Wednesday, November 27, 2013

AAQI December Auction Starts in 3 Days!

The last year of AAQI is drawing to a close and the last auction starts in three days!  There will be 27 quilts up for auction and they were part of the AAQI's travelling exhibit, "Alzheimer's Illustrated:  From Heartbreak to Hope".
I am very pleased to see my last little quilt up for auction this time around.

The name of my quilt is "Forget-Me-Not".  It is funny it was the first quilt I made for AAQI but it turned out being the last one to go up for sale.  I am excited to watch how the bids go because this is my last chance to raise money this way for Alzheimer's research.  I have my fingers crossed she does well!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Outsider Artist - Judith Scott

This is a piece of art by Judith Scott.  To read more about this extraordinary artist and the exhibit I saw in Kentucky, please visit my post on the EAC blog.  Thanks!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sashiko & Kogin Workshop, Traditional Japanese Stitching

(Rhonda, our instructor)

At last year's National Seminar of the Embroiderers' Association of Canada (EAC) I was impressed by how happy the students from one class were - those taking Barbara Gilbert's Sashiko class.  While the rest of us were looking a bit frazzled at times, these ladies appeared so happy, stress-free and pleased with themselves.  This was enough to make me want to learn more about this elegant Japanese stitching technique. So when my local guild, Calgary Guild of Needle & Fibre Arts (CGNFA),  recently held a one day workshop on Sashiko and Kogin techniques, I could't resist!
(traditional sashiko pattern)

Sashiko, which translates literally into "little stabs", is a form of functional embroidery from Japan.  It was traditionally used to reinforce garments and provide extra warmth.  Now this running stitch technique is used for purely decorative purposes and the white cotton thread worked on indigo dyed fabric creates pieces with a simple elegance.  The stitches are an even size which are said to resemble grains of rice.  We spent the morning of the workshop working on a piece of sashiko.

(our workshop design)

The second half of the workshop was devoted to learning about Kogin.  Kogin is another traditional Japanese stitching technique that was born in the Northern area of Japan and is considered one of the Sashiko stitching techniques.  The purpose of this technique is also believed to have been to add warmth and strength to clothing.  The designs are unique in their symmetry and resemble pattern darning in the way they are worked up.  The work is simple but the finished designs are very elegant in appearance.  Traditionally, blue threads are used on white background for working Kogin.

(Rhonda working on a Kogin design)

I have been a member of CGNFA for over 25 years and I still love the opportunities it provides for learning and exploring new stitching techniques.  As guild members, we are so fortunate to be able to do this. Sometimes it turns out to be something you will not do again.  Sometimes it is a technique you end up embracing.  The important thing is that we continue to learn and grow in our art and get inspiration from new techniques and viewpoints.

You can find many sites online for information on Sashiko and Kogin.  Here are a few to get you started.

Links for more information on sashiko:

Links for more information on kogin:

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

$1,000.00 Pledge

I did it!  I am so pleased with myself, lol.  When I first started making quilts for Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI), I joined the $1,000 Promise - that I would keep making these little quilts until mine had raised $1,000.00 for Alzheimer's research.  With the last batch of quilts that went to the Houston quilt show selling, I reached my goal!  I wasn't sure I would be able to since it is the last year of fundraising by this great organization.   Here is a review of the quilts I made for AAQI = the ones that are blacked out are where I used a commercial piece of cross stitch without getting permission for the copyright.  Okay to sell, but not to show online.

Total raised so far: $1,062.63

So, as of now, I have two quilts left to sell.  Rust & Glitz has not sold yet because no one else seems to love it as much as I did - I may just have to buy it back!  The other one is the first quilt I made for AAQI and it was part of the travelling exhibit and is being sold next month in the auction.  Here's another look at that one, called "forget-Me-Not".

So, now I am done patting myself on the shoulder, I am back home after seven months of working away so it is about time I get back to blogging.  Talk to you again soon!