Monday, January 30, 2012

Wearable Art Quilt

Introducing.....  ok, I don't have a name yet... but technically I am not done as I don't have the pin on the jacket.   I always name my quilts before they are finished.   The last two were right at the end.  
Here is the back of my jacket.

These shots are not great.  I plan on taking good photos of my quilts this weekend to enter into the juried show coming up.  Then I will show them all to you.  I do realize that I haven't shown you full shots of the two art quilts I completed.  

Back to my jacket, I chose to have a pin as a closure, as this jacket just had a button in the pattern.  I felt it needed something a bit bigger, so I made a nice brooch.   I wrapped the lace into a flower shape and nestled a large green flower button into it. Then I took my handy button maker and used a piece of the silk with the circles in it and made another smaller button for the centre of my brooch.   

The brooch is very heavy, so I need a strong and large pin to put on the back of it.   It is not attached here, just laying on top of the jacket.  Now to find a good pin and name!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Oh How I Detest My Seam Ripper!

That little gadget and I spent over 4 hours together yesterday.   Why, you ask?   Well, my wearable quilt art and I were having an argument over the red ribbon and I was losing.   I had to remove yards and yards of it, straighten out some major puckers, and cut and cut and cut the ribbon to bend the way I wanted it to.

We seem to be having a better time together today.

My Koos jacket is coming along now.  I have the jacket all together, the lining sewn and now have to attach the two to make them one.   This will definitely take a bit of time to do.

Last year when I made a wearable jacket, I made it all out of cotton.  I had a judge tell me that perhaps I should use other fabric.  This is  Serenity:

For my Koos jacket, (which has no name yet) I used silk dupioni, thai silk and a braided ribbon.  
Hope to finish in the next two days, wish me luck!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Scrap 'n' Slash Flower

Want to learn how to make this flower?
Hop on over to my friend Jacque's blog and check out the tutorial I did for her blog.  

I use these quite  a bit in my 3D art quilts.  They are fun to make as the possibilities are endless.   You can also turn them into a nice pin or head band too.

By the way, next post I will show you my latest art quilt - finished!   And it even has a name.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Having Fun at a Guild Meeting

I continue to write humourous columns in our national quilt magazine, the Canadian Quilting Association.   I had a lot of fun writing this one.

A Typical Guild Meeting

Most of us belong to a quilters’ guild.  Some of us have actually been there at the ground floor, while others join in after its existence became known to them, and still others are simply curious in checking out what a guild is all about.

I joined my guild five years after it was founded, so the operation of it  was already pretty smooth.   Until I arrived, anyway.  I am one of the youngest members of our guild, excluding the 7-year-old, the fashion model quilter and the girl who makes rainbows look pale in comparison  to her quilts.   After these youthful show -offs, I am the youngest. 

I have run into some pretty funny things in my guild and others.   So, of course, I feel the need to enlighten you.   (Note, if you belong to my guild, it may be in the best interest of our friendship for you to stop reading now.  If you didn’t really like me before, things are not going to improve throughout this article.)

Let’s be upfront and honest here.   Why is it when two or more women get together it involves food?  And trust me when I say it is never carrot and celery sticks, with a low fat dressing for dip.   I have never heard of a guild meeting where there wasn’t a break so the women could have coffee and a ‘light snack’.   And by light snack you know I mean heap-your-plate-full-of-as-much-dessert-as-you-can-possibly-balance, so that it looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa by the time you get back to your chair.  

The funniest guild newsletter I ever read had a tear off and return section of the newsletter where members had  to vote over the dessert break.   You could either vote for fewer desserts, meaning less members had to bake, or more desserts, which meant more members needed to volunteer to bring in desserts.   I still laugh my head off when I think of that guild.   I guess eating definitely took priority over quilting. 

Regarding those newsletters, the amount of work the editors put into them is phenomenal.   It should almost be a paid position.   But you know, dear editors , it is very frustrating for a new member to read;  “If interested in the workshop, please call Pat.”  Well, who the heck is Pat?   Sure, if you were alive when the guild started you may know that Pat is the little grey haired lady in the corner of the room, but then again, that could be 80% of the members.

And what about those name tags?   How many of you actually wear them?   How many of you actually own one?   Please don’t tell my guild, but I don’t even have one.  Why?  Mostly because I am too lazy to make one.    I know, you are supposed to wear them so the new members can get to know you.  Blah blah blah.   Really, if a new member needs to speak to me, is she going to come right up to me and then suddenly veer off when she sees I don’t have a name tag on?   And not talk to me?  Or is she going to be a grownup and ask the important question of, “Can you please tell me where the dessert table is?”
Please don’t take pity on me, I certainly don’t want 3,000 name tags showing up in my mailbox.    

I can’t imagine being a new member at a guild.  It seems like everyone knows everyone else and we all hang out in our little cliques.   There is the appliqué gang, the piecing grannies  and the hand quilting group.   I was never allowed into that one.  And don’t forget the artsy peeps.   How the heck do you meet anyone new?  

I remember once mentioning I would like to learn to hand quilt to someone.  Well, they said, “You should go and see ‘Myra’, she is the best one in the guild.”  Yes, that is what I want to do; go and show the best hand quilter my large basting stitches that I am trying to pass off as hand quilting.   I quickly found some new friends over at the ‘anything goes in quilting’ clique, and practiced hand quilting there.  

Does your guild lack volunteers?  Is your executive made up of the same people year after year, except they all switch positions to try and keep it interesting?   Every year in the spring, the president states how easy it is to do a job, how “many hands make light work”, and if no one volunteers, we can’t have a program.   All the members are thinking is, “Wouldn’t it be nice if the meeting just consisted of showing up, seeing some quilts and eating desserts?”

The actual running of the meeting never changes, does it?  The president and secretary perch at the front,  usually taking them 10 minutes to get everyone to be quiet and sit down.   I always wonder why they don’t serve dessert at this point.  If everyone’s mouths are full, they can’t talk and then the president has the floor.  It would also save that mad ‘cattle call’ to the dessert table at break that happens each meeting.  

Most guilds run from September to June.   Some months are so predictable.   For example, there is always a big dinner in December, because we all aren’t already getting one on the 25th and need an excuse to eat another huge dinner.   June is always the end of the year wrap up… of course, another opportunity to eat.  What about every September; do we have to have an ice breaker game to meet new members?   Honestly, I have my quota of friends at the guild.   If I feel I need more, I will go and get some. But some game where I have to partner up,  stand on my head and name five quilt blocks that start with the letter ‘B’ is not the way to do it. 

Lastly is show and tell. Is it not the favourite part of the meeting?  Second only to coffee break of course.  Does every guild not have that one member that gets up there and has to tell a story that is so long that you don’t even look at the quilt for fear of encouraging her further?  Here is what I do.  The moment she unfurls that quilt, I start clapping.   The more she tries to tell her story, the louder I clap.   While some may think it rude, I believe it is saving my sanity.

In conclusion, if anyone has a membership form they want to send me so I can join their guild, it would be most appreciated.   I am quite confident my guild will be revoking mine.

 This article was published in the Winter 2012 CQA/ACC issue.  Please don't copy without written permission.  Thanks so much!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Art Quilt Needs a Name

I quilted my fingers off for 2 days straight and got my big flower quilt all quilted.   I used all these bobbins up plus 4 more.   Alot of colour on this quilt and I love it so much!   I took so much time and care in pinning it, and may I add pain.   The majority of the top is not cotton but canvas.   Let me tell you how hard that was to pin.  It took two solid hours and I had a massive blister that broke by the time I was done, but it was soo worth it.

This is just a small section of the back of the quilt.    I have to finish the centre and  attach it.  Don't you love my hand dyed fabric I am using?

I think the task I have the hardest time with is squaring it up.  I can get the sides cut in a straight line, but boy do  I ever have a heck of a time getting it to square up evenly.   

I went ahead and got all my binding ready.  I am using my hand dyed fabric to match the centre and cut a bunch of colourful strips and sewed them together, ready to go.

The name.   When entering quilts in shows, the first thing you have to record is the name of the quilt.   I don't know how other art quilters come up with their names.   For me, somewhere along the process of making the quilt, the name just comes to me.    

For this quilt, it was going to be a peacock tail until I went to applique it to the background, and then it turned into a flower.  So there went all my ideas regarding peacocks.   I am trying not to panic as I am very, very near the end and nothing is popping into my head.   Probably because it has only been a flower for 4 days, but I ALWAYS have a name by the end of the quilt.   I am so not freaking out!   (translates to:  I am totally freaking out)

Let's hope in the next day or two I have a mind blowing name experience=)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

3D Embellishing Tutorial - Ribbon

As you know I am somewhat completely obsessed with embellishing.   By that I mean 3D embellishing on art quilts, clothing, kids quilts or accessories.  

Riley Blake fabrics has this great website called Cutting Corners where they post tutorials on quilts, apparel, accessories and home decor.   It is great for ideas and free instructions to make things.  

I have made a couple of quilts for Cutting Corners.  I was chatting with one of the girls at Riley Blake and mentioned my obsession over embellishments.   From that conversation, I am now posting once a month on Cutting Corners showcasing a different embellishment and how to use it!  

For this month, I chose ribbon.   It is one of the most versatile embellishments ever and very under used.   I want to get quilters/crafters using this fabulous product.  

I show you how to make cute ribbon flowers and how to weave the ribbon into fantastic ideas.

Go and check out my tutorial.   (Feel free to leave a comment too=)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bring on 2012!

Let's get 2012 started!   What a year this is going to be.   I have set my goals in the side bar and am ready to dive into a fresh new year.  

January is jam packed with crazy quilting.  I have two entries I want to get ready for the Canadian Juried show and one entry still has the fabric neatly folded in a bag with the design on top.   Yikes, magic better happen soon!  

I finished two tutorials this week.  They will be up tomorrow and next week.   I might add they are both on embellishing.  How fun is that?  Riley Blake loves embellishments so much that I am posting once a month on  how you can use them in quilts, sewing projects and crafts!  

More tomorrow on that delicious bit of news.

I am getting close to the quilting stage of my art quilt currently in the studio.  I always jot down steps when I am unsure how to proceed to ensure that things go smoothly.  They never do.   I had a heck of a time getting this giant piece appliqued onto the background.  I finally had to baste a large section of it.  Don't think I didn't consider fusing the whole thing down!  

Trust me when I say, it is big.   I have cut away all the white pieces and have attached it to a black piece of fabric.   I had gotten away from using black as a background.   I tried a mottled grey, but nothing seemed to work except the black.  

Now I have to figure out how to quilt this one without detracting from all the colours.   There have been a few quilts that by the time I got finished quilting them, I thought they looked better unquilted.   I really don't want to say that about this one.   Way too much time sunk into it already.   And I have a deadline!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Giveaway Winner and My New Art Quilt


Posts are going to be a little short till school starts next week.  Hard to concentrate=)

I have a winner of my FQ bundle:

Blogger Deb said...

Follower! Lovely postcards!

As far as other projects go, I finished my Rhythm and Blues quilt.   I am tackling another art quilt that I started way back in the summer.   I have never done coloring on a quilt before.  It was a great project to take with me when I went outside with the kids or travelling.   I finally finished all the coloring last night.   Now I have to figure out a background and how to quilt it.  I am only showing you a quarter of it as I don't have it all laid out yet.

When I do, I will take more pics.  

I am also contemplating doing this pattern as wearable art.  It is by Koos van den Akker.

All this has to be done by the end of January to enter into the Canadian Juried show.   This may not happen, but I am going to give it a try!