quilting

Primroses and Blueberry Green Teas in Syracuse

I attended the American Quilter’s Society quilt show in Syracuse this July. There were many beautiful quilts on display including two quilts made by my friends Helen and Marcia.

Primroses by Helen Garland at the AQS Syracuse New York show
Sign of Spring: Primroses by Helen Garland

Helen is a quilter who loves piecing. She has designed, pieced and quilted beautiful art quilts using photographs she has taken. This quilt  was designed from a photograph she took of yellow primroses. All of her quilts are machine pieced with no applique. They are all truly stunning, with lots of details and beautifully machine quilted. Sign of Spring: Primroses is her first entry into an AQS show.

Blueberry Green Teas by Marcia DeCamp at the Syracuse quilt show
Blueberry Green Teas by Marcia DeCamp

Marcia is a contemporary quilter who uses her hand dyed fabrics to create beautiful abstract quilts. Blueberry Green Teas is part of her Geometrics series. It is created using her hand dyed fabrics, some commercial fabrics and skillfully machine quilted. Blueberry Green Teas won an Honorable Mention in the Small Wall Quilts Longarm Machine Quilted category at the AQS Paducah show in Paducah, KY, in April of this year.

American Quilters Society quilt show with Marcia's blueberry tea, Helen and Jeanne
Helen, Jeanne and Marcia in front of Blueberry Green Teas

Jeanne Simpson is a contemporary fibre artist who designs abstract geometric quilts. She and Marcia attended the show and we were fortunate to be able to meet in person.

Helen, Doris, Marcia and Jeanne with Primroses at the AQS show Syracuse
Helen, myself, Marcia and Jeanne in front of Signs of Spring: Primroses

It was wonderful to meet up, take some photos, talk about art, and quilting. Plans are being made for us to get together at another art show early this fall. How often do you meet with your friends and enjoy seeing some amazing art?

Quilts at the Creek 2016 Blue By You Challenge

It was a hot weekend but that didn’t deter visitors from viewing the 298 quilts on display this year at Quilts at the Creek 2016. I participated in the Blue By You Fabric Challenge and was very interested in seeing the quilts others had created using the same bundle of Northcott fabrics. I photographed all the quilts I could find – they were scattered throughout Black Creek Pioneer Village.

Here are the quilts in no particular order:
Blue by You by Jane Cramer
Blue by You by Jane Cramer

 

Modern Hexi by Brenda Horvath
Modern Hexi by Brenda Horvath

 

Early Spring by Katie Johns
Early Spring by Katie Johns

 

Blue Gingko by Maria Pascoe
Blue Gingko by Maria Pascoe

 

My Australian Blue Sunflower by Diane Daniel
My Australian Blue Sunflower by Diane Daniel

 

Into the Deep by Kim Workman
Into the Deep by Kim Workman

 

Mama's Blue Vase by Maria Steveton
Mama’s Blue Vase by Maria Steveton

 

Underwater Blues by Joy Takahashi
Underwater Blues by Joy Takahashi

 

Blue by You by Dorothy Green
Blue by You by Dorothy Green

 

Blue Bayou Kisses by Susan Gaston
Blue Bayou Kisses by Susan Gaston

 

Hunter's Star by Daryl Workman
Hunter’s Star by Daryl Workman

 

Bias against Blue by Valerie Prideaux
Bias against Blue by Valerie Prideaux

 

Deeply Darkly Beautifully Blue by Peggy Pirillo
Deeply Darkly Beautifully Blue by Peggy Pirillo

 

Ocean Blue by Lyne Mielke
Ocean Blue by Lyne Mielke

 

Phoenix by Robert Gutcher
Phoenix by Robert Gutcher

 

...And So It Grew, Out of the Blue by Judy Messenger
…And So It Grew, Out of the Blue by Judy Messenger

 

Blue by You by Cathy Fortune
Blue by You by Cathy Fortune

 

Blue Bayou by Doris Lovadina-Lee
Blue Bayou by Doris Lovadina-Lee

It was fun walking around trying to identify the Blue By You challenge quilts. Every person used the Northcott bundle of fabrics very differently. I was impressed by the designs, the variety of techniques and the workmanship in these pieces. Which piece to you like best?

 

Blue Bayou Quilt

This beautiful bundle of blues are the Northcott fabrics selected for the 2016 Quilts at the Creek challenge: Blue By You.

Northcott fabric bundle for the Blue By You quilt challenge. (photo courtesy of Quilts at the Creek Blog)
Northcott fabric bundle for the Blue By You quilt challenge. (photo courtesy of Quilts at the Creek Blog)

This was one of the easiest quilts for me to name. When they announced this challenge at a workshop last year they called it Blue by You, but, I heard Blue Bayou. The fabrics reminded me of the changing colours of the tropics. Aerial photographs of the ocean show the colour changing from a deep blue that is almost black to a light turquoise.

Blue Bayou Quilt front
Blue Bayou Quilt front

The word bayou conjured images of hot temperatures, beaches, water and buildings painted reds, pinks and corals. I searched through my stash and found a few more blues to co-ordinate with the Northcott bundle. I added 2 small prints in red, some of my hand dyed solids and the navy with circles of blue, green and red tying the fabrics together.

Blue Bayou Quilt draped
Blue Bayou Quilt draped

Many of the colourful painted houses found in tropical climates have jalousie or louvred glass windows. The design of this quilt reminds me of looking out of these jalousie windows and seeing a beautiful tropical vista.

Blue Bayou Quilt detail
Blue Bayou Quilt detail

Blue Bayou is machine quilted with a walking foot. The undulating design in the blue rectangles refers to waves and the straight lines of the navy and blue solids to the frame of the windows.

Blue Bayou quilting detail
Blue Bayou quilting detail

Stop by the Blue By You display at Quilts at the Creek July 23 and 24, 2016. See what others have created with their fabric bundles!

 

Complex Design and Piecing workshop – from photo to art quilt

Helen Garland is a teacher, a quilter, an artist. She will be teaching a five day workshop this July 11-15, 2016 at the Haliburton School of Arts + Design, teaching Complex Design and Piecing.

Haliburton info

Helen studied art at the Stourbridge College of Art in the UK and the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. Using textiles as her medium, she began creating quilts in traditional designs. She quickly grew tired of creating quilts using repetitious blocks and discovered the work of quilter Ruth McDowell from her book Piecing: Expanding the Basics. Helen had never seen pictorial quilts such as hers; it was immediately apparent that quilting could be a medium for producing representative works of art.

Leeks
Leeks by Helen Garland

 

Peas
Peas by Helen Garland

 

cauliflower
Cauliflower by Helen Garland

 

eggplant
Eggplant by Helen Garland

 

pumpkin
Pumpkin by Helen Garland

Ruth McDowell had written a series of books explaining her techniques on designing, piecing, selecting fabrics and quilting in her unique style. Her books included specific patterns to help the novice begin creating and Helen began with these. The vegetable placemats were a great way to learn McDowell’s techniques of drafting and sewing together the pieces in sections.

Hollyhocks2
Hollyhocks by Helen Garland

 

Hollyhocks
Hollyhocks by Helen Garland

While still learning, Helen began to modify McDowell’s published designs and moved components around to create her own personalized designs. The Hollyhock wallhanging is one example illustrating McDowell’s flower pattern arranged by Helen.

trillium1
Trillium by Helen Garland
trillium2
Trillium by Helen Garland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Trillium quilts were one of the first designs Helen drafted and stitched from her own photograph. Creating a series of trillium quilts allowed Helen to play with colour and practice her free motion quilting. Each piece is decidedly different due to the colour and value choices, an important design aspect, which is covered in the course.

campanula1
Campanula by Helen Garland

 

campanula2
Campanula by Helen Garland

Learning how to piece curved seams, Y and even Z seams provides an opportunity to design quilt tops that look more detailed than they are.

primrose
Primroses by Helen Garland

The design process starts with either a photographic image or drawing. Using tracing paper over an enlarged copy of your photograph, lines are drawn to capture the essence of the image. Parts of the original photograph can be omitted or simplified, it’s up to the artist to decide what level of detail they want to include.  Fabrics choices can do a lot of the work in creating a realistic image.

Marsh Marigolds
Marsh Marigolds by Helen Garland

The Complex Design and Piecing workshop is a great opportunity to learn some new techniques, make new friends and enjoy a week with others artists at a great venue.

Helen has a beautiful piece at Quilt Canada in the National Juried Show called: Seaton Trail. You can see it there from today until Saturday (July 15-17)

Helen can be found online on instragram: @piece_by_piece.

 

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?

Ombre weave quilt

I love ombre fabrics! They offer a huge opportunity for pairing with other fabrics. This particular fabric has a lovely combination of colours. One selvedge edge is dyed with a deep burgundy colour that changes across the width to a soft pearly pink on the opposite selvedge.

Aurora Collection by Takako
Aurora Collection by Takako

I chose to pair the ombre fabric with a Kaffe Fasset print. The print was going to be “woven” into the ombre fabric.

Kaffe Fassett fabric
Kaffe Fassett fabric

The quilt has rows of ombre fabric stitched together. These rows alternate from light to dark. I love the bargello effect created where the colours from the central portion of the ombre align.

Ombre weave quilt
Ombre weave quilt

The Kaffe Fassett fabric creates a woven effect.

Ombre weave quilt detail
Ombre weave quilt detail

The left over squares were pieced into the back of the quilt.

Ombre weave quilt back
Ombre weave quilt back

I am really happy with the results and so is the recipient. How have you used ombre fabric?

Thrift store scraps

My mom bought me a ziplock bag full of pre-cut squares of cotton from a local thrift shop for $4.00. The bag was full to bursting.

Thrift store scraps
Thrift store scraps

I pulled the squares out, counted the 1 1/2 inch squares and approximated the rest:

  • 266 – 1 1/2 inch squares
  • 220 – 2 1/2 inch squares
  • 260 – 3 inch squares
  • 200 – 4 inch squares
  • 100 – 5 inch squares

There is quite a variety of scraps: Kaffe Fassett, children’s prints, modern, calico prints, florals. They are all patterned, there are no solids.

Thrift store scraps
Thrift store scraps

I love using scraps. Quilts made from scraps have a wonderful sense of colour. They also remind me of how quilts were usually made by our ancestors.  Small pieces of clothing that were not too worn out, were repurposed into a quilt that would be used to keep the family warm.

For the moment, I will add these to my stash of scraps and ponder on what to do with them. How often do you use scraps in your quilts?

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