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Showing posts from 2013

Colour Blocks Baby Quilt Completed

Well on Thursday evening, other then removing the marking lines, the quilt was finished. My sigh of relief must have been heard in Hawaii. Even though the quilt came together rather easily and quickly, there were a few hiccups along the way. First of all, I must confess that I broke down and bought some new fabric for the backing. After a sleepless night last Friday thinking about the pieced backing that I had just finished basting onto the quilt, I got up Saturday morning realizing that this backing just wasn't working for me. So, contrary to my initial intent of only use stash fabrics, I had to give in and head to the nearest quilt shop for new backing fabric. Alternative backing fabric was purchased on Saturday and by late Sunday afternoon, the original backing had been removed, the new fabric had been pre-washed and prepped, and the quilt was sandwiched and basted. Still on schedule. I find that basting on a clean floor is still the best way to get the quilt sandw

"Colour Block" Baby Quilt

A reminder again that "life happens when you're making other plans" and, as my yoga teacher keeps reminding us in class, "Don't become too rigid and unbendable in your routines that you can't let the moment carry you to new places." So, with that in mind, when a new baby arrives in the family, it takes priority and all else will just patiently wait it's turn. I started this baby quilt this week, and am hoping for completion next week. These four finished rows of blocks will be placed in the upper half of the quilt. When I made the "Flights of Fancy" baby quilt (see post of Jan.11/12), I had hoped to make several quilts at the same time. Now, 2 years later, I am finally getting to quilt #2. Still committed to using mostly fabrics from my stash, I am able to make this entire quilt without a trip to the quilt shop. (Once I quit patting myself on the back, I'll get back to work!) Pulled from the stash. These blocks had bee

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 "colibri" 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.  If some of the pencil lines have not disappeared after the inital soaking, it can be soaked again, as often as is necessary

Traditional Russian Shawl

A friend, recently back from Russia, brought this stunning traditional shawl for me. The shawl was hand crafted near Moscow, using traditional materials and methods. The yarn is spun from the fleece of goats, and is most commonly knit in only it's natural colours of white and grey. Said to be as warm as a fur coat, they are very highly prized in their home country where winters can be very harsh. Similar in texture to a mohair/cashmere mix, the shawl is lightweight and feels luxuriously soft and silky. Having only limited experience knitting laces, I can still appreciate the complexity of this hand crafted design. This highly prized, heirloom quality gift will be worn with great care and valued for generations.

A Patchwork Canada: Prairie Elements

Design and Colour Where to start? Never having worked on a landscape piece before, I am relying on the knowledge and experience of quilters and embroiderers, who have published books on the subject, to help me through the process. These are a few of the books that I am finding helpful for this process. Top to bottom/left to right. "Adventures in Design" and "Color Play" both By Joen Wolfram; "Nature's Patterns" by Joyce R. Becker; "Luminous Landscapes" by Gloria Loughman; "Serendipity Quilts" by Susan Carlson; "Machine Embroidered Flowers" by Alison Holt. What have I learned so far? How to proceed? 1. Choose a theme. The quilt will be a triptych, 3 long wall hangings, each representing a particular region of western Canada. There will be 3 pieces, exact size yet to be determined, and for current purposes I'm working with a 12" x 24" dimension for each piece. The first in the series will be

Autumnal Table Linens

With company visiting last weekend and with Canadian Thanksgiving coming up this weekend, I took a little time-out from my regular stitching to add some colour to the table linen scene. Two years ago, when sewing some rather large drapes for a patio window, it was necessary to buy a whole bolt of fabric in order to get the colour and weight of linen required. Because there were about 12 meters of linen left over, there was easily enough for a tablecloth. It was made to fit our table with an added extension, but here it's on the table without any extensions. (The colour of the linen is actually a brownish terracotta. The colours on the first two photos are much "pinker" then the true colour. I'm not sure why; all photos were taken at the same time?!?) To get the width that I wanted, some additional lengths of fabric had to be added to each side of the fabric. In staying true to my goal of using only (well mostly!) fabrics from my stash this year, I was also

A Patchwork Canada

"Prairie Palettes" "Stitchery" is truly an exciting medium for those of us inclined that way. We really can't help ourselves, nor stop ourselves. When my hands are not engaged in some form of "stitchcraft", my mind is whirling with ideas for the next project (or more then likely, project s ) to be started. The idea of making a landscape quilt has been floating around in the back of my brain for the last 8 years or so, but something has always taken priority. So now, the time has come to experiment a little with a landscape design. It will be a simple little wall quilt, but it will give me the opportunity to experiment with and learn to use some of the different techniques and resources that are available. The last part of our travels this past summer was a road trip from Winnipeg, in the heart of the Canadian prairies, to our home in Vancouver, on the Pacific coast of Canada. The opportunity to take endless number of photos has become possible bec

Pieces of Summer

After what seemed like a nomadic, sometimes chaotic spring/summer, our travel bags have finally been completely unpacked and placed into storage. Phew! Often, because of travel or circumstances, we were without internet access as well, and as much as we would all like to take ourselves off the grid from time to time, I found myself feeling isolated and lost without it. But we are now finally back in Vancouver, enjoying an unusually warm and sunny late summer. The Seams French "staff" (that would be me), will be back on track shortly, with some new projects, some "in progress" work, and perhaps even unearthing some of those pieces that have been deeply buried in one closet or another. In the meantime, I thought that I would share a little of our travels of this past July and August. Montpellier is on the Mediterranean coast of France in the Languedoc region of France, and is surrounded by mountain ranges to three sides. Other then when driving to the beach, a