Sunday, March 20, 2011

Indian Orange Peel St. Thomas Guild

The St. Thomas Quilters did a wonderful job on their Indian Orange Peel quilts.  We arranged their blocks in the workshop on Saturday and then started making the outside border units.  I was so pleased with how much their quilts reflected each member's personality and colour preferences.  The members still have a lot of sewing to do but you can see how beautiful the quilts are already.  We done, ladies!!

We started by having the students work in pairs.  The 4-patches were laid out first paying attention to value and colour placement.

Next the arcs that everyone had worked so hard to get finished for the workshop were placed on the four patches.  Here we looked for secondary designs and matched the values and colours as they travelled across the quilt.  Arcs were then labelled identifying their placement in the quilt and pinned to the flannel.

The St. Thomas guild puts on a lunch at their workshops with half the group providing lunch for each of the two workshops.  What a great idea.  We enjoyed a delicious lunch of soups, sandwiches and dessert.

 These are just a few of the quilts that were being constructed yesterday.  The one here on the left is made mostly from Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

This amazing fabric painting was made by one of the members from the scraps from her Indian Orange Peel quilt.

Friday, March 18, 2011

What a difference a week makes!

I'm working in the studio most of today getting ready for upcoming workshops.  Tomorrow I will be in St. Thomas once again for part 2 of the Indian Orange Peel workshop.  It will be so exciting to start putting the centre design areas together on all of those quilts.  The students have been busy for the last few months making their 4-patch centres and arcs.  Once we lay those out, the students can go on to make the outer border units as determined by the centre layout.  It will be a particularly busy day getting all 18 quilts done.

This is Wendy's beautiful Indian Orange Peel quilt from a class I taught a couple of years ago.  Didn't she do a fantastic job?

So the title of this post is "What a difference a week makes!". ...... and I'll show you what I mean.......
                                                                                      This is today.

Look below for one week ago. 
The picture from last week is NOT a black and white photo!  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Out and About

Monday found me in Simcoe presenting my trunk show lecture to the Twilight Quilters Guild.  It was so nice to see so many familiar faces in the group.  Thanks for making me feel so welcome and for your enthusiastic response to my lecture.  It really touches me when people take the time to come and speak to me after a lecture.  That way I can connect with people and really see that my presentation had some impact on the group.
I may have my blogger status revoked because I did have my camera with me but forgot to take a picture!
Rather than drive all the way home I stayed with Anita Zobens and her husband, John.  Anita has her thread business Cotton Mill Threadworks.  Many of you will have met Anita and John at various merchant malls.  Anita is having an open house Saturday and Sunday at her home in Dundas this weekend.  It's a good opportunity to see all of the new thread colours and stock up on those titanium needles.
If you've never used titanium needles you are missing out!  I use size 14 for machine quilting and size 12 for piecing especially when I'm working on batiks.  GET SOME - you won't regret it!!

Tuesday afternoon I presented my Tips and Tricks for Quilters lecture to the Hilltop Quilters Guild in Hamilton.  What a great bunch of quilters!  They asked some very astute questions and really paid attention to the information I was giving them.  I've never seen so many notes taken!  Thanks to all of the members for your kind response to the lecture and I will see you another time.  Once again, I forgot to take a picture!!!
The Creative Arts Centre in Ingersoll has an Artist's Studio Tour coming up this Fall so the Oxford Quilters Guild members have been asked to make placemats for the lunch.  Part of the ticket price includes lunch at the church and you get to keep your placemat.  I made 6 last week from a tutorial on Alissa Haight Carlton's website to make the "Lines in the Sand Placemats".  They were fun and fast to make.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Weekend

Saturday found me teaching "Colour for Quilters" at Joyce's Sewing Shop in London's Wortley Village.  Having snowed like crazy the day before, the roads and parking were still and issue but all of the students made it in.  There was an interesting mix of experienced and new quilters in the bunch.

With Friday's Block of the Month cancelled, I managed to finish up the Postage Stamp Quilt Along quilt.  I just had two sides of binding to finish then had to wash the quilt to get the markings out.  Here's the final product.  This was fun to do as it was really fast and easy and used up a jelly roll that had been living in my fabric cupboard way too long.

I did the machine quilting on my trusty Juki TL-98Q machine.  The squares are cross-hatched and the border was a stencil design.  Crayola Washable Markers were used to mark the stencil design so it was necessary to wash the quilt in the washing machine with ORVUS PASTE as soon as the binding was finished.  I've had great luck with these markers but I buy a fresh set every year so the ink doesn't become too strong.  As with everything, test it first!!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thanks Thames Valley Quilters Guild!

Wednesday I was at the Thames Valley Quilters Guild meeting to present my lecture "Batting.....What's in your Quilt?".  This seems to be a very popular lecture recently and I am very glad of that for two reasons.  First of keeps me employed.  Second and probably more importantly, most people haven't been educated about the many batting types on the market today.  There has been an explosion of batting over the last few years.  When I first started teaching we had a choice of polyester or Cotton Classic 80/20 batting.  Now there are hundreds of battings out there from polyester, cotton, silk, bamboo, corn, soya, wool and various mixtures of all these.  Unfortunately, it has been my experience that very few people that work in fabric retail have had any education regarding the batting that they sell.  It's up to the individual quilter then to do the research.
It took me 3 months to do all of the testing and research for my one hour lecture.  That's a lot of information to sift through.  As I come across new batting, I am adding it to my lecture information.
Thanks go out to the members of the Thames Valley Quilters Guild for being such an enthusiastic audience and making me feel so very welcome at your guild.

Today was supposed to be the March Block of the Month here.  BUT this is what I saw from my front door at 7:30 this morning.  Schools were closed and our road was and still is, a mess!  No newspaper or garbage pick up either.  Spring is coming, right?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Animal Outreach Quilt

This is the Crazy Cat Quilt that I finished up last week.  The pattern is from the Buggy Barn book "That Crazy Thing We Do".  A few years ago I was teaching the Buggy Barn Club at Quilts and Calicos in Exeter and this was one of the projects in that series.  My original quilt I gave to our vet for taking such good care of our cat named Ben.  It hangs in the waiting room there at the Arva Animal Hospital.
Karen Cole quilted the quilt for me.  Great job Karen!
Animal Outreach London will be getting this quilt to raffle to raise money for their organization.  They provide foster care for cats and other animals and work to get them adopted again.  Animal Outreach has a permanent booth on the second floor at the Western Fair Farmers Market in London that is open every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  Tickets will go on sale starting in September and will be drawn just before Christmas.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Oxford Quilters Guild Batting Lecture

The Oxford Quilters Guild in Ingersoll, Ontario invited me to present my lecture "Batting.....What's in Your Quilt?" to both the evening and morning guilds.  They were a great audience as they asked lots of good questions and took the time to talk to me afterwards.  That's always a good sign!!  Since the Oxford Guild is my home guild I knew lots of people in the audience so it was more like having a conversation with friends than presenting a lecture.  Thanks to all who volunteered to hold up my quilts and pass around the quilted samples.  You helped to make things run smoothly!
This batting lecture will be presented at the Thames Valley Quilters Guild meeting on Wednesday, March 9th in the morning if anyone would care to be a guest.
I hope everyone learned more about the batting that is available to you and how to choose batting depending upon the final use and construction of your quilts.  Remember......branded and bonded.

Regina McCarthy of McCarthy's Party Tours was visiting the guild to promote their Textile Tour of England.  Two of our members were on the tour last year and are ready to go again.  I had the great privilege of staying with Regina and her family on one of my teaching trips to Newfoundland.  I was spoiled rotten and loved every minute of it.  One of the joys of being a travelling teacher is making friends all over the country.

Leta brought this old quilt for show and share at the guild meeting.  Her sister made the quilt top in the 1940's and Leta finished it for her.  What a charming quilt!

Judy brought a quilt that she had made from ties belonging to a beloved doctor in her community.  She told us that the doctor never came to the hospital without a shirt and tie so when he passed away, she requested his ties to make this quilt.  It will hang in the hospital where he dedicated so much of his life.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Packing up!

This afternoon's studio activity is packing for my "Batting.......What's in Your Quilt?" lecture that I will be sharing with the Oxford Quilters Guild for both their evening and morning guilds.
I thought you might be interested in seeing what the process looks like but decided that I just couldn't give you that kind of shock on a Tuesday.  Let's just say that my floor is covered with piles of quilts and boxes at the moment and leave it at that, shall we????

So instead I thought I'd show you a photo of the quilt that I will have in the Teacher's Exhibition at Quilt Ontario '11 at the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario  May 25-28.  The quilt is called "Snowgoose" but it's the traditional Spider Web quilt design.  Kristyn McCoy of Melon Patch Quilts did the quilting on this quilt.  Beautiful job Kristyn!!!  It took awhile to get the binding done on this one.

While at Quilt Ontario, I will be teaching my Spiral Bargello quilt.  Unfortunately the Art Quiltlets class has been cancelled due to lack of registration.  It's a shame because the Art Quiltlets class teaches more about design, colour and balance than any other workshop.  You also learn to embellish with beads and found objects and freehand machine quilt.  HOWEVER>>> the conference promises to be a good one with lots of shows and activities.