Thursday, March 29, 2012

My Kitchen Mosaic Project is done!

Fweuf! Its done. 

My kitchen renovation mosaic project took one full week. This is what my kitchen looked like before I began the taping, trimming, mudding, glueing (oh my aching back!)

As you can just barely see, there is a row of off white tiles above the sink. These were put up unbeknownst to my hubby last year! Its been a trial run to see if we liked tiles in the kitchen.

When we first moved here, we the discovered that our front door on the cottage was not a 'normal' size of a door....more like made for a hobbit than my guy's 6 ft plus stature. It worked fine for me, cause I'm a shorty, but the first summer I went crazy with mossy's in every corner of our cottage and like any good women made of good rural stuff, I found a plan online to make a screen door!

What? I should let someone experienced make a screen door? What may be a trying idea to some is common place for the 'maker' in me! Well, girls I not only made a screen door, I made a really good one, perfectly followed the online instructions and everything.

 So why I'm blabbering on about screen doors etc is to let you know that I'm the kind of gal who can take on too much!

No way, really?

Yep, the mosaic project was one such project.

The best start is a clean one, so all the little bits and odds and ends needed to be removed before starting.

I have saved all the various tiles I found at our local ReUse Shed. Some of the tiles had to be cleaned themselves of debris on the back, so scrapping the old glue off and removing all the bumpy parts.

As you can see, to make the tiles fit without driving somewhere and paying for someone to actually cut the tiles, I just made it work with broken dish and broken tile 'space filling' and this is behind the stove.

This is a poor photo, but you can see the above the window broken dish mosaic starting to take shape. I had the idea of a wild and wooly plant reaching for the sun with blue mountains in the background starting to look like something.

This is Thursday morning, I had an appt. in town and still did get something done on my mosaic that day. But as I recall, my feet were really glad to be not standing in one place all day!

Then the mudding started on Friday morning. Filling over all the spaces between the tiles and over top of the broken dish parts proved to  be challenging. Filling this and that and trying to not make a huge mess was my worse challenge. I'd do it differently next time!

So don't leave the mud to dry completely before removing the part that gets onto the tiles. Its dries fast and you have work fast. But your can see the special mosaic scene I did that was first one since 1982, so I had a few gaps in my memory of the process. So you live and you learn.

Keeping all your tools and various dishes with broken dish pieces ready to work on are paramount to organization for this kind of project! As you can see the filling in with broken dish mini mosaics was just the ticket and all I spent was $12.96 for the grout and $8.99 for the glue.

In one of the  photo's above  you may have noticed the Magic Tiles Quilt behind the dining room table, this is when I was hand quilting it. Heh its one of 2011 UFO finishes!

So this is the final photo of my new kitchen, thanks to Multicolored Pieces blog for prompting me to get on with it! Thanks Nadia!

All the best,


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Modern Quilts and Reuse

I'm so excited that our community has finally grown to want to an actual real quilt guild. Our community really is spread out so far that its actually takes in 7 communities Fort Fraser, Fraser Lake, Burns Lake, Houston, Telkwa, Smithers, Moricetown and Hazelton.

Our fledgling start up guild is holding it second "Quit In" in Telkwa on March 31, centrally located, at the Telkwa Christian Reformed Church, across from the One Stop in Telkwa. We'll start at 9:30 and play with fabric until 4 pm. Its a brown  bag lunch, so we're not making extra potluck stuff that usually is too much for all of us and its takes more work.

 Reuse is a  big deal with us. We all were really focused to figure out how to hold a mini workshop for 3 hours at the upcoming Farmer's market on June 16th? Fortunately, we have received funding to hold such an event like this and we're moving ahead. This pink quilt is one such example of a baby quilt made from sweaters, its warm, soft and is very easy to make.

But what does reuse have to do with the modern quilts movement? Well, its got a lot to do with it and here's why.

Gee's Bend Quilters are world renowned now for their art in quilts. Humble beginnings of slaves with still spirit and passion to create useful quilts. I don't think it first understood that they were pieces of art.
This blog took up the challenge and inspiration to Downtown NY storefront windows with her creation of a denim American flag made from recycled jeans.

I had humble beginnings as many of us did, but its not where we start that counts, its what we do with our life that demonstrates who we are and what we are made of and Gee's Bend quilts have inspired me for years.

So what is our new guild doing to promote reuse?

We are sponsored by the Bulkley Valley Community Arts Council to produce our workshop at the June 16th BV Farmer's Market, where our members will have bags, pillows, quilts and all sorts of other things ready to inspect and see for yourself what can be done with more than denim. 

For my readers, what can you do?

Here's an example for you to consider.

This throw sized quilt is recycled from the get-go. I used a thermal velour chunk that needed only a little trimming to make this whole quilt. No batting was required as its so lofty and warm. Then I took a dinner plate template onto a a large part of jeans and drew the circle on the jeans. 
Then I cut up antique barkcloth curtains that I found at the thrift store and sewed the circles onto the 12.5 in. blocks. Then I sashed the blocks together with new cotton sashing. I laid the top onto the velour and quilted through the sashing two edges. The outside border was sewn directly onto the half finished quilt. Turned under the cotton edge of the border and machine sewed the outside edge.

Or if denim isn't your thing, make a traditional log cabin, its my favorite way to reuse. This quilt is 54 by 68 and is made up of reused cotton khaki pants, shirts and some cotton dress fabric. Its backed with one of those East Indian throws that were sold door to door years ago, remember those?

Or you can grow into your own style of refashioning clothing like Skylar did here! Her cute caps are just the ticket for a new and cheap fashion diva.

All the  best,

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My "Oh, Canada" Crazy Quilt is at the NDP Convention

This simple designed flag is my one symbol I have that I can say belongs to me and every other Canadian. This flag hanging outside a typical northern Canadian lake campground reminds me of the pride I felt when Trudeau opened Expo 67!

I have lived a quiet rural life with intermittent rebellious youthful times spent in cities, just like thousands of other Canadians. Many of us returned to the country to find our roots and revive rural farming communities. Its not just me that thinks that we're seeing and living a return to the basic country lifestyle. For us to get down and have some good clean rodeo fairing good times is often held at a small local rodeo or fall fair. We eat up all sorts of dripping corn on the cob and wrestle back a few bugs while taking in our communities agricultural offerings. I love checking out chickens, rabbits, horses and goats and sheep. Sometimes its the flavor of our version of "hippie concert in the bush" festival and that for me would be a toss up between Kispiox Music Festival and Midsummer Festival in Smithers.

Whatever it is that makes us feel so proud that we can state our opposition to Enbridge Pipeline. Even, our NDP MP, Nathan Cullen speaks out in support of us when we say "No Pipeline." This is the stuff that grabs your gut and vomits the words "No Damn Way!" and your have an MP so worthy of our mutual support, He's shown us to be fair, honest and committed, what more can a candidate give?

For Canadians,  many of us, who are members of the Federal NDP (New Democratic Party) and for those who are not Canadian, this is a pivotal time in our  history. Our membership is picking a new leader after the sad loss of our beloved Jack Layton. We lost Jack last summer to cancer, we miss his wit and strong leadership skills with so many good years, to come within striking distance of the Conservatives in the last election.

Several years ago, I decided I wanted to make a Canadian Flag quilt and contacted the Canadian government about this and made this one to scale, otherwise its not really a flag. 

Just a vague idea of a "flag in a quilt" was not where my mind was at and I wanted the one I was making, to be exact.

 Of course, my crazy quilting creative juices started gathering speed as I searched for and stored all sorts of satin, silk, rayon, lace etc in white or off white. Not to mention the variety of red prints and red solid fabric varieties, my favorite red in this was the raw silk. So soft and supple, almost a mini-velvet.

My high school art teacher would be proud as I transferred the simple outline of the maple leaf from one one  of the Canadian Governement web sites I think, maybe somewhere else, but I transferred it with a grid. I made the template and carried on with beginning the quilt.

My son and Nathan were hanging out when Nathan decided to enter federal politics. I have heard hime speak, read newspaper articles and continue to follow on FB Nathan Cullen's career as a politician. 

I still say, he's hit a tender place in many Canadian hearts because he's drawn a line in the sand! This is what we are looking for in our leader. The  next Canadian Prime Minister cannot be a woosie! We're going to have continued challenging times between our economy and our natural landscape filled with Indeginious people, immigrants, families and businesses that derive all their income from the very ecosystem that is threatened in Northwestern BC. Not to mention the Bulkley River right in front of our riverside property. We fish and lots of anglers fish the water above and below the Quick Bridge every year. Our groundwater is fed by the river and related water table.

What can I do to promote my candidate for leadership of the NDP?

 I can give him my "Oh, Canada" crazy quilt. I can fantasize that he'd take it with to a debate during the convention, I don't know what exactly goes on at a political convention like this, but maybe he'd use the quilt to show grass roots national pride!

Another interesting fact about this "Oh, Canada" quilt is that my best guesstimate would around 70% is reused fabric from clothing, the white and off white is harvested from a beautiful wedding dress I found at the local Telkwa/Smithers Transfer Station Reuse Shed.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Crazy Quilting Giveaway

I love to make crazy quilts as some of you  know already, so this special blog is part of my contribution to all the fun. Yes, I'm giving away a hand picked kit of fabrics, lace etc. for a 16 inch crazy square pillow.

Deadline to enter ends March 31, 2012

Yep, its too much fun to hang around in my studio for long without learning that I love improvisational quilting and crazy quilting often fits the bill for me.

This little green number is called "My Secret Garden" made in 2009.

 My Purple Crazy 2008, in a private collection now.

So as you are drooling over these lovely crazy quilts and thinking about if you are brave enough to play with fabric improvisational, then you must read further and decide.
This is the size of crazy quilted pillow that you can make too! Your kit will include all the fine lace, embroidery threads, ribbon and fabrics to make a 16 inch.

Just for fun, make an Oh, Canada Flag quilt! Like mine, soon you'll be throwing caution to the wind and crazy quilting everywhere!

Leave me comment and tell me what your color preference is, its that simple!
Random Generator will determine the winner!

All the best, Carli

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Humble Beginnings for a Modern Quilter

 In 1997 I began thinking about writing a book. By this time I'd had so many interesting experiences with quilting with recycled cotton harvested from shirts and dresses, I'd become quite good at it!
This little pillow above is one and you can see the beginnings of a modern quilter with all that abstract negative space.

But that darned addiction of mine to crazy quilting began sending me off in all directions! But still my need to express myself with different ideas about quilting took me back and forth for the most of the last decade! OMG I'm dating myself, but oh so what, anyone can find me on Google if they really have a burning desire to know more about me.

My desire to express innovative ways to reuse kept me on track for becoming a modern quilter. I didn't even know what a blog was in 2003 when this Butterfly Ring took shape on a scrap of graph paper. I was deep into learning about blogs when in the summer of 2008, our little hamlet had two devastating fires for two local women. They each lost everything. I just happened to be on the road when traffic was stopped due to water bombers hurling the pink liquid fire retardant onto her house.

Then as September began threatening with rain and cold, I taught a recycled workshop at Moricetown, I've blogged about it here.

This little  recycled baby quilt is made from recycled sweaters! Yeh for innovation.

Of course as you know I'm slowly making my way to a modern quilter status. I did some curved pieces fun blocks, they are stashed away in container after someone I know said "What are those horrid brown blocks, they look like cow pies squared!" You know I have feelings too!

But as you know, once a quilter, always a quilter may be a myth. I've taken to mosaicing my kitchen  back splash and I'll blog about it later, but in the meantime, I discovered these fabrics in one of containers.
 It was love at first site, the "Orange Thingy" began.

 Well, I guess it turned out to be more of a green thing!

Then I had to get distracted by who's blog I just love, she is a super different kind of paper piecer. I had to do her little fox block.

Eventually, the modern quilter in me, emmerged over Christmas and I was back at it again and this is how far I've gotten on this quilt. But as you know I've  become distracted again!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Upcycle Your Jeans 2012 Mother's Day Challenge

Why not celebrate ways to reuse, refuse and reignite our world passion for conserving cloth!

Here's you opportunity to speak green, demonstrate green and make a new pair of jeans from old ones.

"Upcycle Your Jeans 2012 Challenge"


1. Follow my blog and tell me you've done so in your comment to join us in the challenge!

2. Take a pair of worn out jeans and decorate them in whatever way you want so long as you can still wear the jeans as jeans! We're not making a quilt or other projects, must be a completely wearable pair of jeans when you are finished.
(This photograph displays a changed pair of jeans to a jean skirt. Please don't do this, for this challenge keep the jeans intact)

3. Photograph the jeans before and after, send these photos and brief history of your project to my email address, so I can further blog along as our new jeans get done!

4. Write up your Upcycle Your Jeans Project on your blog linking back to Blended Fabric Quilts/Good Earth Quilting

5. You must  have your Upcycle Your Jeans 2012 Project done and posted on your blog by April 30th, 2012. Winner chosen by random selector  online on May 1st.

The prize is 6 solid color FQ bundle of organic fabric of your choice from the zip files I send you. This Fat Quarter selection below could your pick, dreaming in technicolor.

Maybe this is in your new set of up-cycled jeans, don't forget to join us this fall for the Jean Skirt Upcycle!

 I love this color of pink, so soothing and cool when its up against this awesome pear color below.

 Spread the word, we could start a whole new competition! Can imagine how many ways the wily, crafter-quilters out there who can make almost anything!
Let's show the world that we can reuse and refashion in all sorts of ways. Fellow bloggers, this is your chance, even if you don't know how to sew or quilt?

All the best,


Monday, March 5, 2012

Associated Country Women of the World

Sometimes, life is so fragile and so lively all at once!

The phone rang, I picked up the receiver and heard my fellow Quick W.I. member's voice. Auktje is on the other end of the phone and has something to show me. I decided that is must be important as this 89 year old wouldn't call just to chat. Its not her style.

 Our matron member Auktje Oosteroff, her years of active involvement with Quick W.I. dates back several decades, she was a member in Holland before immigrating to Canada.
  I dropped what I was doing and drove over on a sunny day to have tea and gluten free cookies in her lovely country home.

This lady may look elderly, but we are all going to be there someday. I missed a prime photo hung on her wall, her prize she pointed to on the wall, a lynx rug! The photo of her holding her prize and the dead lynx speaks volumes of the kind of life many W.I. women live in rural Canada.

Auktje is a crocheter extraordinaire, her home is well groomed with comfy wraps all hand made by her nimble hands and she turns 90 years old this year! She proudly explains that all her dozens of grandchildren have afghans made by Grandma Auktje.

Her call was supported by our conversation about the broad aspects of Women’s Institutes and how we are connected across the world through ACWW, She spoke eloquently and carefully, pausing to remember all the ideas she had to help educate our newer members.

She handed me her leather pouch with ACWW 18th Triennial Conference Killarney, Ireland 1986. I was so touched and as I read the stories of the great work done across the world it made me realize how much I should have agreed to be the Q.W.I. delegate to the upcoming Triennial Conference in Victoria. What was I thinking?

In 2005, the ACWW Tsunami Disaster Fund kicked in to help survivors with this disaster.

Recovery in Action was well publicized with photos of how the Tsunami Disaster Fund assisted with badly needed supplies to help survivors return their broken lives to some normality. Kindergarten children were given new uniforms, textbooks were donated to students, fishing nets were given to families for a return to fishing livelihood.

Why do we have those pedometers to help us remember to walk more and keep track of our km’s to exercise more? These two ladies walked past the terrestrial globes placed beside Lake Geneva, Switzerland.  This idea was adopted by ACWW and began to organize a major event in which women everywhere can take part. Keep on walking, check out the Countrywoman magazine Jan/March 2011 issue.

This is my walking partner, Captain Rusty.


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