Monday, April 16, 2012


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I totally forgot to blog about the finished product of this quilt.  I think this was the third quilt that I did for Thomas, right after the Cover Girl quilt for American Patchwork & Quilting.
But Jo (actual name is Chimera) is one of my favorite quilts in the history of forever.  Tons of white space to play with on this one.
When I was in the planning stages for quilting, there was a lot of emailing back and forth between Thomas and myself (as there usually is).  I call this quilt Jo because it is made from Kona Snow and Elizabethtown by Jo Morton.  Thomas absolutely adores her, but I have yet to actually meet her.  It's interesting to see a small snippet of Thomas's thoughts in making this quilt.  I definitely didn't want to let him down on the quilting.
I had been tossing around the idea of pulling some motif out of the fabric to use in the quilting.  He quickly emailed me two images to use:

I was SO GLAD that the first motif was one that he sent as a possibility because for whatever reason, I really, really liked that one and was totally drawn to it.
So there was my motif.  Now what?  I kept trying different angles and combos and couldn't figure out why nothing was working.  Well duh, I thought I was dealing with squares but they were actually rectangles!  Once I realized that, progress was much faster.
In one of our email exchanges, Thomas mentioned trapunto.  I wasn't sure if he was joking or not, but I secretly really wanted to trapunto this motif to add a little to the traditionalist feel of it, then trick it out in modern-ish quilting to the background.  So trapunto, I did.

Now this is how you know how much I adore that guy:  I USED MY AIRTEX BATTING FOR HIM.  That stuff is like my version of gold.  Nobody gets my Airtex.
So once the trimming was done I was finally able to load the top with the backing and batting for round two of quilting.  I still hadn't really determined how I was going to do the rest of the quilting, I just had a sort of general idea.
I ended up doing a sort of antique-looking frame around the motif, and filling that in with pebbles, or "sand" as everyone is calling it.

After that I decided that I wanted to do straight line quilting at diagonals to form giant diamonds working their way out.  But I didn't want to do just straight lines.  I wanted to do a double line to make it look pin-tucked.  But what I really wanted to do, was some boutis trapunto in those little pin-tuck-y looking channels.  There was no time for that.  So rather than a double line stitch, I did a triple line stitch to give it more texture.
Bottom right corner:

Now, I've been asked by several people how I managed this.  I will not lie to you, it was no easy task and it took forever, but the results are well worth it.  I ended up using packing tape to tape together my Janet-Lee's Favorite and my regular OmniGrip ruler.  Why did I do this?  Well, because they were REALLY LONG LINES and while the Janet-Lee's Favorite has wonderful etchings on it to use as a guide, if you're not looking straight down on it, then your lines will be terribly off.  With the use of my OmniGrip I could make sure that my lines were pretty evenly spaced.  But it's only 1/8" thick, and my hopping foot clears it, so I taped my 3/8" thick Janet-Lee's Favorite on top and voila, problem solved.
I started by stitching single lines, 1/2" apart, then worked my way back by eyeballing a good distance from that line on each side.

I filled in the windmill and outer edges beyond the windmill with simple 1/4" lines.

Annnnnnd done!
Simple?  Yes.  Easy?  Most certainly not.  Stunning?  Absolutely!


  1. gorgeous. Crazy, but gorgeous :-)

  2. I'm in awe. Amazing. I don't know how you did it, do it. Amazing.

  3. You should design some whole cloth quilts - I bet they would be amazing. I do particularly love your quilting on this one.

  4. Do you charge a million dollars? I know thats kinda personal BUT every time I see what you do, I think "has to be a million dollars."

  5. Oh man that is awesome. Beautiful, amazing, fantastic. You got mad skills girl!

  6. All I can do is shake my head in wonderment and wish I had 1/10 of your stamina!