Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Mrs. Santa's workshop has been going full tilt for the past several weeks, and I am still sewing on Christmas Eve!

My last project is a queen size quilt for my daughter (she's already seen it, so no surprise). I began sewing 2 days ago. Does anyone else do this? Are we crazy? So between shoveling more snow, egg nog and gingerbread, and dog walking, this is what I'll be doing today.

Can't think of anything better...

Have a safe and very Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah everyone!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Bed Quilt Club 10

Our Bed Quilt Club met last week, with Pat, Myrna, Doris, Marg and myself in attendance. We had many quilts to share and I have photos below.

Marg made this incredible quilt for her daughter-in-law Darbie. She's been working on it for many months. This is the information Marg has provided about the quilt:

Central design is by Diana Bouffard, published in Canada Quilts in three installments in February, April and June issues 1992. I expanded the design to king size. It is 124" wide and 105" long. Drunkard's Path blocks are hand pieced. Appliqué is by hand. Balance is machine pieced. Quilting patterns are my own design made specifically for this quilt. It took almost 300 hours for the hand quilting.

This is a close-up of the hand quilting, done in red thread. I can't even describe how gorgeous this quilt is - a real heirloom.

Pat has been working on her Christmas quilt called Christmas Waltz, from the book Six Halves Make A Whole Christmas from The Quilt Branch (Susan Knapp & Mary Jane Mattingly). This pattern is known as a dance around the square.

Myrna is showing us her Christmas quilt called Santa Face Wallhanging, designed by Mary Manis and published in Quilting Today Issue #93. Myrna added extra borders to enlarge the quilt. Buttons will be added to made the eyes after quilting.

Doris shows her mystery quilt, and is trying to decide what to name it. Several suggestions were made, and hopefully she'll tell us her choice at the next meeting in January.

This is a photo of one of 2 quilts that Gwen made from the French Braid Quilts book by Jane Hardy Miller. Gwen brought her finished quilts to a previous meeting that I wasn't able to attend, so I've included the photo here.

And lastly, we traded our Nine Patch blocks for the ongoing exchange. We've decided that multiple blocks may be brought in for trading, as it will take too long to accumulate enough to make our quilts otherwise.

Our next meeting will be in early January, and I'll have my new bed quilt pattern to show then!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Lois Murray's Asiatic Lily

Lois took my Botanical Art Small Wall Quilts workshop in Alliston for Lilac Lane Quilts on November 1st, and had her quilt finished within days! Here she is showing her Asiatic Lily.

Thanks Lois for sharing with us!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Joyce Hartley's Sugar Maple Little Quilt

And another version of the Sugar Maple Little Quilt from my Leaf Magic Little Quilt pattern done by Joyce R. Hartley can be viewed on her quilt blog Quilting Adventures. Check out her lovely leaf vein stitching!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Introducing Monica Washburn

An old friend, Monica Washburn, came to visit me at the Country Concessions Quilt Shop booth at Quilt Canada 2008 in St. John's, Newfoundland this spring. Monica was my hostess during a teaching trip to Fredericton, New Brunswick many years ago.

Monica bought my Leaf Magic Little Quilt pattern, and sent me this photo of the two Sugar Maple Little Quilts that she has since made. Monica describes herself thus: "I am really just a traditional quilter, but I do like to try new things".

Monica's husband Tom was an avid fly fisherman, and gave me one of his beautiful hand made fishing flies as a gift.

Teaching is rewarding in many ways. I've met many fine people on my trips, and two of them are Monica and Tom.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pine Tree Quilter's Guild of Muskoka

I had a wonderful teaching trip to Bracebridge, Ontario for the Pine Tree Quilter's Guild of Muskoka last week. I gave my Trunk Show after the guild's meeting on Thursday afternoon and taught the Botanical Art Small Wall Quilt workshop on Friday.

The meeting was really busy, and I didn't have time to take any photos. The Pine Tree guild has about 100 members, and there were almost 80 people attending on Thursday.

I was treated to a pot luck dinner with the Art Quilt group that evening. I brought a bottle of wine to share, not knowing that the dinner would be held at the local senior's residence. So one of the resourceful members found a bag of medication cups and used them to serve the wine!

A toast!

Barb Coburn is an old friend from Northwestern Ontario. I hadn't seen Barb for about 15 years, and it was such a treat to see her in Bracebridge. The first time I learned about this amazing quilter was when I saw her gorgeous purple amethyst quilt at the National Juried Show in Thunder Bay during Quilt Canada '92.

Marta McIntyre shows her paper pieced quilts. Marta is saying "thank you" as we all ooed and ahhed.

Heather Ingram is showing her Round Robin quilt, which began with her "Lone Angel" centre block.

The next day was my Botanical Art Small Wall Quilt workshop. It was full with a waiting list, which is very nice to hear! This photo was taken mid-afternoon and shows the progress that these ladies made in a very short time.

Thanks to all for such a great experience! (Not to mention the chocolate that was donated, and really helped the creative process)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Lilac Lane Quilts Teaching Trip

I had the pleasure of giving my lecture Healing Stitches and teaching the Botanical Art Small Wall Quilts workshop for Lilac Lane Quilts of Alliston, Ontario this weekend. Liz and Carl Schueler were perfect hosts, and organized a wonderful event for their customers.

Liz had a busy table, selling the many items used to make
my quilt patterns.

Mary Margaret, who swore she didn't like applique, made a beautiful Pansy block. She then purchased my Sugar Maple Dance and Leaf Magic Little Quilt patterns. I think we have a convert!

Diane made the Asiatic Lily, Shirley made the Bearded Iris and Wendy made her own artistic interpretation of the Asiatic Lily. I met Wendy in 1998 when she took my Monet's Garden workshop at Quilt Canada in Vancouver. She did her own fabulous thing in that class, and obviously she hasn't changed a bit!

Wendy's block - what you can't see are the embellishments she has already added (beading and embroidery).

Our class had accomplished these blocks by the middle
of the afternoon.

The women were wonderful and the food was scrumptious (Liz you're awesome). Thanks to everyone who made this such a successful event!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Quiet North

The north is quiet now, and waiting for winter.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Nine Patch Obsession

Lately all I want to do is make scrap Nine Patch blocks. I think it's a reaction to the economic crisis. My Bed Quilt Club has a Nine Patch Exchange in its second year, and I owed several sets of blocks. I've designed a bed quilt pattern just for my blocks, and I can hardly wait to make it. But first, many more blocks must be exchanged!

How to make 3" finished size Nine Patch blocks (these cutting instructions make one block, but I cut my strips about 18" long which makes 12 blocks):

1. Cut 4 light strips 1 1/2" wide by at least 2" long
2. Cut 5 dark strips 1 1/2" wide by at least 2" long
3. Sew the strips together to make these 3 sets:

4. Press seams towards the dark fabric strips.

5. Cut the strip sets into 1 1/2" sections, as below:

5. Sew the strips together to make a block, as below:

Here is my little pile of blocks to date. The two piles below that are for the next exchange at the Bed Quilt Club meeting this week.

I need 225 of these 3" blocks to make my new Nine Patch twin bed quilt pattern. Time to dig into my piles and piles and piles of scraps! It comforts me to spend my time doing this.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Red Oak

"Listen! the wind is rising,
And the air is wild with leaves"
Humbert Wolfe

Friday, October 17, 2008

Frosty Morning

Crisp, clear, bright, beautiful morning.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Bed Quilt Club 9

The Bed Quilt Club met yesterday; the 2nd meeting of the season. It was wonderful to see old friends again. Pat, Marg and I were the only ones available but we had a good time nonetheless! Pat's Country Quilter shop was a busy place and Pat had to keep running to help customers. So we invited the customers in to visit with us too!

Marg showed her Lemonade quilt top, which is truly a one-of-a-kind. She had purchased the red fabric, then mistakenly treated it with a product designed to removed colour that runs and stains white fabric. Unfortunately, her red fabric bleached out to gold in many areas. So Marg cut the gold areas seperate from the red areas, sewed the strips end to end, and made a Faux Log Cabin. What do you make with a lemon? Lemonade.

Marg also brought a box of half square triangle blocks that she had sewed since last spring. She is working on a Friendship Star quilt which requires 2040 blocks. There are over 300 in the box, which brings her count up to 1539.

NOTE: Marg emailed me to say that the product is called "Dylon Run Away". It is made to use on white fabrics only.

Friendship Star Quilt blocks

Pat has made progress on her Kentucky Log Cabin quilt blocks from Judy Martin's Log Cabin Quilt Book. She groused just a little bit on the log sizes: 1 1/4" strips. It will be worth it in the end - the smaller the log size, the richer the quilt.

Doris has finished her quilt top but couldn't make the meeting as she is on the Danube this week.

I showed my newest design; a wall quilt and matching twin bed quilt hot off the sewing machine. Alas I can't show you any photos - the project is for a magazine.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Aerial Views of Killarney Provincial Park

The following photos were generously provided by Roel Teunissen, taken while piloting his Cessna 152.

View of the La Cloche Mountains in the fall.

Silver Peak in Killarney Provincial Park, with Georgian Bay in the background. This peak is a popular climb and can be done in a day. Sid and I climbed it a few years ago with our dogs. The view is breathtaking: Lake Huron and the town of Espanola on one side and Sudbury on the other.

East end of O.S.A. Lake (originally called Trout Lake, but later renamed for the Ontario Society of Artists).

O.S.A. Lake and Georgian Bay.

Looking northeast from Georgian Bay on Lake Huron towards George Lake. We camped on nearby David Lake a few years ago when we climbed Silver Peak.

Thank you Roel for providing this bird's eye view of the crown jewel in the Ontario Provincial Park system.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Serenity Garden

The following photos are of a serenity garden that I designed for clients in Sudbury, which was installed in 2007.

The clients wanted a quiet private space to relax in. The keywords I was given for reference were: simple, traditional, serene, clean, neat, tidy, low-maintenance, full season interest, simple elegance. Hardscaping elements had to include a water feature as well as rocks, rocks and more rocks. A gazebo was on the wish list.

Space was limited and the grade sloping away from the house was extreme (8' drop over 23'). The house was built by the clients in a new subdivision, so privacy and lack of trees were issues.

Side (before)

Side Path (after)

The side path leads to these steps.

Future deck/patio area.

Patio and Serenity Garden


Tsukubai water basin provided in Japanese Buddhist temples for visitors to purify themselves by the ritual washing of hands. The client (a knowledgeable plantswoman with excellent design sense!) installed this lovely little grouping beside the gazebo.

Small-space garden design is challenging. Every element has to fit together like a puzzle, as there is no room for fudging. It helped that my clients believed in good design. Once again, I had Steve Elliott of Acer Land Developments install the project. It required massive below-grade timber framing and an 8' retaining wall to hold up the gazebo. The result was worth the effort. My clients love to spend summer days in the gazebo, and I've enjoyed a nice glass of wine there myself.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Lichen and Quartzite

I took these photos in the hills around Grace Lake in Killarney Provincial Park. I was gobsmacked by the colours in the quartzite, and entranced by the textures of the lichen.

Moss - the rock is so white it looks like snow.

This piece had sheared off. It looks like marble to me.

A pink spot.

Rock face near the shoreline of our campsite.

These lichen patches reminded me of snowflakes.

Pink, alabaster and grey-green.

I had to wait for the morning sun to illuminate this rock face.

Here's a stitchery just waiting to be born.

Ram's horns? Shells? The Golden Mean?

I'm going to play with some of these images in thread and cloth and beads. I had collected fibre art supplies years ago with lichen images in mind. It seems like my inspiration has finally come at a time in my life when I can commit to creating something just to please myself.

Oh, and Anita emailed me to admit she was crazy about lichen too.