Monday, May 31, 2010

View From The Rooms

I have the piece, View From The Rooms, finally finished. It's out to be framed. I had a call just before supper saying the mats were cut and ready for my signature. It's almost impossible to see some of the clapboard lines in some of the houses but they are there! I do like the way the foliage came together. The different shades of green worked out well. The dimensions before framing are 27" x 9 1/2". Needless to say, I'm pleased with the final result. I will be entering it in the annual member's exhibit at the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador, Devon House, St. John's. The exhibit is on for most of the summer.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Spring 2010

After yesterday's photo disaster at the quilt show, I decided to wait and get some decent shots of View From the Rooms. I will also use those photos (rather my husband will) to create another blank greeting card set. More on that later.

A few days ago, I came across the Blogger's Quilt Festival - Spring 2010 . To date, there are 677 participants (scroll down the page). Each quilter is listed by name and linked back to their web site or blog. If you have some free time (just joking), then spend it visiting some of the sites to see their quilts. It's very interesting.
Here's more interesting quilts on flickr.
More images of quilts here. If you click on a picture, it will give you the link to further investigate. Have fun!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

'Sew Much To See' Quilt Show

This is my friend's birthday. We celebrated this afternoon by going to 'Sew Much To See' Quilt Show by the Ocean View Quilt Guild, CBS. Of course I took some pictures but . . . I don't know if it was me or the camera. Most of them were blurred. I should have taken the camera with image stabilization on it. That one compensates for slight arm movement. Live & learn. I think I've had a couple of those days lately! Anyway, here's a few images that are passable.

The show was very well done and the lighting was great. Well done ladies. Too bad I didn't have better photos!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Work in Progress: # 7

I spent the whole day working on the textile piece which I call 'View From The Rooms'. The last building (pictured here) was 'constructed' this morning. This isn't a very clear photo but it will give you an idea what it's like. I'm hoping to stretch and lace the piece unto a backing tomorrow so that it can be framed next week.

I have a lot of the foliage done as I needed a variety of shades. I'm quite pleased with the overall affect of the trees. The foliage won't go astray as I will used it in some smaller pieces.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Work in Progress: # 6

This was stitch night but I stayed home to work on my textile piece. I have a deadline to have it ready for the member's exhibit at the Devon House Gallery early June.

I just finished putting all the pieces together. It was a challenge getting the foliage stitched and assembled. I think I've used all my stick pins keeping the pieces in place. In the morning I have to carefully take it off the design wall and start to stitch it in place.

Tip of The Day . . . Learned The Hard Way!!

I set my embroidery machine going early this morning as I needed more Polar Bear Shimmers for a June exhibit. Things went well for the first two sets (takes 40 minutes to stitch up a set). On the third set I had a lot of thread breaks and then the needle started to gum up. I wasn't using anything different to suddenly make the needle sticky. Of course, when the needle is sticky, it will not pick up the bobbin thread. So I did a cleaning of the machine and put in a new needle. I figured this would do the trick. No, it did not. Then I had the bright idea of using needle # 2. That did not work either - same thread difficulty. I noticed that the problem was is a certain section of the hoop. I had used Aqua Magic water soluble stabilizer to hold my base fabric and there was a factory join near one end. I picked at this. A sticky glue was holding the joined parts together. Problem solved! But it was a costly problem, time wise for me as I'm trying to get my textile piece completed by tomorrow at the latest.

Tip: cut off any factory joins when using a stabilizer such as Aqua Magic!!
I use this stabilizer a lot. It's great to embroider on either from the machine or by hand. When the stabilizer is washed away, you have some interesting embroidery to add to a piece. Check out stabilizer descriptions & uses.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Needle 'n Thread

I've been asked how I keep coming up with something to post everyday. It amazes me too but something seems to always happen to trigger an idea. Today, my friend, Marilyn, sent me a link that her sister sent her and now I can share it with you, too. It is Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread.  This site has over 50 video tutorials on learning to do all kinds of stitches, knots, fill stitches and more. The tips & techniques section has a wealth of information for all levels of embroiderers. And yes, there are free hand embroidery patterns.

Here is a piece of hand embroidery I did in 2007. Theodora is stitched using one strand of silk thread on a silk background. Needless to say, it took quite a long time to do it. It was part of a three year hand embroidery course.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Battle Harbour, Labrador

I will be having some of my shimmers ornaments at Battle Harbour, Labrador this coming tourist season.  Battle Harbour is one of Newfoundland and Labrador's Heritage Properties. In the 1770's, the mercantile salt fish premises at Battle Harbour were established by the firm of John Slade & Company of Poole, England. "Battle Harbour served as the gateway for Newfoundlanders seeking to fish unmolested in the resource rich waters of Labrador." Because of it's rich fishing history, the shimmers selected for the historic properties are: whale, cod fish, dory and polar bear. The polar bear is my newest ornament, made especially for this venue but will also be found in St. John's as well.

To view some art work on salt fish, visit Janet Davis's Norton's Cove Studio. Scroll down to see Lineage and the rest of her work on salt cod. Also, of interest is Janet's Salt Cod Study.

If you are interested in making a dish using salt cod, check here.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Victoria Day

This is the 24th of May holiday weekend in Canada, officially called Victoria Day. This holiday has been observed since before Canada was formed. For the history buffs among us, click on the Victoria Day link for some information about this special day. Here in Newfoundland, it is traditionally the time when the camping parks open up and the more adventurous (who don't mind the weather) head out for their favorite camping ground. Me, I like my creature comforts too much to take to the woods on the 24th. I prefer to stay home and work in my studio.
Here's one of my fish wall hangings that I made for an exhibit a few years ago. The fish are slightly stuffed to give a 3-D effect. It was purchased and is part of a private collection.
To celebrate this holiday, here are links to some camping/fishing quilts and stitching:
 Children's Fishing Pond from Husqvarna Viking
Fishing Lure # 8 from Four Twin Sisters
Fighting Fish Applique by Annette Truong.
Fish Block

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Work in Progress: # 5 Chimneys

I have made a little bit of progress with the picture. Yesterday I made a few chimneys. I didn't realize just how many chimneys are in the older part of the city. Often a downtown house will have several instead of one. In the second photo I removed some of the background foliage as I wasn't satisfied with it and make some more using different shades of thread. There are still lots of stickpins visible in the photos.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Work in Progress: # 4

This is just a brief update on the progress of the textile piece: View From The Rooms. I haven't progressed as much as I'd hoped this week as life keeps getting in the way! Today I must search for more shades of green organza as that really determines some of the shading for the trees. Here's a corner house. The corner is defined by machine stitching using invisible thread. A tall chimney has to go up from the side of the red roof. I can't wait to get this piece finished!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Early Bloomers

Here are some early bloomers from my back garden. Inspiration for my some of my art does come the garden. I delight in the many variations in colour from bloom to bloom. In fact, I have, on occasion, matched the colours to my embroidery threads and dyed fabrics.

I don't remember the names for the first two pictures.

The periwinkle underneath the globe cedar is flourishing. Several years ago my friend, Judith gave me a snip from her garden.

Take a look at some other flowers (quilted, of course):

Garden of Eden art quilt
Indian Flower 
Quilt As Art 
Nature's Numbers
Orchard & Flower Garden 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Free Patterns from Interweave

Just when I was wondering what to post today - Voila! I read an message from the Interweave Store which is associated with Quilting Arts Magazine. I have all the Quilting Arts magazines to date (subscription as I don't want to rely on the book store). Well, Interweave is offering some free patterns for you to download. There is something for everyone - well almost! For other free stuff from Quilting Arts, check here.
We are having our second day of sunshine - aren't we lucky. And it's 20C in my backyard at the moment.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Take Time to Smell the Flowers

WOW! We have sunshine today for the first time in weeks and I spent part of the morning cleaning up the front garden. Three garbage bags of stuff and the front is still not done. Talking about gardens, here's one for you from the hand embroidery network or HEN.

The first piece I ever entered into a show was my Field of Daisies. It was purchased and belongs in a private collection. There are over 100 hand embroidered daisies in the piece. My inspiration came from Valerie Hearder's miniature landscapes course I took as well as the art of Sue Newhouse.
A more recent piece, Calm, an abstract garden, is in California, USA. The background is my own 'fantasy fabric' that I made using free motion machine stitching. A vine is hand stitched across the background and glass leaf beads are stitched in place.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Experimental Piece: Row Houses

This is an experimental piece I did a number of years ago. The house fabric is hand dyed. The clapboard lines were printed onto the white cotton after been treated with Bubble Jet Set 2000. The C. Jenkins Co. invented this solution so they could print neck ties from the computer.
The sky is hand dyed satin which gives it a nice shine. In this piece, the sky should have been stitched to prevent sagging. The trees are stitched green organza that has been cut out using a stencil burner. The window openings are satin stitched. Black cotton covered with a grey organza is used for the glass. Bits of lace represent curtains. The flowers are hand embroidered.

After working out the bugs in this wall hanging, I decided to make a larger piece with five houses. That piece was matted and framed. It is now part of the Newfoundland and Labrador Art Collection.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thoughts on 'Work in Progress'

You know, it isn't until a photo is taken and made larger that sometimes mistakes are discovered! That happened to me with the photo in the previous post. Something wasn't working out. I took a good look at the photo and  some modifications are in order!
Now that I think about it, quilters do a similar thing when they view their quilts through a reducing lens.

Work in Progress: #3

Time for another update on my textile piece. This has been a partly frustrating afternoon. I'm about to do the same house for the third time (not shown). The windows are giving me a bit of difficulty! I think part of the problem is I have some time restrictions on getting this completed. The old saying of 'more haste, less pace' is true sometimes.
The houses in front are just pinned in place. There are no chimneys (lots of those in the older part of the city) or light poles. Tomorrow will be spent making lots more foliage for the foreground.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

More on Surface Embellishment

I just sat down to the computer wondering what I would write about today. Ideas don't always spring to the page immediately. However, this one is a follow-up to a previous post on Surface Embellishment and the idea appeared in my mail this morning. I get frequent newsletters from various groups that I've joined. Sometimes I even get a chance to read them! Today I received the latest news from 3 Creative Studios which included the Technique of the Month project page. You can download any of the free project files and work through them or file them away for a rainy day (we are having quite a few of those)! The project this time is water color crayons and Shiva paint sticks. The other projects listed are: Painted Quilt Batting; Metallic Painted Effects; Painted Lace Surfaces; Printing on Fabric and this months, technique # 5 using crayons and paint sticks.
Check out the free projects on this site as well. Here's their blog. You might find it interesting. Have fun!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Quilt Show Pictures

Here are photos of some of the quilts in the Baccalieu Quilters' Guild Show, Dildo, Newfoundland. Nice job, ladies!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Quilt Shows

I'm off to see a local quilt show today by the Baccalieu Quilters' Guild:  "Quiltin' Around the Bay 2010". In fact, I'm one of the three judges. Hopefully, I'll get some pictures to post.
I found some videos of Quilt Shows so that you can watch them from the comfort of your own home.
You may like to view the following as well:
2010 National Juried Show at Quilt Canada, Calgary, Alberta
2010 Trend-Tex Quilters Challenge
For more photo gallery shows visit The Canadian Quilters' Association
The Grand National has past shows to see. Have a look at Constructions of Canada (scroll down the page, it isn't automatic). I have a piece, Downtown, on page 18. My friend, Karen Colbourne Martin, has a piece, The Empty Line, on the same page.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Work in Progress: More Buildings #2

This is just an update on the progress of my work. Last evening I finished most of the buildings but without any details added. However, this photo shows a section of the background that is almost finished. As you see, stick pins are keeping some foliage in place. Think you can find these houses in Tuesday's post, View From The Rooms?
I did find another free pattern for Row Houses.  It's called Around the Corner and was inspired by Flavin Glover's Row Houses, a traditional log cabin.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Getting Organized

It's a very rainy here today. I just finished some book work and that got me thinking about projects to help with organization, whether it's in the office, around the house or sewing/studio. Recycle where you can. I used to collect Pringle chip tubes, clean them out, and they would hold interfacing and other sewing stuff that was rolled (short stuff). I've been known to save detergent boxes, cut them to hold magazines. That was before my husband got asthma and anything with a scent had to be discarded. However with the abundance of Dollar Stores, it's much easier to get plastic storage containers of all kinds.But if you still wish to make your own 'stuff', here's a few things to do:
Pincushion organizer
Purse Organizer
Denim organizer
Mail Organizer
Pattern Organizer
Organizer Folder: it's called a Cookie Sale Organizer
Car Organizer

Sewing Organizer from Debbie Mumm

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

View From The Rooms

I wasn't quite satisfied with the photo I am working from to do my textile piece so decided to visit The Rooms again to do more photography. Since it's not the tourist season yet, I had to get permission to go out on the balcony. This was the perfect time of year to get architectural details as the leaves are not out on the trees. St. John's has a lot of trees which masks details. Even though it was a dull day, I'm quite pleased with the photos.
The first one gives a partial view of the harbour.
The next photo is a closeup of some of the houses I'm doing. I'm glad I took newer photos as some homeowners have put new colours on their homes. I discovered that the pink house in my textile piece is now a toned down creamy colour.This is the downtown section of the city and has very old homes.

I included the third photo so you could see Cabot Tower on Signal Hill in the background.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Work in Progress: More Buildings

This is an update on my building construction for my large textile piece. I have lots of foliage done but I expect more will have to be made. This is still some of the background houses. I started on the foreground over the weekend.

Ideas for exploration! Visit these sites for small house construction projects:

Stitch has a mini house quilt to make.
House and Trees Wall Hanging by All People Quilt
Housing Projects from Quilt Ville
Free Embroidery pattern: Snow City but this could be easily stitched for any season. Just kick start your imagination!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day! I hope this is a good day for everyone. When I posted Mother's Day Ideas on April 10, I missed Mother's Day:100 + Homemade Gift Ideas & Projects by Tipnut. Lots of nifty stuff on that site. The one that caught my eye (among others) was for the Gardner Mom: Teacup Bird Feeder Project.
The projects listed on this site are great for any occasion, you just need to set some time aside and do one or two. You may even want to make something for yourself!

Talking about teacups, here's my 'Have a Cup', a felted teacup I did for an exhibit, Tea For Two, several years ago. It was my first attempt at wet felting. This piece was purchased at the show.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Surface Embellishment on Fabrics

I received an update from Cedar Canyon Textiles a few days ago. They have a very informative site if you are interested in surface embellishment on fabrics. Check out the archives for the 'how to do' stuff such as stenciling with modeling paste, foam tray printing or foil with fusible web.

  • Laura Murray Designs has a projects page with instructions on using rubbing plates for molded paper and holiday ornaments with masking technique.
  • Learn how to paint fabric with a free fabric dyeing eBook from Quilting Arts

Friday, May 7, 2010

Breath of Fresh Air

I was just checking the traffic on the cluster map in my blog and found a link to stuff about Newfoundland and Labrador. Been a bit curious, I clicked my way through most of it. The various links gives the viewer a small bit of information that makes this 10th province of Canada so unique! If you do nothing else, click here. Make sure you listen to the Fresh Air Audio Clip. We do have very fresh air!
Visit the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador's web site for more interesting 'stuff' (my word for the day)! 
Here's one of my earlier textile landscapes. This represents a small portion of a Newfoundland coastline (my rendition). The sky is hand dyed as is the water (separate pieces stitched together). The cliff and some of the rocks were printed on cotton from my computer (I used Bubble jet Set 2000 to treat the fabric). The bushes were free-motion machine stitched onto organza (check previous post) and the daisies were hand embroidered and added to the foreground to give a 3-D look. All of my landscapes are framed under glass. Check out more of my 'stuff ' here or on my website

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Books - # 2

Here's another section of my bookshelf. It looks sort of funny having the image on its side but it is easier to read than turning your neck to see the titles. These books are on a top shelf and are in not particular order. I guess it's time to reorganize! Too many other things to do. Every time I get myself 'organized', I can't find anything.
I have a lot of books on design and surface embellishment as well as machine embroidery.
 The Art of Annemieke Mein is a very interesting book. This link is a result of a search I did using the Bing search engine. As you will see, she has fantastic textile art.
I like the embroidery of Richard Box, British artist. Check out this video from You Tube. I have his book, Flowers for Embroidery. It's on this shelf.
My sister gave me Applique - The basics & beyond by Janet Pittman. I have done applique but usually something of my own design. Check out the Applique Society for some free patterns.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Work in Progress: Making Foliage

I spent most of the day working in my studio as I needed to make foliage for the background of my textile piece. I hooped some green organza, set the sewing machine on free-motion zigzag 2.0 and proceeded to free-motion small segments to represent tree foliage.  The bobbin had a mid green and the top thread was a darker shade. To get a variation in colour, small torn bits of green tulle were trapped and stitched onto the organza.
When the stitching was finished, I placed a piece of glass on my table and used a burning tool to cut the pieces out. I also turned on the overhead fan and opened the window.
I use various shades of green organza and will sometimes double it depending on the colour I want.
Since I'm not ready to show more of my piece, feast your eyes on the stunning landscapes of the following textile artists:

Scottish artist Moy Mackay
Abstract landscapes by Regina Grewe
Fiber artist, Jane A. Evans
Gilda Baron, author of The Art of Embroidered Flowers
Landscape quilts of Valerie Hearder
Landscapes by British artist, Wendy Dolan

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Eastern Edge Quilters

Just a quick post this time. Our quilt guild, the Eastern Edge Quilters, met tonight. As part of the Show & Tell , members of the Outreach Program displayed this quilt that was just completed. It is a scrap quilt made with triangle shaped pieces. It is in memory of two members who passed away from cancer. Which charity it will go to hasn't yet been decided.
I did take a picture of the whole quilt but it was not in focus. So much for image stabilization in my camera!! And I thought I previewed the image . . . I'd better get more lessons before my next trip!

Monday, May 3, 2010


I just love Books and I have lots of them! I retired from teaching in 1997 and have been collecting an assortment of textile related books ever since. For some reason, Asian designs have always intrigued me. Here's some from my collection. I turned the photo on its edge to make it easier to read the titles.

I have a small collection of Japanese fabrics too. About 50 - 70 pieces (fat quarters & smaller) was inherited from an older lady friend who passed away a few years ago.

I found a few Asian things you might be interested in:
Check out the Chinese Lantern Quilt Block 
Japanese Fans by Marsha Evans Moore
Expedition Asian Wall Hanging  
Asian Fan Placemat  
Studio Aika  has lots of interesting information about Sashiko. Check out the Sashiko tutorials.
If you want to get started stitching Sashiko, I recommend Susan Briscoe's The Ultimate Sashiko Sourcebook. Susan also blogs about Sashiko and other stitching.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Work in Progress

This year I've had a difficult time getting my head around doing any new work. Life takes over sometimes. Well, I finally started to get my act together and started something new. This is just a small tidbit of the textile piece I'm doing of St. John's, NL. I don't have all the detail in this part yet as there are no chimneys shown and the clapboard on the pink house still has to be done. If you look carefully, you'll see a blue stick pin holding a bush in place. These pieces haven't been sewn down yet.
In case you don't know, St. John's is well known for its colourful houses especially in the downtown section. Since we have a lot of rain, drizzle and fog, it's rather nice to see bright colours in the architecture around the city. It can be so inspiring.
Check out the colourful row houses.
Artist Katherine Munro has painted row houses on silk.
I also found me on the QNN tv website while looking for row houses. Where they got this stuff is a mystery but it's nice to see it there anyway!
There are lots of images including row houses here. This is the result of a search I did on the Bing search engine.
I'll keep you posted on my progress with the St. John's piece.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


I just transferred pictures from my digital camera and remembered I did not post the cobblestone quilt blocks that were made by the Eastern Edge Quilters. These blocks will be made into a quilt by our outreach committee and then donated to some charity here in St. John's.
To make your own 'Cobblestones for Charity', visit the Victoriana Quilters. The quilt was designed by Kathleen Solomi who gave permission for her pattern to be used. This is a very easy block to make. I made several for the outreach program at guild.


The first of May and I woke up to a sprinkle of the white fluffy stuff on the ground - not my idea of a fun day. However, the temperature is rising and it is melting quickly. Such is life in the north Atlantic.

From my upstairs window (on a clear day), I can see Cape Spear, the most easterly point of land in North America. Cabot Tower, located on Signal Hill, National Historic Site of Canada, is also visible from my house and from almost anywhere in the city. It was here in 1901, that the first transatlantic wireless signal by Guglielmo Marconi was sent. Thought I'd add a bit of history for those of you who enjoy exploring new places.