Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Inspired by Quilts

My textile hand work, my quilts, have inspired watercolour painter Gill Cameron . She is known for her Georgian Bay landscapes but wanted to try something new.

She photographed a bunch of my quilts a while ago and painted them on paper, altering some of the colours.

She actually sewed the paper to create the folds. I like the effect it gives.

Gill Cameron was a beginner quilt student of mine about 9 years ago.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Hexagons in Fashion

Surprise! Dior has a quilt pattern in their pre-Fall 2017 fashion line!

ceramic tile detail in Barcelona, Spain

My Veronese friend Piera's latest quilt!
All hand pieced and hand quilted.
The outside shape of the 3-d block is a hexagon
picture taken at the ROM in Toronto, BIG/M├ęga exhibit
quote from the label: "Needlework was a professional trade
 as well as a domestic skill associated with the feminine virtues
 of patience, concentration and cleanliness"
...comment anyone??
A cube quilt in the process- interesting how the quilt maker
used a grey and black for 2 sides of the cube
 and only one coloured piece.

Click here to see how Dior used the hexagon shape! Interesting ....although the model doesn't seem to be too happy to be wearing it! (I can't stop laughing!)

Popular construction of a hexagon during the 30's and 40's,
hand pieced and hand quilted
Charlotte's Webs in Blue
large hexagon quilt by Judy Beca
(photo taken at the York Heritage Quilters Guild Show
Inspired by Bob Gutcher's spiderweb quilt

We are ahead of the fashion curve, ladies!

I show this example when I teach the art element of value.
Value is very visible when comparing it
to the same photo (below) in black and white.

Friday, January 6, 2017

BE THERE!! Verona, Italy, April 21 to 30, 2017

On a freezing cold day like today, I dream of a spring season in Verona, Italy. Doesn't that sound nice?

YOU may like to discover Verona while enjoying Verona Tessile, a biannual quilt and contemporary textile art festival highlighting works from around the world. 

A walking tour, classes, a wine tasting in the Valpolicella region, a cooking class of typical Veronese fare and a day trip to Venice are among the activities during the trip I organize.

My textile trip registration is progressing. There are still spots available so sign up soon as there are limited places (12 max.)

Verona is such a gorgeous city. Even though I have been visiting there for the past 11 years I never tire of it. The beautiful Adige river hugging the historical area.

The history.

The architecture.

And of course you can't talk about Italy without mentioning food!

Fresh spring asparagus over parmigiano crisps

Or it's people- full of life and ever so stylish! One of the plusses about this trip is that you will get to meet Italians that have the same interests as you- quilting and textile art. There have been some nice friendships between the Canadians and the Veronese that have blossomed since 2011 when I started taking groups over there.

Some of my friends that you will meet!

I hope you can join me for this authentic experience of Italian life. It will be unforgettable!!

Click here for details.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Last weekend for World of Threads

World of Threads, another success!! Congratulations to the festival curators, Dawne Rudman and Gareth Bate.

Waiting #1, Remembrance Women's Loss, detail
Glenys Mann

It is always a pleasure seeing the works. There is a wide spectrum of styles, techniques and materials used. I got to see things other countries are working on and it is inspiring to me as a maker myself.

Interactions #28: Head to Head, detail
Gerri Spilka

This year's show included 315 works from 23 countries!

Pages from Life's Journey, Series 1
Sung Ja Kim Chisholm

There were 134 artists and lucky me, I got to see a piece from my favourite Judith Martin!

 detail of Judy Martin's work

The program booklet was also really well done, as always. Nicely formatted and all artists' works photographed were acknowledged! That doesn't always happen in Verona at their festival and I am forever reminding them to write the artist's name. It is important!!

Judy Maryin's work left
Tammy Radcliff's work, right

Thanks to these kinds of very professional exhibits, the textile art form is gaining legitimacy and importance in the art world. This festival has been running for over 20 years!

Neha Puri Dhir

Make an effort to see it if you can get out to Oakville.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Back in the Studio

It has been a few weeks since I posted and I am sorry for all who kept coming to visit my blog and kept seeing the Gangi post.

I have been back in Toronto for over a week and my suitcase is still on the floor in my dressing room... open... but full!

Today, I made some time to sew.

journal cover

I made the book wrap for my Umbria journal.

I have the stone walls represented, the cypress trees, the rolling hills, the gorgeous sky at sunset, the red string from the textile-art therapy workshop.

Piece on the left shows the lining fabric of the wrap.

And even the olive trees! I happen to find a piece of William Morris reproduction fabric in my stash and although his branches are willows, the colouring and the shape reminded my of the olive trees from Umbria.

I used scraps from Sofia Verna's Ms Emma Designs. Fitting since she taught one of the workshops we did.

I plan to bring it to the Oakville Guild this Thursday when I give my talk.

The theme of my talk is Inspiration. Where do my ideas come from? I hope to inspire the audience!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Back From Sicily

A few weeks ago I had an authentic experience in Sicily with my friends from Verona.

Town of Gangi, Sicily.
One of the ladies has a house in Gangi. She organized a trip for 12 of us.


You can imagine the chatter and the laughs we all had together...and the FOOD.

We visited Palermo and Monreale, Castelbuono and Cefalu'.

We had a wonderful evening teaching English paper piecing to the local residents of Gangi of all ages. They loved making hexagons.

Room where we shared our passion for patchwork!

It was interesting for me as a trip organizer to be on the 'client' side. I confirmed that travellers like to integrate in the place they visit. I am on the right track with the Verona trip and the Umbria trip!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Upcoming Fall Classes

My Fall schedule is coming together even though I am still in Italy. I L-O-V-E internet!!...when it works.

Teaching on November 13 at Artscape Youngplace. A 9-patch block, perfect for self-taught quilters and beginners. It is also a good review for those who have made a few quilts already.

This is just one of the quilt designs using the versatile 9-patch block

Teaching on November 27 also at Artscape Youngplace.

A quilt-as-you-go construction. Great project for using all kinds of scrap fabric!

I am speaking at Oakville Quilters Guild on November 17. My theme is "Inspiration". Even if you are not a member I think you can attend. Better contact them though just to make sure.

I am speaking at Halton Quilters Guild on January 4, 2017. Also teaching there. A scrap class for sure.

I love those types of quilts. I find them the most interesting. Those are the ones I find myself stopping in front of when at a quilt show. They just offer so much to look at...if they are done well, of course. Some people think you can just "throw anything in" but I disagree. That is one of the things I talk about when I teach my scrap classes.

Another reason I love making scrap quilts so much is the cost. You have probably noticed the cost of quilter's cotton has gone up quite a bit in the last year! Many quilters/sewers have collected a box of fabric they love, bought and set aside for use "one day". Now is that time! Take those fabrics out and let's make a quilt! Use what you have- an old cotton shirt, an apron of your mom's, an old pillow case with a fancy trim, an out-of-control fabric bin. Learn how to make those fabrics work well together!

Right now, no classes are full so sign up! (contact me by email: