Tuesday, December 30, 2014

More postcards

In a previous post I mentioned that I had joined the Snowflake Postcard exchange hosted by Brandy Lynn of Canadian Quilt Talk Radio.  Well this is what I found in the mailbox after trudging through the snow.
This one is from Gemma in New Jersey,

and this one came all the way from Australia from Judy.

Aren't they wonderful?  But that's not all.  I got a surprise I was not expecting.  A Christmas postcard from my Tangled Textile friend, Judy.  Isn't it a beauty?

I wish I could get a closer picture.  The "rays" are delicate gold threads that have been couched in place, and the star itself is crazy patched.  Lovely!  

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Silent Night! Holy Night!

May this season bring you warmth, joy, the companionship of friends and family, and a peace of spirit.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Snowflakes galore

I recently participated in a Snowflake Postcard exchange through Brandy Lynn at Canadian Quilt Talk Radio.  I posted about the ones I made here.  I have received some of the five I exchanged in return.  Look...

This one is from Missy in Alberta

and this one is from Anne, also in Alberta.

This one came from Brandy Lynn

I suspect the other two, one from New Jersey, the other from Australia, will be along shortly.

Last minute gifts

I just finished up some last minute gifts and because the recipients don't browse the internet, I can show them to you here.

These two potholders are going to a family friend.  Aren't they just "chicky"?

Not my design though.  They were a little pattern gifted at a recent retreat.  The pattern came from a shop in Pritchard, British Columbia.  The shop (Diversity Quilting) doesn't have a web presence, but it's the neatest little shop in the woods, off the beaten path, and the owner Dianne is always welcoming.

These place mats are going to that same family friend this afternoon.  I have another set (still need the binding) for my neighbour who is always ready to help with anything related to keeping my gardening hardware and vehicles in good running order, and who is always available for a trip to the local fish and chip restaurant.

Hope your last minute gifts are at the finished stage and ready for wrapping!

Monday, December 22, 2014

A concert and signature

Back in January of this year, I revealed my Tangled Textiles challenge piece for the MUSIC theme.  I posted about it here and here.

Well last week Mr. Mills had a concert here in my home town.  I had tickets and you guessed it, I took my little quilt with me to see if he would sign it.

The concert was fantastic!  It was just as advertised..."An Intimate Evening with Frank Mills."  He spent the evening playing the piano and talking about the various periods of his career.  As with most concerts, there was an opportunity to purchase some of his CDs.  Those were doing a brisk business even before the concert began.

At the end of the concert there was an opportunity to have Mr. Mills sign CDs so I took a chance.  I managed to remember to bring along a fabric pen and stood ready.

This picture was taken just before he signed my quilt
This one was while he signed it.  I was so nervous (don't know why) that the picture turned out blurry but you can just make out the quilt in the lower portion of the picture.  (apologies for the very poor quality.)

and here is the final result.  Definitely a keeper!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Decorating done

Well the tree is up

the Nutcrackers are at attention

a miniature village has sprouted 

everything is just about ready.  Just a few more items to finish off and just in time too.  How are your holiday preparations coming along?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My wonderful mailbox!

Quiltmaker recently held a Blog Tour announcing the next volume of Quiltmaker 100 Blocks Vol. 10.  The tour included introduction to some of the designers of the blocks along with giveaways.   Look what came in the mail today!  This box...
 which I opened to find this on the top of the box.  I won!!!
After removing the paper, OH ME OH MY look at the yummy goodies.  This fabric bundle and key chain purse from P&B Textiles;
this bright fresh fabric bundle from Moda Fabrics;
and this book from Annie's Quilting to use with the Accuquilt Go and pattern from Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting.
But wait...that's not all.  There was also this bundle of Quiltmaker's 100 blocks all tied up neatly with a bow.  Look....from Vol 1 through to Vol 10!  That's 1000 blocks!!
Oh...it's time to grab a cup of tea and sit down to fondle the fabric and browse the magazines.  Till the next time...

Monday, December 1, 2014

Postcards for an Exchange

Brandi-Lynne Maslowski of Canadian Quilt Talk radio is hosting a postcard exchange. Theme of the exchange is SNOWFLAKES.   Sign up is now closed unfortunately, but today we are sending in photos of our completed postcards.  Here are mine.

I chose what I think is an "icy" colour scheme; rather appropriate given the theme, don't you think?
Here's a closer look.

Even the background fabric fits the theme!  LOL!  I'll get the addresses of the folks that are going to receive these lovely beauties in a couple of days.

I had so much fun making these, I think I'll put a few more together.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Process Reveal Day

Well it's finally done!  If you've been following this blog you know that I've been working on several things, but most recently a piece for Tangled Textiles.

Here it is.  Dad's Spirit Pillow.

Briefly, there is Celtic knotwork representing birch, cedar and willow; hand embroidery of wheat, and thread stitched cedar bows.  The maple leaf was from a friend who tried several different renditions for a project she was working on.  she chose not to use this one and gave it to me.

You can read more about the full process of this piece at the Tangled Textiles site.

Friday, November 21, 2014

A forest of pins

I've been busy trying to complete my challenge piece for Tangled Textiles.   I had written about the process here and here and here.  I've added some embroidery and done some cedar boughs with free motion stitching.  I just need to wash away the stabilizer on the cedar boughs.
I had already done some of these, but forgot to pin the boughs down.  I ended up with a jumble of thread.  Each needle on the bough had to be pinned down.  Looks like a forest of pins, doesn't it?

Reveal day is November 24th so I still have a day or two left.  The quilting and binding still need to be done.  I'd best get going.  Stop by to see the end result.

Friday, November 14, 2014

It's early but

there's no time like the present to make a few small ornaments that can be given to brighten a hospital room or senior's care home.  Amazing what one can come up with using a few equilateral triangles, some folds, and some beads.
 Sew the folded, beaded triangles together and you end up with a little Christmas tree, like this.

Still need to add the trunk and pot.  Additional beads will be strung where the asterisks are in the picture to represent ornaments.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lest We Forget

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place: and in the sky
The larks still bravely singing fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead: Short days ago,
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved: and now we lie
In Flanders fields!

Take up our quarrel with the foe
To you, from failing hands, we throw
The torch: be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die,
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields

---Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A visit with Australian fabric

I belong to a group called "Quilters Without Borders".  When we meet we study the quilting aesthetic of other countries.  Our initial two meetings dealt with Japan.  Our last meeting (and I suspect this next one coming) dealt with Australia.

We are invited to create something that relates to what we have studied and invited to bring it to the following meeting to share.  Well of course this meant that I just had to go and add to my stash with some wonderful Australian fabric.

After doing some studying with mirrors,

I cut up the fabric into 60 degree diamonds and came up with this.

This was based on an aboriginal story about seven sisters, hence the pattern.  The Australian fabric I used have depictions of  waterholes and footprints which I thought fit with the legend.  There were enough diamonds left over that I created this little table topper too.

Now I'm off to work on my Tangled Textiles piece.

Till the next time...
"Do or do not; there is no try"-- Yoda

Monday, October 13, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I've been busy checking out the various blogs that I follow and came across several that were included in the Around the World Blog Hop.  Gina over at Clay and Fiber one of the blogs I follow "tagged" me.  Gina doesn't post every day, but when she does, her blog holds a cornucopia of her artistic endeavors along with various insights to the flora and fauna that inhabit her neck of the woods.  Each of her clay pieces incorporate her two passions "clay and fiber", hence the name of her blog.  Hop on over there and have a look there too.

Thanks for stopping by here.  Have a look around.  I hope you enjoy your visit.

Right now I'm work on several things and having difficulty settling down to one.  As a member of Tangled Textiles, I'm working on my next piece.  Vicki selected the topic of "process" and I have been deciding which Celtic knot I'm going to use as the wreath in my piece. 

I decided that this is the one I'll use as my base.

You can read about the inspiration for the piece here and here.

I'm also working on doing some soft edge piecing.  This technique, developed by Jinny Beyer, was taught at a recent workshop in my area.  We created one block to the basted point.  It still requires hand work.
I enjoyed it so much that when I got home, I created three more.

These all still need hand work; something that can be done while watching TV in the evenings, or at an up and coming quilt retreat.

Quilters Without Borders is another group that I enjoy.  This group studies the textiles, textures and colours of various countries.  We studied the quilts of Japan, and are now working on those of Australia.  I'm working on creating the block "Seven Sisters" with various Australian textiles.  Using mirrors and 60 degree diamonds, I'm hoping to come up with something that has a sense of "down under".  Here is a sampling.

Is my work different than others?  I don't think so.  I cut apart fabric and sew it back together into a pleasing pattern; I enjoy the rhythm of handwork; and am excited when I discover new ways of manipulating textiles and fiber. I enjoy working to challenges.

It's hard to explain, but I continue to create to see what combination I can come up with next.   My process for accomplishing that?  Let's just call it a "fly by the seat of your pants" kind of process. It entails one or all of brainstorming, sketching in a journal, perusing old magazines, surfing the internet; whatever gets the creative muse going.  On that note, I'm off again to explore my stash and see what I can come up with next.

Next stop on the blog hop will be across the country to Jackie of Manitoulin Island in Ontario.  She's a 3D embellisher extraordinaire!  After that you can cross the Atlantic and visit with Nicolette in the Netherlands who has a flair for the modern esthetic.  If you haven't already, you can also visit with Lisa in upstate New York or Vicki down under in AUS.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Sharing the process

I had been thinking about how I'm going to portray my inspiration for the current challenge from my Tangled Textiles group.  This is my inspiration:

Some twigs of cedar, birch and willow,
I like these for my spirit's pillow,
Then intertwine them, make a wreath,
adorn it with a maple leaf.
Then place the same upon a hill
and know, my spirit is here still.
-- © A.H.E.

After designing Celtic knots, it occurred to me that I could design one to use as the "wreath".  I could use different fabrics for the bias strips, or I could free motion the knot.  Here are some of the knots I'm considering.

Sorry the pictures aren't clearer, but it was difficult photographing tracing paper.  These are not quite what I'm looking for, so I'm off to design more.

Till the next time,

I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination -- Jimmy Dean

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Digression - A Salute to Salmon

I took a little side trip today to the Adams River.  I'd been reading and hearing about the dominant salmon run that was happening this year, and I just had to go and see what all the fuss was about.

Here is what I saw.
It was incredible to see the salmon such a bright red colour.  The ability to see them so close to the river bank was especially exciting.

I tried some video.

I waited a few minutes and pretty soon there were more.

My apologies for the poor quality; first attempts are not always successful.  It was an amazing site to see.

Monday, October 6, 2014

I've been knotty

No, no I did not spell "knotty" incorrectly;  I'm talking about Celtic knots.  A recent retreat gave me the opportunity to learn how to design those knots. I was prepared to cut and work with bias strips, but discovered that you can create knots with just some free motion quilting.

After some preliminary instruction I got good and "knotty" and designed several knots.  I chose to work two of them in fabric.  They are still at the basted stage, but here is the result.

They'll make wonderful cushion covers, don't you think?

Because I knew the theme of the retreat beforehand, I also brought along a quilt top that I thought would benefit from some Celtic knot work.  What better place to get assistance than at this retreat?  It presented a challenge because I was trying to add the knot to corners rather than in a circular pattern.

After several attempts, I came up with a design that I liked.  This too is basted and will need to be appliqued in place.

Once the knot work is stitched in place I'll have to decide if I'm going to hand or machine quilt this. Any thoughts?

Till the next time,

"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." - Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Collaring some mugs

It's been a busy few weeks with several things on the go in the studio.  In addition to the small pouches that I posted about here, I've finished off some mug collars, at least that's what I'm calling them.

Here is a different picture that might be better.

Unlike the cardboard ones that you find in your local coffee shop, these are washable, and reversible.  These will be going to the boutique at the quilt show hosted by Blue Mountain Quilters' Guild.

I've also been brainstorming to come up with various methods that will portray my inspiration for the next Tangled Textiles challenge, "Process".  You can read about that inspiration here.

I've just received the next installment of Superior University projects.  This time it will be working with Kimono silk, but that is for another post.