Friday, November 20, 2009
Here's another great picture from the Pinewood Lodge quilting retreat. My good friend Pat took on the black and white art quilt challenge for the 2010 Quilt Show in Winnipeg. It was black and white fabrics with the option of one other color. If you ever thought you were lacking in inspiration, this is a perfect example of taking a closer look at the little things that you see every day. Pat works in a food sciences laboratory at the University and this quilt was inspired by the growth of something in a petri dish. You really can find inspiration wherever you go! I absolutely love this quilt. The background is machine pieced and the design is hand appliqued. What you may not see in the picture are the beautiful waves of dark beads that embellish it and add a touch of sparkle.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
There is one story from this retreat that I have to tell and it is all about a young lady who really got inspired and took on quite a challenge. Her name is Kristy and she is the 11 year old daughter of the owners of the Pinewood Lodge. She was very inspired by the retreat last year and we heard she was very much looking forward to our return. With murmurs of her interest in quilting spreading amongst the 38 women, there was instantly a pile of fabric and notions for Kristy to try her hand at our favorite pastime. We never expected what came next. Not only did Kristy try piecing, sashing, borders, sandwiching, quilting and binding, but she also tackled free motion applique in the form of several butterflies here and there. See if you can find the purple one in the picture! Her quilt turned out so wonderful and she was an inspiration to us all. Thanks Kristy for being such a sweetie pie and bringing us so much joy on our weekend retreat. Love Brandy. See you next year!
The main focus of this retreat for me was to complete a piece from the class I took from Heather Lair. I like calling myself a "finisher," so I tackled it with a vengeance because quilting time is much more scarce at home. The class was called "Colors of Nebula." It was a class based around pure color and self expression. Just go with the flow! I had it all pieced in the class the Saturday before, but quilted and embellished it with thread play to complete the project. It was so fun I'm sure I'll make a few more. If you are interested in this project or the techniques, visit heatherlairdesigns.com. She's a fabulous Canadian teacher.
This is my most favorite retreat of the year. The weather is usually horrible in November, but it is a great excuse to snuggle up to your machine and get quilting. This year, for a change, the weather was gorgeous. Besides quilting I went on 2 nature walks and hit the pool and hot tub every day. Even though we had an extra day because Wednesday was Remembrance Day, it still went by way too quickly. But, I accomplished everything I was hoping for. I finished off 6 simple baby quilts for the Chown Guild of the Childrens Hospital. I then began the Guild President's challenge of making a purse out of African fabrics that she had for sale in kits. When I saw the fabric in my kit I had no idea how I would get this crazy color scheme together and turn it into something decent enough to be sold at the Quilt Show boutique for charity, but it turned out quite nicely. I'll post a picture this weekend because I have lent the pattern and purse to a friend to try.
After that I hunkered down and finished 3 prairie landscapes. I cannot show you 2 of them as they are a private commission to be given as gifts, but I sold one instantly to a fellow quilter at the retreat. Joy is from Ontario and just fell in love with the whimsical barn and hay bails of this autumn prairie.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I cannot believe that time of year has come again! I have packed everything in my studio to head off for my annual 4 day retreat at Pinewood Lodge. It's actually 5 days this year because Remembrance Day falls on a Wednesday. Sweet! Instead of starting something new I've decided to finish, finish, finish. I have ABC donation quilts to finish up, a beautiful "Colors of Nebula" wall hanging from a recent class taught by Heather Lair to complete, as well as a few other little projects that shall remain unnamed because they may turn up under the holiday tree. I promised better pictures, so check back next week! Happy quilting!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Here are some shots of the detail. I used more thread play to fill in the design as well as paint and sparkles on the wings. This is a great project to try on that favorite piece of sky or background fabric that you just can't cut up, but you love so much. Be brave! Use up that stash!
Here's another piece with a reverse stitching technique. This is a great way to transfer ideas straight from your sketch book to the quilt. You pick a favorite background fabric and fuse it to fusible fleece so it is quiltable. Then you take a black and white sketch, reverse it on the computer and pin or baste it to the back of your piece. Then you stitch through the back of your quilt on the lines of the design. When you turn it over your bobbin stitched lines are the front of your design. Then you remove the paper and continue to embellish the front with thread play, paint and other techniques.
Here is a detail shot of the photo, thread play and the couching technique. Once you are done, you can add binding as usual, but hot glue the piece to some fibre core so it is light and easy to hang. You can see that I actually added some plain cotton and hand painted some extra canoes on the left outside of the couched yarn. I loved playing with the rocks water and mountains.
As promised, when there is a brief lull in things to blog about, I am posting some past favorites that I have created. This first one is a creative class I took on how to take a photo and expand it into a tiny art quilt. I loved that class and was so inspired that I've used the technique again and again. You simply print a favorite photo onto printable cotton, fuse that to fusible fleece to make it stable and quiltable, and then expand the scene with fabric and thread play. After that you couch some yarn around the original photo to emphasize where the edges once were. Very fun technique.