Monday, January 15, 2018

I'm Moving.....

I am Moving...

But not actually physically moving house holds.

What I am doing is moving to a new blog homeland.

Yup with 2018 I need a fresh start. Not really the challenge of learning new software but I need a direction and purpose.

The purpose of my new blog will be a journey of my quilts, art quilting and fiber arts trials and journeys.

So I hope you make the journey with me. I plan (and I hope you join in) to make it about my learning experiences, passing on what I learn. My mistakes, my wins and my so, so's....

I find that with the internet we see to much perfection.

Learn to free motion.... Does anyone show you how crappy things look until you get the hang of it?

I will. This is all in the effort to take the fear out of my life. I am afraid of making a mistake. No more.

Learn with me... give me tips, share.... lets make 2018 a year of letting go!

My new blog can be found on my dedicated site over at word press.

It may take a few days to migrate, cull, and get the thing working but consider this a spring house cleaning of my mind.

See you there


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

A First...but no new work...

I have been busy but it seems that no new work is being produced.

Since coming home from Quilt Market/ Festival I have had little time at home.

A lovely visit to my sister for a week added to the busyness. I think I am stuffed until Christmas. She is a great cook.

A bit of Christmas shopping was done on Black Friday. No great deals because our dollar is so low compared to the US. I liked it much better when it was closer to par.

But I did pick up some cosy fabric for my mom to make our granddaughter some sleep sacks.

I did a two day long arm course before I left. Talk about brain overload. Friday or Saturday I am going to get some stitch time in!

I have been prepping for my first vendor sale. It is a lot of work but literally I hope it pays off. lol

I simply love, love, love the fabric line Nuances from Sew Batik. I think it will be a good fit for me since I have come to the conclusion I have feet firmly planted in the Art Quilt World and the Traditional/Modern world.

We have one more week trip planned before Christmas with good friends. And then it will be home for a few months. I am going to dedicate my time to creating. Getting on a good schedule will be the key.

How to create habits that are good for me that I don't resist doing? How to be good to myself and others too!

But for now I need to get cracking and finish off the last details of packing my sale stuff. By tonight it will be over. Tomorrow clean up and then hopefully so Jo Sew Time. My machines miss me.

And one other tidbit ... the Canadian Quilter Magazine from CQA had an article on the Canadian Nine Patch Exhibit in Houston. Anne and my quilt made the article. It was a nice bonus to our adventure. Everyone's quilt deserved to be in it.

No pictures this week. No sewing this week.

So I will leave you with some pictures from our Houston Trip.

Meeting Maria Shell was a great highlight of my trip as she is one of my favorite SAQA artists and a very nice, gracious person to talk to. She didn't even run when I gushed about how much I love her work. 

This was us after Sample Spree. This took place after all day running around the School House segments. Think School House as 20 min commercials all day long in different rooms. And over 1300 people running the halls all trying to get somewhere and get the good free goodies. Add Sample Spree in the evening which is the same people ( or at least number of people) running around to vendors to get the new products from companies like Moda ( or other big companies) People line up for a couple of hours to be first in line so they can run (literally)  to get to the shopping when the doors open. Think of the running of the bulls for fabric shoppers. 

This was such a cute turtle tower at Market I could resist taking a picture. It was at Jen Kingwells booth. 

Part of the fun of Market was getting your picture taken by the Moda designers then posting to Instagram. I had to get a Instagram account to play the game. This was Deb Strain's new collection which I won a set of fat quarters. I love the graphicness of the line. A bit of an address mix up but the fabric is on its way to me. Out of the five of us who hung around at Market 4 of us one a free set of the artists line. My daughter didn't win one so that is ok since we share everything any way.

Hope you have a week full of stitching fun.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Whats coming up.....

It has been a few weeks since posting....

First I have been off running about Houston Quilt Market and Festival...

This was an awe inspiring, exhausting and exhilterating trip! 

It was to see new things, get new ideas, and see... 
My Paternal Great Grandmothers quilt hang. She made it for her sister in 1908 for her wedding. 

And to see this quilt my daughter Anne and I made to honour the two sisters.

The pattern of the blocks is an uneven nine patch called Garden of Eden. Perfect name considering the sisters Jessie and Min grew up on the family farm that is still in our family today in the Niagara Region of Ontario Canada.

In Houston the quilts hung proudly in the ....

which has been a focus of attention for us for the past year or more. 

And now we learn that this exhibit will be going on to hang in the Canadian Embassy Art Program for the next year or so. 

All this was the brain child of my Friends Leslie Prokop and Shelley Dehaye Turner. To them I am very thankful to them for all the hard work they have done to get the exhibit to Houston! 

And here are my daughter Anne and I pousing in front of the quilts in Houston. 

Such an honour! 

I have been super busy since I have got home. But more of that later... for now I am rushing out the door once again. But I wanted to hook up to needleandthreadnetwork and finally have made the weekly deadline. 

This has opened new and wonderful worlds for me. And I would love to share them with you! 

Thursday, October 5, 2017

This week ... Indigo and Eco dyeing

This week...indigo and Eco dyeing.

This has been a busy week. Saturday my daughter and I did some indigo dyeing. First time for me. Second for her. For once she beat me to learning something! We both have used different types of shibori with regular MX dyes but hadn't used Indigo. It was a prereduced kit from G and S dye in Toronto.
Here are a couple of snaps to show our results
Here I was Eco dyeing on Tuesday. Doing a workshop for my husbands family Girls day out (by request). Need to know what to do with what I have. Loved the results on silk and on cotton as the iron blanket.
And here I have one of my dyed scarfs with my jewelry in the same tones. A complete package. Hope to get these into a co op soon.

Have a great week. Much going on in the studio aka house right now.
Hope to link to the Needle and Thread Networks. 
Have a great Thanksgiving! 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Weekly Post - Fabric Beads Part 2

The canning factory that has been my house has slowed down. Now I only have apples to make into sauce and pies. Apples can be done over a longer period because they last so much longer than tender fruit.

So I have time to write a bit at last.

Fabric Beads Part 2

This is what the fabric bead looks like not embellished. And they are attractive on their own. 
But I like to wrap a bit of thread around the bead to give it some extra zing. 

Here comes in all the yummy threads you bought and haven't done much with since or the left over bits on a spool you don't know what to do with. 

I put the threads in this box with a magnetic closer so I can store it my sewing lair or in the living room with out it looking to messy. Since I also take it along to work on while driving trips ( to avoid watching the crazy traffic while my husband drives) the threads and supplies are contained and don't drop all over the floor of the car. Experience is a great teacher! 

You could use glue but I hate sticky and glue finds its ugly head all over the place if I use it. So I thread up a needle. I usually double up the thread and knot it at the end for better bead coverage. 

I start at one end of the bead going between the layers of  fabric (missing the plastic straw if you use that ) up to the top surface and take a small back stitch. 

I make sure the thread does not pull out at this time. Then I start wrapping down the length of the bead. 

Somewhere around the middle I take another small back stitch to keep the thread taught. 

Wrap to the end and use another back stitch. Wrap back to the other end wrapping and back stitching. 

There is no right or wrong about how much thread you use. Just it is nice if you have enough thread to go up and back on the same bead. 

If you don't make it to the end tie off with a few back stitches and add a new piece of thread. 

At the end of the bead go down through a few layers and make some tiny back stitches between the layers and tie off the thread inside. I

In time you will get speedier and neater. 
There is no right or wrong way of doing this. It is for fun! 

Here are two finished beads that took me a short time to create. 

Other ways to decorate the bead include beads in a bottle, adding small seed beads, pre stamping or colouring the fabric. 

Next up... how to make them into an earring.  

Hope your week wonderful.  The warm days this September is amazing. Some of the warmest driest weather we have had in Southern Ontario all summer. Linking up with the Needle and Thread Network


Have you tried making the beads yet? 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Have you ever had a dream...

Have you ever had a Dream....  

Houston International Quilt Market and Festival A CANADIAN NINE PATCH CELEBRATING CANADA’S 150TH BIRTHDAY
Sponsored by Edward Jones
Organized by Leslie Prokop and Shelley DeHay-Turner
This exhibit is inspired by Canada’s sesquicentennial. The quilts represent Canada’s history, geography, and culture
as expressed by each artist. And each work showcases a diversity of quilting styles as well as a variety of mediums
and techniques.

For years I have had a dream ... the dream was to attend a national quilt festival. I never thought it would happen until I was asked along with many others to make a quilt to put into the exhibition above. 

It was the dream of my friends Leslie and Shelley to enter a special exhibit into the Houston Quilt Festival. So they started by recruiting friends and people who may be interested. It wasn't a given that it would happen. It wasn't a given it would be accepted. It was a given that my quilt would be included if the exhibit was accepted. 

But one thing was for sure I would have a finished quilt that I had long wanted to make that included my traditional side along with my art quilting side. And as usual I dragged my daughter in to help with the hand quilting. 

So now the exhibit has been accepted. It will hang at the 2017 Houston Quilt Market and Festival this October - November.  
And my dear hubby has booked the plane tickets and Air B and B.  My daughter has booked the time off of work and next month we will be there. Walking the aisles, shopping, see quilts we can ever imagine making. Meeting people. Quilt Stars! 
Totally Quilt geeks we are! 

And unbelievable to me, my quilt and my great-grandma's quilt will be hanging along side my 25 new Canadian Quilt buddies and among the world's quilters. 

So off to Houston we go with all my buddies who can attend. Ego boosting and humbling this experience both is.... 

No pictures for now.. we signed an agreement no pictures could be published before hand.... But you can be sure it will be along with my Houston and greatest adventures of being a quilt and sewing geek! 

P. S 
There will be an opportunity to see these quilts. 

Tuesday December 5th from 2:30 - 4:00 p.m.
Brant Hills Community Centre
2255 Brant St,
Burlington, ON
We will be presenting our Canadian Nine Patch Quilt exhibit at the Brant Hills Community Centre - just south of #5

We will be hosting a one day event to share our quilts and their stories with our community

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Weekly Post - Fabric Beads Part 1

Where did August go?

I realized I have missed many weeks posting. It is not that I haven't been working but live revolving around me has been very busy.

Family from Vermont, birthday celebrations, weddings -(2), canning wonderful peaches, pears and salsa, experimenting with eco print dyeing, experimenting with ice dyeing, making jewelry with fabric beads, helping friends, new fence (finally!) all good things but it left me drained.

Combine that with the sadness in the world with hurricanes, and situations of extreme acts of hatred against people and that leaves me drained.

Why do I let life events effect me so...? Because like it or not I am a feeler. Intuitively or unconsciously I feel deeply. I am trying to just go with that as I would rather care to much than to little. I need to recognize it, see it and learn to accept that I am resilient and will not break. Do what I can and not break. So some of my down time has been reading so scientific books on resiliency. Fascinating. But a lot of processing.

But for a blog on my art work that is not very fascinating.

So I am going to share how I make fabric beads. Again not rocket science but a easy process to do when you just want to fiddle some time doing something rote and simple.

Making a fabric bead... 

What you need:
- piece of colourful fabric
- small stir stick straws, drinking straws or skewers
- double sided contact tape. (Scor tape or fabric glue
- cutting mat, rotary cutter and ruler or a sharp pair of scissors.

Choose a piece of fabric that is colourful. Batiks work great. Use up pieces that you may have saved. This is one way I use up my scraps. Cut the fabric the length of your straw or skewer. 

These are some straws I have collected from my wanderings. Recycling all those coffee straws or you can buy a box of them at a place that sells restaurant supplies or coffee supplies for business. 

Placing the double sided  scor tape on the fabric top and bottom. If you are using glue put a small bead line of glue where the tape is .
 Remove the tape and place the coffee straw on the sticky tape and start to tightly roll the straw up to the top tap. Remove top tape and finish rolling.
You should now have a covered straw. To cut the piece into individual bead. Place a ruler beside the straw and vision how long you want your bead. 

I didn't do this in the picture above but I would use my rotary cutter to make a clean cut on both ends first. Or you can use scissors for this. Don't use your best blade or scissors for this!
Here is a finished set of beads. 2 one inch beads and 5 half inch beads.

There is more that  I do to the beads or you can use them like this.

Part 2 I will give you some suggestions that I do to fancy them up.

Part 3 will show you how I have used them in a project.

Then I will consolidate the instructions on a tab at the top.

I love making the beads. It is a perfect activity for TV or sewing that doesn't require a lot of thinking.

Hope you are having a wonderful week. Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!

 Linking up with the needleandthreadnetwork
P. S. I have no affiliation with Scor-pal tape but do find it very useful. Google it for a place where you can find it. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Weekly Post - Post Cottage Edition....

Every summer we are fortunate to be able to head to the family cottage to rest and relax.

Built in 1941-42 the place has stayed basically the same with the addition of one small bedroom and a fully functional bathroom. I have to ask my mom when my "auntie" had that put in.

A few years ago we changed the clapboard siding to aluminum to save costs. Continual paint maintenance was becoming too much. Now we can give it a good pressure wash and be done.

Everyone gets to do just what they like at the cottage. My husband reads, kayaks
and putters at a few chores. I take along some basic sewing, read and sometimes a craft or two. Our now adult kids kick back read, rest and play games. My sisters family fish and she reads. Our dog lives to fetch sticks and run.

 If we quit throwing in the sticks then he "accidentally" throws them in the lake and makes a big scene out of fetching them.  Now with the next generation we will see what develops. Baby Pea came up with her parents for a weekend but since she was just under 3 weeks old she basically slept and ate.
Many memories are created at this place which we just kick back and relax. No TV unless we bring a DVD. No Internet for we have a dial up wall phone. It truly is our happy place.

The cottage is an inspirational place for me. This year I worked on another set of blocks for my "Judy" quilt. So far I have managed to make one set of five blocks a year. I am going to push myself on this one. It is time for it to be done. Paper piecing Judy Niemyers way is not my favourite way of making a quilt. It is incredibly accurate but very labour intensive!
We had another edition of cottage craft club for my sister and family. This year was felting. They took to it like ducks in water!

I did make some little dresses and diaper cover pants for my Sweet Pea and her cousin. Being 4 months apart in age I couldn't resist making matching outfits for them.

I also completed a special bib and cuddle bear order for a friend to give as a gift. I only do these for fun because it is way to time consuming to do it other wise.

Another thing I did was gather leaves for my echo printing. Out came a old phone book and the leaf pressing began. Storing up my spoils for when there are no leaves to play with. I feel like a kid again with my tree identification book and going into the woods to gather leaves for the leaf project.

We also went on a side trip to meet up for a day in Haliburton to see the Fabrigos! What fun. Al was teaching, Robynne taking his class, and Karen was visiting her daughter with her sister. We went to Fleming College Haliburton walked the trail of the sculpture garden and then went though class open house. It was inspiring.
Thus ended the two week adventure in Muskoka for 2017!

I am linking up with the needleandthreadnetwork
Have a great week!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Weekly Post...a little late this week.

Last week was a whirl of excitement with grand baby # 1 being born.
What's a grandma to do but take every opportunity to help out. So we spent time holding and cuddling, baking and cooking and spending time as a family!

This week I have still managed to sneak in some cuddle time but also brought out the MX dye on

My friend Karen was up for an impromptu dye day with me. 

Here are some fabrics placed in a baggie to create some leaf fabrics. 

Karen made up a bunch of baggies of her own mixtures of dye combo's . 

Then we tried some ice dyeing.   Hot summer day resulted in the ice melting quickly. 

We remembered to take a picture of what dyes we put on our ice. 

I wanted to make some ice dyed scarves. I used Sea Glass MX from Dharma Trading. 

And I used Pewter from Dharma on some others.

All in all I have a number of pieces made. Next I have to add the after pictures. 
I really need to write down what I try to see what works and doesn't . 

Today I am going with leaves that are in my garden and echo printing on Silk Habotai , Rayon and Cotton Jersey scarves.  

Part 2 of this weeks post will be after the bundles are unwrapped and dry. 

Other sewing this week included altering hems on a friends daughters wedding dress and some hand quilting on # 1 baby's crib quilt. 

We are taking a few days holidays so my sewing machine will come with me so my daughter and I can work on some projects amongst the trees (on the covered porch) at the lake. 

Slowly but surely I am getting some of my goals reached for the year. When I am at the lake I tend to get reflective about life at home. 

How about you? Do you get reflective when you get away for a few days of down time? 

Have you any projects like dyeing you tend to do in the summer when your studio becomes your back yard? 

I am too late for the Needle and Thread Network this week but I am managing to keep up my posts to once a week. Soon I hope to be more intentional and post twice a week. 

Have a great week! 


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Weekly Post, Discharge Dyeing 2 and Homefront news.

This past week has been an exciting week.

On the regular sewing note I made this little bassinet quilt out of left over blocks from our grand baby to be quilt. (which I am still working on... hand quilting)

Due date was approaching so I made the top on Thursday/Friday and decided to tie it with a yellow pearl cotton and large quilting stitches in the borders.

I finished it Sunday night at 11 pm

I also cut and sewed binding for a large queen size quilt over 450 inches long and the binding for this bassinet quilt and the crib quilt. It takes a while to make it all. But now I have it ready to sew on. 
This little quilt was not on my list of to finish or make but will be a bonus. They did not have a blanket for the bassinet. 

Discharge Dyeing Part 2 will be able to be found on the page at the top of the header marked Discharge Dyeing. I figure if I do it this way it will always be a easy way to find the information and I can do edits and additions more easily this way every time I find new information or do some experiments. 

On the Home Front... 
We went to a wonderful wedding for one of my nephews. He spent a good deal of time here as a child and it is a blessing to see him be married to such a wonderful girl. 

This leads into our next part of exciting news. The above bassinet quilt could go yesterday to the intended recipient. 

After us all dancing up a storm Saturday night,  including our DDIL who was due that day, we got to meet in person our first grandchild. 
Little Abigail Heather
8 lbs 8 ozs
22 inches
2 hours old

Proud loving Grandma

Adoring Grandpa

Happy Family!

I have been told it is Amazing to have Grandchildren but it was such a joy to see them all well! 

I can see many cute outfits in Abbie's future! 

For the rest of the week I am not sure much will get done. I am babysitting the grand puppy  a 10 month old goofy Husky/Shepherd and combine that with my energetic English Shepherd I have two crazy dogs. When they do sit down for a few minutes I don't dare move or it will brake the peace! 

I am doing laundry for my DS 1 and my DDIL, some mending and some planning for next week to get in some dyeing. We also plan to go to the cottage for some R and R so I imagine we will be trying to help out our fair share  with the family next week. Our DS1 started a new job and his boss is great about him taking some time off. But it is building industry's busy time of year. 

Have a great week!