Wednesday, March 28, 2007


We have had a few great days with warm weather.Now that the snow is gone I can see the lawn again and it will need a good raking as soon as it dries of some. After a long winter I want to get out there and work, but I tend to forget ,that we will get some frosty days yet. But I did pot up my begonias and some calla's. Yesterday I found the first crocusses and had to take this picture.
Yesterday morning my husband came in the house with the news, that he had seen a group of swans at the back of one of our farms.For my birthday he gave me a new camera ( the old digital one was not good enough to take pictures for quilt show entrees) and this was the time to try it out, even if I do not have a zoom lens.

I quickly put on my rubber boots and off it was . We had to walk from the front of the farm, since it is still very wet. And as usual, I'm about 20 feet in front, trotting through the mud.
He was smarter and walked on the other side of the trees along the lane. I had not figured on the swans seeing me, but it happened and off they went. But I did get his picture. Last night I heard, that the swans had moved over one concession, but when I checked it out this morning, they were gone, most likely on their way north.
Next time I better be in less of a rush and think before I head out.
On the quilt front it is more of the same. I'm still working on my small hexagons with sashiko. And besides that I have to get ready for workshops.
I have updated my itinerary and you can find it on the right side of this blog.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Triangles and hexagons

It looks like winter might be on the way out. A few days ago I took this picture of the first snowdrops in the melting snow. I also found out, that the ground is still very wet!!!Years ago I planted some in a protected area, close to the driving shed.And every year they are the first to bloom.

Back to quilting. I have alway admired the quilts made by Kitty Pippen. I have browsed through her book Quilting with Japanese Fabric and decided that it was time to make use of my very limited stash of old oriental fabric. I specifically liked the quilts with equilateral triangles. After a good look I put the book away and started on my own.I made myself 2 rules: the quilt had to be at least 40 by 40 inches and I could only use the fabric I had on hand. The last meant some creative cutting, but I managed. The first step was to find equilateral graph paper, that I could download. I still did not get it, so I cut every piece out of paper and put it on my design wall. Next step was to cut all the pieces and hand baste them on paper, the old English way. The triangles are 71/2, 5 and 21/2 inches and the sides of the hexagonds are also 21/2 inches. The fabric I used are 2 small pieces of kimono silk and a dark blue batik with irisses for the large triangles, 3 small pieces of katazome for the medium ones and a Chinese shibori for the small triangles

The fabric of the hexagons is a plain indigo blue cotton, used for sashiko. I'm using a Dover book :Japanese Design Motifs for the crest designs. Since this book has over 4000 different ones I have no worry about ever running out of designs. The last picture shows you a small piece, that is ready to be whip stitched together, also done by hand.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Workshops and trunk shows

This week I found the time to machine quilt this small Irish landscape. I received the picture from a student in one of my landscape workshops. She wondered if I could try and do something with it. It took a long time and a lot of small pieces(about 200) ,but finally it is finished.
It is hand appliqued and machine quilted and the width is 191/4 inches and the height is 22 inches
The center is 81/2 by 12 inches.
My teaching schedule has not been updated for a long time, but that does not mean, that I do not go away anymore. This web site will be updated soon, but in the meantime I will post the dates for my trunkshows and workshops till the end of April By then I hope to have it all changed.

Tonight: Trunkshow at the Hamilton Quilter's Guild Hamilton

March 31st: Jack-in-the-pulpit, hand applique, suitable for beginners
Greenwood Quiltery Guelph

April 3 and 4:Kawartha Quiltmakers Guild, Peterborough
Workshop: Small landscape, all levels

April 10: Kincardine Sunset Quilters, Kincardine
Workshop: landscape with machine embellishments

April 11th:Haliburton Highlands Quilters Guild, Haliburton

April 12 and 13: Pine Tree Quilter's Guild of Muskoka, Bracebridge

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Stormy weather

Another week, another snow storm. Yesterday morning Laurence left early to go to a meeting in London, Ontario that is. When I had to go into town an hour later I discovered that the conditions were very poor. I did manage to turn around and looking at the tops of the trees and the hydro wires I kept the truck on the middle of the road and made it home. Fortunately nobody else was on the road at that time. I asked Laurence to stay in town, but it did not look too bad down there, so he started out. Things got worse fast and after 8 hours driving through whipping snow he had to stop in a town 15km for here for the night. And a cold night it was ,down to -26C. When my mother-in-law quit driving she gave me a very heavy blanket, that she carried in her car for years.It did come in handy last night. By midnight the storm was over, but no roads were plowed till early this morning. And who drove in at 7 this morning, hungry, cold and sleepy, but dear hubby. On his way he saw a propane truck on its side and a small car, stuck in the middle of the road. The snowplow had just gone around it. No time to stop for that till later. Now a day later, it is beautiful and sunny out, but still cold. In the meantime everything went well at home. We have a generator, so power was no problem and than we have a trusty old wood stove.
Every time I give a workshop where we make 3d flowers I drop my samples in a box. Last week I looked in the box and found about a dozen roses. I needed a few gifts and found the right pattern in Romancing with Ribbons, a book by Elly Sienkiewicz. First I made the 2 pillows, both to be given away. Next came the 2 small quilts. This fall our guild will have their bi-annual show and we were asked to make small quilts, not more that 15 by 15 inches , for the silent auction. Since I had all the stuff out anyway, it did not take me long the make these 2. The rest of the flowers went back in the box for now.And yes, the quilts are square.My picture taking can stand some improvement.
Today it is back to some machine quilting.

Thursday, March 01, 2007


Yesterday I went to Kitchener and delivered the postcards to the MCC office (see last weeks blog) My goal has been reached. I wanted around 80 and with the cards directly delivered to the office I have even more. Now the travel will start, first to the head office in Akron and than all over the world. It will be interesting to see how long it will take for the first one to come back and how many will find their way back to Kitchener.Last week I finally managed to finish my (12 inch)crazy quilt block.It took way longer than I expected. I had started out with this big idea of a quilt with 12 blocks. Soon it came down to 6 and later I thought that 4 with a border would just look right. For the time being it will be just this one.It is fun to do , but since it seems to be hard on my shoulders and back I will tackle some other projects first. All the "stuff" has been put away.Yesterday I stopped in at my favorite framer in St. Jacobs and he quickly made a mat for the block. This way I can see what it looks like at the right size
I also brought in the 8 inch block I had made for a workshop. I had put it in a shadowbox without a mat and he quickly put a double mat in. It makes it look much better.