December 22, 2010 5 comments

Merry Christmas!


Okay, I know I'm early, but I'm so sick I don't think I'm going to be able to any proper posts before Saturday.

So Merry Christmas, happy holidays, good solstice, all of that.

See you next week!
December 20, 2010 11 comments

I habn't been sewing this weekend cuz my head is stubbed ub!

Not to mention the achy flu symptoms.  *le wah*

And so, though I planned to have a finished art quilt to show you today, I'm going to be posting a couple more of the stockings I've entered in the mini-peep boot contest that Lizzie House is having.

This one's my favourite - faux pony and sequins and beading, oh my!  It's not quilted like the first one was, but I still think it's totally cute.




And speaking of "totally" - I am TOTALLY addicted to making these little numbers.  I want to make 20 or so of them and do a whole mini tree of them next year.  BSP thinks they're great fun and agrees that we ought to have a mini-stocking tree.  (You'd only know how amazing that agreement is, if you knew we already have four Christmas trees which get put up every year.)



And then I made another quilted one, which I had to bead just cuz they're saucy that way.  :)

I have one more that I want to make for the contest (a shimmery baby blue number) and I have until the end of the day tommorrow to do so - however, I've been so sick I literally haven't been able to stand for more than five minutes and get dizzy and nauseous if I do so.  Not to mention, that if I say more than three words I start coughing up my lungs.  *le wah*



Off to the doctor tommorrow for me; and maybe if I can, another mini stocking for the contest.

Hope you're all doing much, MUCH better than I am (it took me two hours to make this little post!) and I look forward to talking to you all later in the week.

Cheers,

Kit
December 17, 2010 0 comments

Friday Flickr Faves


1. Summer Grove with Fireflies

This "digital doodle" called Summer Grove with Fireflies is by A Drawing A Day  Unfortunately, I have no link or identification information about this person other than their Flickr account, but I highly encourage having a scroll through their work.

There's a lot to choose from for inspiration... this one's "feeling" may show up in a quilt of mine in the very near future!

So, dear readers....

What inspires you?
December 15, 2010 4 comments

The holidays just throw things off, don't they?

So, instead of doing a Wednesday WIP, I'm showing you a stocking I made for BSP the night before last.




Excuse the bits of snow on it - but it does make it seem somehnow more authentic, yes?  :) 

As I was auditioning fabrics for BSP for a stocking (ALL of which were vetoed) BSP asked "Don't you have anything Christmasy?" I didn't think so, but as it turned out, I did!  As soon as I pulled it, I knew that I had to use some of my brown fur and little bits of Italian gold scraps. 





I quilted it overall in my standby for small project - honeycomb quilting, and then I hand beaded it with green glass beads.




And I even free motion quilted some little trees on the ankle band!

The pattern is from Lizzy House quilts .  Join in the fun!
December 13, 2010 12 comments

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!



Here in Ontario, we've had crazy snowstorms the last week  - as much as 46 centimetres in one night,  and it continues to snow!

Of course, when you have that much snow, you make snow angels, snow caves, snow forts, and snow men - or in my case, snow people!


Of course, mine were on a table runner - which I made so that I'd have something to show you today (because the owners of two of the commissions I'm working on have asked me not to publish). 

However, our kitchen is white and a paler shade of that blue, so it'll be put to good use.

And how are you all doing in these last days before Christmas?
December 9, 2010 5 comments

A Project for The Fliffer Floffer


1. Red Rocks

This is a piece by Jane LaFazio, but it's the kind of thing that I imagine I will make with my fliffer floffer once I get it.  What's a "fliffer floffer" you ask?  Oh, I'm sorry, didn't you know?  It's a needle felter.  In particular, the Janome FM-725.

For the past couple of weeks I've been researching needle felters and have/had decided on the Janome FM-725.  However, when I went to my usual sewing machine guy, he informed me that Janome wasn't making it any more!  I called Janome direct, and they confrimed that it was true, although they said they would support it forever.  So then I called around and sadly, most places haven't had one.

I did find two - or so I thought - the other day I sent  BSP to pick it up at a particular location, and it turned out that the dealer lied!  She didnt' have it - didn't even know what it was and had never heard of a fliffer floffer.  *ahem*  BSP called me from the dealer and asked me what the fliffer floffer was called.  After the dealer got the information that the FM 725 was a needle felter and not a fliffer floffer, she still maintained she had never heard of such a thing and didn't quite believe it existed.

In any case, the hunt continues.  (I may have to settle for a Babylock version).  However, when I finally do get one, I will of course call it "Fliffer Floffer" - because seriously - could there be a better name?
December 8, 2010 4 comments

El Anatsui

I haven't quite gotten back into the swing of things, so I thought I'd show you an art installation I went to see at the ROM a couple of weeks ago. First, I went to see a documentary about the artist El Anatsui, and then I went on a curated tour of his work.



His art is huge - I mean massive - it's all encompassing.   To give you some perspective:

Dusasa I

It has the feeling of textiles with hints of mosaic, quilting, weaving... as if the scale of these pieces isn't impressive enough, here's what these pieces are made of:



He makes everything entirely from the tops liquor bottles!!!


His philosophy with respect to the materials he uses is that if you use inexpensive materials, your vision isn't constrained by the costliness of the project.  This really resonated for me as for two years now, I've been looking at a pile of fabrics  - all silk - for a quilt I've been holding in my head for those same two years; but haven't cut into because the fabrics alone cost $500.00.  Would I have made that quilt a long time ago, if I hadn't been afraid of "ruining" $500 worth of fabric?  Of course!  Perhaps you've been simliarly constrained by much loved fabric lines or bits that you can't get anymore.



And, of course, he is also, among other things, opening a dialouge about our detritus, turning said garbage into  something beautiful, alcohol and the role it plays in his particular society (and by extension, ours), among many other things.

I know this exhibit is going to be in New York in February - apparently an extension is being built onto one of the museums to permanently house it.  If you have the opportunity, please do go and see it.  The pictures I've taken are nice - but they are in no way indicative of the power of these pieces in real life.  They made my eyes well up!

If you're local  - come and see it while you can.
December 6, 2010 14 comments

Love for sale...

So, as I've been blathering about for some weeks now, I particpated in a group show and sale in the neighbourhood just east of ours.

It was my first show and sale and I would give it an 8 out of ten.  I learned a whole lot through the process, among them the following:



  1. Pretend your show is a week earlier than it actually is, and set it all up with all your products.  You'll figure out what you're missing, what you're going to need, what'll it look like and you'll be totally calm, cool and collected the day of.
  2. Don't forget your business cards.
  3. Do your research!  By this, I mean, go around to the local sales before you actually enter them.  See how the vendors are and if you'll fit in at that particular sale.  See what kind of show it is.  Check out the venue so you'll know how to display and what things you'll need for that particular location.
  4. Don't forget your business cards.
  5. Have professional signage made - and a variety of it - again, know your location.  Hanging, standing and table signage.
  6. Don't forget your business cards.
  7. Bring extra lighting for your booth/table - don't depend on the location to have it available.
  8. Don't forget your business cards.
  9. Bring snacks, drinks, food, etc.  I had BSP to fetch and carry, but you may not be so lucky, and shows don't always have runners.
  10. Don't forget your business cards!
  11. Bring a camera (as I obviously didn't) to take pictures of the venue and your presence there.
  12. Keep up a good attitude even if things aren't going well.  There were a few vendors who didn't sell a thing, and as the day went by they became grumpier and grumpier, and even if someone were interested in their wares, by that time, the customer would be afraid to approach them!
There were more learnings, but those were the main ones - if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them.  

Also, don't forget your super duper specially made professional business cards at home.



Favourite Moments:
  1. One woman who oohed and ahhed her way through my quilts, stopped dead at "Jungle Princess", gapsed, put her hand to her throat, welled up and said "Oh.  It's so beautiful, it makes me want to cry!"  I've had that experience with other people's art - it was amazing to be the recipient.
  2. So many enjoyable and fun conversations with different people!
  3. My neighbour, Carolyn of Carolyn Draws was a lovely, friendly and helpful seller, who had experience and was wonderfully willing to share it - she even gave me some helpful suggestions about ways and means of getting myself out there. She was a true pleasure to sell with.
  4. That my little quilt "Zen Gardens" a quilt I've always thought was incredibly beautiful but perhaps too subtle for most people, got as much attention at my personal favourite "Of The Moment".  It was so gratifying to see that when viewing the quilt "live and in person" people absolutely loved it. How amazing to be validated in my design aesthetic.
  5. I was told over and over again that I need to be in "The One of  Kind Craft Show and Sale".  It would take me probably two years to make enough product for the show - but I always imagined myself there one day - how cool to be told by customers that I should be there.
  6. all the beautiful babies!!!  So many people brought babies and small children - my kids are grown, so it was so wonderful to be exposed to all those delicious smelling and sweet looking little bundles.
  7. Last but not least - my absolute favourite moment:
Did you know I invented contemporary quilting? 

I DID!

These three ladies came along - an average of ten years older than I.  They went through the top set of quilts and oohed and ahhed and stroked them and twittered about them amongst themselves at an amazing speed (I mean amazing - an entire conversation and five quilts were looked at in about 30 seconds flat. *hee*).  And then one of them said to me, "Did you invent this?"

"Quilting?!!!!" I asked, laughingly?

"No", she said, "Not quilting.  I'm a traditional quilter, but we've never seen anything like this"

"NEVER!" piped up the second one.

"It's amazing!" said the third one. 

"Soooooo beautiful..." said the first one. "What do you call this kind of quilting?"

So I told her that I call myself a contemporary quilter, and that no, I didn't invent it, though I am trying to be true to myself and hopefully, bring something new to the craft.  We had a converation about it, and eventually, the two friends pulled the third one away, she looking longingly back all the way out of the building.

First, I invented Pinwheels - now I've invented Contemporary Quilting!

I am magical!

:)


November 29, 2010 10 comments

Blogging Break

still life

As you may know, I'm going to be participating in my first show and sale this coming Saturday.  Unfortunately, I've had a set-back in this six week long battle against a cold I've been engaged in, and have had to spend the weekend in bed.  (Could this have come at a worse time, I ask you?)

I've been tucked up under my quilts reading when not napping, but that hasn't furthered my cause.

Consequently, I'm going to be working like a crazy person this week at night and won't have time to blog.  I'll miss you, but I'll see you next Monday.

And that book?  I highly recommend it!

See you next week!
November 24, 2010 6 comments

Wednesday Not-A-WIP

It went from a balmy 15 degrees yesterday, to a blisteringly cold minus something or other in a 24 hour period, which highlighted for me the need for a winter coat. Why am I telling you this? Because instead of quilting in my sewing room, I've been sewing in my sewing room - i.e.; making myself a new winter coat.




Of course, it's not like I don't have a winter coat - in fact I have several; it's just that they're all in storage at the moment, and I don't have access to storage until our car is available, and that won't be for another couple of weeks.  (Long story, I'll share another time)

So, I'm showing you this, I think, quite cute little quilted tissue cover I made to add to my bird theme cubicle decorations.

Also, a couple of weeks ago, I won some really lovely loot, and it arrived in the mail last Friday. 




Hand made cards, a "leaf gatherer" pouch and assorted deliciousness from Heike Gerbig, a textile artist who blogs at Gerdiary (and has recently been published in Cloth Paper Scissors and 1000 Artisan Textiles.) In  addition to being a maker, she also produces beautiful hand dyed cloth.  I already know exactly how I'm going to use this fabric - it's perfect for a piece I've had in mind. 

Speaking of how I'm using it:


It's the perfect size to drape around  my neck while I'm working in order to hold all the little things I use frequently - instead of putting them on my sewing table where they (singly or collectively) manage to fall to the floor several times per session. 

Lucky me!

Thank you Heike!
November 22, 2010 5 comments

Hello!

So, as you may remember, I'm going to be part of a group show and sale taking place in two weeks.  I've been very busy getting ready for that, and realized today that I have a paltry five tote bags and six lunch bags to offer.  I hope I'm going to be selling more than THAT.

So, earlier this evening, I whipped up a couple:


You may remember "Oscar" - this is a blue/green version.  And the back:



That's a pocket on the back there  - and the inside follows:


I LOVE that quilting!  I may have to do a whole quilt like that some day.  And then I made a chenille and velvet tote:



The inside is a solid golden mustard colour and it's quilted very simply - just the vertical runs up.   The sides are the velvet and are quilted in diamonds:


I think I should have at least 20 tote bags and 20 lunch bags, even if I don't sell them all in addition to my quilts.

Stay tuned, as I become superwoman, if only temporarily, what with making quilts, tote bags, lunch bags, praticing for choir, spending time with my family, and, oh yes - working full time!

:)
November 19, 2010 4 comments

Friday Flickr Faves


I love this photo by Luisa Puccini, in Cambodia in 2005, is one that I come back to again, and again.

The colour pallette, the subject matter, it all lends itself beautifully to a textile art piece.  Some day....
November 17, 2010 8 comments

Wednesday WIP

So, I had this idea: make a luxurious, elegant monochromatic quilt in a luscious range of silks - an homage to a 12 patch, with a tiny linen seam to break up the silks.  Given that those silk fabrics cost close to $500, I thought I should do a trial run with something much less expensive:

All I had to do was perfect a quarter inch seam!




It's not going so well, actually...

*heh*
November 15, 2010 10 comments

Midas Touch


I think I first showed you  this top about a year ago April/May - it's a string quilt made with copper and brown lame, burnt orange velvet and burgundy silk. 

This quilt was a pain in my posterior extremity if you know what I mean - because of the fragility of the fabrics, I first foundation pieced them.  At the time (I've only been quilting for two years now!)I thought it would be better if the seams were large.  So I had thick, heavy seams, on a foundation fabric that was too heavy.
November 12, 2010 7 comments

Friday Flickr Faves: November 12, 2010

If Salvadore Dali and Gabriel Garcia Marquez had a love child...



S/he might take photographs like this.  And I would make quilts inspired by them!

1. inner strength, 2. communication, 3. communication, 4. The lonely tree thing
November 10, 2010 0 comments

Wednesday-not-a-WIP

Tote bag by Kit Lang

I've been busy working on stuff, but I'm trying to get my current WIPs done for a group show and sale I'm going to be part of next month - and you've already seen all those WIPs, so I've got nothing new (in progress) to show you which is why I'm showing you something new but not-in-progress, anyway, here's this cute bag I made; it's made of faux fur in a cow print and satin scraps and  it has a big inner pocket on one side as well as three smaller inner pockets, and is lined with a black/white pinstripe wool gabardine.  The end.

Happy hump day everyone! 
November 8, 2010 10 comments

Islands in the Stream

If you're here for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival, the entry is HERE


Happy Monday, everyone!

You may remember this from a WIP back in September,  I was just playing with some fabric remnants I had.  Because I got them from a friend who often gives me her scraps I'm not sure whether they're nylon, or parachute silk, but I like to think of them as having been intended to float lightly through the air, gently landing on the earth.
November 5, 2010 4 comments

Friday Flickr Faves - November 5, 2010

If you're here for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival, my entry is HERE.





1. FANTASY OF TREES ...

Wouldn't this be an amazing quilt?  It would, wouldn't it?  I'm definitely going to have to do it!
November 3, 2010 6 comments

Wednesday WIP?

If you're here for the Blogger's Quilt Festival, my entry is HERE




Not sure where I'm going with this.... I've done six or seven iterations. I have an idea, but can't make it happen. 

Stay tuned...
November 1, 2010 2 comments

Time to Face The Music

For those here for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival - the entry is HERE: 

Regular Monday post below:


I know I don't usually post my textile art pieces on this blog, but I've been so busy I didn't have time to finish a traditonal quilt for my usual Monday post. 

This was the 5th piece I made for the Three Creative Studios Challenge. Our word was "music". I decided to interpret it as "time to face the" music, and make my quilt about the ecological disasters we inflict upon our home and the culpability each of us holds in that.

On the left is smoke stack from a factory with an oil rigging juxtaposed on the front of it, a miasma of pollution surrounding it and the scorched sun, while a toxic sludge pours out of it running beneath the earth and seeping into our ground water.

On the right is a scarecrow, traditionally something to terrify without danger; however, you will note that the scarecrow has become a skeleton - a warning to us all.

Details on construction at textile art blog if you're interested: Coneflowers in Leslieville
October 29, 2010 81 comments

Welcome to Kit Lang Fiber Art

and the fall 2010, Bloggers' Quilt Festival!



I'm so glad to have you here and want to begin by once again thanking our fabulous docent/hostess-with-the-mostest, Amy Ellis (formerly Park City Girl) of Amy's Creative Side for all her hard work as well as our wonderful sponsors including InLinks (how great is it to have pics in our links on Amy's site?) for having this great festival that allows us all to connect to one another in one homey but worldwide quilting community! I'm looking forward to seeing some great quilts and making some new friends!


I thought I'd share with all of you my favourite quilt that I've made this year (thus far), called "Of The Moment".  It  was inspired by a sketchbook cover that Gennine Zlatkis created about a year ago.  I've been a follower of her blog for a number of years now and always find her incredibly inspiring.

 Sketchbook cover in color

Within a couple of days of seeing it, I went out and bought the silks.  I knew that I would someday make a quilt using that colour pallette - I even thought I might do lilac sea urchins and shells on the coppery brown silk!

But what happened instead, was that a few weeks ago I was in my sewing room and out of the blue decided that I wanted to make a really contemporary quilt. One that was "of the moment".  Inspired by the color field painters of the early 20th century and Geninne's colour pallette above, I wanted to make a quilt that was modern, genderless; that would look equally well hung on a wall or draped artfully over a couch, and that was, above all: contemporary.

And so I designed a quilt that used bold colour choices that drew your eye off the "page", that used strong, simple lines to give it a contemporary feel; and speaking of feeling, used all silks and straight quilting lines to give it a wonderfully soft hand.

I wanted to make the back a little less serious, but still evocative of the color field painters, and so I continued the geometric patterns and swaths of colour, but added a little "wonk" to make sure we all knew it was designed in 2010. :s:

And then I was done - I'd made what I hoped was a truly contemporary quilt - one that was "of the moment".

If you'd like to see my entries in previous Blogger's Quilt Festivals, you can see my entry in Amy's very first festival (and the third quilt I ever made!) here, and my second entry last fall, here.

Check out all the participants in the festival and their quilts by clicking on the button linky below:

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival


And don't forget!

In February you can purchase Amy's highly anticipated,
sure to be fabulous new book: just in time to make something from it
 for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival in Spring, 2011! 
October 27, 2010 3 comments

Wednesday WIP

It is Wednesday, therefore, I WIP.






And here is my very Wippiest of WIPs - I don't think I've ever shown a WIP in such a state before, but I couldn't hang it outside, it's pouring rain and 90 km per hour winds!  My flimsy would blow away!

And, I'm very tired... so I just couldn't fuss with it too much. 

So here it is.  My Wednesday WIP.  I promise that it'll be prettier when it's done.

Really!
October 25, 2010 15 comments

Animals on Parade



It was a busy weekend for me this weekend.  I made this little quilt on Friday night, worked on a queen most of Saturday as well as making the most delicious stock ever (I mean ever! Beloved Spouse wanted to drink it up just as it was); making cakes for birthdays and our anniversary and recovering from the cold I developed on Monday (of course, because it was my first week back at work, I got sick.)

October 22, 2010 2 comments

Friday Flickr Faves, October 23, 2010


Christine Brallier's work is completely inspiring - and her techniques could so easily be translated in fabric!
October 20, 2010 0 comments

Passage

As I'm still working on the "one million and one leaves" project; I thought I'd go back in time and re-visit one of the quilts I'd made previously.

This quilt was one I'd done as part of the 3 Creative Studios challenge group and the word we were given was "passage".

As soon as we got our word for the second challenge, I knew without a doubt what my quilt would be about. Although this was an emotional journey for me, I wanted to get the details right, so I did some research; studying maps and some historical sites.


Two hundred years ago, my ancestors were kidnapped, imprisoned, removed from their homelands and bewildered and terrified, chained prone to rough boards stacked 14 inches apart in the hot, filthy, stench and disease-filled hulls of the slave ships that travelled from the West Coast of Africa to the colonies in the West Indies and the Americas

This was a journey that more often than not less than 50% of the would-be slaves did not survive. This is known as "The Middle Passage" - the middle leg of the transatlantic trade triangle that my ancestors survived allowing me to make this post today.


For the background of my quilt I chose strips of black fabrics; wool, cotton, satin, lycra - many textures and shades to represent the many different shades of black skinned people who were brought in chains to the New World.

I chose many different earth toned fabrics to represent the countries on the continent of Africa and overlaid those countries with gold netting to represent the riches - gold, diamonds, precious metals, gemstones and oil - and then shredded and tore that netting to show how those treasures were ripped from the ground of those many countries.



The countries from which the human treasure was most often stolen are represented by the red beads - blood of the millions of Africans who died while being captured, died during the passage, died on the way to market, or died as slaves.


The chains that run from the coast of Africa through the ocean are the chains that bound my ancestors, but also represent the invisible chains that bind me to them, their passage, and their and my history from which I have been cut off, yet to which I am still bound, in that unknown country from which I came.


This was a quilt that wanted to be made by me, although I didn't know it - and I'm thankful I had the opportunity to do so.

Kit




~ Art is spirituality in drag ~ Jennifer Yane
 
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