Friday, 21 April 2017


Things are happening, but still we wait.
Anticipation is hard to manage at times. We are almost ready to move, and yet not.

I've been trying to Remain Calm and manage the list of Things Needing Attention. It's not easy to remain calm when everything is both urgent and important!

I've also been waiting for a new computer (I'm using it!!!) because my old one croaked, a longarm tool to help with a challenging project (it's here and I've started the project!), and a thread order (also here, as of today!) 

In the meantime, I've been finishing what I can on my quilty list of Very Important Tasks.

Finish #1
Today this little quilt went to its forever home.
It is an original design that I'd made in response to a Quilting Arts challenge some time ago. Yesterday I made the black "under quilt" to frame the image and give it more presence.

Canada Geese by Carole Gold

A quilted grid behind the geese provides structure so the piece will hang nicely, and random lines radiate out around the image. I think they complement the focal quilt without overwhelming it.

The back

The focal quilt is stitched in place using invisible thread around its perimeter, just inside the zigzagged edge.

12" x 12"

Finish #2
My guild has been invited to show Canadian-themed work at our local museum for the month of July.

I immediately pulled out some fabrics I'd previously discharged and imagined several possibilities. The piece I chose to work with has a cluster of leaves that look as if they are falling.

Oh Canada, by Carole Gold

I extended that idea with the quilting, using a jagged stipple around the leaves - and diagonal lines in behind - to imply movement. The idea of trees played out in the quilting of the brown frame.

Quilting close-up

Not in typical Canadian colours, but in my mind the piece fits the theme perfectly - and the leaves used in the discharge process came from my daughter's tree right here in Peace River. Can't get more Canadian than that!

Finish #3
Love it when a client says, "Go nuts!". ("But not too frou frou because it's for a guy.")
Challenge accepted!

Client quilt

Large, white circles were a blank canvas. As always, I began by ditching and stabilizing the quilt
(I've started pin basting in combination with ditching instead of thread basting, and I love it. Just as effective, but so much faster!)

Basting and ditching

Simple, strong lines look quite handsome, I think.

I treated this like a giant nine-patch and alternated the quilting designs. The quilting in the center block is identical to the quilting in each corner, and the remaining four blocks also match each other.

Client quilt

I really love how the light plays off the line work - it's almost mesmerizing!

Ribbon candy in the sashing added the final touch.

Finish #4
Another client quilt - squeezed in while waiting for my new longarm tool, this was a super-fast finish.

Sweet details in the applique add interest

Freehand loops and flowers filled the background, ditching and some whimsical details secured the applique, and boom! Done.

I also attached the binding so my client could get to the hand stitchery without delay. (I aim to please!)

Binding attached, ready for client to hand stitch

Here is (kind of) a Before photo of the quilt:

Before quilting

And here is an After shot of the same section:

After quilting!
Love it!

Finish #5
Attached a Precise Pantograph system to my machine so I can tackle a difficult panto.

Whoo boy, it is a challenge to do long, smooth, precise lines while moving such a distance.

This is a digital design that has been printed by the designer and sold as a pantograph. I think she has a streak of evil in her! Just Kidding! (not kidding...) (Please note - this is a reference to the panto's wicked level of difficulty, and is not intended as a personal comment at all!)

Trouble is, I am not a computer. I *think* it will give a decent effect even though it will NOT be computer perfect, so I'm going for it - but I sincerely hope my client can forgive the odd bobble! I am only human, after all!

Some of the lines are a quarter inch apart - gulp.

On the up side, I will be able to sit in my wheely chair to do pantographs on small-ish quilts from now on! (not large ones, though. The apparatus would get in the way, so off it will come.) Anything that reduces sore feet is a plus in my book!

Back to waiting...
We are also waiting for spring, so I brought home some tulips to make the waiting easier. Just because. :-)

Linking up with:
Whoop Whoop Friday @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Free Motion Mavericks @ Lizzie Lenard Vintage Sewing
TGIFF @ Charly & Ben's Crafty Corner
Finish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts
Show off Saturday @ Sew Can She

Try, Learn, & Grow!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Fast Work, "It Worked!", and More Work ahead


My notes for this quilt said, "Do whatever it needs" - loose custom.

Translation: make it look good, but don't spend too much time on it!

Client quilt

First, I ditched the idea of ditching, opting to do only one round inside the black border, and no more. (Just enough to stabilize the quilt, along with pin basting.)

I then chose fillers that were fast and hit close to the seams to help nail them down.

client quilt

A triangle filler I'd learned from Angela Walters worked perfectly in these giant geese!

The back looks really cool! It caught my eye as I folded the quilt after trimming.

Here is the top BEFORE quilting:

Client quilt, BEFORE

And here it is AFTER quilting:

(oops! fold marks will disappear once the quilt is washed!)

Client quilt, AFTER

And, done. :-)

It worked! 
My lino cut experiment (started in this post) has become a small art quilt!

When I carved my block, I imagined the horse overlooking a water scene. As it happens, I'd done some indigo dyeing last summer and had the perfect fabric for my idea.

Water challenge in progress

After printing and painting, the fabric looked promising.
The challenge became one of integrating the printed block into the rest of the scene.

First, I divided the space into pleasing proportions, with the lake becoming the intended focal point. Collaged squares and rectangles repeat the shapes of the quilt and print block, unifying the print with the rest of the piece. A little quilting helped to set the scene.

You Can Lead a Horse to Water, by Carole Gold
Here is the statement that goes with the piece:

You Can Lead a Horse to Water
The appearance of poisonous weeds in the foreground is a hint that more may be happening under the surface of the seemingly placid water. Or perhaps they are just weeds.

Warning - deep thoughts ahead!
As I worked, I was thinking of the toxicity of textile production on our water system - which is also why I incorporated "rescued" upholstry fabric as collaged elements to try and reduce wasting what was "costly" to produce. Blue is the most toxic dye colour to produce, yet to us it represents the sparkle of fresh water. These thoughts found their way into the piece and its statement, as did the idea that the situation is easy to ignore because textile manufacturing tends to happen on the other side of the world. Maybe the water is fine. (and as a quilter, ironically, I know I'm part of the problem...)

Also Fresh off the Frame

Client quilt - Whirlpool panto (reminds me of wind - perfect for pinwheels!)
I couldn't decide which picture to add of the next quilt - the floating illusion is so cool! - so I added two.

Client quilt - Ripples panto (something swirly!)

Client quilt - sorry for the fold lines! It's lovely and flat, and the floating illusion is super!

House Update
We are on the home stretch (ha! "home" stretch!) with the new place, and anticipate starting our move at the end of the month. ONE MONTH!!!

Okay, deep breath. deeep breath....

Client quilts (and related paperwork) will move directly into a designated studio closet where they will be safe while the rest of the household is moved. Their care will be my priority, as always.

I'm still happily accepting quilts from people, with the understanding that quilting will be put on pause for a couple of weeks at the beginning of May.

Nest, awaiting an occupant?

I'm probably going to regret ignoring the need to pack until the last minute, but that's my plan.

We will be moving everything ourselves, so it's going to drag on longer than it would if we hired someone  - BUT - it just seems too ridiculous to pay a couple of thousand dollars to move one block away!

We've done this before, and can do it again.

Try, Learn, & Grow!