Monday, May 29, 2017

Classy and Scrappy

This crazy month of May is almost over - and it's still raining in Ottawa. Hopefully not enough to cause more flooding! Everything is very green when the sun does shine :-)
I haven't been quilting as much as I think I should. But I have been reading books (not audio or even digital). What a treat!
Classic side of the placemat
Classic side of the placemat

This weekend I made a placemat for a very special friend. Tipi was one of my mother's best friends. She didn't want anything big, but said that a placemat would be great. She mentioned dark red, blue and yellow.

All of the fabrics were from my stash. I did have three fat quarters from the same line, full of beautiful roses. I'm not sure that it's her style, so I added some more funky flowers to the mix.

The placemat will go with whatever mood she's in - one classic and the other fun and scrappy. I used a blue and yellow Provence style fabric as well as many red, yellow and gold fabrics from my stash and scraps. I put two log-cabin type blocks together.

Fun and scrappy side of the same placemat
The first, more classic side, comes from the Square Scramble pattern by Kate Colleran in the Spring 2016 Quilts and More magazine.

Square Scramble pattern by Kate Colleran
I free motion quilted (FMQ) the placemat with an all-over design of small flowers with a couple of loops. I used a slightly variegated beige thread (King Tut, 40 wt. from Superior Threads) for the top. 

Free motion quilting on the classic side of the placemat
Free motion quilting in beige on the classic side 
The bobbin was another lightly variegated yellow thread.  I love how the yellow shows up against the dark reds.
Free motion quilting in yellow on the scrappy side of the placemat
Free motion quilting in yellow on the scrappy side
What I learned
  • Even when I was really careful with the cutting and piecing, my classic placemat didn't come out even. I'm really going to have to take our guild's course on sewing with accuracy. Even if it's not my idea of fun, being accurate when I'm trying would be nice!
  • I love the two different sides of this placemat. One classy side and the other fun and scrappy. Great for any mood!
  • I don't often use an all-over pattern when free motion quilting. Because of the two different sides, I believe that this was the best way to go.
Related Links
Project Details
Classic side of the placemat
Classy & Scrappy placemat
20" x 13"
Classy side - Square Scramble pattern from Quilts and More magazine, Spring 2016
Materials: cotton 
Techniques: piecing and improvisational piecing, FMQ

Great News! Classy & Scrappy was featured on Free Motion Mavericks!

Linking Parties: I will be linking this post to the following link-ups. Check out what everyone is making! MOP Monday, Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, Moving it Forward Monday, Oh Scrap, Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers, Free Motion Mavericks, Needle & Thread Thursday, Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop?, 

Update: I linked to Sarah Goer's fun linky, Show Me Something Improv.
I am linking this post to Sarah Goer's Show Me Something With Squares

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Celebrating 150 with Quilts

150 years of quilting in Canada exhibitI've had a crazy busy week with Art with Fabric on Monday and then a two-day surface design course with Hillary Rice. I can't wait to write a post about my surface design experiments, but it'll have to wait a few days, cause today we're going to Celebrate - Fêtons 150 with some amazing quilts from the Ottawa Valley Quilter's Guild Show - Festival of Quilts 2017.

There was an exhibit of  "150 Years of Quilting in Canada" at the Festival of Quilts 2017. The quilt below fits right into our theme. The British Empire Quilt features many of the provinces of Canada. The quilt was probably completed between 1949 and 1956 since Newfoundland is included as a province.
British Empire Quilt

I love this block of New Brunswick since it's also part of the Ottawa region's history - "draveurs" or draftsmen taking the logs down the river.

What a wonderful piece of history!

New Brunswick depicted with
raftsmen on the river

The Canada 150 Interguild Exhibit was featured as part of the quilt show. Many guilds from the Ottawa area created their own Canada 150 quilts. The exhibit is travelling to various quilt shows this year. Here is a sampling:

Canada 150 quilt by the Almonte Quilters Guild
Almonte Quilters Guild

Canada 150 quilt by the Cornwall Quilters Guild
Cornwall Quilters Guild

Canada 150 Quilt by the Lanark County Quilters Guild
Lanark County Quilters Guild

Canada 150 Quilt by the Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild
Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild
Common Thread Quilt Guild
Postcard Quilt
Fireworks at Parliament postcard
Do you remember the Common Thread Quilt Guild's Postcard Quilt? It was also part of this exhibit.

Here are a few of the postcards:

Isn't it great how different the postcards are? So many different techniques and colours used.

Embroidered beaver postcard

Canada Goose postcard

This was my Canada Goose contribution.

Moose postcard 

Double Double Coffee postcard 
I couldn't resist ending with our national obsession for a certain coffee.....

There was also a President's Challenge as part of the Festival of Quilts 2017. There were some incredible quilts! I will include these in a later post.

Finally, here is what I'm working on - Quilty Pleasure's Sergent Sesquicentennial block. Don't forget to leave comments or to link-up your projects to the Celebrate - Fêtons 150 in May. You could win your own Sergent Sesquicentennial block kit!

The picture on the left was taken before I fixed the Sergent's torso. Turns out that he doesn't have very broad shoulders and a tiny waist!

Here's the latest photo. I picked up some brass buttons tonight so these will be added on once the block is finished.
Sergent Sesquicentennial block
almost done
Oops version of the
Sergent Sesquicentennial block

What I learned

  • I had an amazing time at the Festival of Quilts 2017. On my first tour of the show, I took it all in. Then I took photos on the second pass. Finally I went shopping! After that I was more exhausted than if I had worked a full day! I'm really going to have to pace myself when I go to Quilt Canada!
  • It was great to see the Canada 150 quilts. As I took pictures, I felt like a reporter going after the big story :-)
  • As you saw, I had some minor misshapes with the Sergent Sesquicentennial block. I really need to stop when I'm getting tired before making the mistakes. Luckily these were fairly minor - nothing that I couldn't rip out!  

Remember to link-up!
Related Links

Linking Parties - Come party with us! Check out the link-ups that are going on! I will be linking up to my very own Celebrate - Fêtons 150 in May. Moving it Forward Monday, Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers, Needle & Thread ThursdayOff the Wall FridayCan I get a Whoop Whoop?Finished or Not Friday, MOP Monday, Main Crush Monday, Monday Making,

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Joyce Wieland and Art with Fabric

Reason & Passion - based on
Joyce Wieland's Reason Over Passion (1968)
Welcome to Art with Fabric - Spring 2017! I'm thrilled to be participating in this blog hop again - thanks Alida for organizing it! It's so much fun finding an artist's work to use as inspiration. I had to find one that I liked since I spent about 4 months thinking and working on this piece.

The piece I've chosen to interpret is Joyce Wieland's Reason over Passion, created in 1968. Joyce Wieland (1930 - 1998) was an amazing woman. I was introduced to her art by my daughter who studied her works in a Canadian Art History course.

Joyce pushed many boundaries as an artist, film maker, feminist, and political activist.
Reason over Passion by Joyce Wieland, 1968

Reason over Passion was one of several textile art pieces in Joyce's True Patriot Love exhibit (1971). That show was also the first solo exhibit by a female artist at the National Gallery of Canada. You can imagine the  comments from the art establishment about fabric in an art exhibit in 1971. Joyce Wieland was a pioneer, incorporating many traditional textile techniques in her work as a way of elevating "women's work".

Reason over Passion was based on Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau's claim that he used reason over passion to guide his decision-making.

Here's a great story about this work of art. Joyce created both a French and an English version of this piece, probably to reflect official bilingualism in Canada. La raison avant la passion was given to Prime Minister Trudeau and hung in the official residence. One day, his wife Margaret Trudeau pulled the letters off the quilt and threw them at her husband. I can imagine how difficult it could have been to live with a man who lived by the motto: Reason over Passion!

You can read more about Joyce Wieland in my last post and in the Related Links section below.

Reason & Passion
Reason & Passion - Art with Fabric, Spring 2017
Reason & Passion - Art with Fabric, Spring 2017
Reason & Passion
Having thought about and worked on this piece for so long, I suspect that Joyce Wieland was being ironic when she created it. Notice that the colours she used are all in the warm palette and the hearts she placed all over it. Joyce loved hearts and these are not symbols or colours linked to reason, but rather passion.

I wanted to create something different from Joyce's work - something that would reflect my thoughts and beliefs as well as the evolution of textile art. I decided to create Reason & Passion because I believe we need to balance both of these elements in our lives. Even scientists like Albert Einstein complemented their rational, reasoning side with creativity and passion in their work.

To acknowledge the evolution of textile art, I created a wholecloth quilt filled with free motion quilting (FMQ). No one will be able to throw my letters at me!


The quilt is divided in three horizontal sections.
  • The letters and FMQ are in cool colours - blue and green with some neutrals.
  • The FMQ motifs are geometric or linear.  
"Reason" in cool colours and geometric motifs
  • The "&" is in a bright multicoloured thread with the FMQ starting to be in warm colours such as red, pink, orange and yellow.
  • The FMQ motifs are more organic - mostly those found in nature such as flowers, leaves, stars and snowflakes.
"&" in bright multicoloured thread and organic FMQ
  • Passion is written in bright warm (or hot) colours which are echoed in the FMQ.
  • The FMQ motifs are still organic (and a little wilder) and become more abstract with the addition of paisleys and quilted feathers. There are also a few symbols that Joyce Wieland used in her works, such as lips and hearts. 
  • I also added "Yin yang" symbols throughout the piece to illustrate the wholeness that we create when we accept what are seen as opposite qualities within us, as complimentary.
"Passion" in hot colours with organic and abstract FMQ
What I learned
  • My passionate side is the strongest in me. I loved creating those patterns with the wild colours.
  • My reasoning or rational side came out in the planning of this piece. It was, however, more difficult to quilt geometric patterns in cool colours.
  • I have to thank Leah Day for her inspiring book: 365 Free Motion Quilting Designs. I could never have come up with all of the FMQ motifs on my own! 
    Working on the FMQ
  • Those who know me won't be surprised that I used a wholecloth for this project so that I could minimize the piecing and maximize my FMQ practice. A win-win combination! I learned many new FMQ motifs that I will incorporate in my quilting.
  • For the letters I used size 40 threads; Madeira Polyneon, Rainbows by Superior Threads as well a Signature variegated thread. I didn't have enough colours so ended up picking up some Gütermann machine embroidery thread. It was fine and all had a nice sheen. 
  • All of the FMQ was done with Kimono Silk thread from Superior Threads (size 100), except for one flame made with Signature variegated thread.
  • I used Superior Threads' Bottom Line in the bobbin and two 70/10 Microtex needles (that's a lot of quilting!). Since I've started using these needles with Bottom Line and Kimono Silk thread, I've had no problems with the tension. Yeah!
Details of some of the FMQ:
  • A flaming arrow,
  • Snow flakes
  • A lotus flower
  • Circle of hearts 
  • Quilted feathers
  • Yin Yang symbol with snow flakes and flames
  • Many leaves and flowers

Related Links

Project Details

Reason & Passion
32" x 24"
Inspired by Reason over Passion (1968) by Joyce Weiland (1930 - 1998) 
Materials: Cotton, buttons
Techniques: Wholecloth quilt with free motion quilting (FMQ)

Art with Fabric Schedule - Check out the participants' art work!
Art with Fabric blog hop

Monday, May 15th, 2017
Art with Fabric - Day 1
LeeAnna at Not Afraid of Color 

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017 
Adele at Adele Mogavero

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 
Bea at Beaquilter
Janeen at Quilt Art Designs 

Thursday, May 18th, 2017 
Jennifer at Inquiring Quilter  
Carol at Quilted Fabric Art 

Friday, May 19th, 2017 
Art with Fabric - Day 5

Linking Parties: I have also linked my post to the following Link-ups. Check out what everyone is doing in Quilt Land :-) Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, Linky Tuesday, Moving it Forward Monday, Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers, Needle & Thread Thursday, Free Motion Mavericks, Off the Wall Friday, Can I get a Whoop Whoop?, Finished or Not Friday,

This project was also my OMG (One Monthly Goal). I've linked up to the May Finish Link-Up
I'm also linking up to Sarah Goer Quilts - Show Me Something with Solids

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Art with Fabric Preview

The Art with Fabric blog hop is almost upon us....and I actually finished my piece on time! We need to send an image of our work one week before our post date to Alida of Tweety Loves Quilting blog so that she can get the  blog hop ready. The picture I sent her didn't include any embellishments, but it's still very recognizable.

Our theme this time is Women. I had been planning this project since the fall blog hop - but the theme changed all of my plans. I could have ignored the theme, and I probably would have, if it hadn't been Women. The feminist in me just couldn't do that (and my mother would have disapproved even if she's been gone for 12 years!!!)

Joyce Wieland in New York in 1964,
photographed by John Reeves
The artist I chose is Joyce Wieland (1930 - 1998), a Canadian artist who broke many boundaries in her time. Not only was she a painter, film maker, feminist and political activist, but she also designed the first art quilts to be shown in the National Gallery of Canada's first solo exhibition by a living woman artist. The exhibit, entitled True Patriot Love, opened on Canada Day 1971 (formerly known as Dominion Day - before the repatriation of our constitution).

At this time, Joyce lived with her husband in New York. She was very interested in the political and nationalistic changes that were occurring in Canada, including what was known as Trudeaumania - the rise in popularity of Pierre Elliot Trudeau, our Prime Minister (and the father of our present Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau). I mention Trudeaumania because it relates directly to the piece that I've chosen to interpret - but more about this on Monday :-)

Here is the piece that I have interpreted. It's called "Reason over Passion" and is based on Pierre Elliot Trudeau's motto. The quilt was created in 1968 in both French and English. It was part of Joyce Wieland's solo exhibit the True Patriot Love of 1971. The art quilt was huge - roughly 8 1/2'  x 10' (or 256.5 x 302.3 cm).
Reason Over Passion by Joyce Wieland, 1968
Reason Over Passion by Joyce Wieland, 1968

Here are a few clues to my interpretation of Reason Over Passion. You'll have to come back on Monday to see the finished product!

  • The first clue: wholecloth
  • The second clue: free motion quilting in a rainbow of Kimono silk thread.
  • The third clue - symbolism!
  • Visual clues:

Geometric and Rational
Natural and Organic

Passionate and symbolic
What I learned

  • It's amazing how much you get to know an art piece when you look at, think about and study it for a few months.
  • I have come to appreciate Joyce Wieland's sense of humour and irony.
  • I'll share my quilting learning in Monday's post.

Related Links

Linking Parties

Be sure to join us next week for the Art with Fabric blog hop! In the meantime, I have linked this post to the following linky parties - check out what's happening in the quilting blogging universe. Moving it Forward Monday, Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers, Needle & Thread Thursday, Finished or Not Friday, Off the Wall Friday, Free Motion Mavericks, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? MOP Monday,

Monday, May 01, 2017

Celebrate - Fêtons 150 in May

April has whizzed by, bringing with it lots of rain and some time to quilt! In Ottawa it looks like May will follow with more rain. If you can't be in the garden, you may as well be playing inside with colours of your own choosing.

Sew Fresh Quilts
Thank you so much for making this blogging event of success. There is so much talent and a lot of it is focused on celebrating Canada's 150th. I can't wait to showcase new ideas and projects each month.

It's time for the April draw. As you may remember, our April prize is a pattern from Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts. Thank you Lorna for your generosity.

And our winner this month is Terry Aske of Terry Aske Art Quilt Studio. Congratulations!

Canada 150 Logo 
Designed by Dana Szucs Hayden of SeaSew

Here is my completed Celebrate - Fêtons 150 project for April. I really like the way it came out. I even tried for some "Zendoodle" type embroidery in the title. That was a lot of fun!

Completed Canada 150: 1867 - 2017
Completed Canada 150: 1867 - 2017
Here is the label for this piece. I couldn't resist using the moose - he's so cute!

Moose label on the Canada 150 logo
Moose label on the Canada 150 logo

Canada 150 Related Patterns 

This first pattern is called Ca_na_da Quilt Pattern and is sold by Castilleja Cotton on Craftsy.

For something different, here is a pattern of Sunbonnet Sue in Canada, sold by Seams To Be Sew, also on Craftsy.

Sunbonnet Sue in Canada

Pattern for Glorious and Free by Quilter on Fire
Glorious and Free by Quilter on Fire

Northern Neighbours by Deb Tucker at Studio 180 Designs
Northern Neighbours

Canada Patchwork Map Quilt Pattern from Quilts by Elena

Canada Patchwork Map Quilt by Quilts by Elena

I hope you've enjoyed these varied patterns. There really is so much to choose from.

My One Monthly Goal for May - to finish my Art with Fabric piece. Watch for it on Monday, May 15, 2017,

This month I'll be attending at least one quilt show and I'll tell you how they're celebrating Canada's 150!

May your month be creative and fun!

Related Links
Project Details

Canada 150: 1867-2017
11 1/2" x 16"
Pattern by Dana Szucs Hayden of SeaSew
Materials: cotton solids, embroidery floss
Techniques: foundation paper piecing and embroidery
Linking Parties
I will be linking this post to the May Goal Setting of One Monthly Goal (OMG) as well as other linking parties. Here they are: MOP Monday, Monday Making, Moving it Forward MondayMain Crush MondayLinky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers, Needle & Thread Thursday, Free Motion Mavericks, Off the Wall FridayCan I Get a Whoop Whoop?

I forgot to mention the draw for May. Link up your project or leave a comment on the Celebrate - Fêtons 150 in May posts and you could win a kit of Quilty Pleasure's Sergent Sesquicentennial block.

To download the button, click here.