Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year's Resolution

"Life is Now" (Vodafone catch phrase)

I live by that.

Happy New Year!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas!

I am in Val Gardena, Italy, skiing for the holidays.
(photo credit: Sophia Reford)

(My next post will be December 30)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Like Walking into a Candy Store

Entrée des Fournisseurs, La Mercerie Parisienne
A lovely craft store situated in
a small courtyard
in the 3rd district of Paris.

I was there a few days ago.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Getting Lost in Paris

Drawing made with marker on a metal door, anonymous graffiti.

Art exhibit flyer

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Floor Rugs

I love these simple patchwork floor rugs, by designer Serge Lesage, made of bits of cow hide….or as they refer to it, natural materials.

Blue and orange,
great colour combination.

There is a good example of this
one on their web site (see below)
using reds.
 I can see that made up into a quilt.

If you like these, check out their web site by clicking here. Once you're in, you can play with colour by clicking on the Create Your Own section. (it's really fun actually) This exercise could be useful for modern quilt makers when wanting to test colour choices.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Altered Books

I had my last class on Abstract Art at the AGO last week.

My class mate's finished altered book

As a project, we altered books.

An example of an altered book
the teacher brought in from the
 Globe and Mail, 2010

Some finished their paper sculpture.

The same friend's altered book taken from a different angle.

I did not but it is coming along well. I plan to continue in January and will definitely post it.

Here is the inspiration for my book which I photographed in Paris yesterday. It is exactly what I want to achieve….although my work will surely evolve while I am cutting into the paper and may actually never look like this.

Shoe display at BHV department store in Paris

Here is another altered book which I found in a store window as part of their decoration.

Altered book in a window display in Paris, France.

Monday, December 9, 2013

More Last Minute Gifts to Make

For those of you looking to make gifts for this upcoming giving season, here is my idea for this year.

A table runner that takes about 45 minutes to make!


1/2 metre of fabric, which will be the back and the strips down the side. In my example, the darker fabric.
8.5 inches for the inside panel, which should compliment the outside fabric. I used pieces from the same fabric line.


1. Sew the inside panel fabric to the 1/2 metre piece making a long tube shape. The selvage edges will be at the top and bottom of your tube. You do this by laying the panel fabric good sides facing on the other fabric and sewing along the edge.

2. Turn the tube right side out so you have the good sides facing outwards.

3. Flatten out the tube shape so that the side strips are equal in width. (The side strips will be somewhere between 2.5 and 3 inches) I just measure down the sides and flatten with my hand. Then I iron to set.
At this point you can add a piece of flannel as a batting inside the tube and quilt it in place if you like. Alternatively, you can quilt without any batting or flannel to give the runner more detail. I did neither and it was very nice just the same…and way faster!

4. Cut off the selvage edges on the top and bottom ends of your flattened tube.

5. Fold the runner in half as if you are closing a book. Have the front of the runner facing you as you do this step.
At this point you can add a tassel inside "the book" as you close it. Lay the tassel inside the book. Leave the tail of the tassel hanging out slightly so it is seen as you sew across the top. (next step) This will give you a tassel hanging off the pointed end as a finished look.

Here I have folded the flattened tube and sewn across the top.
You will be sewing on the good side of the fabric.
It seems odd but you are doing it correctly.

6. Sew along the top edge.

7. Repeat steps 3 and 4 at the other end.

8. Open up your runner and flip the triangular piece you have just created so you get a nice pointed end looking at the runner from the front. Iron.

This is the back view. You will have made a "hood".

This is the view from the front.
If you added a tassel there would be one hanging from the point.

A runner can make a simple, solid-colour tablecloth look festive. It can also dress up a wooden table.

By changing the fabric choices you can make a runner for a child's bedroom. It could look great on the top of a chest of drawers.

Of course, you can opt instead on buying a table runner at Pottery Barn for $90.00.

For last year's idea, click here and for another one from 2011, click here.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

More Publicity

In the spring of 2013, I took a small group of Canadians to Verona for an experience they will never forget.

A view of spectacular Verona.

You can see older posts about the 10-day trip by clicking here and from there scrolling the travel log backwards to view the previous 10 posts.


You can get your hands on the Winter Issue of Canadian Quilter Magazine

cover of the Winter Issue 2013

and read all about it.

The magazine invited me to write about the textile festival, Verona Tessile, and to give the readers some insight on the trip I plan around this festival. What great publicity!! The magazine has a readership of 20,000. Impressive.

The other thing the Canadian Quilter's Association did was invite me to exhibit one of my works in their Invitational Quilt Show which will be included in Quilt Canada 2014. The works will be exhibited from June 11 to 14 at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. I have looked at my works and there is nothing I want to submit. I've got to get busy making something. I don't want to pass up this opportunity. I was honoured to be invited. I must submit something grand! How intimidating.

Note: Travellers on my trip to Verona don't necessarily have to be Canadian or live in my city because the actual trip starts at the Verona airport. Last year we had a Canadian living in France join us!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Making Presents

It's been a while since I made a baby quilt.

My latest baby quilt…of course I made it using my scraps!

I made one as a gift recently for a new mom.

I used small triangles to cover the
opposite corners of a rectangle. I didn't measure these.
I love all the colours.

I put it together using my quilt as you go method!
(which I will be teaching out in Peterborough in February
at the Kawartha Quilters Guild))
I save all the triangle bits left over
from other quilts in a glass jar ready to use.

A new mom who is so happy and so excited about her bundle of joy.

a closer look at the border

I am so happy for my friend and her first baby.

On the back I added three maple leaves (very Canadian) because she was born in the Fall
and because she shares her birthday with two other cousins!