Sunday, June 29, 2014

Paper Making

What a fun workshop! I took a two-day paper making workshop at Paper House Studio.

sculptural paper made by one of the teachers

Great teacher. (thanks Flora)

ME making paper

I made about 50 sheets of paper using different pulps and adding threads and fabric inside some sheets.

my paper back lit

I signed up for a book binding workshop in September at CBBAG and I hope to be able to use my wonderful hand-made paper.

paper marked with "tear drops"

two layers of paper with a piece of hand dyed fabric inside.
It looks very different when it is dried.

I'll explore with stitching when I get back. Some of the sheets are very thick and I am sure they can take it.

the press used for the last stage of drying

Friday, June 27, 2014

Morning Practice

One of last week's post cards.

photo transfer onto painted fabric
I took the picture (rt side) in Rossano, Calabria 

I use my post cards to write thank-you notes and such.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Today's Photograph

sculpture by Rodin

I spent the afternoon at the Art Gallery of Ontario. I am glad I happen to have my camera in my hands when I saw the above. It just lasted a second. His mom called and he ran away.

If you are at the AGO see the Art as Therapy exhibit. I loved it! Really interesting angle for an art exhibit. Good on you, curator!

"If you can talk about it, why paint it?" 
artist Francis Bacon

My friend and I had a debate about that quote. I said, "If you can paint it why would you do it in fabric?" She countered, "If you can take a photograph of it why would you paint it?"

Whenever I see a textile exhibit I ask myself, "Why did the artist choose textile as the medium?"

Friday, June 20, 2014

I Gave Away a Quilt

A few years ago a company in Verona, Italy, asked me to write a quilt book. It was going to be part of their How-To series but with the economic crisis in their country they ended up cutting that entire series and so my book didn't get published.

the back of the quilt with the label visible.
I did write it. I made all the samples. I had friends make the quilts as they checked the instructions.

approximately 65" x 125"

I had two friends who are photographers take pictures for the book.

One of the photographers has finished university and is leaving Toronto. I wanted to thank her in a  special way for her time and talent. I offered her one of the quilts.

She chose the one she liked best, which incidentally is not one of the ones for the book.

To make it I cut 5 inch squares and sashing of 2.5 inches wide. I made one of the squares in Verona, a shibori circle.

Shibori circle with butterfly quilt lines done on
a long arm machine by Judy Davidson.

I am going to have the book published. Just need to shop it around, I guess. A lot harder than being invited to write it.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


When I am "away" I keep a journal.

It is usually a small book that I can keep in my purse or beach bag, something I can whip out when I have a thought or want to sketch something.

This time I am trying a larger format.

It's a new size that will take getting use to.

I don't think I will be bringing it around with me so I will have to set aside some time to make daily entries.

In preparation for my trip, I am "washing" some pages in colour.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Once a Day

Today is my birthday.

A birthday is the beginning of a new segment in your life. On a birthday, I get the same feeling like I do on January 1st or the first day of school, either for me or my children, in September. For me those have always been the times for new beginnings.

Today is a good day to start something new.

I am taking ONE photograph per day for the next 365 days. That's my new thing. I'm calling it "La Bellezza di Ogni Giorno" (the beauty of every day).

Here is today's picture.

I entitled it Focus.
There is only one pin head that is in focus and in a perfect spot too!
 It looks suspended.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Annual Quilt Celebration

The Canadian Quilters Association is hosting their annual quilt show from June 11- 14. This year they have chosen Brock University in St Catharines, Ontario, as their Canadian location.

It is a time to bring quilters together and showcase Canadian talent.

There are several exhibits at the event including an Invitational Exhibit that I was honoured to be included in. (Unfortunately, I could not find any information about this exhibit and its participants on their web site. Disappointing and in my opinion, unprofessional. They have promised to add something after the event is over so it will at least be documented.)

At the time of the invitation, I was working on some pieces for the Radiation exhibit in Geneva. I decided to submit to the CQA a piece from that series entitled Collision with Melancholia that was inspired by the film Melancholia (Lars von Trier, 2011)It is made of hand-dyed fabric, distressed paper and is machine and hand stitched.

I hope it is appreciated. I understand at this event viewers tend to enjoy the more traditional quilts and compositions.

(all photos are details of Collision with Melancholia)

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Textile Exhibit in Geneva, Switzerland

If you are in Geneva, Switzerland or close by, I have a piece in this exhibit of textile art initiated by the German-Swiss Association for Radiation Protection.

80 works. 11 countries.

Science and art.

“Why do we do science? 
Why do we do art? 
It is the things that are not directly necessary for
survival that make us human.”

a quote from the film Particle Fever, a film about the research at CERN... yes I went to see this movie! Remember my husband is a scientist.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Installation in Paris

This work by Lyndi Sales was seen in Paris at Le Bon Marché, a department store. My sister took the picture for me.

I love the hexagon shapes that peek out from behind circles. I like the artist's use of thread.

Audience (2010) by South African artist Lyndi Sales
3m x 2m
(photo credit J. Lavallee)

To read more about this work and see detailed images click here.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Quilt Using Your Scraps

The objective of my latest class was to reduce the students' stash but it is hard to resist shopping for fabric ....

The class went well and the 6 students enjoyed themselves.

Explaining the quilt that hangs in the background
at the right.
(photo credit, J. Freeman)
I think I did a good job explaining the project and showing different options. I suggested better ways to cut fabric and helped decide block placement for maximum effect.

Fill in what you are missing with a  fabric that
is similar in value.
There are three strips of blue that are slightly darker in value
than the rest in the row but it still works.
I am thrilled with the new space I have found at Artscape Youngplace. The Flex Studio is large and quiet and has great natural light and a tiny kitchen.

students working
(photo credit, L Mayers)

 I will be teaching there again in October and November. The two classes I am definitely putting on the calendar are Quilt-as-you-Go technique and a Free Motion class. Both have been super popular in the past and are both " life changing" techniques one can use in many different applications. I will probably do another scrap quilt project. I may do a gift class and teach something like a pillow case,

a pin cushion, a fabric bucket for storing stuff,

things that are easy and quick to put together and make great gifts.

If you've ever taken a class anywhere and have forgotten how to go about finishing your quilt you'll love this. I am offering a class where students can bring in those projects so we can work through problems and refresh your memory on how to finish it. Wouldn't it be great to get those out of the cupboard?

If anyone reading this wants to propose another class I am interested in hearing your idea.

All Fall classes will be advertised on this blog under Teaching Schedule when I set the dates later this summer.

I will be at Artscpae Youngplace in mid- June but this time as a student myself. I am taking a paper making workshop at Paper Studio. I am really looking forward to learning this craft in hopes that I can integrate some of the more sculptural sheets in my artwork. I have been stitching paper and combining it with fabric for 7 years. I know there are still places available in the workshop so contact the studio directly if you are interested.