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

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Double Finish Report! ~~ Dragonfly Party 1 and 2 - a very special pair of quilts

Woohoo!!!  I am so in love with Dragonfly Party 1 and Dragonfly Party 2~!!  Kay called the one she had for quilting "The Colorado Quilt", so we took a little family excursion to one of Colorado's distinctive locales for a photo op. 

Scott works at the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the week after the class of 2013 graduated was a great time for him to take us into the quad area for some fun shots with the iconic Cadet Chapel. It was quite windy and the bright sun washes the colors out a bit, but what a fun day it was. Three different wedding parties crossed our path as we were shooting and meandering - it's a very popular venue for those! The quilts got lots of smiles from other visitors, and at one point we were able to let one of the wedding guests (an Academy grad from 2003 or so) down onto the lower quad with us so she could find her friends' names on the memorial wall in there. 

This is taken from the "public" side, fighting the wind
and getting lots of nods and thumbs-ups from other visitors.

These two quilts are very dear to me not only because of their sentimental value, but because they both are quilted by master longarmers. I enjoy collecting the art of quilters from other places, and my husband and I both spend long moments admiring and analyzing the work. 

My Dragonfly Party quilts come from a special private block-of-the-month quilt project that my cousin and I started doing together. Kelly was 3 years older than I, and we reconnected with each other around 2007 when we both got on Facebook. She lived in Utah, and I was in Florida. We became daily companions, each with our computers staying online throughout the workday (she was an at-home mother with her youngest a teen, I was working at home) so we could interact easily. We both loved quilting and came up with the scheme in 2009 to do a twins-quilts BOM project through the mail with each other. The intention was that we'd each decide on a project and do it in double, keeping one block and mailing the other. At the end of the year, we'd each have two matching quilts with each other - one of our choice and one of the other's choice. These two quilts are the ones made from my project. 

(By the way - this is the Class Wall under the Chapel with the crests of each graduating class.)

Each one is different, with fun symbolic meaning to the choices of motifs.
This year's:

"Optimi Esse Cernimur" - "The Best to be Seen" 

Our birth years:

"Provocationem Accipimus" - "We accept the Challenge" 
Ad Vita Ipsa Justavit" - "To A Life Which Justifies Itself"

Our wedding year's:

"Domine Dirigenos" - "Lord Direct Us"

Other significant years for our family:

"Semper Excelsior" - "Always Higher" 
"Nonus Superato" - "None Superior"
"Pauci Fidelis" - "The Few the Faithful"

Back to these quilts. Kelly chose the Joseph Smith tribute BOM by Nancy Nielson and Joylyn Rigy, which I later found out she'd been super nervous about because I'm not LDS like her, and I'm not nearly as much of a Thimbleberries type. I was looking for something with upbeat colors and a mix of traditional and modern blocks, so I cobbled together 12 blocks that I loved or had meaning (like the Johnny-'Round-the-Corner block, as my husband was almost finished with a long deployment to Afghanistan and would be home that month in our program). 

Kelly and Shon ca. 2008

Some of the blocks are tried and true standby patterns, others came from the Quilter'sCache blog. I designed the setting in EQ6, wanting large alternate blocks for quilting potential. I'm not sure what possessed me to include 1/4" sashing, but it called to me, so I put it in there. The name came from the fun dragonfly fabric I found to use for the outer border and focal pieces in many of the blocks. The color scheme was pulled from stash and fat quarters to play off that fabric. It wasn't intentionally created to call to mind Mardigras, but living on the Florida panhandle at that time, that's what most folks who saw the project thought of. lol!

Kelly with her two older boys at my wedding in 1989
We were maybe 6 months into our game with each other when Kelly passed away. Way too young! I think she was 46 at the time. But she'd been having problems due to her cardiomyopathy, and fell to a series of strokes caused by complications. I was devastated. It was like losing a beloved sister. When I went out for her funeral, I rescued every project I could find in her sewing room and stash and have slowly been working on those. I found her storage bins and fabrics for her Joseph Smith BOM, and the blocks of Dragonfly Party that I'd sent out to her. 

I couldn't touch any of it until I decided to use the skills of master longarmers to nudge me into finishing my Dragonfly tops. 

Finally finished the tops summer 2012

So I got on Judi Madsen's Green Fairy wait list and started working my way through my blocks. I finished both of my tops last summer after our move to Colorado. They were nice, poignant companions in our interim apartment while we looked for a real home to buy. I decided I wanted to keep both of the tops, and that it might be nice to have the work of two longarmers I admire to be a set together. 

And I put Dragonfly Party 2 on
Kay Bell's Borderline Quilter wait list - another longarmer whose work I had long admired, had absolute faith in giving carte blanche, and would more likely than not look terrific as a set with Judi's quilting. Neither one of them let me down. Both quilts take my breath away! I am thoroughly in love with each one and charmed by their personalities. There is no way I could begin to choose a favorite. (Their linked names just above will take you to their own write-ups at the time of quilting.)

The funny thing is that I placed the quilt tops at very different times on two separate wait lists with very different rates of moving and two quilters in very different stages of life affecting their available working hours. And yet, with no attempt at coordinating, they both finished quilting the top they had within a work week of each other!  Blogger Em would call that a God Wink, for sure!  And with these two quilts so amazingly quilted, it takes all the sting out of the times I spend now working on Kelly's Joseph Smith blocks to finish those quilts for her, so that it's only a nice stroll through memories of her and a labor of love for her family.

We're stuck in the middle of the ongoing governmental SNAFU with the national budget, and so far in this year, the Air Force has simply not paid Scott about $19,000 and his education benefit has disappeared (which pays about 2/3 of Devon's college expenses and was earned by 21 years of duty with a required signing on for 4 more years). Which for this post means that the only cameras we have are tired phones and a broken Canon. So until I can get something replaced or fixed, I have to settle for the shots I can get. Still - it's really fun to see what Judi and Kay each did with the blocks.

First of all - Both ladies did a smashing job with their quilting. The blocks are square and straight - waves and distortions are all due to grass underneath or camera angles.  :)

Judi had a blast with geometry on this. In the alternate blocks, her motifs change ratios with each row in the quilt. See how the squares move from 3 per side in the center to 4 per side, and finally 6 per side, while the quilted stars have different sizes? Neato and pure fun! Her scheme never fails to fascinate us.

And I just love the two dragonflies she put in.  :D

Kay went for a unified approach with an absolutely gorgeous alternate setting with self-frames, arches, and some of the feathers that she's so amazingly good at. It soothes and delights at the same time. Have you ever quilted pebbles? They take forever! And hers look so marvelous. 

I love how you can find similar elements in the borders.  Judi had her marvelous geometric play going with the alternating diamond sizes framed by strings of pearls, which is very distinctive and flows wonderfully around the quilt, while Kay played up the patchwork itself with alternating pebbles and lines. Quite different from each other even while they both have little circles in their schemes. But their free-flowing motifs in the dragonfly fabric border are fairly similar to each other. 

A lot of the fun of seeing these quilts side by side is looking at how different the approaches are for each BOM block. Judi's blocks are on the left, Kay's are on the right (or if your browser knocks them out of alignment, Judi's are on the top of each pairing):

So in Judi's quilting we get a fascinating, analytical play with geometry and alternating shadows in the boxes with touches of curly little "parties" and strings of pearls that just makes you go "Oh. My. Gosh!"

And in Kay's we get an organic sweetness with a scheme that merges a traditional feel with a modern look, with a perfect mix of the feathers I love, playful swirls, and barred framing, in a style that makes me swoon all over again. 

I could not be more thrilled with these quilts individually or as a pair. My one sadness is that I don't have any span of wall in this house large enough to hang them side by side! And you know what's an added super-duper fun coincidence?  A couple of weeks ago, when I got my latest "Machine Quilting Unlimited" magazine in the mail (July/Aug 2013), how COOL was it that both of these ladies had articles in it?  I was already smiling broadly and saying, "Hey!", because of Margaret Gunn's feature picture on the cover (she quilted my Patriots in Petticoats and my Amaretto Cottage for me), but when I thumbed through and saw Judi's and Kay's features as well, I was in Quilter's Heaven for sure.  

It's been a wild ride the last three months, with all kinds of things - a nasty forest fire included - interrupting my quilt work and especially my blogging. It took me far longer than I imagined to get the bindings on both of these, and then even longer to try to get good photos and write a report for them. I'm eager to get labels made and put on as well as hanging sleeves so I can get these entered in quilt shows. And hang them on my wall!!  :D


Linking up at these finishing parties:

Sarah's Can I get a Whoop! Whoop!

TGIFF - at Michèle-Renée's this week

Richard & Tanya's Link a Finish Friday


  1. What a nice blog post, Lyn! I remember when you blogged about your efforts to finish these tops, so it's really nice to see them quilted and finished. Your approach to using different longarm quilters is quite interesting. Their personalities shine through the designs they chose. You have created two quilts with special significance - what quiltmaking is all about. Thanks for sharing with us. And I hope, for your sake, that the government gets its finances properly figured out - but I'm not holding my breath.

  2. These are phenomenal...both your piecing and the quilting. What a nice tribute to your cousin

  3. These quilts, colours, piecing and quilting look fabulous. You and your quilters have every right to "swoon".

  4. What spectacular quilting!! Beautiful finishes. Lucky lucky you...

  5. Those two quilts are truly works of art. Thanks for your brautiful post.

  6. Oh my goodness! Phenomenal quilts with a treasurable story behind each one! Sorry about the loss of your cousin:(

    My hubby is in the military as well. Going on 11 years!

  7. Fascinating and fabulous post -- love the comparison photos -- beautiful, beautiful work all around!!!

  8. Gorgeous quilts.
    My sympathy in the loss of your cousin.

  9. Amazing. What great choice of fabrics and the quilting only makes it shine that much more. Beautiful!!!

  10. I remember reading the stories from both long-armers when these were quilted and marveling at the beauty of the quilts. It's wonderful to see that they are finished. Whoop whoop for a fabulous finish!!

  11. Oh, Lynette, they are both stunning. So cool to see how they each quilted the quilts. Thanks for sharing these - gorgeous!

  12. Oh WOW !!! Fabulous ! Thanks for sharing your sad but happy story. You should be proud that you have honoured your cousin in such a beautiful way. L xo

  13. Your quilts are beautiful and the quilting is simply amazing. Thank so much for posting!

  14. Hi Lynette, what a fantastic photoshoot venue, is this the same chapel that was featured on the Quilt Show at one time?
    I am thrilled you are so happy with both of your quilts, different but the same just like children. It was a pleasure to quilt for you for sure, your quilts look fantastic!

    Best Wishes
    Kay in Scotland

  15. Spectacular quilts and wonderful pictures too! All of the time, effort and emotion you put into these is certainly evident in the beautiful results :-) I hope your finances are straightened out soon. That must be beyond frustrating!

  16. Lovely quilts! Kay rarely makes one I wouldn't want to keep :-)

  17. This was an incredible post! I can not believe I didn't see it until now. Thank you so much for your beautiful story and letting me be apart of such a great quilt. They both are beautiful.

  18. Thanks for posting the link to your blog. What a touching story. I love seeing the close ups of the quilting and blocks.

  19. It is wonderful to see such amazing quilting and hear the story behind the stunning quilts. So glad that you shared.


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