Monday, May 30, 2011

The Bicycle Bag

Kallisti Quilts  had a booth in the merchant's mall at Quilt Ontario 2011 in London where I found this purple bicycle fabric.  Our daughter rides her red and pink bicycle to work most days so I knew I had to make her a bag.  Since I wasn't good for much else yesterday, sewing while listening to my new Dala CD was perfect.

Zippered pocket for wallet etc.

Cell phone pocket and pen pocket

DD modelling the bag with Tifah helping.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Quilt Ontario 2011 - The End

Local Organizing Committee Quilt Ontario 2011
Karen accepting her award.
The final event of the Quilt Ontario 2011 Conference was held tonight.  The closing banquet was a great success with a delicious meal, great door prizes and lots of awards and fun.  What I enjoyed most was sitting at a table with the other teachers at this conference.  We are so busy teaching that we rarely get a chance to just sit and talk.  I didn't teach as many workshops as some of the teachers so I wasn't quite as tired.  It helped this year that I could sleep in my own bed each night!
The London Organizing Committee is to be congratulated on a job well done.  The conference was a great success and all of the hours of planning and preparation paid off.

My friend and machine quilter extraordinaire, Karen Cole won an award for her long arm quilting.  Way to go Karen!!

The evening's entertainment was a two-woman folk group called Dala out of Toronto.  They were spectacular!!!  We were lucky to have them come to the banquet.  I have a feeling that they will be playing to sold out theatres before long.  I purchased a CD and can't wait to take some time to enjoy it.  There is a video of them on YouTube with their song entitled "Horses".  Have a look and I'm sure you'll be as impressed as I was.

Dala performing at the banquet.
I have to mention an oversight at the banquet.  The CQA President thanked the LOC, the volunteers, the chef, the sponsors, the donators, but completely forgot about acknowledging the teachers.  I have to admit that we all felt a little snubbed.  Teachers work extremely hard at these conferences often travelling long distances, eating poorly and sleeping less.  One little "thank you" goes a long way.  None of us are divas......I'm just would have been a nice thing to do.
Quilt Ontario Teachers. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Quilt Ontario 2011

Quilt Ontario 2011, the mini conference of the Canadian Quilters Association is taking place this week in London.  The National Juried Show, Invitational Show, workshops, lectures, merchant malls etc. etc. all 20 minutes from home!
Last night I attended the opening of the National Juried Show.  My friend Darlene was one of the winners of a rosette and cash prize.  We are all so very proud of her!  Darlene is a beautiful quilter and deserves to be recognized.
It has been wonderful to see friends and students from all over the country.  There are two friends from BC that come to every conference that I met in 1988 that were back once again.  How wonderful to catch up on all the news once again with them.
Today I taught the Spiral Bargello class to a wonderful group of enthusiastic quilters.  Janome provided sewing machines for all of the workshops.  We had no trouble whatsoever with the machines that Janome provided so that took a lot of stress from the day.  It is such a privilege to be able to spend time and share my passion for the art of quilting with these students.  Thank you once again for making the day so special.
Gwen Tracey and her committee did such a great job of organizing the classrooms etc.  Thanks so much for all of your hard work!

Friday night (tomorrow) there is a passport night to visit all of the teacher's classrooms to see the work that has been going on all week and to meet the teachers.  I'll be in room 2040 in Althouse College so come by and say hello.  I'm having a draw for a  basket of quilt goodies you may win.

Don't forget to visit the National Juried Show.  The quilts are absolutely amazing!  They make you want to shut yourself in your studio for a few weeks and produce something new and amazing yourself!

I lost complete control in the merchant's mall yesterday and bought a PILE of Japanese taupes and dobby fabrics.  OH MY!

The lady here to my right is Madonna from Fort McMurray.  She is my new heroine!  Congratulations once again for winning that sewing machine, Madonna!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Quilts of the Netherlands Show

The Quilts of the Netherlands Show in Ailsa Craig should NOT be missed!
I went back for a second time today so that I could get some good photos of some of the magnificent quilts on display.  These photos don't really do them justice but you'll get the idea of the quality of the quilts in the show.

The Quilt Festival is on until Saturday evening's
Closing Banquet.
  The exhibition is open at the Ailsa Craig Community Centre from 9:30 to 5 Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday, until 8 p.m. Thursday,  and until 2 p.m. on Saturday.

For more information visit their website at:
There are several merchants at the show with everything you would ever need.

Two booths are Netherlands fabrics and patterns.  The Dutch chintz fabric is stunning!!

I can highly recommend the tea room as well!  Great prices and delicious food.  Lunch is served too and looked great although I didn't partake.

The proceeds of this show go to the community.
The organizers can be very proud of a job well done.  I go to a lot of quilt shows and this is one of the best!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lapel Stick Draw

It wasn't a very sophisticated draw but the winners are:

Janet, Sandi and Sue!

I will be teaching at Quilt Ontario in Althouse College Room 2040 on Thursday, May 26th from 9-4.  You can also find me at the Annual General Meeting Wednesday afternoon, the opening of the National Juried Show on Wednesday night and at the closing banquet on Saturday.
The glue sticks will be in my purse so be sure to look for me.
If you aren't going to any of these events or you miss me, just send me your mailing address and I'll pop the glue stick into the mail for you.

Let me know what you think of the glue and how you've used it.

The quilt that I made from Dwayne Wanner's workshop is now finished.  I'm not thrilled with it but really enjoyed his workshop and this technique.  Dwayne is hoping to write a book so will be photographing the quilts from his workshop(s).

This photo isn't very good.  I'm still having trouble uploading newer photos so I'll have to get my hubby (the computer wizard) to have a look and see what the problem is.  Right now he's on the golf course enjoying the sun that's finally come out after this morning's torrential downpour.  I hope you're enjoying the long weekend and I'll see you next week at Quilt Ontario.  Don't forget to head over to Ailsa Craig too for the Quilts of the Netherlands show.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lapel Stick

The lovely people at Lapel Stick gave me some glue sticks to try out and review on my blog.
So far I am very pleased with this new glue.
I have used it for both machine and hand applique.   The glue was easy to use and did not gum up my needles at all.  Lapel Stick is non-toxic and non-staining.

 I usually use Fons and Porter's glue stick to glue down the corners of a quilt that I'm turning the binding on.  Before hand stitching the binding to the back of the quilt, I like to glue the corners down so the mitres stay straight and I don't end up with any bulk in the corners.  The few minutes that it takes to glue everything down just makes the process so much easier.  The Lapel Stick worked a little better as the glue is a little firmer so wasn't as messy to use.

The glue was invented to glue down the lapels on golf shirts but the packaging says:
"First Aid for Fashion Emergencies.  A temporary, non staining fabric adhesive to secure shirt collars, hems and most fabrics."  It also says that 30 cents from each sale is donated to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.  I like a company with a heart!

The Lapel Stick is available from Cherished Pieces if you're interested in purchasing some.  Cherished Pieces does mail order for those of you not living in this area.

I did take some photos  but for some reason they just don't want to load.

I have 3 Lapel Sticks to give away.  Just leave a comment and I'll do a random draw of three names on Sunday.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Angles and Squares Quilts

Barn Raising Set
Diamond Set
I probably should have shown the quilts we were making in this morning's blogs.  Sorry about that!  These are only two of the hundreds of possible layouts using the block units.  As with many quilts, there are many different names for the quilts depending upon the layouts chosen.  If you start colour playing..........even more possibilities for design happen.  Endless possibilities.  I had 22 students in the workshop this week so I'm excited to see how many different designs they come up with.
Happy sewing ladies..........send me those photos!

Angles and Squares in Kincardine

We all had a great time in the Angles and Squares workshop hosted by the Sunset Quilters of Kincardine.  Thanks to Liz for having me stay at her home.  Liz makes great rugs using a fabric locker hook that I'm going to try this summer.  The rugs use fabric strips over rug canvas.  Liz tells me that the rugs wash up very well and they use up tons of fabric strips.  Sounds like a summer project to me!
Here are the photos from the workshop.  Everyone did a great job of making their units and blocks.  This is a great technique where you never sew triangles.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Grand Quilters of Fergus

Wednesday and Thursday I was visiting with the friendly quilters of the Grand Quilters' Guild in Fergus.  Colour was the topic of interest both for the evening lecture and the workshop the next day.
Thanks to everyone who participated and made me feel so very welcome.  I hope to see some of you at the Wellington County Summer Arts Workshops this July.  My 5 day workshop "Art Quilts the Easier Way" is being held in Elora July 4-8.

 The Grand Quilters have had a block of the month going all year and the big reveal will be at the June meeting.  The blocks were all basket blocks with a monthly theme.
Judy, who hosted me, is just about finished hers and it's absolutely beautiful.
Don't they look like a friendly bunch?  Look at those smiles!

This guild takes part in many community projects including making pillow cases for a young adult rehabilitation centre, place mats for Meals on Wheels and many other worthy causes.

The Colour for Quilters workshop was held at the Racetrack/Casino in Elora.  The facility was perfect for a colour workshop with lots of natural light.
Thanks to all the members who signed up and participated in the workshop.  You all get A+.

Blogger has been off line for past couple of days so my apologies for not posting this sooner.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Dancing on my Soap Box!'s been one of those weeks of emails, phone calls and contracts.  Good, in that I'm still able to continue to work in something I have a passion for and that I'm good at.

HOWEVER........sometimes it's challenging dealing with people in volunteer positions that don't understand that I am a business and what I do is a job and not a hobby.

Case in booked a workshop with me then hired a non-professional teacher to teach the "same' workshop because that less experienced "hobby teacher" is less expensive.  Not only will those students not get the benefit of a teacher with 30 years experience, textile and art training but I lose income because I may not be able to fill that spot on my teaching calendar that they have occupied for months.

Case in point #2 - arrived 30 minutes before a guild meeting to set up my lecture.  Parking lot was full so I carried 3 hockey bags several blocks with no one assigned to help or greet me.  The Program Chair was 10 minutes late for the meeting where I had to find tables and carry them onto the stage myself to set up my lecture materials.  Oh yeah, when I asked for a glass of tap water, they said they only had coffee........I know I'm still wondering about that one!

Rules for having a teacher/guest speaker to your guild.
1.  Have a parking space reserved close to the door for the speaker so unloading won't be so difficult.
2.  If the teacher has to drive for more than 2 hours to get to your venue, you might consider asking her to come an hour early and have dinner with you.
3.  Have someone to assist the teacher with set up and take down.
4.  Have a glass of water available to the speaker.  You get a little dry talking for an hour.
5.  Pay the teacher immediately after her lecture.  With a long drive back home late at night she shouldn't have to sit through your business meeting.  Request an invoice when she arrives or have it emailed before the date of the meeting.

So......thanks for listening.......I just needed to vent........(it is my blog after all!) I still would rather teach/lecture that anything else but some weeks I just have to wonder why.

Working Away in the Studio

Things are pretty quiet here on the home front.  I've been working away in the studio finishing up projects that are due in June.  One is a two colour challenge that I can't show you because some of the other participants might just see the picture before the big reveal.  We can't have that!
The quilt I started in Dwayne Wanner's workshop has been quilted so the binding will go on today.  Dwayne is hoping to write a book so wants to photograph the quilts from his workshop on June 1st.  Nothing like a deadline to make you work on a project!!!
As proof that I've been working hard..........
As you can see, my machine was full of machine quilting fluff.  My trusty Juki TL-98Q had finished quilting my two-colour challenge and needed a good cleaning.
In this photo, I've cleaned the machine and oiled everything so I'm ready to start quilting the next quilt.
My Juki is my main machine that I use both for piecing and machine quilting.  It is permanently set into my sewing desk in the studio and never taken to workshops etc.  Because it is a semi-industrial machine it sews 1500 stitches a minute as opposed to the standard 700-800 on a regular domestic machine.  That means I can sew very quickly and the free-motion quilting is much easier.  It also has a large bed area so quilts fit into the machine easier.
These are the tools I use to clean my machine out and oil it.
The brush has long, soft bristles so it can reach in and around the parts in the machine.  The short bristle brushes that come standard with most machines really don't work as well.
The oil has a long spout that retracts so I can put the "hose" right into the holes for oil instead of dripping it in.  Even machines that are "self-oiling" need some oil when quilting because the machines are used at high speeds for long periods of time.
Next is the canned air.  There's lots of controversy out there as to whether or not this is a good idea.  Since my sewing machine mechanic uses it, so do I.

Remember to change your regular steel sewing machine needles after 8 hours of sewing.  Doing that will extend the life of your sewing machine's motor.  Needles are much less expensive than machines!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Simcoe County Quilters Guild Retreat

What a great time we all had at the Simcoe County Quilters Guild Retreat at the Kempenfelt Conference Centre!  It's a beautiful facility with bright classrooms that actually have enough electricity in them!  What a rare thing that is!!  The food was fantastic too.  It was great fun to see so many familiar faces once again and spend time catching up with everyone.
As you can see, the setting for the centre is wonderful with the dining areas and one classroom overlooking the lake.

On the first day I taught the Quilt Marking Mysteries.  We looked at different marking tools, how to use quad designs and how to make those border stencils actually fit your border.  It's a hands-on class but marking only paper.  At the end of the workshop, students show tops they want to quilt and we discuss various possibilities.

 Here we are looking at quilt tops that the students brought in to discuss marking.

Anita Zobens of Cotton Mill Threadworks gave her Thread lecture on Friday night. On Saturday night Helen Fujiki gave her lecture on her work and travels in Japan.  It was a fascinating look into Japanese culture and symbolism. Sandra Thomas was another teacher at the reatreat teaching quilted clothing.
The next day we tackled the Log Cabin Chevron Quilt workshop.  I must say that everyone did extremely well getting their first quad block finished and learning the chevron techniques.  Well done ladies!!!