Graffiti Quilting with Amy Garro

I spent an inspirational day with Amy Garro of 13 Spools. She taught her workshop on Graffiti quilting to a group of very enthusiastic quilters.  The workshop was well planned with lots of useful information. First we practiced the motifs by doodling on paper, then on the sewing machine.

Amy Garro
Amy Garro
Amy Garro red quilt
Amy Garro explaining her graffiti quilting

It was helpful to see Amy practice her technique and also to hear her thought processes when she decides on her designs.

Amy Garro Icy Waters quilt
Amy Garro Icy Waters quilt

Amy brought a selection of her quilts including the Icy Waters quilt pictured above. I was happy to hear that her aim in quilting is not perfection.

A few of us brought quilt tops that needed to be quilted but we were having trouble deciding on a quilt design. Amy asked what we liked most about our quilt – the precise piecing or the colour combination or the interaction of the blocks. With this in mind, select a quilting design that makes this a feature of the quilt.

I’ve begun the quilting on a piece that I’ve had on the design wall for some time. How do you decide on your quilting?

Arashi Shibori Indigo Table Runners

I’ve just completed two table runners made with the Indigo fabrics I hand dyed in May.

Arashi Shibori table runner
Arashi Shibori table runner

This piece is white cotton that was folded in half, wrapped around a pole, and dyed with Indigo.

Arashi Shibori table runner detail
Arashi Shibori table runner detail

The table runner is backed with a cotton/linen blend and machine quilted following the flowing lines of the Arashi Shibori. I love the look of this piece. It reminds me of water moving in a stream.

Arashi Shibori Linen table runner
Arashi Shibori Linen table runner

The cotton/linen blend of the second table runner was also Indigo dyed using the Arashi Shibori technique – pole wrapping. This time the fabric was seamed to create a long tube that was then scrunched onto a plastic pipe.

Arashi Shibori Linen table runner detail
Arashi Shibori Linen table runner detail

A hint of the hand dyed cotton backing is visible in the photo above. To see these two pieces as well as other hand dyed fabrics, come to Quilts at the Creek this weekend and have a look at the Shop ‘Round the Corner. There will be a selection of lovely handcrafted items, so you can start your Christmas shopping early!

 

Hand dyed scarves

I’ve been having fun hand dyeing scarves. They are made out of 100% cotton gauze and are available in two sizes.

Itajime Shibori gold
Itajime Shibori gold

I’ve folded, clamped, stitched, wrapped, scrunched, and twisted to make a variety of designs.

Itajime Shibori blue
Itajime Shibori blue

Can you guess what I used as the resist in the above photo?

Itajime Shibori turquoise
Itajime Shibori turquoise

This turquoise scarf was folded and loosely coiled. The dye was poured into the bottom of the container first and then the dry scarf was added. The dye was completely absorbed by the scarf to create a beautiful ombre stripe.

hand dyed serviette fuschia
hand dyed serviette fuschia

I also dyed a few linen napkins that I purchased at auction. I added them to the inside of the tubes I wrapped and the bottom of a couple of containers while I was dyeing the scarves. They have a lovely mottled look.

Kumo Shibori green
Kumo Shibori green

This green bundle was loosely rolled around a string, pulled tightly and tied. This creates a texture similar to snake-skin.

Kumo and Nui Shibori pink
Kumo and Nui Shibori pink

The scarf on the right was ombre dyed as well as the being stitched and gathered to create a border effect. The scarf on the left was tightly twisted and dyed with two colours, yellow and red.

Nui shibori purple
Nui shibori purple

A mauve scarf was stitched, gathered and then dip dyed in a blue dye bath.

Arashi Shibori purple and raspberry
Arashi Shibori purple and raspberry

These two scarves are pole wrapped: Arashi shibori. They have both been dyed with the same colour of dye. The difference is that the bottom scarf was white and the top scarf had been dyed with a light turquoise.

Arashi Shibori purple
Arashi Shibori purple

This is the turquoise with purple dye being unwrapped. The colours are gorgeous!

Arashi Shibori raspberry
Arashi Shibori raspberry

This is the scarf that was white. Dyeing is a fun process, you never really know how the finished results will look. To see what these scarves and others I’ve made will look like you’ll have to come to Quilts at the Creek Saturday July 18th and Sunday July 19th, 2015. I will have a selection of these hand dyed scarves, hand dyed quilting cottons, table runners and baby quilts for sale at the Shop ‘Round the Corner located in the Pioneer Patio, left just as you enter the park. Hope to see you there. I’ll be in the shop Sunday afternoon stop by and say hello!

Postcard for teacher

It’s the end of the school year and there is always a scramble to find the perfect gift to give your child’s teacher. Since my son began attending school, we have been creating personalized quilted art postcards to give as gifts. Each postcard is 4″ x 6″, the perfect size for a small piece of art that is easy to display.

Trip to ROM drawing
Trip to ROM drawing

I asked my son to draw a picture that reflected something memorable from his school year. This year he drew a picture of the class trip to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum). They travelled by subway to spend the day visiting the exhibits. The drawing was coloured (with helpful suggestions for me!) on a blank sheet of paper.

Mme Waddell postcard
Trip to ROM postcard

I translated his sketch into the postcard above by fusing fabrics, machine stitching and adding the details with beads. In this piece, I asked him about using sequins and beads to represent the faces he drew in the window. With his approval, I used pink beads for the two females and blue for the two males. You can see another one of his drawings that was made into a postcard in this earlier post: Quilted Art Postcards. He enjoys drawing and colouring and I enjoy the quilting! It’s a great collaboration.

If you are interested in making a no-sew postcard, check out Barb’s interview with me at ritewhileucan. I describe how to create a beautiful art project out of fabric scraps and card stock. Have a look and create a beautiful personalized gift for someone special.

Barrel chair upholstery

This is a barrel chair we’ve had for a few years and the upholstery was the worse for wear. I found a beautiful piece of leather in stripes of cream, grey and beige. There wasn’t enough to redo the entire chair, but enough to use on the outside.

Barrel chair before
Barrel chair before

A trip to Designer Fabrics, a store that has a great selection of fabric was needed. I love going in to browse, there is always something new to look at and fondle!

Barrel chair side view before
Barrel chair side view before

I brought a selection of samples home.

Upholstry fabrics1
Upholstery samples from Designer Fabrics in Toronto

I like the idea of having a circular design to contrast with the linear stripes. The design below is the one I liked the best. It is a wonderful, op art designed cut velvet.

Upholstry fabric
Upholstery fabric for barrel chair

I love the circles!

 

Upholstry fabrics
Upholstery fabric with leather stripe

I hope to start this project soon. I have already removed the old upholstery. I think it will look great in our room and with the new indigo pillow I dyed!

 

Quilts at the Creek 2015

I just received the labels I will be attaching to the quilts I am entering into the Quilts at the Creek outdoor show this summer. It’s a great venue to see a variety of quilts from traditional to modern and from all across southern Ontario.

Quilts@C 2015 labels
Quilts at the Creek labels

Hundreds of quilts will be on display in the beautiful pastoral setting of Black Creek Pioneer Village in Toronto. It’s a great sight to see the quilts hanging in the sunshine and blowing in the breeze. Each day of the show, volunteers set up all the quilts, mostly outside with a few in some of the buildings. These dedicated volunteers also take down all the quilts at the end of the day and have been known to very quickly take them down when rain threatens!

Quilts at the Creek at Black Creek Pioneer Village
Quilts at the Creek at Black Creek Pioneer Village

This year Quilts at the Creek will be held from Saturday July 18th to Sunday July 19th, 2015. Check the Black Creek Pioneer Village website for times, parking information and maps.

qc_bestheader
Quilts at the Creek Blog

Valerie Prideaux the lead organizer of this great event, along with the York Heritage Quilters Guild have a lot of information on the Quilts at the Creek blog. Find out how to enter your quilt, who will be presenting trunk shows, the vendors at the Merchant’s mall and so much more.

Amy Garrobook-2Bcover-240x300qc_icy_waters_-024

Amy Garro of 13 Spools is teaching 2 workshops: Graffitti Quilting on the Friday and Paper Piecing on the Saturday. I am looking forward to learning Amy’s style of free-motion quilting.

Hope to see you out at Black Creek Pioneer Village July 18th and 19th, enjoying the quilts in the beautiful outdoors.

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!

 

Indigo Dyeing Workshop: Part Two

On the second day of the workshop we were back early with stitched pieces of fabric ready to dye! Preparing the fabric was time consuming but the results were fantastic! The beige fabric is a linen/cotton blend that will become a pillow. It is basted from the center out with upholstery thread and running stitches. The other beige piece has the fabric pulled through metal washers. The white cotton on the lower left has small plastic bead wrapped inside and tied with thread.

Fabrics prepared to indigo dye
Fabrics prepared to indigo dye
Linen/cotton fabric prepared for Indigo dyeing
Linen/cotton fabric prepared for Indigo dyeing and rayon velvet

There are four basic techniques for shibori dyeing that we worked with:

  1. Arashi Shibori – pole-wrapping
  2. Itajime Shibori – folding and clamping
  3. Kumo Shibori – bound resists
  4. Nui shibori – stitching and gathering
Indigo fabrics drying
Indigo fabrics drying

Shibori designs are created when the fabric resists the indigo dye. This is achieved by creating portions of the cloth where the dye can’t penetrate. So, the tighter that fabric is gathered, clamped or stitched, the more it retains its original colour in these areas.

Indigo shibori pieces drying
Indigo shibori pieces drying

Above, on the left is a PFD cotton that was folded in half lengthwise and then pole wrapped. The cotton gauze on the right was folded into squares and clamped in-between two pieces of wood.

Indigo fabrics drying on line
Indigo fabrics drying on line

Each time I unwrapped a piece, more design possibilities were suggested. I would like to experiment with different weights and textures of fabric as well as silk and pure linen. I think that the differing weaves of the fabric will also contribute to the uniqueness of the finished designs.

Indigo fabrics drying on line
Indigo fabrics drying on line

There are more pieces waiting to be washed and ironed. I enjoyed creating the varied styles using the shibori technique and will try them out using Procion fabric dyes during the summer.

Indigo Shibori - Itajime
Indigo Shibori – Itajime

The fabric on the right looks like daisies!

Indigo Dyeing Workshop: Part One

A few weeks ago, a friend and I spent 2 full days dyeing fabric using Indigo. It was great fun and I made some beautiful pieces of fabric.

Colour Vie Studio
Colour Vie Studio

The workshop was held at the Colour Vie Studio owned by textile designer and teacher Gunnel Hag. The 2 day workshop “The World of Indigo” was taught by textile designer and indigo dyer extraordinaire Pam Woodward.

Indigo samples
Indigo samples

Pam had a wall of samples, each one more gorgeous and inspiring than the last.

Indigo Shibori sample
Indigo Shibori sample

I especially wanted to try making something similar to the one above.

Indigodyebucket
Indigo Dye Bucket

Indigo is a plant based dye and the process differs slightly from Procion MX dyes which I’ve used in the past. It’s important not to add oxygen to the vat of indigo, so care needs to be taken adding and removing fabric from the dye pot. The metallic sheen on the surface means that the solution is ready to be used.

Indigo Gradient
Indigo Gradient

When the fabric is first removed from the vat, it is a green colour. The piece changes colour from green to blue as the fabric is exposed to the air and oxidization occurs. It’s like magic seeing the colour change!

Indigo gradient with 3 dips
Indigo Gradient with 3 dips

Our first piece was dyed with repeated dips in the vat, introducing less of the fabric each time to give an ombre effect.

Indigo gradient fabric
Indigo gradient fabric and pole wrapped piece

Our second piece was created by wrapping the fabric around a PVC pipe, wrapping the fabric with string and then pushing it up and twisting it around the tube tightly to create small pleats. The pipe was submerged into the dye about four times, oxidizing for 20 minutes or more between each dip.  When I unfolded the fabric, I found the dye had created a beautiful diagonal movement with leaf shapes.

Indigo Shibori - Arashi
Indigo Shibori – Arashi

This is the PVC pipe with the fabric ready to be submerged into the indigo vat. This technique is called Arashi. I dyed a few more pieces using variations of this technique and it’s one of my favourites. Every time you unwrap the tube it’s a surprise.

 

 

Indigo accident
Indigo accident

This is what happens when you have a leak in your glove!

Next week I will have more photographs of the fabrics created and the techniques learned during the indigo dyeing workshop.

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.

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