knitting Paradise

I belong to a wonderful knitting and crochet group called

Knitting Paradise.

I hope you will drop by and check us out. Shirley

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My wonderful news

I have been quite involved over the past 8 years with ' The quilt Project for breast cancer support' by donating 2 or 3 wall hangings each year to be auctioned across Canada.

I spent the morning discussing with Wendy Ellacott from Calgary Wellspring, how my quilts can help this wonderful cause, Wellspring is an international cancer support group and does wonderful work. It is a community-based, non-profit, Charitable center, offering Psychological, emotional and social support to individuals living with Cancer, their families and caregivers.

One of my quilts will be either auctioned or raffled at the Calgary Auction in November - and others will be used by Wellspring to help obtain corporate donors. Needless to say I am very honored to be asked to help in this way.

One of the quilts "First Snowfall" is in honor of Martin and Dodie Keller who are struggling with Martin's cancer.I have known Dodie on line for years through one or two of my groups and I am in awe of their wonderful attitude and courage in fighting this terrible disease.

I am feeling so good about this, that I had to share! The wall hangings are finished and just need to be bound. For some reason I wanted to have a group of them on hand as I usually don't - so it worked out well.

It is a gorgeous day today - a typical warm autumn day - the leaves are just about all
gold and soon will be on the ground -- it sure is pretty now though.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Alberta, British Columbia Scenery

I think it would be a nice break if I posted more pictures of the scenery in
Alberta and the Kootenay lakes area in BC. There are so many beautiful views and
the autumn here is very pretty - although we don't have the colors you do in the east.

This is the area around Fernie BC the mountains in Southern Alberta and BC are quite
different than the Rockies in the Banff, Jasper area - they are very beautiful though.
This one is in the Crowsnest Pass near the Alberta, B.C. border I believe it is called either Big Chief or Chief - It is absolutely spectacular as it is the only mountain in the immediate area - very beautiful. The Kootenay lakes
are so pretty - this was taken from the ferry as we crossed on our way to Nakusp -

The photos below are taken just outside of Calgary - we took a trip to check out the fall colors - You can get a good idea of what the foothills and prairie around here look like in the fall. I refer to pictures like the ones on the right all the time for my scenes. The
area around here as ranching country - and some of the ranches are huge - much like
in Texas from what I have heard.


Saturday, September 27, 2008

Barbara Bain

is a friend of mine that does the most beautiful work on her embroidery machine. The Peacock cushions are very beautiful and look so good with the black background. Don't these birds show up beautifully?

Barb's Dresden Quilt is made completely on her embroidery machine.
I think the work done on the embroidery machines is

Friday, September 26, 2008


Here are more pictures of the finished work by the members of the learningfa group.
I am showcasing different classes that we have held in the group.

Janie's floral arrangement is
lovely -- I like her color combination. The second is the finished paper pieced basket taught
early this year by Julie - she also taught the tessalating leaves which is more advanced

The picture on the left is the tessalating leaves wall hanging made by Gladys.

Judith taught a prairie points class and Miriam taught a spinning stars class - Sharon put both techniques
together to make this lovely quilt.

The girls enjoyed all these classes and the work that was posted was wonderful.

Marcia did a great job on her easy stars quilt - I love the color combination- This was a class taught by one of our members, Miriam from Ireland -

Marilyn's summer swirls is the next picture using the 'spinning stars' blocks.
It is a sunny, reasonably warm day here in Calgary. One thing about this area - we get lots of sun - that is the saving grace for our winters - it can be sunny but very very cold. I found the rainy dull climate on the coast harder to deal with although the winter was shorter and the temperatures were higher - I do, however miss their early spring with the wonderful blossoms. Even though I don't like the bitter cold ,we are starting to look forward to Christmas - and the family get togethers. I have started working on my Christmas presents
and hopefully will get them done in lots of time this year.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

More of my work -Southwestern theme

When we were in Arizona I decided I would like to try hand building clay. I enjoyed it very much. Here are 4 of the pieces I did. The first two are 'Story tellers' the 2nd one is a story teller vase and the
3rd one is another story teller. If you have been to the southwest you will have seen many different types of clay story tellers. I also did a lot of other subjects - it was lots of fun. I was especially interested in
the southwest carvings and history- Below are more pieces of my
clay work. As you can see, a lot of my work at that time was southwestern.
The far picture is a stained glass candle holder from a class I taught in the stained glass room at the park.

The three indians were out of my head- one of my friends was working
on a navajo indian - I decided to do a wall with 3 heads on it.
The interesting part to me was that as I was doing it one of the
indians BECAME Chief Standing alone of the Morley tribe - I had seen him at every Calgary Stampede parade since I was a little girl. I was so impressed with his wonderful feathered head dress. I had no problem with the other two heads that represented the Apache indians from
Arizona. I have kept it and it brings back an interesting memory for me. (click on the
pictures to get a close up). Our visits to Arizona were wonderful-
Practically all the work I did during that time and for a couple of years after we stopped going down was southwestern. I still have two of my SW wall hangings on my wall, and just recently taught a southwestern wall hanging class to my learningfa group.
I also got very interested in making pine needle baskets using the long needles found near Tucson. I sometimes made a clay center, with holes around the edge and made baskets that way. The bottom basket was used with dyed pine needles -- with cream raffia - and the centers were walnuts
that a man from the park sliced and put together with epoxy. I really enjoyed doing them. I picked up some Ponderosa Pine needles in
British Columbia and have made a couple since we got back. Hard on the hands though!

===================================================================Here are three pictures I did on plastic canvas size l4 - I also
taught a class using plastic canvas to design and make our own bags - we had lots of fun doing them. If I remember correctly I taught over l00 people over the years we spent in Arizona. Here are some of the bags we did in class. We used wool and each person in my class had to draw their own design - Most did soutwestern but some did other subjects. Lots of fun!

Hmm - I wonder whether the girls in learningfa would like to do one of these--?

Well, that is enough for today - I have been gathering pictures of my work over the years and
can't believe the different things I have done! Enjoy! (I hope!).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

More of my work

Over the years I have done a lot of different things - and here are the results of some of my efforts.

In l971 we emigrated to New Zealand for 3 years - We took our three kids with us and had a wonderful time there. We lived north of Auckland on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula (Hibiscus coast) - Prior to going I had started doing some copper tooling and took some copper with me to NZ - I discovered the wonderful Maori designs, tattoos, etc. and started doing some of the faces of the former Chiefs - they had moko on their faces and were most interesting - Here are 2 pictures of My maori copper carvings. We ended up in business selling my original copper works and I was fortunate to be featured in the New Zealand Womens' weekly in l972. I did all sorts of different original scenes and that was the first time I really knew that I could do something that was appreciated by others. My husband was one of the first 'outsiders' to be accepted into the Volunteer fire Brigade - (90%) of the country had volunteer departments. They travelled all over NZ in competitions and what a great time we had. I admired their beautiful brass hats and so did some in copper. Here is one of them. We went back a few years ago and most of our friends still had their copper pictures on the wall with the writeup behind the pictures - which really tickled me.



"Don't undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because
we are different that each of us is Special" Brian Dyson

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More students' work 2007

here are some more examples of the work done by the learningfa students in 2007. We had a great class taught by Judith - it was a snippet wreath - here is Linda Adele's finished wreath.

Here is the second class of the thread painting
series - we did pretty humming birds and they really were a success - these are by Betty G.

We also did a pretty robin perched on a pussy willow - this one was done by Ann from France -

This is a great block for the center of a round robin.

Here is a 3 fabric wall hanging of done with 3 thread painted chickadees.


The next picture is of a folded purse taught by Maureen (Mobird) it is Judith's finished project and she did a great job.

Here are two class examples of Miriam from Ireland's two classes- the first one is

the 'Spinning stars block' and the second is Miriam'
s 'Easy Stars' which, as you can
see, makes up a wonderful quilt. Miriam had never taught on line prior to these two classes.
Here is another of the mystery quilt - this is Nancy's - it is amazing how different each finished quilt looked.

Monday, September 22, 2008

2007 Students' work

The learningfa group has been in operation since May 2007 - and the members have done some wonderful work. For the next while I will be hi lighting some of the work done in the 2007 classes - I just wish I could show each piece but have taken a few from each class. Most of these students have never done the classes prior to the class.

I have been teaching an ongoing thread painting class and the first example was a rose bud. Here are two finished roses by Marie and Betty - this gives you some idea of the quality of work the students achieved.
I taught a very simple, 3 fabric wall hanging course- here are some of the results.
The first is Daphnes - I like the way she worked the fabric from the center block out so that all the dogs look 3d. I like the fabric she chose. The second is Julie's piece - very well done.
Ann from France thread painted some chickadees from the thread painting class and used them as the center of her 3 fabric wall hanging. So original -- We have people from all over the world in the group and have made some wonderful international friends. The last one is Julie C's
beautiful Christmas scene - I love the way she used the fabrics to make a special Christmas wall hanging. This technique is very easy to do and you don't have to be an artist to do them.


We also did a mystery quilt - here is Rose Mary's finished quilt - There were so many varieties and all were wonderful. Here are some of the postcards we made - Sue made these lovely cards. It was a very successful class too. I hope you enjoy looking at these wonderful class projects.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Crazy Patch -

Last year one of the members of my group, Julie Coates, taught a crazy patch class. I really got 'bitten by the bug.'

I loved working on the different embroidery stitches and also incorporated quite a lot of my thread painting subjects in my work to make them more original. Here are some pictures of my different pieces done over the past year. "Brown Fantasy" was my very first attempt at crazy patch - as a result, I did a few things differently as I had no idea what I was doing - I did like the final result though. I printed the butterfly on fabric and used some 'different fabric. It was made of up 6 blocks.

I did a whole series of the Fantasy wall hangings - in different colors.

Here is a collage of my 'Green Fantasy'
which included a thread painted chickadee. I learned a lot of new embroidery stitches on this one - it now belongs to a lady who has it on her bedroom wall.

Here is 'Blue Fantasy' notice the thread painted building . As you can see if you click on the pictures, I have learned a few more stitches.

The photo on the left was another block waiting to be put in a wall hanging. I am not too interested in doing small projects although I admire them greatly when others do such beautiful work.

The last pictures were in a wall hanging I made for the Canadian Boston Terrier Rescue
Group hope I have the name right)
for my friend Debbie who is very involved with group and has two very sweet Bostons - I printed of her dogs and other Canadian rescue dogs and incorporated them into the blocks-It was an honor to do this wall hanging for such a worthy cause.

Sooooo- as you can see, my second love after landscapes is crazy patch. I entered a round robin for the Big Sky retreat last year and did a center piece in crazy patch. The girls did a wonderful
job with their additions, and I am working (slowly) on adding some embellishments to it. I
will post a picture if and when I ever get it finished.
I am hoping we will have another crazy patch class in early 2009. It is so much fun.
For those who are not aware - you can click on the pictures to see the photos up close. Check out Kerry's work - just click on the side bar. She has a great crazy patch blog.

enjoy (I hope). Shirley