Thursday, December 20, 2012

Quality over Quantity

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I have a pretty epic finish to share with you.  But first I just have to say, I've decided to stop fighting with myself to keep this blog updated on a regular basis.  I will continue to try to be better about posting, but I will never be that blogger that posts a single sentence or a picture of my dinner because really?  That's what Instagram is for.  Amiright?

So anyway.  I've been feeling like I may be in a bit of a rut lately.  And I wanted to quilt some stuff that I could go absolutely nuts with.  I have several Latte Quilts to quilt.  One of them happens to be Helper Bee's quilt. 
None of the Latte quilts are anywhere near their turn on the waiting list, but I wanted to do one.  So I did!  I took 63 freakin pictures of this sucker, so it will be hard to narrow it down here.  But first I'll give a little explanation of how this quilt is made.
It is an embroidery quilt.  You take several embroidery designs to build blocks, and stitch them in sections.  Once you have your blocks embroidered, you put batting on the back and "quilt-as-you-go" with decorative stitches and stippling.  This is great in theory, but the latte quilt is made with satin and is really a true heirloom.  With the amount of time put into the construction (for us it was a year and a half long class), that just is not enough quilting for it to make the impact that it should.
I did try to warn everyone not to put the batting behind their blocks, as they would likely want me to quilt it for them anyway.  Few listened. 
So what I ended up with was a bunch of quilt tops that had batting sewn into the blocks (and into the seams which makes for some serious bulk), and a bunch of stippling on them.  Have I mentioned I don't like stippling except for in micro?
The other thing is that with it being satin and with it having batting sewn into the blocks, precision is really important, but also really difficult.  So this quilt had a lot (A LOT) of fullness to ease in.
Here it is pre-quilting.

Do you see how the corners are poofy?  That's because the borders are not long enough.  And the entire quilt had to be shrunk down to accommodate for that.  But anyway!  I added another layer of Pellon Legacy Poly batting (that stuff seriously rocks my socks) and started stitching away.  I did things a little differently this time in that rather than stitching in the ditch right off the bat, I basted the crap out of this quilt, outlined all the motifs first and then did some of my filler work to work in that fullness and flatten it out a bit, THEN I went in and did the ditching around the blocks, sashings and borders.
The biggest challenge with this quilt was all of that stippling she had done.  The quilt didn't photograph well on the frame at all for me to show you any of that.  But suffice to say that ALL of her stippling was coming out.  So I didn't have much choice but the stipple over it to hold it all in.  And then stipple over it again.  And then one more time in micro for good measure. 

The part that's glowing is the part that I had gotten the micro-stippling done.  White thread really glows in black light!

So I'm going to try to stop talking now and just show pictures of the quilt completed.  :O)
Micro-stippling all done from the back side

All of the blocks

Center medallion

PreTTy, preTTy settings!

Trying to decide if I would fill in those little spaces...

The whole thing...

That's a lot of quilting!

And a very happy Helper Bee!!

It didn't take nearly as long to quilt it as I thought it would.  Now I have a bunch more to do, but this one was sort of the test run.
I had another pretty awesome finish this week, but more on that later.  
Merry Christmas! And in case you missed it, don't forget to fill out the Quilty Survey for a chance to win some swag!


  1. This has to be one of the most beautiful quilts I have ever seen. Bravo!

  2. A.MAZ.ING.QUILT.ING! A TRUE MASTERPIECE! Hats off to you my dear! You rock!

    Cheery wave!

  3. Wow - such gorgeousness! Fabulous job you did!

  4. This is indeed some amazing quilting....thanks for sharing the pics and describing the process.

  5. Freaking awesome. Seriously. I'm coming back to this post for inspiration when I quilt my current wip - you rock dude!

  6. Omg, that's beautiful. Your quilting rocks.

    Maybe one day I'll be able to create a Latte quilt and then send it to you. ;)

  7. Love the Latte... glad that Helper Bee was happy!! My favorite pic -- the back (of course) -- the whole quilt is total awesomeness!!!

  8. Holy crap! This is amazing! I can't even imagine the work!

  9. Nice to see some close ups! You did an amazing job! Thanks for sharing :-)
    Wish you a Merry Christmas, and I hope you spoil yourself during the holidays :o)
    Big hug from the other side of the big pond :-)

  10. the latte quilt craze has hit New Zealand too! I have seen a few but this one is knock your socks off fantastic!!!!



  11. Oh, thanks so much for the look at all the blocks individually. SO awesome.
    Happy Helper Bee, indeed.
    You're phenom, Lisa.

  12. Such beautiful, beautiful quilting! Amazing and awesome!

  13. Wow! Your quilting is beyond incredible! Looks like another ribbon winner.

  14. Absolutely amazing. Your quilting is the best I've seen!

  15. I am in awe looking at your quilting. It's just fabulous!!!

  16. You did an amazing job quilting this quilt. I made two of these quilts years ago when the pattern first came out and I quilted them on my domestic machine. No feathers but I did win a ribbon. Love your work and just found you will follow.

  17. looks Great! Pellon Legacy Poly, huh?