Uncommonly Corduroy - Blog Book Tour

February 26, 2014

Welcome to day 8 of the Uncommonly Corduroy Blog Book Tour!

 Martingale - Uncommonly Corduroy (Print version + eBook bundle)
  "Images from Uncommonly Corduroy by Stephanie Dunphy, Martingale, 2014; used by permission. Photo by Brent Kane. All rights reserved."
 Martingale - Uncommonly Corduroy (Print version + eBook bundle)
 Quilts- Mrs. D (blue) and Mr. D. designed by the fabulous Stephanie Dunphy.

I have waited a long time to share some exciting news with all of you! It will be hard to contain my excitement, but I will try.  Guess who quilted the cover quilt??  I bet you all guessed correctly because those feathers gave me away. :-)   Uncommonly Corduroy is a fabulous new book by Stephanie Dunphy of Loft Creations!!!  The photography is just amazing.  You can see every detail so much so that the photos look 3-D!  Stephanie designed 17 wonderful projects for all to enjoy.

I had the extreme pleasure to quilt the two Dresden quilts (photographed above) in the book.  How cool are those giant Dresdens??  And as the name suggests, the quilts were pieced using corduroy.  I will admit, initially I was intimidated and had reservations regarding quilting on corduroy.  Talk about taking me out of my comfort zone!   At the time (over a year ago), I had some experience quilting on wool and flannel, so I figured it couldn't be that much different.  Guess what??  Corduroy quilts like a dream!! Knocked my socks off!  Seriously, the stitches just melt into the corduroy.  And boy, oh boy does the quilting show beautifully on the solid corduroy!!!  I was truly impressed.

I will start with Mr. D, the gray Dresden.  I quilted it first.

This is the more masculine of the two quilts, so I opted for some straight line designs.  And because this was my first corduroy quilt, I thought a simpler design would be a good start.  Although, simple designs often translate into being more time consuming. :-) I quickly learned that quilting on corduroy was absolutely delightful.
The solid gray and darker grey dresden center were the corduroy elements.  The rest of the quilt is cotton as well as the backing is cotton.
Batting is Dream Wool to give the quilting great definition.
The above swirly quilting on the print has a gold Glide thread.  Fun!!!  The rest of the quilt is quilted with So Fine from Superior Threads.  I love the look of quilted corduroy!
All the quilting is freehand with a lot of ruler work.
 I used rulers, pins and chalked lines to keep the quilting straight and square.
 As I was quilting photos.
The back looked super cool on Mr. D!
After quilting Mr. D., I was very confident that I could treat corduroy like regular cotton...translation FEATHERS!!! lol!  I knew that feathers would show up and look so beautiful on that blue corduroy of Mrs. D, so that is exactly what I did!
Lush, beautiful, feminine feathers for Mrs. D.  The deep blue is corduroy on this quilt.  The rest is cotton, including the backing.
I used a layer of Dream Cotton with Hobbs 80/20 over it.
 All threads are So Fine again, except for the gold Glide in the Dresden blades.
Quilting is all freehand.  I quilted an allover flower design in the print background fabric.
As I was quilting photo.  The feathers are freehand.  I would quilt out one side and echo the design on the other side as I worked down the quilt.
The back.

Both quilts were amazingly soft and supple when quilted.  Corduroy was an absolute dream to work with!!  One thing I definitely noticed, corduroy is a bit lintier than regular cotton, but not unlike flannel.  Meaning I cleaned the bobbin area every time I changed the bobbin.  There is nothing I would quilt on regular cotton that I would not try on corduroy! :-) 

You can see more beautiful photos of the projects in the book from Martingale here.

Now here comes the fun part, you can win a free electronic copy of Uncommonly Corduroy!  Martingale has generously offered to send one of my readers an eBook.  Just leave a comment on this post and I will announce the winner on March 1st.
If you would like to purchase a signed copy from Stephanie you can here.
You can also order it from Amazon here.

Below is a schedule of the blog tour.

February 19  --  Stephanie at  Loft Creations
February 20 -- Martingale at Stitch This
February 21 --  Candace at  Squash House Quilts
February 22 -- Carrie at A Passion for Applique
February 23 --  Mary at Mary on Lake Pulaski
February 24 --  Char at  Cloth Stitched 
February 25 --  Mary at Needled Mom
February 26 -- Linda at The Quilted Pineapple 
February 27 -- Margaret at A Sampler of Stitches 
February 28 -- Ulla at Kotkarankki 

Thank you so much again, Stephanie!

Good luck to everyone and thank you for stopping by the tour!

Hospitality Quilt

February 24, 2014

I love it when I can finally share some of the fun stuff I am working on in the studio.  Hospitality is a new design from Lisa Bongean pieced out of her brand new line of fabric called Homestead Gatherings from Moda available here.  It is one spectacular quilt!
This quilt definitely has an antique feel to it.  I wanted the quilting to support that theme.
Alternating feather wreaths, feather motifs, micro stipple, curved line and straight line quilting make up the design elements.
The quilting is all freehand, even the feather wreaths are not a stencil.  This way I can customize the size wreath I want and I love the movement the quilting gives the quilt when the wreaths are just slightly different from each other.
Circle templates come in handy to makes sure wreaths have some uniformity.
This design is inspired from an antique quilt I saw in Houston.  I spend a great deal of time studying antique quilts.  Not only are they inspiring but I find them to be fascinating.  Oh and the talent of those hand quilted designs!!!
 The antique quilt from Houston.  I just LOVED the design!!!  I knew if I had the right quilt someday, I would want to recreate the design.  I first drew out my version or interpretation of the design on my white board.
And then I tried it out on the top. :-)
Not too bad. :-)  I couldn't have been happier with how it turned out.  With this quilt, I opted to draw out my ideas before I loaded the quilt.
Before quilting.  The black lines represent the design layout.  I wanted the pieced chain blocks to form a frame around the "plain" blocks.  Making it appear as if the background was one solid piece.  Quilting on the pieced block is minimal as to not distract from the "chain" design.
And here is my sketch.  The center is my favorite.  I created a center medallion of sorts with my version of a feathered weeping willow.  A popular theme in antique quilts and the "primitive" look.
 I love it when my vision actually works out. :-)
All the threads are So Fine by Superior.  Batting is Dream Green from Quilters' Dream.  Now I will tell you a little secret/tip...did you notice how the quilting in the "plain/ non-pieced" blocks really stands out...the blocks with the motifs?  Those individual blocks all have a second layer of wool batting in them!!  I cut squares of batting for each of those squares.  As I would work down the quilt, before I would quilt each row, I would strategically place the extra square of batting under the place I wanted it before I would baste down the sides of my quilt.  Yes, does this require more planning and work BUT YES, the look is soooo worth it.  It makes it look like trapunto...like an antique quilt. :-)
The back, also a favorite!
Yes, I love the back of this quilt!!  I love the whole quilt.  There is nothing like seeing the quilt off the frame. The feeling of seeing all my hard work and ideas in its entirety...it is indescribable.

I wanted to take some outdoor shots, but the there was just too much snow on that day.  Hope everyone has a great week.  Everyone around here is sick!