Wednesday, February 27, 2013

1st. Annual Re-Crafting Fair in Telkwa, BC

Last weekend, our crafting club held our 1st. Annual Re-Crafting Fair in Telkwa.

Our mission was to educate locals and far away visitors about the many ways we've experimented to reuse textiles into new items.

Reusing is an important task that all of us should be doing as often as possible. 
 We are just a small group of crafters who feel that our local communities and our local government need help in learning about this reality.
We have a large number of people still throwing things into a Re-Use Shed with no one to care for these items on an ongoing basis. Consequently, we've learned that about twice a week, the workers drive a small bobcat front loader into the building and simply discard the clothing into the Knockholt Landfill that is about 45 km's away southeast of Houston, B.C. 

We feel this is wrong. Education about 'how to reuse everything' needs to be done. We aim to educate everyone, including our local government.
This blog posting documents the door prize of a T-Shirt Quilt came together in Carli's studio/sewing room.

T-shirt quilts are such fun to make, personalized and this one is even more special because Charlene is a friend, supporter of art quilts and enthusiastic about reusing textiles. I'm so honored to have made one for her!
She has great respect and confidence in my work in quilting that she had me make this lovely baby quilt a few years ago, thanks Charlene!

Re-Crafting is a newly coined word that I made up in a consistent effort to help promote, enthuse and excite people about the joy of reusing textiles. The photo below is a group of Gitanyow ladies who embraced reusing and made at least 10 baby quilts from recycled sweaters. What a brave, fun loving bunch of new friends who took their new skills into many other projects as well.

I teach all sorts of classes on quilt art and reusing, its a great way to save money and educate because the supplies are often found in your own closet!

 The ladies of Gitanyow really embraced the concept of quilting with reused cloth, the value and frugality they just loved it. Here, they are  holding not only baby quilts, but also bags made from sweaters, denim, upholstery fabrics and so on. This was a class I taught in Gitanyow in 2009. That's me far left in purple!

 This quilt  (above) is called Round Lake Cabin Quilt, I reused denim, corduroy, shirt cloth and canvas. Backing of this quilt is a 'car emergency blanket' repurposed into a quilt.

This crazy quilt ( above) won 1st place in Most Innovative category in  2004 in Ontario, Canada. Its called 'Silver Linings Crazy Quilt' because its made entirely from reused lining materials, labels from 4 ladies blazers'.

The above photo shows a demonstration piece that I use today in my bathroom. Made from circle pieces recycled from another quilt, I covered 9.5 in. blocks of reused fabric with the circles right onto an older, less absorbent towel.

This is another little quilt, made clothing, its now in a private BCGEU collection in Smithers.
Others have embraced and learned new things as well in their own personal journey to reuse and have fun doing it. Here are some of the other examples from ladies from Telkwa!

Thanks for giving me an opportunity to share some examples we have of Re-Crafting! Tell me does your community hold a fair to inspire others to reuse?

If you'd like to join us and start hosting an Annual Re-Crafting Fair, please leave us a comment and we'll give you permission to use the title "Re-Crafting" and I'll list your site here where Re-Crafting started.

Tell me what your thoughts are on reuse in your community. Tell us in what town or city your reuse fair is and what the online address is for it?


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sir Alfred Smithers-Thread Painting My Style

Wow, I've come up for air!

Literally, I'm sleeping, eating, working and quilting. These are the four things that I aspire to keep up with during this extremely busy time of my life. Yes, its way, way busier than I ever thought it would be, but so rewarding at the same time. Funny how life throws opportunities and if you're willing to experimentation, then the opportunity becomes something that is really good for you. I take heart in the natural surroundings of Telkwa and beautiful Bulkley Valley.

This photo is looking west towards Roche' de Bule. Photo taken in lovely Hazelton, B.C

This is how this whole centennial quilt project is for me. Growth in bucket loads!! I'v begun to take risks that I was too scared to do even a year ago!

I entered my first competition in 2004, to the IPM & Quilt Show and won in the "Most Innovative" Category, I was very surprised and didn't quite know what to do next. After all, I'm a quiet, stay at home quilter and my husband is my best supporter! So I sat on that success of winning back in 2004 until this month.

Now, if I don't get accepted that is fine, but at least I'm trying to compete. I like to compete in things, quilt shows, badminton, skiing, you name it, I'm up for it. I've entered my 'Beach House Crazy Quilt" into the O Canada competition.

Last night, my hubby and I were driving home 4 hours from Prince George, BC and it was dark in the car. We were listening to his I-Pod music selection and I started thinking about what I was going to do after the Smithers Centennial Quilt!

Wow, what a thought! Then I remembered I hadn't posted the recent work on Sir Alfred Smithers block for the quilt. This was the start, I wasn't very happy with it and worried that it would be another failed block!

And before I share this recent success, lets step back and talk about how I fell in love with thread painting.

I was inspired by the work of Susan Carlson who wrote her gorgeous book "Serendipity Quilts" which was purchased for me by my hubby two Christmas's back. You know how it goes, you're excited by the new ideas and the work in a new quilting book, but I hesitated to leap in.

But honestly, few quilting books really grab me with the feeling of "I can't wait to try that out" kind of feeling because many great quilters in my opinion are actually devaluing their work in order to satisfy a publisher with the motive of sales being the reason why the book is written.

Susan Carlson's work is truly not buying into that kind of thinking, she has stood her ground and shared. I thank her for this and if ever I'm anywhere near this artists workshop locations, you can be sure that I'll pay to attend!

I can say that the approaches that Susan Carlson shares in her work are satisfying to the core of my creativity because while the techniques are hers, they are transferable, you blossom on your own, with the you factor securely entrenched as you go. Her work is her work and I only could bring myself to do one of her projects, to get the feel of how she has developed this awesome style and I didn't even finish it before I was off to work on Sir Alfred's block!

This is my unfinished block from her book.
Sir Alfred stairs on, hoping a praying that his portrait would give credit to  his likeness.

As time went on, it became  more of something that I needed to step back from and go onto other work on the Centennial Quilt or I was going to go stir crazy with worry that it would not do  his likeness justice!

So I went on!

I was like a virgin, cautious, afraid and uncertain!

Eventually, I'd done enough other work on the centennial quilt and suddenly it came to me, thread!

I was busy as a little ant working away in every moment I could. Thread painting does eat thread for sure and so its not very frugal, but I feel I make up for the thread use by reusing all sorts of fabrics from clothing.

And there he was, looking very much like the man in the black and white photo of him for the book loaned to me from the Town of Smithers.

So the point I make about this is that Susan got me started, gave me enough confidence to fly freely on my own. I treasure that in a leader.

So take heart, whatever new techniques you are exploring, you'll come to the happy place you want to be in the end.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

150 Posts~ A brief look back

When I started this blog in early 2011, I really had no idea of how much fun I'd have writing, composing projects and reading the comments left by followers.

Followers? I had no idea if anyone might be interested in what I had to say and truly when I started, it was all about confirming in my own mind I could write an interesting blog entry on a regular basis. Now, I have 50 followers and I've written 150 posts! I like those odds!

So I thought I'd start this post with a look back.

Wow, as I started to compose this post, I realized I have a lot of photos! Looking is not always an easy thing to do and appreciate all the new followers I have discovered over this last two years. I am just getting started!

All the best,


Monday, February 11, 2013

Babine Range & French Knots-Cloud 9 Fabric Giveaway

I'm on top of the world with the progress of my own quilt art style and incorporating local artists work into a quilt, I think is for the first time, maybe?

I'm so excited about the whole project that I'm now counting down the days till completion.

I've edited this post several time now to include the links of the special artists who have inspired the latest work in the Smithers 2013 Centennial Quilt.

 I was inspired earlier in the year with artists that are doing some very interesting thread painting. One artist in first place for influencing my recent work is Monika Kinner-Whalen of My Sweet Prairie. Her natural landscape thread scapes are so beautiful and original. This is my first tender step towards stitching landscapes. In the Smithers 2013 Centennial Quilt I toyed with all sorts of political statements in art, in the end my ideas stayed firmly planted in the awesome panoramic views we live with everyday of glacier topped mountains in every direction. This is my version of the east side of Bulkley Valley's Babine Range.

More detail of the thread painting I was doing incorporated strips of leftovers of green, yellow,blue and red to promote understanding of the devastation that the pine beetle has taken on our landscape with great large sections of red dead pine trees across the Great Northern Plains of B.C.

Both hand stitching and machine stitching have taught me to be free with my intentions on fabric. I love the use of hand stitching and the glacier here is being crafted with straight and french knot stitching, inspired by My Sweet Prairies recent piece called 'Make a Wish" landscape. Thanks Monika!

The Babine Range block I made will take a prominent place in the Centennial Quilt for Smithers. With Perry Rath's Hudson Bay Mountain Sunset, the major mountain ranges are ticked off the list of inclusions into the quilt.

Having fun as the various parts and pieces come together on this special quilt.

Thanks for dropping by and visiting my blog! Leave me a comment on my Good Earth Quilting Facebook page and then co me back here and leave me another comment to enter to win a Fat Quarter Bundle from Cloud 9 Fabrics Miscellany collection.

Hurry, contest closes on Feb 18th! Share with your friends and get a 2nd entry to win.

Happy Quilting!


Thanks for popping in, this giveaway has closed. Masha is the lucky winner!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Lost Blocks Found Table Runner

You know how it goes, you see an interesting block and you make just one. Then you decide its not really for you. It goes to live in the 'block orphanage" where sometimes you don't go back to visit for quite some time.

I have a new friend and what a generous lady she is. First, she has begun teaching me about making jewelry, beading and now knitting. Almost every time we meet, she has made another lovely gift for me. I am embarrassed without any gift to give back! This will not do for a quilter!

Meet Mertle, a Gitsan woman from Hazelton, B.C. Beader extraordinaire!

So far, Mertle is not a quilter, because you know how that goes, suddenly the quilt bug bites and you're off to the races!

I decided that I just wanted to make an example of the crafting that I do and so I began to reach into the block orphanage to see what I had there. Just maybe something fine, lovely and generous, just like my new friend Mertle would emerge?

This is what I came up with. Mertyl has many color choices that she wears, but often I see blue, teal and green in her clothing. 

 This first block set the tone for the runner. I can't remember what the name of this block is, anyone know? I used 30's prints, reproduction prints, batiks and recycled prego shirt cotton in this one.

 The next one I found was darker in the center color, but fit in nicely with the dark center of the previous block, so  now you can see my plan, its all coming together. I appliqued an antique doily to the center to lighten the block slightly.

I used Cloud 9 Fabrics from a Fat Quarter bundle I purchased a few years ago, all organic 100% cotton. I found the soft light teal linen in one of many recycled, reused cotton bins, the solid color has proved to be just the ticket for a restful background to the busy prints of everything else.

This is my relief project from the Smithers 2013 Centennial Quilt Project.

I have to machine quilt it and I'll post that really soon.

Thanks so much to all the comments left by my followers and visitors. I have a Valentine in my life, he's the light of my life and has been for 28 years and we're still in love. Check back to see my Valentine Quilts for Rick. Have you got a Valentine in your life?

See you soon! ~ Carli

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