Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Canadian Quilter magazine

Grab yourselves the latest issue of The Canadian Quilter, a Canadian Quilter Association publication. Many quilt guilds subscribe to it. It has a readership of 20,000 and is the only purely quilting magazine in Canada.

Cover of Summer 2012 issue

They have printed a 4-page article with pictures about the France show I am curating.

starts on page 12

They are also going to do two more stories; one this summer and another one, more of a report, after the exhibit.

Keep an eye out.

To order a copy of this summer issue, click here.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


What do you think of the graffiti and building art in Toronto?

Kensington Market

Queen Street

Collage Street

I have no trouble with it. The colours and designs are inspirational.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Canadian, eh?

How Canadian is this?

A student came to a textile workshop with a hockey bag filled with fabric. LOVE IT!!

I'm giving a talk on September 13, at 13:00 in the Theatre of Ste-Marie-aux-Mines, France, entitled "Canadian Inspiration". I want to put that picture in my power point! It's sooooo Canadian!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Half a Log Cabin

This isn't a true log cabin quilt but it looks like it!

Machine pieced, machine quilted, cotton scraps, 1992

This was my first log cabin 'look-a-like' quilt.

The true log cabin block has a center square, usually red, and an imaginary diagonal line separating a dark and light side.

A "wonky" log cabin quilt, made crooked on purpose.
A community quilt made by the Spadina library
quilt group.

The block I used for my quilt has a square in the bottom corner of the block instead of in the center. It can be substituted for the log cabin block and subsequently all of its pattern combinations because it still has the light and dark aspect.

This pattern has become one of my favorite ways to use up scraps. I later tweaked and perfected this technique and teach it in Italy and in Toronto.

I put in many surprises in my quilt. If you look very carefully you see butterflies, animal eyes, a light house, a hand, a duck and many more curiosities. There are even a few pieces of a cotton dress I had made while living in Kuching, East Malaysia (Borneo).

The quilt lives in France.

Thursday, May 17, 2012


I absolutely LOVE this door art!! I'm guessing it was made by young children in a day care program.

It's gorgeous!

Open you eyes and take a picture of something beautiful today!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Affirmation from an Expert

I loved hanging out with teacher/ textile artist Pat Pauly. I liked her energy, her way of teaching, her course material.

Pat Pauly speaking about her work
I loved her style of art work which is why I took her class.

Pat Pauly's work piled high on a table

Some of the steps we took in the class for our art experience are things I already do so that was an affirmation for me.

Things that I agree with...

Machine stitching can NOT save a piece...actually I knew that from experience (ugh) but it was good to hear it again!

Pat Pauly pointing out some machine quilting designs

Just because it was sewn in a messy way does not make it art!! (I have heard that excuse for textile art work before and it was upsetting! Glad Pat agrees.)

more of Pat Pauly's work

Only have one thing on your design wall at a time otherwise it can be distracting...need to do more of that! Since I work on several things at a time there is always too much stuff hanging up.

Pat's latest work (can't remember any titles! Sorry Pat!!)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Getting Ready

I spent today stamping, painting and "fixing" some odds and ends of fabric by adding more elements, hence making then more interesting...hopefully!

I'm getting ready to take a class with artist Pat Pauly this weekend.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


If you are using a strippy border for a quilt, you have several choices for the corners.

I made a kind of fan-shaped design for mine.

Start by cutting a square of muslin slightly larger than you need. (The square will shrink slightly when you sew onto it.)

Mark two perpendicular sides with a pencil at the following measurements. (see picture below)

Draw pencil lines from those notches to the 90 degree corner opposite.

Place your fabric covering the middle section on the other side (not on the pencil-lined side), good side facing outward.

Place a second fabric, good sides facing the first fabric. Your fabric is not visible as it is on the underside of the muslin square.)

Sew along the pencil line. (This is how you would sew when paper piecing.)

Iron between strip additions.

Continue to cover the muslin with fabric strips and trim the block to the size you need after the muslin is completely covered.

Attach it to the border and sew it onto your quilt.

VoilĂ .

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Speaking at the Mississauga Guild

I absolutely LOVE speaking to groups and sharing my way of working or my ideas on a textile topic. I especially like the comments and the smiles I notice during and after the talk.

There were about 90 people attending the meeting.

I spoke about INSPIRATION; where to find it and how it can be translated into a textile piece. Not every work I brought was recent or "exceptional" but all works related to an inspiration I highlighted.

This is my latest quilt, inspired by the painting
"The Bird Shop" St Lawrence Street 1866
by Maurice Cullen.
It was a Block of the Month idea by Karen Howes.
The paper pieced segments at the back are about
growing up in Montreal.
The beige fabric is printed with snow flakes.

I will be back at the Mississauga Guild in November (next topic is "Going Beyond the Hobby Quilter") and hopefully there will be some quilts for the 'Show and Share' segment of the meeting that will have been inspired by my May talk.

Thanks to a special blog visitor who saw I was scheduled to speak there and came to hear me AND she brought me a present!

She thought I would find the Mandala designs inspirational.

Thanks CF!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Textile Works from Nunavut

Last weekend, I attended a show at  Feheley Fine Arts, a gallery in downtown Toronto.

The Bouchard Collection is a collection of textile works by women of Baker Lake. They are made of duffel, felt and embroidery floss.

Look at the use of variegated thread!
Powerful image.
"Women Fending Off Evil Spirits" by Victoria Mamnguqsualuk (1994)

Marie Bouchard gave a wonderful talk about how these works came to be. While she lived in the north, she supported the women and their craft and encouraged them to express their thoughts through their sewing tradition. The period these works were created was several years before Nunavut became a territory. For about ten years prior, there were significant changes in the area. The women were able to 'document' their way of life.

M. Buchard pointing out swimming caribou from
Mary Yuusipik Singaqti's piece, "Traditional Camp Scene" (1989).
It depicts a summer camp.

Each face is detailed with embroidery stitches
in Janet Kigusiuq's "Muskox Hunt" (1993)
 The stitching is so beautiful.

Detail, "Women Fending Off Evil Spirits" by Victoria Mamnguqsualuk,
duffel, felt, variegated embroidery floss 

Detail, "Spring Camp" (1988) by Mariam Marealik Qiyuk

Detail, "Abundance" by Mary Kuutsiq (1993)
It is difficult to say which was my favorite but I did like "Tuu'Luq's Family"(seen below) by Marion Tuu'luq. It is traditional and contemporary at the same time....I think of myself as that.

All the details of "Tuu'Luq's Family" are lost in my photograph-
there are embroidered stitches in the background, cut away pieces,
reverse applique, embroidered faces. It is so beautiful!

The exhibit is on till May 26, 2012. Try to make it!! I think I will go again. They're just too special.