Last Wednesday afternoon I had a very special treat. I got the chance to visit one of my church members art studio along with two of my friends. It was the studio of Alan Thompson who is 90 years old and has been making art for many years. My friends and I were privileged to see a studio filled with wonderful treasures and the walls filled with both Alan’s art and others that he has collected over the years. It was especially wonderful to hear some of the stories that went along with the art and treasures.
The above is a photo of Alan standing in front of just one of his walls of art. A lifetime of work!.
Here is a look at a work in progress. Alan made his living as a draftsman and created art in his spare time. He is still creating art to this day.
Another corner of the studio.
Some more of his work. I loved the black, white and red sketch.
Alan will have some of his work available for sale at the Art Quest Show and Sale, Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 166 Cook Street, Victoria BC. This is on the corner of Cook and Mason and the entrance is through the garden gate.
Thank you Alan for opening your home and studio to us. It was a wonderful afternoon and I’m looking forward to seeing your work for sale on Saturday.
My church is having a fund raising event called Art Quest where they have different artists showcase their work and have items for sale. My partner is a very good artist and musician so he will be showcasing some of his work. It will be held at 1600 Cook St in Victoria BC on June 4, 2016 from 10am until 5:pm.
In light of the above and because I wanted to do something fun I decided to make some journals and have them for sale. I had made one years ago but there wasn’t any pattern just someone showing me how so I had to figure out how to make the journals from scratch. I did manage to figure it out and have started writing down how I did it (so I can remember for next time). I will post the instructions once I have fleshed them out and made them look pretty.
Here is one that I have finished. I thread painted the sunflowers and then quilted around all the flowers in gold metallic thread.
This is what they look like once the quilting has been finished. I used Pellon (not sure which one) stiff interfacing so the journal will keep its shape.
I don’t quilt these on the long arm these are quilted using my Janome Horizon which I keep set up for free motion quilting smaller projects.
These are a lot of fun to make! I am in the process of making a few more, there will be frogs, and butterflies as well. Those are still works in progress. I will show pictures of them once they are finished.
I would like to introduce you to Cocoa my little quilting buddy! Well, OK he doesn’t always like to stay in the studio as it can be cooler there and his bed in the upstairs hallway is a good spot to watch the stairs to see who comes up and keep one eye on the front door.
This little guy has brought a lot of sunshine to my life! He is a deer headed chihuahua that we named Cocoa.
We found each other two years ago. I had completed my cancer treatment just two weeks before and was still not well. I would force myself to go out and do at least one thing a day and that day I volunteered to go grocery shopping.
Well at the mall where the grocery store was there was also a pet store that had rescued dogs. I would go and stand at the window and check out the dogs (we didn’t have one at the time and I was missing that). I am a sucker for spaniels and on this day the store had a rescued spaniel cross. I asked if I could go in and interact with the spaniel cross. Well inside the pen playing with the spaniel cross on the floor I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye. It was circling around very gingerly, got up close put his two front paws on my legs (I was sitting on the floor), licked me twice on the cheek and curled up in my lap and just looked at me.
It turned out the spaniel cross had been spoken for, and he was for too energetic for me at that time anyway but it was nice to have some puppy time. As for the little guy in my lap I asked about him. He was found starving to death on the streets of Las Vegas. He had to have some teeth removed and had severe ear mites. My heart went out to the little guy but I was really not well so didn’t know how I would care for a dog.
I called my partner and told him the sad tale and he said the same thing I was thinking. It just wasn’t the right time to get a dog. So I continued on with the grocery shopping before my energy ran out and I wouldn’t be able to finish before having to go home. I finished my shopping and was about ready to leave and the little guys face came back to me and I knew I couldn’t leave him behind.
I went back and asked to see the little guy again and went into the room and just sat on the floor. It took a minute but the little guy got up from where he was curled in a ball. Circled gingerly around until he came close and then slowly crawled into my lap and just looked at me. Well, that was it, he was coming home with me and I would just have to trust that things would work out and he would be house broken and not need too much of my energy.
I texted my partner and told him to not kill me but we had a dog. He texted me back and said he figured as much and I better send pictures. The shelter had named him Elmo but it really didn’t suit him. Kevin, my partner named him Cocoa as he was chocolate brown.
Not sure if you can see how skinny he was or his poor scabbed ears. He is pictured above with one of his favourite toys just after I brought him home. He tends to hoard his toys it is too funny. This little guy makes me smile every day and we helped each other heal. We both needed lots of rest and would nap together in the sunshine. We are now both happy and healthy and I am so glad I trusted my intuition that it would all turn out alright.
Well my machine got fixed! Yeah. It turns out I should have been able to fix it myself but that is OK, it is all a learning curve. I at least got the name of a good sewing machine tech who makes house calls on lower Vancouver Island. His name is Bill Murray and he can be reached at 250-888-0887. I highly recommend him. I can now finish the quilting the quilt I have on the frame.
I love books. I have always loved to read ever since I was a little girl. Today I don’t read that much fiction unless I am away on holidays, I tend to get right into books and then nothing else gets done. Staying up reading until 3 in the morning when you have to get up to go to work the next day doesn’t really work all that well. Anyone else done this?
When I started to quilt back in 2004 I started collecting all the books and magazines I could find on quilting. I have whole collections of magazines. I still have far too many although I rarely purchase them anymore. I have actually got rid of a pile of magazines during my three moves in the last few years but I still have a whole bookcase of them. Time to go through them again as I haven’t looked at them in at least 2 years.
The books are another matter. In the last few years I haven’t purchased all that many but during my first few years I amassed a LOT of books. Many are on different techniques that I want to try one day. Some I have tried but many I just use for inspiration.
I thought I would share my top 5 go to machine quilting books that I have purchased in the last 5 years.
1. I love anything by Angela Walters. The first one of hers that I go to a lot is Free- Motion Quilting
2. The second one of hers that I love is her Shape by Shape book
3. I love Judi Madsen of Green Fairy Quilts her book Quilting Wide Open Spaces is another favourite.
4. Another book I really like is by Cheryl Malkowski and it is called doodle Quilting
5. My final book I have to share (although I have lots of others) is Get Addicted to Free-motion Quilting by Sheila Sinclair Snyder
Even if you are reading this and you are not a quilter yourself or don’t actually quilt your own quilts check out the above authors websites just for the eye candy. The quilting samples on Angela’s and Judi’s blogs alone will make you drool and Cheryl has the most stunning quilt designs.
Well that’s it for this post. Next time I am hoping to have the current quilt off the frame and I will introduce you to my quilting buddy Cocoa!
Well another week has gone by, where does the time go. I try to think back on my week and what I have been doing and it all seems to be a blur. The Victoria Quilt Guild had their semi-annual quilt show this past weekend. I went and had a look around on the Friday.
The show was a good one. Lots of great eye candy and plenty of vendors to spend your money at if you wished. I am very proud of myself, I actually came away without spending any money at all. Why you might ask, because although there was some really good deals and lots of great things to buy, I simply don’t need anything quilt related at this time. I have a whole studio full of fabric, thread and notions some of which are still in the packaging. I did pop into the Library branch that was next door to the show venue and borrow 3 books on entrepreneurship.
Before the quilt show I quilted a quilt made by Susan McGregor that was to hang in the Bib n’ Tucker booth. The name of the quilt pattern is Summer Blooms by Barbara Pershing and Mary Hoover. It turned out great and the pattern sold out at the Bib n’ Tucker booth quickly although I believe Gail is ordering more of the patterns in.
I really enjoyed quilting this pattern it was a lot of fun and the big colourful blossoms were so cheery to work on. I may have to get this pattern and make this quilt up so I have it hanging in my studio.
I am currently quilting a quilt top I have had hanging around for awhile. It is one of my own designs made from some leftover blocks I had. Not one to waste things I turned them into a quilt.
Saturday is quilting with my friends at the clubhouse here at my townhouse complex. Once a month about 14 women get together and enjoy catching up and sewing away. It is always a good time and I am looking forward to it.