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Thursday, 22 June 2017

Inspired by Quilt Canada

Last Friday I volunteered at Quilt Canada which is a national quilt show. It was held at the International Centre. I was the "Ask Me" person for 4 hours on Friday afternoon. Anyone who knows me, knows that that is a stretch for me. I am a quiet person who has a hard time talking to people I've never met before.

I carried this sign around and did pretty good, I think. I was able to answer most questions. I even met one of the ladies from our quilt retreat in April.

While I carried my sign, I was also able to view the National Juried Show and a few other quilt exhibitions. There were so many beautiful quilts and loads of talent.

What inspired me about this quilt was that the flower was three dimensional. The petals came out from the quilt top. It was very nicely done.

 I took this photo to show the quilting. It was so detailed. I took these photos with my IPhone so the quality is not as good as with my camera.

I loved the subject of this one and really like the reflections. I believe the reflections were done with thread painting.

This one was also three dimensional. The trunks of the 2 foreground trees were done separately and then rounded and sewn onto the quilt top. It is hard to see from these photos.

The colours and shapes in this one captured my attention right away. It reminds me of Picasso.

This one is a bit blurry but the detail in the owl was fantastic.

Another example of the quilting that is done on these pieces. It just brings the quilt to life!

I also loved this purple elephant. So playful!

This is called white on white. Different variations of white fabric and once again the quilting is what makes it.

There was also a challenge for Quilts of Valour. These are quilts that are made and given to Veterans.

At this show they also had a Big Quilting Bee. For Canada's 150th Celebration the Canadian Quilter's Association wanted to produce 1000 quilts from all over Canada to give to Ronald MacDonald Houses. People could make full quilts, quilt tops or blocks. At the Bee volunteers put together the quilts that were unfinished. They ended up with 2614 quilts!

It was a great experience for me but my feet were killing me by the end of my shift!

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Inspiring My Grandchildren

While I was raising my own children, I didn't have the luxury of a studio or the extra time to do a lot of artwork. Yes, I did sketch a little and paint the odd thing but I didn't produce much in the way of finished pieces. I felt I was still learning and so I did take some courses during that time. I do think my kids are very creative and so I thought when I have grandchildren, I'm going to encourage them to do art.

My grandchildren love to be in my studio and I love that they want to be there. But I don't want them to think that the only time they can do art is when they are with me. So when the oldest ones were 3, I gave the 3 oldest some small sketch books. I told them they could do anything they wanted in them. I looked through one of them and can really see progress in their art ability.

The first thing they had to do was print their names in their books.

Then I have them pictures and fabric they could cut up and glue into their books.

Starting with paint.

 Pressed flowers from the garden.

Using multiple colours, line, shape and a page spread.

More colour.

Now people are starting to appear.

And now that they are in school, they're using letters.

I was also pretty impressed with these tree drawings.

Here is a landscape in colour.

I love to see them growing in their creativity and hope as they grow older they never lose that love for paint, pencils, scissors, glue, sparkles, stickers, beads, yarn .........

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Ailsa Craig Quilt Festival - Canada 150

This post is a day early but I wanted to get this news out so you have a chance to visit if you are so inclined.

The town of Ailsa Craig is having their Quilt Festival this weekend which starts tomorrow and goes until Sunday. They are celebrating Canada's 150th Anniversary by showing "My Corner of the World" in which my Art Quilt "Reflections of the North" is being exhibited.

Date: Thursday, June 8 - Sunday, June 11, 2017
Time: 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. daily
Ailsa Craig Recreation Centre,
Ye Olde Towne Hall, Ailsa Craig,
and Parkhill Carnegie Library
Cost: $10/person at the door

Please have a great visit with the MCOTW - Canada Quilts and be sure to share the information with your quilt friends and family.

More information at the Quilt Festival website:

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Art Quilt Progress

A few blogs ago, I told you about my Quilt Retreat. The one thing I worked on at the retreat was my latest Art Quilt. I really thought I would get it almost finished at the retreat. I worked from before breakfast each day until 10 pm with breaks only for meals and the occasional walk in the bush. I guess all those tiny pieces are slowing me down.

I still don't have a title for it. If anyone has suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Here's a recap.

Original painting

Tracing for Pattern

What I had completed before the Retreat

Completed at the retreat

Completed as of today

Now that I can begin to see the image, I am thinking about how I will quilt it once I have all my layers together. I will be putting details on the rocks with stitch and trying to make the grasses stand out. I'm not sure yet how I will handle the sky and the water but that will come to me eventually.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Spring Blossom Inspiration

I found that this Spring lasted longer than some in the past. We have had Springs that last a week or two and then the hot weather sets in. When the season is so short the spring blossoms and flower bulbs fade very quickly. However, this year, our Spring stayed on the cool side for quite a while so our blossoming trees were beautiful for a long time.

I was able to get some sketches of the various blossoms done and turned them into Mother's Day cards for my daughters. I am so glad that I took the time because yesterday and today are hot, hot days and the blooms on my trees are flying through the air and covering the ground in a carpet of pink and white. They were beautiful while they lasted.

Now we will get the lilacs, forget-me-nots, pansies, irises. Lots of inspiration!

My pear and crab apple trees

Thursday, 11 May 2017

When Pondering Sparks Inspiration

As you know, I go for a walk around my neighbourhood each Thursday morning. It serves as a way to prepare my mind for my art day but it also often provides me with subjects to draw or with treasures that I pick up along the path.

This morning I received a little treasure that I thought I would pass on. As I walked I was praying for some of our family and friends who are struggling with difficult things and wondering why we are given these difficult situations on occasion. We would love to eradicate them from our lives and often we worry, become angry and despair over them. I do believe they have a purpose but what could that purpose be?

I was given this little treasure and it calmed my mind. Difficulties are not pleasant; they are painful to those going through them and those watching and supporting them. changing our perspective, these difficulties can result in beautiful blessings. We tend to obsess about the difficulty but perhaps we have to back up and look at the bigger picture, take a God's-eye view of the situation. Try to see His grace at work in the struggle because He is definitely there and working.

It's like we used to pluck all the dandelions out of our lawn because they were WEEDS. Now that we are no longer permitted to spray weed killer, there are lawns covered with them. And interestingly, that lawn of dandelions is so joyful-looking. A bright yellow field! A pretty blessing!  And then they become pretty little puff balls.

So the inspiration that I got from this little treasure has to do with the fabric cards that I make. I just made an art quilt of many of those cards and hung it in my front hallway. It is really interesting to look at. But how cool would it be if I worked out a large pattern for an art quilt and split it up into smaller 4 X 6 inch fabric cards that I could send to people for their special occasions and when they were done with them received them back. Once they were all back, I would put them together and VOILA! the image would be revealed to all! And it would be a piece that would remind me to always look at the bigger picture.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Inspired by Other Quilters

As promised, today I've posted some of the quilts that were being created at our retreat last week.  Even though I haven't made very many traditional quilts, these women inspired me with their work.