Sunday, 6 December 2015

Homemade Tags, Capturing Fabric, and More!

Bindings & Tags
This pretty "binding banner" (the result of chain piecing) reminds me of prayer flags.

I'd like to finish six runners before Christmas. So far, I've finished two. Having the bindings ready will speed things up, so there's still hope!

Labels are important, but time consuming. I needed a shortcut, so decided to make muslin tags to sew into the bindings.

Pressed in half, sewn inside-out, flipped right-side-out, pressed again.

There was just enough room for my name on one side, and washing instructions on the other.

A folded piece of paper between the layers kept the marker from bleeding through.
Machine stitching secures both the binding and the tag.

Care instructions are on the reverse side of the tag.

Sunflowers & Smiles! 
Part two of the applique workshop (click here to see part one) included arranging fused units onto backgrounds. Sunflowers, being a natural element, can be arranged any number of ways. I like to encourage people to position things as they like rather than being married to the pattern.
Here, petals and leaves are being arranged and fused. Some bits will be tucked under the accent flange, and some will overlap.

Student work

Here, the flowers are stretched to fill the whole space!

Student work

Next, people stitched and stitched.
The applique is stitched in place as part of the quilting process.

It's a good sign when people are still smiling at the end of a long day.

High Prairie quilters

Each project is an expression of its maker's aesthetic, which is a beautiful thing!
(Sorry to the ladies who are missing from the photo - I didn't think to take it until we were almost out the door!)

One of the things I show in this class is how to manage excess fabric. Sometimes a background wants to ripple, or a border decides to wave. We all know fabric doesn't always cooperate.

The trick is to evenly distribute the excess fabric before quilting so you can "capture" it and fill it with batting.

Evenly distributing fabric in a slightly wavy border.

The same principle applies on or off the longarm.
Spray basting helps with small projects - just pat the fabric into place and let the glue hold it for you - and pins can help on the longarm until you get things basted with stitch.

Border is basted and ready to quilt.

After quilting, the batting puffs up and fills the fabric. 

Ta dah!

Borders are handled when quilt tops are folded, unfolded, held up to be shown, etc., so stretched edges are quite common. Having a "fix" for the problem is essential!

Fresh off the Frame this week! 
A beautiful bargello - I decided to use the Drunken Feathers panto on this quilt for the same reasons as I used it on Carol's quilt. (You can see the quilting in the photo,'s the same gorgeous quilt!)

Two memory quilts made with t-shirts worn by a special little boy - both quilts feature a few of his favourite things, and both have the same phrase stitched into their bottom borders. It's something he used to say every day.

"It's a beautiful day"

When I got near the bottom of each quilt, I modified the panto so the quilting would flow around the words.

Modifying panto

Here is the smaller quilt

And, here is the larger one.

Both have cozy, flannel backs to make them cuddly.

Guild Sewing Day

I thought I'd be productive and knock out three (identical) Dear Jane blocks for an international group project.

My assigned block finishes at 4.5 inches, and has 33 pieces.
What did I get myself into?

This was all I had by the end of the day.

Before I could even touch my sewing machine, I had to draw a paper piecing pattern for the block.
In triplicate.
An actual size photo of a finished block was my guide. 

I may have whined and moaned a bit about that whole operation. I felt like a real time killer.
Especially because my Mom has an assigned block, too, and they sent her the flippin foundations she needed!!!

So I came home and decided to finish ONE stupid block, come hell or high water!

Exploded block!

I had a little trouble because my drawing wasn't accurate enough (it's out by a sixteenth of an inch, and it made a difference), but I'll adjust it for the next two and press on.

They would prefer the blocks untrimmed, so the outside edges look a bit tatty right now. But, look! It's done!

Untrimmed block.

Did I mention they are due this month?
Sometimes I make myself laugh! (Why do I do these things to myself? Ha!)

Tomorrow is a new day, and by then I'll be over my-cranky-self and life will be fun again! ;-)
In the meantime, yes, I will have some cheese with that whine, thankyouverymuch!
Linking up with:
Creative Goodness, at Quilt Shop Gal

Try, Learn, & Grow!
P.S. I'm on Instagram under my blog name, FreshofftheFrame


  1. Holy wow, Carole, you have a ton going on!! :) LOVE those smiles, the sunflowers are awesome!!

    Fantastic idea for tags!! Thank you for sharing that!!

    Uh, that Dear Jane block. . . Yikes! It looks great - your points are spot on! Congrats on pushing through :)

  2. I love your tag label-what are the dimensions you cut for it? Great to see all your projects-don't forget to come up for air!!

  3. I think your labels are a great idea. I have fallen off the wagon of labeling my quilts (bad, I know). Wow, a 4.5 inch block with how many pieces? Whew, good luck!

  4. I have also started stitching the tag into the binding, nice and secure and it gets the label aspect out of the way in a quick and professional way.

    Love the sunflowers. The class did a beautiful job.

    Good luck finishing those other 2 teeny weeny blocks Carole! The first one is gorgeous!

  5. Oh my you've been so productive Carole! The binding strips to look like prayer flags and what you said made me think about how neat it would be to write prayers for people inside the bindings before we sew them on.
    Thank you for the tips about easing excess fabric into the quilting. Thank goodness little problems like that are fixable.
    I love the quilting you did on the Bargello and on the little boy's t-shirt quilts. I hope there is not a sad reason for those quilts.
    Your students all looks so happy! I must say that looks like the best workshop Carole! Beautiful quilts - all!
    Best wishes in finishing your table runners and Dear Jane Blocks.
    So... do you sleep much? LOL

  6. Thanks for the lesson on easing in fullness (extra big thank you for the photos). It's amazing that you can quilt a pantograph over that fullness and have such a wonderful outcome. I never would have thought it.

  7. My goodness but you've been so busy!Love all your projects as always. The workshop looks fun and your ladies certainly went home with beautiful sunflower wall hangings.

  8. Wow! You have been busy. Love your label idea/trick. Your quilting looks beautiful. And your students did awesome!

  9. Thanks for all the tips and inspiration. Your posts are endlessly fascinating.

  10. I agree with Jo, you always have something interesting to share!

  11. Wow, how much going on back then? Hope it all eased off a bit! Love your care label idea, and gorgeous quilting as ever.


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