Wednesday, 23 March 2016

More Precious Than Gold, Worth More Than All the Tea in China

After the birth of my third grandson, I started campaigning--hard--for a girl baby. We were so lucky to have the babes we had but there were not going to be any more. So why not go to China and get one of those girl babies, they were giving them away!!
I found a little silk outfit and bought it and kept it in the closet-until we needed it.
When our quilting group celebrated our twentieth anniversary, the year of china, we offered a challenge to make a quilt with China as the theme. This quilt was just waiting to be made.

The jacket, vest and hat were appliqued onto a piece of ikea fabric that I quilted in a grid fashion.

Then I made the Chinese coins segment. Its a traditional quilt block. I uses fabrics that had a bit of gold printing.
Then I made several blocks from Kaffe Fassetts book. They are rice cups to Kaffe, but I wanted tea cups.
And that is how the quilt got its name.
More Precious than Gold, Worth More than All the Tea in China.
As I was making the quilt, I thought a lot about the whole idea of giving all of these little girls away. Just because they were girls. I am the mother of two girls. How do you just give her away. How does a country sanction, even force this to happen. Do they long for their long lost daughters?
I have no idea how many daughters were removed from the country, but I am sure that it changed the face of the country.
There are just so many issues on the whole adoption theme. The giving and the getting changes lives forever.
I know that the life of the girls was changed-and I am sure that it was for the better. A life in a new family, who cherished them, with all of the opportunities in North America is surely better than where they would have been if they had remained in China.

I didn't get the girl baby. But I did get three beautiful grandboys. I am over it.
How lucky can one woman be!!

Monday, 14 March 2016


My little sewing group had a challenge to make a traditional quilt from a book that we have in our library. I have forgotten the nameright now.  I  will find it and name it. Although I am not very fond of doing traditional quilts, I am very fond of challenges. I decided that I could make a traditional quilt-but make the quilt my own.
I have a fondness for black and white fabrics and had a lot of them in my stash. I decided that I would use them and some red that I had, too.
I seem to have a lot of trouble following directions. It was not easy to assemble the blocks in the manner of the pattern, but I did it and was one of the first ones finished!!  I like to put a surprise colour on the binding. In this case I used a little bit of flame pattern for a small border, then a black and white border and a binding of turquoise blue!! Just my style.
Not in any kind of a hurry to do another one.
Thanks for stopping by.

Still not that fond of tradition.

Monday, 7 March 2016


I went to Spain last night.  No not really-I went to the cinema for a documentary about Goya.

Michelle Karch Ackerman Installation in Grimsby

I went to the Grimsby Ontario Art Gallery today to see the installation retrospective by Michelle Karch Ackerman. I have been a fan for several years and had seen two previous shows. I was especially interested in seeing the Lost Margaret pieces. I was not disappointed.
These are christening gowns that were made for babies who died before they were christened.
There are three very long gowns, soiled by the earth and floating above many small babies.

In the center of the room, curtains made of hankies, doilies, dresser scarves enclose a small dresser  filled with clothing from the past.
This was work from an artist residency in a hospital and speaks to the confinement of people afflicted with tuberculosis.

On another wall are many tiny knitted sweaters, aged by time (and tea) hung on sticks.

They are commemorating the lost boys from the Battle of Beaumont Hamel during the First World War.

The First Newfoundland Regiment suffered overwhelming losses in this battle. Seven hundred men were wounded or killed from the regiment of 801 men.

 The artist invites knitters to contribute to the wall of sweaters by knitting a sweater for the collection. Read about it here.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

The Day the Deer came to Visit

We often sit in the living room of my daughter's home and watch the deer eating apples from the old apple tree on the hill.
One autumn afternoon we were in the living room and we heard a loud crash in the kitchen. We all ran to the kitchen and were surprised to see a big buck had pushed in the screen and was helping himself to an apple out of the bowl on the counter.
He lifted his head when he saw us, and reached down into the bowl to get another apple.
With a twist of his head, his antlers were free of the window frame. He sauntered away into the woods without looking back.
I knew that was a quilt in the making!!

I have had the black and white prints in my stash for a long time. I used them to make the walls of her house.
The deer pattern is from Luke Haines-a freebie on the internet. The landscape pic is one that I took in the neighbourhood.

The apples came from a Jane Sasaman print that I had recently purchased. The bowl is a Japanese print. The ribbon came from,

Thanks for stopping by!!


Pages from my Book

Just a few pages from my book about the Regional Art Project

If you would like to see the Regional Art Project, go to the Niagara Region offices on Schmon Parkway in Thorold, Ontario.
The project was undertaken in 2014 when the Niagara Region was celebrated as the cultural capital of Canada for its role in the War of 1812.
A series of photographs from the area were selected and interpreted by various artists.