Friday, March 30, 2012

Meet Kathy Wylie

I know you'll be as excited as I am to meet Kathy Wylie, a fellow Canadian, a certified quilt judge and an incredibly talented and award winning quilter. I asked her a few questions:

Tell us a bit about how you began quilting:

It was the spring of 1994 when a friend asked if I would join her in taking a beginner sampler quilting class. I had just resigned from my job at IBM to stay home with my two young sons and thought I could use a few nights out. I had been sewing since I was a kid and enjoyed all kinds of different needle arts, so I agreed to take the class. Little did I know how that decision would change my life!

Where does your inspiration come from for your designs?

Inspiration comes from all over. When I discovered papercut appliqué - a technique that is similar to making paper snowflakes - I found great inspiration in the names of patchwork blocks. The Bear Paw block inspired teddy bear snowflakes; Lady of the Lake suggested a series of cottage-themed snowflakes; the Card Trick block led me to design snowflakes of hearts, diamonds, clubs and spades. Designing snowflake-style blocks led to the publication of my first book called Sewflakes: Papercut Appliqué Quilts with C&T Publishing.

I am also inspired by verses and passages in the Bible. The 23rd Psalm was the basis for the quilt The Lord is my Shepherd; Psalm 150 inspired Instruments of Praise; and my most recent quilt Flourish on the Vine depicts the words of John 15:5.

Do you have a favourite technique? Any tips you can share with others?

My favourite technique is probably needle-turn appliqué. It is relaxing, portable, and produces beautiful results. My tip is to mark the appliqué design on the background fabric as well as on the patches themselves. This ensures that all the appliqué patches are accurately positioned.

A close second would have to be machine quilting and I am currently sharing my ideas and tips on my blog at

You also travel and teach, what classes are your favourite?

That’s a tough question, actually. I love teaching my Sewflakes: Papercut Appliqué technique - it is so fun to see students design their own one-of-a-kind snowflakes and turn them into quilt blocks! I also really enjoy teaching EQ7 quilt design software - I guess I still have an affinity for anything “techie”, back from my IBM days.

I see you have patterns and books for sale on your website, is there anything else that you are planning?

Two new patterns are in the works, for the award-winning quilts Instruments of Praise - which now resides at the National Quilt Museum as part of their permanent collection - and Flourish on the Vine, winner of the IQA Founders’ Award. I am planning to develop a new lecture on The Art of Appliqué as well as some new workshops to go along with the patterns as well.

Tell us how it felt to win the big award in Houston?

It was amazing!! Quilts that are accepted into the IQA show are judged months in advance and the winners are notified. I knew that Flourish on the Vine was going to win an award, but not which one. I also knew that it would be in the top eight because part of my prize was the trip to Houston! The awards ceremony was held on the Tuesday night before the show, beautifully set up in one of the ballrooms at the convention centre. I waited and waited as each award was announced, right up until there were only two prizes left. It was such an honour to receive the Founders Award and to have my quilt chosen for the cover of the April/May 2012 issue of Quilters Newsletter!

Check out Kathy's website and her blog and signup for her newsletter here:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

One Word Wednesday


Monday, March 26, 2012

Colour to Stitch - New Class!

I've added a new class to my website - This is an exciting class developed for quilters, stitchers, mixed media artists and everyone in between. Students begin with basic colour mixing theory using Procion MX dyes. They prepare and dye a range of fabrics and threads using a planned palette showing value, tints and shades. Students will learn how these fibres can be used in their work and there will be a focus on safe studio habits.

For a second day students will create and begin a plan for their beautifully dyed threads and fabric while exploring important design elements. Join in the fun!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

More New Fabrics-Hand Dyed Damask

I've been busy in the dye pots and have added some luxurious new vintage damask linens to my store. The fabrics are at least 30" square and have a wonderful woven design that doesn't show up on the photos. These squares would be perfect for an applique background or something for a mixed media artist!
Check them out here:

Amber and Rose

Gentle Rain

Lime Sorbet

Old Roses

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yummy New Artist Packs

I’ve created a pack that’s sure to please the stitcher, quilter and mixed media artist in all of us! Just think of all the possible ways to use these fibres! The pack contains

• 11” x 15” piece of hand dyed linen

• a hank of coordinated hand dyed thread

• a bright assortment of coloured beads

I've just put them on my web site, yummy linens, threads and beads. Come by and have a look:

Peony Pizzazz

Desert Blooms

Wild Ferns

Friday, March 23, 2012

Studio Design and Makeover

I'm going to be doing a major studio redesign later this spring and the planning is definitely the most important factor in all of this....first question is where am I putting all the "stuff" when I lay the new flooring????

So in the lead up to the major work, I'd love to hear from you about your studios and where you work.....

I'm thinking of several blog posts with pictures and comments about your studios. I think this could be a great sharing experience. How about you?

My first topic is flooring. Personally I'm torn between laminate or cork. the studio is in the basement with a concrete floor, so I need something with a bit of a cushion. what do you have for your floor?

Email me at, post on my blog or on Facebook with your ideas. I'll be compiling all the comments in a longer blog post shortly.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Surface Design in Edmonton

Here are a few more pictures from Day Four and Five at Quilters Dream. Students learned a variety of methods of creating their own stamps including Art Foam, Speedy Cut and pre cut shapes.

Carol has created design on fabrics she had dyed on previous days. She has a coordinated palette to work with.

Cindy made a stamp with concentric circles, the designs makes an interesting secondary pattern.

Kathy is intently working with a repeating design using her stamp.

Lynette has a leaf pattern using Decolourant paste and then has stamped a design as a border.

Another project with adding Decolorant paste over a quilted texture.

We had so much fun with a very talented group of creative ladies. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share with you!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

One Word Wednesday

Roof Top

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Where Do You Learn?

We often hear the term "life-long learning" as a way to describe educating ourselves after our early formal education. This learning can take place within an educational institution or it can be self initiated. Life long learning implies that we are constantly taking time to update our skills and knowledge.

As a teacher I am involved in supporting learning for eager quilters and artists. These students come to learn for a variety of reasons: to upgrade their skills, to work towards developing their own art path, to have fun and meet like minded souls, or to explore their creativity.

Where do you go to learn? More and more I hear of quilters going to the web for their classes and workshops. Here is a list of sites I’ve compiled, if you know of others I could add, please let me know! My favourite, because I teach there!

Monday, March 19, 2012

More Design Excitment

The second day of our class at Quilters Dream focused on using thicked dyes and monoprinting with a variety of tools including carved rollers, texture plates and pencils. Students worked hard and had fabulous results:

Shirley uses thickened dyes with texture plates and a brayer.

Sharon is colouring with Inktense pencils to fill in areas of her design.

Lynnette has great success with carved rollers to create repeating layers of design with two colours of thickened dyes.

Kathy has used a different carved roller to lay design on her fabric.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Soy Wax Batik in Edmonton!

We've had an exciting time at the Quilters Dream in Edmonton for three days of screen, plate and mono printing, plus deconstructed printing and much more. I had many enthusiastic and dedicated students!
Here are some students working on their soy wax batik projects.

Lynette has painted her fabrics with dye solution after applying the coloured wax.

Jackie is getting ready to use a dye solution.

Shirley is explaining her technique to Darlene, the store manager.

Luba has applied the coloured wax with a spong roller. Have a look below for her fabulous design with coloured wax and dye solution. Exciting colours ready for steaming!

Have you had a chance to use soy wax? Its a wonderful product for an exciting technique!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shattered Angles in St. Albert

I'm in Edmonton right now, doing some teaching. I had a lovely day with the St Albert Quilt Guild, I'm envious that they had their own dedicated space in the local Civic Centre, a lovely room with great lighting and space.
Here are some of the ladies with their Shattered Angles projects:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

One Word Wednesday


Monday, March 12, 2012

Sketchbook Idea-Circles

A lecture by Jane Dunnewold at the Washington SDA Symposium reminded me of some designs I had done in my sketchbook.
Jane discussed using imagery as a tool and how one can used limitless versions of an element or image to explore design.
I went back to my sketchbook and looked at some images I had used to make Thermofax screens. What I liked about these images is that while they are pretty much just textural, the shape, in this case, a circle, is what defines them, not by a line around to enclose but rather the empty space around to frame them. The negative or open space surrounding them takes on more importance than one might suppose.
This is a great exercise to try-find a simple shape to work with and draw it as a faint line in pencil. Fill the shape with marks such as dots, wiggles, straight or crosed lines. Erase the pencil lines and see the images emerge. What can you develop?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

One Word Wednesday

Lemon House

Thursday, March 1, 2012

New Ironing Surface

Only quilters could get excited about ironing surfaces....right? I'm starting a gradual redesign of my studio and we took a weekend trip to IKEA to pick up a few things. I bought a small kitchen island with wheels on one end so I can move it around my studio. You can check out the island here at the IKEA site:

Don't you love the drawers and storage shelves too???

I added three layers of batting and two layers of muslin (separately so I can change the muslin when it gets dirty). And I'm thrilled with my 680 sq. inches of pressing surface!!!!