Sunday, October 25, 2015

Quilty Great Fullness

This quilting space, these stacks of coloured plastic with quilting  projects and UFOs
(Unfinished Objects), this wonderful new-to-me Janome sewing/quilting machine, the lovely collection of threads that looks good enough to eat, these bright piles of fabrics all yearning to be picked for the next project, the books and mags with enough quilting ideas for two lifetimes – so
noticing the gradation of colours as leaves change from green to yellow, orange or red,
many quilts, so little time – the view of the field and sky from my chair as I sew, the way I look at the world now that I’m making landscape art quilts, noticing the gradation of colours as leaves change from green to yellow, orange or red, the way that light reflects off water,
the way that light reflects off water
the sky at different times of the day and how it affects everything, the friends I’ve made as I participate in guild activities, quilting retreats and road trips, my friends, family and colleagues who always have something positive to say about what ever I’m trying out now, 

the sky at different times of the day and how it affects everything
the new techniques I see and sometimes try as I participate in both online and in-person classes, the pleasure I get from reflecting and writing online through my blog about my projects and experiences, connecting through the web to quilters around the world, the thrill of finding quilters who have similar tastes and interests, this red rover computer that allows me to communicate with other quilters through linky parties and quilt-alongs, this colourful table runner whose free motion quilting (FMQ) makes it “pop”,
this colourful table runner whose FMQ makes it "pop"
the art that surrounds me as I write this on Mom’s dining room set, my daughter who accompanies me on my quilting journey by listening to my ideas, by advising me on the use of colour and by being my  #1 fan, the love and positive energy that I put into each creation, the feeling of connection as I get “in the zone” while creating beautiful things, and my pride in growing and learning as I advance on this wondrous quilting journey.
the way I look at the world now that I’m making landscape art quilts

With love and gratitude.

I'm taking a creative writing course through the University of Toronto's Continuing Education. Turns out I love it! One of our exercises is to read Carin Makuz's great full and to write what we are grateful about. This is my quilting gratefulness. 

I've linked this up to Free Motion Mavericks
I'm linking this post up to Free Motion Maverick's 300th blog party anniversary. I never thought back then that I would be co-hosting with Muv! Thanks for visiting😊

Monday, October 12, 2015

Guest Blog – A Unique Wedding Present

I have a guest blogger today. Kathy Lajeunesse is a colleague and friend. We quickly found out that we had a common interest in art and textiles. Here is her blog:

While I consider myself creative, I do not consider myself much of a quilter with my one and only quilt project still unfinished after 15 years!  Recently though, my interest in quilting has been piqued in two ways.

The original wedding invitation
Every 3 to 4 weeks, I am inspired by Andrée when she brings in her latest quilt project to work. As her readers know, she is prolific turning out a quilt a month and often more. Secondly, last April I attended a show of the Ottawa Out of the Box Fibre artists, and I was blown away by the talent in that group and in particular by the beautiful landscapes made by several members. So in May, when the following invitation arrived in my mailbox for my niece’s wedding (designed by her fiancée) – I took the leap of faith that I could interpret the image and create a unique wedding gift for the happy couple.
Pastel colour palette
Pastel colour palette 
I decided to stay with the pastel palette. I began by surveying scraps of material in my own sparse inventory. I found a few fabrics, but needed more. I made a visit to Fabricland to match some more colours. With a few supplies gathered, I took them into work and received some advice from Andrée on how to proceed. She also shared a few written resources and off I went!

The background was pieced together in a morning and then I worked away at the details of adding embroidered trees, and appliqueing the barn into place over the next month or so. 

Embroidered Trees and Appliqued Barn
Embroidered trees and appliqued barn
Andrée offered to quilt the piece, and I took her up on the offer.  Following that, I added a few very fine sequins to decorate the roadside, and bound the edges.

The Groom and Bride on Bicycles
The groom and bride on bicycles 
Early on, I had decided that I would applique the cyclists on as a last step, although I was not sure exactly how that was going to play out. I surfed the web to see if I could buy some tiny bikes, but everything I found was too big.  In the end, I formed the figures and bicycle frames out of modelling clay and the wheels were made from rubber washers.  The bride and groom’s clothes were cut and sewn on VERY carefully – the wedding dress was made from raw silk left over from my own wedding dress sewn some 20 years ago!  Black felt was easy to work with for the groom. The last touch was to sew a message on the back.

I was pretty excited to present my finished wall hanging to my niece and her fiancée.  They loved it.

Quilt label
What I learned:
  • I love the creative process; OK, I already knew that.  Even if you don’t actually know how you are going to do something in the beginning, have faith in the creative process.
  • Material puckers if you don’t measure well.
  • My 40 year old sewing machine works just fine!
  • Purchasing material is addictive.
  • I can complete my unfinished quilt if I parcel a little time here and there.  That is my next project!
A unique wedding present
A unique wedding present
I`ve linked Kathy`s guest post to the following parties. Join in the fun and see what everyone is up to!