Friday, March 10, 2017

Kiara and the Turtles

Hi fellow quilt lovers, now that I have finished that king-sized Christmas quilt all sorts of projects are getting done.  They were all waiting in the wings.

I will be teaching two portrait classes at the Golden Triangle Quilt Guild in Beaumont next week.  The first class will be people portraits, and the students have given me their pictures to be prepared for the class.  The second day will be pet portraits; and we have the usual puppies, kitties, but there is a bird, a pig, and a hedgehog for a little excitement.

I made up a new portrait quilt, one I have been dying to make for a couple of years since I took this photo Christmas Eve 2014:

This is my granddaughter, Kiara, who is one of the triplets.  We were at the petting zoo at the Phoenix Wildlife park when that male turtle climbed on the female and started grunting loudly- they were doing it!  The kids were all very curious and we had to hold them back; even if it was a petting zoo, there are times when you should leave the animals alone...

This quilt is titled "Gigi, What Are They Doing?"  Since that is the question I heard several times.... and yes, I'm Gigi.  

These collage quilts are so fun to make.   After working for months on getting perfect piecing and intricate quilting, it is so fun to cut and fuse fun little shapes and watch them turn into pictures.  

I didn't know what to do with that background.  In the picture it was just dirt or sand.  So I was inspired by some aboriginal art with turtles and kangaroos with these big circles within circles.  I wanted to keep it subtle and in the background, but after all that work, I still wanted the quilting to show some.  So I used light colors of Glide thread and two circle templates, Jamie Wallen's 2 inch template and DeLoa Jones 1 3/4 inch circles.  

I did quilted this whole thing on my Innova, which is a big deal for me.  I usually quilt them on my sitdown machine as I have way more control.  

One of my Innova friends was talking to me the other day and mentioned how she is someday going to get brave enough to turn off the stitch regulator, and bam, lightining bolt.  That's how I got control!  I used the regulator to make the circles, but when echoing around the circles freehand, I had to turn off the regulator to gain control and not get jerked around (literally).  

The longarm performed beautifully on those fused pieces where I quilted texture on the turtles, etc...  

I got so good without the regulator that I put my next cameo piece on the longarm.  Maybe I will be posting a finished cameo soon.  Here's what I have so far...

Be back soon, Karen

"Creativity is intelligence having fun."

Albert Einstein


  1. This is gorgeous! I love how you used the shadows. It looks as if the girl and turtles are about to walk off of the quilt.

    1. thanks, that is what I was hoping for...

  2. Wow! This is a wonderful piece! The background quilting is subtle, yet eye catching - a very good choice. Thanks for posting a picture of it on the frame, as I would not have guessed it was that big. I hope you enter this in some shows, as you have done a fantastic job on this. And when you say you turned off your stitch regulator, are you talking Lightening Stitch? Personally, I love Lightening Stitch as I can put the needle exactly where I want it - not bold enough to go non-stitch regulated. I do love my Innova though!

    1. Thanks so much for your input Susan, it's hard to know how it's going to turn out when you quilt something like that. It could have turned out badly. I just got lightning stitch a few months ago, and didn't think I'd ever need to turn it off. But my free motion quilting was real jerky with it. I could quilt much smoother without it - huh, who knew.... BTW, If you push and hold the left handle button, it slows down your stitching and hold the right handle button to speed up. Not hard to change at all.