Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Art Quilt Campus 2017

Working shoulder to shoulder with other art quilters is usually inspiring and motivating, and this year's AQC group did not disappoint! Amazingly creative people gathered from across Canada for a chance to share in this camaraderie, and it was a beautiful thing. :)

Anna Hergert facilitated the experience, and I'm grateful to have been a participant in this "invitation only" event.
(Follow this link to Anna's blog for photos of various goings on!)

St. Peter's Abbey - our home away from home for the week. (I took this photo last year - we had sunnier skies this year!)
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Out of respect, I kept my camera pointed at my own work. Unfortunately, my project is currently in "stealth mode", but rest assured - I'll blab about it later!

In the meantime, I'll share some pictures I made after Anna introduced the idea of  Nalanda Miksang photography.

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Anna led an exercise in recognizing "Moments of Perception".

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Right up my alley!

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I had fun making abstract compositions for the rest of the week!

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Light and shadows, reflection and glow, lines and angles, oh my!

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I felt something click in my brain when I read the Miksang book I'd borrowed from Anna.

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I could feel myself moving from "documenting" to "art making".

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It matters not what the subject is, but what we see when noticing those moments of perception.

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Moments are fleeting - there, and gone - as the light changes.

Rather like life.

It's up to us to grab those beautiful moments before they disappear!


Fresh off the Frame

We are 100% moved and I'm pleased to announce that my new studio is officially up and running, full speed ahead!


Youth Challenge - 2nd Place Winner!

I'm pleased to report that my granddaughter's quilt won second place in the judged competition for her age group!

The P R Bridge, by Laina
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The challenge theme was "Your Place in Canada", and the challenge fabric was the red batik Laina used for her speedboat.

Congratulations on your accomplishment, Laina!!!

Try, Learn, & Grow!
Carole

Friday, 14 July 2017

"Down and Dirty" Custom Quilting

My client requested quilting around - rather than over top of - the curved block centers. This idea spearheaded the entire quilting plan.

I'd originally decided to outline the centers with stitch, but hated the look of the first one. Instead I decided to use fillers to pop them up.

Much better!

Swirls and wavy lines in this block...
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To keep the budget in check, there is no ditching in the quilt AT ALL.

Instead, the quilting fills the space right up to, or over, the seams so they are effectively secured. I call this approach to custom quilting, Down and Dirty! (aka - Fast and FUN!)

Alternating swirls and pebbles in the blocks added interest - swirly designs seemed to work with the space theme of the quilt!

Pebbles in the next...and so on!
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Even though the quilting in each block varies, framing all of them with wishbones makes them feel like they belong together!

Swirls and wishbones from the blocks are repeated in the borders - larger in scale - but they further unify the parts of the quilt.

Repeating motifs in a different scale adds a sense of unity
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Simple S-curves were used in the striped sashing...they are impossible to see from the front of the quilt - but they're there, I promise!

Quilt back
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BEFORE QUILTING

Ready to quilt
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FRESH OFF THE FRAME

Finished!
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Try, Learn, & Grow!
Carole

Friday, 7 July 2017

Are We There Yet?

About the Move

We borrowed a trailer (Thank you, Dayna!!!) and moved our furniture in a day (Thank you Brandt and Chad!!!), but we're still working on moving everything else.

My days go something like this:
*sort - pack - load stuff - transport stuff - unload stuff - make/eat supper - unpack stuff - repeat*

This is the worst possible way to move. I'd rather sort and pack in advance, and move everything in one fell swoop - preferably with someone else doing the heavy lifting. However, our experience with moving companies last summer (when we helped our son move, twice) was not good, so here we are.

Guess what we moved first??? (was there any doubt? ha!)

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Even though it sat idle for a month, it pleased me to have it set up and ready to go.

Fresh off the Frame

As anticipated, I DO love having the studio directly connected to the house! Even in the midst of our (never-ending) move, I'm able to step into the studio and quilt whenever I have a few spare minutes - oh, ya!!!

Client quilt
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My client made this for her (soon-to-be-born) grandbaby, which prompted me to add heart details in the quilting.

Bubbles!
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Pink thread on the white fabric (and vice versa) helped them be more visible.

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Super cute!

Are We There Yet?

I'd say we are about 65% moved. Still a few basement rooms to cull, and gardening supplies/outdoor furniture to round up. And a shed to clear. (We have a dumpster in the driveway for a reason. Ha!)

Our new place is about 95% completed. Our closet organizers are not in place yet, so we are temporarily living out of suitcases and boxes. There's a tiny bit of work to finish in the basement and on the exterior of the house, but things move forward every day.

So, we aren't "there" yet, but it won't be much longer until we are completely settled!

In the meantime, I think I'll load another quilt. :)

Try, Learn, & Grow!
Carole

Monday, 29 May 2017

To Deep Water and New Adventures!

Up until now, I've managed to quilt calmly instead of worrying about our impending move - but today I finished the last stitches before we go. And now . . .

. . . It's officially Time to Freak Out! (So much for being Zen! ha!)

The push is on to complete the exterior - we are still waiting for our stone to arrive, but there are other things to do.
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It's down to the wire now.

My list for this week includes finding bathroom mirrors and hardware (like TP holders and towel rods), configuring storage in the closets, planning window coverings, and cleaning the dirt, dust and fingerprints from every surface in the new place.

Just need heat registers and some (blinds? drapes?)
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OH, and gardening. There is a pressing need to tidy our current garden - the darn weeds wait for no one.

Add in a trip to Edmonton to help judge the Festival of Quilts and you can see I've jumped in the deep end again. (Glub, glub! Why must everything happen at once?)

Bonus room over the garage = future bunk room for visiting grandkids!
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For my own sanity, I've decided there will be No Packing until after my Edmonton trip.
(Unless I pack my studio? Surely I could sneak that in! Ha!)

Studio-to-be!
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Fresh off the Frame
It's rather happy/sad that these are the last quilts I'll ever do in my current studio.

Modern Twist panto on a "jelly roll race"
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I'm looking forward to my new space, but it will be hard to say goodbye to this one - I've loved it so.

(Here is a 2014 post introducing my space  - it has remained much the same, except that my missing Gnome reappeared about a year ago! A happy ending to the mystery of his disappearance!)

Tweet Tweet panto
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My new studio will be easier for clients to access, and all of my sewing tools and equipment will be in the same place - what a treat that will be!

Birds repeat up and down the border - a pretty view!
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Except, I will have a "cutting room" in the basement, with tables always ready for trimming quilts.
That will be handy, too!

Kandinsky panto on a baby quilt that looks like modern art!
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I have no idea where I'll take quilt-y photos, but I'll figure something out.

A Little Bit This panto
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And this is it. The last quilt from the Gnome House.

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It will be an emotional goodbye when we lock up for the last time. Not only are we leaving the home in which we raised our children, we are leaving the trees we planted over the years.

Maybe it's crazy to miss trees, but they illustrate the story of our lives. Old friends planted at key times - like the blue spruce that is the same age as our granddaughter, and the crabapple that was the first living thing on a bare plot of land. I will miss our beautiful trees.

Our 20 year old crabapple tree bloomed like crazy this year! It was the first thing we planted on this property.
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We built this place with love and sweat, and I'll probably shed a few tears when we go, but a new adventure awaits!

Exciting and new!
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And, there will be plenty of love (and sweat equity!) in the new place, too.

And, eventually, plenty of trees.

Try, Learn, & Grow!
Carole

Monday, 15 May 2017

The Zen of Moving, and Other Stories

UFO Rescue Mission!
I had nothing - NOTHING - to take for my Guild's Sewing Saturday last weekend. (Really!)

Honestly, my choices were limited by self imposed restrictions.
  • Some projects are awkward to cart around (so...no),
  • I refuse to drag too much *stuff* with me, and
  • I never take something that requires too much concentration, 'cause a girl's gotta be able to socialize!
Of course I decided to pack at midnight the night before, so I turned to my UFO pile in desperation.
Found a little gem I'd forgotten about!


"Sunshine and Vines" challenge UFO
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It started life as a challenge project in 2013, but was abandoned - with only fleeting regret - when my husband booked an unexpected holiday to Mexico! (Our second, ever, holiday without our kids - See ya, deadline!)

I was so close to the finish line - the thing was already sandwiched and ready to quilt. Perfect for a Sewing Saturday project! All I needed to pack were my machine and some black thread!

I didn't quite finish on Saturday, but it's close. I'll keep you posted! :-)

Fresh off the Frame
I sooo love "frame shots" of quilts in progress. A person can really see the quilting when the light is right!
Petal Pushers panto in progress
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It was a gloomy, rainy week, but this cheery client quilt certainly brightened things up!

Client quilt
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My next client chose a warm, earthy palette - and it is gorgeous. The black lends a sophisticated touch, and effectively highlights the showy print featured in the quilt.

Client quilt
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Piecing on the back also shows off that beautiful print.

Quilt back
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A passing illness derailed my quilting plans for a few days, but I'm feeling better this week. Onward and upward!

House Update
Here's a peek into my studio through the door that separates it from the rest of the house. Oh, my gosh! I was so scared of the colour, but I *LOVE* it!!!

New studio colour!
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It's all about paint, plumbing, and light fixtures at the moment. (We now have working sinks and toilets - so exciting!)

Front entry fixture, newly installed!
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'Scuse the mess! Counters and flooring are still covered for protection, and there are details that still need finishing, but it's starting to come together!  (Yep, the fireplace wall is purple!!!)

Kitchen pendants, also newly installed!
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Things are happening outside, too.

Hardie board going up!
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I'm still not packing, but I'm not worried.
Things will unfold as they should, when they should.

In the meantime, I'll continue quilting until it's time to move. And then I will move. ;-)
(To everything - turn, turn, turn...)


Try, Learn, & Grow!
Carole

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Quilting Feline Friends

Simple borders and a panel came together to make a truly striking quilt.

Client quilt
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I forgot to take a proper "before" photo, so this will have to do - the borders were ditched, but the panel wasn't started.

"Before" quilting the panel
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A moment of uncertainty struck as I pondered what to stitch, and what to leave. In the end I decided to outline everything. Including those teeny, tiny bees! (How could I not?)

Starting to outline the images
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Accuracy was important on the cats' faces and on the insects, but on the flowers and leaves I deliberately "missed" a tiny bit to add a sketchy sense of movement.

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To make the red frame puff out, I quilted a pretend frame around it. I like how the flower on the left overlaps the pretend frame, yet is separated by it.

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This view shows the panel after quilting. I left the red frames unquilted so they would puff up and help highlight the cats.

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Since a variety of designs were used in the panel, I felt free to have fun in the borders, too!

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My client says it is Purr-fect! (Which made my day on so many levels!) :-D

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


Try, Learn & Grow!
Carole
P.S. To see more of my photos, look me up on Instagram under my blog name, freshofftheframe

Sunday, 30 April 2017

How Do I Quilt This?

The eternal question . . .

In this case, my client requested that I secure the applique and give it some definition. She also mentioned that she loves feathers, which is very helpful information to have!

Client quilt (the "BEFORE" shot!)
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I really liked the nature of the background piecing and wanted to highlight it without over-quilting. (Dense quilting here would equal dense quilting everywhere - not my intent with this one!)

It occurred to me that my StrataVarious Quilts book might offer quilting ideas, and it did! A directional, jagged zigzag would be perfect.


Applique stitched, background zigzagged
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The blocks changed from light to dark as I worked my way down, so I changed thread three times to match the tone of the fabrics. To create smoother transitions, I pulled the darker thread up a notch into the lighter blocks on the right side of the flower stalk.

Once the center was done, there were still three large borders to fill.

The two inside borders needed something showy, whereas quilting in the outside border would virtually disappear.

Border one, feathers head to the left
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Large, whimsical feathers begged to be stitched!
I thought they suited the scale and character of the applique, so - full speed ahead!

Somewhere along the way, I even decided to fill the second border with the same feathers!


Border two, feathers head to the right
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Pointing the feathers in opposite directions added movement and interest, and kept them from running together into a visual blob.

Client quilt in progress
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Inspiration struck for the final border about the time I finished the second round of feathers.

Leaves in the print made me think of the jagged stipple I'd recently done on one of my art pieces. I knew it would do the trick here, too! It relates back to the jagged stitching in the center of the quilt without drawing undue attention.

Jagged stipple filled the final border
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Here is the Ta Dahhhh moment . . .
Fresh off the Frame!

94" x 100"
quilting by FreshofftheFrame.com

Imagine how beautiful this will look on a bed. It will be quite Spectacular!

Quilting by FreshofftheFrame.com

Linking up With:
Show off Saturday @ Sew Can She


Try, Learn, & Grow!
Carole
P.S. To see more of my pictures on Instagram, look for my blog name freshofftheframe