Wednesday, November 9, 2016

What I am working on in the past week.

I didn't get to post last week on the Link up to the Thread and Needle Work Network.

Not that I have't been working. In fact I have been busy sewing away and have crashed the kitchen area so I can spend time getting some sunshine.

As I usually hang out in the basement hours can go by without a break.

And that is not good for this girl.

In fact its not really pretty work. It is get the work done. I have so many things that just need to get done. This is my kitchen table. I have four hoodies/jackets that need new zippers for my boys. 

And I have been trying to work on some blocks that need to be done by March 1. 

I also need to finish a few cuddle bears as the 7, I made on holidays are all gone to little ones. 

I have a wall hanging that I want to go to it's home for US Thanksgiving. 

And a skirt for my wonderful sister for the same time. All not hard sewing but just the normal grind. 

Sometimes you just have to do the grunt work to get to end of the finish line. 

How about you...do you sometimes just have to get the mundane done and out of the way before you can move on? 

Off to get the laundry done then down to the machine. 

Maybe by next week I will have some pretty to share! 

Jo

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Weekly Sum UP....

Blogging regularly has been my goal. My online journal of what I am doing in my arty craft world.

I really haven't made it weekly even yet!

But I am going to really take the guilt out of it and make it at least a sum of the week.

Lately or maybe even for the longest while my personal goals of where I want to go with my work have not been met.

People talk of dedicated time to their work. Blocking off time and letting nothing interrupt time in the studio. You need to take time for you! - All true.

However, (I refuse to say but anymore unless I slip up! ) maybe that is not wholly who I am. For me I have been struggling with the needs of others and the needs of me... and trying to make art for my own need.

I love reading blogger Elle's blog - Elle's Place She blogs about her creative journey and all the other things that make up her life. Home, projects, farm, helping home school, unscheduled plan changes.
She has been trying to incorporate the KISS principle. Keep It Simple Sweetie (I like that word better than Stupid that is used sometimes in the world)

It helps me to remember to take the simpler route when needed. Because I have found my life never has a set routine.
Health issues will always be there- but I am not going to let it define who I am.
Family - Will always trump making art.
Friends - Always will be at the for front
Strangers - Are put in our path

I don't want to be the person who rushes past.

Does this take energy? Sure does. Do you always get a pay back? No you don't and nor should I do something for that reason.

So I am adding to my list of how to be... I am going to try to KISS life and take the Doris Day Method.. Que, sera, sera what ever will be will be, the future is not ours to see, Que, Sera, Sera!

So what have I been up to this week... was a change of plans. And while it was not a fun or wanted thing to do it was what I needed to do.

So I will share with you the projects that I was able to work on while I was off doing the unfun things.

Plain old knitted squares. I knit on them when I am tired or waiting. I have done alot of waiting the past while. These will be donated to our regional cancer centre. 
And on the right are my bending stitch circles from my Judy Martin class in September. This is handwork for tired times and waiting as well. These projects are easily picked up and set down. 

11pm last night. The last paint and stitch was done on the Halloween costume of one of my favorite people. No I won't be a Timbit Box for Halloween but I know a young lady who is going to be thrilled with our finished project. 

And lastly a surprise from my wonderful super family in Vermont. The door bell rang and here was a great surprise! I didn't make it but it sure was great! 

Linking up with the needle and thread network. Hope you had a wonderful week creating. 

Jo 


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fabric Embellishing - the Basics and Beyond....

Month Two of our group meeting to go through the book Fabric Embellishing - The Basics and Beyond.  Liz Kettle Textile Evolution has a free class to follow the book so we are making use of that as well.

Check this great resource out. (I receive no compenstation or am affiliated in any way with this book or the authors accept I love the book! )

I have books on order for everyone so it will be nice when we all have a copy. By the end of this journey we will all have been exposed to all the techniques and may have a better grasp of what we like to do. Some may take it farther then others but that is the fun of it!

I have split the group into an afternoon and evening group because it makes it easier on space.  Only so many can fit around my kitchen table.

I have to admit after a tiring week and weekend this past week I did not feel at my best but no one seemed to mind. The reason behind the group remains to help us share info with others. I like the idea of sharing knowledge because it makes us feel more of a community and less of a competition of artists/people. It also inspires me to keep doing.

It helps me to focus on being positive when negative or sad things happen.

This month we tackled bubbling and scrunching and tucks.

Here are my tuck samples ....
                                  Plain tucks, to gridded tucks, to tucks that are manipulated...

                                          Pin tucks that are more free flowing and organic. Front side.

Back of the sample above. More subtle line making than the front. 

Radiating pin tucks stitched first around a blank circle center and the center twirled around to flatten the sticking fabric. 

Back of the radiated pin tucks. Once again a more subtle line with the twist of the center circle. 


I think I like the backs of these pin tucks better than the front.  What about you? 



Here are some bubble samples...
Light Weight Silk

                                           Light weight silk, batik, hand dyes... (from upper left to lower right.)
                                                        Close up of the two hand dyes.


I think I want to try the bubbles again but use the back of the piece as the front. Just to see the difference. 


My scrunch samples are still in the panty house waiting drying time.


My goal is to put the samples in a format of a binder for future reference and to use a couple of techniques this month to the finish of a small piece.

I am also looking around for some other ways to manipulate fabric so I am going to "pinterest" away so I can add a pinterest board for fabric manipulation.


Meanwhile here is some info I found on fabric manipulation....

Fabric Manipulations

Websites with more tutorials




This website has a tutorial with links to 40 + ways to manipulate fabric and put into a quilt block. Many could be used in art quilts. And 5 you tube videos on fabric manipulation




This web site has three fabric manipulation tutorials


Interesting Examples of contemporary smocking techniques


 Do you have any great examples of way to manipulate fabric?  Do you use fabric manipulation in your work or rely on piecing? 

Always interested to know! 


Jo

Fabric Embellishing - the Basics and Beyond....

Month Two of our group meeting to go through the book Fabric Embellishing - The Basics and Beyond.  Liz Kettle Textile Evolution has a free class to follow the book so we are making use of that as well.

Check this great resource out. (I receive no compenstation or am affiliated in any way with this book or the authors accept I love the book! )

I have books on order for everyone so it will be nice when we all have a copy. By the end of this journey we will all have been exposed to all the techniques and may have a better grasp of what we like to do. Some may take it farther then others but that is the fun of it!

I have split the group into an afternoon and evening group because it makes it easier on space.  Only so many can fit around my kitchen table.

I have to admit after a tiring week and weekend this past week I did not feel at my best but no one seemed to mind. The reason behind the group remains to help us share info with others. I like the idea of sharing knowledge because it makes us feel more of a community and less of a competition of artists/people. It also inspires me to keep doing.

It helps me to focus on being positive when negative or sad things happen.

This month we tackled bubbling and scrunching and tucks.

Here are my tuck samples ....
                                  Plain tucks, to gridded tucks, to tucks that are manipulated...

                                          Pin tucks that are more free flowing and organic. Front side.

Back of the sample above. More subtle line making than the front. 

Radiating pin tucks stitched first around a blank circle center and the center twirled around to flatten the sticking fabric. 

Back of the radiated pin tucks. Once again a more subtle line with the twist of the center circle. 


I think I like the backs of these pin tucks better than the front.  What about you? 



Here are some bubble samples...
Light Weight Silk

                                           Light weight silk, batik, hand dyes... (from upper left to lower right.)
                                                        Close up of the two hand dyes.


I think I want to try the bubbles again but use the back of the piece as the front. Just to see the difference. 


My scrunch samples are still in the panty house waiting drying time.


My goal is to put the samples in a format of a binder for future reference and to use a couple of techniques this month to the finish of a small piece.

I am also looking around for some other ways to manipulate fabric so I am going to "pinterest" away so I can add a pinterest board for fabric manipulation.


Meanwhile here is some info I found on fabric manipulation....

Fabric Manipulations

Websites with more tutorials




This website has a tutorial with links to 40 + ways to manipulate fabric and put into a quilt block. Many could be used in art quilts. And 5 you tube videos on fabric manipulation




This web site has three fabric manipulation tutorials


Interesting Examples of contemporary smocking techniques


 Do you have any great examples of way to manipulate fabric?  Do you use fabric manipulation in your work or rely on piecing? 

Always interested to know! 


Jo

I am adding this to Needle and Thread Network

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. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May Marching Along...

Marching along. That is what I feel like I am doing. Since my latest body rebellion I have been trying to just march along on what needs to be done.

Goals to get through the month.
Family needs come first. This has been another month of appointments for mom and dad and myself. The last to get through will be for my hubby at the last day of the month. Hopefully June won't be as full. Although mom has another spot of her cancer that has to be removed. We are glad it is only one tiny one.
Honour my own body rebellion. Letting go of the need for perfection and asking for help. This one is hard for a helper.

Craftsy's 50% off members favorite classes sale
Craftsy is continuing its birthday festivities! Put on your party hat and celebrate with 50% off member-favorite classes. Grab a class before the deal expires on Saturday! 



On my sewing activity front. My main goal has been to finish my pieces I wish to enter into a regional show. The deadline is fast approaching. I did not feel well enough to work on this in April and some technical issues had alluded me. The issues are now resolved and I had a great day stitching away.

Portion of my piece yet untitled.

I am having a hard time coming up with a name for this piece. I think I have been working on it to long!
I took quiet time just to do some stitching on a project that I started in 2014. It is not a high priority and I usually only work on it in my monthly stitch group. It is a Judy Niemeyer Quilt - Log Cabins. 
It is not that it is particularly difficult but the process is time consuming. It is a paper piecing pattern for those who don't know. A lot of prep work. It just has not been on the high priority list. 
But to prove to myself that I have spent some time on it. Here it is ongoing. 
This is colour way two of five. The set consists of 5- arc A and 5- arc b. And 5 paper pieced log cabins. Set 1 is complete. Set 3, 4 and 5 are in bags patiently waiting their turn. 

The arcs take me sometime to figure out each time I start. I always did hate geometry with a passion. 
The log cabins less time. 

And Finally this week I will let you gaze at  another ongoing never ending project. My hand pieced grandmother flower garden. I have no idea when I started this. I did however start it using Linda Franz Inklingo products. http://www.inklingo.com/ This women's product is neat. You can use it to print paper piecing templates  as is the popular craze right now or to print on the back of your fabric to get perfect lines to sew on either by hand or machine. She has been
 doing this for a while and even had her husband drop off a book for me when he was going by to save me postage. Now who does that easily! (She offered.) 

I have no clue of how many I have made. I must find the box I have them saved in. It is a project I take in the car on long trips or lately been doing while waiting for someone at the hospital to have surgery or appointments.  This is not paper pieced but done by stitching on the lines printed on the back. 

I am going to test it out on my up coming Katija http://www.katjasquiltshoppe.com/ New Hexegon project. I just found out that I could use my already purchased Inklingo products to run paper through my printer to make my own templates for paper piecing. 

Well that is what I have been up to. I am finally feeling much better than I was for the last two months and am also happy the sun is shining. 

I am going to link to needle and thread network 

I enjoyed reading the blogs of my fellow Canadians last week so I thought I would try to join in each week as well. 

till next time

Jo
What have you been up to?


Reminder: Craftsy is offering a 50% off members favorite classes sale.  If you go through the link below as an affiliate I do get a small renumeration. I want to encourage you to get access to some of the best classes on a broad number of topics to help your creative growth.  I will never promote something that I don't myself use or feel is a rip off. Craftsy classes are one of my main goto's to learn new things. No pressure but if you like craftsy please consider going through my link. These offers will always be at the end of my blog posts. This is to ensure you are not pestered and can read my blog posts for enjoyment not pressure.
Jo

Craftsy's 50% off members favorite classes sale
Craftsy is continuing its birthday festivities! Put on your party hat and celebrate with 50% off member-favorite classes. Grab a class before the deal expires on Saturday!