Sunday, November 25, 2012

One of a Kind Show etc.

Another busy week has flown by!  With Christmas fast approaching it seems that time moves even faster.  It's hard to believe that Christmas is only one short month away.

This week I taught the Irish Courthouses workshop at my home studio.  We had a great day learning to choose fabrics and values to make the design work.  This quilt has LOTS of sewing to it but really is worth the work for such a beautiful quilt in the end.

Thursday I went to Toronto for my annual trek with my friend to the One of a Kind Show in Toronto.  we spoil ourselves and take the Via 1 train.  That way we get breakfast going and supper returning.  It was a really good show this year.  There were many new vendors with some really wonderful, creative products.  Of course, some of our old favourites were there too.  A few of the booths were looking out of date so we wondered why they didn't change their approach but for the most part we were very happy that we took a day to go.  It was opening day for the show on Thursday but we found that the crowds were about the same as previous years.

Not a great picture but you can see that it wasn't overly crowded at this point.  The number of strollers and rolling shopping bags made getting around a bit of a challenge at times.  Some of our favourite products this year were screen printed linens.  The original designed clothing was also something we enjoyed this year.  There seemed to be designs that would suit all age groups and body types this year.

My Angel got a little more done this week.....

The wing on the right is complete.  The wing on the left just has the foundation down.

Hubby and I just got back from checking on the house.  The duct work is almost complete.  Most of the electrical is in.  The gas is in and the central vac is being worked on.  The most exciting of all is the stone is done on the house.  Those masons must have worked very hard to get it all done before this cold weather set in.  We are thrilled with the results!

The siding will go on next week and the work inside will continue.  We are so impressed with our builder, Rod Nicholson of Nicholson Homes.  Everything has gone so quickly and smoothly so far.  I'm sure we'll hit a bump at some point but he has been wonderful to work with and he seems to have chosen great people in the sub trades.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Whew! That was a busy season!

I've been a few places since my last blog entry.  Trunk shows and workshops all over the place!
Here's a photo of the lovely quilters of the quilters in the Mount Forest quilt guild.
I was in Mount Forest to teach two days of the Colour for Quilters workshop and to present my Trunk Show lecture.  They were a great audience for the lecture.  The workshops went very well except for some reason they started to pack up the tables and chairs while I was still teaching.  We had a half hour of workshop time left but it sure came to an abrupt end when the tables were being folded up.  I'm still not sure what happened there but they missed out on the final exercise of the workshop.  The upside is that I got home a little earlier.
Special thanks to Mac and Shirley for having me stay in their lovely home.  I enjoyed my time with you.

Teaching is winding down.  I have one more workshop on Tuesday then I'm done with teaching until January.  Studio work will be the priority for the next while as I get ready for another busy quilt season after Christmas.

The house is coming along very quickly.  I've made more decisions in the last couple of months than I have in the past 10 years, I think.  "Which way do you want your doors to swing open?", "What end do you want the drain and taps in the bathtub?"  etc. etc.  Things I've never really thought about.
This week we have a roof and windows!  The three windows you see in the basement belong to my studio.  We have had our meeting with the electrician for lighting.  That studio is going to be so well lit that it's going to look like high noon even if I'm working in the middle of the night.  For the past 20 years I've been working with old lamps that I've moved from place to place so this is going to be a real improvement.  Daylight florescent bulbs all over the ceiling!!!  I might have to wear sunglasses to work.
I've ordered two custom sewing tables and a cutting table from Adam Eddy of

My poor Angel quilt has been neglected with all the teaching and travelling.  Here is my progress so far.  Trying to get the curled hair to the right side of her neck was tricky.  I have a little more work to get that looking good but I'll wait until the head is complete.  The wings will be done next.

Hopefully, you are getting more studio time that I am.  Loblaws was playing Christmas carols this week........oh my!

Friday, November 9, 2012

How to Get the Most Out of Your Workshop

How to get more out of your workshop experience.

For the most part my students are a joy to teach.  You always get a few people that are just having a bad week or tend to have a "can't do" attitude but for the most part the quilters that I see are excited about learning new techniques and skills.

I thought I'd share with you some tips for getting the most out of your workshops.

1.  Make sure you know exactly what the class is offering.  If you have any questions about the workshop, email the teacher and ask some questions.  A visit to the teacher's website is sometimes enough to clarify. Having a clear idea of what you want to get out of a workshop will increase your enjoyment of your time there.

2.  Bring everything indicated on the supply list.  If a specific ruler or notion is on the list, be sure to purchase it before the workshop if you don't already own it.  Teachers spend a great deal of time on the supply lists to make sure that you have everything you need.  Most teachers will indicate what you need to bring to class and what you need to finish the project.

3.  Make sure that your sewing machine and other equipment is in good working order before you bring it to the workshop.   Change the needle in your machine and wind a few bobbins before you pack up.  Double check that you have your foot control, bobbins and power cord.

4.  Always pack a basic workshop kit.  This includes pins, thread snips, stitch ripper, extra sewing machine needles (size 80/12 for piecing) and bobbins.  Be sure to label all equipment with your name.  Return address labels are good for this.  Always bring a power bar and/or extension cord to the workshop.  I highly recommend the wheel type extension cords that wind up and have 4 power outlets.  They cost around $30.00 but they are worth every penny.  You might want to pack a cushion to put on your chair for height and comfort.

Bayco Quad-Plug Extension Cord Reel 017398101653 SL-755

5.  Don't bring an iron unless you are sure that the electrical power supply can handle students bringing extra irons to class.  Usually the workshop organizers have irons for the class to use.  Nothing slows down a workshop faster than throwing a breaker.

6.  Recognize that a workshop room is never going to be as comfortable or convenient as your own sewing studio.  Go with the flow!  Try the method the teacher is using even if you usually do it another way.  Be patient with yourself.  Every new idea or technique will take time to master.

7.  Dress in layers.  Classroom temperatures vary depending on the location.

8.  Show up for the workshop about 20 minutes before starting time to allow time to set up your machine and materials.  Have a look at the samples in the room.

9.  When the teacher is speaking, pay attention.  Chatting with your friends while the teacher is speaking makes it difficult for others to hear and you will miss vital instructions.

10.  Turn your cell phone off.  If you must have it on because of an emergency situation, turn it to vibrate.  If you need to answer a call, leave the room first.

11.  If you need clarification on an instruction, ask the teacher.  Others in the workshop don't want to waste their valuable workshop time teaching you and chances are they've never done it before either.

12.  Recognize that the teacher must share her time equally with everyone in the workshop.  Try not to monopolize her time.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre Celebration

Just a quick reminder that there will be a 40th Anniversary Open House at the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre tomorrow and Sunday from 1:00 - 4:00.  I'll be there Saturday demonstrating machine piecing so drop by and say "hello".

Here's a brief history of the Creative Arts Centre.  I have been a member of the Oxford Quilters Guild that is a part of the CAC since 1988.  It's a wonderful facility so come out and have a look!

History of Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre

Ingersoll Creative Arts CentreThe Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre (ICAC) was started in 1972 by a small group of people who saw the need for artistic growth in the community. In the past 40 years we have grown into a unique organization with a membership of over 400 individuals, families and students, who actively participate in the multi-disciplined programs and exhibitions offered by the ICAC.
This 4500 square foot Centre includes a Fibre Arts Room, fully equipped Pottery Studio, Painting Studio, Exhibitions Gallery, and Gift Shop.
The Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre was established to provide the opportunity for creative expression and development of the people of this community. Under the instruction of highly qualified teachers and in an open, creative setting, people of all ages and economic levels have found a friendly, nourishing environment in which to explore this aspect of their “being”. For many this has provided a very satisfying leisure outlet and for a significant number, this has been a “launching pad” for exhibitions, awards and recognitions. It has helped many artists learn about and develop some expertise in operating a small business.
Mandate:  To provide the opportunity for creative expression and development for those of all ages in Ingersoll and its environs.  Our aim is to offer a creative setting in a friendly, nourishing environment, and to be financially accessible so that no one is excluded.
Mission Statement:  To promote creative activity in the local community and surrounding area by providing programs, workshops, class instruction, and special events in all art forms and for all ages and tastes.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Back from Fort McMurray

What a great visit I had with the quilters of Fort McMurray, Alberta at Suzy Q's Quilt Shop.  Those quilters are such busy people that I'm always amazed that they manage to squeeze quilting into their lives.
I took the flight from Toronto to Fort Mac that starts in St. John's, NL.  The Newfoundlanders often work 2 weeks in Fort Mac - 14 days of 12 hour shifts - then they commute back home for 2 weeks.  What a life!
The day before I left was a sunny 23C and when I arrived it was -9C with lots of snow.
Here's a picture of Sue's deck.  It snowed the entire time I was there.  I was smart enough to bring my ski jacket but not quite smart enough to bring boots.......
It was such a pleasure to have some repeat students in my workshops from previous years.
Here they are hard at work in Sunday's  Double Diamond workshop.  There's a bit of a learning curve with this quilt.  I'm very proud of all of the students as they conquered this technique and made some beautiful blocks.
On Friday night I shared the Tips and Tricks for Quilters lecture.   On Saturday we did the Antique Spider Web quilt workshop and on Saturday night we did the No Fail Binding workshop.

Binding is the number one error I see on quilts.  The way the quilt is bound will effect not only the look  of the quilt,  but how straight it hangs and the lifespan of the quilt.  Take a class!!!  There's a lot more to it than just slapping on the binding.

The flight home was an interesting one.  I left Fort Mac with snow and wind only to hit Ontario with the Hurricane Sandy making turbulence for a very bumpy ride.  I got home a couple of hours later than scheduled but I was just happy to make it there.  My luggage was soaked through with all of the pouring rain.  The quilts were fine and just needed to dry out a bit.  Another good reason to wash your fabrics before making the quilt.

Hubby and I went up to the new house today.  It was so exciting to see the walls and roof trusses on.
We had a tree fall down in the storm.  Can you see it?  It missed the house, the builders trailer and other trees.  Talk about luck!!
I've been too busy to work much on the Angel Quilt so I won't bother with a picture this week.
Next week I'm visiting with two groups of quilters.  Packing, packing and more packing!