Wrapsody handbag and more

Back in April, I ordered some fabrics from Mad About Patchwork to make my-self a bag. I ended-up making much more with it. I finished the bag it-self last week, so let me share all  those projects with you.

For the bag, I got the pattern Wrapsody handbag by Studio Kat Design. For the exterior fabric, I chose some linen blends, one from the Zephyr collection by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cotton + Steel and the other, a Mochi Dot in black by Moda. I also bought coordinating quilting cottons for the inside. I was so busy with the kids this summer, this was the only project I had time to work on (a bit like last year). But here is the result.

Wrapsody handbag

 

Wrapsody handbag

Doing mostly quilting projects, it’s when I go back to projects like this that I realize my sewing skills have improve. I was surprise of how well it went. For the strap, I was looking for a leather one. Because I just love the mix between fabric and leather. Two weeks ago I ordered one from LeatherWorldstore from the UK on Etsy. I was so surprised with how fast I got it and with the quality of the leather. This is certainly something I’ll do again for other projects.

Even thought I bought the fabrics used to make the bag, I did make a few other things with it first. I made some teachers gifts: a few lanyards, a lunch bag and a pencil case.

Teachers gifts

For the lunch bag, I did something similar to the one in this post, inspired by the Purl Soho lunch bag. But, I made triangle boxed corners for the bottom . Something, I’ve been meaning to try for a while. It makes corners so much simpler and I like the result.

 

Teachers gifts

For the pencil case, I followed the tutorial for this case (in French). The link to the actual tutorial isn’t obvious, so here it is. I decided to use ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable for the interfacing. It was a bit too bulky for the size of the project, but the case definitely holds its shape.

Teachers gifts

I also made a cute little coin-pouch for my sister with the fabrics.

Coin Pouch

The pattern is my own. I find it a bit to big. But, I just love the shape and how it sits in the palm of your hand.

Coin Pouch

And now that I’ve used almost all that fabric, I’m ready to jump on another project. And one of them will be the MIchael Miller challenge for QuiltCon. I signed-up for the challenge and bought a bit of fabric for it …

A Try at Improv

Earlier this year, I read Sherri Lynn Wood‘s book: Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters. I heard so much good about her and her approach to improvisational piecing, I thought it was about time I give it a try. I did participate in an Improv Round Robin last year at the meetup between the Montreal and Ottawa MQG. But, doing it with a limited amount of time, was just to much for me. I decided I should give it a second chance by doing a quilt at my own pace. Still, improv really is a challenge for me. I have a hard time letting go and doing a quilt without a plan. Also,usually when I have a plan, I do all the math at the beginning and stick to using a ruler. So, I thought it would be interesting to try something freehand.

I really enjoyed reading Sherri Lynn Wood’s book and I like her score approach. For me imposing some constraints can help creativity. For my first quilt, I decided to use her Score for Strings. I first chose tree colors and a few fabrics for each, all solid colors in different tones.

Improv Quilt - Fabrics

Then I started cutting some strips to build 2 panels for each color, one darker and one lighter. Unfortunately, the only picture I have of that step is the one I posted on Instagram. Then, I recut my panels into strips in the opposite direction. I must say that at that point I did have to plan what I would do with my strings. I did a few sketches and finally chose this one which was inspired by artist Carlos Cruz Diez.

IMG_8598

For each color, I sewed my strips together alternating between the lighter and darker ones. But for the lighter strips, I removed a length of the strip by cutting it at a 45 degree angle and replacing it with a strip of Kona cotton in Bone. The length I was removing was increasing at each row.

When I started this project, I had a lap quilt in mind. But, when I finished assembling the 3 panels I realized I would end up with a much larger quilt as the height was almost 90″. To balance things out, I created side panels with all Bone fabric I had left home. This is the largest quilt I ever made. Here is the quilt top on my son’s twin size bed.

Improv Quilt Top

Here it is on our queen size bed, it’s a bit to short for it on the sides but it gives you a better overview.

Improv Quilt Top

I was wondering how I would quilt such a large quilt on my home sewing machine. But, the answer just came up to me unexpectedly. A member of our guild who is moving to a smaller space was selling her Little Gracie II quilting frame for a really good price. I could not miss this opportunity. I spent some time last week making space for it in our basement and setting it up.

IMG_8595

This is a frame for which you set up your domestic sewing machine on a carriage, and the carriage moves on rails in two directions. If you want to know more about it, you can look at this YouTube video. Now, I have to be patient. I have a few projects to finish first before my boys finish school. So, I might not be able to play with it right away. But, I look forward to it. And this quilt might be one of the first project I’ll do with it. I’ll keep you posted! As for improv, I will certainly try it again. The Score For Bias Strip Petals from the Improv Handbook is something I’d like to try.

Upcoming Quilt Shows

I just shipped my quilt “A Sprinkling of Stars” to be displayed at the national juried show Quilt Canada 2016.
NJS_Artist_Logo
The exhibit is taking place on June 15 -18, 2016, near Toronto, Canada. See information here. It’s the first time, I have a quilt in that show. I wish I could be there to see all the accepted quilts. Unfortunately, I won’t. But I will ask my friend Cinzia from Deux Petites Souris to take pictures for me as she will be teaching workshops there.

There is also a show organized by Courtepointe Quebec that is taking place the upcoming weekend (May 26-29, 2016). For those of you near Montreal, Salon 2016 is taking place at Collège André-Grasset (close to Métro Crémazie). See info here. The exhibit “Vitrine sur la courtepointe moderne” presented by the Montreal MQG  earlier in February at Maison de la culture Marie-Uguay, will be part of the show as a special exhibit. So, I’ll have two quilts there: my Metamorphosis quilt and my Contradiction quilt (taking place of my quilt “A Sprinkling of Star”). I will be going at the Salon on Saturday and I hope to see a few modern quilts. One thing that is sure, is that I will get to admire some remarkable  workmanship.

Le temps des sucres

Last month, the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild had visit from Libs Elliot for a workshop. I really love her work. It is really unique. I like her approach, particularly how she uses programming to generate quilt patterns and how she introduces randomness in her quilts. It was great to meet her in person. We had such a great day. It was the first time we were so many members to sew together. And as we were all working on the same project, it was great to share our progress, throughout the day and even as we were a preparing for the workshop. We had some great discussions on fabric selection online and and in the meeting preceding the workshop.

We had chose Libs Elliot’s Weight of Love workshop. A pattern was provided and we had to cut our fabric prior to the workshop. We had to cut triangles, half-hexagons and hexagons. It was recommended to use the Hex N More ruler by Jaybird Quilts. I rarely used specialty rulers, but I really enjoyed using that one. It’s versatile and well designed. I will certainly use it in other projects.

I auditioned so much fabric to use for this quilt. I even ordered a bundle of solid blue fat quarters. In the end, I decided to go with what I had in my stash. I use some black and white combined with some light gray and pastels. It was inspired by these rugs, particularly the picture with the rug in B&W, blue and green hanging on the wall.

In the workshop, we learned how to assemble our hexagonal blocks, assemble the rows and then join them using y-seams. During that day, I had time to assemble two rows and join them. I did modify the original pattern a bit as I wanted to make it my own. And also because I didn’t want to make the appliqué of the large hexagon (a bit of laziness I guess). So, all rows are the same length. I just finished assembling all my blocks. Now, I need to assemble the remaining rows and join them (the hardest part). As I was laying down my blocks to prepare my rows, I thought it was a good time to share my progress.

"Le temps des sucres" Quilt

On my way home from the workshop, I realized the colors of my quilt are much like the colors of nature at this time of the year. Our little town is surrounded by the country. And as I was driving I could observe the light blue sky, the fields that still had that golden yellow from fall with hints of green, and spots were the snow hadn’t melted yet. So serene. This weekend as we went to the sugar shack, the temperature was similar and I thought I should name my quilt “Le temps des sucres”. Do you know the proper way to translate this in English? I just love that time of the year!

Ready to Take on the Guido Molinari Challenge

Back in November, the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild organized a visit to the Guido Molinari Foundation. Guido Molinari was a renowned abstract painter from Montreal. He died in 2004. But, his gallery is still open to the public. Before his death, he created a fondation to continue perpetuating his art and abstract painting in general. Our group was welcomed by the executive director of the foundation and his assistant. When we were there, the exhibit was on a series of paintings and screen paintings by Molinari, named Quantifiers.  Like in most of his work, he explored color and their interactions with each other. In this series, it was subtle changes of tones. And how the width of different strips could change our perception of color and create rhythms. All our group really enjoyed the guided tour and the passionate and generous explanations on Molinari’s life and work. And even though the people from the gallery were surprise to receive visit from a quilt guild, we could all see how his work could translate into quilts.

Following that visit, our guild proposed a new challenge to us: make a quilt inspired by Molinari. I have been looking at his work since then and I finally settled on a series of paintings named “Structures triangulaires” as my source of inspiration. You can see one of these paintings exposed in Musée d’art de Joliette in this post. He did a series of paintings with these simple triangular structures in which he permuted warm and cold colors to create the perception of more complex structures. The paintings were composed of 4 rectangles split in half by a diagonal, creating half-rectangle triangles. By playing with the layout of the different triangles, he created different variations. You can read a good explanation in the last section of this article from La Vie des Arts (in French, link to the PDF)

This made me think of my half-rectangle triangle (HRT) table runners (see here and here) and the tutorial I had written for Sew Mama Sew! So, I decided to explore that concept. I combined different variations of layout for 4 HRTs I had seen from his work to create an even more complex structure. I’m settled on a layout. I did some new templates for the HRTs as their size will be different than the ones used in the tutorial. I did some test blocks. And I chose my fabric (Kona cottons in Lagoon, Ultra Marine, Coral and Bordeaux). So, I’m now ready to take on the challenge!

Guido Molinari Challenge - Ready Set Go

 

Random Projects

Today, I though I’d share a few small projects I didn’t take the time to share in the past months. First, I made two placemats before Chritmas for each of my sons teacher.

Placemats

My sons helped me chose the patterns and fabrics. I had proposed a few paper-piecing patterns. One chose the Lil’ Fox by Sonja for Artisania.  The other, a free apple pattern by Electric Quilt, which I adapted a bit.

The second project was for a mug bag swap that we had in January at the Montreal MQG. I made my own pattern for it. But, the design was inspired by a small leather pouch I first saw on on Pinterest. I love simple designs and I often my inspiration in leather projects. See more about what inspires me in this Pinterest board.

Mug Bag

Mug Bag

The last project I want to share was for a mug rug swap. We had a meet-up between the Ottawa MQG and Montreal MQG this weekend. And for the ice breaker, we did a little swap. As I was looking what I could do for my mug rug, I stumble upon a quilt made using the Stepping Stones pattern by Judy Niemeyer. I thought the block would look great as a mug rug. So, I made my-self a paper-piecing template inspired by the block. Here is the result.

Mug Rug

Metamorphosis Quilt

A few weeks ago, I presented one of the quilt I had in the exhibit by the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild. Here I am to present you the second one. It’s named Metamorphosis and I made this one to represent the minimalist category in the show. I already mentioned this quilt here as I was design it last year. See this post about the design process and the making of the quilt top. Here it is pictured in the show.

Metamorphosis Quilt

I love optical art and here a few illustrations that inspired me for this quilt: here, here and here. I love how a simple change in line directions can create new shapes. I wanted to explore this concept with this quilt, particularly with the quilting. I used straight-line quilting with my walking foot. I quilted lines 1/2″ apart and changed their directions as I was crossing the inset circle. So at the top and bottom of the circle, the horizontal lines are very close together and as we get to the center they get further apart.

Metamorphosis Quilt

I love the result seen from the back. I would love to make another quilt based on this idea. This time a whole cloth quilt with the same quilting in contrasting thread. The only is thing I dislike is that there isn’t enough quilting in the circle center to hold the fabric flat. So if I ever do so, I would need to think of something to improve this.

Metamorphosis Quilt

Metamorphosis Quilt

For the binding, I chose to face this quilt. This was the first time I was doing so. I thought it was appropriate for this quilt and I was happy with the result. Here is a great tutorial if you would like to try it.

If you are from the Montreal area and didn’t have a chance to see the exhibit by the Mtl MQG at Maison de la Culture Marie-Uguay, you’ll have a second chance to do so. The quilts will be part of the show organized by Courtepointe Québec on May 26-29 2016.

A Sprinkling of Stars Quilt

The exhibit organized by the Mtl MQG is over.  I can now share a bit more about my two quilts that were part of it. I’ll start today by the quilt I’ve made to represent the alternate grid work category. I named it A Sprinkling of Stars (Sous une pluie d’étoiles).

A Sprinkling of Stars

A few sources of inspiration lead me to that design. First, I love quilts that use traditional blocks but play with scale of blocks and negative space. It was my starting point as this was something I wanted to explore. I chose the attic windows block set on-points. This was a block I wanted to try since I had seen a quilt top by a friend from our guild (see here). I think she had followed a pattern by Kaffe Fassett with some of his stripes shot cottons. Also, I really like this illustration by Vertigo Graphx  and thought it would be interesting to do something similar in a quilt using the attic windows block. When looking for other quilts made using that block, I stumble upon a ruler for making 3D attic windows. It’s a variation on the block that involve fabric folding. I love the texture it adds to the block. And there is no y-seam involved when doing the block this way. I didn’t use the ruler, but I did use the same idea for the block construction.

Starting from their I played with the scale of the blocks and their layout and came up with this design. I quilted it with a straight line pattern using my walking foot. The quilting was inspired by this painting by Max Bill. I turned the quilting design upside down for the navy/purple negative space. And I really like the effect it created.

A Sprinkling of Stars

I just learned last week that my quilt was accepted for Quilt Canada 2016, a juried show organized by the Canadian Quilters’ Association and taking place in mid-june near Toronto. It makes me even more happier to share it with you today, and I hope it will spark some inspiration on your end.

Clothes Sewing

As you probably noticed there isn’t much clothes sewing around here. After sewing so many projects, I thought I might have acquired enough skills to tackle some clothes. I had bought the Washi dress pattern a while ago, and I finally took the time to make one. I made it with some chambray union fabric from Robert Kaufman. It went quite well. But, I must say that I didn’t need to make any adjustment. I was happy because this is really the part that scares me the most.

Washi Dress

For the boys, I decided to make some leggings with knit fabric. My older one prefer pyjamas that are tight at the ankle so the pants do not go up while he sleeps. I thought it might be easier for me to make some, then to try to find ones that he would like. I went ahead and bought some knit fabric at a local shop and used the Go To Leggings pattern. Both of my boys are quite happy with their pyjama pants, so I might order nice knit prints to make them more. Sewing with the knit fabric went smoothly and now that the patterns are cut to their sizes, it will be quick to make new ones.

Go To Leggings

On my side, I still have some nice double gauze by Kayo Haroguchi that my sister had brought me from Japan a while ago (see here). I had planned to make a Washi tunic with it, but I realized I don’t have enough. So, I just bought the Alice Dress/Top pattern and I think it should be a nice fit for it.

Exhibit by the Mtl MQG!

As I mentioned in previous post, the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild prepared an exhibit. Just a quick post today to let you know that the exhibit is open since Sunday and it will run throughout the month of February (free admission).

Vitrine sur la courtepointe moderne

The guild's banner.

It was really a pleasure to collaborate with Maison de la culture Marie-Uguay on this exhibit, a gallery run by the city of Montreal. They have a great space that enhanced the showcase. They did an amazing job at setting up the quilts. The quilts looked as they were suspended in space and the lighting was perfect, casting beautiful shadows on the floor.

Vitrine sur la courtepointe moderne

Quilts by Agnes Wong, Debby Soll, Josée Carrier, Cinzia Allocca and Stephanie Baldwing (from right to left).

Vitrine sur la courtepointe moderne

Quilts by Stephanie Baldwin, Michèle Fitzgerald, Claudia Pedroso, Suzanne Paquette, Tamara Serrao and Louise Drouin (from right to left).

It was such a reward to see the exhibit on Sunday. Members of the guild created beautiful pieces for the show. And even though we had seen them at sewing days and meetings, it was really inspiring to see this great variety of quilts all hanging together. The day went so well. People seemed to enjoyed walking around the quilts and chating. And I think the talk given by me and Cinzia Allocca on characteristics of modern quilting was appreciated.

Vitrine sur la courtepointe moderne

Me in front of one of my quilts in the show.

If you are close to Montreal, I hope this will make you want to come and visit the exhibit. You’ll find the address and opening hours of Maison de la culture Marie-Uguay here. If you would like to see a few more pictures of the exhibit, I invite you read the post on the guild’s blog.