Wednesday, 25 November 2015

To Stitch, or Not To Stitch...

This silvery Wedding Quilt is Fresh off the Frame!
Inspired by Sharon's painted wedding quilt, Linda requested intertwined letters for her bride and groom.

We discussed adding paint, but decided the letters would be perfectly visible without.

First, the entire quilt was stitched with a panto, except for the space we'd chosen for the letters.

Using a font found in Word, I printed each letter and then used my copier to resize them. I traced the K onto tracing paper, and then I was able to position the I and trace it, too.

By pinning the traced design to the quilt, I could then "trace" again with the needle. The needle cuts the paper so there is never any to pull out of the stitches - love that!!!

Doodling in my scribbler led to the idea of using brackets to surround the letters. I drew them freehand and joined four together to make a frame, which I then echoed. Random wavy lines filled in around the frame.

And then the question . . . do I fill in around the letters, or leave things a bit puffy?

On one hand, the letters are clearly visible - the whole point!
On the other, my inclination was to add more quilting - it's what I love!

Time to stand back and consider the corner of the quilt in context.


The rest of the quilt is quite puffy.
It is meant to be a cuddle quilt.

The filler would need to be dense, which would have flattened the corner considerably. Would the corner look as if it didn't "belong" with the rest of the quilt? Would it feel like a piece of cardboard?

After a quick consultation with the quilt's maker (who helpfully said she trusts my judgement - ha!), I decided to love the puff!

It's easier to ADD quilting than it is to remove it, so . . . if Linda ever decides it needs more, that option is always available.

This cozy "plus" quilt is also Fresh off the Frame. Here it is, laid out for trimming. The fabrics are flannels and homespuns - I just wanted to wrap it around me and never let it go! *snuggle*

These days it's dark by the time I get to this step. Since this is my only chance to see the whole quilt, I take pictures anyway! (Apologies for the lack of focus. It looked fine on my phone, but...yeesh. And, they are all like that! Operator error strikes again.)

Frozen quilt update

Alice's Frozen quilt raised $775.00 for our local Women's Shelter!
(click the link to see the quilting in progress)

This was the third-highest price garnered at auction that night. A diamond ring and an Oilers jersey came in ahead of the quilt for top bids, so I think we did okay!

Plus, Alice got a sweet ribbon out of the deal!

Alice blinged up the panel with crystals, which totally took care of the castle issue. A tiny crystal on each turret made it feel finished!

It was dark in the venue (Festival of Trees - lit mainly by the trees!), but I tried to take a photo of the crystals anyway. (Hey, a girl's gotta try!!) See them in the trees, on the dress, and on the castle?

My camera could just catch the sparkle from an angle. I think they added the perfect, finishing touch.

Dayna, one of our quilting friends, created an entry for the Festival that I must share!
It is not fabric, but . . . well, take a look. Isn't it gorgeous???

This photo absolutely does not do it justice.
The peacock feathers sparkled with colour, adding glamour to an already spectacular sculpture.

That's it for now! I hope you are having a beautiful week.

Linking up with:
Let's Bee Social, at Sew Fresh Quilts - her 100th linky party!

Try, Learn, & Grow!
P. S. I'm on Instagram under my blog name, FreshofftheFrame

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Frozen Quilt

It's almost time for the Festival of Trees - the annual fundraiser for our local women's shelter. Every year I try and contribute in some way. Last year I quilted a Buggy Barn pieced by Margaret, and this year I offered to quilt Alice's donation.

Enter, the Frozen quilt.

Frozen quilt, BEFORE quilting
Ditches were stitched, blocks were filled, and then the center panel was quilted.

Filling pinwheels

My hands are sore from all the ruler work, and I may not *ever* want to stitch another snowflake.
I didn't count until I was done, but I now know there are 102 blocks in this quilt!

Snowflake (my own invention)

Snowflake (also my own invention)

A jagged stipple (with mini-snowflakes) filled the blocks that wrap around the quilt corners.

After I started stitching I wished I'd gone with a funky, snowflake-ish feather instead. No time to rip, so I left it and carried on. (Not that I mind the stipple; I just think a feathery thing would have been prettier.)

The panel was the last thing I tackled. I had ditched and basted quite thoroughly, so figured it would be fine.

Because of the tight deadline, of course I stitched a small pleat in the backing behind Elsa.
Perfect. Juuuust perfect.

Crappity crap crap!

Well. It is now part of the quilt's character. It is small enough, and time is so short, that I decided not to worry about it too much. Alice agrees. (But the perfectionist in me is not happy...)

The flannel backing, though cute and cozy, was a royal pain in the caboose all the way through.

Much of my time was spent hanging upside down so I could check for pleats. My seam ripper came out a few times when I was ditching the blocks. Fixing even a small pleat takes more ripping than one would imagine.

But I digress.

Where was I?
Oh, yeah. The panel!

I'd decided to keep the quilting simple, leaving the faces untouched.
(It is extremely difficult for me to restrain myself, so this was a challenge!)

The hair is quilted, and the faces and clothing are outlined. There are a few contour lines in the clothing, and the trees and sky have texture.

There is a castle in the background. It is printed with no defined outlines, which makes it particularly difficult to quilt. Trying to outline it would obliterate it.

The creases from the quilt being rolled onto the frame are not permanent!

I decided to quilt the outline of the mountain behind it, and added a few snowflakes around the castle (most at the base, and a few in the sky) to secure the layers. I would have preferred more quilting, but there was no time to dream up something better.
Of course, now that it's off the frame I have more ideas. Helpful, right?

I also decided to imply distant trees in the purple-ish area, and use the jagged snowflake stipple between the tree line and the castle.

Frozen quilt, AFTER quilting
Draped over my kitchen table for a quick photo before it went out the door!

This was another labour intensive quilt-on-a-deadline. Crazy, right???
I kept trying to come up with fast designs, but even so . . . 102 blocks to fill! (and to ditch around).

Alice did a great job with her fabric and design choices, plus Frozen is hot right now (ha!), so hopefully this will raise a good chunk of change for the shelter. I can't wait to see it bound and hung at the event!

Frozen is Fresh off the Frame!
I finish everything in the dark in winter, but even with poor lighting you can tell how pretty this is!

How would you manage the castle?
I have another Frozen quilt coming up, and would love to be inspired by your suggestions!

Linking up With:

Main Crush Monday, at Cooking up Quilts
Monday Making, at Love Laugh Quilt
Fabric Tuesday, at Quilt Story
Let's Bee Social, at Sew Fresh Quilts
Needle and Thread Thursday, at My Quilt Infatuation

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

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Workshop Weekend - Works In Progress

Our guild brought in Margie Davidson to lead a workshop called "Patchwork Playtime".

The idea was to create a quilt by building around an inspiration fabric, block, or panel.

Inspiration fabrics - mine is the green fern leaf, which I had painted a few years back in a different "Margie" workshop!

We started by graphing out a rough idea for the quilt size and shape, and figured out how many theme, complex, and simple blocks we would need.

We then created some patchwork to throw at the design wall along with our inspiration fabrics.

Piecing patchwork to try with my piece.

Once we had something to work with, we moved bits and pieces around to see what we liked. At this stage, things seemed a bit "messy" because nothing was settled. We just pieced and played.

Here's how things started shaping up on our design walls:

My Mom's "swinging monkey" inspiration fabric, and the beginnings of her patchwork jungle.

Lois' inspiration fabric reminded her of northern lights.

Icy patchwork fills in around Liz's polar animal inspiration fabric.

Chris' batik beauty glowed like stained glass with the light coming through the window behind her design wall!

Hey, look! Another leaf!
Jill had purchased this one from Margie last time she visited our guild,
and now is a perfect time to use it.

Aralee took this opportunity to make a quilt that's been in her head for years.
A curved piecing lesson set her free!

Alice took the plunge and cut her African panel apart.
She decided to work with the giraffe, and busily pieced blocks that support her colour scheme.

Shonna's WIP started with a Christmas print. It is destined to become a table runner.

Margaret's piece started with a large-scale print that begged to be shown off.

Hildegard incorporated her inspiration fabric into some of her blocks
(it's the one in the center of the top, left block).

The bird fabric was Dayna's inspiration.

Sarah framed up her inspiration fabric and started filling in with colourful patchwork.

Vivian was inspired by her horse panel - her support fabrics remind me of leather!

My leaf, so far.

At our guild meeting TWO days later, Dayna showed her finished piece!!!
(Though, she'd just come from swimming so didn't want to show her face...)
Dayna's finished piece!

Vivian also came with her project pieced and ready to quilt!
She used curved piecing to frame up the panel, which I think was the perfect touch.

Good work, you two! (Now the rest of us feel like slackers! Ha!)

House Quilt Update

Remember the quilt we made for the Rotary House fundraiser?
(click here for close-ups of the quilting)

Where Hearts Come Home
48" x 60"

Our little quilt raised $1,350.00 for the cause!!!   Yay!!!

Fresh off the Frame This Week (so far!)

This sweet baby quilt is now finished!
My client told me the top had been in her cupboard (waiting to be quilted) for so long that the recipient is now 15 months old, so finished is good. Ha!

It is the perfect size for him to snuggle and drag around...I doubt he will mind that it's a wee bit later than planned!


On another note, I have finally recovered from that darn virus that has plagued me for the last month!
On Sunday I suddenly felt less miserable, and by Monday I felt HUMAN again - oh joy!!!

Thanks so much to those of you who sent good wishes for my recovery. Mission accomplished!

Linking up With:

WIP Wednesday, at Freshly Pieced
Let's Bee Social, at Sew Fresh Quilts 

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

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Quiet Blog, Busy Life!

Fresh off the Frame this week - fabric sunshine!

The batting was a super-lofty poly, so I was worried about - maybe - quilting in some pleats and wrinkles. With a little extra attention, basting, and clamping, that didn't happen (whew!).

You can see that the fabric does look a bit "pulled" into the deep stitch lines, but when the quilt is washed I believe everything will relax and puff nicely. I absolutely love how it turned out!

Check, check, checkidy check!

It's been a week of lists.    When the blog is quiet, it's not because I'm slacking!!

  • Quilting presentation at my granddaughter's school (x2 classes) - check!
  • Secret sewing that can't be shared just yet - check!
  • Doctor's appointment re: "the plague" I can't seem to shake - check!
    (meds and rest - umm...sure)
  • Present part one of an applique workshop for the High Prairie quilters - check!
  • Halloween - last minute costumes, chauffeuring, party going - check!
  • Sleeves on pieces I'm entering in our annual guild show - check!
  • Help hang the show - check!
  • Finish up details for Rotary House donation quilt - sleeve, label, paperwork, connect with Rotary club - check!
  • Organizing last minute details for upcoming guild workshop (this weekend!) with a visiting teacher - check!
  • Prepare food and home for hosting our visiting teacher - about 50/50 - working on it!
    At this point, she will have homemade soup and a clean bed.
  • Gathering my own supplies for said workshop - hahahaha!
    I will be packing for class on the way out the door Saturday per usual.
    Good thing my supplies are pretty organized, or I'd be dead in the water.

Soon things will settle down and I will be able to spend quality time at the frame - oh happy days!

Applique Workshop: Part One

Oh, how I love the energy of a workshop!
There is much to be shared, much to be learned, and much to enjoy in the company of other quilters!

The High Prairie quilters are working on Fab Art sunflower wall hangings. Here is a (very) quick peek into our progress, so far:

A colour key prevents confusion. A useful step for everyone, it becomes especially important when changing up the scheme from the pattern.

Building sunflowers

In addition to building applique units, the class pieced their backgrounds in preparation for next time.

High Prairie quilters

Soon these quilts will be bursting with colour! (Stay tuned for the "after" shot!)

Linking up with:
Needle and Thread Thursday, at My Quilt Infatuation

Try, Learn, & Grow!
P.S. One of these days I'll make time to add a widget, but in the meantime - please find me on Instagram under my blog name FreshofftheFrame    See ya there!