Nothing Could Be Finer than having the privilege of quilting for Susan Brubaker-Knapp.
I’ve known Susan for several years and she is a very accomplished art quilter and pattern designer (and an all around upbeat person!). When she contacted me about doing some quilting for her, I was pleasantly surprised, as I know that sending her quilts out to be quilted is (in her words) like sending her children to boarding school.
During the quilting, I took photo’s of the process. I started with some S&S (stand and stare) time, which I always do. During the S&S and loading process, the quilt and I become acquainted usually. I think some quilts like to remain mute for a period of time to test my coaxing skills in getting them to talk. But this particular quilt started talking right away. Before I could get into the fun stuff though, the bones of the quilting had to be done.
Although I didn’t always do this, over the years I’ve come to appreciate that truly fine custom quilting has (in my opinion) a good solid foundation structure of SID (stitch in the ditch). Yes, I hear some of you groaning…. I used to groan too, but I’ve paid close attention to the quilts that made me stop and say “ooohhh” and usually they had that SID structure underneath them.
So, step one, stabilize the quilt with SID:
After I’ve done the SID, next comes the stabilizing of the applique (outline stitching, not truly SID) and I can start the fun quilting, the background of the applique and the details in the flowers:
At this point I have the quilt loaded on the machine in the direction it will be hanging and as this is a climbing vine plant, I worked the center background from the bottom to the top. I can do this, working up and down, because the entire quilt has been stabilized. Without that SID work, this wouldn’t be possible (just another benefit of SID). This picture was actually taken at the very beginning of quilting to show the direction the quilt is loaded in for the first loading:
Once I finished the green background, the borders needed to be quilted. But in order to control the continuous vine on them, the quilt would need to be turned so I can work horizontally along the edge:
Then all that was left was to set in my morning glory vine in the borders and check for any missing details and we have a finished quilt (or a quilted one):
And a pic or two of the quilting from the back side:
I’ve enjoyed working on this quilt and look forward to working with Susan again in the future should the need arise.