Canadian textile artist creating snow dyed textiles using traditional shibori techniques.

Snow dyed textiles at SAQAโ€™s 2020 Conference: moSAiQA in Toronto

Studio Art Quilt Associates is hosting its first ever conference outside of the USA here in Toronto! I am a new member of this organization and excited to be attending as a member. I am also participating as a vendor of my snow and hand dyed fabrics and scarves at its pop-up on Thursday March 19, 2020 from 10-6.

Skyline of Toronto the host of MoSAiQA Conference 2020

Join me and a select group of vendors on Thursday March 19 from 10-6 for the pop-up in the lobby of the:

145 Richmond Street West,
Toronto, Ontario, M5H 2L2, Canada

Please come over and introduce yourself if we are IG friends. I’ll be offering some newly snow dyed scarves and fabrics too!

Handwork and the Venetian Mosaic Quilt – coming towards the deadline!

Most things have taken second place to the finishing of this quilt. I now have a final deadline – March 14th. Although not the actual date of my mom’s birthday, it is the day the entire family is getting together to celebrate. So, all my free time is spent working on this piece.

closeup of quilt block with machine stitching
three large quilt bocks pinned to wall showing the machine quilting
partially finished quilt draped on arm of sofa

I am at a point where handwork means watching Netflix. I love British crime dramas and have watched a few good series. Does anyone have recommendations? But nothing subtitled! I can’t read and handstitch! What do you watch on TV?

See more images of this quilt from the begging stages on Instagram

Stitch Meditation – Day 45 and 46

blue wool scquare embroidered with running stitches in hand dyed blue and yellow thread by doris lovadinalee canadian quilter
Indigo dyed wool, hand dyed embroidery floss
red, black and yellow fabric embroidered with black and yellow running and cross stitches and red silk ribbon with french knots
Hand dyed red, yellow and black cotton, perle cotton

Stitch Resources

  • Blogpost: Grinnell, Kate. (October 09, 2019) Meditative Stitching and Storytelling Retrieved from Selvedge Magazine.

Quietly sitting and reflecting – One stitch at a time!

Stitch Meditation – Day 43 and 44

yellow and green scraps embroidered with running and cross stiches with handdyed perle cotton stitched by doris lovadina lee toronto artist
Repurposed silk, hand dyed canvas, hand dyed perle cotton
red, grey and black fabric held together with red and black embroidery stitches by doris lovadina-lee toronto artist
Hand dyed cotton, commercial cotton and hand dyed perle cotton

Stitch Resources

  • Article: Vercillo, Kathryn. 5 Craft Therapy Books to Learn About Handmade Healing
  • Bibliography: Kathryn Vercillo is a professional writer who also has a Masters in Psychological Studies. Her expertise is writing at the intersection of crafts and mental health. Kathryn is the author of several books on this topic including Crochet Saved My Life.

Creating for health – One stitch at a time!

Venetian mosaic – sashing, borders, bosses, and cornerstones!

I am creating the 6 inch squares that will be placed in each corner of the sashing and border of the quilt. This means that I am almost, almost ready to start making a sandwich of each quadrant in preparation of machine quilting.

Next Steps:

  • Cutting sashing and border fabric
  • Stitching the cornerstones or bosses
  • Stitching the border to quadrants
  • Stitching part of the sashing to each quadrant
  • Pressing the backing and top
  • Making a sandwich
  • Machine quilting each quadrant
  • Joining each quadrant to make the finished top
  • More quilting in border and sashing
  • Blocking
  • Binding
  • Label

In the photo below I am still working on the triangle shapes and trying to decide if they need a border. Of course they did! There was more work and stitching ahead!

The photo shows the drafting process to make six inch square mosaic tiles that will be placed at the intersection of border and sashing.

I wasn’t planning on such a large quilt. I guess this is what happens when you design as you go! It has evolved to be what it needs to be.

Stitch Meditation – Day 41 and 42

The colours of this stitch meditation are rich and luscious! The hand dyed hot pink varying slightly making it just a little bit more interesting than a flat colour. Layers of black knots tying it in with the darker gray cotton. The piece of repurposed silk sari fabric has a shimmer of pink while also tying into the lighter grey. It is tied together with the hand dyed pink perle cotton. I don’t usually sit back and study the piece I’ve stitched to analyze why it works. Having the time and perspective makes you realize that following your instincts can lead you in the right direction.

shades of grey, hot pink and iridescent blue scraps embroidered by Doris Lovadina lee toronto ontario quilter
Hand dyed cotton, shot cotton, repurposed sari silk, hand dyed perle cotton

I am fortunate that a friend gave me a bag of silk and upholstery fabrics that I have been using in some stitch meditations. They are so gorgeous and often times reversible — the colour varying slightly from front to back. These delicate fabrics are precious snippets

black/grey fabric stitched with hand dyed grey, black and red a 5 inch stitch meditation journey square by Doris lavadina-lee toronto artist
Repurposed silk, hand dyed cotton, shot cotton, perle cotton

Stitch Resources

  • Blogpost: What is Intuition from Psychology today
  • Article: Karen Broude interview: Motivated by Intuition in

Don’t second guess yourself, close your eyes and pick a colour – One stitch at a time!

Stitch Meditation – Day 39 and 40

There are quite a few articles about the benefits of slowing down your thoughts with traditional meditation. For many people mentioning the word meditation brings about a negative reaction. I’ve heard: I can’t do it, it doesn’t work for me, I’ve tried it but I wasn’t successful and so many more. Meditation was and is a difficult concept for me to grasp. Quietly lying down or sitting comfortably and trying to empty your mind! How is that even possible! No way I can’t do it! Who can! I’ve had only a very few times I think I can say that meditating worked, maybe.
That’s why having having something more specific to focus on — like a hand stitching project makes the idea of meditation a little easier to understand. I know that I’ve lost track of time, my discomfort, and those around me (child and husband) when I focused on my sewing. I am in my happy place — making.
An article I discovered by Monika Auch a Naturopathic doctor and artist talks about “creating with your hands makes you happy”. She has an inventive project where you stitch your brain!

pale blue gauze stitched with patches of indigo dyed cloth by Canadian Textile artist Doris Lovadina-Lee
Hand dyed cotton, indigo, hand dyed perle cotton, metallic thread

Stitch your Brain an international embroidery project: “Creating with your hands makes you happy. Embroidery, knitting, weaving, crochet and other craft activities release feelings of well-being in our brains.” Is this what a successful meditation session feels like?
You can map what your brain looks like to you. Join the project and embroider your brain on a printed canvas using: yarn, threads, beads, with any types of stitching, anything! Finished pieces are on tour throughout Europe and some are on display on the website. Meditate on your brain – such an interesting project!

white background stitched with purple, pink and blue scraps a stitch meditation by doris lovadina lee toronto artist
Repurposed linen, hand dyed cotton, gold foil, hand dyed perle cotton

Stitch Resources

  • Video: Monika Auch 25 April 2017 lecture on – Art Knowledge: our senses in art and scientific experiment (in Dutch)
  • Website: Stitch Your Brain – is a project and study by Monika Auch, visual artist and medical doctor (n.p.) about the intelligence of our hands and the effect of creative making on health and well-being.

Brain health – One stitch at a time!

Preparation of 5 inch squares for the 100 Day Stitch Meditation Project

I’ve been preparing the squares for the 100 Day Stitch Meditation Project before the actual stitching. I’ve found that this works for me as I can pick up and work on different squares as I feel inspired. I may not complete one before starting another and then finishing the first!

stitch meditations finished and unfinished in a heap by toronto artist dora lovadina-lee

Some observations:

  • I use far fewer layers in my meditations than others
  • My squares are simpler
  • I create in similar colour combinations as you can see below
grey square with smaller red, pink and black patches on top held with pins
Cotton – hand dyed and commercial
black sparkly fabric with curved grey and red half circles and a black strip a stitch meditation unfinished
Hand dyed cotton, repurposed silk

Preparing for stitch meditations – one square at a time!

Scraps to mosaics

I’ve spent some time not working on my Venetian Mosaic project. I just needed to do a little sewing that didn’t require concentration, was simple and mindless.

Pulling out my scrap boxes, yes boxes, and pulling out a project I began a few years ago. I strip pieced on a foundation of paper ripped from an old telephone directory I’ve had around for a while.

Piecing tip: old telephone directories make a great foundation to stitch through. (Just make certain they have aged so the ink doesn’t transfer to your fabric when pressing!)

It was an opportunity to use up the many scraps that I’ve accumulated. They never seem to decrease!

 Storage Tip: If you keep the fabric strips together from a single project, they will absolutely look good together!  


What would you choose? All white or a variety of colours for the solid triangle?


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