Sunday, 31 January 2021

Quilts of a Feather

Done, baby! 

This quilt was specially commissioned to welcome a sweet little bundle into the world. 

Simplified Carpenter's Star baby quilt

Fireside on the back makes this a super cuddly finish. 

Here's the top before quilting:

just the top

And here's the finished quilt, photographed to highlight its feathery, quilty texture.

done, baby!

I love how this turned out, and was so pleased to pass it along to its new, little person. May quilt and child enjoy many delightful adventures together as forever friends!

And then there were more feathers on the frame!

client quilt

I alternated two kinds of feathers in the white areas for interest, and used a wavy grid in the blue for contrast.
From quilt top . . .

before quilting

. . . to feathery quilt!

after quilting

I know, I know. The next quilt isn't feathery. 
So, what's with that title, anyway? Quilts of a feather. Do they even stick together?

client quilt

Ah, well. Nobody's perfect.
Anywho. This quilt needed hearts, so hearts it got. 

I wish the colours were true-to-life in my photo, but sometimes a quilt needs its beauty shot at night. In the dark. With yellow lamplight aimed at the bed. Oh, well. It's a pretty quilt, and my client gets to enjoy its true nature, which is all that really matters!

Oh, hey! My new desk and office cabinet arrived! All the paperwork mess that was strewn around my sewing space (exhibit A) has been tamed! 

Now it's tidy. SUPER tidy. Almost too tidy for words! Everything has been stuffed organized in the cabinet. Appropriate storage makes all the difference.

See the wall hanging? It hung in my room when I was a child. In the 70's. The early seventies. Very early. 
Like, starting with a round number, early. (Ulp.) 

It was the first thing I'd read when my eyes opened in the morning, and the last thing I'd read at night. 

Have a Happy Day
Begin the day with friendliness,
Keep friendly all day long.
Keep in your soul a friendly thought,
In your heart a friendly song.
Have in your mind a word of cheer
For all who come your way,
And they will greet you, too, in turn
And wish you a happy day,

I feel like this poem influenced my spirit in a such a positive way. Plus, when I was in grade two, it reinforced my language arts lessons by reminding me to change the "y" to "i", how to spell "too", and how to use punctuation in a poem!

My new "office" is tucked into a nook in our bonus room, which is actually the bunkroom for our grandsons when they stay over. The wall hanging faces into the room where they can see it. I hope they will absorb the words and lessons inherent in this piece of 70's magic, too.

Have a happy day, everyone!

Try, Learn & Grow!

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Quilting an Elephant

Much as I don't want to admit it, my quilting mojo went missing just before Christmas. 

I was worn out from meeting deadlines and keeping promises. Standing at the frame was the last place I wanted to be over the holidays. 

Three weeks later, a closet full of client quilts has finally kicked me into gear. 

This Elephant Abstractions quilt was at the front of the queue, and am I ever glad!

Elephant Abstractions, a client quilt

I'm so pleased with how this turned out, and am suddenly feeling excited about quilting again!

Here's a "before" shot of the top being loaded on the frame.

Before quilting

And here are some fun "after" shots:

Even though I used whimsical quilting motifs throughout, I tried to create natural looking wrinkles around the eyes. I wanted this guy to look sweet and wise, not crazy or angry!

Similar view, after quilting

Gratuitous quilting close up! ha!

Here's a shot to show the scale of this giant beastie. (Pardon my "winter in Alberta" dry skin.)

This critter is huge!

Trying to catch the light with a sideways shot - those toenails crack me up!

When I flipped the quilt over, I saw THIS . . . 😍      (MOJO, FOUND!!!)


I'm so happy to have my quilting mojo back!

Linking up with:

Whoop Whoop Friday @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Try, Learn & Grow!

Saturday, 9 January 2021

Top Secret Stuff!

Working on the CQA/ACC's National Juried Show, and all it entails, is private business. 

Since I can't share any of that, how about a shot of the contents of my judging kit? 

Judging Kit

Packed into a lightweight, cross-body bag (to keep my hands free) are two pairs of white gloves (a pair, and a spare), a light-up magnifier, flashlight, tape measure, reducing glass, rounded sticks, pencils, sharpener, eraser, pen, and my official name tag.

I rely on my kit when assessing competition quilts. Pencils are used by scribes, but I carry spares in case we need back up. Pens are a no-no around quilts, but I keep one handy so I'm prepared to sign official paperwork once judgements are made. 

Now, how about a look at my work space?

Without a dedicated office space, paperwork takes over the sewing area in my studio. Yikes!

Paperwork avalanche!

I've decided this will no longer do. 

I'm planning to move my paperwork up into the bonus room as soon as my new desk and lockable storage cabinet arrive. 

I wouldn't worry about locking up if I weren't sharing the space with our grandkids, but I won't risk little hands stirring up my carefully organized papers! (Gah!! The thought makes me cringe.)

Oh, and - Whoop!!! - I pieced something fun! 

And also top secret. (well, it was...ha!)

45 x 45 inches

I'm just waiting for some cozy Fireside to arrive so I can layer it up. 

I don't have a quilting plan for this yet. Any suggestions?

Linking up With:

Whoop Whoop Friday! @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Try, Learn & Grow!

Monday, 4 January 2021

Rear View Mirror

Before entering a new year, I always look back and release the old. Sometimes it's painful. Sometimes it's joyful. This annual reflection helps connect my future actions with my deepest values.

Anxious to move on, I started kicking 2020 to the curb in early December. And then I realized that, along with the stress of isolation and cancellations, there were also accomplishments!

 One of my favourites was winning the TrendTex Award in CQA/ACC's TrendTex Challenge. Yay!

Wishing For 2020 Vision, by Carole Gold

My need for - but lack of - bifocals became the inspiration I needed for the 2020 challenge theme. Who knew??

Another 2020 highlight: I'm now an instructor for the CQA/ACC's Quilt Judge Certification Program. This is a huge responsibility, but also an exciting opportunity to support an important program. Judged shows need qualified judges, and I do love a judged show! (see challenge quilt, above - lol!)

Mentoring my two older grandchildren is an annual delight, and 2020 was no different as they both decided to enter the CQA/ACC Youth Challenge once again. No prizes were earned this year, but they both love their quilts, and we all enjoyed our time together. 

Jasper Holiday, by Laina (age 15)

Laina, at the helm!

Slave Lake Adventure, by Riley (age 12)

Riley, concentrating on his applique

And then the province locked down and we all tried to stay safe and healthy. 

Covid 19 rules meant I couldn't accompany my mom into the hospital when she went for surgery one day, but I delivered her to the door. I then needed to hang around in Grande Prairie until she was ready for pick up. 

Off I went to the Art Gallery of Grande Priaire, where I stumbled upon a fascinating installation by Carmen Haakstad.

photo by Carole Gold

photo by Carole Gold

photo by Carole Gold

photo by Carole Gold

photo by Carole Gold

photo by Carole Gold

photo by Carole Gold

While not an accomplishment, after staying home for months on end this gallery experience felt quite magical! It certainly made a good distraction on a worrisome day.

With 2020 firmly in the rear view mirror, it's time to head into the new year with hope and faith that things will improve.

Best wishes for a happy new year.

Try, Learn & Grow -  and remember to be gentle on yourself and others.
xoxo Carole

Thursday, 8 October 2020


A few innocent sun prints turned into a full-on painting binge, and before I knew it I was signed up for a table at the museum's Fibre Arts sale!

My husband sprang into action to make display racks - if I can dream it, he can make it! He added a few touches of his own, surprising me with engravings of my business name, and even a funky handle on the turning rack!

Everything fit on my assigned table except for the pillows, but they're okay tucked underneath.

Things are selling, so I'm still printing and stitching up a storm. More pillows, postcards, greeting cards, another bag, and some small art pieces will be added tomorrow afternoon. 

The sale goes until the end of October, so I have my work cut out for me. It would have been ideal to have a stock built up PRIOR to committing, but where's the fun in that? 😜 

I've chased many a squirrel in my time, but this one really has me scrambling!

Where I Paint

Doesn't my Mexican lamp look fab? Cleaning it made all the difference! My grandmother brought it home in the 70's, and now it's my task light. The old chair was in my grandfather's lapidary studio forever. I'm not sure if it's from the 30's or the 50's, but I do know it belongs in a creative space.

I've already managed to splatter paint on the raw drywall. Shh. My husband doesn't need to know. Yet. ha!

This . . .

To This . . .

To This!

And, REPEAT until I run out of steam! 

Fresh off the Frame

This custom job was my client's FIRST quilt! Here's a shot that shows the quilting.

And here's the entire quilt, sunshine and all. I can't always catch the best light before a quilt has to go home, but I feel like this quilt deserves to be shown off. So much piecing for a newbie, and it all fit!

Speaking of piecing - I KNOW how much work this Gypsy Wife was for this client, having just finished piecing my own. This stunning version is quilted with the Bubbles pantograph.

The Amour pantograph and some binding finish up this client quilt:

Kandinsky panto for this one:

Ladybugs panto, here:

When not chasing squirrels, I've been chasing grandchildren! 

I have yet to get all three in one photo, but two out of three ain't bad.

When I look through my photos I'm always astonished by how busy we've been. The variety of activity is the most fun! 

An art gallery visit, cozy back yard fires, harvesting garden eats, celebrating birthdays, a photo shoot (and a paint night) with my daughter, soaking up the sun while the kids play, watching cranes, geese, and robins head south, reviving almost-forgotten pool playing skills, chasing grandchildren - and chasing SQUIRRELS in the studio - all add spice to my days.

I'm intensely thankful, and wouldn't want things any other way. (Happy Thanksgiving, Canada!)

Linking up with:

Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation

Try, Learn & Grow!


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!