Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Studio Gone Wild!

. . . if you count one moose as going wild, that is!

The top was pieced with the batting attached as a stabilizer. The sashing is a thick minky that might otherwise have been hard to control. Its seams laid perfectly, thanks to this clever idea.

I basted the layers together down the entire quilt before adding anything fancy.

I then outlined the moose and worked UP the central panel, outlining the tracks as I went. My client mentioned that she envisioned that long panel as a pathway, so I quilted it accordingly.

I like working from the center, out, to prevent weird ripples and pleats on the quilt back. This is ESPECIALLY important when the back shows EVERYTHING!

Leaves and branches seemed like a good fit for a moose, so that's what I quilted!

After the blocks were filled, the sashing looked a bit wobbly, so I stitched beside it to crisp everything up. I had to work freehand because it was so thick a ruler would have been a hazard. I'm glad to have done it - the sashing settled back into place perfectly!

I left the extra backing intact around the perimeter of the quilt. My client plans to wrap it to the front as binding for a soft, cuddly finish.

The front of the quilt is appealing, but I can't get enough of looking at the BACK - I love all that texture!!!

I'm easily amoosed! (pfft - I'm such a goof!)

OH, and Foxy Feet were spotted beside another pretty client quilt.
How's THAT for WILD??? ha!

Linking up with:
Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts

Try, Learn, & Grow!

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Challenges Met

Three secret sewing projects with March deadlines = a very quiet blog!

I'm happy to report that all three projects have been completed and entered in their respective challenges. Whew!

Here's something I can share - a client quilt, Fresh off the Frame!

This quilt was a challenge for its maker, with all sorts of bias edges and weird angles. She was a little stressed out by the end because the darn thing refused to lay flat.

When she asked if I could do the quilting I said, "YES! I'd be happy to help."

I promised that - though there may be a ripple here and there - the quilt would lay flat and look BEAUTIFUL when it was done!!!

I decided to spray-baste the quilt before loading it on the frame, using the construction seams (it was assembled in quarters) as my guide for squaring the quilt top. Once the horizontal and vertical lines were established, excess fabric was evenly distributed and controlled.

In addition to the spray-basting, straight pins helped prevent shifting as the quilt was loaded.
(Better safe than sorry, I say!)

Once it was on the frame, I worked from the center, out.

Wavy lines, swirls, and S-curves helped "eat up" fabric while complementing the modern aesthetic of the quilt.

As promised, the quilting did the trick. The quilt is officially flat, and looks amazing!!!

I sure love a happy ending!

Linking Up With:
Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts
Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation

Try, Learn, & Grow!

Friday, 9 March 2018

Drop-Dead Gorgeous!

"Arcadia Avenue" is exactly that.
The colours sing against a dark background, and the blocks - well!   Intricate piecing pushes this quilt over the top!

My client requested a feathered wreath in each block, and I was certainly game!
It seemed like a smart way to enhance the quilt. Still custom, but less intensive than designing something different for every block.

The blocks are quite large (as you can see, below), so I needed a large-scale plan.

Hatching the Plan
  • Step one - make a bunch of small doodles to generate ideas.
  • Step two - draw the best ideas at actual size.
Pretty quickly I could see what I liked (and didn't like) for this quilt.

Executing the Plan

A stitched spine kept the inner and outer feathers of the wreath tidy. A chalked boundary helped keep the wreath nice and round.

I used an acrylic template as a stitch guide for the spine, and a somewhat more humble foam plate for chalking the boundary line. (...officially a tool once the pin was added for centering, right? Yep!)

The chalk line also acted as a pretend-spine for the outer ring of feathers, added to fill the remaining space in the block.

(You can see what I mean in the picture, below. Notice the wreath in the center, and the filler fronds around the outside edge.)

I was pleased with how great the feathers looked in every, single block!
(Everything is just a theory until the needle goes into the fabric!)

See what I mean?

Giant wishbones were used in the background between the blocks. Their straight lines provide a foil for the feathers, and they don't pull attention away from the stars of the show.

Generous (gigantic!) feathers flow along the top and bottom borders, and also appear in the skinny "filler" triangles along the sides of the quilt.

Here is what the top looked like before it was quilted - I was a little nervous about poking a million holes in this baby. (Ulp!)

But all's well that ends well!

Linking up with:
Needle & Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation

Try, Learn, & Grow!

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Uh oh. Another Fiber Addiction???

I know. Eleventy-billion projects already on the go . . .
But, a wet felting workshop called my name . . . and I had to listen! (wouldn't you???)

After a test piece to learn the process, we had time to make a small composition.
I created a scene from my imagination, rolling, pulling, layering, and teasing fibers into place, excited to see what would happen next!

Composing with wool

Ohmygosh, I LOVED that part of the process!

After watering, agitating, and hardening, my little pile of fibers became a piece of felt!

My felted landscape

This process is so fast, compared to quilting! And equally engaging. I could be in trouble here. Ha!

Luckily, supplies are simple and readily available. It's the wool roving that would need to be gathered and hoarded. Which opens the door to collecting silk fibers and other embellishments. Oh, my!

I've started with ordering a book about combining wet felting and stitch . . . aaaaannnnd now I'm officially hooked! :-)

In the Studio

It's Youth Challenge time again!
My granddaughter has made her plan, and was able to pull most of the fabric she'll need from her own stash!

To keep things fair, her work will remain under wraps until after the viewer's choice vote in April. Suffice it to say, she will be a regular studio guest for the next few weeks - yay!

From brain to paper!

I've continued working small, trimming a whole lot of one-inch hst's. (more on this later)

Tiny trimming!

And, finally, a "before and after" of a pretty client quilt:

Client quilt, before quilting

And, after quilting - Fireworks panto

Linking up with:

Show off Saturday @ Sew Can She
Whoop Whoop Friday @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Try, Learn, & Grow!

Monday, 12 February 2018

Hear Me Roar!

Always accept a challenge. You never know what you can do until you stretch!

I've seen this Jungle Abstractions Lion beautifully quilted using a ton of ruler work, but that wasn't quite the right approach for this quilter.

So. I decided to create something to suit my crazy freehand style instead!
(And, hopefully speed up the process and keep the quilting affordable for my client, too!)

First I looked at some photos of real lions to observe their markings, ears, and manes.
Inspired, I decided to start with some "nostrils", "whiskers", and the spotty area between the nose and the mouth.

I kept the lines in the face fairly graphic and uniform so they would contrast with the flowing motif I had planned for the mane.

The contrast in style helped define the face so it wouldn't become visually "lost" in the composition.

And, Oh My Gosh! I love the mane!!!

The eyes didn't need expressive quilting - ditching secured the piecing without interfering with their built in "sparkle".

What to do with the dark shapes at the edge of the mane? Pretend they're "shadows" and repeat the zigzag motif used on the upper lip!

This quilt finished at about five feet, square.
(chair included for scale - not because it's beautiful! ha!)

Oh, and the backing is perfect!

Now for my favourite part - the BEFORE and AFTER shots!

Before Quilting:

After Quilting:

OH, and the quilt that waited and waited? Also finished!

Every ditch was stitched to give a crisp finish to the seams.

As its owner said - we make a great team! (I'm so happy she's pleased!)

ROAR! What a great start to my week!!!

Linking up with:
Main Crush Monday @ Cooking up Quilts
Monday Making @ Love Laugh Quilt

Try, Learn & Grow!
Carole (also on Instagram under my blog name, Fresh off the Frame, in case you play there, too!)

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Moon Glow

Moon Glow was made as a companion piece to Firefly Dance --- you could say it's a twig off the old tree! (har!)

It was commissioned as a Christmas gift by the couple who own Firefly Dance, so I couldn't share right away.
And then I plum forgot!

As with Firefly Dance, I pieced the background and then created the images by removing colour.

I started by laying out the basic composition.

Then I covered the areas where I wanted to keep the colour of the cloth and applied the discharge product.

I thought it would be fun to play with positive and negative images over the edge of the moon.
To accomplish that, I did the discharge in two steps.

Step one preserved colour in the moon (as shown above), and step two removed colour from the background.

I originally thought the piece would be square, but as it developed it grew in length to make room for a more interesting composition.

As is my preference, "sketchy stitching" around the images helped define them while keeping an organic feel.

A touch of foil added the "glow". It's difficult to capture glow with my phone, but this kind of shows it . . .

Moon Glow now resides at the other end of the country, where I hope its new owner finds it pleasing!

Linking Up With:
Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts

Try, Learn, & Grow!