Tuesday, 31 March 2015


     About three weeks ago I picked up the "Challenge Kit" for this year's IWK-Mayflower Quilt Guild Show & Sale. (the IWK is the Women's & Children's hospital in Halifax). Anyway ... the idea is to create something from these 4 fat quarters that can be sold at the show & sale in the fall to raise funds for the IWK. In previous years I have made place mats, a baby quilt, table runner ... this year, I wanted to do something totally different.
     I like the colours in the patterned fabric, but there wasn't enough of it to complete any ideas that I had. For a few days, the fabric sat on my cutting table ... slowly I started to pull out other colours from my stash that worked with the other three fabrics.
     There is a size restriction of 150 inches perimeter ... this piece is 20" X 26" so a total of 92" perimeter. I'm well within the limits. [Canada is a metric country ... we buy our fabric in meters, so why do we measure our quilted items in inches???]
The finished piece: "Sunset"
     The patterned fabric has become the border; the purple is in the clouds and on the border; the blue fabric is the water and the orangey-gold is part of the setting sun's reflection in the sky and on the water.
     Finished ... and not due until September! I must get back to the other items I was working on before the colours of this piece called to me! :-)

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Trying Something Different

I like Pinterest ... I actually go back through my pinned pictures and look for ideas that I might be able to incorporate in my work.
An idea intrigued me: taking photos of a work in progress and watching the picture take shape. But if you do that for EVERY piece of material you add, that is a LOT of photos!!

Background -- I will need to add some colouring to the gold/beige piece (it is meant to be deciduous trees changing colours in autumn). Some "thread-painting" should do it.
More background: adding some Canadian Shield rocks.

I have piles of greens to use for the trees. Sometimes though, the colours blend into each other and require some adjusting.
Circling around the lake ... it is really starting to look like northern Ontario (Algoma). And I've just realized in my zeal to get the photos done, that I forgot to quilt the lake before adding the extra set of trees. It is much easier to do the quilting without all the extra bits of trees sticking up in the way!
A bit more detail for the trees in the foreground.
The final bits of Canadian Shield rock (still wishing that I quilted that lake earlier!) This is inspired by the Group of Seven, J.E.H. MacDonald's painting "Solemn Land". His painting has more rusts and shadows in it .. I will see what transpires after I start choosing all my thread colours.
My favourite Group of Seven artist is Lawren Harris; I've yet to try a landscape quilt based on his pictures ... I am having trouble deciding which one I would like to do.


Friday, 20 March 2015


Sometimes life has a way of stepping in and sidelining one's goals. Posting at least once a week (usually on Thursdays) might not always happen .... yes, I have been doing a bit of quilting & even a bit of knitting, but ..

First this little beauty entered my life ... my first grandchild: Charlotte at two weeks

And then Mother Nature stepped in and added this to my life.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Almost Finished 2

Along with the knitting ... and once I found the battery charger for my camera to take a picture, I almost finished another art quilt. It still needs the binding which I will add this afternoon. This quilt is inspired by a Franklin Carmichael (Group of Seven Artists) work titled "Island Georgian Bay"

It is 50 X 44 cm (approx 20 X 17in) before the binding. (The binding may add another 1 cm to dimensions)

I'm looking forward to the April SAQA Atlantic Canada retreat. We will be getting instructions on taking better pictures of our art quilts ... and hopefully that means some of my pictures won't be quite so wonky!!

Almost Finished

A grandchild takes up a lot of time ... quilting has not been so prevalent the past couple weeks.
I am almost finished a sweater for Charlotte ... just need to figure out the buttons and button holes
 This was a challenge:my third attempt (because the tiny stitches kept falling off the needles and I lost count of the number of stitches I needed before adding the corner increases & then the plastic section on the circular bamboo needles broke.) The sweater is knit all in one piece!!
 Gaspereau Valley Fibres near WolfvilleNS has the pattern and an example of the jacket that caught my eye. My daughter had already purchased the pattern some time ago but had yet to make the sweater.
 I made the pattern with the buttonholes according to the pattern (I thought) ... but something didn't work out. I can see little indents where the button holes should be ... but they aren't big enough for buttons. Hmmm. I will need to work something out.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

A LIttle Help From My Friend

In June 2009, I bought a Husqvarna Viking Sapphire sewing machine .... and put away my old Kenmore that overheated within 20 - 30 minutes of sewing time. The store in Brampton, Ontario offered 4 free sewing lessons to go along with the purchase starting in Sept 2009.  I moved to Nova Scotia in August of that year, and never got the lessons.
So on my own, I experimented with machine quilting, getting quite good at straight lines and very simple curves, but often snagging & breaking thread or having a 'nest' of thread accumulate in the back if I tried anything more complicated.

My friend Fiona, has the same sewing machine & after a particularly frustrating day, I emailed her: "Help, what am I doing wrong?" We set up a time for a visit this week ... and with a couple minor adjustments, I was off!! It will take some practice to become a little smoother in my motions; to learn the 'driving' technique of fluid free-motion quilting, but I know I am on the right track. Thank you Fiona!!