Thursday, 8 December 2016

Bright Girly baby quilt

Another beautiful baby born, another girly quilt called for!

I began by creating long strings of pinky pretty fabrics and then cutting them into strips. 

I also worked on blocks and placements that would create contrast to 'sing' but still work all together.
I found this challenging. 

So I auditioned lots of fabrics. 

While putting the blocks together, messes happen. 

Auditioning for the back

Making my decision and then creating the label. I used a sweet flannel that I had for the binding because she may be one of those babies that like to rub soft fabrics. You never know!
And I also decided that hand embroidery on the blocks was also called for, since I can never leave well enough alone. Hope she enjoys it in great health and happiness for years!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Baby boy quilt

Another beautiful baby boy. Another new baby quilt to honour his arrival.
This composition began with my scraps of hand dyed fabrics and my printed bits and pieces.  

I grew the elements as I went along trying to keep the colours and shapes balanced with an architecturally feel.

I inserted the little pops of hand dyed orange to give the essentially analogous colour scheme a bit of zinginess!

The idea of the triangles at the top was again to suggest roof tops as in 'home sweet home' and the roots at the bottom are created from my hand printing, hoping for good solid roots. 

After the whole quilt was put together, as per usual, I have a hard time leaving well enough alone, I added some embroidery elements to create another layer of interest.

He is a lovely baby, and I am so happy to know that he is enjoying his quilt. 

Monday, 8 August 2016

New baby girl quilt

I am lucky enough to be an aunt again.  My family has been blessed with another beautiful baby girl.

I have donated most of my stash to my quilting guild since I have moved into more surface design techniques and am now creating my own fabrics.  But I saved a few bright commercial pinks.....just in case.

This quilt is made of mostly commercial cottons. I designed the pattern to make it appear as if the fabrics are woven together. I think this effect may have been more evident if the quilt would have been larger. This quilt only measures 43" x 33" point to point. 

I wanted it to be bright and cheerful so decided to use white as a base colour.  All the strips were cut in various widths from 1 inch to 2 inches and then pieced together randomly, end to end.  Then I created blocks and trimmed the blocks with shades of purple.

I wanted it to be quilted quite densely and was doing it in free motion but just going up and down in a wavy pattern got boring so I decided to quilt in secret messages to the baby.  

If you look closely at this image, you can make out some of my messages;
'Just dance'
'A heart filled with love' 
'Sweet moments'

I like the idea that she may be able to make these discoveries over the years with her parents as they tuck her into bed at night. I also love the combination of all these pinks and orange. Not an obvious colour combination but I think it is fun for a baby. 

Of course I couldn't leave well enough or busy enough alone so I decided to add prairie points to the binding. I came across a tutorial on the trusty Mr. Google that suggested this method of adding the points and then attaching the binding on the backside. I don't love this effect but I didn't  not love it enough to un-do the whole thing and find another way to do it. I feel like these floppy triangles might be a good distraction for a fussy baby.

I still have pink strips left over,  just in case......

Sunday, 10 July 2016

"My Corner of the World" Exhibit

Recently I was lucky enough to visit Stratford, Ontario, see a fun play, have some delicious food with wonderful friends...AND........... go to a great quilt show!  This was my idea of a very perfect weekend.  I created a slide show of some of the great work at the show.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

How to push a rope

Some time ago an artist created a site specific installation that we tried to move into our backyard without success. This installation of rope and metal languished in our yard, sad and broken and defeated for quite some time.  It became heavy with dirt and rain and the sadness of the fallen dreams. 
Determined to up cycle the rope to glory I enlisted the help of a great metal smith artist and she agreed to help me with the new rope installation. 

Clare created a beautiful metal structure for the rope and we installed it inside the curve of the staircase at my husbands office. (Clare also designed, created and installed the beautiful handrail of the staircase). 

From above the rope looks like a bird's nest that you can see as you are walking down the stairs. It's just waiting for the golden egg. 
I love the way the rope has developed different tones of colour and how well it blends with the staircase wood. 
It stands about eight and a half feet tall. A great representation of the nature of my husband's work, the teamwork required to join forces to get the projects done. He is very happy with his Father's Day present. 

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Dining room chairs details

I am so grateful for all the positive feedback I have received from this experiment. Many people have asked to see close up details to see the stitch work. Who am I to refuse?
At times I used thread that blended with the tones of the paint, but at other times I chose contrasting. Each chair looks completely different

Please feel free to make any other suggestions or comments. I love hearing from you!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Dining room chairs

After much time, and a few mis steps, my dining room chairs are finally finished!
I had this crazy idea to paint my own upholstery fabric and found a wonderful family based upholstery company to join me on this wild ride. 
First we had to agree on a fabric. Ineeded it to be an organic fabric that would take the dye. They needed it to be upholstery weight.  We agreed on this plain weave cotton and the order was placed. There was no looking back!
I received the bolt and started experimenting with the circles. My teacher, Jane Dunnewold suggested using "Dynaflo" and this worked really well. Once I got the hang of applying it with paintbrushes, the colours blended well, and I was able to apply and blend the tones creating brights, darks, and shadows. 

Once the circles were done, I was pleased with the results but found the whole effect was a bit static. Again after a little mentoring from Jane, she agreed that a wavy line might be fun and dynamic and suggested I use a pressurized pen with an air compressor to shoot out the dye. 
Why not?  I had no idea what she was talking about!
Off to the craft store to find out what this meant, bought the tools, filled the pen with black Dynaflo dye and I was off to the races. (After I figured out which end the dye flew out of). This too, was a long learning curve. I had to learn how to regulate the flow, with the speed of my hand movement as well as how far away from the fabric my hand had to be, and the angle....this was a bit like free motion stitchery,except with two more variables to contend with. 
Next time you see a spray painted mural on a building, be impressed! It is very difficult to do well. 

It was a lot of fun to do the spray painting although it took a while to get the hang of it, and there was lots of spilt dye along the way. And yet I still felt they were not completely done. 
I thought if there was absolutely no stitching on the fabric, they really wouldn't be me. The kind upholstery team allowed me to take the pieces home again after they were cut, and I added some bold hand stitching with 6 ply embroidery floss and big eyed needles. 
And finally I was satisfied!
Returning the work to the upholsterer, they did a fabulous job turning my paintings into chairs, and now I can't wait to have you over for dinner and let you try one out!
Just let me scotch guard them first!

Many thanks go out to the team at Vogel Upholstering for being so patient with me and my slow learning curve, and doing such a fabulous job in the end!