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November 2015 Blog Post

posted Mar 11, 2016, 1:26 PM by Lorna Shapiro

Hi everyone! We are officially no longer in a drought:/) And I need some of those fancy Hunter boots! This is November's update and most importantly I need to tell you that I'm closed this Saturday November 21 due to having fun somewhere else... what can I say? That's the reason. I will, however, be finished having fun by Monday November 23, at which time I will re-open:-)

New Asian Fabrics... A couple of new lines of Kona Bay fabrics arrived this week. There are a couple of panels that I'd like you to see, and a sample of a floral fabric that comes in lots of colours...




New Shot Cottons...

About 20 new  bolts of lovely shot cottons have arrived. These are the Peppered Cottons by eeSchenck. They are sturdier and less expensive than the Kaffe Fassett and Oakshott shot cottons. I like them, and I think you will too when you have a project that needs some fabric with the lustre of shot cottons. I've added many of the photos in this web album...

Improvisational Quilt Design Project...

I've been playing with a small group of quilters and we've been exploring why some improv quilts are awesome and others, too many in my view, are just busy looking and not outstanding. So this past Friday we spent some time looking over web photos of improv quilts. To my surprise, although we all have different styles of quilting, we were pretty much all in agreement about which improv quilts "worked" and which did not work so well. So we started, then, trying to identify the features that made an improv quilt "work". Here are some of the attributes we identified... the quilts that worked had...

Some place of calm

A focal point

Variety, or Contrast (big/small pieces, line shape, colour)

Good use of a range of value (some were low contrast, but even those had a range of values between the lightest light and the darkest dark)

Movement -- something that drew the eye around the work

Harmony or Unity -- the various parts of the quilt seemed to belong to a whole

A pallette that worked together

So I've now started this list and would be happy to add other ideas as they occur to you if you'd like to share them.

Basically what this was telling me was that improv piecing works better in a quilt if it is "intentional" insofar as it is executed with consideration being given to basic design principles. In discussing this idea with another customer, she shared this link to an overview of design elements and principles which I thought was an easy to understand summary. So here's that link in case you're interested... I look forward to hearing your thoughts on what makes for an improv quilt that works!

A Zen Garden With a Twist...

Yesterday I was at the Nikkei Centre with a Japanese friend and started showing her some photos of my time in Kyoto because she is from there. I came across these two photos and wanted to pass them on to you because I remember how it touched my heart. Here is the photo of the garden...

Zen garden actual.jpg

But at the entrance to the garden viewing area was this replica of the garden, with a sign saying it was for the visually impaired so that they could see the garden with their hands... How lovely was that??!!

Zen garden replica.jpg

OK... that's it for now. I wish you a good month ahead. I'll be writing in December with pictures of a new line of batiks that will be arriving, and news of my Boxing Week One Day Sale -- Monday December 28, 10 - 5.