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.
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.
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.
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?
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:
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?
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The quilt was machine quilted with a walking foot and a stretched out zig-zag.
First I quilted the vertical lines and then the horizontal. I like the texture that is created.
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?
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.
I chose to pair the ombre fabric with a Kaffe Fasset print. The print was going to be “woven” into the ombre 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.
The Kaffe Fassett fabric creates a woven effect.
The left over squares were pieced into the back of the quilt.
I am really happy with the results and so is the recipient. How have you used ombre fabric?
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.
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.
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?