festival of quilts, cloaks and gardens…

It’s that time of the year again, Festival of Quilts is almost next on the calendar. It’s amazing how quickly it rolls around, it seems to get quicker every year- a sure sign of age I hear.

I’m almost ready to go, just a little more packing and yes, there is a quilt that needs finishing but that’s normal isn’t it? I’ll be teaching Quick and Easy workshops on the Mettler stand again. This years workshop is called Wandering Vines and each of the students receives these beautiful Mettler threads along with a few other goodies to take home along with the workshop.

The fabrics for my kits are all  ready to go and a sample as well, I even have a few ready to stitch pieces for demo on the stand.


The Mettler stand is number ( letter?) E-40,  do stop by and say hello! I’ll be there.

What is next, really next, is the Wearable Art Fashion Show tomorrow night!


Elizabeth Harris and I have collaborated again and created our version of a travellers cloak. After a mis-start ( or two!) we are both thrilled with the results.






Elizabeth will be walking the runway tomorrow night- I don’t think RunnerBean will be allowed on stage but you never know! The bit of cut up quilt on the leading edge set the tone for the piece and Elizabeth followed from there with painting on the burlap, it’s lined with a moss coloured hand dyed muslin and then ceramic leaves were added. We finished it off with a necklace of  leaves, feathers and rawhide.

And the garden… well the back deck really. I finally got around to changing over the back garden from this-


to this…


It’s not quite finished yet, just a few little fiddles to go, but it’s a lovely spot to sit and stitch.

There’s been a heat wave here in Vancouver …or a heat wave by our standards.  Ned’s favourite river is still cold despite the heat  but he doesn’t mind. He found a swimming hole this morning and settled in while I finished my coffee and dangled my feet, heaven for both of us.


Hope to see you at Festival!

Bye for now, Catherine ( and Ned)

snow white bird

It seems like yesterday we opened the show, but looking back the unfinished business exhibition has been up for 3 weeks now, time really does fly!  Yvonne at FibreWorks Gallery has the place looking wonderful and all this good weather certainly doesn’t hurt at all. The Sunshine Coast is certainly living up to its name.

I’m on my way back to the yurts for the weekend of July 5th and 6th. I will be teaching one of my favorite workshops  “Snow White Bird” . It’s based on one of the many creation stories featuring Raven in a starring role.

This is one of my versions ( I have 3 so far!) at the basting stage…..

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I taught this workshop in England earlier this year and wanted to share a few images of the various  Ravens in progress and the lovely ladies who created them .





They’re all so different and reflect each of the makers thoughts about the legend. I really enjoy teaching this class, every student interprets the story in their own way and creates a really personal project.

There’s a couple of places left if you are interested in joining us – contact Yvonne at FibreWorks for all the information.

Hope you can join us!

Bye for now, Catherine

a few more pic’s

Thanks to Yvonne at FibreWorks for these images, they were taken just before the opening of unfinished business last weekend.


It really was a blur those last few minutes before the guests arrived, I don’t  remember Yvonne taking these shots (or that I was wearing two pairs of glasses!)



… and this close-up of my fish ladder piece.


This one shows Linda’s Precious Moments inspired piece between my Rivers pieces and Making Faces. It always amazes me how well the work hangs together when you consider we don’t compare notes or  talk about the colors or details of what we are making.


Bye for now, Catherine

unifinished business….

thr3fold unfinished business opened on Sunday!

The weather was perfect (never a sure thing on the West Coast in June) , just hot enough to feel summer right around the corner but with a nice cool breeze off the water. Yvonne and Reg at FibreWorks had fresh from the garden flowers, wine and goodies all laid out for the event. Many thanks to those of you that came to celebrate with us. The time just flew by, I never seemed to stop “meeting and greeting” the whole time.

I did my best but it always seems to happen that once the actual event starts I’m too busy talking to take a single picture! and it was the same this time. I took these pictures before the guests arrived…if anyone out there has images of the opening I would love to see them.


The yurts are an amazing place to exhibit there is something magical about the round shape. As you walk into the gallery yurt this is the first view…it was lovely to see my “fish ladder” quilt hanging in the center of the room. The quilt is made using cotton organdy and moved so nicely in the breeze.

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Laura’s Rare Beauty looks stunning on the black walls of the yurt.


Linda and Laura’s work looks wonderful!



These are the river pieces I gave you a peek of in my last post, I’m pleased with  how they turned out and think there might be more to explore at the river.

The gallery cards are a bit different for this show. Each of the cards tells the back story around each  piece and shows the cover of the thr3fold journal issue  that inspired it. Yvonne has placed her own collection of all 5 journals in the gallery so visitors can refer back and see the original article that inspired each piece.


I have always wanted to challenge myself and draw directly to fabric during a limited time pose and finally gathered the courage to do it, this is Caitlin . I admit to a little fiddling with the drawing once I got her back to the studio and of course the  stenciling and quilting!

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It was all a bit of a blur getting ready but I did manage to spiffy up a bit before the guests arrived.

unfinished business is on until the 13th of July and if you need any extra tempting, the Sunshine Coast is a wonderful get away destination.

Bye for now, Catherine


show time!

It’s finally here… I’m not quite sure how something that has been a long time in the planning and in the waiting-to-happen can still manage to creep up on me. But it has.  The “it” I am referring to is the thr3fold- unfinished business exhibition opening on Sunday June 1st at FibreWorks Gallery in Madeira Park, B.C. a beautiful spot on the Sunshine Coast just north of Vancouver.

I’ll be there for the opening on Sunday, 2pm till 4pm do drop by!

It’s been great fun to look back through the 5 issues of the journal and decide which of the articles and challenges I wanted to take a second look at. I had a long list of  unfinished business and  ideas just ready and waiting in my sketchbook it was tough to narrow it down! I don’t want to steal our thunder but here’s a sneak peek of some of the pieces I have been working on….

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fish ladded detail

You’ll have to wait to hear the full story behind these  2 pieces, but I can let you in on this one. In issue one the challenge was to explore the landscape of where we lived, we called it Landscape Home. I have a new home since then and a new landscape where I spend a lot of time.. Ned and I actually. In fact Ned pointed out the subject for the two pieces inspired by the river near where we live.


here’s a detail of one of the resulting pieces….

river detail

There hasn’t been a lot of extra time lately but I have managed a few outings. One of them to do some pleine aire painting at the Van Dusen Gardens in Vancouver. We were there to celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival. There weren’t many blossoms around but I did manage to find this nice spot.

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It was a lovely time until the rain and wind sent us running for the cafe!


Hope to see you at the opening on Sunday!

Bye for now, Catherine



a long winters nap

…and part of the spring as well!

Thanks to all of you who have been in touch and gently reminded me my blog was way out of date. I’ve been hibernating, but now I’m back with a bit of a different  look, hope you like it!

It’s been a busy winter actually with a bit of travel, a bit of teaching and quite a bit of making.

Most recently I made a quilt for the Cherry Blossom:Textile Translation exhibit at the Silk Purse Gallery in West Vancouver and it was accepted! It’s hanging there as I type.

The image isn’t great but it’s a tricky thing to photograph and get all the stitching to show.

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It 2 layers of semi sheer cotton organdy, paper blossoms painted and drawn on a drawn branch all held together with loads of hand stitch.

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In the detail you can see the printed text in the original paper showing through the pink paint and pen I added.

Edwina Mackinnon and I were in Portsmouth, England this Friday past. We had the pleasure of delivering a presentation to the Quilters Guild, thanks to our sponsorship by Mettler threads. Edwina spoke on Sand, Sea and Stitch which covered her wonderful work with indigo and potassium permanganate. I chatted about line… one of my favorite subjects!

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We had a great time there and enjoyed meeting  so many fellow quilters. Thanks to the ladies who took great care of us! and the tech fellows who got the pictures on the screen.

It’s good to be back!

Bye for now, Catherine



Happy Christmas!

Thanks so much to everyone who made it to our Open Studio! Elizabeth and I had a great time and the dogs did as well and really, what’s more important than that?

After a complete clean out ( which took a lot longer than it should have!)  the studio was decorated for Christmas

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there were lots of Elizabeth’s  bears and bowls

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even the greenhouse was taken over for the day.

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It seems I had just cleared up and got the studio back into work mode when I had to grab for the shovel. We had a snow day here and lots of it…some love the snow and cold!

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while others prefer to stay inside and avoid the whole situation.

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With all best wishes for a peaceful Christmas ….

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and a creative New Year!


and again! Festival of Quilts opens tomorrow….

and for me that’s  3 openings in the last 2 month’s- whew! that’s a lot of new work.

Thanks to all of you attended the Sanctuary exhibition at the North Shore Community Arts Council, in North Vancouver. The show had a great run and lots of visitors left really kind comments. It’s wonderful to think people enjoyed seeing the work Lynn, Joan and I put together.

The next show to open was Orientation  at the Minerva Arts  in Llanidlloes Wales. Unfortunately I couldn’t be at the opening but there are lots of images on Stephenie Redferns  blog, even one of a new piece of mine, called Black Bamboo that managed to leave my studio without one decent image taken. Thanks Steph! There’s also images on the SiX and Friends site, Linda Kemshalls  blog and even an image of Hilary in full demo mode at the opening on her blog. It looks like everyone had a wonderful time  at the meet the artist event and got treated to a delicious lunch , I’m really sorry I missed it. I will be there on the 23rd of August though- a chance to have a first hand look at the exhibition  while teaching a workshop in the gallery.

It was hot and sunny in Vancouver for all of July, which made quilting a bit of a challenge. It was a bit warm hand quilting in a heat wave! Ned and I managed a number of trips to the river, most evenings actually. He has figured out the very best way to cool down is just to lie down in the water and he will stay there for ages shivering if I don’t call him out.


The water may look lovely but it’s still snow melt and very cold!

All that slightly sweaty work has paid off  – tomorrow Festival of Quilts opens  in Birmingham, England and this year I have the huge honor of having my very own gallery space within the show. It’s all been arranged by my sponsor Mettler threads and today I got to hang the new work that had been keeping me out of the sun.  It’s not a huge space but it is lovely, with white walls and terrific lighting. Not exactly my name in lights, but the quilts show beautifully and really isn’t that what it’s all about?

It looks a bit of a mess at the beginning of the day- OK a lot of a mess!


But as the day wears on everything gradually finds a place and things come together. There are several areas on this years stand, a teaching area, a demo studio and of course the galleries.


Things weren’t quite all in the right place when this image was taken, but this is the demo area of the stand where a new piece of mine “snow white bird” will be hanging out for the duration. This is what I will be teaching in Llanidloes on the 23rd!


And this is a quick ( and not very good!) shot of my gallery, the light was fading and so was I. I promise better images of the show a bit later on… well knowing me, quite a bit later. We are on stand E 40, do drop by and say hello if you’re coming to the show!

Bye for now, Catherine

show time!

It’s finally here- it seems like I have been talking about this show for a very  long time (sorry about that) but all that chat is now a reality!

The show opened  Thursday evening to a wonderful reception- a big thank you to everyone who made it out to the opening and to those who came to the artists talk on Saturday afternoon- it was great to see you all.

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It’s exciting to see your name up in lights- well, actually on the gallery wall in type set, but it is still very exciting!

sanctuary show 025CityScape is a lovely gallery , those big beautiful white walls are a perfect backdrop.

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and we were able to hold the artists talk right there surrounded by our work. It was perfect for  Lynne, Joan and I to chat about the work and where the theme had taken us.

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I am always interested ( and pleased!)  to see how someone else hangs  my work, I really enjoy seeing a different take on the pieces I have been so close to for such a long time. Working with artists who use  media other than textile does give my work a different feel.

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Above is “home”

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and this is “out on a limb” it’s the piece I featured in a blog post a while back…the whole thing is 57 inches wide by 28 inches long, so a bit bigger than it looks.

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and a detail.

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The piece hanging next to Joan’s prints  is called “aerie” and is drawn on cotton organza. It was a bit of a challenge to work on such a sheer fabric but I am really pleased with the results. The wind ( vortexes I was told!) are hand quilted.

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This piece is called ” held together by cobweb” and the little wren who builds his nest in the ferns actually uses cobweb as the building material. Talented little fellow!

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sanctuary show 080To me nests are synonymous with home and the natural next step lead me to homelessness and the costs of housing here in Vancouver- the very, very high cost of housing here.  Which then lead to this quilt,  apologies for the jaunty angle in the image- it really is quite straight.

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sanctuary show 051 - CopyI really enjoyed making these 4 pieces, they are traditional quilt blocks but made using various papers held together with stitch. I used maps of Vancouver, local real estate listings from the newspaper and some of my photo’s of homeless people and the places they call home. There are quotations hand written along the as well.

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Thanks so much for making it to the end of this post, hopefully you haven’t nodded off! There are loads more images from the show and I know the gallery will be posting some pictures of the opening on their website. I’ll let you know when that happens.

Now that’s all done and hanging, it’s on to the next!

Bye for now, Catherine