Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Instant smile: Picnic in the Park

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A few days ago on my Facebook page I shared this teaser photo of one of the most recent quilts that I finished quilting:

I could only post a teaser because it is the next pattern cover for designer and friend, Melissa Stramel.  Now, before I get into this particular quilt, I have to tell you another very exciting thing. 

Melissa wrote a book! The poor thing has been busting her hump for the last couple of months trying to scramble everything together to get it finished by a pretty tight deadline.  She initially thought that the book would be available for pre-sale at Spring International Quilt Market in KC next month.  But noooooo.  It will be available!  It is a great book.  I don't want to say too much about it.  But it is a great book.  So if you're planning to be at Market you should drop by her booth and visit with her.  She'd love having lots of visitors.  Wouldn't you?

Okay, enough with the book for now. 
This quilt.  I love this quilt.  It is the last in a line of quilts for her that I had to get done with the quickness and while I adore the other ones I did for her, well no I can't pick a favorite.  I digress.  This pattern is now available for your purchasing pleasure!

Melissa loves cross stitch - and any hand embroidery, and has been doing it since she was a child so it's only fitting that she came out with a hand embroidery quilt pattern.  The bicycles and flowers are just adorable, and hand stitched on 28 count linen.  So pretty.  You should visit her website and her blog.  Today is her birthday so you should absolutely leave her some love!

Now since I quilted this beauty, I have more pictures to share.  And a little about the process, too (I did take the process challenge, after all).
I knew this quilt was coming, I even knew the design of it and pretty much exactly what it would look like well in advance.  However when she brought it to me and I looked at it, the first words out of my mouth were, "holy crap I gotta figure out how to quilt all of that empty space!"  Melissa can vouch for that.  It was really kind of funny.

I tried several different things.  None of them really worked because I don't have the rulers to do what I wanted to do.  So I had to improvise and started dividing all of that white into sections.  I went with the non-plan-plan once again and I think it turned out pretty okay.

First I did a little curved cross-hatching... And then I had a little fun playing off the angles and curves of that, adding some tiny straight-line quilting.

Then I had no idea yet what to do with the rest of the white space so I took a break from it and did my triple line stitch that I'm crazy enough to love in the setting triangles around the blocks.  From there I decided to do a little curvy corner frame around the blocks and I stippled the rest of the block (with the exception of the embroidery) just so that it was somewhat consistently quilted with the rest of the quilt.

Then there was nothing left to do and I was forced to finish the white areas.  Luckily it didn't take me long to come up with this idea.  There were really a million things that could've been done but I loooove how this turned out. Melissa loves all things girly and pretty so I thought she would like the elegance of this design.

I love it.  And I'm pretty sure Melissa does too.  So head on over to her site, send her some birthday love and pick up a copy of the pattern for yourself! 

Stay tuned for more quilterly fun.  I'm finally working on the one that I can share.  Really, I am!


  1. WOW!! Thanx for all of the photos and explainations of how you quilted all of it. I also jump around on quilts when I don't have a clue what I'm going to do in certain areas. By the time I have to quilt that area...I still don't have a I just have to surprise myself even.
    This is a very beautiful should be very proud. :)
    Have a wonderful week!

  2. I think you did an amazing job on the quilting! It was fun to read your no plan plan too.

  3. Oh. My. Goodness. I'm too scared to look at my feathers now. That is superb ( I'm so trying the triple line stitch sometime, love it!

  4. Beautiful quilting. Can't imagine making feathers look that perfect. Thanks so much for the info on how you broke this down and came up with inspiration.

  5. I love the way your brain works on quilting.

  6. Quilting looks so awesome!!!! I LOVE those feathers!!!