Talking about Florida

April 19, 2014

The last post was a long time ago, it seems!  And I was talking about our visit to Satellite Beach Florida and West Virginia.  Since then we’ve been very busy.

We’ve toured Florida before many times, but this time got us into some different areas.  I thought I knew Florida, but I was surprised.

When most of us think about Florida, we think “snowbirds” from the north, beaches, the TV show “Miami Vice”, boats, warm temperatures, retirees, Disneyworld, Beautiful People, or Key West.  But there’s a lot more, and I think you could just about find anything there that would suit you (if you were so inclined to give up on winter).

We returned from West Virginia to a place called The Villages.  Situated in central Florida near Ocala, this is a retirement development of about 100,000 residents that bills itself as “Florida’s Friendliest Retirement Hometown”.  Most of them live in gated communities in single family homes.  Even if they don’t golf, they drive golf carts.  EVERYWHERE!  In fact, there’s a secondary road system built just for golf carts!

FL Villages golf cart track

You’ll find golf carts everywhere, and some of them are quite distinctly personalized.

FL Villages golf carts

But it’s the amenities that make The Villages remarkable.  Virtually anything you want to do or try out can be done there.  Want to learn woodworking?  There are workshops for that.  Pottery? Ditto. There are theatre companies, bridge clubs, golf clubs, bowling alleys, line dancing classes, even a polo grounds! I believe the largest quilt guild in the country is here – they have 17 chapters and over 900 members!  Here’s what our concert hall looked like.

Room for 200 members.

Room for 200 members.

The next morning, this room was transformed into a ping pong emporium, with about 25 tables set up.  Next door to the Mock Mola class I taught (in another recreation centre) were ongoing yoga classes and we were serenaded in the morning by a pretty good R&B band rehearsing a couple of rooms over (I’ve always wanted to sing in an R&B band since I saw the movie “The Commitments”, and I very nearly ran over and offered my services as a “chick singer”!!! LOL).  It’s like that, in The Villages.

FL The Villages sign

My scratchy throat in West Virginia had progressed by this time into me feeling really sick, and I had to cancel our show in Gainesville, unfortunately.  It turns out I had bronchitis, and spent the weekend in bed (with antibiotics) to get better.  I’m very regretful that we had to cancel our performance for the Quilters of Alachua County.  I hope we can make it up to them on our next trip.

Gainesville is a very different city.  I guess there are retirees there, but it’s really a university town, and everyone is mad for basketball (especially when we were there – Gainesville made it into the top four of the college basketball championship).  The university gym is open 24 hours a day, and whenever we drove by at night, it was full of people.  It seems like a vibrant city, with lots going on. (Alas, I didn’t get out very much, but I started feeling better in a few days, thankfully.)

Our next stop was St. Augustine.  This is also in the north of Florida, on the Atlantic coast.  It is the oldest continuously occupied city in North America, having been founded by the Spanish in 1565.  History is everywhere in this tourist mecca. Ponce de Leon thought the Fountain of Youth was there, and there’s still a park dedicated to it, with evidence of Spanish conquistadors.

A conquistador at the Fountain of Youth grounds.

A conquistador at the Fountain of Youth grounds.

We took a great trolley ride through the city, and did a bit of walking too.  We arrived at the chocolate factory and look what I saw across the street!  We had to get off and explore Magrita’s Quilt Shop!

FL Magritas Quilt Shop


The architecture everywhere was extraordinary.  There was some serious money put into the development of huge hotels, especially when Henry Flagler, a business partner of John D. Rockefeller, decided to turn the city into a winter resort for the wealthy elite from the north.  Some of these buildings now house the university, museums and this one, City Hall.

FL St Aug City Hall


St. George Street was a narrow and charming pedestrian walk, with beautiful flowers and interesting old buildings. It doesn’t seem that they’ve changed a lot over the centuries in the central core.

FL St Aug St George Street


The oldest wooden schoolhouse can be found on this street, too.

FL St Aug Oldest School house


The “oldest house” is also known as the Gonzalez-Alvarez House, built sometime in the 16th century.  Tucked in behind the walls, there is a beautiful garden and a peaceful place of contemplation.

FL St Aug in the back gardens of the Oldest House

There’s much more to see in St. Augustine, but I’m glad we saw what we did.  This city feels so different from the rest of Florida.  The history really adds a lot of interest and character to the place.  We sang a show there the next morning, then headed a bit north along the coast to sing that night on Amelia Island, a different place again.

Amelia Island has a great community. I didn’t get the sense that there are as many temporary snowbirds there, as there are in places like Anna Maria Island (just south of St. Petersburg), where people rent a condo for a month or three at a time to escape winter.  Here, people who have “come from away” have come to settle.  It’s a mecca for escapees from the northern snows, being the most northerly beach place in Florida, and it was busy down by the beach.  All the spots look like they’re geared for high school and college kids and families.  The restaurants have over half their seating outside, and there are festive umbrellas and cheeky t-shirt clad servers making everything cheerful.  But the people who live there have another side to their lives: TRIVIA!  It seems that the trivia buffs on the island take their bar-centred trivia contests very seriously. We went out to the Salty Pelican bar and restaurant for dinner with our friends, and it was packed with people playing trivia!

The Salty Pelican

The Salty Pelican – with Mardi Gras beads!

Sunset at the Salty Pelican

Sunset at the Salty Pelican

Too bad we were trying to have a conversation, or I would have been right in there with them!

Our last gig in Florida on this trip was over to Tallahassee.  We’ve sung here before, and spent time between shows as well.  In 2010 we watched the final US-Canada Gold Medal hockey game here.  I think there were only a handful of us Canucks in town jumping up and down at the end of the game! I was busy this visit, with a concert and two classes (Mock Mola and Notan).  Here are a couple of pictures of the results from those classes. First, three Mock Molas:

Tallahassee MM class (3)Tallahassee MM class (1)Tallahassee cross from Gail







Then a few Notans:

Tallahassee notan stars Tallahassee notan squares tallahassee notan 3cut






Thank you Florida: for the creative work you did, for the enthusiasm for our shows (3 standing ovations!), for the warm weather, and for the interesting new experiences.  We’ve already had a nibble for next time from a guild who missed out on this trip, so we’re bound to be back again.  I hope we can continue to learn about new, interesting places to visit.

Satellite Beach Florida and Morgantown WV

April 5, 2014

We’re in sunny Florida, finally!  Enjoying the warm weather and the relaxed tempo of things here. Our first gig was at Seaside Piecemakers in Satellite Beach.  We were last there in 2005, and were very much looking forward to our return, and singing some new songs for them.

We stayed with our friends Patty and Clay, and thoroughly enjoyed our visit (complete with watching an Eagles concert DVD!).

wv patty and clay

The guild meeting was in the recreation centre of a gated community – a large room, that doubled as a theatre.  They were about to open a new play, and we got to perform on stage amid the set!

Seaside Piecemakers meeting

Seaside Piecemakers meeting

We loved our return visit. Thanks, everyone, for the standing ovation!

The next morning we rose early and headed north along I-95 for a two-day drive to West Virginia.  I played for the first time in WV last June, when they had their big quilt show in Summersville.  I had a great time, and was thrilled when they wanted us to return and sing in Morgantown (yes, this is the same Morgantown that Joni Mitchell wrote about! You can listen to her song here.) This time, John was coming with me.

The drive was uneventful, even though we were travelling straight north.  It’s still winter in large parts of the continent, and we were hoping to avoid snow (that’s why we tour south first!). So far, so good.  I made sure we stopped at the New River Bridge on the way. It had been recommended to me last June, but I missed it somehow on the drive back to the airport. It was worth the stop.

New River Bridge

New River Bridge

This bridge is the largest single span bridge in the world, and the second highest bridge in the USA. We didn’t quite have the energy to walk all the way down to the second lookout, but this was good.

While we were stopped, we went into the gift shop for a cup of coffee.  There, I saw this amazing sign:

We don't call 911

“We don’t dial 911″ in rusty metal – with a gun hanging underneath!

I wonder who would buy this?

It was great to see so many familiar faces when we got to town.  It hasn’t been a year since I was last with these women, and I remembered them well. In addition, I had a couple of surprises with students from last time bringing their completed quilts to show me!

Sue just has to finish the quilting and binding on her Notan.

Sue just has to finish the quilting and binding on her Notan.

Gitta's Notan is all about a tree, a bear, and a UFO!

Gitta’s Notan is all about a tree, a bear, and a UFO!

What fun!  And it was great that they finally got to hear John’s “Quilter’s Husband’s Lament”, which they missed last time (because he didn’t come with me).

It was all good.  Until we woke up the next morning to start the 2-day drive back down to Florida.

Morning, Morgantown!

Morning, Morgantown!

It turned out okay, though – we kept to our schedule and the temperatures got warmer as we got further south.  But that first 100 miles or so was pretty serious driving through falling snow and slippery slush!

When we were in Morgantown, I noticed my throat was getting a bit scratchy.  I told John I thought I was coming down with a cold. I started thinking  healthy thoughts, drinking lots of water and taking extra vitamins, hoping that it would all go away….


April 5, 2014

It’s been a busy tour so far, and it’s high time for me to let YOU know what fun we’ve been having!

We visited a very close friend in Fort Worth on our way to Houston, and she had a surprise waiting for me.  Last time we visited Martha, I had my “fractured mock mola” quilt with me (I called it “Shattered” and it was in the gallery show in Victoria).



I made it with four fat quarter sized Mock Mola pieces, using hand dyed fabrics, then I sliced them up and interspersed them using a technique I learned about in the book Fabulous Fractures by Brenda Esslinger.  I’m thinking that this might be a new class, and was happy that Martha loved this quilt and wanted to try the technique with her group. I wrote out the instructions and they gave it a go.  The day we were there was the Reveal Day!

Not all of the quilts turned out, I must say. I will be re-doing the writeup to provide pictures of the work in progress, but one of them was terrific!

Charlotte made hers with shades of grey, and finished the edges.

Charlotte made hers with shades of grey, and finished the edges with satin stitching.

I think there’s a future 2-day class for this, just working on it (and of course I’ll need permission from Brenda Esslinger)!  What do you think?

From Fort Worth, we headed down the track to Houston and a concert and class.  Before we arrived, Barbara had gotten in touch to talk about her molas from Panama, which she had collected many years ago.  I was most interested in seeing them.  She’s made a couple into pillows, and framed another couple.  They were gorgeous, and in perfect condition! I’ll be teaching a couple of hand mola classes on this trip (in Wellsboro PA and Plaistow NH).

Barbara and two of her molas

Barbara and two of her molas

Our performance at the West Houston Quilt Guild was great – they gave us an enthusiastic standing ovation!  We are selling lots of songbooks on this tour – so many that we’ve run out until we get to Ontario.  I guess we underestimated….

This is what John sees when we're doing a show.

John’s view during the West Houston show.

The next day we drove up to Cypress (we sang at that guild a few years ago), and I taught a class at Quiltworks for the guild.  It was the first time I’ve been in the shop, and I’d recommend it if you’re in the area.  As a teacher, it was a great space to work in – especially the fact that it easily fit the 20 students, and there were twice as many comfy rolly chairs as we needed.  That meant that the teacher got to sit down when she was consulting with each student!!! A rare and wonderful thing.

Mock Mola class at Quiltworks

Mock Mola class at Quiltworks

I am teaching this class a lot during this tour, but I’m never bored with it because everyone has such different ideas.  Here are a few of the beautiful pieces made that day.

FL houston mm class swirls FL Houston MM class salmon FL Houston MM class flower

It was a great visit to Houston.  We’ll be back, y’all!

Now, onward to Florida.

The Truth is out there….

March 17, 2014

Our stop in Tucson Arizona was great.  We sang two shows to one of the largest guilds we’ve visited: the Tucson Quilters’ Guild. They have two meetings, and the smallest one was over 100. The next morning, there were closer to 200!

The morning meeting was full!

The morning meeting was full!

For the next two days I taught classes: the first was Mock Mola.  Lots of great ideas. I’m just going to put some of the pictures up here so you can see their lovely work.  You’ll notice a couple of two-colour ones, which turned out well.

Saguaro cactus

Saguaro cactus

This is not a tree, but another desert succulent - I just don't know what it's called!

This is not a tree, but another desert succulent – I just don’t know what it’s called!


Vortexes, having fun with holding it up!

The next day I taught a Notan class.  This is always great fun – we play with paper in the morning, then choose one of the designs to turn into a quilt in the afternoon, using Mock Mola applique.

On paper - I love the lines on this one.

On paper – I love the lines on this one.

Scissors and thread

Scissors and thread, and a secondary star design in the middle.

A 2-way symmetrical notan.

A 2-way symmetrical notan.

Elegant lines on this 4-way symmetrical leaves piece.

Elegant lines on this 4-way symmetrical leaves piece.

This is a completed quilt, done in class.

This is a completed quilt, done in class. Gorgeous fabric!

Another finished piece - totally symmetrical.

Another finished piece – totally symmetrical.

Another lovely fat-quarter sized quilt, all done in class.

Another lovely fat-quarter sized quilt, all done in class.

I have a dream of doing a large-ish wall hanging using Notan designs, and quilt-as-you-go technique.  When I get a minute…..

We are now driving towards our next gig at the West Houston Quilt guild this coming week. On the way, we decided to stop in Roswell New Mexico. Just because we’d never been there before, and because it’s so famous.  I figured they’d have a UFO museum there, and I wasn’t disappointed!

Live Long and Prosper!

Live Long and Prosper!

It was worth the $5 admission.  Not necessarily a museum for young folks, because there was a lot to read – testimonials of friends and neighbours of the rancher who, in 1947, found the debris from the flying saucer on his property. Military and government officials who attested that evidence was messed with and replaced, that there were 3 bodies of aliens – one of which was still moving when they found it!  It was really interesting.  Not sure I’m convinced, but that doesn’t matter.  Unfortunately, the film was not operating, so all there was to do was read.  Oh – and take pictures of the cool aliens with the UFO over their heads that lit up and SMOKED once in a while!

Take me to your leader.....

Take me to your leader…..

The exhibits had pictures of crop circles too, and had a nod to the skeptics.  It was fun – especially the gift shop (where they had golf balls, water bottles AND guitar picks with the alien face on it!).

One part that seemed quite tasteless and un-kid-appropriate was this: The Alien Life Form Autopsy Room.  (In this picture, Mom motioned for the little boy to go and stand in front, so she could take a picture of him with it! Ewwww….)

Alien Life Form Autopsy facility

Alien Life Form Autopsy Room in all its glory

And obviously they’ve been doing fundraisers in Roswell – with horses.  This one is plastered with newspaper articles about the UFOs and the “crash” in Roswell NM.  Odd, yes, but at least it’s in the right museum.

Roswell horse plastered with UFO newspaper articles

I would recommend this museum. It’s a hoot!  Next time you’re going through Roswell New Mexico.

A day on The Rock – Alcatraz

March 7, 2014

We have spent the day as tourists in San Fran.  We don’t get to do this very often, so it was a real treat.  We have never been to Alcatraz Island, and it was high time!  This is one of San Francisco’s most popular tourist destinations – and it’s a good day when we get a boat ride too.

Alcatraz Clipper

Alcatraz Clipper

There were lots of people on this boat.  The ride took about a half an hour on one of the most beautiful harbours in the world (and it wasn’t raining!). We set foot on a hugely important piece of American history. Alcatraz Island means Island of the Pelican, from the old Spanish.  There are still lots of birds that nest on its rocky crags:  Western gulls, pigeon guillemots, cormorants and black crowned night-herons. This island was originally settled as a military fortification in the 1800s to protect the harbour from Confederate invasion and it features the first and oldest lighthouse on the West Coast. San Francisco Bay was never attacked, but Alcatraz was used to imprison Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. That was the beginning of its use as a prison. In 1934 it became a federal prison used to hold convicts that were too troublesome or too dangerous to be held anywhere else. Al Capone, Robert Franklin Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz), and  Alvin “Creepy” Karpis were some of the most notorious prisoners. It operated for 29 years as a federal prison before closing its gates in 1963.

United States Penitentiary (Indians Welcome)

United States Penitentiary (Indians Welcome)

The hand painted sign overtop the “official one” that greeted us at the dock is a remembrance of the 19 months of occupation by American Indians from 1969 to 1971. The island is run now by the National Parks Service, but back then it was claimed as “Indian Land”. This is considered an important part of the history of the island, so they have left the evidence from the occupation, including the sign they painted on the water tower.

Alcatraz painted water tower


Inside, during its time as a federal prison, the accommodation was pretty basic….

Alcatraz painting and crochet


But if you notice in this picture, hobbies were allowed.  Displayed are some paintings done by a “resident”, as well as a PINK crocheted blanket!  Inmates taught each other their skills, and they even played music at pre-approved times. They ate well, were taken care of medically, and had clothes and a bed.  After that, everything they received was earned. This was a high-security prison.  It was said:

When you broke the law, you went to prison.
When you broke the prison’s law, you went to Alcatraz.

They would look out the windows of their prison to see San Francisco glittering in the near distance.  Sometimes (like on New Year’s Eve) they could even hear the parties, music and revelry from the city. It made for added punishment, to be so close and yet have it all inaccessible to them.

Alcatraz so near and yet so far away

So near and yet so far away…

But some of them did manage to accomplish and learn new skills, and to regret the crimes that got them sent there.  Some were interested in gardening and created the most beautiful gardens on the west side of the island.  I don’t think the guards were very worried about prison breaks – it was a long (1 1/2 mile), cold, perilous swim if they ever tried to make a break for it.

The historic gardens

The historic gardens

In 1976 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, it’s run by the National Parks Service, and entices millions of visitors every year.  I’m glad we went – it’s an important piece of history.

The journey continues….


Leaving home and our first gig in Roseburg Oregon

March 5, 2014

Before we boarded the ferry in Victoria to begin this tour, I had time to visit the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria to see the retrospective of Carole Sabiston’s work.  She is a famous fibre artist in Victoria, and it is the first time I’ve seen so much of her work together at once.  She uses collage in fabric, and often secures her creations with a fine layer of tulle overtop to hold everything together and add texture.  Her work is stunning.  If you should be anywhere near Victoria in the next month, you need to visit this show!  It is open until April 28th.  Here is the link to find out more:

The start of the show.

We spent the night with friends over in Sequim (pronounced “Squim”).  Sue had taken my Mock Mola class a while ago, and look what was hanging over our bed that night!

Sue Nylander Mock Mola

Sue’s Mock Mola piece and a couple of African masks

The Umpqua River runs through this valley in southern Oregon and Roseburg is nestled on its banks amid mountains and beautiful scenery. The call themselves the “Timber Capital of the Nation”.

We performed two shows for the Umpqua Valley Quilters’ Guild here, and had a fine time!  Pam introduced us by saying they had been trying to get us to sing for them for years, and they were delighted to finally be able to present us.  We drive through this part of Oregon a lot, and we’re happy to learn of another wonderful guild in the area. They have two meetings a month,  yesterday evening and this morning, with a membership of just over 200. They also invited lots of people from the community to each meeting. We really enjoyed singing for both meetings.

Last night was a smaller group, held in the local Arts Centre. Having just left home and my own gallery show, I was delighted to see art on the walls of the meeting.  We had a lovely time with everyone – they really “got” “You Can Quilt That Out” (the single professional longarmer in the audience hadn’t heard the song before) as well as John’s “Quilter’s Husband’s Lament”.

Then we got up early this morning to sing for a much larger group at the Garden Valley church.  It was a haven of Cathys:  the first three people I met were all named Cathy! I was really impressed to see the monster quilt that they’re making this year for Block of the Month. It includes LOTS of paper piecing, and each and every quilt will be a masterpiece.  Here’s the work in progress (WIP) on the floor of the meeting:

Umqua valley quilters block of the month

Umpqua Valley quilters guild block of the month

We were set up by 9am and started singing soon after.

John all set up at the Umpqua Valley Quilters’ Guild

I love it when people tell me stories at our shows. At this guild, two people told me stories that I have already written about: The Duck Neck quilt in Skagway Alaska, and the Panguitch Quilt Walk in Utah!  I love both of these tales, and I’m happy they do too.

We headed out of town early afternoon, on our way south and west to the California coast.  On the way (when the road wasn’t too twisty) I finished off my latest two Mock Mola class samples.  These will be sent off tomorrow ahead to guilds that I’ll be teaching for on this tour.  I love making these little fat-quarter sized quilts: they’re fast and easy, but you can do so much with them!

This one's called "Tic Tac GO"

This one’s called “Tic Tac GO”

This one is "Subway Ceiling" - not a great name. I'll take suggestions!

This one is “Subway Ceiling” – not a great name. I’ll take suggestions!

The temperatures have warmed up considerably from home.  We actually saw 20C today!  Time to peel off our winter jackets and long sleeved sweaters and turn our minds to spring.  There are huge numbers of flowering trees down here and “random acts of daffodils” blooming on the side of the highways. It’s always amazing to see spring progress before your eyes on a drive like this.

We’re on our way to spend a couple of days in the San Francisco area before we start heading east. We’re hoping for some clear skies tomorrow as we drive along the California coast south to the Bay area. Our next gig is next week in Tucson Arizona. I hope I can keep updating you with regular blog posts on this tour – there are some very busy weeks coming up in April and May, but I’ll do what I can.  I’ll be teaching lots of both Mock Mola classes and Notan classes, so watch for what my students will be making soon!

Till next time…

On the Road Again…..

March 2, 2014

Here we go!  John and I are just loading up the car to head across the Strait today and commence our 3 1/2 month tour around North America.  Will we see you in our travels?

We start in Roseburg, Oregon and continue to Tucson AZ, Houston TX, Florida, West Virginia and a whole bunch of places on the Eastern Seaboard.  Full details are on my website under Touring and Itineraries.  

I hope we’ll see you at some point on this tour.  If not, keep watching this space, where I’ll do periodic updates.


Article in the Victoria Times-Colonist

February 24, 2014

Last week I did a very enjoyable interview with my local newspaper.  Mike Devlin was reporter and he “got” what I do immediately – I think the fact that both his mother and grandmother were active quilters had a lot to do with that!

Darren Stone, the photographer, came over and took a picture of me in my studio/guest room (sitting on the bed, playing guitar, surrounded by quilts).  It all looked good.

The paper came out yesterday morning and, alas, a major “oops” happened.  Somehow, someone transposed my name to “Cathy Smith” throughout the article!  (At least it was consistent.)  My close friends are now calling me “Ms. Smith”.  I can handle this – as long as they don’t call me late for dinner! LOL

It’s a really good article, and they have now corrected the online version to my real name.  In the paper, it was an impressive full-page article all about ME!  But it looks better online, because the picture is in colour.

You can read it yourself here:



Refractions: Mud Brush and Needle show opening

February 21, 2014

Last night we opened my first gallery show.  A year an a half ago I challenged myself and two friends to each create 10 pieces on the theme of “Refractions”.  Last night we showed the results of that challenge to the world (or, to at least 50 people!!!).  Here are a few pictures from the night.

The show will continue until March 4th at the Cedar Hill Arts Centre in Victoria BC.  Opening hours are the same as the Recreation Centre (in the same building) – meaning, usually, 6:30am to 10pm except on the weekends when it’s 8am to 9pm.

Before opening, with the food ready to serve!

Before opening, with the food ready to serve!


With my quilting and doll-making friend Linda Danielson.

With my quilting and doll-making friend Linda Danielson.

People started arriving just before 7pm.  In this picture, I’m chatting with friends.  In the foreground are Eileen McGann (in blue/green) and her partner David.  I used to sing with them both in a band called Trilogy.  Eileen is the “brush” part of this show – wonderful paintings.

Refractions Peter & Cynthia Woods Tom Croft

I met a new friend: Nancy and I have a mutual friend in Canberra – it was the first time we had met. Love how small the world is these days! We are standing in front of the last quilt in the series for me – I finished it two days before we moved into the gallery! It’s called “Eucalyptus deglupta: Rainbow Gum” – wonderful bark on this tree.

Nancy and I have a mutual friend in Canberra - it was the first time we had met.  Love how small the world is these days!

It got quite full in the room – we estimate over 50 people showed up during the 2 hour opening reception!

Refractions opening people

The couple who had the most challenge getting to the show were Donna and John – they were on the Victoria Clipper,  the big catamaran from Seattle, when it was turned back due to high seas (very windy day).  They had to travel up to the Tsawwassen (BC) ferry by bus to get to Victoria!  (Ah, the joys of living on an Island!) They made it, but only just.  Donna is a follower of my Facebook page and blog, and she has figured out how to do both Mock Mola and Notan through my comments here. She brought two of her quilts to show me!

Refractions Donna Carley and notan quilt

Donna’s stunning Notan-inspired quilt started with a rectangle, ended up as a hexagon.

Donna's Notan and Mock Mola quilts.

Donna’s Mock Mola quilt, with lots of added threadwork and top applique afterwards.

It was interesting to hear what people had to say about the work.  Everyone seemed to have a different favourite, and some people really surprised me in what they liked.  I have my favourite, as well (but I’m not telling!).

I’m very sorry that I won’t be able to bring any of these quilts to show audiences on our upcoming tour around North America. The show is closing two days after we leave…. But next time, whatever doesn’t sell will become part of my trunk show.

We’ll be going to Oregon, Texas, Florida and up the Eastern Seaboard of the US right up to Nova Scotia on this next tour.  Then across to Ontario and Wisconsin on our way home.  If you’d like further details of our travels, or to see if we’re coming anywhere near you, please check out the Touring Itineraries on my website.

All in all, it was a great evening.  Having an art opening is very different from doing a performance.  At an opening, all your work is already done – and you can even have a glass of wine at the event!  The three of us will be in the gallery during the following hours, if you’d like to come and visit. (Sorry, no wine though…..)

Sunday Feb 23: 10-12 Eileen McGann (painter)

Tuesday Feb 25: 10-12 Cathy Miller (quilter)

Thursday Feb 27: 10-12 Louise Parsons (potter)

Tuesday March 4: 10-12 Eileen McGann (painter)

Right – back to work now! I have some class samples to make before we leave!

A bit of excitement, and nervousness!

February 14, 2014

I’ve been quiet on the blog lately – that’s because I’ve been having so much fun!  We got back from Australia via a week-long visit to the Big Island of Hawaii (to celebrate a Zero Birthday – AUGGHHH!) last week. I immediately left for my annual quilt retreat, where I started the last quilt I need for my upcoming gallery show.  It’s going well, although slowly.

Herewith is your invitation to come and see what I’ve been working on for the last year and a half. You won’t see these quilts on tour for a while, but you could fly to Victoria BC (a beautiful place even at this time of year) to see them all hanging together! We hardly have winter here, so don’t be daunted by weather.

This is a challenge I’ve issued to two very good friends: Eileen McGann is a painter, and Louise Parsons is a potter.  In the last year and a half, we have each created 10 pieces loosely relating to the theme of “Refractions”.  It’s going to be beautiful and exciting and – yes – daunting, all at the same time!  This is the first time I’ll have put prices on my quilts to sell to complete strangers.  Wish me luck!  If I sell enough, I’ll be buying a new Murphy bed for my studio/guest room!

Refractions Postcard web final

If you can’t make it, I will be putting up pictures of the opening next week.


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