Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Project Parade!

#1 - Laina's First Quilt!

My granddaughter is making a quilt for the CQA Youth Challenge. The theme of the challenge is "My favourite game or sport".

The challenge allows any kind of quilt, as long as the theme and challenge fabric are represented. Laina decided on an art quilt. (An ART quilt! Atta girl!!!)

After tossing around a number of ideas, she came up with a concept she likes. I am her teacher as she learns the tools, but she is definitely in charge of her project!

Working with the challenge fabric.
This girl is fearless, and knows her own mind. All I have to do is get out of her way!

She was quick to reject fabric she didn't like, and absolutely certain about the ones she chose. Was I that self assured at her age? Maybe.

Making choices was easy for Laina. The dotty bit is the challenge fabric.

She's very focused, and her top went together quickly. In fact, next week it goes under the needle.
Laina is going to learn how to longarm!

My grandson also wants to make a quilt for the challenge. Once Laina is done, he will have his turn. He wasn't as quick to come up with a plan, but by the time she's done, he should be ready.

#2 - Cushion covers and pot holders - with no particular deadline, BUT with a (patiently) waiting client.
These have been nagging at my brain since early summer, and have been pieced for at least a month. Why, oh, why did the thought of quilting these seem like such a chore??? Oh, brain, you are a mysterious creature.

Doing the job took far less energy than thinking about it!

#3 - Brynne's Scrappy Quilt!
My part is done and I'm ready for Brynne's next visit!
She is working on ears. I got the butts. Yup, it's a glamorous life for me!

(Click here to meet Brynne and learn more about this project)

#4 - Paper-piecing class samples.
This has been on my radar for months. It's exhausting to think about something for so long without taking action! Happily, I've now made samples that illustrate various stages of the process, and it's finally time to check this puppy off the list!


#5 - A particular custom quilt that needed a plan...
Ideas have been rolling around in my brain since a special wedding quilt arrived about a month ago, but nothing seemed quite right. Today, as I was doodling for something completely different, a solution popped into my head! Needless to say, I dropped everything and loaded the quilt! (Picture not shown - later, I promise!)

When work doesn't look like work!

#6 - Samples for upcoming Professional Development workshops.
Nothing exciting to show yet, but the doodling is part of it! Even baby steps toward completion are better than standing still.

Linking up with:
Monday Making, at Love, Laugh, Quilt
Linky Tuesday, at Freemotion by the River (Where I just discovered I'm featured! Thanks, Connie!)
Fabric Tuesday, at Quilt Story

Try, Learn, & Grow!
P.S. I'm now on Instagram under my blog name, FreshofftheFrame - come find me so I can find you, too!

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Appreciating the Ordinary

Life is beautiful . . .

. . . when you see butterflies dancing across a colourful quilt


. . . in that moment when you finish a task and are pleased with your work


. . . when a project comes together the way it should, and it was easier than you'd hoped!


. . . when you return to a work in progress and realize how close it is to being done

String pieced pillow cover, waiting to be quilted

. . . when your tomato plants produce a bumper crop, and you get the fruit before the frost gets them

Fresh off the vine!

. . . when an invitation to come over and make salsa arrives at the perfect moment

Pickled onions, peach habanero hot sauce, and green tomato salsa - yummm!

. . . when the doughnuts are so good they start to disappear before you finish making them!

My husband took his "quality control" duties seriously!

. . . when the opportunity to mentor a new quilter arises, and you say yes!

Latifah, getting to know her Singer

Make the ordinary come alive 
Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is a way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life,
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples, and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.
           ~ William Martin, The Parent's Tao Te Ching: Ancient Advice for Modern Parents

Linking up with:

Linky Tuesday, at Freemotion by the River
Let's Bee Social, at Sew Fresh Quilts

Try, Learn, & Grow!

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

From Drawing to Ta Dahhh!!

What do you do when you run out of time?

Ask for help!

I needed a house-themed block for a Guild project, and wanted something whimsical.

I'd been thinking of the nursery rhyme, "There Was an Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe", so was thrilled when Brynne whipped up this perfectly charming sketch. I love the umbrella roof!

Sketch by Brynne

First, I enlarged the drawing to make a pattern. Deciding on a colour scheme was next, and then the hunt was on for the perfect fabrics! (All from my stash - yay!)

The Old Woman's Shoe, under construction

Stitching around each element several times with black thread reinforced its whimsical, colouring book feel.

Brynne had envisioned a translucent umbrella. Two layers of polyester based I-don't-know-what-it-is, but-it-was-in-my-cupboard fabric fused with Steam-A-Seam Light did the trick!

Umbrella, fused and ready to add

Put it all together, and Ta Dahhh . . . Fun, funky and, best of all, finished! (the block, not the quilt!)

The finished 12" x 12" block!

Linking Up With:

Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt Story
Linky Tuesday @ Freemotion by the River
WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced
Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts

Try, Learn, & Grow!
P.S. Remember to look me up on Instagram under my blog name, FreshofftheFrame, to see snippets that aren't necessarily shared here. If you follow me, I'll follow you right back - I'd love to see what you're up to!

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Something Scrappy Going On...

My son (Derrick) and his girlfriend (Brynne) surprised me with a visit last week . . . and they brought a suitcase full of vintage fabric along.

WHAT??? Brynne wants to learn how to quilt??? Yippee!!!

We sorted, soaked and rinsed and washed for three days to remove excess dye from several pieces.
One little stack of fabric finally ready to go!

A few minutes into cutting, Brynne mentioned that she thought I'd been a bit - ummm - overzealous with the ironing (aka. crazy lady with an iron!), but now she totally gets it!

Brynne's cutting station - we took over the family room so we could work together.

Brynne is used to long hours, working with precision, and relentlessly pursuing her vision as a studio artist. Be still, my heart!!! I couldn't have asked for a better mentoring experience. Brynne worked super hard and learned everything quickly.

In true scrappy form, we are mixing fabrics that might not otherwise "get along" - flannels, cottons, batiks, corduroy, unidentified textiles from re-purposed clothing (skating costumes, suits), home decor fabrics - anything that withstood our arduous soak, rinse, wash, and press process without disintegrating or melting made it into the mix.

A tiny peek at the design wall. Things will look so much better when the blocks are pieced, I promise!

Much to Brynne's delight, she discovered that fabric can also be altered! I pulled out my dye-based fabric markers, and she started drawing on solid white fabric.

Fabric fun

Her little drawings pieced into super cute blocks, but I can't show them yet! Nor can I show how the remaining blocks are shaping up. This quilt must remain a mystery until it is finished.


I'd love to spill the beans, but will restrain myself.
(If you must know, it kinda hurts to hold back! Ha!)

So...since this is Brynne's first quilt, and it consists of 820 (might as well be a million!) little pieces, we decided to divvy up the sewing. She went home with a borrowed machine (thanks to my Mom!) and a plan, and I will do my part, too. We will meet again in October to combine our efforts into a finished top. I can't wait!

Linking up with:

Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation

Try, Learn, & Grow!