Sunday, July 5, 2015

Picking up the Pieces....finally finished

I finally finished Picking up the Pieces last week and we went for a photo shoot, along the ocean. Since I'm back to Alberta tomorrow, I wanted to take the opportunity....alas, no ocean in Alberta.

I have yet to put together any QAYG tutorials regarding this quilt, as there were several QAYG experiments involved in putting it together. There was a rather wild moment involving a rotary cutter and an already quilted work in progress, resulting in several already quilted pieces (in very odd shapes). And what does one do with that??? Way to complex to go into today.......but someday!!


Quilt Back.....yup, pretty much reversible, don't you think!!
All part of that crazy QAYG experimenting.
Reminder: Give Away on yesterday's post.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.....July Blog Hop

Bias Strip Petals.....My Process and Book Give Away
Shifting Impressions

Last winter, I had the privilege of being one of the testers for Sherri Lynn Wood's new book, The Handbook for Modern Quilters. I enjoyed my experience immensely. 

To quote the book description on Amazon; "instead of traditional instructions, she (Sherri Lynn Wood) presents 10 frameworks (or scores) that create a guiding, but not limiting, structure." All of the testers received one of the 10 scores.

When I received the "Bias Petal" score...a little panic ensued. Why, you might ask? Well, did the improv part unnerve me? No, not in the least, as I have been having my own love affair with improv  quilting for some time now. What about the curved piecing or bias strips??  No, not really, curved piecing and I are old friends. What was it then?? The word PETAL...yes, the word PETAL!!  Nothing personal...but, but, but I don't do flowery petal type things!!!!  Yup....that knocked me right out of my comfort zone, which is probably a good thing.

I needed several bias strips and as usual got a little carried away.

 I cut meters upon meters of bias strips (after all, I wanted variety).  I still have plenty of those strips sitting around for more projects.
Whenever working with fabric cut on the bias....bubbles and puckers can be a problem. But Sherry Lynn has plenty of tips to combat those pesky bubbles. My secret weapon is spray starch!!!!

I made several petals...and just kept putting up on my black design wall.  I used several gradient type fabrics and mostly solids or tone on tone fabrics.

I decided to shatter the petals...somewhere along the way, I stopped thinking of them as petals. I shattered them by slicing through the petals (using my rotary cutter) and shifting them a little and sewing them back together.
The shattering and shifting....created a fairly different effect.
I took one look at the design wall and the question that kept running through my head in the world am I going to put this all together, into one piece??? I was determined to do it all by hand sewing whatsoever.

As you can see, I started by quilting sections, with no idea where I was going. And of course, I tossed in a little QAYG (Quilt as you Go) for good measure.

Shifting Impressions....Quilt Con 2015
 (and yes, we both made it to Quilt Con!!)

As an added bonus, I had the pleasure of taking a workshop with Sherry Lynn (Quilt Con 2015).
The score here was "Floating Squares", but that would be another blog post. My major problem here was limiting myself to so few wasn't long before I was sneaking in a few more in. Hey, that is what improv is all about, right?
Sherri Lynn's publishers are generously giving away one free copy of Sherri Lynn's  fabulous book.  Just leave me a comment about your experience or lack of experience regarding improv type quilting by July 15. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Note: the book give away is open for residents of Canada and the United States only. Also, please make sure  your email info is available, with your comment should you be a no-reply commenter.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Well....I sort of fell off the Blog Wagon

Yes, that's exactly what happened this last year.  Every time I would attempt to find some "Normal" another crisis would present itself. "Normal" whatever that means, seems to have eluded me. I am one of those people, who loves the ordinary, simplicity of everyday life. Holidays and Special Occasions aren't on my list of highs. It's the days in between that touch me. So the drama of the last year or two have definitely put a damper, on my ordinary days. 
Coping with loss is never easy, but we usually aren't given a choice. Some of the aspects of my life which I thought were strong, were in actuality quite fragile and oddly enough some the aspects that I thought were fragile were in essence very strong. To find strength in weakness and experience brokenness in what I trusted to be strong has both broken me and strengthened me at the same, odd as that might sound. It's left me spinning in different directions and it shows in my creative life as well.
 Today, I had a lovely ordinary day. I had the afternoon to myself, which seems rare these days and spent it playing with my fabric. I'm back in Victoria and hoping for several more lovely, ordinary days.


I'm not sure where this is going..........but oh my, it felt good to play.

Yesterday we took a little road trip to Nanaimo.....
a bit of a shop hop.
As you can see, I might have fallen off the Blog Wagon but I certainly haven't fallen off the Fabric Buying Wagon....even though it might be a good idea if I did!!!!


Wednesday, April 29, 2015


In the quiet of the evening I sit and reflect on this last week or two......

I am off to Calgary on Friday to teach two day work shop on my Colour Shot Quilt.

This quilt is like an old friend to me.......just how did I put this together again??

Hmm.....maybe I better practice up on my curved piecing.....the not so wonky type of curved piecing that is.

No worries....I still know how.

It's been a time full of sadness, as my very dear sister in law passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly last week. Almost everyday I spent some quiet time reflecting on her life. She was the same age as me....we were sisters in law for over forty years.

The funeral is over and our loved ones have gone home.....the house is put back together.  She was loved and will be sorely missed by all of us.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Creating a Work Flow

When I'm in improv mode (which is most of the time), I find it helpful to create a work flow of sorts. I don't usually do much in the way of sketching before I start, but tend to cut right into the fabric, which begs the question....WHERE does one begin? And after one has begun and the fabric is flying in multiple directions.....HOW does one keep on top of the chaos?

Sometimes it begins with an inspiration, but more often than not, it can be just a simple technique that I'm trying out. I have started being a bit more observant about what works for me and what doesn't. I have also taken note of what size strips I seem to gravitate towards and seem to use over and over again.

After choosing a few colours I just start cutting a variety of strips.

Here are some buckets of my favourite strip sizes.....they just happen to be the same widths needed, in the various QAYG  joining methods I like to use and also the width I prefer to use for binding. Well, actually I plan it that way.
My favourite  go-to strip widths:
  • four and one half inches
  • two inches
  • one and one quarter inches
  • two and one half inches
I used to try and sort them by size.....that just didn't seem to work for me. As soon as I started sorting, by colour things became a little less chaotic.

Something else I like to do when I'm in that improv mode is set up a machine at standing height for piecing.
Right next to the machine, I have a pressing board and right next to that is a cutting board.

I go from:
  • cutting
  • to piecing
  • to pressing
  • to cutting some more
  • and on back again

Because I often Quilt As I Go (QAYG), I sit down at another machine for that. All throughout the process I keep adding more fabrics and putting stuff up on the design wall. And then I start the whole cutting and piecing process etc. all over again. At this point I don't worry to much how it will all come together. I find working this way to be a very interactive process. 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Unexpected Delight

Every new learned technique is like another tool in the tool box or another colour in the palette, to be explored and applied in anyway you like. The more tools in the box the more options available to you as a quilter.  You don't have to use any technique in the same way a particular book or teacher does....just add it to your arsenal of tricks and apply it your way.   Or,  mix it up with other techniques and see what happens.  After all, this your creative journey
After arriving in Victoria,  I had the unexpected opportunity of going to a workshop, on elongated triangles, by Katie Pedersen, co-author of the book Quilting Modern.  I have been reading Katie's blog Sewkatiedid for several years, so I was thrilled to spend some time with her, here in Victoria.  Katie teaches a very informative workshop with a relaxed and calm vibe.  I  love having the freedom to take the technique in any direction I wanted. A few of my quilting buddies were waiting to see how long it took me to deviate from the instructions.....darn, I messed up my first triangle.....but hey, I loved the result anyway and just went for it.


Of course, I couldn't resist turning it into a QAYG project.
 Katie, sharing all of her beautiful quilts!!
 So lovely seeing Katie's quilts in real life.

 There are those  lovely Elongated Triangles

 Not only did Katie bring a carload of quilts, just look at her beautiful display of cushions.

 Jo-Anne and Katie
And as usual, me with that goofy smile I seem to reserve just for photos and Katie (just sharing a laugh over something outrageous Jo-Anne said to get us smiling).
All in all, what a lovely unexpected week.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Fearless Quilting

Ah....FEARLESSNESS in quilting gets my heart beating a little faster. You know the cliff diving, wind surfing, roller coaster riding type of fearlessness. All, of which I wouldn't attempt, in real life, even if my very existence depended on it. In other words, I sort of....okay, I really like to play it safe. I am basically a non-risk taker. Just ask my kids, they will verify this without blinking. There is always talk of my "Worry Line" showing. But when I quilt.......I get to ride the wave, fly through the air....well, you get the picture.

When I registered for Quilt Con I got booted out of the system three times. By the time I got back in, most of the classes were full.....I managed to get into one workshop, but that was it. At first I was a little disappointed but I decided to check out the lectures. For me, this really turned out for the best.

Luke Haynes...... just jumped right into the deep end of quilting....he didn't seem to know there were rules. I mean, why would you change a sewing machine needle unless it was actually broken!! Fearless!!!

Victoria Findlay Wolfe....When something doesn't work, what do you do....cut it up!!!! Fearless!!!

Sherri Lynn Wood.....Ruler free! Letting our work come from a deeper place!  Fearless!!!

Having Sherri Lynn's workshop...It was a struggle limiting myself to only a few colours for this particular score from the Improve Handbook for Modern Quilters. Never fear....if it doesn't work out I'll just cut it up!! Fearless....right??

Then there's Jacquie....always ready with a smile and a hug. Jacquie gave a fabulous lecture on The Art of Teaching. So completely authentic, when sharing her experiences as a teacher (the negative as well as the positive)! Fearless!!!
Pardon the goofy expression on my face.....there seems to be a lot of that whenever the camera comes near me. And yes, we planned our co-coordinating outfits. Kidding!!

The word FEARLESS just resonated within me throughout all of Quilt Con. The Gee Bend Quilters shared from the heart.  Again....the word fearless came to mind as they sang and shared.

Then, there was the meeting of the other quilters....perhaps a little fearful. But no need, the friendliness was simply overwhelming.

The exchange of cards and buttons......wonderful!!

Meeting up with Kathleen....catching up, exchanging ideas, stories and of course good food!!

Lots of laughter and hugs! Good times with Jo-Anne! 

Meeting new friends and catching up with old was a total delight and I haven't even talked about the quilts. Maybe next post. The show was a delightful visual overload! 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...