2014 NEW QUILT BLOGGER Blog Hop - My Turn!

I'm excited to be part of the New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop hosted by Beth at Plum and June!

Plum and June

At the bottom of this post you'll find links to this week's fabulous bloggers.
If you need to see what the hop is about, click here.

Who is Carole @ Fresh off the Frame?

I'm a joyous, quirky, creative free spirit who quilts. And drinks, apparently! This photo represents happy memories of quilting in Sisters, Oregon at last year's Quilter's Affair. I'm going again this year, and can hardly wait!!! A design class with Rosalie Dace is on my bucket list, and I'm going for it!!!

I thought the enormity of this drink was hilarious...the glass was the size of my head!

When I was 7 years old my Mom taught me to embroider. One afternoon as I stitched, I was sooo in love with my beautiful handiwork. To my dismay, when I finally stood up to show my Mom I realized my project was securely stitched to my pant leg!!!

This story perfectly illustrates how I learn. Still. To this day. The good news is that I don't usually make the same mistake twice!

I'm a teacher by trade, so thrive on seeking and sharing ideas and information. My passion is the creative process. I relish seeing how others think as they work, and return the favour by showing my own messy process. Please join me! Together we will try, learn, and grow! 

These Are My Machines

My Pfaff is a dream machine for piecing and free motion quilting. This is the second sewing machine I've ever owned, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. 

"Piecing in Public" at our local library as part of Culture Days
My free motion skills were honed on this machine for about a year before I made the leap into longarm quilting. (I know! Crazy, hey?)

For almost three years I struggled with a longarm system that was uncooperative and difficult to use. I spent more time troubleshooting and seething with frustration than I did quilting. 

After stomping away from the frame for the 20th time on a single project, I'd reached my breaking point. It was either chuck everything and find a new interest...or upgrade. I decided to upgrade.

Best. Decision. Ever! I've had the pleasure of using my APQS Freedom for about a year and a half. I seriously LOVE this machine. It really has set me free!

If you did the math, you've figured out that I've been free motion quilting for a total of 5 1/2 years. Before learning to fmq, I quilted everything with straight lines using my walking foot.

Though I've been sewing and crafting most of my life, I've called myself a quilter for about 7 years.

Click here to see my sewing room.

Click here to see the "before" pictures of my sewing room...I double-dog dare ya! (Scary!)

Click here to tour my longarm studio.

Here Are My Recent Projects

This is the first in a series of old UFOs that I'll be quilting in a fun, new way. What better way to practice than on actual quilts? I think there are 7 or 8 more tops hanging around, so stay tuned!

Day & Night Table Runner

This one scared the pants off me, but I jumped in over my head, and came up smiling! I learned a TON doing this quilt.

Irish Lass in progress, a Judi Madsen design

After taking an Angela Walters Craftsy course, I gave feathers and swirls a whirl! 

This quilt was due to hang in our Guild show at the local gallery, so why not try something I'd NEVER TRIED BEFORE??? 

Yup, that's how I roll!

I Also Make Quilted Art

Making Torii, my first piece of quilted art, inspired me to start learning more about composition and design. 

Torii, 2010
I also take classes to learn a variety of techniques so I can create without fear of getting "stuck" because I can't execute my ideas.

Sculpting with Cheesecloth class with Mary Pal, 2013

To see more of my art work, click here.

...and I Like to Have Fun With Fabric!

Using bits of fabric I've altered makes my work unique to me, and I like that.

Fabric Dyeing

Screen Printing

Fabric Painting

On to the HOP Topics!

Bloggers in the hop will offer blogging and quilting tips at the end of their posts. 
Here are my suggestions:

Blogging Tips

  • Edit your posts
    Let your personality shine, but cut unnecessary words.
  • Make commenting easy
    Spam gets filtered without activating the "prove you are not a robot" feature, so turn that bad boy off.
  • Ask friends for feedback
    I've made a number of improvements to my blog (and have more to do) because I've asked for help. You can, too.
  • Reply to comments by email
    People don't come back to see if you've replied, but they will appreciate a friendly email. 
  • Replies build friendships
    Some comments are excellent conversation starters. Reply sincerely and maybe you'll make a new friend! I like to answer even the briefest comment with a full sentence, if I can.
  • Be a joiner!
    Show your stuff at linky parties! Be sure to hop around and appreciate (comment on) other people's blogs, too. Besides the fun, being active reaps the reward of reciprocal visits.

My BIGGEST Quilting Tip: 

Whenever possible, attend classes that challenge your abilities! 

Online classes are fantastic, but learning can sometimes be deeper and more personalized in a classroom situation. Not only do you learn from the instructor, but other students are wonderful sources of spontaneous sharing and learning as well! Conversation and connections are enriching and energizing!

Choose classes you think are a bit scary or intimidating. If your heart urges you in a certain direction, take a deep breath and say yes!

Do you have a class with a particular teacher on your bucket list? 

My latest finish - cuddly, but not a quilt!

What do you think?
Is there something you might suggest to help me improve my blog?
How's my font size? What about the size of my side bar? Do you think I need a header? What would YOU do to make things better?

Thanks so much for your visit today. 

Please hop along and meet these lovely New Quilt Bloggers on their home turf! They'd love to hear from you, so be sure to comment and say hello!

Jill @ Pie Lady Quilts

Chelsea @ Patch The Giraffe

Daisy @ Ants To Sugar

Rachael @ The Floral Suitcase

Elizabeth @ And Pins

Jennifer @ Never Just Jennifer

Alice @ Blossom Quilts

Megan @ Sew Stitching Cute

Stephanie @ Late Night Quilter

Kelsey @ Lovely And Enough

As always, Try, Learn, Grow!

Linking up with:
Linky Tuesday, at Freemotion by the River

Let's Bee Social, at Sew Fresh Quilts

Comments are welcome and will be answered by email where possible. Please chime in and tell me what you think!


  1. I love piecing on my Pfaff, too. I would add a header. You could include close ups of your beautiful quilting. Karen at Sew Many Ways has a great tutorial for making a header using Pic Monkey.

  2. So nice to learn more about you. I love your quilting! I have a APQS Millennium, a sibling to your machine! And great blogging tips! Thanks for sharing

  3. i love my pfaff too, and im so in love with your quilting skills just amazing
    you really need a header

  4. Hey at least you were 7 when you sewed something to your pants. I was 35 AND I did it TWICE! I'm glad you got a new machine. Sewing isn't fun when you have to fight with your tools.

  5. I like your approach. It is similar to mine :-) I actually didn't noticed you have no header. My only suggestion is to tidy up the buttons on your sidebar. Did you know you can even change the size of them to make them all equal?

  6. Fabric painting looks like great fun and I love your art quilts!

  7. Great to get to know you a little more! You are one brave woman just jumping in with that quild quilt and it looks so awesome!! I too learned to sew at about 7 years old-so glad I did! I too think a header is a great entrance to a blog.

  8. So great to get to know you better! I am so glad you switched out machines - I can tell that quilting brings you great joy. :)

    I think your font is OK, maybe a bit on the larger side, but perfectly fine. I like that your links are obvious in your posts. A custom header might be nice (if you have time), but organizing your sidebar might be the best first choice to work on.

  9. Wow, your quilts are gorgeous. It's very nice to meet you.

    I think your font size is a bit large on my screen... not sure how it looks like on others, and yes, the custom header would be great :-)

  10. Nice to meet you! I'm in awe of your quilting. Your Day & Night table runner and Irish Lass quilt are magnificent!
    I like the look of your blog. Clean, nice clear large pictures, well organized and well presented content. Your font size is great for me. If you feel like you want a header, go for it - show off your exceptional quilting. About your sidebar, I confess, I pretty much ignore everybody's sidebar, so however you want it is up to you.

  11. Your quilting is awesome, and I love the gnomes!!!

  12. I think your sidebar looks nice. It's set off well from your post and organized. I do think your bio could be a little shorter. It's a big chunk of text, and I feel uninclined to read it. Perhaps you could have an "About Me" tab with the full text and only one or two sentences on the sidebar? Just a thought. Lovely to meet you this morning.

  13. I too think your side bar is fine, and so is you font size. But I also agree that you need a header that says what your about. We are all pretty much in agreement, you are one accomplished quilter. At first I was inspired but then the further I looked I got kinda bummed out thinking about whether I will ever get that good. It didn't take too long till I decided to be inspired again. :-) I had to follow you so if I ever get too cocky I can just take a look at your work again.

  14. When you started telling about your embroidery, I knew just where you were going. How? I did the same thing when I was about nine! I'm a teacher in the public school system. I teach blind and visually impaired children. The tone of your writing is what attracted me. It is fresh, friendly and funny. Oooo...alliteration!

  15. I love the photo you chose to use of yourself - just perfect! And your art quilts are seriously gorgeous!!!

  16. You have officially launched me into full excitement formy free motion Tin Lizzie class in a few weeks! If I wasn't already excited, well... Exhuberating and ecstatic are still an understatement. I look forward to seeing lots of your free motion quilting for further inspiration!

  17. Your blog is fine the way it is...keep the pictures of all those fantastic quilts!! It's all about eye candy, lol.

  18. It's 10:30 PM, and I have had a ridiculously stressful day, especially at work....You are very funny, as well as being a wonderful quilter and artist. This is the first time I've laughed all day, and it was a laugh out loud belly laugh. It was the story of you sewing your beautiful embroidery to yourself when you were a young girl. I've done similar things like that in the last year. We all have to laugh at ourselves, and we don't do that enough. Thank you for ending my day on such a happy note. Your sewing room "before" reminds me of my sewing room, "before." It's still not finished, but much better. I love your blog the way it is, but I think I would use a masthead. Something simple, that shows off 2-3 of your favorite quilts, and something about your life, maybe your dog. I have a photo of one of my cats sitting on my sewing basket. I'm really glad I met you through the hop, and glad I stopped by.

  19. Your quilting is just amazing! Glad to hear that new machine has been more friendly to work with, I am super jealous! Your stories are also so funny, that is something I can relate too! Thanks for always providing humor to my day :)

  20. My goodness, I'm in complete awe of your quilting! I'm just starting to try FMQ. I'm finding it fun, but a little challenging too - but I don't learn unless I'm challenged. I checked out your 'before' craft room shot, your 'after' looks much better!! :)

  21. Ok you need to move next door to moi and practice the bejeezers outta my quilts, quite simply they are amazeaballs!!!
    Totally a condoner of jumping head first into new things and figuring it out on the way! Enjoy the Hop :)

  22. Nice to meet you. I love your quilting work. This year I am challenging myself to improve my FMQ as I seem to end up doing a stipple design all the time

  23. Welcome to blogland! Your quilting is exquisite! Love your tree and other quilted art.

  24. I'm also a big fan of classes and the classroom setting. I totally agree with you that taking a class will help push your skill set, and potentially make you better at whatever it is you're trying to improve. I think your blog looks great, and while you don't 'need' a header, it would be a fun addition and a way to 'brand' your blog, moreso than just the title.

  25. You really made the right decision to upgrade your longarm.....look at that beautiful quilting!! Great blog tips and I especially agree with emailing a reply to a comment. I never go back to a post to see if the author replied to my comment.

  26. Your quilting is truly amazing, Carole. Reading your story has enabled me to feel even more like a friend. Thanks so much for sharing!

  27. jsut to answer your questions in reverse order, cause that's what I can remember;) Yes, you need a header, you blog is so great and it should draw people in within that first frame, your font size is perfect, your sidebars are perfect and your content is funny and fun. Awesome blog!!
    XX! Lori

  28. Carole, that's great advice about taking classes and constantly expanding your repertoire!

  29. Carole, your quilting is gorgeous! Keep up the quilting; it's inspiational. Thank you for sharing.

  30. Your free motion quilting is sooo beautiful and so are your art posts. Thanks for the tip about replying via email! I haven't been doing that.

    I like when people have a header featuring their projects; I just changed mine to show one of my favorite quilts.

  31. oops I meant to type "art quilts"!

  32. Great tour of your studio - what a great feeling to get things freshened up! Let's your mind be more creative that way, at least for me it does. Looks like I am just going to miss you in Sisters - we are on vacation in Redmond until June 29. One of these year's I'm going to have to make a point to go to Sisters for that Quilters Affair. Enjoy!

  33. You have a longarm! Gasp! I am jealous! I love your quilting and I love the how your started story! Sounds very much like something I would do!

  34. I can't wait to get a long arm. I've been dreaming about it for years, especially after taking classes with Angela Walters a couple years ago, but would need both money and space to do it. Someday!

    Your quilting is beautiful, and your blog matches. :)

  35. Hey Carole! I'm visiting from the Plum & June Hop. That story about stitching your project to your pants is too funny! And just the sort of thing I would do! In terms of blog improvements, I like the clean style of your blog - the font is simple and the pics are nice and big (one of my bloggy pet peeves). I think a header would look great... I made mine on PicMonkey - free and not to tough to figure out! And BTW your quilting is amazing!

  36. Your quilting is inspiring! What a lovely sewing space you've created, too. While I've never actually sewn anything to my pants, I could absolutely see how it could happen! I think a header would be nice, and maybe tighten up the labels list into fewer categories? I'm originally from Oregon, and always had a great time in Sisters. Enjoy!!

  37. I agree with your ideas of jumping in over your head, taking classes and trying something new as often as you can. There's no challenge in making the same stuff over and over, is there?
    I took you up on your double dare and checked out the sewing room before photos! Much better now!

  38. Oh your quilting is gorgeous! I'm so jealous over here :D And I love your quilted art pieces!!

  39. Your work is beautiful. I love your free motion work and your tree art quilt is lovely. I love your creativity energy too, it's refreshing.

  40. Such a great post Carole! I love all of your quilts, especially the Irish Lass. I'm taking Angela's feather class right now in an effort to get better at them. I'm envious of the Gnome House. Such an amazing place to create. Someday I'd like to try my hand at long arm quilting. Someday.

  41. Ha! I liked your embroidery story. I've been hand quilting this week, and have been very worried about stitching the quilt to my leg, the sofa, or the rest of the quilt. Thanks for the quilting tip--I really would like to sign up for classes on things that scare me. I don't have a lot of blog tips, I'm pretty new myself, right now I'm trying to figure out how to organize my blog, and make a header. I look forward to seeing how it turns out!

  42. It would be such a joy to spend a day, playing, with you. Your work is incredible and I enjoyed learning more of your story. I laughed out loud when I read you sewn your embroidery to your pants. I learn from my mistakes, as well. I rarely make the same mistake twice, with the exception of sewing the right sides of fabric together. I'm still messing that one up. Thank you for the inspiration.

  43. What a great post! So nice to know more about you. And I am so jealous of the Long Arm! Your quilting is amazing and I doubt it is just the machine:) I think your blog looks great. I did the New Blogger Hop last year and I learned so much!

  44. Slightly late visit for the hop! Beautiful quilting, and lovely to know that even when you're obviously as skilled as you are there are still moments of trial and error, and a need to practice! I've come and seen your art quilts before and already loved them. This visit the thing that has struck me the most has been your gorgeous fabric dyeing, screen printing and painting - all look amazing. And I think your improvement to your blog should be some posts on this! Or if I've missed them somewhere then a whole section on your top bar to do with this, then I won't be able to miss it!

  45. I would love to go to Sisters, Oregon! Your machine quilting and fabric painting are lovely.

  46. Your blog looks great and your quilting is absolutely gorgeous! I hope after 5 or so years I am as good as you!

  47. Wow, I love your quilts! And your sense of humour! I'm putting together my pennies for a long arm. Until that happens, sometime circa 2042, I guess I'll work on improving everything else I do :).

  48. Your quilts are gorgeous and I love your 'never stop learning' philosophy!

  49. Hi Carole! I'm late commenting on your blog hop post.... Time just got away from me. But I wanted you to know how much I love your work. I too am a long armer.... And you are a great inspiration. I have a question for you. How did you choose to transfer Judi Madsen's designs to your top for quilting? I was using a white fabric so I traced the motif.... Did you use pounce powder?

  50. I love your go get em' spirit of learning and loved hearing the story of sewing your embroidery to your pants, mainly because I could see myself doing that. What a fun intro post! Since you asked, maybe one improvement would be to group your labels by category if possible since the list is long and since you have so many adventures in different skill sets, your readers might be interested to find the group of labels specifically about FMQ or art quilts, etc.

  51. Your quilting is absolutely stunning, and I love your screen printing too. I love that you are willing to just give things a go - it is obviously working well for you!!


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