Thursday, November 26, 2015

Improv Start

I did a major project last winter and these little snippets and actual small chunks are the cuts from that project. 

I was using these fabrics for a quilt where I used Cultural Fusion Quilts book for instructions for the blocks. I'll post more about last winter's project at another time.

These little chunks were my start! I think that maybe they will become mini-quilts or table runners or you know, something fun anyway!

As you know I've had the last three weeks without stable Internet. For any blogger, this will cause stress, but to have to resign myself to finishing up my book in the new year is a real bummer! I have lots of fun to do with baking and preparing for Christmas and my upcoming retreat in January. I'm really looking forward to that!

This is the snippets I started with.

This is where I'm going, what do you think, is the black too black?

I'm linking up with Fret Not Yourself

and its C. -14 tonight and getting colder, winter has arrived!!

Thanks ladies for inviting me to participate with Improv Quilting!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Clever Embroidery Series - Monika Kinner Whalen

Hello and welcome to this very popular series! This week, I have a Canadian fiber artist who hales from Saskatchewan. I've been following her blog and enjoying her growth and success with admiration. 

Let me introduce Monika Kinner-Whalen!

I started hand embroidery at the age of 40.  That's not very long ago.  My mom was a landscape artist who did not sew or hand stitch.  I just never grew up with fibre art!  Sometimes I resent that.  For the most part,  it still feels new and terribly exciting!  I bask in it.

2.  teaching

I don't even remember how I learned my first French Knot.  I guess it was either a youtube video or an embroidery instruction book.  For the most part, I am self taught.  I began with free machine threadpainting, and added my own 'freestyle' hand stitches for the parts that needed to be hand stitched.  I quickly discovered how handwork - even just a little bit - made my fibre art so much better.  Eventually, I met an older embroidery artist with a lifetime of experience.  She invited me to stitch with her, and she soon became a mentor for me.  Her name is Margot Lindsay, and I adore her embroidery like no other!  Today I enjoy hand stitching entire landscapes.  The slow craft of hand work is so very nourishing.

3.  classes

 I have taken no formal embroidery classes, with the exception of a Needle Lace workshop through my local embroidery guild.  I spend a lot of time in self-studies, learning from the 'old masters' in our field as painter would learn from their own experts.  Generally, I approach fibre as art and create landscapes in a manner similar to a painter.

4.  sell or enjoyment?

I embroider for my own personal enjoyment and I sell it as my main source of income.  I am a full-time artist and I have to pinch myself when I say that I get paid to stitch.  I love what I do, and I have worked hard to make a living from it.  I find this very fulfilling.  I also teach fibre art classes to supplement my income.

5  what inspires me

Canada inspires me.  My prairies inspire me.  Our four distinct seasons provide an everchanging landscape in which I never tire of.  Sunshine and shadows inspire me.  The skies and the wind...  I am a nature nut and I love weather and all times of day.  It's not often I feel stuck.  Most of the time, I feel like I have too many ideas.  I could never stitch fast enough to create everything I want.  I always have more projects waiting in the wings.

Fibre inspires me.  I started with thread.  I could never have enough.  Now I have enough!  : ) I'm stashing yarn now.  Variegated yarns are like paint for me - fat stitches are like brush strokes of blended colours.  A single ball of yarn is enough to get my creative juices flowing!

Monika_Kinner on Instagram

There you go another installment in my Clever Embroidery Series. If you know of a talented hand embroidery enthusiast, or you are an embroidery nut yourself, do contact me, I'd love to follow your blog and profile you too!

Happy Quilting

Monday, November 23, 2015

TIny Studio's

My whole studio comprises of 7 by 10 small room.
When I googled "Tiny quilt studios" I found a gazillion of Pinterest sites that deal with all the latest trends of small studio apartments all the way to some pretty large 'tiny studios' and it got me thinking.

I share this tiny space with a washer & dryer, hot water heater, pressure tank, ultraviolet and filter water filtration system and a laundry sink.n This is totally efficient and frugal in space use. In fact this home is only 1200 in total, all one layer, with few steps, its a perfect retirement or first home buyer property, you know?

In the summer time, I spend hours sitting in the shade down by the river stitching, its only a few short steps from my tiny home and its a perfect socializing place for our neighbourhood parties!

Plus, its on the Bulkley River, now if you are a fisherperson, then you'll know how special it is to live on one of the best wild steelhead rivers in the world. We couldn't be happier with this lovely place to live.

I've long dreamed of making that upper room into a large and gorgeous quilting studio!
But mostly, its a Man Cave and very much that and somehow quilting studio's don't go with that in this case.

I have a few things on the go right now that can't be shared, but this is also on my list of things to do.

Now, if you want to visit a very cool, organized and much larger studio, but Jackie calls it tiny, you decide?

This next link is my favorite and one that takes a while to read, but its an awesome story of the various places this quilter moved around in her home and how it all began to come together, great read and lots of great photos!

Enjoy, happy quilting everyone!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Little crazy LOVE

Hello everyone, thanks to those who emailed me inquiring about my whereabouts! That is so cool, that people are paying attention and wondered about me, so sweet!

I am back and have this fun little quilt that is coming out in a new pattern next week!


This little crazy love started out as a fun crazy project and suddenly it became a table runner. I've put my book aside until the new year. This frees me up to concentrate on gift making and finishing up a few other projects too!

I have only one small area to finish up with the hand quilting, then I'll move onto the outer border with free motion machine quilting. This has been really fun to do and so many ideas popped into my head doing this one.

The cream fabric is 100% organic cotton from my shop long ago and the darker fabrics are from Daisy Janie line.

And this little quilt top became a table runner because as a baby quilt, it just didn't do anything for me! Even though many of you thought the colors were a good fit. And don't forget to try out my Three Hour Block Magic in the link above.

So, now I'm  back to quilting, bye for now!

Happy Quilting everyone!

I'm linking up today with Zenia over at A Quilted Passion.

A Quilted Passion

Monday, November 16, 2015

Clever Embroidery Series- Pam Kellogg

Hello quilty friends! I've found another awesome embroiderer and this one is a crazy quilter too!

I introduce Pam Kellogg.

What age were you when you began hand embroidery stitching?

According to my mom, I started stitching at about 7 years old.  Mom would give me a piece of netting and yarn in a big plastic needle.  That would keep me busy if she was on the phone.  By the time I was 8 years old, my maternal grandmother was teaching me how to embroider on a pre-stamped kitchen towel.  Grandma spent hours showing me over and over how to make French Knots.  She had the patience of a saint!

What teaching did you have when you started?  

Once I got the hang of basic embroidery stitches from my mom and my grandma, I pretty much taught myself how to do needlepoint, hooked rugs and counted cross stitch.  I loved counted cross stitch and after doing that for awhile, I decided to try my hand at charting my own designs.  I submitted my work to several cross stitch magazines and manufacturers and was surprised when they accepted my designs!  Shortly thereafter, I was designing professionally on a full-time basis.

In 2001, I caught the Crazy Quilting bug.  I saw a beautiful Crazy Quilt block in a quilting magazine and decided to try that.  It wasn't too long before I put the counted cross stitch down.  Crazy Quilting became my passion.  I loved that I could use all the little bits and scraps of things that I've saved over the years.  Lace, ribbons, trims, beads, buttons, vintage jewelry pieces and so on.  I also loved that I could apply all of my needlework skills to this one artform.

Have you taken any classes, if so, where and who would you recommend as an online teacher of embroidery?

I've never taken a single class on any needlework subject.  I learn best by just jumping in and doing it. 

Do you sell your work or is it just for your own enjoyment?

I no longer sell my stitched pieces.  I did at one time, have an Etsy shop.  Instead, I publish a "print on demand" magazine devoted entirely to the art of Crazy Quilting.  It's published quarterly and it's filled with tutorials, how to's, articles, patterns and eye candy.  The contents are reader contributions so the magazine offers loads of ideas and inspiration for the beginner and intermediate art quilter.  

Please tell us what starts you onto a new project, what inspires you?

The majority of my inspiration comes from the upcoming season or holiday.  I love anything with a nature theme and that can be seen quite often in my work.  On occasion, a flea market find, such as a vintage brooch will inspire a purse or a pillow but for the most part, it's nature.

Crazy Quilt Quarterly magazine can be found here along with my other publications:

Please don’t forget to tell us your blog address, shop address and other related links like facebook or twitter, so followers can find you?

Hope you enjoyed this look at another wonderful hand embroidery and embellishments used in Pam's work. I think that crazy quilting is such a wide road of diversity in skill, tools and style that more quilters should really give it a try just to find out if its what you like to do.

Please visit my page devoted to one very popular crazy quilting tutorial.

Happy Quilting everyone!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Three Hour "Baby" Top Tutorial

I have fallen in love with this technique again. Three Hour Block Magic.

 I decided not to crop my photos of these because I wanted you to see the potential folks!

This block is so simple but wild and crazy, my two favorite combinations in quilts.

 The colors chosen by the new Mom were cream and brown. I pulled a bunch of brownish and cream fabrics. 
I'm not sure this works for me as a Baby quilt?

What do you think?

 Now, just to be clear, this post is using the instructions from my wee tutorial of my Three Hour Table Runner from back in 2011.

This has been a real fast check up on the instructions from the Three Hour Table Runner tutorial, so please refer back to this post for these reminders.

Stay tuned for these changes and the results. Today I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and A Quilted Passion.

Its chilly -6 C. today, I'd say some sort of a winter is yet to come!

Happy Quilting everyone! 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Questions and Answers

Hello my quilty friends! Wow, the technology we use sometimes comes back to haunt us! This whole loss of photos on several of my recent posts I believe were my home computer and my phone just not talking to each other. 

I'm sure you've all been there in some way or another?

I know all of you, who are all over the latest technology upgrades etc and etc. You are younger than I and I just want to use the darn technology, not have to have a degree in technology otherwise, its all for not! Have you all noticed that those of us over 50 actually do have a vote.

Hopefully, you'll continue to follow my blog even though I'm done with changing between photos taken with my phone and those taken by my own camera. It's really quite exhausting to try and keep up with all the changes required for cell phones.

So simply said, I'm not taking photos anymore with my phone unless its an emergency! I'm going back to my perfectly good digital camera.

As you can imagine, my life has had added stress to my every day trying to figure this all out by myself. Because we all know that when you have a lifetime to waste, you can spend gazillions of days trying to use the F&Q on to solve your Blogger problems.

I know I'm ranting but I rarely do this on my blog, so give me some accolades for  being over 50 and trying to learn all this stuff. OK?

Enough already! I'm going hand quilting and that's exactly what I've done to eliviate my recent photo stress. I love hand quilting and quite frankly its been an awesome diversion.

As you can see, I do use a hoop. I totally love this hoop, I won it when my Silver Linings CQ was deemed lovely enought to win 1st prize at the 2004 IMP and Quiolt Show in Ontario, Canada. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I bet all of you are agreeing with me, by laughing out loud at the tenacity it takes sometimes to use all the confangled devices and such. I don't care it it makes me sound old and cranky!!

I am not old thinking or cranky for no reason. I do hope that is reading this, so they can help the consumer connect all this stuff before we all over 50 yrs old, sign off on the whole darn lot of it. You know what I mean?

I just love the dimply affect that hand quilting gives you. No amount of machine quilting will do it for you. Its all the slow quilting movement, with slowly working along with needle and thread in hand.

Do you see this ripply little wee line of hand stitching across the vast expanse of cream solid?

And while you're responding with your thoughts on hand quilting, you can count on me over at my temporary sewing womb starting another of Sujata's quilts. Want to join me, let me know in a comment. Cool come on ladies, it will make an awesome Christmas quilt!

Happy Quilting!

Modern Table Runner Finish!

This Modern Table Runner has been so much fun to make and to machine quilt. Yes, this little quilt has been happening over several days of little bits here and there.

For more on this pop over to the first post on this table runner!

About the only organizing that I did was to seek out pink from my fat quarters. I just love Free Spirit Fabrics. I do hope that Micaela will love this and use it often.

When I looked at this, I knew it needed more solid colors around the outside. Anyone can make a lovely Modern Table Runner like this, you know! Its just deciding to go ahead and be brave and take a few risks. 

I fell in love with this Dupont Silk, it washed like a dream.

And it looks lovely against my new flooring in the studio and bathroom. Machine quilting it was no big deal compared to other fabrics I use. It was a good fit.

Free Motion Quilted on my home sewing machine Quilter's Companion made by Janome!!

Another finish, wow, really getting down to goal setting works!

That's a wrap, my quilty friends!

Off to bed!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Hand Quilting Modern Makeover

Last night it was a little crazy weather time. High winds, blowing snow and then we lost power. We had no Internet last night or today either. So please enjoy my little wee post.

And I've had such lovely comments from soo many people, it's a humbling feeling to read what others think of my work. It is work to me. With getting used the various back issues that have suddenly arrived in my life, I do more sitting.

I know that sitting is all the biggest threat to health, but what is a person to do? I work hard on making myself feel valued and cared about and this blog does serve that feedback loop of friends and sisters from far away who enjoy what I do.

Thank you to all the various sisters I have around the world, thank you!!

Happy slow quilting has become my new mantra!

Reflections of progress in 2020

This year end post of the most "unprecedented" year of 2020 is all about the various stitching projects I started, are in WIP'...