Friday, June 7, 2019

Coming Up for Air

YES, I'm still quilting, YES, I'm still taking on customer quilts. YES, I'm still available for trunk shows and teaching, but..........

The universe has a way of keeping us on our toes. This spring my phone rang, it was a woman I've known for many years.  We've worked together, I've worked for her.  Out of the blue, an opportunity came my way and it has changed my life in ways I never could have imagined.  Because of this phone call, I've dipped my feet in the Sea of Thailand.

I gathered with others in the early hour of a new day in Hau Hin

I've captured the sunrise of the new day.

 I met an amazing woman who has created beautiful things in Thailand.

You can experience her daily life by staying at her Bed and Breakfast.

I toured a temple in Bangkok.  Wad Po

I experienced all this during a heat wave in Thailand.

Quilting motifs everywhere.

And to add to all this excitement, I've been on TV!

I'm working with my friend as a brand ambassador for an amazing collection of jewelry called Zsiska.  I'll be flying back to Toronto for a summer show on July 30th.  You can catch me on cable tv in Canada on Todays Shopping Choice and in the US it is available at 

All this because back in 1992 I was a 3 line ad in the Vancouver Sun under the Help Wanted column.  You never know what tomorrow will bring, keep an open mind and a current passport handy!

p.s.  Since coming home, I spent 45 hours quilting ONE quilt.  The biggest job since getting my longarm.  It's under wraps but I will be able to share photos this fall.  My quilting line up is about 3 weeks out, so if you have tops that need to become quilts, please consider my services!

Keep stitching,

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Green Tea and Sweet Beans

I'm just going to let the photos tell this story. This is a customer quilt. Her version of Jen Kingwells Green Tea and Sweet Beans. KB wanted lots of quilting, stitch in the ditch and bubbles/swirls behind the applique. She gave me free reign to work on her beautiful quilt top.

I kept the narrow border pretty simple, and used a very light pink thread all over the top except behind the appliques.

The sun peeking in the window.  I couldn't resist finding a few places for feathers.

Back and forth stitching pushes up the center piecing on these twister blocks.  Hobbs wool helps with the relief.

Super simple flowers, and yet they work!

The other place that got a few feathers.  I think this block might have been paper pieced.  Oh those perfect circles that are hand appliqued!

Little hexi's got 1/4" outline stitching.  This was a small section of the quilt so the stop/start wasn't too much.  I certainly wouldn't want to do a whole quilt like this.

So many great fabrics were used in this top.  Oh to have a stash this bright.

Some simple squares scattered throughout make for a bit of easy piecing.

That's all, thanks for viewing.  I love sharing my customer work.  I would never ever make something like this.  I think I have a handful of fabrics that are in this range.  However, I LOVE working on quilts like this, and I certainly enjoy seeing all the mix up of bright prints and colors in other peoples quilts. 
Keep stitching,

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Retreat Sewing

The stitch group that I belong to meets once a month. Every three months we book a work room for three days, make hotel reservations, and pack up our sewing rooms and head south. Although our group started out as applique, we work on all kinds of projects at our retreats. Here are a few things that I managed to capture.
V had her penguins all in a row, and S had started on this Chain pattern. She did finish it, but I didn't catch a photo of that.  But I managed to acquire a strip of this green for a future project that is in a box right now.

JH was busy with a Betsy Chutchian pattern on the left.  Small precise piecing and fabulous 1800's prints.  CO was working with indigos and shirtings.  These blocks are from the Hope's Journey book by Betsy Chutchian.

V was also working on Christmas Tree skirts.  She started making these in Mid January, retreat days were in early February and I think she has about 14 finished already.  Talk about motivated.  They are all different and she has sourced out so many ideas from stacks of patterns and each skirt is unique.  She used lots of Buttermilk Basin patterns, she had a huge stack of them to work from.

Next up is my Just Takes 2 which I have blogged about already.  As of today, I've got 5 more blocks made and tucked back into the bin holding these blocks.  I will finish this one, just not yet.  This is the best thing about the room we book.  It has massive design walls and we each have our own table.  Well, I took the end seat and had 2 tables to work with!

On the left, EPP in progress.  MN is a machine when it comes to this.  Lucy Boston is the pattern and the grey setting color really makes this shine.  Those pops of coral, the Pantone color of the year, also add a surprise to the piece.  CD, on the right was busy with her Bonnie Hunter Mystery Quilt.  Looking great in these bright colors.  C decided to make hers smaller than the pattern, but with all the piecing in Bonnie's pattern, even at a smaller size, it's still going to be heavy!  Now for the borders.

JB was busy with a binding, but once she tackled that, she pulled out her blocks and got busy with this project.  Love the heart block, and note how small it is.  I think those small ones finish at 2"?

Here is JH with her top together.  I believe she even got the border on, but again, I missed that photo op.  On the right is one of mine.  It was the last box that I opened up at retreat.  It is a 49 patch block, I need 81 blocks, and I didn't strip piece ANY of this.  I spent the last morning sorting my strips on the design wall, making sure I didn't have multiples of obvious prints in a block.  All bundles have 7 strips with 7 squares.  Now to stitch them into blocks.  Again, this is a long term project that started due to a mistake using an Accucutter.  I had stacks of 2" blocks that needed to be 2 1/2" and that was what started me down this rabbit hole.  I know it will be amazing when finished, I just don't know when that will be.  Hopefully the binding will be on this one by Dec 24, 2019.  That's my goal.

There were many other projects that hit the design wall, got blocks added, or re arranged, and I just couldn't keep up with all the goodness in the room. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this is the BEST group of people that I get to stitch with. They are so positive, creative, encouraging, talented, sharing and just the best to stitch with.

I hope you all have a "tribe" of stitchers.
Keep stitching,

Friday, February 22, 2019

Abstract Blue & Green

A small study of sorts.  Except when I started this my goal was to emulate techniques from a new to me book and I ended up channeling Gwen Marston.
Three colors, navy, green and off white.
Machine pieced and quilted.
Faced with navy
18" x 18"

How I use up my bits of 'hot Hawaiian' pin up girls fabric.  They remain from making pillow cases for my guy.  He gets a new one each Christmas, but I'm running out of different prints!

To show the scale of the pieces.

In some spots I bled the lime green thread into the blue.  It's a Maderia thread and it has a nice sheen to it.

When I faced this piece I used triangles on the corners.  Then I saw a post on IG about facings and checked it out.  Cindy Grisdela, a fabulous textile artist has a great post and it's worth a read. I'm going to try her method next time.  I struggle with the corners!

This piece is on it's way to Mexico. Hopefully it will raise a few dollars for an animal shelter at their annual fund raiser that my sister helping with.  I don't like to donate where pieces are in a silent auction, I'd rather donate the money.  But I made the exception this time.  I once saw a queen quilt go for $48 in a silent auction.  It stabbed me to see that happen.

Have you faced a quilt?  What about stretching a piece over a canvas?  Did  you quilt it first or just mount the top?  What about mounting the finished piece right on the canvas?  I'm intrigued with having a nice back finish.  That's my stumbling block on the stretching over a canvas/stretcher bars.  Any ideas?

Keep stitching