My Ode to Florida

 

Florida has been on my mind lately, as I am sure that it has been with everyone.

Connie is from Florida and sent me her quilt, called “Rowdy Library” quilt

this past spring.

It was completed and sent home to Florida but Connie didn’t see it until this

past week. With all the weather tantrums occurring, she was concerned, and so

was I, about the condition of it when she got home.

I know and understand how important people are and I constantly have

Florida in my prayers;  yet I was also thinking about this quilt. Wondering

if it had made it through the Hurricane as well.

Connie contacted me this past week and let me know that it was ok. A huge

sigh of relief on both of our parts. I also want to mention that Connie is

a nurse and has been out helping people who are needing help in

areas around her home. Thanks for being so kind and helpful Connie.

As you can see by Connie’s quilt, there is alot of detail in this quilt. And the

colors, fabrics and applique are outstanding. I so enjoyed just looking at this

quilt while I was working on it.

When I begin a quilt like this, I use a monofilament thread and SID around all

the applique shapes. Yes, it does take a long time but it is well worth the effort

in that it helps to hold everything down and nothing shifts, most of the time.

I also used 2 layers of batting:  Hobb’s wool batting on the top, next to the

quilt top and a 80/20 cotton batting under that. This combination gives

tons of loft and makes all the applique and quilting ‘puff” up even more.

There is some shifting sometimes, but most times, if you do stabilize the

quilt, it works out in the end.

After all the SID is done, then the fun begins. Even before I begin stitching,

I like to have a road map of what I am going to quilt  on the top. This

can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours, depending on what

type, size,and budget that I have. This is both fun and mind boggling sometimes.

When the design is done, I can begin the stitching. If I am unsure of an area, I

usually work on what I know I want to do. In this case. lots of straight lines and

swirls.

The back of the quilt. Here you can see the stitching more. I also used

cream Bottom LIne thread for the background fills, on both the front of

the quilt and on the backing as well. It helps using the same thread

color so you don’t have to worry so much about tension issues.

A thin thread such as Bottom LIne gives a lot of texture without the

thread build up.

I had a lot of fun adding texture to this quilt. As I mentioned

before, this is my Ode to Florida, after all that they have been

through. I also wanted to show this quilt all on its own, as you

have been getting bits and pieces along this quilt’s completion.

Now, you can enjoy the full show in one blog post.

More texture and sunlight.

I had alot of fun with this quilt. Thanks Connie for

your quilt and all the help you are giving to people at

home. We are  praying for you all.

 

 

I am still here…

My husband was on vacation and I decided that I would like to be on vacation

with him so I took 2 weeks off. Before I left for vacation, I had posted about

an elephant wallhanging that Mary had completed. Here are the before and

after photos.

Elephant before stitching\

This is what the elephant looks like when I get him. He looks like a blank canvas to me.

I really didn’t know what I was going to stitch onto this beautiful creature. So, I scanned the

Web and looked at what others had done. But I like to do my own thing and kept looking

for ideas.

Background

The background fabric is great and Mary just wanted me to stitch over all the ovals.

That was pretty easy and why fight the print on the fabric? So, this area was covered

but what about the rest of the elephant?

The trunk

I love libraries and off I went one evening, with no thought about elephants at all. When

I got there, I decided to pick up some books on elephants.  Maybe I could get some ideas

from pictures in the books. It was worth a try.

The tusk

After looking at several books, I decided that I would try to imitate all the wrinkles

on a real elephant but the lines would have to be simplified or I would be quilting

for the next several months.

Another tusk

I started with the ears and quilted in wiggly lines to replicate all the lines in the outer

perimeter of  the ears. Then I moved onto his tail, that was the easy part. Just make

it look like hair. Next I quilted his body beside the trunk; again simple lines to outline

the curves of his body.

The trunk was kept for last because I really didn’t know how I would tackle making  it

looked curved while being on a flat  2D surface. I had even gone the extra step of adding in

an additional layer of wool batting so that it would “puff” up like trapunto. I quilted in

all the lines with only the quilt top on the frame. Then I off loaded it and cut off all

the extra batting on the backing.

Right side of the elephant

Then I reloaded  the whole thing again, only this time with the batting and

the backing. Everything was working out fine until I got to the trunk. All the stitching  without a

stabilizer had caused the fabric to pucker up. I was not happy at all. Panic was beginning to set in

but I kept going.

Half of the reveal

I decided to stitch around the grey sections in the trunk and liked that but the unstitched

area was really “puffing” up and I knew I couldn’t stop there. So I tried stitching all the

way across the trunk, in a slightly curved line and then stopped to access the situation.

To my surprise, I actually liked the look of it and knew it would make the “puffy” areas

more flat. Ahhh! Now I could relax and finish the trunk.  The stresses of a  longarmer-ha!

The inside of the ears needed some stitching but I didn’t want to attract any more

attention to them so I merely outlined the piecing in monofilament thread.

The completed elephant

Lastly, I tried to imitate the lines on the legs and made them somewhat curvy. I

thought that more curvy lines on the tusks would clash with the lines on the

trunk so I stitched in long straight lines. It helps to emphasize how strong the

tusks are, in my mind anyways.

And that is the story of how I completed and lived through completing this

beautiful elephant for Mary. What is quite funny too is that I also picked up

a book by Anthony Lawrence called “The Elephant Whisperer.” It is a true

story of how he adopted an herd of elephants and managed to help

them forgive humans who hurt them. It is an easy read, check it out.

I also learned about his Conservation efforts in South Africa, his homeland

and of his conservation area called “Thula Thula.”  Visiting this place may

have to go on my bucket list now. Funny how quilting can lead to something

totally different. I had great fun learning about elephants and Thula Thula

through this quilt. Thanks Mary.

The backing

Mary loves Tula Pink and here is some of her fabric for the backing.

A close up of the backing fabric. It does a great job of hiding all the stops

and starts.

Mary also made this quilt. “La Pascallia” is the name of it. All of the piecing is

done by hand. It is definitely a work of love and art.

Here are some close ups of the fabrics Mary used and fussy cut to make each

circle unique.

The quilt was actually quite heavy when Mary brought it to me so Mary

had decided not to use batting in the middle. That was a really good choice

because it helped to lighten the weight of the finished quilted piece.

Flannel was used as the batting and it also helped to keep the

quilted piece from becoming too wavy. I think that the traditional

batting would have made the piece puffy in areas and that would

have detracted from the beauty of all that hand piecing.

Mary also wanted minimal quilting on the top  and I ended up

using a monofilament thread all of the quilt. It blends well with all

the colors of the top and you don’t have to keep changing threads

to match the colors on the top.

I stitched a small wiggly line all around each of the seams. This holds the

top together and doesn’t interfere with all the fussy cutting piecing either.

Great idea Mary!

More Tula Pink fabric

Mary also had some more Tula Pink fabric; again it helps to hide all the

stops and starts used in the quilting.

A close up of the background fabric.

Dara’s Quilt

Dara made this beauty for a special girl getting married. There is alot of time

put into this quilt in the way of machine embroidery.

Each block has either a moose or bear in the center that was machine embroidered.

You might think that this takes no time at all but it does. You have to center each block,

hoop it, add stabilizer and then keep an eye on the machine as it stitches it out.

The bear is pretty cool too. There certainly is ALOT of piecing on this quilt as well.

Good job Dara! Maple Leaves were the design of choice and a dark brown polyester

thread was used for the top and the backing.

The backing works great with the front too.

Jeanettte brought in this quilt. Again, alot of piecing. Because I don’t get

to piece much anymore, I am always amazed at how  patient quilters are

when putting together a quilt top.

Oak leaves were the design chosen and a light brown polyester thread

was  used for the top and the backing.

The border

This shows the piecing in the border area, I love it! Pieced borders add

so much more interest to the quilt top, in my opinion.

The backing was a light color and shows off the stitching perfectly.

Keep in mind what type and color of backing you want to use when

making a quilt. Do you want to hide all the stitching or do you want

it to be seen for the world to see? Mention that you your longarmer

and I am sure that they will help you with this.

Anne made this table runner for Canada’s 150th Birthday. She bought it

as a kit and it is gorgeous! The batiks are really striking.

I know that a Canadian designer  created this piece but can’t think of her

name. If you do know, just let me know and I will add it later. I stitched

around the central leaf with monofilament thread and then added

some clouds in the sky. It didn’t need much stitching as the

Canadian Geese and central design are beautiful.

 

Hope you enjoyed the show and don’t smile too much.

The kids might think that you are happy that they are back in

school-yipee!

Linking up to Needle and Thread Network, check it out.

 

 

Elephants…

Here are some of the quilts that I have finished for customers lately.

Mary’s 365 Quilt

Mary has been busy completing this 365 Quilt.  This quilt is not for the

faint of heart. Most of the blocks are 3″ square and the corners blocks are

6″ square. The Australian designer,  Kathryn Kerr, decided to complete one block a day

so it was ranked high on the commitment scale.

I had originally thought I wanted to participate but after 3 months, I ran out of

steam. I am very impressed that Mary completed hers; she always is up for a

challenge.

Black Inner Border

The weight of the quilt surprised me. It actually is quite heavy. Because there are

so many seams and blocks, I think it would have been a nightmare to do all the

Stitch in the Ditch. So, Mary decided on a simple panto called “Swirls ” and I used

a monofilament thread in the top and  grey polyester thread  in the backing.

This helps to hide the thread color and all you see is the lovely piecing and blocks.

Each block is different.

One of the corner blocks, I love the flowers. Mary also picked all of her

fabrics and colors for the quilt by herself; she did a great job.

I noticed that she has an elephant here. I am beginning to think that Mary loves

elephants. She also brought me a quilt that has a fractured elephant on it. You

will have to wait until next week to see that beauty.

Here is the backing. I love the swirls and the colors, so perfect for this quilt.

Another customer of mine, also called Mary, made this quilt to commemorate

Canada’s 150th Birthday. Because Mary is of American descent, she wanted to

include symbols from both Canada and the US.

She designed and pieced this wallhanging. Mary wanted me to add some

more motifs from both countries as well.

Most of the wallhanging already had printed pictures on it so I stitched

around all of those. Then I began looking and thinking about what to

add that represented Canada and the US. I finally came up with

The Parliament Buildings in Ottawa,  an RCMP Officer in full uniform,

a Totem Pole, a Salmon, a moose, an Eagle, and Tim Horton’s.

Overall, it was so much fun. I even became brave and drew most of the

designs free hand. Here is the backing. What a great idea Mary and well done!

“Rowdy Flat Library” is the name of this quilt by Susan Smith from

Australia. Connie sent it to me in the spring and I completed it by the end of June.

Here are some close ups of the quilting but there will be a whole post on this

one particular quilt later on. Connie is still away from home and won’t be able

to see this in person for several more weeks so I don’t want to take away

all of the surprise for her.

A close up of the corner block. What a great appliquer Connie is and the

fabrics she chose are so much fun and gorgeous!! Can’t wait until you see it

in person Connie.

And finally for this post, I am still working on my “Carrots” quilt. Orange is the

color I am in right now and here is a sample of what painting with orange looks like.

I didn’t have the right shades and tones so I painted some of my own.

I can’t wait until this one is finished and gets to the quilting stage.

Have a great week. Check out The Needle and Thread Network.

The Big Rubber Ducky

This past summer, The Big Rubber Ducky was on display in an effort

to create tourism within Ontario. Being a supportive Canadian, we went

to see it in Midland,Ontario.

The Big Rubber Ducky

It took 3 hours to inflate it to full size so it was pretty big. I am unsure of the

prize for this baby but it wasn’t cheap. I was thinking that maybe I could

create something for tourism next year. Maybe an inflatable quilt?

What do you think? Would you come to see it?

150th Quilt

Because this year is Canada’s 150th Birthday, I am seeing alot of Canadiana Quilts.

This one is no exception, very simple to create but it looks great.

Of course, Maple Leaves had to be quilted all over it. What a great quilt for the young

recipient. I can’t remember who made this quilt; I feel like I have been on a roller coaster

ride this summer  and am just barely hanging on.

Another Canadiana Quilt. I really like the panel with the RCMP officer in the middle.

Again, Maple Leaves were quilted all over it. A light polyester cream thread was used

for the top and the backing.

A close up of the young officer.

Sandy’s Quilt

Sandy made this quilt as an experiment. She was  trying  a new

technique and branching out on her own. Good for you Sandy!

It is scary to do your own thing but oh so fulfilling. I encourage you to try

it sometime. You may surprise yourself.

A few close ups of the fabrics in the quilt. Sandy said that she was trying to

capture the mood and colors of a summer’s day in the woods.

The backing

Here is what the backing looked like. I used a light blue polyester thread for the

top and the backing.

“Flirtatious” is the name of the overall design on the quilt.

$10 Quilt/Mystery Quilt

This quilt was either a $10 Quilt at a local Quilt Shop, Country Concessions, or

it was a Mystery Quilt. Remember how I told you earlier it has been a busy

summer? Seems like the memory is the first to go.

Here are a few blocks in the quilt. I really like the one in the bottom picture.

A light cream polyester thread was used for the top and the backing.

And “Happy Times” was the design chosen for the quilting.

And who can forget to show the back? We quilters love to see the front and the back.

A really nice variegated blue backing. Co-ordinates perfectly with the front.

And last but not least, here is Connie’s Quilt. I managed to complete it

before the kids got out of school. And it is now home in Florida.

I promise to have the name of the quilt and the designer for you, for

next week.

Have a great week and check out the Canadian site called

The Thread and Needle Network.

 

Staying cool?

I am not sure about you but here in Central Ontario, it has been hot lately.

We are all trying to stay cool; having a pool certainly does help.

Here is what I have been up to in the past several weeks.

Kaye’s Baby Quilt

Kaye brought me this adorable baby quilt. It has minky on the back and the

top is similar to minky, in texture and touch but not as thick.

My  only concern was that the backing would stretch on the frame and when

it comes off, it is not flat at all. So,  if you are working with minky, make sure

there is alot of backing fabric and load the length of the backing along the

length of the frame.

This ensures that the stretch runs along the length of the frame and it

won’t stretch as much.

Ask me how I know this? I ruined one baby quilt this way so I have

learned from that experience. And yes, it was my own baby quilt, thank

God. I would have been very upset if it belonged to a customer of mine.

Charity Quilt

Evelyn pieced this baby quilt and I quilted it.  It is really cute and the fabric

is lovely. If I remember correctly, this is for an upcoming new baby.

 

A close up.

Evelyn wanted some  daisies all over the top and we used a light purple

polyester thread for the top and the backing.

Evelyn’s 2nd Baby Quilt

Evelyn also made this baby quilt too. She was making sure that she had both of

the genders covered.   Daisies were stitched onto this top too.

I forget the thread color we used but it matched the top, for sure.

The backing is cute and cuddly.

I really like the color of the backing.

Hope you enjoy your week. I am linking up with

The Needle and Thread Network.

A Few More Pictures…

As promised, these are the last of the Canadian Quilt Show.

Wholecloth Quilt

This wholecloth quilt was very big and interesting. It depicts a young girl riding

her horse. It ribboned as well.

I loved this squirrel pattern that was hanging in a vendor’s booth. The blue color

is what draws me in.

Trend TEx Challenge

There were alot of exhibits at the Show. The Trend Tex Challenge uses 5 fabrics and

the theme was “A Canadian Memory.” In Nfld,  “mummering” used to be a local

tradition but it has died out. Basically, people dress up and go to their friends’ houses

and  act silly while the neighbours try to guess who it is dressed up. There is also

alot of liquor involved so you can see why it was both entertaining and amusing.

Guess who?

Whoever came up with this one, was thinking.  We can’t forget how much

Canadians love their coffee and donuts.

Northcott’s Quilts of Valor Challenge

The Quilts of Valor Display was interesting as well; there were lots of different

quilts to choose from.

RCMP Quilt

How can you resist a red uniform?  And the red toque is adorable.

Centennial Quilt

It was nice to see quilts that were made for Canada’s 100th Birthday. Very

different from today.

Close Up

A close up of one of the blocks in the quilt above.

Embroidered Quilt

A close up of all the work in this quilt.

Modern Quilts

Modern quilts were also being displayed.

‘Sticks”

I really like this quilt. It is so simple but the color is effective.

The Fibre Art Network was also holding their own display. This piece caught

my eye.

Curvy Quilt

I also like this pattern. The quilt was made by using Sew Kind of  Wonderful’s

arc ruler.

Close Up

The quilting is terrific on this quilt. Love all the straight lines and pebbles.

Paints and stitching were used to create this watercolor effect. I think

I will have to try this technique  in the future.

Skiing

Another piece which I totally fell in love with. It looks like a picture, it is that

good.

Who can forget to get the kids involved?  They had their own display too.

Canadian Leaf

What a great idea to use a Canadian symbol celebrating the 150 th Birthday and

turn it into a quilt.

“Trees”

I like these trees as well.

“Taking a Walk”

It amazes me how someone can turn an ordinary experience (ie. going for

a walk) into such a great art quilt.

The details

This  quilt looks like a picture. The creator did a great job!!

Hope you liked the Quilt Show and have a great week.

Check out The Needle and Thread Network.

Canadian Quilt Show-Part 2

As promised, here are more pictures of the Canadian Quilt Show, that

occurred several weeks ago. Once again, you may need a beverage

to keep you company.

Elizabeth Dillinger created this piece and won an award for

her Zentangles. She is located out of Oshawa, I think. A very

colorful piece that is all stitched with thread.

Kerry Burke’s Quilt

Kerry Burke created this piece and Rose Bell quilted it for her. Both are

very talented and it won 1st place in the Hand Applique Category. Congrats

to both of you.

I am not sure who made this  piece but it is interesting and thought

provoking.

The Modern Quilt Movement is beginning to grow on me. I really
like the circles on this piece and the straight line quilting.

It is nice to see close ups of the piece so here are several for you.

Improvisational piecing adds another dimension to the piece too.

It was interesting at the Show because I ended up talking to a

stranger about design and composition. Even with modern

quilts, there needs to be both of these. What do you think?

I love this piece!! The colors, the details and the composition.

Here are several close ups as well. I can’t believe that the creator

actually zigzagged stitched around each piece. It does clean up the

piece but that would drive me crazy!!

Again, look at the colors. Gorgeous!

This white piece draws me in because I love straight lines. I guess

all those years of longarm quilting is catching up with me.

The calming lines also appeals to me here as well.

On to a more traditional quilt. I would guess that Judy Niemeyer

created this pattern. Theses quilts are very time intensive to create

but well worth the effort.

More modern pieces.

More circles.

Dorothy Fu

Dorothy Fu created this piece and it won an award too. Not quite sure for

what category but I am sure that Dorothy will be thrilled.

There is a Quilt Shop in Niagara Falls, called the Quilting Bee and the female

owner, Kelly Corfe, is a longarm quilter as well. She quilted this piece below and it

is interesting up close.

Kelly’s Quilt

Here you can see a tiger’s face in the fabric and Kelly quilted around it.

I think that this is either Tula Pink or Kaffe Fassett fabric in this quilt.

There were lots of modern pieces at the Show. It does make you

wonder how someone designs each piece or comes up with the

idea. I need  to have a picture to work from.

“Around Town”

It was quite interesting and fun to look at and examine.

This quilt below was quite stunning. Colette Dumont  made it, is from

Quebec.

An embroidered Quilt

This quilt won an award as well. I have no idea how she came up with the idea

and I heard that she quilted it on her domestic machine too. Wow!!

I wouldn’t want to try that.

There is alot of embroidery on this piece.

More close ups. The  pictures do not do it justice at all.

Corner blocks

Again, all the colors are embroidered. And there are a ton of crystals on it too.

Elephant Quilt

I love the purple elephant quilt.  Alot of pieces in this pattern.

Another traditional quilt.

The back of this quilt is interesting too and shows off all the work on the front.

Best of Show Quilt

Colette Dumont   also created this “Best of Show” Quilt. This one is smaller

than the other one but it is just as impressive.

Look at all the detail.

Once again, all the color is created from embroidery. She did a fantastic

job!!

The center of the quilt and the back of the quilt.

I also like this piece below. It looks Middle Eastern in the look and

feel. I don’t think that it won any awards, which is too bad because

there is alot of work and detail in this piece.

A close up of the piece.

This piece below also won an award. It is kind of a mix

between a hummingbird and a butterfly. It is an

interesting piece for sure.

Hope you enjoyed the Show and I think I have more pictures

for one more week. Have a great week.