Etobicoke Quilt Show 2012

Quilt Show season off to a start as Etobicoke Quilt Guild had their show last weekend. My friend Liz was co-chair. What a great job Liz! I didn’t hear from you Sunday so I guess I didn’t win the raffle. I went with some friends on Friday morning. Bit of a line up when we got there but we were quickly through and right off to the Member’s boutique. All the great stuff goes early. In fact I missed out on a original copy of Elly Sienkiewicz’s self published Spoken Without A Word ;(
But I did manage to get a few delightful books filled with old and new at great prices. I also got some dowels for hanging small quilts.(4 for a $1). And some bags full of beads and trims for a $1 each. I accidentally dropped one and Liz somehow knew they belonged to me. The quilts were lovely including their raffle quilts. I loved the little touches here and there of old sewing supplies showcased throughout the show.

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I didn’t get everyone’s name for the quilt posted here. I hope I will be forgiven, as I knew you would want to see them.
Met a lot of friends and one of my loyal blog readers Anita. I don’t get to see her that often so that was special.
Had a nice sandwich in the tea room and my favourite chewy cherry bar from the Hot Oven Bakery. Yummy! Then off to the Vendors, surprisingly I only bought some needles and a rainbow sampler of hand dyed fabric from DyeVersions of Mississauga.
I didn’t dare go near Kalisti’s but I have just got back a quilt I made with some of her linen fabric I got last year. Pictures next time.


My dear old dog

Had a tense few days… my dog, Houston had a seizure, I got her to the vet and then she went into cardiac arrest. Dr Smith was able to revive her and gave her a few tests. But she needed a cardiologist so I took her to the Emergency hospital in Oakville. Just as we arrived she again went into cardiac arrest, the staff quickly took her and managed to get her heart started again. They also drained fluid from around her heart and that seemed to stabilize her. They kept her overnight to keep an eye on her. After the staff at the hospital revived her I went in to see her. My little girl tried to get up to greet me. When Jim arrived later he got a few wags of her tail.
She is home now but looks so worn out. Hopefully on the mend. I am so glad to have more time with her. Everyone who has a dog please give them an extra treat today, say its from Houston!

Guild happenings…

Spent the day at a Colour for Quilter’s class taught by Heather Stweart. She was a guest speaker at the Mississauga Guild last year. Her lecture was so well received that the guild scheduled this class. I signed upright away. If fact that night after the lecture I went out to my car and made a few notes. Then when I got home I did some colour samples before going to bed. Yesterdays class was very enjoyable. Learned a lot and was very complimentary to my City and Guild’s course. Wish we had more time to explore the subject. I’ll have to see where and when I can take another class with her. Maybe at CQA in Halifax?
You can read more here –

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We were also lucky enough to see Heather’s newest show quilt which I can blog, but it was amazing.
For homework we are supposed to take a view out the window at four times during the day. However I did sleep in today and am blogging in my pjs right now. So I’ll try it tomorrow.

Brampton Guild hosted Elaine Quehl on Thursday night, she did a series of hosta quilts that are amazing. I have always wanted to take a dyeing course with her. She is often at Greenwood Quiltery in Guelph, but they book up fast. Elaine brought with her some of her hand dyed fabrics that include velvets, cheesecloth, silk, organza and some colour packs that have a selection of each fabric in the same colour. Bravo for Brampton for showcasing a great Canadian talent. Here is my favourite of what she brought…

Elaine Quehl detail 2
Elaine Quehl detail 1

Jane Sassaman

Just spent a great few days with the fabulous Jane Sassaman.
Those of you who heard her speak at YHQG know what hoot she was. While at the same time expanding our minds. She is a great speaker.
The first class we did Suns and Moons, cutting a series of circles rings doughnuts and auroras. I haven’t completely finished my composition but I think you get the idea form my pics. She finishes her raw edges using different embroidery stitches. So much better than the boring old satin stitch. I still might re- do it however with turned edges.
You know I love my hand work.
Returned the second day without my machine it is so messed up. I hope I can get it fixed.
(PS I am looking for a second machine that will do free motion that I can take to classes)
Anyway we did what I call modern broderie perse. I choose to do Jane’s Wee Willow and had a great time with it.o. It still needs a lot more flowers before I can consider it done.

Loved the whole experience.

Spring Newsletter

Hi Everyone, I have been working on opening a quilt studio and class in my home in Etobicoke. Classes start in April 2012.
Contact me at or 416 231-4953 and I’ll send you the current offerings.
There are a few classes and sit and sews. Let me know if you want any thing specific and I’ll work on including them next time around. I am hoping that you find inspiration, assistance and fellowship.

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Field Trip

After Christmas Club a few ladies and I went off to the Aurora Cultural Centre (22 Church St) to see a 40 yr quilt retrospective, The Threads that Bind Us by artist Angela Krotowski.
We were lucky that Angela was at the gallery and she graciously gave us a personal tour and shared many of her stories with us. I always find that hearing these tales about what fabrics went into the quilts and how the quilt came to be adds so much more enjoyment to the viewing.
Angela has made journals for each of her quilts. Showing designs, fabrics, inspirations, notes. I told her I try to do the same. I imagine that one day a passionate quilter will find them and enjoy the connection with the past.
You will enjoy the gallery and Angela’s work don’t forget to look closely at the quilting designs. Angela had designed most of these herself and they are very personal. If she is there don’t forget to ask her to tell you the story of her being sold to a gypsy woman.
This beautiful quilt appears on Angela’s advertising postcard. I expected a big quilt but it cannot be more than 20′ by 12′. each block about 3″. And she still managed to fussy cut some lovely fabrics.

The exhibit continues to March 31, 2012.

Christmas club

We had our latest meeting of Christmas Club on Saturday at Cock a Doodle. Even though the O Tannenbaum group had only made made the same courthouse steps blocks in three colours this month, the variety was amazing. You will have to go to Elaine’s blog (Crazy Quilter on a bike) to see them all and pictures from the other group Critter Christmas.
Instead I will explain how I prepared the Christmas tree appliqué. Mine will be dimensional.
I used what I call the pillow method. (Pictures will be from the poinsettia petals)
First trace your patterns on to freezer paper this pattern is symmetrical so no need to reverse the pattern.

Cut out exactly on the lines. Choose two fabrics, you can use a interfacing on the back but I find it shows a bit so I use two nice fabrics. put fabrics right side together.
Press pattern to wrong side of one the fabrics.

Stitch around pattern or trace pattern and stitch on drawn line. ( on the petals I sewed a bit outside the lines at the centre area as it very tight to turn.) Use matching thread I used a neutral grey for you to see but it does not show up to much.

You can sew almost on the edge of the paper as it will peel right off and you can use the same freezer paper template again and again.
Trim excess seam allowance to between 1/8 to 1/4 inch, clip inner curves if needed (see arrow, this is the only place I would clip and I actually didn’t clip at all as its a pretty gentle curve. Grade seams at narrow areas. (that means trim a little closer 1/8″) around centre section and points. If there is too much bulk shape will not lie flat. You can always trim turn shape and see how it looks and “unturn” and re trim if need be.

Cut a slit in what will be the back of appliqué shape. Use a orange stick, point turner to turn, get sharp points and smooth edges. But be gentle!
Press flat

The tree shapes are quite big and chunky so I only sewed around three sides, leaving the whole top open. Except the tree top which I did like the petals. You could stuff the petals at this point if you wanted even more dimension. The tree sections I will stitch down across the top starting from the bottom. I have used three fabrics, two as the good side one as the back. I like how they will allow the various tree sections to show up. I plan to add some ornaments so the tree will still get some tacking so it won’t be floppy.
Hope that you get the idea, any questions please comment and I’ll get back to you.

March Break Memories

My boy is 19 and a man so we didn’t have March Break anymore. But luckily my nephew and I had a rare chance to bond this week at our own mini March Break. His Mom was working, sister and Dad were away with my husband, my boy was job hunting and preparing for exams. That left the two of us and our two dogs. (Dog walking is a great way to spend time with someone. As you stroll along you can talk or not. Usually I discover a lot about my companion or we reconnect if it’s been a while. Even walking on my own I have some rare time to think about what is happening in my own life or reflect.)
My nephew has a new puppy and my dog is old. Its fun to watch them interact.

After the dogs had their fun We had a few days at home playing our favourite game Stratego. We went on a field trip to a coin shop. And to the zoo. Love the zoo. Haven’t been in a few years. But the weather was perfect so lots of the animals were up and about. The rhino was having a mud bath. Imagine this huge beast rolling around in pit of cold wet mud. By the time he got out he was covered from head to toe. We saw the new polar cub, and the others wandering around. One getting a back scratch from a nearby birch.

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There was a new penguin. And of course the big cats. We finished the day with a beaver tail. A cinnamon sugar piece of warm fried dough. Just what we needed to take the chill off as we made the long walk back to the car.