but she thought it might have been her sister, Jo-Ann. Mary-Louise gave them to me recently and the yellow color happened to go perfectly with the yellow walls of my mom’s bedroom. And since her bedroom also serves as our sewing room, I get to see them whenever I am sewing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things that make me smile:

  • Doing puzzles with my mom.
  • Jim’s home made apple pie..
  • Finally getting flying geese quilt blocks made right! (more on this later)

Let’s go spread some sunshine!

-Melanie

 

 

 

American Made Fabric!

“America the Beautiful”

America the Beautiful quilt by Melanie Watson

America the Beautiful
quilt by Melanie Watson

Finally, there’s a line of fabric made entirely in the United States of America – American Made Brand by Clothworks.  This line of fabric is made in the USA from cotton grown in the USA.  It doesn’t get any better than that!

Last year, the makers of the fabric had a challenge – the Farm to Fabric Challenge. The quilt pictured above is my submission to the challenge. Sadly, it didn’t make it into the exhibit. They only accepted 21 quilts. I don’t know how many entries they received, but since it was open to all of the US, I’ll bet they were inundated with entries. If you’d like to check out the 21 quilts in the exhibit, they can be seen at www.americanmadebrand.com/farm-to-fabric-challenge-2.

IMG_3446

My quilt is inspired by the song “America the Beautiful”. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but the mountains are made with purple fabric. I stitched a different quilt block motif in each of the squares in between the rows of farm fields. I added the apple trees in plains on the side of the farmer’s field. This is my first original quilt design. All the curves are pieced. The only applique in it is apple trees. It’s my version of “purple mountain majesties above the fruited plain”. I know it’s not perfect, but I still love it. I’ll share some of the techniques I used to piece the curves in a future post.

American Made Brand Fabric

American Made Brand Fabric

I really wanted to showcase as many of the American Made Brand colors as I could,  so I ordered a variety pack of their fabric. I was so eager to get started, that I bought the fabric before they had all their colors ready. I think this is about half their current colors. So far, they only have solids. I’m hoping they expand over time.

The best way that we can keep jobs in America and convince employers to make new manufacturing plants here in the United States is to make a conscious effort to buy American made products. It’s not always easy, but it is worth the time and effort! You can start by asking for the American Made Brand Fabric at your favorite quilt shop. Although nothing beats seeing and holding the fabric itself, you can check out the gorgeous colors at www.americanmadebrand.com/the-fabric.

Today, I’ll just share one thing that makes me smile:

  • Gratitude for the men and women who fought and continue to fight for the rights of hard working people!

Happy Labor Day everyone! Let’s spread some sunshine this week by buying American!

-Melanie