Category Archives: art quilt

Finished: Refugee Camp Quilt

I started this quilt quite a while ago, and never posted the finished project. Here is a photo of an intermediate step:


The dark blue square represent the settled area soon after the camp opened in July 2012.  The light blue areas were settled within 9 months, and the grey areas were settled within 18 months of the camp opening.The population had swollen to 80,000 refugees. The black lines are the main roads of the camp, and I have placed images of refugees making their way to the camp through the desert.  Zaatari has become a permanent settlement for these people.

Final quilt:

Closeup of refugees: These were made by gluing scraps of fabric for the body, and felt pen used to make a dot for the head, and 2 lines for the legs. Netting was applied to help attach these to the quilt.


Workplace Memories completed

This quilt was such fun to design and make, and I am thrilled with the result. I gave my long-arm quilter, Deb from (Bloomin’ Quilts and Tangles) free rein for the quilting. There was so much white space, I thought a zentangle design would really celebrate that space. She did a fabulous job! She used black thread in some areas, and white in others, in both the solid white and black areas. Here are some photos of the finished quilt..




and this is the back of the quilt:

Notice the 3 small photos near the top? These are a few people I had forgotten to include in the image area. I think it adds a nicely whimsical touch. They can be flipped to the front, as they just loop over one of the hanging tabs I made for hanging the quilt.

The Art of Quilting

I have participated in a few quilt challenges in the half dozen years I have been quilting, and the ones I like best are the ones where I do something completely different from what I usually do. I am most inspired in my quilting work to  work in colour, and love making pieced quilts. But for a few of the quilt challenges I have taken a different path, and made an “art quilt”. I am a huge fan of Quilting Arts magazine, and have also purchased  several DVDs of Quilting Arts TV. I love looking at the innovative materials and techniques that quilters use to make these works, so here was my chance to try them.

The first art quilt I made was part of a “tin can” quilt challenge. I had the fabric for ~6 months, and dropped by the quilt shop that was running the challenge to see if they had more of the fabric. I thought I had a week to go, but in fact it was due in 2 days. Well! The challenge fabric was the black and white fabric used to make the flowers and the bird- I think the short time frame made me try things I normally would not have, and I was pretty happy with how it turned out. I used marker pen to make some of the challenge fabric all black (used for the bird), and used a lot of the embroidery stitches on my Janome Gem Platinum (brand new then!) in the quilting.

Night Garden

The next year, my quilt guild  (York Heritage Quilters Guild) had a challenge- the theme was to be It’s a Small World. There was a size restriction of 120″ for the perimeter. Well, I am fascinated with the wild and wonderful world of insects, so this was an easy one of me.  I won second place in the beginners category (never entered, never won), and got to try a variety of techniques to transfer  designs to fabric. This is when I discovered Leslie Riley’s Transfer Art Paper, which is now available through C&T Publishing. I did a lot of reading about leaf cutter ants, initially drawn to photos of tiny ants carrying leaves many times their own size. this became the inspiration for my quilt, which I named It’s a Small, Small World. In the left side of the quilt border, if you look very closely, I printed ” And I think to myself, what a wonderful world”- a phrase from the Louis Armstrong song that moves me every time I hear it.

It's a Small, Small World

The most recent quilt I made (finished this morning!) is to be donated to our Guild for its silent auction at the upcoming quilt show next month. This past June I went to see the ballet of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a co-production between Britain’s Royal Ballet and the National Ballet of Canada. This was a stunning production, one I would love to see over and over again. The magical set design was my inspiration for this 12″ square quilt. I just might have to bid on it myself in order to keep it!

Down She Goes

I do love the freedom of play that I have when I make these quilts, so there may be more art quilts in my future. But right now I have a charity quilt to quilt and bind, a Christmas table runner to finish, and a host of other projects that are demanding my attention. What’s a girl to do?