Monday, 20 November 2017

Small Fun Challenges

Big quilts, small quilts and blocks.  I love them all.  Do I have time to make many?  Not so much any more with running a long arm business. So when my guild Annapolis Valley Quilt guild sets a small challenge, it is a fun thing to do.  There is no pressure to do a project so that adds to the fun factor. 

This challenge is to make a block, 12 x 12 inches finished with a theme for your birthday.  Well there could be flowers but it did not set my heart fluttering.  Another symbol was needed but for my birth month the chances that an all white block like the view that will probably be out my window at birthday time is pretty boring  so I started rattling around in my brain for something.  This is it.  Pisces.  I know it is cheating a bit as Pisces straddles two months but it is my symbol.  Certainly more fun than a landscape in white.

Off to my sewing room once I chose Pisces and found a picture I could use.  I did a bit of editing of the picture, changing colours.   I have a couple of editors but used the new Microsoft 3D one.  I also had one sheet of printable fabric left so I printed and I loved the way it turned out.  

Then the search for fabric.  Fortunately my search did not take too long.  Did I have a pattern for my background?  Nope.  I just cut strips, sewed them with curvy seams as it suited, pressed and this is the result.  Being from Nova Scotia I know the sea has so many faces and colours that I took a bit of licence from totally blue.  I cut out the fabric picture, used small bits of very soft Heat and Bond on the main body then with a very small blanket stitch sewed the picture down.  It was fiddly, especially the thin tentacles but my Husqvarna machine was up to it.  Oh it was fun to just be creating again.  

This morning I put batting on the back with a stabilizer on behind it to prevent the batting clogging the machine and stitched tiny stitches around the outside in black and then did interior stitches to create the trapunto.  The hardest job was trimming the final product.  It was so much fun to just put my  head down and go from idea to product.

Well back to finishing a gorgeous quilt made by someone else.  A couple more turns and it will be all done and I will post a picture when it is finished.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Florence and Quilting

Now you would say there is no relationship to the two things; Florence and Quilting.  I just came back from a trip to Florence.  This was my second time to go there and it is more beautiful, intimate and enjoyable than I remembered.  As a quilter I looked up quilt shops before I went but never got to them; them being 2 shops only. 

What I did see was gorgeous architecture; beautiful shapes; breathtaking sculptures and tiny residential alleys with balconies and flowers.  On the Pont Vecchio were windows of sparkly jewels and silver and gold in sinuous shapes.  What does that have to do with quilting?  Well the use of colour is always something that can spark ideas; contrasts of light and shade help to make good quilts.  Architectural shapes and shapes in jewelry can spark quilting designs.  And window displays that played with colour and the sculptured clothes provided inspiration. 

One thing that is a recurring theme in Florence is the tile floors and they totally are squares, triangles, half square triangles, rectangles.  This is certainly a connection to quilting.  Quilting block components  have a long history even if they were not quilts but decorative features of homes and buildings.  Another connection is to art quilts done with mosaics.  These ideas were everywhere. 

In addition, the views of Florence from the opposite side of the river provided living landscape quilts.  There were displays of modern chrome shapes in the Boboli Gardens that reflected the surroundings and fractured the very shapes and the colours nearby.  Think abstract quilts. And think of the contrast of the surroundings; formal lawns, trees, buildings in soft colours all captured in the chrome sculptures of various shapes.

Our trip included the Cinque Terra where the villages are nestled into the valleys formed as the cliffs stretch from the top to the sea.  I have seen many quilts based on the vista of the hills and the houses clinging to the cliff sides.  How wonderful to see them come to life.  Here is a picture that might make a small quilt.

Here are some pictures which include shapes and colours and shadows and mosaics.  


 Quilting shapes

Landscape quilts

Yes, this is all mosaics.  
Shapes for quilting, shadows and light

Shape, shadow, colours, fractures

There is a relationship between Florence and quilting as there is in the things around us every day.