Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Contest and "Holiday"

Are you familiar with Quilter's Connection Magazine. It is New..........Canada's first all Canadian publication dedicated to us quilters! YAY!
They are currently running a contest looking for your tips for going green in your sewing studio. What do you do to recycle, re-use and reduce. Here is your chance to share ideas and possibly win a great prize as well. There is still time to enter, the contest deadline has been extended a few days past it's original closing date and now closes January 22nd, 2010.
It is, however, open to Canadian residents only. You can read more about the contest and how to enter here

The CPP word prompt this week was appropriately, Holiday. Lots of things came to mind, but while shoveling snow (yuk) I began to think a holiday somewhere tropical would be very nice, even if only in my mind. So I doodled this palm tree.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My First Row Robin

I recently signed up to participate in "Row Robin" with other guild members. I have not done my row yet but I did have a team member's row to add to, so I stared there.
I have never done one of these before but I saw it as a great way to challenge myself and try some new techniques, not to mention reducing my ever growing pile of scraps. I am fairly sure that the owner of this row does not check my blog so she won't get a sneak peak. I knew right off that I would have to get creative cause her row measures 37 3/4" meaning that standard block sizes were just not going to work

She provided me with the applique Pumpkin/sunflower row and I have added the bees.

I adapted the bees from a Fon's and Porter's pattern called Bee Bop. I started out doing raw edge applique but part way through I thought it would be neat if the bee was a little more "plump" so I made one of them using an applique method that involves some extra batting and a dryer sheet.

I pressed the freezer paper to the right side of my "bee" stripe, laid a dryer sheet over top, and then stitched very close to the freezer paper all around. Next I trimmed the piece, clipping the outer edge and made a slit in the center of the dryer sheet. Turned it right side out and to get the bee to really pop, I stuffed it with a layer of polyester batting. Once the blocks were all sewn together I hand appliqued the fluffy bee in place, then added the antennae and stingers with a Micron pen.

I need to have my own row ready to pass on to a team member for the second week in January, so I guess I had better give some thought to what it will look like.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

This Week's Doodle

The Creative Prompt Project's word #46 is Hot.
I have a collection of trivets, I guess I am drawn to them because to all of the interesting designs. These trivets were once used to rest flat or "sad" irons upon after they had been heated by fire or on a stove. I decided to design my own trivet for this week's prompt.

Sorry I have no quilting to show, as I have been spending my time lately re-organizing. After more than 30 years in this 900 square foot home it seems that every inch is filled and it was time to reclaim some space. I finally have a wall available to hang some of my quilts.

This one, Earthbound, has been rolled up and in a box since it's completion almost 2 years ago. I will hang a few more in the next couple of days and soon get my machines humming again.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Exciting News!

Well I am excited see, in May of 2011, The Canadian Quilters Association will bring Quilt Ontario here to London. When a call went out for a logo design, I decided to give it a whirl. It was announced last week that my design had been chosen. The call for entry requested a simple ink sketch to be submitted. Once the design had been chosen it was then sent to CQA who will now work their magic transforming this into something terrific (well I hope so, because it does need a little tweaking for sure) I am not sure how well you will be able to see this so I have also put up the design with the background darkened so the details show a bit better
For those of you unfamiliar with this area, London is known as the "Forest City" so I wanted to incorporate a tree with quilt patterns, designs, some flying geese (we have a lot of those too) and the broken lines are to represent stitching.
You can read more about it here and see the proposed colour combination that the London Organizing Committee chose. I can hardly wait to see the finished artwork.

......and of course there is yet another doodle. This week's word is Flame. Since Canada is hosting the Winter Olympics beginning very soon my response to the word flame was this torch. The Olympic torch will actually be here in town in 10 short days.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

T'is the Season

Yes, it is Christmas card writing time.
I really don't send out a huge amount of cards, so this year I thought I make some Christmas postcards. I had some left over print from making place mats to bring to guild where they will be donated to the Meals On Wheels program (sorry I guess I forgot to take photos)
You won't find much Christmas fabric in my stash, but I did have a little left of a pretty Christmassy Batik which was added, along with some beads and lots of stitching.
The poinsettia cards are actually photos taken of my plants last year, played with in Pohtoshop (PSE7), printed onto fabric, then a bit of thread and beads were added and in one case inks. They will be going out in today's mail, with a couple reserved for our postcard exchange at tonight's guild meeting.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


Winter is the CPP word prompt this week. Let me say right off.........I HATE winter, seriously, yes I am Canadian but I could happily skip from Autumn right into Spring. I have 2 responses to this word. ( well 3 really but I can't post the third)
The first idea came to me as I was blog hopping, I came across Geta's Quilting Studio where you can see her incredible Shadow Trapunto. Not only does she have a monthly giveaway of her quilts but you can purchase her E-Book that gives you all you need to know to begin your own journey into Shadow Trapunto.

Those of you who are regular readers know that I generally like to do my own thing and when I saw her work I thought........hmmmmm I wonder how she does this. So I set about making this piece with supplies I had on hand.........not quite it, but quick and fun to do. In this particular case, I cut my snowflake from Warm and White Cotton batting, layered it under tulle and over a regular quilt sandwich. I stitched around the snowflake with invisible thread and then spent time getting in some free motion practice.

I want to be clear that this is NOT Geta's method ....... I have since purchased her E-Book and I am not about to giveaway her secrets. I can hardly wait to give her technique a try.

and of course, there just had to be a doodle. Used one of these way too often last year, hopefully we will have just a bit less to have to move this season.

If you are unfamiliar with the Creative Prompt Project click on "Clara" the Cow on my sidebar to learn more and maybe even begin to play along

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sharing ideas and Inspiration

One of the things that I love about the quilt blogging community is the willingness to share ideas.
A little while ago I posted this feather (inspired by one of my doodles) that I stitched and then added colour to.
Diane J Evans who has been a terrific supporter of my work contacted me with a request to use my feather idea for a project she had in mind. She told me she'd like to do something similar but using thread for the colour addition. Really? well, of course I agreed and was delighted to think that something I had done had actually inspired her.........I mean wow!........go to her web site to see her absolutely amazing pieces.

Now imagine my surprise to find this in my mail box last week. Diane did this terrific postcard for me in preparation for this larger (and might I say) impressive piece, titled, Feather Play 1, which you can see and read about here. Diane explains the steps and various inspirations that led to the creation of the piece.
I now have my very own piece of original work by Diane and I could not be more thrilled. If you click on this treasure, you can see it more detailed. The stitching is fabulous!
This has in turn inspired me to begin using some of my rayon threads. I originally purchased them thinking I'd use them for embroidery but I think I'd much prefer to use them as Diane has in her Feather Play series.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Taking shape

In my last post, I told you that I had a plan to use the Celtic knot that I had drawn as part of the Creative Prompt Project..............but I did not say exactly what I planned. I have mentioned that I am intrigued with whole cloth quilting and want to try my hand at designing one. While I know that there are lots of beautiful designs available out there, I prefer to keep my work as original as possible.
Since I have never done this sort of thing before, I thought perhaps I should start small. So here is my knot, now surrounded by the designs I came up with. This will be a miniature, as the piece you see here is a mere 18" from edge to edge. You'll also notice that those lines are fairly dark,...........well, that is because I have no intention of removing them......... it's just something else I want to try and to find out what that might, be you'll need to check back later.

and here is my most recent doodle for the CPP. #43, which is Gratitude.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What to do with these doodles.

I am now up to the 42nd word of The Creative Prompt Project, in some cases, I did more than one so I now have 50 doodles in these sketch books.
What the heck will I do with them all? I believe some will be my inspiration for future art quilts, I have no doubt about that, but what about the others?

At times, when I am running fabric through my printer I find that I often have some unused space. I really dislike wasting anything.......especially fabric that has been treated for printing, so recently, I simply filled that space with doodles. I then pressed them to paper backed fusible web and cut them out. In the case of the rooster I placed it on a similar background, layered tulle over top prior to adding the stitching to create this postcard that has been sent to a woman who collects roosters.

I have a different plan for prompt word #42 Knot. here is my knot in the sketch book and here it is after being transferred to fabric...........what will it become? well you will just have to check back later to find out.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Prompt #41 & Finding Design Inspration.

Prompt # 41 is Core. Each week I try to do something that I think might be a little different or unexpected with my CPP prompt responses........ but this week, as you can see, I could not resist temptation.

I am working toward designing a whole cloth quilt. I am just playing with various ideas at this point and not wanting to use motifs that can be found in quilt books, I thought I'd look about for inspiration. There are designs everywhere you look. My oak press back chairs have wonderful scroll work, as do these trivets, great decoration can be found on old sewing machines, furniture, jewelry and on this old FireKing glass pie plate.

I did some sketches of what I saw, simplifying them where necessary. I then scanned my drawings, enlarged, print and cut them out. By cutting several of each image you can play with how they might look as part of a quilt design.

Here is an example of what this exercise yielded.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Test results ( I am not impressed) and more doodles.

About a week ago, I showed you a piece of fabric that I began marking with a water soluble pen so that I could test how well those erasers designed to remove the marks without having to immerse your quilt in water, actually work.
Well, I left the marks for a week, then added a few more. Did lots of machine quilting.....stitching beside and right on top of the lines. Once I was finished, I began "erasing" the marked lines.
At first it seemed to be working really quite well, I began with the motif that is left centre. It took a lot of erasing.........this piece is only the size of a sheet of paper and it took nearly 20 minutes to remove those marks. I left it to thoroughly dry and look what re-appeared......... so I began erasing again, but in the end (after another 10 minutes of erasing) the pen seemed dry, my hands were getting very sore and I just gave up and immersed the piece in water.
I suppose for the odd line this product would be fine but I simply can not imagine the time it would take to successfully remove lines from a full size, whole cloth quilt. I was actually using 2 of the eraser pens, one of which is already 6$ a pop that could be an expensive venture. How long should they last? I certainly expected it to last longer than this small piece........maybe I got old product, but the results of this test have left me totally unimpressed.

Okay........time to doodle.

Have you been following the Creative Prompt Project? Click on Clara on my side bar to learn more about it and see what others have posted as their response to many of the prompts. Each week, Jaye at ArtQuiltmaker provides us with a word prompt.

Word #40 is wish. I decided to do a couple this Dad loved Barbara Eden in that silly T.V. show "I Dream of Jeannie" so here is my Genie's bottle and as kids, my siblings and I often spent time hunting for 4 leaf clovers, you were supposed to wish on them and they would bring you luck. .............hmmm what shall I wish for?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Is This Considered Cheating?

I recently volunteered to re-draft the block our guild uses for it's logo because the instructions for our chatelaine have been photocopied to the point that the templates are somewhat distorted. I made my chatelaine from those earlier instructions and had a devil of a time with it. In the end my block was too big and did not fit the I made a few changes ....set it on point and created this. Of course I had to "junk" it up with all sorts of embellishments.

The block is known as "Hands all Around" or the "Friendship" block which is fitting since our guild is The London Friendship Quilters. But for a fairly new or inexperienced quilter it is not a friendly block with all those Y seams. So I decided to include, in the new instructions, an alternate way of completing this block for the chatelaine. First I drafted the block adding the seam allowances for those who wish to stitch the seams in the traditional way and another set without seam allowances so it could be done using a fusible applique method.
I traced the pieces onto paper backed fusible web, cut and laid them out before pressing them to some light weight stabilizer. Then it was a simple matter of satin stitching (although this took almost as long as piecing would) but without un-sewing there was definitely less stress.

I realized as I was putting it together that I should have left a seam allowance for the outer edge, I will be correcting that.

Now I hate to waste anything and since I'll need a postcard for our exchange at guild this week I used this block, practiced a little mini-McTavishing, added some found objects and Voila! One postcard completed.

So I ask you........................Is this Cheating?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tests, a Doodle and Introducing Kitty!

Introducing Kitty..........Kitty, a hooded rat about 4 weeks old is my newest little rattie girl.

I have been working on an idea for a whole cloth quilt but am a little nervous about actually marking the fabric..........will the marks really all come out once the quilt is done? While at the Creative Festival in Toronto a couple of weeks back, I picked up some Clover eraser pens to test. One is strictly a tool to erase marks made by water soluble pens the other is double ended, with one end having the ink for marking and the other, the eraser. I like the idea of not having to submerge the entire quilt in water so I do hope these work. I plan to stitch this piece and leave it sit for a few days before removing the marks. I'll post the results next week.
Normally I thread baste by hand but I have been trying some of the neat little things that my new Janome can do, this piece was basted by machine.....I LOVE it!

............and finally, my response to this week's word for the Creative Prompt Project, Spirit.
This is what I imagine my spirit guide might look like.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Did you notice something was a little different? I have made a few changes to my blog.........not necessarily better, just different.
Do you like to shop? Shop for clothes that is? Not me!.... so when I find something that fits relatively well and is reasonably priced I buy several, even if they are all the same colour. Of course, the folks at the bank, library, grocery store and the like probably wonder if I ever change my clothes (like Jerry's date on a Seinfeld episode)
Recently a bought a couple of these shirts and decided I would do something to make one different. Starting with an idea I have often seen done to sweatshirts, I began by selecting bits from my black and white stash that I simply cut into various sized rectangles to be stitched onto the shirt. I removed the stitching from the side and underarm seams so that the shirt could be laid flat for easier sewing. I stitched the pieces on leaving raw edges to fray and then restitched the seams putting the shirt back together.
As you can see, I did not put a whole lot on but you could totally get carried away with this sort of thing, maybe some applique, orphan miniature quilt blocks or perhaps using scraps of your favourite fabrics, along with some thread couching to hold it all in place. This could be a great way to rescue a favourite garment that you can no longer wear because of a stain or tear.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Post # 101..............Winners and a Doodle

Thanks to everyone who entered my 100th post/blog anniversary giveaway, I put all comments received during the past month into this draw. My son stopped by, so I asked him to pull 7 comments and numbered them as they came out of the glass pumpkin.

The winner of the painted fabric, dryer sheets, scissor doodle and 1st choice of a postcard is
K. Sperino of Finishing Lines.........her comment left on Oct 11th was picked first.
Congratulations, please send me your address and I'll get this out to you.

The following will each receive one of the postcards shown in the previous post. Here is the order they were selected and the date of the comment received.

Quilt Hollow, Oct. 13th
Quilter Kathy, Sept. 20th
Anne Huskey-Lockard, Oct. 4th
Clare Wassermann, Oct 7th
Brenda, Oct 20th
Sharon, Oct 6th

Please e-mail me with your addresses and let me know your 1st, 2nd & 3rd postcard choice. I'll do my best to make every one happy.

I have been so very fortunate and have won several prizes in the last little while. Recently I won a fabulous prize of Aurifil threads and they arrived this week, all the way from Italy........they are gorgeous!
and the just last week Esther Aliu offered a wonderful giveaway prize on her blog to 25 lucky winners. I was delighted to see my name on the list.
We each received her Workshop at Home: stenciling. I was able to download this 26 page workshop that is wonderfully laid out with great step by step instructions, photos and full size patterns to complete her Tulip Delight Stenciled table runner. I can hardly wait to get started!

My doodle this week?........well as usual, Jaye posted our new word prompt on Friday. Prompt # 38 is Glimmer.............. I was immediately reminded of the words to an old song......Glow little Glo-worm glimmer, glimmer.........shine little Glo-worm glimmer, glimmer.
Not really sure what a Glo-worm looks like but here is mine.
Copyright Jill Buckley