06 June 2016

Hugs and Kisses

I am a member of The Quilt Show and every year they have a Block of the Month (BOM) that also includes video lessons. It is great to see how the designer does things.

So back in 2010, Sue Garman designed two! quilts for the BOM: one was pieced and the other was applique. I fell in love with the applique quilt and when the fabric kit was offered, why I just snatched it up.

Since this is a BOM and only one block was released a month, plus the sashings and borders, it took me almost 18 months to hand applique. I was really enjoying the process. I did redesign the border a bit because two flowers in such close proximity reminded me of the pasties a stripper would wear, not that I've ever seen such a thing except in movies, but still. Instead of the second, smaller flower (which I was really tired of making, BTW) at the join of the swags I did a trefoil of leaves.

I researched long arm quilters and went with one I had used before who assured me that she had quilted applique before. My alert button should have gone off, but it was silent. After months of my quilt being in her possession, I got it back. The quilting that she did was beautiful, but there wasn't anything around the applique! She computerized the quilting in the sashing and somewhat in the border, did a bit of free-motion here and there, but nothing, and I mean nothing, in or around the applique. The swags in the border should have had at least one line of quilting through them to keep them from sagging.

I paid her $250 and took it home to study. I knew I would have to finish it myself but my skills weren't to the level needed. Plus, I didn't want to man-handle it under my Bernina sewing machine. So I started to save up for a sit-down quilting machine. THIS is the quilt that made me want to do all my own quilting. If there is a problem, then I only have myself to blame.

I bought my used Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen in 2013 and just started practicing and practicing.

I learned a lot in the ensuing 3 years, not only with the quilting itself, but how to choose the actual quilting design and what thread to use.

And so, here it is! I used a combination of Invisafil thread on top and Superior Bottomline in the bobbin. I am happy with the way it turned out. I would be even happier if my idea of hand trapunto would have worked out, but my hands do not have the strength needed to pull that long needle filled with thick yarn through the tightly woven fabric.


  1. Great job!

    Did you remove the other longarmer's stitching or add to it?

  2. it looks awesome, great job!

  3. Oh, my goodness, Paula, it is absolutely stunning. I am amazed. I hope that if I keep practicing, I will be able to do half as nice a job! XO

  4. So wonderful! When I machine quilt, I do go back into applique and add hand quilting touches to finish the job.

  5. Your quilt is beautiful! Can you send me a personal email with a review on the handi quilter? I have had very mixed reviews on it. thank you mburnette912@bellsouth.net