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

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Grow Your Blog and Giveaway

I have joined the Grow Your Blog! event, organized by Vicki at Two Bags Full. Hundreds of bloggers are joining in on the fun of finding new blogs and meeting new blogging friends. Whether you are visiting because of this event or not, I hope you'll take a few minutes to look around here, and perhaps even choose to follow me.

For all my new visitors, let me introduce myself. I'm Linda Hubbard, and I live on the east coast of Canada in a  beautiful small city.  I'm a Mom (two young adults) with an "empty nest", and a retired teacher. My blogging adventure  began in 2009, as a way for me to share my hobbies and photography with my friends and followers. I would never have thought then that I'd still be here five years and over 800 posts later! I guess one of the reasons I am still here is that I have met so many wonderful friends through blogging, and learned so much from them. And I can't wait to meet more bloggers through this party! Thanks Vicki, for hosting Grow Your Blog!

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 shop and for Guilds around my province.  I enjoy piecing quilts (appliqué is just not my thing) with scrap quilts a particular favourite. Below are a couple of my favs. You can see more of my quilts by clicking on My Quilts under "Looking for Something?" on my sidebar. You'll even find a few tutorials there.

"Blue Northwind". Generous twin bed size.
"Talkin' Turkey". Designed by Bonnie Hunter. I've used well over 100 different reds.

I also enjoy making miniature quilts, this one below is not quite 10" square! 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!! You can see more of my miniature quilts and crazy quilt projects in the Galleries on my sidebar.

"F8" Miniature.  (Photographers will understand...)  Design by George Siciliano

Detail shot of Crazy Quilting
Gardening is another of my passions. Our growing season here in Atlantic Canada is fairly short, but I enjoy the seasons and spend the cold snowy winter dreaming of next year's garden! Below are a few blooms from my perennial gardens. (Have you already figured out I love blue?) I love nature and it is my favourite "subject" to photograph. You can see more of my nature photography by clicking on the Nature or Wildflowers labels on my sidebar.

I am an avid reader, and a serious amateur photographer. 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. I also enjoy good quotes and try to end every post with an appropriate quote. Travel is a passion I wish I could pursue more frequently than I do. My most recent "big" trip was to Prague in the Czech Republic this past July; again check my labels on the sidebar if you'd like to read those posts and see that beautiful city.

I hope you've enjoyed visiting Stitch Lines and I always appreciate comments. (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. If you are not a blogger, be sure to leave your email in the comment so I can reach you if you are the lucky winner. I'm offering one of my stitched and beaded Santa ornaments - your choice! They average  4" - 4.5" tall, the designs are by Mill Hill.  The Giveaway is open to all, and I will mail to anywhere in the world.

Be sure and drop by the Grow Your Blog party to check out lots of other wonderful blogs. Have fun!!
Edit: Feb. 17th - Even though the Giveaway is now over, if you are a new visitor to my site, I'd still appreciate you leaving a comment to say Hi and tell me where you're visiting from. 


"A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints."  ~Wilfred Peterson            

Friday, January 24, 2014

Another cold morning...

It's another very cold morning here and the frost is heavy on the window of our garage side door. Much as I hate the cold weather, I do enjoy the frost patterns.... hope you'll enjoy these too...  Happy Winter! Brrrrr....


"It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it." ~ John Burroughs, Winter Sunshine

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The World's Best....

Are you ready today to see some of the 2013 World Quilt Competition? This is the 17th year for this competition and which travels, "on tour". This outstanding collection of quilts highlights the skills of quilters from Canada, the USA, the UK, Australia, Germany, Israel, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa. There were over 150 quilts in this show and believe me, every one was worth a lengthy look. There was a "Best of Country" chosen for each country, a viewer's choice, as well as 1st, 2nd and 3rd places plus Honourable Mentions for both Innovative and Traditional categories, and Best Use of Color, Best Hand Workmanship and Best Machine Workmanship. And of course- there was one overall winner - Best of the World! Can you IMAGINE getting a ribbon that declared your quilt "Best in the World"??!!! Of course I cannot share every quilt with you but the following are a few of my favourites, in no particular order.

Let's start right off with "Best of World", shall we...Why not? Venetian Menagerie (60" x 66") by Melissa Sobotka of Richardson Texas was breathtaking. From a distance it looked like a five foot photo. Up close, it was just as incredible!

"Inspired by a photo I took of a display window in Venice . The dramatic still life was a menagerie of masks, art and oddities. Raw edge fused appliqué constructed from cotton batiks and enhanced with Tsunkineko Inks. Old master art is transferred with computer printing.
Original Design. Machine Quilted."     There is nothing more I can say other than it was stunning.... Here are a few close-up shots

The Best Machine Workmanship award (Traditional category) went to Flourish (39" x 39") by Kay Bell of  Hawick, Scottish Borders, UK.
(Sorry about the shadow across the right side, it was unavoidable)

 "For me, quilts are all about the quilting so I've always been drawn to wholecloths. Flourish is a quilt of my own design, first drawn on paper and transferred to the fabric which is lavender silk dupioni. The quilting is free motion, hand guided on my longarm as an exercise using one colored fabric and one colored thread. There is nothing but the fabric and thread, the play of light and shadow create the drama and definition. Original Design. Long Arm Quilted." Beautiful. Simply beautiful.

The Basket Makers of Axoum, Ethiopia (51" x 74") by Meri Henriques Vahl of Soquel, California won Best of Country for the USA. Again, a simply stunning quilt.

"Artisans in Northern Ethiopia create brilliantly colored baskets in an amazing variety of sizes and shapes. Using a fabric collage technique with tulle overlay and free motion quilting, I selected batiks and bright Guatemalan fabrics to bring the scene to life. Faces are drawn with Caran d'ache watercolor pencils and permanent ink markers. The border includes traditionally pieced African fabrics and is hand beaded. Original Design. Machine Pieced. Machine Quilted." This quilt also received an Honourable Mention for the Innovative category. Well deserved on both counts.

Let's Go Party! (77" x 78") by Keiko Ike of Kochi-city, Japan won Best of Country for Japan. It was such a happy quilt, you couldn't help but smile when you viewed it.

"I tried to express circles with narrow lines. While I was cutting the colorful fabric, it inspired the colorful dresses in the party. A lot of colorful fabric made this quilt fun! Original Design. Machine Pieced. Machine Appliquéd. Machine Quilted." The workmanship was exceptional.

On Green Pond (62" x 64") by Judith Wilson of Wheathampstead UK, Honourable Mention in Traditional category, was one of my absolute favourites, perhaps because the colors were so rich and beautiful (and they ARE my favourite colors too), not to mention the exceptional piecing and appliqué.

"A jelly roll of colorful batiks was the starting point for a foundation-pieced "pond" of off-center pineapple blocks. By careful selection of the fabric shades, the circles of the pond ripples appeared. Leftover pieces were used, plus others from my stash, to machine appliqué a border of amusing birds on branches. Machine quilted with branches and leaves.
Original Design. Machine Pieced. Machine Appliquéd. Machine Quilted."

As you can see, I really liked those birdy borders!

And just because I love Log Cabins and the color blue, I'm going to end with this one for now. Classic and Cool (39" x 36") by Caroline Wilkinson of London, UK . Beautiful. Classic. Crisp. I want it!!

This post is getting long, so I'm going to end here for tonight. I will share more photos from this show with you. I had camera troubles the second day of the show and at the end of the day could not get all that days' photos from my memory card. Thank goodness though, my local camera shop has been able to retrieve them. I still have to go through them and edit... Stay tuned for more to come...


"It is not sufficient to see and to know the beauty of a work. We must feel and be affected by it." ~ Voltaire 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Another Amaaaazing Show...

Another exhibit at the Florida World Quilt Show which I thoroughly enjoyed was that by SAQA - that's Studio Arts Quilt Associates. Titled "Color of Emotions", the works were designed to convey a sense of emotion or feeling expressed by the artists.

Mr. Grim (40" x 31") by Holly Dominie is a commissioned portrait of international performer Jan Damm. She "used black, white and red commercial fabrics to "paint" depth, drama and soulful emotion. Red evokes Jan's passion for his craft; black, a sense of mystery and showmanship, and yes, his sad alter ego; and white, illumination from Jan's audience thrilled by his juggling high atop planks divided by roller bollers."

 This piece blew me away! I could not imagine using these prints so successfully as Ms. Dominie has done, to create a portrait. I wonder how many times she placed each little piece, moved it, switched it for another... Wow. Double Wow.

Lost Moon #4 - Remembering Winter by Elizabeth Sylvan.

"Winter, beautiful and stark, reveals both the bones of the landscape and our inner moods. This piece is an attempt to delight the eye, quiet the mind, and capture that moment of solitude when the viewer feels connected to the natural world. The fallen moon is lying at the base of a tree, and if you look closely you can see the round hole it has left in the sky."  She has used cotton, lace, silk, brocade, tulle, organza and recycled silver foil.

Sunrise, Sunset by Melody Randol used cotton and silks, hand-dyed, painted, silk screened and/or discharged.
"Something magical occurs when water and sunlight converge. We are drawn to their union as surely as bees are drawn to nectar. When the eyes are allowed to stay, the body stills, the mind quiets and the soul takes a long deep drink." She is right- there is something magical about a sunset reflected on water... Look at how well she has captured the light on the water (lower left of quilt).

Roberta Baker's Magnolias with White Birds was another that really drew my eye. The design reminded me somewhat of Valerie Hearder's work.
 "I truly believe that vibrations (i.e. the way that colors work on an energetic level) have healing qualities, and my passion is to use light and color for this purpose. This piece is composed of warm, radiant colors to embody harmony and tranquility."

Birch Grove by Ann Loveless was so realistic one felt you could walk right into that birch grove.
"My emotions are always lifted when I walk through a Northern Michigan birch tree grove in autumn. The crisp blue sky contrasts with the warm gold leaves, and tones of reds and oranges spill from hardwood trees still punctuated with a few vibrant greens."

Squared Illusion 6 (44" x 34") was an amazing piece by Gloria Hansen.
"While making this piece, I went through the hot excitement of the idea to the cold reality of working through the various difficulties in getting the concept to creation. If those emotions were colors, mine ran the full gamut." I loved this piece and wish I could have purchased it, sadly it was not for sale. (Not that I could have afforded it...) It was beautifully machine quilted.


So what do you think? Aren't these quilts amazing?

We were asked to vote for our favourite quilt, for the Viewer's Choice ribbon. One vote. ONE quilt. HOW would one ever choose, with so many incredible works of art?? I have only shown you pieces from three shows- there were 19 shows/exhibits in total!!! You haven't even seen the quilts in the WORLD Show yet!!! I think I'll take you there tomorrow. Wanna come along?


"Art is one of the sources through which the soul expresses itself and inspires others. But to express art thoroughly, one must have the inner emotions opened thoroughly." ~ Meher Baba

Sunday, January 19, 2014

More Florida Beauty

The Florida Quilt Competition was the second largest show on exhibit, with 79 entries. It was open to any quilter who is a resident of Florida. The entries were varied and showed off the considerable talents of many fine Florida quilters. Sadly, I was not diligent in photographing the cards for the info on every quilt, so there are a few here with little info. I apologize for that, it is not fair to the quilters to show their work without giving them credit, but I do want you to enjoy the amazing work that I saw. Please forgive me, Florida quilters!!

The first place winner was Mozart by Barbara A. Stewart of Miami.

It was an original design, hand pieced, hand appliquéd and machine quilted on her own domestic sewing machine.

Second place went to Natalie Carlton of Palm City for Stuart 100 Year Anniversary. Stuart is known as the sailfish capital of the world. An original design, it was made for the town of Stuart which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

A whole cloth quilt of teal dupioni silk, she added trapunto with wool, and it was machine quilted on her longarm machine. It was stunning, sadly the poor lighting did not do it any favours.

Affirmations by Pat Kumicich of Naples won the third place ribbon. It was an original design,  machine pieced and machine appliquéd, and quilted by hand and machine.

Out of The Loop was a collaboration between Eyvonne Smith and Karen Marchetti.  Eyvonne pieced the top and Karen worked her magic with the longarm quilting. Not surprisingly, they won a Judge's Choice ribbon!  It was an amazing quilt to see.

Luckily we were in the right place at the right time as a white glove lady came along and "turned" the quilt so we could really appreciate the quilting. Look at the back side - it was as beautiful as the front!!

Bluebirds by Laura Ruiz won the Best Pictorial Quilt ribbon. This was one of my favourites- those little birds were so well done and looked so very real!

See what I mean???

A Taste of Sunshine  by Deb Crine was certainly worthy of the Best Machine Workmanship ribbon. The quilting was just amazing.

Deb hand painted the design on cotton sateen with textile paints and colored pencils. Threadwork was done with polyester threads.

Bloom is another amazing piece by Deb Crine. It won the ribbon for Best Use of Embellishments. After attending an inspiring workshop with Cindy Needham, Deb applied her new skills and knowledge re. working with linen.

Detail shot: This is antique Madeira linen with an underlay of Dupioni silk. It is quilted with silk thread and although they are hard to see here, there are over 600 Swarovski crystals on this quilt. It was stunning!

Fish House: Pine Island, Florida  
by Carol Elrod was one of my favourites.
"In days gone by, fishermen brought their "catch of the day" to houses like this one to be weighed - and to receive their pay. Over the years, many houses, especially those surrounded by water, have been destroyed by hurricanes. Some have burned. This house, in Jug Creek on Pine Island, was built in a protected spot and has been converted into a residence."

Medallion by Loretta Sylvester. What an incredible amount of work! Both the piecing and the appliqué were exceptional.

Sweet Dreams by Pat Kumicich

Sparkle Star by Natalie Carlton. Natalie is
another amazing long arm quilter and here's the proof!

Milkweeds to Monarchs in My Mosaic Butterfly Garden by Charlotte Noll. Loved this one.

And loved this one too. Sadly I have no info on this quilt, name or the maker. So sorry. But I really wanted to include this just because it is so different. Took me right back to the 60's and my very first trip to Florida as a child. I still very clearly remember seeing and meeting several Seminole Indian women. Mum bought me a doll in traditional Seminole costume with very similar design and color to this...


"Live daringly, boldly, fearlessly. Taste the relish to be found in competition - in having put forth the best within you." ~ Henry J. Kaiser

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