Sunday, September 30, 2018

September endings

What a month! I'm really glad that I was able to blog at the beginning of the month because somehow life got in the way :-) 

100 Hexies in 100 Days 2018

I have to report on my #100 hexies in 100 days since this is one of the few things that I've done in the last couple of weeks.

Week 5 - 30's Prints

Since I don't have many 30's prints, I bought a package of Riley Blake's Vintage Adventure 5" charm squares. Aren't they perfect?
Hexie and a creeping white rose

Week 5 - 30's prints
Week 6 - Micro mini things

I found some interesting fabrics with small things on them. Since my hexies are only 3/4", almost anything that fits is micro!

Week 6 - Small stuff

Week 7 - Nautical

I've used many of these fabrics for the critters and the summer fun. I dug a little deeper in my stash to find a few different ones. You can see from my total lack of effort in making this a nautical theme photo that I was in the middle of deadlines. I think my post was also late :-(

Week 7 - nautical
Week 8 - Love

Love has many faces - symbols and words of love, love of dogs, books, quilting
and finally the love of mother and flowers (that's her dress fabric). I was really happy to find this heart quilted on my table runner - that made the photo shoot much easier! 
Love - over a FMQ feathered heart

The many faces of Love of week 8
Hexies sewn together

We have 15 weeks in the 100 hexies in 100 days, so we're more than half way there. I've been sewing these up together to make a very scrappy quilt. It's coming along, but could take a while to get enough hexies to make a quilt of any size :-)


It's DrEAMi! time at mmm! Quilts. These are Squirrel projects (Drop Everything And Make it!) that either catch our interest or special requests that come our way. I'm very grateful that I don't have too many special requests but my daughter asked me to make her a case for her laptop a few months ago. I guess I needed a deadline to make it - and since she left for Venice on Friday, it was time.😊

Jeannine chose the fabrics and I made it. The mustard yellow and grey go really well together. I'm quite pleased that it turned out since I didn't follow a pattern.
Laptop case front

Laptop case closed
I just used Velcro to close the flap.
Laptop case  - it actually fits! 
Wandering Camera

I love participating in the Wandering Camera photo link-up. There is always some amazing photos to see. This month I don`t have an art quilt made from a photo, so I just want to share a photo I took of some lovely clover. There's no real story here except that these pink beauties stood out as I walked.

I'm not sure if it will ever become an art quilt, but you never know when inspiration will hit. I also like to take pictures of pretty things just because looking at them makes me smile 😊

Red clover
T-shirts & dresses for a quilt
October's One Monthly Goal

I have some t-shirts and dresses from my friend's daughter that I promised to make into a lap quilt. The t-shirts have already been cut. Now I have to cut the dresses up to use the fabric and the frills and design it. I'll be using some pink and purple Kona solids for the sashing and possibly some backgrounds if it's required. By the end of October, I want to have the quilt top finished!

Throwback Thursday

I'll be hosting Throwback Thursday for October this week (October 4, 2018), which is usually at Sandra's of mmm! Quilts. Please come check it out and link up a post of something you made pre-blog, or that you just didn't get around to posting.

What I learned
  • I really, really need to slow down with these deadlines. I guess if my daughter hadn't been getting ready to leave for 3 months, it might have been less hectic.
  • However, I have taken the next 3 days off. I've had a great time this weekend cooking a little, doing some minor cleaning at my own pace and generally enjoying life. That's a very good thing and I plan on doing more of the same, with quilting and sewing added to the mix. 😊
  • I'm looking forward to doing some quilting - maybe even stuff that isn't planned. My daughter has taken some pictures of Venice and I absolutely need to make an art quilt. Nothing fancy but I'd love to make a few from her pictures for her to remember her trip by (even if I don't give her all of them :-)  ).
  • October is going to be a busy month, mostly because I have my Art with Fabric piece to make. I've gotten the idea, now I just need to figure out how to execute it simply (famous last words!!!)
Related links
Linking parties
I will be linking this post at DrEAMi! at mmm! Quilts, the October One Monthly Goal Setting at Elm Street Quilts, Whims and Fancies' Wandering Camera as well as many other cool linking parties. Make sure to visit some if you have the time! Oh Scrap!, Slow Sunday Stitching, Main Crush Monday, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday, Moving It Forward, What I Made Monday, Tuesday Colour Linky Party, Linky Tuesday, To-Do Tuesday, Midweek Makers, Silly Mama Quilt's WIP, Let's Bee Social,

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2018

Welcome to the Blogger's Quilt Festival - Fall 2018 hosted by Amy Ellis of Amy's Creative Side.

Connections & Intersections

I've been working on this art quilt for months now, mostly a little bit at a time, until the deadline started looming over me! As much as I dislike that 8 letter word, it does help with motivation. 😊

If you read previous posts, you'll notice that I called it the "Connected by a thread" project, which was the theme for our fibre art pieces. This art quilt was created for the Out of the Box fiber art group's exhibition next summer. When I finished the piece and had attached a label without the title, it came to me - Connections and Intersections. Since the piece is abstract, you can decide for yourself what the title means! 😊😊😊

Connections and Intersections art quilt
I want to tell you a little about how I made this, why it ended up looking the way it does and what I learned.

I'll start at the beginning. When I want to create a piece to fit a theme, I almost never have a problem coming up with ideas. The issue is usually working through the ideas to see if I can pull them off in whatever time frame I have. My first ideas tend to be a little too complicated and at this time in my life, I just don't have a year to spend on one piece.

After discarding a couple of complex and more literal ideas, I decided on a few criteria:
  • Use my own hand-dyed fabrics;
  • Make it an abstract piece;
  • Try a few fun techniques;
  • Use my knowledge of design theory to put it all together in a cohesive piece.
The background

After picking out hand-dyed fabrics that worked well together, I sewed a few pieces together using improv piecing. Some of it worked and some of it didn't, but I knew that I would use them somewhere, eventually.

The bottom ruffle piece came about when I was trying to sew some of these improv pieces together using curves. In this instance, I overdid the curve, which came out like the sleeve of a garment - the ultimate curve! I decided to keep it and added some fabric underneath. That's how the piece became 3-D.

I finished the 3-D edge with a machine zigzag stitch and then attached little strips of cheesecloth on both sides of the edge. Over this I needle-felted some lovely brown, beige and green wool roving.

The layered circle on the right was created to try out some of Sue Spargo's embroidery techniques (see my first post in Related links below). It was made as a background for some beading.

Here's a picture of the finished 3-D part of the piece which reminds me of a cave. I added the little purple-grey piece that was beautifully frayed and then later embroidered the inside. Doesn't it look like a cozy place to hide out?
The finished "cave"

Woven fabric finished
I then added the woven piece. You can read more about this in my previous post (see Related links).
Woven fabric in progress

Later on, I embroidered along some of the lines to cut up the woven piece since my daughter said that it looked like an amoeba. Hopefully the final version looks less amoeba-like, although I guess there's nothing wrong with amoebas.

The bottom part of the piece

The first extensive stitching was done over the cave. I found some really beautiful variegated embroidery threads and played with straight-ish lines and circles to change it up.

Next I used some lovely wool that I corded on the side and above the cave.

I used a lovely navy wool thread that shows up well for the seed stitches on the purple fabric next to the cave.

Next came the improv beading to top the circles. I've heard of improv beading and seen some beautiful work by members of the Out of the Box group, but I had never done any. So through Google, I found Robin Atkins's blog - Beadlust, and a free downloadable copy of her first book, Exploring Creativity with Beads! This is the result of my first improv beading.
Improvisational beading
You can see also that I added a braided bracelet to accentuate the curving fabric changes. The bracelet was made by either my daughter or my niece. I've been wanting to create art pieces with these bracelets for a long time. I hope that this is the first of many!

Details of the woven pieces and the triangles
I used up the rest of the woven pieces by covering parts of them with felt and then adding an extra strip of needle felting from the cave between them. I finished the strip with French knots.

I also started adding wool felted triangles. I used different embroidery stitches to attach them and then embroidered around them.

Eventually I decided to just embroider triangles to add texture instead of adding more wool felt.

From the beginning I wanted to add the driftwood to this piece. The hard part was deciding where it should go. You can read more about this in "What I learned". It finally made it next to the beads, under the bracelet.

Details of the bracelet, improv beading and driftwood talisman

The idea of creating the driftwood talisman came together when I saw the cover of  Quilting Arts Magazine (Issue 91). Victoria Gertenbach, the author of the article, had rocks, bones and shells embellished with embroidery and beads. I wanted to keep the driftwood simple but I added some fabric that I had used in the woven piece and beaded it using some amethysts pieces from one of my mother's necklaces. I added a feather charm for a simple dangling effect. You can also see more amethyst beads to the right of the circle.

Finally I finished the top of the piece with simple embroidered swirls in variegated thread.
Embroidered swirls
The quilt label is part of the improv piecing that didn't make it into the quilt.

Connections & Intersections' improv label
What I learned
  • After finishing Connections and Intersections, I was so wiped out that I have barely done anything since except read and sleep. Today I'm finally starting to feel like myself and started reading the many, many blog posts in my inbox. That's when I realised that the Bloggers Quilt Festival is on. Honestly that's how I learn about most of these events - by people who are participating. So thank you all for keeping me in the loop, when I finally get around to reading the blog posts I receive!
  • I almost always ask my kids for feedback on my work. It was so funny to get my son's feedback on this: "I don't know...what's it supposed to be?" I guess he's not the abstract art type! However, my daughter helped me a lot with the design process. Thanks!
  • As is becoming my habit, I used many photos of this ongoing piece to determine what would come next. This piece was very much an intuitive creation. Since it was abstract, there was no right or wrong, just my intuition, the design principles that I tried to apply and the many photocopies of the ongoing piece with marks and notes.
  • As I mentioned above, I knew that I wanted the driftwood on the piece but didn't make up my mind until almost the end as to where it would be. I thought that I wanted it at the top, but in the end, it would have made the piece too top heavy, so down it went.
  • I'm really grateful that this piece end up as well as it did because I have to admit that by the last weekend before it was due, I was so exhausted that I had a hard time with everything. It's probably a good thing in hindsight because it made me keep the driftwood and the embroidery on the top of the piece very, very simple - which is exactly what it needed 😊
Related links
Linking parties

Project details
Connections & Intersections
14" X 17"
Materials: hand-dyed cottons, wool felt and thread, cotton and silk thread, drift wood, beads and charm 
Techniques: dry felting, embroidery, couching, weaving, hand quilting

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Welcome to Our House

Welcome to My House blog hop

Do you remember the song, Our House, by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young?  This art quilt is inspired by that song.

Our House
"Our house is a very, very, very fine house
With two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard
Now everything is easy, 'cause of you"
Lyrics of Our House by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young

"Our House" - the journey

Come with me on my journey to make "Our House".

It started with this blog hop button. I always wanted to participate in those cool blog hops, so I submitted my name to Carol of Just Let Me Quilt. I was thrilled when I learned that I could participate.

The decision: what to make?

Given all of my other commitments, it had to be relatively small, easy and fun. I had some great ideas, but most would have been months in the making. That wasn't going to happen.

I looked at some pictures of quilted houses on Pinterest for inspiration. Finally I just sat down and doodled. It didn't take long to get something that I thought might be simple and cool.
The doodle
Auditioning fabrics
I took out many, many fabrics that might fit. Finally I chose and cut some and just placed them over a white cotton fabric.

I really wanted to use the fabric with the multi-coloured boxes for the house, but it was just too much. I had the option of using less colourful printed fabrics around it, or using a plainer fabric for the house. I'm glad that I was able to incorporate a little bit of that multi-coloured boxes fabric around the windows and for the attic hexie window.

is a very, very fine house...
You can see that I changed the landscape fabric quite a bit, although it's still mostly the same fabrics. I just played with the proportions until I got something that looked good.

With 2 cats in the yard....
I decided on two trees and some tulips on the right side. as well as creatures hiding in the lawn.
As well as a yard, trees and birds
Many fun things hiding in the lawn!

I thought I had finished but realised that I needed to add a door handle - so I raided my button jar and added a door handle as well as more flower buttons in the lawn.

I had a great time free motion quilting (FMQ) the piece. Sometimes I followed the fabric design while in the very busy flower fabric I quilted some flower meander.

What I learned
  • I played a lot with the different possible fabrics for this piece. Again, taking photos of the possibilities really helped me figure out what didn't work and what might work.
  • While making my mountain landscape quilt, I had a hard time figuring out what to thread sketch and what to FMQ. This time I only sewed the house and the yard fabrics onto the stabilizer. The rest of the stitching was done through FMQ. I must say that I liked this best since it gives the piece a little more dimension. 
  • I'm really pleased with the FMQ in the sky. I looked at the FMQ samples that I made during the FMQ Challenge with Angela Walters. I did a variation of the swirls from week 7. I'm very happy to report that the swirls in this piece were much better than my original challenge practice piece.
  • This quilt was also inspired by the song Our House because as soon as I made the doodle above, I started humming it. That's why I added the 2 cats in the yard. It's a great song from a great album. You can check out the link below to listen to it again on YouTube.
  • Our House was inspired by the quilt, Wonky Houses by Martha Baltram. I saw the quilt on Quilt Inspiration. The quilt won third prize for Best Scrap Quilt at the 2018 Quilt Arizona Show. Martha said that her houses were inspired by hairdos. You'll want to check out her quilt in the Related links below - her houses are even wilder than mine 😊.
Related links
Project details

Our House
17" x 20"
Materials: cotton fabric, buttons
Techniques: appliqué, English paper piecing (EPP), free motion quilting,

Thank you so much Carol for hosting this blog hop!

Linking parties
This post will be linked to some great linking parties around quilt land. Why not check them out! Monday MakingMain Crush MondayDesign WallMoving it ForwardWhat I Made MondayTuesday Colour Linky Party, Linky Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers, Silly Mama Quilts WIPSNeedle & Thread Thursday, Friday Foto Fun, Finished or Not Friday, Off the Wall Friday, Free Motion Mavericks, Happy Friday Finishes, TGIFF, Can I Get A Whoop Whoop?,

Great news! Our House was featured on Muv's Free Motion Mavericks! Thanks Muv :-)

Welcome to Our House Blog Hop Schedule

Monday, September 10

Tuesday, September 11

Wednesday, September 12

Thursday, September 13

Monday, September 10, 2018

Welcome to my house blog hop starts today

Have you seen the buzz around the quilting blogs this week? The Welcome to my house blog hop, organised by Carol of Just Let Me Quilt starts today and is on all week. I did a quick jaunt around the block, visiting all of today's participants. It's really great! There are houses in all kinds of styles and techniques - just like in real life!

My turn will be coming on Thursday, September 13th. I'm very, very happy to report that I finished my house quilt last night. I'm hoping for a dry day tomorrow so that I can take more pictures.

This is the first time that I make a quilt specifically about a house. I looked through my blog to see that I have done very few houses - and most of them are bird houses! I thought that I would show you the bird houses to add a little colour to this post.
Foundation paper pieced bird house

Another bird house in the winter

Come back on Thursday for my latest and brightest. Here's a hint - It's not a bird house 😊

Here are the posts to the Welcome to my house blog hop this week. I will update the links with the specific post links as they are published.

Monday, September 10

Tuesday, September 11

Wednesday, September 12

Thursday, September 13

Related Links
Linking Parties
I will be linking this post to a few link-ups. Let's tell everyone about the blog hop! Monday MakingMain Crush MondayDesign Wall MondayMoving it Forward,

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Throwback Thursday - My first fiber art piece

Sandra at mmm! Quilts is hosting Throwback Thursday and here is my short post.

My first fiber art piece

Last month I was going through some old family photos and found, as far as I know, my first mixed media fiber art piece. It's got collage, fabric, lace, cardboard, paper and poetry. It was made at school 😊 and was a valentine card for my parents.

First mixed media fiber art piece made by yours truly

It even has poetry!
When my daughter saw it, she was pretty amazed. I still have the same handwriting and the poem wasn't too bad :-)

What I've learned

  • I wander why my artistic talent wasn't spotted right away? Seems to me it was obvious for everyone to see :-) With a little more encouragement, I could have been the next Wordsworth or Renoir!
  • That's OK. How could anyone have known that I had the spark of an artist in my soul? It's only taken me 55 years to figure it out - so I'm not surprised that it wasn't obvious - except to my dad, who kept this for me.😊

Linking parties
I am linking this post to mmm! Quilts' Throwback Thursday. I'm also linking this post to other link-up parties. Let's go see what everyone is up to! Off the Wall Friday, Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, Design Wall Monday, Moving it Forward,

Also, don't forget to come by next month to participate since I'll be hosting Throwback Thursday for Sandra on Thursday, October 4th.

Friday, September 07, 2018

Another OMG art quilt

One Monthly Goal for September

This is a short post to get my OMG for September posted on time! It's important because it really does help me plan so that I can keep track of that dreaded word - deadline!

I'll have to work faster than the end of the month to get my Connected by a Thread art quilt project done on time. It's due on Monday, September 17th, the night of my Out of the Box Fibre Art group meeting.
Woven pieces of hand-dyed fabrics
I posted some elements of the abstract fibre art piece in June. I've done some work on it, but it really hasn't advance as much as it should have.

When I don't know what I'm doing, it's really, really easy to get distracted by pretty much anything!

So far, the piece includes some felting, embroidery, beading and couching. I'm having a difficult time working with these muted fabrics but I'm confidant that it will turn out well. 

I've also been procrastinating about when to start quilting. It hit me a couple of days ago that since I want to do more embroidery, that I will just use these stitches as quilting at the same time.

One of the techniques that I've used to figure out the next steps is printing a large photo of the piece and then adding possible designs on it. Unfortunately that's as far as it went until I figured out that I could quilt it with embroidery thread. 

This photo was taken after my June post since the woven piece above now has embroidery around it. It looks much better. 

Slowly adding elements
The photo below was taken after I had started embroidering the bottom part. I really like the three dimensional element. When it's done, I'll tell you how it came about by accident :-)

Since then, I've finished a beaded piece to top the circle. I'm pretty sure that the driftwood piece will go above the woven appliqué. I have some nifty ideas for some dangling embellishments but I have to get the background finished before I can play with those.

Some progress
What I learned
  • I'm going to keep most of my lessons learned for when I finish this piece. It's been hard to concentrate on it when so many other projects are much clearer in my mind.
  • As much as I dread deadlines, this is what, again, is going to push me to finish this piece. I'm really looking forward to seeing how it's going to turn out 😊

Related links
Linking parties
I will be linking up this post to the September One Monthly Goal (OMG) Setting link-up. As well, check out all of the other cool linking parties. Silly Mama Quilts WIPNeedle & Thread Thursday, Off the Wall FridayMidweek MakersLet's Bee SocialFinished or Not Friday, Friday Foto FunCan I Get A Whoop Whoop?Slow Sunday Stitching

What's coming up or going on!
The 2018 Online Quilters' Meet & Greet is going on. Come meet each participating quilter. It really is great fun. I can't wait to sit down this weekend and read these posts! Here is the link to my post.
2018 Online Quilters' Meet & Greet 
If there's a little bit of quilting stress in my life right now, it's also because of this other deadline! I can't complain since I've had so much fun making this quilt - but it's due this week, so you know what I'll be doing on the weekend and the rest of the week (other than working on the Connected by a Thread quilt!)
This blog hop starts Monday!
Thanks for dropping by - and see you soon!