Author Archives: Valerie

Working on a Tree

I made a tumbler quilt a while ago, had it quilted (thanks again Sandy!!) and thought it was just OK. I decided to put a tree on the quilt- a tree with no leaves, and calling the piece Last Tree Standing. I appliqu├ęd the tree to the quilt, then painted on more branches.. better but still not great So it sat, while I waited for inspiration.

Then I remembered a discussion with Lorraine Roy at the Toronto Outdoor Art Fair a few years ago. She is a local textile artist whose work I have long admired. Her images of trees are stunning and the foliage is created by cutting incredibly small pieces of fabric, then overlaid with organza, and free-motion quilted.I have since seen this technique elsewhere, called confetti quilting.

I wasn’t sure if this was for me, so I cut some light, mid and dark green fabrics into small bits and tossed them onto the quilt.. this might work! When I overlaid this with organza, however, I felt it created a barrier to the leaves and seemed too visible. Back to the drawing board. How else could I attach these tiny bits to the quilt?

First, I tried just doing some stitching to attach them to the quilt. I did like the way it gave a 3D look to the leaves, but I decided this required more time than I wanted to give it.

I ended up using two different techniques to attach the fabric. The first involves Mistyfuse. I cut some into small pieces, placed it on parchment paper, and distributed my fabric bits on top. I added another layer of parchment paper on top of this, ironed the fabrics to the Mistyfuse, and let it cool. I carefully peeled this off the parchment paper, and fused it in place on the quilt. I liked this, but needed to fill in some areas more lightly.

Enter glue sticks! The glue sticks I have say washable… does this mean you can wash the item and the glue still holds the fabric together? I never intend to wash this quilt, but decided to make a test sample and wash it to see if it holds. So far so good.

And here is where I am today.. I think I will be adding a few more areas with “leaves”, but I am pretty happy with it so far. It will also need steaming, and the facing and hanging sleeve to be added.

Keeping it Simple

I have a great niece getting married in a month. Oh no! I started talking about making her a wedding quilt 1 1/2 years ago. I researched ideas that I liked, asked for her opinion on some of the quilts I have made in the past, and found My Great Big Fat Wedding Ring Quilt from QuiltSmart. It uses fusible interfacing, big chunks of fabric… I liked the look of it. My friend Sandy Lindal from Scrappy Gal Quilt Com had TWO daughters getting married, so she was joining me on this venture.

We decided to order the bolt ( currently $137- USD) in case we needed or wanted more rings- or another quilt! Ordering this from th eUSA is pricey, especially when you end up paying a LOT for shipping ($36) , and then get charged duty (~$60-) on top of that. So, pricey, but hopefully fast and simple to make.

I have written about my early steps in constructing this quilt here, where I decided to over-dye the blocks I had made to tone down any whites in the fabrics . For some reason, I then put it away for a while. Below is a rough image from EQ8 of what my version was to look like. Sandy showed her quilt at our recent in person quilt guild meeting. She had finished both of them! And they are stunning- hopefully she blogs about hers soon so you can see what I mean. This is a rough image of what it was supposed to look like.

Fast forward to me spending too long searching for my blocks. OK.. problems. I was missing one piece of blue background fabric (did I use it somewhere else??). After a few frustrating days I realized I did NOT want to deal with these problems right now- so back into the UFO category. Now what?

This was the push I needed..the wedding is now just one month away, and I had decided on a whole new quilt. So,I decided to look for a simple, modern design with lots of negative space, a range of colours, still mostly blue. I liked using solids in the Timna Tarr quilt I recently made. I made one block from this purchased pattern ( A Different Stripe by Denise Schmidt), and I like the slight wonkiness, but wanted something simpler, centred around various blues.

So, here is my quilt using the KISS principle- Keep It Simple Stupid! My sister, who lives in Nova Scotia, has a long arm quilting machine, so we decided I would ship it off to her for quilting, making it a gift from both great-aunts. Whew! Hopefully I remember to take a photo before I deliver it to the soon-to-be-married couple.

Off to the post office!

Some Colour in My Life

These days I crave bright colours. I dug out several UFOs that are bright and colourful, determined to at least move them forward. They make me so happy just looking at them!

This quilt is from a design by Timna Tarr called Color Confetti. Making those blocks was time consuming but the colours just glow. And now it is done! This will be a great quilt for our bed this winter.

I love the quilting design (thanks Sandy!!).. I forget the name of it, but it is a series of happy swirls that perfectly matches the light-hearted fun pattern of the quilt itself.

I plan to work on a few more of my “brights” in the near future. No promises that they will be completed anytime soon though!

Scrap Happy

One of the quilt guilds I belong to recently had a UFO challenge. I actually only got one quilt done during the challenge, too much on the go! And that still needs to be quilted, but that is for another day and another post. However this challenge did lead to some interesting half-explored ideas which I found tucked away. They have got me excited to get back to my design wall and play. Here is what I have been working on in the past day or two.. I always loved those circle blocks I had made, but didn’t know where to take them. And I have a LOT of brightly patterned, brightly coloured fabrics.. here is where this project stands at present, in bits on my design wall. SO happy to work with these fabrics!!

Not sure where this is going from here right now, but these bits are one step closer to becoming a quilt!