SO WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY?

Our oldest son just turned 18 ...which is really weird because half the time I still feel 18. His birthday lines up with Canada's Victoria Day long weekend AND Quilt Market, e v e r y single year. Which meant no Quilt Market for me, even if it was in Portland this year (only five hours away). I had resigned the fact that he was only going to turn 18 once and I'd feel a whole lot better not missing his birthday. Funny enough a few days before his birthday we asked him "so what do you want to for your birthday?". His answer, "Why don't we go to Portland." What the?!? It was one of those, "Start the car!" moments, before anyone changes their minds. And so we did, which allowed me to pop into Quilt Market and blast through the show for a few quick hours on Sunday!

The show was significantly different than the one last year in St Louis. I suspect being that is was Sunday, the low key vibe was from everyone being pooped. Or maybe I was projecting my sadness about Cotton + Steel changing. I thought Kim Kight's wilted vase of roses by her Steno collection summed it up best. I'm heart broken for them BUT I'm also super JAZZED to see what these five ground breaking designers will do next. I am I'm prepared for them to bust out and blow our minds!

Oh! Hello Bob Ross! Or should I say, "Happy Painter".  A booth that caught my attention right away was by a company called Quiltoni Superpowered Quilts. Ooh! Look they have a Wonder Woman too! ...I mean an Amazon Warrior.

I had a great chat with Daryl and Giuseppe (AKA Giucy Giuce) from Andover Fabrics. I'm super excited about Guiseppe's new (and first) collection, Quantum! I love the colour palette and I'm intrigued about the panels. Side note: isn't Guiseppe, a great name. We're done having kids but if we ever get another cat...!

Oh and I bumped in to Sandi, Craftyplanner in Alison Glass's booth (thanks for the churros Sandi xo!). You know what else if awesome about Sandi? She remembers to take photos. I get visiting, start oogling and then I forget-d'ohh!

I snuck in a visit with Suzanne from Camelot Fabrics and saw Elizabeth Silvers's Mod Blocks Collection. It looks super cute (and of course I forgot to take photos, see what I mean?). Speaking of these ladies, remember last Fall Quilt Market when I made the Game On quilt for Elizabeth's Game on Collection? I'm gearing up to release that pattern, called "WERD". It's an English paper piecing pattern. I'll be putting a call out for pattern testers on Instagram shortly. 

Sticking with the "ADULT" theme... wait. That didn't sound quite right. Um, you know what I mean, right?! Since my son is now technically an adult (although he'll always be my BABY!). Recommended for your playlist: I'm An Adult Now, by the Pursuit of Happiness. I secretly want to learn the dance the guy in the red coat does!

P.S. We stayed in Seaside after the show, in a place called Grandma's House. It had a lime green salon dryer! How random is that?! With an authentic cigarette tray built in! I kind of fell in love with it!

UPDATE... and what's with Rick Springfield's suit?

Before we start I have to take a moment and give a shout out to Stephanie from @simplesewendipity who BLEW MY MIND! And then I saw her flimsy! And then I saw it all quilted up! I've made my share of cassettes in my time but Stephanie made made 28! 28 Rainbow cassettes to border her Boombox quilt! UNBELIEVABLE! Love, love, love!

...Here's the latest UPDATE: I'm not sure where the time goes. And why does everything seem to happen all at the same time? Here's my best way to organize it:

SECRET SEWING: Postponed. Do you remember a few weeks back when I told you I'd be able to reveal my secret designing at the end of the month? We're going to have to hold on just a bit longer. Oh and to really make it titillating, I've recently been working on a second secret sewing project (dream project actually!... now that I think of it they're all dream projects)! Gosh, I'm so grateful for the things that have landed in my lap. Thank you universe, I sure appreciate it!

UP COMING TRUNK SHOWS, WORKSHOPS AND SHOWS: 

  • MINI TRUNK SHOW: Monday, April 16th for the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild. I'm going to do my best Brene Brown inspired talk (gosh I love her!). Do you know her work about vulnerability? I'm going to open up and be really candid about my work and my journey on how I accidentally on purpose became a sewing pattern designer. 
  • SHOW: VMQG Quilt Showcase. Saturday and Sunday, August 25th and 26th at the Pipe Shop (115 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver). They put on a show two years ago (it was my very first Newsletter post on this site. You can see it HERE). It was fresh, modern and inspired. I was thrilled to have work in it last time and I'm super excited to enter work for this one too!

UPDATES ABOUT PAST INTERVIEW SERIES PARTICIPANTS (wow, that sounds so official, doesn't?!):

NATALIE SANTINI : : from NOV 2017 INTERVIEW SERIES PART 1 / PART 2 : : Recently was on episode 158 of Modern Sewciety Podcast. You can listen to it HERE. It's the next BEST thing to hanging out with her in person! She always brightens my day! Oooh and she also has a new messenger bag pattern coming out soon too. Be on the look out!

JENNY HAYNES : : from JAN 2018 INTERVIEW SERIES PART 1 / PART 2 exhibition at @artyfactgallery is up and it's a SMASH HIT! Join me in a hip hip hooray for her!

... and lastly...RECOMMENCED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: Two song this week. A call and response if you will. Ready?... Rick Springfield's JESSIE'S GIRL (quick question Rick, why the suit?! and isn't smashing the mirror a bit extreme? It does crack me up though!) and the Car's MY BEST FRIENDS GIRLFRIEND with a lovely intro appearance by Alice Cooper! 

 

ANDREA TSANG JACKSON :: 3RD STORY WORKSHOP

Perhaps you've seen her work in the pages of UPPERCASE magazine or in an issue of Curated Quilts for her "Log Cabin A". Or was it in Quiltcon 2018 issue for her "Everyone's Got an X"? Wait, maybe you heard her on Modern Sewciety's (episode 124) podcast. But then again maybe you first found @3rdstoryworkshop on Instagram. That's how Andrea landed on my radar. Her feed is pretty darn dreamy.

3rd Story Workshop named after her attic studio, Andrea embarked on an incredible project that won 1st place in the Group or Bee Quilt category at Quiltcon 2018. I saw it in person and it was jaw dropping so I think we need to start with that...

1. In 2017 you completed The Here and Elsewhere Bee (compiling nearly 1,200 immigration stories) as an Artist in Residence at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

      A) How did this project come about?

For a few months, I had the idea in my head that everyone should know what quilting looks like today. When I saw Libs Elliott's Unity quilt from New York Design Week in 2016, I thought that a public, collaborative quilt would be a great vehicle for that. In early 2017, the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 put out a call for proposals to engage their visitors in an art project that would respond to an exhibit they had on display. The project was selected through the proposal process and I had the opportunity to make the idea become a reality.

      B) The project was inspired by the children's story book "Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt".  How did you come across this book and can you describe your "ah ha!" moment, when you knew you had to do this project?

I had a friend introduce me to the book in 2016, which I had never encountered before. It was such meaningful story and I thought it would be a great way to do a modern spin on a traditional quilt block. When the call for proposals came out for the artist residency at Pier 21, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity. I thought that this would be an excellent way to build a collaborative quilt and to relate visitors' experiences at the museum to their own personal story.

      C) I would imagine the project and stories were quite emotional. How did that affect the work. And you?

It's amazing to think of what is behind a single little 5" or 2.5" block -- the people whose lives were turned upside down because of war, in search of opportunities, in the quest for a more peaceful life. People come to the Canadian Museum of Immigration often on pilgrimages to honour their family members that risked a lot to make a better life. When they came to my little studio in the museum, they had just absorbed an intense amount of information about Canadian immigration. But here was where they made it personal; they paused to think about what brought their families to Canada whether it was 300 years ago or 2 years ago. And yes, it was emotional: "My grandmother raised me; she came to this port when she was a little girl. And the life I lead now is a result of that moment."... "My father was 15 when he had a gun put to his head, and asked, 'Are you with us or against us?' My choices are along the lines of, 'Should I get this car or that one?' What he went through was all so that I could have freedom." The weight of what's behind the quilt is tremendous.

The emotional impact of the piece really hit home that what I'm doing as an artist isn't only for my own self-fulfillment. The project really forced me to turn outward and see how the work and the process could affect people's experiences. This project made me realize that for me, interacting with the public is an important part of what I will do from here on in.

2. When did you move to Halifax in Eastern Canada? Where did you move from? How has that move affected your work?

I was born and raised in Ottawa, which is also where I made my first quilt and had my first baby in 2011. We moved to Halifax a year later for my husband to pursue a graduate degree. It was not until early 2016 that I joined the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild and that's how I started quilting seriously. I had no idea about the modern quilting movement before that, nor had I encountered other quilters. The community of people that I have met here and that I have since encountered online has been a huge motivator for my work. To understand the range of voices represented and how I fit in the quilting world has been informed by jumping into the MQG world.

(Check out Andrea's ETSY Halifax Map/Darthmouth 12" x 12" quilted map and post cards!)

3. Do you do all your own quilting? 

Mostly I do, but The Here & Elsewhere Bee was the first that was too big for me to accomplish myself, so I had Sheri Lund of Violet Quilts to do it for me on her long-arm. Moving forward, I will most likely do my own if it is a one-off artistic work, but if it is a pattern sample or something of the sort, I'll have it long-armed by someone else.

4. What makers tool could you not live without?

I wish I could tell you that it was more of a physical tool or notion, but I'm pretty reliant on Adobe Illustrator to make my designs come to life. It allows me to design and test ideas quickly without the commitment of cutting into fabric. I can work out how to cut the fabric and how much I need so I that I can execute a design relatively smoothly. Using Illustrator allows me to design with very few limitations -- which gets me into trouble sometimes when I'm actually sewing and creating, but I'd rather feel freedom first and then deal with the tricky bits later.

5. What's your favourite colour? What's your least favourite colour? And why for both.

I have a lot of favourite colours and they are all neutral! Black, white, grey, navy, metallic gold. I like that they go with so many other colours and in the way that I imagine them, they are decidedly modern. Moreover, when colour isn't central to the visual impact, the forms and shapes come through more clearly. These also never go out of style.

My least favourite colour is brown, but I love it when it's from a natural source like wood, leather or cork. Again, form can show through when it's a natural hue. Another one that I dislike is purple. I just don't know how to go about it. With it being this year's Pantone Colour of the Year though, I'm coming around to it by seeing its applications. I am just not sure how it will have lasting power.

6. What book are you reading right now? 

Confession: I actually... dislike reading. For someone who went to school until they were 26, I am extremely slow at it and it frustrates me. I've taken to podcasts and that way I can keep my hands busy while taking in information. I will likely be getting into audio books soon.

AND A LITTLE SNIPPET FROM NEXT TUESDAYS NEWSLETTER, PART TWO WITH ANDREA ...1) My favourite podcast is 99% Invisible.

*All photos are by Andrea Tsang Jackson or Deborah from @debisthinking

 

VANCOUVER MODERN QUILT GUILD SHOWCASE August 27 - 28. 2016

It was like a breath of fresh air. Hung at the Shipyards in North Vancouver, this handsome place was perfect for VMQG's first show. Refreshingly, quilts were hung simply and without drape. Modern quilters often take great pleasure in designing the backs of their quilts. I overheard one woman say, " I don't know which is the back or the front, they're both so beautiful!" Plus I had to giggle a few times at how people's feet lined up with the quilts in my photos. Giggling and modern quilts. Totally. Allowed.

These photos are just a fraction of the show. The show was bursting with striking quilts. I arranged this gallery slideshow with the title cards before the quilts themselves (except mine and Amy Dame's). There were so many more quilts I wanted to include but realized after reviewing my photo's I seemed to have gotten trigger happy and at some point I stopped including the title cards... Yup, same thing happened to me at Quiltcon. Note to self: stay calm and title card on!

Amy Dame's quilt won the Canadian Quilter Association ribbon, voted on by the VMQG guild members. It was outstanding and was a no brainer it should have won. There's no title card but I included some close ups of her paper piecing. When I first saw her quilt I thought, "Huh. Stickers. Okay." Then I looked closer. Mind. Blown!

Also mind blowing was the organization of the show, the thought and care that went into it. Quilt shows are HUGE undertakings. Big hours of planning and prep are put into them, plus hanging them, manning them and taking them down (not to mention the security and returning the quilts).  As with all things of greatness, all that hard work that went into VMQG's show made it look easy breezy, fresh and beautiful.