2 down and one to go…

What a busy week! Life moves at great speed when I am here in the UK there is just so much to do. Festival, open studios and teaching are all happening on this trip and I am doing my best to keep up with the schedule and trying to catch up with friends old and new as well.

Edwina and I were at the Bramble Patch in Weedon last Thursday and Friday doing an open studio. We used the time there to work on pieces for the Orientation show, do a little indigo dyeing and have a great time catching up with the visitors.


We had the wet room of the shop and created a display of our work on the walls behind the work tables. Many thanks to Ann and the Bramble girls for their hospitality and to Mettler threads, Edwina’s and my generous sponsor, for the wonderful treats we handed out to visitors.

There was loads of room to spread out and get some work done! and of course all the supplies in the shop in case we needed anything- or thought we might need something. Edwina cooked up some magic and we had an indigo pot going outside , with visitors being invited to dunk a bit of something if they wanted to give it a try. Despite being August it was a cool day and I was shivering when I pulled my hands out of the pot even with rubber gloves on.


Indigo is an amazing process the colour changes during oxidation are truly amazing, I tried to catch the various changes in colour with my camera but….this is as close as I could get.


Lots of the visitors had a go and I think we may even have a few new quilters giving indigo a try for the first time. These pieces look a bit sad in this image they are looking much better now they are washed out and ironed. I just have to figure out the details, but there is a quilt in the works.


We did have a special visitor to the open studio days- he must have crept in during the night but appeared to like indigo just as much as we do. Just a little warning if you’re squeamish you might want to skip over  the next image!


I taught a one day workshop on Pen and Ink techniques on Wednesday at Ineke Berlins amazing studio Littleheath Barn. We spent the day sampling drawing techniques and exchanging  ideas. I was so impressed with the work the students created they take my basic technique and add their own ideas, each students work is just as individual as they are.


That’s Jenny, Jill  and Wendy gathered round to chat about their work at the end of the session, there was some lovely work created and such a productive day!


Just a few more finishing details to go on my pieces for the SiX and Friends Orientation exhibition opening next weekend and then back home to Vancouver,whew!

Back to stitching,

Bye for now, Catherine


one down, a few to go…

Festival of Quilts is finished for another year.

It does feel a bit odd to work so hard towards something and then have it go by in a blur… it seems as if I have just arrived in the UK and yet I’ve been here 10 days already. Festival was great fun, it’s a terrific time to catch up with old friends, make  new ones and see what the entire quilting world has been up to. OK, maybe not the entire quilting world but certainly a big part of it. The event is huge, there are new products introduced , a quilt show of staggering proportions and one of the best shopping opportunities of the year!

This year I was teaching an hour-long workshop each day which doesn’t sound much if you say it fast but it certainly took some time! I met lots of wonderful students, new and old.

Here’s a few images from around the Mettler stand…

I showed a “before” version of the stand in the last post and here’s what it looked like just before we opened.

some were more keen than others to get going!

one of the workshops…

and the amazing machine I was lucky enough to be demonstrating for the run of the show… thanks Bernina!


There were some amazing quilts at the show, far too many to show here but here’s a few favorites and I’ll post a few more in a day or two.

This lovely quilt was made by Hilary Beattie and took 3rd place in the Contemporary category. Hilary is a wonderful textile artist and a fellow member of SiX and Friends, congratulations Hilary!

This quilt was also in the contemporary category and was made by Rita Dijkstra-Hesselink from Holland, I felt like I was being watched every time I went by.

This lovely piece was made by Robbie LePoidevin and not only took second place in the Pictorial Quilts category but was also her final assessment piece for her City and Guilds qualification, congratulations on all fronts Robbie, its brilliant!

This absolutely stunning traditional quilt was the winner in that category. It is hand embroidered, hand applique and hand quilted. And best of all made by Canadian! Deborah Kemball of Quebec.

The workmanship is amazing!

This dramatic piece was made by Barbara Lynn Tubbe from the US and collected a second prize in the Art Quilt category.The quilt makes a really dramatic statement about the forest fires consuming the California Sierra.

One of the highlights for me was meeting Lis from Lancashire, she attended one of my workshops and then dropped by the stand the next day for a chat. It turns out she had made a bag using one of my designs! It was published about 2005 in British Patchwork and Quilting magazine. Here’s Lis with her version of Leap Frog and her wonderful bag.

Great to meet you Lis!

The organizers of  Festival very kindly donated  a gallery space to acknowledge the life and work of Marie Roper… Laura Kemshall has posted images on the SiX and Friends blog and her images say it all.

Edwina and I are off to the Bramble Patch for open studio days tomorrow and Friday. Drop by if you are in the neighborhood and see what we are up to!

Bye for now, Catherine





Greetings from Festival of Quilts!

Well here we are again. After a whirlwind  last few weeks it looks as if everything has come together. I am in England and looking forward to Festival of Quilts 2012!

The last 2 days have been wonderful, catching up with friends and of course getting ready for Festival. I am teaching a workshop a day so have been getting samples and kits ready for the students. I have screen printed one of my drawings onto fabric ( with the perfect shade of slime green) and the students will be experimenting with free motion stitching and a bit of text as well.

One of the best things about screen printing is how quick it is. After I  had all the student handouts and samples done I had an idea for a quilt or at least the beginnings of one. Edwina magically produced just the right piece of black fabric and I printed the panel below. I have the quilting ideas sorted out and plan to be working on it as part of our demonstration this weekend.

It has a way to go yet but I think it’s off to a great start.

We spent today setting up the stand and getting the displays and teaching area all in order. This year brings big changes ( even more changes!) for me. I am so pleased to be an endorsee of Mettler threads and this year I am on their stand at Festival, teaching and demonstrating some of my favorite techniques with my favorite threads. I am working alongside Edwina Mackinnon and we are both enjoying this new endeavor.

This is what it looked like when we started from this morning and it took the better part of the day to get things in order….

I didn’t take an image of the stand all dressed and ready to go, I ran out of steam by the end of the day and completely forgot.  But I am  planning  to take my camera to Festival every day and try to record a bit of whats going on so I can share the images.

If you’re coming to Festival and have a chance to drop by I would love to see you. Stand C-39 is where  I will be for the next 4 days!

Bye for now, Catherine