Sink or Swim!

Sometimes I think a task will be easy, but then I find myself in over my head, looking for a life jacket!

Such was the case with this digital design that I decided to do by hand.

Yeah. Glub, glub.

The designer had printed copies of the digital design for sale - so I naturally thought, "How hard could it be?"

I then promised to do it on a client's quilt.

When the panto arrived, I suddenly realized How Deep the water was.

Long, smooth, precise lines that spread apart and come together to produce an optical illusion are SCARY hard to do freehand. Ruh roh. Dog paddle! Dog paddle!

Client quilt - front view

As you can see, this story has a happy ending!

A couple of years ago I'd tried a Precise Pantograph System (PPS) at my APQS dealer's show booth -  and it worked great - but I thought, "when would I ever use it?"

Never say never, folks.

My lifejacket was in sight!!! All I had to do was order it.

The PPS is a handle system that attaches to the machine's base and allows the user's hands (and laser light) to be directly above the design. One's hands and forearms rest on the table, which improves accuracy.

Precise Pantograph System

My laser light's cord wasn't quite long enough to position it as intended, so I improvised with some painter's tape.

I numbered the lines, and then used a little piece of tape as a line marker so I wouldn't get lost as I worked through the design.

Corresponding numbers at the other end of the table helped keep me on track, too.

Because the table is quite low, I used my office chair as my "ride" along the table - my upper body needed to be smooth and steady while my lower body paddled like a duck! (quack, quack!)

I found it impossible to go in both directions, so had to break the thread and start over for every line.

There are 20 lines in 14 inches, so this added quite a bit of time to the process. BUT it worked!!!

Quilt back - Modern Waves panto

This pantograph is called MODERN WAVES.

Bwahahaha!!! I just realized how appropriate that is for a dog-paddling duck-quilter!
Sometimes I quack myself up! Ha!

After the intensity of the previous quilt, I was happy to see the next quilt in the queue! Ebb and Flow is one of my favourite pantographs to stitch, so it was like greeting an old friend. :-)

Client quilt, Ebb and Flow panto

The quilt looks great, front and back!

Quilt back

House Update
It's all about details at the moment.

Interior doors have been painted, and most of the handles installed. (I love them!)

Baseboards and casings have been sprayed. (They look fantastic!)

Countertops went in - and I saw them for approximately 30 seconds before they were covered to save them from damage between now and the finish line. (Kind of like the floors - now you see them, now you don't!) An excellent idea, but I would have liked an afternoon to swoon!

Laundry room in progress

Looked a bit like a medical procedure at times - in a Frankenstein sense, that is!

Securing a seam in the countertop

The painter is currently working his magic throughout, but I haven't taken pictures yet. I'm trying to stay away until the paint dries. I have a habit of Touching Things that isn't always helpful! (Just ask the drywall guy and the tile guy about That - eek!)

Linking up With
Whoop Whoop Friday @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict
TGIFF @ Busy Hands Quilts
Finish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts

Try, Learn, & Grow!
P.S. To see more of my photos, find me on Instagram under my blog name, freshofftheframe :-)


  1. Wow that quilt looks like it is laying on top of water just riding the gentle waves!

  2. I love that wavy look. I figured it would be easier to do on a longarm, but I guess not!

    Huzzah for house progress!

  3. Wow, you figured it out and it looks fantastic!! Such a gorgeous quilting design.

  4. Wow, well worth figuring out; that is a very cool optical illusion that the quilting creates! As always, I love seeing the house progress, too. Hugs!

  5. The quilts look great, your house is coming along beautifully, spring is in the air! It's all good!

  6. OMGoodness! Those quilts are wonderful. What a process you had on the first one. Good for you to "just keep swimming", Dory-like!

  7. Modern Waves looks awesome--well worth the effort! Those special handles are interesting. Love how you house is coming along!

  8. That turned out really swell (get it? swell... like waves.... heehehe) I'm still not entirely sure I understand how the PPS works - I'll have to look on youtube and see if I can see it in action.
    Of course, you already know how terribly excited I am with you about all of the house progress!! I love seeing all the pictures (that seaming of the countertop looks incredibly interesting - and complicated) Will the baseboards be taped when they paint the walls? (Here the baseboards are done after the walls. At least I *think* that's standard. That's how we've always done it. but now I am wondering if I'm wrong. There's something else for me to look up, I guess ;-)

  9. Oh those waves looks awesome! That movement and texture! Great work! Your house progress is also looking good!

  10. Wow, I love those waves! Sorry you had issues when you began, but you worked it out and the quilt looks fantastic!

  11. Goodness, even with all your extra bits and pieces that pantograph sounds like hard work, I suppose as it was edge to edge at least you didn't have to bury any threads. It does look stunning though, well worth the effort.
    Your home is looking great too.

  12. Fabulous work.

  13. The PPS is fabulous for pantographs! I have found it reduced my stress on difficult pantos as well as the stress on my body. Absolutely love it


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