Sunday, September 23, 2012

Studio Tour - Victoria Quilters' Guild Sept 22/12

Yesterday, my quilt guild held a tour of six studios of members in our guild.  The ticket prices were $10.00 and the funds are going into a special fund to bring in guest speakers from further afar.  I thought it was a great idea and promptly bought my ticket.  After our B&B guests had checked out and the laundry and dishes had been started, it was time for me to sneak away for a few hours for some inspiration.  And I was inspired!

It's always great to see the other girls' stashes, storage, workspaces, projects and this tour did not disappoint.  We have some quality quilters/teachers in our community.  Let me introduce you to some of them who were highlighted in yesterday's tour:

I started in Fairfield, just off Dallas Road where our very own Laine Canivet  has her studio.  Laine does abstract and pictorial fabric art and handmade journals and has taught in the past at our Quilting in the Trees annual retreat.

This is a photo in her basement workshop where does all the messy creative stuff with fabric dying, painting and booking binding.

I apologize for the fuzzy picture.  Blackberry camera and light coming in from her window made it not the best photo but you get the idea.

Here is one of Laine's photo transfers on canvas that is then quilted:

Upstairs is her sewing room.  I loved her storage system for her stash, tucked away in a cove in the wire baskets.  It works great!   I really admire Laine's 'read and play' approach and her talent for design.  She told us about some of her sources of inspiration, Cloth, Paper Scissors Magazine and Quilting Arts Magazine, and that after reading she'll just go and play and experiment.   I read those too, but haven't actually been brave enough to play and experiment.  Laine inspired me to take a chance next time I get one (workshop probably) and I think I will.  It's good to stretch our creative muscles and I'm going to!

My next stop was Sharon White's place.  She's another storage queen. 

I love how she painted plain banker boxes with the same paint as her walls and then adorned her shelves with these beauties.  Sharon is obviously an organized quilter.  She had a small but orderly and efficient space.

 Don't you love these little bins used for her thread?

My hubby has used them in his shop, but it has never occurred to me to use them in my sewing studio.  She also had fashioned a layout surface on top of an old bed with wooden rails all around it, and a great design wall in her living room which doubles as a rod for hanging quilts when she doesn't need the design wall.  Brilliant use of space!

Next was Lenny DeGroot's studio.  Oh my!!  Lenny has taught free motion quilting among other things for the guild and her work is exquisite!  Here's a photo of her 'Flowers" quilt that she did as 'quilt as you go'.  Isn't it gorgeous!?  It took two strong men to hang this quilt in her livingroom and what a breathtaking view as you enter this room.

This is her sewing room which is bright and tidy.  Don't you love the quilting blocks in her window valance? 

I would love to take a class with Lenny for this quilt which she currently has for sale:

Next was Bette Anderson's studio, also in Saanich.  Bette's studio is above what I think is a garage and she calls it her "Girl Cave".

There is a small deck off her studio and I could imagine having a nice cup of coffee out there while looking through patterns or quilting books/magazines.  Bette's space is very organized and her storage system is to die for!  Look at these storage bins that her hubby built for her!  She said he bent and molded the plastic which stands just over a foot high.  And every one has holes so that the fabric can breathe (at least that's my assumption).  They are each on a pull out drawer and all colour coordinated and behind closed doors when not being used.

I love her ironing board too.  It's a standard ironing board with marine wood added and wrapped in special material to withstand the heat.  Maybe if I show the photo to my hubby he could make me one too.  :o)

This is a beautiful studio and it was hard not to be envious of her space.  In a word ~ gorgeous!

And then I headed up the Saanich Peninsula to Daphne Greig's studio.   Daphne also owns and travels internationally teaching. 

This quilt greeted us on her front door:

Daphne had quilts, patterns and even fabric kits and videos for sale.  I managed to resist but thoroughly enjoyed talking with her and seeing her quilts and class samples.   Here are a few that were on her wall.  Some were for sale and some were 'priceless'.

I've never taken one of her workshops but will hopefully get the chance soon.  Daphne is teaching in Kona, Hawaii in February 8-17, 2013 at  Oh, I wish!!  Wouldn't that be fun?

Before I lieft I noticed that she had her stash cupboard open for us to see.  This one is more like mine (but tidier than mine at the moment) with plastic containers organized by size or colour family:

And my last stop was Arlene MacKenzie's studio.  Arlene was the only longarm quilter on the tour and we got to see her in action working on a baby quilt.   I forgot to take a picture at her place unfortunately so you can visit her website (link above) and see some photos there.

Arlene has now done over 1,000 quilts and her work is stunning.  In fact, she has one of my quilts waiting in line and I was wondering if it might be on the frame when I arrived.  It wasn't as it's still waiting its turn.  I wasn't expecting it until the beginning of October  but I thought it might be fun to see my quilt on the frame but it was still sleeping soundly in its bag.  Hey it's all good.  She was waiting for some new parts for her Gammill and now it's as smooth as butter and she'll be back working on big quilts soon, including mine.  Yippee!  I can hardly wait.

So, it was a great day and I learned about some of our guild members, saw some beautiful sewing/creative spaces and quilts and came home with an unction to clean up my sewing space and revisit my storage solution and stretch my creative muscles into the art quilts arena.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing these photos and that you will visit their respective websites/blogs.

Until next time,


Monday, September 3, 2012

Hand Sewing with Bonnie

I have many, many quilting projects on the go.  Amongst them are 2 hand quilting projects.

Bonnie Hunter from has issued a challenge for September, which by the way is National Sewing Month in the USA.  I'm calling it International Sewing Month so Canada can be included.  :o)   The challenge is to hand sew 1 hour per day (where possible) to push stagnating projects forward.  I confess that I was a bit reluctant to commit a whole hour every day to hand quilting.  I work Mon to Fri, 9-5 plus run a B&B so time is precious and I hesitate to structure my sewing time like that.  But here's the thing...I really want to get my hand quilting projects done...especially this one.  So I'm committing to do my best to do some quilting on it every day until it's done.

Here's the story behind this quilt:

My quilting friend Janet passed away a few years ago.  Her husband held a garage sale to pass on her fabric and quilt items.  This partially completed soft peaches and cream Irish Chain quilt was among the items for sale.  Janet got it to the blocks stage.   I'm quite sure she planned for some applique or something in the plain blocks to make the quilt pop more.   I remember she did a similar one with some embroidery which won Best in Show at the first Westshore Quilters' Guild.  She was more than thrilled and I was rejoicing with her that day when I saw the ribbons.

Anyway, this was one of the treasures from that garage sale day.  I wanted to keep this one for myself because it will always remind me of Janet. 

I've chosen to hand quilt this "Peaches and Cream" quilt in green thread to make it pop a bit.

I've got one block quilted and fourteen  to go!

I've used a green Frixion pen to mark the feather wreath and this one is next!

Once all the hand quilting is done, I'll be back to quilting the rest by machine in green thread diagonally through the 16 patches.  At least I think I will.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll be inspired to hand quilt the whole thing.  It is very therapeutic and Lord knows I can use some therapy!

It's almost a queen sized quilt so I wonder if I can get all that hand quilting done in September.  What about you?  Are you up for a challenge?  I would LOVE to get this quilt done.  Perhaps since we've had such a busy summer at our B&B it will be a great excuse for me to slow down, put my feet up and lovingly sew some stitches into Janet's quilt.

Here's a picture of the full quilt.  Thanks Bonnie for the kick in the rear.  I can do this! 

Hey, anybody seen my thimble??