Thursday, 11 January 2018

Making Progress


The kidlet isn't quite a toddler yet -  so it's still acceptable to send a baby quilt as a gift, right??

I made it 42" square - just right for a child to drag around, I think.

As I quilted, bits of minky were pulled to the front of the quilt. Not everywhere, just in places.

I'm puzzled by it.

The top fabric had a super tight weave, so I expected the needle to punch holes in it.
What I didn't expect was the minky to pop up through those holes! (And, only sometimes...weird.)

I thought the problem might disappear when the quilt was washed.
Nope. Still pokies here and there.

But I've decided not to worry about it too much. The quilt is cute and cuddly, and I'm guessing the baby won't care, either! Next time I'll prewash the fabric and see if that makes a difference.

Instead of securing the binding by hand, I tried a preprogrammed machine stitch. I love the look and feel of it!

Now to get it sent before the kid grows a beard. Ha!

Fresh off the Frame
(client quilts this week)

One adorable baby quilt:

client quilt

The Flirtatious pantograph suited the playful energy of the applique!

One contemporary table runner:

client quilt

I used the Ground Cover panto here.

And, one quilt featuring Hawaiian style motifs.

client quilt

I stitched in ditches and around the applique first, and then added echo quilting in the blocks as a nod to traditional Hawaiian quilts.

A ferny feather in the outside border relates to the ferny print in the blocks.

Folded up and ready to go home.

It feels great to be back in the studio full time, though it will feel even better when this head cold takes a hike. (My toddling grandson so generously shared this bug - ugh!)

Linking up With:
Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation

Try, Learn, &, Grow!

Saturday, 6 January 2018

An Abundance of Canadian Content!

In case you were wondering, a maple leaf pantograph looks fantastic stitched over maple leaf piecing!

Maple Syrup panto

This is what my son, Derrick, would call "meta maple leaves" - ha!

Two of these beautiful "150" quilts crossed my frame in time for Christmas. They were destined for sisters, so names were worked into the stitching - - - to prevent future arguments, I assume!

Personalization worked into the panto

So cozy!

Fireside backing = cuddly soft!

Next up was a striking red and white quilt, also celebrating Canada's 150th. This one will hang in the permanent collection of a nearby community's Fine Arts Centre, and I'm thrilled it arrived in my studio for quilting! 

The Canadian Sampler, designed by Sew Sisters

A feathery panto was chosen to complement the piecing while respecting the budget, and the result is gorgeous! This quilt will hang beautifully for years to come. :-)

Drunken Feathers panto

I snuck the next one onto the frame over the holiday - such a fun pattern, with its dancing squares!

Strip Your Stash, by GE Designs

The wool batting had come folded and rolled into a package, as it sometimes does, so needed time to "relax" once it was unfolded.

Yikes! The manufacturer is Not Gentle when bagging their product.

The folds and ripples didn't completely disappear, but things did improve over time. (I felt no need to rush over the holiday, anyway.)

Methinks bagged batting is Not happy batting

With a little extra care, the quilt came out just great! (If I do say so myself! ha!)
The combination of wool batting and Fireside backing makes this a very cozy quilt, too. 

Halcyon panto

Meanwhile, our Guild show is up @ the DMI Gallery in the library, and GUESS WHAT???
My clients generously loaned FIREFLY DANCE for the duration of the show!!!
(Psst - click the link for its story!)

Guild show @ the gallery - ends January 11

Last day for viewing is January 11, so please visit SOON if you'd like to see our work!

Linking up with:
Sarah @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict, for Whoop Whoop Friday!
(I'm doing the happy dance over successfully wrangling that batting - WHOOP WHOOP!)

Try, Learn, & Grow!

Thursday, 21 December 2017

A Christmas Stocking Story

As an organized hoarder - no, no, I mean collector of miscellany (aka "things I love") - there was no need to shop outside my stash for this entire project!

Loved making this special commission so much!
Ribbons, twine, special thread, flannel, vintage button, wool from a sweater I no longer wear, zipper that's never been used, home d├ęcor samples sorted by colour?
Check, check, checkity-check!

What about a specialty fabric for the lining? But, of course!

Plush lining as a special treat for little hands!

The Osnaburg? Yup, had that too.
As a quilter, did I need it?
Nope. I bought it because it called to me.
I know.
It's a thing.
Once in a blue moon I get a feeling about something. I've learned to trust that feeling, and just go with it when I can. It hasn't failed me yet.

The Process, in pictures:

Begin with something FUN!

Cut the shape

Prepare the "crazy" patches for the heel and toe (and sew them on)

Stitch the lining so it will last

Use that zipper!

LOVE this!

Time for the flower

Add a cuff, and put it all together

Send it off for a little girl's very first Christmas!

This may look delicate, but it's actually fairly bullet proof.
It's meant to be a functional stocking, so everything has been permanently glued, stitched and double stitched. Even the frayed fabric has been lightly coated with a sealer to prevent further disintegration. With reasonable care, this stocking should last for many years!

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

Try, Learn, & Grow!

Saturday, 9 December 2017

A Kaffe Adventure!

"Be Creative", she said . . . and my heart skipped a beat when I saw the quilt top.

"You got it!", said I . . . and off I skipped into Kaffe-land, with visions of fun times ahead!

The "before" shot!

My client is creatively fearless herself, so she'd appliqued black sashing strips between the blocks after the top was pieced, "to give it some POP". (Mission accomplished!)

Because the sashing strips vary in width in the most charming way (suits the playfulness of the quilt!), I quilted them with randomly sized pebbles for extra security, and to give a nod to the spotty theme of the prints.

Pebbles secured the sashing and extended the spotty theme of the prints into the quilting.

After ditching around the vases and bowls, and pebbling the sashing, I used black thread horizontally on the "tables" to help define them as such.

Quilted right through the shadows on the tables - shadows don't have substance in real life,
so I treated them the same way in the quilt.

Backgrounds were all stitched with vertical, wavy lines that wouldn't visually interfere with the prints, but would provide a directional change from the horizontal table-stitching.

"Before" quilting the background

If the vase (or bowl) was a "hot" colour, I quilted the background with "cool" coloured thread, and vice versa, in an attempt to help the pottery stand out a bit more.

"After" quilting the background

And, finally, the pottery!

I knew the quilting wouldn't show much on the front of the quilt, but it sure would on the solid coloured back, so I went with feathers!

Feathers fill the vases

Feathers gracefully fill awkward shapes in short order, too - which was definitely a consideration when deciding how to quilt the pottery. Some of the vases have fancy lids!

Feathers fit in practically any space!

See what I mean about the back? Gotta love all that quilt-y texture!

Sure can see the quilting from here!

On the table for trimming - sometimes it takes a few rulers to get things right!

Trimming the finished quilt.

And then it went home and my Kaffe adventure came to a close.

Bowl block

Being in a new space has disrupted my photo habits - I haven't quite figured out where the best light is - so I haven't been sharing as many client quilts as usual. Apologies to those who have been hoping to see their beautiful quilts posted here. Time to pull up my socks and do better! :-)

Linking up with:
Show Off Saturday @ SewCanShe where Caroline shares a super-cute idea for a quick quilt!

Try, Learn, & Grow!

Friday, 10 November 2017

From Reindeer to Picasso!

The Festival of Trees 2017 theme is "Sparkle of Hope". I thought I'd keep things light by featuring Rudolph and his nose - a sparkle of hope for children awaiting a visit from Santa!

Modified from a design by Linda Sullivan, published in McCall's Quick Quilts, January 2006
This is an adaptation of a table runner pattern I'd torn from a magazine some time ago. The original design featured three reindeer, but I wanted to make something smaller and more affordable for families to bid on in the silent auction, so pared it down to one. (The best one, of course!)

Also, I didn't actually have the pullout part of the pattern, so drew my Rudolph to look similar to the one in the magazine. Wingin' it, as usual!

I decided to add a bit more sparkle with foiled stars, but they looked a bit . . . unfinished . . . to my eye.

Foiled stars look a bit underwhelming at this point
Since I'd "sketchy stitched" the applique, I thought I'd take a risk and outline the foil in the same manner. I think it improved things. (Whew!)

Outlined and improved (in my opinion!)

Hope this little guy goes to a good home (and raises a few bucks - haha, bucks - for a good cause!)

"Waiting for Rudolph" is ready to donate.

I was home for a week, and then off to Saskatoon to help judge their biennial quilt show. With this judging experience, I now have enough credits to be eligible to take the final judge certification exam in June. Yay!

Because I was busy, I didn't take many pictures, but - oh man - just look at this crazy quilt!
It wasn't in my judging area so I didn't see it until the next day, but it sure caught my eye as I buzzed through the show. I HAD to go in for a closer look!

Modern Crazy Quilt, by Maxine South

Here's a picture of the tag, along with a glimpse of the type of hand work that covers the quilt's surface!

Loads of detailed hand work covers the surface of this quilt.

Its maker decided to tie the layers together - but you wouldn't know it unless you looked at the back.

Ties were only visible on the back of the quilt.

The Guild provided disposable gloves to every viewer as they entered the show. Mine came in handy (haha - hand-y! ~ Okay, it's official. I'm a goofball...~) a number of times, and I saw many others using theirs, too. What a clever way to encourage viewers to respect the quilts!

In addition to everything else, the Guild Market was quite impressive. Naturally there were a few things I simply couldn't resist! (OF COURSE I need three more pincushions...who wouldn't when they are this gorgeous!)

Treasures made by skilled hands

My fellow judge and travel companion, Elinor, presented a trunk show on Saturday morning. Here she is, mingling with some of the quilters who crowded in to admire her work.

Elinor Burwash and some of her quilts.

Always time for ART, of course!
Saskatoon has a spankin' new modern art gallery (Remai Modern), which happened to have a Picasso lino cut exhibit in one of its galleries. What luck!

Picasso at Remai

This newbie, wanna-be lino-printer smiled all the way through this exhibit!

Picasso - I wish there had been tags with the prints. I dubbed this row of prints, "descent into hell". Each print was more and more altered, down the line, until the final print looked like it could be the devil. Intriguing.

In fact, this exhibit sparked an idea for an upcoming challenge in my art quilting group. Woohoo!

I enjoyed seeing the change in Picasso's work over time (the exhibit was hung in chronological order). Here is a print from 1959:

Picasso, 17.10.59

And one from 1965:

Picasso, 12.9.65

Quite a change over time!

As always,

Try, Learn, & Grow!