Tuesday, 28 May 2019

What's Up, Buttercup?

Want to see what I've been up to?
Me too!
I mean, I remember, but without photos would I really know where my time has gone?
(Hint, I barely remember what I had for breakfast today. Feel free to extrapolate!)

This Gypsy Wife waited a lonnnng time for its turn on the frame. My client said, "no rush", and I had deadline after deadline, so it waited. I did a little extra stitching as a thank you for her immense patience.

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I've spent more time than usual with my sweet grandchildren since my son-in-law had an accident in November that changed the normal rhythm of life.

Though somewhat stressful (as we worried about surgeries and prognosis), this time together deepened our already special connection. (P.S. Recovery has been on track, and we are thankful that Chad's getting back on his feet - literally. Out of the wheelchair.)

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Both of the "big" kids made quilts to enter in the CQA/ACC youth challenge.
(Voting closes June 7th - please click on the link and choose your favourites!)

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The "little guy" and I spent a lot of time outside while the older two were in school. I love this photo of him, intent on using that huge hammer!

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Despite wearing my "Granny" hat more than usual, I managed to work through a few client quilts. Here are some, Fresh off the Frame

A bit of custom work:

Special touches bring this panel to life.

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A fun finish for its garden-loving owner!

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Before and after (sort of). I'd already started some outlining before I took the "before" shot. oops!

"Before"
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"After"
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Next, finished colouring pages were scanned, printed, and made into a quilt for the person who coloured them - cool idea, hey?

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Minimal quilting was requested, so each print was ditched and framed very simply with stitch. A few loopy designs added charm to the sashing and borders.

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A bit of panto work:

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On the trimming table - no photo on the guest bed because it was occupied!
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Along with my friend and co-judge, Elinor Burwash, I wore my judging hat at the Central Alberta Quilt Show. This quilt by Terry Rowland won Best of Show.

Please click on this link to see the rest of the 2019 winners!

Best of Show
photo by FreshofftheFrame.com


Other projects

I've finally finished piecing my third batch of Hug blocks into another quilt top for Quilts of Valour - yay!!! (please click on the link if you'd like to learn more about Hug blocks.) Eventually I'll have a finished quilt to send. But not this month.

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Our guild gathered bowtie blocks throughout the year, and ten of us pieced ten charity tops at a Saturday work bee. These are the blocks I worked with. (I don't know who pieced them.)

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The quilt top looks great now that it's pieced, but I forgot to take a picture.

This gorgeous fur coat has become pillows and a teddy bear for a family, in memory of a loved one.

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I'll save the finished projects until I have completed everything (there's a second coat) and had a chance to show my client.

There's been plenty of shoveling around here this spring. I decided to use water troughs as raised garden beds (x5), and my handy husband also made a couple of similar sized - but dressier for the front yard - planters.

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And - of course - I planted a few more trees and shrubs (can you ever have too many??), and worked on a perennial bed that looks a little sad at the moment. I spent two days sifting through the dirt to remove hundreds of clover seedlings (and other weeds) before I could plant anything. I believe they came with the soil. I have faith this will look like a million bucks when it fills in a bit!

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I could go on . . .

Part of our tie-dye extravaganza!
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and on . . .


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and on!

"Come-on-Granny!"
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. . . but instead will wish you a beautiful week full of your very own happy adventures!

Linking up with:
Monday Making @ Love Laugh Quilt


Try, Learn, & Grow!
Carole

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Coming Up for Air

I've been working through several large projects, so blogging has been on the back burner. Client quilting, coordinating the jurying process for the CQA/ACC National Juried Show, and making art for a solo show meant hustling hard!

It's impossible to show the NJS jurying, but I can say that it has been intense and time consuming. Letters went out to the entrants a couple of days ago, so most of the work is done. Just a few loose ends to contend with, and I'll have completed my duties - Whew!

Fresh off the Frame
Each medallion of this gorgeous (GORGEOUS!) English paper pieced quilt has its own character, which I tried to honour with the quilting.

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Because this is all hand pieced, there's absolutely no stitching in the ditches. 

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Fillers were chosen based on how they related to a medallion's character, to each other, and whether or not I could stitch them without using the ditches.

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My client requested a generous, undulating feather in the borders - the perfect finishing touch for this quilt!

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My goal was to enhance the quilt without diminishing the beauty of the fabrics. Look at all that amazing fussy cutting!!!

Edges lay flat when the quilt is laid out on a flat surface. I threw this over a poly filled, puffy quilt already on the bed, and it shows. (whoops!)
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Cleared the frame in time to meet this client's deadline:

(Here you can see the pink, puffy culprit underneath this quilt - still whoops!)
Flirtatious pantograph 
It was fun to roll with a pantograph after the intense custom job - so I squeezed in one more!

Bones pantograph
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Then I became anxious to finish a couple of things in time for my solo show, "Nature Stories".

These two pieces have been under construction for a lonnnng time. Planning a show was the push I needed to get them done.

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My show has been hung, and I'm happy to say that four of my pieces sold on opening night! I haven't been back to check on things since the opening, but will drop in this week for an update.

I'm not going to show everything I've been up to in a single post (you're welcome!).

Suffice it to say, three months of 16 hour days had me gasping for air a few times . . . but here I am on the other side of the deadlines, intact and still breathing! WHOOP, WHOOP!!!

Linking up with:
Whoop Whoop Friday @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict 

Until next time, 

Try, Learn, & Grow!
Carole

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Love is in the Air

For me, the week after Christmas is soft and quiet - a time to relax, reflect, and regroup for the new year. There's no pressure to "do" or "go". It's a time to just "be". (And maybe write a blog post!)

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This December has been particularly busy, but still - when we were invited to a December 23rd wedding we happily accepted!

I decided to make a personalized gift using some fantastic "tree" fabric from my stash.

Well, it's tree fabric now. It's previously been "owl" fabric, "coyote" fabric, and "Canada goose" fabric. (I wonder what it will be next??)


Wedding gift
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A dark blue background amps up the contrast to show off the tree trunks. Orange leaves add life, movement, and warmth.

Black outlines help the leaves hold their own in the composition.

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I used a free-motion zigzag to quilt the tree trunks, loosely following the print on the fabric.

One tree done, one to go!
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Horizontal lines in the background finish the quilting process.

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My husband made a frame to fit just inside the binding of the quilt.

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Which I lined with a lightweight display board (to support the quilt) and wrapped with fabric.

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I used a craft glue to tack the fabric, and then stapled to ensure longevity.

(My husband thinks I got a tad carried away with staples. Maybe, but I sure had fun with my new staple gun!)


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Giant rick rack from my stash tidied things up for a clean finish. Plus, it's nice and soft so the frame won't scratch the wall.


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Permanent fabric glue holds the quilt to the front of the frame.

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Love is in the air!

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Linking up with:

Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts


Try, Learn, & Grow!
Carole

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Improv Stitchery

A need for busy hands motivated more improv stitchery - this time on rainbow painted fabric I'd made as a class demo a while back.

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The fabric was just the right size for a zipper bag, so that's what it became!

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I took inspiration from the fabric for the diagonal flow of stitches on the front of the bag. The marks in the paint also inspired "ricing" and French knots.

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What to do on the back?


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Inspired by a friend's gorgeous handwork, I decided to try spirals.

Hmm. Too much tension in the first couple of spirals caused fabric to gather in their centers.
Not a deal breaker. Just learn and move on.

I soon found the tension that would create fabulous texture without bunching up the centers.

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I wanted the back to relate to the front, so carried a sprinkling of stitches over the top.

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And that's how this happy, little bag came to be!

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Studio News
Remember the snowman quilt I made as soon as we came home from Peru?
(click the links to see relevant posts if you're curious!)

It was my donation to the Festival of Trees, and guess what? A pretty ribbon!

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I'm happy to support our local Women's Shelter, ribbon or no ribbon, but I confess - I'm tickled that my work was chosen again this year. :-)

Clients will be happy to know that I've added five more pantographs to my collection.
(click HERE to see all 60+ choices)

Amour
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Snowy Owl
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Bones
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Ornate
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Slick
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I've chewed my way through a sizeable list this month and am relieved that life can settle into a more sustainable pace.

In fact, I'm taking today off to rest and fight a head cold that's trying to settle in. Tomorrow is another day!

Linking up with:
Slow Sunday Stitching @ Kathy's Quilts


Try, Learn, & Grow!
Carole