Tuesday, November 29, 2011

My Open House

My open house was successful and I really had a good time talking to visitors about my work.   It is always interesting to see the pieces that people choose as their favourites.   I have favourites of my own but they weren't always the ones that dazzled others.     One simple piece that I did with reverse applique called "Rooster" was a great hit with the men who came.  It was my son's favourite too.  

And what a treat to chat with other quilters about the work as well.    It isn't easy to put your work out there but when the feedback is positive I find it inspires me to continue to show my work and take chances. 

Of course, I had many comments about the fact that I do all the work by hand rather than using a machine.   In my many years as a social worker I found the handwork to be a way to de-stress after a day of work.   It was actually soothing to me.   Other quilters have told me that handwork has almost driven them to a nervous breakdown :-)

My thanks to all who came and supported my endeavours.   My friend Dyanne did a great job as hostess so I had time to speak to the visitors.  Here are more photos of the work and of my home all decorated up with quilts everywhere.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Open House

Tomorrow afternoon I am holding a fibre art open house at my home.  All the pieces are hung, the refreshments almost ready and the house is clean except for a last minute vacuuming.   It is amazing how much more critically I see my home when strangers are coming.   Also amazing is how dirt can hide in small corners, how many nail holes a wall can accumulate and how cluttered things get over time.    Ah well, I am hoping visitors will be focusing on the work hanging on the walls and not the walls themselves.     The reward for me is to have people view my work and to hear feedback, see which ones are more popular and to see how people interpret the work.     And the unanticipated reward?   My motto is 'when the house is clean invite people over' so..... I get a good start on my Christmas entertaining after all that cleaning!!   Maybe I'll take some photos tomorrow and post them - if I am not too busy.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Another Landscape - Berry picking in the Gatineau Hills

I am close to completing my berry picking piece.   Here is a sneak preview of parts of the quilt.  I'm not ready to reveal the whole piece yet.   This is one piece I will be exhibiting at the Textile Museum in Almonte Ontario next summer.     It was inspired by a photo of my son and I in the Gatineau Hills which his father snapped while  I was showing my son some hidden blueberries amongst the long grasses.   Later that afternoon we saw a bear on the hill but in my piece the mamma bear and her cub are watching us as we threaten to take away their dinner ( all this happened many moons ago - note the hippy peasant blouse).   My oldest son is now 38.     I used pale fabrics and tulle to make the sky and hills appear more misty in the distance.   Closer up the visibility increases and I used stronger colours.    In the foreground I hand stitched grasses, fused and stitched tiny leaves on the trees, and used seed beads for the blueberries.   I need to decide whether to finish it as a quilt or not.   Except for the sky, I don't think it needs quilting.   I may attach the finished piece to a stretched canvas and set it in a floating frame.    This is the difficult part for me.     But I am happy with the way it turned out so far.  I am still thinking of a name for it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

More fabric bookmarks and art cards

While I have been wearing out my fingertips from hand stitching my Gatineau Hills berry-picking piece, I have found some relief in making more bookmarks and art cards.   What fun to create tiny landscapes with fusible, fabric and a pair of sharp scissors.    Here are a few more with plastic sleeves and tassels attached.

                             I cover the backs with colourful fabrics.

I try to choose interesting batiks or hand dyes (including some of my own hand dyes).

And lastly here are some window cards with fused fabric landscapes.   Check out previous post on October 4, 2011 for details on how I assembled these cards and bookmarks.

Monday, November 7, 2011

stitched watercolour landscapes

Here is another of my stitched watercolour pieces.   It is a scene from Ingonish Ferry,  Cape Breton, NS.   First I paint with Caran Dache watercolour crayons and pencils onto fabric then I use tiny stitches to quilt through 3 thin layers.  I finish by adding a matt and frame.   This piece is 4" x 6" matted to 5 x 7.    They are great to do when I need a break from the larger pieces.   Another way to relax from the bigger pieces -  I've been using fusible to create more landscape bookmarks which my friends are buying almost as fast as I can make them.  I also have a line of art cards using fusible and fabric.   I'll try to get these items into my blog gallery for sale sometime soon.

I am almost finished my blueberry picking piece set in the Gatineau Hills.   Taken from a photo of myself and my son over 30 years ago on a hill near Champlain Lookout, we were sampling a few blueberries when we saw a bear in the distance doing the same thing.  I have taken liberties with my interpretation.   This piece is destined for an exhibit in the summer but I will give a sneak preview of parts of it once it is completed.  I have worn my fingertips raw with the thousands of stitches ( I hate using thimbles) but I am pleased with the results.  Re: not using thimbles, I have found that there is a moldable tape sold by Lee Valley in Canada that works well because it is softer and more pliable than a regular thimble.