Tag Archives: improvisational quilt

Quilts on the Wall – Hanging the Show

On Thursday afternoon the 3 members of the Quilts on the Wall, Helen, Catherine and I arrived at the S. Walter Stewart Public Library to hang our art quilts. Helping us was Ann – hanger extraordinaire!

We laid out our pieces and chose our location in the Auditorium. This room has a large window into the children`s department and is open to everyone during regular library hours.

This is the first time ever that Catherine has had any of her quilts on display! It was exciting to see our pieces go up on the wall.

Despite our diverse designs, techniques and style, the show looks great.

In all we created 20 new pieces of art based on the theme: Connections. Glimpses of some of the pieces are shown. But, you will have to come to the S. Walter Stewart Public Library during the month of June in order to see all of the pieces.

Hope to see you at the reception.

 

Crossing Borders Art Quilters Show 2017 – The Hungerford

Our online art quilters’ group finally met in person for our Crossing Borders show this past weekend. Only one of our group, Marjolein Burbank from The Netherlands was unable to make the trip.

Jeanne Simpson curated our show and did a fantastic job displaying our work in her space: Studio 350.

Marcia DeCamp, Anne Anderson, Anne McAllister, Helen Garland, Doris Lovadina-Lee, Clare Clovis, Jeanne Simpson

Marcia DeCamp, Anne Anderson, Anne McAllister, Helen Garland, Doris Lovadina-Lee, Clare Clovis, Jeanne Simpson

Here we are before the studio was opened for First Friday, a monthly arts event held at various venues in Rochester, NY.

Entrance to Jeanne Simpson's studio at The Hungerford

Entrance to Jeanne Simpson’s studio at The Hungerford

The door to Studio 350 and a glimpse into the show.

Each artist had their six art quilts arranged together along with one larger art piece.

Anne Anderson:

Anne Anderson: Crossing Borders (top) and Crumbling Support (bottom)

Anne Anderson: Crossing Borders (top) and Crumbling Support (bottom)

Helen Garland:

Helen Garland: Beautiful Chaos, Crossing Borders (Top row); Roots, Reflections (Middle row); Crumbling Support, Life Cycle (Bottom row) and The Brook Marsh

Helen Garland: Beautiful Chaos, Crossing Borders (Top row); Roots, Reflections (Middle row); Crumbling Support, Life Cycle (Bottom row) and The Brook Marsh

Jeanne Simpson:

Jeanne Simpson: Urban Scrawl, Beautiful Chaos, Reflection (Top row, left to right), Life Cycle, Roots (Bottom row)

Jeanne Simpson: Urban Scrawl, Beautiful Chaos, Reflection (Top row, left to right), Life Cycle, Roots (Bottom row)

Marjolein Burbank:

Marjolein Burbank: Reflections, Crossing Borders (Top row); Life Cycle, Beautiful Chaos (Middle row); Crumbling support (Bottom row), Roots (on pedestal) and The Dress

Marjolein Burbank: Reflections, Crossing Borders (Top row); Life Cycle, Beautiful Chaos (Middle row); Crumbling support (Bottom row), Roots (on pedestal) and The Dress

Doris Lovadina-Lee:

Doris Lovadina-Lee: Venetian Lagoon, Chaotic (Top row); X-Cross, Spiral (Middle row) Foundation, Portal (Bottom row) and Atmosphere

Doris Lovadina-Lee: Venetian Lagoon, Chaotic (Top row); X-Cross, Spiral (Middle row) Foundation, Portal Bottom row) and Atmosphere

Clare Clovis:

Clare Clovis: Waiting for Birth, Drought and Other Things in My Garden (Top row); Learning How, The Me I See In You (Middle row); Apple Crumble, Tea and Elephants (Bottom row)

Clare Clovis: Waiting for Birth, Drought and Other Things in My Garden (Top row); Learning How, The Me I See In You (Middle row); Apple Crumble, Tea and Elephants (Bottom row)

Clare Clovis's Inner Sanctum

Clare Clovis’s Inner Sanctum

Marcia DeCamp:

Marcia DeCamp: Life Cycles, Border Fences, Raining Chaos (top row, left to right) Crumbling Support, Reflections at the Lake, Layers of Roots (Bottom row)

Marcia DeCamp: Life Cycles, Border Fences, Raining Chaos (top row, left to right) Crumbling Support, Reflections at the Lake, Layers of Roots (Bottom row)

Anne McAllister:

Anne McAllister: Life Cycle, A Window on My World (Top row); Crumbling Support, Crossing Borders (Middle row); Beautiful Chaos, 43A (Bottom row)

Guests enjoying a glass of champagne while perusing the show.

I look forward to our next show in 2018!

Crossing Borders art quilts

Each one of the members of the Crossing Borders Art Quilters suggested themes. Once the theme was chosen, we had two months to complete our quilts. I gave myself additional parameters, along with the guidelines that the group agreed upon. I chose to work improvisationally,  with hand dyed fabrics, and to interpret the theme using a log cabin construction technique.

The 2016 Challenges:

  1. Crossing Borders
  2. Reflections
  3. Roots
  4. Beautiful Chaos
  5. Life cycle
  6. Crumbling Support

For those that are not able to attend our show April 7-8, 2017 at The Hungerford, I am displaying my art pieces below. Each photograph is followed by an explanation of my thoughts on interpreting the theme. Each member of the group has their artwork available for sale.

Crossing Borders: X-Cross

X-Cross

X-Cross
©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
cotton, linen, silk, thread
$125.00

Crossing borders brought to mind traditional quilts that often had an outer border to complete the quilt. I wanted to use borders in a less traditional way, so improvisationally pieced strips using cotton, linen and hand dyed fabrics in shades of black with the occasional gray and deep purple. I then crossed through the borders in a fuchsia hand dyed fabric creating a large cross. The quilt is hand quilted.

Reflections: Venetian Lagoon

Venetian Lagoon

Venetian Lagoon
©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
hand dyed cotton, thread
$125.00

With this piece, I wanted to continue using the log cabin construction. My inspiration was the idea of something reflected in water. The fabrics are all hand dyed. It is machine pieced and quilted. I am also editing the design to its most minimal in order to get the idea across – al la Gwen Marston! I used two photographs I took in Venice for the inspiration. I’ve used the colours of the water, the awnings, and the gondolas. The red represents the mooring poles that are often red and white, like our barbershop poles.

Roots: Foundation

Foundation

Foundation
©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
hand dyed cotton, thread
$125.00

I usually begin by looking up our theme in the dictionary and thesaurus. Lineage, heritage, base, footing, foundation, source, and infrastructure are some of the words that popped out at me. I wanted to continue working with a log cabin block, so I chose two of my hand dyed fabrics and constructed logs. Each log has a thin strip on either side of it in the opposite colour, referencing live edge wood. I constructed the piece improvisationally without rulers. It is a bit bigger than twelve inches and I have kept the organic edges, so it is not square. I machine quilted in the narrow strips, leaving the logs to puff up.

Beautiful Chaos: Chaotic

Chaotic
Chaotic
©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
hand dyed cotton, thread
$125.00

Discovered that Beautiful Chaos is the third book in the Castor Chronicle series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. That information didn’t help! I looked further at Chaos theory: the behavior of dynamic systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions so that long-term outcomes are impossible to predict. With this in mind I chose this hand dyed fabric that changed in colour and texture from red with a little yellow to the opposite. Instead of starting off with a square in the centre, I started with 2 central points in a hexagon shape. Building the logs around these two central hexagons resulted in a random shaped block. The logs ranged in size, length and intensity of colour. I am happy with the outcome although I was hoping to integrate the two sides a bit more, introducing the fabric with more yellow into the side with more of the red fabric. This is something that I will continue to explore in other pieces.

Life Cycle: Spiral

Spiral
Spiral
©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
hand dyed cotton, thread
$125.00

I thought this might be an easy theme to interpret, but I was wrong. I am happy with the overall look of the quilt.. I first created a traditional log cabin block using hand dyed fabrics. I then drew a spiral and cut into the log cabin to insert a very thin black bias strip. This totally distorted the block and I left the outside edges as they were instead of squaring up the top. I would like to try creating this idea in a larger piece, I think it might be easier to insert the strip.

Crumbling Support: Portal

Portals

Portals
©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
hand dyed cotton, thread
$125.00
Portals is the second piece I’ve made using the courthouse steps block. I was influenced by the uncertainty during the American election process, the various court proceedings that have been in the news, and the instability of the economy. It seems that many of the foundations of our country are being challenged, cracks are showing in the very foundations that should be solid and strong.
I’ve used mostly hand dyed fabrics, linen and some commercial cottons to construct a courthouse step block. I’ve inserted thin strips on two sides and the central square to show the cracks in the fabric of our institutions.

April Art at the Hungerford

Crossing Borders Show at The Hungerford, Rochester New York Crossing Borders Show at The Hungerford, Rochester New York

The city of Rochester, NY hosts: First Friday, a monthly event, where area artists and small art galleries showcase their works. It’s a citywide event that promotes a “healthy art scene and a healthy city through regular exchange between venues, artists and patrons”.  Jeanne Simpson has arranged for the Crossing Borders Art Quilters to be a part of First Fridays and Second Saturdays on April 7 and 8, 2017. The Hungerford is a historic building on Main Street in Rochester New York, the home of over 100 studios. The Open Studio Event invites the public to visit about 35 of these studio each month.

Hope to see some of you!

Crossing Borders Art Quilters Show

The invitation

I was invited to participate in an online art quilter’s group. Crossing Borders began with eight artists from Canada, the US and The Netherlands. Our goal was to share and learn from each other in a creative and non-threatening manner.

The eight artists:

The guidelines:

  1. Create a 12″x12″ finished piece of artwork
  2. Interpret a theme to create artwork
  3. Artwork to be revealed every 2 months on the last day of the month
  4. Post photograph and any explanation on private Facebook page
  5. Comment on each others work

The Themes:

  1. Crossing Borders
  2. Reflections
  3. Roots
  4. Beautiful Chaos
  5. Life Cycle
  6. Crumbling Support

The Show

Now, after one year, we are ready to show our completed artwork. Jeanne Simpson has organized a show in her studio space at The Hungerford, Rochester New York on April 7-8 2017. I hope those of you close by will attend the opening reception on Friday April 7th from 6-9. Seven of us will be in attendance. We would love to speak to you and show you our artwork.

Quilts on the Wall Exhibition, June 2017 – sneak peak!

Quilts On The Wall is an art quilting group that my friends: Helen Garland, Catherine Clarke and I formed. We will be exhibiting our textile art in a month long exhibition this June 2017.

I created a small postcard using the technique and style I am developing for this exhibit. Small squares of fuchsia hand dyed fabric is fused and stitched onto a mottled gray cotton. The finished piece is 4″ x 6″, the dimensions of a regular postcard.

 The next two pieces are slightly larger and are still in progress. Machine and hand quilting have yet to be added. These three pieces are the beginnings of a series of work using a fused mosaic technique.

Each one of us is busy creating new art to display at the S. Walter Stewart Branch of the Toronto Public Library. More information about the exhibit, including more photographs of works in progress will be forthcoming. I hope that you will be able to join us in June when the exhibit opens!

Not Quite President’s Challenge Winner!

I’ve been planning the quilt for The Not Quite President’s Challenge for a couple of months. This challenge quilt for the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild had me stumped. I discarded my original design idea: a Greek key design.

One of the sketches I drew had a diagonal line from the left side of the page creating a sort of perspective. I liked the idea of creating depth in the piece by using colours. If I divided the colours I had selected into light and dark I could maybe create this illusion. These ideas brought to mind a couple of quilts I saw at QuiltCon this past February.

Challenge sketch

Challenge sketch

Chawne Timber of Completely Cauchy  has created a series of log cabin style quilts based on her family history. In Anniston is a beautiful quilt that really captured my imagination when I saw it in person. Chawne used hand dyed indigo for the dark logs and various shades of cream for the light logs as well as some reds and green logs as accents. The placement of the light and dark logs emphasize the dark side of the log cabin. It really seemed to be in shadow.

TMQG challenge revised sketch

TMQG challenge revised sketch

Chawne’s pieces were very tiny, creating a lot of depth and movement. So, I thought that using the log cabin block would let me create the idea of depth and perspective. I did a rough sketch of the design above.

TMQG challenge top

TMQG challenge top

I wanted to vary the width of the logs and used both half inch and one inch finished logs. This quilt is not pieced in the traditionally method, rather I pieced sections of strips together and then attached these as a unit. I cut the navy solid and print in one inch finished strips to emphasize the idea of steps leading in towards the centre.

TMQG challenge detail

TMQG challenge detail

There is a tiny bit of green and coral the inspiration photograph. I used Jean Well’s technique of narrow insert piecing to add these bits of colour. I love the way they pop out of the dark blues.

TMQGchallengethread

Thread selections

Log cabin quilts symbolize hearth and home, security and stability. The centre is usually red to reflect the fireplace that was the centre of the home and the light logs represented the side of the home facing the sunshine, while the dark faced the shadow. My inspiration photo was a couple embracing in their bedroom with the closet in the background. Truly an intimate and safe place.

TMQG challenge quilt

TMQG challenge quilt

I decided to hand quilt this piece and auditioned a few different threads including a rayon perle and a variegated sulky.

TMQG quilt detail

TMQG quilt detail

In the end I hand quilted with the dark blue and white rayon perle thread. I really like the strong linear quality the stitches gives to the piece.

TMQG Not Quite President's Challenge Rosette

TMQG Not Quite President’s Challenge Rosette

I am happy to announce that this quilt was chosen as the winner of the Not Quite President’s Challenge. As well as the fabulous ribbon made by Becky, I received a one year membership to the Textile Museum of Canada!

 

Pick-up Sticks for TMQG

The Toronto Modern Quilt Guild is holding our first ever Block Lottery or quilt swap. Berene brought in a few blocks she made using the Pick-up sticks design. She used bright solids on Kona Snow. They were gorgeous.

Pick-up sticks blocks

Pick-up sticks blocks

Berene of Happy Sew Lucky created a great tutorial for us to follow. For every block a person brings to our June meeting, they will have one chance to win all the blocks. If there are many blocks, they may be divided into two piles with two very lucky winners.

Three colour pick-up sticks block

Three colour pick-up sticks block

I made two blocks. The first block has three sticks and after finishing it, I realized I should have starched the initial square before beginning. All the cuts are on the bias and therefore have a tendency to stretch. Starching would help prevent this.

pick-up sticks4

Four colour pick-up sticks block

I starched the second block and found that it did help in preventing stretch. All the seams are pressed open and this second block has four sticks inserted. Both blocks need to be trimmed to 9 1/2 “. The lucky winner will have a great start to a fun modern quilt. Looking forward to seeing all the other blocks.

Not Quite President’s Challenge

The Toronto Modern Quilt Guild does not officially have a president. Rather two of our members, Rebecca and Andrea are acting as co-presidents. They have been doing a fantastic job in organizing our growing guild. This year they decided to host the Not Quite President’s Challenge. All the members were given a magazine, told to go to page 25 (there were 25 members at that particular meeting) and use that page as inspiration to create a small quilt.

California Closets ad

California Closets ad

The ad pictured above was on page 25 of my magazine. Anything on this page could be used as inspiration: the colours, shapes, words, anything! The quilt could have a maximum perimeter of 60″ and could be made using any technique.

Greek key blocks

Greek key blocks

I was really attracted to the Greek Key design in the rug shown in the picture. I started to piece  this block using a warm rich brown and cream.  After spending a bit of time making what you see above, I decided I didn’t really like where the design was heading.

Quilt sketchs

Quilt sketchs

I sketched a few designs on a piece of paper and also wrote down some key words from the photo. The colours include: brown, navy, white, green and fuchsia. The designs include: greek key, piping, curved light (fixture), lines both horizontal in the rug and vertical in the hanging clothes and the two people. I wanted focus words to help me plan the quilt.

jean wells cover

Intuitive Color & Design: Adventures in Art Quilting by Jean Wells.

I remembered Jean Wells’ book: Intuitive Colour & Design and read it again for inspiration. The chapter: Color Through My Eyes was especially helpful in deciding on a palette of colours. One of the assignments in this chapter deals with proportion. In this assignment you: 1) choose a colour source for inspiration – the ad; 2) write down the colours from your inspiration – the sketch above; 3) give each of the colours a percentage rating so that you can see how much or little of that particular colour is represented; 4) go back to the inspiration and look again carefully, make note of any background or dull colours you may have missed the first time.

TMQG challenge fabric selection

Fabric selection

The photograph above shows the fabrics from I pulled from my stash. I don’t have them organized by proportion yet. After my initial selection I added the two light blue pieces. One of the design elements I really like from the photo is the crispness of the piping on the chair. I also like the fine narrow lines of the piping and the light fixture. I want to include these elements that Jean calls: narrow insert piecing.

White fabric selection

White fabric selection

I don’t have many solid white in my stash, but found these tone-on-tone whites. I don’t know if I will use them, I may add a few more or eliminate some fabrics as I begin to work.

 

President’s Challenge Quilt 2

I was inspired to create another President’s challenge quilt after reading Gwen Marston’s new book: Minimal Quiltmaking.

Minimal Quiltmaking by Gwen Marston

Minimal Quiltmaking by Gwen Marston

I love the quilts in her book, they look simple and spare, yet the designs are powerful. There is something very interesting going on in each quilt. Sometimes it is the colour combination used like in: Turquoise on page 47. There are only four colours but the composition makes the quilt glow!

Other quilts have a very strong graphic quality, like: Winter Beech on the cover above and on page 56. Gwen has distilled the idea of a tree into its simplest form.

Spring is the challenge word and bright green grass sprouting through snow was the image that came to mind. I wanted the grass to be a small rectangle floating on top of a 12″ quilted square that would act like a mat.

grass

Improvised grass

I roughly sketched out the different grass shapes on paper so that I would get the proportions correct. The finished grass piece needed to be about a 3″ x 9″ rectangle. Hand dyed green cotton was improvisationally inserted into white linen. I started piecing from the left side, cutting and inserting and pressing as I went along.

grass detail

Grass detail

I auditioned the grass strip on a 12″ square, trimmed the top and bottom and added a 1/2″ strip along the bottom, this was the snow that still covered the ground!

grass closeup

Grass closeup

The blue/grey linen square was finished using the pillowcase technique and then machine quilted with a walking foot. I used a lovely metallic mauve thread to quilt the lines. Even though I cut the square so that it would be 12 1/4″ finished, the quilting process shrunk the top a little. Next time I think a scant 12 1/2″ square would be better (bigger if the quilting is denser).

grass blocked

Grass quilt being blocked

The grass piece was also finished using the pillowcase technique and then hand stitched on top. Blocking the quilt was necessary to make the piece square and flat. The finished size is about 11 3/4″.

I am very happy with this quilt. Creating a minimalist piece is more difficult than you might imagine. While I was working on the quilt, I would constantly ask myself whether I could eliminate anything from the design and still maintain my vision. What were the very basic elements of the design that needed to be included in order for the quilt to work? It was this constant dialogue that helped me throughout this process.

Do you talk to yourself when you quilt?  :o)

Pieced – embroidered and beaded quilt

This is the improvisationally pieced top I created using an embroidered and beaded sample I made years ago. In an earlier post I showed some of the fabrics I pulled. You can see below that not all the scraps made it into the top. I love having a large selection of fabric to choose from. I didn’t sketch out the top, but I knew that I wanted to have the sample in the lower left corner and the blues at the top.

Embroidered quilt top

Embroidered quilt top

I began hand quilting the top without putting the quilt in a frame. It’s a small piece and I like the softness and texture that the hand quilting gives to a quilt.

Embroidery detail

Embroidery detail

Above is a small detail and just the beginning of the quilting and beading process. I have used hand dyed perle cotton thread and added 3 glass beads. I plan on using more beads on the top. I collected up a variety of items that I might incorporate, as well as threads in different weights.  I love having a small project I can work on while still spending time with the family. Do you quilt or work on your projects while spending time with your family?