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Thursday, 16 April 2015

Autumn Leaves Art Quilt

The Autumn Leaves have been picked up from the framers and been delivered to the new owner. Now I can show you how it turned out.

Inspired by my Neighbourhood

Now that the nicer weather has reached us, I'm determined to get out and walk to exercise and tone my winter atrophied muscles in preparation for this year's canoe trip. I was going to take my camera along and went to my studio to get it and remembered that I had bought a new sketchbook for a challenge that never materialized. I've been wanting to sketch outside more and so I took the sketchbook off the bookcase shelf and decided to use it to document my walks around the neighbourhood. I could "kill two birds with one stone", although I don't know how much walking I will actually get done if I'm stopping to sketch in between.

I walked along the Humber River which runs along the back of our house and took the trail up to the Islington Avenue bridge. I noticed some graffiti underneath the bridge that I had long admired and so I sat down to sketch it quickly. Then I climbed the hill up to Islington Avenue and crossed the bridge stopping halfway to do a quick sketch of the Humber River and it's banks. Walking further, I came across a Bell Canada manhole cover that really had an interesting pattern so I added that to the sketchbook. I found a half of a seed pod on the ground with an interesting design so I picked it up to add to my book when I got home.

Continuing my walk, I added some crocuses I saw blooming (there's not much else blooming yet) as well as some lilac branches that were beginning to bud. I sketched a funny sign I saw in someone's yard that said," IF YOUR DOG POOPS, YOU SCOOP". The final thing I sketched into my book was a pine cone that had dropped off a tree. Adding some of my observations, what the weather was like and the date, I completed my page. I was actually on route for an hour and ten minutes but not all of it was walking. I'm hoping to keep up this habit and maybe tone up and improve my observation and sketching skills.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Relay for Hope Art Quilt Panel Completed

I have been working furiously on this quilt to get it done before the deadline. Once I had the pattern all worked out on freezer paper, I started sewing the quilt top base onto which I will applique the main subjects of the dog sled, northern lights and the raven.

The smallest pattern piece of the whole quilt

This shows the section of the quilt I was working on

From the previous photo, you can see that the

darker spots will be the shadows of the dog sled.

The whole art quilt top with only the base.

Here I will add on the applique. You can see

that I used some of that hand dyed green fabric

in the sky to depict the brighter parts of the

Northern Lights.

This gives you an idea of how I put the dog sled


The first dog placed.

The whole dog sled. There were a few areas that

I felt needed a little more colour so I made a few

additions later.

Detail of Northern Lights

I had a hard time making the raven stand out 

against the dark sky. I auditioned different colours

of fabric. (gray, black and white, even a piece of

black plastic bag) Finally, I made that area of  the

Northern Lights lighter and liked the effect of the

black plastic. I went to Value Village and found a

satin negligee that I used for the raven. The shiny

fabric helps the bird to stand out better.

Then I free-motion quilted the whole thing as you

can see from the back.

I had asked my daughter to purchase something 

small in the Yukon that I could use to embellish the quilt with.

So when she came to visit, she brought me this

Yukon Quest Medallion and a pin from the 2012

Yukon Quest which I fastened to the quilt as the 

final touch.

Now I had to package it for shipping. I rolled the quilt 

around an empty wrapping paper roll with the

design toward the inside. Then I wrapped the whole

thing with tissue paper and then plastic, in case

the box carrying it got wet.

Finished Yukon Art Quilt

The Yukon initials (YT) will be placed in the bottom right

corner and then this panel will be sewn into a large quilt.

I really hope they send us a photo of the whole quilt put together so we can see what it looks like.

Thursday, 2 April 2015


After a long wait in anticipation, my copy of 1000 Quilt Inspirations arrived on my doorstep. I could hardly control myself as I ripped the box open and peeked inside the book to see which of my small quilts they chose to publish in the book. I am honoured to say three of my pieces were chosen. What a thrill it is to see my work published in a book. I am one of over 300 quilters from all over the world that is represented in the book and one of 30 Canadian quilters.

It is a beautiful book filled with colour photos of quilts; so much talent and so much inspiration! Below is are the page spreads that display my work as well as those of others.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Newborn Portraits

In between my art quilt projects, I've been trying to keep up with my newborn portraits. We've had 3 births since December in our family and it kind of stresses me out when they come so close together. So, needless to say, it takes me a little longer to complete them. I've got two completed and delivered and 1 left to do.



Friday, 20 March 2015

New Art Quilt Project

Back in February, I blogged about being accepted to create a panel for a quilt that will travel across Canada with the Relay for Hope. Since I have finished my Leaf Art Quilt, I have now begun on my panel for the Relay for Hope quilt. As I told you, all the Provinces and Territories will be represented on this quilt. My panel is the one for the Yukon Territory.

I showed you my design in February which had a snow-covered background with mountains and a dog sled in the foreground. There is also a raven flying in a sky bright with northern lights. I have been thinking quite a bit on how I will produce this panel and while I was searching for fabric, I remembered that when I was in the Yukon in January, I bought a stack of fabric from their local quilt shop called Bear's Paw Quilts. Without knowing about this project at the time, I had picked up several different whites and blues with the thought of using them for a winter scene. These fabrics will be perfect for this panel.

I've decided to build the background sky, mountains and snow first by stitching all the various fabrics together to make a 28"X 28" square. Then I'll use the appropriate colours of fabric for the Aurora Borealis, the dog sled and the raven and applique them on top.

The Aurora could be tricky. I have some bright green ribbon that I picked up one time at Value Village which is just the right colour for the green Aurora so I auditioned them on different fabrics to see what would work best.

The ribbon is organza so it is very transparent. Above is a single layer of ribbon on white fabric.

 Here I have layered several pieces of ribbon to give it depth and more intense colour. I would like to give the Aurora a look of fading in certain areas and also have some very vibrant areas and I think this layering will give me the desired affect.

I also auditioned the ribbon on top of darker fabric to see if it would still be as vibrant and I think it looks better here than on the white fabric. This tells me that I can make the whole sky dark and the Aurora will still be visible.

I also found this piece of fabric that I hand dyed myself and I think I will also use this piece in a few areas of the sky.

Once I had my fabrics figured out, I started work on patterning the background fabric, which I do on freezer paper laid over my initial sketch which was enlarged to the finished size of the panel.

As you can see I didn't include the Aurora, raven or the dog sled which will be put on after the background fabric has been sewn together. I decided to make the main seams radiate out from the center of the panel to give it interest. There is a small square area on the lower right corner which is just a reminder to me that the letters for the Yukon Territory (YT) will be placed there so none of the images on the quilt should be placed in that area.
The piece of cardboard on the right of the pattern has small swatches of the fabric I will be using with code letters beneath them which correspond with the codes placed all over the pattern so I know which fabrics go where.

Once this background piece is done, I will work out patterns for the appliques. I'm really excited to get started with the sewing.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Leaf Art Quilt Finished

Today, I finally finished the art quilt of the leaves. The background quilting took quite a while but I think it looks great and was just what the piece needed. After every stage, I hang my pieces up on my design wall to look at from a distance and determine what it still needs. When I hung it up after quilting the background, I found some of the materials in the leaves were too boring and caught my attention too much especially the plain fabrics.

So I did some thread painting on them to show a little shadow where the leaves curled or where they were behind another part of the leaf. This I do with a darning foot on my machine and the feed dogs down.

I stretched the quilt on a 26"x26" wooden stretcher frame that artist's usually use to stretch canvas on to paint. I will be sending this quilt to my framer to be framed. I have a few of my smaller art quilts framed and I really like the look. It gives the piece a fine art look as opposed to a quilt look. Once it is back from the framers, I'll post a photo of the whole finished piece.