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.

 

 

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.

Summer is coming…

Summer is coming and I am trying so hard to get all caught up with

customers’ quilts. Currently, I have a quilt on the frame  that usually

resides in Florida but is home here for the time being. I promise to

put some photos up next week.

Helena’s Quilt

Helena commissioned me to make this quilt for her. She picked out all the

colors and fabrics so it made my job somewhat easier. I did all the piecing,

quilting, and binding for her. The pattern is one that I designed several years ago.

Helena chose  the “Flirtatious” design and I used a cream Omni polyester thread

for the top and the backing. The backing was a dark brown fabric, similar to the color

of the brown in the border area. It was completed last week.

Cathy’s Quilt

Cathy made this adorable quilt for a special someone in Nova Scotia. I would love

to be there when he gets it. The whole time I was quilting it, I was smiling.

It is so colorful and so much fun to work on and look at.

The quilt  has alot of Dr. Suess fabrics in  it, so how can it not  be fun?

The backing is made of minky. I love this fabric but also hate it.

You have to be so careful when putting it on the frame to be quilted

because there is so much stretch in one direction.

Minky backing

I think I scared Cathy when I explained this to her but I checked several times

when I put it on the frame. I wanted to make sure that the stretch went the length

of the frame and not the other way around. And I also made sure not to wind the

frame and quilt too tight so that the minky would not suck in once it was off the

frame. Ask me how I know that? Yes, I did a baby quilt once with minky and had

to throw it out due to all the puckering when it came off the frame.

So, my word of caution to you is, buy extra of the minky just to ensure that you

have lots of wiggle room.

As promised, I did complete my abstract piece and here it is. Several months

ago, I took an online course with Katie Pasquini Masopust. I love the fact

that you just painted and played and then picked out an area on your

canvas that you liked. This area is then enlarged and you make templates

from the painting.

This was one of the hardest pieces I have ever made; trying to figure out values

of color threw me into panic mode but I kept at it until I was satisfied. Overall,

I am pretty pleased with it but would change some of the steps in the process,

just for future reference.

Here is the backing. I chose a black polyester fabric so I could see all the

colors of threads. And to be quite honest, I think I love the back

better than I do the front. I will have to think about which side the

facing will be attached to.

The entire backing. What do you think?  Add the facing to the

white front or the black backing?

Now, that this abstract piece is completed, I am starting another

larger piece depicting carrots, using Susan Carlson’s fabric

collage technique. I don’t know why I love this picture of carrots

so much, maybe the color? Angela Liddon gave me permission

to make a quilt of this picture that she took of carrots.

Yes, I am crazy but the color bug has

bitten and I can’t help myself. I am already pulling my hair

out in regards to what colors to use. I think that I have finally

settled upon using Joan Wolfrom’s Color Tool. And thus far,

I like what I have done. Here’s a sneak peek.

I really don’t like the brown fabric so it is going to be removed

shortly. Maybe I will be further along next week, so stay tuned.

Have a great week and check out some other Canadian

quilters at The Needle and Thread NEtwork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Baby Boom…

This is the second week of baby quilts;  I am beginning to think that there is a

baby boom out there, or at least in this area of Central Ontario.

Modern BAby Quilt

One of my husband’s co-workers just had a baby boy.  And my husband wanted

a quilt for the baby. So, I picked this up at Lens Mills and quilted it. Because this

was a rush job, I merely outlined the blocks.

Cute baby blocks

I thought the pattern was cute. The edging has no binding because I folded both

of the backing and top edges together and stitched it down.

The backing

I decided on a fun blue flannel print for the backing. The flannel will

help keep the baby warm and it is so soft.

I don’t know about you but I find making quilts for other people so hard,

especially when you don’t know them that well. Quilts and art are similar in

that peoples’ tastes are so different and unique.

Guild Comfort Quilt

Our Guild, Kempenfelt Guild, usually makes alot of comfort quilts for the

local hospital. Here are 2 that I have been hanging onto for the past 7 months.

Time to get them done and out the door.

Brenda bought all the fabric and pieced these  2 following Comfort quilts together.

It never  ceases to impress me how generous quilters are with their time and money.

Thanks Brenda!

The backing\

The backing of the first Comfort Quilt. Here is Brenda’s second Comfort quilt.

Comfort Quilt #2

This one is really cute and what a great idea to give non quilters such

a homemade and unique gift.

For both quilts, I stitched a fun panto called “Popcorn” onto the quilts. I also

used a matching polyester thread for the top.

Jeanette is on a mission to make all of her grandkids a quilt. She is almost there

too. The middle of this quilt is a panel and she added the 9 Patch and Monkey Wrench

blocks to make the panel into a quilt and fit onto the  twin bed size.

Jeanette’s Quilt

What a great idea! Did I mention how smart quilters are as well?

The backing is really a darker color but my camera and monitor are having issues with

one another. Jeanette chose a simple swirl design to represent the motion of a truck

moving. A grey polyester thread was used for the top and backing too.

Anne’s Quilt

Anne is also making quilts for her grandkids. I didn’t know there was “Anne Of

Green Gables” fabric out there but there is. One of Anne’s grandkids is reading

the “Anne Of Green Gables” series and so, she made her a quilt to go along with it.

I am sure that her grand daughter will cherish this quilt for a long time.

Flowers were stitched onto the quilt; if you look at the light pink fabric, you can

see the flowers.

The backing is also fun and suits the quilt perfectly. A light So Fine blue thread

was used for the top and the backing.

Anne’s 2nd quilt

Anne also made this fun quilt for her grandson. She said that she had alot of fun

putting this one together and it went together fast due to all the big sizes of the

blocks.Her grandson loves soccer and so the fabric is spot on.

The backing

And the backing is perfect as well. Well done Anne! I am sure your grandson will

love this quilt. Again, a simple swirl was chosen to mimic the rolls of the soccer ball.

Lori made this lovely quilt for someone special too. She was quite creative in that

she designed the outer  border area. What a great idea to use up leftovers from the

top and a great way to add interest  as well.

Lori’s Quilt

Here is a close up of the border area and the blocks in the quilt itself.

Lori chose a floral design and I quite like how it looks in the border area.

A white polyester thread was used for the top and the backing.

The backing.

Having such a dark backing can really create alot of tension issues if you choose

to use 2 different colored threads, especially a light for the top and a dark for the

backing. But we longarmers try our hardest to make it work.

I hope you enjoyed the eye candy, have a great week and check out

The Needle and Thread Network.

 

Moving On…

Last week was so exciting that the weekend was kind of a let down; I guess

routine and laundry has that effect on everyone.

Here are some of the quilts that have been completed lately. There are

alot of photos so you may want to grab a coffee or tea.

Arlene’s Quilt

This adorable baby quilt was created by Arlene. She is so precise with her hand

embroidery and her piecing.

And the colors she chooses are spot on as well. How can you not love this cute

baby boy quilt? Her new grandbaby is going to be spoiled for sure with this quilt.

The backing

The backing always shows off the texture beautifully, especially when it is a solid fabric.

I SID around all the blocks using a Bottom Line cream polyester thread for the top and

the backing.

Evelyn’s Quilt

Evelyn made this beautiful quilt. I love the colors, the pattern and the shapes. Evelyn

said “surprise me.” What a great thing to say to a longarmer. I tried to keep the stitching

simple due to the print on the fabric. I stitched straight lines in the ovals and loops

in the square white areas.

A light grey polyester thread was used for the top and the backing.  Because the pattern

felt modern to me, feathers were not an option.

The backing

Once again, the backing shows off the quilting beautifully. The stops and

starts are more noticeable due to the color of the backing and the thread but

Evelyn was ok with it so all is well in my world.

The swirls or loops add some fun to the quilt as well.

Evelyn’s Quilt

Evelyn has been busy lately, as you can see by this second quilt. It is so cute for

the summer with all the birds, birdhouses, flowers, butterflies and bees on the printed

fabric.

The backing

“Dancing Daisies” was the panto chosen for the quilt and a medium orange

polyester thread was used for the top and the backing.

Ruth made this quilt for her grandson. The colors are gorgeous. She wanted

straight line stitching around the whole thing. All the thread colors were matched

to all the fabric colors so it did take a bit more time to complete with all the

changing of the threads.

In the very centre of the quilt, there is a heart.  I thought that was very sweet.

The backing is great in helping to hide all the stops and starts that were

needed to complete the stitching design on the top.

Bonnie created this sampler quilt. The fabrics used in this top

are gorgeous.

Stippling was requested as the stitch of choice. I used a light

colored beige polyester thread for  the top and the backing.

The backing of the quilt. Isn’t it so cool how the quilting brings

the quilt to life? Kind of like cross stitching, all the outlining brings

the cross stitch to life as well.

Anna made this quilt for her grandson. I love all the wonky

square blocks and the colors too.

I really didn’t notice the 9 Patch blocks until it was on the frame; what

a great idea to combine 2 very different blocks and create such an unique

modern looking quilt.

Anna wanted squares all over the quilt so I became very brave

and stitched them in without a panto or pattern. It is alot of

fun quilting this way and I encourage you to try it as well.

I used an aqua colored polyester thread for the top and the backing.

Jeanette’s Quilt

Jeanette made this quilt for her grandson; she is as busy as a beaver

making quilts for all of her grandkids. What a great grandma.

The car is a panel that she bought and she added the 9 Patch block and the

Monkey Wrench or Churn Dash block to the top, bottom and sides to

make it bigger to fit on the bed. Great idea!!

“Swirls” were stitched onto the quilt so that it resembles all the movement

created by driving a car.

The backing is great for texture. I used a medium grey colored polyester

Omni thread for the top and the baking.

I hope you enjoyed the show and have a great week.

Check out the Needle and Thread Network as well.

 

 

We have baby chicks…

I am a proud grandma, kind of;  our neighbour gave us some fertilized eggs and

one of our chickens decided she wanted to be a mommy. So, now we have

2 baby chicks. They are so cute!

This is the first baby chick,you can tell by how wet she is that she has just

hatched.

This is the second baby chick; she is all dry and fluffy. It is amazing to see

how instinct tells these little ones what to do. As soon as they hatch from the

egg, they crawl under the mommy and within 1/2 hour, they are totally dry and

fluffy. We are having such a blast just watching them and their antics.

On to more baby stuff.

This is the last of  3 baby quilts that I am making for a fundraiser at my church.

I bought the panel at Fabricland; I am glad that they are done, and on time.

This is the backing fabric. It is silk and I have no idea where I picked this

up.  I also managed to finish another quilted panel for a friend.

This is a design by Al Cote and I just followed his pattern. You should

check him out; he is  a very talented Canadian Fibre Artist.

Quilted Wallhanging

In the green outer border, I quilted in arcs, after Cindy Needham‘s style. It dresses

it up somewhat. It took me 2 hours to quilt in this small section.

Green outer border

In the yellow outer border, I quilted in straight lines. The fabric is a print so

it won’t show any of the quilting anyways, so why spend alot of time in that

area. Even though it is a small area, it still takes time to do detailed quilting.

The outer yellow border

The backing of the quilted wallhanging. I was trying to use up some

fabric so thus the reason for the sunflowers on the back of this wallhanging.

Eleanor is slowly finishing up all of her large quilts before she moves to

another province.

We used “Blossoms” for the overall design and we used a light

brown polyester thread for the top and the backing.

You can really see the design in the triangle section.

The backing  is a brown color and blends well with the top.

Here is another quilt by Eleanor.

The fabrics in this quilt are alot of fun. “Fairy Wings” is the

name of the overall design used.  A light blue So Fine polyester

thread was used for the top and the backing.

Here you can see the design used.

How can you not love cats?

The backing is a deep blue.

The quilting design shows up nicely on the backing.

Have a great week and check out Needle and Thread Network.