Saturday, June 30, 2012

Heart of My Heart Workshop

Are you coming to the AQS show in Grand Rapids in August? I hope to see you there! One of the workshops I'll be teaching uses my Give and Take Applique technique that plays with positive and negative design. It's a short 3 hour workshop that give you a great grounding in my technique and you'll be making my Heart of My Heart wall hanging, with lots of design variations to play with. Here's a sample of what might be your quilt!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Soy Wax Resist Workshop

I spent the last couple days teaching a Soy Wax Resist Workshop and we had a blast! We gathered at Studio G a lovely, purpose-built design studio in a wooded area in the Cowichan Valley.

The students and I explored several different techniques that can be used with soy wax:

Marny and Joan are preparing the indigo vat to use with pole wrapping and clamp dyeing.

Then they discussed Marny's work on her Cathedral Series, the results of her recent rip through France. Check that adventure out at

Dale is painting  a second layer of colour on her work.

Gillian is cutting a stencil from freezer paper to use with the wax.

Joan is howing a piece where she combined Decolorant Plus and soy wax, wonderful results from that one!

Some other pieces hanging in the sun after washing the wax out!

Here's the gang posing in front of a good days work! Thanks everyone!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Quilting Designs Class

On Friday I'm teaching Quilting Design at We'll be spending some time looking at design sources and how we can be inspired by design sources around us. By sources, I mean some of the many places where you might find inspiration for creating quilting designs.
  • Look at corners of rooms, places where there might be some picture moldings, where there are joins of walls and floors.
  • Look at the sidewalks downtown. Thank goodness city planners in many places are being more creative these days and we see interesting manhole covers, grating around trees and cement paths that have designs stamped into them.
  • Try to see your environment in a slightly different perspective, while riding the bus or waiting in line for lunch. Look around and find curves of interest, straight or crossing lines. Think of repetition, pattern, sequence wherever it can happen.
  • Pay particular attention to advertising in magazines and on billboards. It is all around us as we are too often aware. Ask your self how advertisers use design to get their message across? Think of the golden arches, car hood ornaments, the back pockets of your favourite jeans or the make up counter at the mall. Good design is fundamental to the object.
Take rubbings of windows, there is wonderful inspiration as close as your local church or temple. Stained glass looks wonderful as a technique, but think of the designs as quilting lines, too!
  • Kid’s colouring books. Pick up a couple at the grocery store
  • Post Cards. Who says you have to be on vacation to buy them?
  • Sidewalks. Look down around you
  • Your front door, the neighbour's front door
  • Hub caps. They are neat, take a look
  • Gift Wrap
  • Birthday, seasonal and all purpose cards
Scrapbooking has become popular and there are hundreds of different ideas for quilting designs. If you do not scrapbook, you probably know someone who does. Ask them for ideas and resources. Consider using:
  • different stamps (stamp a dark colour on paper and enlarge to the desired size)
  • precut border templates for tracing
  • die cuts for gluing on pages (simple little motifs to enlarge)
  • stickers for motif ideas
What other places could you find ideas for design? Send me in a picture and I'll post them on my blog! You can register for the class, just go to

See you in class!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rose Nouveau Quilt Pattern

Did you know that several of my quilt designs are available for download? I found my Rose Nouveau pattern that features my Give & Take Appliqué technique here:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Shattered Angles Workshop

I spent the day with the Parksville Schoolhouse Quilt Guild and we worked on my Shattered Angles technique from my book: Accent on Angles. It was a wonderful day of play with colour and fabrics in a lovely workshop setting with lots of natural light and plenty of table space, hurrah!
Here are glimpses of the action:

Diane is playing with different ways to arrange her blocks.

Chris has her blocks laid out and ready to sew together.

Wilma is in the midst of cutting her strip units into blocks.

Fran is busy with her block arrangements.

Thanks to all the ladies for a super fun day and to Margaret for arranging and planning the weekend. Tomorrow is another great time as we work with photos on fabric.
I'm lucky to be staying at the Seameadows Farm Bed and Breakfast, a beautiful location with animals, gardens and an ocean view, what could be better!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Quilting Designs Class

Are you stuck when it comes time to quilt your masterpiece? Not sure how or what designs to choose from? There's so much to think about...... Join me for a three week workshop at and learn how to choose the best designs for your quilts, how to adapt and change designs and stencils and how you can create wonderful themes for your designs. The classes start next Friday, June 29th. Learn at home at I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Studio Reno is Done! almost....

I'm thrilled with my new studio and have enjoyed working in it the last few days! I learned:
  • renos take twice as long as expected
  • little issues along the way cost the most!
  • the decorating will take time
  • many wonderful people made it all possible...thanks to Henry and Sean!
Here's some pictures of the studio finished but empty, ready for the 'stuff'':

The floor space measures about 250 square feet, there's just one window but lots of wall space. I choose Navajho White (Benjamin Moore) for the walls and the brick and accent wall was Terra Red, why be shy?

I'll write another blog post about the flooring choices.

The lighting is all natural tube and I have a couple of other lights in work areas. We've maxed out the electrical possibilities so I'll need to be careful about the demands.

Here are the finished pictures, just need to do a bit of decorating!

I love my little fireplace, the remote control is on top, just a click of a button and I can have roaring flames without heat! Or heat without flames, it'll be nice and cozy in the winter as its my only source of heat in the room. I'll be putting a rod at the top of the brick wall to hang quilts.

Desk area is under the window, there will be a large bulletin board on the wall behind the chair and the desk will be replaces by a proper L shaped work area with filing drawers underneath. I'll be buying mats today to protect the floors under the chairs.

My cutting table is my best purchase for the room. Its an Ikea kitchen island and was on sale for under $500. When we brought the boxes home I was very concerned that it would be too long at 72" but it fits very well and the storage is wonderful. My design wall is to the right and will measure 6ft wide x 5 ft tall. I lost a bit of height in the room because of the subfloor but I think it will work well.

This is another Ikea kitchen island, but I've modified it for my pressing table with a padded surface. It has wheels at one end so its semi-portable.

The bookcases are set up, there's till some boxes to unpack, so I'll be buying some more book cases, which I had planned on doing anyway. I used the height of the bookcases to take advantage of the bulkhead on the ceiling.

So all in all, I'm pleased with the results, there's still some tweaking to be done, another trip to Ikea, pictures and design wall to hang. But I can now work in the space after almost two months of frustration! I'll continue to post as changes are made, stop by and see me sometime!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Take Four Fat Quarters!

I got home last Friday from teaching in PEI and Quilt Canada in Halifax (pictures coming soon!) One class that I taught was Take Four Fat Quarters, a fun approach to using just four fat quarters and playing around with a variety of options. there were place mats, wall hangings, table toppers and a tote bag.
One student, Barbara McCunn, finished her tote bag and just sent me a picture. the bag uses my Dragon Bones technique from my book Accent on Angles, available from
Barbara's niece had hand dyed the fat quarters for her, a great job by both of them!