Friday, December 14, 2018

Printing Results

Here is the report from the silk screen workshop I took a few weeks ago.

The house heat eventually came on and I was able to dry the packets to set the pigment.

I lay the packets on the radiator.
bubbles in the sink
I was so pleased most of the print was still visible.

I did not lose any of the designs.

I love the textures I've created.

Not sure yet what I will do with these pieces.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Verona Trip

It's now official.

The trip to Verona, Italy, is FULL.

We have a few Canadians from Quebec, Ontario and Alberta who have signed up. We have two English women, one of whom lives in France. We have an American who lives in Germany.

What an international group!

The travellers quilt, create contemporary textile works, paint, knit...what talent!!

I can't wait to share this special place with them. I really love living in Verona!!

People who like my trips are open-minded people who love new experiences. They have no mobility issues (we do lots of walking). They love Italian food (who doesn't!) and have no serious food restrictions. They work well in groups.

I am disappointed I couldn't get everyone who sent me emails of interest registered for the trip but there is always the next time. Spring 2021. Remember it's first come, first served.

Please check back in April 2019 to see a visual diary of what we'll be up to in gorgeous Verona!

I also have a trip to Umbria (the province in the middle of Italy). It focuses on journalling. Check it out here. You'll have to scroll down to see the Umbria info.

(All photographs of Verona are mine from past trips.)

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Printing Workshop

I took a workshop at ColourVie with Gunnel Hag; Deconstructed Screen Printing.

It was a silkscreen printing workshop using textured items to make designs. Loved it! It is exactly what I focus on when doing my art- repurposing items like plastic and using things that are destined for landfill.

One part of the technique that is important is keeping the fabric wet and moist after it has been printed. Heat is needed to set the dyes...which of course proved difficult for me as today is Day 9 of NO HEAT in the house...a reminder for people: I live in Canada and winters are cold! (anyway they are installing a new boiler today so I will be ok this evening)

I wrapped the printed fabrics in plastic and tried to keep them warm tucked into a pile of quilts.

I will have to give you a report later on after I heat the fabrics and rinse them. It could be that I lose all the colour and nothing sets!

I really hope I won't lose all my work.

The packets are wrapped in plastic, then in a cloth bag
then tucked into the middle of a pile of quilts while I wait for the radiators to get hot.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Verona Trip ...One Spot Left!

I am happy to report that after only a few weeks the Verona trip enrolment is almost FULL- there is one more spot for someone who wants double occupancy.

Dear readers, please check this blog around April 24, 2019 and see the daily diaries I will be posting.

I'll put pictures of the group and the activities we'll be doing.

And maybe that will inspire you to join me on the next trip to Verona in the Spring 2021.

Keep in mind, the trips usually fill up before the December holiday season.

(My photographs of Verona)

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Verona Trip Preparations

The Verona trip is filling up!!

View of Verona

So far, I have 9 people who have sent a deposit already, officially reserving their spot.

San Giorgio

The maximum size of my group is 12. That's a good number for the apartments, for making new friends, for sharing the activities with and for ambiance.

Verona is a gorgeous city; small enough to be quaint but large enough to be interesting.

Ponte Pietra

If you have been following the info about my Verona trip over the years, you know we also visit all exhibits in the textile festival, Verona Tessile. Preparations for that festival are well under way. The hosting group, Ad Maiora, is working very hard. Their 5th edition is going to be great. You'll see a variety of textile styles from an international group of makers and artists. The exhibits (so far 9 exhibits confirmed) are hung in historical buildings- very nice from an architectural perspective. This experience is added to my own itinerary of classes, touring, wine tasting, cooking class, gelato eating, aperitivo sharing...can't wait!!!

Ponte Scaligero

The juried show news is up for those wanting to submit a piece but I am afraid the rest of their site hasn't been updated yet. I am sure they will get to that over the next months as plans solidify.

Giardini Giusti
If you are interested in joining the trip then get in touch.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Verona Textile Trip

My post cards for the next Verona textile trip are out !!

I am really excited about it. It's going to be great!

Here are a few testimonials from past trips:

The Verona trip was amazing and I owe that all to you. Your
knowledge brought it to life and your passion was infectious. It was such a treat to meet all your friends, please say hi to Carla and Danny and also the lady who shared her quilts with us. Thank you, thank you. (B.H. Verona 2015)

Verona and the Adige River

I enjoyed the variety and quality of all the activities. The Verona trip ranks among the best trips I’ve ever taken. The places we visited, the exhibitions in historical venues (Verona Tessile event), the hands-on activities and the people I met will be in my memory forever. The Verona trip was an excellent and unforgettable trip and, in my opinion, the best way to experience Verona. Thank you, Sandra (Verona 2013)

Verona and the Adige River

The trip exceeded my expectations. It was a wonderful combination of exploring two lovely, historical cities (Venice, Verona) combined with seeing the works of other fibre artists and hands on learning experiences. (Verona 2013)

Day in Venice

The accommodations also exceeded my expectations. The apartment was well located to everything, clean and very comfortable. I can honestly say that in all my travels, I have never slept on a more comfortable bed and the pillows were perfect. I very much enjoyed having (some) meals catered there. Bringing the group together to share experiences and thoughts over delicious prepared food in the local cuisine was one of the many highlights. (Verona 2013)

The Arena in Verona

What did you like doing the best?!

I don’t even think I can answer that! The trip to Venice, the winery lunch, the amazing quilts in the most beautiful venues, the workshops were great as I don’t tend to take many and I can see what I am missing(!), the camaraderie among the group, just walking around by myself in Verona and the food not to mention the wine. For me personally I thought it was the right mix of sewing and other activities. Did this trip meet my expectations? Yes and more! (K.O. Verona 2011)

vineyards in the Valpolicella

If you are interested click here for images of past trips and more details.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Art everywhere

I love being in Paris where there is life, colour, art. Everywhere.

detail from " Une Chambre Vide Soir Suivant",
a past exhibit at Made in Town
in Paris, France
I spent about 3 weeks there this summer.

Hallway designed by Icelandic-Danish artist
Olafur Eliasson at Foundation Louis Vuitton

13th arrondissement, street painting

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Scrap Quilts

Everyone should learn to make scrap quilts. A reals crap quilt...using your scraps and not buying any new fabric!

I say learn because you can't really throw everything in. There is some order and some planning even if one is using leftover bits of fabric to make a quilt top.

Everyone who has made quilts has some scraps leftover. Why not use them? Throwing them out means they end up in land fill!!

I get very excited when I come up with a way to use up my bits. I feel like when I make a fabulous dinner using whatever is in the fridge! Like profession chefs who discover a food, like cauliflower leaves, that are normally thrown out. The chefs serve them in a fancy dish! So satisfying. No waste. That is better than recycling!

After the gingham fabric, I added the green strip.
The entire thing needed to be calmed!
It is amazing what a difference that bit of green border made.

So I decided to use up some old, 4-patch blocks already made (about 8 years ago!) and set them on-point. The challenge was finding a background fabric and a fabric for the set-in blocks using what I had hanging around.

What a fun design. I love it. Picnic in the Garden.

Monday, September 17, 2018


I have always wanted to be in a giant room with a giant painting.... ALONE. And it happened at the Musee National d'Art Moderne in Orleans, France, this summer.

I mean, when do you go to a museum and NO ONE is in a room?

A rare occurrence.

I was so happy. I was there for half an hour - alone- enjoying this giant art piece, getting lost in it.  It was so big. No one talked. No one walked in front of me. Bellissimo!!


Art work by Simon Hantai, born in Hungary in 1922. Died in Paris in 2008.
Etude, 1969
oil on canvas

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Expressive Drawing

I took an intense week of art classes at the AGO this summer - a drawing and mark making class with Claire Greenshaw. I made about 350 drawings. Some took 10 seconds. Some took 45 minutes.

The first day, Claire talked about being free and drawing like children draw.

It reminded me of my own kids. There were always some art supplies ready to use - papers, markers, paints, pencils. They drew with water on the fence and had the sun dry it. They drew on giant pieces of paper. The got their tiny fingers covered in colour and made tiny painted marks on the page.

They were free when they drew. Not much thought about what it was suppose to look like. Just drawing to explore a colour or a movement or a line. It was wonderful to watch.

 Be free.

(Art work hanging outside the Helene Comay Nursery School at the Wychwood Barns, Toronto. Sorry about the glare. The paintings were behind glass.)

Thursday, April 19, 2018


I arrived in Paris early today.... Paris, France not Paris, Ontario!

I left my knitting on the plane! Very sad. Limited edition yarn, sock already started. Needles and pattern in a hand-made linen pouch.

Gorgeous summer day here. Everyone was out in the caf├ęs.

Did you notice the stone under the window sill is a measuring station! A metre marked every 10 cm. Not sure which century. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Baby Quilt

You wouldn't think this small quilt has 52 different fabrics in it.

baby quilt measures 30" x 42"

It is a simple, 9-patch construction, the centre square is the background fabric, here it is the colour Snow from Kona.......

and the alternate blocks are the opposite; the centre square being a fussy cut fabric- for storytelling!

The back fabric is shown below. The binding fabric is striped. I like putting stripes and florals together.

When I visit a quilt store I always look for a striped fabric to add to my stash, usually diagonal stripes which are difficult to find, and purchase a 1/2 m.  I use those for my bindings.

For this quilt, I bought the back fabric only. Everything else was selected from my stash.

My stash is primarily made up of leftover bits from other projects. Once in a while I purchase a fabric for something and realize when I get home that it won't work. That piece then gets put in the stash.

There were some leftover bits from the back fabric in this project. You know, the pieces you cut off after quilting when you square up the finished quilt.

This baby quilt is a gift for a new baby. I started quilting it by machine and decided it needed to be hand quilted.

Hope Lily likes it.