Ever since I was able to read (or perhaps it started when I was a toddler, devouring picture books) I have had a strong attraction to public libraries. I think it’s the thrill of walking in and being surrounded by all those possibilities, let alone being given the chance to take some of them home!
The library system where I live is like an old, reliable friend. I can count on it to satisfy my curiosity about anything I care to dream up. Right now, I’m reading a novel, learning about owls and woodpeckers, listening to a Miles Davis CD and researching a trip to Scotland – all using materials borrowed from the library. And throughout my journey as a textile artist, I have relied heavily on the Toronto Library system’s impressive resources for textile artists and quilt makers.
Imagine my delight when I walked into one of the library branches in my community and discovered a notice inviting artists to display their work! This would be a chance for two of my favourite pastimes to converge!
For the month of February, I’ve mounted a small, colourful exhibit of textile art on the second floor of Maria A. Shchuka library in Toronto (Eglinton Ave. W. near Dufferin St.). One wall is near the stairwell, and the other one is in the “Quiet Study Room”.
The drab, grey wall is much brighter now!
I have chosen pieces that I think will invite library patrons to look and linger, and called the show “Stories in Stitches”. I hope to spark emotional connections, and expose people to the possibilities of telling stories with fabric and stitching.
This is far less formal than a gallery exhibit, and I hope that my art will evoke interest from a broader audience than would normally come to a gallery exhibit or a quilt show.
Posted in art, handmade, library, Quilts, textile art | Tagged creative, handmade, library, quilt, quilter, textile art, Toronto | 1 Comment »
There are so many quilts that haven’t made it into this blog! I’ll post a few photos now to try and make up for some lost time.
I blogged about this one here. It was a wedding gift for one of my nephews, and title I gave it in the end is “heart and soul mates”. The way I arranged the HSTs (half-square triangles) symbolizes two people coming together and creating something new.
This one is called “Line and Texture”. The pattern can be found in a book titled “In Love with Squares and Rectangles” by Amy Walsh and Janine Burke. My colour palette was inspired by the Jinny Beyer fabric that I used for the binding. My mother had bought a tremendous amount of this discarded 2″ trim when she visited Suttles & Seawinds in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia years ago. It’s going to take me a long time to use it all up!
Here’s another wedding quilt (couch quilt size) that I made for a niece who is a jazz musician. I had only bought a fat quarter of the feature fabric – with her in mind – but I was able to create a modern quilt, using coordinating fabrics from my stash and focusing on lots of negative space. I got the idea for this quilt by googling modern quilt ideas. Here’s the page I found, and I just made up my own measurements based on the optimum block size for the “jazz cats” imagery (actually called “Cool Cats” by Amy Boyajian/Lilla Rogers Studio for P & B Textiles).
My Marvellous Mythical Moth was started in a workshop with the talented Susan Carlson. I love her fabric collage technique! It is a small piece (20.5″ w x 16″ h) that was a lot of fun to put together.
Posted in art, colour, creative, inspiration, nature, pattern, quilter, Quilts, textile art, wall hanging | Tagged craft, creative, design, fabric scraps, modern quilt, quilting, scraps | 1 Comment »
I’m posting this image for WIP Wednesday! It’s a small piece (20″ x 30″) that I am calling “Fifty Shades of Purple”. The 5.5″ block is string-pieced from scraps. Inspiration and instructions came from a book borrowed from the public library: “A Modern Twist” by Natalie Barnes.
50 Shades of Purple
I am on a perpetual mission, as I am sure many quilters are, to use up fabric scraps. Unfortunately, this project barely made a dent in my scrap stash. But a girl can try, right?
As I was putting this together, I realized that I may finally be overcoming my obsession with the colour purple. The modern or contemporary quilt aesthetic has infiltrated my consciousness, and there are so many fresh colours to play with. Just wait till you see the next piece I am working on – no purple at all!
Posted in colour, design, handmade, purple, quilter, Quilts, textile art, WIP, work in progress | Tagged colour, creating, fabric, handmade, quilt, scraps | Leave a Comment »
Ever since June, when I learned about the 2017 Challenge for next summer’s Quilts at the Creek, I’ve been pondering what to make. The theme for the show is Canada’s 150th birthday, and Northcott has generously donated a whack of red and white fabric to get things started off.
There’s no question – I want to create a special quilt, but making a decision on the design approach is holding me back!
My head is swimming with ideas! How will I be able to settle on just one … the right one? It has to be a design that I will a) enjoy working on for many months, b) allow me to use coordinating fabrics from my stash, and c) be symbolic in its own way to represent my Canadian experience (having lived in Canada all my life).
Shall I go modern or traditional? Or somewhere in between?
Lots of ideas here:
And of course on Pinterest (e.g., https://www.pinterest.com/cjshanny/red-and-white-quilts/).
And check out the winning sesquicentennial logo design. Could be adapted to quilt piecing, don’t you think?
Stay tuned …
Posted in design, sesquicentennial | Tagged Canada, challenge, colour, creating, creative, fabric, quilt, quilt blocks, quilting, sesquicentennial | Leave a Comment »
The original photo
I wanted to make something special for my son and his wife as a wedding present, even though knew I wouldn’t actually get it done in time for the wedding. Since they already had a bed quilt made by me, I set my sights on a wall hanging.
Now this was going to be a surprise, so I had to be a little sneaky! Knowing how much they had enjoyed their trip to Greece the year before, I set out to find a photo from that trip that might be appropriate to interpret in fabric. That’s where some stealth was required. I couldn’t ask my son for a photo without explaining why I wanted it, so I snooped on his Facebook page and chose a photo that was fairly representative of their trip, and that might “translate” well.
I downloaded the image and had paper copies made (enlarged to 11 x 17) – one in colour and one in black & white. The colour copy was used as a guide to select fabrics, and the black & white one helped me sketch the outline onto the base fabric (unbleached cotton).
It’s so much fun hunting for just the right fabric scraps, and I am forever grateful to the quilter who first planted the idea in my brain that sorting my scraps by colour into clear plastic shoebox-size containers would significantly streamline the process.
Arches and Blue Sky
I had the perfect fat quarter of hand-dyed blue fabric for the sky on hand, from Dye-Version, and loads of scraps, from florals to plaids and everything in between, for the stonework. I used a collage technique, based loosely on what I have learned from Susan Carlson.
I took a bit of artistic licence with some areas of the piece, but I think it fairly interprets the original photo. I hope it evokes fond memories of their Greek adventure. It was made with love.
Posted in art, colour, creative, handmade, original design, quilter, Quilts, textile art, travel, wall hanging | Tagged fabric collage, fabric scraps, hand-dyed fabric, interpretation, original design, photograph, scraps, Susan Carlson, textile art, wall hanging | 5 Comments »
Coming up fast – the York Heritage Quilters Guid show and sale for two days only: Friday, Nov. 14 (10 – 6) and Saturday, Nov. 15 (10 – 5). A Celebration of Quilts only comes around every three years, so you will have to wait until 2017 if you miss this one! I can guarantee that it will be a dazzling display of all sorts of textile creativity.
The location is Toronto Botanical Garden (Edwards Gardens). In addition to the 200 quilts made by some talented people, there will be a marketplace featuring 16 vendors (fabrics, books, patterns, etc.), two café locations to grab some lunch, plus a boutique filled with unique one-of-a-kind handmade items just in time for the holiday gift-giving season. In addition, for a very reasonable price of $24, you can purchase a 12”x12” mini-quilt made by one of the Guild members.
See you there!
Posted in bed quilt, creative, handmade, quilter, Quilts, textile art | Tagged quilt show, quilter, Quilts, Toronto, Toronto Botanical Garden, York Heritage Quilters, York Heritage Quilters Guild | Leave a Comment »
The natural world has it all: colours, patterns, designs, shapes, repeats. I am convinced that even if something doesn’t enter your consciousness the moment you encounter it, your psyche still has a chance to tuck it away for later reference. I often use my camera (rather than my mind’s eye) to capture a pattern or colour combination that attracts my attention.
water currents – light and shadow patterns
subtle colour and pattern of tree bark
an intricate design on the underside of the butterfly’s wing
a spiral pattern in the centre of a sunflower
Posted in colour, creative, design, inspiration, nature, pattern | Leave a Comment »