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

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.