Fibre art

Metamorphosis Series

Chrysalis Awakening was the quilt I created as part of the Canadian Quilters’ Association “It’s Time for Colour Show“. This piece was sold and the money is going the Children’s Wish Foundation of Canada. Those of you attending the Creativ Festival on April 24-25th will have the opportunity to see these beautiful one-of-a-kind quilts in person.

Chrysalis Awakening Quilt
Chrysalis Awakening

As soon as I finished this piece, I knew that I needed to create three more to complete the cycle. There are four stages in the life cycle of a butterfly: egg, larvae, chrysalis and adult. With Chrysalis Awakening, I had completed the pupa or chrysalis stage, where the larvae or caterpillar anchors itself to the underside of a leaf and transforms itself.

Metamorphosis leaves
Metamorphosis leaves

To create the other three stages, I pulled some green fabrics to create the leaves. These are improvisationally pieced and so much fun to make. The one on the right above is too big!

Metamorphosis leaf
Metamorphosis leaf being cut down

So, taking the leaf that was too wide and long, I cut a curved section out and will piece it back with smaller sections on each side. Below, I’ve stay stitched the area where I am going to insert the purple fabric to create the vein.

Metamorphosis leaf insert
Preparing leaf to insert purple fabric for vein

I’ve included just a few of the process pictures. I still need to individually back and free motion each leaf, insert the leaf into the background fabric, free motion quilt it, appliqué the flower and then quilt it, and bind each one of the quilts. Each leaf will also have a special surprise hiding underneath. The quilts will be similar but not identical, each having their own personality.

Metamorphosis leaves
Metamorphosis leaves with backing and flowers

Above, you can see that I’ve grouped the leaves with the backing fabric and flowers. I may switch them around again before they are finally pieced into the gorgeous cotton ombre fabric of the background. I will use the same piece of fabric I used in Chrysalis Awakening but each quilt will be a different colour, due to the gradation across the fabric.

The Vibrant Path chakra quilt

The Vibrant Path

This is the finished piece I submitted to the Sacred Threads Exhibition. It’s a chakra quilt based on the Kundalini serpent design. Kundalini is a Sanskrit word describing the life force or spiritual energy that resides in the body. I’ve been exploring the ideas of balance in our lives or more likely, imbalance in our lives! The Kundalini serpent represents the seven energy centres (chakras) awakening, rising up, activating each in turn until a whole, healthy and balanced state is achieved.

chakra art quilt the Vibrant Path by doris lovadina-lee toronto ontario canada quilter
The Vibrant Path by Doris Lovadina-Lee

This is a juried exhibition, so I won’t know until the end of April whether this quilt has been accepted. Below is a detail of the Throat Chakra, it is said to be located in the throat area and deals with communication, self-expression and the truth.detail of throat chakra in art quilt Vibrant Path detail by dorislovadinalee toronto artist

The Vibrant Path detail

All of the fabric is hand dyed, including the background. I followed the information on Robin Ferrier’s blog on flat dyeing.

wing detail of kundalini chakra quilt by doris lovadina-lee quilter toronto canada
The Vibrant Path wing detail

The top is a combination of raw edge appliqué – the wings and serpent, and satin stitched appliqué – the chakras. The quilt is machine quilted with a walking foot.

I encourage you to have a look at the Sacred Threads Exhibition website, they have a gallery of works from previous years along with the artists’ statements.


Chakra quilt with hand dyed fabric

I dyed a piece of Hoffman PFD (prepared for dyeing) fabric for a whole cloth quilt. This is a very good quality cotton with a lovely hand. The fabric was laid flat on a large table on top of a sheet of plastic. Each of the colours was mixed, and applied individually onto the wet cloth. Another sheet of plastic was laid on top and I used a paint roller to spread the dye into the cloth.

Chakra quilt by doris lovadina-lee with hand dyed whole cloth fabric
Whole cloth dyed the colours of the chakras

I left the fabric to cure overnight, then I rinsed it out, washed it and am happy with the results. Each of the seven colours on the cloth correspond to one of the seven chakras.

Hand dyed whole cloth for vibrant path chakra quilt dorislovadinalee canadian quilter
Chakra appliqués pinned to hand dyed whole cloth

The chakra symbols are constructed from two or more shades of hand dyed cottons. They pieces are cut, fused and satin stitched to the darker piece of fabric by Carol Bryer Fallaert. This fabric by Benartex is called Glacier Park, it is a beautiful deep purple that looks almost black. The kundalini serpent below is also made with this gorgeous fabric.

kundalini serepent on Hand dyed whole cloth for chakra quilt by doris lee toronto ontario quilter
Kundalini serpent appliquéd to hand dyed whole cloth

This quilt will be the fourth in a series of quilts I’ve created based on the chakra symbols.

applique chakras on kundalini serpent quilt hand dyed by doris lovadina artist
Appliques pinned to hand dyed whole cloth

I hope to enter this piece into the Sacred Threads Exhibition this year. This exhibition occurs every two years and features quilts that are based on “Expressions of Joy, Spirituality, Inspiration, Grief, Healing and Peace/Brotherhood”.  My quilt, Radiant Light was accepted into the exhibition in 2013. You can see it as well as a selection of other beautiful and inspirational quilts in the Sacred Threads gallery, as well as the first three of my chakra quilts on my website.

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?

Embroidered and beaded quilt

Even though I have a couple of deadlines looming, Christmas presents to wrap, baking and cleaning, I began another project! This small wall hanging will be the second in a series using some embroidered and beaded samples that I created a many years ago.


I’ve pulled some fabrics that I used in the previous wall hanging and added more. I will be improvisationally piecing the top.

Embroidery with fabric choices
Embroidery with fabric choices

I plan on hand quilting with hand dyed perle cotton, adding more beads and using some beautiful silk ribbon created from recycled saris. I want to have it pieced before Christmas so that I have  a project I can pick up and work on while still hanging out with the family.


Through Our Hands Magazine

Through Our Hands an Online Art Quilt Magazine

I came across this new online magazine recently called: Through Our Hands. The website offers a beautifully curated selection of contemporary art quilts and artists. They include quilters such as:

There are many other textile artists profiled. Have a look at the artwork on the site and sign up for the newsletter to receive a free copy of the magazine.

Warm and Cozy Tea Cozy

Front detail of Warm and Cozy Tea Cozy
Front detail of Warm and Cozy Tea Cozy

My pattern: Warm and Cozy Tea Cozy has been published! Craft it now: 75+ Simple Handmade Projects is a great crafting book with easy ideas to craft great items. Projects feature quilting, crochet, embroidery, polymer clay and other fun techniques.

Warm and Cozy Tea Cozy page
Warm and Cozy Tea Cozy page

This would be a great book to introduce a child to handwork. The projects are designed to be created in a short period of time.

Back of Warm and Cozy Tea Cozy
Back of Warm and Cozy Tea Cozy

My project features an appliqué design where the cut teacup is carefully cut out of one square of fabric. Both the positive and negative pieces of the block are used.

Warm and Cozy Tea Cozy
Warm and Cozy Tea Cozy

The positive and negative appliqué are fused onto a background, satin stitched and then quilted. This can easily be adapted to make a pillow, placemats or table runner.

Tea time everyone!

Fibre Art Necklace

I found a beautiful mother of pearl thread keeper at The Workroom, a beautifully curated quilt shop in Toronto. I had seen these thread keepers and wanted one but I didn’t really need an embroidery thread holder! I finally caved in and bought one. It was after I attended the Creativ Festival and saw the gorgeous hand dyed threads from Nell’s Embroidery that the ideas coalesced into a fibre art necklace.

Nell's Hand Dyed Threads
Two Packages of Nell’s Hand Dyed Threads

The mother of pearl thread keeper that you can see here from The Workroom’s online shop along with a package of hand dyed embroidery threads from Nell’s Embroidery was incorporated into this piece. Each package contains five metre lengths of silk and rayon ribbons, perle cotton thread, boucle, chenille and perle cotton threaded with beads. They are hand dyed and luscious! I bought a couple of colour ways after much deliberation.

Fibre Art Necklace
Fibre Art Necklace

I incorporated these fibres along with a co-ordinating piece of fabric that was rolled into a tube and created this piece.

Detail of Fibre Art Necklace
Detail of Fibre Art Necklace

I love the way it turned out. So, I have a piece that holds thread just not in the way it was intended!


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