As many of my readers know, I LOVE challenges, there is just something about challenges and themes that drive me to create.
Each year, one of those challenges is a block contest held at Joseph Schneider Haus......a theme is chosen, criteria laid out, blocks are entered, a quilt is made, hand quilted during a day long quilting bee by amazingly gifted Mennonite ladies...said quilt will be finished and then later raffled off to raise funds for many of the ongoing projects at Joseph Schneider Haus. I really need to practice my hand quilting skills, the ladies offered to allow me to take a place and the frame and add some stitches but I declined.....my skills are not on par with theirs....not even close :-).....but maybe one day...maybe
This coming week is Quilt Festival time in the St. Jacob, Kitchener, Waterloo area....if you are, or will be in the area, you can find a long list of wonderful events here
For this year's block contest, the theme was "From the Stash" at least 50% of the fabrics used by the maker were to come from the "stash" also, the colour Orange needed to be incorporated.
I chose to use up prepared bits and pieces leftover from an earlier applique project. 100% of the fabrics in this block came from my stash. I created a small bowl for the flowers added a little hand stitching and called it "Bowlful of Leftovers"
I was delighted and quite honoured to learn that the block earned a first place finish. I am sorry that I don't yet have photos of the actual quilt as it was still on the quilt frame, nearing completion (I hope to get and post one here later)
This is the 6th year that I have participated in this block contest, if you are curious about some of my other submissions you can find them here
My little Janome inspired quilt is finished.....I decided to call it "In Stitches"
It is just a small scrappy sampler style quilt. It all began with that embroidered pin cushion design, the rest of the piece sort of grew around it. I am not used working in a manner where measuring and cutting needs to be accurate.....I am much more comfortable making quilts I can "eyeball" so I must say I learned quite a lot playing with this.
I had fun with the quilting and then finished it off by using all sorts of buttons, pins, snaps and other sewing related bits as embellishment.
Can you believe the amazing items some companies give away? have you noticed this growing trend? Do you enter?
Recently I came across a giveaway for Aurifil Thread......well I absolutely LOVE Aurifil thread, it is my thread of choice, so of course, I was sure to leave a comment for a chance to win. At that time, the prize was a collection designed exclusively by Michele Scott of the Pieceful Quilter. Yup the entire collection! 12 full size spools of deliciousness!.......and guess what? I WON!!!! it arrived by Fed-Ex all the way from Italy, Thank you VERY much! I just may have to come up with a special project for this wonderful collection.
It seems that Aurifil has giveaway's going on all the time......look for them and enter.....btw....if you have not yet tried this thread, you are missing out.
Another amazing giveaway that you HAVE to check out, is one by FaveQuilts......they are having a month long contest that will end with a lucky LUCKY winner receiving a Janome MC9900
oh yeah!!!!...that IS the machine that contains a few of my designs.....you KNOW I am entering!!!!
It is SUPER easy to enter......you can find the giveaway here
This is one of the designs built into the machine.....my own doodle.....this Bee
A few weeks ago, I showed you the start of this little quilt..........at the time, I was just working out the design/layout in this post.
Here is a look at some of the stitch lines I used in the quilting.
Once it was all quilted and bound, I added some common sewing room items as embellishment......I'll grab some photos and show that soon. I still need to create a label, but first, I need a name for it....any suggestions?
This is what I did to the pieces of wool to get a subtle, gradated look. I simply used some fabric paint and a sponge. I applied a darker shade of colour at what would be closest to the center and worked out to a lighter shade. I did this before cutting any of it into the final shapes.
Below, are some closeup shots to show details of the stitching. In order to keep the piece looking slightly darker and deeper at the center, I used progressively darker threads from center out with all of those tiny seed stitches. Yes, it was a LOT of hand stitching but together with the paint, it definitely gave it the desired effect.
those little raised, wool circles are about a 1/4" across in size and were cut using a paper holepunch
I created templates from paper wherever I needed to be able to apply elements, to ensure they all ended up in the same spot on each of the pieces.
Only the background and binding on this quilt is machine stitched, everything else is done entirely by hand...............sure is a good thing I enjoy hand stitching :-)
"Going to Seed" is the quilt I designed and created to enter into this year's Grand National Quilt show. The show has a different theme each time and this year, it was "Local Colour" instead of depicting a local landmark, landscape or culture, I decided to"USE" local colour
This is the Artist Statement accompanying the piece:
We often overlook the
beauty of a bloom as it fades-- no longer fresh, vibrant and full of
energy-- but nurture that which has “Gone to
Seed” to be rewarded with new emerging and
exciting possibilities. The transformation is complete. This quilt
is made up almost entirely of “local colour”, unwanted and
discarded items, their beauty and usefulness gone, banished to the
It all pretty much began with a few cotton remnants and a wool coat I found at a rummage sale. A few more cast off garments went into the mix along with some discarded belts and costume jewelry.
I dyed the fabric to create that inky night sky background, the rest of the colour pallete was dictated by the things I found, a terrific apple green jacket, a deep plum skirt, as well as a light blue, cream and tan plaid one.
here you can see what the elements actually are
and a look at the quilting in the background.
next time I'll show you what I did to that wonderful wool coat to get that gradated look along with a few more details.
It's Friday so I am linking up to Nina-Marie's Off the Wall Fridays featuring lots of inspiring artists to visit.
Yesterday, the Grand National Quilt show "Local Colour" held it's opening reception at Homer Watson Gallery in Kitchener, ON. This is one of the few shows that I enter and was delighted to have been able to attend.
this photo was snagged from the Homer Watson Gallery's Facebook page
Have you ever worked on a piece for so long that you are no longer seeing the visual impact you once thought the work had? That happened to me on this one, after spending hours and hours with this right under my nose, meticulously hand stitching wool to cotton, I suddenly was no longer certain it had visual appeal. Well, when I walked into the Gallery and with fresh eyes, saw this piece so beautifully displayed, I realized that it did indeed have the impact and presence I was striving for.
This piece is titled "Going to Seed". The Grand National Quilt show attracts works from some of the very best Canadian textile artists right across the country, it is a fabulous feeling to see your work hang among them so I am especially thrilled that Going to Seed received an honourable mention.
The show runs until June 23rd, if you are in the region, I hope you will take it in.....there are 3 rooms whose walls are filled with incredibly inspiring works.
Over the next few posts I will show how this piece evolved, it is made up almost entirely from items garnered at rummage sales and thrift shops. Until then, here are a couple of detail shots
On Saturday I popped into Al's Vacuum & Sewing Centre in Sarnia, Ontario. I was hoping I'd get a chance to see the new machine, Angela and Mike were in the shop, both were extremely helpful and more than willing to show me what it could do. I excitedly explained that I had actually created a few of the built in designs and asked if it would be possible to see one of them stitched out. Before I knew it, Angela had fabric in a hoop and ready to go, with just a few touches on the screen, I was watching my design emerge in thread.
here you see the pincushion design in progress
stitched out, roughly 6" across
and here, the MC9900 is stitching the little vintage toy sewing machine design, you can see it displayed on the machine's screen.
Al's will host an event in early May with Janome Educator, Linda Pidzamecky, I plan to attend to learn more about this machine. So far it looks fabulous, VERY user friendly and in addition to the embroidery function, I already see many of the familiar features that I love about my MC6600.
I have decided to build a small scrappy "sewing" themed quilt around one of the embroideries, here is a peek at what I am designing.
I am excited, I mean really, really EXCITED!!!! The new MC 9900 has just been released by Janome....... just why does this excite me so?
Well because this machine has some pretty fabulous embroidery designs built right in.....including 5 of mine!!!!!! yup, that's right, the doodles pictured below are among the designs available on the Janome MC 9900. I can hardly wait to see this machine in action.
I gave my original doodle/designs some serious tweaking before sending them off to Janome......just to make them a bit more "stitch" friendly. If you happen to see any of these stitched out, I would LOVE it if you would send me a photo. Can't wait to see how they will be incorporated into your projects.