home again…

and there are all the usual things to catch up with!

The garden is in production mode right now, lots of tomatoes, potatoes and plums! which means jam, batch after batch of plum jam.  Its hot work right now but I know I will be glad of it come the winter time.


I planted some sunflower seeds this spring and have been waiting and wondering for what feels like ages. I couldn’t resist the picture and promises on the seed packet, which happens a lot and is probably why I end up with loads of veg at this time of year. These have lived up to their billing!


They are planted against the wall of the studio and peeking out the window I can look down on them (that how I got this angle) they are well over 5 feet tall and have the most amazing faces.


I arrived home in time this year for a visit to the Pacific National Exhibition. A wonderful fair here in Vancouver, that includes pig races (honest!), livestock displays, rides and all sorts of foods you shouldn’t eat but can’t resist.  This year one area of the park , trees and all, had been yarn bombed!




Sorry the images aren’t the best, it was really dark in there!

One of the best things about living where I live is being close to Vancouver harbour. We are close enough that Ned and I can walk along the boardwalk whenever we feel like a “city walk” , it’s a real change from our usual river walk. What a wonderful treat to see the tall ship B. E. Cuauhtémoc in the harbour, she’s a stunning sail training ship from Mexico and looked gorgeous against the Vancouver skyline.


The rigging was incredible and so high! I can’t imagine having to scramble around up in there.


It made me dizzy just looking up.



It’s a nice change of pace from our usual walk along the river, but getting back to the river was one of the best things about being home.


Another best thing (can you have several best things?) was opening the letter that informed me my submission for the upcoming exhibition, Wonderland was accepted!


The  opening is Thursday evening September 18th from 7 till 9 pm. Hope you can make it!

Bye for now, Catherine




a little more Festival and some amazing forests….

I promised to post a few more images of Festival and thought you might like to see a few of the winners.

Mettler threads, who I am thrilled to be an educator for,  is the sponsor of the Best in Show category. This year’s winner, Eloquence and Integrity was made by Ruth Parker of the UK.


and here’s a detail…..


It’s a stunning piece and two-sided. Congratulations Ruth!



Above is  “Poor and Rich” by Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga, who won the Pictorial category and below The Good Life by Phillipa Naylor won in the Traditional category.


The colours are something I wouldn’t have thought of but I love the combination, I smiled every time I walked by.


The stunning quilt  below is made by Kathy Wylie of Ontario, Canada, it’s called Flourish on the Vine. The appliqué is brilliant! Kathy didn’t win anything in the judging but did take the overall Visitors Choice award for the show.




A few days after Festival closed and the clean up was all done ( or mostly done)  Edwina Mackinnon and I headed for Coles Sewing Centre in Nottingham for a Mettler day. We spent some time talking about the work we do and how we do it and then led the students in a Forest Landscape workshop. The workshop is inspired by west coast artist Emily Carr, one of my favourites.


We did lot of chatting about trees and things west coast and then encouraged everyone to create their own version. The ladies came up with some wonderful interpretations of Emily Carr’s style.





Thanks to Rose and Neil and the rest of the staff at Coles for their hospitality, we had a great day. It’s was a bit of a drive but there were some wonderful sights along the way. Sorry the image is a bit blurry, it was taken from a moving car on the motorway. No! I wasn’t driving.



Bye for now, Catherine

another Festival come and gone…

Maybe it’s part of getting older but time is flying!

I am trying to convince myself the reason it barely seems like a year has passed since the last Festival of Quilts is  because I am busy and happy doing what I’m doing, but that’s not working very well. Festival of Quilts 2014 has come and gone. There were lots of amazing quilts in galleries and competition, lots of visitors, a chance to see old friends and make new ones, and even a few treats to bring home.

Mettler threads had a great stand this year we had lots of room even though it was about the same size as last year we had a new layout. There was a designated workshop area for students, all set up with the sewing machines ready to go…


….a demo area  for the educators to show what they we are working on and share ideas…

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…..and gallery space to exhibit quilts. Sorry about the jaunty angle on the photo but the hall was a bit narrow to get all 3 quilts in one image.

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It doesn’t get much  better than that! Festival of Quilts is always a busy 4 days but this year seemed even busier, if that’s possible.

This is what the halls look like when we arrive in the morning, before the show is open to the public….

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and then it looks like this for the rest of the day!

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There was so much to see and not much time to do it in but I did get around after the show closed and checked out some of the galleries and the competition quilts, here’s a few that caught my eye.


A peek into Ann Johnston’s gallery The Contact- Quilts of the Sierra Nevada.

Art Textiles: Made in Britain is a new group that includes friends Ineke Berlyn and Edwina Mackinnon.

This in Ineke’s work…


and Edwina’s …along with a very happy ( and remarkably perky for that hour of the morning)  Edwina!


There is so much to see at Festival it can be a little overwhelming, I go round the show with my camera after it’s closed or before it opens, which is why the lighting in some of these images might not be the best.

Here’s a few more images of the show, just a few of my favourite things…. some with credits and some not (sorry about that!)

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I love the little snail in the top right hand corner sneaking off the quilt. This one was in the Russian Quilt Gallery.




This beautiful free motion, thread painted bowl was  one of the  Judges choice in the Quilt Creations category, it’s called Splash and was made by Linda Turner.


This stunning clock made by Kate Crossley is nearly 6 feet tall and yes, it works! I couldn’t resist a few images of the details around the “cabinet”.







And one more from the Russian Quilt Gallery.


I’ll be back soon with more images,

Bye for now, Catherine


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!