Saturday, December 20, 2008

a cute little purse

following Melanie Testa's instructions in the Dec/Jan 09 Quilting Arts Magazine I made this cute little purse- using a different version of this wallhanging.
There is a cute video of Melanie making her purse here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

let it snow, let it snow,let it snow

It is going to be a white Christmas here in Southern Ontario!
My DD will be toasty warm in her new hat we made together yesterday.
Second hand wool sweater fulled in the washing machine. I used the pattern from the book Warm Fuzzies by Betz White. a great pattern, clear concise instructions. We picked rick rack for the ties - perfect for Spot!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

one block wonder

first there was stack n whack, then the four corner posy, now one-block wonder seems to be the latest thing to do in quilting.
all of these are basically the same - taking advantage of how fabric is printed - stacking identical repeats of motifs in varying numbers 4-8. cutting them into pieces then arranging them.
I had fun with some ladies ohhing & aweing over their blocks in a class recently
mine is this yellow one

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Imagine a whole convention centre full of paper & fabric & beads & ink & buttons &sewing machines & yarn & thread. oh my.
Add in free demos, classes, door prizes and you have the CreativFestival.
in the big smoke, TO or Torona. (actually TORONTO)
I'm headed there towmorrow to hang 29 gorgeous pices of art made by Canadian members of SAQA.
all 16" square, all based on the theme Synthesis, all different, all brilliant.
I will be teaching a class Sunday morning called Art Quilts 101. We could spend hours trying to define art but we're gonna have fun instead.
see ya there

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Thr3fold is the name of a unique book published by the very talented team of Linda Kemshall, Laura Kemshall and Catherine Nicholls.
Each journal is full of wonderful projects and insight into how these artists work together and individually. There is also a CD with video clips, more projects and photos to use. I used Laura's machine embroidery to make this piece. Laura has been kind enough to include it in the Reader's Gallery of Thr3fold.

Friday, August 15, 2008


I had a great time helping these ladies in class to make a wallhanging wreath. Floral fabric cut into squares - that's what quilter's do don'tyaknow, cut up fabric to sew it back together!!
the squares are arranged on fusible grid - endlessly sometimes! - into a wreath. I love how they are each so unique just like the creators.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I predicted it first........

I've been saying it for about a year........macrame is making a comeback.
If you were crafting in the 70's you did macrame.
Evidence here

Sunday, August 03, 2008

brilliant flowers

these bright flowers are in my front flower bed. They are a wonderful golden yellow. I got a used copy of David Hornung's workshop book on e-bay. He is teaching a workshop at Nancy Crow's in the spring. He spent some time making quilts and has written the intro in one of Nancy's books. dets are here. There are wonderful examples of the mysteries of color. I guess it really is a mystery of light and our eyes together. Like many books the real learning comes from doing the exercises. I'll be buying gouache. I'll need to learn how to pronounce it first!!
for Gail - the paisley fabric in the card trick quilt top is by Timeless Treasures pattern name Mirage. Actually all the fabrics in that quilt top except the solid black are from that line. HTH

Monday, July 28, 2008

playing around

I made some 'fabric' like I did at Nancy Crow's from this funky fabric and some hand dyes.cut & sewn into this small loose checkerboard piece. I'm not sure how to quilt it. any suggestions?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

card trick

There are still so many traditional quilt patterns I want to try. I've always loved Card Trick. The pattern is from Northcott fabrics. I will be teaching this class in the fall. My part is finished - someone else will be doing the quilting. just as well, because I am feeling very frustrated at my quilting. I am working on machine quilting the Knotted Bouquet. After working so hard to have everything even & straight - it looks not so good now! I sure hope I will love it again when it is finished. I am just frustrated that my quilting skills don't match my piecing skills at this stage.

Friday, July 11, 2008

an award winning quilter

I am, I am said Sam!!
yup I won a ribbon -I tied for first place in the Twisted Stitcher's Guild Food Challenge with my Menton lemons wallhanging. It was from a workshop with Velda Newman at QBL last year. Teachers & students alike are busy packing for this years wonderful line up of classes. have fun everyone!

Lemons from Menton because it is one of my favourite towns in France. You can sit at the waterfront & look out over Italy. They do with lemons what Pasedena does with roses!

Friday, June 27, 2008

new class sample

2 shots of my latest quilt top. I'll be teaching this class in the fall. Its a pattern called Knotted Bouquet by Shawna Case of Quilter's Clutter in Alberta - I'm not doing the bouquet applique part on the outer border - why because I don't want to - yes that is the sound of a grown woman ( H. E. double hockey sticks - grown? nudging on half a century old ) stomping her feet like a 3 year old!! I just don't wanna!!!
I really enjoyed doing it. I love the secondary pattern created by the four blocks. To me that is the magic of quilt design - those secondary patterns.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

quilting community

This wonderful craft/art/skill of quilting has always generated so much more than comfort cloths. building community. From quilting bees with generations sitting side by side to the internet we connect over fabric and thread. blogs have made it easy for everyone to share their journey.
The hottest place right now is Quilting Gallery. Add YOUR blog & watch the numbers grow.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

saying something

with that vocabulary was interesting. more cutting & sewing. Robin next to me, is an experienced Nancy Crow workshop student. She cut her units directly from the fabric & made a beautiful piece. Kim worked quietly in a corner space and has her thoughts and work posted in her blog.
my strips were large so there was no 'unit' without additional sewing & construction.
4 was enough! After trying all the predictable stuff -Nancy helped me with this setting.
I like it. 2 full days of work plenty of blood sweat & tears went into this little piece.

Monday, June 02, 2008

creating vocabulary

lots of the fabrics I took to Nancy Crow's workshop were used to create vocabulary. Fabric was cut freehand with curves and waves and sewn into sets. Here are mine
It was very interesting to see everyone's work. I understood what we were doing on an intellectual basis but actually doing it made me really get it. I understood it on a visceral level. I know even if we all started with the same fabrics they would still be very different at the end.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

colours and shapes everywhere....

Life has returned to normal. work, teaching classes, renovating the kitchen but my mind just wants to think about line and shape and colour. That's all I see.
like these paint chips I picked up at Rona.
who names colours anyway? Hymn to the sun??! en francais is much better!! -Melodie pour le soleil.

This is a black and white exercise using shapes. We used it to make a larger multi-coloured version. I'm going to replace the bottom right 2 corners- I don't like the shapes. they are more like lines than shapes at this point. It is big enough to use as a picnic blanket or to makes tents. not a masterpiece but someday someone (maybe my grandbabies) will cherish it all the same.

Friday, May 23, 2008

the universe answers

so the satellite radio thing. I understood what the Boss was saying -500 channels and nothin' on! There is a XM satellite station for every genre and sub-genre of music- the names of the stations tell all - Chrome, waterfall, audio vision, Willie's place, beyond Jazz not to mention the sports and traffic stations!!
I got a repetative injury from hitting the scan button for hours on end. what did I settle on? comedy and Oprah.
Is it possible to OD on Oprah & friends - absolutely!!
I learned Gayle talks alot - alot about her kids, Peter Walsh's voice is very annoying and Dr. Oz could get a job on the comedy station when he wants to give up surgery- he was very funny discussing ED.
I did listen to Michael Losier discuss the Law of Attraction. My family has practiced this for years - we just didn't know it had a fancy name! It has become a ritual on the way to a thrift store or garage sale to state what you want to find. red shoes, Lego pieces, garden tools. and lo & behold it is there waiting for you!!
I'm still waiting to find one of Nancy Crow's book at a Value Village!!
so I think it is possible to get what you want before the idea solidifies in your mind & thoughts.
Many art quilters dye their own fabrics. I've done this once and it was a lot of fun but realize it would be a big commitment of supplies and time to do it on a big scale.
At the YHQG annual sewing room sale I met Joyce Seagram and purchased bags, many bags of her hand dyed fabric scraps. I was asked several times at Nancy's if I know Joyce. DO NOW!
so I get to play with a large selection of hand dyed fabric without dying everything in site. I can't dye my hair without getting dye everywhere!! so thanks universe for sending me what I wanted before I knew I wanted it.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

a sad sad day

my fabrics have SAD! the assignment was to create fabric with two fabrics you loved - a light and dark. this was my second selection. Nancy came by and asked if I was conservative? possibly, I don't think so. am I?
my fabrics did look sad but after some consideration I blame the 3 feet of snow on the ground last winter. that's when I collected my fabrics. any colour looked good at the time. so my fabrics suffer from Seasonal Affect Disorder. anybody on this side of the 49th parallel can relate.

this sad attempt at a dramatic piece didn't even survive the wall.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Nancy Crow

Black & white fabric made to use in our first composition

I feel like I'm hanging by a thread just like my name tag on the wall!

so you want all the dets eh? for starters people in the US notice when you say eh?!
where to start?? man so much to think about & process & adopt.
Well for starters Nancy is nice. She has high expectations of her students. She starts right up front by stating that having to treat us like pre-schoolers by constantly reminding us to turn off irons, sewing machines & lights will make her cranky. She would much rather be teaching & what teacher wouldn't. I admire her frank and forthright manner. I also aspire to being a little cranky in my profession. remember she considers this a college level class. so yes we worked really hard but we learned a ton of stuff in the process.

Monday, May 12, 2008

the trip

I'm not a very good long distance traveller - are we there yet?!
and I'm usually the navigator - I love maps
so It was a long but uneventful day getting here to Columbus Ohio for Nancy Crow's workshop - pinch me, pinch me. (insert BNL's tune here)
I booked a subcompact rental car - last year for QBL I was upgraded to a Sebring convertible this year I got an Impala. I love being upgraded.
left Hamilton my DD in hand at 8 o'clock. crossed into US at 9 at Fort Erie.

way too much math like stuff on this trip. how long does it take to go 183 miles? how many ml to the gallon? oh ya its an American gallon? whose dollar is worth more today? Is gas still more expensive in Canada?
I pay for my gas FIRST? what's up with that - how many litres I mean gallons I mean US gallons at $3.69US does a Impala take when it is almost empty and has 183 miles to go at approximately 118 km/hr??? I decided to start with 40 bucks worth so this exercise proved to me that yes gas is still cheaper in the US cuz I got $1.05 back . US $ now quick what size of coffee can that buy me at Timmy's - don't forget GST & PST.

AUGH!!!!!!!! too much like work. no really I mean MY work. Johnny weighs 63.5 kg and needs azithromycin 50mg/kg on day 1..... etc etc AUGH!!!!!

don't get me started on satellite radio!!!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

the plaids

I'm not a big fan of plaids. I did see some lovely male specimens of our species in kilts at a wedding in Scotland in February. so I can appreciate a good tartan!!

but buying plaids. nope. lots remind me of farmers' shirts which is fine if you are bringing in hay or feeding cattle (been there, done that, got crap on my t-shirt!)
so I did find a few that I can live with. Again it will be interesting to see what we do with them.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

the batiks

As well as the all the solids we need some batiks. I've never met a batik I didn't like so most of these I had.

Psst wanna see my stash..............

yup the goods all washed, ironed & folded ready for the big trip. Its like having the biggest box of crayons. dump em out & sort em out. how to sort? by colour? by value? by interesting combos?

Monday, May 05, 2008

an new adventure

the hotel is booked, the rental car reserved, the rotary blade changed, the sewing machine tuned-up. the stash is washed, ironed & folded. well almost.
Yup I'm almost ready for my trip to Nancy Crow's 1 week improvisational workshop. A seven hour drive for a week of almost endless cutting, sewing, learning and playing with colour. We do get to sleep - that's what the hotel is for! and we get fed & watered regularly so we can keep going into the wee hours of the night. (10:30pm actually)
I'm keeping an open mind - not just for class but for the whole experience. I have had conversations with other people who have taken Nancy's classes. I've heard totally opposite views of the experiences. So that's what you will get here- my view of my experience. That's the best we can expect from anyone.
My expectations - what are my expectations - I know I will and plan on working hard - this I'm looking forward to - I'm often finished an exercise in other classes while others are getting the instructions sorted out - I like working independently within a given framework.
I expect to learn a lot - about myself, about working seriously, about learning to put into words the reasons for my choices. To explain my art.
stay tuned...........

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Sold and Bought

what a thrill to sell a piece of work I made. this was on display at the Ultimate Sewing Centre and someone liked it enough to want to buy it. many messages later it is sold.
I changed the binding to match the border and it looks much more sophisticated now.
Money comes and goes all the time but firsts should be recognized. whether it is from babysitting or your first job or as in this case your first sale - that money can and should be used to commemorate the event.
I used some of my sale moula to buy this laptop tote. made by Canadian designer Jonathan Chang under the JoJo label. see it reviewed here
who knows one day I may even post to this very blog from a coffee shop. Is Timmy's WiFi? no eh? I'll have to learn to order coffee at that other place. My java of choice is DD. and that is not my cup size!! (XL if you insist)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

flowers will be blooming

in the garden soon. now that the snow is finally gone & the rain is washing things clean. In the mean time, another step on my convergence that started here, and is now waiting on flowers. I changed the bottom right green to an orange.

you might recognize the foliage from here. some plants are hard to get rid of!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

fierce tote

Hello there my chicklets -Paris can keep her Hermes, Nicole her Gucci, I will be carrying this awesome bag I just finished creating down the guild catwalk!! I love the argyle and the lovely robins egg blue lining. Its FIERCE

It has pockets for my strawberry and Moleskine

Carrie can keep her red-soled Christian Louboutins My bag has this Fierce purple seam binding!!
Note to self - Do not read Mark Lipinski and watch 2 hours of Project Runway in the same day!!

Friday, March 28, 2008

More Moo cards

I love Moo cards. Everyone wants to know about them when I hand them out.
My first set is here. this is my second order. All but 2 of the cards are from various projects I've made. Two are from favourite photos taken in the south of France.

Young and Hip

Another guild piece ready to leave my home. I loved the large scale floral - graphic black & white sketched flowers with orange, yellow and pink. The best pattern for a quick quilt is one with half plain blocks, similar to the marquee quilts- get those cut & you can tell yourself you're half way done!! the pieced blocks were done in stack & whack style with solid yellow, black & white. The fossil fern fabric in the unusual colour combination was perfect. Addition of some funky black & white prints helps keep it fresh. I messed up on the borders - I thought they were going all the way around like more traditional borders but didn't make them long enough to mitre. I quite like how it turned out. I think it will be a great quilt for a girl or young woman. I'm taking it back to the guild to find a back & a quilter to finish it. Any volunteers??

Thursday, March 27, 2008

cat prints

another guild project finished. A panel or as we used to call them 'cheater tops' with simple but effective borders in gold & blue.

It seems to be the tiniest thing I get the biggest kick out of - like this one. I love the tiny motif on the the blue fabric. It looks like cat foot prints. sort of like when the cat walks through mud then up & down the glass windshield on your car!! this kitty looks sweet enough to do just that!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

for sale

This is another sample from a class I taught last fall. It is called Mystic Blooms from a pattern by Sew Be It. I love the pink and orange combination. the centre of the flowers are made from threads and bits of batik similar to thread bowls.

I am asking $300 Can.