STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a mother, quilter, stitcher, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Sunday, February 1, 2015

More Quilts from the World Quilt Competition - Japan

If you are visiting on the Grow Your Blog party, please click here.

After a follower (Hi Sara!) asked about which countries take part in this competition, I tried to find out some info. I don't want to mislead you so will dig a little deeper before making any broad statements. I can tell you that exactly the same 9 countries were represented these last two years that I have attended - Australia, Canada, Germany, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom and USA. I don't know how these countries "qualify" or if others are welcome...?  It appears that this competition is organized in the USA, by Mancuso Show Management, and it tours to several locations in the USA during the year - Florida, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and California. (I thought Mancuso was just the Show promoter for the USA, and that the quilts would tour in other countries as well...does anyone out there know???) If there are at least 10 entries from a country, then there is a "Best of Country" award given. Other awards given are Best of World, Viewer' Choice and then 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Honourable Mentions in Innovative and Traditional categories as well as Best Use of Color, Best Hand Workmanship and Best Machine Workmanship. I will be showing you the "big winners" but first a few more from some of the countries- today let's see what Japan had to offer.

I am showing the quilts with the accompanying writeups without much personal comment, as I have done in previous posts. There aren't enough superlatives in the world for me to add. Each and every quilt is exceptional, the techniques used are varied and so skillfully executed, the designs are mind-blowingly awesome! What more can I say? Each one is more incredible than the last!




Used To, 31" x 60", by Natsumi Ohara of Japan

"This quilt is based on Hanafuda - Japanese traditional playing card that I used to play with my family. A baby wild boar represents my late brother who was a happy boy in his childhood."

Hand Appliquéd, Machine Pieced, Machine Quilted, Original Design













Fireworks, 61" x 51" by Chieko Baba of Japan

"My country has a good time during summer festivals. What a beautiful night sky this is!"

Hand Quilted, Original Design.

My apologies for the less than sharp focus on this shot. This quilt had a very interesting edge finish of braided fabric.













Queen of the Moonlight, 71" x 62", by Mihoko Tanaka of Japan

"The short-lived cereus blooms only overnight, in complete darkness, once a year. I am fascinated with this short lived plant also referred to as the Queen of the Moonlight. This plant was also loved by my late father. Satin stitched appliqué was applied overall with the flower centers free motion embroidered."












Machine Appliquéd, Machine Pieced, Machine Quilted, Original Design.

Just. Simply. Exquisite.












Miyabi, 105" x 88", by Matsuko Shiraishi of Japan

"This quilt is made from a traditional Japanese bridal costume. I want to express a feeling of "Miyabi" through this quilt. Miyabi is a feeling of elegance and sorrow. To represent, I reformed log cabin style to a rose shape and expressed sorrow through color choices. Weddings are ceremonies that has these two emotions. I hope these cloth roses from a wedding dress expressed these emotions well."












Machine Pieced, Machine Quilted, Original Design.



This was really something to see. It required an un-hurried close inspection to truly appreciate it, the fabrics in particular.














Diminishing Creatures, 65" x 72", by Hiroko Soeta of Japan

"I made this quilt to express my gratitude to my father-in-law who was gentle yet strong as a tiger. Machine pieced and appliquéd, hand quilted and embroidered, painted, discharged."

Machine Appliquéd, Machine Pieced, Hand Quilted. Original Design.












A Newborn Star, 62" x 54", by Atsuko Matsubara of Japan

Hand Appliquéd, Hand Pieced, Hand Quilted. Original Design

This quilt won the Best Use of Color in the Innovative category.














Summer Fairy, 83" x 65", by Kazue Tsukayama

"Blue sky in the summer and colorful flowers. The flower fairies enjoy this! The quilt is finished with embroidery and appliqué."

Hand Appliquéd, Machine Pieced, Hand Quilted. Original Design


















This quilt won Best Hand Workmanship in the Innovative category.






Piece!
Linda

"Instead of being afraid of the challenge and failure, be afraid of avoiding the challenge and doing nothing." ~  Soichiro Honda, founder of Honda Motor Co.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Leaving Winter Behind... Back to Florida!

Welcome to all readers- new and returning! An especially hearty welcome to all my new Followers! I am honoured that you have chosen to follow along on my crazy journey! If you are looking for the Grow Your Blog post and Giveaway, click HERE.

We're enduring our third snowstorm in 8 days.... When I returned from Florida (sigh.. that trip to paradise seems SO long ago now!) we had very little snow and I got away with wearing just shoes outdoors for about a week (I hate wearing winter boots!) But I knew that wouldn't last for long. Last weekend we got about 10", then on Tuesday we were hit with a blizzard that dumped over a foot on us, and now today another storm. We're expecting anywhere from 6-12" in this one, by tomorrow. So things are looking very white and wintery! I'm doing my best to concentrate on "warm and cozy" rather than "cold and snowy".

So let's head back to the land of palm trees and pelicans for some more quilts, shall we? (Did my title throw you off? Did you think I was heading back to Florida? (I wish...) No, we're going back... come on!) I've made you wait long enough - let's look at some of the entries in the World Quilt Competition. In honour of my new (and loyal) followers "down under", I'm starting off with quilts from Australia and New Zealand.

Because I'd much rather be looking at flowers than a snowstorm, let's begin with Ena's Pink Waratahs by Denise Griffiths of Australia, 45" x 68".
 "My inspiration comes from Australian Native Flowers and my beautiful Mum as this is the last quilt she has seen before she went blind. I use a technique I call "Bagliqué" a very easy way to appliqué without having to turn edges. You just bag them. I use a mixture of hand dyed and commercial fabrics and shade the pieces with Neocolor II. Free motion embroidered daisies."















Hand and Machine Appliquéd, Machine Pieced, Machine Quilted. Original Design.













In the Mughal's Midnight Garden, 84" x 57", by Hazel Foot of New Zealand. "Inspired by a photograph taken in India of stonework on  a heritage building. The quilt uses the bright colors of the women's saris to evoke the energy and vibrancy of India. The flower motifs are mainly silks with shot cotton, cut on the bias for the trellis work. The piece is machine appliquéd and machine quilted with hand embellishment on the center."














Machine Appliquéd, Machine Pieced, Machine Quilted. Original Design.














Arum Bouquets, 89" x 89", by Anne Yeo of New Zealand. "My original inspiration was a bouquet of lilies in a church. This formed the bouquets in the central diamond. The 8 other bouquets were designed to fit the 8 corners formed by the squares and diamonds of the quilt layout. Techniques used are hand needleturn appliqué, machine embroidery, domestic machine quilted, hand couched fine gold cord around the ribbons. I feel that this design and quilt layout work very well together." (I would have to agree!!)












Hand Appliquéd, Machine Pieced, Machine Quilted.














Traditions with a Celtic Twist, 40" x 38", by Anna Williams of New Zealand. "The quilting depicts the usually pieced patterns and the Celtic work."

Machine Appliquéd, Machine Quilted, Original Design.

Note: I have not cut off any of this quilt, it was bordered on only two sides.


Grandmother-sisters' Garden, 88" x 96", by Jocelyn Thornton of New Zealand. "Both grandmothers and my sister plant flowers. I sew them, planted in a trellis border fabric. Back pieced from fabrics bought with the border for a quilt top. Flowers are hand sewn and machine quilted with guidance and help from Sharon Perry, who designed more hexagon patterns especially for this quilt. We used a computer driven longarm machine owned by Sue Burnett, who gave us the use of it."











Hand Pieced, Machine Quilted.









Note: From a distance this quilt appeared to be a "One Block Wonder" design, but upon closer inspection, we were surprised to see it is all done with (fussy-cut) hexagons. WOW!!









I am from...  by Wendy Ward of New Zealand. 21" x 71". " This quilt is one in a series based on a  poem I wrote entitled "I am from..." The poem is printed on the back of the quilt. I was born and bred in the South Island of New Zealand. One day while looking at the map of New Zealand for inspiration I 'saw' the South Island as the shape of a woman's dress. I had the map printed onto the cotton fabric and went from there."

Machine Appliquéd, Machine Quilted, Original Design.

Very clever!!







Coreopsis, 49" x 49", by Bernardine Hine of Australia.  "Every spring these Coreopsis bloom freely along the roadsides in my area, a garden escapee and weed. They raise their cheerful yellow faces skyward, attracting the local bees to feast on their offerings. Cotton and synthetic fabrics, painted and dyed with both fibre reactive dyes and fabric paints, bleaching, raw edge free motion appliqué, free motion embroidered and quilted."








Machine Appliquéd, Machine Quilted.











Soldier On, 70" x 40", by Lucy Carroll of Australia.  "Soldier On is my interpretation of the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial. The placing of a poppy is a poignant act which connects us with fallen soldiers through the generations. When we visit the Memorial I take my children to place their own poppies beside the names of my friends and former classmates lost in recent conflicts."








Hand Appliquéd, Machine Appliquéd, Machine Pieced, Machine Quilted, Original Design.









My Turkish Plate, 40" x 40", by Valda Sutton of New Zealand.  "I have always been inspired by the colors and designs of Turkish tiles. While travelling in Turkey I took a photo of a 15th century design, hoping to replicate it in fabric. Using traditional motifs and colors the design has been machine appliquéd, the background areas have been finely stipple-quilted, flattening the background, showing the motifs to be raised."

Machine Appliquéd, Machine Pieced, Machine Quilted, Original Design.









And lastly, Persian Promise, 88" x 88", by Ansa Breytenbach of New Zealand. "The quilt design is based on principles of the hidden courtyard gardens of Persia. The walls enclose the exotic beauty within, thus the emphasis is placed on the tranquiltiy and peace. The colors used also reflect on the deserts of Persia and the rich contrast of the lush beauty of a desert oasis."

















Machine Appliquéd, Machine Pieced, Machine Quilted, Original Design.















Can you see that there is a tiny bead stitched at every intersection of the cross-hatching?  That alone would have taken hours.....














This quilt won second place in the Traditional category of the World Competition.









Piece!
Linda

"Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out." ~ R. Collier

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Grow Your Blog Party and Giveaway

 Hello and Welcome!  Hosted by Vicki at Two Bags Full, today marks the start of the 3rd annual Grow Your Blog Party, which gives bloggers the chance to make new friends and find new blogs to follow. Of course you don't have to be a blogger to join in on the fun - anyone can go to Vicki's blog here and peruse the list of participants, many of whom have listed some of their main hobbies or interests - isn't it fun to find new "like-minded" friends? A huge Thank You to Vicki for spending many long hours organizing this fun event for us! I am honoured to be one of Vicki's helpers this year!

 In another few weeks I'll be celebrating my sixth blogging anniversary, and am approaching my thousandth post! I try to do a new post every two or three days. Like many, I began blogging at the urging of a friend, and had my doubts about how successful I'd be or how long I'd stick with it. I gave myself one year... And here I am, almost six years later! As well as serving as a "projects and progress" journal for myself and a way to keep in touch with family and others who are "away", this blog has brought me a great deal of pleasure because of the wonderful friends I have made through blogging, friends who are always there to support and encourage each other. I look forward to meeting and making more blogging friends through this event. If you are new here, I hope you'll take the time to have a good look around, and perhaps consider "joining" me as a Follower - through Google Friend Connect, or via Bloglovin' or email.


This quilt was donated to a Guild charity project
A set of  placemats.
 Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Linda Hubbard and I live in a beautiful small city in New Brunswick, in eastern Canada. I'm a Mom to two young adults and one very spoiled cat. Let's just say we have a  "semi-empty" nest. By profession I am a teacher, happily retired; by choice, I am a quilter and a stitcher, loving them both equally. I'm always trying to find more hours in the day for both!! I teach quilting classes at a local quilt shop and for Guilds in a widening area.  I enjoy piecing quilts large and small, with scrap quilts a particular favourite. Here are a couple of recent "finishes".


You can see more of my quilts by clicking on My Quilts and Small Projects under "Looking for Something?" on my sidebar. I have several tutorials on my sidebar as well- the one on Finishing Placemats is very helpful and has been quite popular.

(Have you figured out that blue is my favourite color...? Yes I do work in other colors as well.)









 I also enjoy making miniature quilts, this little Pineapple quilt is 8.75" square, and has 447 pieces! I love the challenge of working small... (I know, I know, many think I'm crazy...) Actually "crazy quilting" is another one of my loves although I have not done any lately!! There just aren't enough hours in the day!! You can see more of my miniature quilts and crazy quilt projects in the Galleries on my sidebar.





Gardening is another of my passions. Our growing season here in Atlantic Canada is fairly short, but I appreciate the seasons and spend the cold snowy winter dreaming of next year's garden! I am a serious amateur photographer and spend many happy hours with camera in hand in my perennial gardens, and those of my friends. ( I use a Pentax SLR digital K7.)
I love nature; the natural world is my favourite "subject" to photograph. I enjoy doing seasonal collages with my photos. Here are a few...

Spring
Summer

Autumn


I always have a stack of books waiting to be read.






I am an avid reader. There's nothing better than holding a good book (or a camera) in your hands... well, unless it's a good piece of dark chocolate!! I love sharing book reviews, and my tried and true recipes on my blog too, chocolate and otherwise. When I started blogging, I began a list of  Books Read, you'll find it at the bottom of my sidebar. It's getting a tad long...

















Travel is a love I wish I could pursue more frequently. I recently spent 10 days in South Florida and have been sharing photos from the World Quilt Show in West Palm Beach, and other Florida adventures (like my visit with this cheeky parrot), so if you scroll down to earlier posts or visit again soon, that's what you'll be finding. Summer often sees me off on short road trips with my camera so I can share the beauty of the area I live in.

I always appreciate comments from readers. (After all, if you don't leave a comment, how will I get to know you?) If you'd like to leave a comment below on this post, I'll enter your name in my Giveaway, which will be drawn on Feb. 15th. In your comment please tell me where you're visiting from (i.e. where you live.) If you are not a blogger, or you are a No Reply blogger, be sure to leave your email in the comment so I can reach you if you're the lucky winner.  The Giveaway is open to all - you do not have to be a blogger to enter - and I will ship anywhere in the world. The prize will be a pack of 5 of my photo cards, with envelopes. The winner can choose from a floral pack or a variety pack. Or... if you're a quilter, they could be quilt photo/notecards... just sayin'...

Have fun with the Grow Your Blog party, click here to return to the list of participants. But before you go - thanks for stopping by, and I do hope you'll visit Stitch Lines often!

Peace,
Linda

"I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and new." ~ Will Carleton

Friday, January 23, 2015

Let There Be Light!

Have you ever heard of Solar Sister? I hadn't. But this exhibit really spoke to me. "Organized by Quilt for Change (quiltforchange.com), this challenge showcases the work of non-profit Solar Sister (solarsister.com) that helps African women start small businesses selling solar energy products in their communities. Thanks to this, children can study at night, mothers can care for their families and run small businesses and communities can provide basic health care. These quilts debuted at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva,Switzerland. Quilt for Change hopes this exhibit will inspire guilds to use the proceeds from raffle quilts to sponsor a "Solar Sister Entrepreneur" and help her become an environmentally-responsible businesswoman." (Quoted from show brochure)
As I said I found the quilts in this small exhibit very moving. It's a basic concept - how something as simple as a solar light could make such a huge difference for those who live in "energy poverty". I urge you to check out the two links above. Perhaps this is a charity project you might want to mention to your local guild, or to a group of friends. Even a small donation can have a large impact. I plan to make a personal donation, and bring it up to my Guild as well. What a worthy project!!
Perhaps these quilts will speak to you as they did to me...

Power is Knowledge by Lea McComas of Superior, Colorado

"For want of a light the lesson was lost.
For want of a lesson the student was lost.
For want of a student the teacher was lost.
For want of a teacher the school was lost.
For want of a school the viallge was lost.
For want of a village a culture was lost.
And all for the want of a light.

A simple solar lantern has the power to illuminate, not just
the simple family home, but the minds of those within."














Light = Hope = Light by Marianne Gravely of Woodbridge, Virginia

"Our children are both the light of our lives and our hope for the future. While we in the U.S. turn off lights to save electricity, and worry about conserving energy to protect the planet for our children, on the other side of the world children live in energy poverty. No electricity means no reading or studying at night, which limits their educational opportunities. This quilt is my vision of a happy planet with plenty of light and energy for all the children of the world."




Light for Enlightenment by Diana Ferguson of Sweetwater, Tennessee

"Joy is inherent in the human experience, yet it can be worn thin through hardships. Opportunity creates a lifting up of the spirit and makes hardships seem less controlling. Solar lamps are a miraculous part of an uplifting opportunity. To receive the gift of light during the dark hours of the day gives the potential for growth which consequentially fuels a future with hope. Solar light provides extended time for productive work, reading, and family. I find the idea of physical light retained in a lamp from the rays of the sun giving a gift of illumination (both literally and metaphorically) to the human spirit, to be a beautiful, and impactive concept. In this quilt, I wanted to express the joy of life, the gift of the sun, and to give thanks for the power of enlightenment in everyday lives.
Techniques used in this quilt were: raw edge appliqué, piecing, color discharge, free motion quilting, thread painting, embellishment and fabric ink pencils."


Good Day Sunshine by Laura Cooke of Barrington, Rhode Island

"When I read the title of this year's challenge: Light, Hope, Opportunity: Empowering Women through Clean Energy, the image of a benevolent sun shining down on all of Africa lit up my mind. On a sunny day, I hang laundry outside, watch the plants in my vegetable garden grow, and sew next to the window. In Africa, I imagine women enjoying the same sunshine as they work through the chores and joys of each day. Perhaps some are now cooking on solar stoves to give children breakfast before school, or using solar cells to charge cell phones to connect to family, or to light lanterns so children can read and study after dark. Traditional or modern, the sun gives wonderful ways of using clean energy and even a single ray of sunlight can inspire hope.
This quilt is an original design from my initial vision of the sun shining down to blanket the whole continent  of Africa. It is made using commercially available fabrics, raw edge appliqué and free-motion quilting with rayon and machine quilting cotton thread."

Let There Be Light by Jennifer Day of Santa Fe, New Mexico

Let There Be Light is a quilt based on a photograph taken by Solar Sister. This organization graciously agreed to allow me to use this image in my quilt. I love the look of joy on the woman’s face as she holds a new solar powered light.  Her friends and family are near as she experiences electricity at night for the first time.  It is amazing that there are still large portions of the world without electricity. Solar powered light is changing the way people live and is bringing light into their lives.
I printed this photograph on Belgian Linen. I then covered the woman’s face and the lamp entirely in thread. I used 76 different colors of thread in this work of art.  The other faces were brought to life using free motion embroidery. I also used ten techniques of free motion embroidery to finish the background of the quilt."



Behind the Darkness is Light by Dawn Piasta of Dauphin, Manitoba

"The appearance of black is merely a sign of the absence of light. Without light, there would be no sight.
In researching the works of the Solar Sister non-profit organization I was drawn to a dark and mysterious photograph that simply showed the shadows of a group of women radiating from one small solar light.  It made me wonder what things I don’t see because of the darkness.  The strength, versatility, and endurance of the woman behind the light made me curious.  The unseen, the hope, the wonder, the love that is lost to the darkness; I needed to see more.
Radiant chartreuse rays emit light into the pictures that I have seen of solar light sources.  These rays illuminate faces, books, families and homes. From afar all that is seen are the bursts of light.  When viewed from close range these rays bring into view a life that is full of hope and opportunity.
Strips of natural linen and silk fabrics were woven to create a texture to the blackness.  Simple lines were drawn with one highly contrasting color.  Various shades of black thread were used to create shadows and depth. Small crystals reflect on the most important aspects of the process: the light and the eyes of the women – because without light there would be no sight.  Light creates a vision of hope for the future."


Sewing Sister by Allison Wilbur of Barrington, Rhode Island


"When I first met Katherine Lucey, Executive Director of Solar Sister, she told me the story of Teddy the Tailor. Before she purchased a solar light, Teddy Namirembe would walk to the nearby village in Uganda to work at night, leaving her three daughters at home. The simple purchase of a solar light brought so many changes to her life and her business- she has extra time to work since she does not have to walk to the village and back and so her income has increased 30 percent. She is safer for not having to make the walk and her children are not alone at home. Her children also share in the use of the light to do their homework. She is not paying for renting a work space or for expensive kerosene and they no longer breathe in the kerosene smoke. Like most women, Teddy turns the extra money she makes (she sews school uniforms) back into her family and her business.
As the owner of a small quilting business, I can relate to Teddy. I choose to work at home so I can be available to help my children with their homework and take care of my parents. The hours I have to work after dark, after the work of caring for my family is done, are vitally important to my business. Solar Sister is not only important to the entrepreneurs who sell lights, but to many others who buy the solar lights and phone chargers as a part of their small business."

Peace,
Linda

"Human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights once and for all."
~Hilary Rodham Clinton,  Remarks to the U.N. 4th World Conference on Women, Beijing China, 1995
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