Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Wow, it has been so long since I've taken the time to post a blog. I've been so busy and under the weather a bit, but I'm all smiles now. I also have nothing to show anyone because it's all just a big holiday secret. I've been plugging away at some fun holiday projects, so stay tuned for the pleasant surprises from under the tree. I'll post pictures as soon as the gifts are given. For now, here's a holiday picture of my handsome pup Oliver. Happy Holidays everyone!
Friday, November 20, 2009
Here's another great picture from the Pinewood Lodge quilting retreat. My good friend Pat took on the black and white art quilt challenge for the 2010 Quilt Show in Winnipeg. It was black and white fabrics with the option of one other color. If you ever thought you were lacking in inspiration, this is a perfect example of taking a closer look at the little things that you see every day. Pat works in a food sciences laboratory at the University and this quilt was inspired by the growth of something in a petri dish. You really can find inspiration wherever you go! I absolutely love this quilt. The background is machine pieced and the design is hand appliqued. What you may not see in the picture are the beautiful waves of dark beads that embellish it and add a touch of sparkle.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
There is one story from this retreat that I have to tell and it is all about a young lady who really got inspired and took on quite a challenge. Her name is Kristy and she is the 11 year old daughter of the owners of the Pinewood Lodge. She was very inspired by the retreat last year and we heard she was very much looking forward to our return. With murmurs of her interest in quilting spreading amongst the 38 women, there was instantly a pile of fabric and notions for Kristy to try her hand at our favorite pastime. We never expected what came next. Not only did Kristy try piecing, sashing, borders, sandwiching, quilting and binding, but she also tackled free motion applique in the form of several butterflies here and there. See if you can find the purple one in the picture! Her quilt turned out so wonderful and she was an inspiration to us all. Thanks Kristy for being such a sweetie pie and bringing us so much joy on our weekend retreat. Love Brandy. See you next year!
The main focus of this retreat for me was to complete a piece from the class I took from Heather Lair. I like calling myself a "finisher," so I tackled it with a vengeance because quilting time is much more scarce at home. The class was called "Colors of Nebula." It was a class based around pure color and self expression. Just go with the flow! I had it all pieced in the class the Saturday before, but quilted and embellished it with thread play to complete the project. It was so fun I'm sure I'll make a few more. If you are interested in this project or the techniques, visit heatherlairdesigns.com. She's a fabulous Canadian teacher.
This is my most favorite retreat of the year. The weather is usually horrible in November, but it is a great excuse to snuggle up to your machine and get quilting. This year, for a change, the weather was gorgeous. Besides quilting I went on 2 nature walks and hit the pool and hot tub every day. Even though we had an extra day because Wednesday was Remembrance Day, it still went by way too quickly. But, I accomplished everything I was hoping for. I finished off 6 simple baby quilts for the Chown Guild of the Childrens Hospital. I then began the Guild President's challenge of making a purse out of African fabrics that she had for sale in kits. When I saw the fabric in my kit I had no idea how I would get this crazy color scheme together and turn it into something decent enough to be sold at the Quilt Show boutique for charity, but it turned out quite nicely. I'll post a picture this weekend because I have lent the pattern and purse to a friend to try.
After that I hunkered down and finished 3 prairie landscapes. I cannot show you 2 of them as they are a private commission to be given as gifts, but I sold one instantly to a fellow quilter at the retreat. Joy is from Ontario and just fell in love with the whimsical barn and hay bails of this autumn prairie.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
I cannot believe that time of year has come again! I have packed everything in my studio to head off for my annual 4 day retreat at Pinewood Lodge. It's actually 5 days this year because Remembrance Day falls on a Wednesday. Sweet! Instead of starting something new I've decided to finish, finish, finish. I have ABC donation quilts to finish up, a beautiful "Colors of Nebula" wall hanging from a recent class taught by Heather Lair to complete, as well as a few other little projects that shall remain unnamed because they may turn up under the holiday tree. I promised better pictures, so check back next week! Happy quilting!
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Here are some shots of the detail. I used more thread play to fill in the design as well as paint and sparkles on the wings. This is a great project to try on that favorite piece of sky or background fabric that you just can't cut up, but you love so much. Be brave! Use up that stash!
Here's another piece with a reverse stitching technique. This is a great way to transfer ideas straight from your sketch book to the quilt. You pick a favorite background fabric and fuse it to fusible fleece so it is quiltable. Then you take a black and white sketch, reverse it on the computer and pin or baste it to the back of your piece. Then you stitch through the back of your quilt on the lines of the design. When you turn it over your bobbin stitched lines are the front of your design. Then you remove the paper and continue to embellish the front with thread play, paint and other techniques.
Here is a detail shot of the photo, thread play and the couching technique. Once you are done, you can add binding as usual, but hot glue the piece to some fibre core so it is light and easy to hang. You can see that I actually added some plain cotton and hand painted some extra canoes on the left outside of the couched yarn. I loved playing with the rocks water and mountains.
As promised, when there is a brief lull in things to blog about, I am posting some past favorites that I have created. This first one is a creative class I took on how to take a photo and expand it into a tiny art quilt. I loved that class and was so inspired that I've used the technique again and again. You simply print a favorite photo onto printable cotton, fuse that to fusible fleece to make it stable and quiltable, and then expand the scene with fabric and thread play. After that you couch some yarn around the original photo to emphasize where the edges once were. Very fun technique.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Here's that little journal quilt I mentioned last week. The challenge was to create a journal art quilt inspired by one button. It's a whole cloth piece with machine applique and word transfer with one tiny old button in the centre. The larger image should be more readable, but I wanted you to get an idea of the whole piece. The words are some prose that I wrote about my quilting friends. They read as follows; Once in a while you meet a quilter who selflessly sets her project aside to share her passion, wisdom and love of the craft just when you needed encouragement the most. She makes you feel as if you could take the tiniest little old tattered button and make it shine. Her words wrap you in a warm soft quilt of pure sweetness. I took this up to show and tell at my quilt guild last week and read it aloud to thank all of my wonderful quilting friends for their support.
I have decided to donate an art piece to a charitable organization. The proceeds go to the children's hospital and the organization is the Chown Guild. They are having their annual Dinner and Fashion Show and my art piece will be auctioned off among other wonderful donated items. I chose this guild because my grandmother was a longstanding member before she passed away and I am considering membership myself. I love the idea of raising money for sick children and I am already involved in the ABC quilt program. I think it's a great way to get my fibre art out there for people to see. There will be an artist's bio beside the piece as well as my new business cards of course. This is a darker piece that a lot of people commented on at my show. I'm surprised no one purchased it because there was so much interest in it. I love the way the darkness of the night sky blends right into the landscape for a real feeling of night time, yet there is still a glimpse of snow drifting from one side.
I just had the greatest day with my quilt club "In Stitches." It was our fall luncheon. You could take the class all day or do your own thing and we have a wonderful potluck lunch. Wow, those ladies can cook. I spent the day working on on my very first private commission! I am thrilled to say that I am officially making custom fibre art quilts by private order. I can't post pictures of course as it is a private commission for a gift. After private commissions are sold, I'll keep them in a gallery on my website. I also finished my new business cards today. They turned out great! I found this fantastic paper that you can plant and it grows into soft little wildflowers. So I printed them, cut them up and put labels on them. I like how they turned out. The white words say, "Your only limits are the ones you choose."
Monday, October 19, 2009
I have been so so busy at work and with the fall activities. I am now looking forward to the next few quilting events. My quilt club called "In Stitches" is hosting our fall luncheon on Oct. 24th where members bring a potluck item and sew all day. You can either participate in a class or do your own thing. After that I'm taking a landscape class on Nov. 7th with a fabulous teacher named Heather Lair. I took the original "Landscapes from Outer Space" from her and was so inspired. After that it's right into the Pinewood Lodge Quilting Retreat. That one will be over 5 days this year because Remembrance day starts on a Wednesday. I'll keep you posted as I decide which projects to tackle.I just finished a cute button piece for my new art quilt group, so I'll post that soon. The challenge was to take a button that inspires you and make a miniature journal quilt. It was a very fun challenge. I was inspired to thank all of the wonderful quilters that have helped me learn along the way.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
There is something so gratifying about giving a handmade gift to a good friend. This is the full piece. I wanted to create a sense that the cat was determined but effortlessly walking along the fence. The fence blends into the background like she's walking on water. I used one inch chunks of fabric to create a pixilated shadowy effect coming off the fence. I did the same in the high background but also used piecing to create a sense of the distance she has travelled. It feels really good to take that fat quarter you have loved and kept for so long afraid to cut and just chop it to pieces and play. It's invigorating.
I had fun machine quilting this project because the fabric was so beautiful and it lent itself to adding detail across the colors. I chose a flow of scribbly circles to make it look like the young cat was floating along on that skinny fence like she could do anything in the world she set her mind to. And she didn't care if everything was perfect.
Hooray! Ashley's Calico cat is finished and in her possession. We met for sushi at lunch and I gave it to her. She loved it! But I'm sure if I gave her some lopsided socks I'd knitted she'd love them too just because she is such a good person. This first picture is detail of the face. It is a combination of silk screening, machine applique, satin stitched edge and hand painting. The saying is something I made up, or may have heard somewhere, but I love it. It sounds so inspiring in english or french. It was my very first screen. Can you say Addicted! I have to find a thermofax machine because I could create an endless array of screens.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Here is a project I had so much fun with. The title of the piece is "Berry Bliss," and the theme is "Fresh Picked." All my life I have loved our glorious Manitoba strawberries. Every year from June to mid-July the U-pick signs grace the highways of our province inviting locals and visitors to pick them fresh or buy them by the bucket. We spoil ourselves with strawberries on waffles, crepes, and desserts as well as in salads and jams, but there is nothing like biting into a juicy ripe strawberry picked fresh.This 12 x 12 art quilt was made of cotton fabrics using several fun art quilt techniques including hand appliqué, machine quilting, embroidery stitching and invisible thread play.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Wow! October is here already. The fall always seems so busy with swimming and piano for Gavin, pool league for Bob and volleyball for me. But I'm very excited to have my art on display at the Grace Cafe and I'm clearing the clutter in my sewing room to prepare for my fall retreat. I just finished my Calico Cat quilt and I will post photos the minute I give it to my web designer next week. It's a gift because she is so great to me. I'm trying to decide which of my many UFOs I should tackle at the retreat. I might even try 3 different smaller pieces so I don't get tired of doing one thing for 5 days. This retreat is going to be so nice because it starts Wednesday on Remembrance day and lasts through to Sunday. This is a picture of my mother-in-law, Helen, my mom, Barbara, and me at the Pine Ridge Hollow Retreat 2 years ago. We go every year in November. We are usually sewing our buns off and forget about taking pictures. I promise to get some new pictures this year now that I have a blog. Happy sewing!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Great news everyone. I'm having my first art show in Winnipeg! I met a really nice shop owner named Chris at the Grace Cafe City Hall and he was totally on board to try something new. You can check out a small selection of my fibre art landscapes for sale starting tomorrow! It's right on King Street between City Hall and the Administration buildings. If you are downtown, be sure to check it out.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
I just found these adorable pins on Sunday at the local Ciclovia event on Broadway. Rebecca was a vendor selling these pins made from dominoes. I brought them back to my quilt club and immediately got 18 orders. If you want some too, check out her website at www.ticketyboo.ca
Her pictures are much better than mine
Her pictures are much better than mine
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Hi everyone, I have such a nice little story from my weekend show, but it took me a week to get the photo. This is a picture of my baby niece Ella wearing her adorable new little onesie. The story goes...I was at my show last weekend and a young couple walks in with their tiny little baby boy. They were very sweet and brimming with compliments. They told me that they want to purchase a piece, but they can't decide which one and it also depends how well they do at the flea market. Their little guy was the most calm, adorable smiley baby. He actually smiled on request. The next morning before day 2 of my show I checked out their booth and they have the cutest little outfits for babies. They were selling so well I think I bought the last item small enough for Ella. If you think this outfit is the cutest thing ever, you can send an email to Sara Breslaw at firstname.lastname@example.org. She creates dozens of different adorable designs on onesies, sleepers, pajamas and hats. The happy ending is that they did so well at their table that they came back to Ye Old Barn that afternoon and picked their favorite piece. Thank you guys!
Monday, September 7, 2009
I want to say a heartfelt thank you to all of my friends and family who helped me with everything from framing to babysitting and set up for this show. It was an eye opening experience for me and I learned that I can do anything that I set my heart to. Thanks to those special friends who took the long drive from Winnipeg just for the day.
The weather was fabulous in Clear Lake and the turn out for the show was great. We had a steady stream of visitors both days. One visitor was an exceptional artist and photographer with a very cool idea for home decor. It turns out we have something in common. We have our work framed by the same guy. What a small world! The artist's name is David Matthews and his website is www.atozillusions.com. He is a super nice guy so check it out.
I'm back in town from my very first show and it was a great success. I learned so much and met some fantastic people. Susan Robertson, a brilliant potter and an owner of Ye Old Barn was so inspiring and had a lot of great info about marketing my pieces and sharing my passion for the process. I also met a few other artists and flea marketers along the way. My new website is now live so visit www.brandylynn.ca and check out my gallery.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Hooray! I'm creating my very first blog. Welcome to my website and blog space. I've created this space to connect with friendly quilters who have a passion for fibre art. My favorite things in life are the growing moments with my son, spending time outdoors with my family and enjoying quilt retreats once or twice a year. I could sew every day all day, and I am hoping to share ideas and connect with wonderful people. So grab a cup of tea and drop me a note. I'd love to hear about your latest projects in fibre art.