Wow another summer is almost gone! It’s hard to believe this time last year I had a bazillion tiny squares on my work table partially sewn …Read More
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!
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
This past weekend was KER-jammed packed with all kinds of GOODNESS. First off my Instagram blew up with all kinds of Lysa Flower Pattern finishes! Kim from @iadorepattern posted her finished embroidered and bias tape LOVE cassette block. You may remember me posting about her block this past summer. LOOK at all that pinning?! Now that's a good friend. Recently Kim gifted this block to Darci @darcialexis who moved away and had a baby. Darci quilted it all up and the results are stunning! I get all, "awe", when I see babies on quilts.
Next up Stephanie from @simplesewendipity belted out a whole BOOMBOX and a whack of CASSETTE TAPES during her #bostonmqgretreat2018. Seriously my mind was blown... I know how long those take. I can't wait to see it finished.
Then Ashely of @amueller recently gifted a Control Freak project she made and posted about it. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what she did with the cord! I always hoped my patterns would be a jumping off point and I'd one day see people putting their own twists on it. AND it's happening AND it's even better than I imagined! High fives all around!
This past weekend was the Creativ Festival show. It was LOVELY to see everyone who stopped by at our the FVMQG booth. Sherri Chalke and I were the featured Makers and we loved meeting and visiting with everyone!
The FVMQG also had a group show. I swear the show gets better and better every year. Here's a few highlights:
Barbara Macleod's (quilt pattern Tula Pink and long-arm quilted by Kathryn Davies) "Ghost Blossoms".
Cathy Erickson's (pattern by Nydia Kehnle) "Dimensions". The FVMQG had clips on the quilts so you could look at the back. It's always so fun to look at them. I feel like it's learning someone's middle name.
Sonja Oblak's (a block study from the MQG) "Vintage Modern". I LOVE that Sonja used a vintage table cloth and look at that hand sewing!
Kathryn Davies's (pattern Celery Sticks by Jeff Gully & Marny Buck, in Quilts du Jour) Crossroads. Look at that quilting! I love the puffy squares
I didn't post all of the quilts because we'd be here FORever... but be sure I LOVED them all.
And of course there was A LOT of shopping at the show. I stocked up on all my goodies from The Steam Trunk Craftworks! Rainbow jars of rick rack! Be still my beating heart!
RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: I might be bending the rules here (but isn't that what rules are for?! wink-wink)... check out the Foo Fighters mash up of Imagine/Jump!
Last week we established Jenny Haynes is the creator of some amazing quilts. This week I think you'll find she's facing an exciting year. I especially loved her 2018 New Year post on Instagram encouraging us all to be brave and fierce, like her! Again many thanks to Jenny for sharing her stories and work with us...
1. What's one or two things about you that might surprise people?
I'm very messy and I've got a terrible memory for names and faces. Some of the mum's at my boys' school have had me introduce myself to them 3-4 times.
2. I'm crazy about your Curved Log Cabin quilt. Where did the inspiration for that come from? Now that I mention it where does most of your inspirations come from (ginormous question I know!)?
I work from restricted and minimal going outwards if that makes sense. I start with a shape (say the Drunkard's Path) and play with it, either in paper or in Touchdraw. I change the shape or size and play with it, see what comes out of one simple shape.
In the case of the Curved Log Cabin Quilt (I sometimes call it #sisteroftheotherone as there is now more than one) it started a few years back. I wanted to try to make a Log Cabin Drunkard's Path block for a Sunflower Block. I then made an oval version. A year ago Thames & Hudson publishing asked if I could make a quilt for a book for the Victoria & Albert Museum. The brief was to make my own version of a traditional quilt in their collection so I changed my Oval Log Cabin and made it with 50 different solids. The scrappy look and the big stitch hand quilting were references to the quilts historically made from re-purposed fabrics by hand. There was a suggestion in the book on how to make the quilt in a different way by using monochrome fabrics. As I wanted a quilt to promote the book and classes with and the original quilt was being kept in the shop for the book display, I made the monochrome version as well.
3. Who do you look up to? Who's your hero, quilting or otherwise?
Artists I follow with excitement on IG are: Robert Moya, Paolo Arao, Kels O'Sullivan and Chris Manton. I also go to architecture, ceramics (Lubna Chowdhary), furniture and print for inspiration. The IG community and makers like Hillary Goodwin and Sam Hunter have been nothing but supportive, encouraging and inspirational. I hope that I can give some of that back somehow to new makers through my teaching or support. We're in this together.
4. You design, quilt, sell templates, teach and you're a mama. How do you balance all those amazing things?
I think being busy feeds our creativity. I work best with deadlines and I've got plenty of them this year. I've got my first exhibition at the end of March (at Artyfact Gallery in Sweden), teaching at the V&A, also in March. #whatshadeareyou in Feb, a few pattern releases and I'm doing a BOM for a new UK Quilting website, on top of my normal teaching and two MQG talks. An exciting year ahead. I try to only work when the boys are st school but, as I love what I do, school holidays can be hard and I get a bit grumpy when I don't get to sew.
5. What's your best suggestion/pep talk for when a slump or a creative block gets in the way. How do you get back to being productive?
Just keep making. The group of quilts in working on for the exhibition have sent me through the (not yet complete) cycle of feelings, excitement close to euphoria, self doubt and disbelief in my own stupidity to agree on something like this to acceptance and persistence. I'm hoping I finish on pride and a sense of achievement but only time will tell.
6. Going back to the show your in this spring at the Aryfactgallery, can you tell us more about that, what the show is called and more about the gallery itself? It sounds very exciting!
I will be exhibiting a series of quilts at Artyfactgallery in Sweden March-April 2018. These exhibits are the result of a collaboration with one half of the colourful Artyfactygallery duo, Cecilia Bjork, and will be not only my first gallery showing but also my first time working in a series. This step forward, and the restrictions I've set myself in terms of colours and shapes used, are proving an excellent way for me to expand my creativity.
The show name: 'Art Quilt: Jenny Haynes and Cecilia Björk
The write up: 'Art Quilt is a colourful geometric exhibition and collaboration. Craft was historically the only creative outlet for many women and Artist was a title reserved for men up to the 19th century. If these textile pieces had been made by men, and in another materials, the art form would have received a much higher acclaim. In this exhibition Cecilia will be translating Jenny's quilts into a harder form, using wood. Piecing wood instead of fabric to create wall-hangings.'
About the Gallery: Just a few minutes away from the summertime location for ’Swedish Open’. The gallery is directed by artist couple Cecilia Björk and Patrick Agler and exhibits distinctive works influenced by illustration, photography, graphic design, graffiti, comic books, pop culture, and street art.
I'd like to you to meet Natalie Santini. She's an amazing lady. I adore her and her work. She bought my very first pattern on Etsy... er, ever really. She sent me a direct message and we've been each others biggest cheerleaders since then. She's prolific, talented, generous and hilarious. If you don't know her already she blogs at Hungryhippie Sews and is @sewhungryhippie on Instagram. This is part one of her interview because I asked her SO MANY questions! Enjoy!
Were you a maker as a kid? I was a do-er: dance lessons, piano, violin, camps, sports, etc... I never felt like I was good enough at art or design, but I did love to color and make weird things. I didn't sew though!
What was the very first thing you remember sewing or designing? I didn't sew until I was 31 LOL! I made a HORRIBLE top that made me look like a grown up cabbage patch kid. It was NOT cute. Instead of feeling defeated, I felt an intense motivation to keep going. I must have made 25-30 garments before I started to actually like them. Kinda crazy right? I also made a TON of bags, a ton of home items, and then eventually quilts. I think I've done 40 Union Jack patchwork quilts--which I sold because I couldn't work as a nurse in Britain. It was totally wild and fun.
Tell us about your experience with Love Patchwork and Quilting? Which issue(s) and what did you have in it? I have so much love for LP&Q! They are really SO kind and supportive. I was crushed when my skull quilt was rejected by an American magazine which shall remain un-named --- so I sent it directly to the Editor at the time, Jenny Fox-Proverbs in a personal email. I mean, the audacity! It was so bold and unlike me, but I figured I had nothing to lose. I didn't even expect a response, I promptly forgot about the whole thing because I was too busy creating my new American life (we had just returned from living in Britain for nearly 7 years)... Then one day I had an email response from Jenny herself, and there you go. The Skull was very "me"---for a long time I've loved Mexican culture. I lived in San Antonio when I left the Army for quite a few years and really fell in love with all of it, like you do... That was issue 26. I have a quilt in Issue 34- "Colour Splash", "Good Karma" in Issue 36, and in Issue 38- "Modern Aztec". Just this month my HST quilt is in Modern Patchwork here in the US. I think being published is stressful but lovely, if that makes any sense. I do not think it validates anything-- I see so many amazing quilts that nobody knows about, from local people. I'm talking MIND blowing work! It keeps a person humble, to say the least. And also sometimes being published is simply luck.
AND you have some new patterns out! Tell us every sorted detail! The inspiration behind them, anything juicy about the making them? And where can we get our hands on them? YES! I'm so excited about my patterns! I have learned Adobe Illustrator and InDesign in order to be able to publish them, and it's been a very L O N G road. Ha! I am not a tech person, did I tell you? I print the patterns that I feel are most successful, which so far are: The Essential Oils cases, Modern Aztec quilt, and The Essentials Tote. I think next will be The Santorini Tote, a "no-fail" multi sized Zipper Case pattern for shops, and a bag I'm collaborating on with Stitch Supply Co that is the shizzle (not my design but I'm writing it)... More soon on that! I only make what I WOULD WANT myself, into patterns. It's a TON of work and time involved-- at least for me. It does not come naturally for me, like most things. I test and re-test, send it out to multiple testers, then write again. Proofs come in, I change things again, etc.. I happen to really adore my Printer Guy- he is totally OCD and it works! (He is ok with me saying that FYI.)
All my patterns are available in my Etsy shop: And I'm slowly getting them out to local shops, including Blue Bar Quilts and Stitch Supply Co. My main obstacle is time, since I have a "real job" as an RN too---like everyone else, life is BUSY.
BUT Natalie still had time to whip up a very clever Halloween costume for herself. She's such a good egg! In the best devilish way... more to come next week!
Have you ever come across someone who just, in your gut, inspires you. I've been fascinated with punk lately (trust me this is going somewhere). Not the mohawk hairstyles, torn and safety pinned back together clothing or even the healthy drug appetites of Sid and Nancy but the DIY movement that was born out of it. And if DIY (Do It Yourself) is punk, see those two ladies holding up quilts, (Mrs S is on the left and Mrs Mac in on the right.) then they should be punk royalty.
Here's the simplified version: In the 80's they couldn't find a school to teach their dyslexic children so they started one. It became James Cameron School (which also accepts kids with other learning disabilities too). Think about that. They started a SCHOOL! Who does that? They started with 8 kids in a basement and grew a whole school, learning as they went. Making HUGE differences in the lives of families and children. They allowed these kids to thrive after wilting in the regular system. Humbly, when I asked them, mind boggled, How? Mrs. S replied, "You just do."
You just do.
Not everyone does that.
But they did.
Appropriately, the slogan of the school is " Changing I Can't, to I can!" These ladies inspire me to go forward, with no guarantees and give it all I've got. To just do.
Gaw, it makes me want to give them big smooches on their cheeks! But since that might be some what inappropriate, I made them each a quilt. Because you know us quilters, if we love you, you get a quilt.
So it's official, I love them! Do you have someone in your life that does that for you. Maybe they don't even know. Who gets the fire in your belly going and makes you want to just go for it?
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.