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Archive for the ‘pattern’ Category

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.

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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.

img_3301This 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!

img_3663Here’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).

fullsizeoutput_44My 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.

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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

water currents – light and shadow patterns

pattern in tree bark

subtle colour and pattern of tree bark

an intricate design on the underside of the butterfly wing

an intricate design on the underside of the butterfly’s wing

circular pattern - a spiral in the centre of the flower

a spiral pattern in the centre of a sunflower

 

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Do you find it difficult to settle down to just one project? Even when I have launched myself into a project, I sometimes find it hard to make decisions. If you’ve ever delved into the world of half-square triangles, you might have an inkling of what I mean.

There are countless ways of arranging them! Check out this flickr group .

I rarely buy charm packs, but fell in love with the Simple Marks line by Malka Dubrowsky (for Moda) when I discovered it. Half-square triangles seemed to be the perfect way to use the 42 five-inch squares in the pack. In my stash, I found that I had a sizable piece of a neutral fabric (Countertop Texture –  Michael Miller Fabrics) that coordinated perfectly as the light half of the triangles.IMG_5083

Making the HSTs was easy, and playing with the infinite possibilities of the arrangements on my design wall was so much fun!

Instead of trying to decide which pattern was “the best” I finally ended up, after a few weeks of play, just deciding which appealed to my sense of having a little extra “oomph”. Then I settled down to sewing them together.IMG_8456

Here’s the WIP (work in progress). I am still contemplating whether to add a border (comments welcome!)

Over the same few months, I have also been distracted by this year’s guild challenge “Making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”. The entries aren’t due until May, but I would rather avoid entering “panic mode” so I spent some time figuring out a way of using all six of the required ugly fabrics in an original design, and it’s partially done.

Next I was lead astray by a casual conversation with a bunch of quilting friends, reminiscing about corking when we were kids. Corking, you say? It’s also known as spool knitting or French knitting. I had purchased a wooden corking “device” a while back at a craft fair, so I hauled it out and, after a brief consultation on the Internet on how to get started, I was off and running! It’s quite addictive.

Other distractions have included jaunts in local ravines and fields hunting for snowy owls (they’ve been sighted quite often this winter), a lengthy search for a new yoga studio (which was finally successful) and the black hole that is Pinterest. It sucks you in and the next thing you know, several hours have passed!

My conclusion is: distractions can be fun AND frustrating. They’re part of being human.

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colour combo inspiration

quilt colour combination inspires jewelry

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I can’t let January slip by without writing a post, so here goes! Back in November, I blogged about a show that I participated in, at Ellington’s Music & Cafe. My “Not too Close for Comfort” quilt was chosen as the image for the promotional poster, and guess what, I sold it! I definitely had mixed feelings when I had to surrender it to the buyer, but that’s the way it goes!

I promised I would reveal the Christmas gifts I was working on, and here they are. I made a reversible tote bag for the girlfriends of each of my two sons.

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Delia’s tote

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Delia’s tote – the other side

I love this pattern (Six Pack Stack Reversible Fat Quarter Tote) by Whistlepig Creek Productions. The instructions are easy to follow and it’s a nice size. The most difficult part is choosing coordinating fabrics!

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Amanda’s tote

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Amanda’s tote – reverse side

I spent a few days in Ottawa visiting the boys and my Aunt over Christmas. Check out this crazy mosaic owl image that I discovered embedded in the sidewalk on Parliament Hill!

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I This might make a great quilt motif

I have high hopes for this year – in all respects. I have been able to get out skating several times, and am still taking two yoga classes every week, as well as finding excuses to go walking and cycling. My goal is to get more active as I age, not less active!

As far as quilting goes, I am working on several projects at once, which I gather is rather typical of us fabric addicts! More on this in the next post!

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As quilters, we cannot help but be attracted to colour and pattern in textiles, can we? I gave up using kleenex years ago, using handkerchiefs instead for the runny nose that I get from allergies or just breathing cold air in the winter. I’ll relent and buy a box of kleenex if I get a cold, but for day-to-day needs, I rely on hankies.

Being a genuine tree-hugger and having my consciousness raised by both Greenpeace and Bridget Stutchbury, I cannot rationalize supporting forest destruction just to blow my nose.

vintage hankies given a new lease on life

My first set of hankies were plain organic cotton ones made in BC and sold at Grassroots, which back then was the only store in Toronto selling eco-friendly wares. But in the last couple of years, I’ve been keeping an eye out for vintage hankies at second-hand stores, and have acquired some beauties.

So cute!

I love it when my environmental, practical and artistic proclivities converge, and this is one of those instances.

Click on the image to see it full size.

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