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

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Symphony of Spring Guild Show

It's time I got back here and showed you a few photos from our quilt show this past weekend. The show went off without a hitch, which made all the hard work so worthwhile. It was a beautiful show, if I do say so myself. We were so pleased with the entries that came in, we really do have some very talented members! All comments from visitors were positive, with the most common ones being that we had such great variety of styles and techniques, and so many unique pieces of high quality. We worked hard to arrange and re-arrange the quilts until we were pleased with the traffic flow, the colours, the overall look. We always take two days to set up our shows, and that second day is for the "tweaking." It makes all the difference.

I have a few photos to share with you now, and more to come. I'm still editing... I'm going to start with a few of my favourites. First is The Corey Boys by Trudy Corey. This portrait is of  Trudy's two sons, her grandson and her husband (L. to R.) It was finished just a few days before the show. I thought it was an awesome piece and I was so glad to get a photo of Trudy beside it.

Another fav was also by Trudy- Bill's Peony. This piece is currently framed with glass, but because I couldn't get rid of the annoying reflections on the glass, I'm showing you an earlier photo I took of it. This piece was Trudy's first CQA National Juried Show entry (2012.) The petals are so realistic with their shading, and her thread painting and fine quilting stitches are exquisite. The only thing that could make it better would be if you could smell the peony's scent!!

Mary Brown's Storm at Sea quilt Will Your Anchor Hold? attracted much well deserved attention. Mary's perfect piecing, her expert hand quilting and the added "extras" of a mariner's compass and a ship and lighthouse in lower left blocks all caught the eye of many viewers.

Sew Much More by one of our newest members, Margie Clouston, was another awesome piece. You don't often see blue and brown used together and I thought it very attractive; her fabric choices and combinations were wonderful. The star blocks were so well pieced and the machine quilting enhanced the design beautifully.

Kathy Tidswell's  Day Ebbs drew many admirers. I love the mosaic tiling she used in the sky, a Gloria Loughman technique. I first saw this method at the world show in Florida last year, and am anxious to give it a try. Obviously fabric choices are the key element...

Susan Dobson's Red and White Nine Patch Star Variation came from a challenge a small group of friends did a "few" years ago. There were seven of us, and we each made 4 nine patches for each person in the group. The only rule was that every red you used had to be different- i.e. you needed 20 different reds to do the nine patches. Once we exchanged the nine patches, then we were to keep secret what we were doing with them. No one saw anyone else's project until the tops were done and we "revealed" them all at the same time. They were all quite different - amazing how something as simple as a nine patch can be so versatile. Susan added to her nine patches to get a larger block, and  hand quilted it, so has taken a bit longer to finish hers. Nothing like a show to get you motivated, eh Susan?

Imperial Blooms by Ann VanWart was a wool piece, embellished with a great deal of wonderful embroidery stitches. Photos do not do it justice AT ALL! Ann does such wonderful handwork, and clearly has a great deal of patience. The machine quilting (by Gwenda Quilts) certainly added to the piece.

As you can see, we did have lots of variety at our show. I am humbled and proud to be part of such a talented guild. I have lots more show photos to share with you, but you're going to have to be patient. I have to leave this afternoon  to be out of town for almost two days, and not sure I'll have time to work on editing photos and blogging while away. I promise I'll be back as soon as I can.


"Like everything else, some people will be better at it than others. However, doing something creative is a most rewarding activity, and will result in a great sense of satisfaction, no matter how good or bad the artist may be." ~ Tony Hart

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Quilt Show Coming Up...

I know, I know, you're wondering where I've been and why I haven't been blogging. Well sometimes life just gets in the way. Our guild's quilt show, "Symphony of Spring" is this coming weekend, and I am (once again) on the Show Committee. So I've been kept pretty busy with that. We store all the "stuff" for shows- set-up stuff, the racks, etc. so the last few days I've been busy going through boxes, hauling out what we'll need and pitching some stuff that's no longer useful. Great fun. Ha.
We have two long days ahead, getting everything set up and ready for opening on Friday morning. If you are local, or nearby, I hope you'll attend. If you need driving directions to find our show, visit our guild blog here- clear directions are there to help you. You'll find us at the New Maryland Centre at 754 New Maryland Highway, from 10-6 on Friday and 10-4 on Saturday. I hope to see you there! I won't be back here until after Saturday night...


Dream big, work hard, enjoy the reward.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Ready for Another Book Review?

My Notorious Life by Kate Manning is the "rags to riches" story of Axie Muldoon, the daughter of poor Irish immigrants in 1860's New York City. At age 12, "saved" from the squalor of the streets by a pastor with the Children's Aid Society, she is sent west on an orphan train, and separated from her younger siblings. But she is determined to bring her family back together, and makes her way back to New York City where she is apprenticed to a doctor. She begins learning the skills of midwifery and the treatment of  "female problems."
This fictional tale, inspired by the true story of "Madame Restell", a female physician and midwife once called "the wickedest woman in New York", gives us a look at what options were available to the women of this era, when  faced with a pregnancy, wanted or unwanted, and its prevention.
If you watch Call The Midwife on PBS, it will no doubt come to mind as you read this book, although many of Manning's characters are on the... (ahem...) "seedier side". Although Axie's career path may have been controversial, she served the needs of many women, and rose to an "upper class" lifestyle in a Fifth Avenue mansion. Staying one step ahead of the law occupied too much of her time, but she was a fiesty character and would not go down without a fight!
It's a compelling story of a plucky heroine which I didn't want to end; well researched historical fiction which opens our eyes to the hardships faced by the women of that era.


"A woman who walks in purpose doesn't have to chase people or opportunities. Her light causes people and opportunities to pursue her." ~ Unknown

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Dear Bernina Owners....

I love my Bernina! I really do. It is a superior machine (in my humble opinion) and I would have no other. Their slogan is true - "Nothing sews like a Bernina. Nothing."
But this past weekend, I had a small problem. This is the second time it has happened, so I just want to make all my Bernina-owning friends aware, so hopefully you won't have to deal with the same issue... While teaching a class, and talking about keeping your machine clean and lint-free, I removed my bobbin case to show how to brush out the bobbin case and carefully clean under the tension clip. When I lifted the clip ever so slightly with my fingernail, the teeny tiny screw on the clip fell out. I'm not sure if it had worked it's way loose, or if I forced it when I lifted the clip slightly. Regardless, it was out. I did find it, luckily it fell on the cutting mat right in front of me. But when I tried to get it back into place (God bless the student who had a teeny tiny screwdriver with her!!) there was no way. Oh yes, I could get it back into place, but it was not going to screw in - I don't know if the screw was stripped or what, but it just kept turning and turning...
You can see how tiny the screw is. Here it is beside a straight pin and a safety pin.
The "shaft" on the screw is hardly 1/16" long...
Luckily when this happened a few years ago, I ordered two extra screws (but of course I didn't have them with me.. Note to self - always carry one of those extras with me from now on, plus the tiny little screwdriver.) So as soon as I got home on Saturday night, I had it replaced in no time and all is well again.

So, my Bernina peeps - just a suggestion for you. Check that little screw on your tension clip occasionally, make sure it's not loose, and next time you visit your dealer, perhaps order one or two to have on hand.. just in case... I think I might even look into a second bobbin case... As we learned in Girl Guides... "Always Be Prepared"...


"To be prepared is half the victory." ~ Miguel de Cervantes

Sunday, April 12, 2015

This and That and a Finish.

It's time I got back here with an update lest you think I've flown the coop! Life has just been super busy the last few weeks so I've been rather low key in blogdom lately. Why does everything seem to happen at once? Life is that way sometimes, isn't it? I've been busy with classes and proposals for upcoming classes, our guild show is coming right up (April 24-25) so we're ramping up for that, the guild newsletter comes out this week so work to be done there too... a bit of sewing, etc.etc. Never a dull moment here....  :)
I can hardly believe we're approaching the middle of April. In the past few weeks we've had snow, freezing rain, rain, ice pellets and not near enough sunny warm days... But the snow is going down, albeit slowly... I guess that's a good thing in the long run, perhaps the flooding will not be too bad this year if we can continue with a slow melt... But looking out any window here, I still see a whole lot of white and very little brown/green. No lawn visible yet, except a very narrow strip along the driveway... I am so anxious for some spring color, I just had to add the bright and cheery "springy" header photo above even though it seems a bit premature. We're a long way from tulips, daffodils, violets or even dandelions yet, but at least I can enjoy them here!!
Front View
My latest small finish is an iPad case for my darling daughter. Now that she has received it, I can show it to you. She wanted it done in blues and purples and because I love batiks, they were my choice once again. I did the front a little differently this time and added a pocket on the inside to hold her earbuds and a few business cards. I was very pleased with the end result and Laura loved it so that's all that really matters...
Edit: You can see my other quilted iPad cases here and here.



"There is great satisfaction in seeing a thing take shape and form under one's hands, especially if they are made from oddments into something worthwhile."
~ Nella Last. 1945

Thursday, April 9, 2015


Yes I'm still here.. No, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Just very busy right now, (as you can see, Ollie is no help at all!) and blogging has had to take a back seat for a bit. I'm off tomorrow to a teaching gig, home Saturday night, and hopefully will have something to post on Sunday. See you then!


Happiness is being busy doing the things you love. (For Ollie I guess that would be napping...)
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