Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cooking Revelation!!

Hubby's away on a photography course so I've had the house to myself for a few days.  Lots of quilting and COOKING going on.  I don't usually cook when Hubby's away but I have found a new cookbook and show that is truly changed my way of cooking.
There's a show with Jamie Oliver on the Food Network called "Meals in Minutes" and the whole premise is that you can cook an entire meal (main, vegetable, beverage, salad and dessert) in 30 minutes.  It's fresh, healthy and delicious.  The food I've tried so far has been restaurant quality.  I haven't quite got it all done in 30 minutes yet but usually I'm done at the 45 minute mark.  My knife skills aren't quite up to Jamie's and I keep having to reread the book.  I just need someone to stand there and read the book to me.
Did you know that you don't have to peel a butternut squash or that you can eat radish leaves?  Neither did I and I've been into cooking for a long time!
Here's the book and a peek inside:

The book is written with minute to minute instructions so everything gets  done at the same time.  Anyone who does a lot of cooking can tell you that that's the trickiest part.......getting it all on the table at the same time.
Last night I made the green curry dinner done with chicken thighs.  I can honestly say it's the best chicken I've ever eaten.  My daughter joined me for dinner too and loved the meal.  DD is gluten and lactose intolerant and there are many meals that are fine for her to eat.
Here are some photos of last night's meal.
Green curry chicken and carrots (not green beans as the book calls for)

Kimchee salad
The food is wonderful and done in a very small period of time............HOWEVER......this is what your kitchen looks like when you're done.

I didn't have the heart to take a picture of the stove.......oh, my!  Thank goodness for dishwashers!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Saturday in Simcoe

I spent a lovely day with the quilters of the Twilight Quilters Guild yesterday.  They were doing the Angles and Squares workshop with me.
We all had a wonderful time once Eleanor opened the gates for us.  I think she has a new career waiting for her!
The ladies were a treat to teach.  There was lots of laughter and lots of learning which combined always make for a successful workshop.
Here they are hard at work.....

They have a wonderful workshop/meeting space complete with kitchen.
Thanks to Terry for making me a delicious lunch and to all the ladies for their great participation yesterday.  Remember.......... press with the grain of the fabric!!  I'm looking forward to receiving pictures of the finished quilt tops.
The Twilight Quilters have invited me back September 29, 2012 to teach Colour For Quilters.  I look forward to seeing everyone and sharing another workshop with you.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cute Little Bag Tutorial

There's a tutorial for these super cute zippered pouches at

She has other tutorials too so you may enjoy just browsing her blog.  Enjoy!

Hexagon Quilts in Exeter

Thursday and Saturday found me teaching one of my 60 Degree Quilt Series, the Hexagon Quilt at Quilts and Calicos in Exeter.  This is a wonderful quilt for using up jelly rolls or 2 1/2" strips from your stash.  Students learned how to use a 60 degree ruler, matching points and lots more!  Each student had a completely different set of fabrics so it was fun to see what each palette looked like.
Thanks to all my wonderful students who made this class so much fun!
Also thanks to Marg who brought dates squares to class........I can be bought!

My friend Maggie's quilt

My teaching sample

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Beading Workshop

My friend Maggie (of Magpie Collectables) and I goofed off for the day and went to Paris!
Unfortunately it wasn't THAT Paris but Paris, Ontario.
We had registered for a workshop to make a beaded necklace at 4 Sirius Beaders bead shop in Paris for the afternoon.

We arrived in Paris early to do a little shopping and have lunch first.  Great bargains in the dress shop there!  Of course we had to go into the famous John Hall's shop too.  If you ever get to Paris you really must go to this shop.  I'm sure it hasn't been painted since 1940!  There is clutter and piles everywhere and it's as dark as can be.  You feel like you've entered a time machine and gone back decades.  It's a great shop for linens with some of the nicest tea towels.

Our class began at 12:30 with Marion.  Marion is a wonderful teacher with years of experience not only as a beader, but as a school teacher.   Her patience is infinite.........thank goodness!

Here is a photo of my start on the necklace.  I'm really pleased with the colours.

There were 5 students in the workshop all of various levels of expertise.  We enjoyed chatting and beading together........ not to mention the cups of tea and delicious cookies provided.
Marion's sample necklace
Here are all the smiling faces of the students yesterday.  Marion is at the end keeping a close watch on all of us.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Crazy Cat Quilt Can Be Yours!!

My Crazy Cat Quilt is being raffled to raise money for Animal Outreach London.  Tickets are available at the Western Fair Farmers' Market on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Please come out and buy a ticket for this worthy cause.  This group works to find homes for abandoned and abused animals in London and area.  Their vet bills are staggering!
The pattern is from Buggy Barn.  I can't remember which book at the moment but it's great fun to make using their "crazy method" of stacking fat quarters then shuffling them.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mississauga Quilters Guild

A big thank you to the quilters of the Mississauga Quilters Guild for inviting me to share my "Colour Harmony" lecture with them last Thursday.  You asked some great questions and were such a wonderfully attentive audience.  THANK YOU!!
One of the nicest parts of giving a lecture is when members take the time to come and speak to me afterwards.  It makes such a difference to me to know that I was able to teach them something or to reach them somehow.  The next time your guild has a speaker, go up and say "hello" and don't be shy to ask questions.
Here are the friendly members of the Mississauga Quilters Guild!

Just look at all those smiling faces!!!

I'm very pleased to announce that because there was so much interest in colour after giving my lecture that I will be returning to the guild to give my 6 hour workshop entitled "Colour for Quilters" on Saturday, March 24, 2012.  Sign up early as I know there were many people interested in the workshop.

On Saturday I shared my "Angles and Squares" workshop with the guild.  The workshop was held in one of the meeting rooms in a retirement residence. The facility was wonderful with a kitchen, lots of tables and chairs etc.  We didn't even blow any breakers!!  A few of the residents even dropped by to see what we were up to.

A big pat on the back to Diane for cutting in layers now!  I'm so proud.  More pats on the back for the other students who now never wiggle the iron and press with the grain.  
It was a most enjoyable day.  Lil allowed me to stay with her the night before and made me a terrific lunch.  Thanks to everyone at the workshop.  It was a great day!  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Lego Quilt Tutorial

There's a new tutorial on Lazy Gal Quilting blog on a quilt Tonya has named the "Lego Quilt".
This one would really put a hole in your pile of scrap strips!  She's using 1 1/2" strips for her version of the original antique quilt.
Check out the tutorial when you get a minute.  I'm working on a quilt that uses 1 1/2" strips of batiks right now so I'm thinking I can use up the ends and bits for this quilt.  It would look sensational done in batiks!!!

Anyone coming along with me on this one?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Another Spiral Bargello

Today's job in the studio was to get the borders on the new Spiral Bargello I've been working on.  The Spiral Bargello workshop is one of the most requested workshops on my teaching list.  I have so many workshops for this booked this Fall that I needed another sample.
This is my own design but is based on a technique developed by Chris Timmons, an Australian quilt designer.
Students have their strata already made when they come to class.  It takes quite awhile to make the strata at home but it's worth it when we get together in the classroom and start assembling the tops.  Everyone's quilt looks so different depending upon their fabric choices.
Spiral Bargello is one of my favourite workshops to teach as it gives me so many opportunities to share tips and techniques with the students.
Here's a photo of the quilt top I completed today.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Too Strange!

This is apparently a real sign in the New York subway........
How sad is that????

ahhhhh, with good reason

Winner's Bouquet Quilt

My queen size "Winner's Bouquet" quilt is finished.  I am very pleased with the colour palette.  The fabrics are all batiks that I collected all over to add to some in my stash.
The pattern is from Atkinson's Designs and sells for $30.00 US.  The pattern includes 3 acrylic templates and the instruction sheet.  I was really impressed how easily the points and curves went together when using the templates.  Because I was using batiks, I could cut 6 fabrics at once using a 45mm rotary cutter.  That really made the cutting fast and still accurate.

The quilting is an over all pattern using taupe thread.  It was long arm quilted by Karen Cole of Dorchester.
I probably won't make another of these so if you'd like to make a deal for the pattern/templates just drop me an email.

The quilting season is starting off with a bang this week.  I'll be running until the first week of December but I'm looking forward to sharing my lectures and workshops with everyone.  This week I'll be at Quilts and Calicos Tuesday night for "Meet the Teacher Night" from 7-9 p.m.  I'm teaching 3 workshops for them this Fall so drop by and see the samples.  I'd be happy to help you with your fabric selections that night too.  If you buy fabric for the workshops on Tuesday night you get a 20% discount!

Thursday night I'll be visiting the Mississauga Quilters Guild to present my lecture entitled "Colour Harmony" at 7:00 p.m.  
I'll be returning to the Mississauga Guild on Saturday for my "Angles and Squares" workshop.