Thursday, April 27, 2017

Downtown Toronto

I was downtown yesterday so didn't stitch at all.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


It is important to 'sign' your quilt.

You can do that in many ways.

A label is one way.

Here is a paper-pieced bunny I made in 2004. Love the ear!

Happy Easter.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Con Affetto

I sometimes give titles to my quilts.... a friend of mine thinks it is awfully pretentious!  :-) This one is called Con Affetto.

my latest scrap quilt

It means, with affection and comes from the note my Veronese friend wrote me. She is the one who gave me the hand-dyed heart I inserted in this quilt. Marina Tavella is an accomplished textile artist and teaches the dying workshop for my Verona Textile Trip.

The title also worked as over 100 half-square-triangles were 'by-products' from the Valentine's quilt...with affection. By 'by-products' I mean the secondary pieces that came out of making the X's and O's.

Con Affetto, 32" x 40"

The back will be "quiet". Simple.

I will be teaching triangles at Eweknit next weekend. (April 22, 2017)

Friday, March 31, 2017

Working on another quilt now that my sewing machine has returned from its check-up.

I missed it! It is running so smoothly now.

More simple shapes.

The half-square triangles were in a box, most of them left overs or by- products from the Valentine's quilt.

I have a good start with the 128 HST already done.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Simple Shapes

You can make so many nice quilts ...

... using the simple shapes of squares and triangles.

I used this mini quilt (12" x14") as an example in the Binding Class I taught yesterday at Ewe Knit.

Students really enjoyed the class!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Winter Quilt Finished...or not

I did finish my Winter Quilt last week but...

I hadn't finished assembling it and decided to add the binding strip on the part that was already quilted (bad idea!) (In my defence, I was going to visit a friend and wanted to bring some hand sewing for our visit!)

Later, I wanted to show it to a friend and so I rushed the rest of the assembly.

The entire thing started to go wonky and I hadn't noticed!

When I finished the quilt I couldn't believe how UN-square it was!! (how embarrassing ...with my experience!!)

I am going to remove the binding and square up the quilt and then reattach the binding and resew it by hand. I will never be able to use it knowing it isn't square!!!

Rushing is never a good thing.

NOTE: I undid the binding and marked the quilt edges to be equidistance from the horizontal centre seam line and just before I got the rotary cutter out I realized that if I trim the edges, the vertical seams of the panels will not be 90 Degrees with the edge. Oh brother!! I know that will bother me even more and will be more visible to my eye so I have decided to leave the quilt as is (I need to resew the binding on!!).

The good thing is I learned a trick for when I teach this class. I should start assembling it from the centre outward. Then turn the thing upside down and work the second side upside down from the centre outward.

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Winter Quilt

On this "Family Day" holiday,  I am sewing my latest scrap quilt.

quilt as you go assembly

I started it a while ago. I made it to show as an example during a scrap class I taught last November. It is a variation of the pattern I was teaching.

Heart fabrics for February's Valentines,
a bit of a Paris fabric since I was there in December,
some yellow for the sun I miss so,
fabric printed with words for all the emails
 I write to my Italian friends while I am here in Toronto,
a Christmas fabric.
Panels hanging on my design wall.
Even though the fabric reads as white,
there are so many colours!

Anyway, this quilt is about the snowy days of winter.

This is the binding fabric I bought.
It works nicely with the back blues.
The 1/2 inch that will show on the front
will add a gentle punch.

I did embroider a few cypress trees ....from Italy.

I should be done at the end of the week so I will post again to show you the finished product. I like this quilt.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Using Fabric Scraps

I love making scrap quilts.

When I teach, I impart the tricks I have learned over the years of experimenting with scraps to the students so they too can make a successful scrap quilt.

But that knowledge is compartmentalized the quilt drawer. Whoever thought I could do the same with yarn!!

I have lots of 20 gram bits after making socks for the past years. Like with fabric, I just didn't want to throw those 'valuable' bits out. I also didn't want to do what many quilters do. That is bring a small piece of fabric (yarn) to the quilt store and buy $200 worth of fabric (yarn) to 'match' it so they can use their scraps! Makes no sense.

So I applied my knowledge of making scrap quilts and what do you know? It worked!

Medium values

I divided the yarn bits into the same VALUE groups- like I do with fabric.

This is the dark value group.
Yes, even the pink ball

Even though there are many values in this ball
 there are many strands that are dark.
I notice that the purple and blue strands are
repeated in the other balls.
I see the orange is light but as a colour
it is complimentary to blue.
There is some orange in another ball in the group.
The purple is visible is several balls. It will work.

I am knitting two rounds with each colour therefore spreading the colours out, exactly how I would piece a scrap quilt. My hand knit socks are looking great!!

Keep in mind that quilter's cotton keeps going up in price. Make an effort to use what you have. It is really rewarding coming up with a solution!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Mongolian Textiles

This weekend I finally went to see the documentary Eagle Huntress. Gorgeous scenery warrants this film to be seen on the big screen.

Besides the magnificent mountains of Mongolia, the areal shots and the breathtaking panoramic views what I enjoyed was the embroidered clothing of the Kazakh people.

When they interviewed a local person in their home I had to read the subtitles when what I really wanted to do was look at the background textiles!

I wanted to see the embroidered clothing at the Eagle Festival close up!

I really should see it again and focus on that.

These pictures are NOT Mongolian textile. These hand-made hats are from Thailand. The stitching reminded me of what I saw in the movie...kind-of...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Inspired by Quilts

My textile hand work, my quilts, have inspired watercolour painter Gill Cameron . She is known for her Georgian Bay landscapes but wanted to try something new.

She photographed a bunch of my quilts a while ago and painted them on paper, altering some of the colours.

She actually sewed the paper to create the folds. I like the effect it gives.

Gill Cameron was a beginner quilt student of mine about 9 years ago.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Hexagons in Fashion

Surprise! Dior has a quilt pattern in their pre-Fall 2017 fashion line!

ceramic tile detail in Barcelona, Spain

My Veronese friend Piera's latest quilt!
All hand pieced and hand quilted.
The outside shape of the 3-d block is a hexagon
picture taken at the ROM in Toronto, BIG/M├ęga exhibit
quote from the label: "Needlework was a professional trade
 as well as a domestic skill associated with the feminine virtues
 of patience, concentration and cleanliness"
...comment anyone??
A cube quilt in the process- interesting how the quilt maker
used a grey and black for 2 sides of the cube
 and only one coloured piece.

Click here to see how Dior used the hexagon shape! Interesting ....although the model doesn't seem to be too happy to be wearing it! (I can't stop laughing!)

Popular construction of a hexagon during the 30's and 40's,
hand pieced and hand quilted
Charlotte's Webs in Blue
large hexagon quilt by Judy Beca
(photo taken at the York Heritage Quilters Guild Show
Inspired by Bob Gutcher's spiderweb quilt

We are ahead of the fashion curve, ladies!

I show this example when I teach the art element of value.
Value is very visible when comparing it
to the same photo (below) in black and white.

Friday, January 6, 2017

BE THERE!! Verona, Italy, April 21 to 30, 2017

On a freezing cold day like today, I dream of a spring season in Verona, Italy. Doesn't that sound nice?

YOU may like to discover Verona while enjoying Verona Tessile, a biannual quilt and contemporary textile art festival highlighting works from around the world. 

A walking tour, classes, a wine tasting in the Valpolicella region, a cooking class of typical Veronese fare and a day trip to Venice are among the activities during the trip I organize.

My textile trip registration is progressing. There are still spots available so sign up soon as there are limited places (12 max.)

Verona is such a gorgeous city. Even though I have been visiting there for the past 11 years I never tire of it. The beautiful Adige river hugging the historical area.

The history.

The architecture.

And of course you can't talk about Italy without mentioning food!

Fresh spring asparagus over parmigiano crisps

Or it's people- full of life and ever so stylish! One of the plusses about this trip is that you will get to meet Italians that have the same interests as you- quilting and textile art. There have been some nice friendships between the Canadians and the Veronese that have blossomed since 2011 when I started taking groups over there.

Some of my friends that you will meet!

I hope you can join me for this authentic experience of Italian life. It will be unforgettable!!

Click here for details.