Tuesday, 28 February 2017

SheBANG - cram it all into a single post! (ha!)

O Canada! 

My client requested veins in the leaves and a swirly maple leaf filler in the colourful blocks of this quilt - and the rest was up to me.

Half a plan is better than no plan, so I dove in!

Client Quilt - very Canadian!

First I ditched the white blocks, stitched down the applique, and then added stylized veins to harmonize with the stylized leaves.

. . . well, okay . . . that's not *exactly* how it happened . . .
I ripped out my first attempt at veins because (yup) I hated them. They were too organic, and I didn't think they worked very well in this situation.

After sketching several different options I came up with Plan B.
Much better!

Love the look of Plan B!

Next, I filled the white background using loopy lines, alternating their direction in each block. I like how they add movement and soften all the straight lines of the design without being too curvy.

Soft and curvy complements strong and straight.

Meanwhile, I'd been considering the filler design for the coloured blocks.

It would have been tricky to freehand maple leaves that *look* like maple leaves, so I decided to use a pantograph instead. That meant I had to turn the quilt. (I also had to modify the panto to fit the space, but it was worth the time it took!)

Starting with half a plan sometimes means an extra step (or two), but it always leads to a finish - and I think this worked out beautifully!

Swirly (and leafy) adds another complementary texture to the mix.

BEFORE quilting:

The flimsy

AFTER quilting:

The quilt!

What a FUN finish!

Also Fresh off the Frame

Client quilt - Fantasy Flame pantograph

Client quilt - Hearts in Bloom panto

And a couple more that will have to wait until their owner sees them first!

Other Artsy Adventures

Adventure ONE:

I spent a whole, delightful weekend in a lino cutting and printmaking workshop with Mary Parslow!

It was my first time using carving tools, so I had much to learn.
I'm happy to report I only suffered one accidental finger jab, and it didn't even bleed all that much!

First up, I carved lines of many thicknesses - willy nilly, with no plan in mind - to try and get used to the tool.

As it turns out, I'm quite happy with this carving - it reminds me of a tree root or a seed pod,
depending on how you look at it!

I also decided to make ghost prints alongside the original - definitely not a printmaking technique, but it made sense to my fabric loving brain!

Other people created masterpieces with their first attempts.
I like to think of my work as "expressive". Ha! ;-)

So then I decided to try a butterfly from one of my photos.
I still couldn't wrap my head around the positive/negative aspect of the lines, but I figured, what the heck. I'll dive in and try stuff! (It's how I roll!)

Gotta start somewhere!

Still not a masterpiece, but I learned A LOT from making it!

Mary suggested that I could fine tune the wings, but I'd decided not to bother investing more energy into this piece. I had learned, and was ready to move on.

Chine colle technique incorporates thin Chinese or Japanese paper into the print.

After day one, I came home and browsed my photos from last summer.

My brain had grasped the positive/negative concept and I was eager to find an image that could become a strong composition.

I landed on a photo I'd taken from the back of a horse and knew it would be perfect as a line drawing!

I get it now! I love this image.

We used baby wipes to clean our lino blocks, and wouldn't you know - - - I couldn't resist lifting a print to see if it would work (and it did!).

Experimental print on a baby wipe - why waste perfectly good ink, right???

Now I have a little stack of baby wipe prints, too - Oh, my happy, quilty heart!

Once we had mastered the printing aspect of the process (well, practiced it, anyway...), we "graduated" to coloured ink, and learned how to create ombre effects using a single colour (dark to light), or a whole rainbow!

I pulled baby wipe prints every time I cleaned my block - heh, heh!. :-)

A wooden jig hooked over the edge of the table offered a corner to prevent the lino block from slipping during printing (or carving, for that matter). Very handy.

Curvy carving - trying circles and line variations

I quite enjoyed the whole process, and am excited to apply what I've learned to my quilted art.

Adventure TWO:

Laina has decided to enter the CQA Youth Challenge again this year. She has a vision involving local landmarks, so we traipsed through the snow for an afternoon so she could take reference photos.

I can't share yet, so I'm not even sure why I brought that up. Oh, wait! It's to provide the link and encourage you (if you're Canadian) to mentor a youth and enter the challenge!

Information for Canadian Quilter's Association YOUTH CHALLENGE

Adventure THREE:

Again, I can't show much - but I've started the "slicing and dicing" part of a big project!

It doesn't look too exciting yet, but it will get better!!!

And, final share of the night (morning?): Two new books that I can't wait to get my nose into!

Try, Learn, & Grow!


  1. I really like how you quilted the maple leaf quilt. Even after all the years of quilting it still amazes me how different a top can look after quilting!

  2. Well you have certainly been busy and adventurous!! I'm not sure I would ever even want to play with the lino thing - my brain is hurting just thinking about trying to figure out the negative/positive, but your blocks and prints look fabulous and your designer baby wipes make me smile :-)
    I am very much looking forward to seeing what that pile of strips turns into, and the books both look wonderful!
    I keep going back to look at the photo captioned 'Chine colle...' ~ so, this is your print, using that technique? Or is it.....? hmmm.... Well - whatever it is, it's mesmerizing.
    happy adventuring ~ Tracy

  3. I love my Oh Canada quilt, thanks so much!! A whole plan? Where's the fun in that? I always look forward to seeing your added creativity. BTW, no full plan on the next one either!! ��

  4. Busy...busy...busy....but oh so much fun. Loving the printing blocks.

  5. Lovely quilting! The block printing looks like it was a fun challenge!

  6. Such beautiful quilting. I really like the contrast between straight and curvy.

  7. Your quilting truly transformed this already beautiful quilt! I remember print making in middle school art class!! It IS soooo fun!!


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