"She seeks wool & flax, And works willingly with her hands" ~ Proverbs 31:13

March 10, 2015

Custom Free Motion Quilting {Aunt 'Reen's Mediterranean Tile Quilt}

I recently had the honor of being asked to custom quilt an original quilt design by Aunt 'Reen.
Of course when I say recently I mean several months ago.....last year in fact.
I'm still playing catch up with sharing all the projects I've been working over the last year.

And now with no further ado I present Aunt 'Reen's Mediterranean Tile Quilt.

It laid out so nice flat and square. I love it when quilts come out square.
For this quilt I used 1-1/2" curved safety pins to hold all the layers in place while I quilted.

Ready to pin the layers

The "grout" lines aka sashing between each of the blocks gave me the perfect place to start quilting and stabilizing the entire quilt. I started by Stitching-In-The-Ditch (SID) up and down the longest strips of sashing. I started with the center most strip by stitching down one side of it and back up the other side. From there I moved over to the center strip of the left half and did the same stitch down one side of the strip and up the other side and quilted all the long strips in this manner. By doing this it stretches the quilt in both directions and keeps the quilt from being pulled in only one direction which would cause it to become wonky.

After all the long sashing strips were SID I moved on to quilting the shorter sashing strips stitching in the same manner as the longer strips, with the one exception of the added travel stitch at one end of each short strip. This took a little longer due to all the stops and starts required.

"Grout" lines stitched
Once all of the grout lines were stitched down I continued my SID work in the 16-patch blocks.
While it's not required to do SID in those pieced blocks it does give the block a more finished look it adds to showing off even emphasizing the piecing work. The added benefit to me as a quilter is that later the SID work will keep the fabric from migrating or moving while I work and it make the quilting designs I add to the block even more precise.

Compare the two 16-patch blocks in the picture below. You can easily spot the difference between the block that has been SID and the one that hasn't been stitched yet. The block on the right hasn't been SID yet and it looks nice but not nearly as nice as the block on the left which has the SID work done.

Compare the 16-patch blocks: Left block SID work finished, Right block no SID work yet.

When I had all of the SID work was finished along all the seams I started working block by block with SID work along the edge of each applique piece and then adding the additional quilting designs.

Applique blocks quilted viewed from the back of the quilt
When quilting the applique blocks the only lines I marked were the straight lines forming the pearl frame. Everything else was stitched free-form.

Front of quilt showing quilting on in the applique blocks

With all of the applique blocks quilted I moved on to quilting the 16-patch blocks.
For these blocks I again used a blue water soluble fine-point marking pen to draw in all the straight lines for the inner frame and corners. All of the pearls, loops and flower petals were stitched free-form.

Quilted 16-patch block

I never get tired of how the quilting shows itself off on the back of a quilt!

The goal I was given was to do some amazing custom quilting that will enhance the quilt, but not take attention away from the quilt itself. We didn't want the quilting to overwhelm the applique designs, but instead to play well with the quilt and keep the quilt the star of the show.

Quilt Details and Stats:

Finished size: Approx. 74" x 74"
Quilt Pattern: Mediterranean Tile by Doreen Johnson
Batting: Quilter's Dream Blend 70/30 Cotton/Poly
Thread: Aurifil Sand #2326
Quilting: Machine Free Motion Quilted on my domestic Husqvarna Sapphire 875Q

Be sure to stop by and visit Aunt 'Reen's Place. She does beautiful, amazing work and is such an inspiration!

Thanks for stopping by and letting me share my quilting adventures with you!
God Bless & Happy Quilting,

February 28, 2015

Paperwork & Taxes {UGH!}

I'm  knee deep in paperwork....

I REALLY dislike paperwork!

 It's tax time and this must be tackled.

To tell you the truth I'd rather be sewing, quilting, designing a quilt
or even doing just about anything else. 

I'm pretty sure I've looked at some of the tax questions with this same expression.

If your knee deep in taxes and paperwork as well
take some time to be creative. 

Take time for a stitching break. 

God Bless & Happy Quilting,

November 6, 2014

Looking to the Future of Little Pink Rose

Since I shared this decision several months ago, we've been working diligently to find a way to keep the shop open and pursue designing and teaching. I'm thrilled to say that with some creative ideas from my sweet hubby, we have found a way to keep the shop open and continue serving our beloved customers. I'm looking forward to serving you for many years to come! 

God Bless,


In September 2011 I re-opened my custom sewing studio, formerly known as Stitches Unlimited by Marcia Ann, under the new name Little Pink Rose Quilting and Sewing as well as adding an online fabric shop to the mix. 

The last 3 years have been an absolute blast meeting new people and sending out packages full of happiness and joy! If you're like me a package of fabric arriving in the mail makes it a good day!

 Several months ago I was asked to teach some Free Motion Quilting classes at Kelly Ann's Quilting in Warrenton, VA. I was quite honored to be asked and trusted to teach the classes! Being able to teach what I love so much energized me and filled me with the desire to teach more as well as stretch my wings and try some new things. So I'm now working on developing intermediate and advanced Free Motion Quilting classes that I'll be able to offer to those who want to go beyond the basics. 

This new found desire to teach and even design some patterns and quilting designs has left me with a bit of a dilemma. Not enough time to do everything I need and want to do.
Basically too many irons in the fire. Too many balls in the air. Too much on my plate.

I found myself struggling to keep up with everything.
The website would need attention, but there were deadlines for projects and classes.
When I did work on the website the projects and deadlines still demanded my attention. Even this blog which I love, suffered from neglect. I was becoming overwhelmed and found myself stuck. Nothing would change unless I made a decision and let a few balls drop. But what needed to be let go?

I spent several months contemplating my options. Asking what I need to be doing and ultimately what is it the Lord is calling me to do with my life and my business.

My hearts desire has always been to create.  More than almost anything else I love creating quilts and stitching beautiful Free Motion Quilting designs on those quilts and being able to share that love of quilting with others through teaching.

With those things in mind I've come to the conclusion that while having the shop has been a blast and a great learning experience it is time to close the fabric shop {with a liquidation sale} and pour my focus and time into creating and teaching.

Little Pink Rose Quilting and Sewing will continue to exist, I will be teaching, designing, quilting and sewing and sharing it all on this blog much more often than I have been in recent months. Next up I'll be sharing a couple of big projects I've been working on over the last few months.

I'm excited about the new possibilities as I follow where the Lord is leading me!

Be sure to stop by the Fabric Shop at www.littlepinkrose.com and checkout our liquidation sale.


Thanks for stopping by and letting me share my new quilting adventures & decisions with you!
God Bless You & Happy Quilting,

October 20, 2014

Poppy Love {A Finish}

I was just looking through my pictures from the last year and discovered a quilt that I never shared with you all. I created this quilt based on a quilt challenge issued last year by the Swirly Girls to use their collection Poppy Love to create a quilt.  This is what I came up with...

This quilt was such a fun quilt to make.
The block is what's known as a string block, made with differing widths of fabric sewn to a foundation piece.  Either a piece of paper or fabric in the desired size can be used for the foundation where are the strips are sewn together. I chose to use a 10" square of muslin for my foundation.

I wish so much I had thought to take pictures of my steps, but I will try to give you a short description of the steps. I'm sure you can find more detailed instructions with photos online.

Before sewing an strips down I drew a line diagonally from corner to corner to mark the center. Then I lined up the edge of the first strip with this line and used washable fabric glue to hold this piece in place. This first strip is placed with right side up.

The next strip was then placed face down (right sides together), lining up the edges that will be sewn together. Sew through all 3 layers - the foundation and 2 strips - using a 1/4" seam. Flip the 2nd strip over so that both strips are now side by side with right sides up. Press. 

Continue adding strips until your foundation piece is completely covered. 
Once complete trim strip tails and square to your desired size.

My original design for this quilt included an aqua and gray border completely surrounding the heart.
But due to time/deadline constraints and my own boredom with continually sewing the same straight lines I stopped with an off-centered heart. 

I actually ended up liking it off centered more than I thought I would. 

When I first started quilting I always choose a colorful backing fabric. I made this choice for two reasons 1) I loved the splash and surprise of color on the back. 2) the designs and color of the backing served to hide my very imperfect free motion quilting. 

As I worked on the Free Motion Quilting I began to realize that all the strips were hiding the quilting I was doing. I didn't mind this too much and continued to quilt, using it as an excuse to practice and play with my quilting. In the heart I did a variety of quilting designs; feathers, swirls, pebbles, paisleys and more. Now that I've begun teaching free motion quilting it would be great if the quilt could be flipped over to see the quilting better. Now I'm using solids or blenders on my quilt backs so that the quilting I enjoy doing so much can be seen and enjoyed. 

Quilt Details and Stats:

Finished Size: 46-1/2" x 37-1/2"
Quilt Pattern: Heart String Quilt Designed and Pieced by Marcia King (yeah that's me).
Batting: 100% Cotton
Thread: Aurifil Dove 2600 - 50 Wt.
Quilting: Machine Free Motion Quilted on my domestic Husqvarna Sapphire 875Q
Awards: 1st place in the Quilt Division of the Swirly Girls Poppy Love Challenge 

Thanks for stopping by and letting me share my quilting adventures with you!
God Bless & Happy Quilting,

August 26, 2014

A Memorible Memory Quilt {A Finish}

I can't believe it's been so long since I've blogged about this quilt and what all I've been up to lately! 
Time just passes much too quickly, especially when I get busy.  I'm sure you understand and have experienced this yourself.  Before I dive into my next quilting project I wanted to be sure and share with you my most recent finish. I love how this quilt turned out!

Brent's Memory Quilt that I had been working on was one of those quilts that I wanted to be extra special for his family and I poured an exorbitant (huge, enormous) amount of time into this quilt. 

Custom Memory Quilt
With Custom Trapunto Work and Free Motion Quilting

I asked Melissa to share a little about Brent and her thoughts on this quilt, which is what I want to share today.

Here is what Melissa said and the pics she sent:
"Our 18 year old son was tragically killed in an auto accident in May of 2013, having just graduated our home-school high school and celebrating that accomplishment just 3 days earlier. After a few weeks of trying to process the whole thing in our minds, we knew we wanted to somehow preserve Brent's flannel shirts - one of his favorite things to wear. We thought a quilt would be a wonderful way to utilize the clothing in a tribute that would also serve to be useful.

In cruising the internet looking for ideas, I knew what I did not want: a quilt with big blocks of shirt: that just wouldn't be "him", nor something he would like. He didn't have a T- shirts collection of significant events in his life, or anything that would really lend itself well to that type of design. He was a young man that loved the outdoors in a major way: he loved to ski, hunt, ride motorcycles & ATV's, and most of all - he loved people. He loved to help others (he was a Jr. Firefighter, and left "Jr" status when he turned 18 earlier in the year), and he enjoyed spending time not only with his age mates, but with everyone from kids to the elderly. His "quirk", I guess you would call it, was that as much as he loved to be totally involved with something, he did NOT want to have attention called to him: he wanted to do his thing but remain in the background when possible.

Then it struck me: his quilt needed to be one where the shirts themselves were not the star attraction, but that the pieces of them were integral in contributing their flair into the overall design.

I began looking for quilts that might seem to fit this idea, and came across Little Pink Rose. One of the beautiful quilts jumped off the screen at me: the details and design spoke as much as the colors and the fabric. I felt a "connection" and a surge of hope.

I contacted Marcia and shared our story & what we were looking for, asking if she would be available for custom work, and to work with us on a design. Working with Marcia was such a joy! She listened to my ideas, and considered my preferences, and worked to make the quilt an amazing representation of Brent's life and memory. Those who have seen the quilt in person marvel at the workmanship, and remark at how she managed to capture the essence of Brent's life in fabric and stitching. (And I know that it would get Brent's grin and nod of approval, and probably a, "Wow - that's pretty cool...")

Words can't adequately express how much we appreciate all the TLC and careful thought and planning that went into the creation of this quilt. That kind of crafting ability is a gift from God! And we have a wonderful keepsake, made from our boy's favorite shirts, which expresses his personality, love of life and the outdoors."

It was truly an honor to create this memory quilt and pray for Melissa and her family. 
Here are a few more pics of the finished quilt

Trapunto Work in the Border.
Brent's full name and birthday were also done as Trapunto Work in the borders.
Pieced Backing


Some of my favorite quilted blocks.

Quilt Details & Stats:

Finished Size: 95" x 110"
Quilt Pattern: Squared Off by Elisabeth DeMoo of Brown Bird Designs
Batting: 1 layer 70% Cotton 30% Rayon
Thread: Aurifil 50Wt. Thread (used 12 colors)
Quilting: Machine Free Motion Quiltied on my domestic Husqvarna Sapphire 875Q

Thanks for stopping by and catching up with me!
God Bless & Happy Quilting,

Stop by our website to shop our End of Summer Inventory Reduction Sale. 
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