December 22, 2010 5 comments

Merry Christmas!

Okay, I know I'm early, but I'm so sick I don't think I'm going to be able to any proper posts before Saturday.

So Merry Christmas, happy holidays, good solstice, all of that.

See you next week!
December 20, 2010 11 comments

I habn't been sewing this weekend cuz my head is stubbed ub!

Not to mention the achy flu symptoms.  *le wah*

And so, though I planned to have a finished art quilt to show you today, I'm going to be posting a couple more of the stockings I've entered in the mini-peep boot contest that Lizzie House is having.

This one's my favourite - faux pony and sequins and beading, oh my!  It's not quilted like the first one was, but I still think it's totally cute.

And speaking of "totally" - I am TOTALLY addicted to making these little numbers.  I want to make 20 or so of them and do a whole mini tree of them next year.  BSP thinks they're great fun and agrees that we ought to have a mini-stocking tree.  (You'd only know how amazing that agreement is, if you knew we already have four Christmas trees which get put up every year.)

And then I made another quilted one, which I had to bead just cuz they're saucy that way.  :)

I have one more that I want to make for the contest (a shimmery baby blue number) and I have until the end of the day tommorrow to do so - however, I've been so sick I literally haven't been able to stand for more than five minutes and get dizzy and nauseous if I do so.  Not to mention, that if I say more than three words I start coughing up my lungs.  *le wah*

Off to the doctor tommorrow for me; and maybe if I can, another mini stocking for the contest.

Hope you're all doing much, MUCH better than I am (it took me two hours to make this little post!) and I look forward to talking to you all later in the week.


December 17, 2010 0 comments

Friday Flickr Faves

1. Summer Grove with Fireflies

This "digital doodle" called Summer Grove with Fireflies is by A Drawing A Day  Unfortunately, I have no link or identification information about this person other than their Flickr account, but I highly encourage having a scroll through their work.

There's a lot to choose from for inspiration... this one's "feeling" may show up in a quilt of mine in the very near future!

So, dear readers....

What inspires you?
December 15, 2010 4 comments

The holidays just throw things off, don't they?

So, instead of doing a Wednesday WIP, I'm showing you a stocking I made for BSP the night before last.

Excuse the bits of snow on it - but it does make it seem somehnow more authentic, yes?  :) 

As I was auditioning fabrics for BSP for a stocking (ALL of which were vetoed) BSP asked "Don't you have anything Christmasy?" I didn't think so, but as it turned out, I did!  As soon as I pulled it, I knew that I had to use some of my brown fur and little bits of Italian gold scraps. 

I quilted it overall in my standby for small project - honeycomb quilting, and then I hand beaded it with green glass beads.

And I even free motion quilted some little trees on the ankle band!

The pattern is from Lizzy House quilts .  Join in the fun!
December 13, 2010 12 comments

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

Here in Ontario, we've had crazy snowstorms the last week  - as much as 46 centimetres in one night,  and it continues to snow!

Of course, when you have that much snow, you make snow angels, snow caves, snow forts, and snow men - or in my case, snow people!

Of course, mine were on a table runner - which I made so that I'd have something to show you today (because the owners of two of the commissions I'm working on have asked me not to publish). 

However, our kitchen is white and a paler shade of that blue, so it'll be put to good use.

And how are you all doing in these last days before Christmas?
December 9, 2010 5 comments

A Project for The Fliffer Floffer

1. Red Rocks

This is a piece by Jane LaFazio, but it's the kind of thing that I imagine I will make with my fliffer floffer once I get it.  What's a "fliffer floffer" you ask?  Oh, I'm sorry, didn't you know?  It's a needle felter.  In particular, the Janome FM-725.

For the past couple of weeks I've been researching needle felters and have/had decided on the Janome FM-725.  However, when I went to my usual sewing machine guy, he informed me that Janome wasn't making it any more!  I called Janome direct, and they confrimed that it was true, although they said they would support it forever.  So then I called around and sadly, most places haven't had one.

I did find two - or so I thought - the other day I sent  BSP to pick it up at a particular location, and it turned out that the dealer lied!  She didnt' have it - didn't even know what it was and had never heard of a fliffer floffer.  *ahem*  BSP called me from the dealer and asked me what the fliffer floffer was called.  After the dealer got the information that the FM 725 was a needle felter and not a fliffer floffer, she still maintained she had never heard of such a thing and didn't quite believe it existed.

In any case, the hunt continues.  (I may have to settle for a Babylock version).  However, when I finally do get one, I will of course call it "Fliffer Floffer" - because seriously - could there be a better name?
December 8, 2010 4 comments

El Anatsui

I haven't quite gotten back into the swing of things, so I thought I'd show you an art installation I went to see at the ROM a couple of weeks ago. First, I went to see a documentary about the artist El Anatsui, and then I went on a curated tour of his work.

His art is huge - I mean massive - it's all encompassing.   To give you some perspective:

Dusasa I

It has the feeling of textiles with hints of mosaic, quilting, weaving... as if the scale of these pieces isn't impressive enough, here's what these pieces are made of:

He makes everything entirely from the tops liquor bottles!!!

His philosophy with respect to the materials he uses is that if you use inexpensive materials, your vision isn't constrained by the costliness of the project.  This really resonated for me as for two years now, I've been looking at a pile of fabrics  - all silk - for a quilt I've been holding in my head for those same two years; but haven't cut into because the fabrics alone cost $500.00.  Would I have made that quilt a long time ago, if I hadn't been afraid of "ruining" $500 worth of fabric?  Of course!  Perhaps you've been simliarly constrained by much loved fabric lines or bits that you can't get anymore.

And, of course, he is also, among other things, opening a dialouge about our detritus, turning said garbage into  something beautiful, alcohol and the role it plays in his particular society (and by extension, ours), among many other things.

I know this exhibit is going to be in New York in February - apparently an extension is being built onto one of the museums to permanently house it.  If you have the opportunity, please do go and see it.  The pictures I've taken are nice - but they are in no way indicative of the power of these pieces in real life.  They made my eyes well up!

If you're local  - come and see it while you can.
December 6, 2010 14 comments

Love for sale...

So, as I've been blathering about for some weeks now, I particpated in a group show and sale in the neighbourhood just east of ours.

It was my first show and sale and I would give it an 8 out of ten.  I learned a whole lot through the process, among them the following:

  1. Pretend your show is a week earlier than it actually is, and set it all up with all your products.  You'll figure out what you're missing, what you're going to need, what'll it look like and you'll be totally calm, cool and collected the day of.
  2. Don't forget your business cards.
  3. Do your research!  By this, I mean, go around to the local sales before you actually enter them.  See how the vendors are and if you'll fit in at that particular sale.  See what kind of show it is.  Check out the venue so you'll know how to display and what things you'll need for that particular location.
  4. Don't forget your business cards.
  5. Have professional signage made - and a variety of it - again, know your location.  Hanging, standing and table signage.
  6. Don't forget your business cards.
  7. Bring extra lighting for your booth/table - don't depend on the location to have it available.
  8. Don't forget your business cards.
  9. Bring snacks, drinks, food, etc.  I had BSP to fetch and carry, but you may not be so lucky, and shows don't always have runners.
  10. Don't forget your business cards!
  11. Bring a camera (as I obviously didn't) to take pictures of the venue and your presence there.
  12. Keep up a good attitude even if things aren't going well.  There were a few vendors who didn't sell a thing, and as the day went by they became grumpier and grumpier, and even if someone were interested in their wares, by that time, the customer would be afraid to approach them!
There were more learnings, but those were the main ones - if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.  

Also, don't forget your super duper specially made professional business cards at home.

Favourite Moments:
  1. One woman who oohed and ahhed her way through my quilts, stopped dead at "Jungle Princess", gapsed, put her hand to her throat, welled up and said "Oh.  It's so beautiful, it makes me want to cry!"  I've had that experience with other people's art - it was amazing to be the recipient.
  2. So many enjoyable and fun conversations with different people!
  3. My neighbour, Carolyn of Carolyn Draws was a lovely, friendly and helpful seller, who had experience and was wonderfully willing to share it - she even gave me some helpful suggestions about ways and means of getting myself out there. She was a true pleasure to sell with.
  4. That my little quilt "Zen Gardens" a quilt I've always thought was incredibly beautiful but perhaps too subtle for most people, got as much attention at my personal favourite "Of The Moment".  It was so gratifying to see that when viewing the quilt "live and in person" people absolutely loved it. How amazing to be validated in my design aesthetic.
  5. I was told over and over again that I need to be in "The One of  Kind Craft Show and Sale".  It would take me probably two years to make enough product for the show - but I always imagined myself there one day - how cool to be told by customers that I should be there.
  6. all the beautiful babies!!!  So many people brought babies and small children - my kids are grown, so it was so wonderful to be exposed to all those delicious smelling and sweet looking little bundles.
  7. Last but not least - my absolute favourite moment:
Did you know I invented contemporary quilting? 


These three ladies came along - an average of ten years older than I.  They went through the top set of quilts and oohed and ahhed and stroked them and twittered about them amongst themselves at an amazing speed (I mean amazing - an entire conversation and five quilts were looked at in about 30 seconds flat. *hee*).  And then one of them said to me, "Did you invent this?"

"Quilting?!!!!" I asked, laughingly?

"No", she said, "Not quilting.  I'm a traditional quilter, but we've never seen anything like this"

"NEVER!" piped up the second one.

"It's amazing!" said the third one. 

"Soooooo beautiful..." said the first one. "What do you call this kind of quilting?"

So I told her that I call myself a contemporary quilter, and that no, I didn't invent it, though I am trying to be true to myself and hopefully, bring something new to the craft.  We had a converation about it, and eventually, the two friends pulled the third one away, she looking longingly back all the way out of the building.

First, I invented Pinwheels - now I've invented Contemporary Quilting!

I am magical!