Friday, March 27, 2015

Encouraging Words

EB was prompt with her feedback today.  To whit:
"Student 5....23 square inches of flowers! 'Prairie Spring'...
"It's very pretty and delicate and quiet  and gives a wonderful hint of early spring...the very soft gray greens and yellow greens with little hints of mauve and's not All That Linear    but works very well in and of itself.  I like your placement of the "different" pieces - the pink and blue that move your eye around the piece  and as I look closely at the detail I can see some linear elements in there - subtle!  the batiks work very well here as they blend so beautifully with one another."
All in all...A Good Thing...for which I am thankful.

And a few days off to attend to Other Good Things...for which I am equally thankful!


EBMC March Finale

It really feels like spring today.  Even though there are still assorted piles of snow about -- even on the south side of the house -- my tulips are up a good 3", the trees are in bud...and I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a robin!

My piece for the "Line" theme in the EBMC is finished and faced...and I have to admit, I like it!  Drawing from traditional 9-patch piecing, it appeals to my sense of order.  I used my walking foot to quilt it...and added the applique patches based on the 'deconstruction' of the original inspiration.  The low-contrast, soft colours make me smile.  One of my Gentle Readers described it as 'peaceful' and I have to agree.  Ahhhhhh.....

Prairie Spring  - 22.75" square (C) 2015
Prairie Spring - Detail
Commercial & hand-dyed cottons
Machine pieced and quilted

Keep calm and quilt on!

Linking up to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Friday...and going for a jog in the sunshine.  :-)
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Let's Face It!

I spent the better part of this a.m. and early afternoon quilting my piece for the "Lines" topic in my EB Master Class.

I knew I wanted to use my walking foot, so first I tuned in to my Craftsy class on the use of said foot, featuring Jacquie Gering.  It was helpful, but I was

Next I auditioned 3 possible threads using 2 different stitches...

Then I added a 4th thread and another stitch idea:

Sample, sample, sample...
The spools are both variegated "King Tut" cotton thread from Superior Threads, while the 'spindle' is a variegated cotton from Oliver Twist threads that I got years ago...when I bought OT embellishment packs etc.  Can't even remember where!

Stitch ideas: straight with walking foot; slightly wavery with walking foot; narrow (very narrow) satin stitch with walking foot...

Look closely to see where they stitching lines take you.

Now it's ready for facing.  Once it's faced, I'll send final photos to EB for her critique (deadline; March 31).

Prairie Spring I -  (WIP) 2015 - 23.5" square
The neat thing is, you can hang it any way you want.  I'll make sure of that when I attach the sleeve.  :-)

Like this:

Prairie Spring I - rotated 90 degrees (WIP)
Or like this;

Prairie Spring I - rotated another 90 degrees (WIP)

Problem?  Despite it's small size and deliberate design elements, someone here in Bed Quilt Central is sure to want it for a crib quilt.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Spring, Happy Quilting!

In my back yard earlier this week...

Tulips peeking through the leaf mulch - south side of the house

My daughter's Edmonton street this morning...

And outside my front window right now, Mother Nature's undecided: "Rain? Or snow? Or maybe a wee bit o' both?"

Ah...but Eastern Canada's had it MUCH worse this week... I feel for my cousins in SW Quebec and New Brunswick...

Meanwhile, though most of today was "SAQA Day" (correspondence etc. on the computer), I managed to take 90 minutes or so to play with "Green Fields" (working title) for EBMC and the "Line Project".  I now have nine blocks mocked up in fabric on my design wall, including hints of purple to honour the humble prairie crocus:

I replaced the too-blue strips with a combination of more yellow-green/spring-green strips and some with hints of lilac/mauve a la crocus...And I'm letting it "percolate" a bit before I commit to sewing 'em together.

While they 'perc', I'm linking up to Nina Marie's Off the Wall Friday...and doing some hand work.

Have a great weekend, eh?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

EBMC - March II

This week I worked on two projects.  The first was to finish "Prairie Autumn III", which will go in the mail to its new home later today:

If you're interested, I blogged about the process and inspiration HERE.  :-)

The second was to get my 'blocking' assignment finished for this month's EB Master Class assignment on "line".  In the initial sketches, I "de-constructed" this quilt that had been inspired by this photo and gave EB three possible design options to critique.  Her response?

"Looking at this first image, I wonder if you could connect the lines in some seems to me in a landscape that the lines usually do connect....the vertical one would then stand out even more as being the focal point.....the implied triangle is very strong,,,on the very edge of the piece, drawing the viewer's eye to the edge and out of the picture...see if there's a way you can pull that triangle shape back into the central area...the center of interest..."

Hmmm.  I agree about the vertical line and perhaps moving the 'implied triangle' on the left more into the piece, but I rather like the disjointed lines.

What else?

For the remaining two options, EB commented mainly on this one:

She found it "...difficult to see what's actually happening" and was a bit distracted by "the surface texture of the fabric" but thought it might be interesting for me "to think about a very high key (i.e., very light values), low value contrast, abstract quilt with repeating blocks...repeat 6 or even 9 times. I do think that would give you the feel of the high prairies..." and she referred me back to Agnes Martin, whose work I don't understand but really like (Agnes spent most of her artistic life in Taos, NM, but she hailed from Saskatchewan.)

So this week I produced this paper mock-up of 9 repeating blocks:

9 repeated blocks on design wall

Then I created 6 blocks for my potential design -- pinned only, thus:

"Green Fields" mock-up - WIP

When I submitted these to EB I told her that I thought 9 would be best, but made up only 6 to see what she thought first.  :-)

Her response was, I thought, quite positive:

I love the idea of the spring look...I'd just make one or two more of the greens a little more vibrant...  even though you're high key you should have some variation in values...and I'm not sure about that blue grey doesn't have the same feel as the others...which look very good very springy with the light showing through...d'you have any that have even more white in them?  or one or two sprinkles of a pale pink blossom??

I agree a bit about the blue-grey fabric (it's actually more blue-green, but "dusty", a hand-dye) and will see if I can scrounge for an alternative from my stash, or dye more.

However, I couldn't help but chuckle about the "pale pink blossom".  EB is a Brit living, I believe, in the southern U.S., so I forgive her for thinking romantically about flowers dotting the prairie grasslands...but blossoms don't much appear out here on the rolling lands of Central Alberta in the early-mid spring. It's far too chilly!  The closest I might get is the pale purple of a prairie crocus...and I might just see if I can hint at that in the fabric strips.

Off to Calgary today for a variety of errands...but this weekend I'll be lining up those strips under the needle of my stay tuned.

Linking this up to WIP Wednesday over at The Needle and Thread Network.  Let's see what my Canadian colleagues are up to, eh?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

On Its Way Tomorrow

Let the Fabric Speak (LTFS)

LTFS: Roses I (C) 2015
8" W x 6" L - will be matted to 6.5" x 4.5"
Donated to Spotlight Silent Auction
Fiberlandia - SAQA Conference, Portland, OR,

LTFS: Roses I - Detail (C) 2015
Materials: Snow-dyed bleached muslin,
cotton batting, commercial cotton backing,
DMC (R) cotton floss

LTFS: Roses I - Detail (C) 2015
Techniques: hand embroidery, seed stitch quilting

LTFS Roses I - Detail (C) 2015

Friday, March 13, 2015


Even as I ponder "line" for my EBMC, I continue to work with it.

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine saw a piece she liked when I posted my 3-pieces-a-day in the Facebook Artists' Challenge.  Entitled "Prairie Autumn", and inspired by a photograph taken by my late husband on an autumn drive well over a decade ago, I'd made 2 of these and both of them had been sold.  Would I make her one?

Of course!

Now...because I don't buy fabric in bulk (!), I really had to dig around to find comparable bits and bobs...but managed this morning to lay down the foundation.

Photo and foundation
Yep: sky, trees, prairie, fencing.  The lines are pretty clear...

Then I added machine quilting:

Every stitch is a line

After I quilted the sky, I added the building and the fencing:

Just a wee bit of hand-stitch on the roof and grass, and it will be ready for the mat.

What are you up to this weekend?  As you stitch, you might check out what's happening over at Nina Marie Sayre's Off the Wall Friday, to which I'm linking this post.  :-)

Have a great one!  Till next week...

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Thinking Along the Line(s)

I've been seeing 'line(s)' everywhere this week.

  • In my e-mail I got something from or about Deidre Adams (can't find it now, of course!) and her "Facade" series;
  • On the way in to work at The Shop I see the lines of snow melting against the hills...fence lines...the inevitable power poles and lines...;
  • On my periodic jogs around this wee hamlet, the roads are corrugated strips of melt-slicked gravel, mud and slush...
And so on.  :-)

Meanwhile, I'm working away at hand-stitching the lines I see in the small piece of snow-dyed fabric that is becoming my contribution to the "Spotlight Silent Auction" fundraiser at the SAQA conference in Portland.  It's nearly finished now...

LTFS: Roses I - WIP (c) 2015

And yes, EB got back to me.  Blocking out my design is next, so stay tuned! 

Meanwhile, let's hop over to The Needle and Thread Network for WIP Wednesday -- and see what other Canadian stitchers are up to, eh?  :-)