Time Passages – Sept. CDA’s

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Well what could be better than the subject I chose for my September CDA’s – The White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland with my favourite quote “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date”. You have to admit I have fulfilled the quote nicely as it is the 17th of November as I write this.
I like months that have 30 days in them for the purpose of these CDA’s. I do a large piece and then cut it into 30 – 2 ½” X 3 !/2″ pieces. That is perfect for getting a sense of the success of both a larger composition and the smaller ones. The smaller pieces are mostly line and one can apply principles of balance, see where there is movement and generally get a sense if the small pieces are successful as a stand alone composition. They can then be used to inspire an abstract piece.
I was surprised to find that the drawing I used as on the Internet and listed as being in the public domain. I then enlarged it, added the writing and then outline stitched in black thread. I used my Inktense pencils to add colour. Where I didn’t want the pencils to run I outlined each piece in white as suggested by Anna Hergert. For places where I wanted a softer outline, for example grass and the fur on the rabbit I just drew the lines and as you can see they feathered out nicely once water was added. The last technique was to use the pencil to create the sense of grasses and by applying water in the same way they filled in the grass nicely while still given the impression of line.
My last word on September CDA’s is “Better late than never.”

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Fall Morning in Edmonton

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It is October and the weather here is still beautiful for the mid autumn.   I am fortunate enough  to live close to the river valley and a neighbour and I walk in the valley several times a week.  When we start at 7 AM these days it is very dark and a wee flashlight helps guide us.  By the time it is 8 AM and we are completing our circuit it is light. The dark pictures show the downtown from a pedestrian bridge and the lighter ones reflect the west part of the circuit as we come up the hill just behind the Old Timers Cabin and it gets nearer to 8 AM.

The Edmonton river valley is beautiful, particularly in fall.  We have access to a great and extensive network of trails.  They are used by walkers and bikers with many using it as a transportation corridor to work. Currently there is a pedestrian bridge across the North Saskatchewan river that makes it a great commuting route to down town.  Unfortunately our city is planning to destroy the bridge to make way for a new Light Rapid Transit (LRT) line.  We will all miss it and Edmonton will be the loser as another city goal is to make the city core more accessible by bike commuters.

Our river valley is home to some people, – both individuals and families.   As these pictures were taken our city is in the process of doing a count of homeless people.  We have done much to alleviate homelessness in Edmonton.  However increasing numbers of new arrivals, increasing rents and lack of adequate services for the mentally ill or those with addictions are making it a challenge to meet our goals in eliminating homelessness.  It would be interesting to hear how other cities are moving to support people in the eradication of homelessness,

We  have a wonderful city to live in and we are growing in exciting ways.  Edmonton is a friendly and individual neighbourhoods form welcoming communities that act in some ways as small towns in terms of being caring and supportive microcosm to live in.  We have lots of interesting places to go to, things to see and Edmonton is a great place to call home.


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Quilting in the Lazy Bear Lounge

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The first weekend in October is reserved at Pine Bungalows in Jasper for “Quilting in the Lazy Bear Lounge”  It is an opportunity to spend time working with friends and also some time exploring the sights around Jasper.

The drive to Jasper was beautiful as some leaves were still on the trees and the colour was wonderful.  It was warm and the sun shone.  The room we work in has wonderful views when ever you look up and the quiet and the fresh air is invigorating. A first look up late Friday afternoon revealed a huge bull elk with a magnificent rack of horns.

My friend Kathy Strawson’s daughter Diana and her young assistant Hayley made wonderful slow food meals for us and cleaned up afterwards.  It is only a few steps up the stairs to the rooms, so very convenient.  What more could one ask for, the setting and being able to jus quilt and not have to stop to make meals.

Saturday a highlight is to go to the United Church thrift store.  A good time was had by all.  Some found canning jars to put buttons in for an upcoming garage sale.  Others found lots of great jewellery to use to embellish baskets and quilts.  Still others found the back room  with lots of Christmas baubles to make wreathes.  I found a piece of vintage green glass.

Quilting is interspersed with “taking the air”.  Saturday we had a walk through the Pine Bungalow property.  Then on Sunday we walked around Lac Beauvert.  We went up to Medicine Lake as I had never seen it without water.  It was interesting to learn about how the water disappears.  Coming back down we found many cars stopped by the side of the road and an amazing number of people standing with telephoto lens pointed into the verge at the side of the road.  We were lucky enough to find a place to stop and discovered that what was drawing the crowd was a Momma bear and two cubs.  My photographs are taken from the window of the car and the bears were moving.  However I have some photographs to cherish.  I have not seen live bears in the wild for decades to this was a real treat.

Monday regretfully it was time to pack up and return home.  We drove up to Pyramid Lake to enjoy the colours and the mountains before we headed for home.  In Hinton we had lunch in a great restaurant cum coffee shop cum kitchen shop called The Old Grind.  The food was very good and the surroundings entertained us as we ate.  We stopped at a quilt shop called the Hen House and found some very interesting laser cut Alberta made buttons.  A stop at Quilter’s Quarters shop in Edson  yielded up a new pattern of leaves.

Because I was able to be the passenger and because Kathy needed to stop at a wool shop I acquired a ball of Madelinetosh ASAP hand dyed merino.  It was in wonderful Rocky Mountain colours and so I have a new seed stitch cowl that was knitted while Kathy drove and we visited.  It will be called my Jasper cowl and will serve as a memory of the weekend for many years to come.

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Dyeing in Wool

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Today was a fun day in the country.  Some of the members of a bee group called the “Wooly Bees”  belonging to the Edmonton and District Quilter’s Guild got together at one of the members lake cottage to dye wool.

I was grateful to have had the experience in dyeing with cotton earlier this past summer at Anna Hergert’s  “Art Quilt Camp” .  So I was a bit more relaxed about undertaking this process.  We used some weak acid dyes that various members had assembled together with pieces of wool that members had in their stashes.  The wool was in most cases repurposed or recycled from previous use in garments. it seems that we all have the same propensity to save things that might be of some future use although we know not what. We used all the white or off white we could find and expanded this to houndstooth, pale colours in crepe and some plaid.

Our mixing formulas were not recorded as with the many different fabrics we wouldn’t be able to repeat and get the same results anyway.  So we just had fun experimenting using our knowledge of colour and taking some risks in combining those dyes.  We ended up with some luscious colours, some unexpected results that we liked and some that we didn’t.  Because we are a group with various colour loves most every piece will be claimed by someone.

Our hostess greeted us with coffee, tea and breakfast.  When we began to flag we sat down to a potluck Italian lunch that revived our energy.  Lunch occasioned a conversation about various members experiences in Venice that tied nicely to the topic of the celebrity wedding in Venice on
Sat.  Tired but happy we concluded our  days endeavours when we had used up the fabric that we brought.  We will get to enjoy the outcomes at our next meeting when the pieces are dry and I am sure that we will ooh and aah all over again about what we created.

Errata: After my usual hours of trying to get the photographs edited, uploaded and most difficult of all in a slide show format I have given up and the phantom slide will have to remain phantom.

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Over the Rainbow (August 2014 CDA’s)

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August CDA’s were pure fun.  I focused on the word “rainbow” and interpreted this as intense colour combinations.  I found some bright strip sets that had been left over from a group project and proceeded to cut out 2 1’2″ X 3 1’2 rectangles to try and get as many different colour combinations as possible.  (I now have some bright strip sets with rectangular holes in them. )

Next I found three bright primary solids of #10 pearl cotton thread in the same value range.  They are fushia, apple green and a teal blue.  Using a cording foot #22 for my Bernina I couched down three threads over the intersections of the strip sets with some departure were my mind said it would create a more interesting composition.  The goal  was to see how many different colour combinations or schemes that I could create. I love using the couching foot and am sure I will find some other reasons to use it.

I plan to use these little pieces as inspiration for choosing various colour schemes for future projects.   Hope you have as much fun looking at them as I did creating them and perhaps you may find inspiration for colour combination in them as we


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Homemade You Know What

IMG_5691 IMG_5692One of my favourite things is to have an occasion, read excuse to bake something luscious that I can justify because I share the results.  It was my cousin’s birthday last week and I went searching in a fairly new cookbook called Butter.  

After reading, read looking at the pictures I decided upon a recipe for cookies entitled “The Homemade You Know What”.  The cookies are nearly a meal in themselves with each one starting with a ice cream scoop of dough.  Then when baked layered with a buttercream filling and topped with another chocolate cookie they are a generous dessert to be enjoyed with a special coffee or tea.

I certainly enjoyed mine and no one I gave them to asked for their money back so to speak so I think they were worth the effort.  If I had an occasion to make them again I would make them tiny so they could be added to a selection on a dessert plate.  I think that people likely would then not feel that they had to protest on general principles.  I have a philosophy on desserts.  Don’t waste the calories unless the goodie is truly decadent.  Then eat it with abandon and without guilt.

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Symphony in the City

Labour Day weekend in Edmonton typically hosts a series of Edmonton Symphony concerts at Hawrelak Park.  This year because of the Trialathon World series event changes were made. Instead we had Symphony in the City.  There were three concerts; on Friday and Saturday evening 12,000 Edmontonians filled Churchill Square in the heart of the city each evening for a wonderful Disney concert.

Sunday evening the venue moved to Kinsmen park just east of our HIgh Level Bridge.  The McDades entertained us for a rousing concert.  This was followed by the traditional 1812 overture.  As usual at the appropriate time cannons were discharged, audience members rattled their keys and this year the finale was accompanied by fireworks.

The piece de resistance were the lights on the High Level.  We have had a campaign:  Light the Bridge that resulted in 60,000 LED bulbs being mounted on the Bridge.  The lights were programmed to work together with the music and with the Celtic colours there was a constantly changing array of lights.

Additionally the second deck of the bridge which used to be used by the railway now is used for a trolley car in the summer months.  Last night we enjoyed the trolley car slowly going across the bridge with occupants waving to the crowd and us waving back.

IMG_5703 IMG_5704 IMG_5707 IMG_5709 IMG_5712 IMG_5713What a wonderful conclusion to a summer of festivals in this Festival City.


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Orange Crush

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July CDAs at last. They were done on time. No access to the computer delayed them.
Orange Crush connotes a lush texture with depth to me. I think of an orange torn with many layers exposed; a tactile surface reflecting light and waiting to be tasted. So my orange crush base is a piece of fabric with many layers of colour in it, providing depth. The colours range from deep orange ranging to yellow and then through levels of pink. Tactile depth was added by couching yarns and threads that echoed the colours of the base and had texture that interested me. I used a new couching foot for my Bernina 820 and while I intended to add 31 rows of stitching I couldn’t stop.

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Art Quilt Campus – A Flurry of Activity


Today we got to take the pieces out of the jars, dry and press them and see the wonderful colours we created. I did some parfait dying and came up with some brilliant orange reds to use in creating a poppy piece.

Originally posted on Anna Hergert, Art & Design:

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Art Quilt Campus 2014 Show and Share


Today we did more dyeing and some indigo. The time spent in the evening enjoying the work of other participants was delightful and awe inspiring.

Originally posted on Anna Hergert, Art & Design:

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