Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Orca Bay Mystery = Part 2

Part 2 of the Orca Bay Mystery that Bonnie Hunter is putting on is complete.  If you'd like to join the fun just click on the Orca Bay Mystery Icon to the right of this screen.  It's not too late to catch up!
I chose to use blue-greens instead of the blues that Bonnie is using for her quilt.
There are 75 string pieced blocks that are 3 1/2" square.

Part 3 comes out on Friday.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lanark and Thousand Island Quilt Guilds

It was a busy week last week with workshops and lectures for two guilds.  Thanks to the Lanark Quilting Guild of Perth and the Thousand Island Quilters Guild of Brockville for inviting me to share lectures and workshops with all of you.
In Perth I was able to stay with Nancy and Joel in their lovely home.  They spoiled me terribly and I loved every minute of it!
I shared my Colour Harmony lecture and Colour for Quilters workshop with the Perth group.  Here they are waving "hello".
A few of the members brought their Cobblestones quilts in for show and tell.  Cobblestones was the workshop that I taught there on my last visit.  Several other members came up to say that they were sorry they couldn't show their quilts but they had been given as gifts.  That's so nice!!

I moved on to Brockville but had an afternoon free before I had to present my trunk show lecture so I played tourist and went to visit the Fulford House in Brockville.  Photography inside the building is not permitted so I just have a photo of the outside of the mansion.  The interior is all original including the furnishings and paintings.  If you ever get the chance to go.........GO!  What a beautiful place.  Our tour guide was wonderful.  Yes, that is snow you see on the ground.

The following day we did the Spiral Bargello workshop.  Here are some of the results of the day.  Nice work ladies!!  The church ladies provided a delicious lunch of homemade soup, buns, eggs salad, salmon salad, pickles, lemon pie and pumpkin pie.  Now that beats my usual lunches by a long shot!!!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Orca Bay Mystery - Part 1

I've been chipping away at the first step of Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay Mystery.  Just click on the icon on the right to go to the mystery on Bonnie's blog.
Part 1 was to make 224 hour glass blocks from the neutral and black fabrics.  I'm using blacks and whites as you can see.  They are shown here in stacks of 10 units.
Part 2 comes out this Friday, I think.  Experience has taught me not to get behind on the instructions.
So far, so good!
I'm packing up for another teaching adventure so I'll have to get caught up when I get back.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Double Diamond Workshop

The Double Diamond quilt was the subject of the last two days of teaching at Quilts and Calicos in Exeter, Ontario.  It is a one day workshop that had two classes of students.
Here's my quilt sample:
This quilt looks a little more difficult than it actually is but is still a little challenging.  Students at an intermediate level do well in this workshop.  This is a favourite class of mine to teach as it provides students with many opportunities to learn new skills as they apply to working with 60 degree angle quilts.  Matching points WITHOUT using pins etc.

The students all had great fabric choices.  Unfortunately I forgot to take any photos in Friday's workshop but here are some from today's workshop.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Toronto Adventure

Hubby and I spent the day yesterday in Toronto.
We were fortunate enough to get tickets to see the Chagall exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
The paintings were breathtaking.  The exhibit also contained paintings by other Russian artists of the same time period working in France at the same time as Chagall.  Among these works were several Kandinsky paintings.

My favourite Chagall painting is (of course) "The Bride and Groom of the Eiffel Tower 1938-9.  Unfortunately this one was not in the exhibition but I had a card to show some Chagall work in the photo below.  While we were at the gallery we also visited exhibits of the Group of Seven and sculptures of Henry Moore.  The AGO was very busy for a Wednesday afternoon.  
The Chagall exhibit is on until January 15th.  If you are in Toronto and have the time, I highly recommend it!

After the AGO went ventured down to the entertainment district to have dinner.  We ended up at a Thai Restaurant for a delicious dinner of spring rolls, stir fry beef and vegetables and creme brule for dessert.  I'm not sure how creme brule gets on a thai dessert menu but I wasn't about to argue!

Our next adventure was to see Chef Jamie Oliver live at Roy Thompson Hall. We really didn't know what to expect.  It turned out that Jamie was interviewed on stage and answered questions from the audience from cards we filled out.  It was a very pleasant evening.  Jamie was so down to earth and genuine that you felt like you were just having a chat with him in your living room.  Everyone who bought a ticket got a copy of his newest cookbook "Jamie Oliver's Food Escapes".  I'm still reading it but will let you know when I try some recipes.

What a wonderful day!  We decided to drive home even though it meant getting in quite late. The older we get, the more we like sleeping in our own bed!

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Mystery Quilt

Bonnie Hunter of www.quiltville.com has just posted the first instalment for her new mystery quilt series entitled "Orca Bay Mystery".  Bonnie does mystery quilts that are always easily understood with clear, photographed illustrations and printable instructions.  The new mystery link is http://quiltville.blogspot.com/p/orca-bay-mystery.html
I have my fabric selected.  Bonnie is using blue, red, neutrals and blacks.  As you can see, I'm using blue-greens, yellow-oranges, whites and blacks.

Want to join me and several thousand other Bonnie Hunter fans?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Scrap Management

I've just finished this top for a class I'm teaching at Quilts and Calicos in Exeter, ON February 18 & 19.  We're offering the two days to choose from.  Students can sign up for either day but it is only a one day workshop.
I call this quilt Jester's Diamond.  This is another quilt in my "60 Degree Quilts" series.
Peeking around the edges is another 60 degree quilt that I'm just sewing the rows together on.  You'll have to wait a little while before I can show you that one!
The Jester's Diamond quilt was fairly quick to make but has lots of lessons to teach.  Matching points on 60 degrees, strip cutting on the angle etc. etc.  Wouldn't this look great in black and white fabrics or batiks?
Here is the pile of scraps generated from cutting this quilt.  There are a few extra scraps because I took an "unscheduled nap" while cutting the setting triangles and had to redo them.  Don't you just hate that?

 Rather than just putting these odd sized bits of fabric back into the cupboard, I cut them into useable sized pieces and put them in boxes.  Here I have cut 1 1/2" squares, 2 1/2" squares and 1 1/2" strips.  The 1 1/2" squares go into my postage stamp quilt box and the rest into boxes under my cutting table.  When the time comes to make a quilt using any of these sizes, I don't have to cut them, I just have to reach under the table for the correct sized box of pieces.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Ottawa Valley and Kemptville Quilters Guilds

I am back from working with the Ottawa Valley Quilters Guild and the Kemptville Quilters Guild.
On Saturday I presented the Spiral Bargello workshop to the Ottawa group.  The workshop was held in a vacant store right beside Dragonfly Fabrics.  What a great location!  We could pop next door to get things yet had an entire store for the 16 students to set up their equipment.  Linda, who owns  Dragonfly Fabrics loaned us tables etc.
Here are some photos from that workshop....

I had Sunday off so I had time to visit our son.  We don't see him too often so it was such a great opportunity to catch up and just enjoy spending a day together.
While I was in Ottawa I stayed with my brother-in-law and his family.  It gave me an opportunity to visit while I was working.  My sister-in-law and I took some time Monday morning to explore the market area of downtown Ottawa.  This is a photo of the parliament buildings that I snapped along the way.

Monday night I presented my lecture " Creativitiy.......What is it and where to I get some?".  There were close to 200 people in the audience.  Thanks all of you for participating so well in the lecture.  I must have had 50 people come up and chat with me after the lecture.  It's always so nice when people come up and talk to me after a lecture.  It makes me feel like I was able to really communicate with them.
Nancy came to the lecture with her Spiral Bargello top completed!  Way to go Nancy!!

Tuesday I got up at the crack of dawn and drove down to Kemptville for another Spiral Bargello workshop.  Thanks Marian for arranging everything.
After the workshop ended I drove home.  It took just a little over 6 hours to get back after teaching all day.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New Cookbook is an enjoyable read!

As you all may have gathered, I love to cook.  Loving to cook translates into being an avid collector of cookbooks.
This is my newest acquisition.....
Jennifer Reese is a journalist who became unemployed.  To economize, she began to experiment making foods that she normally purchased.  She has even gone so far as raising chickens and goats in her yard.  The book is full of humorous anecdotes and wonderful recipes along with "Make It" or "Buy It" recommendations.

One of the sections I read last night dealt with making your own chicken stock.  I usually make stock when we have turkey but otherwise I've been really enjoying the convenience of the new Knorr Chicken Stock.  They take up less room in my pantry than the boxes of stock or tins of condensed stock and it costs less.  It's not always easy to find but you can usually get it in Walmart.

Reese declares that she hates making stock.  What do you do with all those slimy bones and soggy vegetables afterwards?  You can't put them into the compost.  If you put them into the garbage the raccoons rip you garbage open making a mess all over the lawn and neighbours less than thrilled with your efforts to economize.  Storing the stock takes up limited space in the freezer too.

On the upside.......making stock is cheaper than buying it when you assume that you would have thrown out that carcass anyway.  BUT the biggest argument is that if you read the labels of the leading brands, "your skin will crawl".  So, I looked at the label on my Knorr box.......big mistake!

Pass the slimy chicken bones and make room in the freezer!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Quilt Canada 2012 in Halifax

I will be teaching 4 one-day workshops in Halifax, Nova Scotia for the Quilt Canada 2012 conference.  My workshop dates are:

May 30 - Quilt Marking Mysteries
May 31 - You've Got Mail (playing with postage stamp designs)
June 1 - Colour Studies for Stash Quilters
June 2 - Fireside Log Cabin

Registration is now open to everyone including non-members of the Canadian Quilters Association.
I know most of the people on the organizing committee of this conference and know that they will put on an outstanding conference.  I'm not sure how many more Quilt Canada conferences there will be so take advantage of this one if you can.

For more information go to:  http://quiltcanada2012.ca/2011/11/01/quilters-come-on-down/

I hope to see you there!