IN THE STUDIO 10/27 Posted on 27 Oct 00:00 , 0 comments

It's a longarm day ... Regina's quilt is up first. A simple edge-to-edge for a comfy throw size quilt to be cozy during the cold winter months here in New England is the order of the day. 

Regina pieced this quilt at a Winter Retreat for "just us gals." Everyone helped me test the patchwork pattern giving me good feedback and encouragement while we kept our sewing machines humming along the seams. We chose a quilting design in keeping with the soft vintage floral prints found in the fabrics and I'm using Signature Praline Pink for the thread on top and in the bobbin. 

The pattern we're using is 1548 DAISY SWIRL E2E. The pattern is designed at a little larger than 12" for pattern height and width. I increased the size to about 15" to provide for a more open quilting design ... more fitting with Regina's plans for it to be used as a snuggle piece.





CHECK IT OUT Posted on 5 Dec 00:00 , 0 comments

Diane ordered her patterns yesterday and has already stitched out on her quilts!


Look how she used a border pattern as an edge-to-edge design.


Diane works with an IntelliQuilter and here's what she had to say:

Just thought I'd send you a pic of the quilting I did this this morning.

I will use your other pattern I bought yesterday next.

These 2 patterns were the best I purchased over the Black Friday Cyber  Monday 

sales and it was just a dust sale. Love them both ... thanks!

Way to go, Diane and thanks for sharing your pictures with us.

RE-ENTERING THE QUILTING WORLD Posted on 1 Nov 21:52 , 0 comments

It's been a long  time since I've been "out in the world" at least the cyber-world, but I'm back now and have lots to share ... starting with SOME NEW PATTERNS! Today I'm sharing the latest new E2E pattern, but come back often for there will be new patterns going up each week.              

The Inspiration: the fabric with the barbed wire looking print would make a great pattern ... looks a lot like ripples with little horns or stickery things poking out. The challenge was on and I was off to the design board.


The Quilt: Lois brought this quilt to me with very specific instructions. It is a gift for her nephew and must have absolutely NO frilly girly stuff in the quilting. The fabric is flannel, soft and cuddly and a beautiful collection of very manly colors and prints. The easy thing to do would be to quilt it with the ever popular 1102 Ripples E2E. It stitches quickly, smoothly, and just adds texture. No frills to this one. But that seemed so cliche - so easy. I looked to the quilt for ideas.

It wasn't quite as easy to design as I thought it would be but after sleeping on it over night, the next morning everything fell into place and I was ready to load the quilt.

And here it is quilted out ... stitches out quite smoothly and quickly, is an easy set up in repeat patterns, and if you're adept at using the fill feature you can have those side traveling lines trimmed right close to the edge of the quilt as you work your way down the quilt.

You can find this pattern in the store ... 1599 BARBED WIRE E2E. Use the promo code NOV20 to receive a 20% discount from now until November 11th in appreciation for shopping with Mountaintop. (discounted price will show upon checkout)



OFF THE MACHINE: A GUY QUILT Posted on 15 Aug 02:00 , 0 comments

Barbara made this fun quick and easy strip quilt for her son. I love the modern color scheme and great non-gender prints.
It was a no-brainer when it came to making a decision regarding the quilting pattern. The inspiration came from the "rippley" wavey print fabric.
1102 RIPPLES is a favorite among many customers when looking for a simple modern edge to edge design. Keeping the spacing a little more loose fit with the size of the pieced strips helping everything to stay more balanced in design.
I used the 80/20 batting from the Warm Company which will give a wonderful soft scrunchy-puckery look to the quilt after it is washed.
Thread choice: King Tut 978, a variegated black and white for the top with bottom line black in the bobbin.
... and now for a closer look at that quilt top ...


... thanks for stopping by ...



OFF THE MACHINE: PATRIOTIC Posted on 14 Aug 02:00 , 0 comments

Susan's cute patriotic flag wall hanging measures in at 26" square a perfect size for a miniature size of one of my most favorite patriotic patterns 1197 Ripples & Stars. 
After re-sizing the original pattern down to 26", I used the divide function to break the pattern at strategic points to help keep the pattern proportional as I tweaked the pattern even more.
Remember to reset the sew order when you re-work a pattern. Ask me how I know to tell you to remember that important step. LOL
In the end the distance between the ripples is about 1" and the stars are about 1.25" in height. This size is just right when compared with the skinny logs used in the piecing of this pattern which are about .75" in width.
If you look closely at the following close-ups with more defined shadow relief you might be able to catch a glimpse of the stars scattered here and there amongst the ripples.
I think Susan deserves a round of applause for a job well done on her very first quilt

CUSTOM QUILTING IN JULY Posted on 3 Jul 00:00 , 3 comments

A vintage cross-stitched quilt - top was done by mom and grandma years ago and is brought out to be finished for the daughter's wedding. What a family treasure!





The quilt fits a queen sized bed and I used bottom line thread to minimize the look of the stitches as I worked across the cross-stitching. I also basted the whole quilt before I started quilting to help stabilize the sandwich as this was much the same as working with a wholecloth quilt.


Inner border detail ... these little scallops were part of the printed design on the quilt top. I measured on for height and width and then used the repeat pattern function to space them evenly across the quilt.

And the tricky part ... how to get around the corner with those scallops ??? I like the way the pointy arrow leads the eye to the corners of the inner square.

The scallops help soften all the linear quilting.

... and more detail photos ...

IN THE STUDIO 1 Posted on 23 Nov 02:00 , 0 comments

Just a quick post today. Jan is a fairly new quilter and chose to work with this panel making a baby quilt for a friend. I quilted around each of the patch blocks in the inner border and outline quilted each of the letters, stars, and hearts. Ditching the blue borders helps stabilize the quilt and anchor the design.

Wiggly piano key border lines cross over the outer border print and 1112 HEARTS & BUBBLES fit just right over the inner panel design. I wanted to keep the quilting fairly open so the quilt will stay nice and soft ... drapey and cuddley yet sturdy through multiple washings.


Next step: Jan is signed up for a lesson on applying bindings

after the Thanksgiving holidays.

Another quilt off the machine in just the last few days was pieced by Catherine and will be an appreciation gift for a church member.  Simple signature quilt patterns are always a great way of showing how much you care and honoring the person and the gifts they share. The pattern I used for this quilt was designed by Deb Geisler and is an edge-to-edge called Feather Flowers, a very popular pattern with my customers.

Thanks for stopping by; take a minute to say "Hi" and remember ... set aside time to be creative every day.

1 SQUARE + 1 SQUARE = STARS Posted on 14 Nov 18:40 , 0 comments

How can that be? How can 1 dark square in a square plus 1 light square in a square equal a star?

But look, when you put them all together alternating light and dark, stand back and look again and you'll start to see stars popping out all over. The funny things is that I didn't see the stars while I was quilting this quilt for Sandy. It wasn't until I was taking pictures after I was all finished that I saw the secondary pattern of stars. It is a classic case of using the reducing lens (looking through the lens of your camera or using the peephole unit without the door, lol, or even using a set of binoculars backwards) to get a different view of your quilt. Try it - you'll be amazed by a change in perspective.

I used a customer favorite as a quilting pattern across the quilt top for Sandy ... 1102 RIPPLES.

DESIGN CHALLENGE: LYRA Posted on 28 Apr 02:00 , 0 comments

Lyra is a piecing pattern designed by Debby Maddy. I was contacted by Kaye who has this quilt coming up quite quickly in her quilting que. She is quilting it for the shop who has plans for putting together several kits. Needless to say, we always want to do our best when quilting shop samples and, for Kaye, even more so with the potential for kit customers wanting not only the kit fabrics but also the same quilting as well. Which brings up a great marketing idea for all of you readers out there who are professional longarm quilters.

Consider this when presented with an opportunity similar to which Kaye has been  blessed. Ask the shop owner to to include a postcard with the following information and images: 

          •  on the one side of the card print a photo of the shop sample that really shows off your quilting
          •  on the other side include your contact information AND a coupon with a "discounted kit quilting price."

You can decided how much to include (like batting at a discounted price, no charge for thread, etc) in your kit discount beyond the discounted cost of quilting their quilt exactly the same way as you quilted the shop sample. Your project is already all set up, all of the design decisions, all the collecting of project patterns and re-sizing is already done, all of your quilt groups are in order after completing the shop sample so why not make the most of it


And so, back to the original question. Kaye sent me an email asking for design suggestions. The pattern is very similar to the ONE BIG STAR piecing pattern that has been so popular over the last few years. I'm sure you've seen more than one of those come under the needle in your studio. I went straight to the catalog and started collecting images from 1167 ONE BIG STAR COLLECTION. Before you know it the quilting mock-up was complete with the design audition ready for customer approval.Wishing Kaye the best of luck with her latest quilting project and I'm hoping she is able to offer a "discounted kit quilting price" to several of her customers. It looks like a win-win situation all the way around for everyone involved ... shop owner, longarm quilter, and quilt piecer.

... know your craft ... practice your craft ...

... and ... be innovative with your craft ...


DESIGN QUESTION: FEATHER SURPRISE BORDER Posted on 27 Apr 16:33 , 1 comment

Recently Cindy sent me some beautiful photos of a quilt she completed using the 1472 FEATHER SURPISE COLLECTION. She had some questions about using the border blocks. So I took some time today for design play using the blocks in question working up options for filling large triangle spaces and playing with borders.

One of the first questions that comes up is regarding 1470 and 1474. The only difference between these two patterns is that one is designed for p2p pattern work and the other it set as a block might be set without the connecting curves. A p2p pattern will have the start on the left and the stop or end point on the right. A block pattern usually has the start/end point located in the middle of the pattern where it might be least visible. If you're searching for 1474 Feather Surprise Brd 2 Blk you won't find it in the catalog as it was included as a bonus pattern in the collection package.

The next block I would like you take a look at and have fun with some 1460 mirror and 1474design play is 1460 FEATHER SURPRISE BRD 1. This is included as a part of the collection or can be purchased separately. By simply using the mirror or flip tool you can create two additional blocks ... one that looks like 1474 and one that looks like the row blocks of 1471 FEATHER SURPRISE BORDER CORNER.     I describe these two blocks as "teeth in" (1474) and "teeth out" (1471). You may want to check the sewing order after you've done all the manipulating you want with the patterns before you export to a CSQ. And, if you're a PVM user be sure to keep your pattern name the same with a version indication added.                                                                                           Something like 1460A or 1460.1 usually works for me. Then when I'm doing a search these patterns will come up together.  


Sometimes one of the most difficult design challenges we have to work with is what to do with the large corner triangles when the piecing layout happens to be a center medallion or set of blocks set on point. I will usually try to break the large triangle area into smaller triangles. This allows me to keep the quilting more in balance. Unless I have a large triangle design made specifically for the large piecing size meaning the scale of the quilting will be the same as what is found in individual blocks I run a good chance of having my quilting scale out of balance. If you think of fabric design scale and how we will use that to our advantage to create contrast when we're piecing, you'll have a better of idea of what I'm talking about. We want that contrast when we're piecing to help create visual interest across the top of the quilt. But when we have that kind of contrast with the quilting design we end up with puffy or saggy unquilted areas that look like we forgot to finish the quilting in that spot. This mockup shows the placement of1464 FEATHER SURPRISE TRIANGLE dropped in the two side triangle areas and then rubber stamped and mirrored or flipped to create a block that rests snuggly in between the two triangles.  


I love the way the blocks came together for Cindy in the center part of the quilt. I had never rotated 1466 FEATHER SURPRISE BLOCK 3 and seen the circles or rings pop like that. What a wonderful suprise. It almost gives the effect of a double wedding ring design.

Here's another mockup I put together while I was playing today. It is very similar to what Cindy did with her quilt, but what I want you to notice is an alternate way of looking at the border treatment. Don't you just love it when the design possibilities are limitless! Thank you to Cindy for sharing your quilt project with us.

... know your craft ... practice your craft ...
... and ... be innovative with your craft ...