I’ve quilted for Jeanie Sumrall-Ajero of Kaleidoscope Collections since shortly after we met on the set of Quilting Arts TV in 2009. As I stitch I’ll send Jeanie photographic updates of the quilting as these quilts are decorating her booth, inviting customers in for a closer look. I work at being mindful of her needs as the designer of the software and the quilts. I love playing with the kaleidoscopes seeing where and how I can quilt them without overwhelming Jeanie’s work. As a side note kaleidoscopes make great practice quilts, more on that another time.
Jeanie sent me photos of a quilt she was working on and I was totally blown away. These photos came with a different request, “quilt it like a show quilt“. We emailed one another finalizing the design of the quilt. I enjoyed this process as we discussed which design we liked best. (ALL IMAGES USED WITH PERMISSION)
Meet “Feather Zone”
That red border is pieced in because Jeanie asked me what I thought about printing it…that was fine but I know what an excellent piecer she is and I thought she should piece it in. Turn about is fair play as you’ll see later. Because Jeanie was getting ready for Market and Festival I needed to do a very quick turn around time on the quilt.
Over the week or so that I spent quilting this I sent Jeanie sneak peeks of the stitching. I stopped sending them after a while as I needed to finish the quilt and I really wanted to surprise her with the finished quilt. I did.
And of course I needed to fill the space. This is the quilt where I realized I didn’t have much, if any, pink thread. Five spools of Superior MasterPiece came home with me. All five pinks came home with me the next day and were stitched into the quilt.
I used fuchsia in the border which ends up quite subtle as the border is a very dark purple. Jeanie overprinted it to get just the right color.
I used 2 layers of batting in the quilt. The batting at the back is bamboo, the batting on the top is Hobbs Tuscany Silk. The bamboo gives the quilt structure & stability while the silk gives smoothness and loft. At Jeanie’s request I actually hand stitched the binding to the back. Yes, you read that correctly I did some hand stitching. Jeanie was right of course hand stitching on a show quilt gives a much better quality & feel to the quilt.
I did not use bias binding, instead after a conversation with Paula Reid I decided to give cross-grain binding a go and I must say I’m pleased.
The other night Jeanie & I finally decided on the name for the quilt, “Feather Zone”. We’re taking you into the Feather Zone. I dare say this is the best way to learn feathers I’ve ever encountered. Mind you Ricky Tims does a phenomenal demonstration at the Super Seminars and I’m grateful for that! As I stitched this quilt I learned more about the ways the feathers can be stitched up one side and down the other, than I ever had before. I’m not one for turning the quilt around a lot as I quilt and this allowed me to quilt in a way that was really comfortable.
PS Jeanie & I are submitting the quilt to shows, as soon as we know where it will be we will let you know.