Friday, 31 August 2012

Colour My World White

For those that are new to my blog, welcome to this month's link up for Colour My World Challenge. In a nutshell, each month we do a small project (e.g. your choice of block, mugrug, mini quilt) focussing on a different colour. Check out my Colour My World Challenge page for more info, if this is something that interests you. You can join in or pop out any month, and/or go back and do previous months' challenges.


I've stated before that I'm not a fan of white. After What the FMQAYGQAL?, I can safely say that I no longer fear white though. I also love all the modern quilts with white in them, but wasn't sure how a piece with just white could work.

As with my black challenge piece, I thought doing something with texture and folding, as Ellen had suggested (Thanks Ellen!), would be a good idea. There's a fabulous folded flap quilt in Contemporary Quilts that I've been wanting to try for ages. Perfect!

The quilt in the book is much bigger than what I needed so I read through the instructions and then designed a much smaller version for my mini.

Here's a quick rundown of what I did: I used a 14 white prints cut in 1.5" strips by 15" (the background) and 12 2.5" by 15" solid white strips cut on the bias and folded in half lengthwise (the folds). I then sewed the solid strips between the print strips and ironed them all upwards. I layered the top on batting and backing. Next, I sewed up the middle with a decorative stitch, securing the folds to the background prints, the batting and the backing. I also straight-stitched up the sides, right at the edges, securing the folds on those sides. Next up was folding down the solid white strips (the bias is what made it possible to stretch the flaps down) and pinning them in place. I then lightly marked the sewing line in pencil and did a decorative stitch along the line, pulling out the pins as I went. Clear as mud, right?

I like how the background whites pop through with the flaps folded down. I wasn't sure how well the different whites would show in the photos, but it's not too bad. The solid white flaps actually look a little gray/blue in the photo -- white balance is off on my camera, I guess. How fun would this technique be with black flaps and brightly coloured background strips?

As with my other challenge pieces, this mini is 14.5" by 14"5", with a zig zag stitch finish along the edge. 

I'm so curious to what others have done with this colour. Frankly, I'll be amazed if anyone else links up this month -- this might be the toughest colour yet! 

September's Colour My World Challenge is orange. I might have done that on purpose in anticipation of October...think pumpkins, Fall foliage, Thanksgiving (Canadian), Halloween, oranges, cats...

I'm also linking up with TGIFF!, which is at Missy Mac Creations this week. For those new to my blog, TGIFF! is a touring linky party to celebrate quilty finishes. If you have a recent finish, link up, tour and enjoy the eye candy!

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

What I Did On My Summer Vacation...

There's time to enter my Back in Action giveaway, if you haven't had a chance yet. I'm still responding to comments, but I'm loving the colour combinations you guys are sharing so far. Yum!


While I was away, I had the opportunity to take a class with Heather Lair at the Sunbury Shores Nature and Arts Centre (gem of a place with great kids programs too!) in St. Andrew's. She was running a five-day course, but with family commitments, I couldn't attend all of it. She graciously allowed me to come for the first two days.

Let me tell you, those two days were AWESOME! I learned so much from her. There were three students in the class so we got a lot of individual attention. The first day, Heather showed us her work, which was displayed downstairs in the gallery. I had looked at her work on her website and was blown away, but it's even more gorgeous in person. Afterwards, Heather showed us how to paint fabric with acrylic/watercolour/fabric paints. Fun! Then she showed us different ways of using that fabric. More fun!

I started three pieces in her class. Yep, three more to add to the WIP list. :D

I'm tempted to call this first one Heathia because I learned it from Heather, who was inspired by the work of Sonia Delaunay. Think they'd mind? This was mostly done using fabric that I painted on the first day of the workshop. I used a marine blue fabric paint and burnt umber watercolour paint for the lighter brown/tan. Key lesson here for me was that precision painting on fabric doesn't matter -- if the fabric is wet, then paint will go where it wants to. It was quite interesting to see how the fabric came out once it was dry.

See that rust fabric? I rust dyed that! I found this cool rusted metal piece one afternoon while beachcombing with the boys so I did what any sane person would do. I brought it home and laid wet fabric on it for five days (I'm told that you can speed up the process to 24 hours if you soak the fabric in vinegar first, but I didn't have any). Then I soaked the fabric in salt water, which is supposed to stop the rusting process. Smitten!

For the design stage, we looked at some of Sonia Delaunay's art and how she used and deconstructed basic shapes in her work. She tended to use much brighter and bolder colours than I did, but this is what was working for me. I have to say that playing with the design and moving the pieces around with Heather was one of the highlights of the weekend for me.

It may not look like much yet in the photo, but I've since layered it on a piece of muslin, batting and backing, and started quilting it. The quilting will add another design layer, completely different from the painted, fused shapes. I'm excited to see this piece take shape and I'll probably have this finished for next week's TGIFF! when I host.

The second project is another technique that Heather taught us for using the hand painted fabric. This first layer was laid out in about 10 minutes, mostly so I would remember what to do when I got home. There will be layers of quilting and painting added to this so it will change quite a bit.

This next project was, again, started quickly so that I would remember what to do once I got home. Can you guess what it might become? This is the beginning of a torn-strip appliqué landscape, a technique that Heather shared with us and that I absolutely adore. Check out Heather's site to see what a finished landscape looks like. I can see me making a lot of these and I have some ideas for using this technique in other ways. 

If you are reading this, Heather, thanks so much for a great class. It was energizing to spend that time with you, Judy and Mary (my classmates), both in the class and during our lunch breaks.

Speaking of Judy, I scored some fabulous wool roving in a variety of yummy colours to play with from Judy, who raises Alpacas, sheep and goats near Saint John. How cool is that? She cards and dyes the wool herself too in beautiful colours. Should I get into wool felting, I know exactly who I'll be calling for more. Thanks Judy!

So that's some of what I did quilting-wise on my vacation. I also worked on my Stained Glass Lillies, but I'll give an update on that project another day.

For those participating in this month's doozy of a Colour My World White Challenge, the linky party will go up on Friday. Guess I better get my butt in gear!

Even though this isn't my usual WIP Wednesday-style post, it is about some WIPs so I'll link up to WIP Wednesday at The Needle and Thread Network and to W.i.P. Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Right Click to Save Image

See you on the quilt side,

Monday, 27 August 2012

Stash Play - Macaw Spectrum

As I mentioned when I was organizing my stash earlier this summer, I rediscovered a lot of beloved fabrics and came up with an easy, little game to play with my stash more (sounds a little dirty, eh?). I'm also hoping that this game will help me get better at picking fabrics according to a colour palette. I don't necessarily plan on using these arrangements for any projects, but you never know.

So here's how it works -- I'm going to choose a palette from one of my favourite sites Design Seeds, and try to find fabrics in my stash that would work with it. Pretty straightforward and fun, right? Shall we give it a try?

The first palette I chose was Macaw Spectrum:
macaw spectrum

Here's my take in solid fabric:
1. Golden Yellow - Heritage Quilting Cottons
2. Orange - Heritage Quilting Cottons
3. Ruby - Kona
4. Navy - Heritage Quilting Cottons
5. Charcoal - Kona 
The navy I have is quite a bit darker than the one in the palette and should have a little more grey in it, but I think the fabric palette still works (at least in person it does -- I'll work on the photos!).

Let's make it a bit trickier and try print fabrics:

1. Yellow crosshatch - No idea
2. Orange - Bloom by CP Designs
3. Red dot - No idea
4. Blue ocean swirl - No idea
5. Grey - Southwest Fantasy by Joyce Straus for Northcott
Even though the colours seem to work together, I find the patterns really don't.

So let's try something else:

1. Yellow tone on tone - No idea
2. Orange tone on tone - No idea
3. Red dot - No idea
4. Navy gingham - VIP Crantston
5. Black and white - Tattoo by Melissa Marie for Camelot
Meh. How's that for some sophisticated analysis?

I think I like this combo best:

1. Yellow tone on tone - No idea
2. Orange - Bloom by CP Designs
3. Red dot - No idea
4. Blue ocean swirl - No idea
5. Charcoal - Kona
I don't have any charcoal grey prints and few ruby red prints, so this stash play was not so successful on the print side, but the solids work. And it did get me trying out different fabrics in my stash. The hardest part was actually trying to get good photos of the fabrics. Hopefully that will get better.

What did you think? Would you give this game a try with your stash?

See you on the quilt side,

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Back in Action Giveaway!

Blog Hop Party with Give-Aways
We had a wonderful vacation in St. Andrew's-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick with my husband's extended family. Beachcombing, playing cards, going to town on chocolate during Chocolate Fest (I never thought I'd hear my kids say, "I ate too much chocolate!"), swimming, geocaching, hiking, and whale watching -- so much fun! I even had the chance to do a workshop with Heather Lair while I was there. Wow, I learned a ton and started some fun new projects that I'll share this week.

For those coming for the first time from Quilting Gallery's Blog Hop Party, welcome! Here's a sampling of some of my projects over the last couple of years:

I have lots to share with you over the next few weeks, including a new game I'll be playing with my stash that you might like to try too. But for now, what better way to celebrate being home from vacation and back in action, than a giveaway?

For today's giveaway, we have this loverly bundle of fat quarters:

You have two chances to win this yummy bundle:

1) Leave me a comment letting me know your favourite colour combination.
2) There's a bonus entry for my awesome followers. Just leave a comment letting me know you are a follower or new follower.

This giveaway is open to international folks until Monday, September 3rd at 9 p.m. EST. I'll pick a number via Ms. Random Number Generator and contact the winner on Tuesday. If you are a no reply blogger, please leave your email address, otherwise I will have to pick another number and that would be sad. Thanks for playing along and good luck!

There are a lot of other giveaways going on right now so check out the Quilting Gallery's Blog Hop page.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Flying Geese For Beatrice

St. Andrews-by-the-Sea,
New Brunswick
August 2012
Just a quick pop in from beautiful St. Andrew's-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick to share a quilt made by a friend of mine, Robin Tilsworth.

Those who have been following along for awhile know that I spoke at my guild in June about the online quilt world and modern quilting. I was blown away when Robin emailed me in early July with this completed top below.

I had shared my Modern Block Monday blocks and the book 99 Modern Block, in which this fabulous Double Flying Geese block by Lynne Goldsmith of Lily's Quilts is included. I have been too chicken to try this block yet, but Robin loved it so much that she went out, bought the book and put this quilt-as-you-go top together in two weeks! I love those colours. Beautiful!
Robin emailed me asking for advice on the border. She was a little stumped for a modern border that would complement, but not overwhelm the Double Flying Geese blocks. I sent her a few suggestions, including this preferred one:

Last week, Robin sent me photos of the completed quilt, which is a baby present for a friend's second child. This is Flying Geese for Beatrice (Beatrice pronounced in French rhymes with geese). Isn't it fabulous? Love! I love that Robin liked my suggestion, but took it in her own direction (ha ha)!

 The back:

A close up of the quilting:

Robin, thank you so much for letting me share this with folks. You did an amazing job with this quilt!

Happy quilting, all and I'll be back in a week or so.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Colour My World White

Color icon white.svg
Welcome to the eight month of this Colour My World Challenge. This month's colour is white.

Before I owned a house, I used to think that white was well, white. Not so. When I went to the hardware store get white paint for the baseboards and trim of our first home, I got my first glimpse into the world of white. Snow white, linen, off-white, ecru, cream, Navaho white, ice white, eggshell, ivory and vanilla. All shades of white. In fact, there are more shades of white than any other colour!
Mont Tremblant - February 2012

Is white a colour though? As with black, there is a debate about this. Color Matters has some great answers.

Fresh, crisp, cool and pure, white is another colour imbued with much symbolism. The power of white tells us who the good guys are in movies. Brides in the Western world and Japan wear white, originally to signify their purity. A white flag is a symbol of truce. A white dove, peace.

If you buy a white car, it says that you are fastidious. Did you know that medical professionals started wearing white coats in the 19th century because they believed that it would bring hope and healing to patients?Medieval queens in Europe would often wear white in mourning rather than black. The ancient Greeks would wear white to bed to evoke good dreams.

How many of you start each month with saying "white rabbit" three times to bring good luck? Or told a white lie? Or have a white elephant?

According to Sensational Color, white also has some interesting affects on us physically. It "aids mental clarity, encourages us to clear clutter or obstacles, evokes purification of thoughts or actions, and enables fresh beginnings."

Some more fun resources about the colour white:
And here's Dido's take on White Flag:

With my fear of white, I knew this month was going to be quite the challenge so I put it in a month that has a lot of colour least in the northern hemisphere. What would you do with this challenge? Snowflakes? Lights? Clouds? I'll put the linky party up on August 31st for those participating in this challenge.

Happy quilting!
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