Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Off with Her Head!!l

I  am having a tea party to celebrate the birthday of  the late Lewis Carroll, of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass fame.
Charles L. Dodson was his real name. All stories about him tell of a very shy, mild mannered man who stuttered when he spoke, but obviously had a vivid imagination which enabled him to write these astonishing stories. I never really thought that the Alice in Wonderland books were children's books. They seem to have so many layers that can be fully appreciated by adults.  Alice Liddell, was the daughter of a family friend and she and her sisters were entertained by Mr. Dodson's exciting and inventive stories.
Do we still use our imagination or have we become so inundated with facts and information that we don't even know how to wonder? Are we encouraged to dream? Do we ever just fall down the rabbit hole? on purpose, without a safety net? 
We probably could just send a scope down the rabbit hole and have a clear vision of everything there.
I made this quilt several years ago in answer to a challenge in our quilting group. The challenge was _______time. So the quilt is called coffee time-I don't drink tea.

I used hand dyed fabrics and commercial fabrics. I like to add black and white to most of my work. It gives the eye a spot to rest.
Thanks for stopping by!!

Monday, 25 January 2016


Every year at the beginning of December, I hang these clothes outside to air on the line. They stay there until Christmas Eve.

I found the red long johns this year and added them to the line.

After Christmas they came into the house, were washed and have become my favourite pyjamas.
I can't wait to put them on after supper and sometimes wear them longer into the day than really necessary.

This morning, I found two little holes in the legs of my long johns. I think they have been there since they were outside hanging on the line. Testament to the power of a December wind.
At first I was dismayed about the holes and then I realized that its just another opportunity for a bit of creative visible mending. So I will sit in front of the fireplace--its really just a channel on TV--and embroider a little bit.
Visit  website for some very inspirational visible mending.

thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Deer Crossings

Deer Crossings 2015
Deer Crossings detail 2015

Deer Crossings is a piece I made in 2014. My daughter frequently has deer visitors in the yard. They are so accustomed to people coming and going that they often hardly look up from their feeding when we pull in the driveway.

I embroidered the face and ears and appliqued scraps of fabric on the neck and face area.

The border is made of blocks that have been randomly slashed and inserted a thin strip of striped fabric.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Picasso's Swimming Pool

I went to the Museum of Modern art in NY in the spring. One of my favourite spots at the museum is the swimming pool installation by Picasso. It's a little alcove in the gallery and all of the walls are lined with paper cutouts-blue on white that suggest swimmers in a pool. You can stand in the middle of the room and just rotate around. the shapes just change and evolve and suggest water, waves swimmers--whatever you can imagine.
in the pool


a detail of Splash.
I made this quilt long before I saw Picasso's swimming pool and I have shown it here before but I think I will post it again today. Maybe I need to do another one or two. Most of my work has been more colourful and brighter but sometimes the simplicity of two colours and simple shapes says more!

This quilt celebrated the birth of my third grandson. It's a group of little boys surrounding a pool and sending up a big splash. The apple represents the apple of my eye. The heart shows my love for all the little boys.
Next blue and white quilt will be a little more suggestive and a little more shape on shape.
Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, 15 January 2016

At the Park

in an attempt to simplify my work, I have decided to try some very abstract work. I used Kathleen Loomis's fine line piecing technique and made it my own.
at the park 2015

at the park detail 2015

I used three different fabrics plus a bright orange for the binding. Lots of machine quilting. It's an attempt at abstract. It really can mean anything that you want it to mean. A trip to the park, a day at the beach, sitting in a big chair??
You decide.

Self Portraits

When I was at a friend's cottage this past summer, we tried a little experiment with software on our computer. We took a recent picture of my face and applied a few different filters to my pic.

Here I am!!
and here I am again, in black and white with heavy shadows.  Do you see a quilt here?

Yes I do, too. But as of right now, it's just in my head. it is on the list. But the list is a loooong one!!

Thanks for visiting. Karen

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Finishitup Month

I have always made January my finish it up month. I force myself to revisit the work that I abandoned and try to finish a few pieces before starting a new one. It works sometimes. Often the  piece that I choose to finish requires very little work done to be called finished.

Wolf Pack@2016
This is one of those pieces that I started not last summer but the summer before.  I wanted to try some complicated stencil patterns. I made three different stencils by tracing designs from a patterned tablecloth that I have had for a long time. I used clear plastic-the heavy kind that you can buy at the local hardware store that my mother- in-law liked to use for table cloths. I chose three colours from the multicolour paisley table cloth and  copied one colour on each stencil.

Then I spent my Thursday evenings at the local park listening to music and cutting out the stencils.

When that was finished, I spread a piece of muslin on the table and ironed on three freezer paper cutouts of wolves and a few straight cutouts to represent trees. They will act a resists. Then one by one I place the stencils over the muslin an applied a different colour of acrylic paint to the muslin.
After the paint was dried and heatset with an iron on the back, I layered the muslin over thin quilt batting and a backing.

Machine quilting came next. I quilted the trees heavily with variegated thread. Then just outlined the wolves and did a little bit of quilting inside the trees to look like the forest.
This is where I fell off the wagon for a little while. The quilting was heavy in some areas and very light in others which causes the fabric to pucker in spots. I was not sure what to do about that--so I left it in the to do pile where it stayed for almost a year.

I showed it to my fibre arts group (the Fabrigos) and they encouraged me not to abandon it--just keep going. (that's what I love about the group--lots of encouragement and good suggestions.) They told me to embrace the puckers and so I did. There is no way to avoid them so accept them .

 Well it did sit for another good while but I recently got it out and had another look. Better to have a mediocre finished quilt than an unfinished one in the queue.
Wolf Pack @ 2016 detail

So that's done. All it really needed to finish it was another backing applied(to hide all the bad stuff) and a faced edge and it was done. It took me eighteen months and one hour to finish it up.

Now to the studio!!! more finishing to be done.