Saturday, November 23, 2013

Paper and Stitch

This is how my cutting table looked the other day.

Every type of paper was piled there, the result of playing around with a paper and stitch technique I learned at a workshop with Catherine Nicholls.  Okay, I figured I might as well finish the bookmark that I started in the class.  Here is the end result along with a close up of the hand stitching.

I learned you have to be very careful where you place your stitch.  Unlike fabric, once the hole is in the paper, it's there to stay. 

Along with the bookmark, we were challenged to put together a concertina or accordion book incorporating what we had learned.  Okay here is what I started with; cardstock that was 3" wide and about 12" long, painted paper out of the pile you saw above; magazine clippings and of course thread.  I folded the cardstock so that it created space for 5 pages plus the front and back cover.  Like this:

I wanted to add some texture to the backs of the covers so I used some fancy coloured napkins and kinda smushed them around in the glue.  That got covered with a flower cut out of an old paper place mat.  It looks like this.

Picture isn't very clear, but you can see the texture I was trying to get.  I would have liked to get a better result but it works.  Then came the pages for the booklet.  I chose to include pictures of spring bulbs I had planted in the garden.

Each of the pages were backed with various quotes or phrases relating to spring, for example one read "Spring is nature's way of saying 'Let's party!' - Robin Williams" .  So in the end, this is what the little book looks like.
Front Cover
Opened out
Close up of some pages
There you have it.  Amazing what a little bit of paper, glue and stitchery can produce.  Now I'm off to clean up and try something else again.  Till the next time.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A design element - A line or two

"Design Elements", now there's a phrase that could strike fear in the hearts of a few quilt artists.  That is what our little art subgroup from the Guild decided would be the focus of our studies this year.  No, no we are not talking about the elements listed on a science periodic table.  We're talking about those little building blocks used to create some spectacular quilts.

The first "element" we discussed was "line".  Rather than define it here, you can read about it in Design Explorations for The Creative Quilter by Katie Pasquini Masopust, and The Visual Dance by Joen Wolfrom, to name a few.

Instead, below is what I found to complete our Guild art group's exercise representing "line";  show examples of vertical, diagonal, horizontal and curved lines.

I found examples in previous photos I had taken and armed with my trusty camera, I searched the neighbourhood for more examples, and came up with these:
These aspen tree trunks were a good example of vertical lines.
On close inspection of a mushroom picked out of the lawn, check out the lines of the cap.
These leafless branches, could be reproduced in stitching also representing line. 

Then of course there were these curved examples. 

And lastly here is the diagonal line I found. See the fencing along the driveway?
So where does all this fit into quilting?  Hmmm...I wondered that too.  I thought that "line" as a design element could be a thin doodle, a thick strong curve, or a jagged line.  It is when you consider the numerous lines used in free motion quilting.
However line can also be a visual orientation.  For example, if you want to portray the height of a tree, a tall rectangular orientation emphasizes the linear aspect of the tree rather than a square
What other examples of LINE can you come up with?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Borders and more borders

If you are stopping by during the Canadian Quilt Blogathon, welcome.  Take a breather, put your feet up and sit a spell.  Have a look around and when you are done, stop and visit some of the other Canadian quilt blogs here in British Columbia.  You've got the whole week.

It took a while, but I finally managed to cut up some fabric that I bought a number of years ago and made a start on a quilt that utilizes pieced borders to dress up the focus fabric.  Here is a picture was I mean.
The picture is not that great, but you get the idea don't you?  There are three blocks there.  From left to right, there is a Seminole border, a checkerboard border and a star border.  These will eventually join 7 other blocks and are set randomly into a quilt. 

Now I'm off to finish up some "Paper and Stitch" project for our "Group of Seven Stitchers".

Monday, November 11, 2013

Remembering our Veterans

On this special day of remembrance,

I wear a little poppy,
As red as red can be
To show that I remember
Those who fought for me.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Spring Remembrance

While reading a gardening magazine, I made an amazing discovery.  Yes I enjoy other pastimes besides patchwork.  Anyway, back to the gardening magazine.  I was looking for different bulbs that I could plant in order to have a riot of colour in the spring.  The following picture caught my eye.

Next to it was the following caption:

LEST WE FORGET:  Plant "Prinses Irene" tulips this Remembrance Day to honour Canadian veterans.  These vibrant orange flowers were created in the Netherlands to thank Canadian soldiers for their efforts in the Second World War.  Streaks of purple appear on the petals in the shape of the maple leaf. -- J.E. (cited from "Inspiring ideas for Everyday Living", November 2010, p 24)

What a wonderful way of remembering our veterans on days other than Remembrance Day.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Some new acquisitions

At my local Guild meeting there was an announcement that the LQS was closing its doors.  The lease had expired and the owner had leased the building to someone else.  Let me just say, isn't that a bit unfair? Isn't it good form to ask the current tenant if they wish to renew the lease?  But I digress.

As it turns out this means shopping at bargain basement prices.  The discounts being offered at the LQS started at 50% and went as high as 75%.  So I opened up my wallet, checked for disposable income and ended up coming home with these lovely goodies.

A Block of the Month series from Piece O' Cake Designs.  All 12 patterns were in the large plastic envelope.
Some wonderful reading material 
and some additional supplies for embroidery.

Great way to support the local economy, don't you think?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How time flies...

when you are having fun.  Isn't that how the expression goes?  Working through my colour study course, I hadn't realized how much time had past since I last posted.  Despite being totally immersed in colour, I've had a wonderful time.  I now view colour in an entirely different light.  You saw exercises I did regarding value in a previous post and monoprinting.  Along with those we explored tints, tones, shades and various colour schemes.  Here are a couple of colour scheme examples from my sketchbook.
We experimented with colour proportion by examining pictures of nature and the world around us.   All in all it was a wonderful course, and all from the comfort of my home.  You can check out the various course offerings at the Gail Harker Center for Creative Arts, here.
I also had the opportunity to explore my new community and discovered a thriving quilt guild here.  Their website is here.  I joined this friendly group, was given a "new member" button, instructions to help me make the Guild's standard name tag and an invitation to get together with a member of long standing that would act as a "buddy".  Nice to meet you Nancy!  I managed to complete my name tag in time for the meeting tomorrow.  Here is what it looks like.
Oh and let's not forget that along with six others I have also been studying with Catherine Nicols, where we have been learning various different techniques to add to our artistic toolbox.  We've covered such things as the elements of designpointillism, and paper & stitch to enhance our work, and there is still more to come.  In the meantime, I'll leave you with a picture of one of the samples I created from Catherine's class.

Like I mentioned, time flies when you are having fun.  Till the next time, stitch creatively.