Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wolf Lake in Danger

There are over 300 lakes within the Greater City of Sudbury city limits. Wolf Lake is one of the most incredibly beautiful, yet has never been seen by most of our citizens. It is located northeast of Lake Wanapitei. It's possible to drive there, but many of us travel by canoe.

There are a number of easy portages which take us past a series of cascades between the north end of Matagamasi and Silvester Lake.

Our favorite campsite on Wolf Lake, amongst the old growth pine forest.

Mornings often begin with the islands floating on a sea of mist.

Sunrise paints the view from the campsite with a golden light.

Unfortunately, our government has chosen to sacrifice this lovely special place to mining and logging interests. Here is an article that describes the situation. The Friends of Chiniguchi have formed to lobby for protection of the Chiniguchi Waterway Provincial Park.

My husband brought me here in 2001 after chemotherapy and radiation to rest and heal.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Bed Quilt Club 4

We had our bi-weekly meeting of the Bed Quilt Club yesterday. These are the guidelines:
  1. You must be working on a bed quilt.
  2. There are no deadlines or pressures or responsibilities.
  3. You can Show & Tell any project.
  4. Helpful tips and suggestions are welcome.
First I have to admit that collectively we have more years of quilting experience than our country's age. And next I am happy to say that we learn something new at every meeting!

Doris wanted to have a wider assortment of colours at the edges of her blocks, so she showed us her nifty tip for organizing her strips: clothespins with the numbers marked on them (in permanent marker) that correspond to the order that they'll be sewn on the blocks. Doris gets the Tip of the Week prize.

Marg continues work on her Friendship Star.

Marg also shared her beautiful "My Flower Garden" quilt, which she worked on from 1989 - 1997. It is hand appliqued, hand embroidered and hand quilted. The inner green border and blocks were designed by Linda Dennison. The outer Morning Glory border was appliqued using a method published in Quilter's Newsletter magazine.

This is a photo of the hand quilting pattern from the back of Marg's quilt. There was much ooing and ahhing.

Pat has added more strips to her Kentucky Log Cabin (pattern by Judy Martin).

I am working on the centres for my next set of blocks from Sherri Hisey's Oh, My Tangled Stars!

Myrna is making this quilt top for a friend's sunroom. I'm wondering if I have a sunroom will she make one for me? Myrna wins the Luscious Colour Award.

Pat has proposed that we begin a challenge called North Stars Over Indiana published in McCalls Quilting, February 2000 issue. We will each bring a set of nine-patch blocks to the Bed Quilt Club meetings, enough for each member. Eventually we will have enough blocks to make our own nine-patch scrap quilts.

Rules for the Nine-patch Swap:
  1. 3" finished size blocks, 1" finished squares.
  2. No solids or whites.
  3. The dark squares are at the outside corners and centre.
  4. Blocks will be 2 fabrics: light and dark.
My mother and I will miss the next meeting as we'll be at the Chicago Quilt Festival spending too much money. So we will hand in our nine-patch blocks before we leave.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Orange and Purple

Starfish, low tide, Johnstone Strait, British Columbia

"There is no enough in nature."
Richard Jefferies

Friday, March 21, 2008

Botanical Quilts Yahoo Group

I've started a new Yahoo Group called Botanical Quilts. I'm inviting anyone who would like to discuss quilts with any kind of botanical theme to join! Your quilts certainly don't have to be like mine - we would welcome applique, pieced or mixed media. You don't have to be a designer either. Show us your projects, show us your garden photos and share your work!

Nasturtium, Janet Rice-Bredin, 2000

Thursday, March 20, 2008

More Leaf Magic Little Quilts

My new pattern, Leaf Magic Little Quilts, lends itself perfectly to another passion of mine: beads and buttons. These are more examples of easy embellishments that add extra pizzazz to the quilts. All of these leaf designs are included in the Leaf Magic Little Quilt pattern. This is the Sassafras leaf.

The Gingko in its fall colour.

The Aspen fall colour with buttons and a beaded Picot Edge Stitch.

And last but most importantly, my Canada maple leaf with buttons!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Leaf Magic Little Quilts

This is my latest pattern. The Leaf Magic Little Quilt has instructions on my new technique to preserve real leaves to use in this pattern, as well as 6 fabric leaf patterns (Sugar Maple, Oak, Aspen, Sassafras, Tulip Tree and Gingko). My website index page has lots of examples. I've also included bead embroidery diagrams, since these little quilts are perfect for embellishments.

Real maple leaf

Real maple leaf with leaf and seed beads

Real aspen leaf

I've done many more samples, some with buttons and some with beaded edges. I just can't stop; I'm having way too much fun. I'll post more photos tomorrow.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lily on the Beach

My friend Michael Brodzinsky is a Renaissance man. He builds obelisks and outdoor rooms, he's an accomplished gardener and cook, and he quilts! Michael used my Daylily pattern and turned it into his own unique vision. His description follows:

"We have a cherished and colourful daylily collection from years of wandering through garden centers and nurseries. Two years ago, we decided to create our own (hybrid) crosses and have named our new non-registered collection the "calypso series", hoping for the best in an unpredictable garden world. This love of daylilies has inspired Michael to "borrow" ideas from Janet's collection and simply run with the idea. This first panel is entitled "Lily on the Beach" and was created in March 2008."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Lily's Window

This is Lily's window where she keeps an eye on the neighborhood.

Friday, March 14, 2008

'Flame' Peony

The 'Flame' herbaceous peony is my favorite. I moved last summer so I stashed it at a friend's, and will repatriate it when I create my new gardens this spring. The colour you see is accurate, and electric.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Bed Quilt Club 3

The Bed Quilt Club met yesterday, and I have our progress photos. But first I will post our guidelines:
  1. You must be working on a bed quilt.
  2. There are no deadlines or pressures or responsibilities.
  3. You can Show & Tell any project.
  4. Helpful tips and suggestions are welcome.
Pat, who owns the Country Quilter shop where we have our meetings, is apparently time-challenged. This is her Kentucky Log Cabin.

Colleen has changed her project to a pattern called Chocolat, an original design by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co., distributed by Moda. Her focus fabric is a gorgeous soft blue, yellow and tan floral from Northcott's Quilt for a Cure collection.

Myrna wins the Speed Queen award. Her pattern is called Crow's Feet, designed by Charlotte Angotti and published in Fons & Porter Love of Quilting magazine, Jan/Feb 2006. She is showing her hand-coloured pressing diagram.

Marg has more Friendship Star blocks done. She needs over 2,000 half-square triangle blocks, so we are going to help her out by contributing some blue & white fabrics of our own.

My mother Mariette has made the 2 hour drive for this meeting, and shows her amazing yo-yo quilt. She is working on the same Oh, My Tangled Stars! pattern from Sherri Hisey's Border Creek Station Pattern Company as I am.

Doris has made most of the centre blocks for her Cabin Fever pattern from Trudie Hughes' book Log Cabin Quartet. Her colours are beautiful, her machine piecing is accurate, and this quilt is going to be stunning.

I haven't done any work on my quilt for the past 2 weeks, as I am finishing up work on my new Leaf Magic Little Quilt pattern. I get the booby prize!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

(North) American Gothic

I posted about Deep Freeze '08 on February 16th. And I couldn't resist asking our friends Tina and Tony from New York State to pose for an American Gothic portrait during the winter camping expedition. What do you think?

This photo is of the flag poles at the Deep Freeze site in Northern Ontario. Another friend gathered everyone's snowshoes and set up the shot. The sign reads

Welcome to Scouter Lake
Pop. 19
Kick off your shoes
and stay awhile

I love these people but I'm sure many would wonder if they have a screw loose. All I can say is they love winter camping, and this is the 7th year.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Keepsake Quilting Spring 2008 Catalogue

The new Keepsake Quilting catalogue is out, and I have 4 patterns on page 5! They are the Botanical Art Patterns Morning Glory, Oriental Poppy, Pansy and Asiatic Lily. Keepsake only photographed the small wall quilt sizes for the catalogue, so I'm going to show the large wall quilt images here.

Morning Glory quilt pattern

Oriental Poppy quilt pattern

Asiatic Lily quilt pattern

Pansy quilt pattern

Friday, March 7, 2008

Introducing Brian Holden

Brian Holden is an artist and print maker from Thunder Bay in Northwestern Ontario. I met Brian at an arts fair in the '90's. Eventually I commissioned him to create an elegant business logo for me. He is a wonderful man. Since then I've purchased one of his prints (Moon & Forest III).

Brian has a brand new etching called The Shaded Lane hot off the press. This print hasn't been put on his website yet, but may be purchased by contacting Brian directly. I've asked him to share this work with us, so here is his description:

The Shaded Lane

This miniature etching was inspired by a hike I took in Southern Ontario in the summer of 2007. I was visiting family in Dufferin County and on a particularly hot sunny morning decided to escape out of the urban environment. I ended up at Mono Cliffs Provincial Park near the tiny hamlet of Mono Centre. This is one of my favourite spots to hike as it follows along a section of the Niagara Escarpment with many trails that lead to ponds, forests, open fields and observation platforms.

This scene portrays one of the hiking trails that leads down under a canopy of maple trees and arrives at a small pond at the bottom of a hill.

I exposed my artwork onto a solar plate and printed the small 2 x 2.75 inch plate in black oil based ink onto a 5 x 7 inch piece of 140 lb. cold pressed watercolour paper using my hand turned press.

The paper was gummed taped onto a board and I applied watercolour to it. The oil base ink resisted the water based pigments of the paint so there was no fear of bleeding or having the black mix with the watercolour.

Image size: 2 x 2.75 inches
Paper size: 5 x 7 inches
Open edition
Price: $30 (no mat or frame)

Thursday, March 6, 2008


This quilt is called Hosta, and I began the piece in a Ruth McDowell workshop. It was exhibited in the Ontario Juried Show at the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery in 2000. This quilt is entirely machine-pieced with my hand-dyed, over-dyed, monoprinted and commercial fabrics. Some parts are 3-dimensional. I dyed the hosta flower fabrics to match the flowers of one of my plants.

I will be creating new gardens at my house this spring, including a shade garden. All my favorite hostas will be there including:
  • Blue Umbrellas
  • Fragrant Bouquet
  • El Nino
  • Krossa Regal
  • Abiqua Drinking Gourd
  • Cherry Berry
  • Halcyon
  • Sagae

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Kingston, Ontario

I went to Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. One of my favorite things to do was to walk the streets of Kingston and sketch the architectural details of the lovely houses. This sketch is of a dormer on a house on Barrie St.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Klean Kanteen

This is the new water bottle my husband bought me for Christmas. It is called the Klean Kanteen, and is made of stainless steel. I am a cancer survivor and have been reducing my use of PET plastic containers, as well as hard plastics made with bisphenol A that leach estrogens into my food and water. The best price he found for the Klean Kanteen was at Greenbeans, a Canadian company.