Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year

2011 was a very eventful year full of wonderful things - the best of which was the birth of  my granddaughter in March. I even managed to get some quilting and other art work completed. My goal for the new year is to experiment with new techniques and apply them to my textile work. I received a few new books for Christmas which I will report on in the new year.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Post Espresso

Post Espresso has opened up in downtown St. John's. As part of my nephew's christmas present I made a small quilted rug mug with the logo of his new business on it. I've also included a couple of photos of the inside. If you ever get a chance to vist our colourful city, please drop by 168 Water Street, (YouTube) St. John's, NL.

In fact, to learn more about this new establishment and see more photos, please read Darcy Fitzpatrick's review in Signal, the St. John's blog. Also check it out on Mark Bennett's blog.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas - one day late!

Merry Christmas to everyone. I am one day late in doing this but family comes first. I do have to tell you that the commissioned piece, Gower Street, St. John's, was a hit with the new owner. I received a very nice call yesterday about it and a message today.

I hope Boxing Day sales are a hit wherever you are. Newfoundland stores aren't opened on Boxing Day - we have to wait until tomorrow.
Enjoy your shopping!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Gingerbread Houses from Rock Recipes

The gingerbread houses (scroll down) shown on the Rock Recipes web site aren't the typical ones you associate with gingerbread house construction. These houses are similiar to the ones found in the St. John's area. Barry Parsons has provided a gingerbread recipe and instructions on making one of the houses. It is rather late to be posting this but I just found this quite by accident. Anyway, better late than never. Now you can file it away for next year.

Also check out the following:
Tipnut has a collection of gingerbread house designs (free patterns & ideas)
Gingerbread House Ornament
Gingerbread Man sewing project


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Quilts from Houston

Please have a look at the beautiful quilts from Houston that are shown on Joen Wolfrom's blog. Also click on quilt show at the side of the blog for more quilts. They are well worth a look.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Last Minute Gift? . . .

sugartownquiltcoI just have to share this one with you. Do you need a last minute gift - one that is quick to make? Well check out this table topper/runner using two fabrics from Sugar Town Quilt Co. The tutorial shows how to make this with beautiful mitered corners. And - this is a Canadian company from Alberta, Canada.
Sew we quilt

This table topper is also featured on Sew We Quilt. This link has lots of things to make for the holidays.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas 2011

I can't believe that Christmas is just days away! I have been busy making 'stuff' for gifts as well as for my home. The tree has been up for awhile. Here are a couple of my favorite ornaments. The peacock was a gift from my daughter when she lived in Toronto. It is always the first one on the tree. The fairy was one I bought for myself in California many years ago.

Here are a few links on making some of your own ornaments:
Felt Christmas Ornament from Fanastic Toys
Plush Christmas Ornament and Tutorial from Mariska's Blog
Around the World from Creative Breathing
Quick Embroidered Ornament from Scissor Quirk
Matryoshka Doll Ornament from My Sparkle
Stuffed Star Ornaments from Wee Folk Art

Most of the ornaments can be made quickly.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Work in Progress - It's finished!

The commissioned piece, Gower Street, St. John's, is finally framed and ready to go. I am very pleased with the results. The trees worked out very well and I will making more to use in future work. A friend told me that these houses are Heritage Homes. The pink one was owned by a Captain Moss. It burnt down and he rebuilt it in its original design.
Check out my previous piece, View from The Rooms as well as In All Its Glory.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Show and Tell at Eastern Edge Quilt Guild

Tuesday evening was the last meeting of the Eastern Edge Quilt Guild for this year. There were a number of lovely pieces shown. Unfortunately, I didn't get photos of all of them.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Christmas Quilt Show

After a morning of shopping downtown and an afternoon of working on my commissioned piece (all the greenery is in place - I just have to stitch them down), I found some down time to check out a few web sites. I came across Insights From Sew Cal Gal. Check out the Christmas Quilt Show entries. The two categories are Christmas and Winter. It will take a bit of time to see them all!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Work in Progress # 4

I have most of the building construction completed except for some surface additions. Most of my time today was spent stitching trees. The first photo was an experiment. In the second photo, the same tree skeleton was used with various bits of organza foliage put in place. It worked out well and I may use it. However, I like the tree still in the hoop. I added some foliage before cutting it out. Extra bits of foliage will be added to the back and front to give dimension.

You can see more trees in the last photo. They are not in a permanent placement yet and extra foliage will be added when stitched to the background.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


For those of you interested in embroidery, check out the various sites on the Hand Embroidery Blog. I guarantee you hours of fun! Too bad they aren't in alphabetic order.

Here's a few more to add to the list:
Feeling Stitchy
Curiosities 808 from Hawaii
Hand Embroidery from Sadalas
Teach Me Tuesday
Mary Corbet's Needle 'N Thread

This is one of my hand embroideries done with single strands of silk embroidery floss.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Mini Art Pieces

I've been doing a series of framed 5" x 5" textile art, called 'Back Yard' since the fall of 2009. Check my previous post here for information about them. The photo below shows two of the pieces that are currently in the Craft Council Shop, Devon House.

The Craft Council just opened an on-line shop to make it easier for people to buy unique one-of-a-kind ars and crafts. One of my Piscius Fantasticus is one of the items listed.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Work in Progress # 3

Update photos:
Check out here for more details on making the foliage. I spent a lot of time making the green stuff but it works great to give a realistic look to the work.
Making greenery for the art piece.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Waterfront - St. John's

I was downtown St. John's this morning and I just had to stop and take a couple of photos. It was such a beautiful, cool day! In the first photo, you can see Cabot Tower and Signal Hill in the distance. The second photo shows part of the Battery, a small, unique neighbourhood within St. John's. The last photo shows some of the older structures on the waterfront. The gray stone building in the background is the courthouse.

Monday, November 21, 2011

TAST - Take A Stitch Tuesday Challenge

Sharon B of Pintangle is offering her Take a Stitch Tuesday challenge again in the new year. If you are interested in learning some new embroidery stitches or brushing up on some old ones, this is a great opportunity to do so. The best thing - it's free! Read more about it here. I just signed up. Not that I need another project, but you never know what new ideas might come from it. Not only that, but it will give me something to focus on in our Thursday night stitching group called FETE - friends every Thursday night.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Work in Progress # 2

I have been working on the row house piece mentioned in the November 9 post. This photo (showing the autumn version) does not appear in Fire Fox but shows in Internet Explorer. I will be doing the summer version with lots of trees. The work is going slowly as I am painting in some of the finer building details. The following photos show bits and pieces of the overall composition. I am using Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 as well as Heat n Bond Lite stabilizers in the construction. I have lots of foilage to make as well as stitch the tree trunks and branches.  This will be added as needed.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Houston Quilt Festival

In 2001, I travelled to Houston with some quilting friends to attend the International Quilt Festival. It was one of the best quilt related experiences of my life. I can still picture the hugh conference center filled with quilts and everything related to quilting that a quilter / quilt artist could desire. Each year in November, I think about that trip. I hope to travel there again sometime in the future. Anyway, I always look for postings of the quilts and other art displayed there. It's not as good as been there but it is the next best thing. Check out the following sites:

Thursday, November 10, 2011

11 Days of Pre-Holiday Tutorials

You will just have to check out these tutorials. A new one every day for 11 days!
  1. November 9  :Jane LeFazio 
  2. November 10 :Lyric Kinard
  3. November 11 :Tracie Lyn Huskamp
  4. November 12 :Melanie Testa
  5. November 13 :Traci Bunkers
  6. November 14 :Diana Trout
  7. November 15 :Judy Coates Perez
  8. November 16 :Kelli Nina Perkins
  9. November 17 :Lisa Engelbrecht
  10. November 18 :Jill Berry
  11. November 19 :Gloria Hansen
Some of the above artists also have other tutorials on their blogs. Check them out!

    Wednesday, November 9, 2011

    Work in Progress # 1

    My trip to Chicago was a success. Now I'm back and already working on a commissioned piece. Here's a photo of the houses I'm doing. I'm using similar techniques used in 'View From The Rooms'. Actually, this photo is also taken from The Rooms. Photos of the actual piece will be posted soon. Check back!

    Saturday, October 22, 2011


    Last year, when I travelled to Endland on a textile tour, I purchased an ipad. I used it to check my hot mail account and to send email back home. It also became my photo storage device. Instead of taking multiple camera memory cards, I transferred my photos to the ipad. That worked amazingly well. It was great to check my blog and to keep up to date on other blogs (when there was time).

    It doesn't work as well for me when composing blog posts. I am so used to using multiple screens when composing my posts that this little device doesn't measure up. I don't have a separate key pad and that has issues. With the touch pad on the screen, I still haven't discovered if I can copy and paste easily. I have managed to frustrate myself with it. As a result, the previous posts, since the 18th of October, were composed at home as I'm visiting Chicago at the moment. I think I have three more of those yet to post!

    If time permits, and I still have internet access, I will write a few lines and post them.

    Since I don't have any new links for you today, check out links on other blogs. You might be surprised to see the things that interest them. Sometimes it's related to their own work and sometimes not.


    Friday, October 21, 2011

    Canadian Talent # 1

    I've decided to dedicate the next couple of posts to listing some of our Canadian textile/fibre/stitching artists. I think it would be well worth your while to check them out.
    More to come.

    Wednesday, October 19, 2011

    Skinny Taste Recipes

    I was catching up on Face Book and one of my friends recommended Skinny Taste Recipes. I had a quick look and it looks promising. I realize this site isn't about textile art related 'stuff', but we all have to eat and if it tastes good as well as been low fat - then it's ok!  The photo shows a super moist low fat chocolate cupcake.

    Check out one of my previous posts for cup cake related stitching.


    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Paint Sticks

    Have you ever played with oil paint sticks? Check out Cedar Canyon Textiles for information about this product and where to get them. I have a few sets of the paint sticks as well as some of the rubbing plates. However, I haven't spent much time playing with them. They do have lots of potential for adding decoration to fabric. Cedar Canyon Textiles blog has a wealth of information about this product.
    Here are some sites to check out:

    Monday, October 17, 2011

    3 Creative Studios

    The side bar link on my blog to 3 Creative Studios is active again. By accident, I discovered that the old link wasn't working. This site is the virtual studio for Terri Stegmiller and Vicki Welsh. Each month they feature a guest artist. For October, artist Monika Kinner-Whalen introduces thread sketching.

    Here are a few more links featuring Thread Sketching:
    Quilting Arts
    Nancy Prince
    Kelli Nina Perkins
    Elysian Studios
    Kathleen Creates
    Brown Paper Packages
    Ingrid Whitcher
    Judy Alexander
    Daily Craft


    Saturday, October 15, 2011

    3-D Felting

    A few posts ago, I wrote about felting with Caroline Lindsay from the UK. Well, I finally finished the two pieces I did. On the green vase, I put on decorative yarns and seed beads. The bowl has decorative yarns but instead of using beads, I created some French knots using metallic yarn. I am pleased with the results of these two pieces.

    Friday, October 14, 2011


    I was on the fifth floor of the Parmount Building yesterday. Years ago, this building housed one of the old movie theatres in downtown St. John's. During a storm, its roof collapsed and was thus abandoned for a long time. Now it has a new lease on life and is turned into office space. The view from the top is spectacular! However, I had to be content to take my photos through the glass window.  As you can see, there are some interesting houses in the downtown core.

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Happy Thanksgiving Canada!

    Time flies these days! I'm a tad late wishing Happy Thanksgiving to all Canadians. Also a special thank you to all the followers of my site (those who have joined and those who have my blog book marked). You are much appreciated. To celebrate Autumn, here are some related quilting and stitching projects to keep you busy:
    • The Painted Quilt has quite a few free seasonal projects. They have a freebie each Friday. Check out their past ones.
    • Accuquilt has an Autumn Applique Wall Hanging. Just download 12 free quilt patterns here. Scroll down to find the wall hanging.
    • Quilt Inspiration has lots of stuff! I'm not into Halloween but for those of you who like to go spooky, check it out. Use Internet Explorer as Firefox doesn't show all the photos!
    • Quilted Autumn Decor can be found at Fabric Flair. Click the photos to get your downloadable patterns.
    • Harvest Traditions from McCall's Quilting is a lap quilt to try.
    • Combine stitching and quilting with this Autumn Welcome Banner from Free Patterns


    Sunday, October 2, 2011

    Felting with the Embroidery Gals

    Caroline Lindsay was teaching day two of the felting course to some of the St. John's Embroidery Guild members today. I dropped in at lunchtime to see what they were doing. Here are photos of the pieces. As you can see, different threads, ribbons, leaves and bits of fabric, were embedded into the felt. Several already had some hand stitching started.


    If you are looking at the previous post in Firefox, several photos aren't showing up. Please use another browser to see them.

    Thursday, September 29, 2011

    Vases and Bowls

    Needless to say, today's felt making with Caroline Lindsay, was fantastic! We made vases and bowls. I won't go into detail on the method for making them as it would take too long but check here (click on photos to the right) and here for some 'how to'. In making our bowls, we used balloons instead of balls to get the shape. We also used silk hankies to cover the outside of the bowls. I forgot to take photos when we were making the vases until the very end!

    We also got a brief demo on making felt beads.

    I have needle felted in some of my art work and I have played around with wet felting. However, working the felt roving to get a 3-D piece was very rewarding. I think there is more lurking in my future.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    Felting Workshop

    The felting workshop with Caroline Lindsay was quite enjoyable and relaxing. Did I say relaxing? The wet felting method was quite the upper body workout. After laying out the wool roving and covering it with silk chiffon, we then rolled it up in bubble wrap. We had to constantly work the felt inside the bubble wrap with our hands. Of course, the felt had to be unrolled and rolled up over and over again. Check out this video clip from Google as it will show you basically what we did. That was the first day.

    We took our felted pieces home that night to wash for 30 minutes in the washer and then dry it. I chose to air dry mine as I didn't want it to shrink further.

    The second day we started to embellish our piece. Everyone got lots of individual attention and suggestions as to how to finish it. Needless to say, I have yet another workshop piece to finish. However, I will get it done as I quite like this piece.

    Thursday, I'm going to make some bowls and vases with Caroline.

    Notice how the yellow and hot pink coloured silk overlays changed the colour of the wool roving. The same coloured roving was used for both samples.

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Cabot Quilt Guild - Show and Tell

    The Cabot Quilt Guild, St. John's, NL, meets the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Here are some of the quilts shown at our last Show and Tell:

    Sunday, September 25, 2011


    I spent yesterday at a felting workshop with teacher, Caroline Lindsay from the UK. We used a combination of wet felting and nuno techniques to create rich fabrics ideal for hand or machine embroidery. Today, we will be embellishing our pieces with stitching. Here's a sample of her work:

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Previous Post

    In my previous post about Row Houses, the photo of the green house and the cruise ship in the harbour, is missing from Fire Fox. Please check it out using Internet Explorer.

    Row Houses, St. John's

    It was a beautiful day here is St. John's so I spent the afternoon taking photos of downtown row houses. The Row House theme is frequently used in my textile art. These colourful wooden houses have their roots in the fishing industry. Whenever the ships returned from sea, each captain would search for his house all along the hills. So that they stood out from each other, every house was painted a different vibrant colour. Today, the tradition is still kept. As you go from street to street in the downtown area, you can see every colour imaginable. Even on a foggy, rainy day, the colours help to brighten things up.

    Check my previous posts for references to row houses:
    Experimental Piece
    Work in Progress and More Buildings
    View from the Rooms (photos used for textile piece)
    View from the Rooms (textile piece) 

    Cruise ship in the harbour.
    Taken from the backyard of above green house