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Thrifting Upcycled Clothing

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

When I completely opened my mind to the possibilities of upcycling I was instantly in love. I have many items that once they were washed, they became too small.

Just having fun is where it is at.

 This started out as a t-shirt that was a a special t-shirt. You  know the one I like to wear working in the back yard or going camping. It had a statement on the front that had become stained from years of wear. And upcycling saved it from disposal.

I added all sorts of lace, bits and pieces of new cotton and Voila!

Thanks for popping in and reading what I'm up to these days. I am in springtime full on, with higher than normal hot days for this time of year. Leave me a comment and let me know if you'd like to read more about my journey of upcycling?

Happy Quilting, sewing, stitching etc!

Duncan Farmers Market- Robert Cirens Art Jewelry & More

Thursday, April 26, 2018

In the early hours of any Saturday, Duncan Farmers Market vendors begin their Saturday task of setting up booths filled with handmade or handgrown lovelies. Artisan banners, flags even small stand up signs start to fill out the rush of setting up, readying the day for the drove's of locals and tourists alike.

It was raining steady, just steady enough that your back became cool when you stopped working, but soon, the melodic music begins in the distance, while the aroma of coffee and bread fill the air. The tarps and shelters begin to take shape and laughter can be heard. Its a happy place in time. I savour these moments of a Farmer's Market that has been a growing concern steady and is now one of the largest Farmer's Market according to their online information.

Quite frankly its magical, inviting and I'm thrilled to be part of it. I'm looking after the very popular booth of Robert Cirens Art To Wear jewelry, which are fabulous earring and pendants. If you haven't seen his work, I welcome you to his online presence. His lovely wife the Business Manager of their enterprise is such a fun person to hang around with and we laughed many times enjoying the popularity of his work. Stephanie Cirens has a well set out plan of operations and I'm learning!

Across from our booth is a local farmer/butcher, veggie grower and a winery! Dogs, children, old and young alike don't mind the rain. Between chatter, greetings and dogs getting to know each other you can hear the conversations pass by revelling when the rain stops and the sun immediately brightens the crowd.

As you can tell, when I'm working at the market, I'm not upcycling but totally enjoying the immersion into Duncan culture with each day I live here.

Next Market is April 28th 9 to 2 pm, come in your pj's or your jeans!

CQ Winner & The Duncan Farmers Market

Thursday, April 19, 2018


Easter is over and it was lovely to visit, eat and share our backyard with family and friends! 

But I must admit, the gardening to be done has taken over my life, a wee bit. Its always a push in the spring time to get ready for planting. I had sort of forgotten about how fast weeds invade as soon as the spring warmth returned to the soil. 

Without much in the way of freezing temperatures over the winter, I dreamed of the brocolli , kale, and tomatoes to  be grown in my new garden space, but its been kinda soggy here this spring I'd say!

Our days have mostly been cloudy with just a rare glimpse or two of sunny skies. And its not so very different from the spring time in the Bulkley Valley of Northern B.C. minus snowy days of rough driving conditions and shoveling snow for sometimes 4-5 months. 

And its quite lovely to be able to experience walking without ice. But quite frankly, we've lost the access to the backroads and wild parts of the forest. In most parts of our beautiful province, we are able to access crown land via forestry roads and respectfully co-exist with forest company logging developments.

This beautiful lynx is one example of public access to the back country. I most likely would not have seen this wild creature so readily if gates were on all the back country roads.

But enough of all that weather reporting and complaints of privately owned large forested areas of the lower Vancouver Island. 

We had hands to help and we picked a winner from the hat of all the entries into my Crazy Quilting Giveaway. April 1st was the end of the giveaway. 

It was most funny to ask a friend to pull a name out of a hat. She blinked and dutifully pulled out a name. Uncrumpled the paper and spoke "Mumbird3, who is that?"

Drum roll as Mary Anne would say and yes, we have a winner for my little crazy quilting fabric kit give away.

MUMBIRD3 is the winner. I apologize for this late post on this winner. Unforutunately, mumbird3, has no contact details on her profile. So Ms. Mumbird3, this purple package of lovelies for crazy quilting is waiting for you to contact me and claim your prize. 

email me at carli the quilter at gmail dot com

I've been playing around with postcards! One which has been bundled into the giveaway!

And onto other interesting things happening in my life, as it is when you open up your life to new adventures that adventures do come. I've spoken before of the beautiful earrings made by our friends Robert Cirens and his lovely wife Stephanie.

Image result for robert cirens art to wear

They are off on a trip and asked me to look after the popular booth Art To Wear Handmade jewelry at the Duncan Farmer's Market. I'm really looking forward to it and a little bit butterflies in my tummy too.

Image result for robert cirens art to wear

Duncan Farmers Market is such a hoot of a good time. To hang out and yack with people all day, well that is one job description I can get into!

Near our booth, last Saturday,  a local musician called Homeless Harold, sung away the entire time between 9-2 pm. And he was really good, had the just the right songs that many of us know and enjoy.

Homeless Harold has a lovely introduction on YouTube if you are interested.

The Cherry trees are blooming all over Duncan and its such a sight to see a whole street full of pink blossoms.

My purple plaid shirt dress is finally coming to an end and I'll be able to wear it for this coming Saturday!

I fell in love with this twig wreath.

And I've begun upcycling a favorite pink t-shirt is becoming a new fashion! I'm having some awesome fun!

You can kinda see where I'm going with this t-shirt upcycle. Sorry, these photos are so dark!

This was my garden patch with just a low level of weeds coming on back in March 17, 2018 and I've made a stab at it and its been raining so much that I just couldn't get out there. And since then the green ground cover is so bad, I went out last night before dark in a rare no rain moment to pick off the dandelion head before the start spreading over the rest of the garden.

But Johanna Wagstaffe, CBC Senior Meterologist says we have sun on the way. 
So we can hope that doesn't change and wishing you all a great sunny day wherever you are.

#500- A Crazy Quilting Give Away!

Thursday, March 8, 2018

I upcycled all sorts of fabric into my "Beach House Crazy Quilt" and it was selected for the 2013 Quilt Market "Oh, Canada" exhibition in Houston and LA.
When I began this blog back in 2007, I wanted to educate about reusing cloth, now called "Upcycling" of all types of fabrics that we didn't normally see in quilts. I love the to play with color, texture and style. But believe it or not, but in 2007, I struggled to have anyone see anything I wrote about upcycling and I did have to make the concession to including more new fabric.

This gorgeous table runner sports Dresden Plates handmade from scraps of all ages of printing, some as far back as 1980. These scrappy Dresden Plates sit on a light blue background which is new organic 100% cotton while the backing is upcycled curtain material.

Myrtle and I made matching bags from a pattern she purchased and it was so much fun!

And so as you read this most auspicious post, start thinking about the color pallet you'd choose and if you are the winner of this giveaway, I will do my best to make your 4 crazy blocks in your choice.

Most of the fabrics of a vintage age was gifted to me by someone who knew I loved to upcycle on more than one occasion I'd come home to find a bag on my doorstep of vintage scraps and fabric from days long gone. I am grateful for these gifts.

I even made a legal sized flag of our Canadian Flag. I made it according the legal size of a true blue Canadian Flag.

And then I gave it away to Nathan Cullen, our favorite politician and it sits inside his office at the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, Ontario.

I didn't realize that the quilt below that I named "Round Lake Cabin Quilt" was actually bordering on a thing called Modern Quilts.

I used the labels of clothing in this award winning quilt of mine from 2004. Its entitled "Silver Linings Crazy Quilt" I won the lap frame for hand quilting that I treasure to this day.

The blue plaid and brown plaid fabrics that are going into my new bedroom quilt are reused from shirts gifted to me. These quilt blocks have gone into my newest king size quilt for our bed. Read about it here.

Which over time evolved into the quilt layout below. Slowly but surely, I am finishing up projects and after moving back and forth and now permanently, I am allowed the comfort to take my time.

I made my first crazy quilt back in 1994.

But found that I was a little before my time. I had no idea of Modern Quilts and was far too busy with my business and home schooling to notice. I moved along.

I do love hand embroidery, so making crazy quilts became my first love of quilting.

I began a process of making my crazy quilts in a totally different way.

Stretching your boundaries gives flight to your dreams. This photo above is one of the many that I'm assembling for an actual real art gallery showing. More on that later.

I like to grow my own veggies and was always a closet writer, so blogging was a convenient way to express one's views, ideas and join others in this beautiful textile conversation.

What have I learned by this blogging anyway?

I am pushed to become a better blogger and quilter by sharing what is important to me as I while away the days of my life. I have become more interested in thread painting as you can see from my portrait of Sir Alfred Smithers below. If you are really interested to know more about this process, please click here.

And the finished Smithers Centennial Quilt 2013. This quilt had a deadline that pushed my back to extremes and it had to be done.

And moving right along, I got really excited in 2015, having decided to write a book! I am still writing this book. Who know when it will be finished. But its happening.

I set off like I usually do with the enthusiasm of a teenager, with the mind of a 40's something and a body of a 57 year old who's already had one total knee replacement. But two years ago, I decided that getting more exercise and watching what I ate are simply a more practical way to get healthier!

More on this little weight loss topic later, but you might like to read the actual post that included my Crazy Quilting Tutorial.

As you'll see by following this blog, I am a completely-over-the-top CrAzY QuIlTeR!

I love the freeform style of crazy quilting and because I love to USE UP what I have around, these minute pieces eventually find a home in one of my numerous crazy quilts.

I don't prefer to use rotary cutters in my cutting my fabric chunks for crazy quilts, but I love the various styles immerging online, so who knows maybe I'll adapt and find a use for a rotary cutter chunks in my new collection of crazy quilts?

I have grown up as my nimble fingers find a path towards peace and contentment. 

My soul is simply soothed by the act of stitching.

I am stretching my comfort zone. I listen to my heart and go where it wants to and I just smile. I wish people who have stress in their life, picked up stitching of some sort. Its simply so good for a person, never mind that you don't become as experienced as I am, its simply a great idea to play with fabric and thread.

In 2016, I made this commission for a client in Alberta who sent me their own photo and emailed me "Can you make this photo into a quilt?" I was honoured and thrilled to have take this next step toward my progress as a Quilt Instructor.

And as I grew and stretched my wings, I became aware of a sweet stitcher from Saskatchewan who stitches Prairie Art in yarn. I'm pretty tickled to be a friend of Monika Kinner Whalen.

And when you visit don't be stingy with your time, she is well worth the extra minute to follow her on Pinterest.

Spreaking of Pinterest!

Please tell me you've begun following my board called Crazy Quilts from the World.

I've been developing workshops to teach my style of crazy quilting and would love to meet up with any other quilters. 

If you are a member of a quilting guild on Vancouver Island, please leave a comment and I'll contact you.

It was a breath of fresh air to leave hand embroidery behind for a nice break and focus on hand applique of the 365 Circles Project.

And then thanks to Quilty Folk who is the orginator of Quilty 365 came into my life and I've loved hand appliquing circles ever since.

As you can see, I simply love the busy-ness of contrast and freeform flow.

I've been stitching away on numerous 6 inch blocks with circles on them, now I have over 367 the last time I counted. They are going into a new quilt, of course.

And most recently I've begun to Upcycle My Clothing.

I hope that you've enjoyed a little look at my progress over writing 500 Good Earth Quilting Blog posts.

And what is even more special, is that I'm giving away Crazy Quilting Blocks.

1. You must agree to a follow up photo of the completed quilt via your blog or in an email to me.

2. If you win, tell me your color pallet and I'll make you "A set of (4) 12" Pre-Sewn Crazy Quilting Blocks" These are the sweetest blocks and all you have to do is sew them into a finished quilt of your own. 

3. You can do hand embroidery or not, but the deal is that must agree to become a follower of mine if you are already not a follower and you must leave me a comment in the color pallette of your choice. Come on be wild, subdued or dark! Just don't leave without telling me your choice in a comment here.

Plus, you know I'll throw in all sorts of special trims I love to use in a crazy quilting block.

 On April 1,  I will pick a winner and it won't be a joke! If you are a no-reply blogger, leave your email address!

Best of Luck, thank you for following me, continuing to support the crazy work I do and be assured I am grateful to share with all of you.

Altering Shirt Dress

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

As the last bit of a chill is hovering over the Cowichian Valley, the ground, plants, trees and birds are just bursting at the warmth of spring to come. Its just not planting weather yet.

I have been enjoying my altered clothing experience! I highly recommend it for anyone who knows how to sew!

The purple/blue plaid shirt purchased from Hudson's Bay store in Victoria shrunk badly after the first wash. I love these colors and wanted to get more use from brand new shirt.
The shirt after washing and hanging to dry was too short.

I didn't want to lose the cowboy shirt rounded front style but I think most of us would prefer a little more belly coverage than this length offered me?

This upcycling adventure was not the first altered clothing I had done since in my late teens. I learned upcycling from a German trained tailor while living part time on Long Beach before it was a National Park.

I was quite dissapointed when I took this shirt out of the washer. I shook the shirt wet against the laundry room air in hopes of NOT realizing my worse dream for this favorite newly purchased shirt. But there it was, a shirt that shrunk in cold water in the washing machine!

This was the last straw and so the frustration of buying new tops that shrank badly became another step in my development of an handmade textile art. I hand embroidered my jeans back in the 1970's and soon friends began to pay me money to meander embroidery across their jeans too! I hand embroidered little wee baby shirts that are somewhere out there. I began taking this obsession with stitching to a whole new level in the late 1990's with crazy quilting.

I love the freedom of playing with how to actually decide what to add or delete in the new piece.

Here in photo above you'll see that I have hand sewn two men's ties onto the front facing. The flimsey facing was almost none existant and required something more to keep the button holes looking nice long term and for the buttons which are going to upcycled as well to fit well into.

From my "Purple Crazy Quilt" that was sold some time ago, you can see that I love the color purple. And if you haven't seen the movie with Ophra Winfrey in it, you should find "The Color Purple."

Its inspiring and sad,  but so meaningful a movie...bring tissues!

AND because I love hand stitching in all my art, why not do more of it on my newly upcycled shirt dress.

I have sewn together random sized chunks into another ruffle for the bottom of this shirt dress. I'm itching to start wearing it. I think its going to be so popular that I might just share it even more than here on my blog.

I just love this telephone print, don't you? I decided to add various improv stitching bits to add to the whole texture of this shirt dress.

I have added satin fabric, all upcycled, to the bits of toile barkcloth, vintage bits and orphaned blocks from hexie projects.

The next post on this shirt dress will be the end of it. I plan on finding some lacey cotton table cloth for the bottom edge that will show poking out from under this last row of ruffles. I also plan on adding pockets to the front and maybe a slim set of straps that I'll tie at the back.

I am loving this so much, I've already started another t-shirt upcycle.

And I've made progress on Mexacali Heat too. Onward I strive to get out from underneath all these tops to finish. Thank you to some very special ladies who I've never met but continue to inspire me, nudge me to get going and encourage me.

Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs