Monday, January 26, 2015

Food as Inspiration

Yes inspiration is everywhere.

I find food can be an inspiration.

How about this home-made torrone patchwork! Love the rectangles with the hazelnut organic shapes.

Or the shapes of the end of the Treviso lettuce...could make an interesting free motion quilt design.

How about the colours of a poached pear (last Sunday's dessert!)

Use your senses and be inspired.

*all photos from my Bellezza project

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Today's Greyness

I took this picture last summer. It sums up today's greyness. It is raining in Toronto.

It isn't done on a canvas.

It isn't painted by an artist.

It was dripping paint from the side of a building.

It's beautiful.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Well the Verona trip registration is almost full. How great is that?!

view of the Adige river
close by to our accommodations

Just ONE place left.

one of Verona's views,
seen here mostly Roman architecture

Who's coming with?? Decide soon.

San Giorgio near our accommodation

*all photos are from my Bellezza project

Monday, January 12, 2015

A New Year

The kids have returned to their homes, the house is quiet again. There are still signs around the house of our festivities, like a dining-room table full of dirty crystal glasses waiting to be washed by hand and a fridge full of amazing leftovers, or as I like to call them "highlights of the week".

cluttered design wall!
I have contemporary work up
as well as the traditional 9-patch blocks
for a quilt I am working on.
I should really only have ONE thing up there at a time.

I have decided to redo my studio. A good project to start with. I am no longer inspired when I enter the space. Sometimes I don't even want to go in the room! So it's time.

Where to begin... The important thing is to start, to actually begin.

folded fabrics everywhere!

I am a list maker. I take a job or a goal and break it down into manageable bits. I feel good when I accomplish a task that takes me closer to my goal. The task is sometimes a very small step but nonetheless something that takes me closer to the end.

I will keep my cigar boxes
filled with embroidery floss and threads.

 A make over. The new year is a good time to make such a change.

prize ribbon
for a contemporary work I did in 2009.
I will keep that visible!

May your 2015 be filled with inspiring changes.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays to all my blog followers.
Thank you for supporting me. I have had close to 93,000 visits.
I enjoy all your comments. I am glad so many find my posts inspirational.
This year is the end of my 4th year of blogging.
I have loved my experience.
Thank you to two of my children who "gave" me this blog in 2010.
Click here to see the first post from them!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Artists' Dinner

Last week I hosted an artists' dinner where art makers came together to exchange thoughts about their work, their process, their troubles, their goals, their stories.

Almond Caramel Meringue Roulade with caramel sauce

I think it was a success in that people went away with ideas and ways they can make their practice better. That was my goal.

(BTW, the Contemporary Textile Studio Co-op in Toronto started hosting these Salon-Soirees so artists can enhance their practises and meet with other creative people to broaden their horizons. I am always on the cutting edge of trends!!)

bread right out of the oven

We were a small group of 5, a textile artist, a painter, a paper maker and a photographer and me.

apple phyllo pie

As I was preparing for the dinner, I recognized my food is my art. I love marrying flavours and textures and presenting the food in an artistic way, either by being conscience of the colour combinations or the textures or even the shapes.

berry cheese cake and mango-lime pie

This evening I hosted another dinner. I prepared with joy everything we eat together.

(Pictures posted from past food file...wanted to post recent food pictures but forgot to take them and everything got eaten up!)

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Last Minute Gifts

Every December, I post about a gift that is fast and easy to make.

This year it is a zipper case you can make in no time at all! (I got it down to 15 minutes!)

Start with two pieces of fabric quilted onto a piece of felt.

use your walking foot to quilt
straight lines lengthwise.
Change your foot to the zipper foot.

zipper foot

Add a zipper. Sew it on.

lay the zipper face down onto the fabric piece.
Undo the zipper about half way down.

When you get to the "bump" in the zipper (the zipper head) stop sewing and have your needle down into the fabric.  Lift the foot keeping the needle down and wiggle the zipper closed. (that is the trick to zipper sewing- sew it on avoiding the zipper head) Continue sewing the zipper along the edge.

Place the piece of fabric with the zipper attached onto the other piece, good sides facing.

Undo the zipper and sew it onto the other piece of quilted fabric. Do the same thing with the head of the zipper- sew until you get close to it then stop with your needle down, lift the foot, wiggle the zipper out of the way.

Recap: You quilted some fabric onto felt and attached the zipper in between the two pieces of quilted fabric, right?

Flip what you just made so you can sew on the back side. Attached the 'seam allowance', if you will, to the felt. Increase your stitch length for this part. Essentially you are top stitching from the back side.

Do the same thing with the zipper head if it gets in your way.

You can trim the outsides now. Mine is about 3.5 inches from the zipper.

I change the thread colour at this point to the same colour of the felt.

Fold the entire thing in half, good sides facing, and sew the pieces together at the bottom.

I sew using a 1/4 inch seam allowance
Then I go back and zig zag the edge making
sure the needle goes off the fabric so
the thread 'closes' the edge.

Fold the 'tube' so the zipper is in the middle. Trim one end. Sew end closed at 1/4 inch seam allowance and zig zag the end.

Before repeating at the other end UNDO ZIPPER!!!!

Close up the other end same as you did.

your zipper pouch should look like this.
Turn inside out.

It is perfect for pens or sewing tools.

In mine I keep my 4-pointed knitting needles for my sock making.

I even found a perfect charm for the zipper!

To see past ideas click here and here and here.

Happy present making!