Thursday, March 3, 2016

Throwback Thursday: Frostbite

I saw this little lap quilt or wallhanging in a quilt shop in a mall in Lethbridge, Alberta, in 2003 or 2004.  Too cute!  Too unique! Sold! I bought the pattern, and the fabrics right there and then to create my own, which I finished in September 2004.  I have mainly used it as a perched-on-the-top-of-the-couch quilt.
The pine cones are ones I've found on my walks with Rocco around the 'hood. They come like that with the white tips!  They're on huge pine trees, trees with 14" long needles! I think they are Slash Pines, and native to this area, abundant before the Europeans came and messed with things...why do white men always need to mess with things... nvm I'll just stick with my white snowmen for now.
And thus began a love affair with wool appliqué, and wool felting.  I made a couple of table centre mats out of wool, and then designed one of my own.  I kitted and taught the class for the one I designed at a Professional Development Day for teachers back when sessions on personal wellness were on offer.  When I left teaching, only sessions pertinent to subject area and education-related were allowed (insert grouchy face).

Back to frost bitten snowman faces.  It's been folded up in the closet for more than a year, so excuse the wrinkles.  Most of my Christmas quilts are here in Florida, so since we stayed home in Kingsville for Christmas this year, it didn't get used. Insert sad face.
Isn't it just the cutest? Get it? Frost bite?
I hand-appliquéd all the snowman heads with a blanket stitch using #8 coton perlé in black.  I used real bandaids and machine-blanket-stitched them on!  The noses are appliquéd with a running stitch.  This was my first experience with brushed cottons.  I FMQ-ed the snowflakes on the snowman heads.
I wish the sparkle and shimmer of the thread showed up better
All the quilting is done with Sulky Holoshimmer thread on my Bernina. For the line of snowflakes under the appliquéd letters, I think I drew the line down the centre, and marked the centre of the snowflakes with a vertical line, and then just went for it.

Under the Ott-Lite, trying to show the stitching in the border
This is before Leah Day and Angela Walters and all the online fabulous resources. I did have Kathy Sandbach's book for inspiration, however.  I didn't have a clue how to do swirls, but I wanted swirls of wind look in the borders and bigger fancier snowflakes so hopefully you can kind of see them in the photo above. I drew the horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines of the snowflakes, then FMQ-ed them and the little swoops around each one.  I did a jigsaw-style meander in the block backgrounds.

The back.  I sewed pieces together for down the side edge as the one piece of brushed cotton wasn't quite wide enough, and sewed the label into that strip as part of the backing.  I also put a sleeve on it as I do hang it sometimes.

Close-up of label
Hmm, didn't have a lot to say on the label really did I?!
It's really snuggly and soft.

Afterthought to the photo below:  I realized the morning after writing this post, so the day it published, that right around the finishing of this quilt, in September, 2004, my life was not exactly taking a right angle turn per se, but was getting to the right angle turn with a bit of a sharp curve...  What I mean is that Dayna, age 16, went to Houston TX in August 2004 with her good friend for 2.5 weeks (that's a story for another time) and during that trip got taken to Anna Maria Island, FL, for a few days.  That sparked our first family "fancy" vacation (actually flying somewhere, not camping) to stay in that very same condo on Anna Maria Island at Christmas that year.  Here I am, 11 and a bit years after that fateful life-changing vacation, photographing the quilt, that now lives in Florida... Love it when the fibers tell stories.

I think it's kind of funny that I'm photographing it on green grass today, so I had to take a shade shot by one of our palm trees:
The quilt measures 44.5 X 50.5"

That's a new bed that MacGyver spent a good chunk of his day digging and planting.  He put a couple of new things in there and in an extension of the front bed he did last week.  He says digging in this soil is a dream: it's pretty much pure sand.  He moved the jasmine and bromeliads from the front to this side bed.

Interesting that I'm currently working on a wool appliqué project!  This is being blanket-stitched appliquéd too, with coton perlé #8 in ivory.  It is inspired by a quilt I saw hanging at a Creative Stitches Show I went to not long after the snowman quilt was either done or in the works.  I sketched it from my head (no smart phone quick snaps then) when I got home.  I have been on the hunt for a couple of years to find the right shade of white/ivory wool to felt.  I finally found some in Guildcrafters in Detroit last summer.

Note the Crinum lily behind the quilt.  It blooms all year and is HUGE and smells DIVINE!  I call it a Jurassic Park lily, ha.  Such interesting and different southern flora compared to northern...
It takes a good 45-50 minutes to drive to yoga in Sarasota, so I can get one petal stitched on the way up and another on the way back home.  Don't worry: I'm not stitching and driving! LOL

I had to wait until things calmed down a bit around here to take these photos.  I was dog-sitting while Brandy's human, John, was at a Spring Training ball game with MacGyver.  Not a lot of sewing got done, needless to say, but we did all soak up some rays while I read my book and had my tea!
Panting pibbles, cooling their tummies on the tile
We girls (well Rocco may as well be a girl, he can be such a little princess) had a good afternoon together!

Linking up with Jen at A Quarter Inch From the Edge.  Lots of blasts from the past with great stories, so be sure to pop over there.


  1. Oh, the Frostbite quilt is so cute. I really like your flowers quilt, too. So pretty.

  2. Oh, Rocco looks spent. I think Miss Brandy must have given him a run for his money. I can only image how much fun those two pibbles had. Smiles everywhere! Frosbite looks so warm and cuddly, a quilt I could definitely use today. I love how all little snowmen faces are looking at the poor guy in the center. Just curious, did the pattern call for the band aids or was that a very cool idea you thought of? And I love the quilting. I like how you mixed the swirls with the snowflakes. Makes me think of the big fat flakes as they drift toward the ground. And those poor snowmen, they are so frostbitten that even the warm Florida sunshine cannot melt them :) Did you have to say you were not driving and sewing at the same time. I was getting quite a chuckle trying to imagine that and being a bit envious if you could actually pull it off.

  3. Real bandaids! You are a wild one! This is a perfect winter wall hanging. No need for it to be packed up once Christmas is done. Thanks for linking up with Throwback Thursday @ A Quarter Inch from the Edge!

  4. Love the quilts. Not sure I "get it" duh.
    Love those petals on the quilt!!!!! And my brother-in-law did a great job on the beds....that lily! Mmmmm!
    Oh Rocco ❤ oh Brandy ❤

  5. Frost Bite is so cute and unique. Love all nine noses. And your new quilt is lovely too.

  6. It's so funny seeing your frostbitten snowman in the Florida sunshine. The bandaids are hilarious! I think you are a trendsetter with the FMQ--and I can see it just fine in your pictures. Must be that Florida sun. And who knew you'd have to go to Florida to get "frost" tipped pine cones? Your flower petal quilt is so pretty. I'm glad you were able to find the color you were looking for. I'm glad to know you have a chauffeur for your yoga trips. I've seen people do a lot of crazy things while driving... Keep having fun in the south. But I must admit I'll be glad to hear you're on your way back north. It will mean spring is on the way!

  7. Love the look of wool, can't touch the stuff which I could when I see something as lovely as your flower quilt. Those snowmen with especially with the real bandaids are adorable. Glad to hear your not stitching and driving, on our way to London I saw a woman eating yogurt and driving on the 401.

  8. The snowmen are adorable. Although I'd be happy never to see another snowman. It's good that you can still get to a yoga class in Florida.

  9. Well at least these snowmen won't melt down there in the beautiful sunshine!! Hey your warm weather didn't arrive yet can you please try sending it again, LOL

  10. Well at least these snowmen won't melt down there in the beautiful sunshine!! Hey your warm weather didn't arrive yet can you please try sending it again, LOL

  11. I've popped over from Throwback Thursday to say hello! Love your snowmen. They have such personality! Your flower quilt is just gorgeous!


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