Classes with Al Cote

As you know, my big birthday came and went a few weeks ago. In honor

of this birthday, I had the privilege of taking 2 classes with Fibre Artist and

Art Quilter, Al Cote. He is Canadian and lives in Niagara Falls. You can check

out his website here.

Al Cote’s work

I did ask Al if I could take photos of his quilts and he did agree.. I also

asked for permission to post these on my blog. Again, he was gracious

enough to allow me to do this. So, enjoy his work, he is very talented,

creative, and funny.

The purple Wallhanging

It is remarkable how creative Al is. He has the ability to make you

believe that you can make something creative as well. He simplifies

the process and helps you takes creative risks.

Another quilt.

I was hoping  to pick Al’s brain during class. I asked lots of questions and Al

was very patient in answering all my questions. I really love the fact that

he is constantly learning and growing as an artist. What a great challenge!

I think that I would love to follow in his footsteps, in this regard.

My favorite

I am beginning to think that I can create my own art quilts but instead of

pressuring myself to create pieces, I can just “play.” This takes all the

pressure off of myself and allows me to relax and just enjoy the process.

Maybe, just maybe I will create something that evokes beauty of some kind.

The purple wallhanging

Al creates a lot of painted fabrics for his art quilts.

One of the classes that I took with Al was called “Panels, Panels, Panels.”

As you can tell by the title, you buy multiple panels, cut one up, sew it back

together and create your layout.

This is the art quilt I created with one of my panels. I really

struggled with the layout but eventually I pushed through and

realized that I was trying to add too many colors. I tried a

more simple route and I think it works. I am so glad that

I figured the layout out because it makes me feel confident

enough to try it again.

I really like the orange fabric in this picture and I love the 3 pieces

of fabric laid onto it. I have yet to quilt it so I am sure that it will

look entirely different when it is totally finished as well.

The second class was called “Curve Piecing.” You had to pick

3 of your favorite fabrics plus a few others.

I have been wanting to make a blue and white art quilt for a while.

I was originally thinking that it would look like a wave but I

really like this art quilt as well.

This is what the orange section looks like; Al was gracious

enough to help me with the color choices and the layout.

And to make my birthday even more memorable, at the

Quilt Guild last week, I won this book. Isn’t that crazy?

I was so excited to win it. It has lots of colorful quilts, it seems

like this is the route I am taking right now.

Have a good week and check out Needle and Thread Network.

Happy Birthday to me…

Well, my birthday happened last week. I must admit that I was not happy

about it because I turned the big 50. But what can I do about it? Not much

at all so I have to learn to accept it and move on.

Despite the number of my birthday, it was actually the best birthday

I have ever had.

My husband and I went to Ottawa for several days, visited the

Museum of History, the Parliament Buildings, and saw a glorious

sunset on the way home.

One of the big rooms in the Museum of History,in Gatineau, Quebec.

This is the other side of the same room above. It holds a stage

and an exhibition behind the stage.

This is the roof of the same room. I couldn’t resist the colors

and pattern. Wouldn’t it make a great quilt?

Looking out the front window, this is what you see.The

Parliament Buildings are a sight to behold.

Before we left for Ottawa,Dara brought me this quilt.

Dara’s Snowman Quilt

Dara personalized her quilt by embroidering a few relatives names on

some of the buildings.

I love the snowmen. Dara decided that she wanted swirls quilted

on the top.

The backing

The swirls really suit this quilt. It reminds me of a snowstorm.  A light

tan polyester thread was used for the top and the backing.

A close up of the stitching.

Dara also made this Canadian Quilt for Canada’s

special birthday.

In this photo, you can see the border on the bottom of the

same quilt.

DAra’s quilt

Dara chose a cream Omni polyester thread for the top and the backing

She also chose a Maple Leaf all over design for the quilting. What a great

choice, so Canadiana.

The backing.

The backing consists of Canadian flags. Great choice again, Dara.

In honor of my birthday, I decided to try something new and different so

I joined a drawing class at my local library. This is what I did in my first

class. Who knew that I can draw, even just a little.

It was so relaxing too. All you do is look at the flower, stop thinking and just draw.

Some other surprises consisted of my sisters throwing a surprise birthday party

for meand  my friend and I going to Scandivea Spa, in Collingwood. If you have never

been, you need to go.It is so relaxing!!

I also was given the chance to take 2 classes with Al Cote, he is a very talented

art quilter from Niagara Falls.  That was so much fun as well. I will post

pictures next week of my completed art quilt made from 2 printed panels.

Until then, have a great week.



An Applique Quilt..

This is Lynn’s beautiful applique quilt that I have been working on

for several weeks. Kerry Burke, over at Simple Bird Applique, is the

designer of the pattern.


Here is the completed quilt. I will show you pictures of

each block and how I came up with the design idea for each



Because the hummingbird is so fast flying, I thought that

wavy lines might depict movement of the hummingbird’s



The lines of each block has a nice curvy edge so I thought

that it would work on the inside edge of each block.  I

stitched this line in each of the blocks, so that it ties all

the blocks together.


Another gorgeous block.  I used a  clear monofilament thread

for all the SID work. I usually do all the ditch work first so I can

get to the fun part of filling in all the designs and the background



For the background fill, I used an allover with lots of

designs: feathers, swirls, and circles.


The background fill consists of feathers around the outer

edge and a small swirl. I used a light blue polyester

thread for the top and the backing.


The chick and butterflies really feel  airy to me.


These are the wavy lines encircling the butterflies.


The middle section has straight horizontal lines in

the middle of the block.


This vase also has some feathers in the background as

well.  It has some nice swirly  stitching in it as well.


The Vase Block

A close up of the stitching.


I love the apples, the barrel, leaves and robin.


Feathers were stitched around the outer edge again and

swirls were stitched in the background.


Poinsettas in a vase.


More close up pictures.


I love the sunflower  and the cat tails. Straight lines are

stitched in the inside area and pebbles. Lynn really loves

pebbles so I had to add them in somewhere.


The sunflower and cat tails block.

Don’t you just love the squirrel and the leaves?


This is one of my favorite blocks. All I could think about was seeds so

that is what I stitched into the background.


The squirrel and acorns.


This is also one of my favorite blocks, as well. I wanted it to

look like a winter’s snow storm.  Can you see the swirls?


Pinecones and Poinsetta

The middle section has straight vertical lines in the middle. Can you

tell that I love straight lines?


The backing

The backing fabric is great for hiding all the stops and starts.


Here is a close up of the background fabric.


The outside border

The outside border fill is really a mish mash of all the background fills

used in the various blocks.


When I get bored with one fill, I just start another design. And of course,

I had to add feathers to the border.


This is the inside section on the quilt;  I really love the big

pink rose and the butterfly. In the middle section, I stitched

in a butterfly, a leaf and another flower.

Have a great week!


Previous Quilts…

Because I am still working on an applique quilt, I will play catch up

and show you some completed quilts from before Christmas.


Lynn’s Quilt

I am guessing that Lynn created this quilt.


The border area

I used a light blue polyester thread for the all over design. The panto is called



One of the blocks in the quilt.  I love the blue in this block.


The backing of the quilt. Pieced backings are a great way to use

up left over blocks. Nothing gets wasted when it comes to quilting

and fabrics.


Close up of the backing.


A blue quilt

Another quilt that was completed before Christmas.  The “Friendship Star”

is a great traditional quilt block to make.


The variety of colors adds interest to this quilt top as well. I used a

blue polyester thread for the top and the backing. “Popcorn” is the

name of the overall design used on the quilt top.


The backing

The backing is pieced as well; the batiks are a great fabric to use as well.


A close up of the backing.


Another finished quilt that was created by Anne.


A close up of the blocks in this quilt. “Snowball” is the name of

the overall design on this quilt.



The backing shows off the quilting beautifully.


Anne also created this beauty;  I really love the batiks in this

quilt top.


There are even snowflakes printed on the fabrics.


A tablerunner

Anne also used up some of her floral print fabric for this table runner.


It is quite charming and would make a lovely gift for someone. I think that

is what Anne was planning on doing with it.I used a clear monofilament

thread to stitch around all the flowers. Why use an all over  design when

Anne has gone through so much effort to piece this together?


The backing

The backing is great as well. I love the Poinsetta fabric. Totally Christmas

all way round.

I hope you have a great week. Linking up with

Needle and Thread Network.


Happy belated Valentine’s Day!

I hope that your special someone gave you a card or some

chocolate this week. Mind did-yeah!! If not, at least the

days are beginning to look a little brighter and longer.


Speaking of Valentine’s Day, here is a pink quilt that Eleanor is in love

with. And who can resist the cats? Eleanor was wondering what

color to use for her binding and her friend came up with this

clever idea. Why not use the left over pink and black fabric as

the binding?


So, she made the binding in two different colors: black

and pink. She sewed the black binding onto the white section of

the quilt but didn’t sew it all down due to the fact that

she wouldn’t be able to guess where the pink binding and

the black would meet. Are you confused yet?

I will try to say it in a different way. She  partially sewed the

black binding down onto the white corner. She left about

a 5’6 inch extra, to make joining easier later on.


Eleanor’s cool binding method

Then, she sewed down the pink binding =partially. She left the ends open

and  about 5-6 inches longer so that she could join them at the exact spot

where the black  corner and white border met. She marked that spot on

her binding and then sewed them together. Notice that the binding is

sewn straight across and not on an angle, again easier to execute.


It looks so perfect and fantastic. Thought you might want to try that one out.


Susan made this adorable “African Queens” quilt. Pinterest is a source

of inspiration for Susan and I love to see how she tweeks the patterns

she likes, to  make it her own.



Lovely batiks were used for the Queens’ dresses and  head coverings.

Susan just wanted the Queen’s to be outlined, as it was a shame to

cover them up with stitching. Let their outfits shine through.


The offset border has an African feel to it as well.

I used a clear monofilament thread for the top and a dark

So Fine Brown thread for the back.


Pieced backings are great and what better way to use up all the

blocks left over.


A close up of the backing.


Linda’s Quilt

Linda made this darling pieced quilt. I can’t imagine the hours spent

making all those blocks.


A close up of the blocks in this quilt.

I used a light cream polyester thread for the top and navy blue

polyester thread for the backing.


The backing is really a navy blue but it looks more grey here than blue.


A panto called “Brocade” was stitched all across the top of the quilt.


I also managed to complete block #2, in the “Baby Animals”

BOM through Quilt Art Designs. Janeen is very talented when it comes to

paper piecing.


The back of the block says it all. Lots of tearing and shredding to be

done later on. I enjoy paper piecing as it feels like a fabric puzzle to me.

Check out the Canadian site Needle and Thread Network.

Have a great week.


My blog has changed and grown

For those who follow my humble blog, thank you.

You may have noticed that it has grown and changed

recently. Don’t be alarmed, because you are still at my blog

but with a new face lift.

My brother in law helped me to create this new

website, which now contains my blog as well. So, if you

know of anyone needing a website developed, you can

email him, at

Even though the weather is dull outside, these quilts are

anything but dull.


Anne’s Quilt

Anne created this beauty. It resembles Canadian  colors but with a

twist.  Great job Anne!


Anne chose a red polyester thread, for the top and the backing. She

also chose a very simple design due to all the print on the top. It was

called “Swirls ” by Norma Sharp.


The backing


I love the colors of the backing fabric.  The stitching does show up

on the backing of the quilt.


Dara made this quilt to celebrate Canada’s upcoming

150 years.  What a great play on the Canadian Maple Leaf



Dara chose a cream polyester thread for the top and the

backing.  And she chose “Maple Syrup” for the panto design.


You can see some of the swirls in the panto. This design also

has maple leaves strewn all across it so it it perfect for this quilt.


The backing shows off the emblems for the Province of Ontario

as well as the map of Canada. What a great idea!!


Bonnie’s Quilt

Bonnie made this quilt in honor of her daughter.


She also wanted the letter “L” to be stitched all over the quilt top.


I think it looks great and it makes my job easier when a client

knows exactly want they want on the quilt top.


Bonnie’s Quilt

I used a cream polyester thread for the top and the back of the quilt.

Hope you are getting lots of sewing and quilting in.  Great weather for that.

Linking up to the Needle and Thread Network. Have a great week.



Working away…

I have been working away this past week, both on my

own quilts and on some customers’ quilts.


Eleanor created this cute quilt;  there are alot of cute

cats on it.


Eleanor chose a simple floral design all over the quilt top.

She also chose a light pink polyester thread for the top

and the backing.


The cat border.

I really like the cat border print.


Dale created this beauty.  I have seen strip quilts

before and I really like how Dale created her own version

by adding a strip of white fabric with the diamonds.


“Autumn Oaks” are the name of the panto stitched on

the top of the quilt.


The backing was a beautiful golden color.


This quilt was created by Wendy; I think the fabrics

are from Northcott, Stonehenge, to be exact.


“Modern Curves” was the name of the panto design

used. It looks like a gentle way all over the top of the



A light blue polyester thread was used for the top and

the backing.


The backing also has a label on it. Well, done,

Wendy, you already have the label on the quilt.


A close up of the backing fabric.


A baby quilt

This is a fun baby panel I bought for a new baby, but now

it is going to another new baby that is due soon.


I thought that the alphabet was cute and suitable

for a little boy.


I stitched around all the blocks and the letters. I left the

border unstitched because it wasn’t very wide at all.


The backing fabric.

The backing is blue and it has lots of fun things on

it, like teddy bears, ice cream cones, lolli pops etc.


A finished project

I also managed to quilt this wallhanging for

myself. It has been waiting for about a year and

a half so it felt good to get it done.


I have lots of embellishments to add to the top yet

so it isn’t completely finished.


It was alot of fun to work on this quilt. It did

take me 4 hours to complete; That kind of

surprised me because I thought it wouldn’t

take so long.


The background of the skies was the hardest

to stitch out. I  followed the designs that were

printed on the fabrics itself.


The backing

I found some umbrella fabric at a local

Quilt Show, in September. I didn’t have

enough for the whole backing so I added

a strip of white to make it big enough.

Can’t wait to see what I can complete this


What are you working on this week and

hoping to complete?

I am linking up to

The Canadian Thread and Needle Network.