Thursday, November 27, 2008

I found my images

I found my images for the Gloria Loughman "Colour is Magic" workshop. I'm going with the two images below which have similar colour schemes of turquoise, green, and pinky/purple tones.

The other images that I was considering were these 2 of the forest with the purple ground cover. So I figured I'd use this colour scheme for the abstract workshop "Layer by Layer".

So I booked a vacation day today to go through my stash and pick out fabric and get things packed and ready to go for tomorrow. I have to leave early for the class since it will take between 1 - 1 1/2 hours to get to the town where the workshops are being held provided the weather behaves. If it decides to snow, I could be in for a longer trip. It's interesting that even with all the boxes of fabric, I still feel like I don't quite have the right combination of fabrics. I'm a bit short on the pinky/purple tones. I guess this could be an excuse to go fabric shopping at the shop.

I'm looking forward to the next two days and I should have some interesting things to post for Monday. Stay tuned and have a great weekend.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Upcoming Workshops with Gloria Loughman

I have finished the work on the back of the Oriental Mosaic quilt. My next project will be the quilting of the Curious Kitties quilt but that won't be until next week. This week I'm actually living out at a friend's place looking after her cat Niki while she is on vacation in Los Vegas. Not my first pic for a vacation, but at least the weather is warm compared to the rain and snow mix that we have been having here.

This coming Fri and Sat I'm taking 2 workshops with Gloria Loughman From Australia who wrote Luminous Landscapes .

One is called "Colour is Magic" and for this class I need to find a picture, card or image that I love for the colours that are used in it. the design isn't important, only the colours, since we won't be making the actual picture. the colour scheme will be used and we are to bring an assortment of fabric in the colours of our picture. Well this has proved to be a tough challenge. I keep changing my mind as to what picture I like because after I pick a picture I go to my stash to see what I have in that range. I have some of the fabric but I seem to be short on one of the major colours in the scheme since we have to bring a range of lights, mediums and darks of the colours selected. Here are the samples for this class:

The other class is called Layer by Layer and this is more of an abstract design project. for this one I just have to bring 2 or 3 colours of fabric that work well together. here are here samples for this class:

Friday, November 21, 2008

Oriental Mosaic Part 7

I have finished the border quilting on the Oriental Mosaic quilt. It took longer than anticipated since I came down with a cold bug and wasn't very motivated to do much. But last night decided to finished off the last bits and I'm pleased with the results. I still have to take all the threads on the back and thread them into the back and trim them so that the quilting doesn't unravel.

Below is a picture of part of the border quilting but it's a bit hard to see it since it's red thread on red and black fabric (click on the picture for a larger version). I also took a picture of the back where the border is black so there you can really see what it looks like.

Here is a picture of the finished quilt.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Oriental Mosaic Part 6

I finished quilting the friendship character in all the blocks and last night was working on mapping out the pattern for the border. After I sized the Chrysanthemums for the width of the border I layed out the pattern and it was close. I had some space left on each of the sides, but not enough to add 1 more flower so I was trying to figure out what I could do in the space. At first I was toying with the idea of stretching the lines between the Chrysanthemums but when I drew out a few it started to look a bit strange. I then noticed that the corner transition used a loop and there was my answer. The loops provide continuity in the design and solve my problem with what to do with the extra space. So I'm now ready to work on my border.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Oriental Mosaic Part 5

I'm still working on the individual blocks and I should have them done by the weekend. I have picked my design for what I'm going to quilt in the border and it is a modified chrysanthemum design. So once I'm finished with the blocks I will have to start measuring this design to determine the size and spacing. Hopefully I won't have to do too much modification to make it work.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bamboo Yarn

At the quilt show this past weekend there was a small "merchant's mall" and among the usual fabrics, notions, books and patterns there was one booth Dye-Version which sold hand dyed fabrics and yarns. They had bamboo yarn which was soft as silk and the colours were amazing. I'm not a knitter, I couldn't knit my way out of a paper bag, but I couldn't resist and ended up buying 4 skiens. They gave away a free pattern for a lovely scarf that only took one skein so I'm going to ask my friend if she will knit up the purple and turquoise coloured yarn for me as my Christmas present. She's already asked me what I want for Christmas and this would fit the bill perfectly. The other 3 skeins I will keep and eventually use as embellishment yarn on some future quilts.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Celebration of Quilts X

In yesterday's blog Quilt Pixie asked "How do you nurture your muse?" One thing that I like to do to nurture my muse is to get out to some quilt shows to see what other folks have created with fabric. It's a great opportunity to see first hand some great finished projects. One day I'd love to attend one of the big shows like the Houston International Quilt Festival that was just on. This past weekend the York Heritage Quilters Guild had their show and everyone who attended was asked to pick their top 5 favorites. They have yet to announce the winners. There was lots to choose from and below were my picks.

Stepping Stones by Joanne Shaw

Lily Pond by Joan Robertson

close up of the 3 dimensional lilies

Round Robin Quilt by Joan Shaw

Rose Window by Kirstin Johnston

Rain Drops by Laurissa Werhun

Monday, November 10, 2008

Oriental Mosaic Part 4

Even though it was a busy weekend I did manage to get some work done on the Oriental Mosaic quilt. I'm pleased with the way the Chinese character for friendship translated into quilting and below are some images of the blocks. The quilting I'm doing is with red thread so it really stands out on the black and white blocks. The least effective is the block with the black Chinese characters on the red background. My thread matches the background pretty closely so the quilting blends in on that block.

I've got a busy week this week so I'm not sure if I will get all the blocks done, time will tell.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fabric Manufacturer Free Patterns

I was checking out some of the fabric manufacturer sites to see what was coming out in new fabrics and some of them provide a decent collection of free quilting patterns. They are typically designed to showcase their fabrics but I find a lot of times the designs can work with other fabrics or their designs can inspire a new design that is more suitable for the fabrics that I have. Below I have listed some links to manufacturers that are worth taking a look at from time to time.

Andover Fabrics:



Cranston Village:

Free Spirit:


Kona Bay:

Makower UK:

Maywood Studio:

Michael Miller Fabrics:

Moda Fabrics:


P & B Textiles:

RJR Fabrics:

Robert Kaufman:

South Sea Imports:

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Oriental Mosaic Part 3

I liked Quilt Pixie's suggestion of using a stylized Chinese character in the blocks to free motion quilt. So I went on a hunt on the Internet to see if there were any characters that were easy enough to quilt and their meaning would reflect my intentions for making this quilt for my friend. I found the perfect character that should be relatively easy to free motion quilt and its meaning is "friendship". How much more perfect can one get? So now I'm going to do some practice runs on a test quilt sandwich before I start on the actual quilt.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Oriental Mosaic Part 2

I have finished the stitch in the ditch portion on the Oriental Mosaic quilt and now I have to decide what I'm going to free motion quilt in the squares. I originally thought of doing an outline of the Ying Yang symbol but I figure that will be quite the challenge given that it's pretty much a prefect circle and doing it free motion could prove to be interesting.

The other challenge I found was finding a design that is suitable for the oriental themed quilt. I found two other designs that might work but will have to practice them to see if I can actually do them free motion. I do draw out the designs on tracing paper and then pin the paper to the quilt and stitch over top of the paper as my guide line. I've not figured out an easier way to copy the designs to the quilt to do the stitching.

If anyone has any other ideas for patterns that might be suitable for the oriental themed quilt please let me know.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Down Under Quilts Free 6 month Digital Subscription

Down Under Quilts, an Australian publication is offering a free 6 month digital (on-line)subscription to their quilting magazine. I have purchased their magazine in the past when I can find it here in Canada and it showcases some very talented quilters. I've subscribed to their on-line version and it is the complete magazine and it even allows you to print off selected pages. Here is the link to register for the free subscription: