Posted in quilting, stash, Uncategorized

Be sure your sins will find you out …

there, THAT got your attention, right?

Quilter’s and crafter’s sins I now realize I’m guilty of:

Not cutting across the width of the fabric (WOF).  Silly me, I thought it made sense that if you have half a yard of fabric and you need a strip that’s 8″ by 2″ you would cut parallel to the selvedge, leaving 40″ of fabric wide by 18″ long.

2010 was the year in which I had the light bulb moment and realized it just doesn’t work like that.   I needed WOF for trading at our Guild’s retreat, and I needed WOF in significant quantities to make pillowcases for the million pillowcase challenge.

Several times I pored through my entire stash only to realize what I had been doing all those years, it finally caught up to me!  This led to a change in my evil ways, a gargantuan stash busting project, and (surprise!) fabric shopping for half-metre and bigger cuts.  Although for 2011 one of my watchwords is use what you have.

Have also resolved to be more attentive to thread.  Valdani is my favourite, and I do use what I have!  Actually had to buy a second spool of Gem Symphony when Andrea Hamilton was quilting my Shattered Angles quilt.  I look on Valdani as chocolate minus the calories.

Cindy Scraba is another amazing Island lady.  Her knowledge of threads is astounding.  Trivia:  Egyptian cotton is in the process of being protected legally, just like champagne in France.   It is so superior and they need to protect it.

Cindy sells Superior thread and I’ve started tracking in the catalogue what I have in the different lines.  The catalogue is great because it tells you which thread to use in every situation.

At the Guild retreat, I won a sample set of Wonderfil threads.

And I still have threads from my grandmother’s store that go back to the forties — on wooden spools with names for the colours.  They live in a case designed and built by my grandfather.  I use them for basting and minor embellishments.  After all this time I don’t trust them for anything that has to stay together.  But back then thread colours had names, not numbers, like Apple Green, Mauve, Primrose.

 

Posted in creativity, Environment

Elusive elastic

Unable to find the elastic I know is lurking somewhere around the house, I’ve been running around to drugstores, quilt and embroidery stores, for two days.  Everyone has Velcro but regular elastic is much harder to find.

However, Gala Fabrics came to the rescue and instead of having to buy a vast quantity in a plastic blister pack, they cut off the yardage I needed and packed it in this precious repurposed sewing pattern!

Young Sprout was in tow, behaving beautifully considering he had just missed a chance to go on the bouncy castle because the volunteers were stopping for lunch, so I didn’t push my luck by browsing their fabric sale although some bright red paisley is calling my name!

Posted in creativity

PIEday Friday (Pattern is Everywhere)

Since much of my inspiration derives from patterns and random arrangements of things I thought I’d start sharing some of these on a weekly basis.

I’d love to be able to give a prize to the first person who correctly identifies what this is, but with a Canadian Post Office lockout that’s not practical.  But let’s see if anyone can guess.

Posted in Art, creativity, productivity, quilting, surface design

Something I gotta try … and a confession

I’ve been studying Pat Langford’s Embroidery from Sketch to Stitch, Quilters’ Resource, Inc, 1996, ISBN 0-9629056-7-4

This lady is first and foremost an embroiderer, which I’m really not, although various little things are nudging me in that direction.

Sketching is obviously a huge part of what she does.  Maybe this will be the impetus that will get me sketching on a more regular basis instead of wringing my hands and being a sniveling wannabe.

I’m intrigued by the way she pushes the envelope, using puff paint on a baby blanket (although you would never know from looking at the finished work), and crayoning onto microfibre.

Specific things I want to try:

Polychromos coloured pencils on microfibre, ironed to heat set

Transfer dyeing with Crayola fabric crayons on paper, ironed onto the microfibre fabric.

Pentel crayons directly onto linen in several layers.  Langford actually covered the fabric in places.  Hmmm, thrift store hunt for old linen coming up maybe?   Too bad I no longer have the orange linen tablecloth that was in my wedding registry, that would have been so dramatic!

Langford has many platters, which are round or oval art quilts.  That’s a possible direction.

CONFESSION

After the busyness and frenzy of preparing for and being in the Artists In Motion @ The Empress show, I vowed to take things easy/take the summer off.  Of course THAT’S not gonna happen, but as I recuperated I challenged myself to write down all the different outstanding projects and tasks of every description that I have on my plate.  It’s four pages long, so I’m forcing myself to look at this list every day, cross things off it as and when possible, and not undertake any more new projects.

So in order to stay focused artistically, I’m starting a new page on the blog for things I want to try, so that I can have a handy reference.  Of course I have a sketchbook on the go too but this will be a good handy way to preserve links electronically.

Before the show I did find that restricting myself to working in a series was helpful.  I am continuing with that series in order to have more to show at the Moss Street Paint-In, where we will be exhibiting on Thurlow Street next to the Moss Street market.

 

Posted in Fiction

Teaser Tuesday

Gabriel Tozer had apparently been determined to auction several secrets along with a lifetime’s worth of possessions.  The minor mysteries wrapped round them would have intrigued Harding even without the personal interest he had in some of the questions they raised.

from Name to a Face, by Robert Goddard

Great characters and plotting with MANY twists. A third of the way through I thought I had it figured out but I was wrong!

Go to MizB’s Should Be Reading blog for more teasers in every genre!

Posted in Uncategorized, Writing

Teaser Tuesday

From East of the Sun by Julia Gregson, 2008, Orion Books

“But now she was feeling all wobbly and chameleonish again, which was annoying, only this time it was Frank, and to nutshell the problem, she had the most hideous crush on him.  When he’d asked her, in the most casual way possible, if Rose and she had any plans for Port Said, she’d been sitting in the bar chatting to Jitu Singh.”

Go to MizB’s Should Be Reading blog for more teasers in every genre!

Posted in beading, creativity, quilting

Spring Quilt Festival

Finally we are having somewhat spring-like weather here on Vancouver Island although our jackets stayed on throughout our family picnic last weekend.

This is my entry for the Spring Quilt Festival.

It’s just 12″ square, and beaded with vintage beads from Austria (among others).

The cut-and-slash style has developed from a workshop I took eons ago from John Willard

It’s similar to my Geode, but on a smaller scale.  For ages I’ve been talking about working smaller, blah, blah, blah, but the impetus to actually do this was the upcoming Artists in Motion at the Empress Show I’m going to be in, for which I need a body of pieces to sell, especially as we’re all donating 20 percent of our sales to the Canadian Red Cross for Japanese earthquake relief.

Knowing that my work will be displayed alongside painters and photographers I quizzed Dale MacEwan about how to mount them on artist’s canvas, which I think is very appropriate for this size of piece, what do you think?

The painterly fabric is Paintcubes, designed by Ormolu, a.k.a. Jay Trolinger from Spoonflower, so you too can get it!  The orange is my own hand-dyed.

Am so looking forward to the online Festival and the chance to see what everyone else is doing.