Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Quilt Show

IMG_5578 Last week, our guild had its biennial quilt show at RIM Park in Waterloo. Saturday morning I left early, with my camera. My plan was to look at the quilts and visit the vendors before my shift to volunteer started. That was fine, till I tried to take pictures and nothing happened. The memory card was still stuck at home in the computer!!!! Ever done that? So much for pictures.

IMG_5574To the rescue came Tamara  (who, by the way, keeps me on the straight and narrow with my blog). I borrowed her camera just to take a few pictures. The picture above shows the winning quilts from the WCQG’s 2007 Quilt Show, which were displayed as you entered the hall.  

Then yesterday, when I asked her for the pictures, her camera was misplaced, at least until her kids found it again. By the time I received them it was time to make supper, after which we went for a IMG_5576visit to my mother-in-law.That's why this post at first appeared with pictures but no story! (Above, a look down toward one of my quilts, the Mariner’s Compass.)

Now about the show. There were beautiful quilts, very well displayed. The hall is big and bright, and with the skills of Kathy Bissett, who hung the show, it all came together just right.

Here is a closer shot of my Mariner’s Compass, pieced for Shawn & Emily’s wedding last summer. (They’ll get it back soon!)IMG_5577

And I admired this Baltimore Album quilt (right), made by Ginny Hess. Very traditional and very well done.   

The small wall hanging below was made by Judy Pearce, one of the IMG_557365 ladies who took my “Hawaiian” workshops last winter. The center piece was her first applique!

She designed the other 2 pieces and machine quilted it. For a first piece it was very well done.

IMG_5572 As you entered the Quilt Show, you were greeted by this quilt, made by Elizabeth King. It is really 3 quilts in one. The long stripes in the back form one quilt. The 2 panels with the giraffes and elephants are 2 separate small quilts, attached attached by 3 very large buttons!

All in all it was very good show. I stayed till the end and helped with the taking down. That way I could take my quilts home with me. But was I tired!

And I'm back in the land of the hearing. I went to the doctor who cleaned out my ear. There had been an infection for a while and it still is not completely gone, but at least Laurence does not have to holler all the time.

And… my list of workshops has been updated, so have a look at some old ones and some new ones!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Watkins Glen

We finally managed to get away for a few days last week. Friday we ended up at Jeanette's. I had mentioned that I needed a new purse and she had scouted out a few places to go. I'm not a shopper. I make a list and once that is finished I'm on my way home. She loves to shop and has a nose for sales. But first we had to stop at Vermeer's nursery, where they had their orchid week-end. I saw some beauties, but with Laurence in the back-ground I managed to get away with just 2 bags of potting soil. We did go to the leather store and I did buy a new purse and spend more than I ever have. According to my children I'm cheap!! But I guess that's what you get when you start farming with not much. You just had to be that way. Saturday we went over the border and were on our way to the Finger Lakes District. We ended up at Penn Yan and went for a walk at the Outlet Trail, where we saw this little fellow. A lot of squirels were very busy picking up acorns. We were expecting to see ruins of the different mills, but could not find any. I did visit a quilt store, but there were only finished quilts for sale, some very nice ones.Sunday we went to Corning. I wanted to go to the Glass Museum. Now Laurence is not a museum person, not on a sunny day anyway, but I insisted and guess what. He took longer looking at the exhibits than I did. The museum is fantastic and a must see. Next we went to the Westen Art Museum, which he also liked well enough. We had been told by Shawn, that we had to go and see the waterfalls at Watkins Glen. It would be busy, but according to him we could just walk up and take a shuttle bus down. Well, on Sunday evening we found out, that there would not be any more busses. And anyway how difficult could it be. Monday morning at 8.30 we were ready to go. There was only one other car in the parking lot. The walk up was amazing with beautiful areas. I took a lot of pictures.And just to show you that I really was there I had Laurence take a picture of me. Why the hat on backwards? How else can you take pictures. Once I was done I turned it around. The walk up to the top waterfall took us about 1/2 hour and we only met 5 other people. We decided not to go to the top, since we had seen what we came for. On our way down we met more people and by the time we came to the car, the parking lot was almost full. And you know what....we were not even tired or stiff. That came for me the next day. We decide the drive home. I had developed severe hearing problems in my "good" ear and Laurence was tired of all the shouting, what I can understand. This afternoon I have a doctor's appointment and I hope that I only need my ear cleaned out, so my hearing aid will work again. Right now it is a very quiet world for me. I will just mention ,that the Waterloo County Quilters Guild has their Quilt Show this coming week-end at the RIM Center in Waterloo. The show is Friday from 10 to 6 Saturday from 10 to 6. And finally were are working on updating my workshops page. It should be done later this week.
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Here are the workshops/lectures I offer. Click on one of the links below to see more details. If you are interested in having me teach or lecture, please contact me at

Trunk Shows/Lectures:

  1. "My Journey as a Quiltermaker"
  2. "Relief Sale Quilts"
  1. Yellow Lady Slipper
  2. Orchids with Sashiko Border
  3. Introduction to Sashiko
  4. Landscape One
  5. Landscape Two - The Next Step
  6. Roses
  7. Sunflower
  8. Pot with Pansies
  9. Showy Lady Slipper
  10. Jack in the Pulpit
  11. Chinese Lantern
  12. Hawaiian Block
  13. Crazy Quilt Block

Lecture / Trunk Show

1. My Journey as a Quiltmaker

  • Duration: (1 hour)
Showing a variety of quilts and wall hangings, I will share my journey as a quiltmaker with you.

Quilting has meant a great deal to me. Many appliquéd quilts will be featured, as they are my favorite.

2. Relief Sale Quilts

  • Duration: (1 hour)
Many people have heard of Mennonite Relief Sales, but don't know what they are. The annual Relief Sale in New Hamburg, Ontario, features the largest quilt auction in Canada - with 100% of the proceeds donated to worldwide relief efforts.

Over the years, I have been inspired by the enthusiasm of the women in my church and my local quilting guild, to coordinate a number of unique group quilts, which were ultimately donated to the Relief Sale. Each one was an adventure!

In this slide show presentation, I talk about my personal experiences with the Ontario Mennonite Relief Sale and the group quilts I have orchestrated.

Hand Appliqué Workshops

3. Yellow Lady Slipper


  • Duration: 2 days
  • Level: All (some appliqué experience a benefit)
  • Project Size: 24"x29" (centre: 14"x20")
This native orchid is a striking project for the student with some prior hand appliqué experience.

Teaching a variety of techniques, I will lead you through the construction of the flowers. Fabric selection will be discussed, as colour choice has a huge impact on the success of this project.

yellowladyslipperdetail Finally, you will infuse your work with true Japanese flavour by embellishing the border with sashiko. I will provide examples of some of the many sashiko patterns , then teach you how to stitch this design into your own work.

4. Orchids with Sashiko Border


  • Duration: 2 Days
  • Level: All (some appliqué experience a benefit)
  • Size: 24.5"x29" (centre: 14"x16.5")
Ready for a taste of the exotic? Why not learn to appliqué this elegant orchid arrangement, embellished with sashiko stitches? I will guide you through the different hand appliquéd techniques necessary to create the pot, then fill it with twigs, leaves and orchids. You will finish the arrangement with moss to give the whole a three dimensional orchid_sashiko_detailfeeling.

Colour selection is very important in this piece and I will discuss choices that create a dramatic effect.

Finally, you will infuse your work with true Japanese flavour by embellishing the border with sashiko. I will provide examples of some of the many sashiko patterns, then teach you how to stitch this design into your own work.

5. Introduction to Sashiko


  • Duration: 1 full day
  • Level: All
  • Project size: 18" x 18")
Using 4 traditional Japanese designs, we will learn the running stitch used by the Japanese to create beautiful sashiko designs. Sashiko is a beautiful compliment to traditional quilting!

sashiko_extra_ful The four 6" blocks created in the workshop can be combined into an 18" pillow or small wall-hanging, as shown in the workshop sample, above. Altesashiko_extra_detailrnatively, at right, I've created a sample showing how blocks can be interspersed with squares of Japanese prints.

There are so many ways to use sashiko in your projects: let this workshop inspire you!

6. Landscape One - Basic


  • Duration: 1 full day
  • Level: All levels
  • Project size: 5.5" x 4.5"
We will start with a very simple landscape, using the pattern shown at left.

Fabric selection is important: you will need a variety of colours, shades and prints, but only in small amounts -- so start saving your scraps! You will be amazed what you can do with even the smallest scraps.


The detail photograph shows the same landscape pattern, but embellished with a different style of tree: see how it changes the final result!

Also discussed, fabric selection for season and mood, as well as options for finishing your work.

7. Landscape Two - The Next Step


  • Duration: 1 full day
  • Level: Continuation from Landscape One
  • Project size and design: your choice!
This workshop challenges participants to use what they learned in Landscape One to create their own landscape. First, you'll make a pattern from your own picture; then you will start the appliqué on a muslin background. It is strongly recommended that you take the first workshop before participating in this one.

The sample shown here is an example of an appliquéd landscape derived from a photograph: imagine the possibilities!

8. Roses


  • Duration: 1 full day
  • Level: All levels
  • Project size: 21.5"x21.5" (9" circle )
Here's a beautiful project. All the romance of a full-blown rose is captured using dimensional wired ribbon appliqué.

I will teach you about the tools and tricks for needle-turn appliqué,rose_circle as you create the stems and leaves for your rose. Fabric selection is important if you want the variety of shading and colour that gives a realistic result. It is also possible -- though not necessary -- to fussy-cut leaves from a printed fabric, as I have done in the sample shown.

rose_zoom You will then learn to create the rose "petals" and rose bud. For this, the dimensional wired ribbon gives gorgeous depth, colour and sheen!

We will also discuss ideas and techniques for finishing your project. These roses make a wonderful gift for someone special -- if you can bear to give them away!

9. Sunflower


  • Duration: 1 full day
  • Level: All levels
  • Project size: 20.5"x 20.5" (9.5" circle)
Like a ring of sunshine, these dimensional wired ribbon sunflowers beckon us with the promise of summer. You’ll learn the basics of needle-turn appliqué as you create the stem and leaves. sunflower_detail

You'll learn how to make a template for your pattern and how to choose fabrics effectively for creating highlights and shadow.

sunflower_zoomNext come the sunflowers themselves and you'll be delighted to discover how easily the shaded wired ribbon can be shaped into a ring of petals. So simple -- but such a beautiful result.

The flowers are finished by creating centres filled with coloured seed beads. Finally, you will learn to set your creation into a reverse appliquéd border.

10. Pot with Pansies


  • Duration: 1 full day
  • Level: All levels, but very suitable for beginners
  • Project size: 22"x20.5" (center 10"x9")

Capture the essence of spring with these lovely pansies in dimensional wired ribbon appliqué. And it's easier than you think!

pansies_detailThis is a hand appliqué project that confident beginners can readily take on. I will lead you through the basics of needle-turn appliqué techniques as you create the pot and leaves.

pansies_extraNext you'll learn to manipulate shaded ribbon into blooms that look almost like the real thing.

Finally, you'll embellish your bouquet with delicate lilies-of-the-valley, made with fabric blooms and embroidered stems.

I will present different options for framing the appliquéd pot of flowers, as well as finishing and quilting your block.

11. Showy Lady Slipper


  • Duration: 1 full day
  • Level: All levels
  • Project size: 20"x14"

I love orchids, and enjoy capturing their elegant simplicity in appliqué. The Showy Lady Slipper is endangered in the wild, but we can safely capture it in this project with an Art Deco flavour.

We will begin by creating and layering pattern pieces, and I will lead you through the showyladyslipper_detailfundamentals of needle-turn appliqué as you create the stem, leaves and blooms of your flower.

We will discuss the importance of fabric selection for achieving a realistic result.

Ideas and techniques for quilting and finishing will lead you toward a completed project you’ll be eager to display!

12. Jack-in-the-Pulpit


  • Duration: 1 full day
  • Level: All levels
  • Project size: 18"x20" (oval: 8.5"x10.5")

This native bloom is a sure sign that spring has come to the woodlands!

Refine your needle-turn appliqué technique as you create the distinctive striped leaf and tiny spadix inside that gives this plant its name. jack_detailWe will review pattern layering and discuss fabric colour and selection, for wonderful results.

I will teach you how to frame the oval inset that sets off the piece, and we will discuss tips and techniques for finishing. You’ll be delighted with the result!

13. Chinese Lanterns


  • Duration: 1 full day
  • Level: All levels
  • Project size: 19"x25"

The distinctive lantern shape and bright orange colour of these blooms make them a popular choice in autumn gardens and dried arrangements. Now you can capture these cheerful and festive-looking flowers in appliqué!

Fabric and colour selection is vital to the success of this piece, and we will look at your fabrics and discuss how to make good choices as you build the leaves and blooms from your pattern pieces.chinese_lanterns_detail

I will lead you through needle-turn appliqué techniques, and will demonstrate the tools and tricks of the trade.

Finally, we will review ideas for finishing and quilting your project.

14. Hawaiian Style Cut-outs


  • Duration: 1 full day
  • Level: All levels
  • Project size: 28"x28"

In Hawaii, the pineapple is a symbol of welcome, and appears commonly as a decorative motif.

The method for creating these cut-out blocks with a Pacific hawaiian_extra_fullflair is fun and easy to learn. I will guide you as you move from pattern, through fabric selection, to cut-out, and finally to needle-turn appliqué -- demonstrating the tools and techniques that will give you dramatic results, as in the sample above.

I will also show samples of more complicated patterns that can be created using the very same techniques, as in the photo at right.

We will also discuss ideas for finishing and quilting your project.

15. Crazy Quilt Block


  • Duration: 1 full day
  • Level: All
  • Project size: sample shown is 8.5"x8.5"
Indulge in embellishment! Learn different embroidery stitches, beadwork and ribbon work used for crazy quilting. We will be working on an 8" block, made before crazyquilt_main_detailthe workshop from a pattern that will be provided.

This is a chance to use all the "things" you have collected over the years, from old handkerchiefs to buttons and charms to crazyquilt_extra_detail old laces. There are so many options for embellishing your work, and I will show other samples to inspire you.

We will also discuss ideas for finishing your piece, or incorporating it into other projects.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

No Internet....again

We get our Internet via signals, that go from tower to tower. Usually it works well, although bad weather can interfere.Last week we ran into another problem. This is what I read in the local paper. "Around 2am on September 12th , vandals send a 120 foot communications tower crashing to the ground near Parker.Estimates are that the vandals used an angle grinder to sever the tower's legs. The cost is at least $100.000 and 3000 customers were without Internet services". That included us. I'm happy to say, that as of last evening we were connected again. The police is looking into this, but it is out in the country, so not many people are around at that time of the night. I managed to finish the Christmas throw. It is all flannel, so it is warm and cosy. I learned a lot by quilting it and feel ready for the next one. On Saturday I took a beginner course in making flower arrangements. It was put on by the Horticultural Society in Fergus and it was a lot of fun. Each had to make 3 arragements in a short period of time. After lunch we watched one member make abstract arragements and they were amazing. The worst is always to try and get the arragements home in one piece without dumping them upside down in the car.I was lucky that day! The weather is still beaufitul. It looks like we have our summer just a few months later than other years. This is very good for the corn, since that is still behind. Yesterday was guild meeting and afterwards I picked up my daffodil bulbs. They are huge. They barely fit in a big crate. I will need Laurence's help to get them in the ground. I got something to put on the end of a drill, so he can run that machine, while I put them in the ground. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Shorter days are here

Saturday we had a visitor. Jenny came and she had Bernie, her Bernese Mountain dog, along. I just had to take a picture of a sweet dog in front of the sweet peas. These are in full bloom and it seems, that the more you pick, the more blooms there are. Another sign that fall is near are all the dahlia's I have in the garden. They always take a long time to get to the blooming stage, since I put the bulbs right into the garden. The yellow ones are almost dinner plate size. The orange ones are smaller. I like the color better, but these only last a short time. We did get the sedums planted.I have ordered 200 daffodils to plant in between, but I will not pick those up till our guild meeting next week.Jenny came home with 120 crocusses and they will also need a home. We even planted grass seed on the part that won't have plants. I phoned the hardware store and asked if they had anything that would drill holes in the ground and that would fit in an portable drill and I was lucky. There is one there,even on sale. I will pick that up next week also. Why do it the hard way, when there is an easier way! In the quilt department. I needed a card and I came up with this idea. The back ground has some selvages sewn on The sunflower is fused and then covered with some thread painting. Size is 5 by 7 inches.I like to do these small projects when I get tired of the bigger ones. I'm still not finished quilting the one from last week. The center is an all over design and there are feathers in the border. I have never been able to do even close to a decent job with these feathers. This is shown from the back. The front is harder to see, since it has different colors. I think I'm getting a little better. These feathers are all done free hand. I only draw the spine. 2 more to go and I can put the binding on. Hooray, another project to scratch of the to do list!
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