Thursday, May 27, 2021

May's OMG and Free Motion Mavericks

I didn't manage to sandwich the quilt, but when I read my One Monthly Goal (OMG) for May, it stated " My OMG for May is to finish piecing Version 2.0 of my Mother's Quilt to my Son". So thank you Patty for keeping us motivated! My OMG for May was achieved!

Piecing Version 2.0

There isn't much to tell except that when I came to prepare the back I found that I didn't have enough fabric 😒. This is why I tend to work with scrappy quilts - you can't really run out of fabric! This isn't a pretty picture but I just wanted to show everyone that it was pieced. Hubby was kind enough to hold up the quilt for me in the only space we can see it all.

Version 2.0 is pieced!

What I learned

  • What can I say....figuring out how much fabric I need shouldn't be beyond me but oh well.... Thank goodness that it's Kona Cotton so I was able to order another 4 meters. 
  • It took me a while to figure out how wide I wanted the borders to be. The quilt, without the borders, is slightly smaller than the original. I ended up adding 6" borders at the bottom and top, and 8" borders on the side. This will make the quilt roughly 80" x 95". 
  • I wanted the quilt to fit on a queen size bed if need be.
  • I've ordered the fabric from Sew Sisters in Toronto. It should be here today or tomorrow.

Related links

Linking parties

I'll be linking up to Patty of Elm Street Quilts' Finish link up for the May One Monthly Goal as well as other fun parties. Let's see what's going on...and remember to link up to Free Motion Mavericks below. 

Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to week 333 of Free Motion Mavericks. I really don't like picking just one quilt to feature, so this time I've decided not to! 

I want to highlight Turid from Norway's finished black and white improv quilt, Punk. I had to laugh at the dinosaurs helper! You can see the whole quilt on her post.

Turid's quilted improv quilt and her dinosaur helper!

Here is Gail's quilt - that FMQ is pretty impressive. This quilt is her entry for the Island Batik Blog Hop. 

Gail's Island Batik Blog Hop quilt

Kathy of Kathy's Quilts was in the process of FMQ her Sister's Scrap Challenge quilt with wavy lines and loops. She was having lots of fun and trying to make her deadline!

Kathy quilting her challenge quilt

I hope that you will link up to this week's Free Motion Maverick's party.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Sunday, May 23, 2021

After the Storm

This is the latest piece that I've finished from a Stitch Challenge workshop. I know that I say that many of my art quilts are my favourites but I really, really love this one.

After the Storm

After the Storm

In March of this year, I made this piece following a workshop with Jette Clover, a Danish fibre artist. It's based on a photo taken after a snow storm this winter. 

A photo of my back yard after the snow storm

Our workshop was to create a piece based on a winter scene. I've often contemplated making a winter scene, but I had never gotten further that wondering "how in the world am I supposed to create a scene that's mostly white?" If you look carefully however, snow is not just white. There are usually shadows and the white sometimes has bluish or pinkish tinges, depending on the time of day and the weather conditions.

Details of After the Storm

I started by layering a flannel base with various fabrics and experimenting. A hand-dyed gray fabric went over the flannel. For the bottom, I used a piece of cotton lace from an old t-shirt, put a layer of batting and then added the lace on top. That was a lovely way of adding white without actually having to work too hard to give it texture 😊. I stitched on a piece of hand-dyed t-shirt on top of that - it had originally been an image of a bouquet of dried flowers so it had some lovely lines. Next came different types of tulle and organza - most of it had a lovely sheen that would be great for reflecting snow.

For the fence, I had a piece of cotton with pink, yellow and turquoise. On top of that came a piece of linen that I had dyed turquoise. It was an old skirt and I kept the stitching that was on it as part of the composition. I loved how it was curling and fraying. I also added a darker piece of gray as a line on the left. It sort of frames the piece and in the picture it's the window frame.

Once the pieces were mostly attached, I started stitching the branches. I used a running stitch of gray embroidery floss to outline them.

Outlining branches following the fabric

Adding the tree and its branches was the hardest part. I used a piece of batik and stitched it down with a button-hole stitch of a few strands of brown floss. I used the same floss to outline the tree branches. I then started covering the brown outlines with a DMC white Mouliné Étoile embroidery floss. It has a beautiful shimmer to it.

Adding the tree and then covering the branches with snow

I added lots of snow on the tree and fence top, the branches and around the base of the tree. I used a fluffy white yard to add snow between the tree and the lace. I thought that I needed something next to the branches and so added the snow covered bird bath. I used a piece of gray fabric covered with tulle and outlined in black.

Adding lots of snow and a bird bath.

Next came stitching the background with running stitch. I stitched the fence fabric vertically with a very light variegated thread that went well with the fabric. I used a variegated gray thread for the background. As I was stitching the background, it became obvious that the stamp had to be moved. 

What's with the stamp?

Jette Clover, our instructor, loves to add stamps to her textile art pieces. Since we were in the middle of lock-down and I didn't have any interesting stamps, I went to the Canada Post website and found a series of northern wildlife stamps. I chose the Arctic Hare stamp since it was more likely to be in my back yard that a caribou 😊. I made a photo copy of the stamp and attached it to a piece of brown cardstock. When I moved the stamp and was ready to finish the piece, I went to a post office outlet and bought a book of the northern wildlife stamps. I then attached the real stamp to a piece of green cardstock and placed it higher on the piece. It looks much better now!

Finishing it 

The piece has an irregular, organic shape that it didn't want to change. However, I did want to hang it somehow.

I ended up using a 10"x10" canvas and covered it with a remnant of stretchy velour fabric that I had been gifted. I need more experience covering canvas frames but this was pretty good for my first try. I want to do this more often to finish my art quilts. It really gives it a nice professional finish and hangs better than a sleeve, especially for pieces with odd shapes.

Finished piece, before adding it to a covered canvas

What I learned

  • It never ceases to amaze me how I end up adding fabrics and moving them around until it starts looking like something that I want. I don't really have any idea of what the piece will look like except that it should look a little like the photo.
  • When I'm  not sure of one part, I'll leave it and work on another part. If nothing seems to work - then it's time to leave it until I feel like picking it up again. Having it sit on my desk or my design wall usually helps me think of something.
  • You can see between the almost finished piece and the finished piece that I moved the stamp and added more stitches to the side gray border.
  • I really loved the DMC Mouliné Étoile. I will pick more up when stores are open again since I used almost the entire skein on this piece.
  • This was one of the four pieces that I had in the Fibre Fling exhibit last week. The other pieces were Exit Strategy, Big Mandala to Heal the World and Flower Impressions.

Related links

Linking parties
I will be linking up to many fun linking parties. Let's see what's going on in the quilting world! If you have any FMQ, link up to Free Motion Mavericks with Muv this week. Off the Wall Friday, Put Your Foot Down, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?, Finished or Not Finished Friday and TGIFF, Beauties Pageant, Peacock Party, Patchwork & Quilts, Slow Sunday Stitching, 15 Minutes to Stitch 2021, Monday Making, Design Wall Monday

After the Storm was featured on Denise's Put Your Foot Down. Thanks Denise!

Project details

After the Storm

9" x 8½", mounted on a 10"x10" canvas 

Materials: flannel base, hand-dyed cottons and linen, batik, organza, tulle, lace, batting, embroidery floss, variegated thread and yarn, cardstock, stamp

Techniques: appliqué and embroidery

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Hexies galore and Free Motion Mavericks

I can't believe  it - I totally forgot that I had a post and a link up due today. I did vaguely think about it this week and then my sleep deprived brain skipped right over it. Such is life these days! 😊 

Hexies galore

In my last hexie related post in February (link below), I mentioned that I wanted to make large hexie flowers around the borders of my mass of hexies. Since then, I've added a couple of them. These help me define the borders so that I can keep adding smaller hexie flowers and other shapes within the body of the quilt. To give you come perspective, it could now be a small lap quilt or a large baby quilt. I think that I would like it to be a large lap quilt, but that could change 😊 

My hexie quilt so far

I love these wonderful soft colours

I really needed more purple!

I've been participating in the #100hexies100days2021 which is organised by @sewfoxymama. She's done an amazing job getting weekly themes and prizes. Thanks!!! Here are this year's themes.

Our themes this year

Theme 1 - Sewer's Choice

In the last couple of years on this challenge, I've seen a few hand-embroidered hexies. I really wanted to do that too! I used slightly bigger hexies that I will incorporate in my Traveller's blanket. All of these are on my hand-dyed or painted fabrics.

Larger embroidered hexies for my Traveller's Blanket

Theme 2 - Treasures

Since I work for Parks Canada, I thought that I would highlight our national treasures - National Historic Sites, National Parks and Marine Conservation Areas. I included the stars because we have a couple of night sky preserves where there is minimal light pollution. The card is one I purchased years ago in Banff, Alberta. It's photographed by Ursula A Krol.

Parks Canada's National Treasures

Theme 3 - Rainbow

One rainbow coloured hexie in the middle is surrounded by colours of the rainbow.

Samandra and rainbow hexies

Chevy is perhaps not as impressed as she could be!

Theme 4 - Party

Reasons to get together and party! The tulips represent the May long weekend and the Ottawa Tulip Festival.

Many of these symbolize events worthy of a party!

Flowers are required at a hexie party!

Theme 5 - Happiness

Happiness is a pet's love - this one is for Chevy!

Hexies with doggy fabrics!

For Chevy who brings lots of happiness to our lives!

Theme 6 - Berry Cute

I don't really have many berry fabrics but with a little imagination, some of these fabrics represent berries. Of course the sun is in the centre since you don't get berries without it!

Berry extravaganza! 

Theme 7 - Black & White

Black and white on a
 black and white background

Theme 8 - I Spy

Lots of fun things for I Spy 

Theme 9 - Big and Small

After looking at my fabrics, I settled on big and small stripes. Both the fish and the frog in the fabric are stripped. My kitchen was a good source of stripped items for the background.

Big & Small stripes

Theme 10 - Hearts

Heart fabric hexies surrounded
by a FMQ heart shaped feather 

Lots of fun hearts 💖

Theme 11 - FairyTale

I don't have much fairytale fabric - so there was a lot of trying to make links to the theme. I broadened the theme to include myths and folklore. See if you can figure out what the fabrics represent! For the chicken, imagine that it's laying a pink diamond egg! 😊 Even Chevy participated by letting me use her gingerbread man as a prop!

The gingerbread man with other
Fairytale or myth related hexies 

Disney - a large influence on modern fairytales

What I learned
  • Kimono Silk Thread
    I wish I had some Shrek fabric for the fairytale theme! I don't have a lot of novelty fabrics but it is possible to make them work with some imagination.
  • The image here is of my white Kimono Silk Thread which I use exclusively for stitching hexies's almost empty!!!
  • I realised that I haven't posted an update on my Traveller's Blanket in ages. It may be slow going but I do work on it occasionally. It's now on my list of things to post about.
  • I was going to say that I need more sleep to stay organised but since I've never been really organised in my may go beyond sleep 😄
  • I have taken out my son's quilt and the fabric to make the borders. We figured out roughly how large it will be. Now I need to actually do it! Reality check - there are three weekends left before the end of May!
  • Update! I had a little huge scare on Friday. My post was deemed to have nefarious coding and disappeared without explanation or trace....and my blog was tagged as dangerous!!! After trying a few things and running a scan of my computer, I just left it in disgust. On Saturday I received an email from Blogger to say that it had removed my post because of the coding... and then later in the day, I got another email saying that upon review, it had been deemed to be ok and replaced.  After a while to cool down, I went into blogger and had to republish the post...everything was ok...phew. I realise that Blogger has to be careful but until I heard from Blogger, I was wondering if my blog had been highjacked or something - I didn't know if I could ever post again....and that made me very sad. I have spent too many years working hard at this to abandon it. Anyway, all is well and I'm so glad that my post and blog is no longer deemed a threat! (Huge sigh of relief!!!)
Related links
Linking parties

Free Motion Mavericks

Welcome to week 331 of Free Motion Mavericks. Thanks to everyone who linked up last time. I hope you had a chance to see them all! I did, however want to highlight Denise's Patchwork Flowers quilt. I just loved those yummy colours - what a feast for the eyes. If you didn't visit, it's never too late.

Denise at For the Love of Geese made this lovely vibrant Patchwork Flowers quilt
Now it's your turn!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Virtual Fibre Art Show and OMG

I hope that May is treating you well. It's still cold and rainy in Ottawa but then it is only May 😊 

Fibre Fling 2021 Virtual Art Show

The Out of the Box Fibre Art Group is proud to present our first virtual art show. I really hope that you will visit - the art is really amazing!

Here are the posters for the event. Does one of those pieces look familiar?

Fibre-Fling 2021

Fibre-Fling 2021

Fibre-Fling 2021

Fibre-Fling 2021

The posters may feature art from previous shows but I think that this year's show is one of our best. Of course it's not the same as seeing everything in person, but then I wouldn't be able to invite you all to attend!😊 

As usual, I have entered the maximum number of art pieces that we are allowed. If you check it out, you will see my latest piece, After the Storm. I'll write up the post in the next week or so. It's one of my favourite pieces. (I think I often say that after I finish my latest!)

I hope that you'll go visit. It's well worth it!

May One Monthly Goal (OMG)

I've had a lot of fun posting on Instagram, but it's time to get back to work! I'm sure that that is what my son is thinking.😁

My OMG for May is to finish piecing Version 2.0 of my Mother's Quilt to my Son.

Ready for the borders!

By the end of the month, I want to: 

  • Add the borders (figure out exactly how big I want it to be, cut and piece);
  • Sandwich it (that is one huge job and the kitchen floor needs to be clean to do it!)
  • With my son, discuss and plan the quilting of Version 2.0 based on my mother's notes to my son

If I can start free motion quilting (FMQ) it, that would be a bonus!

Front page of Notes from my mother to my son
A story about his quilt

Translation: The Stéphane Quilt by Thérèse Lamontagne in Kirkland Lake June 2000. Story written by a grand-mother that explains the quilt that she made for her grandson when he turned nine years of age.

With my son's permission, I will share some of the story as I FMQ Version 2.0

I'm not adding a What I learned section because I haven't seemed to learn it...I think that this quilt has been an OMG at least 2 or 3 times....let's see if I can do it this time! For added inspiration, I'm pulling the quilt top and the border fabric and hanging them on the banister! 

Related links

Linking parties

I'll be linking up to the May One Monthly Goal (OMG) with Patty at Elm Street Quilts, as well as other fun linking parties. Let's check them out! Monday Making, Midweek Makers, Patchwork & Quilts, Off the Wall Friday, Put Your Foot Down, Design Wall Monday, Needle & Thread Thursday, Can I  Get A Whoop Whoop?

Monday, May 03, 2021

Week 5 of #AtoZchallenge2021Quilt (Art)

Last week was the end of the #AtoZchallenge2021Quilt (Art). It was a great finish, even if I was less organised as the month went on. I want to thank Frédérique of Quilting Patchwork Appliqué for a wonderful challenge. I really learned a lot and am so happy to have participated. Here's a look at the last week's post.

V is for Village

This project, Amalfi Coast Happy Village was one of my first art quilts, although I didn't realise it at the time. It was made during a workshop with the owner of a local quilt shop and based on Karen Eckmeier's book, Happy Villages. The image is loosely based on a postcard that I bought in the Amalfi Coast in Italy. 

Amalfi Coast Happy Village - my first art quilt

Putting Amalfi Coast Happy Village together 

Happy Villages by
Karen Eckmeier

W is for Weaving

This piece is called Ciboulette Stitches. It was created based on a workshop with Sue Stone through Weaving was my first passion and it was great to incorporate it into my art. BTW ciboulette is chives in French. 

Ciboulette Stitches on a woven background

Lovely ciboulette flowers

The real thing in the garden

X is Xerothermic

Xerothermic is an adjective used to describe dry and hot climates. Isn't Google amazing? I actually learned a new word 😊! 

This piece is called South-West art quilt. It was begun at a workshop at my local quilt shop, Quilty Pleasures, in 2010. I had done what I could, but had no idea how to finish all of the grasses in the foreground. Finally it came to me – couching! So the piece was finished in 2015 as part of a UFO challenge. 

The quilt hangs in my daughter's room as a reminder of our wonderful vacations in the American South-West.
South-West Art Quilt

Couching was the solution that I
was looking for!
Lighting up the sky

Y is for Yellow

This piece is called “Keep Calm and Stitch”. I stitched and beaded the word “Calm” since it’s my word of the year - I didn't realise until then that my unconscious word of the year for 2020 was Frenzy. That's why I consciously chose Calm. 

This piece was made in January for the first challenge of the year of Project Quilting 2021. The theme was to use the Pantone colours of the year – Illuminating and Ultimate Gray. To avoid last year's Frenzy and to remain calm, this is the only one of the Project Quilting challenges that I did this year. I did enjoy it and hopefully it's something that I will continue to participate in, at least occasionally. 

“Keep Calm and Stitch” - for the Project Quilting 2021

Details: buttons, couching
and stitching

More slow stitching to remain calm 

Beading and various
embroidery stitches

Z is for Zigzag

This practice piece is zigzag crosses. It is a Sashiko stitch that I learned from Shannon & Jason Mullett-Bowlsby of Shibaguyz Designz in a virtual workshop. I also bought their book, Boro & Sashiko to keep on learning. Now that I know how to create the grids to stitch Sashiko, I really love it and hope to keep adding it to my art quilts. 

It's too bad that this last post wasn't an example of something in a real art quilt but the only other word that I might have used was zillion, as in a zillion beads in an art quilt. I am working on a project that feels like it has a zillion beads in it but when I looked at it, it didn't look like it even had tons of beads, let alone a zillion 😁.

Sashiko stitching zigzag crosses

What I learned
  • Although it required a lot of preparation, this was a great challenge.
  • I think what I underestimated the most was the time to prepare the posts since I didn't want to just put in what I had said on Instagram.
  • It was a great experience to see most of the art quilts that I have done over the years. Many of them have been created since belonging to the's Stitch Club, for which I am very thankful.
  • I know that I've learned so much as an artist about colour, composition and techniques, but I'm pretty impressed with some of my earlier works. Most are pretty good!
  • Now that this rush is over, I'm looking forward to reading some of the other participants' posts 😊
Related links
Linking parties
I will be linking up to many fun linking parties this week. You can still link up to Free Motion Mavericks until Tuesday evening. After that, make sure to visit Muv and link up thereMonday Making, Design Wall Monday, Oh Scrap!, Patchwork & Quilts