Monday, January 26, 2009

Hibiscus and Porcelain Workshop

I had the pleasure of teaching my Hibiscus and Porcelain Workshop at the Sew Sunsational 2009 Retreat in Cocoa, Florida this past Friday.

Here I am in the centre under the Hibiscus and Porcelain quilt with some of the class members.

The Holiday Inn Select hotel that the retreat was held in. I ate lunch under the palm trees on Friday - what a treat!

This retreat lasts a full week, with 5 classes per day (some were 2 day classes). The host shop, Ultimate Sewing Place from Titusville, sets up a mini quilt store in one of the rooms. The retreat begins with a lunch lecture on Sunday, and events are held each evening during the week.

This was the 5th annual Sew Sunsational retreat. I highly recommend it for a welcome break in cold January!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hibiscus and Porcelain

Hibiscus and Porcelain is my newest design, created especially for the Sew Sunsational 2009 retreat that I am teaching at this Friday in Cocoa, Florida.

My friends Jean and Wayne Boyd shared photographs with me of their brilliant pink hibiscus from the summer of 2008. With their permission, I used them to design the flowers for this quilt. I also have a passion for blue and white porcelain ginger jars, and included them for fun. The borders seemed to need a bit of brightness, so I added 4 Orange-Barred Sulphur Butterflies to pick up the colours in the Hibiscus pistils.

I've added many bead embellishments, hand embroidery and a decorative button to this quilt. It measures 32" square and was designed to be used either as a wall quilt or a table topper.

I'm not releasing this pattern for general sale at the moment. It will be available as a one day workshop only. I'll also be teaching this workshop for Cock-A-Doodle Quilts; a shop in Toronto, Ontario on April 8th.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Lily Waits...

... for Sid to come home.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

American Goldfinch

The bird feeders are busy these days with frigid temperatures and wind chill. We've had flocks of American Goldfinches, Redpolls, Pine Siskins, Chickadees and Mourning Doves. The American Goldfinch, above, is in it's winter colour phase. A Hairy Woodpecker visited the suet feeder yesterday.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January 14th, 2009

The view out my kitchen window, about 5 minutes ago.
I'm going back to bed until April.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sarah's Lantern Bag

I took my daughter Sarah along with me to International Quilt Festival in Chicago last spring. The only purchase she asked for was a little package of Japanese fabrics from a booth in the end aisle (I can't remember the name of the company). The package included 6 pieces of fabric, as well as a length of wrapped cord.

I saw this Lantern Bag pattern by Four Corners Designs at my local quilt shop, and decided that it would be perfect for Sarah's Japanese fabrics. Hey! A Christmas gift idea!

These are the 2 fabrics I added to the mix. The blue batik on the left would be the main fabric, and the brown ikat on the right (a gift from a friend who lived in Japan for awhile) would be the inner pockets.

I had bought the wooden button many years ago, and it was perfect for the purse. The pattern doesn't call for a button but I like to be able to close a bag. I hand-stitched the wrapped cord around the upper seam to give it a nice finish.

You can see the inner folded fabrics peeking out.

The back of the Lantern Bag.

I still have to make a change in the design. Sarah prefers longer handles to sling over her shoulder, so I'll redo the handles to be longer. Otherwise she loved it!

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Bed Quilt Club 11

The Club met on Wednesday. Pat, Doris, Marg and I were the only ones out of 8 members who were able to attend. The weather certainly didn't cooperate! Think Northern Ontario in the winter. I needn't elaborate.

The Nine Patch block exchange came first. To recap the rules:
  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.
  5. We have to include every block from the swap in our quilts.
  6. We can add as many extra blocks as we want to our own quilt.
These were the 9 Patch blocks for today's swap

Next, Marg showed the pillow shams that she has made to go with her daughter-in-law Darbie's quilt. She shows us how she lined the back of the flying geese patchwork so the shams may be washed without fraying seams.

And finally, here is a progress photo of the quilt I began for my daughter Sarah just before Christmas. Sarah loves authentic Japanese fabrics, including those lovely neutral blues, taupes and greys. All of the fabrics in this quilt are from Japanese companies. The pattern is called Stone Cottage, from Judy Martin's Log Cabin Quilt Book. I hope to have the quilt top completed for the next meeting!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


We lost our beautiful Sasha on December 22nd to cancer. She was loved by many people. Our vet, Dr. Dan wrote the following about her:

"You give your pets great love and care... their final gift is the memory of a life lived well."