Monday, December 12, 2011

Food, Fun and Stitching

We enjoyed another fun retreat here at The Cabin.  This time I remembered to take pictures of the meals prepared by Bernie. 

The ladies brought great projects to work on.  Jenifer and Susan were both working on Autumn Splendour, the bag I designed for the fall TopStitchers club.  Many different techniques are used in the creation of this bag.  One of which is couching.  Below is a picture of my favourite presser foot designed for couching narrow decorative cords.
There's a little hole in the front of the foot that the cord is threaded through.
Here's Barbara quilting her fabulous fish wall hanging.
 This is Sky working on an adorable penguin wall hanging for a special person on her Christmas list.
Here's Jenifer working on her Autumn Splendour bag.  She nearly completed her bag during the retreat.
This is Susan working on her Autumn Splendour bag.  Let's see if she finishes it...
On the menu for lunch was French Onion soup and a grilled turkey, brie and cranberry sandwich.  My mouth is watering as I remember the medley of flavours. 

I'm new to photographing food. I'm getting a light to get rid of shadows.  All I need is a bit more practice.  But I think you get the idea.

Here I am working on the quilt that's on the design wall in the background, it's called Montana Cartwheel.  I'm making a queen size quilt.  The quilt calls for 80 arcs.  I have 20 of them done so far.  But to tell the truth I only stitched two 2" seams the whole day.  I'm easily distracted.
This, oh boy, this is a Goat cheese appetizer with roasted garlic and pesto.  The entire Cabin smelled heavenly.  I didn't get a chance to take the picture before we started digging in.
The hosts.
The Girls.  We polished off that entire plate.
Here's Barbara showing her beautiful Sudoku quilt top.
Susan completed the outside of her Autumn Splendour bag.  She's looking pretty happy.

For supper we had Greek food.  Chicken or lamb Souvlaki, lemon infused, roasted potatoes, tzatziki, and Bernie's signature Caesar salad.  All the food was prepared from scratch.

After supper we continued sewing...
Barbara finished quilting her wall hanging.
Here's detail of her precision quilting.
Susan continued working on her bag. 
Jenifer is inserting the zipper into her lining.

Here's a very happy Susan with her finished Autumn Splendour bag.  Way to go Susan.

All in all we shared a day full of delicious food, lots of laughter and sewing.  I can hardly wait for the next retreat.  I hope you can join us.

Happy Stitches.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Day Retreat at The Cabin

A group of talented ladies joined us at The Cabin for a full day of sewing, food and fun. 

Allow me to introduce them to you...
Here's Joan sewing strips together for a border. 
Linda was working on a very intricate foundation pieced pattern.  She stuck with the project for most of the day and got a lot accomplished. 
Judi was here working on a wonderful quilt for her son.  She nearly finished quilting her quilt.  Way to go Judi.
 Mariann, she loves embroidery.  She wouldn't let herself do any until she finished all her Christmas gifts.  So she got busy and made a couple of quilts, some pillow cases and more.  Let's see if she gets to do any embroidery...
Leslie also brought Christmas projects to work on.  She finished several zippered bags for the people on her Christmas list.
 Ellen was having fun working on a couple quilts for some very special children on her Christmas list.  Check out that radiant smile.

After working on her quilt Judi switched to a smaller project.  This project is a pin cushion and thread catcher that I designed for the TopStitchers club called Notions of Spring.  
Here's Joan pressing one of her lovely blocks.
Linda working on a quilt top.
Bernie giving some technical advice to Judi regarding tension.  Look at that focus.
Here's Leslie with her zippered bags.  I bet you all wish you were on her Christmas list.  I want one.
Here's Linda showing her quilt top.  I love the colours.
Check it out...Mariann is embroidering.  She was able to finish all her Christmas gifts.
Ellen with one of the quilts she was working on. 
And at the end of the evening here's Mariann and Linda.  The embroidery project Mariann was working on is amazing.  When she finishes the project I'll post a picture of it.  She was working on blocks that are foundation pieced with her embroidery machine.  Mariann teaches embroidery and will be teaching here at The Cabin in 2012. 

We had a wonderful day.  I only wish I had taken pictures of the food Bernie prepared. I'll make sure to take photos at the next retreat. 

Happy Stitches.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Time Flies...

October was a busy month filled with lots of fun and work.  It all started out with a knitting retreat on Salt Spring Island.  Brenda and I, along with a wonderful group of women and Mackenzie who is 10, enjoyed a wonderful weekend with talented teacher, designer and knitter Barb Brown who is the author of
Knitting Knee-Highs  Sock Styles from Classic to Contemporary.  
The afternoon of our first day included a lecture about Cowichan sweaters and getting to know our fellow students, who by the way, were a lot of fun.  During the lecture we were able to view an abundance of photographs of beautiful Cowichan sweaters.  We even learned how to kill moths.  We broke for dinner then back to the classroom to learn how to Fair Isle knit.
I have to admit that I was definitely the slowest knitter in the class.  There were ladies there that blew me away, they were able to knit faster than the wind and didn't even have to look at their work!  Amazing.
Barb tirelessly led us through several different techniques on how to handle our wool while working with two and three different colours.   The following morning we continued to work on our  project while learning more about Fair Isle knitting than I'll ever remember.

Caroline and her mom, Pat of electrictree Yarns Store hosted the retreat.

Barb Brown is holding Caroline's nearly finished project and instructing us on how to cut steeks... 
Caroline fearlessly cutting the steek...
a cut steek...
 A very happy and proud Caroline with her finished bag. 
We had time between classes so I decided to wind the beautiful wool, hand dyed by Caroline, that I received in my gift bag.  The only place I could attach the swift in the hotel room was to the counter in the bathroom.  Notice that I made sure to put the toilet lid down?
Here's what the wool is becoming...a new pair of Charade's.  I love this wool. I picked up the little notebook for a souvenir of our wonderful trip to Salt Spring Island. 
The night before we left for our retreat I finished the TopStitchers Club fall project, Autumn Splendour.  I will be using my bag for knitting projects on the go.
Back home I spent the day cutting 90 kits in preparation for the TopStitchers Club.  This is only half of them.
 All packed and ready to go.

TopStitchers creating Autumn Splendour at Creative Edge in North Vancouver.
As you may already know we have been teaching classes here inThe Cabin.  Our first class was full of fun, food and learning.  Thank you to my sister-in-law, Elke for the photographs.

Paula, Alen, Lila and Maria were here.
Mary, Pat and Helen were too...
Bernie instructing...
Helen working on new techniques....
 Paula sewing...
 Mary working on her 440 Bernina Quilter's Edition...
Alen stitching too...

 Maria threading her needle...
 A very fun day was had by all.  

We held our very first day retreat here at The Cabin.  This is Alice and me working on Alice's Bali Bag.
 Here's Alice proudly modeling her finished Bali Bag.
Donna and Marina were here creating Autumn Splendour.  These two ladies make heirloom vintage dolls along with their clothing.  They do amazing work.
Anita was here working on her Autumn Splendour.  She also brought a beautiful quilt top ready for quilting... 

Our next all day retreat is scheduled for Wednesday, December 7th, 2011. If you would like to join us for food, fun and finishing your projects please give me a call at (604)506-0241 or email me at

Several months ago I had the privilege to view Pat and George McAffer's amazing quilt that they made for their grandson.  Here's Pat showing me her quilt...
Here's a picture of the whole quilt...
And a closer view...
I love this quilt.

Happy Stitching.