STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, photographer, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Hallowe'eeeen...

It's Hallowe'en again! Gee, the year sure passes quickly... Here we are again getting ready to pass out treats... I've only done a few Hallowe'en /Fall quilts and I'm quite sure I've never shown this one. It is older, done in 1996  and I call it Boo! It measures 19" x 27". The design/pattern is from an early issue of Miniature Quilts, which, sadly, is no longer in publication. Although it's been around since my children were little, it's still a favourite and I enjoy hanging it each October.

Somehow I don't find Hallowe'en quite as much fun as when my kididdles were little. I can remember their excitement as they got dressed to go out... what fun.... So I thought I'd share some old photos with you, of my two kidlets - they'll get a chuckle out of these as well! The first one is from 1993 when Laura was 2 and Mark was 4, they were such a cute pair - a bunny and a tiger. More huggable than scary!

The next one is 1994 when Mark was Batman and Laura was a clown. Interestingly I had made that clown outfit for my nephew Terry when he was little- so it was about 22 years old when she wore it!! And it hung together - I was impressed! I can remember how excited she was to wear that crazy rainbow wig! I can still hear her giggles!

 The last photos are from 1995 and these costumes were my all time favourites!  Mark was 6 and in Grade1, Mrs. Steen's class. I can remember going in to help with the class Hallowe'en party and when they were playing Musical Chairs, Mark's tail got caught in the chair and he couldn't get up.. he was so embarassed! My friend Robyn had made these costumes for her children the year before - I cannot take credit. They were awesome and my kids LOVED wearing them. I have to say- they were pretty darn cute, don'cha think???!!!

Have a safe and Happy Hallowe'en... and, oh yes- don't eat too much candy...


Too cute to spook...

Sunday, October 30, 2011

What's that white stuff?

I can't believe that we had snow today!! It's not even November yet for goodness sakes!! Luckily we did not get much - certainly we were much better off than those in New England who got upwards of two feet in some areas!! The freak storm there left 11 dead and over 3 million without power... I can't believe that two days ago I picked these last flowers from my garden! Just thought if you, like me, were NOT happy to see that white stuff today, you might enjoy these last few blooms as I did.. these are definitely the last ones for this year... a beautiful pink poppy with a bouquet of Nigella, also known as Love in a Mist, and below, a bouquet of Japanese Toad Lilies.
I stayed inside today , and made brown bread and a nice beef stew for supper... Mmmmm. I guess I'm starting to feel the need for "comfort food".. that's what the onset of cold weather does to me..
Read a great book this weekend- another one of those that once I started, just couldn't stop... Strange Fits of Passion by Anita Shreve.  It's a compelling story of a young mother who has taken her infant daughter and fled from an abusive husband. She hopes to start life over in a small coastal Maine community under an assumed name, but things don't quite work out the way she had hoped...  If you haven't read this book yet- you should. You won't be sorry...


"Be like the sun and meadow, which are not in the least concerned with the coming winter." ~ George Bernard Shaw

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Fall... a 4 letter "F" word...

Fall is upon us. Yes, that 4 letter "F" word is here. Hallowe'en is only a few days away now, and then it will be cold, windy, dull, boring, monochromatic November. (can you tell I hate don't care for November? ) Ollie is keeping a close watch out the window- he's on the lookout for ghosts and goblins.... in case they come early.
Despite the less than perfect fall weather, I have been out taking photos whenever I can. Here are a few fall shots for your enjoyment...


"How beautifully the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days." ~ John Burroughs

Friday, October 28, 2011

Divine Stitchers

In this last post about the Moncton Guild's Show, I'd like to share with you a few photos by a special group of ladies, known as The Divine Stitchers of the Yo-Yo Sistahood. This group has been together for 4.5 years now. They are all GMQG members, but joined together to challenge themselves creatively. And that they have!! Since the spring of 2007, they have done a number of projects together, and they shared four of them at the Show. Their first project, called "Slice" was inspired by a painting by Newfoundland artist Virginia Houston, titled "A Kings Road Morning". After receiving copyright
permission, they made a color copy of her painting and vertically divided it into 9 equal slices. They did a random draw for the slices, established some guidelines, and then each proceeded to repeat their slice in fabric. Here is the finished piece- the slices were not sewn together but are mounted on a "backing board".
Another project they obviously had a lot of fun with, was "Let Me Introduce Myself" in which they represented themselves in fabric. They were each given prechosen fabric and a random pattern shape, and were to create a self portrait incorporating 5 words to describe themselves. Left to right on the piece are: Jennifer, Betty, Margaret, Juanita, Carolyn, Shirley, Sue and Nancy. (Did you recognize them?)

In "Where the Wild Things Are"  (at right) each participant was to depict an aspect of nature while hiding a "wild thing" somewhere on their piece - some were easy to spot and some were well hidden! Some common fabrics were used, but each quilter clearly had their own creative ideas of "wild spaces"...

Their latest project (below) is titled "Four and Twenty Blackbirds". Each participant was given a fabric pack which had to be used, and a pie shaped piece for size reference. It was fun to see how the "Sistas" each interpreted the nursery rhyme. An interesting variety of techniques was used. I particularly liked the felted blackbirds and the celtic blackbird.

A group such as this one, adds much to a guild.  GMQG is lucky to have these ladies is in their midst!


"Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. " ~ Norman Vincent Peale

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Seeing Stars...

One of the aspects of a Quilt Show that I often enjoy the most is seeing what the Guild has done for a Challenge. They are always interesting, in their rules, limitations, requirements, etc. and it is amazing to see how creative some people can be. The Greater Moncton Guild challenged their members to a special project to celebrate their 25th year and some of the Challenge pieces were on display at last week's Show.
Here are the rules, as I understand them - each piece had to contain 25 stars- a large centre star, 20 small stars and 4 corner stars. One of the stars had to feature some silver lamé fabric.There were no size limitations.
At right is the first place winner, Beacon of Light, by Nancy Elaschuk.  It is 32" x 45" and was designed in response to the decommissioning of lighthouses in Atlantic Canada. It was a beautiful piece and I loved how she subtly worked the stars into the entire piece - the sky, land and water. Once again, Nancy is certainly deserving of the first place ribbon!

Second place went to Twinkling Stars by Ardith Barron (at left). It measures 35" x 38" and features a variety of beautiful star designs. I'd love to know how long she spent piecing all those star blocks- some were quite intricate. Wonderful job, Ardith!

For some reason, I did not get the name of the third place winner, but I did get the photo!! It is shown at right, with the large Feathered Star in the centre and the colourful piano key border. Very nice!  25 Stars by Kim Larracy (below) was also an eye-catcher!
I have already shown several other Challenge pieces on previous posts, those by Jaunita Allain and Shirley Baillieul  - you can see them by clicking here.

It seemed that there were stars everywhere you looked at the Show. Below are several other quilts which really caught my eye. Two Radiant Stars, the first in purples and greens, by Vivian LeBlanc, and the other in rich browns and earth tones by Martha Davidson. Both were beautifully machine quilted by Penny Bubar, and both hung so perfectly straight and flat. And in between the two, a colourful Storm at Sea by Sheila McCarthy.
What an impressive collection of work by so many talented ladies!
My next post will show you four pieces by a small group within the Moncton Guild - the Divine Stitchers of the Yo-Yo Sistahood. They are all very skilled and I know you'll enjoy seeing their group projects.

"The stars are God's dreams, thoughts remembered in the silence of the night." ~ Thoreau

Monday, October 24, 2011

Best of Show at Follow The Stars

The "star of the show", so to speak, was Fundy Mermaid by Nancy Elaschuk. It won first place in the Art Quilt category, and also Best of Show (and therefore the CQA Rosette). Congrats Nancy!! Her design was adapted from a copyright free painting by W. Waterhouse and the mermaid's face is that of Nancy's daughter Kathleen. I thought the mermaid was very well done- the shading of the skin, the face, hair.. it was all wonderful! (Of course the entire piece was wonderful!!) Nancy did a lot of great thread painting, hopefully you can see it on the two detail shots. Especially impressive were the tiny "scales" on the mermaid. Nancy's work is always impressive, and I was thrilled to learn, after the judging was complete, that this mermaid was Nancy's creation.

Because this piece won Best of Show, it was moved from it's original location on the back wall, to the "front" of the Show (before the Show was open to the public). The Show Committee members decided that the ribbons would not be hung on it until the ribbon-cutting and the Show "officially opened". Then the announcement would be made (I'm sure they were anxious to surprise Nancy). I was leaving about a half hour prior to the Opening, and who do I run into in the entrance, but Nancy. She asked what I thought of their show and of course I praised it highly. As we chatted, several of the Committee members inside (through a large window) could see us chatting, and the looks on their faces were priceless- I'm sure they were worried I was telling Nancy that she had won the coveted "best" award... Nancy had her back to them, but I could see them plainly. It was all I could do not to laugh... Not to worry, ladies... I would never spoil the surprise.. I would have loved to see the look on her face, though, when the announcement was made. Next I'll show you the Guild 25th Anniversary Challenge- 25 Stars...


"An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world".
~George Santayana

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Follow The Stars Show

Whew! Four down, two to go... I'm home again, another class done. Two more to go and then I'm done travel/teaching until after Christmas. My studio looks like several bombs went off... I certainly need to tidy and organize a bit before preparing for my next class, which is next Thursday. It's been a busy week and I must say I'm rather tired tonight. (A little nap after supper sure felt good!) Along with travels and teaching, I managed to get a batch of  Pickled Beets and a batch of Red Pepper Jelly done this week. I
might do one more batch of Red Pepper Jelly, as it is a small recipe and it would be nice to have some extra on hand to tuck in with Christmas gifts; then all I have left to get done is a batch of Salsa.
So, I'm thinking you might like to see more photos from the Greater Moncton Guild's 25th Anniversary Show "Follow The Stars". It really is a lovely show and I sure hope many of my local quilting friends make the effort to get over to see it before it closes tomorrow. They have many talented members and some wonderful work on exhibit. One thing that really impressed me was the good number of pieces which were hand quilted. It seems that so many pieces these days are machine quilted, and it was great to see so much quilting done by hand. Tonight I'll share photos I have of some
of the prizewinners. In the next post you'll see their Anniversary Challenge.

First up are the Large Pieced Quilt category winners: first place went to Bridget Daly for Ocean View, (at right) made for her grandson who loves the ocean and his visits to the Maritimes. I loved her additions at top and bottom - the coastal lighthouse overlooking the Atlantic, and the "ocean floor". 2nd place was A Sorted Affair (below) by Tracey Strong, the result of a paper-piecing course at The Fabric Cupboard  shop. Lovely dark rich colors and wonderful piecing... Both beautiful quilts, with lovely quilting....
The Small Pieced Quilt category was won by Shirley Baillieul with her Anniversary Challenge piece. The Challenge winners were chosen before the show, by a GMQG member vote at a meeting, but this quilt missed the chance, as Shirley was still quilting on it. So it was entered in the Small Pieced category at the Show. And it won!! No wonder- it was beautifully done and featured a large amount of lovely hand quilting. (more about the Challenge on my next post)
Second place went to Jerri Burke for Diamonds in the Sun. This piece was created for the River Gallery Bali Club Challenge earlier in the year.. It also was hand quilted. Again, both solid winners.

Somehow I missed getting photos of the Large Applique category, not sure how that happened. Sorry! First place winner in the Small Applique Quilt category was Butterfly Ballet by Kim Larracy. Her applique was SO well done with such lovely smooth curves and wonderful tiny even hand quilting stitches. A beautiful piece! Second place went to Trick or Treat, machine appliqued by Samantha Robichaud. It was such a fun piece, with great fabric choices. We especially liked her owl...

The Wearable category was won by Sheila McCarthy for her stole, made for her brother, Father Michael Toner. It had a such a wonderful progression/blend of  the red batiks. Father Mike is one lucky man!

Each judge got to pick a Judge's Choice from anything in the Show (i.e. we were not restricted to only the quilts entered for judging), and we all were pleased with each other's choices. They were: Carolyn Mitton's Whole Cloth quilt, Juanita Allain's 25 Star Anniversary Challenge piece, and the Guild's Raffle Quilt. All wonderful pieces- I would have been happy to take any of them home with me. (Alas- no offers lol... of course I AM going to WIN the Raffle quilt....) 

That's it for tonight. Hope you've enjoyed seeing some of the "stars" of the Show. Tomorrow I'll show you the Best of Show, as well as some of the Challenge pieces. Good night!


May the stars light your journey as you reach for the moon.

Friday, October 21, 2011

On the Road Again...

I feel just like Willie Nelson these days, I seem to be on the road a lot.... I am just home from Moncton where I was one of three judges for the Greater Moncton Guild's 25th Anniversary Show "Follow The Stars".  It was an honour and a privilege to judge such a fine show. There are so many exceptional pieces, and if you are reading this from my local area, you really should get yourself to Moncton this weekend to take in this wonderful exhibit of some fine quilting! It's taking place at the Lion's Club at 55 Mark Ave.  Mark Ave. runs off of Collishaw, very close to the Fabric Cupboard, or you can get to it from Brandon St. off Mountain Road (Rinzler's Meat Market is on the corner). Here we are, the three judges, in front of their gorgeous raffle quilt (which I hope to win!!) L-R  myself, Anne Mattie from Thistle QG in Stellarton N.S. and fellow FQG member and buddy Monica Washburn.
 There are many fine pieces of work to be enjoyed, trust me. I am adding just a few photos tonight, as it is getting late and I have to be up early to drive to Woodstock to teach a class tomorrow. So here are a few of my favourites, and I will be adding more over the next few days. You will see exceptional piecing and applique work, wonderful Challenge pieces and more! You can also see a few pics here on our Guild blog.
Okay - off you go. Get yourself to Moncton. You know you waaaannnt to...
My Judge's Choice- Anniversary Challenge by Juanita Allain
1st Place, Small Pieced category, Anniversary Challenge by Shirley Baillieul
1st Place Art Quilt category, also Best of Show. "Fundy Mermaid" by Nancy Elaschuk

Detail of Fundy Mermaid, whose face is Nancy's daughter Kathleen

"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going." ~ Bev Sills

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Who says pink is not a Fall colour?

Fall is definitely here. The reds, yellows, golds, oranges and browns are everywhere now and leaves are falling. I've been trying to get out to do some photography and get those beautiful "Fall shots". Our colours vary from year to year and they just don't seem to be as vivid this year. However, there is lots of beauty to be appreciated.
I will be sharing lots of typical autumn shots with you.. but today.. the colour is PINK!! Just look at all the pink I have found.... These photos were all taken yesterday. They have not been photoshopped or altered in any filters, no colour adjustments...


 "Each moment of the year has it's own beauty - a picture that was never seen before and will never be seen again." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
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