About two years ago, my thoughts started turning toward retiring from teaching. I'd already reached the "Rule of 90", so I knew I could retire at any time -- but I just wasn't ready to "not be a teacher". Nevertheless, I started longing to be home and to have less stress in my life; I wanted more time to take care of my family and my home. One day in early fall of that year, I came across this wonderful early Thimbleberries pattern by Lynette Jensen. Both the name and the design of the quilt reached out and grabbed me! Right then and there, I decided it would be my retirement quilt. I chose all Thimbleberries fabrics, trying to include pieces from all of the years I've been quilting. This quilt speaks to me. I've slowly worked on it for two years, and now I'm ready to sew on the binding. In a few days, I'll post a photo of my "Road Home" with its deep red house to match our own. I enlarged the quilt a little bit, and it will hang from a beautiful Amish oak quilt hanger in our foyer. I can't wait to put this quilt up! P.S. I retired in June! I love it!
Just a few days ago, I finished this gorgeous traditional Hawaiian medallion applique quilt for Jill. The clear, light colors were a joy to look at each time I worked on it! I remember watching a "Simply Quilts" episode many years ago that featured these traditional Hawaiian quilts. I don't remember much from that episode, sadly, but I did a little "refresh" of my knowledge before I started quilting Jill's masterpiece. This form of Hawaiian quilting, with single-cut, symmetrical medallion applique blocks, began to emerge in the 1880's, and the Hawaiian women were creating these medallions as symbols of the long lost days and ways of the Hawaiian people.
If you want to learn more about Hawaiian quilts, check them out on Amazon. They have a great selection and you can view samples of some of the books.
Jill's quilt uses raw-edge applique, and I can imagine it took quite a little while to carefully machine blind-stitch around each of the medallions. This is a beautiful and uplifting quilt to set our eyes on, for sure! Thanks, Jill!
This is Heidi's "Sampler Block Shuffle" quilt from our Moda quilt club of the same name. I'd just taken it off the longarm frame for trimming and decided to get a few photos before sending it back to her. Isn't it gorgeous? Each of the thirty pieced blocks is just six-inches square and Heidi did a great job with all of those little pieces. The kits include a full Layer Cake from the "Hyde Park" collection, as well as yardage for the alternate blocks, backgrounds, borders, and binding. You get to choose the fabrics you'd like for each block from the Layer Cake and backgrounds and then you get to choose the arrangement of the pieced blocks when you're ready to put the quilt top together. It's fun! I still have a few kits left if you're interested in making this beautiful quilt. It can ship all at once or in three separate installments -- whichever you prefer!
I'm getting close to finishing this beautiful quilt depicting Colonial Williamsburg, and it's even more striking than I anticipated! I just have a couple of the applique blocks to finish (shown in the center row), and then it's time for the final border. I used the fabrics that are featured in the photo --from Windham's "Folk Art Village" for Colonial Williamsburg.
In the room where this quilt will be used, there will also be a coordinating tab-top curtain on the patio door that leads to our new "Early American Villa". I just can't wait to see the whole, three-room suite all put together by late summer. My quilt will have another border on the inside of the blue border that is shown here -- the large, signature floral print is the same, but the background of the extra border is a warm shade of honeycomb -- the same shade as the walls in the bedroom. This extra border will make the quilt the perfect size for a full-sized bed.
Windam produces beautiful colonial and reproduction fabrics from American history, and it's always a thrill to be able to purchase these collections -- especially when I can buy them from the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Museum when visiting Williamsburg!
Look at this beauty! If you're a Thimbleberries Enthusiast (like me), you'll probably remember this stunning Hourglass Quilt from Thimbleberries Club 2004 -- Basket Case. This was the great big EXTRA Club project, and I've just finished quilting it for Dolores. She said she'd forgotten all about it and recently found the big bold blocks in her quilting closet. They must've been calling out to be put together! Thanks, Dolores, for asking me to quilt this for you. I used a very traditional medium scale Puzzle Meander, because it's such a great match for this quilt.
If you follow my blog, you know that putting a Thimbleberries quilt on the longarm frame is pure pleasure every single time. It just brings back so many, many happy quilting memories. Now, just a few weeks ago, I discovered that Lynette Jensen is back with a couple of great quilt clubs this year. I have to say, the Thimbleberries Club quilt on Craftsy is pretty awesome. I love the design, the fabrics, and the monthly videos starring Lynette! How good can it get?
I packaged up Heidi's newest quilt this evening, so it's ready to ship back to her tomorrow morning. This is another beautiful Moda quilt -- with my favorite color palette (I think it must be Heidi's favorite, too) -- warm reds, deep blues, rich greens, and soft suedes. Heidi asked for custom quilting, but not anything too dense. With the diagonal design elements, echoed feathers seemed like a natural. Add the center medallion, and it was easy to get started with quilting designs. Nice squares made continuous curves a great choice, and the border sections were just right for my signature Hearts & Pines echoed feather plumes and fronds. Here's a short slideshow that gives you a peek at Heidi's quilt.
Audrey's newest quilt is almost alive with Flying Geese! Look at this gorgeous creation -- I think every one of the geese that I quilted had been pieced perfectly by her. Wow! I think she said that she purchased the fabric from Keepsake Quilting awhile back, and it's really beautiful with vivid colors and subtle plaids. Thanks for asking me to quilt for you again, Audrey!
The Downton Abbey quilt is off the frame and ready to send back to Jill. The quilting design I used is my all-time favorite free-motion motif...it's what we call the HPCQ Signature Design around here. It features echoed free-form feather plumes of varying sizes and ascending or descending fronds. This quilting takes awhile -- it's not quick work, for sure -- but I just think it looks so beautiful that it's always worth the time. I chose it for this quilt because the tonal border fabric has similar looking plumes in it, so it seemed like a good match. Thanks again, Jill. Quilting this was pure pleasure!
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you enjoy these creative adventures from the Hearts & Pines Country Quilts Studio.