Friday, April 26, 2013

Something to share! A beautiful quilt story...

Lynette contacted me about a year ago to have one of her quilts finished by me. I am always honored to work on customer quilts and this one was no different.  It's funny, someone left a comment on my sneak peek of this quilt and mentioned that Kay was quilting this exact same quilt.  I couldn't believe it!! At first I was a little nervous about that thought. It is always heart wrenching to think that two quilting jobs could be compared to each other, especially when it is the same quilt.  But, then I realized that each quilter has his or her own style and how awesome it would be to own two of the same quilts, but quilted completely different. So, I asked Lynette to tell me the story of her quilts and I had to share her thoughts with you.  It really is a beautiful quilt story - please read it.  Then, you can look at the pictures!  So, I give you Dragonfly - Party 1. 


Here's what Lynette said -  
"Dragonfly Party 1 comes 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
Orem, 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 twin quilts with each other - one of our choice and one
of the other's choice. 

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). Some of the blocks are tried and true standby patterns,
others came from the Quilter's Cache 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!

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. So I got on your Green Fairy wait list
and started working my way through those. I finished them 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 to be a set together. So I put
Dragonfly Party 2 on Kay's Borderline Quilter wait list - another longarmer whose
work I had long admired, had absolute faith in giving cart blanch, and would more
likely than not look terrific as a set with your quilting. Neither one of you let me
down. They both take my breath away even before I have them back in my hands! 

The funny thing is that I placed these tops at very different times on two separate
wait lists with very different rates of moving and two quilters in very different
life stages affecting their available working hours. And yet, with no attempt at
coordinating, you each finished quilting the tops within a work week of each other! 
Blog friend 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 time I spend 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."

 Okay, me again -
Oh my word, I can not read through her story without crying.  I think what I love most about quilting is the beautiful stories of love and friendship that develop and our hobbies become more than just a hobby.  So beautiful!  So, on to the quilting story - my part.  I was a little stumped at first.  The big yellow empty spaces are always a challenge to design first, so I started on the borders.  This small four patch pictured above was the result of a little playing around and it ended up being the inspiration for my whole quilting job.  I kept thinking about this being a tile that could fit in all the yellow background squares.

As I quilted I realized that I should make this quilting tile a progressive size.  So, the first yellow spaces - top and bottom of the quilt are 2 inch squares.  Yes, there was a ton of marking on this quilt.

The borders are awesome, this was a result of the square I quilted at first that gave me inspirations for the tile blocks.  The diamond shape is also used throughout the quilt.

Each block is quilted differently, I used a gold thread for the colors in the blocks, a white thread for all the white areas and a golden yellow for the solid yellow blocks. 

I so love this quilt block.  It turned out awesome. 

Lynette's piecing ability is amazing, AMAZING!  Seriously, I could not quilt this straight without a straight quilt, I am so impressed with her piecing skills. 

All the quilting designs within the blocks are a result of just playing around with my marker and straight ruler.

A favorite!  Love this one.

And this one too, it's so hard to pick which ones to share!

So, this yellow block is the center row of the quilt and I quilted 4 inch squares and here is where the diamond design from the border is pulled into the quilt.

This is the second and fourth rows with 3 inch squares and a smaller diamond.  I love the progressive size design on the quilt.  This was my first time trying that design method. I love how it turned out.

The fabric in the borders have dragonflies in them, so it is only appropriate that I put in a couple of dragonflies.  I planned on quilting more than two dragonflies, but in the end decided that 2 were enough for the quilt.  Not knowing the story of this quilt before made it more neat because I think of the two dragonflies as Kelly and Lynette.

The back!  Love!

I never tire of quilt texture.

 Thanks for reading!  I hope you enjoyed this quilt story as well as the pictures of my quilting.  


Marlene said...

OMG Judi your quilting just blows me away. That is the most amazing quilt.
Lynettes story behind the quilt certainly brought tears to my eyes and what a wonderful memento she now has. Fantastic job.

~Diana said...

I have seen both yours and Kay's and I have to say they are both wonderful, beautiful works of art! Thank you for sharing! Love the dragonfly detail!

Sharon S said...

Beautiful quilting Judy! Thank you for sharing the story. Teary here too.

Laurel said...

Beautiful touching story and quilt. I never cease to be blown away by your mad quilting skills!

Leeanne said...

Holy smoke your quilting is always so beautiful! What a touching story.

Rina Mason said...

Amazing quilting for an amazing quilt. Knowing the background only makes them that much more special. Beautiful.

Regina said...

Gasp... ohmy!!!!

Rebecca Grace said...

Judi, you're right -- this is spectacular and I'm bawling from reading the story behind it. My heart goes out to Lynette and to Kelly's family, and I can't think of anyone who could have done a better job with this very special, precious quilt. I think YOU'RE a "God wink!"

Brenda said...

What a gorgeous quilt. It is really beyond words. Absolutely amazing. Great job! I wish I had an 1/8 of your talent.

Lori said...


Tamie said...

What a beautiful story and what a stunning job with the quilting. Just amazing.

Karee said...

you truly helped this quilt and its fabrics fulfill its destiny. a most amazing, excellent example of your talent.

car54 said...

Wow, I can't believe what a beautiful job you did with this quilt--the two quilts were done so differently but will look beautiful together.

She has a pair of family heirlooms.

Dora, the Quilter said...

I love both quilts--with all their differences and all their similarities. I'd love knowing what people will say about them in 100 years! Definitely, they are both masterpieces of planning, piecing, and quilting!

AnneO said...

The story of the two quilts is so touching; your quilting is breath-taking.

Melia Mae Quilting said...

Amazing! Just amazing!!!!

Lynette said...

Judi, this is so very gorgeous. Thank you, thank you so much! So many delightful components in the designing - love the graduated diamonds, and the beading, and the extra rays quilted in on some of the stars. And Lady, you made *me* all teary with the two dragonflies!!

SharoninStitches said...

You make the quilts sing!

Patsy said...

Gorgeous quilt and a beautiful story to match.

Rebecca said...

More amazing work. Thank you for sharing the quilts and her story.

Jenny said...

Beautiful quilt! Beautiful story! See you soon!

Jenny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Glinda ♥ said...

Wow! Stunning quilt, stunning quilting - what clever ladies and what a touching story ... it's never just about the fabric, hey?

Maggie A said...

What a sad but lovely story. Beautiful for both.

Britt-Inger said...

The quilt is so beautiful and your quilting is amazing.
What a sad but lovely story and a beutiful way to taking care of her cousin´s quit top.
Thanks for sharing the story behind the quilt

Michele said...

I am utterly speachless...of the quilt, your gorgeous quilting and the story. I love the block swap idea and will definitely be doing that with a couple of quiling BFFs.

Lorna said...

Judi: An amazing story and an amazing quilt. Thank you so much for telling us the story behind the quilt. It makes one's heart go pitter-patt. And the quilting is to drool over! Wow! Beautiful work as always Judi. You have been given such a wonderful gift!

gailss said...

Wow...Wow...Wow. This is just beyond words and Congrats on a very beautiful quilting job. Takes my breath away. Thanks for sharing.

MaterialGirlQuilts said...

Thanks so much for sharing her story, it made me cry as well. You did an amazing job!

Leanne said...

Judi !!! It is just beautiful. I love the story behind them. Even though its terribly sad, it's nice to know the two quilts have been finished and can be cherished by the family. L xo

kutiequilter said...


Anonymous said...

So, I take it you like dragonflies, too! :) Stunning, Judi! Simply stunning!

Vicki @ DottyJane said...

It's beautiful...story, quilt and quilting:)

Kate C said...

Just beautiful! Loved seeing how both of them were quilted, both great jobs but so different! I love how you try something new with every quilt, it is always an inspiration to see your work.

Kathy Schwartz said...

When Lynette told me she had sent one quilt to you and one to Kay I knew your quilting styles would compliment each other beautifully and they have! Love the two dragonflies, that was a very thoughtful touch. Beautiful quilting as always.

Caroline said...

Adore this quilt and the story behind it. Your quilting ability amazes me, Judi! I've been following your blog quietly for a while but finally took the plunge and started up my own blog, where I will hopefully be showing off my beginner's creations. Your blog and quilts along with others have inspired me to go ahead and learn to quilt. Wanted to do it for years and now I finally am :D

Thanks for sharing,
Caroline x

Kathleen O'Grady said...

I am always amazed at your beautiful work. What a wonderful story.

Unknown said...

An amazing quilt and amazing quilting! WOW!

Jane said...

Wow!! So impressed with your work. I dream of doing work like this :) Such a gorgeous story and how in tune that two dragonflies ended up in the quilt.

Beeswax said...

As lapsed LDS, seeing this post is making me want to go to SM today..thanks

Created by Kathi said...

AMAZING!!!! Just found your blog! LOVE your work... did you dew that all by hand??? it looks like hand quilting but I didn't read that in the story. I am a handquilter looking to learn how to become a master at it like you have become just looking at this quilt! A work of art front and back!
Thanks for sharing your work! I am subscribing :) Kathi

pcflamingo said...

This just touches my heart so strongly. Your work is so beautiful.

Borderline Quilter said...

As usual Judi your quilting choices are was a fun project wasn't it?

Best Wishes
Kay in Scotland

Laura said...

What a wonderful story! Judi the quilting is just beautiful! What a great job!

Lyn said...

Thanks for sharing the story as well as the's a beautiful quilt and the quilting is incredible...gorgeous.

sarah in brooklyn said...

That is just heartstoppingly beautiful.

Unknown said...

I must say that I am nearly speechless. This one of the most beautiful quilting jobs I have ever seen. Judi, I have seen your work before and I believe it to be exceptional.This one excels even that. You and Lynette did such beautiful work.Lynette's story is so moving and I started tearing up while reading. Thank you so much for sharing.

LIANE said...

Uma história emocionante! O seu trabalho e o de Kay são de tirar o fôlego ! Absolutamente fantásticos.

An exciting story! Your work and Kay are breathtaking! Absolutely fantastic.