Friday, April 18, 2014

Flowers on Friday

Spring has come to North Saanich!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Canadian Quilt Talk - Interview

I was interviewed by Brandy Lynn of Canadian Quilt Talk earlier this week. Haven't heard of Canadian Quilt Talk?  You will LOVE it.

This is the brainchild of Brandy Lynn from Summerland, British Columbia. She is a quilt teacher, speaker, judge and host of Canadian Quilt Talk podcasts.

Just go to Brandy Lynn's website and CLICK the LISTEN NOW button.

Tune in to hear my interview (and 40 previous podcasts with Ricky Tims, award winning quilter Kathy Wylie, many creative fibre artists and MORE).

I'd love to hear what you think of my interview and I know Brandy Lynn would love to hear from you too. Perhaps you have a story that you can share. She is always looking for stories - perhaps you will be her weekly prize winner!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Gwen Marston Workshop - Quilted Strait

My friend, Anne, and I registered almost a year ago for a 2-day workshop with Gwen Marston at Quilted Strait in Port Gamble, Washington. We gathered our fabrics, sewing machines and tools and took the ferry to Port Angeles. We stopped at a couple of quilt shops on the way to Port Gamble where we offloaded our supplies into the classroom in preparation for the workshop.

Here are pictures from the workshop.
Samples of Gwen's small sketches. Each piece was about the size of a sheet of regular paper.

Amazing how much fabric we all brought to make our small sketches!

My first small sketch - fun trying some of the techniques that
Gwen demonstrated as I made this piece.
Anne's first sketch - this is SO Anne - bright colours with lots of RED.

Three more sketches from fellow students.
It was fun to see how everyone put the different types of 'parts' together.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Flowers on Friday

Found these flowers blooming on the National Mall in Washington, DC at the end of March. 

Pink Pearl Hyacinths - love how they labelled the flowers.


I always love seeing Pansy 'faces'.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mr and Mrs Greig go to Washington

I met my husband in Washington, DC on the Sunday evening after the Wisconsin Retreat. I was in Washington to attend the Creative Arts Business Summit, hosted by Morna McEver Golletz, founder of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals. 

The Summit started on Thursday and it didn't make sense to fly home to the West Coast and then back to the East Coast 2 days later. A perfect chance for a 3-day vacation in a place we had not visited before.

We spent our 3 days touring Washington and the area, had snow on one day - was it following me from Wisconsin? Here are a few pictures we took (and some that my husband took on his additional 3 days of vacation while I was at the summit).

The National Mall is lined with wonderful  museums.
We concentrated on seeing several of them on our first day.

I loved the Peacock Room in the Freer Gallery.

We said 'hello' to Bert and Ernie and Oscar....

and to Red and the Swedish Chef!

Alan took more pictures of major landmarks.

and he visited both Air and Space museums.

The Canadarm 

 We had time to some shopping - we don't have L.L. Bean in Canada so this was fun.

We were upgraded on the flight home from Montreal to Vancouver. Here I am learning all the features of my 'pod' in Business Class!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Too Easy Stained Glass - Class Starts Soon

I am teaching my fun and easy Too Easy Stained Glass technique at the Academy of Quilting. Class is open for registration now and class begins on  April 18.

You will learn my no-bias, no-glue stained glass technique as you make a small project. I will show you the Too Easy steps that set this approach apart from other methods.

Placing stained glass leading over a fabric gives you a different view of the fabric. The clearly outlined sections will draw you into the focus fabric so you really see what is included in the fabric print. Scenic fabrics are available in just about every conceivable subject. You can find ponds, cottages and winter scenes. Join me in the classroom and learn a terrific technique that is almost too easy to be real!

Hope you will JOIN ME for this fun online workshop!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Mixed Sampler Guild, Siren, Wisconsin

I am 'playing catch-up' this week with some blog posting after being away teaching in Wisconsin, vacationing for a few days and attending a business meeting in Washington, DC and taking a wonderful workshop with Gwen Marston in Port Gamble, Washington.

First, let me tell you about the retreat in Wisconsin.  I flew to Minneapolis, was met by Anne, the program coordinator for the Mixed Sampler Guild and we drove to the Lodge at Crooked Lake in Siren, Wisconsin.

I haven't felt that cold bite of winter since I lived in the Northwest Territories as a teenager!  It was bitterly cold (at least for me!) and I was glad I bought a winter down coat this year.  The lodge was amazing; full of rustic charm but I had very a modernly appointed room and the classroom spaces were large, well lit and outfitted with excellent table space, enough power for all the machines and irons. The restaurant just across the parking lot and the deli were great places to eat our meals.

I taught 2 classes at the retreat. It was so well attended that I did both classes as 3-hour sessions, offered twice - once in the morning and once in the afternoon. While some members were in class with me, the rest of the 'retreaters' worked on other projects in the large conference room.

This is only part of the large conference room - enough space for everyone,
plus machines,  plus cutting and ironing stations. 

Anne showed me this year's Raffle Quilt for the guild - she had finished the machine quilting and the binding had been added to finish it off. I was so excited to see that they selected one of my patterns for the quilt (quite by chance!).  Here is the guild's version of my Log Cabin Leaves quilt and a table runner using the same design. This project is in my book Fat Quarter Frenzy Two (out of print unfortunately). I'm considering doing this as a separate pattern. What do you think? Should I do the pattern for this quilt?

Log Cabin Leaves - raffle quilt and table runner

On the first teaching day students learned all about Give & Take Applique as they began making blocks for their Sunflower Table Runner.

Morning session - notice the 'extra student' in the background who kept us 'on track'!

Afternoon session - more happy Give & Takers!

On the second day students made Spring Tulips using my Ripless Paper Piecing system.  I KNOW they can't wait for Spring to come to Wisconsin and Minnesota!

Several morning students finished their quilt tops while I was teaching in the afternoon. Great work everyone!  

Here are a couple of pictures outside the lodge:

Snow was falling on the first day but the second day was bright and sunny - perfect for a winter photograph.

Thank you Anne for all your hospitality and for bringing me to the Retreat.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Flowers on Friday

Flowering shrubs in Texas

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Special Event - Alaska Quilt Cruise

Special Event - Alaska Quilt Cruise 

I know many of you are not located here in the Victoria area but I wanted to tell local quilting friends about a Cruise Information Wine and Cheese event scheduled for Thursday, April 10, 2014. 


Join me and Wendy Townsend (our cruise coordinator) for a wine and cheese event at Athlone Travel. You will be able to ask any questions you have about our cruise scheduled for September 6, 2014.  You will be able to meet some of your fellow 'cruising quilters' at this session too.  

I will bring the lap quilt that you will make in one of the classes and I will talk about the Give & Take Applique Design Discoveries workshop too. I hope to bring a slide show of photographs from my previous Alaska Quilt Cruises and talk about the great memories and friendships you will make.

The details:

Date/Time:        Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 6:00 pm

Place:                Athlone Travel, 104-2187 Oak Bay Avenue,
                          Victoria, BC

Please RSVP to 250-598-5252

All Athlone staff can add you to the attendee list.

Hope to see you next Thursday!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Flowers on Friday

Hibiscus - Mid Valley Campus, South Texas College, March 2014

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Fun with Paintstiks - at the Academy of Quilting

Registration is open for my Fun with Paintstiks class at the Academyof Quilting. Whenever I offer this class, many of the students said they had bought Paintstiks but just didn't know what to do with them. Is that YOU too? Why not join me and discover what you can do with your Paintstiks! 
I will show you how to use Shiva Paintstiks to add color, pattern and texture to your fabrics. You will learn several ways to apply the paint, how to put it just where you want it and how to blend paint to create a rainbow of rich colours.

You will fill a sketchbook for future reference as part of each exercise. The final lesson includes using the paint to highlight and color quilted projects and appliqué designs.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

More about Hexagons

I talked about hexagons earlier this month and showed you my quilt top and a tool to cut hexagons. This time I want to show you some other ways to make hexagons.

First two are plastic hexagon shapes. Brandy's are Mylar® and Simple Shapes by June Tailor are thicker plastic. A nice feature of both is that they are reusable. The instructions for both types are the same. You cut a fabric hexagon, adding a 1/4" seam allowance all around. Then sew a gathering stitch around the shape by hand, draw up the gathers around the plastic shape and secure your line of gathering stitches. The main difference between the two products: you can iron the Simple Shapes. 

You cannot iron Brandy's; they will melt. I found it a bit difficult to get very sharp corners with both these products. For whip stitching (English paper piecing) they worked fairly well since you can to make the shape more accurate as you stitch them together. You leave both shapes in place, only removing them when they are surrounded by other hexagons. Both products have a hole in the middle of the shape and a stick to 'pop' the plastic template out after stitching. I wanted to make hexagons to appliqué so tried the Simple Shapes. I had to remove the shape before appliquéing to a background fabric. I wasn't happy with the precision of the shapes with this technique.


My friend Peggy used Paper Pieces to make her hexagon table runner. In this case she wanted to appliqué a row of hexagons to a background fabric. She tested several methods to turn the seam allowance to the back of the hexagons and found thread basting through the paper worked best for this project. She remembered to leave the knot of the basting on the right side of the shapes to make it easier to remove the basting.

My other friend Anne is also using Paper Pieces for a hexagon quilt using her collection of French fabrics. Anne is using English paper piecing and likes to allow a larger seam allowance around the shapes. She hand bastes the seam allowance, but not through the paper. She bastes carefully at each corner to make sharp, accurate corners. Anne leaves the papers in place all around the outside of her quilt, only removing them when one hexagon is joined to other hexagons on all sides. This is going to be a spectacular quilt.