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Showing posts from 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!


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!

'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 t here 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.

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’

'Trying to Make Sense of What Falls Out of My Left Brain'


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.

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 stunn

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 ...  'START HERE'. :-) 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!

Jet Lagged

'Jet Lagged' I had the strips for this quilt cut out before we left for a month in Australia. The plan was that it would be fairly regular in layout. After a month away from my machine, I went at it like a mad fool the first day home. And then ... jet lag set in.   I have difficulty putting the concept of jet lag into words ... but this quilt pretty much sums it up for me. It is ready for my quilter, Deanna Gaudaur . :-)

'It Should Be as Simple as This'

'It Should Be As Simple As This' I made this quilt for the Threads of Resistance Show.  Deanna Gaudaur ( ) did an amazing job with the quilting. The response to the Threads of Resistance Show was phenomenal.  They had over 500 entries, for 62 spaces. Mine was not selected for the show, but all of the quilts entered in the show, and the artist statements, are posted on the Threads of Resistance website. The folks running this show get top marks from me for the class that they have shown with this event!

Sacred Threads

'At Peace' and 'The Rest of the Story' have been juried into the 2017 Sacred Threads show in Herndon, Virginia. I am thrilled and humbled.

The Art of Changing the World

These three quilts were selected for display in 'The Art of Changing the World' show, at the Core Gallery, during the Downtown Belleville DocFest. My World    This quilt started as play at a men's quilting retreat in Vermont, using up bits left over from other quilts.  As it grew, it quickly took on a life of its own, and it began to tell about my own life. I live with Attention Deficit Disorder and the variety in colour, the randomness, the undisciplined nature of the arrangement, the pops of bright colours, the irregular and irrational shape, the movement and flow, the joy ... all captured in a sea of happiness ... that is my world; the way my world feels to me. I smiled all the time that I worked on this quilt, and I still smile when I look at it today.  It always reminds me that ... life is good.   Reconciliation: a Father and Son Story  I was an odd child and certainly not what my father had expected.  We weren't close. There were n

International Quilt Festival ... 'A Celebration of Color'

This quilt was juried into the 'Celebration of Color' exhibition that will first appear at International Quilt Festival, Chicago, in April.  It will tour with IQF, and be returned in December, 2019. Humbled.  CLOUD ILLUSIONS I RECALL This quilt reflects on my life.  To say that my life has been a colorful one is an understatement. Certainly, it has been disjointed and chaotic. And much of what I remember is hazed over, as if by clouds. But always there has been color … brilliant, joyous, vibrant, shining through the cracks color! Color is what got me through the times when … 'clouds got in the way.' Sometimes I wonder if Joni Mitchell was right and it is only 'cloud illusions I recall'. I guess it doesn't really matter, as long as I can have color.