Monday, April 29, 2013

My first sponsor, I'm so tickled!

Earlier last month, I was deep into the piecing of the night sky that forms the backdrop in the Smithers Centennial Quilt and I quickly realised that I was pretty much out of the light colors of snow! I quickly drove into Smithers and found that both of my local sources for fabric were not able to help. "We don't get much call for white or white backgrounds one person told me" so I came home quite despondent. I really hated the idea of another revision of the design and when you are 1/2 done on the piecing and you had miscalculated how much white my own stash had, I was an unhappy camper.
I retreated.

I made a cup of Earl Grey tea and settled into my favorite distraction, my computer and reading the blogs I follow!
Such as Stitched in Color. Rachael must have ten legs and thirteen helpers, otherwise, I am stumped for how she gets two shops, umpteen projects and has a cazillion sponsors happy on her blog. But darn it if she isn't just the most pleasant project maker I've seen in a long time. She's pretty darn cool too, with our  mutual interest in home schooling, I like her! She has some awesome tutes, I really love the way she details the 'Quilt as you Go" Log Cabin.
QAYG Log Cabins tutorial
Quilt As You Go is my favorite way to put together a quilt. Fast and easy! There are numerous forms of quilt as you go and so Rachael's version is a really nice, easy introduction to the practice of quilting as you go.

But it was on her blog that she introduced me to Mad About Patchwork, an online shop. Rachael of Stitched in Color was sponsoring a giveaway and low an behold, it was a smart little fat quarter pack in black and white!

I liked the fast speed of my order from Denyse at Mad About Patchwork and she has become my first sponsor. Nice high quality whites from this order have gone into the centennial quilt.
Stitched In Color Bundle
 Its a nice little bundle called Stitched in Color bundle, you can find it here. The bundle consisted of 8 fat quarters for $23 CAD. That is $2.87 each, in my own town, the cheapest FQ you can find it likely $4.50 each and they never seem to have the fabric that I'm looking for and so sponsors are a welcome relief for the kind of modern patchwork I do.
So welcome Mad About Patchwork!

Yesterday, I checked my mail box on an evening walk with my hubby and there was a lovely parcel of solid colors from Denyse! Thanks so much, I just love the array and will post about what I've got up my sleeve for these solid cotton from Mad About Patchwork!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Centennial Quilt is Complete, Yeh!

Yes, you've heard it all before, but really this time its really done!!

It was actually a hard feeling and a good feeling today when I dropped off the Smithers Centennial Quilt to Heather Gallagher at our local Smithers Chamber of Commerce.
My mind ran over all the little details of how this piece came together, how many revisions I made, how many times I pulled out stitches and I even bled on the quilt ~ last night!

Someone asked me how many hours I had put in, well, I just laughed! I started out trying to figure that out, but as deadlines approach, the details of tracking became fuzzy to say the least.

The little gold colored threads are not threads, they are metal wire! I learned a thing or two from artists who don't normally work in textiles, their mind went somewhere else completely. These cute little curly cues were a #%*&@ to work with and to machine quilt around. But alas, I mastered the challenges one by one.

And like any good little quilter, I cleaned my machine every time I sat down to do more on the quilt. Hence, the experience left me with no after affects of pain around the performance of my Baby Lock Melody. Plus I became very aware of how much a new needle, freshly placed really does save you anxiety!!

Not to mention, the unique ability of my new Baby Lock Melody has to adjust to differing thicknesses of batting, wow, did I put this machine through it paces!! Very excellent results. Here my machine is sewing down through two layers of batting, doilies and two layers of cotton.

This was last night, working away around 7 pm, the warm evening was calling me to a fire outside, but no, I was hand sewing to get this quilt finished.
And then its done, Sir Alfred goes to live somewhere else! What's still to be done? The formal label describing the quilt, its participant artists and the artist who pulled it all together needs to be ordered, hand stitched onto the back, then hand quilted to the back, followed by arrangements with the Town of Smithers upcoming council meetings and the formal handing off of the quilt to them. Then I walk away from the care of this volunteer effort on the part of myself, my hubby who fed me, did all the housework and laundry and continued to support me in my darkest hours of things not working out and the artists who provided me with a piece that went into this quilt. They too will go down in history.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Beach House Crazy Quilt goes to International Quilt Festival

I am so happy to be part of the O Canada exhibit at the upcoming International Quilt Festival  & Market in Chicago and several other cities in the US of A. My wall quilt entitled "Beach House Crazy Quilt" has been selected to attend.
I know pinch me!!


It all started in Feb, when I saw on one of my favorite blogs a link to a Call for Entries. I clicked over to it and found that the call for entries were for Canadian textile/quilt artists who have work they'd like to submit for jury selection into the special exhibit of Canadian quilters!! I sent along my application and three photos of my Beach House Crazy Quilt.

Then I put my head down, got back into the Smithers Centennial Quilt and continued the daily work on this special quilt with my deadline of April 25th, just in time for our local trade fair.

I continued and continued, slightly lost track of my blog postings and even reading my emails!!
It was a total surprise that one day, I had this email from Carmen Beck who is the Special Exhibits Coordinator for International Quilt Festival and Market.
Dear Carli,
Congratulations! Your quilt Beach House Crazy Quilt has been selected for inclusion in the special exhibit O, Canada 2013. We received many exceptional entries for the exhibit, which will premiere at International Quilt Festival in Chicago .  Ultimately 22 quilts were chosen.  
The exhibit is also scheduled to possibly travel in 2013 to various International Quilt Festival and Market sponsored shows.
Well, I felt my heart skip a beat! I am completely enamoured with crazy quilting. I'm learning more machine embroidery and going to take that into new horizons.
I had to read  over Carmen's email several times to be sure of what had happened. You know, I very rarely see a big city, let alone attend an awesome event like the International Quilt Festival. In Northern BC I'm busy making a living, quilting and living my very rural lifestyle.
So you can imagine how I felt?
 I had numerous questions and details to get clarification on and Carmen was so sweet, answering them all even if they were silly.
And last Monday my good, my friend "Beach House" started a journey all the way to Chicago, Illinois. I haven't been farther east than Calgary, AB. for heavens sake! So its a really big deal when one of my quilts is picked for such an auspicious event as the International Quilt Festival and Market.
Bye for now,

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Big Reveal is Here!

I know that many of you have left lovely comments on the progress of the Smithers Centennial Quilt and I'm always warmed by any comment that a reader leaves. But the comments I'm had from the latest stages of this special quilt have left me feeling so warmed that you've  been along this path, walking along with me all these past 12 months!

Thank you readers for  hanging in with me with only one focused project. I have so many others that are wailing at me every time I open the drawer. This is what I find are waiting for me in those drawers.

Lots of other projects to work on and complete. 

But I'm so excited by the fact that the free motion quilting on the centennial quilt is coming out really nice and I'm relieved by that. This project has been 18 months long for me and I'm ready to move on.

Here's what all the segments looked like before I started FMQ.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Centennial Quilt- The Grand Truck Railway

As you know, I'm moving along with a deadline in place. April 26th, I have to have this whole quilt done. 
I really want to see this quilt hung at the Smithers Trade Show on April 27th, 2013 in our arena!

So that is only  few more weeks, but its all good! Its all OK, I'm not stressed or worried about anything now!

I had to just tidy up a few details before beginning to Free Motion Quilt is quilt. 

Yes, I'm doing the whole quilt in Free Motion Quilting!

I really am having a hoot of a good time playing, creating, improvising and experimenting with the progression of Train portion of the Smithers 2013 Centennial Quilt.

This one is for Heather Gallagher, our awesome Smithers Chamber of Commerce Manager. She inspired me with her image of what she imagined,  "I see an awesome big old train steaming large and beautiful into the quilt. Can you do that Carli?"

Yes, Heather, I can do that! Just for you!

Here we go... hold on, its a bunch of photos.

 Don't worry, this block portion is overlay pinned over the other parts of the Centennial quilt. That is just  how I took this photo, you have to wait to see it.

But here comes the Grand Truck Railway engine thundering along a cold frozen winter track heading towards Prince Rupert port. In any photo, you can zoom in closer to see how much thread painting is on top of the pieced engine.

The photo below shows that I had picked a photo from this book "Smithers- a Railroad Town, Revised Edition" written by local Harry Kruisselbrink of our local museum. You can reach the Bulkley Valley Historical and Museum Society,

As I'm mentioned before this technique of layering fabric pieces and thread painting is out there in the world in books and DVD's and I've blogged about it before here. In this link, you'll see how I accomplished the block of Sir Alfred Smithers.

It all started with this graphed transfer from the photo. The onto transferred to fabric in the photo below.

The technique is rather simple, easy to do with gluing the pieces in place, being careful and I do recommend reading Susan Carlson's book Serendipity Quilts.

 Eventually, you get to your goal of starting to do the thread painting of this technique.

I began by covering the entire train engine with any old light colored organza fabric, tacked with pins and then held down with stitching. Its a real blast to paint with thread.

I recommend that you visit Nadia over at Multicolored Pieces blog for her use of thread painting.

I recommend not being afraid to experiment. I even used locally donated doilies made into mountains. 

Take a deep breath, try new things and even on mega projects where the whole community and blogasphere is watching. 

Don't let others who don't understand your perspective get in the way of you doing your best work. 
This is what I consider to be my best work so far. And I did have nay sayers, unbelievers and  some less than encouraging behaviour from some I won't name. But the point I make is to "forge your own path"

If you like the look of thread painting, my goodness are you in for a google searching good time. I have been fortunate that I stumbled along on some awesome thread painters online. You can too, just google thread painting and see what you find?

The next post is on the big reveal of the whole top complete, ready for free motion quilting!

Thanks for dropping by and I love to read what you think.

All the best, Carli

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Centennial Quilt & Old Church Block-Nicole

When I proposed the idea of a Smithers Centennial Quilt, I had a dream. I envisioned a group of Bulkley Valley quilters, working together like the descriptions in the book "Hands All Around-Making Cooperative Quilts" by Judy Robbins and Gretchen Thomas

 This book published in 1984 by Prentice & Hall Inc. became my stand by book for when I have a cup of tea in the morning. You know what I mean? I recommend it if you are planning a centennial quilt.

This is a post to tribute another one of the collaborators on this special quilt. I'd like to introduce the work of fellow quilt artist Nicole Tessier. I'll miss her as I've recently been told by Nicole that she and hubby are moving to Ontario. 

Nicole Tessier of Telkwa, made time for the block Old Church she submitted to be included in the Smithers 2013 Centennial Quilt.

 Her choice was to make a scene of the Old Church Building in Smithers, its has been restored and serves as a community gathering place in downtown. It was the first church to be built in the little muddy village of Smithers.

Her committment leaves me wanting to do more quilting with Nicole. I'm so honored that Nicole shared her talent with us. :) Her work will forever be part of the centennial quilt for Smithers.

Thus this block has made it into the Smithers 2013 Centennial Quilt. Deadlines were very important to this project. I've been working on this project now for 18 months. I'm finding my stride  and so the many lovely comments that have been said by readers in posts on other parts of this unique quilt.
In other posts, you'll see more of this interesting project. The project that I succumbed to, that called my name and told me how it was going to be.

These are where my head has been at, with this complicated project. It has called my name in the middle of the night. I wonder then, are other people crazy enough to spend hundreds of hours volunteering in a project like this? If you have worked on a collaborative quilt like this, please leave me a comment. Telling me what your project was and how it went. I'd love to know, so don't be shy?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Quilters Relief-Finish one of 3 UFO's

Yes, I know some of you may look at what I've got going on and can't believe that I'll take a respite from the Centennial Quilt. But I just had to, say I felt lucky!

Whoo hoo a giveaway is at hand folks, so get on board and  join me?

I'm entering the "A Passion for Applique" giveaway and these are the ones that I'll start and I'll finish one of them to enter. I know I'm crazy!!

  If I can do this, so can you!!

I know we all have something other to do and yes, we have lives to live, but its just a great excuse for me to leave the 'head down, against the wind approach of my deadlines" and just have some fun!!

These are my examples of what I'd like to finish off in my entry into this sweet little giveaway at "A Passion for Applique"

Which one I finish is still up for guessing which one, but  here is my challenge to you, finish something and get an entry into this giveaway!

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