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Challenges?

Thursday, May 31, 2012


OK, remember my big mega project?

You know I must be a glutton for punishment or something. I am the lead quilter on the Smithers Centennial 2013 Quilt Project. No photos yet of the entire quilt because that is still 16 months away!! But I did have a deadline of June 30th for the blocks to be handed to me from the other 9 artist participating.

Then in May one of the artists couldn't commit, then today another one decided that the deadline was not happening in her life either.

So there I was in a  moment of heart pounding shock. I stayed calm on the phone, but inside my insides were turning around and exploding!

I thought happy thoughts and calmed down. Its still 15 months away and well, I'm up for the challenge. Then I opened my email and there was a nice post from Funky Junk's blog and she posed a question to her readers.

 
As I read  her post, I found this challenge, I realized that yes, I'd make three blocks for this quilt and I'd do it with style.

Here is what my one scary thing challenge is.

I need to draft three blocks on graph paper for the Smithers Centennial Quilt Project. 

Its simple, design and draft the three blocks. 

I had thought that the one I started for Sir Alfred Smithers would work, but the more I do on it, the less I like it, so here's what I'm not doing for the quilt.

 
 I you want to link to the challenge, go here.

All the best,


Carli

Wonders of the World Quilt Finished!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A special hello to all my followers! Thank you so much for reading my  blog and being interested in learning more about how to be a green quilter!

I'll be posting all the finishes I'm currently working on as they are done. This little quilt is actually my own quilt. Yep after the dozens of quilts I've made over the years, even before this blog, I didn't make any quilts for myself. You know how it went back then, I didn't think about taking photos, that was before I became a blogger!






I started this quilt in the 1990's, hand sewing the various log cabin blocks from random scraps. I took this scraps along in a special back pack when I went bar fishing with my hubby.  Then we moved three times since starting this. Then the inner off white muslin border became stained, then I had to wash the unfinished quilt. Again, absent mindedly, I didn't think of the mess of snags from the fabric on the back side. So then I had to hand snip all those  bits, then reinforce some seams that came apart after washing. The off white muslin was quite a mess and had become uneven. Then I was quite depressed about it all and it went away into a  bin for about a decade. Then a few years ago, I dragged it out and again.
I had a renewed sense of purpose in it and the muslin border, frayed and all, didn't deter me this time. I hand drew the waving edges along and hand appliqued that off white to the red background. 

Now, finally its all done and I'm so happy with it. I love it when random blocks all come together into a quilt. A young modern quilter friend of mine suggested that this would look awesome in a pattern using modern fabric. I'm thinking about that. Uhm...

What do you think? Should I make this into a pattern? Let me know by commenting.

All the best,

Carli

Upcycle Competition-Creative Festival

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I made the suggestion of an "Upcycle Quilt Category" to the board of directors of Canadian Quilters Assn in 2005. It was rejected.

Thank goodness to all of those quilters and crafters out there that have embraced reusing and made lovely new things from reuse items.


Society today needs more events to celebrate how we can individually deliver a smaller footprint on the world. 
We have many of these types of ways going on, such as with the "Bicycle to Work" Being green never was easier! Being green today for quilters has never been easier either. Thousands of mature quilters are hanging up their massive stash and moving to less taxing activities. Not to say that some handwork or hand quilting might still be going on with our elders who remember what it was like before we had fabric stores in every town and city.





Would you like to enter a competition for "Upcycled?"

Tell me you will enter something?

Would you like to have your reused fabric creations with a ribbon it?

Wouldn't you like to have a special item made for you?

Yeh, for the organizers of Creativ festival! This is company showing the world that reusing is fun, beautiful and its helping to keep good cloth in the hands of maker's!

Want to win a little parcel of beautiful vintage cloth? Its easy, spread the word and come back here and tell me what did to spread the word. I'll keep track of how many comments I get and the winner will receive a nice bundle of vintage cloth from my own stash!

I reused a firm brochure for the paper for this english paper piecing for a Grandma's Garden Hexagon flower! You can too!

All the best,

Carli





Purple Crazy Quilt Inspiration

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

One of my favorite colors is purple. I love deep dark purple, burgundy and deep rust colors. In 1985 I created quite a stir for my own wedding dress that had deep rust colored velvet in the bodice. Meadow flowers danced on beige background cotton, low bodice with laces on the front of the bodice. It was not white!

So how I came to be inspired to make the Purple Crazy now in a private collection  here in the Bulkley Valley.

See the center of this block with the "winged dancers" with a multi colored background? The slight purple colors in this background was the start of the choices I made along the way towards the finished quilt.


As I have progressed with crazy quilting, I have become less focused on following the seams with embroidery or other embellishment.

I tend to let go and fall off the seam into the main area.


Following your bliss is an excellent start, reusing embellished clothing items is a handy way to import some embroidery without the time to do it  by hand.


Sorry this photo is smudged, but I kept it here because it gives you a good look at the way I combine hand stitching with machine stitching. I think it gives a different kind of expression to my work.


What I would differently is that I'll be very sure that the quilt block is butted up against the other edge tightly. This will overcome the lax shape of the sashing.
I'm not happy with this part of that quilt.


I like the import of beads randomly stitched into the piece. Taking the time to let it go without always balancing everything is good for the soul.


Metallic threads, wool yarn, floss and perle cotton threads are used as I see fit.

You can too, be bold, let go and don't think too much, let your creative urges come out in threads.


These are all the things that inspired the Purple Crazy Quilt. Hope you enjoyed this up close and personal journey of crazy quilting.

All the  best,

Carli


Two Hour "Slice and Dice" Table Runner Tutorial

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


1. Start with 3 Fat Quarters, 1 focus fabric, 1 complimentary and 1 sparkle fabrics, lay each on top of each other in a stack. 
2. Make two slightly off kilter cuts across and through the whole stack.
3.  Take the first one from the bottom of stack #1 from the left side, place it on top of same stack.
4. Take the bottom two from the center stack and place on top of center stack.
5. Leave the last stack alone.
6. Sew each layer as the fabrics are laid out and make into slightly off kilter blocks. 

 7. Trim the blocks to whatever size the layered stack is, making sure to use as much of the fabric as possible. You may have to peak into the layers to be sure you've got all three layers.


 Once the blocks are sewn together, they form a nifty, fast table runner! Yeh for fast when you're called upon to make a fast donation product or as a last minute gift!
 

 I used about 1.5 m. of one of the same fabrics for the backing. What I love about this is all of these fabrics are certified GOTS organic cotton from Cloud9 Fabrics. I love the feel of Cloud9 Fabrics and stock organic in my studio for my clients who want only organic cotton in a custom quilt.

What kind of nifty table runners will you make with this fast tutorial?

I'd love to see a link  back to my blog if you post about it?

Give Away for Linking Up

If you do post about this table runner, include a link back to my blog in your post. Then come back  here,  join up with following my blog and leave me a comment telling me so, you enter to win 3 Fat Quarters from one of my organic quilting cotton collections in my studio Good Earth Quilting.

The winner will be selected by random draw on May 30th, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend-My Choice

Monday, May 14, 2012

 My whole Mother's Day weekend was a total distraction and blast of back-roading fun and adventure! Here's how it all panned out. 
I thought I'd take along some hand work to maybe play with if fishing was going good for Rick, but as it turned out, I didn't even get to it.

Living here in Northern BC, we always have a check in a friend, just in case we aren't seen again, someone can at least know where we went. We headed out after breakfast down the Lawson Rd and onto the Houston Mainline, which is a very fast, almost smooth main logging truck highway. Its gravel and you can actually drive at speeds of 100km's on this gravel highway.

As you can see from these two photo's, we ran into not just one blow down across the road to Poplar Lake, but 4 times, we lugged the branches and logs out of the way. But then came this one! It was a doozey!
My hubby had brought his chain saw, (just in case of this) and on this last one, his patience of the whole "logging thing" was running a little less than perfect.
Then spring goes the saw chain, off its track and we' re still not able to cross.
So out came the ropes and our trusty rugged Chev 250 pulled the tree away in no trouble.


 At the south end of Poplar Lake, you'll find a free BC Forest Service campsite, with picnic tables, the outhouse and plenty of spaces. But look at the lake, its still got ice on the surface!

But apparantly, this timing is really the best for fishing for rainbow trout. They are eager to see the real sunlight after a long winter and are biting!


Rusty our dog, was pretty interested in the geese, and the fishing and well, she was so excited, lets face it, she was excited about everything!


We wondered along home later in the day and found this hunter's cabin frame, just waiting for the canvas of a fall hunt site. Pretty interesting architecture!


 As I mentioned, the main line is for fast delivery of logging trucks with the thousands of loads of logs for the two main mills in Houston, BC, Houston Forest Products and Canfor Mill which is the world's largest mill. They need a lot of wood to keep going. Foresty is on a decline due to many factors, including the Mountain Pine Beetle kills here in the north.


 Do you have a favorite place that when you are coming home to your local area that is your favorite place? I do and this is it. This is coming down what is known as Hungry Hill on Highway 16 and you can see the whole valley spread out in front of you and its always what makes me go "Auhh! We're home again!"


This is a view I wake up to every morning. Hudson Bay Mountain, where we have world class downhill skiing and you can see the runs on the left of this photo. Really, you should visit us here, its like living  in the Himalaya's or something, mountains are in every direction.

I came home to a lovely warm almost summer evening on the farm! Then we got up on Sunday morning, pottered around in the garden, had breaks with beer at the riverside and went out to a movie in the evening.

Now, for the fun stuff of my day. I opened up my email to one of my favorite  bloggers, Fairy Face Designs who is introducing a new online shop for modern fabric called Fluffy Sheep Quilting
and this new shop has offered some awesome giveaways! So head on over there!
My goodness, it gets harder to resist buying new fabric, Happy Mother's Day to you all!

All the best,

Carli

Crazy Quilting Tute #1

Thursday, May 10, 2012




I invite you to think back to any time you've seen a crazy quilt?

Most people are drawn to the 'crazy' way these special quilts look or maybe the hand stitched embroidery or the other multitudes of embellishments you can buy these days were the creativity that drew you in!

Personally, I love the look of the old time crazy quilts with lots of bold colors, endless amounts of hand stitching that really spells out "hand made" and you won't need a rotary cutter etc!

For those of  you who have already made one or more crazy quilts, this little tutorial can be a gift to a special friend. 

Carli's Special Effects Supplies:
 Used top quality evening wear clothing, even flimsy stuff
upholstery fabrics of a light texture
labels from clothing
ribbons, lace, buttons

Welcome to this first tutorial of four on how you can achieve a fabulous one of a kind crazy quilt!

Starting point!
Foundation muslin cut into 12.5 in.squares
(Beginners start with one square to completion)
(Experienced quilters can start with four squares) 

Pick out a selection of 6 focus fabrics that are in the same color choice, but with variable prints, textures and types of fabric.

Pick out a smaller selection of three to five accompanying fabrics that would add 'sparkle' and/or 'interest' to your eye.


Bold and dramatic effect!


Soft and dreamy effect! Lots of cotton here.

 

These are my choices for this tutorial! Yellow, orange, blue and brown! Only the orange flowered white background is cotton, all the rest of the fabrics are recycled silk from clothing. They may be folded, but that's because I've been harvesting awesome fabric from friends, family and thrift shops for decades!!
Yep, decades!

These are simply suggestions of colors choices I'd use to give you the idea that you pick the colors you'll use and put all the rest away. I want you to think outside of this instructional tutorial to express what it is you are mulling around in your head! Whatever that is, you'll mull it over, reflect and begin again with a new light on life!

This is supposed to be fun, creative and reflective! 

Taking a step towards the world of expression with crazy quilts is all about how you pull yourself away from the addiction to commercial patterns where the whole quilt pattern is laid out for you. If we were together in my studio I'd give you a hug!

Therapeutic comes to mind.....be brave, be a wild woman! 


 I chose to add a green Chinese style satin, brown plaid kind of suit material, some sparkle of black orange cotton, deep purple embellishment and some various pre-embroidered vintage linens and the tea towel from Australia. 

Procedure:

Cut a five sided chunk, pin this piece on the muslin, centered.

  Cut a chunk of another focus fabric, place good side down on one side of your 5 sided beginner chunk.
This creates a 'V' shape to fill.
  In order to cover off the 'V' area, you'll need to cut a larger 'v' shaped alternate focus fabric. Place good side down, with at least another inch longer beyond where you'll stop sewing, back stitch.
Fold over the yellow, press so that when you turn over it covers the area as well as any seams with lots of room to adjust as you press and pin.


Fold over the first seam.
 
 Fold over the yellow a second time and press again.

Go to another side of the original center chunk and always covering seams, sew a  new piece on.

 At the end of the new piece, I see a 'V' shape and to cover this off without wasting fabric, you need to cut a 'v' shaped new chunk. Placing this good side down so that the 'v' will be covered off.

Sometimes, you need to make it a curved seam by turning under and pressing along the outside edge you form a curve.


 So moving along, you just keep on going, finding solutions, seeing new ways to cover off seams and prepare the complete the covering of the entire 12.5 inch block.

Its really quite simple once you calm down, have a cup of tea or whatever you like to drink and let go!

For beginners, stop once you've covered off one 12.5 inch muslin. If you wnat to add embriodery stitches, now is the time, but applique stitch along the turned over edge etc. You'll need to purchase some colors of embroidery thread you like and a chenille needle. Add a border all around and make it into something like a lovely cushion cover below!


For experienced quilters, move on to completing all four muslin blocks, then start gathering your embroidery threads, lace, etc for doing the hand work.

In part 2 we'll cover off embroidery stitches in a basic nature
In part 3 we'll continue with special embellishments purchased and made specifically for the piece you are working on.
In part 4 we'll kick it up to completely funky expression of becoming a thrift store purchaser that helps the environment while you make beautiful things.

All the best,

Carli




Retro Vintage Tea Towels

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Its quick and so handy for saving money and we all need to do that these days!


Check out my new tutorial in the "Sewing/Quilting Tutorials" link to that page on my top bar.

All the best,

Carli

World Wonders Quilt

Monday, May 7, 2012


This little quilt became a winner for me! It was made a really stressful time of my life. Without going into all kinds of this and that of why it was a stressful time, trust me, it was!

I was struggling to find solace in my life. I don't have daughters and sons were only so interested in quilting. My husband married me without knowing the quilt addict that lived inside me would erupt and take over many parts of me. 

This quilt is special because its one of the first quilts that I made using only cotton fabric. Most of the cotton fabric had  been hand me downs from wealthier quilters than myself. I could buy new fabric and make lovely quilts as is evident in my batik paper pieced center piece below.



It was 1997 and I had had a major run in with the Quilt Police! I admit it, I was a newby and committed a big crime in my new quilt guild at the time. I had used thrifted cottons!

"You can't be a quilter using thrift store crap" one whispered!
"Doesn't she know that we'll not accept anything into our annual quilt show that is remade or recycled or whatever she calls it!" another elder members quipped when she didn't realize I had not left the building!!

Spoken words are so damning sometimes and stay with you, if you are the reciever of the nasty words sometimes it will shut you down completely. And I mus admit that the evening quilt guild gathering where this happened left me stunned and in tears.

But it had the opposite effect on me that what I think they intended! I didn't stop reusing, I increased it, I made almost everything for a few years in only reused that I thrifted from dumpsters, had it given to me and bought at thrift stores.
 I was like a fiend to impress upon those women that thrifted is where quilting started, thrifted clothing often went into a quilt in the old days.
But back then my desire to help quilters reuse, was often ignored. I didn't know about blogs back then. I didn't even know what a blog was and why people wanted to blog anyway~!


I went on to prove those quilters wrong! This is a close of the quilt 'Silver Linings Crazy Quilt" which won 1st Prize for Most Innovative category at the 2004 IPM Quilt Show in Ontario, Canada. I won a hand made oak wood rotating quilt hoop and I use it often.

Just an update on my hand quilting progress of my king size stack and whack Dresden Plate quilt, I've down to the borders and then I'm done!
Take care, watch out for the Quilt Police!

All the best,

Carli

Volunteer Efforts Come in All Sizes!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Victoria of Bumble Beans Inc. from New York City lists this lovely tutorial of a star block paper piecing called Triangles Galore! on her blog. I fell in love at first site! I was inspired to paper piece again, just like that, I was busy photocopying again.
Victoria is a very generous person, as she inspires quilters new and experienced to embrace our inner voice to find peace and calm. She teaches others to quilt that need a comfort hobby to sooth their tangled nerves. 
I can relate to this philosophy, stitching after all was my literal salvation as a child. My mother was often away at hospital. I grew up for many years thinking hospital was a holiday place for "Mommies"! My mother was always happy again after a visit to the hospital. She taught me to sew by hand. I grew into embroidery and started with making doll dresses. I was intrigued from the beginning of sewing and have never left it. Playing with fabric was and remains to be an important creative hobby that I responded to and when I read about others doing good things, I began to think about my own volunteer activities.

What do I do that is reflective and service oriented for my organization?


Earlier this year I attended our BCWI Bulkley-Tweedsmuir Spring Conference. We gathered, different aged women, sisters of one organization that is traditional, firm in order and is growing into a new future.  We are rural and city women across BC and Canada. We are sisters with women all over our world through Associated Country Women of the World.

I say this in total respect of my sisters. I am in the company of some awesome women. We chatted, hugged and whispered our cheeky thoughts to close friends. We sat at tables with flowered vases,  sitting upon white tablecloths, green, yellow, white our provincial colors spread the cheer of spring across the room. I am in good company. Our branch of Quick WI had worked hard to get better at the annual changing challenges for the Fall Fair Competitions. We came in 2nd overall this year and this pleases us to no end!


We honor are members who have passed on with much formality that truly speaks to the person they were. Its important to honor our past and move forward with a thankful heart.


Our QWI Treasurer, Nola holds her proud contribution to our Quick WI, our new banner.  We have used the same one since 1936, so we thought it was really time for a new one. Nola's used our old one to upgrade our  new one, I think its an awesome job! Well done Nola.


Kind women who hold the traditions of meeting each other face to face to discuss tough, local and international issues is at the core of BCWI. We then take action of all sorts in our community's. Our sense of order stems directly from our beginnings from the mother country of England. We meet, recite the Mary Stewart Collect and carry on with our gathering.  The formalities of this kind of a conference was not lost on any of us.

We quickly and collectively formed one body of women, by the collective sigh, we committed to the solidarity of family and improving the lives of women before women worked outside the home and now as most women work outside the home!
Globally, we address and assist in disaster relief rebuilding, empowerment of women and education for all.

This above photo is our old banner from 1936.

How do I help my community?

I volunteer with Quick WI. I've been a member of BCWI on and off again since 1993, my mother was a member in the 1960's to 1990's and my grandmother was a founding member of the Chinley/Chapel en le Frith branch in Northern England in earlier years.
I volunteer with BCWI Board of Directors, assisting on projects.
I am lead artist on the volunteer Smithers Centennial Quilt Project.
I promote reuse, recycling, quilting and hand sewing to anyone who is interested in my work.

Victoria had no idea of her inspiration would lead to this posting! Thank you for your volunteer efforts Victoria!

Hope you've enjoyed a look inside the spring conference, we're proud to be part of the largest women's organization in the world!

All the best,

Carli

Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs