Thursday, November 26, 2009

Visits on the Sunshine Coast

I have just returned home from a teaching visit to the Sunshine Coast. This is a euphemism, you understand, at least 8 months of the year. And being November, I was not disappointed, but enjoyed the sighing and moaning among the tops of the Douglas firs, the crashing of waves on the rocky shore, and the sound like breaking glass, as sheets of rain slammed into windows. But what better time to be snug inside and enjoying a quilting retreat?
The two groups I spent time with are known as "The Halfmoon Crazies", and "The Off the Wall Quilters". That should tell you something right there. They were willing to venture into unknown territory, to learn both new techniques and a new way of designing. And here is a glimpse at their works in progress, as they participated in Ferns, Flowers and Other Follies; and The Joys of Journalling. There was lots of laughter, lots of encouragement, and a huge willingness to enjoy the process. The third class - African Sunshine - was a joy to teach. Colourful "arcs" appeared up on design walls and blocks too, as this enthusiastic bunch of women worked into the evening to continue what they had learned in class. I can't wait to see the finished quilts! And I have a confession to make - I was so inspired by the African Sunshine class that I came home to work on a new sample for this for myself. Now I can return the original sample to my daughter, who has been threatening to abscond with other quilts of mine, at least until African Sunshine was returned to her.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

And the Winner Is . . .

So many of you bought tickets for this year's Grandmothers' Quilt - at $5 a block we were able to raise more than $1500 towards next year's Kitambaa Sewing Project Workshop. Thank you - all of you - so very, very much. The winner of the draw for this year's quilt is Susie Schneider, from Grand Forks, BC. Susie is a new quilter, who bought a block from us when we were at their Guild Show in September. She was thrilled when I called to ask her how to go about shipping the quilt to her. She told me that my call couldn't have come at a better time, when they had just lost someone dear to them, and could do with a little good news and comfort. May this quilt comfort you for years to come, Susie.

Monday, November 9, 2009

More Quilts from Houston

A couple of weeks ago, I showed you a few of my favourite quilts from Houston, with the promise of more to come. Well here they are. (Ever get the feeling that you can't quite catch up to your own life?!)This first one is a close-up, and even so it doesn't do justice to the exquisite work involved in making it. Applique was done with satin stitching with silk thread around each and every piece. It is called Hearts and Garlands, and was made by Liz Jones from the U.K.

This next quilt is called African Adventure, and was made by Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga from the Netherlands.
This one is Spring Field, made by Akiko Kawata, from Japan.
And this last one is Butare Star, made by Canada's own Ann Bird. She is without doubt the queen of medallion quilts, and this one was inspired by fabric she purchased in Rwanda, when her husband was teaching at the university there, as well as some wild and crazy bird fabric, from Kitambaa Designs

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Back home from Ottawa and Beaconsfield

I have just returned home from a two week trip back east, during which I taught several workshops both in Ottawa area and Beaconsfield, Quebec and presented three Trunk Shows on my adventures in Africa, particulary with the Bitengye Designers. I thought you would enjoy seeing a few photos taken during one of the Journalling workshops. It never fails to amaze me how creative women are, and during this workshop that creativity bubbles to the surface. Asking the question "what if I . . .?", and then doing it is so liberating. It made me itchy to get back at making some journal quilts again myself.

The time spent in Ottawa was particularly sweet, as it gaveme the opportunity to see some old friends, and to make the reacquaintance of others. Ann McLean, of The Country Quilter in Richmond, just outside Ottawa, is someone I first met when we lived in Ottawa in the late 80's. When we met up again in Portland last year, she invited me to come and teach at her shop. We learned that we not only have a shared interest in quilting, but also in work in Uganda. It's a small world, as they say. A huge thank-you to all of you who made my journey so enjoyable!