Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Just What Have I Been Up to?

Sometimes life has a way of taking over, but I thought I would stop and share a few pics, lest you thought I dropped off the quilting world altogether.

 After getting home from the coast....a little painting was in order.

And as usual I spent time rearranging my studio....I'm always trying to find the best layout. It usually takes me several tries. I had to find the best spot for my expandable quilting desk. A perfectly good excuse for moving "EVERYTHING" I tell myself.

After all, one never knows when one might need to support an ever-growing project.

And since my design wall was simply too small for this ever-growing quilt, I expanded the design wall as well.

Below are are some shots of my ever-growing quilt that I started in Krista Hennebury's class "Improv Under the Influence"while in Victoria.

Of course, once I started....I couldn't stop.

And yes....I turned into a QAYG (quilt as you go) project.

More details to come on this assured.

My youngest daughter is getting married on this the size it will stay until after the wedding.

Monday, July 20, 2015

We have a Book Winner!!

Thank you for all your wonderful comments on improv type quilting!!! I wish I had copy of Sherri Lynn's amazing book for each and everyone of you. But, alas there can only be one winner. 

And, that lucky winner is M-R of Quilt Matters
Congrats, are going to love this book.

Note: M-R, if you could contact me at with your mailing address, I will get the publishers to mail your new, fabulous book. Enjoy!!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Picking up the Pieces....finally finished

I finally finished Picking up the Pieces last week and we went for a photo shoot, along the ocean. Since I'm back to Alberta tomorrow, I wanted to take the opportunity....alas, no ocean in Alberta.

I have yet to put together any QAYG tutorials regarding this quilt, as there were several QAYG experiments involved in putting it together. There was a rather wild moment involving a rotary cutter and an already quilted work in progress, resulting in several already quilted pieces (in very odd shapes). And what does one do with that??? Way to complex to go into today.......but someday!!


Quilt Back.....yup, pretty much reversible, don't you think!!
All part of that crazy QAYG experimenting.
Reminder: Give Away on yesterday's post.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.....July Blog Hop

Bias Strip Petals.....My Process and Book Give Away
Shifting Impressions

Last winter, I had the privilege of being one of the testers for Sherri Lynn Wood's new book, The Handbook for Modern Quilters. I enjoyed my experience immensely. 

To quote the book description on Amazon; "instead of traditional instructions, she (Sherri Lynn Wood) presents 10 frameworks (or scores) that create a guiding, but not limiting, structure." All of the testers received one of the 10 scores.

When I received the "Bias Petal" score...a little panic ensued. Why, you might ask? Well, did the improv part unnerve me? No, not in the least, as I have been having my own love affair with improv  quilting for some time now. What about the curved piecing or bias strips??  No, not really, curved piecing and I are old friends. What was it then?? The word PETAL...yes, the word PETAL!!  Nothing personal...but, but, but I don't do flowery petal type things!!!!  Yup....that knocked me right out of my comfort zone, which is probably a good thing.

I needed several bias strips and as usual got a little carried away.

 I cut meters upon meters of bias strips (after all, I wanted variety).  I still have plenty of those strips sitting around for more projects.
Whenever working with fabric cut on the bias....bubbles and puckers can be a problem. But Sherry Lynn has plenty of tips to combat those pesky bubbles. My secret weapon is spray starch!!!!

I made several petals...and just kept putting up on my black design wall.  I used several gradient type fabrics and mostly solids or tone on tone fabrics.

I decided to shatter the petals...somewhere along the way, I stopped thinking of them as petals. I shattered them by slicing through the petals (using my rotary cutter) and shifting them a little and sewing them back together.
The shattering and shifting....created a fairly different effect.
I took one look at the design wall and the question that kept running through my head in the world am I going to put this all together, into one piece??? I was determined to do it all by hand sewing whatsoever.

As you can see, I started by quilting sections, with no idea where I was going. And of course, I tossed in a little QAYG (Quilt as you Go) for good measure.

Shifting Impressions....Quilt Con 2015
 (and yes, we both made it to Quilt Con!!)

As an added bonus, I had the pleasure of taking a workshop with Sherry Lynn (Quilt Con 2015).
The score here was "Floating Squares", but that would be another blog post. My major problem here was limiting myself to so few wasn't long before I was sneaking in a few more in. Hey, that is what improv is all about, right?
Sherri Lynn's publishers are generously giving away one free copy of Sherri Lynn's  fabulous book.  Just leave me a comment about your experience or lack of experience regarding improv type quilting by July 15. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Note: the book give away is open for residents of Canada and the United States only. Also, please make sure  your email info is available, with your comment should you be a no-reply commenter.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Well....I sort of fell off the Blog Wagon

Yes, that's exactly what happened this last year.  Every time I would attempt to find some "Normal" another crisis would present itself. "Normal" whatever that means, seems to have eluded me. I am one of those people, who loves the ordinary, simplicity of everyday life. Holidays and Special Occasions aren't on my list of highs. It's the days in between that touch me. So the drama of the last year or two have definitely put a damper, on my ordinary days. 
Coping with loss is never easy, but we usually aren't given a choice. Some of the aspects of my life which I thought were strong, were in actuality quite fragile and oddly enough some the aspects that I thought were fragile were in essence very strong. To find strength in weakness and experience brokenness in what I trusted to be strong has both broken me and strengthened me at the same, odd as that might sound. It's left me spinning in different directions and it shows in my creative life as well.
 Today, I had a lovely ordinary day. I had the afternoon to myself, which seems rare these days and spent it playing with my fabric. I'm back in Victoria and hoping for several more lovely, ordinary days.


I'm not sure where this is going..........but oh my, it felt good to play.

Yesterday we took a little road trip to Nanaimo.....
a bit of a shop hop.
As you can see, I might have fallen off the Blog Wagon but I certainly haven't fallen off the Fabric Buying Wagon....even though it might be a good idea if I did!!!!


Wednesday, April 29, 2015


In the quiet of the evening I sit and reflect on this last week or two......

I am off to Calgary on Friday to teach two day work shop on my Colour Shot Quilt.

This quilt is like an old friend to me.......just how did I put this together again??

Hmm.....maybe I better practice up on my curved piecing.....the not so wonky type of curved piecing that is.

No worries....I still know how.

It's been a time full of sadness, as my very dear sister in law passed away very suddenly and unexpectedly last week. Almost everyday I spent some quiet time reflecting on her life. She was the same age as me....we were sisters in law for over forty years.

The funeral is over and our loved ones have gone home.....the house is put back together.  She was loved and will be sorely missed by all of us.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Creating a Work Flow

When I'm in improv mode (which is most of the time), I find it helpful to create a work flow of sorts. I don't usually do much in the way of sketching before I start, but tend to cut right into the fabric, which begs the question....WHERE does one begin? And after one has begun and the fabric is flying in multiple directions.....HOW does one keep on top of the chaos?

Sometimes it begins with an inspiration, but more often than not, it can be just a simple technique that I'm trying out. I have started being a bit more observant about what works for me and what doesn't. I have also taken note of what size strips I seem to gravitate towards and seem to use over and over again.

After choosing a few colours I just start cutting a variety of strips.

Here are some buckets of my favourite strip sizes.....they just happen to be the same widths needed, in the various QAYG  joining methods I like to use and also the width I prefer to use for binding. Well, actually I plan it that way.
My favourite  go-to strip widths:
  • four and one half inches
  • two inches
  • one and one quarter inches
  • two and one half inches
I used to try and sort them by size.....that just didn't seem to work for me. As soon as I started sorting, by colour things became a little less chaotic.

Something else I like to do when I'm in that improv mode is set up a machine at standing height for piecing.
Right next to the machine, I have a pressing board and right next to that is a cutting board.

I go from:
  • cutting
  • to piecing
  • to pressing
  • to cutting some more
  • and on back again

Because I often Quilt As I Go (QAYG), I sit down at another machine for that. All throughout the process I keep adding more fabrics and putting stuff up on the design wall. And then I start the whole cutting and piecing process etc. all over again. At this point I don't worry to much how it will all come together. I find working this way to be a very interactive process. 


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