I have finally gotten around to washing out the wax from the hand dyed fat quarters I made at Malka Dubrawsky’s class at QuiltCon in 2013!
Malka taught a full day workshop teaching wax resist dyeing. You can see some of the beautiful pieces she creates on her website: A Stitch in Dye. All the information on creating your own hand dyed fabrics are available in her book.
These are just a few of the fabrics that I dyed that day.
Can you guess what was used to make the designs?
silicon barbecue brush
The rest of the fat quarters are in the wash. I’ll post these once they have all been prepared.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines Inspiration as:
A breathing in or infusion of some idea, purpose, etc. into the mind; the suggestion, awakening, or creation of some feeling or impulse, esp. of an exalted kind
“inspiration, n.” OED Online. Oxford University Press, September 2014. Web. 13 October 2014.
This sketch drawn by my 7 year old niece was the inspiration for my Whimsy quilt. I knew immediately that I would use it in a quilt. I loved the design, it was fun and playful. With a minimum of lines a flower was suggested by a spiral in a circle. Triangle shapes became leaves. I loved the curlicues sprouting from the hearts, they were so whimsical.
The sketch suggested many design opportunities. Victoria Findlay Wolfe’s book 15 Minutes of Play: Improvisational Quilts, gave me many ideas to use in making the quilt.
I had a lot of scraps and this book gave me the inspiration to use them. Sorting through the scrap bins (yes plural!), I separated my scraps into reds, greens, and black/white piles. Using Victoria’s instructions I began to create pieces of fabric in each colour way. I enjoyed the process of playing with scraps, creating new and interesting pieces to work with. Once I had the centre portion completed, I auditioned fabric for the background. I had an idea of what fabric I wanted, but my first few choices didn’t really work.
Some of the background fabrics were too close in colour to some of the elements and they disappeared into the background. Some fabrics overpowered the design. In the end I found a polka dot piece that seemed just right. It was colourful but with a white background, the centre portion stood out.
I added more black and white pieces in each of the corners and bound it in black. The entire quilt was free motion quilted. I really like this quilt, it is a different look for me. It was challenging to work outside of my comfort zone.
The original sketch is still pinned to my design wall and inspiring me. There are more ideas to extract from this sketch: more creativity, more quilts!
The Canadian Quilter’s Association has asked award winning quilters to donate a small quilted piece to their themed show: “It’s Time for Colour“. 40 pieces will travel across Canada and be displayed in local venues from January 2015 to May 2015, ending in Lethbridge, Alberta for Quilt Canada in June 2015. Everyone will have the opportunity to purchase these beautiful 12” x 16” quilt hangings for $200.00 each (plus tax). The proceeds will be donated to the Children’s Wish Foundation.
You can sign up at the CQA blog to get more information and view some of the other pieces that will be included in this show. The quilters who are participating will be blogging about their inspiration and techniques for their submissions.
My piece, Chrysalis Awakening is improvisationally pieced using a “wonky curves” method. My first step was to select some fabrics. I pulled the small print (Kaffe Fassette, I think) and then fabrics to pick up on the colours of the print. I knew I wanted to create a flower and a leaf.
I taught a tutorial at the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild on piecing circles. One of the techniques I demonstrated was piecing ‘wonky circles’. I really enjoyed making the samples and thought I could use this technique to create a colourful flower for my design.
In this process you layer 4 fabrics right side up with edges aligned. A quarter circle is cut out of one corner of the stack. The fabrics are shuffled and stitched. You continue in this manner until the four blocks are completed. I originally saw this technique on The Quilting Edge Blog written by a very talented quilter Marianne. She has a great Wonky Curves tutorial that explains the process. For this quilt, I made the shapes very curvy to look like a flower.
Every flower needs a leaf, so a selection of green fabrics were pieced to create the leaf. I layered batting, backing and machine quilted it to create a three-dimensional leaf.
The completed leaf was inserted into a beautiful piece of cotton ombre. The colours of the fabric change from red to purple.
The flower was appliquéd to the background.
A surprise is hidden underneath the leaf.
The finished piece!
I love that there is a little surprise hiding behind the leaf. There are three flowers left and three other stages in the life cycle of a butterfly. I am going to have fun creating three more quilts to illustrate the other stages – look for the surprises!
This past weekend I attended the quilt show hosted by the Yorkshire Rose Quilters’ Guild of Toronto. The show was a great combination of traditional, modern and art quilts. Here are just a few of the quilts in the show:
White Labyrinth by Maria Ellis
Cambrian Sea by Jane Barbeau
Banners by Helen Garland
Jack by Karen Howes
It was great to see so many talented quilters putting their works on display. I’ll post more photos of quilts from the show soon.
The outgoing president of the Yorkshire Rose Quilters’ Guild of Toronto issued a challenge to the guild: make a manhole cover quilt! Guild members were challenged to create a circular quilt the size of a manhole (around 24 1/2 inches) to celebrate Toronto. The design and technique were left up to each individual.
The mosaic quilt process:
My entry into the President’s challenge is created using a mosaic technique. I selected a variety of colourful scraps, ironed a fusible web onto the wrong side, cut the scraps into 1 inch squares and arranged them onto a solid grey.
I arranged them in a curved pattern, fused them to the background.
Each square was machine stitched 1/8 of an inch around the edge. The backing and batting were attached using the pillowcase technique. I under stitched around the perimeter, which helped to keep the backing fabric rolled towards the back.
Each section was machine quilted in a curved spiral.
All the quilts from this challenge will be on display at our quilt show Sept. 20-21, 2014. Visitors to the show will vote for their three favourites and the top three will be unveiled at our October meeting.
Artist’s Statement for Evolving Mosaic:
Toronto has been called a “Cultural Mosaic”. Almost half of the over 2.8 million people living in Toronto are immigrants. They speak over 140 languages and dialects. This quilt celebrates the diversity of Canadians that comprise our city.
The squares of the mosaic represent the more than 200 distinct ethnicities that make up Toronto. The quilt is a swirl of three primary colours, some squares are solids while some are a combination of colours. They symbolize the people of Toronto, all Canadians while still maintaining their rich ethnic, racial and linguistic heritage. We are fortunate that all the ethnicities have retained their uniqueness, contributing to, and strengthening the fabric of our community. The motto for the City of Toronto describes our rich culture: “Diversity Our Strength”.
The quilt show will feature quilts from our very talented guild members. There will be both traditional and modern quilts featured. I have seven pieces in the show, including Icterine Strata I blogged about here. This piece won third place at the Canadian Quilters’ Association Juried show earlier this summer!
Here is a glimpse of some of my quilts you will see at the show:
Midnight Blooms is an original design. It is machine pieced and long arm quilted. Large stylized flowers are raw edge appliquéd to the top. The design was inspired by a piece of Art Deco wallpaper.
Plumage is based on marble tile design that my sister used in her renovated bathroom. The quilt is machine pieced and long arm quilted. The focus fabric is fussy cut to showcase the beautiful birds.
Floral Bouquet is a small wallhanging. Three dimensional flowers are arranged into a lovely bouquet hand tied with satin ribbon. It is machine quilted.
Village at Dusk is a triptych arranged onto a quilted mat. It is improvisationally pieced and machine quilted.
Morning Meadow wallhanging is improvisationally pieced and machine quilted. The piece is beautifully framed with a quilted matting.
These photographs are detail shots of some of the pieces I have in the quilt show. In order to see the quilts in their entirety, you will need to come out and visit the show Saturday Sept. 20th to Sunday Sept. 21st.
Quilts for Purchase
Some of the quilts on display are being offered for sale, (including a few of mine). This is a great opportunity to purchase a one of kind quilt for yourself or as a Christmas gift.
Bring a friend, enjoy the quilts, have a lovely tea, browse the merchant’s mall, and be inspired!
The three pieces of thrifted fabric from the Sow’s Ear Challenge plus a solid green resulted in this easy to piece bag. I used Peltex, a heavyweight firm stabilizer and did a little free motion quilting around the flowers and some straight line quilting on the solid base. I interfaced the handles to give prevent them from stretching. The pockets are made up of one long rectangle folded in half and topstitched.
I still have a little of the blue floral print and 1 entire pink/green pillow sham that I haven’t taken apart and 1 side of the one I did use. I will make another bag featuring the pink/orange/green fabric on the outside and incorporate the ruffle too. The exact design will be dictated by the amount of fabric I have leftover.
I like the firmness that the Peltex stabilizer provides, it has more body than just a regular quilt batting would give to the project.
I like to try new techniques, so when I saw the title: Sliver quilts: 11 projects easy technique for dynamic results by Lisa O’Neill, I had to try it.
In this technique narrow strips of fabric are encased in a fold when stitched so that there are no raw edges. Very fine points are achieved by using this technique. The ‘slivers’ of fabric can be made with fabrics that fray such as silks, rayons, and sheer fabrics like organza. Beautiful effects can be created with decorative trims such as rick rack and ribbons.