Category: Art Quilts

Connect with your Creativity!

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I am so close to finishing my 100 Days of Painting project and I have learned so much through this process. As I was painting it became more clear to me that I could share some of what I learned with other people that are struggling to be creative.  With that in mind I am developing a 7 day creativity kickstarted that will help you start and maintain momentum in being creative. Honestly it’s not just for painting or drawing. Being creative could be cooking, woodworking, gardening, decorating, writing! Really it comes down to what do you want to do with your hands and heart…what is calling you and what would you like to try to do if you could do anything?

I am working on the videos and PDF’s this week and will hopefully have something organized and ready to launch next week. 

I have also been getting so close to the end of my 100 days challenge…and planning my next one! Silly me but I really am just brimming with ideas and plans.

Day 85 – I really love this one and think that I will be painting from life more often.

Day 86

Day 87

Day 88

Day 89

Day 90  

Day 91

Day 92

Day 93

Day 94

Day 95

Day 96

Day 97

Day 98

And since I didn’t already have enough to do I started a new art quilt series that incorporated my mixed media girls and quilting. This is the first one in a series that I am planning to work on in the evening.


So next week I will be completing my first series of 100 paintings and starting my next series…more details next week. I should also be officially launching the start of my “Connect with You Creativity” email series. And I will have managed several naps during that time!

Thanks for looking and have a great day!

Art Wall Hanging

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My summer vacation is quickly creeping up and so that also means the work is gearing up and I have had little time to work on painting. This past weekend I squeezed in some time to create a wall hanging for a colleagues new baby.

I started with piecing together some scrap pieces in a neutral colour scheme. I then added some multicoloured machine embroidery. I them quilted it to make it nice and dimensional.

Next I painted Mya on with some gold Silks acrylic glaze. Then back to the sewing machine where I free formed a metallic purple thread around her name to make it stand out.

After I finished that I realized that it didn’t stand out as much as I would have liked so I started outlining with black thread. I then started doodling black thread flowers and vines as a frame around Mya’s name.

After I was happy with the final product I painted a canvas black and mounted it on the canvas using Gel medium. This way the wall hanging would look like it was floating on the wall.







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Mixed Media Play

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I was in one of my “what if ” mode and started thinking that I would like to embroider on a painting. So I started doing just that.


I haven’t gotten very far on it because I did choose to work on a huge canvas and I enjoy the embroidery when it is super textural and layered.


So I am just slowly adding detail and building it up.

I also played with a little thread drawing on my sewing machine. It was fun and I think I will incorporate it into the embroidered canvas somehow.




I’ve been working on an intense project with my students and it is almost complete and organized but it has been the stress of my year! One of our teachers takes students to Ghana to work at an orphanage building classrooms, housing etc and so this Christmas I had him take pictures of each of the children that lives there. I then spent a week teaching my students how to shade faces and their assignment was to draw a portrait to send back to Ghana as a gift. I am almost done organizing it but it has been a challenge. 100+ students drew a portrait but there were 165 portraits that needed to be completed. Huge task! To ensure every child got a portrait I ended up having to do a bit of Photoshop and mixed media for the ones that didn’t get a drawing. Here is a quick look at those and I will take more pictures on Monday of the final project.


Here is a drawing that I did to make sure that I could properly shade darker skin tones.


So Monday I will be staying at school until I have a total of 165 portraits ready to go. At this point I am missing about 20 but I’m hoping that they will be found at school inside students work folders. Fingers crossed! On Thursday they we’re suppose to sign them and give them back to me but a couple are missing.

So it has been an incredibly busy two weeks for me so hopefully thing a nice and calm this week since I am coming into a well deserved 2 week spring break!

Here is a Lucy shot just for fun.


Categories: Art Quilts, Blog

Art Quilt Progress

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I thought I would share a bit of my progress today on an art quilt that has been rattling around in my head for a couple of weeks.



I messed up a bit in the steps but, oh well! Spent quite a bit of time couching the tree and will finish that tomorrow. Next up will be some embroidery and beading.

Thanks for looking!

Categories: Art Quilts, Blog

New Year, Fresh Starts!

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I took a bit of a blogging and art hiatus and feel refreshed and ready to start the new year with a little art enthusiasm! Sometimes it’s good to take a break and start again being re-inspired by your surroundings and experiences.

So I spent the very first day of the year working on a couple of projects- both old and new. I had started a quilt at the beginning of last year and I finally picked it up and was thinking of new ways to approach it. I’m not really interested in quilting in the traditional sense but enjoy a different medium to express myself. So while this quilt is looking traditional I an hoping to (successfully!) take it in a more modern, artistic and explorative direction…I guess time will tell but I am brimming with ideas.


My 14 year old Shih Tzu has had a rough go of it this year with developing diabetes, developing cataracts in a month due to the diabetes. He is adjusting and still is able to insert himself into the middle of my work space…little cutie!



I put the quilt together last night and the plan is to incorporate some appliqued images and a bunch of embroidery. Kinda jumping in without a plan so I guess we will see how it goes!

I also signed up for LifeBook 2014 this year and worked on the first exercise last night. I have been wanting to do more art journaling and so I put together a simple, 16 page journal yesterday and made the cover.


We also took down Christmas yesterday and put up artwork. I have been making so much of it that it is nice to see it up and honour it. Sometimes I get wrapped up in the making of it but forget to honour that process by displaying it.







I have more that I want to put up but for now I am happy to see the walls looking so lively!

Categories: Art Quilts, Blog

Portraits- Step by Step

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As I was working on my last set of pencil crayon portraits I thought that I would document the layering process. It is interesting seeing the picture come together and seeing each individual layer.

So I started with my sandwich of fabric, batting and backer fabric. Traced the outline of the face over that and used my sewing machine with the free motion foot to outline the face in black thread.

The materials I used for this project are Prismacolor Premier Pencil Crayons and a krylon clear coat fixative.

The first layer was simply white…and I forgot to photograph it! If I am being honest I didn’t think of documenting it until I had started the first layer.

The second layer is sienna brown and is establishing the shading and planes of the face.


The next layer is Raw Umber and is deepening the shading on the face. Layered over top of the other two colours.


Next a layer of light peach over everything. I tend to try to make sure that I am following the contours of the face.


Next a layer of peach over the areas that have the sienna and umber. Usually I am working in circles and am looking to establish the midtone areas of the face. Here is a close up of the face.


Next I used burnt ochre to establish some of the shading on her face. At this point there is a lot of bouncing back on forth with the peach, ochre, sienna and umber. There was no point in photographing each separate change.


Next I add white to the mix and work on the highlights on her face. White is great to for fixing little mistakes and softening lines


At this point I need to work on creating the eyes, lips and teeth. For her eyes I used a mixture of indigo blue, black and white. The lips started with some peach, a bit of sienna and then some red to make the stand out from the skin. The teeth have simply been left white and I worked the shading in with a bit of umber and black for the darkest areas.


Now that the eyes and lips are complete I can go back and tweak the shading around the eyes and on the rest of the face. Really everything changes when you get the eyes in there.


So by this point I was about an hour and a half in so my motivation for documenting the rest was waning. At least every colour change!

A layer of white over the entire head of hair.


I used several different shades of yellow and brown to create her hair. Remember how I said I was tired of documenting by this point? Well I guess that included writing down the colours I used too! Sorry!


And finally the shirt needed to be finished. I did a layer of indigo blue over everything and then a light touch of white. Finally a bit if play with indigo black and white and I finished.

Overall it was about 2.5 hours and a really good indent in my finger!


My next post is going to be how to mount it onto a stretched canvas so that it looks like it is floating on the wall. Oh I did spray the final work with a protective sealant. It created a bit of a feel to the fabric but it set the pencil crayon without altering the colouring and made it smudge resistant.

Categories: Art Quilts, Blog

Pencil Crayon Fabric Portraits

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I have been working for ages on some children’s portraits and I finally finished them!! Yippee! I decided to challenge myself and boy did I ever. It wasn’t necessary challenging technique wise but time wise. Never start a big project in a limited amount of time and expect to get things complete. You can WISH/HOPE/THINK  you will get them done but reality and time really do come up and bite you in the butt!

So I present to you my pencil crayon portraits created on fabric! Later on i will do a post that shows what they look like step by step. Each one has about 12+ layers of pencil crayon the the indent in my finger was pretty significant by the time I was done.




Thanks to everyone that let me use their children’s faces to learn how to do this process!

Categories: Art Quilts, Blog

18 “What if’s” in Making Modern Quilts


At Christmas break I signed up for a number of different classes from and have been creating like a mad woman ever since.  I am planning on putting them up on Etsy to sell and hopefully will get to that soon. I make them because I like to make them but there is only so many things that you can keep. i don’t need to become an art hoarder…

So I signed up for 2 different classes. Stupendous Stitches and Thread Art. What I liked about each of these classes is that it was all about the basics and then my brain can take over with the “what-if’s” I think that it’s why I have made so many thing sis because there are so many “what-if’s”!!!

So i present to you my 18 “what if’s” when making modern quilts.

IMG_2689This one was my “What if I made flowers and added them”


This is my “What if I fused some angelica and added that”

IMG_2698“What if I sewed ribbon onto the background”
Poppy Field

“What if I used beads and a crazy amount of embellishment?”

“What if I forced my sewing machine to do specific shapes”IMG_2859“What if I  didn’t add the machine embroidery”IMG_2860 (1) What if I used a florescent colour?IMG_2861 What if I overlapped the couching (That is the lines that have the second colour overtop)IMG_2862 What if I made one huge central image?IMG_2863 What if I used a pattern specific background?IMG_2864 What if I added flowers on top of that same background?IMG_2865 What if I did a circle!!! That was a woo-hoo moment!IMG_2867 What if I did really heavy stitching by hand?

IMG_2868 The next five images were from the next class that I took called Thread Art. Essentially it is outlining with black thread on the sewing machine and then colouring it in with pencil crayons. I decided that I wanted to do a fur babies wall in my house so I did one of each pet…I know…there are a lot…don’t judge!!! Above is my SPCA rescue Pepsi. She is over 15 ( A lady doesn’t reveal her age!!) and rules the roost!

IMG_2869 This is Emmie, another rescue. This time from someones garage. She had started biting the kids and they wanted to get rid of her. I guess that happens when you don’t supervise 5 children with a puppy, they start to bite. She is very afraid of children.IMG_2870 This is Lucy, my problem child. Currently barking at the birds in the backyard and generally making a fuss!IMG_2871 This is Percy, my first fur baby. He is 14 and thinks he is a lot bigger than he actually is…I think a lot of Shih Tzu’s are like that though!


And this is Zeke my holy terror of a cat. Zeke is an attack word in my house because he got yelled at so much as a kitten so Percy decided that he would “help”. I just have to say “Zeke” in a certain tone of voice and Percy is all over him.He is a hunter and serial killer of birdies and  usually hordes them under the bushes in the back yard. When not outside he is inside yowling to be outside or complaining that it is too cold outside and blaming me. He is a talker.

So that is 18 mini art quilts made in three months. I have 9 more on the go because I decided that doing Thread Art of kids would be a good challenge! I will post them when they are done.

Thanks for looking!

Categories: Art Quilts, Blog