January 31, 2011 13 comments

Weekend In The Country

(Maggie's making a cameo - she thought I draped the quilt this way expressly so that she could play with it
-and consequently, I couldn't get her to go away!)

A definite departure for me, this twin sized, all cotton quilt was made for a couple of reasons: the first was that I needed to produce something for 3 Creative Studios January Colour Pallette Challenge, and I didn't have a lot on hand in those colours. 
January 28, 2011 0 comments

Taking Flight 3CS JQ 4/52

This is my second piece in the Art Quilt Blog's journal quilt challenge (theme "highly prized") and the 4th of my journal quilts for the 3 Creative Studio's journal quilt challenge.
January 25, 2011 3 comments


I was at my local tonight (50% off - God bless January sales!) and picked up some lovelies.

These are Alexander Henry's Island Girls, - as the sharper eyed among you may remember, I collect vintage pin up girls (I have probably 50 more than are pictured here); so these lovelies were completely irresistable to me. I also love the Tiki island-like Aloha girls although they're a bit more risque - so I could think of even fewer appliations than these.  I want to get the Heavy Equipment boys version too.

And then, as I was wandering through the store, I came across a lovely print.  Although I'm not (as you know) much of a print girl, something about this fabric really struck me, and I was pretty sure I had coordinates in my stash - and indeed I did:

And then, while I was there, I wondered if they had a fabric that I fell in love with a few months ago:

Also by Alexander Henry, this one's called Calabash.  At the time, I didn't know what I would do with it, but at 50% off, why not?  :)

On an unrelated note - I noticed the last couple of weeks my followers list has gone through a lot of changes - up a couple, down a couple every couple of days.  Please bear with me as I work through this new approach to my quilting, and new way of blogging.  But if you feel you're looking for something else - thanks for reading along with me thus far, and much luck and happiness in your future quilting adventures.

To those of you who are new - thanks for joining me!  Looking forward to getting to know you.  :)
January 24, 2011 0 comments

3CS 3/52 - "Elephants In Peril"

This is my third journal quilt in the series, a bit late due to a family matter that took up most of last week.

I started out with some hand dyed fabric that I'd made with the leftover dye I'd prepared for my snow-dyeing experiement (more on that later this week), using two different lengths.

I drew and cut out the elephants and then applied them to fusible web in both fabric and wide length gossamar ribbon for the shadows:

Afterward, I ironed them to my background fabric and prepared to add the ribbon:

And then got my threads ready for my hand and machine stitching.

When I was done, I decided that it needed a little something more, so I added some beading:

And then I was done.

The words written below the surface are as follows:

Inspired by a poem by Morton Templeton called "Elephant's Plight" - the words written on the right side are:

He was hunted now by farmers.

A marauder of fields, a thief in his own lands.
He had searched a long time
This season for a mate,
none to be found.

And on the left:

marauder, hunted, famine, drought, ivory hunters, accessories

I don't know why these fabrics made me think of elephants in peril, but they did.

3CS 3/52
January 19, 2011 8 comments

Tag Galaxy

Have you ever heard of Tag Galaxy?

It's this super neat software program that gives you a star-like sphere with little planets - i.e. a galaxy.  to You enter whatever tag you want (for instance, "quilt")  and then it pulls in related tags (hand-made, fabric, etc.) which rotate around your "sun", and then pulls in all the pictures from Flickr with those tags.

Then you click your sun, and all the tagged photos coalesce on your sun,

You can click individual quilts all around your sun (your sun rotates as you click) and look at each of them:

And if you double click the pic it will you give all the information the original quilter supplied with their picture, or you can click on the information and it will take you to Flickr if you want to look at that individual's photo stream.

And when you're done looking at all the quilts on the rotation, click "next" (and here's the super fun part!) the next level of pictures come flying in at your sun, and you have a whole new set of quilts to look at.

Of course, you can choose a different tag than "quilt", but why would you?  ;)

Happy Wednesday!
January 17, 2011 0 comments

That tree...

If you've been with me for awhile, you may remember that back in October, I posted about a tree I was working on - the "practice run" for a series of trees I see in my head.

After looking at it for awhile, I didn't like the mixed cream background anymore so decided to paint it, and this weekend I finally got around to it.

As I worked with these colours, I realized that a: I needed to thin them out even more, and b: I was going to need a lot more paint than these little trays would hold!

But after a lot more thinning out and a lot more white - I ended up with this:

(yes, I'm going to thicken up that trunk on the right side)

Although I have a very specific vision for this piece that it involves this orientation, BSP was looking at it the wrong way and thought it was a branch floating in the water . That would make it a completely different quilt than I had intended, but what say you?

Do you like it this way better?

Of Quiet Stars Post Two

In amongst my adventures with my new toys, I managed to do some work on "Of Quiet Stars">

These are the other two blocks in this four block quilt . They look eerily simliar to the ones from last week, don't they?  lol  That's what happens when you make a monochromatic quilt!

The one on the left is taffetta silk and silk charmeuse; and the other block is of course the reverse of it. And it isn't puckery the way it looks in the photo.  *ahem!*

This is a reminder of the silk shantung block from last week

Someone asked me last week whether or not I was piecing the blocks.  I'm not - I found the process too fussy.  Of course, the way I chose to do it was rather fussy too.  I had to mount the fabric on fusible interfacing

and then cut them into strips. 

I have to make 36 blocks for a queen sized quilt, which means I only have another 16 to make.

Make that: 17.


However, I had a great weekend playing with all things dye. :)

I tea dyed some fabric with tea and cranberry juice; I dyed some other fabric with freezer  burnt berry mush;  tried my hand at some snow dying

(Okay, I know shorts and a tee is a somewhat odd outfit to be scooping snow in, but I have frequent hot flashes, so this is an ordinary "at home" outfit for me - no excuse for the unbrushed hair other than that I wasn't expecting to be photographed) 

and also took my "procion MX starter kit for a spin.Super fun!

So how was your weekend?
January 14, 2011 0 comments

Highly Prized

This is my second journal quilt of the year on the theme "highly prized".
When I thought of what I prize highly, I immediately thought of my BSP (Beloved Spouse for those of you who are new to my blog), my children, my family. There is nothing that I prize more highly than my precious family and our love for one another, and I am nearly daily, consciously grateful for BSP and the life we have made for ourselves. I wanted something that was an abstract, celebratory visioning of that life.

For this piece, I wanted to try a kind of dyeing that I had seen either in a magazine or on someone's blog - it's a technique that I recall is used for shibori.  Of course I wasn't doing shibori, but I thought I could try this vaguely remembered beginning.
January 12, 2011 18 comments

My plan for 2011


You know how I show you something new most Mondays, whether it's a completed quilt, a finsihed tote bag, or a textile art piece?  You know how on Wednesdays, I do a Wednesday WIP post and show you what I'm working on, and on Friday I do "Friday Flickr Faves", pictures from Flickr that I find inspiring?

I set it up that way because I wanted to make sure that I had regular posts available for you, the people who are kind enough to pay attention to what I'm doing, and to make sure that they were at least a little  interesting.

So last week, after I had spent most of the week working on my journal quilt challenge, making some more blocks for Of Quiet Stars, and doing some work on another big textile art piece I'm working on, I was in my sewing room casting about for ideas for a quilt that I could whip up quickly for Monday's post.  I started making a sweet twin sized quilt for a girl in coral pinks and yellows, and realized that though I could race through it quickly, it wasn't really what I wanted to do.  So I asked myself, "What do I really want to do?"

Well never ask a navel gazer such a question. It started not a only a whole train of thought - it started a life plan!

I realized that I don't want to continue making quilts that whip up quickly just to have something for a Monday post; I don't want to try 20 different things in a year for the sake of trying stuff or to figure out if that's something that I'd like to do. I know what I like to do and that's what I want to work on.

I want to work on artful quilting. 

By that, I don't mean that I only want to work on textile art - I mean that I want each quilt I make to be a piece of art, whether it's meant to hang on your wall or be put on your bed. 

I want to make beautiful things: because I can now, because I want to, and because somehow, I need to.

I want to make beautiful things for their own sake.

And that means time.  Because it takes time - sometimes a lot of it - to make beautiful things.

Which means that I have to, out of necessity, change how I talk to you.  And I want to - talk to you, I mean.  I hope that you'll talk to me too -  in the comments -  about what you're doing, or what you're thinking, or what you've seen and are interested in. Link to your posts if you're a blogger or to your Flickr or other photo sharing site if you don't, tell me what you're interested in!

As for me, I'm going to have to post more process pics and talk more about the process - and talk about other things as well. I'm not sure what those things will be, but I'm glad you're here to find out with me.


January 10, 2011 0 comments

My Entry In The UHGly Quilt Contest

There she is - this is it: the ugliest quilt I ever made.

A couple of years ago, quilter's connection or blogging quilters or somebody like that was having an "Ugly Quilt" contest. I can't remember what the prize(s) were for winning, but I'm quite sure this quilt of mine would have won.
January 7, 2011 9 comments

Take A Winter Walk With Me - Exploration Fridays

So hi there. Yes - in case you were confused, you are indeed at Kit Lang Fiber Art, and that is indeed, a quilt that I made. :)

Although my pieces are usually more vibrant and strong, spoken in voice that's confident, and this is a quieter voice that I'm not quite comfortable with; I'm using this particular challenge to push myself; learn as much as I can and trust myself as an artist/maker - even if that means I venture into territory in which I'm not particularly comfortable.  After all, doesn't art (even sometimes, really good art) come from a place of discomfort?

So, I'll be exploring on Fridays - trying out different things (like hand painting my own fabric and *gasp* hand stitching!) -  and I hope you'll enjoy seeing what I do.

January 5, 2011 8 comments

WIP Wednesday - Working Title - "Of Quiet Stars"

I don't know what this quilt will be called when it's done, but the whole time I was working on it tonight, the song "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars" was on loop in my head.  It's a beautiful song, so if it develops into an ear worm, at least it will be an enjoyable one! 

These are two of the four blocks for my first bed quilt of 2011.

( silk shantung, silk charmeuse strips, linen border)

I've had a set of six teals in different kinds of silk and a linen for the backing and borders almost since I started quliting; but since these fabrics cost more than $500 (that's just the fabric alone *ahem*); I have been a-skeered to cut into them and possibly "ruin" the fabric.

Well no more! I don't make resolutions per se; but I do try to live my life by a central tenent each year and choose one thing to improve about myself.  In 2011, it's all about trust - and that includes trusting myself.  So last week over lunch I designed the quilt in my new sketchbook (purpose bought) and tonight I cut the fabric.  No turning back now!

(this one is the reverse of the other - i.e. the charmeuse is the background in this one)

While making these blocks (and some friends) tonight I discovered an ironic fact.  As you become a better quilter, you use the stitch ripper more. (That Universe.  So funny! S/he must have her little jokes...)

This quilt's gonna be a beaut! The next set of blocks are going to be a deeper version of the silk charmeuse and an irridescent silk taffetta in the mirror blocks.  Only 36 more blocks to go!

On Friday, I'll show you the first of my journal quilts. 

So, what are you working on?

January 3, 2011 12 comments

"In Love and Hope"

This is my final piece in 3 Creative Studios' 2010 Art Quilt Challenge Group.

When we got the challenge word "destination", I immediately thought about the plans BSP and I have for our future.
January 1, 2011 19 comments

2010 - Year in Review

ETA:  some folks have been commenting that I work really fast.  I don't, actually.  I work a lot, and I work hard.  I put in 30-40 hours a week on my quilting in addition to my day job and spending time with my family. So, I don't sleep.  ;)

Today is the second birthday of my blog.  My "blog birthday" also marks my quilting experience, and though it seems hard for me to fathom, my blog is only six months older than my quilting experience.  So I have now  been quilting for 2.5 years.