AQS 2016 Quilt Show: My Favorites

I didn’t photograph every quilt in the AQS quilt show in Syracuse but I was tempted! So many outstanding quilts were on display, it was overwhelming to take them all in. Of course, I did take some photos.

My Favorite Quilts (in no particular order):

AQS_Beavers_The Whole

The Whole is Greater Than The Sum of Its Parts by Cassandra Ireland Beaver

I love that Cassandra changed the colour of the thread as she quilted through each segment of the circle. There is a very subtle shadow of colour on the white fabric.

AQS_Horton_Shelterl

Shelter by Ann Horton

I love the beautiful soft colour of the eggs against the graphic black and white of the quilt.

AQS_Horton_Shelter_detail

Shelter (detail) by Ann Horton

Ann’s quilt is beautifully quilted with leaves and branches supporting the nest.

AQS_Nufer_Mimi's View

Mimi’s View by Beth Nufer and Clem Buzick

My photograph doesn’t do justice to this amazing vista created by Beth and long arm quilted by Clem. It looks like you could walk through the archway into a beautiful summer day.

AQS_Badger_Nighthawk

Nighthawk by Marilyn Badger and Claudia Clark Myers

Claudia’s great sense of colour and design are apparent in this skillfully  pieced quilt. Marilyn’s long arm quilting adds beautiful depth to the design.

AQS_Taylor_Trois port de

Trois Port De (aka 3 doors up) by Chris Taylor

I really liked Chris’ improvisationally pieced log cabin blocks in turquoise interspersed with purple and red. They really pop against the black background.

AQS_Taylor_Trois port de_detail

Trois Port De (aka 3 doors up) detail by Chris Taylor

AQS_Griner_View from the microscope

View from the Microscope: Pickled Paramecia by Connie Kincuis Griner

The name of the quilt made me laugh! Connie, seems to have a good sense of humour and definitely a good sense of design. The machine quilting added visual interest and lots of texture.

AQS_Sobotka_Silk Road Sampler

Silk Road Sampler by Melissa Sobotka

Melissa’s quilt was absolutley amazing to see in person. It appeared as if you could pluck one of the pillows off the shelf!

AQS_Fulton_Loving Laszlo

Loving Laszlo by Charli Fulton

Charli’s quilting highlighted the strong design.

aqs_Beavers_Baubles_

Baubles by Cassandra Ireland Beaver

Cassandra’s quilt was whimsical, fun and amazingly machine quilted!

AQS_Esch_Abandoned in long valley

Abandoned in Long Valley by Carol Esch and Lois Walters

I really loved this quilt, the texture and colours really gave the impression of faded wood. Gorgeous work by Carol and Lois.

AQS__Bower_ Dottie's lament

Dottie’s Lament by Sue Bower

This quilt made me smile. Sue has certainly written a great caption for her version: FIRST KISS #20 (1961) by Vince Colletta.

I encourage everyone to go out and visit quilt shows in person. Photographs don’t do justice to the amazing pieces of art on display. Go and visit a show soon!

 

 

Primroses and Blueberry Green Teas in Syracuse

I attended the American Quilter’s Society quilt show in Syracuse this July. There were many beautiful quilts on display including two quilts made by my friends Helen and Marcia.

Primroses by Helen Garland

Sign of Spring: Primroses by Helen Garland

Helen is a quilter who loves piecing. She has designed, pieced and quilted beautiful art quilts using photographs she has taken. This quilt  was designed from a photograph she took of yellow primroses. All of her quilts are machine pieced with no applique. They are all truly stunning, with lots of details and beautifully machine quilted. Sign of Spring: Primroses is her first entry into an AQS show.

Blueberry Green Teas by Marcia DeCamp

Blueberry Green Teas by Marcia DeCamp

Marcia is a contemporary quilter who uses her hand dyed fabrics to create beautiful abstract quilts. Blueberry Green Teas is part of her Geometrics series. It is created using her hand dyed fabrics, some commercial fabrics and skillfully machine quilted. Blueberry Green Teas won an Honorable Mention in the Small Wall Quilts Longarm Machine Quilted category at the AQS Paducah show in Paducah, KY, in April of this year.

aqs_three_blueberry tea

Helen, Jeanne and Marcia in front of Blueberry Green Teas

Jeanne Simpson is a contemporary fibre artist who designs abstract geometric quilts. She and Marcia attended the show and we were fortunate to be able to meet in person.

aqs_four_Primroses

Helen, myself, Marcia and Jeanne in front of Signs of Spring: Primroses

It was wonderful to meet up, take some photos, talk about art, and quilting. Plans are being made for us to get together at another art show early this fall. How often do you meet with your friends and enjoy seeing some amazing art?

Toronto Modern Quilt Guild summer 2016 Retreat

The new president of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild, Adrienne, invited members to spend a couple of days at her parent’s cottage in Georgian Bay. A few of us packed our sewing machines, projects and swimsuits to take advantage of this generous offer.

TMQG2016summer retreat

The weather, the view and the company were great!

TMQG2016summer retreat_boat

Everyone pitched in and brought food, food and more food!

TMQG2016summer retreat_food

Everyone had a space to work.

TMQG2016summer retreat ladies

Time was spent laughing and sharing.

TMQG2016summer retreat_sewing

Dia brought cake to celebrate all the July birthdays.

TMQG2016summer retreat_cake

Sunsets were photographed.

TMQG2016summer retreat_sky

More amazing photographs were taken.

TMQG2016summer retreat_sunset

Some projects were begun and a few were completed. We look forward to our next retreat. A huge thanks to Adrienne and her parents, the Van Halems for allowing us to share their beautiful place.

Quilts at the Creek 2016 Blue By You Challenge

It was a hot weekend but that didn’t deter visitors from viewing the 298 quilts on display this year at Quilts at the Creek 2016. I participated in the Blue By You Fabric Challenge and was very interested in seeing the quilts others had created using the same bundle of Northcott fabrics. I photographed all the quilts I could find – they were scattered throughout Black Creek Pioneer Village.

Here are the quilts in no particular order:
Blue by You by Jane Cramer

Blue by You by Jane Cramer

 

Modern Hexi by Brenda Horvath

Modern Hexi by Brenda Horvath

 

Early Spring by Katie Johns

Early Spring by Katie Johns

 

Blue Gingko by Maria Pascoe

Blue Gingko by Maria Pascoe

 

My Australian Blue Sunflower by Diane Daniel

My Australian Blue Sunflower by Diane Daniel

 

Into the Deep by Kim Workman

Into the Deep by Kim Workman

 

Mama's Blue Vase by Maria Steveton

Mama’s Blue Vase by Maria Steveton

 

Underwater Blues by Joy Takahashi

Underwater Blues by Joy Takahashi

 

Blue by You by Dorothy Green

Blue by You by Dorothy Green

 

Blue Bayou Kisses by Susan Gaston

Blue Bayou Kisses by Susan Gaston

 

Hunter's Star by Daryl Workman

Hunter’s Star by Daryl Workman

 

Bias against Blue by Valerie Prideaux

Bias against Blue by Valerie Prideaux

 

Deeply Darkly Beautifully Blue by Peggy Pirillo

Deeply Darkly Beautifully Blue by Peggy Pirillo

 

Ocean Blue by Lyne Mielke

Ocean Blue by Lyne Mielke

 

Phoenix by Robert Gutcher

Phoenix by Robert Gutcher

 

...And So It Grew, Out of the Blue by Judy Messenger

…And So It Grew, Out of the Blue by Judy Messenger

 

Blue by You by Cathy Fortune

Blue by You by Cathy Fortune

 

Blue Bayou by Doris Lovadina-Lee

Blue Bayou by Doris Lovadina-Lee

It was fun walking around trying to identify the Blue By You challenge quilts. Every person used the Northcott bundle of fabrics very differently. I was impressed by the designs, the variety of techniques and the workmanship in these pieces. Which piece to you like best?

 

Vacation inspirations

Many of us have hundreds of photographs taken during our vacations. Digital cameras have made it easy to take and store images. How often do you go back and look at them?

Mayan Riviera tile

Mayan Riviera tile

Looking through holiday pictures can stimulate creativity. Look closely and see what design ideas are hiding in plain sight.

Mayan Riviera tree ceilingMayan Riviera wooden ceiling

Patterns on tiles, floors and ceilings can inspire quilt blocks or quilting designs.

Mayan Riviera jar

Mayan Riviera jar

The patina and colours found in pottery and nature can inspire unique colour palettes and applique shapes.

Mayan Riviera leaf

Mayan Riviera leaf

The texture of bark  can inspire a machine or hand quilting pattern.

Mayan Riviera tree trunk

Mayan Riviera tree trunk

Mayan Riviera fossils

Mayan Riviera fossils

Look back at your vacation photographs, enjoy reminiscing and then take a closer look at all the designs that inspire your creativity!

Blue Bayou Quilt

This beautiful bundle of blues are the Northcott fabrics selected for the 2016 Quilts at the Creek challenge: Blue By You.

Northcott fabric bundle for the Blue By You quilt challenge. (photo courtesy of Quilts at the Creek Blog)

Northcott fabric bundle for the Blue By You quilt challenge. (photo courtesy of Quilts at the Creek Blog)

This was one of the easiest quilts for me to name. When they announced this challenge at a workshop last year they called it Blue by You, but, I heard Blue Bayou. The fabrics reminded me of the changing colours of the tropics. Aerial photographs of the ocean show the colour changing from a deep blue that is almost black to a light turquoise.

Blue Bayou Quilt front

Blue Bayou Quilt front

The word bayou conjured images of hot temperatures, beaches, water and buildings painted reds, pinks and corals. I searched through my stash and found a few more blues to co-ordinate with the Northcott bundle. I added 2 small prints in red, some of my hand dyed solids and the navy with circles of blue, green and red tying the fabrics together.

Blue Bayou Quilt draped

Blue Bayou Quilt draped

Many of the colourful painted houses found in tropical climates have jalousie or louvred glass windows. The design of this quilt reminds me of looking out of these jalousie windows and seeing a beautiful tropical vista.

Blue Bayou Quilt detail

Blue Bayou Quilt detail

Blue Bayou is machine quilted with a walking foot. The undulating design in the blue rectangles refers to waves and the straight lines of the navy and blue solids to the frame of the windows.

Blue Bayou quilting detail

Blue Bayou quilting detail

Stop by the Blue By You display at Quilts at the Creek July 23 and 24, 2016. See what others have created with their fabric bundles!

 

Small Vibrant Path

My son’s last school art project involved selecting a Canadian artist and creating a piece based on their style. My son chose me!

The Vibrant path gabriel

Small Vibrant Path project by Gabriel Lee

He spent some time looking at the photos on my blog and selected The Vibrant Path. I was very pleased and surprised! He very carefully drew out his design in pencil and then coloured it in with pencil crayons.

Small Vibrant Path

Small Vibrant Path by Gabriel Lee

He also researched the artist and wrote a couple of paragraphs describing their work and some background information.

Small Vibrant Path description

Small Vibrant Path description

I blogged about The Vibrant Path last year. Have a look at both pieces.

Quilt Canada Solids Mini-Quilt Challenge!

The Toronto Modern Quilt Guild issued a challenge to its members, create a 14 inch square solid mini-quilt from a select colour palette. No embellishments, no applique, and the quilt had to be bound with a faced binding. The quilts would be put on display during Quilt Canada and the pubic would vote for their favorite.

TMQG solid mini colours

TMQG solid mini colours photo courtesy of TMQG

Seven colours were selected for the palette and only 3 of these or less could be used. The colours are from the top: Storm, School Bus, Peridot, Ash, Berry, Coal, and Pomegranate.

Frond

Frond

I chose to use Pomegranate, Coal, and Ash. I created this piece improvisationally using a log cabin design.

I enjoyed the process and especially loved hearing comments from people viewing the quilts during Quilt Canada.

Frond detail

Frond detail

There were three winners of the Quilt Canada Solids Mini-Quilt Challenge. First prize went to Rebecca Burnett, second prize went to Doris Lovadina-Lee (me!!) and third prize to Lynda Hutchinson.

Many more great photos are on the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild Facebook page and blog. Head on over to see the other entries in the Solids Mini-Quilt challenge and other quilts our quild had on display.

Complex Design and Piecing workshop – from photo to art quilt

Helen Garland is a teacher, a quilter, an artist. She will be teaching a five day workshop this July 11-15, 2016 at the Haliburton School of Arts + Design, teaching Complex Design and Piecing.

Haliburton info

Helen studied art at the Stourbridge College of Art in the UK and the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. Using textiles as her medium, she began creating quilts in traditional designs. She quickly grew tired of creating quilts using repetitious blocks and discovered the work of quilter Ruth McDowell from her book Piecing: Expanding the Basics. Helen had never seen pictorial quilts such as hers; it was immediately apparent that quilting could be a medium for producing representative works of art.

Leeks

Leeks by Helen Garland

 

Peas

Peas by Helen Garland

 

cauliflower

Cauliflower by Helen Garland

 

eggplant

Eggplant by Helen Garland

 

pumpkin

Pumpkin by Helen Garland

Ruth McDowell had written a series of books explaining her techniques on designing, piecing, selecting fabrics and quilting in her unique style. Her books included specific patterns to help the novice begin creating and Helen began with these. The vegetable placemats were a great way to learn McDowell’s techniques of drafting and sewing together the pieces in sections.

Hollyhocks2

Hollyhocks by Helen Garland

 

Hollyhocks

Hollyhocks by Helen Garland

While still learning, Helen began to modify McDowell’s published designs and moved components around to create her own personalized designs. The Hollyhock wallhanging is one example illustrating McDowell’s flower pattern arranged by Helen.

trillium1

Trillium by Helen Garland

trillium2

Trillium by Helen Garland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Trillium quilts were one of the first designs Helen drafted and stitched from her own photograph. Creating a series of trillium quilts allowed Helen to play with colour and practice her free motion quilting. Each piece is decidedly different due to the colour and value choices, an important design aspect, which is covered in the course.

campanula1

Campanula by Helen Garland

 

campanula2

Campanula by Helen Garland

Learning how to piece curved seams, Y and even Z seams provides an opportunity to design quilt tops that look more detailed than they are.

primrose

Primroses by Helen Garland

The design process starts with either a photographic image or drawing. Using tracing paper over an enlarged copy of your photograph, lines are drawn to capture the essence of the image. Parts of the original photograph can be omitted or simplified, it’s up to the artist to decide what level of detail they want to include.  Fabrics choices can do a lot of the work in creating a realistic image.

Marsh Marigolds

Marsh Marigolds by Helen Garland

The Complex Design and Piecing workshop is a great opportunity to learn some new techniques, make new friends and enjoy a week with others artists at a great venue.

Helen has a beautiful piece at Quilt Canada in the National Juried Show called: Seaton Trail. You can see it there from today until Saturday (July 15-17)

Helen can be found online on instragram: @piece_by_piece.

 

Texture – tree bark

I have taken more than a few photos of trees. I am attracted to their shape, their colour but most of all their texture.

textures tree bark smooth

Some are smooth.

textures tree bark lichen

Some have interesting colour.

textures tree bark silver

Some have layers of strata.

textures tree bark hole

Some have interesting holes hidden inside.

textures tree bark driftwood

Some have the look of cooled molten lava.

texture barnboard

Some have been weathered into rags.
These beautiful textures offer a lot of design opportunities for the Abstracting from Nature class I will be taking with Jane Sassaman at Quilt Canada 2016 in a couple of weeks.