Inspiring Quilters, Stitch by Stitch
Hi everyone i'm from northern ontario canada. the winters are very long, our summers are great and full of bugs. id love to make a mosquito wall hanging, maybe just one large one for the camp. anybody have ideas? ive been making quilts since i was 10 years and still have lots to learn. very limited on fabric up here, mail order may be my next bet. anyways hope to hear from all of you .
You illustrate, vividly, what I wrote about, the affinity among quilters no matter where they reside. I would love to post a picture of my quilt which appears in "American Quilter" but can not due to copy write restrictions. Perhaps your library still has that copy.
Fall in far northern Maine nearly equates the fall seen in Vermont where I grew up. I love the season in both areas. Sometimes when I go down the line to visit my sons and daughters I take the long route--the scenic route--just so all that beauty can surround my car. I drink in all the colors, and in some of my quilts I use the fall colors just because of their vibrancy. One time when I showed a quilt made of fall colors a person asked me, "How in the world can you sleep with all that stimulating color?" My answer? "I turn off the lights!"
what an excellent answer...to ...hmmmm to say this politely...aww forget it. hahah
your eloquent & poetic description of the 'north woods' region of our incredibly diverse and beautiful country excels all that i have attempted over the years, in our travels fr one job to nxt...re: the beauty of the northeast. "drink in all the colors" so aptly describes the sense of ...wallowing hahaha in such magnificence.
now ...for all that...i live in a 'desert' in eastern washington state...locals call it a desert but in reality it is a 'steppe-shrub' habitat. and in aug-sept & into early october ...it blooms...the mauve, ochre, lavender & all the beautiful hues of heather seen in the blooming russian sage [a euro invader] which becomes the odious tumbleweed famous throughout the west. the yellow of the different types of sage brush atop theirr softly sage green stems...the rabbit bush..and so much more...our foliage is not as soul raising astonishment as your foliage...but..comes in close. and then there are the small tiny spring blooming flowers covering the open range/hills of the nearby yakima indian reservation...
isn't it a wondrous land we have ?
and i should have realized...of course it would be covered by copyright now. i will look in the websites archives...then try the library nxt in town.
When I glance at articles written to help people learn how to use colors I wonder why the writers/authors don't urge people to look at the use of color by Mother Nature. When I was in my childhood people were adamant that red heads could not wear any value of the color red. Blue and green could not be used together. Yet, when looking over the countryside I would see that all sorts of reds were used together when everything was blooming, except during winter. Green trees extended up into the blue sky regardless of the time of the year. So much teaching can be done by teachers sensitive to Mother Nature's pallet. Dyes used in the present day fabrics present many, many interesting combinations, and gradations of colors. All which quilters, and other artists need to do is to put things together to see what works best for the eye to see. Limitless possibilites exist to be assembled into an object of beauty. Rigid ideas of what colors can go together fall by the wayside when looking at what Mother Nature puts before us. Certainly, the colors of the countryside where you are do just as the colors do in my area--stimulate the creativity of artists, regardless of the media, allowing them to produce beauteous forms in their artistic endeavors.
Yes, we are fortunate to live in a country with such diversity of color filled countrysides. I love looking very closely at blossoms. The variety of colors within them, and the gradations of colors in many of those blossoms fill me with awe. Those combinations are stored in my memory bank, coming out when I am in the process of choosing what colors in the chosen fabrics I shall use when composing a quilt. Sometimes the colors will leave me cold, sometimes they "fight" each other, sometimes there is no contrast. When such is the case there are always hundreds more choices available beckoning me to use them.
Thank you for describing your countryside. I am fascinated by your descriptions. I had spent a week in the American southwest, came to love, and to enjoy the vibrant colors of that arid country. The next stop on my trip was Seattle where the colors there, and over into Victoria and Vancouver were crisp and delicate--much as they are here. Mother Nature provides us a wealth of combinations--some of which the "color police" pan. I feel sorry for them as they miss so much.
"Nature provides us a wealth of combinations--some of which the "color police" pan. I feel sorry for them as they miss so much."
yes they do...miss soooo much. sorry that you made it to seattle & didn't go another 'few' miles over the hills and down into the arid plains that make up the yakima and columbia basins...not as strikingly beautiful or as majestic as the 'painted desert' my own homeland area with the mojave...but as you say...beauty everywhere.
yrs ago when about to move to a region just east of my current home a freind and coworker said...!!!!why??? that is just dry arid high desert...it is sooooo beautiful here!!! why leave this for that?[redwoods of calif northcoast] i told him...beauty is everywhere we go in this land...it takes different forms but it is all beautiful and a glory to behold and treasure.
I am a member of CQA (Canadian Quilters Association) I have seen Connecting Threads, but for myself it just seems that I'm a hands on kinda girl when shopping for fabric. I tend to buy what I need when I need it and I like to buy it at a fabric store, I like to feel and see the fabrics, to set them down on the cutting table and look and match and choose. sometimes if I really need a particular fabric I will order from the net. but not often.
I feel pretty much the same way, but there are times I can not find just what I want. I am thankful that so many options are available to us quilters. When my mother was still living she used to watch me work with the rotary cutter, straight edges on the various plastic implements, which for us are commonplace, and other tools we have now. Mother would say, "Oh what my mother would have given to have the tools, and the fabrics you have." Gram only had a pair of scissors for cutting pieces. I have Gram's scissors which still work well. I took them to a local fellow for sharpening, and he remarked on the beautiful steel which went into their making!
i too feel the same re: ord fabric be it catalogue or website...but when you can't find locally that particular look/color/style...then you go the nxt step. though i confess after i found out what beautiful fabric they have at connecting threads i have succumbed to temptation ...and ordered from their clearance selections [albeit not often]. and i cannot find thread in colors quality here locally at all...esp colored hand quilting thread so all of it comes from web order. i have found several nice sites. and dana...i envy you have a local scissor sharpener...i did the last place i lived...but none here and i have had my ginghers for many many years plus several pair antique scissors/shears from auctions that i love.
I agree with you, Lana, I like to touch... feel the fabric in my hands. One thing I do like to do is get the charm packs from different catalogs (Clothilde, Connecting Threads, Missouri Star, Keepsake) That way I can see the "true" value of the cloth and the charms are big enough that I can do different things if I want to.
I am truly curious. Were you able to find what you wanted?
Yes I did. Right after we moved to this area…my son met and decided to marry the lady of his dreams. A lovely girl. So I decided to make them a quilt..his favorite color – black; hers – pink…and roses was the flower …I thought J. They had their engagement photos taken in the rose gardens in Portland OR. So I just assumed that she loved roses the way I did. Hmmm….never assume!
Dh and I visited every fabric store in each direction…50mi to the east & 40mi to the west. No luck. I wanted a large motif pink rose with black background for the main fabric. In the late 90’s this style was very popular…and easy to find…but ..now… Went on net..visited the sites of every fabric maker & designer. Finally spotted one that might work…then found the one …a moda. then visited the sites of fabric retailers from all over usa. Found it at sev stores…called Kentucky, florida, texas, etc… no one had more than few yards left and it was a discontinued print. But texas had a bolt…almost full. So I bought it…rec’d it …measured it…it was just under 15yrds…so basically full bolt. And it was gorgeous…just what I wanted. Then the owner of local bernina dealer/fabric retailer, helped me go thru all her blacks…the only one that worked was, of course…moda black. It really is the blackest black I have found. So she ordered a bolt for me…I figured the amount of black I use I will use it up..good stasher, and I wanted it for the back.
Made the quilt large enough for son 6’5” dil 5’9”…and wide enough that there would be no dark of the night tug of wars lollollol…ergo quilt is extra lg kingsize. I decided to hand quilt it…not done yet, as end of first year a little one arrives then another little one and of course gramma ham has to make baby quilts and toys and ..and..and..lollollol…but I do work on the big quilt.
Then a couple of years ago son asked me to make dil a lap/wall quilt for xmas. She had been admiring one that I had made for mil years ago..simple pattern but striking. So hunt began for the perfect purple/drk lavender whatever that would go with gorgeous brown tone on tone I had found. Again dh drove me to the far corners of our little [current J] heaven on earth. Again I went to the net…connecting threads had what looked might work in the clearance..so called..she said that if it didn’t work I could return it. !!!!!! amazing..i could return yardage that they had cut. Ok. So ordered…perfect. And I machine quilted it! Finished at midnight the night we were to drive down for xmas visit! And now, albeit not often, I ck out their discontinued fabs when I am snooping thru the book selections. Their fabric is nice weight, nice weave, nice ‘hand’. Good deal.
ben & laura quilt...they love it! would love it more if i would finish it...lollollol...all things in time...and sometimes the time is just ...well...i just keeps wandering off!!!
....this fabric was worth every hour on the net and on the highways...searching...
That quilt is absolutely gorgeous. Aren't we fortunate to have so many sources to consult when looking for something specific! Certainly, your patience and perseverance in looking for just the right fabric gave you a most beautiful pallet from which to work. Your son and his wife must be grateful owners. By the way, I know what you went through to make a large enough quilt. My son is 6'7", his wife is 5'6", and when I made a quilt for them as a wedding gift it had to be large--an understatement. They live 550 miles south of me. When I visit them I look at that quilt, and wonder how in the world I had the patience to hand quilt it. A picture of that quilt appears in the journal, "American Quilter", the March 2009 issue. It is on the last page
I used to live in Minnesota and have a pattern book "Minnesota Memories by Helen Thorn (PineTree Lodge Designs)
It has several paper piecing patterns you could identify with - mosquito, ticks, pine tree, cabin, wood ducks , dragon fly, snowflakes etc
The mosquito is paper pieced with a little embroidery (legs and stinger) or use a pilot pen really cute as a mosquito can get