Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More posies

This is a brand new wall hanging. Last fall I was asked for a short workshop up in Grey County and we came up with the idea of making some 3d flowers using shaded wired ribbon. I taught how to make the rose, pansy and lily-in-the-valley and included a pattern ,that could be used to make a small quilt. I still had the pattern and the flowers and that's as far as it got. Till a few weeks ago. I was looking for a small project and this was it. The oval was done with reverse applique. Next came the leaves and stems, followed the flowers. I always like to set a center of with a small strip in a contrasting color. Here it is a 1 inch wide strip. folded double and sewn on the right side of the center, before I sewed the border on. It is machine quilted. And now that I'm looking at my old quilts I realize, that my memory is not as good as I thought it was. Most of my quilts do not have a label and to be honest I have forgotten when they were made. I'm doing better and everything finished this year has at the minimum my name and year on the back. I bought the large African panel last year at Quilt Canada in Calgary and the smaller ones this year in London. I do have some African fabrics and a bunch of buttons, but have not yet figured out how to put it all together. It would be something completely different for me to try. Later,after some contemplating! Laurence started to combine the wheat on Tuesday, but it was still too high in moisture. Then we finally got some rain, not as much as the people around us, but with this dry weather every little bit helps. Family will start arriving on Tuesday. Grandma is looking forward to having all her kids and grandkids together for the big event. I have been doing some extra cooking and baking early in the morning to miss the heat. And as of this morning we have a new upright freezer! After cleaning out the chestfreezer a few weeks ago we decided that we are getting too old for that job and needed a change. I store most of my quilts on one of the spare beds. Now with all the family coming they will have to be put away for a while. My plan is to take pictures of the older ones before they are put away, at least if the weather cooperates and I can find some help. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


In 2 weeks we will have all of Laurence's siblings and families here for grandma's 90th birthday.This means a lot of cleaning up and getting ready.Yesterday I took a stack of quilts of one of the spare beds and I realized that I have used a lot of flowers and plants in my quilts. This one "Tulips" I made about 6 years ago. It shows the life cycle of the tulip. The blue fabric in the border I love and every scrap has been used up. The center piece I dyed myself, the rest are fabrics I bought. The flowers and leaves have been fused to the back ground.I machine quilted all around the flowers and leaves. The roots are twisted, silk ribbon, fastened with a few stitches. The back ground and border are machine quilted. Up to now it has been stored with the rest of my quilts,but it will be displayed for the next few months. The weather has been very, very hot and will be even hotter tomorrow, up to 37C. We are not used to that here up in Canada. And we could use some rain. The wheat is almost ready to combine and the fields are looking very good. We were gone up to Algonquin Park for a few days and coming back on Monday we saw field after field of wheat. One more small kimono piece. This will be the last one for a while. The small pieces to the sides are left overs from my pot with tulips quilt, still a work in progress, and are vintage pieces of Japanese fabrics.
I also finished my last "smile" quilt. This one is meant for an older child. I found the center fabric a few years ago and I combined it with strips of fabric I had dyed myself. It is displayed on the spinning wheel I have from my mother. One of my goals is to learn how to spin and maybe weave. But that means less time for quilting and that is goin g slow enough right now as it is. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Visit to Baltimore

This quilt was was of the first workshops I offered. In 1995 I became a member of the Waterloo County Quilters Guild and soon after I was asked to teach an applique course. I taught 2 workshops and the result were the 2 first( Baltimore Album) quilts we made for the Mennonite Relief Sale, sold in 1999 and 2000. The last one also was accepted at the IQF in Houston, where it won an honorable mention in the group category. Next I was asked to teach a workshop for Ruffled Elegance , at that time the quilt store in St. Jacobs. This quilt, from about 1997,was the result. The 4 blocks are from one of the books by Elly Sienkiewicz, the border is my own design. The was a 6 month course, one evening a month. I did a lot of 3 dimentional flowers for this one. Except for the binding it is all done by hand. Hand quilted by my mother-in-law Hilda Helmuth. Since then I have taught this workshop a few more times, but it has been retired for quite a while now. The last few weeks I have been finishing some small projects and this animal quilt is one of them. It will go to our guild "Smile Quilt" project and will find a home with a sick child. The doll in the picture is the only doll I ever had. I never really played with it. I was rather in the barn, helping my father. I had lost track of it, till I visited my sister. She had rescueded the doll at some point and taken it home. Now she sits on a chair, upstairs in the hall. And she is fully dressed in a full set of 100% cotton, knitted underwear, made by me during my years in public school. I have no idea, where the dress comes from.
It has been hot here. And we could use some rain. Silly isn't, it was not that long ago and we were complaining about it being too wet. I added a few more plants( could not miss the sale now, could I) to the flower beds and I figure that this is enough for this year. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Ribbon flowers

Heart with 3d flowers. This is a real oldy from about 2000. I never did put a label on the back and at that time I thought I would remember the when and were. Now I realize with about 60 to 70 quilts plus around, that it is not quite that easy. This quilt is made with scraps of shaded wired ribbon. The pansies and rose at the bottom are made with 1/2 inch wide ribbon and the fuschia's with different widths. I had just finished my Baltimore Album quilt and had put the left-overs of the ribbon in a small bag. Once full it was time to make something and this was the result. The center is a small piece of kitchen curtain I had found. The leaves are hand appliqued, but it is machine quilted, one of my first attempts. I have al ways liked to work with this wired ribbon. The colors are very bright and with the wire in the ribbon you can get a flower very fast. Lately I have not used it quite as much, but I'm still making flowers to put on my cards. That with a background of selvages gives a nice look. My newest piece. I did not get much done over the last few weeks. My arms and shoulders bugged me and I took a short break. But now I'm at it again, but very slowly. This is another small kimono with selvages and a small sashiko piece. There is one more in the works and that will be it. For this piece I used some of my Japanese selvages. We have been busy around here. 4 weeks from tomorrow will be Laurence's mother's 90th birthday and all his sisters and brother and their families will come home. It will be a very full house. I want the place to look nice and I have been spending a lot of time in my flower beds. By now even the mulching is done. 2 things I worried about, cleaning out the freezer and the mulching and both have been done ahead of schedule. Laurence decided one day to help me with the freezer and whatever you have planned for the day, forget about it. You know, that this help will be a one time deal! We did decide after, that it might be time to get an upright one. But all the work will be worth it. Grandma has not seen all her kids together in five years and is looking forward to every minute of it.
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Friday, July 01, 2011

First installment

Last week I wrote about featuring a different quilt each week, mostly older ones and in no particular order. This one just happened to be at the top of the heap. The title of this one is Winter Breakfast and was finished in 2006. For years I wanted to make a quilt with birds, but it had to be birds that I had seen at one of our bird feeders. One was missing, the cardinal. Than one Sunday morning there he was, sitting on a railing and watching what went on inside of the house. I quickly took some pictures and that was the start of this quilt. All these birds are from our area. The pine boughs and seeds are embroidered by hand. The applique is also done by hand. The feeder tube has 1 or 2 layers of netting over the applique to give it a more glass/plastic like look. The hand quilting was done by my mother-in-law Hilda Helmuth. When I started to make quilts I used to use the cheapest fabric I could find for the back. Now I have changed my mind and I try to find co-ordinating fabric for the back. For this quilt I was very lucky to find matching fabric with chickadees for the back just before it would be quilted. This quilt was at the National Juried show in Ottawa. With no chores and all the field work caught up we decided to take a break and go away for a few days. Laurence always wanted to take the ferry to Pellee Island so on Monday morning we drove to Leamington and took the ferry to the island. We stayed overnight and the next day took another, smaller ferry from the island to Sandusky in Ohio. From there we drove to Archbold. We wanted to visit the Sauder Village.We had been there before, but always to late in the day to make a visit worthwhile. The village has some excellent craft people and I came home with a beautfiful big hand woven basket. And there is even a quilt store.This time I did not find anything I needed or wanted. From there we drove to Shipshewana in Indiana where you have 2 very good quilt stores. And yes, I found some have to have fabrics there. We made it back last night and today was catch-up day. The lawn needed mowing and the flowers needed some care, but that's been looked after. Even my new fabric has been washed and ironed!
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