The House Quilt

Made to help raise funds for Rotary House, this House Quilt has been a labour of love. Blocks were contributed by my guild mates, and we worked together to piece the top.

Basted and waiting...
It was on my frame for over two weeks - I loaded it before Thanksgiving so it would be ready to go as soon as the holiday was over.

And then I caught the plague, or something. It has kicked. my. butt.

I forced myself out of bed to teach in Fairview last weekend, plague and all. The workshop (sponsored by the Fairview Agricultural Society) was a ton of fun, but by the end of the day I could barely croak out any sound at all. Luckily, by then, everyone was on their way to mastering paper piecing!

Piecing was well under way, and some even had veins on their leaves by the end of the day!
My husband and I celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary that evening with a quiet dinner (mainly because I couldn't speak!) and an early night. To mark the occasion, we took a silly selfie before I crashed. (Still better than our anniversary seven years ago when I had a mastectomy...yup, really.)

Still smiling together after 29 years!

On Thursday I dragged myself out of bed again to hit the frame.

Four days later, I'm happy to say write that the House Quilt is Fresh off the Frame!!!
(Still no voice and not feeling 100%. Blah.)

I love me some before and after shots . . . I hope you do, too, 'cause I have lots!
Each block has its own character, which I tried to enhance with the quilting.


Shonna's birdhouse clearly required a flower filler. I also stitched around each bit of applique. I think it helps things pop, and makes a crisper finish to the block.


The next one required some research. Vertical siding? Horizontal? Both? How would a house like this have been finished in its day? (Yes to both, as it turns out.)


Just for fun, the background quilting for Margaret's mid century modern house is loosely based on a wallpaper design from that era.


 What do you do when you live in a shoe?


Quilt a grid in the background, that's what!
And, of course, outline every bit of applique and stitch where it makes sense to stitch.


One house needed stonework. (Cannot remember who contributed this one - sorry!)


Another needed charming roof tiles and a swirly sky.

Liz modeled this after her own abode.

Alice's block was particularly perplexing . . . what did it need?


It wasn't speaking to me, so I just tried not to mess it up. That was my big plan. Do NOT mess it up.

There were plenty of things to ditch around, so that's where I began. All that ditching gave me time to think about the next step. And the next. ("Start with what you know" and the rest will follow.)

Notice the pins in some of the "after" photos? I've mounted the quilt on a piece of Styrofoam to flatten and block it. Some of the applique wanted to ripple, so I spritzed with water and patted everything flat. The pins are to hold things in place as the quilt dries.

Top half of quilt, pinned to board

When I loaded the quilt, I had stitched-in-the-ditch around the perimeter of every block using a ruler to aid the process. The applique and piecing in each block were all stitched and ditched freehand as I got to them.

Bottom half of quilt, spritzed and pinned.
As you can imagine, I changed thread colours a lot.
I worked block-by-block because the quilting ideas had to develop organically. That meant I couldn't just slap a colour on the machine and do ALL of that colour throughout the quilt. Nope. That would have been too easy. Ha!

One more quick before and after!

Oh, man, I love that quilty texture!

Fresh off the frame - not yet blocked.
As I said - it was a labour of love.
I don't suppose it will raise enough money to cover so many hours of quilting, but that's beside the point. There are twelve little works of art in this quilt that needed showcasing. . . and the quilting is mine to donate!

When the quilt is auctioned, we are hoping that whoever buys it will donate it back to hang in the Rotary House when it is completed. That would be so cool!

Have a happy week, everyone!

Linking up with:

Main Crush Monday, at Cooking up Quilts
Monday Making, at Love Laugh Quilt
Linky Tuesday, at Freemotion by the River
Fabric Tuesday, at Quilt Story

Try, Learn, & Grow!
P.S. Find me on Instagram under my blog name, FreshofftheFrame


  1. WOW! This is a work of art. Between the clever houses and even cleverer (is that a word??) quilting it is stunning. I love your organic quilting. And, yes, you've got a lot more work into it than it will probably bring in but oh it is wonderful. Let's hope someone also sees it as a stunning work of art! Great job!

  2. I looks amazing, you did us all proud!!

  3. These are great! I love the before and after shots. It's amazing how much it enhances the blocks.

  4. I hope that you are well on the road to health and feel much improved very soon. I love all the before and after shots. You really quilted life into this one! :)

  5. Oh my goodness, Carole, this is FANTASTIC! So much creativity and love here. You did such a beautiful job unifying all of those (really different!) blocks. I really am just speechless.
    (I first read 'days' as 'hours' - I was like, how on earth could she do all this in 4 hours?!? I was about to start calling you Flash...)
    Happy anniversary!! Feel better SOON!!

  6. WOW! your quilting adds SO much!!

  7. Wow! Awesome house quilt! Beautifully quilted. Congratulations on a wonderful finish!

  8. It is absolutely beautiful. Sorry, if I won it I would have to keep it because you all did a fantastic job. I just couldn't part with it. Really enjoyed our course on the paper piece leaves.

  9. Marvelous. Great to design the quilting to enhance the block but not overwhelm. Beautifully done.

  10. Even with the dreaded plague (or something like that) you still managed to teach, have a nice anniversary and take a wonderful quilt to the next level. I think you have some sort of super hero powers to get all that done.

  11. I love the quilting on that quilt. THe smoke coming out of the chimney is wonderful. I hope you start feeling better soon. There's a nasty virus going round over here too and it's knocking people for six

  12. I love seeing all the before and after shots and reading about your thought process on the design choices. You do wonderful work, and this quilt is a real keeper! I hope it raises a ton of money for your fundraiser. :) Thanks for linking up to MCM.

  13. What a special quilt. Your quilting absolutely makes it! I hope it brings in a ton of money.

  14. THANK YOU for showing the before and afters was easy to "study" and be inspired by your creative quilting. Oh man...and I hope you are feeling better...a bug like that does linger (energy wise) so take extra care of yourself.

  15. You really brought all those houses to life with your quilting. What an amazing quilt it became, and your little shoe house looked brilliant! And a very late happy anniversary to you both, can't believe I'm so far behind with my catch up, you're well on the way to 30 now!


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