Saturday, September 19, 2009

Jocelyn's Quilt

My friend Jocelyn has just completed her Masters in Education. To mark the event, she asked me to make a quilt for her. She told me a little bit about what the experience had meant to her - about the support from her family, about the growth and new-found ability to breathe that had come during the process, about the ripple effect this new strength would have on her students, and on everyone who knows her. There's new light and new life in her, and this is what I tried to capture in her quilt. In asking me to make it she gave me no parameters, no colour scheme, no size requirement. She just asked me to interpret what I knew of her in the work. What freedom! And when I gave it to her yesterday, I was so pleased to see her positive reaction. To make such a quilt was an honour, and my gift to Jocelyn. To trust me to make it was Jocelyn's gift to me.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Journal Quilts 3 & 4

You may remember me starting a series of Journal Quilts back in the summer, each one geared to reinforce one or more design principles. I haven't been as diligent as I had hoped to be in getting one done a week, but I haven't given up either. Here are Journal Quilts 3 and 4. The first one is constructed in predominantly warm colours with one cool colour, and the second is constructed in predominantly cool colours with one warm colour. There will be more coming shortly.

On another note entirely, and for those of you interested in the work of the Bitengye Designers, I want to share some exciting news with you. We received another shipment of their finished items last week, and a second is due to arrive this week. They have been so productive that I have had to ask them to slow down just a little. And the most productive of all has been Alice, who has produced another 180 of her bags, in order to raise funds to build her new sewing school. Already she has raised close to half of what she needs to begin building. She is one determined lady, and I only hope she isn't exhausting herself sewing so much. I have also had news that she has organized a 3-day refresher for the women who come from Kikagati to go to Rubingo to spend time sewing with her. She felt the quality of their work was not adequate, and of her own initiative will spend time with them, working through the problems. Kudos to Alice, and to all the Bitengye Designers!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Kitambaa visits Grand Forks

I'm just home from a wee road trip to Grand Forks, situated along the southern border between BC and Washington state, well on the way to Alberta. We drove through the fertile farmland of the lower Mainland, then up amongst the mountains of Manning Park, through the fruit growing and wine-making lands of Osooyos and Keremeos, then down into the Kettle Valley and Grand Forks. The quilt show was great, with lots of participation from all levels of quilters, and tea and goodies served to all who visited. A highlight of the trip for me was being able to visit with friends Kim and Denise, both known to me from visits to Gibsons. Another was visiting a new-to-me quilt shop - Heart 'n Sole. What a delightful setting - in a period house on a tree-lined street. Bolts and bolts of fabric, and lots of brights - you will be surprised to hear that I couldn't leave without a few new pieces to add to my collection!

I'm also pleased to be able to tell you that Heart n' Sole will now be carrying my patterns.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

African Thunderstorm

Now for something completely different (and not exactly related to quilting). Those of you who have ever spent any time in Africa know that there is nothing quite like an African thunderstorm. Sudden, dramatic, powerful, crashingly loud, and gone before you know it. The thunderstorms we experienced during our time in Lesotho were afternoon storms, with much lightning, and heavy rains that ran off the baked red dirt. In Uganda, the thunderstorms can happen any time of day, but are every bit as impressive. A friend recently sent me this particular "African thunderstorm". I hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I have. It can be found at