McKenna Ryan Please Stop …

29 01 2008

Designing patterns that is.  This may sound a little harsh, but it would be one solution to my problem.  I quilt for a group of friends, who I think make every series/multi-block quilt quilt McKenna puts out under the pattern name Pine Needles.  Don’t get me wrong, I think these quilts are beautiful.  In fact I own patterns for at least two of the multi-block quilts.  However, I have begun to seriously doubt I will ever make one of them, because I am so sick of quilting them.  What’s the big deal you may ask?  All you have to do is put a little quilting in the background and do the borders.  Not so for this group.  They have decided it is too much work to stitch down the applique pieces as McKenna instructs in her patterns.  Instead they just fuse all the pieces and it is my job to stitch them all down while I am quilting.  OK, you say, that might be some work, but just load monofilament thread and get the job down.  Oh, that it were so easy.  This group prefers cotton thread and matching the fabric.  This results in easily 30 -60 thread changes per quilt.  Still if it were only one of each quilt it wouldn’t be so bad, but I get to do three or four of each quilt in this manner.  Last year I finally created a price category just for Pine Needles quilts that hadn’t been stitched down.  The price is double what I charge for custom work, but it doesn’t seem to phase them.  Perhaps it is time to make it triple.

img_0066.jpgimg_0062.jpgThis rant came to mind because I just finished quilting either my third or fourth “Rhythm of the Sea” quilt.  This is actually one of the easier ones because there are fewer colors.  If you think it doesn’t look too bad from the front, take a look at the back(Click to view full size pictures).  I don’t even change the thread colors on the back every time I change them on the front.

Just to prove how many of these I’ve quilted I’m including pictures of them here.  I have stopped taking pictures of the duplicates so you only get to see one of each.

“In Full Bloom”

In Full Bloom

“When Friends Gather”

When Friends Gather

“Storybook Farm”

Story Book Farm

“Petals of My Heart”

“At Home in the Woods”

In addition to those pictured I’ve also done “Calling Me Home, ” “A Season in Time,”  and “A Journey to Light,”

OK so maybe not every series/multi-group quilt McKenna has designed, but when you do three or four of each, it sure feels like it.  I’ve quilted several of the smaller quilts for this group as well.

Lest someone get their nose bent out of shape, please be aware much of what I’ve written in this post has been tongue in cheek.

P.S.  While I was getting the link for Pine Needles for this post I saw McKenna has a new series quilt I really like.  We’ll see how I feel after I see it three times.



9 responses

29 01 2008

Those are amazing quilts! I love to quilt, but still on straight lines! I am pretty sure I will never be an artist such as you!

30 01 2008

Having made (and quilted) Storybook Farm myself, I would have to say that as much as I enjoyed doing it, I would NOT want to have to do very many for others, especially if they wanted all those thread changes. Yikes.

30 01 2008

Thank you Suzanne,

I can hear the empathy in your post.

31 01 2008

Oh, most definitely empathy. Or sympathy. Or both….

I did mine with monofilament, and I guess I really can’t fathom doing it with thread changes.

3 02 2008
Karen Langseth

I flat refuse to do any of her quilts!!! When I worked for a quilt shop I had to do the piecing, I should be saying cutting out one of those as there is very very little piecing. Needless to say I don’t like them at all. Sure they look nice, but just not my cup of tea. I did have a client bring me one, but I quoted a price so high she went running away and hasn’t been back.

Karen L

4 02 2008
Terri P

I’ve only done one. It was “At Home In The Woods” but was modified to include blocks with pictures of the owner’s cabin and property up north and was a lot bigger than the original size, I think. It took what seemed like ages to quilt. It was definitely “out of my comfort zone” but I got really good suggestions from my online friends. 🙂 The customer absolutely loved it and happily paid my price when she picked it up. I haven’t refused to quilt any more of them but have been secretly praying I never get another one. So far my prayers have been answered.

18 08 2008

Beautiful quilts!!! I love McKenna’s designs also…

2 11 2008

You’re making me very nervous. I’ve been avoiding getting caught up in the McKenna craze for many reasons, but recently I fell for the Petals of My Heart quilt and joined a BOMC. I do my own quilting, but I am definitely a novice, (read, “hack,”) so when it comes to quilting this baby, i might need to have a few cocktails before jumping in. Thanks for sharing your grief. I will try to be strong.

16 06 2016
Lorianne Robinson

I must admit that you have given me something to think about… or maybe to worry about. I am almost finished with the top of my first McKenna Ryan quilt and I have never machine quilted anything. The idea of hand quilting it was just… well daunting. So I have been painfully teaching myself to machine quilt. :/ Now, I think this quilt will have to go to the back burner until I get a few other easier quilts under my belt. I was really looking forward to the embellishment stage but I don’t want to mess up the quilting on the lovely quilt and I have been unable to find anyone else who is able to quilt it for me. The few long arm quilters I have called have said they do a single motif of all over quilting only. Not what I wanted. So… I am pleased to be warned that my task is not to be taken lightly. Hopefully someday my work will look as nice as yours.

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