Monday, June 29, 2015

Journeys and Inspirations - Day 8

My husband is a travel doctor which means that he specializes in travel medicine and tropical diseases and counsels his patients on how to stay healthy when they travel.  As a result, we were both bitten by the travel bug and like to travel a lot.

Nothing is more thrilling to me than to see some of my patterns in other countries.  Therefore, it was a huge thrill for me to have one of my designs included in the first issue of Simply Moderne by Quiltmania.

Click on the link above to see a preview of the magazine.

My quilt is under the "Its Summer" heading and is called Travel Bug.  A picture of one of the suitcases in the quilt is on the last page of the preview.

The English version of this magazine goes on sale in early July.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Journeys and Inspirations - Day 7

I took these pictures in my garden this morning.  We moved to a new house last year at the end of the summer.  The previous owners were dedicated gardeners and it is so much fun seeing what comes up.  Thank goodness my husband has rediscovered his love of gardening because there is lots to do.

 Flowers are a huge inspiration to me in my quilt designs.  When I first see a new line of fabric, I look to the fabric design itself first for inspiration.  I often focus on a particular element in one of the prints and design a quilt around that element.

Very often that element is a particular flower.  There are some pattern designers who do incredibly detailed applique of flowers like McKenna Ryan.  I love her designs which are truly amazing works of art and I used to carry her patterns when I had my stores.  In order to create such detail, the patterns are made with fusible web and usually batiks that do not fray.  The applique shapes are often too small to finish the edges with your machine.

My floral designs tend to be larger which give you the option of turning the edges of the fabric or using fusible, if you prefer that method.

 The quilt to the right is called "Blue Rhapsody".  The applique flowers on this quilt are very large and easy to work with.  This is one of my favorite quilts and it features "Spa" by Deb Strain.

Click here to view this pattern on my website.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Journeys and Inspirations - Day 6

This summer is full of weddings.  I guess we are getting to that age when all of our nieces and nephews and kids of friends are thinking of tying the knot.  Our daughter is busy getting ready for an afternoon outdoor wedding.  It's very hot today in the high 30's which translates to 90's so hopefully they can find some shade!

I have just finished designing 5 new patterns using Deb Strain's new fabric line which is not due out until the end of the year.  It is a combination Valentine's Day/Wedding Line.  It's a bit early to show but I will show you a sneak peek of one of the patterns called "Get Me to the Church".  Deb's fabric is not available for me to make a sample so I am going to make it up for a couple of the weddings we are attending this summer in a different line.  I will show you when it is finished.

It is extra wide for cuddling.  I am putting "Fireside" on the back to make it extra cozy.

I am now heading out for lunch with my daughter then off to see Canada play England in the Women's World Cup quarter finals.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Journeys and Inspirations - Day 5

Today is our youngest daughter's Prom.  In our small town, that is their Grad dinner and dance where they get all dressed up.  Boy they grow up fast.  Next year we will only have one child in High School and three in University.  Better write more patterns because that is a lot of tuition!

I designed a quilt that never made it off the drawing board which had a bunch of fancy dresses on it.  Maybe I will get back to it some day but it morphed into my pattern called "Heels".  The pattern calls for black and grey fat quarters (I used Basic Grey - Little Black Dress) and bright fat quarters (I used High Street by Lily Ashbury).  I absolutely loved both those fabric lines and the result was this fun girly quilt.

Click here to see it on my website.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Journeys and Inspirations - Day 4

Here is my clan at yesterday's Women's World Cup game in Vancouver, BC.  From left to right, Tom (my daughter Dani's boyfriend), Holly, Peter, Dani, Darin and Joey.

It was an awesome way to spend Father's Day for our soccer crazed family.  And, even better, Canada beat Switzerland 1-0 and advances to the quarter finals.

We will know later today whether Canada plays England or Norway.

Tom is from England so we are hoping that England makes it through as it will make for a very exciting and competitive match both on and off the field.

I have not designed a soccer themed quilt but it will happen one day.  In anticipation of next Saturday's potential match up, I present my Flower Power quilt. When I saw this fabric line "Lulu" by Chez Moi, it immediately reminded me of the 1960's and hence the flowers and peace signs - and the British Flag to represent the British Invasion by the Beatles, Rolling Stones and all the other amazing rock bands that came out of the UK.  It also reminded me of one of my favorite movies "To Sir with Love" starring Sidney Poitier.  The movie's theme song is performed by "Lulu".

Tom is a bit of traditionalist and wasn't interested in my pink British Flag even though I offered it to him to hang in his apartment.  Oh well, I like it and I hope you do too. Click here to check it out on my website.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Journeys and Inspirations - Day 3

Happy Father's Day!  This is me and my Dad.  He is 87 this year and he has been a wonderful father. My mom passed away two years ago so all special occasions seem a bit bittersweet without her there, especially for my dad.  They were married for 60 years.

In about an hour my husband, our 4 children and our daughter's boyfriend Tom, are driving into Richmond to have lunch with Dad and my sister and her family.  Dad lives with my sister and her husband and I am very grateful for the awesome care they are providing him.

In the late afternoon we are driving into Vancouver to see the Canadian women's soccer team take on Team Switzerland in the Women's World Cup Round of 16.  We (my husband, our children and Tom) are huge soccer fans and hopefully we will end our day happy after Canada's win (fingers crossed).

This quilt is called Lakeside and it reminds me of my dad. My grandparents purchased 11 acres on a lake in the interior of BC in the 1940's for 50 cents per acre.  My dad and his brothers built a two bedroom cabin on it and we spent all our summer vacations there.

So this is my Father's Day quilt.  Click here to see this on my website.

Have a great day with your dad, your husband, son or any great guy in your life!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Journeys and Inspirations - Day 2

Meet my dog Banjo.  He is a 6 1/2 month old Labradoodle.  Last night we decided to let him sleep in the family room instead of his kennel.  Big mistake.  He obviously ate something that did not agree with him and let's just say, it wasn't the most pleasant thing to wake up to.

He is my inspiration of the day, however, to show you a quilt I designed a couple of years ago that kind of looks like him. The pattern is called "Go Fetch" and it is available in blue version and in a scrappy plaid version. The quilts are also included in my book "Room by Room Quilts" as Joey's Quilt.

These are the pictures from the book which are way better than my own.  One of these days I am going to learn how to use my husband's camera.

Here is the link to the blue version and the link to the plaid version.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Journeys and Inspirations - Day 1

Where Women Create

One of my favorite magazines is called "Where Women Create" published by Stampington & Company's Somerset Studio.
 It comes out 6 times per year and features the studios of artists who use a variety of genres to create their craft.  If you ever need inspiration to keep creating, it is a great source for ideas and I have learned a lot reading about other people's journeys through the creative world.  One of the first and most useful things I have learned is that trying and failing are part and parcel of the creative process and that you can't let failure or the fear of failure prevent you from trying and trying again.  Fear of failure keeps us in our comfort zones and prevents growth and development of our art and of ourselves, in general.

Artful Blogging Magazine
Soooo, blogging is a fear of mine that I have decided I will try and conquer.  I grew up in the generation where talking about yourself publicly was not encouraged.  Self-promotion, especially for women, was considered in bad taste and not socially acceptable.  I cringe every time I take a selfie on my phone.  However, in this day and age, communicating with your creative audience has become a necessity and I will step out of my comfort zone to attempt just that.

Another awesome publication from Stampington & Company is called "Artful Blogging" which features the stories of various bloggers and how they came to do what they do.  I read one article which made suggestions about how to find your voice and what to write about.  I am a quilt pattern designer so I obviously want to write about that but more importantly I wanted to somehow connect the posts with more than what I have just designed and what is available in my online store (in other words, how can I show my stuff without obvious self-promotion)

And that is when I came up with the idea of Journeys and Inspirations.  We are all a product of our life experience.  Good, bad and/or ugly, our life experience colors how we see the world and what we create as a result.  My blog is going to be about more than my quilt patterns.  It is going to be about my little part of the world and how the journeys of my life have inspired my art.

I am going to spend 1/2 hour each morning, unless life gets in the way, to organize my thoughts and make a post.  Given the short time I am allowing myself, the posts won't be long but I am hoping my commitment is realistic.  Hope to see you often.