Welcome guest blogger and quilt designer Jennifer Schifano Thomas of Curlicue Creations! Jennifer’s quilt, Violet Posies, is featured in the September/October 2015 issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine.
Hello there! My name is Jennifer Schifano Thomas and I’m so excited to be a guest blogger for McCall’s Quilting magazine today. Thank you so much for joining us. I’ll be talking about the making of my Violet Posies quilt.
I really enjoy designing floral applique blocks with cutouts and pieces that create shapes through overlay. The Potted Posies block features both of these elements. The central flower is made using five heart shapes for the petals. The hearts are placed over a lighter purple fabric to create the star shaped center. The three purple sections on the vase are also created by cutting the blue fabric and stitching it over one piece of purple fabric. I made these blocks with fusible appliqué, and stitched around the edges with a small zigzag stitch.
I set my machine stitch width at 2.0 and my length at 1.5 to get a nice stitch. I also sew around the edge of each patch with my machine set on the super slow “turtle” speed. It helps me to get a lovely and accurate edge finish.
I made six of these pieced blocks to alternate with the flower blocks. As I’m working, I like to place my pieces on a design wall in different arrangements. I often spark new ideas for future quilts, just by playing with my fabric. I like the way these blocks play together with just a thin strip of white between them. Hmmmmmm……
The border strips remind me of purple mountains. I love this border treatment. Look at what you get when you play with this one:
If you turn the borders like this you create a cool zigzag pattern. What fun! I’ll save this idea for a future quilt, too.
When my quilt top was assembled, I loaded it onto my frame for quilting. I don’t have a fancy longarm, just a domestic machine on a frame. You can still get nice quilting effects with a home machine. On the flower blocks, I just did a loopy meander in the background and outlined the vase cutouts. Then I stitched a curvy zigzag over the cutouts to give the vase a little bit more dimension.
I quilted swirls in all the dark purple squares of the pieced blocks and also in some of the mountain peaks. I quilted a few curvy leaves, more loopy meander and practiced my pebbles in the mountain background. The quilting is the most challenging part of making a quilt to me. I do not plan the quilting when I design a quilt. My quilting strategy is to lie in bed at night and think about it during the piecing phase of a quilt instead of sleeping. Yes, quilting keeps me up at night.
And voila! The wind was kind enough to allow me to take a nice clothesline pic at the finish of this quilt. Amazing. Normally the wind kicks up as soon as I step out the door with my camera and quilt in hand. I love the way quilts photograph in natural outdoor lighting.
I hope you enjoyed a little peek into the making of the Violet Posies quilt. Thank you again, McCall’s Quilting, for having me as your guest today. You’re the best! To see more of my work, and keep up on what I’m doing, please visit my blog. Get creative!
Thanks so much, Jennifer! If you’d like to make the Violet Posies quilt and don’t yet have a copy of the September/October 2015 issue of McCall’s Quilting, you can purchase print and digital copies of the magazine here.