Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Happy Holidays

Christmas came and went in a flash and in a few short days the New Year will be here and it will soon be time to buckle down and get to work in the studio. The pressure to get class samples is on - I have been avoiding the studio and maybe a break is what I needed. It has been a busy life in my studio. I started my quilt pattern business in 1999 and have worked pretty steady since then. A little time to regroup and refocus is sometimes necessary to get the creative juices flowing again. I was thinking about New Year's Resolutions and I usually don't set many for my personal life but always get a bit excited about what the New Year might bring in my studio life.
My goals for 2011 are:

1. Learn to use my quilting machine.
2. Learn EQ
3. Venture out of the box and create small art quilts with lots of thread play and embellishments.
4. Use up some of the vast amount of fabric, wool, thread etc that I seem to have acquired over the past number of years.
5. Keep up my blog.
6. Write a new book with Christine.
7. Use my camera everyday.

I think that seems like a reasonable list.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Organizing the Studio

Christmas is just around the corner and I decided to get a jump on my New Year's resolution by organizing my studio. I started by ruthlessly getting rid of fabric that I will never use. I even gave away some that I still liked but realized that I don't want to make anything with it and don't have time so it's time to move it out. It absolutely astounds me at how many places you can stash fabric. Every time I opened a cupboard or a rubbermaid bin there was more fabric. I've decided that 2011 will be a year of using up some of my stash. I realize that in my lifetime I will never use everything I have but my plan is to put a good dent in my stash.
Once I eliminated the stuff I didn't want I tidied up my fabric shelves and my fat quarter cubbies. I love the space saver "shoe bins" that you can buy at Canadian Tire. Fat quarters fit perfectly and the bins are stackable. I also put individual projects waiting to be made in those clear plastic zippered bags that linens come in, along with the pattern or book I want to use to make the project. I put all my jelly rolls in one basket and 5" charm packs and layer cakes in another. I took my books and categorized them by subject. I put all my patterns in baskets and also sorted them by subject matter for easy reference. I bought clear divided containers at Michaels to put all my beads, buttons, embellishments etc so now I can easily see where everything is.
Over the past year I have gone through all my magazines, cut out articles and patterns that I thought were interesting and but them plastic sleeves in a binder and then recycled the magazines. I got rid of tons of magazines and condensed them into three binders.
Now I just have to figure out what to do with my threads. Once that is done my studio is relatively tidy and ready for the new year! I can't wait to start a new project! Just think of the mess I can make........

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It amazes me how quickly time passes by. It seems like just yesterday that we were enjoying the February retreat and now the November retreat has come and gone. We spent a wonderful three days at McIntosh Inn in Morrisburg sewing, talking, eating, sleeping, and sharing with good friends. The talent in this group always humbles me. Show and Tell was magnificent as always and I am astounded at the amount of work that gets done in three days. What a treat to have a chunk of time to just create and not worry about the day to day responsibilities of home and family. We are truly blessed.
We welcomed three new retreaters - Kathy, Brenda and Jenny and judging by their comments I think they had a great time. I think it is wonderful how everyone made them feel welcome and within a short time it seemed like we had all known each other for years.
Now for the planning of the February 2011 retreat!!!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Quilt Retreat Feb 2010

What a fun time we had at the February quilt retreat. We had a record number of attendees - 25 in total and the quilt room was a hum of activity all weekend. The weather was absolutely perfect, although we had a blizzard on Thursday and I was a bit worried about what Friday morning would be like. Luckily we woke up to sunshine and mild weather.
The weekend was especially exciting because it was the last weekend of the Winter Olympics so many of the ladies were running back and forth to the foyer to watch the various events.
Thanks to Monique we had 2 massage therapists come on Saturday to give massages and everyone seemed to enjoy that. We didn't have quite enough time to give everyone a massage but hopefully next time we can accommodate everyone.What a treat!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Winter Retreat

The excitement is building and the emails are fast and furious as we prepare for the Winter Quilt Retreat. We have a record number of attendees this time and a waiting list. The retreat is becoming a very popular event. It should be a fun time. Cherice and I plan to get an early start so we can set the room up and make sure everything is in order. I have run this retreat for so many years and I still love going. It is so special to spend a weekend with such wonderful friends and have a chance to catch up on what everyone is doing. I particularly love to see what everyone is working on as the projects are as diverse as the people attending which makes it all the more interesting. I'll take lots of pictures and post them when I get home!

The spring issue of A Needle Pulling Thread just hit the stores this week so be sure to pick up your copy and support this wonderful Canadian publication. Taylor's Sewing Centre has lots of issues available.

I've started planning classes for the fall and am going to have a new Block of the Month which is a wool on cotton project that is so sweet and a Jelly Roll Club which should be fun. I also have a few other surprises up my sleeve so we'll see what I can get done. Donna is going to order lots of new jelly rolls. Can't wait to see what arrives.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Be sure to visit to see some of the new patterns Christine and I have designed. There is a commemorative Olympic quilt pattern and a couple of new designs for Hallowe'en.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

originellie's update

Things in the studio are "heating" up. Christine and I are busy designing some quilts for Northcott, classes at Taylor's are filling up and the February Retreat is just around the corner. For the first time we are completely full and have a waiting list. The word is out and the retreat is becoming a popular event.
Christine and I had a very busy and successful studio tour "A Country Home Christmas". The tour was two weekends and the weather was perfect. We had a really good crowd both weekends. I think I will do it again this year.
Last Friday I had a Quilt til you Wilt night at Taylor's. Everyone was so productive and had a good time, yummy pizza and of course a little bit of chocolate!
The 1000 Islands Quilter's Guild is on Thursday, Feb 25 at 7:00 at Merc Hall in Maitland. Cheryl Swanson is the spotlight quilter so come and show her your support.
I'm already thinking about classes for fall 2010 and am working on a wool applique block of the month and a jelly roll club.