Wednesday, 22 June 2016

A Critter Quilt

This baby quilt is so cute, it's ridiculous! There's a fantastic energy surrounding it - a happy vibe - and it just makes me smile. :-)

Client quilt, fresh off the frame!

My client told me a story that ended with the top having been washed prior to arriving at my studio.
As a result, it was a bit cranky at first, and had to be coaxed into behaving.

Loading a slightly cranky quilt

A loose, swirly pantograph helped things along.

"Ripples" panto looks great!

My client has the soul of an artist and was excited that the mountain scene would have extra texture and dimension! Yay!!!

Even so, I wanted to exert a bit of control over the lay of the land.
In an attempt to distribute the fabric across the area, I spritzed it with water and patted it into place. No matter what, it insisted on laying in vertical rows. I eventually gave up and went with it. Some battles ya just can't win!

Spritzed, patted, and left to dry over night

The mountain worked out well, but drat! I ended up stitching a couple of pleats into the foreground! (That area was just as stubborn as - or worse than - the mountain fabric had been.)

Aack! Wrinkles are okay, but pleats were not in the plan!

Out came my seam ripper (my faithful companion). After the pleats were released, I was able to convince them to relax into soft wrinkles so they wouldn't be as obvious.

Soft wrinkles will be even softer after the quilt is washed.

My client was right - the extra texture adds dimension that is quite delightful!

In my mind's eye, the baby who receives this quilt will spend many hours of tactile enjoyment, stroking and feeling its softly intriguing surface. So soothing.

And so stinkin' cute!

Today's Snippet
The wall hanging featured in my previous post came back from my guildmates today - finished!
One last photo op before it goes off the the museum:


I think the dark binding is the perfect finishing touch - and I love how the border quilting looks now that it has a frame!

A frame improves the look of...everything!

Thanks for dropping by!

Try, Learn, & Grow!

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Almost Raffle Ready!

Pile O' Prizes

Museum raffle prizes made by my guildmates and me

We are almost raffle ready!
(For the raffle intro, please click here. To see first prize, please click here.)

Quilting 2nd Prize
Ready to quilt - and I had NO quilting plan for this wall hanging. Several ideas were rolling around in my brain, but none seemed quite right.

"Blank canvas"

So I basted, ditched, and . . . familiarized myself with the quilt. (aka - "listened" for inspiration)

The crazy piecing in the background called for a soft, swirly filler that would suit the old fashioned character of the piece, so I decided to use straight lines in the border for contrast.

Hmm. OH, I know!
I could use the piecing to divide the space and do some "dot to dot" quilting.

Dot to dot design

I used a purple, air-erasable marker to make dots on the light fabrics, and white chalk on the dark ones. Matchstick quilting (visible below) made the triangular motifs pop. I like how their angular lines relate to the crazy pieced background.

By the time the border was quilted, I'd decided to use a feather filler in the background.
It would be fairly dense, so the photos would need quilting to keep them from becoming baggy by comparison. An AHA moment led to using the crazy piecing as inspiration - framing up little vignettes in each photo in a similar style worked well, I think!

Quilting lines through the photos were inspired by the crazy-piecing in the background.

A line of echo stitching framed the little photo "shards" in the background. I wanted to provide a buffer zone between them and the anticipated filler, and give them more presence.

For whatever reason, I began feathering at the bottom of the piece, and worked my way up.

A sweet moment of realization, captured here!

When I stepped back to see how things were going, I was quite pleased!

A memory from a couple of years ago popped into my head. I'd shown my husband a picture of some beautiful quilting and declared that I wanted to be able to quilt like that someday.

With a shock I realized - I think I'm there!
Not perfect, but the growth in my skills was suddenly very evident to me.
Oh, my. What a happy moment!

Simple lines of stitch and a "dot to dot" line in each triangle finished the photo frames.

Fresh off the Frame!
Here's the wall hanging, trimmed and ready to bind.
It is absolutely square and will lay beautifully once it's been blocked . . . as opposed to being pulled from a bag where it was folded up under another quilt all night. (Oops!) Oh, well. Had to grab a quick pic before handing it off to a guildmate for finishing!

Guild project - original design by Bev, Lois, & Liz
quilted by Carole Gold @

Earlier in the week, this pretty client quilt passed through my hands. (More feathers!)

Client quilt - Bountiful Feathers panto

Another charmer, pieced by the same client. This quilt had such a warm, lively vibe - I was sorry to see its bottom border!

Client quilt - Modern Twist panto

Ellen's Workshop Finishes!

Ellen is a fearless quilter with a can-do attitude. She is one of the Fairview crew, who have graciously invited me back to teach a number of times.

Ellen recently sent photos of three of her workshop finishes!

Ellen's bargello table runner (pattern from Eileen Wright's book, Twist and Turn Bargello Quilts)

Ellen's leaves - a Judy Niemeyer pattern

Ellen's Fab Art Poppies

Thanks for the photos - and I hope you enjoy your garden this summer, Ellen!

Try, Learn, & Grow!

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Stitches and Petals

Museum Quilt Progress

Printable fabrics are not forgiving. At. All.
The fabric has a tight weave so photos will look crisp when they are printed. The tight weave also means that holes made in the fabric are permanent. Once a stitch is made, there's no going back!

Decision time - which thread? (the far one was the winner)

Such large photos needed to be quilted down to prevent them from sagging later . . . plus the quilting would smarten up any blocks that had stretched during construction. I figured an all-over design would visually disappear while adding the necessary structure.

Fast forward and here it is, Fresh off the Frame!

Viewers know the thread is there, but the photos are still the stars of the show.

Natural light spilling across the right-hand side of the quilt (above) clearly shows the texture of the quilting. The two blocks on the far left are in shadow. They are a fair representation of how the quilt normally looks.

The name of the pattern is Alaska Photo Album, by Lisa Moore. Its 3-D effect is quite surprising!
(Do the album pages fold "in", or do they stick "out"??? Fascinating!)

Celebrating 100 years of transportation history in northern Alberta
If you'd like to know more of this quilt's story, please click here.

Insert Gardening Here!

The potato patch is nothing but deep holes at the moment.

Under a bit of dirt in the bottom of each hole lies a seed potato. As the plants grow, I'll gradually fill in the holes by replacing the dirt that came out of them . . . kind of reverse-hilling, I guess!

This will be my second potato crop, ever - can you believe it?
I'd avoided growing potatoes for years because I thought they'd be a pain, but they are easy peasy! (Especially with great instruction and advice from Amy and her mom, Pat!)

Half of the holes are dug - looks like a giant rodent problem!

I'm always happy when perennials come back to life. This blue geranium is currently duking it out with the chives under the crabapple tree. They are both so pretty, I really don't mind who wins!

Blue geranium - I'm sure it has a fancy name, but casual works for me!


Fresh off the Frame
This week there were flowers inside, too!

Do some of these prints look familiar?
Isn't it amazing how every quilt created with fabric from the floral fabric exchange has its own character? They are all sew pretty!

And then Flower Power popped up.
Bam! More flowers!!!

Flower Power, front

The back of Flower Power is as special as the front.

Flower Power, back

Quilted with "Tweet, Tweet" panto.

Laina's Famous!
Well, maybe not famous, but she's in the latest Canadian Quilter magazine! Her quilt is currently in Ontario waiting to be hung in the national show. Both of these things are terribly exciting for us!!!

Oh! I don't think I've shown her beauty-of-a-prize from Cantik Batiks yet . . . It's amazing!

Methinks there will be (a lot) more quilting in Laina's future!

Try, Learn, & Grow!