Monday, July 5, 2010

Quilting with Stencils

One of my friends, Mary Beth, has more time to think that is necessary (just kidding) and came up with a stencil challenge for the folks on AQPS chat.  Well, I'm not a big stencil girl.  I'm more of a 'fly by the seat of my .... kind of girl.  I just let it fly and see what happens.  I also have great customers who generally say, 'do what you think is best'.  That definitely keeps me in my comfort zone but it doesn't challenge me.  I have recently started quilting for a magazine and they tell me exactly what to do and how to do it.  Although, there is no comfort, it gets me out and challenges me. 

As does this one customer.  She likes one thread color, whereas I'm more comfortable matching thread to the fabric.  So I had this great quilt with churndash blocks and applique and I thought about this stencil challenge.  There were alternating blocks, one empty and one with wool applique.  So I chose a stencil from Thimbleberries and freehanded everything else to coordinate.  I'm not sure the pictures are great, but it was a fun quilt and I enjoyed doing it. 

One thing that I can say, the muscles used to follow a stencil are definitely different that the free-hand frenzy.  I enjoyed this challenge and although I won't enter into the challenge because I'm way more surfer dude carefree than most quilters, I learned that any time you challenge yourself, you grow!

Like I said, the pictures aren't great but they are pictures.  The block has the stencil which has a heart and leaves in it.  The thick border (three borders) were a challenge because I would normally do three separate borders (growth) so I did a heart vine, to mimick the stencil. 

The leaves are brought back in the outer portions of the churndash block with the applique and there is a heart loop in the blue sashing.
Here you can see the stencil with the two inspiried parts. 

The quilt was tooooooo cute.  Thanks Mary Beth for the challenge.


  1. Please oh please enter this contest!!

  2. I agree with MB. This is such a cool quilt. I love the wool bits but I couldn't see the quilting on the front. The back really shows your work off, Donna. I know what you mean about muscles used for stencils. I tighten up and hold my breath to help stay on the line of the stencil - not really recommending this method. You did choose a difficult stencil, too. All those crossing lines - drifting off the line would really show. I don't see any drifting on yours,though. Enter this quilt into the challenge.

  3. Thanks guys. I'll think about it but I'm sure the real talents are just gearing up on this one.