Thursday, January 22, 2015

quilts and music...


Was perusing iTunes and saw the beautiful cover art for the new Decemberists album. It made me wonder what other musicians have a quilt in their cover art. A quick search came up with a Boston-based band actually called Quilt. Lots of people collect vintage and antique photos with patchwork in them. Are there any vinyl junkies out there who can think of other LPs with quilt images in them? Enquiring mind(s) would like to know...


Thursday, January 15, 2015

actual sewing...



Decided to get back into the swing of things  by sewing the scraps from my neutrals storage bin. I wish I had a before picture because loose the strips really looked quite colorless but it is amazing how much color slipped in. Anyway, the plan is to use a fair whack of the following:


Plus some accents of these including a Pantone's Marsala-like solid:


To make a striped star quilt. At this stage I can't decide on six or eight points. One of the goals for
this year is to challenge myself to use palettes that make me a little uncomfortable and try using hues that initially I am not fond of. We'll see if this strategy makes that burgundy a winner...


Monday, January 5, 2015

hello 2015's pantone masala...


Pantone's color for 2015 is Masala which on the Kona chart most resembles Wine with a little Brick and Sienna thrown in. It reminds me of a darker version of a popular dusky rose red from the late 80's. Think I prefer it as a dark accent like in the quilts below and in the vintage hooked rug above which would look amazing as a log cabin quilt. Masala does look great in larger swathes in genuinely antique quilts and there are some very tempting reproduction fabrics out there. As for 2015, this year my goal is plainly just to sew. 2014 was a disaster on the making front. Here's hoping most of all that my family is healthier, my computer and sewing machine also cooperate and that I can carve out way more personal time. Would also like to catch up on months of blog posts as I feel very out of touch and am dying to see what you've all been up to... Happy New Year!

Wine:
Brick:
Sienna:

Reproduction fabrics:


More quilts with Masala as an accent:




Thursday, December 25, 2014

merry christmas...


Technology has not been my friend the last few weeks and I've missed sharing some great "quilty goings on" in particular the release of Sujata Shah's beautiful new book!

Because of its colouring and star motif, this gorgeous quilt seemed an appropriate one to show today. This beauty is from The Quilt Complex and was made by African American quilter Artemeasie Brandon from Port Gibson, Mississippi. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!



Thursday, November 27, 2014

happy thanksgiving usa...


I wanted to post a great modern Thanksgiving quilt, or an antique turkey red one, even fabrics from Turkey but settled on a shot of this vintage toile. To all our friends and family in the USA, quilters and non-alike- Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

blogathon canada 2014...


Well it is time for the third annual Blogathon Canada hosted by Sew Sisters Quilt Shop. Check out these blogs. There are daily giveaways at both the hosts' sites and the store's one- as well as links to other quilters in each province. I've also included a map to help navigate this beautiful country if you are unfamiliar with it. Enjoy!

The Hosts:
Monday, November 17    BC    Stacey    Stacey in Stitches
Monday, November 17    BC    Jessica    Momiji Studio
Tuesday, November 18    Maritimes    Linda    Scrapmaster
Tuesday, November 18    Maritimes    Linda    Stitch Lines
Wednesday, November 19    AB    Kelsey    Every Day Fray
Wednesday, November 19    AB    Leanne    She Can Quilt
Thursday, November 20    SK    Heather   Peace.Love.Quilt
Thursday, November 20    MB    Lori    Night Owl Quilting
Friday, November 21    QC    Josée    The Charming Needle
Friday, November 21    Territories    Janet    Caribou Crossing Chronicles
Saturday, November 22    ON    Lorna     Sew Fresh Quilts
Saturday, November 22    ON    Sandy    Upstairs Hobby Room






Friday, November 7, 2014

2001 patchwork blocks...



So many good books have arrived in the mail this fall and I'm hopelessly behind writing about them. This superb Quiltmania release is "2001 Nouveaux Blocs de Patchwork" by acclaimed Japanese quilter Chuck Nohara. While the title is in French the book includes an English translation.

Chuck Nohara set out to design 2001 original quilt blocks. The book is divided into themes such as creatures, furniture, vehicles, seasons, flowers, wreaths, hearts, ribbons, baskets, houses, log cabins, complex 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 patch blocks, hexagons, stars, curved blocks and double wedding rings. It is made up of a combination of colour photos and very precise black and white drawings. The breadth of the book is extraordinary and is a wonderful reference to design your own blocks, resize and rescale CH's blocks as they are or just admire the interesting way the fabrics are combined.


The book also contains a centerfold shot of a sampler quilt made using over 700 of these new blocks in Japanese fabrics for the Tokyo International Quilt Festival.  The reverse of this beautiful quilt is in red and white. If you are interested, "2001 Nouveaux Blocs de Patchwork" can be found here. Scroll down and click on the cover to see a detailed preview of the contents. There is also a Flickr group with some beautiful images devoted to Chuck Nohara inspired patchwork... Have a great weekend!




Friday, October 31, 2014

happy halloween...


Happy Halloween everyone! I'm not sure why there are not more orange and black quilts perhaps because the colour combination is so closely tied to a specific holiday. This striking quilt is from the 20's or 30's and can be found on Ebay. Love this Lone Star...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Miniature quilt and pumpkin madness...



Quite by accident, we went to a miniature show. Truly, you can find a quilt anywhere. The one above is a scant 6 x & 7 inches. Other recent fall events have included weird and wonderful things to do with pumpkins...




Wednesday, October 8, 2014

tenugui and furoshiki...


One of the few downsides of the internet is a degree of sameness when it comes to fabric. All the collections are available everywhere all the time. In the solely bricks and mortar era of retail, going to a fabric shop always had a degree of mystery because what you found was so dependent on the owner's personal taste, interests and even geography. In the pursuit of different material, thrift shopping for men's shirts and unusual prints can be rewarding but this has also become more difficult as everybody else seems to be doing the same...

So over time, I've been collecting Japanese tenugui and furoshiki which are cotton hand towels and wrapping cloths to make things with. They are generally about 15" by 36" and 16" by 16" respectively and are printed with the most interesting patterns. The weave of the tenugui is a little looser than quilting fabric somewhat like a bandana. On the lighter colored ones you can spray baste some white voile with temporary adhesive on the back to give the fabric a bit more body while sewing. When my brother lived in Japan, these fabrics were free;) but now excluding the incredibly fast and inexpensive shipping, they generally start at around $3 and up each on Ebay. A quick search comes up with these and these beautiful cloths...


My most recent favourite is this sushi towel. If I was ever reincarnated as an animal I would love to be a seal. There are few better things I can think of than living on a diet of raw fish:). Now your turn, what other sources of cool textiles are out there? Where do you find your fabric? Please tell...


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

zippers...





I saw these great zippers at Willow Lane Quilting. The owner Priscilla Knoble was recently featured on "The Quilt Show" speaking about Japanese quilting. They are excellent quality and I could not resist the pulls which are tiny sewing machines, irons and scissors. Mine are going in a version of this great jacket...



but they would work well in any quilted bag or pouch...


Friday, September 19, 2014

unconventional & unexpected...



True confessions, this book was pre-ordered as soon as I heard about its publication and I was predisposed to love it. Happily, it does not disappoint and my nose has been buried between the covers since it arrived last week. Roderick Kiracofe's previous and wonderful work explored the evolution of American quilts up to 1950. "Unconventional & Unexpected: American Quilts Below the Radar" explores quilts made after this time and more specifically utility quilts. These are my favourite kind of quilts: the ones I obsess over on Pinterest and Ebay. To see them treated in an academic way so beautifully as modern works of art makes my heart sing. 

The book is gorgeous with lots of images and essays from renowned textile personages. Am still at the child-like stage of looking at the pictures and trying to pick my favorite one which changes daily. These quilts are the most colorful, joyful and soulful expressions of their creators' spirit. Made of polyesters, wools and corduroys as well as cottons they are the embodiment of recycled materials. They were made for warmth and they were made to be used. Stylistically, these patchworks intersect traditional quilts and purely improvisational ones. They are abstract in pattern and yet have form.

I love this book and can't recommend it enough. My only regret is that I wish Kiracofe had written it decades ago so that these quilts were valued as I suspect the most beautiful of their kind have been worn to bits, abused and discarded... 


 Camera cord where art thou? These quilts deserve more than my phone.


Prairie points...


And yo-yos...


Now I know all my favorite bloggers are writing about this book. Have studiously not looked at their posts and am now off to read what more intelligent insights they have about it :)  

Friday, September 12, 2014

let there be light...


Well we are back from some ferry hopping and beach time with cell phones turned off. In the modern age it feels subversive to go off the grid. A bit caught up in the film festival but am feeling refreshed and looking forward to lots of sewing. As written in a previous post, I love the Juki in every way but one. It could do with more lighting. At a hardware store, I found this LED product pictured above.

It is quite thin, can use rechargeable batteries and the adhesive hook and loop strip is repositionable. Here are the before and after shots unfortunately taken with my phone...



Now the LED is just over half an inch thick so it may get in the way when quilting but for piecing it really lights up the bed without any heat or an electrical cord getting in the way. I bought two lights as I think my serger could use one...

Also on a final and exciting note, the much anticipated this and the sure to be interesting that arrived in the mail so book reviews to follow. As well, there is the most beautiful (and sadly only borrowed) antique quilt given to my friend by her client that you all must see...

random holiday shots for my Mum:)