art quilt


My kid’s stuff branch “Sweet Potato’s Baby Boutique” has been busy this winter with baby quilts. These were custom ordered and designed, constructed and longarm quilted by me. I really had fun coming up with designs and fabric choices.
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This last one was a pattern I found on “about.com” called “In the Pinks”. It was easy to put together and came out beautifully.

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I just completed a quilt honoring a Viet Nam veteran. It was a privilege to make this quilt and I had some research to do to get it right.

 

He received the quilt this week and this is what he said: ” Just received it. I am blown away, far better than I ever expected. Thanks for the card, I know you put a lot of Love into it, believe me it shows. We have got to get together sometime for sure. Take care ”

That veteran is my uncle. He was in Viet Nam when I was a kid. Every night I would watch the news to make sure he was ok and then pray he would be okay the next night. Somehow I thought Walter Cronkite would tell is if something happened to him. Childhood innocence, I guess.

Anyway it makes me smile to know I could honor him and give a piece of my heart to him in this way.

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The statue of liberty was made from a photo I took. It was appliqued.

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The boots, rifle and helmet were drawn on fabric, and the soldiers and helos were painted and embroidered.

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A quilt label was embroidered for the back commemorating the quilt and the date of construction.

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This section is a panel I quilted with an additional layer of batting to emphasize the eagle and the waves in the flag. There is an embroidered label on this portion that commemorates the years and locations off service.

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Overall views of the left and right sides of the quilt. I arranged this layout so that the quilt can be displayed across the foot of a bed or across the back of a couch. When you commission a custom quilt, you can request a vertical or horizontal set-up depending on how you want to display it in your home.

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My cousin Sabrena asked me to make an art quilt for her. What she meant was, she wanted me to make a quilt featuring her children’s art. Her four children are all artists and she wanted their art work to comprise a quilt.

I decided to use printable fabric and copied their art work onto the fabric and then formed the pieces into a quilt. She received the new quilt over the July 4th weekend. This is what she said:  “Omg! I got the most gorgeous piece of artwork… today! The pictures looked amazing, the extra details are incredible, the signature corner precious!!! What else can I say I am just so impressed by how you turned my kids artwork into another piece of art. I love it soooooooo much!!!! Thank you!”

This quilt was both enjoyable and challenging. I quilted it on the longarm, leaving the faces open so that the quilting did not distract from the expressions. I was really pleased that she liked it and hope she enjoys it for years to come!

Quilts have been with us for centuries. Yes they did make quilts in Europe. They tended to make whole cloth quilts where the cloth was not pieced but the design was in the quilting. They did make whole cloth quilts in the infancy of the United States, but they also pieced quilts from various fabrics and old clothing to get a double use from the cloth.

Small communities would band together and work to put up a house or barn for newlyweds and the ladies would likewise gather a quilting bee to provide a quilt for the couple.

The quilt symbolized the blessing and love of the community as well as continuing warmth in the couple’s new life.

I finished a quilt for a grandchild not too long ago. The process of quilting led my mind to want blessings to follow the child who would grow up warmed by it.IMG_0777 IMG_0780

As these four quilts were requested by the parents of four adult children, I thought about what the wife repeatedly mentioned to me. “My mother always wanted the kids to have quilts.”

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Why would that be important? For the same reason it was important to my grandmother. When the first four of her granddaughters married within a few years of each other, she made a dutch doll quilt for each of them. It was important to her that each married couple have a quilt.

I don’t know if she made quilts for my mom and dad and for my aunt and uncle when they married, but I do know that everyone had quilts. My grandmother had a wedding ring quilt hand-made when she married and her mother before her had a quilt as well.  Quilts were cherished emblems of love of others towards the new couple. They represented warmth, love and care given in a special package.

As I made these four quilts, I realized another fact. People who make a quilt for someone specific think of that person. They ask God to bless the recipients, to give them warmth and comfort. It doesn’t matter who it is for, you want the quilt to be comforting and to be a symbol of your personal work – time spent meditatively over that person or persons who will use the quilt in the future. It also works with quilts when you don’t know who will use it. You pray for someone to see it and just love it. And you hope that the work of your hands, the planning and constructing will bless the recipient for many years of warmth and comfort. Whether the recipient prays to the Universe or to God himself, they well receive blessings when they have something made in this manner. You just cannot pick this up at Walmart for $29.95.

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This block is made from a photo. I take the photo media to a printer and have two 11×17 photos printed on regular paper. One serves as my “go to” or master and the other is cut into pattern pieces. In this example, the skyline was cut out as one piece. The paper was used as a pattern to cut the dark blue fabric into the skyline. I used a glue stick to secure the skyline fabric to the cloudy sky fabric. Once the glue stick dried, I used the buttonhole stitch feature on my machine to outline the skyline and secure it permanently to the sky background.

The next section of the photo was a line of trees appearing between the skyline and the lake. I used a fabric in a similar tone to that in the photo and let it represent the treeline. This was also cut out using the paper as the pattern for the fabric. The tree fabric was then glued on top of the skyline portion of the block with a glue stick. Having the master photo available is very helpful in deciding where to place the treeline on the block. When the glue stick dried, I once again used the buttonhole stitch to secure the treeline to the skyline. This made a stitching of 3 layers, but the machine seemed to have no problem with this thickness. When you stitch through dried glue stick, the needle and thread do not become sticky at all and the fabrics remain flat without interfacing or paper behind as can be required with a wide satin stitch.

The lake composed the entire foreground of this photo. I placed a light blue fabric under the tree line, glued it in place with the glue stick and then buttonhole stitched the bottom of the treeline to the water fabric. I used the rotary cutter and cutting mat to trim the sides of the “water” and align them with the skyline and treeline.

My Dallas Skyline block was now complete. I placed sashing around the block and prepared to incorporate it into the quilt.

When the quilting was done, I used a pattern of small choppy waves for the water quilting and swirling wind for the sky quilting. The city skyline was outlined in the quilting.

This photo was taken from the shore of White Rock Lake in Sunset Bay.

Dallas Skyline on Quilt