The Lily Pad: The Journal of White Lotus Quilting

New pantograph available at Urban Elementz!

Posted in news by whitelotusquilting on March 27, 2012
Tags: , ,

I’ve been working on pantograph designs with Patricia Ritter, the owner of Urban Elementz, and the first pantograph, called Nautilus, is now available on her site.  Click here to see it!

Nautilus sketches - 1

A pantograph is a pattern that goes onto a long arm sewing machine and is either stitched out by hand (by tracing the pattern with a laser) or by computer (if you have one on your machine — I don’t).  After many hours of stitching freehand I’ve developed some favorite motifs that I think make great pantographs, and I’ve been working with Patricia to develop the designs, and she’s been digitizing them.  So the patterns are available in both paper and digital formats for those of you who have mid or long arm sewing machines and want to stitch them.

More pictures and posts to come as I stitch these out on a few quilts.  Plus there has been so much going on here at the studio that I haven’t taken the time to upload pictures — just rest assured that things haven’t gone quiet for a lack of activity, but rather the opposite!  We’ve been working on American Hero Quilts over the past year and have donated almost a dozen to the cause.  There have been lots of client quilts too — and awards.  Not only did quilts that I’ve worked on win Best Machine Quilting last year and this year at the Kitsap Guild show — but also a Grand Champion at the Puyallup.

Happy stitching all!

Vintage… sort of

Posted in Atomic quilting,Quilts,vintage by whitelotusquilting on March 6, 2009
Tags: , , , ,

Here’s another quilt story.  This one is about a vintage quilt top that my cousin Kris and I found in an antique store in Silverdale, Washington.  She admired this pretty little red and white top, which was in very good shape, and for a good price, too.  We didn’t buy it that day, but after she went home to the East Coast, I went back to the store and picked it up, intending it to be a birthday present in November 2008 — as a finished quilt for her newly redecorated home. Well it turned into a late Christmas present for 2008.  Not exactly on time but that hardly matters.  Any finished quilt is a good quilt!  (I feel that way about stories and writing too).

My cousin loves vintage textiles of all kinds but also favors the bright bold contemporary prints that I love as well.  So I turned her vintage beauty into two quilts.  One side has the vintage top; the other, 10 inch squares of everything red, white and black I could find in my studio.  Well, there were a few new fabrics in there as well. 🙂  If she gets tired of one side, she can flip it over and use the second side.

Vintage top paired with contemporary backing fabrics

Vintage top paired with contemporary backing fabrics

Then it got a low-loft cotton batting, and bowing to tradition, an all-over feather pattern with a sort of modern meander.  The thread is a pale pink; something that wouldn’t show up as too much contrast on the red, and not pop out on the white, either.  And of course, I had to add a black and white polka dot binding.  Just because. Kris has it on her purple velvet couch and promises to send a picture.  I can’t wait to see it in its home environment!

Kris red and white vintage quilt

Kris' red and white vintage quilt

If you look at the top closely you’ll see that some of the nine-patches have 5 red squares, and some have 4, though there doesn’t appear to be any particular pattern to it.  One theory is that the quiltmaker ran out of red fabric before she finished.  That makes me even happier to think that the quilt wound up being finished, and being used and cherished in a loving home.  A dream come true for any quiltmaker.

close-up of feather quilting

close-up of feather quilting

contemporary backing out of 10 inch squares

contemporary backing out of 10 inch squares

So there’s lots of ways to make a quilt, or even to finish one.  You can stay within certain fabric categories (Civil War repros, 1930’s repros, Asian, batiks, contemporary, blenders, kids’ prints, etc.) or whirl them all together if that pleases you.  Personally I like the term ‘riotously scrappy’ from Bonnie Hunter; why use 3 fabrics when you can use 30?  Or 300?

That said, there is a certain appeal to this sort of vintage top, worked in only two colors.  Simple and plain as they come.  An austere beauty in its simplicity.  I might never make this kind of quilt top, but I can certainly appreciate it.  If nothing else for its ability to be a backdrop for bolder fabrics!