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Showing posts from 2014

Solstice Surprise

Two days ago, on the winter solstice of 2014, the stars aligned, and our beautiful new granddaughter surprised everyone and made her entrance into the world and into our lives a tad prior to scheduled time of arrival. We are thankful for a safe, healthy arrival and completely thrilled, delighted and seriously in love. With ten tiny fingers, ten teeny toes, and a perfectly cute little nose, I'm sure that she joins me in wishing everyone a very special Christmas and holiday season.

"Bundles" of Fabric!

Although I have been silent on the blogisphere lately, I have not been idle. With first grandbaby scheduled for arrival very soon, my stitching schedule has been preoccupied with all things "SeamsBaby". I seem to be a master of aspiring to overly "confident" (cough!), self-inflicted goals and certainly, for this particular occasion, my penchant to reach those lofty heights has not disappointed me. (For someone who doesn't even like heights, perhaps I should rethink this philosophy!)

This was the situation about a week ago. In the forefront, you can see several finished and almost finished projects. But do you notice the stacks of fabric holding  down the table in the back? In those bundles of fabric are an unlimited number of warm and cuddly baby "accoutrements"; inside blankies, outside blankies, change pads, burp pads, wet cloths, dry cloths, etc., etc. . All are biding their time, waiting to be noticed and transformed into a useful existence. (I …

Oh My Stars!

Project #1: "The Quilt"

Over the last few years, long before there was that certain "twinkle" in anyone's eye, this quilt has been twinkling in and out of my own private little galaxy. It has gone through a vast number of design evolutions without ever anything being committed to paper. Now, with the arrival of that new little star (my grand baby) being a mere few months away, it's time for this granE to get her universe of stars in order and committed to fabric.

As you may have guessed, stars are to be the theme for this special little quilt. How hard can they be to construct? Right? I have done my fair share of quilting and piecing over the years. Maybe not a whole lot of stars, but still.... .

So with great enthusiasm, but without consulting the wisdom of those who have gone before dedicating countless hours to the technicalities of star construction, it was off to EQ7 (Electric Quilt Program) to construct the stars for my little universe.

I made the ro…

Break for Boutis

You may recall my post on July 31, 2014, (which I just republished because I somehow returned it to draft mode?!?), in which I showed a few of the boutis projects that I am currently working on. In that post I show one rose window, completed in white batiste, which will become a wall hanging, (stay tuned!), and another rose window that I had just started in the saffron batitse.

This saffron boutis rose window will become a pin cushion and be partnered with the "cigale" needle fold shown in the post from August 12th.

In this little project, the two basic stitches that I have used  are the back-stitch and the running stitch, as well as variations to the pattern of each stitch. The back-stitch completes the tiny round petals in the center of the design. It is also used in the background, where a variation of the design creates the "point de vauvert" stitch. Everything else is stitched in just a plain running stitch.

In the photo directly below, using a variation to …

Gloria Loughman Landscape Workshop: Part 2

Student WIP

Participants of this workshop came with varying levels of "preparedness" and expectations. The course outline required that each student bring a photo or a sketch of a sunset scene or a simple landscape. From this photo we would derive the basic design of our class piece, as well as use it as a colour guide.

At the end of the two day workshop, students were at various levels of progress. Below are a few samples of some of the participant's work after completion of the course.

Giselle, (below) who seemed to have a clear understanding of the direction she would take her piece, came to the workshop with a tree that she had fused and thread painted separately in advance of the class. The tree was later placed on top of the fused tiles and became the focal point of her piece.

In her moonscape, (below), Carol has used a tiny scrap of dyed and shredded batting and has floated it in front of a full moon to successfully represent a wispy cloud..

Faye and Eryl (next …

Landscape Workshop with Gloria Loughman

Several weekends ago, I headed over to Salt Spring Island, one of the Gulf Islands between the British Columbia mainland and Vancouver Island, where I had the opportunity to participate in a 2 day workshop given by Gloria Loughman (  Gloria, an Australian textile artist whose work focuses on landscape quilts, has written 3 books to date, and travels the world teaching the various techniques she uses to create her quilting art. The first time I saw Gloria's work on "The Quilt Show", Episode 612,  June 7, 2010,
(, was the first time that I had any inclination to dabble in landscapes. She made the process seem manageable; there is a certain element of structure in her technique, while still leaving ample room for interpretation and creativity. When to my delight I noticed that "Stitches" ( on Salt Spring Island would be hosting several works…

"Les Cigales" and Boutis Celebrate Summer

During our time in the south of France, one of the quintessential signs and sounds of summer that I waited for every year, was the return of "les cigales". Their steady, yearning lovesong (or chirring) announced the arrival of the long, hot sultry days and nights ahead. So here, in tribute to those little fellows that are right now singing their hearts out to some little lady cicada under the next leaf in our old neighbourhood in Montpellier, is my completed "les cigales" boutis needle fold.

The needle fold opens to hold all of the needles required for my next boutis project. I was fortunate to find a piece of wool felt in the appropriate colour for my needle case. To secure it firmly, I machine stitched it into place while at the same time, giving the boutis piece a better crease for the fold.

I'm linking up to W.I.P Wednesday

Still In Stitches!

Honestly, I have not fallen off the face of the earth, but sometimes, days and weeks just disappear! Vanish! Into thin air! How does that keep happening? Aside from enjoying the first summer in Canada for more then 8 years, I have been busy working on a number of new projects.

High up on my priority list has been designing and stitching up a number of new boutis patterns that are simple to stitch and quite manageable in size. Easy to pick up anytime and take along just about anywhere.

Below are two of the new boutis projects.

This first one, stitched on an amber coloured batiste, will be a needle envelope. Although I have used a variety of stitches around the cicada motif to add interest and give it a bit of emphasis, it can all easily be worked with the basic running stitch.

The first photo shows the needlefold being blocked after the stitching had been completed. I had to wet it and block it for a second time. The first time, I had not used nearly enough thumbtacks to keep it square…

Boutis Tabletopper Reaches the Finish Line

Central to this tabletopper is the floral boutis pattern designed by Mme. Francine Born of "Boutis Provence" ( that I stitched in a class on boutis with Mme. Born several summers ago in Montpellier, France. The linen/cotton surround is there to provide a framework to the boutis.

After the initial FMQ was completed, the tabletopper lacked energy and life. The particular linen I chose for this project presented a greater challenge then I had anticipated (see my post of May 23/14 Other then removing the boutis from the background and starting again, (which was a less then thrilling prospect), I have tried to give warmth to the piece by embellishing it with contrasting embroidery threads, and, to add some relief, I have filled in the background with a small stipple stitch.

After the initial round of quilting, the stitches completed disappeared into the linen with the very fine tone on t…

Colourful Interlude

These lush, rich fuchsias and roses on our balcony patio have inspired me to dig deep into the stash and hunt up some of the most colourful and lively fabrics and trims that I could find.

Since most of my stitching time has focused on boutis recently, which is worked mostly on whites and neutrals, a therapy session using the brightest and most vibrant colours from the stash is most welcome.

These fun fabrics are a lightly laminated cotton that I found in my favourite kitchen shop in Montpellier. I had mailed them (as well as the coordinating bindings)  home several years ago, but because we have never spent a summer in Vancouver, there was never an urgency to dig them out before now.  They will help add a little southern French sunshine to our Vancouver summer.

And now ... the leftovers. My favourite! From what was left over after cutting the two tablecloths, I managed to get 16 place mats cut. The yellow scraps were still a leftover from Montpellier. Thank goodness these leftovers …