A New Edge-to-Edge Motif: Dogwood Blossoms

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As many of you already know, I specialize in hand-guided free-motion quilting.  I love driving my Innova Longarm from the front of the machine, where I can see what I’m doing and make decisions about design placement as I go.  A lot of the work I do for clients is custom quilting.  I love custom quilting.  Not every quilt needs custom quilting, though.  This leads me to one question that I get asked: “Do you do computerized/pantograph quilting?”  While the straight answer to that is “No,” I do offer what I refer to as edge-to-edge quilting.  So I thought I would share a recent project with you, and one of the ways I go about doing edge-to-edge quilting for my clients.

When I meet with clients to discuss their quilting project, I like them to tell me what they would like to see as a motif.  I’m looking for a place to start the collaboration part of the project.  While some clients tell me to “quilt as I like,” this can be overwhelming as there are so many different choices to make when choosing how to quilt a project.  That’s one of the reason why custom quilting is more expensive than all-over or edge-to-edge quilting.  There is a lot of planning/designing that goes into it before you even start the machine. Usually when clients come to me seeking an all-over quilting job, they are not looking to pay my custom quilting prices.  That doesn’t mean that they are always looking for just a basic meander, or stipple motif, however. On this project, my client Jean was looking for an edge-to-edge motif that would nicely finish her quilt “Springtime in the Gorge.”  She envisioned some sort of spring flower motif, specifically a Dogwood flower with leaves.  With this information, I could start the design process. I perused several different photographs and line drawings of Dogwood blossoms via google image search.  Isn’t it great all the references we have instantly available to us these days via the internet? After taking in a variety of images, it was time to put my personal spin on it. Time do doodle!
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Option 1 – too simple
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Option 2 – I like the veining
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Option 3 – pretty, but not right yet
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Option 4 – something a little different (and swirls!)

The one preferred by both myself and my client was this one:

With that agreed upon, it was time to quilt it out!  I loaded up the quilt on the frame, and decided that I liked this so much that perhaps others would as well.  So, here is a video of how I went about quilting my new Dogwood Blossoms edge-to-edge motif:

I really like how it turned out.  Here are some photos of the finished project:
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I love the beautiful batiks in this quilt. I used wool batting and Glide Lilac thread.
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IMG_1801 What a great job Jean did piecing the back as well as the front – and she pieces her labels right into the back of her quilts!
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“Springtime in the Gorge” by Jean Kelly – quilted by Coleen Barnhardt of The Quilted Thistle

I’d love to hear what you think about my new motif, and hope that this was helpful in showing you more ways I can collaborate with you to finish your quilts.  Do you have any WIP or UFOs that need some edge-to-edge quilting?  If so, I’d love to hear from you!

2 thoughts on “A New Edge-to-Edge Motif: Dogwood Blossoms”

  1. Coleen, do you have small sized quilts already quilted and ready for painting available for purchase? I watched your tutorial and would love to try my hand at painting a SMALL quilt or table runner. If so, how much would this cost?

    1. Thanks for asking, Theresa. I regularly quilt 9X18 doodle quilts which are sold in a kit with a set of textile paints for $45. I also quilt custom sizes. Just email me with the dimensions and desired batting, and I can give you a quote.

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