Sacred Threads Eye Contact entries – 2019.05.20

When I saw the call for entry for the Sacred Threads Eye Contact special installation, I knew I had to enter! The required size of the pieces is 23″ wide by 5″ high – very long and narrow, and required big eyes!

Violet Eyes

Here’s my first entry, which is based on the same photo I have used for many of my self-portrait quilts.

Terry Aske – Violet Eyes

I started with the same line drawing I used for Minimalist Me, and made it larger. I wanted a bright, dramatic background, and found I still had the fabric I used for Self Portrait with Chrysanthemums in my stash.

I pieced the background to create a line for the nose and for the edge of the face. I used various shades of violet for the eyes – fused them in place and outline stitched with black.

Green Eyes

I wanted to make a second entry, but with different techniques. I was mulling over various design concepts, when the idea of a line-drawing occurred to me – and I realized I could use thin black bias tape to “draw” the eyes.

Terry Aske – Green Eyes

I cut a 5″ x 23″ piece of white felt. I stitched low-volume fabric strips cut approximately 2″ x 6″ to the felt. The center of each eye is fussy cut from a floral fabric and fused to a darker green fabric. I fused the eyes in place and zigzag stitched around both circles. Then I tried a couple of different eye shapes with bias tape. I liked the more dramatic version.

I fused the bias tape in place, then stitched through it and the white felt layer. Then I folded the front fabric to the back, and fused on a backing fabric.

. . . . .

Thanks for stopping by.  Today, I’m linking up with these blogs – click on the links below, where you’ll find many other creative and inspirational projects.

Posted in Art quilts, Portrait quilts, Quilt shows | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

On my design wall – a Map quilt – 2019.05.06

Last June, I was contacted by Valerie Prideaux of Quilts at the Creek to ask if I would like to participate in their Map Your World challenge. Valerie is posting one quilt a month on the blog, and the map quilts will be on display at the show in July.

So I’ve been thinking about map quilts for the past few months, and decided to base my quilt on a map of my city, New Westminster BC. The city’s location on the banks of the Fraser River and the diagonal street grid make for a visually interesting map. I’m attracted to bright colors on dark backgrounds, and have long been a fan of the stylized look of transit maps.

I thought about using a black solid background, but decided it would be more interesting to use a scrappy background of various black and dark gray prints (which I happen to have a lot of in my stash). I used gray bias tape to indicate the major roads.

Here are some progress photos as my map evolved. I drew a full-size map on freezer paper showing the major roads, then cut up the freezer paper and used it as templates for the background fabrics. I pinned it all to my design wall, then sewed the background pieces together. Then I positioned and sewed the gray bias tape.

Then it was time for the fun part – adding the colorful bias tape to indicate bus routes and transit lines.

Today, I layered and basted it. I was a little concerned that it wouldn’t lie flat because the bias tape had shrunk slightly in a few places, causing the background fabric to pucker. But after I spray-basted it, smoothed it out, pressed it and pressed it again, it’s pretty flat.

I’m going to quilt it with vertical lines, and possibly also horizontal lines. I’m trying to come up with a good title – something like ‘How to Get from A to B’ or maybe just ‘Transit Map’. Suggestions for titles are very welcome.

Thanks for stopping by.  Today, I’m linking up with these blogs – click on the links below, where you’ll find many other creative and inspirational projects.

Posted in Art quilts, Modern quilts, On my design wall, Quilt shows | Tagged , , | 11 Comments

I’m still here! – 2019.04.30

The last time I posted here was February 16 – one and a half months ago! I haven’t abandoned my blog, but I have been traveling a lot, and when I was at home between trips, I was working [frantically] on quilts to meet deadlines.

When time is at a premium, it’s so much quicker and easier to post on Instagram and Facebook than writing a blog post.

If you follow me on IG or FB, you may have already seen this information. For those of you who only read my blog, here’s a recap of what I’ve been up to since February 16th.

Three week vacation in Panama – in mid-February, my husband and I left the cold snowy weather in the Vancouver BC area to spend 3 weeks with our friends who live in Panama. We spent many happy days relaxing, eating, drinking, talking with our friends. We toured the area where they live near Boquete, then the 4 of us spent a few days in Panama City. Check out my Panama photos (click on my Instagram feed in the sidebar on the right.)

Workshops in Toronto – A week after we returned from Panama, I flew to Toronto to teach 2 workshops for the York Heritage Quilters Guild. Here’s a photo of some of the quilts I showed at a trunk show, and some of the in-progress pet portraits from one of the workshops.

Braille mini quilt – While we were in Panama, a new Curated Quilts challenge was announced. The theme was “Well Said” – quilts with a message. I loved the color palette and wanted to make another Braille quilt. The deadline was March 25. As soon as I got home from Toronto I started working on it, and got it completed just in time for the deadline. I’ve been notified that it will be published in the magazine. It says “Please touch this quilt“.

Next up was my entry to the Trend-Tex Challenge. It had to arrive in Ontario by April 8 to be eligible for judging. I started it on March 27 and had it in the mail on April 1.

Here’s what I said about it in my IG post: ‘Random Thoughts’ is my entry for the @trendtexfabrics#trendtexchallenge2019 The theme is Trending. The concepts that guided my design and construction were: #improv#wonky#asymmetrical#random#experimental. It is 24” x 30”. You can see the quilting on the back in the 2nd photo.

Then I made 2 mini quilts (7 x 10 inches) for a new Fibre Art Network exhibit Circles & Lines. My pieces are titled “Hot & Bright Circles & Lines” and “Cool & Calm Circles & Lines”.

Another trunk show and two workshops – in mid-April I was off to Campbell River and nearby Quadra Island to do a trunk show and teach two workshops – Circles and Pet Portraits.

I also signed up for the Sisterhood Swap. I got my blocks sewn and in the mail just before leaving for San Jose.

On April 25 I headed to San Jose for the annual SAQA Conference. Lot’s of fun, exciting and inspiring programs and activities. I had a great time! Check out Instagram posts with hashtags #saqaconference and #saqaconference2019.

That was a busy month and half, but now I’m back home for a while. I have more projects to work on and will try to post more frequently.

Thanks for stopping by.  Today, I’m linking up with these blogs – click on the links below, where you’ll find many other creative and inspirational projects.

Posted in Art quilts, Mini quilts, Modern quilts, Portrait quilts, Quilt shows, workshops | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

‘Can You Feel the Color?’ – 2019.02.16

This is my entry for a new exhibition by the Fibre Art Network titled “20/20 Vision”.

It is titled ‘Can You Feel the Color?‘ I think it’s a great example of how a quilt can be both an art quilt and a modern quilt.

This is my artist statement: 113 squares, each a different fabric, are arranged in a seemingly random pattern.  In fact, the squares spell these words in Braille: GREEN YELLOW ORANGE RED PINK VIOLET BLUE TEAL.  Braille is a system that can be read by touch, or visually.  It also creates a beautiful abstract geometric design.

Thinking about “vision” first turned my thoughts to color, and how much I love bright colors. Then, that some people have limited vision or no vision – how do they experience color? That led me to Braille – a system of raised dots that can be read with the fingers by people who are blind or who have low vision. Braille can also be read by people who are not visually impaired – with their eyes, if they understand the code.

I decided to use Braille to spell the names of colors, and to use squares for my dots. First I had to figure out how to spell the colors in Braille. I found a great website that converts text to Braille. I typed in my words and it displayed the Braille version.

Once I decided what words I wanted to spell, I had to calculate what size each square would be. To fit all the words I wanted within the required 20 x 20 inch finished size, each square had to be just under 1″ square. 

I wanted to use a different fabric for each square, so I turned to my scrap collection. Once I had enough fabrics in each color, I ironed squares of fusible web to the back and trimmed each piece to just under 1″ square.

I pressed grid lines in the background fabric, so I could line up the colored squares accurately, then fused them all in place.

Then I cut 113 squares of puffy batting, each 1.5” square. For each fused color square, I pinned a batting square behind it, then quilted around it. Yes, I buried all those thread ends!

Then I layered the quilt, and filled the background with horizontal matchstick quilting. It really makes the squares pop! They look and feel dimensional – just like Braille!

Thanks for stopping by. Today, I’m linking up with these blogs – click on the links below, where you’ll find many other creative and inspirational projects.

Posted in Art quilts, Modern quilts | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

‘Black Lines + Bright Colors’ for SAQA Spotlight Auction – 2019.02.13

This is my entry to the SAQA Spotlight Auction.  All pieces must be 6” x 8” (portrait or landscape orientation).

‘Black Lines + Bright Colors’ by Terry Aske

My artist statement: Black grid lines provide dramatic contrast with a palette of white and bright tertiary colors.  Obviously inspired by Mondrian, but very much uniquely mine.

The Mondrian-inspired quilt I made in September is still on my design wall (read about it here) and it provided inspiration for this piece. It’s 20 x 20 inches, but I thought I would try the same techniques (freezer paper templates, overlapped seams, trimmed and covered with bias tape) in miniature.

Some of my progress steps making the mini quilt

Thanks for stopping by.  Today, I’m linking up with these blogs – click on the links below, where you’ll find many other creative and inspirational projects.

Posted in Art quilts, Mini quilts, On my design wall | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Annual goal setting – 2019.01.12

I’ve been thinking about my goals for 2019, and have realized I don’t really have any new goals this year. I’m happy with how things are going, so I’m just going to carry on in the same fashion I have been – making art, submitting art to various exhibits and publications, meeting with local quilting groups (so inspiring!) and attending quilting-related events (also very inspiring!).

I’m looking forward to doing more trunk shows and workshops this year. I love showing my work and teaching techniques I have developed. I already have quite a few scheduled – see the details here.

Regarding submitting artwork, sadly my last 4 submissions were not accepted. In all 4 cases, the number of entries submitted far exceeded the number accepted. So I look at this as a numbers game, and I’m not discouraged when my work is not accepted. I just start thinking about what future shows or exhibitions I can submit them to.

Right now, I have a list of shows I am planning to submit work to in the next few months. Some of my entries will be new artwork (not yet started) and some will be existing artwork. Keep checking back, as I will be posting about my activities.

And speaking of shows, and to give you something to look at, here’s an art quilt that just recently came home after traveling since 2016 with the SAQA regional exhibition ‘My Corner of the World‘. The title is ‘Inside the Tipi’. I made it in 2012 for the Tactile Architecture exhibit at the Houston Quilt Festival.

Thanks for stopping by. Today, I’m linking up with these blogs – click on the links below, where you’ll find many other creative and inspirational projects.

Posted in Art quilts, Year in review | 2 Comments

Year in review – 2019.01.01

Happy New Year!   As the year ends, I’ve been looking back at 2018, reviewing my quilting-related activities and accomplishments.

Making art – I created more than 25 art quilts and other fiber art with a variety of themes and techniques.  Many of them are shown below.

Exhibiting my art – I submitted my work to 12 juried shows and challenges, and had work accepted into most of them.   I also submitted art to auctions to support CQA and SAQA.

I was thrilled to have my work accepted in my first international SAQA exhibition – Dusk to Dawn. Both of my entries were accepted, and then both were sold when the exhibition debuted at the Quilt Festival in Houston!

It’s always fun to be able to see my work on display. A few of the shows I entered were local, so I was able to see my work on display.  A few of my favorites were:

Trunk shows and workshops – I continued to show my work at local guilds, and teach workshops.

Overall, 2018 was a busy and fulfilling year for me.  I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what I’ve been up to in the past 12 months.  I’ll be back in a couple of days with information about my goals plans for 2019.

Posted in Art quilts, Mini quilts, Modern quilts, Quilt shows, Year in review | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Curves mini quilts – 2018.12.30

The theme for Curated Quilts magazine’s issue 7 is Curves.  As usual they are having a mini quilt challenge, and some of the mini quilts will be published in the magazine. You can see all of the entries here. More will be added in the next few days, until the deadline of January 2nd.

The image below shows the color palette they would like entrants to use, all or in part, with Curves as the overall inspiration.  The colors are: “ White, spring green, moss green, burgundy, fuchsia and teal –– descriptors not actual color names, and prints are always welcome.”

Curves Mini Quilt Challenge for Curated Quilts

I have made 2 mini quilts for this challenge. Both are made with freezer paper templates.

Here’s the first one, using 3 of the 6 colors and my favorite design element – the circle. It’s 12.25 x 12.25 inches, and I’m calling it ‘Curves 1’.

Here’s my second entry ‘Twisted Ribbons’. It has all 6 colors and is 13.5 x 13.5 inches. Stitching the bias tape took a bit longer than I anticipated – perhaps if I had thought that part through, I would have made the curves less tight. I applied the bias tape before layering the quilt, then after layering I quilted the white background with matchstick quilting. That took a long time, but I’m planning to do matchstick quilting on a larger art quilt, and wanted to see how long it would take – and if it would drive me crazy! I really like how it looks, and I think it’s well worth the extra time.

Thanks for stopping by. Today, I’m linking up with these blogs – click on the links below, where you’ll find many other creative and inspirational projects.

Posted in Mini quilts | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

‘One White Petal’ – how I made it – 2018.12.08

One White Petal‘ was made specifically for the American Patchwork & Quilting Two-Color Quilt Challenge, one of the categories in the QuiltCon juried quilt show featuring modern quilts by members of the Modern Quilt Guild.

In August, I started noticing posts on Instagram with the hashtags #twocolorchallenge and #twocolorquiltchallenge I loved the idea, and checked my fabric stash for likely color combinations.  Most of my stash is small pieces – fat quarters and smaller.  I didn’t have enough of any two colors to make an entire quilt, and I didn’t want to buy more fabric.  But I do have a LOT of black & white prints, and thought a combination of geometric and floral patterns would be interesting to work with.

The entry deadline was November 30, but I was already working on another quilt with the same deadline, so I didn’t actually start working on this one until November 20.  I wasn’t sure I would make the deadline, but decided to go for it.  I actually finished it and submitted my entry on the final day!

I started by pulling a few of my favorite black & white prints, and pinning them on my design wall.  I even cut a circle from on of the fabrics.  Then I decided to go in a different direction, and I didn’t use any of these prints in the final piece.  (But I have lots of ideas for future black & white quilts!)



Of course I considered a pattern with circles.   The Orange Peel quilt pattern came to mind – up-sized to show off the various prints.  I used some of my favorite techniques – freezer paper templates, overlapped seams, trimmed and covered with bias tape (as described in this blog post).  These techniques are quick and easy for me, and I thought using black bias tape to outline each piece would look very cool.

I have a supply of 15 inch square pieces of freezer paper, so that determined the size of the circles.  I cut out the freezer paper pattern pieces, ironed them to back of the fabrics and arranged them on my design wall.



I sewed the pieces together from the back, with seam allowances overlapped, stitching between the pattern pieces. I squared up the quilt using Pellon 1-inch grid.  I was pleased that my circles were circular, and the overall pattern was square.



Then I trimmed the top seam allowances and covered the seams with black bias tape. And then I started having problems – even though I was careful not to stretch the bias tape as I applied it, it shrunk up a little and the quilt top was puckered in places.  Then as I was pressing it into submission with steam and a press cloth, I somehow got a bit of a stain on it.  I managed to remove the stain, but that involved washing the quilt top – which I seldom do, so that was stressful.

By then it was 2 days to the deadline.  I quilted it with white thread – horizontal straight lines about 1″ apart, as well as echo quilting around each petal shape (inspired by SewJess‘s quilting of her Orange Peel table runner).


I got it faced and photographed on the last day, and submitted it a few hours before the deadline.  The finished size of ‘One White Petal’ is 29 x 29 inches.

My artist statement is: Are petal shapes creating the effect of interlocking circles, or are overlapping circles creating a secondary design of petals? Whichever way you look at it, the traditional Orange Peel quilt pattern is a fascinating design. I selected a variety of black & white prints from my stash, combining geometric and floral prints with wild abandon. I used my favorite techniques of freezer paper templates, and machine stitched overlapped seams covered with bias tape.



Thanks for stopping by. Today, I’m linking up with these blogs – click on the links below, where you’ll find many other creative and inspirational projects.

Nina-Marie’s Off the Wall Friday
Can I get a Whoop Whoop? by Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Posted in Modern quilts, On my design wall | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

‘Synchronized Swimming’ art quilt – how I made it – 2018.12.05

Synchronized Swimming‘ was made for a SAQA regional exhibition “Shifting Tides: Convergence in Cloth“.  I posted the finished quilt on November 30, but didn’t have time to include any details about my inspiration and construction process.

I’ve had an idea for a long time (since 2013 when I researched about fish shapes and schools of fish for this quilt) to make an art quilt featuring schools of fish, swimming in graceful synchronized patterns.

I started by constructing the background.  I cut 6″ square pieces from a variety of ocean-colored fabrics, and arranged them from dark to light.  I cut curves between the horizontal joins and inserted a few narrower pieces.  When I sewed the columns together, I offset the curves from one column to the next, to give it an abstract look.

The next step was to layer and quilt the background, but first I wanted to confirm my color choices for the fish, and experiment with fish sizes.  So I cut a few fish from fabric, and a lot more from paper.  I pinned them all in place on the background.

For the two schools of smaller fish, I used two different fabrics – both very light blue fabrics with black text – they were the perfect shade of blue – almost white, sort of ‘watery’ looking.  And the text adds a modern/abstract element.

For the larger fish, I used a stripey ombre fabric that ranges from yellow-orange to red-orange.

I was happy with the fabric colors and the fish sizes and shapes, so after taking a lot of photos, I removed the fish and quilted the background.

I spray basted the quilt on the design wall.  This is the first time I have done this, and it worked really well.  You can see the steps I followed in the photos below.

  1. Pin backing to design wall, smoothing in place, then spray backing with 505 spray (no photo of this step).  Carefully pin batting over backing and smooth in place.  (I rolled the batting up, and pinned the top in place, then gradually unrolled it over the sprayed backing.)
  2. Fold quilt top and pin it to the left side of the batting (just to keep it out of the way while spraying).  Spray the right half of the batting.
  3. Unfold the top and smooth the right side onto the sprayed batting.  Then fold back the left side of the top.
  4.  Spray the left side of the batting, and smooth the top in place, repositioning as necessary to smooth out all wrinkles.


I unpinned the quilt, and pressed it to heat-set the basting spray, and iron out any remaining wrinkles.  Then I machine basted each edge of the quilt, to prevent the corners or sides from coming loose while I was wrestling the quilt through my sewing machine.

I quilted wavy lines across the background with poly-rayon thread.  I started about a quarter of the way down and worked up to the top.  Then I switched to a darker thread, and worked down to the bottom.

When the quilting was finished, it was time to add the fish.  Referring to my earlier photos, I positioned the first school of fish, starting with paper fish, then replacing them with fused fabric fish.  Once I was satisfied with the positioning, I fused them in place (right on my design wall, using my cordless iron!).  Then I removed the quilt from the design wall, pressed the fish again to ensure they were firmly fused in place, and free-motion quilted the outline of each fish.

I repeated these steps for the second school.  For the third school – the largest orange fishes – I fused batting to the back of each one before fusing to the background, to give them some dimension.


Synchronized Swimming‘ is 36 x 36 inches.  It was started in September and finished in late November, just before the deadline to enter.  I’ll find out in January if it’s accepted for the exhibit.

My artist statement is: Sunlight filters down through the aquamarine depths of the Pacific Ocean, illuminating schools of fish dancing and frolicking in graceful synchronized patterns.


Thanks for stopping by.  Today, I’m linking up with these blogs – click on the links below, where you’ll find many other creative and inspirational projects.

Em’s Scrap Bag Moving It Forward Monday
Love Laugh Quilt Monday Making
WIP Wednesday @ The Needle & Thread Network
WIPs on Wednesday at Esther’s Quilt Blog

Posted in Art quilts, On my design wall | Tagged , | 6 Comments