I love to dye fabric, make thread pictures and quilt. I live in the Yukon on an acreage with my husband, 2 dogs and 34 fish. It's the 'good' life.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


I have been sick with 'something' and today it was a beautiful, hot day. Hubby said we were going for a short ride on the ATV Razor to see the swans. He said I needed to get out.

The Yukon River is about 5 minutes from our house, and in the spring a lot of swans come to nest in this area. It is fun to see the little goslings. It is still really early in the year, so this trip was more to get me out of the house than anything. But we saw swans!

There is still a lot of snow, which you can see on the far banks. The ice is called caped column crystals and this is the only place we frequent that has ice crystals like this.

Crystals come from these snow fields.

But pussy willows are coming out!

And the clay cliffs are almost dried out although the mountains have a ways to go.

And look at how dry the trails are!

We didn't stay long since I am really not feeling well, but it was worth it. I felt so much better getting some fresh air. We even took Ripley the dog and she had a great time tearing around..

Monday, May 6, 2013

Carcross Class

I am teaching the last class of thread painting for ??  I don't know when I will do another as I need to really work on my OWN muse. I counted the different classes I have taught over the years and was surprised to see that I have taught 27 different class--very few of them were repeats. So I need to take a theme and work on it.

As a farewell (for now), I am teaching at my favorite place with some of my favorite people. Some of you may know my friend Janet from Carcross Caribou Crossing who is also a good friend. She set up these teaching experiences a few years ago and I love this group.

One of the play projects we will be doing is doodling around this leaf. I took this picture of a rhubarb leaf last fall and I love it. I have not completed it, but I love the look of it at this stage. Hmm..sometimes less is more. I may leave it like this.

Nope--I worked on it a bit more, and here it is finished. The colours are true on the pic below.

I was able to get the group a great selection of 'thread embroidery' thread. This is linty and cheap and I love it dearly for thread painting.


The main project will be a pansy from my garden. I think they will like it! Pictures to follow when theclass is over.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

What I am working on


I am having one of those weeks/months. My blog was high jacked by 'anonymous' and I had to add some external security features to wrestle control back. My last post was a test--all is working well. If you can believe it, Blogger actually assisted me in this!

Now that I can post again, I will be adding some stuff. For now, here is what I am working on:

I am doing a 'quilt as you go' with these monster 19" blocks. I had put them away for a year and it was time to work on them. Not my favorite quilt by any means (I did the patches wrong), but will be fine for the couch.

Here is the layout I'm going to use.

This thing seriously took less than a day to get together. I just need to put the blocks together and add a  binding of some kind and its all done. I will do this again AND will do the patches correctly..

And here is the machine embroidered Christmas wall hanging top completed. I like it in blue. Yes, this IS sitting on 4 feet of snow. Yes I DO still have this much snow in  my yard.

And I am putting together this half square triangle quilt. Using all my extra creams and whites and a couple of charm packs I received from Creative Threads. 

Just fooling around with the layout, and this may change by the time I put the top together. 

I have 6 quilts needing to be quilted and my friend Robin has graciously offered to let me come around whenever I want to do them. My goal is to have them all done by June. 

That's it for now! Hope you are all having a great weekend.. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Seriously, it has been how long?

Hello peeps! It has been a long time since I posted and because I don't have sponsors or work for sale and this blog is for my pleasure, I don't even feel guilty about not posting. My last blog died a miserable death because I felt obligated to post weekly, then almost daily. I felt anxiety and guilt if I didn't post something for my very large following. My virtual friends became more important that my real friends--not that I have not made some read "friends" from blogland, I did. And I chat with a number of them I met more 14 years ago online..

Still--I decided to keep my following private on this site so I don't see who follows me. This is more so that I don't feel obligated to post if I don't want to. That means that WHEN I DO POST, I am really happy to share something, or have a real interest in the subject matter.

Later today I have a great post to share about actual thread painting. And I will share this--it is from a pagan ritual of burning an effigy. Here in the Yukon we have it just after the Spring Equinox and this year we held it on March 23. I'll show you some neat stuff from there..

View from my yard 3 minutes ago. Yes, it snowed tons the last 2 days. April 19 and we have this much snow??!!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Cardinal Art Quilt Classes--Done!

I must say I really enjoyed these 3 artsy styled classes that started by painting the cardinal, to embellishing the piece, to finishing it with thread painting. I have wanted to teach this style of class for several years now, so it was very satisfying to see it come to fruition.

Janet's cardinal. Wendy in the background

Because I didn't want to have a closed class, I allowed anyone to sign up who wanted for one, two or all three classes. In hindsight, this was probably not a good idea, but it worked out just fine. People like Wendy (above) just did a smaller piece in the thread painting class. I'll show you her cardinal below. Quite stunning!

Look at those yarn branches!
Close up of Debbie's cardinal 
And this is Debbie. Debbie has never made a quilt and has only been sewing for a few months. I don't even think she has a sewing machine, but here she is creating a fabulous cardinal. The free motion quilting didn't even faze her at all. What a trooper!

Are you having fun?
As a person who is forever hamming it up for the camera, I love a kindred spirit. :-)  If you click on the picture (this or any of my pics), you may be able to see the lovely branches and puffy painted snow. We had a class of Friday, then this final class the next Monday. This was done during the weekend--Gina says it was 'homework'. 

Notice the backing? I always, always suggest using a busy backing piece so that stitching is somewhat hidden when you thread paint all the layers together.  

Metallic threads here were gorgeous.
I could kick myself for not getting a close up of Sarah's cardinal because she used the most beautiful dark red metallic thread for some of her cardinal. Sarah hums loudly-as she is stitching and is not adverse to letting out a resounding screech if she does something good, bad, funny, interesting, odd or just because she is a fun, happy person. 

Look at the concentration!
I felt SO bad for Sara. She brought 2 sewing machines and one would not start and the other would not allow her to free motion. So I let her use my class machine. She was off and running then. I didn't hear a complaint out of her all evening. Now THAT is a great person to have in your class.. 

Catherine made a mini
And what a trooper! Catherine had just flown in from Ontario that day (10+ hours) and was bound and determined to make this class, as work out of town had prevented her from attending the other classes. So Catherine got a mini cardinal and tried her very best to learn the techniques. I hope she soldiers on and finishes it, or tries another one when she is not so tired. I really liked her choice of reds here.

Janet wrestling her piece under the needle
This picture gives a much better idea of the actual size of the cardinal piece. I wanted something big because then people will hang it up. It seems when we do small pieces, under 9", they end up in a pile somewhere. The idea is to fool around with this piece and if you like it, then you have the tools, skills and confidence to continue on. I hope there are some more thread painters born from this humble beginning...

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And last but not least is Karen. I think Karen has been in every class I have taught since she also opens and closes the store. I like to think she takes these classes as well because she likes them. I mean, who wouldn't?? And she is taking her time on this cardinal and has a bet with the store owner that she will finish it.  Thank-you Karen for always being there and taking care of the till and helping me clean up. And your cardinal is awesome!

Oh yah! I was going to show you Wendy's cardinal. Here it is. Bye for now. I will post more often--promise. 

Small cardinal--14" x 8"

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Randomness That Is Me

I have been nominated for the Liebster Award! My friend Janet at Caribou Crossing Chronicles nominated me. Thanks Janet. I have no idea what this is, but thanks anyway.

I was asked to list 11 random things about me. Here we go:
  • I love wearing arm cuffs. The more the merrier. Sometimes they go almost to my elbow.
  • I doodle on everything. When I used to have to spend hours in court, I could fill in pages of stars and flowers and zentangles. I was doing these long before I knew what Zentangles were.
  • I have adored zombie and vampires since I was a teenager.
  • There is nothing better—nothing—than a 1950’s sci-fi B movie. Nothing. Except;
  • The best movie(s) ever made were Peter Jackson’s The Lord of The Rings.
  • I loathe ice cream, and I am not fond of chocolate.
  • I would eat potato chips and pepperoni sticks every day if I could. or anything salty.
  • I cannot ever hear or watch of any form of animal cruelty. If can affect me for weeks.
  • I have never had a cup of coffee in my life. It even smells bad to me. What is it with the coffee, folks?!
  • When I need to concentrate, I put on electronic, house, trance or breakbeat music.
  • Umm…. I am ashamed to admit I love the “Real Housewives” shows. They are so awful my jaw drops in disbelief.
Now I have to answer these questions:

1. Where were you born?  Do you still live there and like it?  If you don't live there would you want to live there again?
I was born in Hinton, Alberta and we moved to Calgary when I was 1 week old. My mother hated this town as it was where my father’s family was from and she was homesick for Calgary, had no friends, and her in-laws disapproved (I was born 5 months after my parents married). So although I was born in Hinton, I grew up in Calgary until we moved to Whitehorse, Yukon when I was 11 years old.
I love Calgary and many of my family still lives there. I would live there again, if I could ever leave my beloved Whitehorse.

2. How many pets have you had in your life time?  Do you have one now?
My family has always had dogs since I was a baby. The only time I have never had a pet was when I was in university. Currently I have my baby dachshund/Chihuahua, age 8 (left) and Fudge, age 16 (right). Fudge was inherited when my mom died 3 years ago. He still loves to play a bit and go for walks when it is warm.
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We also have tons of fish and have recently lost our lovely finches when we had a house sitter. Not that I blame her (ahem..)

3. What is the most unusual place you have visited?That would be the Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I was there for the Thaipusam Festival years ago. It was strange, and scary and so different than anything I had ever seen before. And the cave is huge. There are no words to describe over 1 million devotees pierced and carried up these hundreds of stairs. Google it and see what I mean. I can still hear the monkeys screeching and howling at all of the people there..

4. Do you live in a castle, mansion, house, condo, apartment or tent - or a box on the street?
I live in a lovely 4 bedroom house on 5-6 acres in the city limits.

5. What made you laugh out loud most recently?
I laugh all the time, at silly, silly things. So I have laughed in the last 10 minutes about something. But the belly laugh was an hour ago. It is Mookie’s birthday today I made him a card that has my dachshund sniffing the air saying “Do I smell birthday cake?” and the old dog’s head popping up saying “cake???!!!”. We both laughed at this as my dog’s are mooches.

I laugh at funerals, when old and young people fall down, at silly commercials and funny looking food. Life makes me laugh and I am super immature. Check out my Pinterest picture.  :)

6. Do you wear the colour purple?
Never, ever, ever. I wear black. Maybe some red or blue, but only very rarely. I have always worn black and will likely wear black to my funeral. Ha! I don’t even like purple.

7. Do you tell people how old you are or are you coy about your age?
I used to always lie about my age, but now that I will be 50 this year, I tell everyone I can. I have to say people are usually very surprised as I do not look my age at all (and remember, I am really immature!), so this is fun to do. Here I am with Carol Taylor last fall (I know—she’s my hero!!!), and with my scraggly hair down. I recently cut it to shoulder length.

8. What is your pet name for your most loved one?
Mookie! That is my husband. From an old Jean-Claude Van Damme movie.

9. What is the most favourite thing you have ever made - quilting, knitting, sewing or some other needlecraft?
The quilt I made for my mom was my most loved thing. We had a complicated relationship as she was an alcoholic and I could never see past that to the lady behind the alcohol. While making this quilt, I thought of all of the good, fun things about her and never, ever had a sad or angry thought when I created it. Unfortunately, mom never liked the quilt and it was left folded up behind her couch. When she passed away, my dad asked if he could have it and he sleeps under it every night. And he doesn’t want another one. So it’s pretty special.

10. Do you do crossword puzzles or Sudoku?
Hmm… this is really a piece of trivia. I have a lifetime issue with insomnia. One of the few ways I can sleep is by adhering to strict rituals. This includes listening to my audiobook in the tub while doing crossword puzzles—the word search ones. I do this almost every night and have for 20 years.

11. How many times a year do you wear longjohns?  Do you know what longjohns are? :)
I used to wear long johns all the time, but now I wear ski pants. Warmer, doesn’t get wet and I can take them off if I get too hot.

Probably the longest post I have ever done. Whoo!
If anyone would like to win an award I am to send along, I have a fascinating list of questions for you. Email me and I will send it to ya. Remember, if you accept, you have to answer ALL of the questions.

Update--as I said to Nancy, I don't know 11 bloggers with under 200 members who would want to do this, so I am picking one. And not posting who that is here (yet) so that she can say 'no damn way' if she wants.. lol

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Computer Issues

(Sent from a friend's computer)

Having some problems with Outlook and computer connections. If you have been emailing, sorry if I haven't replied..

Today went to the start of the Yukon Quest dog race from Whitehorse to Eagle Alaska. Here is one picture. It is awesome!!! Look at the dog straining to go, and look at the volunteer smiling. Love this picture..

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Wedding Quilt

Mookie's daughter #3 is getting married in September, the first one I might add out of 4 daughters, and I want to make them a modern but complicated quilt.
I have soooo MANY quilts on my Pinterest site, (with a lot of followers-thank you very much) but I cannot decide on any one quilt.

This is my favorite modern quilt by Ian Hundley (no web site?!), but I think it is too abstract for this (or any) couple.

And I really like this one too, but I have already made a similar one here:

So maybe something like this from The Quilting Edge:

Chinese Coins like THIS one?

Or THIS one--Too White? Too girlie?

I like THIS one too:

And by E. Hartman as well, I like this variation:

Or maybe I should do a scrappy/paper pieced like the New York Beauty like this one HERE?
New York Beauty Quilt
Not very modern, but I like PP.

Still lots of time to decide. What do you all think? What is your choice?? If you want, see what I like on my Pinterest site and tell me which one you like the best. All help appreciated! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Why does my piece pucker??

I was recently asked how to keep a thread piece from puckering so badly when you work it, so I thought I would share the answer here.
There are a few things you can do:
1. Use a hoop. This will keep your work tight and reduce the chance of puckering. Its not the best way, but it works to some extent.
2. My way. I always use 2 things—stabilizer and fusible web.  Here’s how..
I use Pellon Wonder Under in most of my projects. I buy it by the roll and I have 5 rolls ready to go for this year. And I will use it all up. Really! Above you can see I chose an image in a piece of cotton and printed it out. I don’t know if you can see, but the fabric is cut ON THE BIAS. This also helps keep the puckering and waves to a minimum.

Then I peel the back of the Wonder Under off, and iron on a piece of stabilizer, like the one below. Iron the stabilizer to the Wonder Under, not the front of your piece. (seriously, people have done this in my class).
stabilizer I don’t know if this helps, but this is not a really thin, nor a heavy duty stabilizer—its medium? I buy it on a roll and I'm sorry, I don’t know who makes it. It tears easily and adds just the right amount of stability. Iron this on and then trim it all so no stabilizer or fusible web is dangling over the piece of fabric.

And THAT is how you make a piece that will hardly pucker or buckle or warp or flock or anything when you do intensive machine stitching on it. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bird Embroidery Quilt

I have been making the Redwork Winter Twitterings  quilt "my way". That is, I do not do hand embroidery, so I did these pieces by machine. I used a 12 weight thread and I think it turned out nicely.

Here are all the pieces on the wall. This is pretty close to the actual blue I used.

Colour corrected

As can be seen, I decided to do this in blue instead of red as my house is more blue and silver at Christmas.

I actually think this was the easy part. Now onto making the pieced blocks!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Good Book

This Christmas I gave 4 of my good friends this book- "All I Did Was Listen" by Rachel Awes. I won't say it was earth shattering or changed my life in any way, but it is a wonderful book. I am not getting paid by Ms Awes to promote her book, nor do I have a give away. I just wanted to share something that I really enjoyed.

Here is the introduction (from Rachel's blog):

And another couple of sharings with her funky artwork:


Anyways, not much of a post, but I wanted to share this wonderful book with you all. Now back to work for me!