Monetizing Your Craft Part 2 – Who I Listen To

Help, guidance, inspiration and motivation can be delivered to your In Box! Last week during the panel discussion at the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild, three of us shared our journey into Monetizing Your Craft! The time went by so quickly that I didn’t have time to mention the resources I find helpful in crafting my business. Listed below are just some of the many resources available on the web. I have enjoyed listening to these people talking about their passion. 

parfait dyed quilting cotton brown, blue, rust hanging on laundry line


shibori indigo dyed cotton overdyed in purple and the other in green


parfait handdyed cotton for quilting by doris Lovadina-Lee drying on line

I encourage you to have a look at the sites above. You will find some that speak to you and others that won’t. When you find some those you enjoy, sign up for their newsletters, YouTube channels, and feeds. Support these creative entrepreneurs! Please let me know which blogs, podcasts you have found informative or just fun so I can add to my list. Enjoy!

Monetizing your craft aka selling your stuff!

The Toronto Modern Quilt Guild asked me to participate in a panel discussion with Bobbie of Geeky Bobbin and Claudia of Fabric Please! The three of us are all fairly new to having an online business. Bobbie has been at this the longest at about one year and a half. Claudia has been running Fabric Please! for just under 2 months! She talks about her jump into selling online in this blog post. It was a lively discussion and I hope members came away with an appreciation of the time that is needed to having an online presence.

Doris Lovadina-Lee behind table with hand dyed fabric and snow dyed scarves at the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild meeting June 2018
Photo courtesy of Laura Henneberry

We were encouraged to bring samples of our craft to show the members and to sell to them too! I brought a selection of my snow dyed scarves and hand dyed quilting cottons. I was so caught up in preparing for the panel discussion and setting up my table that I totally forgot to take any photos. Thank you so much Laura Henneberry for taking great photos and allowing me to share them here. 

Indigo fat quarter kumo shibori handdyed by Doris Lovadina-Lee toronto arist
Photo courtesy of Laura Henneberry

One of the most repeated lines from the members was that the hand dyed fabric was beautiful but they didn’t know how to use it in a design. So, I thought I would show a couple of examples. The piece above is a fat quarter dyed in indigo. The circles were created by wrapping the fabric around a small object and holding it with a rubber band. When the bands were removed the white circular design appeared. In the quilt below, the dark strip inserted on the right hand side was cut and pieced from a fabric similar to the fat quarter above.

Atmosphere by doris lovadina-lee hand dyed kumo shibori indigo fabric made into an art quilt
Atmoshpere by Doris Lovadina-Lee

Atmosphere was created from a large piece of indigo dyed cotton. I loved the pattern that was created and I didn’t want to cut into it. This minimal modern design evolved from this.

snow dyed mandala by doris lovadina-lee
Photo courtesy of Laura Henneberry

Over the winter, I dyed a few pieces of cotton with snow creating mandala shapes! Again, I didn’t want to cut them up into smaller pieces. Cosmos was created with one of these mandala dyed cottons. The quilt top was simply spiral quilted to reinforce the circular design. Above is a detail of a brightly dyed mandala that reminds me of a bright tropical fruit.

Cosmos quilt made by doris lovadina-lee using snow dyed mandala quilting cotton
Cosmos by Doris Lovadina-Lee

Don’t be afraid to use these unique pieces of hand dyed cottons in your design. They can be combined with commercial cottons and can enhance any project. I will be adding some of my hand dyed fabrics to my online shop shortly. 

Doris Lovadina-Lee standing behind table covered with hand dyed scarves and fabric at the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild meeting
Photo courtesy of Laura Henneberry

Check back often. If you see a fabric in the photo above or on my Instagram feed that you are interested in, contact me and I will be happy to send it to you. Are you inspired to use an original piece of hand dyed fabric in your next project?


Toronto Modern Quilt Guild summer 2016 Retreat

The new president of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild, Adrienne, invited members to spend a couple of days at her parent’s cottage in Georgian Bay. A few of us packed our sewing machines, projects and swimsuits to take advantage of this generous offer.

TMQG2016summer retreat

The weather, the view and the company were great!

TMQG2016summer retreat_boat

Everyone pitched in and brought food, food and more food!

TMQG2016summer retreat_food

Everyone had a space to work.

TMQG2016summer retreat ladies

Time was spent laughing and sharing.

TMQG2016summer retreat_sewing

Dia brought cake to celebrate all the July birthdays.

TMQG2016summer retreat_cake

Sunsets were photographed.

TMQG2016summer retreat_sky

More amazing photographs were taken.

TMQG2016summer retreat_sunset

Some projects were begun and a few were completed. We look forward to our next retreat. A huge thanks to Adrienne and her parents, the Van Halems for allowing us to share their beautiful place.

Quilt Canada Solids Mini-Quilt Challenge!

The Toronto Modern Quilt Guild issued a challenge to its members, create a 14 inch square solid mini-quilt from a select colour palette. No embellishments, no applique, and the quilt had to be bound with a faced binding. The quilts would be put on display during Quilt Canada and the pubic would vote for their favorite.

TMQG solid mini colours
TMQG solid mini colours photo courtesy of TMQG

Seven colours were selected for the palette and only 3 of these or less could be used. The colours are from the top: Storm, School Bus, Peridot, Ash, Berry, Coal, and Pomegranate.


I chose to use Pomegranate, Coal, and Ash. I created this piece improvisationally using a log cabin design.

I enjoyed the process and especially loved hearing comments from people viewing the quilts during Quilt Canada.

Frond detail
Frond detail

There were three winners of the Quilt Canada Solids Mini-Quilt Challenge. First prize went to Rebecca Burnett, second prize went to Doris Lovadina-Lee (me!!) and third prize to Lynda Hutchinson.

Many more great photos are on the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild Facebook page and blog. Head on over to see the other entries in the Solids Mini-Quilt challenge and other quilts our quild had on display.

SWO Modern Quilt Retreat 2016

The first annual SWO Mod: a modern quilt retreat just happened this past weekend. It was a fantastic weekend spent with fun modern quilters from South Western Ontario.

Grand Ballroom - SWO Modern Quilt Retreat 2016
Grand Ballroom – SWO Modern Quilt Retreat 2016

The London and Toronto Modern Quilt Guilds organized and hosted twenty-six modern quilters at the Elmhurst Inn & Spa.

Work space - SWO Modern Quilt Retreat 2016
Work space – SWO Modern Quilt Retreat 2016

Our quilting space was in the Grand Ballroom where we had plenty of room to set up our sewing stations, lots of natural light and a constant supply of coffee, tea and snacks.

Quilt Block Game - SWO Modern Quilt Retreat 2016
Quilt Block Game – SWO Modern Quilt Retreat 2016

On our first evening, Rebecca hosted her Quilt Block game. Half square triangles in four colours were arranged by the contestants to create a variety of quilt blocks.

Quilt Block Game - SWO Modern Quilt Retreat 2016
Quilt Block Game – SWO Modern Quilt Retreat 2016

Here we see Karen and Sheilagh in the final round of competition.

Winner Quilt Block Game - SWO Modern Quilt Retreat 2016
Winner Quilt Block Game – SWO Modern Quilt Retreat 2016

Karen was the very happy winner of a fantastic prize of fabrics, notions and pattern! Each person attending also received an amazing swag bag with numerous gifts from:

and so many more!

My door prize was a Hobbs Tuscany Collection Quilt Batt. This batt is a blend of cotton and wool. I was excited because I had wanted to try quilting with a wool batt and now I have the opportunity to try it out! Also included were a package of ColorWorks Microchips by Northcott Fabrics and a couple of fat quaters that coordinate with the Color Works soids.

End - SWO Modern Quilt Retreat 2016
End – SWO Modern Quilt Retreat 2016

The weekend ended with a few projects completed and many begun. New friendships were formed and the desire to repeat this experience again!

Thanks to Kristyn of the London Modern Quilt Guild and Becky and Andrea of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild for organizing and hosting this great quilting retreat. To see more photos of the event check out #swomodquiltretreat2016.

TMQG Postcard Swap – postcards received!

During the summer, the Presidents of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild organized a postcard swap. I created three postcards and blogged about the process for each one.

These are the postcards I received:

TMQG postcard Lynda Hutchison

A very heartfelt thanks to Lynda for both postcards. They were fused and raw edge appliquéd.

TMQG postcard Lynda Hutchison1

I love the postage stamp fabric!

TMQG postcard Karen S BrownKaren’s card was also fused and raw edge appliquéd. The feature of the postcard was the beautiful centre with strands of embroidery floss capturing a few beads in shades of orange.

TMQG postcard Catherine Clarke

As a bonus, Catherine sent this lovely crazy patch design featuring embroidery stitches from her sewing machine.

At the September meeting, we got to see more of the postcards and they were all unique. I think it’s a great way to try new techniques without risk.

TMQG Postcard Swap – Part 3

This is the last postcard I created for the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild swap. With this postcard I tried a technique that was new to me – trapunto. I added a layer of quilt batting behind the butterfly, stitched around the outline and cut away the excess batting. This was then layered over a 5″ x 7″ piece of batting and backing. The strips were added in a quilt as you go style through the batting and backing.

Butterfly postcard
Butterfly postcard

All the fabrics used in this postcard are from Cotton + Steel. This year at QuiltCon, Cotton + Steel had a large display booth with all of their fabric lines on display. They also had sewing stations set up for quilters to make and take a small project using their fabrics. The last day of the conference, attendees were allowed to go through the scraps and fill a bag to take home with them. The recipient of this postcard and I were one of those waiting for the conference to officially close so we could fill our bag.

Back of the Postcard
Back of the Postcard

The back of the postcard is a solid white cotton that is fused to a heavy weight fusible interfacing. I used an ultra fine permanent ink marker to add the information. Postage is the same as it would be for any postcard mailed in Canada.

Have you received any unusual postcards?

TMQG Postcard Swap – Part 2

The presidents of the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild suggested we do a fun min-activity since the guild doesn’t meet during July and August. I signed up to make three postcards and will receive three back.

The second postcard I created for the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild swap also used the hand dyed fabric scraps from Laura Wasilowski of Artfabrik.

Tiny House in process
Tiny House in process

This tiny house emerged from the scraps with a trellis waiting for flowers.

Tiny House with embroidery
Tiny House with embroidery

Embroidery floss and hand dyed perle cotton stitches are added to bring out the personality of the house.

Tiny House postcard
Tiny House postcard

The finished pieces is layered with a stiff fusible interfacing and finished with a satin stitch around the edges in a variegated thread.

The next postcard for the Toronto Modern Quilt Guild swap uses a different technique and I know my recipient will recognize the fabrics. Stay tuned for the next quilted art postcard I made for the swap,


TMQG Postcard Swap – Part 1

The Toronto Modern Quilt Guild doesn’t meet during the summer months, but to keep us active our Presidents have organized a Postcard Swap. Interested members of the guild have signed up to make and receive up to three postcards. This is a casual no stress activity with no themes or restrictions, we could do whatever made us happy. I signed up to make three postcards and  will receive three in return.

TMQG postcard flower top
Flowers postcard in process

The postcards only need to be received before August 31st and the participants are asked to bring in the postcards they will receive to the meeting in September.

Flowers postcard with embroidery
Flowers postcard with embroidery

I decided to use some of the beautiful hand dyed fabric left from the Tiny Homes – Fusing Workshop I took with Laura Wasilowski of Artfabrik. I haven’t yet finished the piece I started during this workshop and have small pieces of scraps fused and ready to use.

TMQG Flowers postcard

Once the pieces were fused, I began to add detail with embroidery. I enjoyed this part of the process much more than I expected to. I used embroidery floss and perle cotton, including some I hand dyed! To finish this little flower garden, I embroidered my initials, added a tiny bumble bee and satin stitched the edges with a variegated thread.

I will be posting photos of the other two postcards I made for the swap in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

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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