Monday, February 23, 2015

In the news...

The past few days have been exciting for me. First off, my quilt "Fill the Void" won a third place ribbon at Quiltcon in the handwork category!

The organizers contacted me two days before the awards ceremony to let me know that I was to receive an award but did not say for what. When I submitted my quilt back in November (?) I did not request that my quilt be put in a specific category, but left it up to them. So i had no idea what category I had won for! 
I am so pleased that it was put in the handwork category. It was such an enormous pleasure to quilt this quilt. I really took my time with it,  spending lots of peaceful evening hours working on it. 

This quilt is very personal to me and I am more attached to it than any other quilt i have made. I faced many struggles in the making of it, and they were all worthwhile. (You can read about my process here). I am really looking forward to getting it back! 

In other news, Josee Carrier and I were featured in an article in the local newspaper thi spast weekend. The La Presse  article talks about the fresh new approaches that today's quilters are using to create quilts that are not at all like what our grandmothers made! 
Tamara Serrao, Montreal MQG member and designer for Michael Miller Fabrics also spoke in the article about the ever evolving fabric industry. 
It is great to see that modern quilting is getting some exposure here in Quebec! It's been a little slow to catch on, but I think we are making great strides.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters

About a year ago, Sherri Lynn Wood of Daintytime, announced that she was working on a book based on her approaches to improvisational quilting. If you know me, you know I love improv, and you know that I am a great admirer Sherri Lynn's work. So you can imagine how excited I was when she asked me to be a test quilter for her book!

The book is does not provide a set of quilt patterns to follow, but rather proposes a set of parameters within which to create, which Sherri Lynn refers to as 'scores':

 "A score or lead sheet, common to improvised musical traditions such as jazz, is a set of notations or parameters within which the improvisation is free to take shape".

Each test quilter was given a score to work with and was set free to create a quilt based on a set of instructions. 

The score I was received was "Bias Petal Quilt".

Armed with a set of bias strips,
 and  a large petal shape...
 I set about to create my quilt...
Overall, I have to say that I have absolutely enjoyed this process! I consider myself an intermediate quilter and this technique presented itself with just the right amount of challenge for me.  

I hand quilted it with perle cotton

  I love the freedom we were given to create something within the limits of a score.  I can't wait to see the book even though my quilt did not make the cut. 
"In My Solitude"

The quilt now hangs in my newly redecorated dining room. 

The book will be released in March but you can pre-order it on Amazon. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015


A year ago I was inspired by Victoria Findlay Wolf to choose a word that would be my guiding light for the year. You can read about it in last year's post. My banner hung in my studio all year and it really did help me stay on track with my goals,  so I am continuing the tradition with a new word for this year:

It was inspired by the last book I read in 2014: Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
Don't you love the cover? 
A great read if you have ever felt like you are spread too thin or just busier than you would like to be. Author Greg McKewon  shows us how to give more energy to fewer activities so that we can "have the satisfying experience of making significant progress in the things that matter most". It's about prioritizing, un-committing,eliminating, focusing and choosing. 
True to his philosophy, the book is simply written and easy to follow. I have taken the 3 steps delineated at the end of the book to set my priorities for the year. The steps are: 

1-State your Intent 
2-Identify obstacles that stand in the way of accomplishing #1
3-Remove the obstacle(s)

This way of being is also manifesting itself in my approach to quilting. Stay tuned...And Happy New Year! 
BTW, Sherri Lynn Wood also wrote a great post about her focus word for 2015. She shares how she plans to apply it everyday life and to her creative practice. Her blog is always a good read!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quilting With Intention

That's my new motto. In a way, it always has been. Let me explain...

A couple of weeks ago, while browsing thru FB, I came across a page called "The Slow Stitching Movement"; something that was started by Mark Lipinski, who is a well-known personality in the quilting world.

It caught my attention at first because I thought it had something to do with handquilting. Lately, I've been finding myself craving more handstitching projects, so naturally I went on to explore.

Upon further exploration, I learned that stitching slowly is not what the movement is about at all. Rather, it is about making something that is meaningful. To find out more about what that means, you can hop on over to The Slow Stiching website.

I also discovered that Mark Lipinkski was offering a webinar about the Slow Stitching Movement, which I promptly registered for and listened to live last week. 
And I am so glad I did! So much of what Mark talks about in his webinar really resonated with me. Mostly because I already share his philosophy about purposeful making. Here are some key points that I came away with:

1-creating is about process, not product. Something I have always believed in. That is why I like to create improvisationally.

2-in a fast paced world, when we do or make something that is 'quick and easy', we lose excellence in our work and it. does. not. allow. us. to. grow. Don't be afraid to try something difficult; to learn a new skill!

3-The Slow Stitching Movement is about:

-being conscious of what you are doing
-practicing excellence
-and making soulful projects.

Earlier this year, Quilter's Connection Magazine published an interview with me in their Spring 2014 issue. One of the questions that I was asked was: 
What's in store for your future? 
Here is my answer:

"I want to explore the improvisational process with more depth. I want to push the envelope to see how I can translate complex ideas into a quilt design. I want my quilts to convey a message."

Quilting with Intention! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Fill the Void

Here is the last quilt that I finished.  You can read about my process in this previous post. 

It was on exhibit last month at the CQQ Quilt Show in Montreal and just this past weekend at the Vermont Quilt Festival where it received a second place ribbon! 

Fill the Void

Quantum physics shows us that we are all connected in this great universe and that space is not space, but actually energy. 
All the thoughts, actions and energy we project into the universe are interconnected.

Whatever we do and whomever we meet becomes a part of us. 

Biggest quilt I've ever made
84.5 X 88.5
Machine pieced
Handquilted with Perle Cotton Thread #8
Invisible Binding
Modern improv interpretation of the traditional 'Double Wedding Ring' pattern
Fraught with meaning for me
A challenge to piece
A joy to quilt!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Quebec Quilt Show: Salon CQQ 2014

The Largest quilt show in Quebec took place this past weekend. The show, organized by the CQQ was, in my mind, a huge success. I first attended the show in 2008. As a birthday present to myself, I enrolled in 3 days of workshops and the world of quilting for me became so much more than sewing away in my basement. 

The amount of talent that is right here in my hometown of Montreal is mind blowing! 

Here are some highlights from this year's show:

1-I had 2 quilts on display! It was the first time I actually saw my quilts hanging in a show. 

"I Don't Wear Blue" has been on exhibit before. It traveled with the "Best of Quiltcon" travelling quilt show.  But I never saw it hanging in a show myself!  

It was a HUGE surprise to see my latest quilt right at the entrance to the show. It is the biggest quilt I have made to date and it is all hand quilted with Perle Cotton thread.

The stitches don't show up well in pics. Here is a close up.

2-Josee Carrier and I were interviewed by french morning show reporter, Hugo Lavoie. The lovely Florence (in green) joined in on the discussion. Florence who quilts and works at Courtepointe Claire, is a college student who is working towards getting a degree an art degree . She was a great asset to the interview as we tried to demystify the image of the quilter. The interviewer wanted us to convince him that quilting is not just for grandmas (his words) and that many works on display are very avant-guard and to be appreciated as works of art. I think we managed to convince him! you can listen to the podcast of the interview on the Radio Canada website. 

M. Lavoie photographing Josee's Almagam Quilt.

3-I was invited to teach a class!

My group of students was small but there was no lack of enthusiam! 

Improv Strip-Piecing by Isabelle Dupras.

 4- Two of my fellow teachers received ribbons for their gorgeous quilts!
Marina Segolavich (she also received a ribbon for this quilt in in Vermont last year).

AndrĂ©e Bergeron (she also received a ribbon for this quilt in in Vermont last year).

Finally, here are some of my favorite quilts from the show:

By Jocelyne Martel
by Solange Hudon

"Euphoria" by Deborah Kemball. There is no better title for this one. All hand appliqued and quilted.

Best of show by Micheline Caron. A.MA.ZING.

'Serenity' by fellow teacher, Dominique Ehrmann. She is famous for her 3-D quilts. This one took 500 hrs to make!

There she is sewing away in the woods on her solar powered sewing machine! 

The tradition is handed down to the next generation! On the left is a quilt made by 2 brothers, Laurent and Adrien. Looks freshly modern to me! On the right is a quilt made by Mayara, a student from  my summer camp sewing class of 2013.  All three kids received a ribbon for their great work! Amazing! 

Lastly, I noticed that there was a buzz going on about modern quilting. It has been a little slower here to catch on than in the US but people are talking about it! Several people approached me about joining the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild in the fall. All are welcome! We have some exciting things planned for next year!

Here are some modern quilts from the show that were made by our members:

(quilted by Karen Desparois)

Notice the ribbon! 

A big thank you goes to the organizers of the show! I have been so inspired! I have new ideas for quilts swirling in my head!