March 15, 2013
Good and snowy early morning in Calgary,
Once again, I find myself in the need to apologize because I haven't blogged in a long time. I cannot believe that it's mid-March already! Where have the first two months of the year gone? But, just because I have not blogged, doesn't mean I haven't been doing any work. On the contrary, I have been quite productive, creating new pieces of work for samples for classes, or just because I like the technique. Here's the latest one in a new technique I started working with last year, and haven't so far shared with you. It is as yet unnamed, as you can see from the photo (which I took with my iPad yesterday morning around 5:20 a.m.! - hence the shadow on the bottom left-hand corner) there is still a needle in the work, as I need to finish the beading. You know how it is with beading, once you start ... it's difficult to know when to stop.
And here is a detail of the beading:
All that done with beads I already had at home. Didn't have to go out and buy any more! And they were all green! Go figure! :) These are still left over from a previous small project called "I see trees of green ... dragonflies too". I'll post a photo of it later so you can see it. By the time I stopped counting, I had over 9,000 beads on this small 18" x 18" piece. Needless to say, it weighs a few pounds.
The interesting thing about this technique, is that it starts with all white, off-white and neutral fabrics in cotton, linen, silk, viscose, etc. And some poly-cotton thrown in there for good measure. It is pieced, fully quilted using cotton thread, and then, before it is squared off and bound, it is placed in a dye bath. This one was Celadon with a bit of bright green and a teaspoonful or two of sage.
The different colors on the quilt are given by the different fabric contents and textures. It's a very interesting technique, as you never know exactly what the finished piece is going to look like.
Here is another one, called "Birds on a Wire". The first photo was taken before it was dyed, and the second one is after it was placed in a vat of Pomegranate dye:
This next one, is called "On the Rooftops of the City where I Live" and is my version of a wonkly Log Cabin block, dyed in a mix of Tangerine, Bright Orange and a bit of Golden Yellow.
I will have some news to share with you on this technique in the next few weeks, so stay tuned. In the meantime, I'm off to teach a fabric painting workshop.
Thanks for reading, Drop me a comment or two and keep quilting.
Merry Christmas to you all
December 24, 2012
From snowy and white Calgary! I just came back from the last of the supermarket runs in preparation for tonight. It's starting to snow outside, and it's very cold. The roads are very very icy and slippery, not a very good day for driving.
But ... it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! It actually looks lovely, and I'm feeling the excitement of the season. The gifts are all wrapped and waiting for Santa to place under the tree. I have Sabrina sleeping in the guest bedroom upstairs and Ale sleeping on the couch in the living room downstairs; he came home yesterday to cook for today, so the house smells wonderfully of what promises to be a great dinner: he's cooking duck. Sebastian will come mid-afternoon and join the festivities.
So as my kitchen has been taken over by the cooking monster - and there's a pile of pots waiting to be cleaned in the sink with a note that reads "Mom, I'll do the cleaning" - I took myself off to the supermarket where I sat at a small table in the restaurant to enjoy a steaming cup of americano and 3 lovely french macarons while reading my new book "Women, Work and the Art of Savoir Faire" written by Mireille Guiliano.
See? it is all about making new traditions and new memories and making our days work. Mine is going to be a great one today. I have all I could ever want: my children, good food, a nice bottle of wine, a fire in the fireplace, and the Christmas tree! And tomorrow, we'll open presents, have brunch, orange juice with champagne, coffee and great memories for the days to come.
May you find some time in the next few days to pursue your passions. I have some new projects to try, new books to read and quite a bit of new fabric to use.
So, from my home to yours, I wish you all the best this holiday season. May yours be filled with those you love and those who love you back.
Merry Christmas to you all.
From September - Random Draw
December 19, 2012
I am here again. I had promised on my last blog to randomely choose a winner from the comments left on my blog for one of my pear pieces. Unfortunately, once again, because my computer was dying, the comments never showed! but now ... I found them, so - because a promise is a promise - I wrote everybody's name in a piece of paper, put them in a bucket and drew one:
Congratulations! Patricia Van Laeke you are the winner! I can't access your email to let you know that you won, so I hope you think to check the blog again. If so, send me an email at
with a contact number and an address, so I can send you your art piece.
Stay tuned, more draws to come in the New Year, including some hand-dyed fabric and threads.
Once again, keep quilting. It's nice to be back.
OMG! Where have I been?
December 19, 2012
Nowhere, really. Well, here and there for a while, Houston and Vancouver teaching ... but other than that ... here really, working away. The problem is that my poor laptop was slowly and very painfully dying so it wouldn't allow me really to do much of anything other than read my email.
So on Saturday, I broke down, got really frustrated, and went to get myself a new computer. Now the frustration has to do with something else altogether, as I bought an iMac. My first Mac computer, and it's not as intuitively simple as everybody would like to make you believe. My son Sebastian came home that afternoon and helped me set it up and explained to me some basic stuff ... well, needless to say that as soon as he left and I tried to do it myself ... suffice it to say that I am prepared to sign for the Apple workshops and hopefully that'll help. In the meantime ...
I've been sewing up a storm for Christmas this year. When I got back from Vancouver, mid-November, I started getting really anxious because I didn't know what to give the children for Christmas this year. So, I purchased - of course, because it seems that it doesn't matter what decision you make, you never have exactly the right fabric or the right amount of it - and I cut, and sewed and sewed some more, pinned some, ironed quite a bit, wore out the rug from walking back and forth from the sewing machine to the ironing board, and got the stuff made. I don't think my children follow my blog, but just in case I won't talk about what I made or show photos until after Christmas. The truth is, I wrapped everything up in a hurry on Saturday because the boys were coming home in the afternoon ... and forgot to take photos. But, promise to do that after the presents are opened.
I also made some lovely fabric storage buckets for them to use as catch-alls. I got the tutorial from www.filminthefridge.com. Simple to make, and they look lovely. I know I'll have to make some more for me!
Well, I just wanted to let you know that I hadn't dropped off the face of the earth, but had been having technical difficulties. So, now that I am back with a new computer, I promise to be more dilligent and blog more often, now that hopefully the technology won't die on me half-way through my blog.
I wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Hope it's a good one. I'll blog again in the next few days with more news. In the meantime, I hope you find inspiration to keep quilting.
I'm off to buy a really really ugly footstool to cover! More on that later.
Update to Blog Tour - In Stitches 7
September 15, 2012
It's been soo busy lately ... but here's an updated list for the blog tour. Mine is still to come, so I hope to see you come and visit.
While you are at it, leave me a message, and I'll have a randon draw for one of my painted pear pieces. I will have the draw on Saturday, September 22nd. Make sure you leave a way for me to contact you.
The piece won't be exactly as the one shown, but close enough.
Thanks for visiting, and I hope to see you back next week.
In the meantime, enjoy the end of the summer days And keep quilting. Some new exciting work coming from me, so visit again soon.