Improv Start

Thursday, November 26, 2015

I did a major project last winter and these little snippets and actual small chunks are the cuts from that project. 

I was using these fabrics for a quilt where I used Cultural Fusion Quilts book for instructions for the blocks. I'll post more about last winter's project at another time.

These little chunks were my start! I think that maybe they will become mini-quilts or table runners or you know, something fun anyway!

As you know I've had the last three weeks without stable Internet. For any blogger, this will cause stress, but to have to resign myself to finishing up my book in the new year is a real bummer! I have lots of fun to do with baking and preparing for Christmas and my upcoming retreat in January. I'm really looking forward to that!

This is the snippets I started with.

This is where I'm going, what do you think, is the black too black?

I'm linking up with Fret Not Yourself

and its C. -14 tonight and getting colder, winter has arrived!!

Thanks ladies for inviting me to participate with Improv Quilting!

Clever Embroidery Series - Monika Kinner Whalen

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hello and welcome to this very popular series! This week, I have a Canadian fiber artist who hales from Saskatchewan. I've been following her blog and enjoying her growth and success with admiration. 

Let me introduce Monika Kinner-Whalen!

I started hand embroidery at the age of 40.  That's not very long ago.  My mom was a landscape artist who did not sew or hand stitch.  I just never grew up with fibre art!  Sometimes I resent that.  For the most part,  it still feels new and terribly exciting!  I bask in it.

2.  teaching

I don't even remember how I learned my first French Knot.  I guess it was either a youtube video or an embroidery instruction book.  For the most part, I am self taught.  I began with free machine threadpainting, and added my own 'freestyle' hand stitches for the parts that needed to be hand stitched.  I quickly discovered how handwork - even just a little bit - made my fibre art so much better.  Eventually, I met an older embroidery artist with a lifetime of experience.  She invited me to stitch with her, and she soon became a mentor for me.  Her name is Margot Lindsay, and I adore her embroidery like no other!  Today I enjoy hand stitching entire landscapes.  The slow craft of hand work is so very nourishing.

3.  classes

 I have taken no formal embroidery classes, with the exception of a Needle Lace workshop through my local embroidery guild.  I spend a lot of time in self-studies, learning from the 'old masters' in our field as painter would learn from their own experts.  Generally, I approach fibre as art and create landscapes in a manner similar to a painter.

4.  sell or enjoyment?

I embroider for my own personal enjoyment and I sell it as my main source of income.  I am a full-time artist and I have to pinch myself when I say that I get paid to stitch.  I love what I do, and I have worked hard to make a living from it.  I find this very fulfilling.  I also teach fibre art classes to supplement my income.

5  what inspires me

Canada inspires me.  My prairies inspire me.  Our four distinct seasons provide an everchanging landscape in which I never tire of.  Sunshine and shadows inspire me.  The skies and the wind...  I am a nature nut and I love weather and all times of day.  It's not often I feel stuck.  Most of the time, I feel like I have too many ideas.  I could never stitch fast enough to create everything I want.  I always have more projects waiting in the wings.

Fibre inspires me.  I started with thread.  I could never have enough.  Now I have enough!  : ) I'm stashing yarn now.  Variegated yarns are like paint for me - fat stitches are like brush strokes of blended colours.  A single ball of yarn is enough to get my creative juices flowing!

Monika_Kinner on Instagram

There you go another installment in my Clever Embroidery Series. If you know of a talented hand embroidery enthusiast, or you are an embroidery nut yourself, do contact me, I'd love to follow your blog and profile you too!

Happy Quilting

TIny Studio's

Monday, November 23, 2015

My whole studio comprises of 7 by 10 small room.
When I googled "Tiny quilt studios" I found a gazillion of Pinterest sites that deal with all the latest trends of small studio apartments all the way to some pretty large 'tiny studios' and it got me thinking.

I share this tiny space with a washer & dryer, hot water heater, pressure tank, ultraviolet and filter water filtration system and a laundry sink.n This is totally efficient and frugal in space use. In fact this home is only 1200 in total, all one layer, with few steps, its a perfect retirement or first home buyer property, you know?

In the summer time, I spend hours sitting in the shade down by the river stitching, its only a few short steps from my tiny home and its a perfect socializing place for our neighbourhood parties!

Plus, its on the Bulkley River, now if you are a fisherperson, then you'll know how special it is to live on one of the best wild steelhead rivers in the world. We couldn't be happier with this lovely place to live.

I've long dreamed of making that upper room into a large and gorgeous quilting studio!
But mostly, its a Man Cave and very much that and somehow quilting studio's don't go with that in this case.

I have a few things on the go right now that can't be shared, but this is also on my list of things to do.

Now, if you want to visit a very cool, organized and much larger studio, but Jackie calls it tiny, you decide?

This next link is my favorite and one that takes a while to read, but its an awesome story of the various places this quilter moved around in her home and how it all began to come together, great read and lots of great photos!

Enjoy, happy quilting everyone!

Little crazy LOVE

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Hello everyone, thanks to those who emailed me inquiring about my whereabouts! That is so cool, that people are paying attention and wondered about me, so sweet!

I am back and have this fun little quilt that is coming out in a new pattern next week!


This little crazy love started out as a fun crazy project and suddenly it became a table runner. I've put my book aside until the new year. This frees me up to concentrate on gift making and finishing up a few other projects too!

I have only one small area to finish up with the hand quilting, then I'll move onto the outer border with free motion machine quilting. This has been really fun to do and so many ideas popped into my head doing this one.

The cream fabric is 100% organic cotton from my shop long ago and the darker fabrics are from Daisy Janie line.

And this little quilt top became a table runner because as a baby quilt, it just didn't do anything for me! Even though many of you thought the colors were a good fit. And don't forget to try out my Three Hour Block Magic in the link above.

I made this one instead and think that it will better recieved on the other end!

So, now I'm  back to quilting, bye for now!

Happy Quilting everyone!

I'm linking up today with Zenia over at A Quilted Passion.

A Quilted Passion

Clever Embroidery Series- Pam Kellogg

Monday, November 16, 2015

Hello quilty friends! I've found another awesome embroiderer and this one is a crazy quilter too!

I introduce Pam Kellogg.

What age were you when you began hand embroidery stitching?

According to my mom, I started stitching at about 7 years old.  Mom would give me a piece of netting and yarn in a big plastic needle.  That would keep me busy if she was on the phone.  By the time I was 8 years old, my maternal grandmother was teaching me how to embroider on a pre-stamped kitchen towel.  Grandma spent hours showing me over and over how to make French Knots.  She had the patience of a saint!

What teaching did you have when you started?  

Once I got the hang of basic embroidery stitches from my mom and my grandma, I pretty much taught myself how to do needlepoint, hooked rugs and counted cross stitch.  I loved counted cross stitch and after doing that for awhile, I decided to try my hand at charting my own designs.  I submitted my work to several cross stitch magazines and manufacturers and was surprised when they accepted my designs!  Shortly thereafter, I was designing professionally on a full-time basis.

In 2001, I caught the Crazy Quilting bug.  I saw a beautiful Crazy Quilt block in a quilting magazine and decided to try that.  It wasn't too long before I put the counted cross stitch down.  Crazy Quilting became my passion.  I loved that I could use all the little bits and scraps of things that I've saved over the years.  Lace, ribbons, trims, beads, buttons, vintage jewelry pieces and so on.  I also loved that I could apply all of my needlework skills to this one artform.

Have you taken any classes, if so, where and who would you recommend as an online teacher of embroidery?

I've never taken a single class on any needlework subject.  I learn best by just jumping in and doing it. 

Do you sell your work or is it just for your own enjoyment?

I no longer sell my stitched pieces.  I did at one time, have an Etsy shop.  Instead, I publish a "print on demand" magazine devoted entirely to the art of Crazy Quilting.  It's published quarterly and it's filled with tutorials, how to's, articles, patterns and eye candy.  The contents are reader contributions so the magazine offers loads of ideas and inspiration for the beginner and intermediate art quilter.  

Please tell us what starts you onto a new project, what inspires you?

The majority of my inspiration comes from the upcoming season or holiday.  I love anything with a nature theme and that can be seen quite often in my work.  On occasion, a flea market find, such as a vintage brooch will inspire a purse or a pillow but for the most part, it's nature.

Crazy Quilt Quarterly magazine can be found here along with my other publications:

Please don’t forget to tell us your blog address, shop address and other related links like facebook or twitter, so followers can find you?

Hope you enjoyed this look at another wonderful hand embroidery and embellishments used in Pam's work. I think that crazy quilting is such a wide road of diversity in skill, tools and style that more quilters should really give it a try just to find out if its what you like to do.

Please visit my page devoted to one very popular crazy quilting tutorial.

Happy Quilting everyone!

Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs