Monday, April 15, 2013

Soy Wax Inspirations DVD

Its Here! Its Here!

I'm thrilled to announce the arrival of my Soy Wax Inspirations DVD! I have it in my hot little hands and it can be yours! I would love to send you a copy and help introduce you to the wonderful world of Soy Wax Resists!
In this DVD you will learn all about:
  • Introduction- How to Get Started
  • Supplies and Equipment- What You Need for Success
  • Fabric Choices – What fabrics Work Best
  • Layering Wax and Dye – plus Value Gradations
  • Using Thickened Dyes – with Screen Printing
  • Pattern Resist – Pole Wrapping and Clamp Resist
  • Stitch Resist – a Surprising Technique!
  • Sunprinting with a Wax Resist
  • Discharging with a Wax Resist
  • Removing Wax and Finishing Fabric
There are inspiring fabrics and art, easy suggestions for using soy wax with children or in a classroom. Ideas for combining soy wax with fabric paints and a wide variety of techniques such as shibori,  sunprinting and more.....

April 28th---My apologies for the delay in shipping. I was away and thought they had arrived. Rest assured that they have now been shipped.

In Soy Wax Inspirations you will learn safe studio practices, all the dye and chemical recipes you will need, tips and suggestions from my years of experience and ideas for stretching your creative potential!

Join me and open the doors to a new way to work with Resist Wax. You may wonder what makes Soy Wax special? Soy Wax is made from soy beans so it has some unique qualities:
* its biodegradable - its easy to wash out of your fabrics - no toxic chemicals are needed!
* its a renewable resource - support our farmers!
* its melts at a lower temperature, does not smoke or smell!

You will enjoy this 120 minute colorful video with a link to eight pages of additional instructions and tips. You also have the opportunity to join a Yahoo Group dedicated to learning and sharing your questions and tips about all the great benefits of Soy Wax Resists.

I'm very excited about this DVD, there's so much to learn and I want to share it ALL with you!
You can order Soy Wax Inspirations HERE and I will ship it right away!

Would you like to see a preview?



I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Meet Lisa Walton - an Australian Quilter!

I met Lisa when she was a student in one of my classes at Quilt Festival in Houston. Lisa had been awarded the Jewel Pearce Patterson (JPP) scholarship by Quilts Inc. This award is named in memory of Quilts, Inc. President Karey Patterson Bresenhan's mother, a quilting teacher and a founder of the International Quilt Association. Each year the recipient wins an expense-paid trip to the International Quilt Festival in Houston, Texas.
Lisa and I chatted a few times over the next few days when we met in hallways and line-ups! We share a few mutual friends and it was wonderful to share our passion for fabric and art. I knew then Lisa would be a perfect quilter to introduce on my blog.

Tell us a bit about how you began quilting:
I began quilting seriously over 20 years ago after a false start 30 years ago when I tried to make a Mariners Compass quilt without realising that I needed to add a seam allowance. My neighbour taught me to join Laura Ashley charm squares which of course ended up as the dog blanket. But I was hooked.

Where does your inspiration come from for your designs?
I am obsessed by colour and textures and shapes. I can't draw so most of my designs are geometric although over the last few years I am incorporating images and text and organic shapes which I am really enjoying.

Do you have a favourite technique?

At the moment I have two main areas of interest. I am very keen on designing my own blocks and incorporating them into geometric style quilts. I love the crispness of solid fabrics as well as my passion for hand dyed fabrics. I am also really getting obsessed with different surface design techniques. I am having so much fun doing rubbings and creating thermofax screens and creating my own fabrics based on my own images. I travel a lot and love making rubbings of interesting textures or finding unique shapes.
Any tips you can share with others?
I always have a digital camera with me and take photos everywhere to use as inspiration.

You also travel and teach, tell us about your big trip last year to Festival of Quilts and European Patchwork? Any other trips planned for this year?
This was my second trip to the Festival of Quilts and first time at the European Patchwork Meeting. I have found that quilters are the same everywhere. I was really nervous of teaching overseas especially in France as my French speaking is pretty awful but it was such fun. Everyone was so kind and we had so much fun and many giggles. I was also fortunate enough to also teach in Belgium and the Netherlands but there were always some students who spoke enough English to get my message across. It was wonderful to teach at Houston as well. It is amazing where quilting has taken me. In 2010 I was awarded the Jewel Pearce Patterson Scholarship for Quilting Teachers by IQA in Houston. This really opened many doors for me and was definitely a turning point in my quilting career.

This year I have already been invited to teach in New Zealand at the Symposium and South Africa at the International Quilt Festival in Johannesburg which should be amazing. I will also be teaching in England, Scotland and Luxembourg at the end of the year. As well I'll be in Houston teaching this fall. I know I am very lucky.

I see you have threads, dyed fabrics and so much more for sale on your website, is there anything else that you are planning? I understand that your husband does the dyeing?
Our business Dyed & Gone to Heaven ( started as a small way to cover expenses for my hand dyeing passion. It has grown progressively over the years and when my husband Peter retired he was quickly dragged (not kicking and screaming) into being a part of it. He is now the main dyer and that leaves me more time to create new ideas and sew and generally have fun. The biggest thing that is happening this year is the release of my first book - Beautiful Building Block Quilts which is being published by C&T Publishing. I am beyond excited and nervous about how it will be received.  (

I have also started leading Quilting Tours and will be returning to Japan in October for another tour to the Yokohama Quilt Festival. There are also other trips in the pipeline which is a very exciting development in my quilting journey.

I have a monthly newsletter which comes out from my website. I am also very active on Facebook ( and love the immediacy of it. I also have a blog where I try to post my works in progress and anything else that takes my fancy. ( I love this digital world - it makes everything so close. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Shattered Angles Class

Have you ever tried on-line learning? I teach at where many very talented teachers from around the world offer over 120 different classes! That's a "lot of learning"!
Registration is open for my Shattered Angles class that begins on April 12th, its a chance to learn in the comfort of your home, even in your pyjamas!
The class will run for four weeks and is made up of three lessons. The project is a variation of a "stack, slash, shuffle and sew" method that I developed. Its a great way to use fat quarters, some of your stash of scraps or even a collection of themed fabrics. Perfect for hand dyed or painted fabrics as well.
I hope you'll consider joining me and having a lot of fun. Here are some pictures to tempt you:

Autumn Joy - learn to use colour for interest and contrast
Sacred Places - random placements yield interesting results

Scattered Roses - only three fabrics!

Use It Up! - extraordinary uses for ALL your scraps!

Shattered Angles - dramatic contrasts

Monday, April 1, 2013

Haiti in my Heart

Its been a while since I posted anything on the blog, mostly because I was out of the country and internet access was sporadic at best. But I'd like to tell you about my adventures in March when I was part of a 7 person team to visit Hope Home - a residence for children and young adults with disabilities in Port au Prince, Haiti.

This is Gylsme learning to use a communication device

Its actually my second trip down, my husband and I went two years ago and for hubby, it was his 5th trip. Our team leader, Judith has not only adopted two girls from Haiti many years ago, but also visits Hope Home at least twice a year. In fact this trip marked her 42nd time to travel and come alongside all the wonderful young people at Hope Home.

 Here's our team after Chapel on Palm Sunday

Many people are curious about the conditions in Haiti since the earthquake just over three years ago. They may have heard that millions of dollars had flowed into the country in aid, but little had changed or improved. They might have heard that people still lived in tent cities, water was not fit to drink or people are going without food. That part and more is true, BUT I've also noticed huge changes from my visit in 2011, both positive and negative. One person I spoke to who have lived in Haiti for 14 years was optimistic about the future for the country and said most emphatically that "progress is being made"!!!
There are still people living in tents or temporary accommodations built by aid agencies, often they are people who were homeless before the quake. The huge areas with acres and acres of tents are gone, often these tents and small buildings have been moved back to small properties and incorporated into the overall city landscape.
Clean water is being delivered to homes and areas, you can't drink from the taps, but that is true in many Caribbean countries, not just Haiti.

The traffic around Port au Prince is congested and chaotic, mostly because of the large numbers of construction/dump trucks moving about. Buildings are going up everywhere, work crews are busy, roads are being improved and business is moving along. Improvements do not happen quickly, work is hot and dusty. It seems that workers will often begin early in the morning, take a long break in the afternoon because of the heat and then work into the evening til dusk while it is cooler. I'm not sure that building codes are strictly adhered to and safety equipment is rare, but I did see some hard hats being worn!
Here in Canada we are used to see rapid progress and change with  government levels responding (fairly) quickly to problems and issues that people have. In Haiti, everything moves much slower, bureaucracy is difficult to understand, corruption is still an issue and change takes time with an enormous effort.
 Each afternoon we took the children outside onto a special swing, they loved the breeze in their faces and the motion of moving back and forth. My husband did most of the "pushing"!

In the small slice of Haitian life that I was part of, there are plans to move the high school to a new and better location, three physiotherapists have been hired, a chicken and rabbit run have been built, small steps to be sure but steps in the right direction. BUT, the needs are still great; medical assessments for some of the children would be helpful, better quality of food would be awesome, equipment upgrades are needed. Teams often come and help but ongoing sponsorship would benefit enormously.
 Some of the children in the shade of the patio

I've heard it said the largest needs for Haiti right now are free education for all children and employment. That is definitely the case, don't give up on the country, there is so much potential.
If you would like to help and want to see your donation make a difference consider giving to an organization where the money is wisely and carefully spent on the young people of Haiti.
If you are in the US, go to:  and in Canada, visit:
Visit this Youtube video to see the team I was part of (there are some flashes of me there) and the wonderfully sweet young people that touched my heart:
My small  part was mostly spent sewing for Hope Home, I came to love my hand cranked sewing machine!