A Supernova Finish!

February 27, 2015
Supernova: pieced by Gail Maddick and Nancy Swanwick, quilt by Stephanie Palmer

Supernova: pieced by Gail Maddick and Nancy Swanwick, quilted by Stephanie Palmer

I have a gorgeous supernova quilt to show off today…

unfortunately, it is not mine.

But I did get to quilt it for my lovely friend Gail Maddick! Gail is also a member of the Late Night Quilter’s group on Facebook, so if you’re a member there too, this quilt might look familiar to you.

That reminds me… we are all anxiously awaiting Lee Heinrich’s decision on the best finished Supernova quilt entry. Don’t worry, we have not forgotten about it!  I picked up the signed copies of Lee’s book (part of the prize package) over the weekend when I saw her at QuiltCon.  Now she just has the incredibly difficult job of making a decision.

Now, back to telling you a little more about Gail’s quilt:

Gail participated in the Supernova Friendship Block Swap with Nancy Swanwick; the bright, beautiful blocks that comprise this quilt were made by both these talented ladies. They used a collection of orange, yellow and red batiks, with a dark navy batik as the background.

As a quilter, it’s so important to carefully consider what a quilt will be used for when choosing the quilting design. Gail told me that her teenage son had claimed this quilt for himself during his mother’s long, arduous process of making it (it’s 90 x 90″). The fact is, men seem to gravitate toward simple, angular, or straight line quilting; so that’s the direction we headed.

I quilted long, straight, horizontal and vertical lines across the quilt.

Supernova up close Gail Maddick


The long, straight lines posed a bit of a challenge since I don’t have a channel lock on my machine, that keeps the longarm running in a straight line from left to right. Therefore, I relied on my trusty straight line ruler by Teryl Loy.

terylloy stright line ruler

It’s 3/8″ thick, 3″ x 8″ long.  See that open channel in the ruler? It’s wonderful for stitching in the ditch.

We chose to leave the triangles unquilted so as not to lead the eye away from the stunning supernova effect of the stars. I did stitch in the ditch around each and every triangle, and knotted and buried every thread (because I really love Gail a lot!).  I am reminded of what my friend Melanie from Mel in The Attic said about making her Peek quilt… minimalism does not mean easy.

We used one of my favorite threads ever created, Glide, by Fil Tec, in Sand. It glimmers like a thin, delicate strand of gold, and it looks great on almost everything.

It was definitely a challenge to stitch in the ditch accurately around all those triangles, given the extreme contrast between the yellow and dark navy fabrics. But I did my best, and I am happy with the results. As I stitched, I tried to relax and remind myself that there is no such thing as perfection in quilting (and for the record, there’s no crying in quilting either).

Now check out the back of this quilt! Something about it reminds me of The Kiss, by Gustaf Klimpt.

Supernova quilt back Gail Maddick

Gail worked some serious magic with the backing fabric.  She carefully pieced the back so that the straight lines on the edges of the print would line up perfectly to create a very cool frame around all 4 sides.

I’ve now carefully wrapped up Gail’s baby in cellophane to protect it from the elements during the shipping process and will head out to mail it momentarily.  Hope she loves it as much as I do!

Special thanks to my parents, who lovingly help me hang and photograph many of my quilts.  Where would we be without the quilt-holders in our lives?

2015-02-27 11.25.45

I’m linking up to Sew Can She Show Off Saturday.  See you Sunday for the latest on my new addition to my fabric stash (it’s a good one!).


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  • Reply gailym1 February 27, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    Stephanie, I can’t tell you how much I love this! I’m so excited to see it, but if it’s anywhere like as gorgeous as it looks in the photos, Hamish and I will be ecstatic with this! Can I tell you, this is my FIRST ever quilt. So it has a special place in my heart, partly because of meeting you back in Oct, and having you quilt it, but also because of getting to know the lovely Nancy Swanwick better through our journey together. It’s been a beautiful journey, and a beautiful finish! Hurry up Mr Postman!

    • Stephanie Palmer
      Reply Stephanie Palmer February 27, 2015 at 2:14 pm

      I forgot that this was your first EVER quilt! My brain refuses to compute this information every time you tell me. It was so beautifully made. Your years of experience as a sewist shines through. Thank you so much for the opportunity to quilt for you, Gail. It was so special to me.

    • Reply sandralouise February 27, 2015 at 11:04 pm

      Gail, I’m Stephanie’s partner and co-creator of the Supernova swap. I was at her house last week and saw your quilt, and it’s beautiful. Then I saw the quilt form she had for you with your address on it and did a double take when I tealized I grew up just 3 doors from your house on Puritan Ave! Such a small world.

      • Reply gailym1 February 28, 2015 at 2:33 am

        That is unbelievable! Of all the places! And did Stephanie tell you that the reason she and I met is because my brother lives in Austin? We’re British, born in Scotland, but somehow he ended up settled down there. You’re right, it is a very very small world really.

  • Reply quiltingjetgirl February 27, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    Holy moly, this is a first quilt? I am amazed! And Stephanie, you did an awesome quilting job. 🙂

  • Reply Nancy Swanwick February 27, 2015 at 3:09 pm

    I feel like a proud grandmother. Well, I guess I already am a proud grandmother, and my twin to Gail’s Supernova will eventually go to my grandson. This project has been so much fun and brought the two of us together in a very creative way. Our backgrounds are literally worlds apart, but we continue to be amazed at how alike we are in our tastes and interests. What an interesting and delightful experience you have guided us through.

  • Reply Carole February 28, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Gorgeous quilt, very interesting backing! How wonderful that border print forming a frame! Cannot believe this is Gail’s first quilt! Wonderful quilting too, Stephanie!

  • Reply gailym1 February 28, 2015 at 9:49 am

    I must own up to being extremely experienced with sewing, I’ve been making wedding and ball dresses for about 25 years. I’ve only just turned my hand to quilting as we’re living in the US for a couple of years and I decided they would be great mementoes to take back from my time here.
    I started with a Hawaiian quilt after attending classes while on holiday there during our move over here. That is still a work in progress as it’s queen sized and all hand appliqué. I’ve just completed a Dear Jane, which I totally love, but am having to wait 9 months for an Amish lady to quilt it for me. I’m
    finishing a t shirt quilt for another son this weekend, and have two other major projects on the go as well.
    And the backing is Effervescence by Amelia Caruso.

  • Reply Rachel Dreher March 1, 2015 at 5:48 am

    What a gorgeous quilt! It reminds of a bonfire and fun times roasting marshmallows and relaxing with friends. I bet you’re having a hard time sending it home!

  • Reply Jasmine March 1, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    Wow! Your quilting really enhanced the beautiful quilt.

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