Succulents quilt is finished – 2019.07.17

The Succulents quilt is finished and I’m quite happy with it. I’ve entered it in the Alden Lane Nursery Quilting in the Garden quilt show.

The finished size is 38 x 42 inches, and each succulent plant is about 26 inches high.

See my previous 2 posts for information about how I constructed it, including stage 1 of the quilting where I quilted around the succulents before I added the backing fabric. Then I spray-basted the backing fabric to the felt, and quilted vertical straight lines through all three layers. You can see that the backing fabric is the chartreuse and white print that I was considering for the front. I finished the edges with a wide chartreuse binding.

All the quilting was done with a walking foot. I quilted with vertical straight lines about 1/2 inch apart.  I was concerned about keeping the lines straight, and the challenge of quilting over the bumps created where several bias tapes overlapped.  So I quilted from the back, following the vertical fabric design as a guide.  (I first used this technique with my map quilt (described here) but I didn’t post about how I quilted it. You can read about that on the Quilts at the Creek blog here.)

I wanted the binding at least 1/2 inch wide (to be as wide or wider than the bias tape outlining the plants) so I cut the binding strips 2.75 inch wide. I stitched the binding to the back, folded it to the front and stitched again through all layers. This is the first time I’ve used clips to hold the binding in place – much better than pins!

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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.

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Progress on Succulents quilt – 2019.07.10

In my last post, I talked about how I’m constructing my new Succulents quilt. I had selected a background fabric and was about to start the quilting.

I’m doing the quilting in 2 stages.

Here’s how I did the first stage. I spray-basted the background fabric to a layer of acrylic felt. Then I positioned the succulents and quilted along the edges of the bias strips around each leaf. Then I quilted the centers of each plant.

I gave the centers the same outline look as the leaves by fusing the fabrics to felt (which perfectly matches the bias tape!)

The second stage of the quilting will be to spray-baste the backing fabric to the felt, then quilt straight lines through all three layers. I hope to have that completed this weekend.

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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.

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Decisions, decisions – 2019.07.07

I’ve been working on a new quilt featuring huge succulent plants. When I was in San Francisco a few months ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Ann DuMont. Ann has a beautiful garden full of succulents. She photographs her plants and uses the photos to create uniquely designed fabrics from which she creates wearable accessories and decor items. Check out her website and Instagram feed for examples of her fabulous photos and uniquely designed fabrics.

Ann offered me some of her fabric scraps. So of course, I had to make a quilt with them! This quilt is inspired by Ann’s garden photos and the leaves of the succulent plants are made with her fabrics.

I made line drawings of stylized succulents then enlarged them so each was about 26 inches high. I traced each leaf shape onto freezer paper, cut out the fabric and fused bias tape around the edges. As I created the leaves I pinned them in place on the design wall on top of the full size drawings.

When I was finished with each plant, I removed it from the design wall and fused the leaves to a sheer interfacing. Now each plant is a unit I can pin and unpin from the design wall.

Then it was time to audition fabrics for the background – and this is where my indecision arose. My first selection was a chartreuse and white print. Then I tried several chartreuse prints. Normally, chartreuse is my go-to color, but these backgrounds seemed to be overwhelming the succulents. So I tried some neutral prints. I really like the large scale white and gray floral print – but I only have a fat quarter of that fabric.

A trip to the local fabric store yielded this white and taupe floral print. It’s a bit smaller scale than I wanted, but it’s time to make a decision and move on. I think I’ll bind the quilt with chartreuse.

Next – on to the quilting. I want to finish this quilt within a week, so I can enter it in the Alden Lane Nursery quilt show.

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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, On my design wall, Quilt shows | 7 Comments

June recap – 06.30.2019

Since I last posted, I attended Quilt Canada and completed a couple of mini quilts for the newest Curated Quilts mini challenge. The theme for this one was “Stars”. I made 2 entries – ‘Twinkle Stars’ and ‘Starburst’.

I love mini challenges because it’s a great opportunity to experiment without a huge time commitment. For ‘Twinkle Stars’ I played with puffy polyester batting, walking foot matchstick quilting and some hand-quilting outlining the stars. This mini was selected to be included in the Stars issue of Curated Quilts magazine.

‘Starburst’ was made using a freezer paper pattern. I sewed the fabrics together with overlapped seams, which I then covered with light gray bias tape. The seam around the center star was covered with zigzag stitching. I wanted to do more quilting, but didn’t have time as I was leaving for Quilt Canada the next day. So I submitted it as you see in the photo below.

When I returned from Quilt Canada, I decided it needed more quilting. I had already sewn on the facings, but I hadn’t fused them to the back (they were just pinned in place for the challenge photo). I’m much happier with the way it looks now.

Quilt Canada was held in Ottawa this year. As always, it was a lot of fun, and an opportunity to connect with friends, be inspired by lectures, do some shopping and of course see the quilts! I didn’t have any work in the National Juried Show this year (I missed the deadline to enter!) but I really enjoyed viewing all the quilts. You can see all the pieces that were on display here. And the award winners are posted here.

I’ve started working on a larger quilt (approximately 40 x 40 inches) that I plan to finish soon. But it’s not at the stage yet for photos. Check back next week and I will have something to show.

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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.

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‘Floating’ for ‘World Wide Whispers’ – 2019.05.29

I made this quilt almost a year ago. But it was a secret project, so I haven’t posted any photos until now.

In October 2017, Kim Caskey of Edmonton AB asked if I would like to participate in a project called World Wide Whispers.

World Wide‘ because there are teams from 5 different countries – Scotland, Ireland, the Netherlands, USA and Canada. Each team had 12 members (except Canada, with 13 members, a representative from each province and territory).

Whispers‘ because it’s a bit like the child’s birthday party game where the leader starts by whispering a sentence in the ear of the next participant and then continues around the room, evolving and changing from the original sentence. For Team Canada, Kim started the process at the beginning of 2018 by making an art quilt inspired by a photo. She sent a photo of her quilt to the next person, who had one month to create a 18″ by 24″ quilt inspired by that photograph. Each team member only saw the photo of the quilt before theirs. We had to keep our quilts confidential (even from the other team members) until the big reveal in early 2019.

In May 2018, I received an email from Karen Henry of Nova Scotia with an image of her quilt “Anchor & Drift”. When I first saw Karen’s quilt, I was immediately struck by the three boats in primary colours of blue, red and yellow. I pixelated her image, to focus on the shapes and colors.

My piece is an abstracted interpretation of Karen’s quilt.  I simplified the boat shapes to three pod shapes, floating on a neutral background.  I added some zing to the conservative primary colours by bracketing each one with brighter, bolder related colours. 

“Floating” by Terry Aske

Here are some progress photos of my construction techniques – my initial sketch and freezer paper pattern (mirror image), auditioning fabrics, checking values, all the thread colours I used.

my initial sketch and freezer paper pattern (mirror image), auditioning fabrics, checking values, all the threads I used

Here’s a photo of the Team Canada starting photo and the 13 quilts (from a presentation that Kim made). They have also been published in the summer issue of Canadian Quilter magazine, although I haven’t received my issue yet.

World Wide Whispers Team Canada starting photo and the 13 quilts

The entire project took all of 2018 to complete. Each of the 5 countries assembled their team of 12 participants (13 for Canada), who each took one month to receive, create and send on to the next person. There are a total of 61 quilts from the 5 countries. What a thrill to be part of this international project!

The quilts will be exhibited around the world at various quilt festivals and shows throughout 2019 and 2020, including the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham UK in August 2019 and Quilt Canada in Edmonton in June 2020. I’m looking forward to seeing them in real life.

The Netherlands Quilt Guild has a great web post showing all the quilts, including the starting photo for each team. https://www.quiltersgilde.nl/world-wide-whispers/

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.

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‘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