Sharing fabric cuttings with my worldwide friends

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Remembering Kerry With Love

Today is the second anniversary of losing my beloved big sister Kerry. Cancer took her from us too soon. Thinking only of positive aspects however I'd like to honor her memory today by showing you how she lives on in her youngest nephew, my #2 son.

Kerry was always happy to make things for others, be that on the computer, the sewing machine, in her kitchen or a variety of other locales.Her nieces and nephews loved to visit and learn from her as much as they loved receiving her thoughtful, creative presents as well as her guidance and support. She was a great treasure in our family.

 Here's a photo of we three sisters (Kerry on the right) on the last trip we all took together in April 2011 when Kerry did all the planning so we could be together for the New Zealand Quilt Symposium held that year in Queenstown.

Jumping right ahead to 2015...

Several months ago #2 son asked me if I thought he could make a quilt to give to a friend who was expecting her first baby. Thinking that "we" had time to make only one quilt I abandoned my idea to make a baby quilt and instead guided and assisted #2 son as he worked diligently to bring his creation to life. Not content with a simple design he chose a paper pieced pattern of sheep (for the baby was to be born in the Year of the Sheep) colored in a bold way. Explaining that a quilt with white sheep would not be practical for something designed to be used, #2 son chose to make all the sheep purple with one renegade pink one. The setting chosen was an attic window one; yes, those Y seams are not for the fainthearted beginner but he boldly stitched on.

Not content with all the detail on the front #2 son also put a lot of thought into the reverse side of the quilt. There are blocks of fabric featuring the rabbit and the dragon to represent the baby's parents. Then there is a label with his personal message to the baby and another one, at my insistence, with all the other details that belong on a quilt label like when, where, why, who.

I'd like to think that AK would be proud of her youngest nephew.

Here's another photo of the sisters trip to Queenstown in 2011. Kerry had organized an fabulous trip up through the Dart River valley towards the Mt Aspiring National Park. The bus pulled over for a photo stop near to this picturesque scene in the vicinity of Paradise. This resonates because we were the daughters of a sheep farmer and because #2 son made his quilt to feature sheep.

I miss most keenly the comfort of my big sister; a friend, a fellow quilter, a shoulder to lean on and a family gem.

Kerry left us on October 29 in the early afternoon in New Zealand. But because of the time difference, altho it is still October 28 here in the USA it is right about now that the spirit of Kerry fluttered away and left us.

Remembering Kerry.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

GFS Studio Tour 2015 Final Day October 18

Will we see you today on this, our third and final day for the Great Falls Studio's annual Studio Tour?

Friday was a bright, clear autumnal day and this is what you saw as you walked up the driveway to studio #26.

Up the steps and to the front door...

Now you are inside at my area...
I am showcasing my "Poppies for JPC' quilt so I have arranged a couple of vignettes. The army uniform hat was used to base the color scheme of my quilt on. When I went to the fabric stores I walked along the racks holding the hat to find the fabrics that would fit with my planned colors.

This is my homage to New Zealand display: photographs of my Grandfather and my Father in their army uniforms. They both worked with sheep so I have included a photo I took in January in my sister's back yard of sheep she had to "mow the grass" in her back field/paddock. There is the small quilt I made for the "My Mother Always Said" series in 2014 - my saying was "There's One in Every Crowd". And to round out this display my "Heritage Aotearoa" quilt.

Will you stop by to pick up a cookie, my "thank you for visiting my studio" item? Today's cookie, made from an old New Zealand family recipe, is Peanut Coconut Brownies. My dear neighbor Maud very generously volunteered to do the baking for me as she knows how busy I am in transporting and setting up my "pop up" studio. Thanks Maud!

You will have a lot to look at in Linda Jones studio; here is her painting "Alaska Blue".
And adjacent to Linda's studio you will find our friend and colleague Richard Masaniello ready to show you his beautifully hand crafted sterling silver original pieces of jewelry.

Come on over and visit! Pick up one of my new "business" cards - I am ridiculously thrilled at our well they printed. The day has begun with the first frost for the season in my garden so let's hope for a clear sunny day to tour although you may need to don that jacket.

All details about the Studio Tour can be found by going to

Thursday, October 8, 2015

You're Invited: Studio Tour 2015 October 16,17 and 18

Once again it is my pleasure to participate in the annual Great Falls Studios Studio Tour. You are invited in to the studios of artists working in a wide variety of media during this event. Meet them, chat with them, maybe watch a demonstration or spend some time looking through their inventory. The event is free, family friendly and makes a lovely outing driving the backroads and admiring the autumnal scenes.

For all the details go here

I will be showcasing my two big recent finishes, "Poppies for JPC" and "TOM Flies Free". If you have visited me before on the tour you'll know I love to chat with you about my quilts. My focus this, as last year, is on weaving history into my quilts.
 This is "Poppies for JPC". Regular readers of this blog will know it is to honor the service of my Grandfather in World War I so I added a few props to my photo. The quilt is 56" square and beautifully quilted by Su Gardner of Fairfax.
 Again, another familiar quilt for you regulars, this is "TOM Flies Free" which was an online project in 2014 about the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. Grey with splashes of lime green to brighten it and a bird in each block to represent the concept of flying to freedom this quilt is 58" high x 75" wide and also expertly quilted by Su Gardner.

 "Wedding China" is a small piece from the June Bride series a few years back. Measuring 24" square it was masterfully quilted by Cheryl Kotecki.

Most of my pieces are display only but there may well be a few for sale this year so come visit. Each day I will have available a freshly made home baked cookie using a New Zealand recipe from my Mum. Come early while supplies last - if you don't want to talk about quilts then we can chat about recipes!

There are 44 artists ready to meet you on this Tour. Many are in their own home studios but some of us, not having studios user friendly for visitors, are in alternate locations. I am indeed fortunate to be invited to join the talented artist Linda Jones, in her home studio. We are stop #26.
 Linda paints frequently with watercolors and above is her recently completed "Muted Morning". This prolific artist also uses acrylics and sometimes even fabric in her works. Come explore her studio full to overflowing with a wide variety of art to admire and purchase.

 Downstairs, adjacent to Linda's studio, we are thrilled to have silversmith Richard Masaniello with us again this year. It is fascinating to talk with Richard about the process he uses to create his original, handmade and unique pieces of jewelry. Most all of Richard's pieces can be purchased during the tour but he will also make you a custom piece if the one you want is already gone or not quite what you'd love to have.

Friday October 16 - noon to 5pm

Saturday October 17 - 10am to 5pm

Sunday October 18 - noon to 5pm

Towlston Woods Studio, 804 Towlston Road, McLean

We look forward to seeing you and sharing our creativity with the community!