Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a good weekend and found a little time to do some sewing. I was able to finish quilting the three baby quilts and make a few pillowcases. So I’m pretty pleased with the progress I made.

Two of the baby quilts were fast to do as the design was a simple meander all over. I quilted both of them the same day. I also had to do the binding on them, but it didn’t take me long. I didn’t take pictures because 1) you have seen a million quilts with meander quilting on them and 2) they were picked up earlier in the week and I just ran out of time.

The third baby quilt I worked on had me excited and a little anxious. I always get a bit nervous when quilting for a new client, so there’s that. And she wanted a design with swirls and hearts, something I haven’t freehanded very often. Angela Walters makes the best swirls, and let me tell you I’m no Angela Walters. But I tried, and I think they turned out okay.

Braided Baby Quilt with Swirls and Hearts

This design is fun to quilt, and I will definitely do it again. I think it gives the best texture to a quilt. Oh, who am I kidding? I love the texture from almost any motif! šŸ™‚

Here’s what the quilting looked like when I began:

Swirls and hearts quilting motif

I went back in and added some echo quilting to fill in some of the spaces and that helped a lot. I was worried the quilting was too sparse, but the echoing filled in those spaces nicely. If in doubt, echo!

Hearts and swirls motif

I had purchased a swirl and heart pantograph from Urban Elementz, just to have for a reference really. I know the only way to get better at pantographs is to practice, but I really don’t want to quilt from a panto. It’s just not fun for me. So, instead of using the pantograph I doodled the design to see if I could free hand it. The design I stitched doesn’t look anything like the panto but it was the inspiration for combining the swirls and hearts. I was having trouble transitioning from a swirl to a heart and I have to give credit for the swirl in the heart to Tim, one of the guys I work with. We were doodling to find a way to work in the hearts when he said, “hey, what if you added a curl in the heart and did something like this” and drew it out. We practiced a bit on one of the machines in the shop and the rest is history. So, a big shout of thanks to Tim for his contribution! It made stitching those hearts a lot easier.

Another reason I was a little nervous about this quilt is that the top and backing are all batik fabrics, and the back was barely bigger than the top. The client had added muslin strips to the backing to give me room to load it in the longarm, but I had very little room to test the tension on the batik. Fortunately, tension was not an issue and all the stitches look great.

The back really shows off the texture.

Quilting texture of swirls and hearts quilting motif

Quilting texture of swirls and hearts quilting motif

The picture below shows the colors of the quilt the best. I snapped it when I was almost finished with the quilting.

Swirls and Hearts quilting motif

I was really worried the variegated thread (Omni-V #9024) was too dark for the quilt top. It’s the color the client chose, so I knew — or hoped — she would like it. After I finished the quilting I showed the quilt to my hubby and asked him what was the first thing he saw. First was the monogram in the center, second was the braided piecing in the quilt. So this thread passed my “let the piecing shine, not the quilting” test. Whew! Do any of you ever worry about your thread choice when quilting?

Now I can check these three quilts off my list of Things to Do and move on to the next one. It’s a large Ohio Star quilt. It won’t be a custom quilt job as the client wants an all over design. We just need to pick the design and then I can get started. But first, I’m excited about the coming week. I’ll be meeting up with some blogging friends and spending several days with them at the end of this week. We’ll be sewing, shopping, eating, talking, laughing, and having a great time. It’s a break I’m really looking forward to. That break and meeting up with my friends is what I’m crushing on this week. How about you? What has you excited to be in your sewing space this week? I’d love for you to share – you can link any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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