Friday, March 15, 2019

Upcoming events

Here are the two events coming up soon in my quilting and blogging life.

Fibre Fling 2019

Once again the Out of the Box Artists' Group will be holding their annual art show and sale, Fibre Fling. If you're in the Ottawa region, come out to see the great fibre art. There will also be art, supplies and wearable fibre art for sale.

Fibre Fling 2019 - April 4 and 5
This year I will be entering these pieces in the show.

My Blue Paining is finished! I'll be writing a final posting about it soon.
My Blue Painting
This is my experiment with FMQ and embroidery.
Symphony in Stem Stitch
This was made for last year's Welcome to My House Blog Hop. 
Our House
If I can finish my All About Strings Blog Hop piece by March 24 (the deadline for registering), then a string art piece may be added to the list! 😊

All About Strings Blog Hop

I did it again! I couldn't resist joining another blog hop. At least I'm making sure that I only have one going on at a time :-) I can learn!

This fun blog hop is hosted by Carla at Creatin' in the Sticks. 

Do you think that I can create an art quilt with Strings? Come back on Thursday March 28 to find out!

Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking this post to several fun linky parties. Come along to see what's going on! Midweek Makers, Tuesday Colour Linky Party, Needle & Thread Thursday, Off the Wall Friday

You still have a few days to link up to Free Motion Mavericks' link-up. Don't be shy!

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Spring is in the air with Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to Free Motion Mavericks (Week 220) link-up.

Spring is in the air!

There is hope! There is a viral rumour that Spring may show up again this year. We are all very hopeful. It's funny to see my friends refusing to bundle up to cross the street to get coffee. Unless it's a blizzard out there, we are acting as if Spring was here 😊

This week I decided to invite spring onto my fabric with some free motion quilted (FMQ) flowers.
I know how to do the FMQ all-over flowers but I wanted to practice some real flowers. I'm planning a pretty baby quilt with a FMQ garden in the centre.

The full image isn't great, so I cut it up into two halves.
FMQ spring flowers - 1

FMQ spring flowers - 2
I researched the web for FMQ tulips. What I found was more of a snow drop (see related links below). I practiced it and from there came up with a pretty good looking tulip. I was pretty familiar with the tulip's leaf since I had just trimmed the dozen I bought this weekend.

Snow drops in spring

Tulips dancing and pansies accompanying them
As I was adding flowers, I took advantage of the empty space at the bottom of the flower bed to FMQ shorter flowers that could be violets or pansies. At this point, I became less specific about the type of flowers that I was drawing, as long as they looked flower-like. 😊

Here are some flowers that I drew based on The Bloom going on in the desert right now! I've included some links below. My plan was to quilt them using different colours, but I got carried away with the grey thread that was on the machine.
Desert blooms
This time the leaves and flowers at the bottom are just experiments. I'll have to look into drawing smaller flowers too!

Finally, at the bottom of the piece, I tried FMQ some lotus flowers and leaves. It would be nice to add a pond in that baby quilt garden!
Lotus flower and leaves in the water
What I learned
  • I was pleasantly surprised that I didn't have to draw these flowers too much before I got the hang of it. If only I had practiced those lotus flowers!
  • The grey thread looked great on the blue background while I was stitching, but next time I will try something with more contrast so that is photographs better (mistakes and all).
  • It's on my bucket list to see the desert day :-)
Related links
Linking parties
I'll be linking up to several great linkies this week. Why not check out what others have made. Tuesday Colour Linky PartySilly Mama Quilts WIPsMidweek Makers,  Needle & Thread Thursday, Finished or Not Friday, Friday Foto Fun,

Thank you to everyone who linked up two weeks ago. A special thank you to Quilting Gail, for linking up her two finished UFOs. Congrats!. If you didn't see it, you really should check it out!
2 UFOs finished by Quilting Gail

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Thursday, March 07, 2019

No Such Thing As Too Much Pink

Did you know that there is "no such thing as too much pink"?  That's the name of this quilt, and here's the story...

This was many, many years ago and was one of the first quilts I made.

I had gone through the fabric that I had inherited from my mother. There was quite a lot of pink fabric, so I went shopping for more fabric to make the quilt. This was the first time that I realised how many different shades, tints and tones of pink there were. Since my mother's fabric was a few years old, I found it difficult to find fabrics that would play well together.
A lovely pink quilt
It was that evening that I told my friend that I had discovered that there were too many pinks! Very seriously, she said that "there is no such thing as too much pink!" I had no idea that she liked pink! That's when I knew that this quilt was for her 😊
There are many different pink fabrics in this quilt.
This quilt is a disappearing nine patch, and I remember that I loved making it. At that time, all of the quilts I made were hand quilted. I put lots of love into that quilt for my friend.

What I learned
  • I learned that there is no such thing as too many pinks!
  • Disappearing 9 patch is a pattern that I should re-visit. It looks more complex than it is. 
  • I'm really impressed with my choices of fabric, even back then 😊.
  • I love those fabrics and I still have a little bit of many of them.
Linking parties
I've managed to miss a few of Sandra's linky parties at mmm! Quilts, so I'm really glad to link-up this special project on Throwback Thursday! I drafted this post right after I missed the February link-up :-) I will also be linking up to many fun link-ups so let's see what everyone is making.
Needle & Thread Thursday, Midweek Makers, Tuesday Colour Linky PartyLet's Bee Social, Friday Foto Fun, Finished or Not Friday, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Moving It Forward, What I Made Monday,

Tuesday, March 05, 2019

A Mola finish

Funky Flower Mola

It's done! I've spent many hours embellishing the Funky Flower Mola that I started two weeks ago for the Dust Off a Quilt Book Blog Hop. I really enjoyed the embroidery and the beading.

Funky Flower Mola - finished!
After the blog hop, I added another butterfly and embroidery to the top of the piece.

Second butterfly and vines
I also added tiny pink seed beads around the funky flower.
Beading the funky flower

One Monthly Goal (OMG) for March

It's been a while since I linked up to an OMG - so here goes!
I have a mini to make for my son's cubicle! It's going to be the foundation paper pieced Moose by Made by Marney. So far, I've made two bears and a loon. It's now time for the moose 😊
A bear mini
A loon mini

What I learned
  • Adding that many beads takes a long time - although I finished it faster than I expected.
  • I had bought one container of seed beads. I got pretty nervous near the end....there aren't many left. Normally it wouldn't be a problem but I bought these on sale because they were being discontinued.
  • I experimented with some of my daughter's perle cotton and metallic embroidery floss. It's fun to see the different effects they create.
Related links
Linking parties
I will be linking this post up to the March One Monthly Goal (OMG) as well as several other link-ups in quilt land. Let's go see what going on! Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Moving It Forward, What I Made Monday, Tuesday Colour Linky Party, Midweek Makers, Silly Mama Quilts WIPs, Needle & Thread Thursday, Let's Bee Social, Off The Wall Friday, TGIFFFinished or Not Friday, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?, Main Crush Monday,

Project details

Funky Flower Mola
16" x 13"
Materials: Kona cotton, embroidery floss, perle cotton, beads, stones
Techniques: reverse appliqué, appliqué, embroidery, beading

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Free Motion Mavericks and Inspiration

Welcome to Free Motion Mavericks (Week 218) link-up.


I haven't done any FMQ since the weekend, so I thought that I would just re-post the project inspired by my trip to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The link to the post is in the Related links below.
Dark and light thread drawing to create the lines

Ultramarine Blue
by Ron Martin

The addition of gauze and tulle 

A FMQ Inspiring Idea

One of the blogs I follow is Third Floor Quilts. Teresa Duryea Wong is very knowledgeable about Japanese quilts and fabrics. She is a great quilter and author of three books. Her post on February 6, 2019, was How to lift weight of large quilt while free motion quilting. She has graciously allowed me to include a couple of photos in this post.

Essentially Teresa installed a portable photography stand behind her sewing machine to help her lift the weight of the quilt while she FMQ. You can read her post - the link is in Related links below.
Suspending a large quilt to FMQ

with the use of a portable photography stand
Isn't that a great idea? And you can even use the photography stand to take photos of your amazing quilting! 😊

Related links

Linking parties
I will be linking this post to some great linky parties. Why not see what's going on in Quilt land? Linky Tuesday, Silly Mama Quilts WIPs, Needle & Thread ThursdayCan I Get A Whoop Whoop?, Main Crush Monday,

Thank you to everyone who linked up two weeks ago. A special thank you to Susan of Quilt Fabrication, for linking up her amazing Mediterranean Rose Quilt. If you didn't see it, you really should check it out!
Mediterranean Rose Quilt. by Susan of Quilt Fabrication

Inlinkz Link Party

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Travel, Art and a DrEAMi!

This week I traveled to Montreal by train to see some great art, eat wonderful food and spend some quality time with my daughter.

Kent Monkman
Shame and Prejudice
A Story of Resilience

On Thursday, we saw Kent Monkman's exhibit, Shame and Prejudice - A Story of Resilience, at the McCord Museum. Kent Monkman is an amazing First Nation artist and storyteller. His work is funny, sad, colourful, provocative and socially relevant. I went through the exhibit twice - first by myself and then with my daughter, who answered my questions. It was great to be able to discuss this exhibit with her. If you're interested, check out Kent Monkman and the exhibit in the Related links below.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Wire Mobile by
Alexander Calder
The next day we spent several hours at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. I've been there before to see special exhibits, but this was the first time that I took the time to go through the rest of the museum. 

The special exhibit was on Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor. Alexander Calder was an American artist who had a degree in mechanical engineering. He went to Paris during the 1920's and hung out with all of the artists, writers and musicians of the time. 
Calder metal mobile with a blue wooden background
A fun and colourful fish mobile
made of wire and glass by Calder

Silkscreen printed fabric by Alexander Calder (1949)

He was very versatile and worked with all kinds of materials, especially metal. He is well know for his circus pieces as well as the creator of mobiles

Calder even made jewelry and designed fabric. This is one of two silkscreen printed fabrics that he designed in 1949. The motif reflects his mobiles as well as the shapes that he used in his work. 

Isn't that fabric wonderful? It looks like a retro pattern from the 60s! His work may not seem like a big deal today, but he was a man ahead of his time.

Ultramarine Blue by Ron Martin

Ultramarine Blue at the
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
There was some very cool art but the piece that intrigued me the most was Ultramarine Blue by Ron Martin. Ron Martin in a Canadian artist living in Toronto. This piece, acrylic on canvas, was created in 1971. He explored working with one colour for ten years, from 1971 to 1981.  It started with Ultramarine blue and bright red and then he spent many years working with black.

Although I'm not often attracted to monochromatic pieces, I just love the variations of the blue as well as the mouvement. It makes me feel happy and free. As usual with art that I like, I started wondering if I could use textile to create the same kind of effects.
Ultramarine Blue by Ron Martin
My Blue Painting

I started by trying to create these lines of mouvement  with thread. I used darker thread to make lines and swirls for the background. I created many parallel lines to get the impression of brush strokes.  
Creating the background mouvement using dark blue thread
I added lines of lighter thread but it became obvious that using parallel lines of thread just isn't the same since the brush strokes are full of paint, not empty. So now what?
Adding  lighter blue thread
I went to my stash and made wider brush strokes using bits of tulle and gauze. Again, I started with the darker background and then added the lighter fabric. I think that it's starting to look more like brush strokes. Unfortunately this is as far as I can go since I only had a little bit of light blue tulle. 
My Blue Painting so far
What I learned
  • I love looking at art, but it's becoming clear to me that I'm always looking at it through my own textile lens. 
  • For example, I liked the Alexander Calder exhibit but all I wanted to do was add bits of streaming fibres on those lovely mobiles. 
  • It was great learning more about Ron Martin - turns out my daughter knew who he was! It's funny but as I looked at some of his work, there is definitely a textile vibe there, even if he works with paint.
  • My Blue Painting is my DrEAMi! project this month - as in DRop Everything And Make It!, the linky party hosted by Sandra at mmm! Quilts. I've missed the last couple of link-ups, so I'm glad that I'm on time for this one :-)
  • This week, between the Funky Square Flower Mola and My Blue Painting, I have two more WIPs to finish! I think that UFOs and WIPs are much easier to make than finishes 😊
Related links
Linking parties
I will be linking up to DrEAMi!, with Sandra at mmm! Quilts and Free Motion Mavericks with Muv.  Don't forget to check the out as well as these other fun link-ups. Monday Making, Design Wall MondayMoving it Forward, What I Made Monday, Wandering Camera, Tuesday Colour Linky Party, Midweek Makers, Off the Wall Friday, Finished or Not Friday, Friday Foto Fun, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop? 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Dust Off a Quilt Book Blog Hop Mola Style

Welcome to the Dust Off a Quilt Book Blog Hop!

Molas! by Kate Mathews
The book I dusted off is Molas!: Patterns, Techniques & Projects for Colorful Applique by Kate Mathews. I've been looking at this book in my bookcase for several years but never got around to reading and trying it out. Since I've been enjoying doing hand-work recently, I thought that it would be the perfect book and technique to try.

What is a Mola?

A Mola is a textile tradition of the Kuna, an aboriginal people from the Panama area. I'm sure that you've seen their work - it is bright, hand-made, using reverse appliqué and appliqué. For the reverse appliqué, they can have up to 7 layers of different colours of solids. Pieces can also include embroidery. Traditional pieces are used as part of their blouses.

Funky Square Flower Mola

Here is my interpretation of a Mola. I wanted to use an original pattern that wouldn't look out of place in a Mola. I thought that the square flower that I free motion quilted a few weeks ago might work.
My interpretation of a Mola.
I started with three layers of Kona cotton since I didn't want to make it too complicated and didn't want to sew through too many layers. As you can see, the hot pink is the top layer, followed by maroon and then light pink. 

I started by drawing the square flower with a Frixion pen and then cutting around it, adding about a ¼" so that I can turn over the edge to appliquĂ©. Cutting around the flower gave me a maroon background, which is what you see around the hot pink flower.

The next step was to cut the maroon fabric to let the light pink fabric show. I could have cut deeper into the maroon so that there would be light pink between the petals, but my appliqué skills weren't up to it. Two of the spaces between the petals are deeper than the others, mostly because they were wider. The light pink is actually my backing.
Reverse-appliqué to let the maroon and light pink fabrics show
Adding light green between the layers
One of the techniques used in the making of Molas is to add other coloured fabric between the background layers. In this instance, I placed light green fabric beneath the hot pink layer, but only along the edge of the piece. I then cut through to the light green fabric for the three smaller leaves as well as the middle of the larger leaf. The dark green leaf was appliquéd and then I cut (very, very carefully) through the layers to get to the light green.

I embellished the leaves with embroidery and also couched some yarn for the stem. This project has been great to practice my TAST embroidery stitches.

I used the same technique to add the yellow and lilac rectangles, but this time I cut the top hot pink fabric and inserted small scraps of the new fabric under it. Last night I went into my stash of beads, stones and buttons to embellish the rectangles.

Adding other colours to the mix

Embroidering a butterfly 
and practicing my TAST stitches

I needed to add something to the bottom of the piece but didn't have the time or patience to do more appliqué. I used 3 strands of embroidery floss as well as some perle cotton.
Creating huge blanket stitches
What I learned
  • This technique is quite demanding (as in finicky) so I found it difficult to do. I have very large hands and fingers that are not very nimble - so I find doing needle-turn appliquĂ© and reverse appliquĂ© difficult, unless the pieces are quite large.
  • As I mentioned, I was quite happy to stop appliqueing. Embroidery and other embellishment are also fun and will make my piece unique.
  • Having lived with first nation people (I married into the family), I am very sensitive to cultural appropriation, so the last thing I wanted was to create a traditional Mola - although I needn't worry - my skill level is really not up to it.
  • I found that doing embroidery around the reverse applique was a great way to hide my less than perfect stitches.
  • I'm not very good at doing anything for a long time, so I didn't even try to make my fly stitches even around the edge. Since this was for fun and my first piece with such extensive and varied embroidery stitches, I gave myself a lot of slack. I know that practice makes us much better and I'm sure that I will use some of these techniques eventually, although probably not extensively - it's just wasn't that much fun 😊
  • I find it so liberating to just let myself play with what I want. I do make an effort to give new techniques a chance but sometimes it's pretty obvious what I could keep doing and get good at and what would just be plain tedious for me.
  • Finally, this piece is not quite finished. I'm going to add more beads and figure out what to add on the top. I'll post my finished piece soon - so come back to check it out!
Related links

Linky parties
A HUGE thank you to
beaquilter for hosting this party!
I will be linking this post up to several linky parties. Needle & Thread Thursday, Silly Mama Quilts WIPs, Midweek Makers, Tuesday Colour Linky Party, Linky TuesdayOff the Wall Friday, Monday Making, Moving it Forward,

Below are the links to the other great participants in Dust Off a Quilt Book Blog Hop. Check them out to see what's everyone has dusted off!

Monday Feb 18th
Turid at densyendehimmel
Pamela at Pamelaquilts
Joan at Moosestashquilting
Anne at Seams like a plan
Susan at Desertsky Quilting
Selina at Selinaquilts
Kathleen at Kathleenmcmusing

Tuesday Feb 19th
Cindy Stitchin At Home
Jennifer at Curlicue Creations
Stephanie at Steph Jacobson Designs
Kathy at Kathy's Quilts
Shasta at High Road Quilter
Theresa at bumbleberry stitches

Wednesday Feb 20th
Sharon at Vrooman’s Quilts
Suzy at Websterquilt
Nancy at Patchwork Breeze
Karrin at Karrin's Crazy World
Denise at crafTraditions

Thursday Feb 21st
Anita at Domestic Felicity
Leanne at Devoted Quilter
Jennifer at Dizzy Quilter
Carla at Creatin' in the Sticks
Lee Anne at Podunk Pretties
Andree at Quilting & Learning-What a Combo! (that's me!)

Friday Feb 22nd
Bea at Beaquilter
Barbara at Bejweledquilts
Laura at Slice of pi Quilts
Sherry Powered By Quilting
Pat at Life in the Scrapatch
Carol at Just let me quilt
Kathy at Kathy's Kwilts and More
Marian at Seams to be Sew
Brenda at Songbird Designs