improvisational quilt

Stitch Meditation – Day 3 and 4

There are many reasons for stitching mindfully and more importantly when this is going to happen. I was asked if I had planned when I was going to practice my stitch meditation. My plan was to stitch two evenings during the week – Tuesday and Friday nights. This is already a change from the response I gave the person asking! It’s important to be flexible in your practice. Life happens and you can easily and without guilt make accommodations.

stitch meditation day 4 five inch square silk and hand dyed cotton embroidered in fuchsia and green perle cotton Toronto artist Doris lovadina-Lee
Shot and hand dyed cotton, perle cotton and rayon thread

Linda McLaughlin has been creating daily and weekly stitch meditations since 2012. Linda was already taking photographs daily and posting them online when she read a few blogs about daily stitching projects. She began because she wanted to see if she could commit to creating daily. Linda found she enjoyed having something waiting for her in her studio every day. Interestingly, Linda doesn’t always start her projects at the beginning of the year, they feel too much like resolutions which she fails at! Linda blogs about her progress at Linda McLaughlin: Notes from Studio B.

Linda’s second project began without a plan. She committed to creating daily using 4′ square blocks and stitching them with black perle cotton. After a few months, Linda showed some friends the blocks she had completed and “we all decided that I should sew them together, after that it just seemed like what I was suppose to do.”

Linda McLaughlin: Sixty five Days to 65 Project (2012)

Linda’s first stitch project was:
Sixty five days to 65” to celebrate her 65th birthday. She was going to create an applique, or stitched or embroidered circle every leading up to her birthday, with the last one stitched the day before her next birthday. Her parameters:

  • 3 different sized squares, 9″, 6″, 3″
  • applique or embroidering circles
  • using fabrics and materials already in her stash
  • posting on her blog as she works on them
  • having all her supplies selected at beginning of project
  • assembling squares into a wall hanging at the end
Sixty-five circles quilt for her 65th birthday by Linda McLaughlin 2012
Sixty-five Days to 65 by Linda McLaughlin

Photo Courtesy of Linda McLaughlin

Linda McLaughlin: Weekly Leaf Project 2018

Linda begin her weekly leaf project in January 2014 and has continued to explore this theme. Linda has used leaves in several of her projects. In 2018 she began her stitch meditations with eco printed leaves on silk, attaching these to canvas and added embroidery stitches. She did not know what she would do with them when the project was completed. One thought is to attach them together to make an accordion pleated book.

Linda McLaughlin's weekly leaf embroidery 2018
Week 1
Photo Courtesy of Linda McLaughlin

Linda has multiple projects on the go and is amazed at what she accomplishes even when spending as little as ten minutes a day on a project. Being organized and preparing the fabrics, threads, tools ahead of time are key. Linda has made it portable taking her stitch mediations to Europe, China, Canada and all around the US!

Stitch Resources

  • Website: Linda McLaughlin: Notes from Studio B. Daily stitching
  • Pinterest: 100 Day Stitch Meditations and Stitch Meditation board
  • Blog: Kit Dunsmore’s Blog post: Stitch Meditations: Don’t Box Me In
quilted circles in red on grey and white background made up of 365 squares
365 Days
Photograph Courtesy of Linda McLauglin

I think I’m most proud of the fact that I’ve stuck with it for so long and still love doing it. This will be my seventh year! I’m also a bit surprised about some of the things that have happened because of daily stitching, like being invited to do Quilting Arts TV back in 2013, and also doing some talks for guilds and ladies groups.

Linda McLaughlin
Day three hand stitch meditation with running stitches and French knots by Doris Lovadina Lee
hand dyed cotton, silk fabric, perle cotton, rayon thread

Linda also says not to “expect perfection if you are trying something new, the more you do it the better you get”. So I encourage you to try a new thread, stitch, colour combination and keep practicing – one stitch at a time.

Stitch Meditation – Day 1 and 2

I am so happy to have people express interest in following along on the 100 Day Stitch Meditation. I have already added a few more threads and fabrics to the box :). I look forward to seeing what you are making. Share your stitch meditations on Instagram and Facebook using: #stitchmeditation2019, #100daysofart, #slowstitchmovement or leave me a comment below.

A couple of people who were thinking about participating were having difficulty with the idea of creating just for the sake of creating. They felt they needed a goal to work towards. Two textile artists: Lisa Call and Linda McLaughlin have engaged in daily art projects with parameters around making with end goals. They have participated in daily, weekly and 100 day challenges. Each artist has their own reason for starting and continuing their projects over the years.

stitch meditation day 1 a blue indigo dyed 5 inch square with white running stitches by doris lovadina-lee
Indigo dyed cotton, perle cotton

Lisa Call: 100 Days Project 2016

Lisa Call is a textile artist living in New Zealand. Her website is: Lisa Call Fine Art – Contemporary Textile Paintings. She began her first 100 Days Project shortly after moving to New Zealand from the United States in 2016. Lisa participated in this annual 100 Days Project which culminated in a Pop-Up, so she would set up her studio and begin creating. Her parameters for the project: create textile paintings that would finish at 6×6 inch (15×15 cm) and use monochromatic colours from her hand dyed fabrics.

Lisa Call: 100 Days Project 2017

Lisa continued her 100 Days Project in 2017. This time her parameters were to make textile paintings that finished at 5×5 inches (13×13 cm) and explored mark making on fabric. Her palette was limited to black and white. She also knew that to keep herself motivated to finish this time, she needed to have a goal at the end of the 100 days. So, Lisa contacted the Tutere Gallery and spoke to the owner. The gallery owner, an artist herself, along with Lisa and four other artists committed to the 100 Day Project and to hold an exhibit at the end. The photograph below shows Lisa’s artwork on display in the gallery along with the artwork of textile artist Sara Boland at the Tutere Gallery.

Artwork by Lisa Call and Sara Boland in the Tutere Gallery, New Zealand.
Lisa Call (fabric, paint, thread on canvas) – left
Sara Boland (stitch, fabric, mixed media on paper – right
Photograph Courtesy of Lisa Call.

Lisa Call: 100 Days Project 2018

For her 2018 100 Days Project, Lisa continued her exploration of mark making using pencil, ink and charcoal on paper. Each piece was 5×5 inches (13×13 cm). She also considered finishing the drawings and making them available for sale. At Day 50 of the project, Lisa decided to not worry about selling the sketches and this gave her freedom from the pressure of creating for others. As well as participating in the project, Lisa was leading a group of over 50 artists from around the world in their own 100 Day practice. Each artist set their own parameters around the project and their progress was shared on Facebook. Lisa has written a blog post about her feelings and experience around 100 Day Projects. She found that making one piece of art every day was not realistic for her lifestyle. Lisa changed the parameters around creating in order to make it work for her, she says: “I will complete 100 textile paintings by the end of the 100 days – working on the project every day that I am home, which will be most days.” Now Lisa finds that the project has become a habit, where she consistently sketches, not everyday, but as a part of her art practice.

stitch meditation day 2 a five inch square fuchsia, blue fabric stitched in pink and indigo blue perle cotton embroidery by Doris lovadina-Lee
Snow dyed cottons, hand dyed perle cotton, rayon thread

Purpose for Stitch Meditation

  • create a finished piece to offer for sale
  • create a series of works to display in a gallery, coffee shop, library
  • create a small piece daily that can be combined into a one larger piece at the end of the 100 days, or five pieces smaller pieces, or …
  • create a sampler as a reference for your stitches
  • create small pieces that can be combined with other mediums to create mixed media artwork
  • create to focus on one technique and play with variations
  • create to have a teaching aid of techniques
  • create to explore a new product, such as fabric paint
  • create for the sake of creating something you love

Stitch Resources

In the next post I discuss the daily and weekly projects of Linda McLaughlin.

I hope reading about Lisa’s experiences with her 100 Days Projects will give you some ideas for your project. How are you feeling about the project? Are you enjoying just playing with colours and stitches to create something pleasing? Are you stressing about it being perfect? I encourage you to keep practicing – one stitch at a time.


Stitch Meditation – a journey

2019 will be a year of slowing down and being more productive. I know that sounds counterintuitive, but my hope is that planning, prioritizing and scheduling will keep me motivated in creating artwork and spark some new ideas.

3 samples of stitch meditations by doris lovadina-lee

I have been rushing my projects to meet deadlines and not enjoying the process. So, I decided to begin a 100 day Stitch Meditation Challenge for myself. Twice a week for the year 2019 I will sit quietly and hand stitch.

stitch meditation on a five inch square of hand dyed fabric with various hand stitches created by doris lovadina-lee

In the past few years, I’ve seen creatives embark on their own year long projects and wishfully thought about joining in. Realistically, I didn’t and still don’t feel I have time to work on a creative project daily. I certainly daydreamed about how that would look for me. But, the reality of sitting down to incorporate a daily project into my routine only caused me to become anxious and stressed.

green, black and yellow hand dyed fabric held together with running stitch by doris lovadina-lee

As daily and 100 day projects popped up on social media recently, I decided to see how I could realistically commit to a year long art project. 100 days sounded more doable than daily. Then I calculated that 100 days in a year works out to twice a week. I certainly could fit two sessions of 20-40 minutes into a week!

box of supplies for stitch meditations by doris lovadina-lee

I researched what other creative people did for their daily projects and have listed a few resources below. 100 days of Stitch Meditation is tailored for my life and my schedule. I want this project to work for me. I invite you to create your own year long practice. It can be machine stitching, drawing, painting, singing, whatever makes you happy. I’ve set out an outline of my project and will experiment with what works and what doesn’t, changing and editing as the year progresses.

100 Day Parameters

  • 100 days over the year – therefore twice a week or whatever works for you
  • spend between 20-40 minutes
  • any size – I am choosing 5” square
  • keep a curated collection of supplies in a container so it’s ready to go
  • don’t focus on the outcome, be in the moment of creation
  • experiment with new ideas, supplies, techniques – stitches, thread, and fabric combinations (insert your medium)
  • will share on Instagram with hashtag: #stitchmeditation2019 and #100daysofart2019
hand stitching supplies for stitch meditations by doris lovadina-lee

Stitch Resources

  • Video: Stitch Meditations with Liz Kettle of Textile Evolution
  • Podcast: Liz Kettle explains Daily Stitch Meditations on The Slow Stitching Movement Podcast
  • Essay: Swinnerton, Emma Louise. Mindful Stitch: Generating Dialogue In and Around the Threads of Wellbeing. 2014
  • Blog: Wellesley-Smith, Claire. Slow Stitch: Mindful and Contemplative Textile Art. London: Batsford, c2015.
  • Website: 1 year of stitches by Hannah Claire Somerville
five inch square of hand dyed fabric with french knots and running stitch by doris lovadina-lee

This is only a brief list of resources available. As my year long stitch meditation journey unfolds, I will be sharing photos and more resources. Are you planning on joining me? I would love to hear from you. Share your favourite photos, websites, and books with me.

3 samples of stitch meditations by doris lovadina-lee

I hope you take time this year to really enjoy the process and to create what makes you happy and feeds your creativity. Let’s being the journey!

Our Baby Girl Forever memory quilt

I happily delivered a modern memory quilt commissioned as a Christmas gift. Mom had carefully stored a selection of baby clothes that she wanted me to incorporate into a lap sized quilt for her daughter.

baby clothing, onsies, knits for memory quilt baby quilt by doris lovadina-lee toronto

I separated the baby clothing into pastels and bright colours. It became obvious seeing the clothing that the quilt was going to be double sided.

bright t-shirt onsies and knits from baby clothes cut up for lap quilt

I cut the largest size squares or rectangle possible out of the clothing.

Baby's first christmas hat for memory quilt

Since most of the clothing was made out of stretchy knits, each piece was interfaced to stabilize it.

pastel pink knits from baby clothes repurposed in lap sized memory quilt by lovadina-lee toronto ontario canada

Pastel side of the quilt with embroidered collar, yoke and appliques, carefully cut out and positioned.

toronto maple leafs onsie for Our Baby Girl Forever Quilt by doris toronto ontario

Bright side with a note to myself pinned to the onesie, not to iron on top of it!

baby flannel for quilt binding Our Baby Girl Forever made by doris lovadina-lee toronto ontario canada

A flannelette baby blanket was put aside to make the binding.

modern memory quilt baby quilt doris lee toronto ontario canada

Mom’s side of the quilt featuring pinks and pastels.

detail of t-shirt quilt memory quilt baby clothing handmade doris lee toronto ontario

Detail of a beautiful embroidery.

back of marisa's memory modern quilt from baby clothing by doris lovadina-lee toronto canada

Dad’s side of the quilt featuring a Toronto Maple Leaf onesie, christmas hat and brights.

modern memory quilt first christmas baby quilt made toronto ontario canada

The idea for this quilt really came together after hearing the story behind the very diverse selection of baby clothes. When the baby was brought home from the hospital, they realized that most of the clothing was too large. So, the new mom asked the dad to go out shopping for some smaller sizes. You can see from clearly which ones were purchased by the dad! I am happy to have been able to make this memory 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 the first art quilt made as part of the Crossing Borders Art Quilters group by Doris Lovadina-Lee

©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
cotton, linen, silk, thread

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 the Reflections themed art quilt for Crossing Borders by doris lovadina-lee

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

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

Doris Lovadina-Lee's Roots entry for the Crossing Borders Art Quilters: Foundation

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

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 - beautiful chaos art quilt for the crossing borders art group by doris lovadina-lee
©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
hand dyed cotton, thread

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 art quilt by doris lovadina-lee for crossing borders art quilters
©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
hand dyed cotton, thread

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 is the entry for crumbling support by Doris Lovadina-Lee

©2016 Doris Lovadina-Lee
12 x 12 inches
hand dyed cotton, thread
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.

quilted art postcard by doris lovadina-lee using mosaic piecing

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.

mosaic art quilt by doris lovadina-lee using hand dyed fabrics 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.

doris lovadina-lee's blue and green hand dyed mosaic cotton art quilt

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.

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!



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