Pears Galore!

Size: 22 ½” x 29 ½”

Materials: Silk Dupioni fabric, fabric paint, beads

This quilt is painted with fabric paints, thread painted, quilted using rayon thread. Stamped using vintage wooden letterpress letters. The binding has been beaded.
Canmore, The Sugar Pine ... and crepes September 08, 2010

Hope everyone had a nice Labor Day weekend.  The weather sort of cooperated (at least part of the time) so it was a good weekend all around.

 I decided to take a break from the city yesterday, and drove to Canmore.  When I got onto the highway, and started heading west, I realized that the mountains were covered with snow!  And it’s just the beginning of September … oh, well … they looked lovely.  So I am sharing a photo of the snowed mountains taken from the parking lot in Canmore. 


Of course, once I got into town, I had to visit The Sugar Pine, the quilting store.  They organize Quilt Art Rockies every year and have two sessions, one in February, and one in September.  This year they invited Carol Taylor for the September session, and she’s in town now.  So The Sugar Pine is having a special evening presentation with Carol Taylor on Friday, September 10, on “Working in a Series”.  This is what the description says:  “An entertaining description of Carol’s processes to create art quilts in a series, detailing how she made the 39 quilts in the Gong Series, and then went on to her Confetti, Linear, Arc-i-Texture and Foliage Series.  Enjoy Carol’s stunning quilts!”

 As mentioned, the presentation is this Friday, September 10th at 7:30 p.m. at the Canmore Rec Centre Community Hall (2nd Floor).  The cost is $15.00 + GST.   I don’t have anything to do with the presentation, or the Conference; just thought I would mention it.  I might be making the trip myself on Friday.  We’ll see.

 Of course, once at The Sugar Pine, I found some fabric I couldn’t live without and some fabric paints in colors I didn’t have, and now I do!  I went for a walk, did some window shopping, bought a book at the Rusticana.  I still get a kick out of seeing the Quilting Arts Magazine with my quilt on the cover sitting among all the other quilting magazines.


Then I went for lunch.  I had a lovely crepe, filled with chicken and spinach and two cheeses.  The best part is that it was gluten free!  I couldn’t resist and took a photo, which I am including below.  The downside is that they are so big … I couldn’t have one for dessert! 


By the time lunch was over, it was starting to rain, so I got back to my car and headed back, with a small detour to Cochrane to look for embroidery thread and beads.  I found the embroidery thread, but no beads that would work for what I had in mind … so I will be off to the beading store in town.

 So … I hope everybody is gotten over the going back to school days and shopping, and are getting ready to take some classes, finish some UFO’s, start some new projects … I have been working on some new ones myself, and I will post soon.

 Off to get beads now … and in the meantime … while you help the kids with homework and reading, writing and arithmetic … keep dreaming about new quilts to make, new fabrics to buy...  Until next time I blog …

I leave you with a photo of the rainbow that greeted me on the way into town.



SAQA Benefit Auction 2010 August 22, 2010

Good afternoon,

 SAQA's benefit Auction 2010 is just about a month away.  There are 288 gorgeous works of art up for bid at prices from $750 to $75. We need to let everyone know!  So I am doing my part by posting it here.

 Go to, and click on "News and Events" at the top of the page, and to SAQA 2010 Benefit Auction.  There you'll be able to see all works, and make a list of the ones you'd like to bid on.  Some of my favorites are:

This one is by Carole Grant; Cala Lillies, of course!


This one is by Genevieve Attinger.  I love her images


 The next one is by Heather Stoltz; I like this one becauses of the writing and the ghostly image of the eyes:


The next one is by Jean Jurgenson; it appeals to me because of the old piece of architecture and the fact that it is in black and white.  Do you see a theme running through all these pieces?


The next one is by Mary Pal; she does amazing work using cheesecloth.  I really like this ...


Jette Clover's:


And now a very fun and colorful one by Terri Stegmiller, one of the founders of Three Creative Studios.  If you've never heard of them, give them a try and sign up for their newsletter; it's well worth it.  They do amazing work and offer classes online.  They also have the most wonderful tutorials.  A sample below:


This one is by Jenny Hearn; when you go to the website, click on it, and zoom in, to see the amazing stitching throughout the piece.


And one more.  Not that I don't have others I like, but ... can't post them all here, otherwise there'd be no reason for you to go to the website and check them all out.  This one is by Linda Colsh.  I've admired her work for a long time, and never tire of looking at the images:


I hope you've enjoyed a sample of the amazing pieces of work available at the auction.  Go to the website and see how it all works, and bid on one of the pieces.  Drop me a note and let me know which ones you like best. 

And in the meantime, with all that as inspiration ... keep quilting.  Until I blog again.


The cat's out of the bag July 23, 2010

So now I can tell you to keep an eye on the next issue of Quilting Arts Magazine (August / September 2010).  I believe it will be on sale on August 3rd.  There is an article by me titled "Creative Play with Discharge Paste", and I found out the other day that I am the cover artist!  That was a nice surprise.

 Here's the cover:


The article is about the technique I used to construct Two Pears, the art quilt that was selected for the Month of January in Quilting Arts Calendar 2010, and "The Blue Door" shown on my website.

I hope you find it of interest.  Drop me a note and let me know what you think.  

I am going to work on my next piece or two now, and then I'm off to lunch with friends.  It's back to work on Monday for me. :)

Keep quilting ...



Thr3fold in Vancouver July 10, 2010

Ahhh! Vancouver … I decided to jump on a plane for Vancouver on a whim.  Linda and Laura Kemshall and Catherine Nicholls were going to be in Vancouver for the launch of the new Thr3fold book and I decided to go.

 My friend Aarol met me at the airport and we had a lovely morning in her house catching up on all the news of the last few months.  Then after lunch, we went to Granville Island.  The book launch was going to be at The Net Loft.  So we walked around, shopped some (of course).  There is a store called Fibre Art Studio which belongs to Barbara Heller.  She’s a weaver.  We walked in because of a tapestry hanging on the back wall that caught our attention, and I came out with a couple of postcards of her works.  Her series “Ghost” impressed me.  Her work reminded us of the monochromatic work by Hollis Chatelain.  We actually commented on it and told her to look her up.  Her pieces are amazing …  

 We bought the loveliest wooden print blocks at Maiwa.  See an overall photo of the place (printed with permission).  They have so many nice print blocks we didn’t know which ones to pick.  I came back with six; Aarol got the most beautiful wavy one, and fish, all varieties of fish.  She’s planning on making throw pillows for the boat.  I am looking forward to seeing them.


  We walked through the market and looked at all the fresh produce.  It is amazing how much more appetizing everything looks than in the supermarket:  the berries are redder, the fish shinier, the tomatoes look like they may actually taste like tomatoes ...I learned about sea asparagus, I even had a taste of it.  Salty, but very nice.  Here’s a photo of me by a lovely display of olives. 


And the flowers ... all types, all colors, all shapes.  I wanted to take them all home with me.  Here's a photo of Aarol next to the flowers in the flower market.  Aren't they lovely?


 Then we sat for a while by the water and watched the boats go by.  It was a glorious sunny afternoon, just perfect.  I realized once again how much I like water, and there’s really nothing like it.  I hadn’t been to Vancouver in years.  I think I will have to go back and spend some more time.  But for now, I was where I wanted to be, which was just about to meet Laura and Linda Kemshall and Catherine Nicholls, who happens to be Aarol’s neighbour in West Vancouver.  I believe their husbands had met walking their dogs!  Small world, wouldn’t you say?


  It was now time to go to The Net Loft; we were just a couple of blocks away so we went and signed in.  They were setting up still, so we went into Maiwa Handprints again just to look at the lovely merchandise they have.  Maiwa has two stores in Granville Island:  the store where they have all the books, and paints and dyes, buttons, screen printing supplies, etc; and the one where they have the clothing, scarves, pillows, etc.  You can spend hours looking at all the different displays and merchandise they have.  I strongly suggest you visit them if you are in the area.  If you are not, you can visit their website at

Laura, Linda and Catherine are the founders of Thr3fold:  The Journal of Creative Vision.  They gave a visual presentation of their work, their inspiration and how they interact with each other, as Laura and inda live in the UK and Catherine in Vancouver, and they only see each other about twice a year!  They work through challenges, and it is interesting to see how they each interpret a same theme.  The Thr3fold books also contain a multimedia CD.  If you’ve never seen one, I highly encourage you to get one.  Each book works around a theme; Issue No. 5 is around “Faces”.  In Calgary, you can find their books at “Out of Hand” in Lakeview.  Deirdre will also mail them to you.


 This is  photo of one of Laura's quilts, "Black Pear" taken from the presentation. 

Laura, Linda and Catherine had some pieces on display.  We also had an opportunity to look through some of their journals which complemented the quilts on display.  I was awed by them.  Incredible works of art in their own right!  The one that appealed the most was Catherine’s journal on the faces of an angel.  She took the photo in a church during one of her trips (I think, don’t quote me on that one).  But the point is that the likeness was amazing.  For me, because I feel I can’t draw … anything that reaches that perfection is humbling …and I have to say, I turned a few shades of green (the healthy kind of green …).

 They had also donated 7 pieces to the Maiwa Foundation for auction, including one which was the only piece that the three had worked on.  Aarol purchased that one, and one made by Catherine.  The photo to the right is one of Aarol and Catherine, holding the quilt she purchased.  Isn't it lovely?  I have to say that it looked great in her boat!


 I purchased one made by Laura, which now sits in my studio design wall, until I find the perfect place for it.  You can see a photo below.


 If you’d like more information about their work, visit their website at; and; you can also visit Catherine Nicholls at

 Well, that was not all from Vancouver, but it’s all for me today.  I’m off to do some creative work.  Thanks for reading.  And until I blog again … keep quilting.



Victoria - Quilting in the Trees - Part II July 04, 2010

Well, I am going to try this for the third time today.  I just lost this blog … again!  So, now there are two of them out somewhere floating in the outer regions of the web.  This is a new domain, and it has been somewhat frustrating to say the least.  Oh, well … here we go again.

 This morning when I started out, it was sunny and warm in Calgary.  Now it is overcast and it looks like it might rain.  Sabrina came to town for a few days before she leaves for The Philippines for 5 months, so we spent the afternoon shopping (of course), although we both behaved quite well and didn’t spend that much money.  I ended up with a new pair of sandals (not bad!).

 As I was saying both previous times, the last two days at Pearson College I taught a workshop on “Lettering, Transferring and Painting” on fabric.  The handouts were well received, but the tags were a hit!

 PEARSON_2010012_edited-1We were assigned to the Chem Lab and the Math Class, across from each other.  We had the building all to ourselves, and commandeered the men’s bathroom, modified it by placing a sign that said “Ladies” on the door, so we wouldn’t have to climb up the stairs each time.  Not that there were that many men around … The class was large enough for us to be able to accommodate all the wet samples on countertops and leave them out to dry.  And we set up sewing machines in the Math class well away from water and paint.  We were a small group and had ample room to work in.

The first day of the class, we spent time making the transfers and most of the “wet” work:  we transferred with gel medium on fabric and on paper, used molding paste through a stencil, made face-to-face and gel skins with gel medium, and used the alcohol pens.  We also painted fusible web and set it out to dry.

 PEARSON_2010003_edited-1On the second day we made use of the sewing machines.  Each student picked a poem or quote of their choice and an image.  We transferred the image onto fabric, and practiced writing the poem/quote on paper first, without lifting the pen, imitating the movement of the needle.  Once that was practiced, we marked the fabric and used the sewing machines with free motion quilting to write the poem / quote onto the fabric (already layered with batting and backing).  We would laugh from time to time when we heard anbehind, or misspelled a word. 
I learned this technique from Catherine Nicholls, from Vancouver, who talked about it in DMTV (Design Matters TV), Laura and Linda Kemshall’s program.  If you haven’t heard of it, I encourage you to give them a try.  The techniques they talk about and show are varied and very interesting.  They are the authors of The Painted Quilt (book and DVD) and of Thr3fold.  I will tell you more about that on another blog.

 PEARSON_2010009_edited-1Below are some photos of the results.  This sample below, with the blue poppy, has a poem written with a yellowy colored thread.  The poppy was quilted and painted after the writing was done.  I am hoping to see photos of it bound and finished, or turned into a pillowcase.  She did a great job with it.

 The next sample shows a few of the different techniques we tried, on a yellow background:  an alcohol transfer, some foiling, painted fusible web (which unfortunately didn't work as well as I hoped.  I was thinking that we left it out in the sun to dry, and that may havePEARSON_2010006_edited-1 dried the fusible a bit too much so it wouldn't fuse ... I will have to try that and see if that's the reason.  Otherwise, the fusible could have been old, but it worked in my sample, so ...?).  Doesn't it look lovely ... imagine the possibilities.

 Aside from the classes, at Quilting in the Trees we play games in the evening after dinner to mix and mingle and get to know each other.  Those were lots of fun this time around.  I really enjoyed them. 

 We had a trunk show by a couple of talented ladies and their group who get together and produce, produce and produce some more.  The quilts were lovely and varied in technique and color.  These ladies have challenges, make mystery quilts, and charity quilts, bags and everything in between.  I specially enjoyed the stories of their travels across the border fabric shopping.

 Aside from all that, we get together to eat, of course, in the cafeteria.  The Saturday evening dinner was amazing.  We had roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, creamy mashed potatoes, vegetables, a couple of salads, and .. cakes:  carrot cake, cheesecake, hazelnut cake, chocolate cake and something else I can't remember.  I ended up with a lovely plate of fresh fruit (compliments of a gluten intolerance).

 All in all, it was a great time at Quilting in the Trees at Pearson College.  Next year it is their 25th anniversary, so they are planning something special.  You can always become a member of the guild, so you can attend the Retreat.  Well worth it, I'd say.
A special thanks to Carol for inviting me again, to Shirley for the organization, and to Judy, who got stuck again with picking me up at the airport.  We missed each other for a while there ... but were reunited in the end and had a lovely lunch to celebrate.

Thank you also to Susan Purney Marks who shared the room with me for those three nights.  It was good to get to know you and spend time with you.   Hope our paths cross again soon.

 Now I am going to try and see if I am successful in having this article appear on my website.  Have a good evening, and until I blog again, keep quilting.




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The cat's out of the bag Thr3fold in Vancouver Victoria - Quilting in the Trees - Part II Victoria - Pearson College Quilting Arts Calendar Challenge 2010 - Part II Quilting Arts Calendar Challenge 2010 Technical Difficulties I'm Back Warm Temperatures and Sunny Days Felted Soap Good Morning from Calgary Once Again 1st Day of 2010 Merry Christmas to All! Making Progress The Quilting is Finished