The Mid-Ohio Valley Heritage Quilt Show is being held this week at the Blennerhassett Museum. This local show is held every March and there is always so much eye candy to enjoy. I was blessed to have been given the opportunity to quilt a few of the quilts that were entered, and now that the show has opened I am free to share those quilts with you here.

Today I’m going to share one quilt, with separate posts for others in order to keep from writing one really long blog post. It’s just easier to do the writing in chunks, and easier for you to read as well. The quilt I’m talking about today is a combination of paper piecing and applique and is a Judy Neimeyer pattern called English Garden. This quilt, made by Cheryl Sparks, won the Superintendent’s Choice ribbon at the quilt show. Congrats Cheryl!

I was so excited when Cheryl asked me to quilt her English Garden quilt. I knew it would be a challenge, but it was one I wanted to take on. Even though it can be uncomfortable at times, I like to push myself with my quilting. You know, to see what I can do and to learn new things.

English Garden by Judy Neimeyer quilted by Beth Sellers of Cooking Up Quilts

Isn’t she so pretty? There is so much applique and curved piecing in this quilt and the overall effect is stunning. So I surely didn’t want to mess this one up! I looked online to try to find examples of how others had quilted this pattern and didn’t have much luck at all. In fact, I only found two – one was the original pattern and didn’t have any detail on the quilting at all, and the other was by Kathleen Riggins (@kathleenquilts). Kathleen did a beautiful job on her version, but it wasn’t exactly what my client was looking for. So, while I am totally inspired by Kathleen’s work, I was on my own for creating a quilting plan.

The easiest part to decide on was the background. Cheryl and I knew we wanted the applique to stand out so the background needed a dense filler. Pebbles seemed to fit the bill. Boy, was that a LOT of pebbles! I don’t know what I was thinking when I suggested it…apparently I wasn’t… LOL They did take a lot of time, but the look is absolutely worth every minute. And I have to admit, I got much better at stitching them by the time I reached the end of the quilt! 🙂

English Garden quilted by Beth Sellers of Cooking Up Quilts

The applique was outlined using Microquilter thread. I love that the thread just sinks into the fabric and you don’t really see it but man, that stuff is thin! It’s 100# and feels like trying to thread hair.

For the center, I just stitched straight lines so it looks like light radiating from behind the center star. I love the effect it gave the quilt.

Here’s a view of the back:

Isn’t that texture yummy??

The other elements received some free motion quilting, straight lines and a lotus motif using the BFF ruler from The Quilted Pineapple. It’s a ruler I find myself using often. It’s especially helpful when quilting continuous curves in small triangle shapes.

There was a lot of rolling back and forth on the frame as I quilted this one. Sometimes to keep the flow of the design I was quilting, and sometimes because I was changing thread colors. It was on the frame for a little over a week, and I was sooo excited when I put in that last stitch. I checked and re-checked all the stitching, tied and buried all of the gazillion threads, and proudly gave the quilt back to Cheryl. Only to discover that I had missed outlining one side of one of the flowers in one of the baskets. Oh boy, that was a bit frustrating! I hate when I have silly little mess-ups like that. But it was easily fixed and Cheryl was so happy with her quilt. That makes me happy as well.

I’ll share other quilts from the show later this week, so stay tuned!

I want to say thank you to everyone who linked to MCM last week, I really appreciate you guys hanging in there while I dealt with all the website issues. It was fun to see what you are working on and I always want to run straight to my sewing room after I read your posts!

Now it’s your turn to share what you’ve been working on for this weeks Main Crush Monday. Show off all your fun projects! You can link any blog post, Instagram or Flickr pic – here’s how:

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