Monday, 19 June 2017

June - Impact on making quilts

Summer has finally arrived.  And it has an impact on quilting.  Quilting or gardening, quilting or gardening??????  We had a long spring providing luscious plants that normally are cut short by the heat of summer.  So for a quilter, these  have provided lovely colour plays that could turn into a quilt or two but at the same time as a gardener weeds intrude.  Split personalities can result.

And of course there are client who still need to have their quilts quilted.  Add to that regular chores and you have a fractured personality.  But that provides and interesting pattern possible for a small quilt.  Flowers provide colour, weeds provide a neutral green and quilting provides the concepts of lines and curves and definition.  See everything provides an idea for an art quilt.  And daily chores; well they can provide a bit of dark colour in the background.

Enjoy the following pictures and find what you can see when you look at the colours and shapes. Now I will enjoy the challenge I have given myself.  But no early time frame because it is raining and the weeds are signing choruses of 'alleluia', the lawn is saying you will have mow me and the dishwasher is finished as is the washing machine and the doorbell is going as a quilt arrives in the proud arms of its maker.





Friday, 12 May 2017

Interesting Times

When I started this blog, it was to laugh at myself while I learned to do long arm quilting.  Well, I do still laugh at myself but not as much.  I have learned so much.  Thanks to the internet, pictures on Pinterest and videos on You Tube I have had a huge classroom.  And most of all I have had people have confidence that I will do a good job on their very precious quilt.

This does not mean that I have stopped learning.  Learning is a life time objective  but I have come a long way.  I do my quilting hand guided with a stitch regulator.   I have a robot but prefer the more organic way things turn out. Excuse the organic.  It is a bit overused but it fits the bill.  I do use the robot for complex designs or designs I have created myself but I do not use it for overall quilting.  Also, I do not use it for appliqued quilts.  The computerized designs are beautiful but when you see quilt after quilt with exactly the same pattern perfect to a tee it gets a bit boring.  A squiggle here and there and a motif not absolutely positively in scale to the last one adds a human touch.  And I fully subscribe to Angela Walters philosophy.  If you are just starting out to do long arm quilting or quilting on a domestic machine, look up her YouTube Videos, subscribe to her blog posts.

I had the honour to quilt this quilt.  The owner has worked on the applique for 3 years.  Talk about the shakes starting on this one.  But it came alive as I worked.  The borders around each block were like picture frames.  All was helped by a second batting of wool.  It truly makes applique pop.  Here is the quilt.  Each applique block was quilted differently after the applique was outlined.
The owner kindly allowed me to post the picture.  I also took a picture while working on the quilt which shows the lovely detail of the applique. The fabric of the background was ideal for quilting around the blue to make the clouds puff out and look like a snowy day with patches of blue.
Isn't the applique gorgeous?.  Every block was beautiful.  

Quilting for others can be scary.  But it can be so rewarding when you a see the smile of pleasure you have wrought.

Other sources of designs, techniques is to go to Trunk Shows and Quilt Shows.  In the past 10 days I attended a Trunk Show by Karen Neary who is a Nova Scotia treasure who is well known across the North American continent and in Europe.  In a small village hall, she showed off beautiful quilts, talked about their creation and provided itineraries of where they had traveled to after being finished and before returning home.  It was a wonderful show. 

The week before I had seen a Trunk Show by Celeste Thibodeay Stacey a well known Art Quilter.  She too is from Nova Scotia.  There were gasps from the audience at the creativity displayed and the detail of her quilts.  Lucky me.  I have been a pupil on a couple of occasions.  

Then today I escaped to a Quilt Show in a little town called Centerville in Nova Scotia.  There were gorgeous quilts.  This show is put on by a group of women who meet regularly in a hall.  They are not a formal guild but they put on a beautiful show every year.  This year there were quilts that took your breath away.  And I came away with ideas of all kinds.  

All of this inspiration was seen within a 1.5 hour drive from my home.  Any surprise I took up quilting when I moved here.  

If you are not inclined to quilt just enjoy the many artists who do.  And in Nova Scotia we have a wealth of them.  We have those who design and create quilts; those who are artists at quilting them and true art quilters all of whom bring and share pleasure.  We are a little province, hanging into the Atlantic ocean but we are mighty quilters.