Stories With Happy Endings!


Oh, man. This quilt made me nervous.
It's a photo quilt, and as soon as you poke a hole in the photo fabric, it's permanent.
There is no way to "erase" mistakes. Gulp.

It's been a while since I've felt anxious about quilting. Obviously I've been away from the frame too long. 

Ditching (stitching in the ditches) soothed me, and I eased back into the process. When the ditching was done, I stitched a feather design in the log cabin blocks. I wanted feathers to radiate out from the large photo.

After the feathering, I added some quilting beside each photo to suggest wheat heads.

Wavy lines above and below the smaller photos imply fields and sky. I like how they fill the space without fighting the feathers.

I was reluctant to stitch over the photos, so I took the quilt off the frame and put it on my design wall to see how it would hang.

Almost an "After" shot, but not quite.

Nope. Not working for me yet.

Dang. I had to gather my nerve and stitch over the photos after all!

A simple frame of stitching just inside each photo worked wonders. I went over the lines two more times to make them more prominent. Even better!

That bit of stitching helped visually connect the photos with the rest of the quilting.

I left the dark frame around the large photo and the black piece under each smaller photo unquilted. They provide a bit of relief from the dense quilting around them, and help balance the unquilted areas of the quilt (aka zee photos).

Here is a BEFORE shot of the top:

"Before" quilting

And here's my super-professional AFTER shot - ha!
I feel a bit drunk looking at this, but I assure you the quilt is perfectly square.
(Memba the earlier design wall shot? Square!)

AFTER quilting

I just hope its owner will love the quilting as much as I do!


Driving to my next adventure was a bit of an adventure in itself, but it was nothing compared to the drive home!

The "road" is a dirt track with hairpin turns and steep grades. There were a few swampy mud holes to traverse, too. (My windshield was clean when I left home!)

So beautiful - but not much of a road!

One of the hairpin turns.

Steep drop ahead.

Looks like "up", but I was still going "down" into the valley - it was a hilly trip!

Traversing a stream.

The payoff was a delicious cinnamon bun, an afternoon on the river with fantastic company, a juicy steak supper, and an evening horseback ride in the hills!

Outdoor lounge with a view @ the Peace Valley Guest Ranch.

Boating on the Peace.

Evening ride in the hills overlooking the Peace River.

On the drive out of the valley I thought I might have to spend the night in my car. No joke. It had started to pour, and the mud was slick. The road is considered impassable as soon as it gets wet. My hope was to beat the rain and get out before it reached that state.

Too late.

I should have stayed put, but there was no turning back. A steep, slippery hill with no place to turn around is a commitment.

Dean, the owner of the guest ranch, had come out on his quad to rescue me - but ended up opening the last gate to let me out, instead! His comment? "My hat's off to you, lady! That was SOME driving!!!"

I'll say. It was like driving on ice, uphill and around nasty corners, with nothing but lightning fast steering and quick wits to keep me on the road. I spent a good deal of time climbing the hill sideways. The mud spray from my spinning tires must have been impressive! (My husband wondered how there could be so much mud on my roof - ha!)

I'm glad I didn't know Dean was watching. I might have held back, and then I'd have been sunk. Literally.

A week (and a wash) later, chunks of mud still fly out from under my vehicle whenever I hit a bump!

I love my Alberta adventures!


Quilts of Valour blocks are sent in by quilters from across Canada, and then volunteers (like me) finish them into quilts. I never know what I'll get in my package, so I like to throw things up on the wall and do a quick sort.

Blocks from across Canada.

This time the blocks range in size from seven to 15 inches. I've decided to make a "row by row" style quilt so I can group blocks of similar size.

Blocks sorted into rows.
Lezley also sent along bits and pieces of O Canada fabric, so I should be able to fill the rows quite nicely. I'm not sure what I'll use between the rows, but I'm quite certain there's something in my stash that will do the trick! When the quilt is finished, it will be a warm hug for a brave soul who has served our country.

What kind of week have you had? I hope your stories all have happy endings, too!

Linking up with:
Show off Saturday, at Sew Can She

Try, Learn, & Grow!


  1. I love how you've quilted that quilted. The framing around the photos is perfect. That sounded a scary drive, well done on surviving it. I would have given up and walked in I think

  2. The frame inside the photos was the perfect touch, and I really like the movement the feathers give the quilt outside of the photos. I bet you will have a very happy customer! :) Your adventure has a happy ending, and I totally would agree it is best not to know you are being watched sometimes.

  3. Carole, the quilt is fabulous!! Your feathers and wheat is perfect! My farm girl heart is fluttering! The pictures are just spectacular and the frames around the pictures were the perfect touch - beautifully done!!

    What a harrowing tale! I did laugh when you said you were glad you did not know you were being watched. Glad you made it out in one piece and no worse for the slip sliding UP the hill! It looks like you had a fabulous time though, I'd say worth a little slip 'n' slide ride ;)

  4. Your quilting is stunning! You have nothing to be afraid of! And the trip to Alberta looks like an amazing adventure! =)

  5. Hah! I notice you didn't take photos of your trip back down, lol. That kind of driving is heart wrenching - WTG! Those muddy roads can be slippery son-of-a-guns. I like what you did with the photos in the quilt -perfect!

  6. Oh my gosh Carole, you weren't kidding about adventure. The drive down that road has beautiful scenery. My hat's off to you too for getting out on the trip back.
    Photo quilts are a challenge for everyone - I've noticed that at shows. You met it and then some! Your feathers are gorgeous and the framing really did the trick of making the photos belong to the quilt! Beautiful work. And a very interesting farm quilt.

  7. You do have great adventures in beautiful places! And just as brave with the photo quilt I think. Hope your customer was pleased, it looked amazing to me. But I was intrigued by the photos, are they some kind of agricultural machinery?


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