Monday, 24 October 2016

'Tis (almost) The Season

Okay, okay. Don't hate me for bringing it up!
I'm jumping the gun a bit, but it's for a good cause.

Every year I support our local Women's Shelter by contributing to their Festival of Trees fundraiser.

With a November deadline looming, I hit the quilt shop in search of inspiration for this year's project.
A fat quarter printed with encouraging phrases caught my eye, so I picked it up. Pretty soon it had friends, and I had an idea.

I thought about a "vintage stamp" pattern I've had for a few years, and chose fabrics I hoped would work. Turns out, they were just right! A few neutrals from my stash filled in the gaps.

Auditioning fabric on the background.

A little piecing, a bit of fabric paint, some Crafted Applique, and pretty soon I was ready to quilt.

The applique was stitched as part of the quilting.

My longarm frame was occupied, so I quilted on my domestic machine instead.

First, I ditched around the borders so the quilt would hold its shape. Then I stitched around the applique, added background and border quilting, and worked out how to stitch the "postmark" - probably my favourite part!

Have Faith! A message of hope.

As I'd hoped, the words "HAVE FAITH" in the inspiration fabric landed in an ideal spot (see above). They are inside the postmark, yet safe from being obliterated when the postmark is completed. (It's a key phrase, so things couldn't have worked out better.)

I think of this as "planned serendipity" - I have an idea about a perfect detail, and somehow it works out even better than anticipated.

(Another instance involves the batik under the skate blade (see below). I knew that fabric would add movement and interest, but when it offered the illusion of ice spray as well . . . I'll take it!)

Some ideas improve with a little luck.

If you look closely at the bottom, right-hand corner of the background (see below), you will notice the words hope, have faith, and believe in the quilting.

I like the repetition of words in different forms around the quilt. (There is a delicate script in the skate boot, too.)

Light from the window washes across the quilt - making the quilting more pronounced.

The postmark was stitched last. The pattern suggested hand embroidery for this step, but I chose to do it by machine.

Testing position of the postmark.

I traced the postmark onto tracing paper and then worked from the back of the quilt - after double checking the orientation of the text, of course! (Another layer of text! Love it!!!)

First line stitched through the tracing paper pattern.

After the first pass, I removed the tracing paper and did a second pass from the front of the quilt so I could keep the stitches tidy.

Stitched the lines one more time from the front.

This "stamp" fits the festival theme of HOPE by representing the custom of mailing Christmas cards, with their seasonal messages of hope and good tidings.

Side light makes quilting stand out.

Several pictures in this post, like the one above, were taken with natural light coming in from one side to make the quilting more conspicuous.

Below is the finished quilt with overhead lighting - probably closer to how the quilt will look when hung at the festival.

I'm happy to have this ready before the deadline! (Yippee!!!)

Project Information

Pattern: Vintage Skate, by Fig Tree & Co.

I enjoyed trying the Crafted Applique technique, and especially liked being able to cut out the applique shapes without having to trace the pattern pieces! I also liked the no-fray edges it produced, and how easy it was to stitch through multiple layers.

The fabric prep is a bit messy (not overly, but worth mentioning), which makes it less handy than other methods if you suddenly need to change your fabric choice, or need more than your prepared amount. (I'd made a poor fabric choice for some of my leaves, and found it easier to paint them than to prepare a different fabric.)

I'll happily use the technique again when I want applique with a super-clean edged look, and am glad to have added it to my quilting toolbox.

Try, Learn, & Grow!


  1. I really love the serendipity that came about in the creation of this quilt, Carole. It's lovely!

  2. Very cool! I love how this came out. What a fun design.

  3. This is absolutely darling. I love how you quilted the postmark. And I appreciate your take on the crafted appliqué technique. The book is still on my wish list. :)

  4. love, Love, LOVE it!! (I'm intrigued with this 'crafted applique' method; I looked it up when you mentioned it before - I still have no clue what it is ;-)

  5. So neat! I love the stamp on it!

  6. I love this! The postmark adds the perfect touch to this. Crafted applique is my favourite method of applique.


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