Friday, February 25, 2011


As a long arm quilter I see a lot of quilts come and go. Recently, I've noticed a few trends.

1.Hand applique is way up and fusible web applique has become less popular. I've found that over long periods of time and many washings the fusible web tends to fray around the edges unless it is satin stitched down. Hand applique has better staying power and has the bonus of being something you can do while waiting at lacrosse practice or watching TV.

Turning Twendy
by Tricia Cribbs

2.Beginners are all making big block quilts like Turning 20 rather than samplers. I think that those quick easy quilts give a better sense of satisfaction and are less frustrating to a beginner. Tricia Cribbs has created a fast and unique pattern that makes a fabulous quilt in no time.

3.Experienced quilters are making quilts with two or three different blocks in them. These blocks usually make a secondary pattern.

4.And, most startling of all is the fact that they are all huge. The average quilt I've finished recently would be a large double. King size is very popular. Contrasting this, I've done a large number of wee tiny ones. 30 X 40 and smaller. And the biggest a whomping 112 X 140. I thought I would never finish that one.

5. Most of my customers have started quilting their own smaller projects. They are saving their funds for fabric. These economic times are tough and money doesn't go as far as it used to. In order to keep quilting they tell me that cuts must be made and for smaller projects, I am the cut.

My own trends: I'm doing a lot of geometric designs like the one at the top of this post and a new design or mine that is all stars. I'm also doing a ton of hand applique. This is for two reasons, first I love the hand work and second because I'm spending a lot of time at my parents place in Edmonton. Dad had a stroke and is well on the way to a full recovery, but the rehab hospital is downtown and Mom doesn't feel comfortable driving there. Don't get me wrong I'm not complaining, I love this chance to help out my folks and to repay them for all the great things they've done for me over the years. The only real trouble is that I miss my studio and my family.

That's all for now folks. I'll try to get back to regular posts, but my focus is on other things right now.

Question of the Day: Are you in color grid-lock? Do you tend to work only in a few colors? Are there colors you hate? (I have real trouble with brown.) Let me know....



  1. Oh Edmonton, have you went to Sparrow Studioz yet? Wish I lived closer so I could go by there. I don't care for orange, or green. Even though I am working on a turquoise, orange, and off white quilt for my oldest daughter right now.

  2. Sadly I have not yet made it to Sparrow Studioz yet. Its on my list. I'm hoping to get there next week if the weather is warmer and I have a bit of time. I'll be sure to do a post on my visit. (Assuming the Sparrows don't object.)

  3. Hey Cathy! Sorry to hear about your folks. It is good that you are able to help them out. Can't wait to see those applique projects!

    Colors I have trouble with are pink and purple. Love, love, love earth tones!

    Do let us know if you get to Matt's studio!

  4. Earth Tones? Ick! Yuck! I've always had trouble with browns and those 'muddy' colors. I like my colors bright, bold, flashy and high contrast. Still, its the variety that makes working with fabric such fun.


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