Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Which project?

Last week I mentiond, that I had 3 projects I could work on and I would have to choose one of them.I get the most done if I work on one project at a time.The first one here is in the mother's flower garden pattern. Each summer I have one day, where I decide to dye some fabric. By the end of the day all the colors look so great, that I find it a shame to use them and I put it all away in a drawer. When I needed some handy work for on my long trip to Japan, I finally decided, that the day had come to cut into some these fabrics. I had no idea that there were so many. I cut and basted and took the little baggies on my trip, but I never even looked at them. Once home again I appliqued them together in the evenings, while watching t.v. And this will be the grand total for a while. This is not my chosen project. I have collected Japanese fabrics for a while. Here also I would look at them and in the drawer they would go again. At the Tokyo quilt show I bought a book byKuroha Shizuko. In this book I found a pattern shape that looks like a cut -of triangle. While in Japan I bought some more vintage fabrics and now it was time to use some of them. The idea I have right now is a "strippy" quilt with 5 vertical stripes, 2 with these shapes and 3 with a simple pieced patterns, all in very dark blues. Over those strips I will do applique, maybe some flower arrangements. But this one also, is not the chosen one. Next up will be the third crazy block of my horsey quilt. During the last 2 winters I have made a block and I really should make another one. As soon as everything has been put in their place I will get all my "stuff" out and get going.
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Thursday, February 18, 2010

One job done!

This morning I sewed the sleeve on this quilt, while Laurence cut a dowel to the right size. Yesterday I had bought some 20 lb weight fishing line, so we were all ready to go and hang the quilt in it's designated spot. The hardest part was to get it straight. Fishing line is very slippery ! But we managed and it looks good. When I lived in Holland I never knew that there was something called a quilt.Then a few years ago there was a big quilt show at the Friesian Museum in Leeuwarden. I bought the catalogue and in it I found this Friesian quilt, dated from 1775 to 1800. Most of the fabrics used were the chintzes, or glazed cottons. These were and are still used in the different costumes of the time. I had a collection of reproduction fabrics from De Haan and Wagemakers in Amsterdam and now I had found the project to use them in. Included also is the fabric my mother bought for a Hindeloper costume. When she realized she would not get it done, I received the fabric. And there is a small piece of her Friesian costume. I have been complaining about the machine quilting and I'm very glad it is over. Hanging on the wall it does not look bad. ( at least from afar) I still have some fabric left and it will be used for my next crazy patch. To get limbered up I also quilted 2 smaller pieces. They were appliqued a few years ago and I never got around to the quilting. The fabric in the center came with the animals and flowers on it. This made it very easy to do the rest. All it took was about 8 small pieces and I had a landscape. Now it is on to the next project. I have 3 in the planning stages, one hand piecing, one machine piecing with Japanese fabric and a crazy patch.Next week I will show you the winner. In a little over a week I will be going to the Norfolk County Quilters Guild. On March 1st I will be teaching the "Sunflower" workshop. On March 2nd I will teach beginning sashiko in the morning and give a trunkshow in the afternoon. Got to go! I cannot miss the ladies speed skating at the Olympics
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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Still winter

Outside it is cold, white and windy. Winter is far from over and we have not had the amount of snow we get most years. Saturday afternoon Anja, a neighbour, who took last fall a photography course with me, phoned. It was a beautiful , cold, but sunny day, just right for taking pictures she thought. We ended up going to the Elora Gorge. We took a path along the river and were able to take some nice pictures. By the time we were back at the car, we were chilled to our bones,but some hot chocolate at the local Tim Hortons warmed us right up. We will do this again. Going with somebody else is way more fun, that going out by yourself. Outside it is cold, but inside it is nice and warm. Some of my orchids are in bloom and it makes the room look all spring like. Laurence claims, that this is all due to his"mis" management while I was in Japan. I don't really care, the main thing is that they are blooming. All these orchids are blooming for the second or third time. There are 6 more with buds and they should be in bloom in the coming weeks. The cattleya gives of a very nice fragrance to me or "that smell" to Laurence. The amarillis I bought last fall. I usually put the finished bulbs in the garden over summer and pot them up in the fall again. But last year I did not have much success, so I had to buy a new one. On the quilt front. I'm still machine quilting and it still is tough to do. I have made progress and hope to finish this step by the end of the week. I have some new projects lined up, using some of my Japanese fabric. Now I have to consider how much time I want to spend on a new project. What I have in mind, might take a year or more. I just don't know if I'm that dedicated right now. Maybe just go for some smaller projects. When I looked for an older quilt I found this one. I must have made it around 1995 or 1996. It does not have a label. I never label my quilts, except if they go to a show. I always thought I could easily remember, when I made then. Well it just is not that easy and I will have to change my ways. This quilt was made for my father. I asked my mother to get me some neckties from family and friends in Holland. I did the same in Ontario and this quilt was the result. My parents had this quilt hanging in their bedroom and after my mother passed away I took it home with me Now the good part. When I picked up the quilt I noticed a piece of paper pinned to the back. And here was a list of all the necktie owners. Sadly most of them are not with us anymore. That made me think, that I should smarten up and start labeling my quilts., even a piece of paper would do is better than nothing!
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Wednesday, February 03, 2010


One special exhibit at the Quilt Festival was this area, where you could learn about indigo, from how it was grown ( the plant is part of the nettle family) ,harvest to how it was used. I could not understand anything of the explanation, but the pictures on the wall did the trick. On the right you can see bags ( I think made out of hemp)with the indigo, ready for use. On the table is the dye pot. All around were samples dyed with indigo. And no gloves for this man during demonstrations. When I saw him the next morning during breakfast he was very recognizable. His hands were still blue! One of our stops a few days previous was in Yuki City,where we visited Tsumugi-no-Sato. There we experienced traditional Japanese weaving and we could practice dyeing with natural indigo. We were taught how to get our white hanky ready for shibori dyeing.The first step was to copy a pattern for shibori on the fabric. Next we were shown how to stitch this pattern and pull it very tight. Once we were ready for the dye pot we were supplied with boots, aprons and gloves. The more times you dipped the fabric in the pot, the darker it got. Mine is not very dark, because it was very hard on my poor back. Once our group was finished we switched to the weaving looms. By the time we had our 30 cm of weaving, we had a good look around the small store, where you could buy beautiful garments and fabric. When we were ready to leave we each got our hanky in a plastic bag with orders to let it dry till the next morning before cutting the strings. This visit was one of the highlights of the trip for me. Back to the quilt show. In the same area as the indigo demonstrations was a collection of quilts by Kuroha Shizuko. She used almost all traditional indigo blue fabrics. She also had a book you could buy and at certain times of the day, she would sign books. The book was very good and the drawings of the patterns were good enough to follow without being able to read the book. I bought a copy of the book and here you see her signing my copy. When not busy signing books she would give an ungoing demonstration. Now it is back to reality for me. This week I started to machine quilt a large wall hanging and it is not going well. It seems that every time I finish a project I also forget how hard it is on my back and shoulders. This time I will not forget! It is just not worth all the agony and pain. I have tried different chairs, and positions but nothing seems to make a difference. But I will muddle onwards!Posted by Picasa