Sunday, 22 March 2015

Ricky Tims

Some of you will remember that I posted about this event last year and it is getting closer and closer . . .

 . . . and the deadline is fast approaching.  March 28th is the end of early bird registration - after that the registration fee is $224.00.

The Ricky Tims organization has got this all planned out and it will be an amazing opportunity for both Canadian and U.S. residents in this corner of the world to participate in this world class event.  Everything from dorm rooms, the meal menu and hotel listing in the area, can be found on the Ricky Tims website.  Well, I guess maybe some of it you find out after you register, but let's just say that everything is in a really nice neat package for registrants.

AND, if you have never been to the International Peace Gardens before - you are in for a treat!!!  This location is AMAZING!!!  The gardens, the buildings, the views, the conservatory - it is worth a trip all by itself, but then add in Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson - it's just going to be a wonderful experience - I AM SO EXCITED!!!!

If anyone has any questions about attending please let me know and I will try and find the answers for you.

So in honour of having Ricky coming to see me (I know - just a little selfish on my part!), I ordered up the Lady of Shalott kit a few months ago and I have been working diligently (off and on) to get this project put together.

Let me just say that the video tutorials and the pattern instructions were wonderful.  What was lacking was my time . . . this seemed to take me FOREVER to get put together to the point of having all of the pieces ready.


The other morning, before work, I got everything all laid out on the floor to see how it looked now that the appliqué was done.  Looked pretty good I thought, and Tia even showed up to inspect each element of the design to make sure that everything was where it should be.

Unfortunately, so it turns out, I must have had something amiss somewhere . . . some of the pieces were not quite to her liking and some rearranging needed to be done . . .

. . .  actually, quite a bit of rearranging.

This is a Tia Maria Biles original.

Whiskey also showed up for a quick review of Tia's work and then they started chasing each other up and down the hallway.  Nothing like messing with a quilt first thing in the morning to get the humour going.

I don't think Ricky Tims would be too impressed with the new layout . . .

Quilt Studio

Yes . . . I am still working on my studio . . .

This is what it looked like from the outside last Fall and it still looks pretty much the same except that Hydro service has now been brought in and the grass isn't green just yet.  The porch interior wall will have painted vertical pine boards, the screens will eventually be installed, the posts will be built out and we are still researching what type of brick/stone type of application to use for the exterior.  And then some landscaping . . . rocks, flowers, shrubs . . . who knows!

This was the view out of one of the windows a few weeks ago - the snow is now gone and the window trim has been installed.  Hubby even got the window treatments installed on Friday!

I have always loved yellow, so that is the color that I went with to brighten my space.  White would have been too stark; cream sometimes just looks like dirty white and if you get any shadows it just doesn't look that great; and I was scared that any other color might make the space look smaller than it is.  I love my yellow walls . . . it is going to be such a happy place to create in!

There is still the one baseboard that needs to be put on once the door frame is all built out and trimmed.  There are tons of plug ins and the lighting is fantastic - I should never be lacking in either of these two departments.

The flooring is amazing - I love the tone and the feel of it, and with the in-floor heating it is especially wonderful.  I will really appreciate that come next winter - it is so cozy!

Hubby is going to make custom cabinets for the space once he retires but that will not be for a couple of years yet, so I will be bringing bits and pieces of furniture from my current space to use.  I have only brought out a small table, a clock and a few wrought iron decorative pieces so far - just to make it "look" like I'm moving in.

With work issues right now and Quilt Market and Ricky Tims in May, I don't think that I will get organized any time soon.  Maybe I can take some time off in June to get things rolling . . . so very sad . . . after waiting so long, I have to put things off, and off, and off . . .

I am really looking forward to Quilt Market and Ricky - so May cannot come soon enough!

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Upcoming Events . . .

Well once again it has been quite some time since I have updated my blog.  Oh my . . . how busy can one’s life get!!  Between some other commitments and that wonderful “career” that I have – things just kept piling up and the poor blog was one of many things that have had to suffer.

Then when I did get around to posting, my Windows Live Writer decided that it didn't like my password any more so I spent two weeks trying to figure that out - it's still not resolved!  So I copied everything I typed over there into the blogger posting . . . sure hope this proves more friendly than it used to be.  Although it couldn't be any worse than the Live Writer right about now!

Here are a few events that have either just recently passed (thanks to Live Writer!), or are still up and coming in the next month or two.

Even though this event wasn't in Manitoba, but in neighboring Saskatchewan, I just wanted to mention that these gatherings of artistic minds are wonderful to see.  This particular show ended last weekend and I know by all the reports that it was certainly something to see.

I was contacted many, many months ago about submitting some of my quilt designs so that they could be considered in this event and I was tickled pink to send all kinds of design files for consideration.

My “Down on the Farm” quilt was chosen as part of the exhibit in Saskatoon and it is joined by many other awesome pieces of quilted, embroidered, rug hooking and other fiber art pieces.  What a thrilling opportunity this was and what an undertaking for everyone involved.  Great job!

And then in April is the Crocus Conference in Winnipeg – this is  the second one that myself and Sheila will attend and teach at under our As The Crow Flies Quilting Workshops umbrella.

No. 5 above shows a snippet of our little project – it’s a mystery, so that is all you get to see!  So I’ll be off to Winnipeg in April for this one day workshop . . . it was super fun two years ago (they only do this every second year), and I know we won’t be disappoint this year either.  It is wonderful to meet all the ladies in the Winnipeg area and all of the Manitoba artists and teachers as well.

And then even more exciting (for me at least!), is that I have my registration in and my hotel booked for . . .

It's been a long nine(?) years since I've been able to get to Market and it only rolls around to Minneapolis about every four years.  So I am making the commitment to get there this year and learn a few things in preparation for retirement - in 3-4 years (so hubby says!).  I'd like it to be much, much, much sooner and the inspiration and creativity of quilt market may just throw me over the edge sooner than later.

This show is in mid-May . . . actual days before Ricky Tims comes to the International Peace Garden.  I'll have more about Ricky in the next post - I promise!

Thank you for visiting my unattended blog while I was away and it is certainly my plan to not be gone for as long this time.  I do have a couple more events that are coming up and I’ll be back to update you soon.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Little Quilt and Studio Progress

I’ve been busy stitching away here in my little basement . . . it’s hot outside and it’s nice and cool down here – wonderful little spot to create . . . for now.

I still need to do some embroidery on this little piece – up in the upper left corner it’s going to say “Memories are stitched with . . .” and then of course the “love” still needs to be appliquéd down.  Binding is a nice striped blue and I think will really finish the piece.  This was all made with scraps from a Drunkard’s path quilt I made a few years ago – very vintage and old-fashioned prints, but so cheerful :0))


Progress is being made on our little building project -


the roof and shingles are all on now and we’re expecting another load of building supplies tomorrow.


I am so excited about the screened in porch area – the mosquitoes have been exceptionally bad in all areas of Manitoba this year, and, in my opinion, have been increasing in numbers over the past ten years.


We’re still ironing out exactly how the porch is going to look – skinny posts, wider posts, etc., etc.  I’m sure I’ll be happy as long as it has screens in it!!!  The porch will be facing West (towards my garden) and even in the late afternoon there is only dappled sunlight that is hitting on it – the trees create a canopy of sorts and make this a wonderful cool spot to sit and relax.


This is the view towards the back of the house from the porch – I’ll still be able to see anyone coming towards the studio and know if there are any problems at the house.  We will have to find some stepping stones or something to create a walkway between the two buildings – the grass isn’t going to stand up too much longer!


I’ve already told my husband that my space isn’t big enough and that I need to confiscate his workshop . . . doesn’t look like that will be happening anytime soon from the response I got.

Once that interior wall goes up (where the eight foot rafters are), my new space will be about 16’x18’ – double what I currently have, but . . . more space is always good!

I’m busy pouring over cabinet designs trying to create storage that will make the best use of the space without overwhelming it – cutting table with extensions and mounted on wheels so that it can be moved around plus storage underneath; lots of bookcases and storage along that back wall where the ladder is; large ironing surface with a flip-up extension and drawers; and the list goes on.  All of these will be custom built by my husband eventually – may be a couple of years before that happens so I will be making do with my mish-mash of what I currently use for a while.

I did opt to give up the six feet for the front porch so that I could spread out into that space  in the summer months and enjoy good weather.  I mulled over that decision for months, but eventually decided that a screened in space would be worth giving up studio space for.  Sure hope that was the right decision!!

I will still have my little space in the basement of the house to store some of the larger quilting items that I don’t use all of the time.  Who knows, maybe I’ll win the lottery some year and my Gammill long-arm can go down there :0))

Ricky Tims’ Super Quilting Seminar update:  Things are moving forward – his administration has made contact with the various quilt shops/guilds/groups in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and North Dakota.  They will be receiving information on the seminar so that they can pass on the information to all of their customers and members, so that no one will be left out.  Registration will likely open up sometime around the first part of September – it’s so hard to wait when all we want to do is get our name registered and on the list!!!

May, 2015 seems like such a long wait . . .

Patience is a virtue I’ve been told!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Ricky Tims is Coming North!!!

Announcement Photo

Needless to say, we have had an amazing week and the response has been overwhelming!

If you or your guild are anywhere within driving or flying distance of the International Peace Gardens, and would like more information, please send me an email at: and I’ll try and answer all of your questions.

This is still really fresh news and there are still lots of details that will be decided in the coming weeks, so please be patient.

Having a quilting celebrity (or two or three!) come this close to Canada is causing quite a stir in these parts . . . we are sure that there are some very excited people on the other side of the border in North Dakota as well.

I’ll try and keep everyone posted of some of the details as they are sent our way - registration has not yet opened for this Super Seminar.

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Dream Studio Construction Underway!


As in many construction projects, trees needs to be sacrificed.  In the grand scheme of things we were pretty lucky to have to only remove three trees.  Our yard is covered with 40 – 50 oaks, so when choosing our building site we located it where the least amount of trees would need to be removed.  I love my trees!  Except when it’s time to rake all those leaves . . .


Tia is supervising all of the plans and most of the construction – her attention to detail is amazing and if things aren’t going quite right she lifts that big right paw and threatens a cuff on the ear!


All of the forms and compacted gravel are in place . . . that little jog there is where my screened porch will be.  I’m hoping that I won’t regret giving up 6’ of my sewing space for this porch, but after trying to do construction with all of the mosquitoes, I’m thinking it will be the right decision in the long run.  There is nothing worse than a lovely summer day and you can’t enjoy it because of the mosquitoes – at least now we can still sit out and be somewhat protected from these blood-sucking monsters.


Next up was the insulation, rebar and water lines for the in-floor heating . . .


then it was time for the cement to be poured . . .


then my back wall and side wall . . .


then some more walls.

I have been plugging away on a few quilting projects at the same time -


another gift quilt for a friend . . .


a sample for the Migrating Geese workshop that we did back in June and of course preparing for the upcoming Fall season . . .

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our Dresden Tea Party workshop scheduled for October 25 and 26th in Brandon, Manitoba.


We are offering many different versions and techniques for making the Dresden and registrations have been pouring in.


I’ve always loved the Dresden and there are now so many options for making this beautiful pattern that I’m torn as to which one to make . . .

Oh, please come back and visit soon . . . I will have some breaking news for a big “EVENT!!!!” coming in 2015 . . . stay tuned!