Squares and Swirls!

One of my favorite parts about doing custom long-arm machine quilting is the opportunity to see what so many different people do with their fabrics and piecing patterns for their quilts. This quilt that I worked with over my Thanksgiving break last November is one that really caught my eye. The design is so unique, and I love the color combination!


My client left it up to me to decide what design to stitch onto this quilt. Because of all the straight lines in the piecing thanks to the square pattern, I chose a swirl pattern to add some texture and motion with the curved stitching. The piecing was very straightforward, so I wanted to keep the custom machine quilting simple to avoid having too much going on.

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I hope you enjoyed these squares and swirls as much as I did! Thanks for stopping by the blog today, and I hope you come again soon!

~ By Kathryn


Into The West

This quilt has a very special place in my heart. I made it for my boyfriend, Ben, as a gift for his college graduation. I wanted to create a quilt that told the story of the first months of our relationship.


I’m probably a bit partial to our story, because it’s ours, but it has some really fun aspects that made a story quilt a great gift.

We met in college at a 16-month Associate of Liberal Arts program named Rivendell Sanctuary. The name of the school was inspired by the home of the elves, Rivendell, in J.R.R. Tolkien’s, The Lord Of The Rings. When deciding on fabrics for the quilt, it was only fitting that I included portions of a map of Middle Earth.

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For 5 weeks of our time at Rivendell (during Ben’s third semester, and my fourth and final semester) our classes traveled to Italy to study the Fine Arts. Although Ben and I had been on the same small campus at Rivendell for about 9 months prior to the trip, our paths had rarely crossed so we didn’t really know each other beyond our names. In Assisi, Italy, we went on what I like to call an “accidental” pizza date, and realized that we enjoyed talking with each other and spending time together. Naturally, I decided to include some fabric with famous locations in Italy (many of which we visited) in this quilt.


When we returned from Italy I graduated from the Rivendell program, and Ben had one semester remaining. I transferred to a different college to work on completing my Bachelor’s degree. Ben came to see me each week at my new college, and one of our first homework date spots was the library on the campus of my school. After a few of those homework dates in the library, Ben asked me to date him and I said yes! I added some book fabric in the quilt to highlight that time of our relationship.

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I wanted to add a few hobbies and likes that Ben has to fill out my selection of specialty fabrics for the quilt. Ben plays guitar (quite well, if I do say so myself), and he regularly wears plaid shirts, so I thought that some fabrics along those lines would work well with my color scheme and story quilt concept.

Along with the special fabrics that I chose, I added some extra blues and tans to complete my fabric choices!

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From the pictures you can see the overall long-arm quilting design that I chose for the quilt. I wanted to keep it simple so as not to distract from the fabric designs. In the border I did a different design to mix it up and give me a chance to play around with multiple designs!

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I put a label on the back with some details about the quilt (I blurred the picture). I chose the quilt name because at the end of Tolkien’s “The Lord Of The Rings,” the elves (who live at Rivendell) sail away from Middle Earth, into the west. Ben and his classmates are leaving their time of education at Rivendell and heading off into the west, so to speak, to live their lives.

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Needless to say, I had some sentimental moments while planning, creating, and long-arm quilting this gift for Ben. I loved seeing the picture that I had in my mind take shape as I added the special fabrics and created the layout. And, as always, I enjoyed tying it all together with the long-arm quilting!

The months of our relationship that this quilt captures had some amazing and unique adventures in them, and I am excited to see what adventures the future months have for Ben and I!

By Kathryn