Tuesday, 2 December 2014


Still using the theme of our daughter's marriage and thanks to my daughter's idea of what to do for this month's theme, I have managed to complete the above.
The wedding commenced at 5.30pm.  We were at the venue from 10am busy with hair-do's, make up etc.  During this time our daughter wore a turquoise blouse (you are going to have to trust me on that as it does not show well in the photo).
Using some of my precious Kaffe Fasset and Bali batik fabrics, I put this little piece together and quilted it with a heart design.  In the photo is our daughter Orah, in the dressing room, wearing the turquoise blouse, having just had her hair done.

Monday, 1 December 2014


I found this wonderful piece of fabric to use as a background as it was such a good match to the thread colour we were given (which I had and which made it so easy) but was at a loss as to what to place onto it until my sister in New Zealand gave me this wonderful idea, so thank you for that Rosemary you can take all the praise for that.  I thoroughly enjoyed drawing out the design and then implementing it on fabric.  It was appliqued and thread painted and I was quite pleased with the result.  Apologies for this late entry but we had a huge storm yesterday and our internet went down.  Anyway, better late than never.  I hope you all enjoy this piece.

Sunday, 30 November 2014


  For twenty years I have been fascinated by the 5-6,000 year old carvings at the neolithic site of Gavrinis in the Morbihan, Brittany. I finally got to see them for real last year and in the last two years I have filled a sketchbook and a half with prints developed from a couple of the motifs, which I then printed on fabrics. I had done a few samples, but then come to a standstill, with too many ideas as how to use them swirling in my head. Some of my fabric samples were printed on a turquoise background, so I decided to use those, starting three quiltlets. This one was finished first and is my favourite as it seems to say what I wanted to say best of all and has given me a clearer idea of how to continue. I'll show the others when I've finished them. It was printed with fabric paints and machine quilted. If you are interested in finding out about Gavrinis, you can see the carvings at  



Where I really began *Photo updated

First of all my apologies for the quality of the image. I had this piece finished within days of the challenge being issued then completely forgot all about it. Hence an emergency dash to the i-camera this morning. Hilary, I'll replace it this evening assuming I can get enough light to take a better photo.
The reason I finished the piece so quickly is that I've had the central section, with stripes, on my wall for years. It was put together with offcuts from a fairly traditional piece, I loved the absence of straight edges and so my love affair with freehand cutting and piecing began.

Turquoise Challenge

Amongst Friends and Growth Rings
                                                 Amongst Friends      acrylic on mulberry paper

These two works are both studies using turquoise. I hope to work larger in my pod series on mulberry paper from textured collographs using cloth and sand gel. 
My other plans are to continue a series using abstracted natural forms as inspiration to make some larger themed works,  incorporating spheres and varied qualities of line. Lots of inspiration has come from attending the World Festival of Threads this week, in particular from the subtleties observed in the work of Karen Rips and powerful tribal totems of Alice Vander Vennen.
My observations here are that a small increase in colour intensity or a small amount of colour  against grey can go a long way in creating emphasis.  To create more unity, I will increase the visibility of the growth rings or intersect them, to promote a more dominant theme. Wax resist, fine white scribble marker or stitch could be used to further experiment with mark making.   

Malachite Kingfisher

Kingfishers are quite prolific around our part of the woods however our local resident is the Brownhooded Kingfisher. I chose the Malachite because it is one that has the most amount of 'blue'.  It has photographed slightly darker than in real life.

I have to admit I left this one rather late and I am not one hundred percent happy with it.  the idea was to have the look of a sketch lightly coloured in hence I have only stitched the blue and the white chin. the stippled background was a hasty decision based on lack of time. I might revisit in a few days and add some more (?) where needed.


This started with a pieced of beautiful textured silk that I ice dyed and then stitched with multiple colours of thread, including our "turquoise".

Turquoise Challenge - Camden Town #3

This landscape in cloth was made just before Helena announced the colour for our challenge. As luck would have it, the turquoise was a good match. This 8.5" x 11" work has already been in three shows!

It has been suggested (Linda F? Lauma?) that the window panes should be darker, and I agree that would have been more effective. I could try to go in with paint or ink, I guess.

Camden Town #3
Here is the image that inspired it. The photo was taken through a window at the back of the Amy Winehouse Museum in Camden, just north of London. Love the rhythm of the windows.

Rif on Blue

This is not my first attempt, nor my first idea.  It always surprises me when I have an idea firmly planted in my brain that doesn't seem to want to work out in fabric!

This was influenced by listening to some jazz.  It's fairly simply "glued" down and quilted with my own dyed fabrics.  I was trying to work with the colour wheel, but I think I've gone beyond a bit.

Delft Canal

This is from a photograph I took this year whilst on a tour of northern Holland.  In Delft we climbed the spire of a church and could see the town laid out below us.  Throughout the town (and, indeed, throughout Holland) we could see canals of varying sizes, surrounded by trees and cobbled streets.  The water seemed the perfect colour for out latest challenge!

I've not quilted the water very much  (as you can tell)- and I can't decide if this was the right decision or not. What do you think?  There was a lot of weeds and shadows on the surface of the water, but I am trying not to be too literal in my translation of photos onto fabric.

Robin's Nest

I actually have two pieces on the go again and the one I really wanted to have ready is taking a bit longer so here's my other one.  I searched 'turquoise' on the internet and so many wonderful images came up but this nest caught my eye.

It was such fun creating.  The tree is made up of one fabric with bits of another appliquéd on and layers of net to create the shadows.  The nest is some packaging that I squirrelled away thinking it was 'bound to be useful' (my conscience is now clear).  It is made up of shredded paper and stuff that looks like fine vine twigs.

I promise to get on with the other piece as it is something I want to do in a larger format so this is a trial to see how it will look.


Saturday, 29 November 2014

Turquoise Grove

I used commercial fabric and added a bit of paint to emphasize the trees. The jewellery wire is covered with thin strips of fabric using Steam-a-Seam II.  The spools are made from the Kraft-Tex product and wrapped with fabric.

Our next colour is....

This is really difficult so well done those of you who have gone before and given us such great colour choices.  I found some lovely photos of flowers and peeling paint and even a strange looking Dragon Fruit, but my challenge to you is to make something interesting out of this rather uninteresting colour - sand.

It is a sculpture left behind on a beach nearby.

These are the 'Beehive' cliffs at the beach (purely for information).

Good luck, Hilary

drum roll please the person choosing the next challenge colour is:


Next challenge

Oops, we haven't decided on who and what the next challenge is!   Helena, please can you pick a name from:  Jinnie, Phillida, Dianne and me?  Then that person will have the pleasure of deciding the next colour.


Friday, 14 November 2014

And i am late..........very late...........but better late than never...........

my interpretation of GREY:

still working in the theme of our daughter and son in law's wedding, i interpreted one of the photos we have of a corner of the reception hall.  when we went to see the hall in advance of the wedding, i saw a grand piano in the reception hall.  i thought that this would be a perfect place for family photos of ourselves and relatives who may or may no longer be alive.  this idea was very successful and on the day of the wedding, we decorated the piano with photos from both families, candlesticks and flowers.

i transferred the photo onto organza and then quilted it onto white fabric.

(we are currently living in a 2 bedroom apt in toronto - most of my sewing things are still in montreal.  if i may say i deserve an A for effort and initiative for even being able to put this little piece together using every non conventional technique in the book!)

see you all soon for turquoise!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

I'm early!

For once I have finished my piece before the scheduled date!!  I'm feeling very proud of myself, and relived as I'm spending most of the rest of this month with my mother as she recovers from a hip replacement operation.

On a sadder note, Teri has separated from her husband.  It's been a bit traumatic, and she's currently living with us until she has a more permanent solution.  It's quite amicable, but sad, on both sides.  Life never seems to work out quite how you plan it!

Upcoming show: Urbanité X 2

I am pleased to be showing my work with painter John Vazalinskas in an upcoming, collaborative exhibition, Urbanité X 2. The artists' statement reads:

"Two artists, two mediums, two unique takes on the urban landscape. Fibre artist Heather Dubreuil and painter John Vazalinskas offer their distinct interpretations of our man-made environment and the beauty within its spaces."

John first approached me almost a year ago with his idea for a joint show. He suggested that we choose an image of a Montreal scene and each do our own interpretation of it. These two works will form the focal point of the show.

As well, we will each be hanging twenty or so other urban landscapes. Most of John's pieces will showcase Montreal neighbourhoods, while mine will range more widely.

I think the idea of presenting fibre art with work in other mediums is exciting, and I hope that visitors to the show agree!

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Linda is published in Machine Quilting Unlimited

Here is a screenshot of Linda's beautiful work!

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

And another thing...

I was very happy to have two pieces in the Houston show, one in collaboration with Marion Perrault, "Royal Thistle" aka giant artichokes, and a piece of my own called "Chloe a la Klimt" in the "Raining Cats and Dogs" exhibition. Here they are for your viewing pleasure. I could not publish a photo of Chloe before the show.

Royal Thistle 78" x 55"

Chloe a la Klimt 45" x 55"

Linda F.- you are too modest

When I was in Houston this past week, I checked out the Machine Quilting Unlimited magazine, considering a subscription. I flipped through the latest issue - December/January - and there was article featuring our very own Linda Forey! Linda, please share the details! I am going to get a digital subscription which is on sale for this week for $35US for two years, half price. The special deal does not apply to paper subscriptions which are considerably more expensive for non-US subscribers. There seems to be a lot of good information in this magazine, and when on sale, is a really good deal!

Stewart Hall Art Gallery Photos

I just dropped by for another quick look at the beautiful collection and took a couple of photos to give you an idea of how our art looks in the gallery. Here is my second piece, "Fallen" which I didn't even have a chance to photograph before running it over to the gallery for submission. I tried an experiment with framing this one, mounting it on two layers of foamcore and then onto a custom made (by my capable husband) shadow box which I painted black.

Here are Heather and Michele's pieces on another wall.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Michele, Heather and Helena at Stewart Hall, Pointe Claire

Crimson Fire, Helena Scheffer

Exciting news! Helena, Michele and Heather have, once more, had their work accepted into the Stewart Hall Rental Collection in Pointe-Claire. Helena has had TWO pieces accepted.

12 by the dozen has some nice representation at this annual show.

Finding Home, Michele Meredith

With over 500 works submitted, and about one quarter accepted, it is pretty special to have been chosen. Drawings, paintings, photography, prints and mixed media are all featured.

Open Window, Cēsis, Heather Dubreuil
based on an image by Lauma Cenne

The collection will be on display at the Stewart Hall Gallery, 176 Lakeshore Road in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, from October 25 - November 23. The vernissage is Sunday, October 26, at 2 pm.

Gallery hours are Monday to Sunday, 1 to 5 pm and Wednesday, 1 to 9 pm.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Cityscapes show at the Atrium Gallery

Before it comes down next week, I thought I would share news of my current show in Ottawa. It is very rewarding to see one's work hanging in a real gallery setting with good lighting. If you'd like all the juicy details about the hanging of the show, please visit the post on my blog.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

SAQA auction piece sold!

Brooklyn #5, Heather Dubreuil

Thank you for your good wishes, Hilary, included in your recent post. Thought I would post an image just to clarify the context.

This 12" x 12" piece was donated to the annual SAQA fund-raising auction. It was one of about 100 that went up on the SAQA site on Monday. Bidding opened at $750 and I was thrilled that a buyer chose my piece within the first few minutes.

Nysha Nelson of Tennessee has bought my work before, and I have met him at the two most recent SAQA conferences.

Fire and Ice, Helena Scheffer

Helena's gorgeous Fire and Ice will be up for auction when the second lot opens for bidding, beginning on Monday, September 22.

Finishing off things

Finally got time to finish the bits I said I would on a couple of pieces.  Feels good to be getting on top of things at last!

Grey: Caitlyn

Apricot:  Apricots in a Bowl

Also, congratulations to Heather on selling her SAQA piece so early on.  Well done, Heather.


Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Blog and Website updated

Sorry.  A bit late but I finally had a moment to update the blog ('Grey' page added) and the website (Jinnie added and also a page for past members).  Let me know if there are any problems.  Hope you like the page for our past members.

How is the turquoise inspiration going?  I have a couple of ideas but nothing concrete - yet.  Please don't say someone has finished already!!!


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

That's my work on the cover!

Surprised and delighted to receive this photo from Maggi Birchenough, incoming co-rep for SAQA's UK, Europe and Middle East region. She recently received a shipment of Portfolio 21's for next year's Festival of Quilts, and recognized one of my pieces on the cover. I had no idea! A pretty good-looking cover, I have to say.

That's Camden Town #2 on the lower right.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Art by the Lake

One can hardly imagine a more beautiful setting for the Lakeshore Artists' annual fall show than the beautiful, terraced grounds of Stewart Hall in Pointe Claire. The event was held on September 6 and 7, and though the first day was compromised by showers and lower attendance, Sunday more than made up for it with glorious sunshine, a gentle breeze off the lake, and constant traffic.

Helena was the show coordinator, managing more than 50 artists and their work, and I was honoured to be a Guest Artist. Our secondary mission was to raise the profile of fibre as art, and we did the cause proud.

Here is Helena in a rare, quiet moment. Her tent was thronged with visitors all day, and she made a number of nice sales.

And here I am with my display of Cityscapes. Though I didn't make any significant sales, I was busy all day, answering questions and accepting compliments from people who were excited to see something they considered to be truly unique.

The Lakeshore Artists Association is considered to be an elite group in the Montreal area, and having fibre represented in the context of their show is a welcome opportunity.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Inspired by Chatham Dockyard

For my teaser I posted an image of one of the covered building slips at the Chatham Dockyards built in the nineteenth century. The covered slips really have a cathedral like feel because of the vast roof space. See http://www.thedockyard.co.uk/Dry_Docks__Building_Slips/Building_Slips/building_slips.html for more images
But as I said in my last post it was the contents that inspired this piece. I'm not 'into' naval history but all that metal, the welded joints and the patterns of rivets on the exhibits kept me entranced whilst my other half explored.
As well as being inspired by the colour of the exhibits I also had in mind the working conditions, the heat and the noise in particular, of the boat builders that worked on the iron clad ships:

Monday, 1 September 2014


    I have spent a lot of time in the last three weeks looking  for grey in my surroundings and it has opened my eyes to a colour that I have never really considered before. I found myself looking at pavements and the cracks in between and finally decided to try and replicate the cobblestones outside the mairie. Another pavement  nearby had cushions of almost emerald green moss growing in the cracks and I put the cobblestones and moss together. I sponge  painted a light grey commercial fabric with various shades of grey for the cobbles, using trapunto to make them stand out a little bit more. The moss was made with velvet.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Message from Pamela

Hi all
We moved house on thurs
I am unable to post to blog from my iPhone All the pieces are magnificent This is an extraordinary bunch of talented women Can't wait to do my piece And i love the next color Helena Love to you all Pam

Pamela Chasen


I loved the colour when Colleen announced it and had a couple of ideas in mind but it was a disappointing piece in a lamination workshop that gave me this idea.  The gel medium applied in a 'dry brush' style seemed at first a disaster - her eyes hadn't been captured (see below).  The face was empty and I was about to bin it when someone suggested I embroider the missing bits back in.  I love a challenge.  The embroidered details have been designed and digitized in my Bernina software.

I discovered that the additional details needed to be quite subdued colour to avoid standing out starkly - and lining up the embroidery and the image was tricky.  I think I need to add a bit more of her hair.  It was a conscious decision not to add the pink face paint.


The original photo

'Cutout' filter image

The workshop piece

When I first saw the colour, and after printing it out, there were quite a few variations of grey in the sample.  Nevertheless, I was feeling very daunted by the challenge as I don't usually work in grey and am definitately a person who loves bright colours - so I guess the answer is 'combine the two'.  This is a very simple piece with no special techniques but the more I worked on it the more another idea came into my head.  We have a challenge which is to be revealed in November within our local quilt art group.  We have to choose a song title and work around that - watch this space and when the reveal is over I will post it up for you.  It is much bigger, with a lot more interest.  Therefore, on two fronts this has been a great challenge, and fun too!

Storm 1

As I was driving home from the grocery store one day - 3 months ago - I was taken by the black clouds that were building in the sky, and the bright green of the spring time trees below them.  And then I got home to see Colleen's post with the colour grey!  So I knew then what I would do.  I also had in my head the memory of a roadside scene in South Africa of an ominous sky over a golden field. 

So this is the first of a series I think.  The others are still in my head. 

And here in Montreal this morning it is a grey day with rain forecast -  a great day to be sitting here looking at all the great interpretations of the colour.

Jinnie's grey quilt

I have almost finished my quiltlet: I just have to add some 'moss'. We have visitors this afternoon and it might be a struggle for me to post it today, so if I don't manage it , it will definitely be done tomorrow. I found the colour grey to be difficult, never having really considered it before: I much prefer bright saturated colour. However I have always loved the contrast of dark stormy slate grey skies against the various shades of green of the countryside. I tried to use this, but my first attempt ended in the scrap bag: perhaps it will come in useful for something else, but definitely not for this. Then I began to panic, and began to think that I would never come up with anything, until I found inspiration under my feet on wednesday. I painted my fabric on thursday,  did the appliqué on friday and finished quilting and binding it yesterday. With the 'moss' I will be able to use the slate grey and green combination. I am impressed by the quilts that have been posted so far and will add my comments later. A bientôt!


I found this colour very interesting.  I went thru my photographs and found quite few possibilities. The one I settled on was a picture that I had taken on holiday at the Berg a couple of years ago. It is of the wooden fence that surrounded the veranda of our cottage. The fence is very old and sun bleached and fitted the challenge.

Here it is !   I photographed the fence onto light lutradur, used Inktense pencils to add some colour to the grey background cloth, placed the Lutradur on top of the three layers and stitched into the Lutradur using the image as a guide.  Once finished I cut the excess Lutradur away and quilted the rest of the piece.


I'm sorry ...

Having posted my teaser, and painted and marked my fabric I managed to construct over half my piece before our Festival of Quilts.  Unfortunately I came away from FoQ with a bad back which I thought would recover with rest but it hasn't so now I'm waiting for a Chiropractor appointment in ... September. I daren't touch my machine in the meantime so until my back is better I'm afraid that machine work is on hold.
My back problem doesn't stop me from getting on with life but there is something about the way that I sit, particularly at my machine, that aggravates it and I've finally learned to err on the cautious side!
I'll be back as soon as my Chiropractor has worked her magic!


This started as a piece of dyed linen in a class with Leslie Morgan.  The first dyes were spread with a credit card in stripes, and they just kept me thinking about men's pinstripe trousers.  The figures of the men were screen printed on top, using cut pieces of masking tape for the men, which meant my ability to add small details was almost non-existent.

I wanted to try some hand stitching in different yarns, and as I was stitching I found myself thinking about all the bad news currently in the world, and wishing people could ignore their differences and just link hands and live in harmony.  After a few rounds of hand stitching the work was quite lumpy, and so I added some machine stitching to flatten the areas between the men.  Is this one of the possible solutions to the world's problems?; as more 'machines' allow us to communicate more freely via the internet and mobile communications, perhaps we can smooth out the differences between people and achieve a unified whole.

Port Clyde

Port Clyde

Just after our Grey challenge was announced, I was lucky enough to take a one-week holiday, driving down the coast of Maine. Port Clyde is a tiny town at the southernmost tip of a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic, and its claim to fame is as the departure point for the ferry to Monhegan Island, established as an artists’ colony over 100 years ago. Actually, Port Clyde reminded me of Port Wenn, the fictional setting of the Doc Martin series, because of its terrain, its quirky characters, and its fishing culture.

Port Clyde, original photo

When I saw this photo, taken on a very grey day, I knew I had my subject. I especially love the web of wires overhead. 

When playing with the various greys in my stash, I was struck by how the hues become more apparent when the greys are placed next to each other: blue-grey, green-grey, violet-grey, warm grey.

Port Clyde is made of hand-dyes, fused, and machine-stitched with heavy black cotton thread.


Mazelle is a beautiful standard poodle we inherited this spring, she loves watching over her yard. I used an Ultrasuede sample that was made by Spoonflower.com from the picture of her hair. Although the proportion is not correct, I just had to use it.