Thursday, July 26, 2018

Long Time, no Blog!

It has been a long, long time since I last blogged. So much has changed for me but quilting and curling are the constants. Bigger change has been relocating form Inuvik to Yellowknife. Yellowknife is my hometown but 14 years in Inuvik makes that a home also. The move has not been easy but sports and creativity can help you get through anything! So a bit of a catch from May 2017 to present!

It took my awhile to into sewing after the move. Yellowknife has a great quilting guild and I have a small group of textile friends who also meet up together but still there was a bit of a creativity block. Two challenges got me motivated, 1. a guild scrappy challenge and 2. the 2018 Trend Tex challenge. Another motivation was a curling themed project used as a fundraiser at the Yellowknife Curling Centre.

I also tried my hand at weaving at the Yellowknife Guild of Arts and Crafts and loved, loved, loved it. The instructor was great and we did 2 projects as part of the Thursday night beginner class. I always said if I returned to Yellowknife, that I would learn to weave. Ironically, this was the first time in years that the guild had offered beginner weaving. Problem though now is to find time to weave and this is proving to be impossible. I have another warp measured out but it is has not made it to the loom (sadly).

Highlight of the 2018/19 curling season was going to the Olympics in Gangneung, South Korea. Obviously, I was not curling but I was there to watch as friends/family and support Team Canada. Feeling pretty lucky that I got to be at the summer and winter Olympics and cheering on our athletes. These are forever memories. And the personal curling accomplishment was that Team Galusha made it to the 2018 Scotties as Team NWT. Sports always has its up and downs but you can complain about a season like that.

Hoping to Blog a bit more regularly but again it all comes down to time!


Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Yes, I Am Doing The Spendid Sampler

What usually happens in the quilting world is that something new is released or someone comes up with a new idea and then tons of people get interested and latch onto this! Usually this is always a good thing and The Splendid Sampler by Pat Sloan from Australia is one of these new 'things'. And yes, I jumped on The Splendid Sampler band wagon.

Pat Sloan got together with a few of closest quilting friends, these designers created a total of 100 different 6 1/2" blocks and on February 14, 2016 they started releasing 2 blocks per week. I was good at keeping up with the blocks until there were numerous paper piecing being released one after another. Paper piecing is my least favourite quilting technique which I thought had died out in the late 1990s when people released it was too much work and too hard. But The Splendid Sampler has proven to me that paper piecing has not died out and that people are LOVING this technique again. No, I am not one of these people and I have not jumped on this bandwagon!

The Splendid Sampler also got me to try a couple techniques that I have been waiting to try. I hadn't ever sewed with selvages and I loved this. I even ended up making a table runner out of selvage blocks. I also tried making hexagons and that worked great too. Not nearly as tedious as I had imaged.
Despite still working on The Splendid Sampler blocks, I have now signed up for the new 150 Canadian Women blocks being designed by Next Steps Quilt Designs in Calgary. I will blog about this one soon!

Quilting Northern Lights

In November, we once again welcomed instructor Hazel Wainwright from Yellowknife to teach in Inuvik. Hazel is my Brownie instructor from 1989 in Yellowknife and now so many years later is my good friend. She comes to teach in Inuvik once per year and she can take a lot of credit for the amazing quilters our community has produced. I always tell people that the actual project isn't the important of taking the class, the important part is all the little tricks and techniques you will learn during the class and from a good instructor. Hazel has taught us all a lot over the years.
This year Hazel brought patterns and some kits to complete a Bargello wall hanging with applique. I wan interested in the actual bargello technique and I was not disappointed, a great technique to learn in a class and not from a book or YouTube. I just chose to use scrap scraps of fabric and that seemed to work just fine.

Preparing the strips for the bargello. A good technique to capture the image of Northern lights.

Strips are all sewn together for the bargello pattern.
All together, just need quilting. Hazel taught a great technique to square off the quilt after you add a small border. Good tip!
I loved the class but I also needed some time in the day for abstract creativity. So this happened! I stole the bits and pieces of scrap fabric from everyone in the class and created this wall hanging. 

I managed to quilt it a week later with all over circle pattern but I once again realized why I bought a new sewing machine! I used my old machine for quilting with a walking foot and the drag, even with the walking foot, is so bad. Lots of distortion and wrinkles everywhere. It is still great for free motion but not for walking foot work. And so now I have a fully finished wall hanging with wrinkles and waves and bumps all over it. What do I do with that?!?!?


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Inuvik's Igloo Church

The most 'famous' image in Inuvik is the Igloo Church, the local Catholic Church in the community. I do love the Igloo Church; its shape, its location, its history and mostly its acoustics for hosting amazing local concerts. Just last week I saw the Gryphon Trio, a jazz trip (cello, piano, violin) from Toronto and their sound in the Igloo Church was so great. Plus they played a lot of tango music which brought me back to my time spent in Argentina this summer (think memories of tasty red wine!).

However, in artwork I have mostly stay away from this image. In the local art galleries and at the annual Great Northern Arts Festival the Igloo Church is so prominent in many artists work and photography. After being in Inuvik for over 10 years maybe I have seen the image of Igloo Church enough that I don't feel the need to create it in my own artwork.

Then came the 2016 Creative Challenge with the Inuvik Quilting Guild and guess what panel I go?!?! Yes that correct, the Igloo Church! And so I got started on creating a 2' x 4' panel of Inuvik iconic image, the Igloo Church.
Blocking out design of the arched roof.
Adding in smaller details with fusible applique pieces.
Layering process before starting to quilt and add thread detail.
My completed panel!
Completed quilted triptych of the Igloo Church. Check out how the stairs even match up to each other! 
Very pleased with the results of this creative design project and honouring the local landmark.

Why Am I Always Rushing to Finish Projects?

I have started to have this theory that I never seem to do a quilt project for the pure love of DOING the project. It seems like my approach is always to try to be finishing projects. My list of things to quilt is not a wish list of projects I want/choose to tackle but it always seems to be a list of projects that are necessary to finish. At times it feels like the projects become a chore rather than an enjoyable pastime. Although in all of this the irony is that I actually really, really love to QUILT!

So in following this theory the Inuvik Quilting Guild launched a UFO Challenge. How it works? On September 30 you submitted a list of unfinished projects, up to 12 projects and for every project you complete by March 31 you receive a ballot for door prizes. And so with the UFO Challenge in my mind, as of December I have completed 4 of 12 projects (a good pace I think).

Charm Box quilt pattern with Cotton + Steel fabric

Low Volume Slab Quilt, started in a class with Cheryl Arkison

This is actually 2 quilts made with my old curling uniforms. Used up a total of 11 jackets and 16 t-shirts and quilted by North of 60 quilting in Yellowknife.

One Wrong Colour quilt. This was a challenge project from the 2016 Mighty Lucky Quilt Club monthly projects.

Happy sewing!


2016 Summer Quilt Show- Inuvik Quilting Guild

2016 marked the 10th anniversary of the Inuvik Quilting Guild which also meant the 10th year we had a creative challenge project and a summer quilt show. There is only one approach under these circumstances and that is; Go Big or Go Home! And so we went really big and took on a huge challenge.

In Inuvik lives Kristian Binder who is a local photographer and has an amazing way of capturing the character and beauty of Inuvik and its landscapes. He was generous enough to allow the Inuvik Quilting Guild to use his images and turn them into giant quilted triptychs. So amazing. 21 quilters participated in this challenge and the quilts have been shown at the 2016 Great Northern Arts Festival, at local government offices and soon to travel to the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Yellowknife for a community display. Huge thank you's to Eighty One Images for partnering with the Guild on this project.

Shona Barbour, Hazel Wainwright, Arlene Hansen

Anick Jenks, Ray Solotki, Minnie Joldersma

Tamara Hansen, Shona Barbour, Arlene Hansen

Donna MacDonald, Lynda Smith, Elise Decarie- Jean

Patricia Fielding (my mom!), Teresa Ritter, Bev Garven
Rebekka Lutes, Sara Dickhout, Megan Miller

Carolyn Hunter, Denise Lipscombe, Beth Pechter
So much appreciation for these quilters and the work that was created.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Time for Creativity

Inuvik is a community full of artists and creativity. It is one of many reasons I have to remind myself why I love Inuvik (and why I don’t move somewhere else!). I still always dream that Inuvik could have an artist’s co-operative and I always say if people want to try to form/build a co-op that I would volunteer to Chair this initiative in a heartbeat. I think a co-op would do some much to support Inuvik’s artisan community and especially all the sew-ists, beaders, textile arts, knitters and quilters. I can image it now; a space where we could all work together and support each other, a gallery space to display rotating shows of people’s work, regular workshops and lectures, a store to bring in revenues and so much more. Please can I win the lottery!?!?!?!

The Great Northern Arts festival ( organized the Great Northern Art Exchange this fall and it was the first time I have the time to participate. Each participant started a canvas and each week the canvas rotated through a five person team. Yes, this meant that my yoga lotus flower and 7 chakras turned into a lion with a star fish on its head! All the canvases were amazing and again, the talent our community has is huge!

The GNAF also hosted the Annual Christmas Craft Fair in November. Not only is it a great way to make some money, it is the best time of year for visiting and being inspired by other’s works. We had a whole group of textile artists that had tables and the Inuvik Quilting Guild membership was well represented. My mom has been staying Inuvik this fall and her ceramic tiling mosaic work and rug hooking sold out on Friday night. A newer quilter had an amazing table display (including the LOVE quilt) which I walked by frequently in awe of! Not only do we have great artists but we have a great community who supports these works and activities!