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Under Construction

Since my last post, there has been construction happening on several fronts.

The most obvious is the new look of my blog site. There are still many kinks to iron out on that front. "Techno Wizardry" is as alien to me as sewing and quilting are a natural extension of who I am. Since I'd rather be quilting any day, the blog rework is a bit of an ordeal but it is slowly coming together.  (If my 3 year old granddaughter could read, she probably would have had the rework up months ago!)

That having been said, I will start posting again in the next couple of weeks, ironing out the rest of the kinks along the way.

However, throughout the drama of my computer trauma, the sewing machine has been running overtime, happily quilting. And my hands, not idle either, are working on new boutis pieces.

Here are a few pics of some of the projects that have been keeping me busy.

A doll quilt and vintage doll bed were under the tree at Christmas.
The star blocks are left-over from my grand daughters baby quilt and the cradle was made by my father for my daughter 30 some years ago.

Several silk samplers are on the go where I'm experimenting with everything from under linings to stitching patterns. The next few blog posts will discuss some of my experiments and the results.

A wall hanging, now finished, is shown here in progress. More about this quilt at a later date.

The pattern for our bed quilt should be ready to commit to fabric by the end of this week.

The rosettes on the Notre Dame Boutis have been completed.
Now I must decide whether to add embroidery to any of it; and what colour? Maybe this is the year to give this piece some TLC.

I'm also working on several easy boutis patterns that will find their way into a kit at some point.

So, as I continue to iron out the kinks of the new layout, I will be posting again more regularly. Thanks for checking in.


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Blocking and Squaring Boutis

The door of her cage has been opened. She is free to fly off and find her destiny.

After many months of hand stitching and then many more months of cording, my little "calibri" is ready to set off on her own. As this was my first attempt at designing so large a boutis piece, it has been a bit of a learning curve. All of the tight swirls, curls and circles are a great deal more difficult and time consuming to cord then are the longer more gentle channels. Maintaining an even tension is absolutely necessary throughout the process, so patience comes in very handy when doing the cording.

Once all of the stitching and cording is complete, the boutis must be washed and squared up. After it is soaked overnight in a basin of water with a mild detergent, it gets rinsed gently in several clear washes, then rolled in a towel to remove the excess water. 

The final step is the blocking process. There are a number of ways to block a boutis piece, but I have found that the easiest metho…

Amish Hand Quilting in France with Esther Miller

Esther Miller, was born into an Amish family in the U.S., and now lives in Germany where she has for many years taught the techniques and methods of Amish hand quilting to anyone interested in learning these skills. As a child, she would closely watch as the women of her community worked together on a quilt, and eventually she was rewarded with a needle of her own and encouraged to join the group. Through the years, she has mastered these skills and techniques and now generously shares them with anyone who has a genuine desire to learn.

Last week, at the "European Meeting of Patchwork" in Ste. Marie-aux-Mines, in Alsace France,, I had the privilege of taking a 2 day workshop with Esther. The Amish quilting method requires a free-standing simple wooden frame upon which the 3 layers of the quilt have been stretched. To accomodate the 18 women in the class, Esther set up 3 quilt frames, with 6 students at each frame. Because the quilt is on a large, unm…

Amazing Applique by Yoko Saito

The quilt exposition in Nantes "Pour L'amour du Fil" was filled with a number of highlights. Certainly one of the more memorable experiences was seeing the works of Yoko Saito in person.
"Elegant" is the word that best describes Yoko Saito's quilts. Although her palette is neutral, the lights and darks play very well together to create a perfect balance to the quilt. To say that the applique is amazing is an understatement. The perfectly formed 1/4" circles and the tiny leaves and stems are inspirational. And of course, the hand quilting is perfect. For the final touch, she uses embroidery as adornment in much the same way that the perfect pair of earrings complete the look of the little black dress. The opportunity to see her quilts in person has been truly inspirational.

The photos in order:
- Yoko Saito in her booth on the floor of the show
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