Monday, October 20, 2008


It wasn't a running race or a cross-bay swimming venture, but a QUILT MARATHON.

Place? Quadra Island Community Center.

Who's involved? Quadra Island Quilters' Guild.

Purpose? To make quilts to be given to young patients at the Vancouver Children's Hospital.

And yes, I was so happy to be able to attend.
For two full days, over 40 quilters and volunteers gathered at the Community Center to participate in this annual event that produces over 40 beautiful quilts for children. Comfy clothes, yummy treats, friendly advice , and of course fun companionship were also a big part of the weekend. The Quadra Guild is an incredibly generous group of talented quilters from all walks of life and with a wide range of sewing interests. There was never a dull moment, and one by one the quilts lined up on the stage. Here are a few of the projects and quilters hard at work.Thanks to the local Fire Dept. for set-up and take down, Linda for a super rosemary chicken dinner, all volunteers, all organizers, all businesses who donated goods and services, and all cooks who brought yummy soups, goodies, etc.
It was a super and productive weekend!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


I had the great fortune to take a workshop from this amazing art quilter, Pamela Allen, a few weekends ago. That's probably the reason I haven't been on my blog lately. I was so inspired by her work, that all I have wanted to do is sew and compose.

Pamela, from Kingston, Ontario, pushed us right into mini fiber art compositions that fell into line with the title of the class: "Still Life Boring?- NOT!"

So here is what I learned/absorbed, etc.: (accompanied by student/Pamela's work)

1. Composition is SO important!

2. Color and value are vital!

3. Don't worry so much about being realistic or including an entire object...our brains know how to fill in the blanks.

4. Embroidery stitches can really accent objects/spaces.

5. The sky is the limit for embellishments.

6. Look for ideas within the fabric.

7. Expand your repetoire of free motion stitches.

8. Make it personal....tell your story!
This was a fabulous workshop that pushed me into new realms. Thank you Pamela!
(Check out her great website!)


This month's theme was "rock and roll", and I struggled with what and how to fit something in an 8.5x11" space. I initially put together a piece showing the old yellow radio I listened to every night as a young girl, perfectly tuned to KJR channel 95 out of Seattle. Then someone told me my radio looked like a camping trailer, so I decided to make a change to something a bit simpler and more straight forward.
Nights in White Satin” by the Moody Blues was THE slow song for dancing during my era of teen-age-hood in Tacoma, Washington. Long, slow, romantic.
I’ve been doing lots of discharge dyeing lately and wanted to see if I could put together a closed shape for discharging within this theme. Simple, yes, but it was a successful challenge for me that I will try again sometime. And of course it was a great way to use up my little blue scraps.
As Barb suggested, it’s like having your name in lights.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Yesterday the rains arrived to wash away the remnants of summer: petals and leaves finding their way to the ground, robins and hummingbirds no where to be seen, disappearing light more noticeable each day. Did you notice I said "rains"? I'm assuming today's rain is one of many to come. It's just how it is in October, inevitable, as right as rain, a sign of things to come.
This is my month to get in those last "on my mind" projects. The garden is calling to be buttoned up before winter descends. Mexico looms above my consciousness, with reminders that I still have a little time to practice my elementary Spanish. Tom is busy on the sawmill with final cutting and loves to have a helping hand (me!). And my sewing room is scattered with bits and pieces of projects that happen to have quite a strong magnetic pull in my direction. I think a list is in order!

My first display is a piece of cloth measuring 45"x 45". After a play day in the dye studio with my friend Suzie, I wanted to try putting together many of the techniques we tried into one piece. I used only black dye on white cotton and I am quite pleased with the results. Gloomy, dismal, destructive...I already have a few ideas for it.

Next I move into my explorations in discharging, or the removal of color. I initially became interested in the sunburst designs, but then wanted to try some borders. Don't they work beautifully in the design above?

And here I tried a border of dog bones.... the colors worked out so well here.
With all of my thinking about designs and borders, I began to wonder about stitched and discharged overlays....for example, one design of stitching over another design of piecing. Here is a small sampler of two shapes pieced to represent a house, then "overlayed" in stitching with the shapes offset. I added an offset rectangle too which adds another dimension to the piece.
Finally, I was inspired to try a scene from my surroundings. I love the abundance of birds here, and the red-breasted sapsucker (we just call him "woodie") is one of my favorite. Plus he eats the bugs! Tom loves the Spanish translation "pajaro carpintero" perfect! The spiral sun in the corner is discharged, as are the markings on the bright green border. I am pleased with the colors and textures, and don't those buttons at the bottom make a nice addition?

He's still around, working on his bugs. But for us, our migration is right around the corner.