Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Biennale of Marrakech

El Anatsui was exhibiting at the Palais el Badii.

I love the folds of metal making it take on the properties of cloth.

The metal looks soft and pliable like a blanket.

I love the size of this work.

It looks beautiful exhibited outside. I can only imagine the sun light touching the medium and making it glow.

To see more of my posts about El Anatsui click here.

(photo credit Sophia Reford)

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Colours

I learned how to make the Ukrainian Easter eggs (Pysanky) when I was 6 years old from my best friend's older sister.

I continued to make them when I had children and passed on this tradition to them.

Coloured eggs made ages ago by my little children.
We kept them all from year to year.

This year, I wasn't going to get all the supplies out but my daughter asked for them.

She wanted to teach her boyfriend. What a sport he was! His egg was great!! (shown below)

He did say it was really difficult controlling the kistka (tool for drawing with beeswax). He now appreciates the craft even more.

I guess that is always the case. After one realizes how much effort it is to make a quilt or how long it takes to hand stitch a panel there is always that extra awe.

Friday, March 25, 2016


The nice thing about going through boxes and bags of stuff in my studio is finding things I forgot I had- mostly quilt blocks.

Bear Paw blocks were almost all made up!

As I reorganized shelves, fabric and spools of thread, I did spend some time sewing those blocks together or adding a border on some quilt tops that needed a frame.

Made using 5 inch squares and a few rectangles.
Made using  my fabric scraps of course!
I did buy new fabric for the back.

I sent several quilt tops out to the quilter for layering and quilting.

I love this lime green binding.
I could have gone with dark brown (boring)
or even a blue but the green makes a splash!

The whole process did take away some time from my art work but I feel it was worth it. It is much better to have these quilts done than in a box where no one can enjoy them.

What a treat sewing by the fire on a cold spring day!

I urge you to do the same!

Make it a spring cleaning project!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016


I am part of a wonderful group of ladies in Verona, Italy, called Ad Maiora.

The group started almost 25 years ago by 6 friends who wanted to be together. To laugh. To share ideas. To help others.

The patchwork, the textile art and the knitting came later. The needle arts were something to do together. Someone enjoyed those skills and wanted to share them with others. The group is not a guild.

It is a fabulous network of women who support each other and are open-minded when it comes to new initiatives. We do community work. Our efforts have supported women in many countries- Kenya, Lesotho, Georgia, India, Italy. We are 80 members this year. Enrolment in past years reached 120.

With International Women's Day that just passed (March 8), I was reminded that many women still experience violence against them. Women are denied education. Women can not be independent. Women are not respected.

I look at my life and the choices I and my daughters are able to make. I am grateful to live in Canada and to have raised my children here.

(Images taken from the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto. Sujuni hanging entitled "Peaceful Collaboration After the World Without Men" (1990-2000), embroidered by 2 co-operatives in India. The work is inspired by group discussions about their makers' lived experiences and the conditions they hope to change.)

Approximate size 60" x 80"

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Journalling in Umbria

The Umbria trip is officially ON!!

I confirmed the villa, driver, dying class, lecture, studio tour, cooking class and some lunches yesterday. SO EXCITING!!

The rest of the schedule can be confirmed closer to the arrival date.

Lunch with Sofia Verna. (left)
She will be teaching the dying class.

I have posted about the Umbria trip before. (click here for details)

Our villa is the one with a rectangle roof
in the centre of all that green.
I took the photo from the town.

If you have been thinking about it, now is the time to let me know. There are only
2 spots available.

Entrance to the villa.

I am super excited about the direction of this trip. The plan I have for our daily journalling will help the travellers see things in a different way. It will help them be more sensitive to their environment. I think the exercise will help them with their own art work.

Right now I am working on extending some ideas from my own journal which I made two summers ago while in the south of Italy.

These new works will help attendees understand the process of taking one journal idea and growing it into a textile work.

Look at these wonderful pictures of Umbria. Who wouldn't want to experience that!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Trying Something New

I am officially on Instagram.

The Beach neighbourhood, Toronto

It has been a while since I have wanted to do that.

for Chinese New Year

My user name is sandrareford

for Chinese New Year

Please take a look.

installation by Ben Watt-Meyer

(photos from my Instagram account)