Monday, December 28, 2009

Stitchin Fingers

I just joined Stitchin Fingers which is for everyone interested in all areas of fibre and textiles. This seems to be a very active group. I am having a bit of difficulty adding my picture to my profile page - more experimenting to do! I did add a picture of pisci fantasticus to the photo page and already had a couple of comments from one of the members of the group.

This site is definitely worth a look or two. The photo section is fabulous - such beautiful work.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Living on the eastern coast of North America, Christmas Day arrives here first. In fact, we have out own time zone which is ahead of the rest of the country by 30 minutes. The tradition here at my house is to open one gift just after midnight. I was delighted to receive the book, Fibreart Montage, by Judith Baker Montana. You can read a bit about the book on her site. I have several of her books which tend to be good references for hand stitching. Crazy stitching/quilting is one of her specialities. Go here for some free crazy quilting patterns.

My quilting friend sent this to me however she did not know who wrote it. If someone out there knows the source, I'd appreciate an email so I can give credit to the author.

A Quilter's Dream come true!

'Twas the night before Christmas,
And the quilts were not made.
The threads were all tangled, the cookies delayed.
The stocking weren't hung, the pantry was bare.
The poor weary Quilter, was tearing her hair.
Stacks of fat quarters, tipped over in streams.
Visions of Log Cabins, had turned into dreams.

When what to her wondering eyes should appear,
But a bus full of quilters with all of their gear.
They went straight to work with just a few mutters,
Sorting and stitching and brandishing cutters.
The patterns emerged from all of the clutter,
Like magic the fabrics arranged in a flutter.
Log Cabins, Lone Stars, Flying Geese & Bear Tracks
Each quilt was a beauty-even the backs.

Her house how it twinkled, her quilts how they glowed.
The cookies were baking, the stockings were sewed.
Their work was all done, so they folded their frames,
And packed up their needles, without giving their names.
They boarded the bus, and checked the next address.
More quilts to be made, another quilter in distress.

She heard one voice echo, as they drove out of sight,
Happy quilting to all and to all a good night!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Joan

Today is my sister's birthday. She was the receipent of a Pisci Fantasticus. For me, it is often difficult to know what to get that special person. However, I do know that people love receiving gifts you make yourself. Sometimes that gift may be something baked in your kitchen, stitched by hand or by sewing machine. I found a few things that might be suitable for a sister, mom, aunt, granny or friend.

Here is a nice reversible placemat or centerpiece mat for a dessert or candy. A clutch purse that's simple to make would be perfect for a special sister. Check out a travel shoe bag and cosmetic bag. For the person who sews (or for yourself), here is an armchair sewing organizer. For those who live far away, why not make a felt cake (yes, you read it correctly). I just had to include this one. Sorry Joan, you get a real chocolate cake when you get home on Monday!! A kimono needle roll looks interesting, also this water bottle tote. Tea anyone! Find out about the insulated tea cozy, oven mitt and table runner. There, these projects should get you motivated.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Christmas Tree

I finally finished decorating my living room Christmas Tree! Here's a picture of it. Three smaller ones to go. My tree skirt is a purchased panel that I put together years ago. My daughter has a crazy quilted one that I made her from scraps of clothes from when she was a young child.

I just did a quick search for more free stuff on the web related to Christmas trees.
Here's a short list:
Miniature Christmas Tree Quilt Pattern
Christmas Tree Quilt Block
More free Christmas quilted stuff
Traditional Tree Skirt
For the stitcher
Sew have some fun!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Freebies for Crafters

The weather outside is miserable! Just right for staying inside & playing with fabric. I came across Freebies for Crafters by chance, while looking around Sewing by the Sea. I had a quick look around both sites and figured they were worthwhile spots to explore.  I like to check out blogs and web sites that others find interesting enough to post.

If you have friends who like chocolate, see the molton chocolate mugs from Aikson Design (listed on the Freebies for Crafters site). I just might try this one!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Christmas Tea & Sale

I spent a pleasant afternoon at the Anna Templeton Center Christmas Tea & Sale. The cookie selection was marvelous but I wasn't tempted to have any. I wandered around the booths chatting to exhibitors and admiring the items for sale. As a member of  the Craft Council of NL, I know most of the exhibitors. I had a grand chat with Vicky Taylor-Hood of Sea Strands Studio. Visit Vicky's web site to see her wonderful textile creations. Vicky was sharing a space with her mother, Mary Hood. Mary designs and creates toys for children. She is well known for her Burnt Island Bears. 

If you are looking for quality hand knits of Newfoundland such as caps/hats, socks & mitts, contact Christine at christinelegrow@nl.rogers.com. Her company is called Spindrift. I was also talking to Erin of Northeastern Folk Art. She specializes in handmade Raku pottery & giftware. I have a couple of Erin's pieces and have sent some as gifts. The bronze colour is beautiful.

Steph Squires of Fire Dove Jewellery has beautiful wire & gemstone necklace and earrings. Two of my stitching buddies also make jewellery and were displaying on the second floor. They sell pendants, earrings, rings & small knitted beaded evening bags under the name Jocale. Jason Holly and Roslind Ford, also jewellery makers, shared a space on the main floor. Jason designs chain mail jewellery as well as clay pieces and Roslind creates miniature hand dyed woven thread pieces mounted on silver. Very unique pieces.

There were some very lovely stain glass ornaments from Stain Glass Reflections. Many of the pieces are one-of-a-kind. I think there will be a blog designed in the near future, featuring the glass pieces.

The last booth I visited was Riddle Fence, a journal of arts & crafts. Take a look at their site.

Thanks for visiting!

One of the things I enjoy about having this blog is looking at the cluster map part way down the screen. I check each day to see if another country has been added. Some of my friends might say (for fun - I hope) that she has nothing better to do! I wish I could say that. Thanks for visiting and I hope you continue to come back. Comments and suggestions are welcome too.

I just finished the last of the scarves before Christmas. This one is black, grey and silver on one side and black, blue and green on the reverse. I just love the colours so much I just might make that combination for myself.

I am going to visit the Anna Templeton Center this afternoon for their annual Christmas Tea and Sale. Should be an interesting visit.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pincushions

I just came across these pincushions which are decorative as well as practical. So start saving those plastic bottle caps as you will need them for this project! Check out some very colourful pincushions here. I may have to try out some of these. They would make nice gifts for stitchers. Bunches more to see! Just click on the pictures to visit other crafty web sites. Have fun!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Owls

Last evening at quilt guild, a friend mentioned that she was interested in owls. She was quite pleased to see a link for an owl pattern in one of my posts. Well, here's a tutorial on making a cute stuffed fabric owl. This one would make a neat pin cushion or even a toy for a child. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Templates

This has been a very busy day. Unfortunately, I have not been in my studio until late evening and then only to search the web. However, I did find some free templates for using with card stock. BUT why not cover the card stock with fabric to make a small artist trading card envelope, a butterfly card, or a candy box. There are lots of templates to choose from. Have fun!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Freebies From Freda's Hive

Freda's Hive is a site with lots of stuff listed to make for Christmas. Have a look at the following:

Jingle Owls
Penny Pockets
Apron in an hour
Christmas Ornaments
House Ornament
Crayon Roll
Change Purse Tutorial
Shopping Bag
Calendar Holder Tutorial
Snap Wallets

Pumpkin Tutorial - crazy quilting

Happy Thanksgiving to our American friends! I just found this neat site, The Painted Quilt by Kaaren Johnson. One of the first things that caught my eye was the crazy quilted 3-D pumpkin. Other tutorials include a  sewing box and tomato pincushion. On the first Friday of each month there is a free pattern for you to use. Lots of stuff to check out.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hand Embroidery

I found this neat site called the Hand Embroidery Network or HEN. "The website's aim is to encourage and pomote the practice and knowledge of the art of embroidery in all its forms and to bring together like minded people who enjoy needlework and wish to learn and share their knowledge."
You will find the following:
  • An illustrated hand embroidery stitch A to Z
  • Focus on embroidery basics such as threads, tools and fabrics
  • Free projects such as design templates and creative backgrounds
  • Take part in online exhibitions
  • Embroidery events
  • Embroidery techniques
  • Members gallery
  • Embroidery forum
  • Video tutorials
The network also has a blog. Check out the listings for October's Stitch A Day. The stitch samples are quite well done.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Connecting Threads

I just came across this free pattern for making gift bags from Connecting Threads. It's fat quarter friendly! I can see doing these in a variery of different fabrics to suit the season or special occassion.  For those who enjoy crazy quilting, this pattern could certainly be used for that purpose. In fact, this very simple pattern has lots of potential.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cathedral Windows



One of my mini guild friends,Verna, makes wonderful cathedral window projects. This is the table mat she made by hand, for my birthday last July. She knows turquoise is one of my favorite colours!

Well, I just came across a tutorial on making cathedral windows. So if anyone wants to give it a try, check out how to make one here.

I have to clarify the term mini guild. We are six quilters (we were seven until one friend moved to BC) who belong to a larger guild. We meet once a month at one of the members houses. As we couldn't come up with an appropriate name for our group, we decided to call ourselves the mini guild.

Check out this Tutorial

This evening, I've been working on several fibre lace scarves. These are special orders and have to be completed by early December. While taking a break, I came across this tutorial on making a sewing organizer. Since christmas is only a few weeks away, it might make a nice gift for that special friend.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cabot Quilters' Guild

I've been a member of the Cabot Quilt Guild since 1997. This guild 'is a non-profit organization which aims to preserve the heritage of quilting, to be a source of information and inspiration, to encourage a high standard of excellence in quilting and related arts, and to provide a forum for fellowship and sharing.' We meet the third Tuesday of each month except June at St. Peter's Parish Hall, Mount Pearl.

Tomorrow, November 17 is the guild's annual auction. Preview of the items begins at 6:30 with the auction starting at 7:30. There will also be a Chinese auction and Silent auction. The evening is always a hugh success with guests and members going home happy with their purchases of beautiful quilted pieces, some baked goods, preserves and christmas decorations.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Canada's Search Engine

I'm now listed on Canada's search engine, Canadae.ca. Just click on arts. This site has lots of blogs from across Canada. In fact, I found it by accident last week and haven't really searched through it yet. I'm always trying to find things that are Canadian whether it's a list of shops or textile / fibre artists. I'm interested in finding more Canadian sites related to textiles.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Part Two of the Fair & Other Stuff

This has been a week of recovery! The Fine Craft & Design Fair was a grand success for me this year. In fact, it was the best I've ever had!  However, it was very exhausting to say the least. I went back for the opening of the second part as a potential customer and didn't walk away empty handed.

Now I'm searching for some simple quilted Christmas projects. Something that could be used at a quilt guild meeting. I revisited About.Com for quilting stuff. I used to search that site quite frequently. This time I found some free Christmas patterns! I found lots of ornaments at a site called All Crafts. For the stitchers, here's a Hardanger ornament. More christmas patterns here but not really what I'm looking for. The search goes on and on and on...

Monday, November 9, 2009

CBC's Weekend Arts Magazine (WAM)


Saturday, November 7/09, CBC's Weekend Arts Magazine was held live at the Fine Craft & Art Fair.  It was an early morning as the show started at 7 am. All of the exhibitors in attendance had their moment of fame!! When the show opened at 10 o'clock, I was totally amazed at all the people who said they heard my interview. One elderly lady came by in the afternoon. She told me she had never bothered to go to any craft fairs but was curious about the 'shimmers' I had mentioned. She was delighted when I explained a bit of the process to her. She did purchase a couple to send to relatives.
Here are three starfish shimmers. These ornaments can be put on a tree or hung in a window. The fine metallic threads just 'shimmer' in the light thus their name.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Craft Fair

This was day 2 of the Fine Craft & Art Fair here in St. John's, NL. We began setting up on Tuesday and finished about an hour prior to the 2 o'clock deadline. To the left is a picture of my booth and the other picture shows a view from my booth.














Tuesday was hectic but today was a bit more relaxing. I did get some time to visit the other booths. At the King's Point Pottery booth, I had a chance to watch the slide show of photos taken by Linda Yates and David Hayashida, at the world's biggest craft exhibition, the Cheongui International Craft Exhibition (CICB), South Korea. Linda Yates and David Hayashida (King's Point Pottery) and Isabella St. John (Blue Moon Pottery), travelled there in October for the opening.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hanging Small Quilts

Here are several ways to display a small quilt. Options include:
Fast Finish Triangles
Tradutional Quilt Sleeve
Split Sleeve
Hanging Ring
Picture Hook
Plain Back
Use a picture frame

Art Quilts Displayed at Houston

Have a look at the 1,077 Art Quilts that were dontated in aid of Alzheimer's at the Houston Quilt Festival this past October.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Check these out!

Another busy day! It started out with constructing two more smaller images, setting in windows and planting flowers (in the fabric garden). I have finally photographed all my Pisci Fantasticus so they are ready for the Craft Fair.
I've also been looking at some interesting web sites. For example, have you ever heard of a zentangle?
Also check out:
Quilting Tips
Tutorials and Freebies.
Shadow Trapunto & lots of quilting stuff from Romania.
Art Quilts

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Christmas Craft Fair

This year, the 2009 Fine Craft & Design Fair or its old name of the 'Christmas Craft Fair' (Craft Council of NL), will be held at a new venue: The Arts and Culture Center, St. John's. 10 days - 2 fairs running from November 4 - 8 and November 11 - 15. Free Admission!! Some venders choose to do the 10 days, I didn't! I will be there for the first half.

This is a very busy time but the end is near!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Butterfly Project

I belong to the St. John's Guild of Embroiderers'. The summer challenge 2009 was to embroider a butterfly. 1,500,00 children perished in the Holocaust and in an effort to remember them, the Holocaust Museum, Houston, Texas, is collecting 1.5 million handmade butterflies. The butterflies are scheduled for exhibit during Spring 2012. The following poem was the inspiration for making butterflies. The picture below shows some of the butterflies made by members of the guild.

The Butterfly
The last, the vey last,
So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.
perhaps if the sun's tears would sing
against a white stone...

Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly 'way up high.
it went away I'm ure
because itwished
to kiss the world good-bye.

For seven week I've lived in here.
Penned up inside this ghetto.
But I have found what I love here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court
Only I never saw another butterfly.

That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies don't live in here, in the ghetto.

Pavel Friedman, June 4, 1942
Born in prague on January 7, 1921.
Deported to the Terezin Concentration Camp on April 26, 1942.
Died in Aushchwitz on September 29, 1944.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fibre Lace Scarves


Since the weather wasn't great, I spent the whole day in my studio. I finished the Christmas tree felted art cards and started two more fibre lace scarves. The one in the photo was done awhile ago. As you can see, this one is reversible. I like to use lots of different yarns in each scarf so whenever I travel, I search for unusual yarns and fibres. One of the places I frequent is Romni Wools in downtown Toronto. What a fabulous place for yarns and fibers! Yarns with lots of glitz and glitter usually catch my attention. Locally, Wool Trends has a nice variety of yarns.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Machine Felting

I spent the afternoon experimenting with my felting machine. The Fine Craft & Design Fair is in two weeks and I decided to create some Christmas Tree art cards. The first thing was to make a base fabric. I started with green craft felt and laid lots of decorative yarns across horizontally. These were then attached to the base by needle felting with the machine.


I made a triangle template to use as a guide to cut my trees from the needle felted fabric.





Tree trunks from a thick brown yarn was added last.
Linen with gold threads was used as a background for the finished tree. This was mounted on a blank card.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

New Work

Here's a couple of new images, in a series, that I've been working on. Cotton batiks are used for the 'clapboard' and window trim. The batik fabric a thinner but tighter weave and works well in this application. The window pane is made from two layers of grey organza fused with Misty Fuse and put on a black piece of cotton. Satin stitch was used on the window. The bushes are made from green organza that was stitched with free motion zigzag stitch. The daisies were hand stitched in a hoop and attached to the background giving a 3 dimensional appearance. The pink lupins were stitched using free motion on pink organza and attached to the backgound. These pieces will be matted and framed. They will be at my booth at the Fine Craft Design Fair, St. John's, November 4 - 8 at the Arts & Culture Centre.

I use a number of different fusibles in my art work but the misty fuse is soft and works well with organzas and other light weight fabrics. Whenever fusibles are used, stitching is added. Years ago I made a wall hanging for my sister for Christmas. As time was flying, I decided to do a wallhanging using all fusible interfacing. The piece was beautiful! Several years later, as I was helping her pack up to move, I came across this same hanging. Most of the pieces were falling off. So much for fusing! I made up my mind that in the future, anything fused would also have some stitching to hold it in place. I think it was a very wise decision. Who knows what affect climate has on fusible interfacings.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador

I've been a member of the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador for about 9 years. The first piece I ever exhibited, Field of Daisies, was in the Annual Member's Exhibit, 2000. Since then, I have had pieces in various exhibits at Devon House. To see some of the works of art, and read about the artists, go to the Artist Profiles on the Craft Council site. I tried to make a link to it but had no success. For information about the gallery and shop, please take a moment to read about them on the web. Devon House Shop and Gallery is well worth a visit!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Iceberg Art Cards


Here lately, I've been making a series of 'iceberg' Art Cards. The 'iceberg' is made from painted dryer sheets and stitched onto hand painted backgrounds. The background is interfacing that goes on the tops of drapes. It can be purchased by the metre at Fabricville. I used acrylic paint. Each art card is unique. In the spring of the year, icebergs float along the coast of Newfoundland.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Quilt Shop in Chicago


The last time I visited Chicago, I came across a very unique quilt shop called Quiltology. I was looking for unusual batiks at the time and found some there! I was impressed with the quilts on display and the selection of fabrics they carry. Check them out. I have used some of the batiks in the making of my Pisci Fantasticus (fantasy fish).

Friday, October 9, 2009

Free Motion Designs

I found this wonderful site full of free motion quilting designs. Leah Day decided she wanted to create a design a day. I must say, she has done quite a job so far! In fact, she has also created short video clips to demonstrate her techniques.

Killer-Works

I was asked today about one of my 'favorite web sites', Killer-Works. It didn't seem to fit with the things that interest me. It is my daughter's web site and is one of her current projects. Jill is a graduate of TUNS (Technical University of Nova Scotia) with a masters degree in Architecture. She has designed sets for CTV, Discovery Channel's Daily Planet, etc. Check her profile on the killer-works site!

new photos added

I've just added some new photos to my Flickr page.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Cheongju International Craft Biennale


The Cheongju International Craft Biennale, Korea, is one of the largest and most prestigious craft exhibitions in the world. This year, Canada has been selected as the guest country. In all, fourteen Newfoundland and Labrador craft makers have their work represented at the Biennale, either in the Exhibition, for sale in the Marketplace, or both. The Biennale is open from September 23 until November 1, 2009. This project is managed by the Canadian Crafts Federation and provincial craft councils across Canada, including the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador .

I was contacted by the craft council late last year and asked if I would like to have some of my work for sale in the Marketplace. I was thrilled to be asked! But what a lot of work! I did get my 'stuff' ready in time. Some of the things requested were: fibre lace scarves, evening purses, wearable art pins and shimmers. I've included a picture of one of my maple leaf art pins. For all my pins, I create the base fabric so that even though the shapes may be the same, no two pins are alike, each is one-of-a-kind.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pisci Fantasticus


I have been working on Pisci Fantasticus. In other words, fantasy fish. Last spring I entered a show at the Craft Council Gallery called a Fine Lot of Fish. I designed and made three different fish from cotton batiks. These were very successful so I did three more and sent them to the Invitational at 2009 Quilt Canada, Saskatoon, SK. Now I am having a booth at the Fine Art & Craft Fair, St. John's in November so I have been busy making more! I'm almost finished those!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Judy's first blog post

I am on vacation! My daughter, Jill, figured it was about time I had my own blog. She helped me set this up when we met in Toronto. Now I have to figure out how to post pictures and make workable links.