Sunday, October 16, 2011

Naughty Mermaids

I just finished this commission on a shed door in Lunenburg yesterday.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Labrador Tea Quilt

I recently went on a little trip to Pictou, Nova Scotia for a quilt retreat organized every two years by the Mayflower Quilt Guild. On the way, I stayed with Deb Plestid, and wonderful woman and skilled quilter. At the retreat, I took a three day workshop from amazing quilter and designer, Jane Sassaman from the Chicago Area.

 My chosen flower was labrador tea, a wild plant from the rhododendron family found in arctic and marshy areas. You can steep the leaves and make delicious tea. I used these pictures as references, which were taken by my leader, Tim, on a canoe trip I was on in the Northwest Territories some years ago.

Jane taught us the basics of design theory by guiding us through simplifying and exaggerating shapes in plants, getting us to do a lot of sketching before even touching our fabrics. Then she showed us her fun and expressive technique of using interfacing to make stiffer shapes out of fabric that  can be used to create a composition for a textile piece.

I used some textured upholstery fabric samples from a fabric dealer friend and some big flower prints that I've had in my stash forever.

I've been playing around with the composition and background. Soon I will sew the shapes down and then use machine embroidery stitching around each shape to secure the edges of the fabric, cutting away from the back any extra fabric from the bottom layers.

I'm really excited to move into my new studio in November, a little wood heated cabin in the woods near my house in West Dublin, Nova Scotia. For now, I'm going to make a little watercolour studio in a nook in my house. More on that later...