Tag Archives: textiles

Art, meaningful and useful – Photo Wednesday

If you are in Duncan, on Vancouver Island, it’s a good idea to stop at the Quw’utsun’ Cultural Centre.

Knitting a Cowichan sweater. Quw’utsun’ Cultural Centre, Duncan, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

When we arrived, the man at the reception desk was knitting a classic Cowichan sweater.

Cowichan pole detail, Quw’utsun’ Cultural Centre, Duncan, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

Outside, some large totems are on display. They have been there a while, and the wood is showing some checking.

Cowichan pole detail. Quw’utsun’ Cultural Centre, Duncan, BC. Photo by Andrée Fredette

I think it adds to the symbolism. Beautiful, powerful work. Sorry I did not write down the name of the artist.

Quilt and Stitch… Some Ideas, Part 3

Here is the third part of my little series (Quilt and Stitch posts One, and Two) on how I approach the quilting or texturing (or embroidery) of a quilt.

Once I create a top, or quilt surface, I spend a lot of time staring at it, trying to decide how I will add the layer of texture. Where will the lines be most effective? Does it need a lot of texture? Or restraint?
Stitiching-quilting sample. Photo copyright Andrée Fredette

Those are hard decisions. It is sooooo easy to go overboard.

Machine embroidery and quilting. Photo © Andrée Fredette

Most of the time, I follow the pieced lines (where two colours meet, for example), and texture between the lines. But there are always exceptions. Rules that need breaking…


And then, there is just the simple joy of meandering on a single piece of fabric, while changing thread colours. I have made discoveries that way! A line of black, for example (on the left, above), serves to highlight its light-coloured neighbour. Relief, in a way… On the right, above, I first placed a little pair of meandering lines in regular thread. Then I turned the piece over, and filled-in that little corridor with a “mossy stitch”, which is a tight figure-eight stitch, using a thick thread wound in my machine bobbin. Time consuming, but very zen.

Machine embroidery and quilting. Photo © Andrée Fredette

Finally, another little “sketch”, a practice piece where I tried out various ideas… You can see the evolution of lines, with their accessory and filler motifs.

Work in progress: texturing stage

My latest quilt is Jungle… and it’s a jungle of stitches out there! I have been putting in the hours for the past two weeks, both on this big one and the smaller companion quilt.

Work is progressing, which is good. I am adding a layer of much more intense texture into this piece than I had planned. Guess I am incorrigible.It’s going to be an interesting piece to look at, once I block it on my work wall.

In the meantime, here is a shot of the beast, in the process.
Work in progress, Jungle, quilt by Andrée Fredette, September 2013Much of the quilting is improvised and I draw inspiration from the colours and the shapes. This quilt is so graphic, with bright contrast, that I decided to stick with “stitching within the lines” rather than add another set of markings by going “off-road”. I think it would have been too chaotic.  Well, it’s how I feel at the moment and this may change in the next couple of days (smile). People who quilt will understand what I am talking about!

And to give a better idea of the texture, here is a picture of the back.
Back view, work in progress, quilt by Andrée Fredette, September 2013Still much more work to be done, one hour at a time. And of course, all the finishing.

Did I mention that I plan to finish this beast by Saturday? Better get going…