Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Work Continues

As another WIP Wednesday approaches -- indeed, can be linked to HERE aleady -- I thought I'd post a few things currently under construction.  The 15th Annual Lacombe Art Show and Sale is looming now, and I still have at least 4 pieces -- 1 modest size and 3 minis -- if not more -- to finish.

Here's the latest mini -- but first, the inspirational photo:


You can see there's a lot going on in the background.  Here's what I wanted to capture (with a bit of artistic license):

Bed and Breakfast (c) 2014 - 5" x 7" matted to 8" x 10"
And a wee detail shot:



WIPs include this, inspired by my cyber-acquaintance, Velma Bolyard, a very fine paper and book artist, who gave me permission to use her photograph.  It's taken me some time to put it together.  I plan to mount it on shallow (1/2") stretched canvas, but first -- beading.

V's Berries - WIP - will finish about 9" W x 12" L
This is just a close-up; the lines are to be embroidered as branches for the berries.  I have just the right beads...and only hope I have enough!

Another WIP -- I'm currently doing the hand-stitch on this, prior to trimming and matting it up:

Profusion - WIP - machine stitching done - 5" x 7" + mat
And then there's the roses piece...I will post more soon.  Let's just say there's a pro photographer coming over this evening...

Meanwhile...I'll be reading the posts over on The Needle and Thread Network while I stitch...see you there!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Busy, Busy, Busy

It's wonderful to go out of town to exhibits and shows...but I've had to make up for lost sleep, and lost hours in the studio, and lost time jogging (so I can eat the goodies offered at said exhibits and shows)...

More will be posted soon...but for those of you not on Facebook (FB), here I am, beaming broadly, at the Preview of the Western Threads: Contemporary Fibre Art exhibit that opened to the public today at the Royal Alberta Museum:

Photo Credit: my wonderful daughter, Gina

You can read more about the exhibit and see photos I took at the Preview (with permission) HERE on the SAQA Western Canada Blog.

P.S.: My piece, Mutt and Jeff, is in the upper left-hand corner of the photo.  :-)

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Celebrating Quilts in Red Deer - Part II

As promised -- quickly, this morning, because I have to get into the studio -- here are some other quilts to which I took a fancy at the CAQG Show this past weekend:

Baltimore Garden 

This colourful piece is "Baltimore Garden", made by Myrna Wagner of Red Deer.  At 46" x 64.5", it is completely machine appliquéd on her embroidery machine; she also did all the machine quilting herself.  Every block has extensive outlines in satin stitch -- I admire her skill!  Here's a detail:

Love those bright colours!
 Here's a detail of a piece entitled "Among the Leaves" -- also created by Myrna (I didn't get a full-length photo):

Among the Leaves - detail

The technique used crayons -- and a Sew Be It pattern.  This one (above) is 54" x 72".  Quilting by Cheryl Whitten.  Myrna's interpretation is more pastel than the original from the website...and I love its soft approach.

I thought this one was just plain fun.  It's called "Road to Nana and Papa's" and was created by Terry Rowland of Lousana, Alberta:

Road to Nana and Papa's

At 64.5" x 96", this quilt is an out-sized "play mat" that Terry made -- and quilted herself -- for her grandchildren to play on when they visit.  It's designed for games with toy vehicles, for "I Spy" and for learning their colours.  A great combination, eh?

Union Jack

I come from a long line of Brits on my mother's side of the family.  Seeing a Union Jack always makes me smile, and this one is no exception.  Created by Kathy Dunn of Red Deer County, this one is 76" W x 38.5" L, and she did both piecing and quilting.  Kathy mentioned a pattern in her statement -- but not which one.

Last but not least, here's one that's a combination of piecing, colouring, embroidery, and fun fabric.  It was such an assortment that I had to take a photo:


"Which Witch's Boot" is a Crabapple Hill pattern.  Here it's interpreted by Lynne Rosenow of Ponoka, Alberta; it was quilted by Joyce Barkley (Just Humming Quilting of Stettler, AB), and finishes at 40" square.

So...that's it; that's all for now, folks!  For those of you who may have missed my late-placed link yesterday, the SAQA portion of my Red Deer visit is available on the SAQA Western Canada blog.

Off to Edmonton tomorrow for the Artists' Preview of "Western Threads" at the Royal Alberta Museum on Thursday morning.  More later!

Monday, April 07, 2014

Celebrating Quilts in Red Deer - Part I

Quilt Show Season has begun again in Alberta, kicked off by the 23 Annual Central Alberta Quilters' Guild Show at Westerner Park in Red Deer.  This year was a great one for friends of mine who belong to that guild -- and I couldn't miss it!

Donna Deis was one of the two Featured Quilters -- meaning that she had a retrospective of her work on display, and was on hand to meet and greet viewers for the two days of the show.  Her work is colourful, including piecing and appliqué, bed-sized quilts and wall-hangings.  Like most quilters, Donna is drawn by colour, and enjoys finding a focus fabric to feature in her work.  The winter landscape below, for example, began with the border fabric.  Donna then selected fabrics to interpret the pattern in the palette of the border fabric.



Here are two more landscapes created by Donna from the same designer's series.  All are from England Design, by Cynthia England.


And here's one of several of Donna's bed-sized quilts -- admittedly, one of my favourites in the display.


This pattern is called "Tea Leaves"; I love its clean curves.  Donna learned to do needle-turn appliqué from our mutual friend, Annette Johnston.  Annette makes it look easy, but neither Donna nor I have been quick learners; Donna said it took her five years to do "Tea Leaves".  The journey has been a positive one though, as she is eager to do more.

Speaking of Annette...

With Donna as one of the Featured Quilters, Annette decided that for the first time in several years she would enter pieces in the Central Alberta show.   She selected three -- all hand appliqué and all hand quilted.


This bed-sized quilt is entitled "Remembering Sally Post" -- and features Annette's hand-dyed fabrics as well as reproduction fabrics, against a very unusual background, don't you think?   Sally Post was a quilter from New York State, who made the original of this pattern back in 1954, at the age of 63.  The original is now owned by Gay Bonners, who made the patterns for the blocks available on her website, Sentimental Stitches.  Here's a close-up of one block, showing off some of Annette's beautiful hand-dyed fabric.


At the end of the day on Friday, prizes were awarded in each quilting category: large quilt, medium quilt, Innovative/Art quilt (any size), small quilt, machine quilted (self), hand-quilted, machine embroidered, long-arm quilting, wall hanging.

There was excitement abounding when Annette discovered that her broderie perse quilt took a red ribbon for 1st Place - Hand-quilted:

Annette Johnston with her winning quilt
Her delight doubled on Saturday, when the Best of Show winners were announced:


Congratulations, dear friend!  

Thus ends Part I of my CAQG show adventure for 2014...Stay tuned for Part II, with photos of some of my other favourites.  As for my table-time for SAQA Western Canada...there will be a separate post on the SAQA WC blog.

'Bye for now!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

A Bit Behind...

The 15th Annual Lacombe Art Show and Sale opens in just over 3 weeks, and if I'm going to enter my "roses" piece in anything, I have about the same amount of time to finish it...So posts will be farther apart for the next while, even though I no longer have to travel miles to a library to do them!

Miniatures are flying out of my sewdio these days.  Here are two of the latest:

Boot Dance - (C) 2014

For Sale - (C) 2014


Because the above photo is a tad blurry -- here's a detail shot:

For Sale - detail

Yesterday I finished two more -- but have yet to photograph -- and two more are sitting on my cutting table as I type, waiting for me to get at 'em...

But not before I leave you with a taste of the roses, blooming despite the persistence of two or three feet of snow outside! 

Roses...stitching detail...
It's too early to link to WIP Wednesday over at The Needle and Thread Network...so I'll just say "see you later".  Have a great day!  :-)

P.S. For those interested, "Mark on the Body" has been updated.  Thank you for your support!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A Note From Home

Yes, indeed!  For the first time in almost two weeks, I'm typing this on my own laptop's keyboard at my own desk in my own home!   My "baby" arrived yesterday afternoon, safe and sound -- and with her, carefully encased in bubble wrap, preserved for posterity...was the broken hard drive.  All I can say is...



  • To Sanjeev at Dell Support who did the diagnostics and started the repair process;
  • To the Dell-certified Technicians for their prompt service;
  • To Dan at Dan's Computers in Stettler for giving me peace of mind about the fate of lost data;
  • To Hanisha at Dell Support for processing my extended warranty;
  • To Purolator and UPS for their careful shipping;
  • To Anuradha at MicroSoft for helping me to re-install and activate MS Office 2013;
  • To Terrie, Laura, Cindy and Devin at the Alix and Bashaw Public Libraries for their cheerful, helpful service with their computers and printers;
  • To my kids, Gina and Marty, for offering a spare laptop and for having saved my old files on an external hard drive; and
  • To all my friends locally and across cyberspace for your ongoing understanding, patience, encouragement and support.
Love y'all!


Saturday, March 22, 2014

High-Tech Adventures

I've surprised myself today by learning how to download photos from my camera to Microsoft SkyDrive -- and thence to my memory stick or...I hope...onto this blog.

I've been working hard on the "roses" piece, to whit:







I'm now ready to re-consider the "grid" portion.  I wasn't sure that there was enough balance using only thread to stitch onto the surface, so this morning I tried a different tack: creating a thread grid sample with water-soluble fabric:

Grid stitched on Fabri-Solvy (R) - before dissolving
 Looked good...but then I cut away the excess fabric (yes, all the insides of those squares), dissolved the rest and pinned it over the background. 





Nope.  Even though this is just a sample (not secured) I can tell it's not what I want.  It's too wobbly, too 'all over', too imprecise, compared to the black applique squares I've sampled -- as in this photo, taken before I finished applying all the roses.


Next step: re-audition fabric squares.

Back to work -- but before I go, I'm linking this with Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday.  :-)  My next check-in will be Monday (God willing); have a great weekend! 

*Whoo-hoo!  Not only was I able to share this with you, but I was able to re-size the file so it wouldn't be too large to upload/download/share in an e-mail/store efficiently on my memory stick!