Monday, December 21, 2009

The Great Blue Heron by Ted Goodden

I don't usually like public art, most of the time it is too pretentious for me or absolutely head scratching, "huh? I don't get it!", but this one I like! The Tricar Group commissioned this piece for its new downtown apartment building. Every day I walk by it on my way to work.

It's called the Great Blue Heron by Ted Goodden, a stained glass artist that lives in my neighbourhood.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Starlings at the Break of Dawn

Another project I am working on...thinking of quilting it, then mounting it to the back of an old window frame....just a thought... manwhile Suske thinks she can catch these birds...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

It Rained Teddy Bears!

It rained Teddy Bears at the 2009 London Knights' SunLife Financial Teddy Bear Toss. Once a year at London Knights home game they ask the fans to bring teddy bears or plush toys to donate to the Salvation Army Toy Drive for Christmas. When the Knights score their first goal of the game the fans are to pitch the teddies onto the ice rink! What fun! Obviously the teddies don't always make it onto the rink in the first toss, so you just keep tossing until it goes over...there is a mad rush of tossing at the boards! But look out! hubby got grazed once and bopped once! and the older lady a few seats down had her glasses knocked right off...and some people bring some pretty big bears!

Swarms of volunteers from the Salvation Army and a local girls' hockey team are scooping up the plushies.

The final tally of Teddy Bears was 8232 from a possible 9079 fans that attended the game!

And so with that over and done with it, it was back to the game!

Final score, London Knights win 8-1 over the Guelph Storm!

Thanks Christine and Mark for the tickets! We had a great time!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

More Placemats!

This one I adapted Gwen's Liberated Wedding block and made it a wreath for Christmas, appliqued some berries and machine stitched some holly + stippling.

I fixed my puffy tree and house, it lies flat, now!

You might think I work super fast, but I don't...I started making the tops at the guild's Quilt til you Wilt day, the first week of November, and have been machine quilting them only since yesterday.

Machine Quilting: Placemats

My friend Quilt Rat lent me her old Pfaff machine, as I do not have a machine that lowers its feed dogs. My machine quilting has been limited to straight lines. So this is my first successful attempt at stippling!

Our guild is donating placemats to Meals on Wheels at the December meeting, so I thought this might be the right size project to practice my machine quilting. Of course I have been practicing all summer on scrap sandwiches before attempting something 'real'. I made another placemat with a house and a tree on it, and I stippled in between but ended up with a puffy tree and house, quite awful! But I learned and this one turned out quite I am pleased with my efforts!

Almost everything I make has a name and this one is 3Trees

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

The Singing Bridge

Don't you just love fall? Today was a breezy, dull day with a hint of rain, but then there are the leaves! So pretty despite the weather! On my way to work I walk over this foot bridge. Some local school children have collected sticks to make the bridge sing!

So I did!

left my message,

continued on to work with a smile on my face!

Monday, October 26, 2009


I've finished my BIQR applique, now to put borders on...I am trying out these hour glass blocks in fall flash does not work so I had to add light in picasa...

I finished my 9 Lives quilt, putting on the binding at the retreat, but I didn't get around to taking a photo of it until today.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Is your name not Susan?

Here's a gallery of WIP's from the BIQR final show and tell. I had some problems with the flash so I apologize if some are not as clear as I would have liked.

Isabeau's piece grew from one flower on a stem to this!

Sue sat behind me and it is from her I got my great fussy-cut-circle-scraps! This one is so Moran/Marston! with the bright colours and the wild black and white fabrics! I love the long legs of the bird with the berry that has a bite out of it!

Katie and Meg worked on these pieces. Katie did the one with the half vase and the girl with ATTITUDE! I love the hat and the floppy legs! We met Katie last year at the retreat and she brought Meg for her first time to the retreat.

This is another Sue's work. (there were 4 Sue's , 3 Carol's and 3 Linda's!) This Sue used wool for the applique and left over baskets from BIQR 2007.

Below, the one on the left is by Carol (one of "Gwen's people", veterans of BIQR)....this was just one of many UFO's she worked on at the retreat. She coined the term ORP, Oriental Reduction Program....She discovered she had way too many oriental fabrics in her stash and decided to make a conscious effort to use it up....She made at least 5 pieces out of her oriental fabrics....this was not one of them! The one on the right is by Sally.

Below, and top right, Susan (Sally's sister) worked on an vintage poppy pattern. My stuff is on the left and the 3 left in the middle are from the Wild Girls from California, 2 Linda's and a Sue!

Christine worked on baskets, her pomegranate applique, and fabric postcards! I received the basket postcard in the mail on tuesday, postmarked Elk Rapids! Thanks, Chris!

Below, The Pit! The lighting is terrible, luckily I took these before the flash died on my camera! From left to right, Jolene, Denise, Lucy, and then Bonnie. Jolene also sat at the table behind me and showed me that if you use the right needle your applique turns out way better! Thanks Jolene!

MJ brought applique started at a past BIQR. She had the applique all done but had never put the four pieces together. She used a bold red diamond border that is really striking!

Joyce cut all these pieces free hand and arranged them as she went, she really likes a folksy look to her applique. The three chickens represent her grandchildren!

It was an amazing week of inspiration, we all had a lot of fun, I highly recommend it!

BIQR 2009 Report

The weather started out cold, windy, and rainy, but that blew away and the next day was beautiful. The leaves in northern Michigan were turning colour and squirrels were collecting acorns for the winter...these squirrels were quite literate and left us this note ;)....

The retreat started off with Gwen's wonderful trunk show, she was raring to go despite this being the 5th time in the past month to give this show! What a wonderful lady!

Christine and Bonnie both had a turn at helping Gwen show off her quilts. It was amazing to see up close some of the quilts we've only seen in her books, like this antique Whig Rose from 1900:

Gwen told us that she once read, that your applique should be in scale with your blocks...well she thought, I don't think so... and Gwenny's Little Bitsy Nine Patch was born.
She reminded us that the old quiltmakers didn't have patterns to follow they just designed their quilts themselves. All your tulips don't have to be exact, and if you run out of a fabric you can use something else. That is why no two antique quilts are alike, they are similar but not exact copies. There are some basic formats you can follow, such as four-block applique, or medallion quilts with the applique in the centre.
Each day Gwen treated us to her mini demos. If you wanted to learn one of her techniques she was on hand to give it to you. She taught her serpentine borders, how to cut out flower templates from folded paper, how to make yo-yos, how to draw feather quilting patterns, to name a few. This year she had a quilt frame set up for hand-quilting demos.
She had plenty of her books on sale, I think she sold out of her Classic Four-Block Applique Quilts book. I used my copy as a yearbook and had all the participants sign it as a keepsake. It is an excellent book for applique!

Christine and I were a little more relaxed this year and we headed out to explore the Michigan countryside and visit quilt stores. We visited The Quilt Cottage in East Jordan, Cousins Quilt Shop in Bellaire, Rene's Quilt Shop in Williamsburg, Now and Then in Elk Rapids, and the Quilting Bee in Traverse City.
We were lucky to have 3 visitors from the Netherlands during our week. Lucy from Haarlem (Quilting from the Past), Joes (Dutch Quilt Cat) and Isabeau from Amsterdam. All 3 of them have been featured in Quilt Mania, a quilting magazine from France. They agreed to give us a talk about Dutch quiltmaking and fabrics from Holland. They knew so much! It was fabulous, a dutch treat!

Below, you can see Lucy holding my Echt Hollands quilt and my Cathedral windows pillow as examples of fabric from Holland. The fabric I used, my cousin bought for me at the store that Lucy works at(!)

Bonnie Hunter from Quiltville, best friends with Lucy, was also there. It was very exciting to meet such an amazing lady! That lady never quits! She had been on the road for weeks before driving up to Elk Rapids. You can read about her experiences at BIQR already on her blog.

Last but not least, here is what I accomplished at the retreat. On the right is the applique I was working on. The applique is not finished, some of the pieces are still just pinned on...I am planning to add some borders, but I don't know what yet. I made 3 little appliqued postcards. I like to make postcards at the retreat and send them from Elk Rapids as surprises. And the final piece on the left is my floor scrap quilt. Every year Gwen tells everyone to just throw your scraps onto the floor and let everybody go "shopping". The centre piece I created and the colourful strips on the borders are all found scraps, I did add the solid purple and black as borders from my stash.
Most of my scraps were from Sue, who was sitting behind me! She was doing this amazing applique where she had fussy cut all these berries and there were some on the floor and I was happy to include them in my piece as flowers or are they just wacky lolipops, I'm not sure!

On Sunday, we woke up to snowflakes! brrrrrrrrr! and it was Good-bye!

In the next few weeks, I will try and put up a few photos of some of the other amazing projects that were being worked on at the retreat.