Bloggers Quilt Festival Fall 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival - AmysCreativeSide.com

It’s that exciting time of the year again!

For those who can’t go to Houston we have the Bloggers Fall Quilt Festival, and here is my entry to the art quilt category …

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This piece evokes the Grand Canyon where you can gaze down at millions of years of rock layers carved by the Colorado River, then up at the big Western sky.

I  made this in late spring using a variety of techniques, creating strata which I pieced like bargello for the rocks at the bottom, which I then ice-dyed (soaked the piece in soda ash solution, then placed it flat on a rack in a large pan, covered it with ice cubes and sprinkled various procion dye powders over the top).

I used a similar ice-dyeing technique for the sky at the top, making several attempts before I was satisfied.

The river is a synthetic fibre.  I made several trial blocks to get the curving effect.

It’s 17 inches wide and 22 inches high, and was my entry into our Guild retreat’s challenge.  Our theme was the Wild, Wild West and really nothing is wilder than the Grand Canyon.

First featured here

with process posts here, and here, here, and here

.. and now I’m off to check out everyone else’s entries!  Yay!

P.S.  For the first time, I’ve entered a second quilt in the festival, in Baby Quilts

Baby quilt FINALLY FINISHED!

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Here’s a close up showing the quilting on this one, which is technically the best quilting I feel I’ve done, just meandering lines in a grid, using Valdani Withered Blue on top and their Brick (I think it is) in the bobbin.

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And to the right, the whole quilt.

What was fun with this was that I didn’t buy any fabric, just found stuff in my existing stash that played together nicely.

Following Joan Ford’s advice in Cut the Scraps! was a big help as all the squares were cut to five inches.  The paisley and the pale blue feathers were yardage which I cut, the others were from scraps I’d already cut down.  It was fast and fun to pore through the clamshell I keep them in and pull out the dark blue, red, peacock feathers and the deep red paisley and then just sit and sew.

The Missouri Star Quilt Company YouTube tutorial on disappearing nine-patch 

was a terrific quick  primer that saved me from making any design mistakes.  You put the focus fabrics in the four corners of the nine-patch, the middle fabric will be sliced into four little squares, and the fabrics in the middle of each outside appear like sashing, which is why I stuck to the blue feathers so there would be some consistency to the design.

When the quilt was started, no one knew whether the baby would be a boy or a girl.  Here in British Columbia you can only find out by paying extra for a special test.  Anyway the not knowing meant I needed to choose colours that were not gender specific, which I think I achieved.  In the end it was a boy, but this would also be suitable for a girl too.

Elusive elastic

Unable to find the elastic I know is lurking somewhere around the house, I’ve been running around to drugstores, quilt and embroidery stores, for two days.  Everyone has Velcro but regular elastic is much harder to find.

However, Gala Fabrics came to the rescue and instead of having to buy a vast quantity in a plastic blister pack, they cut off the yardage I needed and packed it in this precious repurposed sewing pattern!

Young Sprout was in tow, behaving beautifully considering he had just missed a chance to go on the bouncy castle because the volunteers were stopping for lunch, so I didn’t push my luck by browsing their fabric sale although some bright red paisley is calling my name!

Deconstructed Paisley


Although I’ve collected paisley fabs and often used them in quilts, I found I was somehow bored with some that have been in the collection for a long time, and they were among the fabrics I donated before my move, and traded at Fabric Traders in Sidney.

However right before the silk screening class with Susan Purney Mark, I bought a shower curtain with giant paisleys on it. I’m only sorry I had someone else do the hard labour of climbing up and hanging it before it occurred to me to pop it on the scanner.

I was particularly interested in the way several motifs meet, and based on that sketch I made this screen and printed it on pole-wrapped shibori from Susan’s Colour Seduction workshop back in October. Of course this is the NEGATIVE space between the paisleys.

THOUGHT: Has anyone ever made a fabric really exploiting this? Wish I had signed up for Lily Kerns’ QuiltU class on using PhotoShop on fabric. Oh well, (1) we don’t have PhotoShop and (2) I am starting Filament Fantasy on Friday and that will keep me out of the bingo halls (as if!) and probably make more of a difference to my work.

And speaking of work, my hours are as follows:
through Jan 25: 33 hours
Feb 1: 34 hours
Feb 8: 28 hours
Feb 15: 37 hours
Feb 22: 40 hours

Screenprinting Workshop


Yesterday I took Susan Purney Mark’s silk screening workshop at Satin Moon.

This was fascinating and a good start.

Things that surprised me:

How much paint it takes!

And that it takes longer than I expected it to.

In fairness I suspect that with practice and planning things would go faster. We had a lot of fun playing around and experimenting.

The photo above shows a piece of pole wrapped shibori (made in Susan’s Colour Seduction workshop in the fall) screen printed with a repeated motif inspired by the negative spaces in large paisley patterns.

Trading Fabric



Yesterday we went to Sidney and I took the opportunity to unload more of my ancient stash at Fabric Traders — the website is http://www.fabrictraders.ca

You get store credit in exchange for what you bring in, good for up to a year. Of course that is like those packets of chocolate cookies that say “Best before July 27, 2012 at 7:54 p.m.” Does anyone ever put it to the test?

I used my whole credit yesterday and these are two of the fabrics I picked. The one on the right has a thin line of gold in the black, which doesn’t show up too well on the scan. BUT if you click for an enlarged image it does show up. I also found a heavy cotton with rattan print, one with a tiny pattern like a parquet floor in soft yellow, blue, and red, and a fat quarter with teddy bears on it.

The bears will be going into a flapbook I’m working on for my grandson. Everything else has a geometric/woven/baskety look to it. This was a huge look in the late 70’s and I think it’s coming back.

And it’s satisfying to think that some of the old, old stuff is gone. Some was conversation prints of the “What was I thinking?” sort, others were calico prints and paisleys. I like paisley but I think I’ve looked at those particular fabrics for too long, and it’s not really in line with what I’m doing now.