hit the ground running….

Another whirlwind week has gone spinning by starting with a flight home to Vancouver.

I know this looks allot like an image I posted about a month ago, but really it’s the other end of the trip! This image was taken at Heathrow just waiting for my ride home. I’m back in Vancouver and a little behind with my blogging (and a few other things as well!) It’s  not much of an excuse but I hit the ground running!

This Saturday was the opening of the wonderful exhibit at Basic Inquiry Art Gallery that celebrates the amazing 30 plus year career of Peter Read. Anyone that has done life drawing for any period of time in Vancouver has probably drawn Peter. This group exhibit brought together artists inspired by Peter’s work as a life drawing model.

It was great to see so many drawings of Peters inspired poses. The show is on till the 14th of September if you’re in the Vancouver area.

And today I went to the PNE, that’s the Pacific National Exhibition if you’re not a Vancouverite, to visit an art installation by Elizabeth Harris Nichols ( no relation!)  Elizabeth is involved in Container Art at the PNE, who in partnership with Port Metro Vancouver,  have juried artists into containers. The actual artists aren’t in the containers …. but have created exhibitions in their containers working to the theme of the Port and daily life.

Elizabeth’s installation is titled All that is Golden  and is a visual record  of the grains and seeds  that start out life in Western Canada and make their way to the Ports of Vancouver for distribution world-wide.

Elizabeth and the Farmwurx team created the contents of the container including the center table. The table holds Elizabeth’s beautiful ceramic bowls filled with grain and seed and is surrounded by her paintings and Ally’s photography. It’s impossible not to run your hands through the bowls of gran!

It was great to see the visitors enjoying the exhibit, and since we were at the fair anyway we had to check out a few things….like lunch, yup we did!

and the rides, not a chance!

And a quick visit to the livestock barns on the way out to visit with this beautiful spotlessly clean white oxen.

Bye for now, Catherine


the last of Festival of Quilts…

Even though it seems to take forever to get ready for  and consumes thought and energy for months beforehand, it’s over in a flash! There is so much to see and do in the 4 days that it takes a week of posts to cover it all, or would if I was a more reliable blogger.

These are a few of my favorite entries from around the show…

This lovely rhino was made by Pam Holland he has blue toenails and the best smile I have ever seen on a rhino not that I have seen allot!

This cheerful quilt greeted me every morning as we headed to our stand to begin the day.

It’s all knitted ( with a bit of crochet tossed in) and made by Pauline Law of South Africa. Pauline  mentions she was inspired by the quilts of Gee’s Bend  and has won  a Judges Choice award for her quilt.

The eye-catching piece below is made by a former student of mine!  Herma de Ruiter was inspired by Chinese lanterns to make this quilt. It’s a perfect entry for the guild Challenge this year, the theme was Festival and  Herma won the European Award!

Congratulations Herma!

Marie Roper created this striking figure inspired by jesters and the circus…

There is so much to see at this show, you could spend days there and still miss exhibits, entries or vendors.  But by the end of  Sunday there isn’t much left….except the dreaded orange carpet and a bit of garbage!

Meanwhile back home in Vancouver, (I hear it’s been very warm! that figures since it’s cool and rainy here) Bart is enjoying trips to the river to cool down.

Thanks Ann! from both of us. I’m heading back home to Vancouver on Wednesday, I hope the warm weather will stick around till I get there.

bye for now, Catherine

more fashion and Festival winners

I want to share a little bit more about the fashion show Thursday evening…

The last category of the night was “Art to Wear” and wow! the costumes were amazing, these two were  my favorites of the night, both from the UK team.

and Laura’s outfit of course, check out those eyelashes!

The show finished with a grand finale down the runway all the models together, or as many would fit at one time. The whole event was great fun ….

And the winner is…

This quilt won Best in Show and was made by Janneke de Vries-Bodzinga and is called “Octopussy”. The fabrics are hand dyed cotton and silk and it is free motion quilted. Here’s a close up image  to see the details.

This stunning piece won the Pictorial Quilt category and is also made by Janneke, she must have had a very  busy year!

The miniature winner is this lovely quilt made by Kumiko Frydl, it’s barely 12″ square, hard to believe it could contain all that detail.

The winner of the Quilt Creations category was Stephanie Redfern for her wonderful book The Stone Bird. This is a section of just one of the many pages from the book.  There is more information about Stephanie on her blog along with a picture of her and the winning entry!

More images from the show next time…

Bye for now, Catherine

what a great night!

We are half way through Festival  of Quilts, 2 days down and 2 to go.

Last night was the Fashion Show, actually it was called  Fashion sans Frontieres and was held at the Hilton Hotel just next door to the National Exhibition Center where Festival is held, just outside Birmingham.  The quilt show closed at 5:30 pm  and I scooted across the parking lots to catch up with Linda and Laura at the Hilton. They had been there for the dress rehearsal and were well along with their hair and makeup preparations by the time I arrived.

There were long tables set up back stage for hair and makeup and lots of garment racks set up around the room.  On the hangers there were some amazing dresses

and on the faces some even more fantastic makeup!

There was room to practice modelling  moves before heading out onto the runway and a great chance to get to know the other designers and models.

Linda and Laura did a brilliant job in designing and making their stunning garments and  they did the modelling as well! Both looked amazing on the catwalk. This is Linda modelling the day-wear garment and accessories,

and Laura  modelling evening wear.

There are more images of the show on Linda’s blog and there will be more next post. There is so much to see, I haven’t shown you the Art to Wear category and the finale  of the fashion show. And of course  there will be images of a few of my favourite quilts and exhibitions  from Festival.

Bye for now, Catherine



it’s Festival time!

It’s that time of the year again!Today we set up the stand at the National Exhibition Center in Birmingham, UK . Festival of Quilts 2011 opens tomorrow at 10 am,  ready or not!

We loaded the van this morning and headed down the highway to set up the show. There are so many bits and pieces required to make sure everything looks as good as it possibly can.This is what we start with….

and after several hours of hard work and a bit of trial and error  about what should go where this is what it looks like.

The stand is almost  finished  just a few little touch ups in the morning and we will be ready to go.  While we working hard all day some were back at home taking it easy,  Linda’s cat Toby has mastered the art of relaxation!

talk to you after the show,  Catherine


happy birthday to me…

I had a special treat for my birthday this year, Linda took me to the Burwarton Agricultural show. It was full of things I don’t normally see in Vancouver. There were lots of animals, perfectly combed and polished, there were vegetables matched in sets and loads of interesting displays and demonstrations of just about anything you can imagine.

These sheep had the most amazing colour fleece , sort of “yellowy” gold.

I got up close and personal with a few of them. Apparently every one of the sheep was a bit different, I’m afraid the finer points of sheep were lost on me but they are very photogenic!

The finer points of sheep may have been lost on me but the judges and competitors took the competitions very seriously! It was pouring rain when these sheep were judged, but nobody moved even a hair out of line.

This fellow was keeping a very close eye on me and my camera, he (or maybe it was she?) was so big I could only get this much of him/her in the image.

The importance of the day was lost on some,  in the midst of all the noise and people this fellow managed to catch a nap! It’s a great trick to be able to balance on your nose while you sleep.

When the rain got a bit heavy we made a run for some of the marquee’s. This one was full of perfect vegetables! There was the  longest carrot competition, the best matched cabbages and cakes,  lots and lots of cakes.

We couldn’t believe the size of these cabbages, the big ones weren’t the first prize winners but they were spectacular! very eye catching.

It was a wonderful day and one of the best birthday treats I can think of, thanks Linda! There are a few more images of our day at the fair on Linda’s blog or there will be soon.

Talk to you soon, Catherine




on the road…

It’s that time of the year again, Festival of Quilt’s that is! and that means I’m on the road and heading for Birmingham, UK.

Leaving Vancouver is a bit of a wrench this time the year the weather is finally warming up (at least it was before I left) and there are some wonderful things coming up in my garden. On an evening like this it can be hard to leave such a beautiful place, but it was good to see my ride waiting for me!

Even though it seems to take forever at the time it really isn’t that bad a trip and there were some wonderful views out the window as we approached London. Looks a bit like patchwork doesn’t it?!

After landing there’s the usual scramble with customs, luggage, trains into the city and of course the inevitable jet-lag! This is such a busy place…there is so much going on and so many people, I always feel like the “small town tourist” in London. I stepped out of the chaos for a minute in Paddington Station to catch my breath and take a look  around, what a gorgeous building. Not something I have ever said about a train station before but…it fits!

I know it looks as if the floor is tilting, it isn’t –  I was!  The roof is amazing looking in both directions .

Bye for now, Catherine