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more stitches, more art

April 7, 2020

I wasn’t alone on my walk today

there were 3 deer but by the time I had my camera ready all I got was the last one

a new hexie for this week

I started with 5

3 for the weeks I’ve been self isolating and 2 for the previous weeks

from the outside looking in

from the inside with the late afternoon sun shining through

more progress on the book

the first 4 pages opened out

the title page  “Stripes and Squares”

it is a take on A.A. Milne’s poem “Lines and Squares”

“Bears, just watch me walking in all the squares!”

the tiny bear, just 1 1/2 inches is shown beside a Canadian two dollar coin (a toonie)

he fits in the pocket from an old pair of jeans – I think I bought those jeans for the pocket!

we have a generous number of book boxes in the neighborhood

you can leave a book or two and/or take one

this one is a work of art – a piano, a drummer and a dog playing a tune – in Redfern Park

more art – a garage door in a back alley

no sharks seen

hearts for love

April 2, 2020

more expressions of love around the neighborhood

a rainbow of hearts

sorry, I couldn’t get a picture without the shadow – maybe today when the sun isn’t shining!

this heart within a heart is 3 feet high

the ones I like best are the drawings and messages from children

they have inspired me to offer my own support

planting a garden on the front window – more blooms to come

cutting more hexie papers

with an abundance of samples from my interior design days there are lovely patterns to choose from

by steam pressing each separate piece and then weighing them under a pile of books

I eliminated the basting step

stitched together and then stitched around the outside edge

with 2 or 3 more to finish

I plan to add a new “flower” every week for the duration – so the garden will grow

only hope I don’t end up with enough for a quilt

and there is still work on the book

weaving fabric strips – the dark blue is the binding I took off the sashiko coasters

no scraps wasted

 I’ve finished spinning the beautiful silk from Knotty by Nature

now I don’t have anything to spin – wonder if Ryan is taking phone orders??

the Magnolia trees are blooming

natures continues despite the chaos caused by humans

a trip to the store and more stitching

March 30, 2020

early morning visitor – looking for breakfast?

8:30 am – first time out for 14 days –  except for a daily walk

wow! – it seemed like a big event

grocery shopping, enough for another 2 weeks

a huge thank you to Thrifty’s and their staff

they regulated the number of shoppers, the shelves were well stocked with only a few things missing

like all bulk foods , meaning no chocolate covered raisins!

and they wouldn’t use personal recycle bags – but they didn’t charge for paper bags

(to encourage shoppers to supply their own bags many stores now charge for large bags)

remember climate change??

the sample book is progressing

lining the back of the covers this time

with the striped shirt material – I wanted to show students that using striped material can be tricky

it doesn’t always line up straight

cut large enough to fold to the front – I trimmed the corners, turned under the raw edges and hand stitched them down

then I cut material for the “pages”

4 times the width of the cover and just a little less than the height

after the stitching is done, on each individual page, they get folded into the center

and the messy backs are hidden

the back cover has a “missage”

I ran out of new reading material and have been enjoying

House at Pooh Corner, When We Were Very Young and The Tao of Pooh

what to include on the pages?

I had to try Kate’s instructions for hexies – March 27 – they (the instructions) were perfect

and I stitched one up in no time – but I can’t imagine doing a whole quilt

then, cleaning kitchen drawers, I found two old Japanese sashiko coasters

unpicked the binding which can be used again and peeled off the backing

getting excited about this book

it is really Spring in Victoria

March is going out like a lion

it is raining, cold and blustery


slow and steady

March 26, 2020

would you like to join me for a cuppa?

progress is slow

 if I was looking for quick and easy I’d find something else to do

and at this extraordinary time the only thing I have more of – than time – is scraps

for this book I wanted to try two separate covers

I plan to stitch a lining on the backs – but that comes later

I’m really not a lacy person

but am trying to remind myself that this is intended to be a teaching tool

therefore the lace and a tiny bead at the center of each “flower”

which is barely visible – maybe I should use a brighter colour

repetition is a design tool I like to use – colour, shape, texture and patterns

but I like it to be subtle – not the exact same thing over and over

the small brown square at the top left is dyed with kakishibu (Japanese persimmon)

so is the leaf shape on the second cover and the brown stripes in the handwoven scrap under the lace

the leaf is leftover from a project several years ago

I’m not sure it is going to work – it might get covered up with small pieces or finally scrapped forever

this is part of the fun of using scraps – you don’t have much money invested, just time

and it can all end up in the trash if it is screaming at you

take a break and look at it for a couple days

take a walk

dan-de-lion or tam-po-po (in Japanese)

how did a weed get such cute names?

the euphorbia is shouting “look at me”







straight stitches

March 24, 2020

one day, when this craziness is over maybe I will teach my scrap happy boro class

with that in mind I am sewing a second fabric/stitch sample book

 I thought it would be fun to teach the basics here

I always stitch onto a foundation  fabric

cut it 1/2 – 1″  larger than you want for the finished piece – the stitching will pull in

lightweight cotton, often old sheeting and it doesn’t have to be white

but dark or bright colours tend to confuse the eye when choosing scraps

my thread for stitching is thrums – leftover from weaving – crochet cotton from the charity shop is good

generally I use 2/8 weight cotton but love using 2 ply linen when I have it

and sometimes a bit of silk

use embroidery cotton

add a button, better still make a cloth one by covering a plastic ring

add some beads and bits of ribbon or lace

I love using old clothing labels – once bought a blouse at Value Village just for the label!

like this one in the first boro book

it came from the striped fabric used in some of the stitching – my favorite blouse

I always start with a feature scrap and then build up around it

pin the pieces overlapping them to secure edges

then just start stitching -you may want all the stitching to go in one direction

on others stitch horizontal, vertical, diagonal and go in circles if that appeals to you

my favorite in a larger piece is to do all the stitching horizontally

that is what creates the look of ripples in the sand (the picture has been turned to show the texture)

don’t line up each row carefully or you will get long, straight ridges

had enough??

lets go for a walk

loved the gorilla in the garden

and the painted stones along the way


a day in the “hood”

March 22, 2020

the sky is bright blue, the sun is shining and it’s warm

seems almost incongruous – but most welcome

tapestry weaving in the sunshine

it didn’t take long to finish this little onemeasures 3.5 x 5.75

I made a mistake winding the warp, it is an inch narrower than planned

the back lighting  has given me an idea for the next piece

I like the staggered slits – letting the light shine through

think we could do with more light in this troubled time

so… come with me on my walk around the “hood” – fortunately I can still do thisfirst – down to Willows Beach with the city in the distance

and approximately 14 miles across the Strait of Juan de Fuca – the Olympic mountains and Washington state

too many people and even more dogs

with a snow covered Mount Baker off in the distance – in splendid isolation

at my feet – rivulets in the sand

and colours in the flotsam

the orange rock is actually brick

in the early 1900’s there was a a brick factory on Sidney Island and it is not unusual to find small pieces of brick on the beach

on the way homeart on a fence

the work of local artist Anne Hansen –

her work is wonderful – take a look

this raised garden at the side of her property has a haiku

(click on the photo to read)

and down the road a colourful amphibian

a neighbor is taking the opportunity to be prepared – next winter will come

and back home, ready for a cup of tea

the quince is in bloom

I should have warned you this post would be photo heavy

stay well and be kind to the people in your community

I’ve had an email from my friend in Italy – she is well and managing better than could be expected


International Quilt Day

March 21, 2020

Kjerstin at

has posted on her blog that the Hittys are celebrating International Quilt Day

the Victoria guild has suggested we all hang a quilt outside as a show of public art

I’m not a quilter – but this patchwork piece of indigo dyed scraps fits the space nicely

stitched in 2012   the small round patterns are stenciled samples from each of the participants

in Bryan’s first international student workshop

this is for Blandina, my roommate at that time, who is struggling in isolation in Italy

stay safe everyone