Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What have I done for my quilting lately?

I've been busy, but no photos to show for it. First I have been reading Liberated Quiltmaking by Gwen Marsten. I thought I would check it out since it seems to be inspiration to many. I found it at the public library, but had to put it on reserve because it was out and finally I received my email saying it was in! woohoo! It is an amazing book! But am I a liberated quilter? Sometimes, I think. I think my Spike quilt comes pretty close; it was made with scraps and although I arranged it on the floor I didn't have a pattern, just an idea. My Lest we Forget, I just made it up as I sewed and that was a new challenge. But I have to confess there is a part of me that wants my colours to match, and I have a compulsion to plan my scrappy quilts. I am trying to pull things from my scraps and just sew to see what I come up with. I've made one creation so far, but I am planning to dig in some more.

Other 'quilty' things I've done....I've hung more quilt stuff up in my house, and I like it. It makes me smile to see my stuff hanging on the walls. Also I have been going through all my magazines trying to figure out what to do with my Dutch fabric. I like the fabric so much I am afraid to cut it :(, but I think I've narrowed it down to a few contenders. I also finished a tea cosy for my mom's birthday. oops and I forgot to take a photo of it.....Oh and I cleaned my sewing room! what a mess! You'll always know I am thinking about a big project when I start cleaning! The music I am listening to lately while cleaning and quilting is David Gilmour's On an Island and Dave Brubeck's Greatest hits. Partly because they're the only 2 CD's my stupid CD player recognizes right now. And of course I blog and I read quilting blogs.

Next, I think I will have to dig out the Christmas quilts and start decorating for christmas. I am not sure if I will put up a tree or not. I have been bringing my artificial tree to the store and decorating it there. It is a very unusual tree, full of Simpsons and comic book decorations! With no kids at home or even visiting, I find I get more pleasure from it at the store.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Spike Quilt Completed!!!!

Here it is! I am really proud of this one! I think it captures the essence of my Spike, as you can see by the following photo!

Also, thanks to Tonya and her free hand fans idea for hand quilting. It worked well on this piece.

"Personally, I don't see the resemblance; I am obviously taller, and my whiskers! Where are my whiskers?"

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Friendship Offerings Wallhanging

Here's the finished top of the Friendship Offerings wallhanging, that we did in Cynthia's workshop. The colours I chose are much darker than Cynthia's cheerful brights, but I fell in love with the outer border fabric!

Here are 2 close-ups of the applique. Cynthia taught us needle turn applique using freezer paper (leaves) and fusible web applique (petals of flowers), and we made bias strips for the stems using a 1/4 inch Clover brand bias maker. What a wonderful tool! I used a blanket stitch around the petals and Cynthia taught us a lovely feather stitch, which I used radiating from the centre of 2 of the flowers.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Backstage Pass part 2

This photo was just sent to me today! Myself, Cynthia Tomaszewski, and Christine.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Backstage Pass

On Thursday, Cynthia Tomaszewski, was the guest speaker for our LFQG meeting. Cynthia is the designer and owner of Simple Pleasures, a pattern company which markets over 50 different quilting designs. She's published 2 books Garden Party: Applique Quilts that Bloom and Tea in the Garden: Quilts for a Summer Afternoon, published by Martingdale and Company. She and her family have traveled extensively throughout the world and currently lives in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emerites.

Her talk was inspiring! Her motto is "Quilt where you are planted", and it was reflected in the story of her year living in Indonesia. She formed her own group of quilters, in a country where there were no quilters; she imported the tools needed, when there were no tools; she arranged to have tools manufactured, when it was too difficult or expensive to import. Overcoming a language and cultural problem, she arranged to have 50+ quilt hoops made for her quilting group! When there was no batting, she found a bra factory that could supply her with what her group needed! She's a woman that doesn't give up!

On Friday, she gave a workshop on applique techniques. I wasn't really sure I wanted to take this workshop. The wallhanging was nice, but it really wasn't my style. I was wrong to be hesitant, because this workshop was like a backstage pass to meet the band! The other message Cynthia has, is that quilts are about people. They are about the people you meet, the stories they tell, the memories you have. And that is what I got from the workshop. I met a wonderful lady who passed on her experiences and knowledge about quilting; I enjoyed the comraderie of my fellow quilters, and picked up so many tips that are etched deeper into me because of the experience I had. It was better than just reading it from a book.

I've posted a few photos below from the workshop. Later I will post a photo of the completed wallhanging.

Here is Cynthia in front of the class holding up her wallhanging. It was a great opportunity to have this intimate workshop!

Cool door prize, that Cynthia donated! Inside it contained a pair of scissors on a handmade string of beads and a small pincushion made by palestinian women! I'll hang this pincushion with one I have from Hungary....I just might start a collection of pincushions around the world. cool!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Quilt Show part 2

Here is another one of my entries into the quilt show. They are not good photos, sorry. I call it Lenore, Butterfly Hunter. Again, I took it from a Lenore comic by Roman Dirge. Lenore, with her butterfly net and baseball bat in the top frame (it's called extreme butterfly hunting!), and her mounted butterfly prize in the bottom. I also wanted to try out some butterfly blocks that I saw in Quiltmaker magazine (issue May/June '01 #79), these ones are only 4 in square instead of 6 inches. The top photo is a close up I made before I had completed it; the second is from the show. (I haven't figured out how to manoevre the photos, they never seem to go up on the page in the order I want them :( ) ....also you might have noticed a Lenore lunch box...I now use that for my sewing kit which I bring to workshops....I always get comments like, oh my daughter would just love that!... I guess I'll never grow up!

Here is another one of my entries in the quilt show: 'Gord's T-Shirts'. I made this quilt using my husband's old t-shirts, some flannels and I used a cheap fleece throw blanket for the back, so it is really warm! It was thick enough it didn't need batting. My hubby's office is the coldest room in the house, so he needed a warm lapquilt. I got the idea from an old Fons & Porter magazine, issue May 1996 (egad!) Sew Many Quilts. The top photo shows a close up of the label I made for the back of the quilt, that pic of the queen was on the sleeve of the Sex Pistols shirt.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Harvest of Quilts

Here is myself and my quilting buddy Christine (right). We volunteered for a shift at the welcome table at the London Friendship Quilters Guild 'Harvest of Quilts' quilt show. This was our first show with the guild and we had a great time! Christine entered 6 pieces in the show and I entered 4 plus the challenge quilt in the show. There were over 200 entries! It was amazing. We currently do not have a web page for our guild, but there are many proposals, for getting our guild onto the net. I have suggested having a blog for the guild....so we'll see what happens next.

Quilt Challenge

My aunt and cousin pointing to my prize (!) winning quilt! Our guild is celebrating its 25th anniversary and the challenge was 5x5 (or 25). There were 21 entries and mine was chosen for first prize by the guild members! (It's my first ribbon!) There are 5 rows of 5 blocks, 5x5 inches each. Row 1 are trees to represent London ( which is also known as the Forest City); row 2 are hearts to represent 'Friendship'; row 3 are spools to represent 'Quilters'; row 4 are hands that represent the members of the'Guild...London Friendship Quilters Guild...row 5 contains the Guild logo block and the anniversary years.

Circle of Life

This wallhanging is my own design. I bought these neat japanese fabrics from Kallisti Quilts. The animals I chose are pulled from the fabrics and are dependent on each other in the 'circle of life'. When I hand quilted this one, I chose shadow quilting because it is like ripples in a pond. I designed a type of chinese coin pattern to link the four blocks together. I originally designed a baby crib quilt for a gift, but reduced it to this wallhanging when I decided on another pattern for the gift.

This wallhanging is based on a comic book by Roman Dirge, called Lenore (the cute little dead girl). If you cannot find death amusing, this comic book is not for you! I loved the cover of his first collection and thought that I could adapt it for a Halloween wallhanging.

Here's a good photo of my cousin (right) and myself (left) on our last night together.