Thursday, 12 July 2018

My New Sink!

One of myTrent Valley Quilt Guild friends found this wonderful sink for me in a Swap Shop and of course, I bought it!
After two quilt shows, a retreat, a trip to New York City to look after Victoria Findlay Wolfe's dogs, and guests from B.C. ... life has slowed down enough that I have it hooked up in the back yard.

Today, I played around with bleach on black fabric.
The test pieces are in the wash to be sure that the process stops.  When they are dried, I'll add a picture of the finished pieces here.

Next, I think I'll dye, since I just bought 30 metres (118" wide) of the fabric that I love to dye.

In the Autumn, once we have our 'Heart and Soul' show up and running, the sink will be installed in a 'playroom' in the basement so that I can manipulate fabric whenever I want!

Life is good!

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

WOW ... Humbled Yet Again

My quilt, 'My Left Brain', won the Viewers' Choice Award at the PEC Quilt Show last weekend!
Totally humbled.
For me, this award really matters.
Thanks to all who voted for this quilt.
It is, of course, a double disappearing nine patch variation!
Life is good!

PEC Quilters' Guild - Quilt Show, 2018

At the PEC Quilt Show, I bring in a bunch of old sewing machines that I've collected over the past couple of years and set up  a Vintage Sewing Machine display.
It is great fun.
The best part is the faces of folks who see the machine that they learned to sew on!
I'll be back in two years, if they'll have me ... in spite of the fact that the machines get heavier every time I have to lift them ... lol

Canada Day Long Weekend - 2018

Over the Canada Day long weekend, we had the opportunity to 'pet sit' for my quilting friend, Victoria Findlay Wolfe at her Manhattan loft.
How could we say no!
I'd met the pups last June and loved them.
And I got to know Victoria at the same time.
Her NYC home was a great place to base out our adventures in the city.

Below is Agatha, who seemed to be quite stuck to me whenever I sat down.

Jenny Egg is an older girl who has vision and hearing issues.  I thought that might make her love me the best  ... but ... she stayed pretty much glued to Larry!

Thanks Victoria for this opportunity!
We're looking forward to return visits!

Monday, 18 June 2018

Rare ... New Pictures of Me!

I rarely allow folks to take my picture.  I'm not sure why, but as a result, there are very few pictures of me out there.
Lately, I've had two taken and I love them both.
Interestingly, both are of me with the same quilt!

The one below was taken by my husband, Larry Tayler    (

 And this one was taken by my Guild friend, Eleanor, at Sewing With Your Friends.

Life is good!

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Double Disappearing Nine Patch Variations Workshop Samples

 I have finished the samples for the workshop that I'll be teaching, starting this Autumn.
Once the block has been mastered, and sample blocks completed, these are the patterns that I will have available.

'It's a Breeze'
- a traditional variation 

'For Baby and Me'
- a transitioning to modern variation

'Nice People, Nice Things'
- a modern variation

'It's the Same World, No Matter How You Look At it'
- an improv variation
(no pattern for this one, just instructions and suggestions)

An Award!

My quilt, 'I Wish I Had a River' won third place in the Modern Bed and Wall Quilt category at Quilt Canada!
Humbled. Grateful. Blessed.
Thank you Quilt Canada!

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Quilt Canada 2019

I got word this week that my application to teach and give my Backpack Lecture at Quilt Canada, 2019 was accepted!
I am thrilled, humbled, and terrified all at the same time.
I've been working wildly on more Double Disappearing Nine Patch variations and will get them posted here very soon.  Some of them are pretty traditional (for me), and a couple take my breath away.
Life is good!

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

I Am


I Am

I remember the first time I thought that I might be.
It didn’t make sense that I was.
But how was I to know?

I wasn’t a hair dresser, or a florist, or a cross dresser.
They were the only ones I knew. I wasn’t like them.
So, I couldn’t be.

Maybe everyone had the same feelings as me. Felt like me.
That would make me normal.
And I lived my life as if I was.  Normal.

I dated. Women
I married and bought a house.
It was all as it should be.

Once I fell in love.  With a man.
We had a torrid affair.
And again, I thought that I might be.

But I had an infant son.
And I couldn’t be.
Dads couldn’t be.  It was 1975.

So, I forgot about it.  For the most part.
I remembered to straighten my wrist when the topic came up. Deepen my voice.
I acted more like a man. And I wasn’t.

Time passed. Years passed.
The world changed. I changed.
I rarely wondered if I was.  I knew.

One night, standing on a bridge. Contemplating.
I knew that I had to be. To go on. To survive.
And so … I am.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

For Baby and Me

'For Baby and Me'
48" x 60"

The last quilt that I made, 'It's a Breeze', was actually pretty challenging for me.  
The challenge ... to keep it traditional and regular.  No 'funny stuff' in that one!  
That's not my usual style, but I like the end result!

This one is made with my friend Kelly Panacci's wonderful fabric line, Panda Love, by Ryley Blake Designs.  The fabric is the part 'for baby'.
'And me' ... the asymmetry, the partial border, the odd block ... :-)
This one was so much fun to do!

This will eventually be included as a pattern for my Double Disappearing Nine Patch Workshop.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

'It's A Breeze'

Well that was quick!
Dropped it off yesterday morning and it is done by this afternoon.
And it looks amazing.

Here, it is shown on a king size bed because we don't have a queen bed in the house.
On a queen bed, the blue sashing would be at the edge on top of the mattress and there would be a 12" drop.
Quilting by 
Deanna Gaudaur

'It's A Breeze' ... a pattern featuring the Double Disappearing Nine Patch

'It's a Breeze' ... 85" x 108" ... too big for my design wall, so backyard photos!
This quilt is more traditional than most that I make, but I needed a traditional version for my 'Double Disappearing Nine Patch Variations' class that I teach.  I hope to have the pattern available over the summer.

It's a breeze ... refers to how easy the quilt was, how it reminds me of clouds blowing around in the sky, and of how wonderfully easy it is for me to live this life.

It is with my quilter, Deanna Gaudaur , so that she can work her usual magic.
ShweShwe fabric is from Meerkat Shweshwe
I LOVE to work with shweshwe!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

National Juried Show at Quilt Canada 2018

 At the end of February, while in Tasmania (I know ... my life is amazing), I got notice from the Canadian Quilters' Association that three of my quilts entered in the National Juried Show at Quilt Canada, had been juried into the show.
I am humbled beyond words.

Here they are ...

Art - Abstract category

Change is like a constantly churning cog.  If I accept changes, it turns faster and faster, until it envelops me.  As it continues to speed up, it hurls me through open doors that lead into the unknown, and the grandness of my life continues to grow.

Quilts From Patterns/Books/Workshops category

(Skils for creating this design were developed in a class with Jacquie Gering)

On August 15, 1997, I began living a new life as a gay man.  On August 15, 2017, during a design class, there was a realization of anniversary, and I created this block using rust dyed fabric.  This quilt is an acknowledgement of the glorious changes over those twenty years.

Modern category

Telling a story with simplicity and clarity has been a goal of mine.  Inspired by the simplicity of Georgia Okeeffe's 'Winter Road', and the clarity of Joni Mitchell's 'River', this is my attempt.  I have had a river.  And I have skated away.  That is the story.

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Catching Up ... Canada 150 Quilts For Grand Kids

I made each of my grand children a quilt to commemorate Canada's 150 Celebration of Confederation.  I better post them all together here, so that they don't get forgotten!
For each of them, I used the 'With Glowing Hearts' line of fabric, designed by the young and amazingly talented Grace Noel.  I love the energy in her designs!

Each of these quilts is a variation of a traditional double disappearing nine patch block.





Thursday, 11 January 2018

The Colour of Night

This one is a labour of love.  All of the fabric is my own hand dyed fabric.  It is also made using my Double Disappearing Nine Patch Variation block.

The Colour of Night

I love the night. 
In the still of its darkness; in the quiet; in the calm ... there is a peace.
And there is always light ... from the heavens ... and from within us all.

From that light comes ... the colour of night.

Boys Just Want to Have Fun

These two quilts are on their way to the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, in Golden Colorado for the Biennial Men's Quilt Show.

Honoured to be included in this show. 

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

My Christmas Quilt

In June, I took a class with Victoria Findlay Wolf.  More on that in another post, but suffice to say ... it was an amazing experience and I learned a LOT.  I also got to visit her shop and came home with some awesome 'Christmas' Fabric.  It is her Green and Red line.  Check it out in her on-line store Victoria Findlay Wolf Quilts.

This quilt is my first ever Christmas quilt. I love it because it doesn't SCREAM Christmas and I can use it all year.  I also LOVE lime green.

I tell folks that this one is called 'Unexpected Interuptions', which is the story of the season ...
but ...
for my Canadian friends, the REAL name for this one is 'Dave Cooks the Turkey'.
As Canadians, we know that THAT is the real story of the season!

Monday, 2 October 2017


Days before his eighth birthday my Grandson told me … “My Dad doesn't think that you act your age Grandpa.'  
In an attempt to discover how old I do act we continued to chat.  
We discovered that we had similarities. 
We both like to get our own way; we both get grabby when we’re tired;  we both like to eat ice cream;  we both like Lego and making things;  we both  tease our sisters;  we both laugh when we hear farts; and  we both have no intention of kissing a girl.  
Our conclusion … we are both eight!

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

'August 15th ... a Tale of 20 Years'

Back from my quilter, Deanna Gaudaur, where it was made into a 'silk purse' ...

On August 15th, 1997, at the age of 47, I rented an apartment on my own, and began living a new life as a gay man.
Twenty years later, on August 15th, 2017, while taking a design class with the amazing Jacquie Geering there was a realization of anniversary, and I created this block using rust dyed fabric.
This quilt is not an attempt to pass judgement on any part of my life ... it was good before and it continues to be good now.
It is just an attempt to celebrate the fact that my life thrives through change.
My life has been an adventure! May this continue through the next 20 years.

Friday, 14 July 2017

I Wish I Had a River I Could Skate Away On

''Winter Road'' 
by Georgia Okeeffe

I Wish I Had a River I Could Skate Away On
Designed and pieced by Bill Stearman
Hand-guided long arm quilted by Deanna Gaudaur

I am so impressed with Georgia Okeeffe’s ‘Winter Road’. 
For me, it represents the greatest lesson that I need to learn with my own art … to simplify.  In this painting, she has removed layers and layers of detail, until all that remains is line.  And the power of that simple, gentle, and beautiful line, tells a story that Georgia had no words for.
I start so many pieces with grand ideas of how the quilt will tell the story, yet much of the time they just fail … until I pull away the layers, and the details, and the excess. Until only the story is left.
Joni Mitchell is another of my favourite artists.  For me, she always has the words to tell my stories, simply, without all the layers. 
Looking at Georgia Okeeffe’s ‘Winter Road’ has always made me think about Joni Mitchell’s song (poem) ‘River”.
This quilt is my attempt to tell a part of my own story, using Joni Mitchell’s ‘River’ … simply …  in a way that is inspired by Georgia Okeefe’s ‘Winter Road’.

And happily, I have skated away on that river.

And the back is pretty cool as well!

Monday, 26 June 2017


Dear Bill,
Congratulations! Your quilt Reflections of the Sydney Opera House has been selected for inclusion in the special exhibit Tactile Architecture™ 2017. This year was a difficult year for the jurors because so many beautiful quilts were submitted.

I am absolutely thrilled and humbled that this quilt will At the International Quilt Festival in Houston this Fall, along with one of my other quilts ... It's Cloud Illusions I Recall, which will be in the Celebration of Colour special exhibit.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Reflections of the Sydney Opera House

Artist's Statement

While in Australia recently, I fell absolutely and totally in love with the Sydney Opera House.  

I dragged my poor husband onto boats, through gardens, up a bridge, across a harbour, into a train station, onto a roof top, and to a zoo ... just so that I could view and photograph it from all angles!

Of all the views captured with my camera, I love this iconic view of the sails of the Opera House best.  The sails are traced from an enlarged copy of one of my own photographs.  To me, this view captures the grandeur of the structure, as it reflects over and over in the waters of Sydney Harbour, and in the hearts and minds of visitors from all corners of the world.

There is the most amazing and positive energy under the sails of this UNESCO World Heritage site and I never tired of viewing or visiting it.  For me, it needed to be incorporated into a quilt that I could wrap myself up in.

With this quilt I have attempted to capture how stunning the Sydney Opera House is.

The ‘water’ is my own hand dyed indigo fabric.  The ‘sails’ are from fabric designed by Australian, Shauna Scicluna.  Jorn Utzon, the designer of the Opera House said that his design was inspired by the ‘simple act of peeling an orange’, so the orange fabric colour seemed perfect.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

What's Next?

While in Australia, I fell absolutely and totally in love with the Sydney Opera House.
To me, it is quilt, after quilt, after quilt, waiting to be made!

I dragged poor Larry onto boats, through gardens, up a bridge, across a harbour, into a train station, and to a zoo ... just so that I could view and photograph it from all angles!

And from all of those different angles and views, this is the one that I've decided to capture in a quilt first!

I realise that it is the 'standard' Opera House photo ... but it just seems to say ... 

I'll keep you posted if my idea gels!

Playing With Japanese Fabrics

I have this wonderful bin of Japanese fabrics that I've collected, mostly from my friends at Kallisti Quilts.
I had no idea what I'd ever do with them.

Then, I came across Tula Pink's City Sampler book on a shelf in my studio, and an idea began to gel.

I don't usually like patterns ... or projects that take a long time ... but this idea is totally fun!

Tula Pink is known for her bright, modern colours.  
So ... I decided that the dichotomy of a Tula  quilt ... made with traditional Japanese fabrics ... would definitely keep me smiling.

I'm doing the blocks whenever I have just a few minutes to sew, and as a warm-up exercise before longer sewing sessions.

Here are the first nine blocks out of the 100.
I can't believe how much I am enjoying this!