Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Paint, Prints & Pebbles

One fine day in July I thought it would be fun to make some sun prints, so I dragged everything outside and got busy. Turns out it wasn't so fun.

A frustrating, intermittent breeze lifted my boards, flipped the fabric edges, and blew my leaves out of place. I was forced to use rocks as weights to hold things in place, which I thought would be a fine solution.

Turns out it wasn't as clever as I'd hoped. Some of the rocks printed, too. Doh!😖

The second print confirmed the rock printing phenomenon. 

After much swearing, chasing of leaves, and stomping around the garden, I packed it in and moved to the basement. No wind there!

Weirdly, some of my fabrics didn't feel like 100% cotton. I'm not even sure why they were in my stash, but I decided to paint them anyway. Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

As I was taking pictures I had a monumental slip and fall, thanks to a piece of waxed paper that got away from the pile of pressed leaves tucked under a table. 

My poor tailbone smashed onto the concrete floor! OUCH!!! An abrupt end to my play day.

The next day, I limped downstairs to see the results. 

Some prints were successful, and others - well. They'll make great supporting players in my work, but are rather disappointing on their own. Not really a surprise. These paints don't do well on poly-cotton blends.

I used an unimpressive print as a background to help show off a better one.

You may have noticed that several of the fabric pieces on the painting table were odd shapes and sizes.  I figured I might as well paint everything, and figure out what to do with those bits later.

While looking things over, I noticed that a few bits looked rather pretty together. I sewed them into a little composition that makes me happy. (If you weighed in on the purple/pink placement, thanks!)

I'm now considering this batik for an accent - somehow, some way - maybe. We'll see.

Despite my unfortunate injury, I've been able to stand without much pain. Client quilting goes on!

Fresh off the Frame

First up - pebbles and swirls for days! (daze? ha!)



After: (Whew!)

Next up - pantographs on pretties!

Whirls pantograph:

Modern Twist pantograph:

Dragonflies pantograph:

Memory Quilt #1 - Hearts in Bloom pantograph: 

Memory Quilt #2 - Modern Twist pantograph:

Memory Quilt #3 - Techno pantograph:

Knowing the reason for memory quilts is emotionally taxing for all involved. It helps ease my own heart to imagine how these quilts will offer immediate comfort, and I hope they will eventually trigger happy memories when the time is right. 

Linking Up With:

Monday Making @ Love Laugh Quilt

Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation

Try, Learn & Grow!


Friday, 14 August 2020

A Little Flock of Fun!

This small wall hanging was prepped for stitch before I remembered to grab a before shot. It also sported some chalk lines - drawn to see if an idea for the birds would actually fit the space.

Spoiler - it did!

My client suggested that perhaps grass could grow up around the birds. I went a step further into the land of whimsy by adding folksy flowers and leaves.

Looks like a little flock of fun to me!

Client Quilt Gallery

Whether quilting is custom or done using pantographs, I'm thrilled every single time a beautiful quilt is Fresh off the Frame!

This one was finished with the Halcyon pantograph:

Spring Garland panto:

Wrought Iron panto:

Bountiful Feathers panto:

Giant, custom swirls and pebbles finish the next quilt: it was challenging to keep such large swirls looking circle-ish, but I'm really happy with the result!

The owner of the next quilt plans to quilt it herself on her domestic machine. To help her with that task, she had me stabilize the quilt by ditching around all the main sections. Smart!

Linking up With:

Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation

Free Motion Mavericks @ Lizzie Lenard Vintage Sewing

Whoop Whoop Friday @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Longarm Learning @ Cheeky Cognoscenti

Try, Learn & Grow!


Tuesday, 11 August 2020

Poppies and Leaves

I love watching a quilt come alive with quilting, don't you?

Working from the center, out, made sense for this project.

Crosshatching in the center is repeated in the next section to be quilted, but in a slightly larger scale to complement the large poppy motifs.

You may have guessed that this is a quilt of remembrance. Twenty two names were quilted into the yellow and green center sections. Coming from a direct line of farmers, I can't even imagine a family tree so full of veterans.

The writing on the quilt follows the orientation of the poppies as they rotate around the quilt's center. 

In Flanders Fields begins its flow around the quilt in the first, yellow border, and finishes in the accent border near the quilt's edges. I like the idea that these somber words embrace the veterans' names.

At eighty seven inches square, this quilt makes a huge impact whether it's hung or laid on a bed. 

And, that's a wrap!

Rather than lumping everything into a mammoth post - as usual - I'm stopping here with the intent to show less, but post more often.

Oh, who am I kidding??? I've gotta show you just one more thing!

I've been making sun prints, and think these bits will become a collage, of sorts. Which version do you prefer? Keep the pink/purple together, or separate them?

Linking up with:
MCM at Cooking Up Quilts 
Monday Making at Love Laugh Quilt

Try, Learn, & Grow!
Carole (who can also be found on Instagram as Fresh off the Frame)

Monday, 8 June 2020

Quilts, With A Side of Spring

Since my last post, spring has sprung and we're loving how green everything is. There's nothing quite like growing a bit of food and a few flowers to soothe the soul.

Apple blossoms on our little tree - yay!

We began with a weedy mud pit three years ago, and have worked in stages to install structural elements, trees & shrubs, grass & mulch, planters & a perennial bed, and - this year - a sweet, little greenhouse!

The greenhouse came in a flat pack with absolutely nothing pre-assembled; not even the louvered ventilation window. Worse than Ikea, and that's saying something!

First, though, we needed to build a sturdy base to support the greenhouse. "We" being my capable husband, that is.

Okay, I helped a bit.

We used my 60° quilting ruler and a string to mark out the hexagon shape needed for the base.
(My idea, my ruler, and I held the string! ha!)

Quilting ruler to the rescue!

Once we had the base moved into place, my husband decided to assemble the greenhouse while I carried on quilting. He deserves a medal for managing that without extra hands - trust me!

Now for the QUiLTinG!!!
  • A sweet bunny quilt, stitched with hearts (per its owner's request) and wonky, whimsical "lettuce leaves" (because I thought a rabbit would appreciate being surrounded by good eats!)

I added a quilted carrot in the bunny's grasp, just for fun.

Client quilt - back view

  • A crisp, modern table runner, quilted with "something swirly" (also a request, and I aim to please!).

  • A gorgeous appliqued quilt, made cosy with a fireside backing and finished with a feathery pantograph.

Bountiful Feathers pantograph

  • A "zigzag with heart" quilt that looks amazing with a swirly texture.

  • A comfort quilt destined for Japan (shown with permission).

  • A calming, bubbly, strip quilt.

Bubbles pantograph

Some people ask if I'll piece their backing (I will) & binding (yes), and then apply their binding to the front of the quilt so they can relax and hand stitch it to the back (you bet!). Some folks like their binding 100% done (which I'm happy to do by machine) so they take home a finished quilt! An hourly fee applies, but if it gets a quilt over the finish line, it's well worth it!

Finished binding by machine

  • A heart design looks great on this strippy quilt.

Amour pantograph

Also bound and ready to go!

  • A custom quilted beauty. I love the secondary designs created by the arcs and x's.

  • A "splashy" wall hanging.

To allow the snails' shells to puff up a bit, I simply stitched in the ditch around the "arms" of the pieced swirls. I also ditched around their little bodies.

  • A super cute "Dogs in Sweaters" quilt with an equally fun label on the back!

Contempo pantograph

The label's pieced into the back - you can see the printing on the right (just showing a sliver to preserve my client's privacy).

Now, back to SpriNg!

This photo was taken three weeks ago. There were no leaves on our aspen trees at that point, and it was still below freezing at night. We used a little heater to keep our plants happy.

We set a post into a pot of concrete to hold a header that feeds a drip system for the greenhouse planter (added after this photo was taken), and the hose with a hand nozzle (shown). The yellow hose along the fence feeds the system from the house. This is so much easier than dragging around a hundred foot hose every day!

Our annuals have been planted out and the greenhouse planters are left with tomatoes, peppers and zucchinis - all of which are starting to flower!

We are thankful to be in our own little bubble right now, but it doesn't mean we aren't watching the world and considering our role in the bigger picture. There is much to consider.

As always,

Try, Learn, Grow!