Quilt ADD in therapy

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Colorado, United States
Other than my family, the passion of my life is quilting. An eclectic, I love a wide variety of styles and techniques encompassing both machine and hand work. I am a longarm quilter who can work for you. I enjoy any style, from pantographs to all-over to full custom, ranging from traditional to modern. I love bringing vintage tops to life and am willing to work with a challenging quilt top. Instagram: lyncc_quilts

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

FINISH! Sailing with the Flying Needles

81" x 81"

I am so excited to have this fun quilt finished! I can’t wait to take it to our next guild meeting for Show and Tell.

Its name reflects its origins. Our local quilt guild, The Flying Needles, has a monthly block drawing, and last August I got 12 boat blocks made by 11 other women and myself. How to assemble them? I didn’t want to just line them up in a grid, but I didn’t know what to do.

One late August day, while sitting in the long car line that snakes dangerously out onto 20 from the front of the high school, waiting to take my girl to an appointment, I pulled out some napkins and started sketching ideas.   I thought. . . “hmmmm....  I have that mariner’s star that hasn’t been worked up yet. . . “  and doodled a layout, wondering if the star would fit and how huge the quilt would be.

That mariner’s star had been made the first weekend in March at the guild’s retreat and was intended for a wall-hanging for a specific spot in the house. But coursework, parent responsibilities, and Heather’s time-sensitive graduation quilt kept infringing, and it never got assembled. So the next morning, after reading the day’s history allotment, I glanced at my napkin and shoved furniture around so I could play on my Design Floor.  Koko, who’d always been nonchalant about quilt projects, perked up almost immediately and had to sit with the blocks.  He was hilarious! I’d walk away to get a better view of the placement effect and he’d get all relaxed. I’d start walking back over to mess with the sailboats, and he’d stretch himself across as many as he could. This was very obviously HIS quilt!  lol

It took me the whole football season to get everything framed up and assembled properly (blocks, being made by 12 different folks, weren’t uniform in size, and the star had to be mounted on the white – ended up just hand stitching it down during the band-related trip out to Pace for All-State auditions).  I was instantly in love with that flimsy!! Oh, my! It turned out every bit as cool as I’d hoped.  And then I found the most awesome fabric for its backing. I loved it so much that I decided to make the back whole instead of piecing it with left-overs, so that the back would feel like the wide-open ocean.  Especially since I’d already decided on the quote I wanted to put on this one’s label: “Quilting friends are the wind in your sails that enable you to throw off the bowlines and sail away from the safe harbor, to catch the tradewinds in your sails and Explore, Dream, Discover.”  (an adaptation of Mark Twain)

For a couple more months I mulled over the quilting. I had time, as there were 2 or 3 other quilt tops that had priority, and my longarmer is popular locally – I get a custom job turn about every other month.  I knew how I wanted the sailboats quilted, since I had already designed their quilting for the August block on my 2010 Flying Needles BOM Quilt of Seasons. I surfed blogs and panto listings for ideas for the rest. The turquoise sashing just screamed for roping, so that part was easy. The wide navy marble was perfect for the very fun dophin and sailboat “Designs by Deb” panto. I couldn’t make up my mind how I wanted the white and the compass quilted, so when Patty let me know I could drop the quilt off, I gave her free rein for that part. I love what she came up with – using scrolling waves around the boats and pebbling with ditchwork to make the mariner’s star pop.

Thank you, Patty! It’s a marvelous quilting job!! She had to turn the quilt several times, as the panto is placed directionally for all 4 sides. She also worked hard to make nice corners for the roping and I’m really, really happy with it all. I know that part wasn’t easy – she ended up waiting a few weeks for her computer system to be installed and then had a better time with that part.


Picking this quilt up from her was like Christmas for me! Wow, it looked great, and it turned a depression episode around for me.  The binding was a bit of a challenge. It’s cut on the bias, but I wanted to switch between the turquoise and the navy at each juncture on the top. Wow! I actually redid 3 of the settings – one of those 3 times – to get the turquoise-to-blue line to match up exactly. I’m glad I went to the effort, because I really like the unbroken shape of the quilt’s outer corner shape.

Once I got it bound, it was time to add the shells and trim that I’d found along the way.  You know how it goes – you’ve popped into a store for some thread or whatever, and your eye sees something as you walk past a display, and your brain screams “Stop! wouldn’t that be awesome for that quilt?”  . . .

Looking at the trims, I realized the twill of the shell yardage would shrink way differently than the polyester ribbon, so I soaked everything carefully in hot water for several minutes before drying them on the shoe rack in my dryer. Did that twice just to be certain I wouldn’t have future problems when washing the quilt.

My boat

I attached the shell yardage and ribbon at the same time, working oh-so-slowly at my machine with the walking foot.  Had to shift the needle as far right as it would go to keep the foot’s edge from riding over the shells.  Patty had pointed out to me that if my trim had dangling shells, I’d need to turn the top one so they’d fall the right way. 

Once I got to putting it on, though, I couldn’t deal with the “backwardness” that would create in the ribbon placement, so the next step was go along, hand stitching each beaded shell strand down invisibly so that they would all fringe outward nice and neatly when hanging on the wall.  A bit OCD?  Maybe, but now that it’s finished, it was definitely worth that extra step.  (Oh, and every evening that I sat down in front of a show with Scott to work on this, Koko kept insistently trying to burrow into it, and then getting angry with me because I wouldn't let him - don't want cat hairs on this one!)  

Then I started painstakingly stitching each of the little loose shells around the mariner’s star. Each one had a double pass and was knotted before moving to the next, and when I was finally around the circle, I took a third pass just for added security, making knots at each compass point. Add the center steering piece, and the front was finished!

I had a lot of fun making the label. It just had to be a sailboat, of course.  Fiddled in Word with shaped and text manipulation to create the two sails. The little graphic on the big sail is our guild’s logo. I didn’t have fun making the hanging sleeve, but that’s crucial on this quilt, as it’ll go to a couple of shows and will otherwise hang in my house.

Now I just have to make a wall for it!

I'm hoping to find out who made each sailboat at the next meeting: 

Given our locale, this gal
must be a UF or Auburn fan!


  1. Lynnette,

    This quilt is super nice. The Mariner's Star is the perfect touch!!! I thoroughly enjoyed looking at pictures of your quilt.

  2. If you are daring... Take a permanent pen and have the ladies each sign their blocks. That way you'll always remember who did which one.


  3. What an amazing quilt you created! And the mariners compass block is just stunning!!

  4. Fabulous, I love everything about it--enjoy!

  5. How fun to make a quilt with friends! I love how each boat shows a slightly different personality. The mariner's compass is simply awesome! I'll have to try one of those someday.

  6. Lyn, that is such a good story about how your quilt was born. So much time and effort and creativity was used to make a lovely quilt. Keep Koko off it. You will have to hang it.

  7. it is lovely & your LA'er did a great job. You should enter it in a show!

  8. Hermoso!! que trabajo con cada bloque. la estrella es fascinante

  9. What a great quilt. I love the mariner's compass and the shells.

    Koko is a cutie!

  10. Oh I love this. What a cool idea to set all the blocks this way. I love all of the stuff you added.

  11. Love Love Love the quilt and the details you've added. And that Mariner's star is fantastic.

  12. Lyn, I LOVE this quilt!! The story behind it's making is just wonderful!!

  13. I loved reading your journey of making the quilt. It looks fantastic.

  14. Wonderful quilt and I love all the details you added with the beads. The mariner's star is Great. And it is sooo nice to have one finished.
    My UFO's have been weighing heavier and heavier on my mind lately - so I know it's just about time to really start tackling them.

  15. Thank you for sharing the details of your beautiful quilt. I love all of the embellishment you added, it really makes it special. The mariner's star is fabulous.

  16. What an awesome quilt! Just love all the detail - super cool label so befitting. This is a show quilt! Thank you for sharing.

  17. Terrific quilt! I love your clever combination of Mariners and Sailboats! and the finishing is absolutely incredible!

  18. Wow, this is amazing! I love how multi-dimensional it is. Tycho says Koko isn't taking full advantage of his cat stretch. ;)

  19. How wonderfully creative! I love your 3-D additions - the perfect touch!! Whoop whoop!!

  20. This is a beautiful quilt! I love an embellished quilt. It just adds so much to the detail. Well done!

  21. Your quilt turned out amazing. Love the whole story of the birth of your quilt. Very pretty.


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