Friday, September 30, 2011

A Special Visit

I found out last minute and only by chance that Judith Martin was coming to Toronto. I saw it on her blog. Turns out she was speaking very close to my house! So I called a neighbour and off we went!

It took me ten minutes to drive there and it took her hours to come in from Manitoulin Island.

I had seen all the pieces she talked about, either exhibited or in images on her blog. The thing I wanted to do was TOUCH everything.

Her biggest news is that one of her pieces got into the QUILT NATIONAL! She was so happy about that. It had been her goal for a very long time.

page 37 in the Quilt National Catalogue. There it is!

She shared her life for forty-five minutes.

I know so much about Judy from her visits, her classes I have taken and from talking to her at several of her exhibits. I remember many things about her because she and I are similar in so many ways.

We both have 4 children. We both made quilts and art about our kids. We both have a favorite red sweater we wear around the house. We both fussed about getting the kids on the school bus on time. We both forgot our cameras last weekend when we went to see textile at museums, her in Toronto and me in Montreal. We both use paper, fabric, stitch in our work.

One of Judy's early works-
a log cabin made from family photographs and paper
 stitched on fabric. The words are nursery rhymes.

She continues to be my most favorite contemporary textile artist.

Everything was so beautiful. Thank you Judy!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Collage class #3 was finally satisfying. I am getting the hang of letting go and just "doing" without a plan in mind.

I love the movement of my piece. It has good line.
My work over the teacher's samples.
The one on the right is about Romeo and Juliet- ahh Verona!

I had tried this idea many years ago using two pieces of pieced fabric but with the 1/4 inch seam allowance eaten up on both sides of the strip the design was less effective.

We had some time to finish last week's collage and I was pleased with the movement of the curves.

it looks a bit sexual, no?
a fluke! 

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Surround Yourself with Art

My daughter and her room mate have a beautiful apartment, full of natural light and art work!

These McGill students have surrounded themselves with beautiful things.

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

                                                                                                William Morris.

Two paintings they made are resting on the mantel.

Seagull painting done at TSA by a seaside vignette.

A painted canvas from high school, IB art,
 hangs in the dining room.

They have a folded quilt hanging over their couch.

It was given to the room mate's parents as a wedding gift.
It is a summer quilt, made without any batting.

I was thinking of art all weekend.

I designed a new quilt!

I collected some "found paper" for my collage class. Keener!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Jean Paul Gaultier in Montreal

I am in Montreal for the weekend. My daughter and I went to see the gorgeous textiles of "l'enfant terrible" of the fashion world.

He is self-taught.

He is one of the most important fashion designers of recent decades.

Jean Paul Gaultier's haute couture. (images courtesy of Zio Paolino from flickr as I forgot my camera!)

I loved the photo transfers onto cloth, the textures, the beading.

Pierre Cardin told him, "The idea is more important than the material used to translate it."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Quilt Shows Everywhere

This is the season of quilt shows.

On the weekend I visited my first this fall. It was hosted by the Yorkshire Rose Quilter's Guild. I am on the look out for possible submissions that are more traditional for the show I am curating in France.

There were many beautiful quilts exhibited. Coral presented two works she started in Verona. She was one of the Verona Trip travellers from March 2010. She learned these new techniques there and finished the works here. Brava!

miniature, Afghanistan hand sewing technique

Scrap quilt project taught by Roberta Bugli in Verona
No new fabric was bought for this! How good does that feel!

detail of above quilt:
 some of the fabric used: an italian mens shirt fabric,
a piece of hand dyed fabric from the class of Marina Tavella

The 9 patch is one of my favorite blocks! It's so versatile. I teach it as a first quilt.

This quilt was made using blocks from the
9 patch exchange I initiated with my guild last year.
It was made by Marg, another Verona Trip traveller!

I was happy to see many works from quilters that have taken classes from me. It is satisfying to see completed quilts started in my classes.

Grace and her work from the foundation piecing class

5-4-3-2-1- the countdown series shown below. No new fabric can be purchased to create the quilts in these classes. What a challenge! But these students did great!

The next show I plan to go to is the Rouge Valley Quilters' Guild Show, October 15-16, 2011. On November 11,12 13 the members of York Heritage Quilters Guild will have their work on exhibit.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Toronto Scapes

This is what I see when I walk in downtown Toronto.

It reminds me of the early works of Canadian textile artist Sandra Meech.

I walked downtown today for my collage class. I found the class difficult in that I had no idea where I was going during one of the exercises.

collage in progress using 'found' paper

Going with the flow again.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Art Classes

I am taking a Collage and Assemblage class with Donnely Smallwood at the Toronto School of Art.

Thimble near the school @ Spadina and Richmond

Last week was our first class. The teacher explained what we would be doing and we worked on a collective exercise to break the ice.

full view of collective exercise, my head

I remember doing this with my kids when they were little. We had such fun! Fold a paper in thirds and have one person draw a head. Fold it over to hide it and pass it onto the next person so they can draw the body and the next person to draw the legs.

full views

just the bottoms, mine is first on the right

It is amazing how the parts work together even though they are separate entities.

I know I will be able to apply the experience that I gain from this class towards my textile art. It will influence my textile pieces.

On the long walk back home, I saw the first sign that winter is coming!

Autumn tree in front of Robarts Library

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Teaching this Fall

Since I will be in one place for the fall, I have decided to do some teaching! Classes will be held in Toronto, east and west locations. Classes include quilt making my machine for beginners, paper piecing, quilt-as-you-go and a 'come and sew' morning. Please view my schedule here.

Below are some of the happy beginner students and their projects. Most of the photographs were taken at our Quilt Recital, spring 2010

Accuracy Course with an emphasis on
values (lights, mediums, darks)

Community Project-Jones Public Library
Victorian Crazy Quilting
the youngest quilter explains

Course: Setting your Blocks on Point
We touched on the Floating Stars block.

Log Cabin Course

9-patch beginner class

9-patch beginner class

9-patch beginner class

9-patch beginner class

Isn't it fun that the 9-patch beginner quilts look completely different yet they are all made from the same block! I pride myself on that. Everyone's work SHOULD look different.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Oltre il Tessuto

From August 8 to 15, 2011, artist Maria Teresa Sansotta and I were invited to exhibit our work in Gangi, Sicily. The show was entitled "Oltre il Tessuto".

entrance to Palazzo Bongiorno with our poster

The exhibit was mounted in the 18th century Palazzo Bongiorno situated in the main piazza of the town.

Attending the opening, were the mayor, alderman, many journalists as well as people from Italy.

My friend and artist, Maria Teresa Sansotta (white dress)
with prominent figures of Gangi.
In the background her famous piece, Ti Amo,
incorporating coloured condoms.

The show was held during their famous week of festivities, La Sagra della Spiga.

decorations made with wheat hang above the narrow road

There were in all 1500 visitors at our exhibit, all very interested in our art expression.

two of my pieces

two of my pieces

Maria Teresa's piece

Maria Teresa explains her piece, Don't Touch my Plume

people inspect Maria Teresa's piece as she explains

Maria Teresa's piece on the left, Oltre Mare,
my piece, Blue Depression, on the right

Maria Teresa's two pieces

hand appliqued pieces from Maria Teresa

Maria Teresa explains my inspiration for my two pieces.

 I am glad we remembered to put out a book for comments. Those are always fun to read!