This past week I had the good fortune to attend Quiltcon, and I’ll be posting some of my favorites later on this week. There was a lot to see, and I had a lot of favorites, so there will likely be a few posts. In the meantime, I’d like to report on some of my WIP list progress.
My mom is in town for a few weeks, so I’ve put her to work! She is a quilter and enjoys hand-sewing, so I have not-so-casually left un-bound quilts with the binding sewn on laying around the house. In just under a week she got my large queen size Royal Bee quilt AND my lap size Maple quilt bound! I now have her working on my queen size Shelburne Falls quilt. I wouldn’t want her to get bored sitting around my house while I’m at work!
I have a few photos of my Royal Bee quilt, will be crossing it off the WIP list shortly. This quilt is a couple of years in the making. It is one of the first tops I pieced and has been sitting on my shelf, with the backing fabric, for about two years. The pattern is Big City by April Rosenthal of Prairie Grass Patterns. I fell in love with her quilt and worked it up pretty quickly, but wasn’t thrilled with my version when it was done. There was just too much off-white. I knew I needed to do some sort of custom quilt-work in the large white spaces, and I do NOT free motion on my domestic, especially not for a 96 inch square large queen/small king size quilt. This is why is sat and sat on my shelf for two years.
I’m lucky enough to have a dear friend who owns a Statler Stitcher, Emily Bowers of Happy Me Quilting. She is also kind enough to rent the machine out. She has done several quilts for me, and I asked her a year ago if she’d let me rent the long-arm and do a custom quilt. I love talking to her about the process of the Statler and she has taught me a lot about the work that goes into it. It took me another year to get around to scheduling time with her to actually quilt the darn thing.
Naturally I thought of a quilt design for the white space a few days before the scheduled quilt time. The floral fabric just screamed “bees” to me. I just picture the bees you find in gardens. I set out to find a bee pattern to purchase for the Statler and COULD. NOT. FIND. ANYTHING. Aren’t royal bees kind of a popular motif? I could find tons of decor items with royal bees on them, but no Statler pattern. Emily has a million designs on her Statler that aren’t on her website, but sadly she didn’t have one either. Once my heart is set on something I find it hard to let go. I had read somewhere you could convert CAD files to Statler files, so I set out to draw my own bee. Here is what I came up with.
I saved different file types and showed up at Emily’s house ready to quilt. Did the files work? Nope. Luckily her hubby had wanted to learn how to use their Statler pattern program, so he set out to learn how to properly convert the file with the design software while we quilted the square parts of the quilt with a pre-made Statler design. Emily and her husband make a dynamic quilting duo. She is the quilting genius, and he enjoys tinkering with the software side of the Statler. By the time we had finished the easy stuff, he had figured out how to convert the bee pattern and we spent the next day stitching those. I definitely recommend them for any edge-to-edge or custom work you need done. My bee pattern is also now available via Happy Me Quilting if you need a Royal Bee quilt of your own. :)
This quilt is the perfect example of the quilting making all the difference. I feel like the quilt went from Blah to Awesome overnight. I hadn’t loved the quilt prior to quilting and now I’m so excited to put it on the queen size bed in my guest bedroom. Its funny how you an love a pattern, and love fabric, but don’t love the two when they are put together. Luckily, the quilting saved the day. I’m forever grateful to Emily and her husband for their help in making this quilt a reality, and to my mom, who was nice enough to bind the enormous thing. Now I’m going to put my mom to work helping me redesign the guest room, so I can get more photos of this quilt in its new natural habitat!
Linking up to Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday!