Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Bases... Weaving.

A few people have told me "I would love to do what you do...." (meaning art quilting)

And I love trying to figure out how to do stuff. So I hauled out my books (sat down at the book shelf) and starting looking through some of my technique based books. I have a bunch of them.
I started looking at this one.

I asked a bunch of friends if they would like to get together and go through the book picking a once a month topic. This book is out of print but is going to come back into print so we can easily all have a copy.  So this month 6 out of the 8 or 9 who responded yes came to my place and we met for the first time.

I had the advantage because it was my house and I knew them all! All have sewn but not all have done any art quilting. I have to say it was a fun evening. 

The first project is weaving. We have all probably done weaving paper before so it didn't see like a hard place to start. 

This was two batiks of relatively equal value so there is not much contrast . A nice simple background. 

This was my second sample. I didn't remember to weave it fabric right sides down so I had to flip it to iron the stabilizer on the back. I ended up putting a fusible glue on the back so I could add it as an accent instead of a stand alone piece. 

This was one batik that was multi coloured and I cut the strips wavy. The wavy was a bit of a challenge because I didn't want gaps in between the weaving. 


This one I made larger and did not cut the strips all the way to the top. This I wanted to try a landscape. and try to make a building shape out of the weaving. This will come more apparent as I do some stitching on it.  Meanwhile  I will think about what I want to do with it.
I hope to show you some of the others bases when they send pictures. I forgot to take pictures the night they were here.  


It will be fun to have a work play evening to look forward too! It will make me get back in the groove of sewing. 


I sewed a bit this summer on finishing projects and yesterday I did some mending I needed to get done. 


Today I worked on a piece I started a couple of years ago for my sister. It was a piece of mountain fabric with a window frame around it. It is high time I finished it. I got it out yesterday and it had a stain on it. I washed it out and started doing some stitching on the mountains. It feels good to sit down and get some work done. 


Do you always have the energy to create or do you feel it comes in waves? 


Jo

I am linking up to the Needle and Thread Network so you can find other great Canadian Bloggers. 

 


Friday, September 23, 2016

Summer Summary….

Summer is flying by…

The weather network had a poll up. When does summer end! The majority felt it was the last day of August or Labour Day.
Traditionally Labour Day has felt like the last day of summer. Kids back to school has been a tradition in our family for 23 years. This year our youngest still goes back to school. But this is the first year my husband or I don’t have to be involved. Our youngest finished his 4 year degree at University and now is in the second of a three year degree to get him into the career he wants to pursue. The difference is this is the first time we don’t have to take him to collage. He now has his own vehicle so we just get wave goodbye and not load up the van and hit the highway this upcoming weekend.
The end of another era!
The summer has been a busy one. A fall on the May 24th weekend side railed me for awhile. June was spent recovering and physio.
July was off to the cottage. Not the whole month but between family duties and two adult kids at home not much in the sewing room occurred.
I did get some work done at the cottage. Setting up the machine I managed to finish quilting my nephews quillow - finally.  I made some cuddly bear blankets for all the babes that have been born to friends children. Unfortunately there will not be many left after they are completed.  I also worked a bit on my Judy Niemeyer quilt. Two sets of five blocks out of five sets are completed. I like the accuracy of the paper piecing but it is very time consuming.  8 hand pieced hexagons for my Katja quilt are done out 52. Mostly done in time spent in a car traveling or waiting in hospitals. It feels like I have accomplished more… It feels like I should have accomplished more!
I did get some dyeing days in. About 2. And some sun printing. About 1. Not as many as I had planned.
Last week I canned peaches. Not many for myself but for kids and for friends who are like my kids. In the up coming weeks it will be more canning. The produce is just to yummy to pass up. And the fruit comes from my families farm.
So to extend the season. I am going to take summer all the way to the 21st of September. No longer constrained by the school calendar I am going to rebel and enjoy almost another month of summer. How about you? Jo

Friday, September 9, 2016

Fibre Content 2016

It was an exciting day this week as we gathered at the Art Gallery of Burlington to hang the 2016 edition of the Juried Fibre Content show.

120 Fibre Art pieces with 80 artists work on display.

What a privilege to have my "Peach Blossoms" accepted.

The show runs for 10 days starting September 8, 2016

Here is a picture of my piece.

Generations - Peach Blossoms Near Fifteen Mile Creek

This was my artist statement. 
Dad's 7th-generation farm remains the central focus of his life. Economy of scale, imports and poor sales are creating empty fields. Which side of the divide will be left? 

Not many words to describe the feelings behind this scene. 

Dad will soon be 85 years old. He has worked and lived on the same piece of land since his birth. The life he has known has been farming. In 85 years many things have changed. Farming has always been hard work. Hard work is not something this man is afraid of. Despite the Heat of summer - especially this year and the cold of winter he faithfully goes to work even still. 

Pictures of peach blossoms are taken each year. We have tons of shots. Branches are brought in the house in the spring to force open and check the bud count.  Peaches are on the menu almost nightly during the season and throughout the winter due to my mother and myself canning bushels. 

The fact is it is getting harder to sell fruit. High costs, labour shortages... who wants to pick the fruit even high school kids don't want to. Operating costs and equipment. Government regulations. 

Each year around the farm you see fields being cleared of fruit trees and vineyards because it is not worth it or no one wants to or can afford to take over the land. 

Imports are easily brought in to our food chain stores from other countries with longer seasons and from larger economies of scales or lower labour costs. 

It will be up to the consumer to choice on weather the peach blossoms continue to bloom in the spring or the land be left bare with cash crops or houses. 

But I will always have my memories, my pictures and my peach blossoms near 15 mile creek..... 

jo


Monday, August 29, 2016

Summer Summary….

Summer is flying by…

The weather network had a poll up. When does summer end! The majority felt it was the last day of August or Labour Day.

Traditionally Labour Day has felt like the last day of summer. Kids back to school has been a tradition in our family for 23 years. This year our youngest still goes back to school. But this is the first year my husband or I don’t have to be involved. Our youngest finished his 4 year degree at University and now is in the second of a three year degree to get him into the career he wants to pursue. The difference is this is the first time we don’t have to take him to collage. He now has his own vehicle so we just get wave goodbye and not load up the van and hit the highway this upcoming weekend.

The end of another era!

The summer has been a busy one. A fall on the May 24th weekend side railed me for awhile. June was spent recovering and physio.

July was off to the cottage. Not the whole month but between family duties and two adult kids at home not much in the sewing room occurred.

I did get some work done at the cottage. Setting up the machine I managed to finish quilting my nephews quillow - finally. 
I made some cuddly bear blankets for all the babes that have been born to friends children. Unfortunately there will not be many left after they are completed. 
I also worked a bit on my Judy Niemeyer quilt. Two sets of five blocks out of five sets are completed. I like the accuracy of the paper piecing but it is very time consuming. 
8 hand pieced hexagons for my Katja quilt are done out 52. Mostly done in time spent in a car traveling or waiting in hospitals.
It feels like I have accomplished more… It feels like I should have accomplished more!

I did get some dyeing days in. About 2. And some sun printing. About 1. Not as many as I had planned.

Last week I canned peaches. Not many for myself but for kids and for friends who are like my kids.
In the up coming weeks it will be more canning. The produce is just to yummy to pass up. And the fruit comes from my families farm.

So to extend the season. I am going to take summer all the way to the 21st of September. No longer constrained by the school calendar I am going to rebel and enjoy almost another month of summer.
How about you?
Jo

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Generations - Peach Trees

My upbringing has taught me to make practical things and not have idle hands. I don't know if that was a conscious lesson or not. Definitely my parents are some of the hardest working I know.
Dad worked sometimes unending on the family fruit farm his whole life. At 84 he still goes out daily to prune in the winter and Spring, Summer and Fall to do what needs to be done. Farming is not his job it is his vocation.

Times have certainly changed this work. All the canning factories in Canada are gone to my knowledge. No pears or peaches you buy canned off the shelf are from Canada. The economy of scale and standard of living here has taken care of that.

Fresh fruit in our local stores tell the story too. Strawberries from Florida or California can sell in our season for much cheaper. $ 5 a quart or more for Canadian Strawberries. Who can blame the parent or person who buys the cheaper imports.

I made a piece of fibre art last November that celebrates the annual taking pictures of the peach blossoms that my family usually does. It is kind of a joke that we have but upon reflection it also celebrates the hope that comes along with it. The hope of a full crop. The hope that the blooms made it through the winter. The hope of a good price to the farmer so you can pay the bills and have some money left over to do the whole cycle again the next year.

So I created the peach trees in their blossom state. A tribute to the cycles of a farmer, to honour the work that they have done and will do and a hope that this way of life, this vocation of farmers will still be around. Farmers work hard. They are not defined by pension plans, minimum wage, benifits.
They are called.

I love the land but I don't have the vocation, the calling to carry the burdens and worries of a farmer.

So here is my piece. I entered it several call to entries. I am pleased that it was accepted into Fibre Content 2016 which will run at the Art Gallery of Burlington, Ontario from the 8th of September until the 18th.



Maybe I don't have a vocation for farmer but maybe I have a desire to tell a story in fabric.  I must admit it is difficult to pour your heart into a piece of work and not be accepted. That is part of the process of life. Disappointments, successes, roadblocks. But in the end maybe I have to change my mindset and become more like my dad. Do the work, put in the time - day after day. 

This one is for you Mom and Dad. 

No matter what the future brings  on reflection you have taught me resiliency.


Jo

And PS thinning peaches was and remains my most hated memory of jobs on the farm. 


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Inspirational Class With Katja

Mother daughter bonding. A long time scheduled class with Katja Marek author of The New Hexegon, host of the New Hexegon, Millefloria Quilt Along, and Quilts on the Go for Quilts on the Grow was yesterday. My daughter and I have been packed for weeks, fabric chosen and anticipation high. This is the first class my daughter and I have gone to together since she was in high school and we went the Creative Festival in Toronto each year.

I was not disappointed in the class only in the fact that I could only watch people stitch!
I am feeling better - able to walk better, nose almost healed but I am waiting for my follow up x rays to see if I need a full cast.

Katja was an amazing teacher. Very organized, thoughtful, giving, sharing and engaging!
She was so interested in seeing the show and tell of some of the class participants on her quilt a longs.

Her Quilt Along information is free on her web site. She just asks that you purchase a book and register. She sayes she loves what she does and you can tell she does too!

The book is like a primer in English Paper Piecing, well laid out and organized published by Martingale.
Viewing potential where to fussy cut.

Diamonds laid out and on template paper ready to stitch

Six triangles laid out to stitch. 
We all learned that English Paper piecing is not as hard as it looks and makes a great by the TV, in the car, out at the park, in a waiting room type project. 

Katja uses a glue basting technique that cuts down the time to prep the pieces.

If you get a chance to have a class with her, or would like to book a great lecture for your guild ask Katja to come. 

Katja also owns a quilt shop in Kamloops, BC Canada. She has been to Germany and the Netherlands teaching this year. 

She also brought some lovely quilts that her very supportive mom has made. Beautiful workmanship! 

I am thankful my friend Leslie and Karen from my stitch and chat group decided to try and book her. They organized a great 2 days of classes and lecture for The Stoney Creek Quilters. Oh what you can achieve with a dream and some work! 

Till next time... 
Jo

I ran out of steam one hand typing or I would have written more about what a great day I had!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Oh Whats A Girl to do!!!! Forced Vacation

I have been so geared up to sew a storm. This week was to be the week! But it is not to be...
Friday I had a freak fall. Down I went off a curb... I can say life through me a curb honestly! lol
So now I sit (literally). After 1 ambulance ride, 4 hours in emergency I came home with a cut up nose, badly sprained ankle and a broken wrist bone.  Combine that with a few bruises and I was set to celebrate our May 24th holiday weekend in a lazy boy.

I am actually mending quite well. My face looks a whole lot better. Swelling has gone down in ankle and wrist. Still can't walk comfortably and I don't know how long I will have to wear my splint cast on my hand.

So for now I am having a forced rest and spend my time surfing the net, reading and watching videos. Off to the osteopath for assessment tomorrow and the Dr's next Wednesday.

I always say I want to be served by my family but it is not as fun as it once sounded.