I come from a long line of sign writers and am happiest with a brush and some paint! Add
paint to fabric and I get really excited!!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The faster I go.....

I was determined that this was to be a productive day. And it was, yet I was plagued with dumb mistakes every step of the way.

I have hand dyed and painted fabric for a very long time and although I use these fabrics, I still have a small stack of my favorites that I have been hoarding. This photo doesn’t do this fabric justice - you will have to trust me that is a beautiful, rich red and until today, I have only snipped very, very small pieces off the outside edges. Finally I decided it was the perfect background for a small piece I am working on. Pleased with my choice, I pressed and cut.....and in doing so, cut a hole right in the centre! Yes, I will work around it, but still it made me shake my head in disgust at myself. 

That seemed to set the tone and I proceeded to break machine needles, drop hand sewing needles, chase bobbins across the floor, get paint where I didn’t want it, and on and on.....what is that saying about the faster I go, the behinder I get? I finally got smart, walked away from my work, baked some muffins, went for a run, regrouped and started again. 

Things went a little better after that. Thank goodness.

Because other people have been much more productive and made less work for themselves than I have, I am connecting with The Needle and Thread Network. Check them out!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Madaboutcolour fabrics

The last weeks have been busy with things I needed to do, none of them terribly creative, but necessary. When I did have a few minutes to spare, I made sure to use my time having some fun. I did manage to load and quilt two more lengths of fabric for my sister. These take some time to quilt.

These will be cut into bodices and headbands and all sorts of other pieces. 

I have great hopes of loading a quilt top tomorrow and working on a few small projects I have on the go....wish me luck!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Signs of spring past....

The only sign we had of spring arriving this year was the winter storm we were experiencing slowed down to a mild bellow. The snowfall gradually tapered off by 9 am after a full night of snowing, blowing and freezing rain. 

Because I am mentally ready for a break and am prepared to welcome spring with open arms, I am sharing some of my favorite spring photos taken in a spring already experienced. Just as a warm up. 

These photos were taken in my yard and at my parents on PEI. Both lovely places to be when spring truly does arrive.....

Friday, March 15, 2013

My wells really are hidden!

During the past quilt retreat, I resurrected some fairly old projects to take with me to work on. I tend to do best when creating on my own so I wanted to take something that wouldn’t require me paying attention too closely while I worked. To me the fun of a retreat is chatting and catching up with old friends as well as making new friends. So, if I am going to be focusing on chit chat and quilt gossip, my sewing needs to be mindless.

Well, I blew that.

The nice little pile of partially sewn blocks I chose were from a cottage retreat approximately 19 years ago (so my friends calculated....). The pattern is Hidden Wells, an ingenious pattern by Mary Ellen Hopkins. If you google Hidden Wells, you can see many lovely samples of and numerous tutorials for this pattern.

Somehow I failed to see the simplicity of this pattern that weekend. I struggled to make sense of my blocks which I had already sliced many, many years ago. Creating this pattern involves strip piecing fabric, cutting out blocks, slicing those blocks and then re-arranging the resulting segments to create new blocks. Exasperated with myself, I finally packed it up and worked on another project I had brought with me. When I got home, I tossed the pattern out, took the sections of blocks, added alternate black blocks, sewed a couple of borders, grabbed a chunk of some wild bright fabric for a backing and loaded it in on longarm.

Now I just need to add the binding.

The pantograph I used is one I received with my machine. Excuse the lumps and bumps in the photo....I guess I could have smoothed it out first.....opps.....

Now that feels better....and they don’t call me the crayola kid for nothing.

Friday, March 8, 2013

A bag for memories

For many years my sister was a production weaver and after leaving university, I joined her in the craft show circuit. We spent long hours weaving, sewing and creating and from her I learned a freer, less structured way to design and construct certain items. One of these such items is bags. Over the years I have made many, many bags of all shapes and sizes, for all purposes. This is one of the two I have made most recently, both for my sister. Both bags feature photos she took of our Mom.
Mom loved flowers and gardens and she also loved coordinated dressing! Jo captured her in front of her tiger lilies this past summer as they made their way to yet another appointment. I love these photos of Mom and considering Jo took them with her iPhone, they are great quality.
I enlarged the photos via the printing process on my Mac and printed them directly on Jacquard fabric sheets. I backed them with some interfacing for stability and then I started sewing, using fabrics that seemed to fall into my lap. I swear the choices were predestined.

Joanne knits 24/7 and carries bags and bags of yarn everywhere she goes. I made this bag big enough for her to tote all kinds of balls and skeins with her. I also put a couple of long deep pockets on each end for her needles.

The finished size was dictated by the size of the pieces of fabric, keeping in mind that I wanted a larger bag. As well, the size of the printed picture required substantial amounts of fabric framing it for balance. I finished it off with a piece of correx (corrugated plastic sheeting used in the sign industry) covered in fabric inserted into the base to add strength and form.