It's Turtle Time!

My boys were little when the Ninja Turtle movies first came out, so that just had to be said!

Okay, so this top is amazing.

Notice how the border fabric also forms the turtle shapes. It is one piece of fabric cut out and appliqued onto a watery background. ONE piece!!! 

Not only that, it is all NEEDLE-TURNED, HAND APPLIQUE. As are all the bits that define the turtles' shells. 

Yup. Amazing!

Beautifully appliqued turtles

The first thing I did was remove the existing basting stitches. I then loaded and basted for machine quilting. With two layers of batting (cotton topped with wool), I thought it wise to keep my basting lines close together to compensate for distortion caused by the extra loft.

I used dark green basting thread so it would be easy to see.

I removed my basting stitches as I worked my way down the quilt, outlining the applique. It was fun seeing the turtles puff up as I went along! 

Here is the small turtle at the bottom edge of the quilt BEFORE outlining.

"Before" stitching around the applique

And, here is the AFTER shot of the same little turtle. Quite a difference!

"After" the main applique shapes were outlined (not the small bits, yet).

Once the quilt was anchored, I went back and stitched around each little bit of shell. Again, I love how the wool batting puffs up. Things look full, firm, and smooth. Nice!!!

In the photo below, the bits in the large turtle shell are outlined, but the bits inside the two little ones underneath are not. The outline stitching adds a lot of definition. Pretty cool!

Now that the "structural" quilting is done, the rest is going to be fun! This morning I awoke with several ideas that are completely different from what I'd planned. I can't wait to see how this plays out!

Judge Certification Programme update:

Everything has been turned in except my reading journal. I'm trying to compile my notes so they will make sense to an observer! The deadline is May 18th, so I'm working hard and steady to get this done.

My daughter came over for a photo shoot last weekend, and we were lucky enough to get a decent head shot in under a million tries! Here's the keeper:

Carole @ Fresh off the Frame

Workout Update:

In February I bought a gym membership as my 50th birthday present from me, to me! My plan has been to walk for 30 minutes, three days a week with my Mom, and then hit the gym for an intense weightlifting routine. 

On Friday I completed my 32nd official workout! While that's not a big number (yet), it makes me feel good to have kept my commitment. Making myself a priority is a challenge some days, but I tell myself, "It's what I do." No negotiation. It's just what I do. 

Meeting my Mom for that walk is part of my strategy. Once I'm dressed for exercise and out the door, I might as well head to the gym, right? It's what I do.
If I'm planning to be away I will hit the gym early on the day I leave and, as soon as I return, I'm there at the first opportunity. I know from experience that letting things slide even once would be doom, so I'm there! It's what I do.

How do you set yourself up for success?

Try, Learn & Grow!
P.S. I do love hearing from you, and hope you will forgive my "radio silence" lately! Once I have submitted everything for the JCP I will be able to spend time chatting and catching up with you, my lovely bloggy friends! 

P.P.S. Check out my side bar for some great linky parties. There's something fun every day of the week!


  1. Carole, the photo your daughter took is wonderful - you look very beautiful and warm and twinkly.
    That is an amazing turtle quilt! It is astonishing to me that anyone can FMQ so perfectly - exactly in all those little tiny shapes.
    Hooray for you on sticking to your fitness goals! I have never given any thought to "setting myself up for success"... I'm going to need to ponder that.

  2. First, your head shot is awesome!! I don't know what the others look like but this one is definitely a keeper!! :)

    OMG, those turtles!! Double bat was a great choice - they are just going to pop right off that quilt when you finish the background quilting!! Cannot wait to see it finished. And the construction - you are a very clever quilter! I already knew that but this one cinches it!! Beautifully done!

    Oh it must feel so good to have almost everything submitted for the judge certification! I'm SO excited for you! What's the next step? Waiting (UGGHH!!) for news that you have been accepted? Notice I said have been accepted not IF. . . I just know you are going to be accepted!! :)

    Good for you on the working out!! I have been telling myself I need to add some weight training. . . I was a daily visitor at the gym for years. . . letting it slide was definitely the doom of the entire program for me.

  3. What a great photograph of you! You have such beautiful eyes! :)

    The quilting around the turtles really helps them stand out and look amazing. It will be fun to see how you finish it up!

    Good luck getting everything finished up and submitted for the judging certification. It sounds like you are so very, very close!

  4. That photo is lovely, and I was going to say exactly the same as Yvonne - you have such beautiful eyes! And what an amazing turtle quilt, your quilting is looking great on it already before you get to all the fancy stuff. I've been sewing a tiny little turtle today to go with my fishies, wish I'd come and seen your turtles earlier, they would have been much better inspiration than google images! Well done with your fitness commitment, I bet you feel good for it too, but I am slightly worried about your judges deadline, hope you made it!

  5. The first quilt I ever made used that same turtle fabric! It's exciting to me anyway! I try to set myself up for success by working out a system to minimizes my ability to make excuses. If I can get out of a commitment (even if I know it's good for me) I will try, so it's best to "close the loopholes" before I begin. Usually committing with another person is very effective, too.

  6. What a perfect picture of you! So glad you shared it with us. And I love how the turtles have come to life with your quilting.

  7. Thank you for sharing the process of your quilting...helps us newbies learn :) :) LOVE your new photo!! It's perfect. (You blue eyes especially!!)

    1. PS: Fitness. I walk to and from work every day. (I mile each way) plus an afternoon dog walk (another 2-3 miles a few days a week too) Gave up any kind of soda about 5 years ago and now no coffee. (Hmmm....if I only didn't love wine!!) LOL!!


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