Saturday, May 30, 2009

What do you do with used dryer sheets?

Here is a great creative way to add to your stash by using something you'd normally throw away
Recently, I began saving my used dryer sheets and was waiting until I had a bit of time to experiment.
I mixed up some well diluted Seta Colour paints and just sloshed it onto some dryer sheets.
I also laid a few small objects and leaves on top of the wet paint, then left them to dry in the sun for a couple of hours
I had never actually tried sun printing before but it is exactly that easy.
Although, I do think next time I will dilute the paint a bit less in hopes of getting stronger colour and greater contrast with the void left by the objects.

Just look at the great colour and texture that is achieved. See what happens when you layer over yellow, over orange, over that wonderful green.

While the dryer sheet is wet with one colour why not add another and let it run and bleed to make a very interesting looking piece
...................imagine the possibilities!

Simply heat set with a hot dry iron and they are project ready.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Last evening I attended an artist's reception and Scottish Tea held at Cambridge's McDougall Cottage where awards were presented for this year's "Wee" Quilt Challenge Plaid-Vertising.
My entry Tartan Delight was awarded a ribbon! The judges were impressed that I had totally created my plaid and remarked that they found the black hand stitches to be very effective. If you look closely you will see that my ribbon is the Plaid Award.

Congratulations goes to Trish Johnson of Toronto, her entry, Down East, part of which you see as the catalog's cover art, won Best of Show!
Trish enters unique and beautiful pieces every year. So why not pass through the inviting doors of this remarkable stone cottage to enjoy the wee quilts on display until Labour day and cast a vote for your favourite.

Now I just could not resist showing off the 3rd place ribbon I received as a result of my entry for the 2009 block contest "Wash Day Blues"

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Gotta Love the quilt blogging community!

One of the things I love most about the quilt blogging community is that there are so many talented people out there who are so very willing to not only share ideas and techniques but also tell others about blogs they find interesting.
Last week I was contacted by Nadine Ruggles of DreamWeaver's Quilts who requested my permission to do a brief article about my blog and in particular my post "Reality Show". I wasted no time letting her know that I'd be very happy to be included on her site.
Nadine works fast, today the article appears on The Daily Stitch where each and everyday she covers useful topics, tips, tricks, techniques, products and so on. Why not grab your favouite beverage and spend some time on Nadine's site, I promise you will not be disappointed.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Wash Day Blues

This is my second year participating in a block contest at Joseph Schneider Haus. Each year a call goes out for blocks to be submitted. Once received, judges pick their favourite to be part of a quilt that is raffled to raise funds for various projects and charities.
This year's theme was "Wash Day Blues", the 12" block had to include 2 different shades of blue including one blue print that was provided.
My entry, titled "Swirling Down The Drain" used 18 different blues and is a simple top stitched, curve piecing technique.
I was not in attendance when winners were announced this past Saturday so I unfortunately do not have a picture of the entire quilt to share with you but I am happy to say that my block was awarded a third place ribbon.
Left is a copy of my original sketch, as you can see, I had intended to applique little soap bubbles but never did get around to doing that.

And here you see the early stage of the block's progression.
Beginning tomorrow and for the rest of the week there is an abundance of quilt shows and related activities in the Waterloo Region during the Quilt & Fibre Art Festival.

The highlight of the week is the New Hamburg Mennonite Relief Sale

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Kudos to Carol!

I have received many comments and e mails regarding my previous post about the article appearing in the summer issue of The Canadian Quilter. I just want to point out that the Congrats should really go to Carol V .... The Comic Book Lady as she is the one responsible for putting the article together. She did an amazing job. All I did was answer her questions and provide her with a few images. She did the rest. I hope she is as thrilled with the article as I am.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

CQA Article

Friend, fellow quilter, blogger and guild member, The Comic Book Lady approached me a few months ago with the idea to write an article about me and my quilts. When I asked why she would want to do such a thing? she said "oh just indulge me" and so one afternoon she came by my home to see my workspace and to interview me for the proposed article.

Once written, she submitted it to
The Canadian Quilters' Association with the hope that it would be published in the CQA newsletter, The Canadian Quilter.
The Summer 2009 issue arrived in the mail today and I have to admit I was pretty excited to see the article. The Editor and staff did a marvelous job with the layout and especially with the photos that had been sent, one of the first things I noticed is that they were able to remove all of the distracting background from the photo of Earthbound and it looks so much better.

So if someone wants to write an article about you one day, don't question......just indulge them! Thanks Carol!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Challenge piece revealed

Last fall, at the beginning of our guild year, we were issued a challenge by our guild President called O' Canada. We were to create a piece that said what Canada means to us and other than size the only stipulation was that it had to have a maple leaf somewhere on the front. As you may have noticed I am slightly odd and wondered if I could take the challenge literally by putting a real maple leaf on this quilt. I began by collecting and preserving leaves while I tried to think of how I was going to have it represent "my Canada"..............this is the result.

I began by painting fabric for the desired sky background (see the March 17th post)
On stabilizer, I drew a tree shape that I found pleasing, simply laid various fabric shapes on top and did just a bit of thread painting to represent the rough edges of bark & to help hold down the fabric's raw edge. I then combined my tree with a sheer fabric, stitched right sides together, left a small opening and turned the whole thing right side out. This gave a wonderful 3D effect. (not sure you can really see it in the photo)
The tree was stitched on by hand once the piece was fully machine quilted. The finishing touch was to hand stitch 15 thread painted leaves in place.

Look closely and you will see that 3 of the leaves are fabric on which you can read phrases such as Raking leaves, Shoveling snow, Warm summer nights, Spring planting & most importantly the word HOME. All of the others are actual leaves, some simply stitched under a layer of tulle while others have had multiple layers of thread stitching applied.

Here is what I did to the leaves.First I cut some fairly small bits of the same fabric I used for the
tree then scattered them over a leaf that was lying on a piece of
water soluble stabilizer, sandwiched it using another piece of stabilizer, set my stitch length to 0, dropped the feed dogs and then had a blast stitching all over.

Once I had as much or little thread as I wanted the leaf was then submerged in water and Voila.

I did try stitching a leaf with no fabric at all which works as well, however, you get a very delicate result and I wanted something with a little more body.

I just want to make a quick note about the thread that I used. As you might imagine some of these leaves consumed a great deal of thread which is yet another reason why I love the Coats Dual Duty threads. You get the same result as many of those expensive variegated threads on the market for a fraction of the cost. I pick them up at my local Fabricland store

I am quite interested to see just how these leaves will hold up over time.
Last Thursday, at our regular Guild meeting our oh so talented members revealed their challenge pieces. The works were fabulous and you will be able to see a slide show of them soon as they will be posted on the London Friendship Quilter's Blog.
I am delighted that my challenge piece titled, Reality Show was awarded 2nd place

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The real thing

Have you ever wondered if you can sew things other than know weird things? Last fall, at guild we were issued a challenge that will be the topic of my next post. Part of this challenge was to have a maple leaf somewhere on the quilt top.
In deciding what to do I began to wonder if I could sew with leaves so I gathered a few and preserved them in 2 ways. The first was the way we did in grade school........pressing them between sheets of wax paper, the second involved a water and glycerin mixture. Here is what I found, the wax paper process left the leaves somewhat brittle but did retain their colour quite nicely. With the other method, all of the colour changes to a dark reddish brown but left the leaves quite supple.
So the first photo is the wax paper pressed leaves layered under tulle and stitched. The bits you see "missing" are a result of me scratching at them with my fingernail to see how well they would stand up to abuse.
The second photo is a leaf preserved with the glycerin stitched in the same manner.
The last photo shows an actual leaf that has been thread painted. Yes that really is a leaf under all that thread. The beauty of this method is that you will have very naturally shaped leaves in all sizes.
I'll go into some detail about these with my next post when I will also be able to reveal my challenge piece.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Grand National opening reception

A reception was held this evening at Joseph Schneider haus in Kitchener, Ontario to celebrate The Grand National's transitional year with the opening of a wonderful show consisting of quilted Postcard greetings sent from across Canada. You can read more about the show in an previous post here, where you will also find a link to The Grand National quilt shows new and fabulous website.
If you have read the earlier post you know that the judges were to be selecting what was being called "the terrific twelve" to put into a souvenir booklet of postcards and tonight was the unveiling of those twelve.
I am so incredibly excited and honoured to tell you that not only were both of my cards part of that selection but that they are, in fact, the front and back cover. It is such a thrill for me to be part of this show and to have the opportunity to meet so many artists whose work I have admired for some time. There are more than 100 postcards to be seen and they are really quite amazing, you need to get up close and personal with them. I wanted to give you a sense of the show but not wanting to give anything away and I would not want to put up photos of others work without their permission so I'll just show you some of the neat things that was done with this display. A number of the cards were blown up to poster size and scattered amongst the 4 x 6 inch gems. There are cards dangling from the ceiling and spilling out of a mail box. It took several trips around the room for me to fully appreciate all of them.
I also wanted to note that Janome Canada is continuing to be a truly generous sponsor of GN and at the close of the show (end of August) the ballots will be counted with the "Viewer's Choice" winner receiving this Janome Memory Craft 6600 P sewing machine.
I think it is almost impossible to pick just one favourite. The organizing committee has done a fantastic job putting this show together and I want to say Thank you so very much to everyone involved.
The postcard booklets are available for sale at JSH. I hope that if you are in the area, you are able to take in this inspiring show.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Trying my hand at Trapunto

I have seen a great many wonderful quilts where trapunto has been used so very effectively. I thought that I'd like to try this technique so I did this little tester piece. I decided that while I was at it, I may as well try to do a colour, or "shadow"trapunto. I began by using coloured felt as my trapunto layer. I stitched the leaf outline using water soluble thread, then carefully cut away the excess felt, batted it up in the usual manner and then just did a simple all over stipple. Gave it a quick soak to remove the washable pen markings (I have never actually used one of these before) and was happy to see that the markings did indeed vanish.

I learned a few things along the way.

In the future, I may want something with just a bit more loft...the felt I used was just some cheap craft felt squares that I had on hand, one of the colours ran. As for the colour? well as you can see it does not really show up too well because the fabric I used for the "quilt top" was a tone on tone which is quite opaque, I really should have chosen a fabric that was a bit more translucent.

I'd definitely like to try this again using an intricate design.
Copyright Jill Buckley