Tuesday, 30 June 2015

BEFORE and AFTER




My cell phone is always in my back pocket when I quilt, so it's easy for me to snap a few photos as I work. I thought it would be fun to show "before" and "after" shots of this week's quilts.

Lover's Knot, before quilting:

Top edge of the quilt - loaded and ready to go!
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Lover's Knot, after quilting:

Bottom edge of the quilt after quilting.
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Here's a quick shot of the quilt after it was trimmed:

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And a shot of the wonderful surprise on the back! The blocks continue all the way to the upper right-hand corner where there is another purple strip like the one shown at the bottom of the photo, below.

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Jelly Roll Race, before quilting:

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Jelly Roll Race, after quilting:

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Embroidered quilt, before quilting:

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Embroidered quilt, after quilting:

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Baking, before the grandchildren's visit:

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Baking, after the grandchildren's visit. Ha!

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One more week until Quilter's Affair in Sisters, Oregon!!! Woo hoo!!! Yahoo!!! Yippee!!!

Can you tell I'm a little EXCITED???

Katie Pasquini Masopust will be my instructor for the first four days as we explore working in a series. We need to go prepared with an idea for a series of work, and with the first piece ready to be critiqued. Last week I finally came up with a plan. I have yet to pack, but there's still time. (Is it the last minute yet? - It's a familiar refrain!)

As a treat, I signed up for a half-day longarm class with Angela Walters. Because, Angela Walters!!! The rest of that day will be spent with TULA PINK!!! How cool is that?

Oh, and then there's the world's largest outdoor quilt show to enjoy!

In addition to the classes and the quilt show, there are special events all week long. The Gee's Bend Quiltmakers will be represented this year. Where else would I ever, in a million years, be in the presence of such amazing living history. (My Mom has signed up to stitch with them for an afternoon. I get goosebumps just thinking about it!)

If you can possibly do it, GO TO SISTERS for this event at least once in your lifetime.

Try, Learn, Grow!
Carole 
P.S. I love to hear from you, so don't be shy! I hope you have a fabulous week!

Friday, 19 June 2015

CATCHING UP

Extra! Extra! Read All About It!


I've just received a shipment of TWENTY SIX new pantographs!!!
There's something for every occasion, from flames to Kandinsky, monkeys to modern. Photos of each will be added to the "Finish YOUR Quilts" page as soon as possible.

Twenty six new pantos!
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Quilts, Fresh off the Frame!


This sweet, hand-appliqued tablecloth was a UFO from deep in the recesses of a closet. Its owner requested custom quilting that would finish the job, but not cost the earth.

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Quilting quickly meant no ditch-stitching. Instead I used motifs that would reach out to the seams and secure them.

A UFO no more!
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I've discovered that I, personally, love how crisp things look when blocks are stitched-in-the-ditch. I had a hard time letting this out of the studio without it!

Ah, well. It's very pretty, and a UFO no more. Mission accomplished!


Next, a quick charity quilt with minky on the back, and no batting. This quilt has wonderful drape and will be very cuddly and loved, I'm sure.

Shonna's charity quilt.
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A gigantic scrappy quilt (laughingly dubbed "The Beast" by its owner!) was next.

"The Beast"
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For the first time, EVER, I had to move my dining room furniture out of the way in order to trim a quilt!!!

Trimming The Beast
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I hope the lucky recipient of this gift will appreciate the work that went into its piecing - my gosh!!!

That'salottapiecing!
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And, who doesn't love a gorgeous wedding quilt? What a lucky Bride and Groom (to be)!!!

Wedding quilt
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Here is the back of the wedding quilt - I love that the label was embroidered and then pieced right in.

Label pieced into the backing
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And, finally, a sweet, modern baby quilt featuring one of my new pantographs! This one has some sort of plush backing similar to minky, but with a much deeper pile. It was layered using a polyester batting, so the quilting really pops!

Modern Twist panto
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The owner also had a super-cool label embroidered onto the backing fabric before bringing it to me.  I can only show a glimpse of it to give you an idea - it details all of the baby's birth information, including how long he was, his weight, time and date of birth, and his full name. Such a clever idea!!!

Clever label
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The plush backing will be folded to the front for finishing, so I was careful to keep my stitching inside the confines of the quilt top. Stitching right off the edge would have made things look messy.

The backing and batting are both very slippery, so each start and stop was back stitched so the quilting won't come undone during finishing. To make things even easier for my client, I trimmed away the excess batting from around the top. Now she can go ahead and bind without any extra fuss.

Quilting confined and secured, basting pulled, batting trimmed
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Again, to keep the edges mess-free, I pulled the basting stitches out after quilting. I also trimmed any "skip stitches" (front and back) that were created around the edges where I "jumped" to the next spot rather than quilting across as I normally would. (Regular bindings hide a multitude of sins!) Removing these long stitches is especially important on a baby quilt.

Skip stitches
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Attention to these details is crucial when a client plans to use the "self-binding" method. I would hate to have a thready mess wrapped to the front of the quilt!!!


My clients have been incredibly understanding about my crazy schedule. Happily, I can finally say . . . if you are waiting for a quilt, please know that it won't be long now!



Chocolate tomato plant in bloom
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No time to visit other blogs means no linking up with the usual fun parties . . . I take my responsibilities as a participant seriously.

This week is no different, so no parties again. I'm hoping to catch up with my blogging friends in the very near future. Right now, though, it's catch up time around here - in the studio, the garden, with the housework, and with planning ahead for upcoming teaching gigs and trips.

Did I mention it's only TWO WEEKS until I leave for Quilter's Affair in Sisters??? Exciting!!!

Though he has elected to stay home this year, my husband and I went together last year and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. To see what we got up to, please click here!

If you'd like to see more about the classes I took last year, please click here and here.

Okay, this post is getting longer and longer. Guess that's what happens when I'm silent for too long! I hope you are all having happy and productive days, too!

Try, Learn & Grow!
Carole
P.S. Thank you for hanging in with me, my friends! I appreciate everything you lovely, kind, generous people have to say. Your words often warm my heart and uplift my spirit. :-)

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Quilt Canada 2015

"After careful consideration and review, we have determined that you have successfully completed Part I of the CQA/ACC Judge Certification Programme."

Yahoo!!! I made it!!!

I am officially a CQA/ACC Apprentice Judge!

Gigantic poppy on campus at Lethbridge University - site of Quilt Canada 2015.
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The three-day course was grueling, emotional, exhausting, and rewarding. The instructors were phenomenal, and operated on about the same amount of sleep as the rest of us (which was very little, by the way). 

The experience was not what I'd call "fun". It was hard work and we were tested at every turn, but it was also a valuable learning opportunity . . . and I do enjoy a challenge!

One little perk of the programme was the chance to preview the National Juried Show (NJS). Before the show officially opened we were granted entry in order to complete an assignment. I finished in time to take a quick look around. The award winning quilts had been determined, and it was a treat to have a close look at them before the crowds moved in.

There was no photography allowed at the NJS, but the CQA/ACC has posted the 2015 NJS award winners on their website. Enjoy!

Thursday was spent enjoying the show, and Friday was spent with this guy . . . the accomplished and inspirational BILL KERR!!!

Bill Kerr - photo posted with permission.
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I had registered for "The Role of Colour in Your Quilts" with Weeks Ringle, but she suddenly took ill so Bill filled in. (She is on the mend, so all is well.) 

If you ever have a chance to take a class with either of them, jump at it! If you are not sure who they are (gasp!), please visit their site and poke around.

I now have a working definition of modern quilts straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak. It has nothing to do with grid structure or fabric choices, and everything to do with the concept of creating quilts that reflect the time in which we live. 

Thank you, Bill, for an enlightening day.

If you've never been to Quilt Canada, go! In addition to the National Juried Show, there are classes, lectures, special exhibits, vendors, and more. Next year it will be held in the greater Toronto area. I figure there's plenty of time to save for a plane ticket if I start now! 

Try, Learn & Grow! 
Carole