Wednesday, 31 March 2010


Even before the subject was chosen , I had decided to do this. Could have been Red Edna or Flower Edna etc so when "Connections " was chosen I was really lucky . This idea had been on my plate for years. Why then did it take so long ?? I had trouble editing down the amount of things that I wanted to put in the piece. Then it was down to technical problems too many to recount


Mweb, one of our main internet servers has the slogan 'We connect - You Can'. Although a lot of our rural areas still have no running water, electricity along with cell phones and broadband connections , the world has become much more accessible for these people and has enabled them to connect with their families all over the world. Their living quarters may be quite basic but most homes have TV aerials and /or satelite dishes and the majority of the people have cell phones.
Background painted with silk paints on cotton; enhanced with shiva sticks and fabric paints; applique and free motion stitching.

Great fun!

Olympic Connection

I enterpreted the theme on a personal level. I am from British Columbia where the Olympics were held. As a former figure skater, teacher and volunteer of the sport I am forever connected. The Olympics achieve a connection between athletes and countries. The lettering was done on my computerized longarm, the clamshell background fill is something I haven't done before and instead of binding it I used a decorative trim tied in a knot at the corners. Wool batting was used to give a slight trapunto look for the figure skater. Fun, fun, fun! I am looking forward to the next one!

"Stepping Stones"

A billboard was the inspiration for my quilt. The water with stones connecting one side to the other made me think of the other members of our "12 By the Dozen" group - we are spread out all over the globe - with vast oceans that separate many of us - and our quilting challenges are the "stepping stones" that connect us to each other.

I over-dyed the background fabric with Setacolor Fabric Dye and quilted the water with WonderFil Art #3142 col.8872. The stepping stones were made from a Fed-Ex envelope that I painted with Black Setacolor then carefully transformed by heating over an open flame. The stones are sewed on with invisible monofilament thread. The shading was achieved by using black netting.

What's the next theme?


I too had an idea at the very beginning and stuck to it.

I wanted to show the connections between traditional quilting and contemporary work. I needed a simple block that I could make in various ways, and what is more simple than a 9-patch. The upper left section is pieced conventionally, and simply quilted, with the quilting getting gradually more 'contemporary' as it moves across the piece. The lower right section includes fabric that is hand dyed, rust dyed and deconstructed screen printed. The 'patches' are added by piecing, printing, overlaying, couching and sewing, with some hand stitching and beading.

The two halves are connected by strings of beads, possibly the ideas that flow as inspiration from the work of the past to the work of the present.

I enjoyed making this; but I have to confess to a mathematical error along the way. The piece is not perfectly 12 x 12 - I rounded the size of the first patch to an 'easy-to-cut' number - and forgot I would be multiplying the error by 9 across the piece!

Amish Connections

This piece celebrates my connection to my quilting past and the Amish quilters whose work first captured my interest and lit my passion for quilting more than 20 years ago. Amish quilts were my first love, and the colours still make my heart sing. I strip pieced, sewed together, cut apart and resewed strips left over from other projects which I couldn't bear to throw away. Then I photographed my hand, sewing, and bobbin stitched it from the back. I thought I had reversed the image, but I guess I got it wrong, because I am not left-handed, but oh well. Then I freely quilted a loopy feather based on an antique quilt pattern from my collection. Voila!

Heart Strings

Although I rambled around a lot of ideas such as DNA, transportation etc I kept coming back to family. I have a husband and 2 daughters whom I adore, and we also are lucky to have 3 parents living nearby (average age of 90) and they are an integral part of our lives. Heart strings. What else can I say - they keep tugging.

The fabric was from a play session doing deconstructed screen printing. It was done on white fabric, and I've learned that overdyeing it isn't that successful. So I thought I would try and work with it. The gold was also done with the same process, but had already been dyed. I didn't like so much white at the end of the day so hence the blue big stitch, and the stippling is done with a light tan poly called Bottom Line (for long arms).


This piece has no other name than 'connections'.

On the left are 3 maps: Lithuania in the late 1800's (when my paternal grandparents lived and left there), South Africa when it was a British Protectorate (when my grandparents arrived there) and a current map of Quebec where we now live.

Down the middle of the piece are images of my grandparents, my father, myself and my 2 daughters.

Down the right of the piece are images of my grandparents' graves, a sign 'Jews temporary shelter', which was the organisation in England where Jewish people were accomodated from around 1800-1930 on their way from Lithuania to South Africa, and a suitcase.  I have chosen these specific images as they carry a lot of symbolic meaning for me relating to the subject of 'connections' - death, transience, on the move.

The fabric is muslin (calico).  I printed on it using Tsukineko dye as well as tea and coffee to obtain a grid in the colours I wanted.

The images are all black and white photocopies on paper which I treated with dyes and a few layers of gel medium.

Before commencing with the quilting, I used white acrylic paint, a few different colours of the Tsukineko dyes and a black stick of charcoal to add dimension.

I then stitched around the people in red thread (blood/life) - starting the stitching from beyond the binding and ending it beyond the binding.

'Embedded' in the piece is the 'Star of David'.  I achieved this with the white acrylic paint and the dyes before quilting it in brown.  Quilting stitches are in the formation of jigsaw pieces as well as the Hebrew alphabet.  I have also quilted along some of the lines of the grid in a transparent thread.

I pushed myself with this piece.  I attempted some printing techniques that I have been thinking of for a while, tried some new Golden products that I recently bought while using images that are particularly meaningful for me.

Looking forward to the next one!

Hello Hilary

Your piece is great and is definitely appropriate. I really liked your subject and all the different pieces you used in the piece - it really gives me lots of inspiration for the upcoming pieces I will be doing. I am so glad that I managed to post my piece as I had not posted an image up to this point and it was not too difficult once I got over the nerves - well done for starting us all off and may we go from strength to strength! Well done!

My piece is definitely 12" by 12" but the photo itself seemed to be a bit out of kilter.

This was my first idea which came into my head when first hearing of the Challenge. I had a few other ideas but kept coming back to the links in a chain. When sketching it out I drew the background first to keep in with the theme and then added the chain. I used piecing in the background and then on the chain itself I used fabric paint and oil paint sticks - had fun and look forward to the next challenge.

Connected with the UK!

The day has finally arrived - and strangely it looks as if I am the first one to reveal my 'Connections' piece.

I had the idea right from the start and I suppose my interest in computers and the internet (which is how I stay connected with you) plus the fun and games we had replacing bits of my husband's computer just recently with the guts of his computer laid out all over the kitchen table just reinforced the idea.  I even have the old motherboard and other bits on my work table as inspiration.  So here is my motherboard without which this group would not stay connected.

I had enormous fun using felt (blue, white and black), metal from tomatoe paste tube (gold), plastic wrap from coffee grounds (silver), beads, springs from broken pegs, stitch, buttons and some rather matt looking 'pearls' (solder) which are hot-fix - plus the other bits and pieces - oh, and the rivets which disappointingly didn't line up.

I am so looking forward to everyone else's interpretations and hearing about your experiences.

Bring on the next challenge, Rosie.

Love to you all,


Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Hi Everyone

As you all know I finished a while back as my sister was coming out from New Zealand and we were rushing around all over the place - it was hectic but great fun. Now she has gone and I am sad - but can't wait for tomorrow for the unveiling but am nervous about the posting as I have not done it before - should have I know !

Monday, 29 March 2010

I am all but finished then need to take the pic. Hope for good light. It is what I wanted to do but I hoped it would be better. I am nervous about posting it all as I have a brand new iMac and I have not totally learned all about it so hope I can rise to the occasion on the 31st. Really looking forward to seeing them all.

Project Completed

Wahoo!! I finished tonight. I learned alot. I learned that I am going to try to post more often than I did this time. I learned that I tend to "over-think" the theme. I learned that I enjoyed the freedom of playing, experimenting, and having a deadline. I am looking forward to Wednesday to see everybody's creations.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Well, I've finished my piece, unless I decide to add some hand stitching. It's sort of what I planned, though it may not show the theme as well as I had hoped. Now I'm just looking forward to the unveiling on Wednesday!


Running to finish. And aargh, my red dye has run!! Will get the binding on and wash it with a dye remover cloth. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Yippee - I'm finished!

Yes, the binding is on and yours truly is mightily relieved to be finished as I am off around the countryside next week hanging quilts in two exhibitions. Here's another little tease (and yes, that is a spring from a broken peg!).

I know I am not the first so well done those who are either finished or well on the way.  Funnily I had the idea from the start and haven't waivered.  Good luck those of you battling away.  It's getting exciting now after three months of  procrastinating.  I'm keen to know the next theme but must wait - 'patience is a virtue....'

Cheers, Hilary

Saturday, 20 March 2010

A Hint

Here's a little hint. Still working, still not satisfied! Some of the fabric was made while playing with gelatin printing.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Making a start :)


Yesterday I actually STARTED to make the things I've been thinking about for the theme.

Here is a pic of yesterday's starting materials ;-D

I find it V HARD to talk about what I'm doing, without giving away what I'm doing!!


Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Looks gorgeous , Helena

Starting point

Since we are supposed to talk about our process, here is a photo of my inspiration and starting point for our "Connections" piece. These are some of the leftover strips I have saved from the nine Andy Warhol-inspired silk screened dog quilt portraits I have made. I knew they would come in handy some day!

Monday, 15 March 2010


There are just 16 days to go before we must reveal our little pieces.  On 31st March we should all post an image of our quilts on this blog plus close-ups if you think they would be interesting.  We should also write a piece about the inspiration and the 'connections' thread.

The original idea of this group and having a blog was that we would chat on the blog about our journey making these little pieces and that we would get to know each other by sharing our thoughts, ideas and struggles without actually giving the final piece away, then on the day all would be revealed.  No quilts are sent in the post - just images uploaded on this blog.


Sunday, 14 March 2010

What are we putting on the challenge label and is it to go on the back ? I am at that point right now ( at last- it has been a mighty struggle)I agree with all the suggestions made so far.


White is a colour, isn't it? We so often steer away from it. One thing is does do is draw the eye to it. Having looked at lots of paintings over the years, I've found that the light spot is what my eye is drawn to first. But I thought that if there is a lot of white, it will change that focus. So I've decided to see what I can do to incorporate it.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

I've made a start!

Well, I'm having to squeeze this in between getting three exhibitions organised, collecting quilts, chasing people and rushing around the country.  But, I've made a start and although I'm not fully convinced I know where I'm headed it should be a fun adventure.

I have assembled bits and pieces and made a couple of test drives.  So here goes.........


Friday, 12 March 2010

Next term

Hi Everyone

My connections theme has danced around in my head long enough - I've gone from a plethora of ideas to a complete "lost the plot". I now have taken pencil to paper, and it's time to actually stop procrastinating and haul out the fabric.

I've also got the name for the next round. Being on the rather lazy side, as I was about to write down everyone's name so I could draw one out of a hat, I had the brain wave of asking my husband to pick a number between 1 and 11. He chose 4. Tag, you're it, Rosie!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Labels on the back of our first project

hi all

with march 31st looming, i was thinking - other than the title of our piece and personal details on the label at the back of each piece, perhaps we should have a sentence that links (connects) us all together as part of one group doing a common project.

what do you all think of this idea? are there any suggestions?


more connections

This quote was in the Montreal Gazette this morning. Our Governor General is in Haiti (she's originally from there) visiting her home town.

"We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibres connect us with our fellow men." Herman Melville.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Stepping out

hi everyone

Ellen is going to step out for a while.  She'll step back in when things are a little less stressful.  Wishing you all the best, Ellen.


Monday, 1 March 2010

March Blues Exhibition

I am organizing a juried blue-themed exhibition at my gallery ( called March Blues which will include some textile pieces. In fact a couple are from SAQA members in Ontario. This is my piece, which is called Calypso. It is a quilted collage, which is attached to a acrylic painting. I have included photos of the painting itself and then with the quilt attached.
Hi Everyone

Thought I had better keep in touch and to keep my hand in regards posting messages etc. All the work that has been posted looks absolutely wonderful and I am feeling very nervous as regards my "connection" piece! I have actually completed it and it is ready for the end of the month. I had to do it early as I have got a lot on at the moment and my sister is coming out from New Zealand later this month. We are aiming on having great fun together and intend doing a lot of "quilting" chatter while she is here with me. She is presenting a powerpoint talk on the New Zealand Symposium held in Wellington last year at our Textile Art Group which will be great.

Regards to you all