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, October 17, 2013

Big Finish - Piñata Pizzazz


Piñata Pizzazz

Lots of pictures on this finish since I'm giving this away to the Colorado flood relief through the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum - and it's a really difficult quilt to let go of!  :)   Besides, it's starting to get so pretty outside with the fall colors coming on. . .

This quilt is 84 x 84 inches.
Pattern is "Rachel's Joy" from Plum Creek Quilts, renamed as "Piñata Pizzazz"
Border and most inner fabrics are Jinny Beyer. The back was pieced from left-over border portions and stash pieces. All fabrics are cotton, batting is Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 cotton/poly in black.
Top thread throughout is Invisifil smoke, with a 50-wt Aurifil gray in the bobbin. Perfect combo - not a single thread break or tension problem.


Such a nice day, perfect amount of overcast to catch the quilt colors perfectly all around the house, on the hill, down the garden slope...

Loving the colors we're starting to get!


...And out front so the neighbors can come see what's going on.  ;D


And the back is its own wonderful quilt!  See for yourself:


I've never before quilted a bed-sized quilt in such a short period of time - 9 days from pin-basting to bound finish! But with this government attack on its own people and the stress of no pay coming in for an unknown length of time after 2 years of political stupidity and messing with Scot's active duty pay have already depleted our savings, I couldn't focus at all on reading or writing for my thesis. I literally used this quilt top that I'd pulled from my UFO list for disaster relief community sewing as a sanity escape and dropped all other responsibilities except caring for the teens.



I really love how the quilting turned out and how it shows on the back. I brought it back inside to see if any photos would let us see that.



I do all my quilting on my Viking Sapphire 875Q. Love that desk-top machine! 



The name I gave this comes from the center area with the 4 radiating "arms" that kept leaping out at me when I had this laying out to contemplate how I wanted to quilt it. I tried to find motifs that would go with the theme of festivity with a slight Mexican flavor, and I wanted the piñata portion to have a little more puff than the "background" portions. My other consideration was to keep the quilting from getting too dense, as this will be a bed quilt and I wanted to keep a nice softness to it.
So the arms got a fairly sparse treatment, as you see above - I alternated coin lines (literally traced quarters) with "crows-feet" lines. I was a little stumped at the tips - my original idea of some line stuff didn't look good up there in execution - until I decided to throw in the somewhat stylized rose motif that is popular in Mexican quilting. When all was said and done, those turned out to work perfectly.
I'd wanted to try some Margaret-Gunn-style out-of-the-box quilting, but with all the strong geometry and color stripes in this quilt, I would have had to quilt much denser than I wanted to make the quilting shapes stand out enough.  I did have fun emphasizing the border between the two "layers" of the background area. That worked out really well in this case.

The center was fun to do - I played around with several ideas - laid my acrylic boards over the quilt and messed around with dry-erase markers until I liked an idea. I made a 1/8 template out of that whitish plastic to trace in the very center. I threw some 5/8" lines in the intervening triangles, but when those were marked I didn't really like them. So I quilted 3/16" on either side of every other marked line to get these wider-spaced double lines, and I'm really happy with those. Much nicer than the original lines would have been.
I also made a plastic template for the triangles' basic outlines.
I'm really happy with how well I got the back square to line up with the front center! I did that by inserting pins through the backing to poke straight up into the air from each center-square corner when it was laid out on the floor (the two centers just happened to come out the exact same size - didn't plan it that way at all). A little tricky to maneuver as I was laying it out; quite a bit tricky to get them straight up through the batting; and a lot tricky to get the top corners settled happily on the pins. If I have to do this again, I'll add pins on each side mid-way between corners.


Oops - an uninvited guest came in with me!  I don't want a box elder bug in the house!

uhh.... Not a problem anymore. Thanks, Clara!!

And, Koko - can I please get a clean shot?



The smoke Invisifil was a great choice for the entire top. It did show a little on the lightest values, but not intrusively.

The one thing I would have liked to be different is that it would have been stunning if I could have spent money on good, thick, metallic silver thread for all the quilting on the piñata's center and arms. Don't you think?!

I gave the two "layers" of background shapes different fill treatments. I wonder if I would have liked it better if I'd switched the hook-and-swirls with the meandering. . .



I also like how the border worked up. Soooooo easy for that quilting, particularly with "invisible" thread. Just blast your way down the element outlines!

I used the faux-piped binding method that I bookmarked years ago from TLC Stitching. It looks fabulous and made an advantage out of a lack when I didn't have *quite* enough of any one good fabric choice to do the whole binding. There's a lot going on in this quilt geometrically, so I didn't want a patchwork binding breaking the outer line. This was the perfect answer, and better than a plain binding, I think! 


I did match the bobbin thread to the back fabric when I top-lined it down instead of using the same gray as the quilting.  And for my own future reference: This binding was wider than I usually like to have. I had too much fullness at the edge. Attaching with a 3/8" seam instead of a 1/4" seam would probably be the perfect match for what I usually want to achieve. Either that, or cut each piece 1/4" thinner. I will definitely be using this binding approach often in the future! Thank you for sharing, Trisha!

So - there we have it! Piñata Pizzazz all quilted up in record time, just waiting for a label and delivery. I hope it helps a family feel better - it sure helped me get through the last two weeks of insanity!


Can I get a Whoop! Whoop!


  1. Gorgeous Lynette, but it seems to be a flying carpet landing all over the plan.....giggle.

  2. Wow, I knew it would be stunning, but WOW! I keep going back and looking at each part, you did an amazing job and someone is going to be amazed at your generosity. Thank Koko for posing, it really put the size in perspective.

  3. Congratulations on the big finish-- it's beautiful!

  4. Turned out wonderful! Love all the outdoor pictures too! :)

  5. Dropped by from Whoop Whoop - your quilt is simply stunning and I'm loving your 'from above' photos taken outside :D

  6. Spectacular.Great pics.Have a fun weekend!

  7. This one would be hard to give up. I will have to check out this pattern because your quilt is so beautiful. You also took fantastic pictures.

  8. This is gorgeous - love the quilting!

  9. It's beautiful, Lynette, and your quilting is fabulous. What a kind and thoughtful quilt you are donating!

  10. An amazing quilt! Loved seeing all the details!

  11. WOO-HOO! This is an amazing finish, the quilting really enhances it perfectly - I really chuckled with the flying carpet comment! --
    Great photos!

  12. Wow! This turned out stunningly! I love the colors you chose and your quilting is just wonderful! Great finish!

  13. Standing ovation for a stella job!!!

  14. Lyn this is most awesome !! Your colors, design, quilting -- everything is just perfect.... Wow.

  15. Oh my, that quilt is fabulous! You did a wonderful job on it. I can see why it is hard to let it go. I have had a few like that that I planned for someone or something else, and then had a hard time letting go of them. I figure it is good karma to follow through. Wonderful work and I like the name.

  16. Congratulations!! It is a fanatic finish and beautiful quilt. I love it!

  17. "Pinata Pizazz" is beyond beautiful! Your quilting is so perfect for it! I love all of the photographs and commentary!

  18. Gorgeous! It really sings where pictured in the nature settings! It was breathtaking!

  19. I love your quilt very much. The back is almost as beautifukl as the top. Beautiful colors and amazing quilting. Congrats with this finish!
    Love from Amsterdam

  20. Beautiful finish. Love your use of colors and quilting.

  21. Great quilt and pictures of it. Is that your house?? I am so jealous!
    What's life like there, we have considered leaving the east coast to go west.
    LeeAnna Paylor
    leeannaquilts@gmail.com lapaylor.blogspot.com

  22. This IS a really big finish, Lynn! It's so wonderful. Your quilting is amazingly, and that you did all that in only nine days is just remarkable. After looking at your quilts, I bet people say to you, "Oh, you have a long arm." I'm glad you shared that you used invisible thread. I'm getting ready to quilt a Project Linus quilt and was thinking to use it for the durability factor. All your quilting designs really work with the pieced top. You can be very proud of your finish, and even more so that you're giving it away! Now that's gotta be tough.

  23. Beautiful quilt-front and back! Nice job!

  24. You certainly deserve a Whoop! Whoop! And I love the many shots and places your quilt got to visit. I hope everyone had a great visit and that your finances are eased, at least for a while. They were getting close to messing with our income, too, and I was thinking about becoming concerned. Love your stress reliever.

  25. Lynette, I literally gasped when I saw the first photo of this quilt. By the time I got to the last photo there were tears in my eyes. I cannot tell you how inspiring this is, not only for its incredible beauty, both front and back, but because I've been thinking lately that some of my quilting should be donated in some way. Thank you for an incredible treat and a lovely finish to my day in the quilting studio.

  26. That is an absolutely stunning quilt - front and back! Congratulations on a stunning finish!


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