Here is the first day of Art Quit Camp in Muenster at St. Peter’s Abbey. I have not dyed for over 30 years and am just delighted with the wonderful jars of bright fabric.
Originally posted on Anna Hergert, Art & Design:
The glorious colors above are a first glimpse at some of the activities that took place on day 1 of our five day gathering. Dyeing captivated most of the quilters yesterday. Above Alison, Barb and Helene are setting up the jars with the most luscious colors to cure int he heat. Wait till we rinse these fat quarters…
Above is an image of the classroom as we were moving in. A spacious, climate controlled room with large tables and windows all around! The “ohhhs” and “ahhhs” from participants confirmed that this year’s venue is worth looking at again!But wait – the studio is one amazing room but we also have an indoor dye room that put a big smile on every dyer’s…
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Okay, so catching up is hard to do. It is fun and ideas seem to come readily when it comes to CDA’s it is just finding the time. Obviously I haven’t found the time every day which is the task. CDA’s are intended to be a daily act of creativity. Somewhere about April I lost the hang of it for a number of reasons. Ah well.
Here they are “Singing in the Rain”. June was relatively dry in Alberta. My garden is a high priority and it demanded and got my time as that is one of the things I love to do. Another good thing about June was it had 30 days. That means that I can create an overall plan for my CDA’s and they fit into a rectangle.
I used that to create a simple landscape using pieces of fabric that were in plain sight and left over from other projects. I cut the pieces free hand to create a very simple landscape with simple shapes. I tried to use bright colour. The reason for the bright colours was that I wanted them to show through a sheer piece of fabric of blue fabric that would mask the landscape enough to create the feeling of a misty rainy day. All of this was held in place with a variety of kinds of silver metallic threads to form the rain. The singing part comes through the use of the shiny metallics. It is interesting for me to look at each individual CDA and see if it is a composition that could stand on its own. At the same time I look to see if I can figure out where it fits in the puzzle of 30 pieces.
Imagine that! My May CDA’s are finished. The theme for those of you who are new to this creative daily act was Imagine for May.
I have undertaken a fitness program in the past months and I was challenged to imagine myself as where I wanted to be. While I am enthusiastic it is hard to make time to do this every day. I am trying to incorporate individual exercises into daily routines so that it seems less of a chore. My goals – to be tall, trim, strong and straight will be easy for those who sew, knit, work on the computer and love chocolate to identify with. When I close my eyes and think about physical fitness it is the colour orange that comes to me. Mental fitness is periwinkle.
My May CDA’s were created to help me remember. One that says tall and straight is tucked into the handle on my sewing machine. Another that says all four goals its above my kitchen sink. I will think of places where I need to be reminded and put an individual CDA where it will draw my attention to what I should be doing, For example as I sit at the computer I would like to be reminded of – straight. In the slides you will see 30 of the CDA’s in a grid showing the line drawing of a body that is what I am aiming for.
My undertakings in fitness have involved a number of explorations. I have always been very reluctant to join any fitness classes as I can never figure out exactly what moves I am to make nor can I figure out how to actually do them. I had the good fortune to make the acquaintance of Barb Turner, of http://www.3tsystem.ca Barb has proven to be a marvel for me. She understands that I need to know exactly what to do and how to do it. When I can practice until I am comfortable with a particular exercise then I feel confident enough to join a group. I am finding that I am increasing in confidence with the process of becoming fit. The outcomes of looking and feeling better are motivation to continue.
You will have heard me mention my interest in incorporating text into my pieces. I tried some new things this time. Working with my friend Shirley who is a marvel with stamps we tried using various inks and embossing techniques with stamps. Some techniques and colours were more successful than others. Then I tried different fonts on the computer and different thickness of pens. A Pigma pen with a 1mm tip worked for the proven method of tracing the short words directly on to the top layer of fabric. A new (to me) Pebeo SetaSkrib+ fabric marker pen was used to draw the thicker outlines of the body. All of these were ironed after using to “set” the ink.
This past weekend Kathy, Sonja and I went off to visit Drumheller. Reason for the visit – “Quilting in the Badlands”. I had never been to Drumheller AB so this was a first and I was prepared to be wowed by the geography. I was!
The quilting came first however. We arrived in time to view all the quilts hung on the main street. I especially enjoyed a quilt likely made in the 30″s or 40″s. It was a pinwheel quilt made of scraps with a half square triangle in the corner of each block that appeared like a diamond in the overall design. The background fabric was a cream and the pieces in the quilt were print and scrappy. The diamonds were solid coloured pastels of equal value. The pinwheels made of scrappy fabric were well-balanced with most reading of a medium value. The prints were overall and the scale varied from small to medium. I enjoy seeing vintage quilts that are traditional in design. The designs can be timeless and I find my eye returning to a well done vintage quit to see something I missed the last time. These successful old quilts tell me that good design is timeless.
Following that after enjoying our packed picnic lunch we went off to hear Anna Hergert, the Canadian Quilter’s Guild 2014 Teacher of the Year give a lecture on creativity. It was both inspiring and practical. One of the things that Anna talked about was creativity on a daily basis and exhorted each of us to do something creative every day. This year Anna and I started the Creative Daily Acts (CDA’s) and we are doing that.
I interpreted Anna’s lecture as a talk about creativity as a lifestyle. For example cook a dish, cut and arrange some flowers. Some days I just don’t get to my CDA’s and feel that I haven’t stretched my creativity and just as important haven’t received that feeling of satisfaction from having applied creativity. So cooking as a creative endeavour was a delight. I am very creative in my cooking. When people ask me for a recipe I always have to pause and try to remember what I changed in the recipe. I might not have an ingredient, or am trying to make it without dairy or gluten or lower fat or less sugar. I digress.
Anna’s lecture was inspiring and she had many examples within her body of work that she brought to show. Those who attended were able to spend a good time studying her work and asking questions. She is so generous with describing how she did something and there is so much detail to observe that one can easily see why she is Teacher of the Year 2014.
I am quite excited as between looking at Anna’s work and studying and taking pictures of the Badlands landscape and flora I have some new ideas to explore when I go to Anna’s “Art Quilt Campus” this summer.
Then we were off to the quilt show. It proved to be small, with some gems of work contained in it. I hope that the next one will get earlier and more prolific advertising and that people from outside the community will realize that they can enter. It is a great way to spend a summer weekend so take the time to watch for the advertising.
The next morning saw us off on a “Wild West Badlands Tour”. Our hosts Don and Val were very knowledgeable and we learned a lot about the area as well as seeing spectacular scenery with different features including the Hoo Doo’s. It was very impressive. There is more to explore including a pottery studio, the Atlas Coal Mine, The Royal Tyrell Museum so that suggests that there will be another time and perhaps that will include the Passion Play. The site for it was quite intriguing.
Home again with many pictures. I kept thinking that the layers of various material that makes up the spectacular cliffs looks like a layer cake with the various fillings being squeezed out. This is exactly what is happening. The time span of the creation of these cliffs is almost beyond comprehension. The picture above shows wonderful texture and I expect that you will see it in a quilt sometime in the future
Canada Day in Edmonton is party day. I have been spending the day celebrating in some way for some 30 years now. I have the good fortune to live near the river and the walking trails in the valley are easy for me to access.
Since my granddaughter has been small I have had a party during the day and guests create something to remember the day. When she was small we created maple leaf stamps using a cut potato. T-shirts were provided along with fabric pens. Each guest created their own t-shirt to remember the year and to wear to see the fireworks.
Now friends join me for the afternoon and dinner. I find/design something that they can do to celebrate the day. Last year I found a pattern from Patch Abilities and set to making it mine. I changed the dimensions based on some wool that I had to recycle and created a base. I used up all the wool I had which was enough for 6 bases. The back edges of the wall hanging were reinforced with fused red cotton so that the bases wouldn’t need a backing. Patterns of stars and different sized maple leaves went into the project box. My MP Linda Duncan provided little Canada Day pins. I assembled letter beads spelling CANADA. A variety of red and white fabrics, beads, threads and ribbon were added. A good friend let me spend a morning going through her Arc boxes for red and white buttons. (Yes she double checked to see if there were any valuable one in what I chose.) So now the project box was a treasure trove of delights to entrain on Canada Day.
My project proved to take more than one afternoon to complete so we worked on them again this year.
Photos are of Kathy, Sonja and me with our wall hangings. I was delighted with the creativity that each person employed with placement of the elements and with the variety of embellishments and the fun of seeing each one. Kathy did more than her fair share of french knots. Sonja used a new (to us) coral stitch. Her sequins made quite a splash and when I saw that both of them had embroidered veins on one of their maple leaves I was inspired to go back and add to my own. Hope that you enjoy and are inspired.
The fireworks were the best ever and the lighting up of the High Level Bridge to the strains of O Canada recorded by the Edmonton Symphony was a real celebration of community in celebration for our country.
Edmonton had a beautiful sunny day on Tuesday and perfect for working in the garden. I got a good solid twelve hours in and there is still lots to do – mostly keep up with the weeds. Today it is raining, just a gentle continuous rain and we really need it. It is wonderful to look out into the garden and see nice black soil in-between the plants. My goal with my garden is to have something blooming in each bed throughout the summer. As my beds are perennials this can be a challenge. However right now I am in luck although the best bed is my purple bed with fragrant medium coloured purple iris, white and purple iris with a good show of Alliums – mainly purple with a few white for contrast.
The picture at the top of this post is another volunteer garden ornament. When I went around to my new (in progress) front yard beds I discovered the little magpie sitting in the exact same spot as the rabbit earlier in the week. Weeding in that bed was delayed for over an hour: he just sat, not moving but blinking from time to time. Finally he decided to find Mommy and started down the street, unfortunately in the direction of two cats sunning themselves next door. I tried to discourage them from approaching him and he just waddled on in his own sweet time visiting with a small child and his grandmother who came by. Now he was calling to Mom, although she didn’t appear. Next time I looked up he had disappeared down the street. As I didn’t hear any kerfuffle I think that he made it past the cats safely.
It has been a long time since I have been able to sit down and write a note for my blog. There has been work on next steps for Focus on Fibre Arts and reports. I judged the Prairie Rose Challenge for the Edmonton and District Quilters Guild. There were twenty entries this year and the theme was polka dots. I am impressed with how the creativity of our members has grown in the 35 years that the Guild has been in existence. I became a member soon after the Guild was formed so I have been able to follow our development as quilters for a long time.
My garden has also taken some of my time. I wish I had more time to give to it as I love being in it and it inspires me to design. Needless to say floral design is a favourite theme that I return to again and again
This week on one cool and rainy day as I was in the process of making muffins one morning something took me to my living room window. As it was dull and misty when I looked out I thought that there was a rock in with some of my day lilies. However I couldn’t remember putting a rock there. A second look registered that the rock was blinking at me and wrinkling its nose. I grabbed the camera and went quickly out and got some pictures. While I was mixing the muffins I wondered what I could do to discourage eating the tender leaves of the day lilies and perhaps distract bunny from them. So once the muffins were in the oven I cleaned a carrot (what else) and took it out. Bunny wrinkled its nose and took off rather quickly. The carrot is still there, even the magpies wouldn’t consider it.
A lot of work has been put into my garden in the past couple of years. First it was removing an overwhelming amount of quack grass. Then last year I managed to unload two cubic yards of a top soil/compost mix into the flower beds. I had some help in moving some perennials between beds to get closer to the colour blocking effect that I wanted This Spring even though it was late I have a more beautiful garden that I ever had before.
As soon as a new bloom appears I am out with my camera taking pictures. Photo’s provide the basis for many of my quilts. Sometimes it is an actual sketch the provides the design material. Neighbours have seen me scurrying in and out with fabric in hand attempting to match the exact colour way that appears in a particular flower. It seems to me that the best colour schemes are provided from nature. The colours always work so well together that it seems silly to try to create your own when you are doing a realistic representation. I am not sure why so many colours of green work so well together and that what might seem garish in another setting is perfect in a flower.
I have also come to accept that my garden will never be totally in bloom at one time One of my goals is to have something in bloom from April 1 to Oct 31. Some years I manage and some not. This was one of the not years. My first blooms of crocus didn’t appear until May 1 and my blue Scilla was even later. None the less I now have something blooming in every bed in my back south-facing garden beds.
Some tulips are my treat in this blog. I tried taking photos of some huge burgundy heritage iris that come from roots whose ancestors are likely over 80 years old. I found that the just didn’t come out right so tomorrow the sketch book will come out.
A garden provides such riches, amazement at the beauty of nature, abundance, peace, joy and so much return on pleasurable investment of time.