Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday treasures from afar...

Moving across the country, embarking on new, exciting careers and getting involved in this wonderful community have all been a part of our dreams coming true. The one thing, of course, that we miss dearly this holiday season is the closeness of our family and friends from afar. But true to their wonderful selves we have been showered with gifts in the mail. Many of them are safely tucked around the tree still in the brown postage stamped wrap waiting for Christmas morning. But here is one, perhaps less of a strict holiday gift, and more of a friendly thought (so I was convinced to open it!) from my dear Rochelle in the UK. If you'd seen my response, you'd think she'd hit my sweet tooth! They are gorgeous vintage style cotton fabrics from The Cotton Spool and a felt mini roll from the The Button Company as well as some other ravingly cute embellishments. Thank you love! (in my best London accent...) You are pure sweetness! Happy Holidays while you are back home visiting the prairies! Brandy Lynn

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Getting my waxy groove on

I took a creative encaustic class on Saturday by a famous Okanagan artist named Thea Haubrich. Her work is amazing and often featured in local shows. Her instruction was detailed, fun and furious. We created a few samples each with techniques ranging from tried and true to innovative and even flammable! Here are the samples I came up with.

This was a great escape from daily life and it was nice to just relax with friends. Stay tuned for some great news about my upcoming business adventures! I love you all for tagging along even though my blogging has been few and far between lately.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An Old Fashioned Fall Fair - How Refreshing!

Hi Everyone,

So happy to be crashing back into the blogging scene with some wonderful news. I have been focussing primarily on my writing over the summer in an attempt to finish my poetry manuscript, but the return of the local quilting guild meetings has me all in a buzz over fibre art again. Being one of the newest members of my local quilting guild I was encouraged to enter a few things in the town's Fall Fair. I was pleasantly surprised to find out I won a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place finish for 3 different quilts. Here they are....

3rd Place - Damsel Fly. I entered this in the applique category and it was a bit of a misfit being more of an art quilt with fibre, paint and foil. They are considering an art quilt category for next year.

2nd Place - Nana's Christmas Quilt. This was the first traditional quilt that I completed from start to finish while taking a beginner sampler class with Wanda Steiner in Winnipeg. The best thing about gifting this quilt to my mom is that she lives with us in an in-law suite, so I get to enjoy it as much as she does.

1st Place - Group Quilt - Gavin's Froggy Quilt. I made this quilt last year and I'll tell you there is no better way to make 20 tiny paper pieced frogs than to do it as a round robin. So thank you to all of my wonderful quilting friends who each made a block. We won!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A friendship - with benefits

I guess that cliche can sound a bit tawdry, but in my case I am blessed with friendships that benefit me greatly in so many good ways. My friends support me when I am struggling, they laugh when it's not that funny, they set me right when I am being a nuisance and most of all, they think of me, no matter where they are in the world whenever they ever see any kind of fabric or fibre art.

I love my friends! Here is a beautiful piece of hand painted fibre art given to me by my friend Lori recently. She found this treasure on her latest hot holiday and thought of me. So very sweet!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Dr. Seuss

I realized recently that my son has the impression that I can create anything with fabric like magic. I'd like to think I could agree with him, but not every project turns out as lovely as expected. The good side though, is that some of my most prized creations came about from a fabric that was an up-cycled disaster. Anyways, I was tucking him in after his story that day and he said, "Oh yah Mom, I have to wear a hat tomorrow that is from a character in a book."

I grumbled a bit about the last minute request and suggested a baseball cap or something and he said, "No, that's like Caillou and that's a baby show. I have decided I'm going to wear a Dr. Seuss hat."

I said, "where are you going to get a Dr. Seuss hat at this time of night?"

He said, "I know you can make me one. You made Oliver a dog halloween costume."

Needless to say, if my heart really does have strings, he was tugging at them and I was up until 2:00 a.m. fumbling together a fanciful hat.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Crocus Award

This is a gracious thank you to the Manitoba Prairie Quilters Guild for honouring me with the Crocus Award last night. I have day dreamed about what I would ever say or do if I won such an award and always thought I would jump up and down yelling, "You like me," similar to Sally Fields as she won her Emmy award, but instead I am feeling rather humbled.

I thank my friends and mentors for the majestic spider web of support they have built for me. It is strong and purposeful, yet gorgeous and shimmering with dew. I have always felt a personal success in my work for the guild as it creates a peace and inner balance through giving back to the community, but it is sincerely heartwarming to be recognized for my contributions.

The greatest efforts I have made in volunteering for this guild would have never come to pass if it hadn't been for my friends and partners in misadventure. Last year's June picnic proved popular with members and it was a pleasure to share the planning of that event with Tannis Dawson who put in countless hours as my partner.

I have always been happy to offer a hand at events and quilt shows over the years often receiving more value than I ever felt I contributed, but I was thrilled when the opportunity to run the ABC Quilts Program presented itself. I have blinked and it's been a year since I took on the challenge, but it has been a passion for me. The support of mentors and ABC volunteers such as Vivian Cameron, Sue Bruning, Kenna Ann Shipp and Helen Maslowski, as well as countless guild members giving their time, efforts and stash to donate quilts has been constant and comforting.

I would like to acknowledge the values and goals of the Manitoba Prairie Quilters Guild and stress the importance of how this organization has influenced my life. I have gained knowledge, skills and most importantly, good, kind-hearted friends.

Thank you sincerely for granting me the honour of the Crocus Award.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fibre Break!

Well, I've had to take a break from fibre creations since I completed the New Zealand project because the time has come to get into spring cleaning. But I have discovered a new type of sewing project that I now have to endure and that is mending my son's jeans. We sort through his clothes about every 6 months to weed out the ones that don't fit him because he is growing like a weed. For some reason this time there are at least 6 pairs of jeans that have a worn thin spot that has turned into a wide slit on the knee. I have a feeling his busy fingers have helped those holes grow, but he's not quite admitting to anything yet. So if anyone out there has a great tip on a "kid cool" way to mend the jeans so that he'll still wear them, please drop me a comment. Meanwhile, I'll be checking out the net to find a cool looking solution.

I heard a saying once that goes something like this...Asking a quilter (fibre artist) to hem your pants is like asking a fine artist to paint your house. I have to agree with that because I'd rather visit a tailor to mend my clothes and spend studio time creating art.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Remarkable Symposium - New Zealand

I'm thrilled to say that I have sent off my latest fibre art piece to be displayed in a collection of works by 36 brilliant Canadian Fibre Artists. The event is Remarkable Symposium 2011 from April 18th to 23rd in Queenstown, New Zealand. It is the 14th National Patchwork and Quilting Symposium. The travelling show consists of 36 quilts made by the members of the Fibre Art Network and the theme of the 36 pieces is "Canadian Content." Although the art quilts may not be in our web gallery until the dates of the show, you can click on FAN to check out our fantastic website and see what we are all about. I'll be sure to post my entry here once the show has begun, but for now, here is a sneak peek at an extreme detail shot.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Studios Magazine - published!

I just got the news from the editor of Studios magazine that the spring issue goes live on their website this Thursday for pre-order. You may have seen my previous post about putting yourself out there and going for your dreams. Well, my cozy studio will be featured in the magazine! Hooray! I was so happy in November when they gave me the call back to submit professional photos, so I went for it. I called up a highly skilled photographer and here we have it. Success! Thank you Lori! Fabulous job! I am so thrilled and I can't wait to see how they've chosen to use my space saving tips and photos. Here is a snapshot of me and my pup Oliver hanging out in studio.

This calls for a toast. Cheers! You must put it out there if you want to succeed.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Painted Fabric Into Art

Anyone who reads this blog knows how much I love to create my own fabric, by painting, dyeing and all sorts of other fun techniques. But the last thing I want is a huge stash of crazy to amazing coloured pieces that I am not putting to good use.

So here is the latest piece I was inspired to use. First I made an acrylic gel mono print that I absolutely loved. Then I did some machine and hand stitching. I added beading in a wave across the centre and then I couched on some fancy yarns and floss. It turned out to be a beautiful winter snowscape perfectly indicative of the winter storm approaching my home town as I write this. We'll see if we are snowed in tomorrow.

Brrr! Love my warm cup of tea.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The fibre artist goes traditional!

As immersed as I am in fibre art, I have been pondering through some of my UFOs and realized I have more than a few projects started and left undone for one reason or another. I pulled out one particular quilt that I had put a lot of effort into getting it half done with the hand quilting and realized it needs to get done. It is time to go back to the roots of my quilting.

When I began to quilt before my son was born, I signed up for my first hand quilting class through the local leisure guide. It was a wonderful class and I was always motivated to finish the homework and more before the next week's class. I really loved it. But when the last class was approaching I decided to skip ahead and really start getting this baby sampler quilted. So I quilted a few blocks without much direction. When I brought it to the class. The instructor said, "Oh, this is so over quilted that you'll never finish it." I was very surprised and secretly devastated. Rather than doing one line of quilting on each piece of each block, I had completely quilted every square inch to the point that there was barely a quarter inch space without stitch. After the lesson, with me used as the bad example, she discussed ways of removing the stitches which sounded quite time consuming and difficult. I left the class and put the quilt away for quite some time. I even justified not getting it done because I had given birth to a boy and the quilt was in blues, but floral.

Now if that sounds like a sad story, no worries. I still dove deep into the world of quilting making several quilts for my son and have never looked back. But this project has been hidden away as my one major UFO. I have pulled it once in a while and added a few lines of stitching, but it has always seemed so daunting. Lately I have realized that for years I was letting the teacher's comments diffuse the joy I had in the process and I was focussed on the incorrect end product.

So here I am with a beautiful unfinished quilt. I have decided to pull out this quilt and have fallen in love with it all over again. The simple act of unfolding it and laying it across the table to look closely at it again gave me a huge rush. I am poised to finish it in plenty of time for my very first trunk show. I have accepted that the overstitching is beautiful because it taught me a lesson. I have learned to love the process of creation no matter what the outcome. And besides, I believe it is true that every quilt should have a mistake or even a bunch. It adds to the charm, the tradition and shows the heart that you have put into it.

My very first hand pieced, hand quilted quilt - all done!