Sunday, February 19, 2017

Second in the Series

Two fabric flowers
Two fabric flowers
My second Escape Art Quilt is done! It had to sit and percolate a while before I was ready to finish it.

I knew that there would be 2 fabric flowers that I had made, although I wasn't sure of their placement. I also wanted to add more embellishment, but didn't want to go overboard (something I can easily do!)

I went in my jewelry box and found a lovely chunky red flower - it's perfect!

Details of Escape 2: English Garden Art Quilt
I really wanted to add some rose quartz, but where and how much? I asked my son - he's got a great eye for the geometry of a piece. Sure enough, he did it again. He explained that the piece flowed from right to left, following the points of the two triangles horizontally. I had considered dangling the quartz from the draped fabric, but he said that it would break its horizontal flow.

Escape 2: English Garden Art Quilt
Second in the Escape Series: Escape 2: English Garden

I added the rose quartz with clear beads between them along the triangles. It's like a flower bed bordered by stones. I also added some seed beads within the draped fabric. These only show up if light reflects off them, adding a little twinkle to the garden - maybe the dew?

What I learned:
  • I've really enjoyed making this second art quilt in the series. It's fun to be following a process for more than one quilt. I've started writing down the process and hope to share it as a tutorial eventually. I'm going to test it out with Escape 3: À Paris.
  • It's great to be able to use pieces of jewelry in my art quilts, especially since I love jewelry but never wear it!
  • This piece really needed a lot of percolating time. I attempted to work on it a few times, mostly because I thought that I should. This weekend, I just knew that I was ready to finish it!

Featured Links:
Escape 2: English Garden
Escape 2: English Garden

Project Details
Escape 2: English Garden
20" x 16"
Materials: Linen, cotton, scarf (probably cotton), fabric from polyester top, embroidery floss, beads and rose quartz.
Techniques: Improvisational piecing, Free Motion Quilting, hand embroidery, beading, fabric flowers.

Linky Parties: Check out what others are making at these link-ups. MOP Monday, Oh Scrap!, Main Crush Monday, Monday Making, Moving it Forward Monday,

Don't forget to link-up to the Celebrate-Fêtons 150 to show off your Canada and Canada 150 themed posts. The link-up and prizes will be happening every month of 2017!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Canada 150 Quilting Events and Projects

There is a whole lot of celebrating going on! Canada's 150th anniversary is a big birthday, although compared to many countries, Canada is really only 150 years young! As you'll see, quilters across the country are doing what we do best - celebrating by buying fabric :-) as well as making and giving quilts.
150 Canadian Women Quilt

Here are a few of the events and projects that I’ve come across. The links to these items are at the bottom of the post. If you find more of these, please let me know and I’ll include them in a post.

150 Canadian Women Quilt by Next Step Quilt Designs from Calgary, Alberta.

The block patterns are free to those who sign up from their blog. If you haven’t signed up yet, you won’t have access to some of the first few blocks. Not to worry. Next Step Quilt Designs will be creating a CD near the end of the year with all of the blocks on them. You also don’t have to make all of the blocks to create a great quilt.

Canada's Big Quilt Bee, organised by the Canadian Quilters' Association / Association canadienne de la courtepointe

The Big Quilt Bee will be held June 14-17, 2017 at Quilt Canada 2017 in Toronto, ON. Volunteers will be making quilt tops from blocks made by quilters across Canada (and elsewhere!) as well as quilting the quilt tops. The goal is to make and donate 1,000 quilts for kids at Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada.
One of the many logos for the Canada's Big Quilt Bee - designed by Jill Buckley
The slab block is designed by Cheryl Arkison. They are 12 ½" blocks that incorporate at least one piece of special Canada fabric in them. At three sew days, members of the Common Thread Quilt Guild have made over 90 slab blocks so far, as well as many quilt tops. If our guild is any indication, there will be more than 1,000 quilts completed at the Big Quilt Bee. Way to go!

Follow the link below to get their logo, designed by Jill Buckley, the slab block pattern, fabrics to use, and other important details.

Canada Mystery Quilt

Nova Scotia block
Designed by Shania Sunga, to commerate Canada's 150th birthday, Canada Mystery Quilt consists of 13 blocks featuring 10 Provinces and 3 territories of Canada. These have been available in quilt shops across Canada as Blocks of the Month kits and finish in April 2017.
Manitoba Wall Hanging

It looks as if some BOM have started over, and it’s now possible to buy individual blocks as kits to make individual wall hangings. They are absolutely gorgeous! Check your favourite quilt shop or online shop to see if they stock the kits.

Canada 150 Fabrics

Canada 150 Fabrics
Canada 150 Fabrics
Many fabrics have been created to celebrate Canada's 150th. The links to the fabric companies are below. Check out your local fabric shop or favourite online store to see if they carry them.

  • Discover Canada by JN Harper
  • Stonehenge Oh Canada by Northcott
  • Northcott’s Sesquicentennial fabric
  • Trend-Tex Fabrics With Glowing Hearts by Moda
  • Cantik Batiks

Trans-Canada Block Party with Northcott
Quilty Pleasures' block:
Sergeant Sesquicentennial

This program has three components based on Northcott's Sesquicentennial fabric line. 

Trans-Canada Block Party:  From January to September 2017, participating quilt shops will provide a free pattern (or have kits for sale) for a block to customers who visit their store. Kits from participating stores must consist of only the Canadian Sesquicentennial Celebration fabrics and the blocks range from 6” x 6” to 18” x 18”, in 6” increments. Northcott even created a google map of participating stores.

Vote for your favourite block from the top 10 blocks. The link is below.    

Canada Quilt Challenge:  Make a quilt using at least 6 blocks from 6 different participating Trans-Canada Block Party stores with the Canadian Sesquicentennial Collection and enter to win prizes. 

Sesquicentennial Quilts of Valour Challenge:  Quilts made from the Canadian Sesquicentennial Celebration fabric line can be donated to Quilts of Valour through Northcott, The top 15 quilts will be displayed at Quilt Canada in Toronto in June and prizes will be awarded to the top 3 viewer’s choices.

Canada's 150th quilt blocks

Common Thread Quilt Guild members designed and made 4.5 x 6.5 inch blocks that represent what Canada means to them. These will be made into a quilt that may be a part of a travelling exhibit in 2017, I'll let you know when I find out more about this,

My Canada Goose block for Canada's 150th quilt
What I learned:
  • There are a lot more events and fabrics available than I thought. I guess it's a great marketing opportunity for the fabric companies. The upcoming events look like a lots of fun!
  • I'm sure that it will take a while for the Celebrate - Fêtons 150 linking parties to attract participants. It feels like cheating, but I'm going to try to link this post to the linking party. Maybe having one post will encourage others.
  • I just ordered some Canada 150 fabric from the Stonehenge Oh Canada collection....guess what will be in this month's give away? I'll add a photo 

Features Links:
Come and celebrate Canada's 150 with Quilting & Learning - What a Combo!
There will be a linking party and prizes each month! See the Celebrate - Fêtons 150 page for details.

I will be linking this post to some great linking parties. Check them out:  Midweek MakersOff the Wall Friday,  Fabric Frenzy Friday, Moving It Forward MondayMOP Monday,

Monday, February 13, 2017

Announcing a Linking Party with Prizes

Welcome to the first Linking Party for Celebrate - Fêtons 150

We will be celebrating Canada's 150th birthday for the rest of 2017 and I'm hosting a special party for my 150th blog post in March!

I've been wanting to host a linking party for a while now, so once a month, I will be hosting a linking party to celebrate our planned, WIP and completed quilts and art quilts that are related to Canada and to our 150th birthday.

You don't have to be Canadian to participate! We are a polite, inclusive and fun loving country. When there's a party, the more the merrier!

Since this is the first linking party, I am re-posting most of the information found on the Celebrate - Fêtons 150 page. I've planned the party, subscribed to InLinkz and this is your invitation! This first linking party is my first ever - so please excuse me for any errors or omissions that I have made or may commit!

I hope that you'll join me in the festivities. I wish I could share food with you, (my favourite part of any party!) but instead there will be gifts. One prize for every month and a larger prize for the 150th post at the end of March! I'll post this month's prize before the end of the linkup - promise!

Here is the button, if you want to add it to your blog!
Quilting & Learning - What a Combo!
Some of you may be familiar with the art quilt on the button. Fireworks in July was one of the first landscape art quilts that I created in my Landscape Art Quilt Challenge. It was sold at a silent auction for a Workplace Charity event and is now beautifying a cubicle! Isn't it amazing when your quilts leave the nest to have lives of their own?!

I'm going to skip the "What I learned" section of my post to keep these linking party posts short.
So please join me in the celebrations and tell your friends! I've linked up to: Main Crush Monday, Monday Making, Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers, Needle & Thread ThursdayOff the Wall Friday, Fabric Frenzy Friday, Moving It Forward Monday, MOP Monday,

Here are the details:
  • The link will be open on the first of each month, until the last day of the month. 
  • You can link as many different, current posts as you wish (planned, WIP and completed quilts and art quilts), as long as it has something to do with celebrating Canada's 150th, or has something to do with Canada (that leaves it wide open!)
  • Include a link in your post to the month's linking party (which will be part of my regular blog).
  • Check out some of the other blogs and don't be shy about leaving comments :-)
  • On the last day of the month, the link will close and I will randomly pick from the links and the comments. Please make sure that I can reach you, otherwise the prize winner will have to be re-picked. 
  • Then, on the first of each month, a new linking party will be created and the process will start all over again! 
Fixed the link-up. Thanks InLinkz for your great help! This first link is my own. Please join the party :-) Bought prizes for the first Link-up. See my next post for a clue - Canada 150 Quilting Events and Projects.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Working in a Series

Escape 1:  Warmer Climates
I've made progress in the World Quilting Travel Adventure, but just as I love to get sidetracked when I travel, I also seem to take long meandering paths when I quilt!

I have finally finished the souvenir from Hawaii, which was our second destination. The flower on the bottom, designed by JoJo, is a plumeria, which is use to make a Lei.

World Quilting Travel Adventure
with JoJo Hall

Added a beaded butterfly

You can read all about the making of this project in my Catching up on World Quilting Travel Adventure post (see Featured Links at the end of the post).

In that post, I wasn't quite finished hand quilting the project. The butterfly in the picture is new. I just found a butterfly shape on the internet to guide the beading.

Since I like meandering, I am making a second (and hopefully a third) Escape art quilt. I'll be following the same idea for the background - a few pieces of fabric that will be sewn in an improvisational manner and then some quilting and embellishment.

Here is the second Escape art quilt.
Escape 2: English Garden

I found some interesting fabrics in my stash, including these beautiful linen pieces that my brother got me from Paris.

I also had a scarf that I wanted to add to the piece, but unlike the delicate silk scarf in Escape 1, this one was thick and rich. Part of the scarf is being draped at the top like a curtain while the fringe is at the bottom.

I also used fabric from a top whose fabric was too beautiful to get rid of. It's used in the triangles and flower on the right.

Escape 2: English Garden still needs to be embellished
The piece is now quilted. As with Escape 1, I used some beautiful Kimono Silk thread with Bottom Line in the bobbin. I FMQ following the fabric. For the red linen, I FMQ some vines in a matching thread. Sometimes I could barely see where I had been, but I really love the effect.

I had a great time learning to make fabric flowers with Melanie Ham on YouTube. The stiffer linen flower is very different from the flower made with the fabric from the top. I'm still not sure how I'm going to embellish this piece. I'll finish it when I'm inspired. I also have some pink quartz pieces that should go well.


I've been working on the hexis to make the Canada souvenir - the northern lights or aurora borealis. Since I got into hexis and wanted to make more, I now have quite a few to choose from. Again, I want to incorporate these into a fibre art piece.

Original placement for hexies
Original placement for hexies
I found a postcard and a calendar picture to help me place the hexies. I also want to use some of the amazing dyed cheesecloth in the piece as well this black background.

Hexies to represent Northern Lights
New placement for hexies
My son kept looking at my design of hexies and didn't like it. So I challenged him to come up with something else. This is his placement. I really like it and am going to use it.

Linking the hexies together using JoJo Hall's Technique
Linking the hexies together using JoJo Hall's Technique

I'm now linking the hexies together, using JoJo Hall's technique. Check out her tutorial video. The thread is invisible and she shows us how to even out the hexies. It truly is amazing, especially for someone like me, whose hexies are never the same size.

Finally, here are my goals for February that I will be posting on "One Monthy Goal".

  1. To FMQ this colourful batik lap quilt for my brother (the one who got me fabric in Paris) - this is my OMG!
  2. To finish embellishing Escape 2: English Garden,
  3. To finish the Northern Lights hexies art quilt.
  4. To make the next block for the Growing Up QAL

Batik Lap Quilt Top

What I learned:

  • I've been enjoying doing handwork. It`s nice to be able to work quietly outside of my quilting room.
  • I am also enjoying working in a series - to use some of the same basic steps but in different ways.
  • It was great doing FMQ on Escape 2 - it had been too long since the last time. I need to do more of this - I guess that's where the Batik Lap Quilt comes in!
  • I'm really trying to keep the expectations to a minimum. Since none of these projects have any deadlines, the One Quilting Goal is just for fun! 

Featured Links:

Project Details:
Escape 1: Warmer Climates
11" x 16½"
Materials: cotton, silk scarf and thread, embroidery floss, beads.
Techniques: painted, FMQ, hand embroidered, beaded, hand quilted.

Friday, January 27, 2017

First Block - Applique

Growing up QAL button
I know that I shouldn't commit to another quilting activity...but since I love learning and participating in Alida's events, I signed up for Growing up QAL, a skill building quilt-along.

Alida is giving us an excellent incentive to actually make the blocks since to keep receiving the instructions for the QAL for free, we have to make and post the blocks within a specific time period (which is generous).

The first block for January is the Rose Appliqué Block.

Crafted Appliqué

Of course, I didn't quite follow the instructions. I copied the pattern onto freezer paper, which I then ironed onto the rose fabric that had been prepared following the Crafted Appliqué technique. It worked perfectly.

As you can see from my image, I used some fabric to test the different sizes for the zigzag stitch. I also wanted to ensure that the thread colour would work out. I used Superior Thread's Bottom Line in the bobbin and their Kimono Silk on top. Wow! That thread combination along with a fine zigzag stitch really worked out well. That's a good thing because it felt like I was sewing for miles!

Rose Appliqué on block 1 with Kimono Silk thread and practice piece
Rose Appliqué on block 1 with Kimono Silk thread and practice piece

Alida also sent us a special page for attaching our fabric swatches. I'm not sure what fabrics I'll be using for the whole project, but it would be nice if it coordinated well enough to make a quilt.

There is another page that we can use to colour each block. I'm not sure that I want to be that organised :-)

What I learned:

  • Once I put my mind to it, it really didn't take me long to make this block. For the time it took, it's very effective.
  • As I mentioned, this was a perfect project to use the Crafted Appliqué technique.
  • I impressed myself by making the practice piece to check out the stitch. I only do that when messing up would be much more work than doing a practice piece!
  • This first block was done on time and I'm looking forward to the next block (and staying on time)!

Featured Links:

Block 1: Rose Appliqué
Block 1: Rose Appliqué

Block Details:
Rose Appliqué (Block 1)
15½" x 15½"
Materials: Kona Cotton, Bottom Line and Kimono Silk threads
Techniques: Crafted Appliqué technique, freezer paper, zigzag stitch

Linky Parties: You can see and read about other participants' progress here. I have also linked this post to the following parties. Check them out! Linky Tuesday, Main Crush Monday, Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? Needle and Thread Thursday, Off the Wall Friday, Finished or Not Friday, Fabric Frenzy Friday

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Colour Unboxed Exhibition

Colour Unboxed Exhibition
January 14th was the Vernissage of the Colour Unboxed exhibition at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum in Almonte, Ontario. The museum has an amazing exhibition space which the fiber art work of members of the Out of the Box group filled up nicely.

I attended the opening but there were a lot of people and my camera battery was dead - so I socialized a little bit, had a quick look around and vowed to come back with my camera at a quieter time.

Details of the Lone Tree 2: Tired or Overachiever?
I went back this Saturday to enjoy the art works at a more leisurely pace. I also wanted to take a photo of my Lone Tree 2: Tired or Overachiever? Although I wasn't originally thrilled with the piece, I got some suggestions from an artist friend and a couple of Out of the Box members and made a few changes.

I learned a valuable lesson about colour value while making this piece. Turns out that even if red and green are complimentary colours, they don't necessarily have much contrast if they have the same value. Who knew? Not me!

Details added to the foreground
Lone Tree 2 - before the changes

I added details to the original piece, especially in the foreground. Here's the before and after.

Lone Tree 2- the final piece

I would also like to show you some pictures of the works of another member of the Out of the Box fibre artist group. Her name is Caroline Forcier Holloway. We both come from Kirkland Lake in Northern Ontario and worked in the same organisation a few years ago. She does some amazing felted work and really went outside of the box, and her comfort zone to make these three pieces for the exhibition.

Arctic Tundra Mosaic depicts the delicate ecosystems of the tundra - the flora forever adapting and competing with permafrost.

Arctic Tundra Mosaic by Caroline Forcier Holloway

Details of Arctic Tundra Mosaic by Caroline Forcier Holloway
Arctic Tundra Mosaic is a mosaic of felted tiles affixed unto metal frame and painted canvas. Natural materials include fur, bone, antler, lichen and moss. Other materials include found objects.

Next is one of Caroline's two installations. They come from her love of audio and video.
The Art of Memory, Part 1 - Ode to Oral History
In the Art of Memory, Part 1 - Ode to Oral History, Caroline explored the boundaries of the natural fibre of wool and the man-made medium of audio tape. She writes that "The narrative of a generation (is) woven into wool using audio tape to guide silent play back and recording equipment." Her second piece is the Art of Memory, Part 2 - Ode to Home Movies. I'm not going to spoil your fun - make sure that you see her work as well as all of the other artists' in the Colour Unboxed exhibition at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum. It's well worth the trip.

What I learned:
  • Never underestimate the value of "colour value". I really hope never to forget that lesson!
  • I am grateful to have artists around me for encouragement and insight. It's really great to be able to exchange ideas.
  • I love looking at art and quilt exhibitions but I get overwhelmed very quickly. That's why I take so many pictures. After the show, I'm able to look and study the pieces - to see what works, why I like them as well as the details of the pieces for inspiration. I find that I learn so much from the work of others and I'm glad that I can go back to them when I want to.

Features Links: Colour Unboxed exhibition at the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum; details of the making of Lone Tree 2: Tired or Overachiever? (Nov. 6 2016)

Lone Tree 2: Tired or Overachiever?

Project Details:
Lone Tree 2: Tired or Overachiever?
12" x 10"
Materials: fabrics - commercial cotton and batiks, silk thread, embroidery floss, beads, fabric markers
Techniques: Free Motion Quilting, appliqué and hand embroidery

Linky Parties: Check out what others quilters are making! Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers, Free Motion Mavericks, Off the Wall Friday, Finished or Not Friday, Fabric Frenzy Friday,

Friday, January 20, 2017

Creating a Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland Snow Frame
 Last year I made a snow globe as a gift. It was quite small, so it was mostly putting a few little pieces of fabric together and inserting them in the snow globe (see pictures below).

This year I found some slightly larger snow frames (6½" X 4½"). I think that these have much more potential!

I made this one using Christmas scraps, since my holiday fabric stash stayed in the basement this year.

I used a blue background fabric with snowflakes and stars, and covered it with a tulle of gold stars.

For the foreground I used some cute frolicking deer, a couple of tree fabrics and embellished it with some fussy cut bits. My niece was very impressed that I had made it - she thought that it was store bought (when you're 12, that's a good thing).

I've always wanted to make postcard size art quilts so I think that these could be a snowy variation. The piece fit very well inside the frame, although I'm fairly sure I didn't quilt it.
A blizzard in Wonderland!
Snow Globe - penguin
Snow Globe - Santa checking his list

This is the snow globe from last year. It was two-sided and lights up, but wase much more difficult to work with. I'm not at my best working on very small things!

What I learned:
  • I love playing with fabric on smaller projects that have little to no cost (in time or fabric) if I mess up.
  • I bought 2 extra snow frames (on sale) after the holidays. I'm not sure that I'll have time this winter to make them...they may end up in the basement with the 5 snow globes from last year! :-)
Featured links: Joyeux Noel: December 24, 2015 
Linky parties: check out what everyone's up to! Oh Scrap!, Finished or Not Friday, Off the Wall Friday, MOP Monday, Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, Let's Bee Social, Linky TuesdayMidweek Makers, Fabric Frenzy Friday