Hibiscus Art Quilt: the background in process

It took me a long while to get to the point in the hibiscus flower quilt that I was finally able to make decisions on the background. Meaning that I can continue to stitch more of the quilt top together.

I thought at the beginning of this project that I would use neutral linens and cotton fabrics in very low volume prints. These would become the background for machine and hand stitching to create interest.


It wasn’t just the background causing me setbacks. There were a few vines twisting themselves around the flowers and I knew what I wanted them to look like but finding the fabric in my stash wasn’t easy. I tried many combinations of colours as you can see from just a couple of photos below.

With the guidance from my friend who also taught me this technique, I was finally able to make some decisions.

hibiscus flower art quilt ready to be machine stitched by dorisl lovadina lee
Hibiscus Flowers sandwiched and ready for quilting

So, after a few years of working on this UFO and then storing it away, then pulling it out again, it’s finally finished! Or almost finished. The top is stitched in one piece and is now waiting for machine stitching to give it depth and texture. 

I have put it aside once more to give me time to think about this final step. More decisions to come!

My studio – my house!

I say in some of presentations that my studio is my entire house, inside and out! I am not kidding. Thank goodness I have such an understanding family!

Roses and Lace is a large quilt hanging to be photographed by canadian artist doris lovadina-lee
quilt hanging on design wall in studio

Where is your studio?

Modern Leaf – a Minimalist Design

I’ve been experimenting with an insertion technique and have successfully made a number of small pieces. This one was intended for the SAQA Spotlight Auction held during the MoSAiQA Conference. It was to be held here in Toronto March. I was happy with the quilting of it, but it was much larger than it needed to be for the finished size of the auction item.

green art quilt painting with a white frame hanging on wallby toronto artist doris lovadina=lee

I decided to keep it and make another for the auction. To finish it, various sizes and orientations were auditioned by using a mat cut into two pieces. Below are the 3 options.

Option 1
Option 2
Option 3

There are very subtle differences between the 3 options. I was also trying to leave a seam allowance (very slim in some areas) to attach the binding.

white quilt with green borders held with pins

I love the finished piece. But, it is smaller than I originally intended. I also thought I wanted more hand stitching but I am happy with just the two rows of it.

modern minimalist leaf art painting by toronto artist doris lovadina=lee

This technique of inserting a fine strip into another is one that I will experiment more with. It isn’t very apparent in this example. I have an idea of making one larger piece with 3 insertions moving in different directions. The trick will be not to distort the background fabric. My next will be an experiment with 2 insertions. 

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

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?

Toronto Modern Quilt Guild quilts in trunk show

The London Modern Guild has invited the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild to show of their modern quilts. Rebecca Burnett and I are venturing to London to show off the work made by our talented members. Forty quilts are packed into 2 suitcases and 4 very large bags ready for this Saturday October 13, 2018.

stacks of quilts for the show and share by doris lovadina-lee and Becky Burnett of the Toronto Modern Quilt guild october 2018

blue bag with quilts by members of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild

Bags with folded quilts from the members of the TMQG


quilts folded into suitcases for the presentation by doris lovadina-lee and Rebecca Burnett of the TMQG

The meeting begins at 12:30 pm. at the Boyle Memorial Community Centre, 530 Charlotte Street, London ON. Come out to see what the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild has been working on!

Liberating Linens!

I love fabric in all its forms, especially linen. With age and use, linen becomes soft and drapes beautifully. Linen is extremely durable, it is absorbent, strong, doesn’t abrade and is stronger when it is wet. Linen or flax has been used for clothing, bedding and other household uses for many thousands of years.

Vintage linen hand towel textiles with crocheted monogram Doris lovadina-lee found in Guelph Ontario Canada

Although linen has had a resurgence in popularity, it’s been primarily in the clothing industry. It makes me sad to see beautiful linen napkins, hand towels and tablecloths in thrift shops. Some have beautiful handwork – tatting, crochet, embroidery, cutwork. Someone has lovingly and painstakingly created these precious and useful items.

detail of crocheted edge linen towel Doris lovadina-lee

So, I recently liberated a few pieces of linen from a thrift store. The bureau scarf above has a few small holes but the crocheted monogram and the detail around the entire piece is still pristine.

Doris lovadina-lee vintage bureau scarf white linen with edging
This hand towel with the beautiful deep crochet edge is in excellent condition and just needs to be pressed.

vintage hand crochet textile edges on linen tea towel dorislovadnalee.com

The tatting on the linen hand towel below has a little damage on one end. If it can’t be repaired, I will probably dip it in indigo this spring and then use it in an art project. I could also remove the damaged end, hem the towel. It is just to beautiful to toss!

tatted edge tea towel vintage find Toronto Ontario Doris lee

The hand embroidered flower garland is made of a coarser linen. I’ve washed it a couple of times to remove some stains, but they are stubborn. I will probably cut this one up for a project I have in mind.

vintage textiles tea towel with garland flowers embroidered on edge Toronto doris lovadina-lee

The puppies are also stained but too cute! This too will be cut up into a project.

hand embroidery puppy dogs on yellow tea towel Doris loading-lee

Liberated Linens

Liberating linens is not a new endeavour for me. Whenever I find napkins, towels, table runners or any other linens, I can’t help but bring them home with me. But, I can’t keep them all! 

hand dyed vintage cocktail napkins doris lovadina-lee shop online

The cocktail napkins above are dyed a beautiful purple. The set of 6 would be a fun addition to your next tea party. They are embroidered with a small flower on the corner and hemmed with a beautiful scalloped edge.

vintage napkins hand dyed shibori green repurposed doris lovadina-lee online shop

Two shibori dyed green cocktail napkins. Best with a dry martini!

for sale Thrifted textiles cotton napkins green and blue shibori handdyed by doris lovadina-lee

This set of 2 cotton table napkins in blue and spring green are just perfect for a fun luncheon with your best friend.

doris lovadina-lee online shop blue shibori set of three vintage hand-dyed damask table napkins Toronto

Three elegant napkins are shibori dyed in blue. Enjoy take out in style!

Look for these napkins in my new online shop. If you have any ideas for my newly liberated linens, let me know.

Fabric Fusion quilt finished!

Fabric Fusion is finished after three years! I began this quilt in a class I took at QuiltCon with  Weeks Ringle. The quilt is designed by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr of Modern Quilt Studio.

Fabric Fusion quilt
Fabric Fusion quilt

I used a large variety of fabrics in this quilt: batiks, florals, tone-on-tones, modern, Kaffe Fassett, and traditional prints. They all “go” together because of the values I chose. Weeks spent a lot of time with us, explaining what to look for in our stash. Those of us that brought fabrics were helped to weed out those fabrics that weren’t appropriate and to incorporate others (sometimes from another person in the class!) that were unexpected but a much more interesting choice.

Fabric Fusion quilt back
Fabric Fusion quilt back

The quilt was machine quilted with a walking foot and a stretched out zig-zag.

Quilting with walking foot
Quilting with walking foot

First I quilted the vertical lines and then the horizontal. I like the texture that is created.

Close-up of quilting
Close-up of quilting

I didn’t measure the lines, I just estimated the spacing. You can see in the detail of the back above that the quilting lines are not perfectly spaced. Do you mark your quilting lines?

Fabric Fusion blocks

I’ve finally started laying out the blocks for the Fabric Fusion quilt designed by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr of Modern Quilt Studio. I started this quilt in a class I took with Weeks Ringle at QuiltCon in 2013.

Fabric Fusion blocks
Fabric Fusion blocks

We spent quite a bit of the class learning about value, saturation and fabric selection. We were encouraged to bring an assortment of fabrics to the class, including fabrics we loved, hated, from different genres. Weeks spent time with each person, going through the fabrics, selecting and eliminating from the pile to come to a beautifully curated collection.  I learned a lot and it opened up new ideas about fabric selection. I encourage anyone who has the opportunity to take a workshop from either Weeks or Bill to do so. They are excellent instructors with a breadth of knowledge in the field of design. They are also very lovely people, genuine and sincere.

Patterns-Fabric Fusion by Modern Quilt Studio
Patterns-Fabric Fusion by Modern Quilt Studio

The Fabric Fusion pattern is available through their website. Have any of you completed any quilt designs from the Modern Quilt Studio?




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