Friday, December 19, 2014

Flowers on Friday

Amaryllis - Apple Blossom

I bought a kit that included the soil, a small pot and the bulb.  I planted it about 5 weeks ago and I'm thrilled that I have blooms just in time for Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Two New Patterns

Just Released!

Star Gazer

Unique star blocks, chains and simple step blocks are combined to create this dynamic design. Fabric values create depth and movement. Pattern includes three sizes and two color options.

Quilt Sizes: Lap: 50" x 63"; Bedrunner: 35" x 86"; Queen: 76" x 89"

Skill Level: Confident Beginner

Fabrics pictured are Northcott's Artisan Spirit Sandscapes 

Click to Buy


Gather your Fat Quarters and have some fun as you make this stunning wall quilt. The split circles will be perfectly placed with my easy fusing technique. Pattern includes two color options.

Quilt Size: 50" x 50"

Skill Level: Confident Beginner

Fabrics pictured are Northcott's Artisan Spirit Sandscapes  

Click to Buy

Read more about the making of these quilts here.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Flowers on Friday

I found these flowers blooming just outside the Community Centre where I was teach in Powell River last weekend. There was a planter just outside - a little 'pocket' of warmth for these flowers to bloom!

The invitation is still OPEN! Send me a flower picture and one or two sentences. I'll share it on my blog and as a thank you, I'll email you a FREE PATTERN (PDF file)!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Teaching - Powell River, BC and MORE!

I spent this past weekend with member of the Timberlane Quilters' Guild in Powell River teaching 2 workshops. First up was Give & Take Applique Design Discoveries.  Here are some of the designs the enthusiastic students created in class.

I always intend to take more photos of the designs students create in fabric but time always slips away as they learn the method and try the various stitches for applique. Students used a vast range of fabrics and I asked them to send photos so I can share them with you.

After class on Saturday, Yvonne took me on a tour of the townsite area of Powell River before we joined guild members for dinner at a local restaurant. We stopped to see the Patricia Theatre. The theatre was opened in 1913 and is thought to be the oldest BC theatre business still in operation.  The building is currently undergoing renovations due to a flood but they plan on re-opening on December 5th.  Learn more about this historic theatre here.

On Sunday students learned all about bobbin quilting and how to embellish with fat and fuzzy threads. This is a process-type workshop, without a specific project. Students went home with lots of samples and ideas for incorporating these techniques in their work.

Thank you to everyone for making my visit so enjoyable.

On the way home on Monday I stopped at Serge & Sew in Nanaimo. Bev and Linda shared a quilt they had on display.

and the quilt uses Northcott's Artisan Spirit Shimmer Multi-colour Chip Pack (63 5" squares - one of each fabric in the collection).

The pattern is from Joan Ford's book Scrap Therapy® Scraps Plus One!

The quilt is called Georgia's Garden and Joan told me the story of the quilt. Here is what Joan told me:

Georgia was a quilty friend of mine who had a huge stash like any of us. She had a heart condition and passed away a few years ago. Dolly, her good friend took on the challenge to disburse the fabrics in Georgia's stash for the benefit of the quilt guild. The day that Dolly scheduled to sell Georgia's fabric, I was going to be out of town, so I asked Dolly if she wouldn't mind snagging a piece of fabric for me. The fabrics (she actually chose two fabrics from Georgia's stash) were used in the original quilt (the one in the book). The quilt was named Georgia's Garden, in part because Georgia liked flowers, gardening, and one of the fabrics from Georgia's stash used in the quilt was a floral print. 

Anyway, shortly after Georgia died, Dolly took the microphone and spoke to the guild about Georgia. Dolly and Georgia went to many quilt shows together and Georgia would always insist upon getting the gloves you get at the show entrance, so she could touch the quilt. Not because she felt the need to inspect the quilts in the show, but because if Georgia saw a stray thread on a quilt, it would just about drive her off the deep end if she couldn't pick the thread off the quilt. The gloves allowed her to do that without getting 'in trouble' with the show organizers. 

Dolly said that from now on every time she went to a quilt show and saw one of those pesky threads on a quilt in the show, she would remember her friend Georgia. It was a way to keep Georgia with her, even though Georgia has passed. 

Dolly then challenged the room, and when I speak at guild or shop events, I tell this story and similarly offer a challenge: The next time you are at a quilt show, and see a stray thread (it's inevitable that you will), who will you remember fondly: a grandmother, a mother, a good friend? Whose memory will be summoned by the loose, stray thread on the quilt?

I love this story and will think of Georgia and my dear friend Moira whenever I see a stray thread on a quilt show quilt.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Flowers on Friday

This week I have a picture sent to me by my friend, Barbara Bieraugel, from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.


Barbara tells me: The poinsettia picture was taken by Carolyn Sullivan while we were out on a lovely day for lunch.

The poinsettia is a SHRUB in Hawaii!  I guess they will not be blooming when I will be teaching at Quilting on the Beach 2015 in February. Oh well, there will be other wonderful flowers to see then.

Barbara is a pattern designer and teacher. Check out her amazing work on her website, Barbara Bieraugel Designs.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Product Testing - New and Improved Steam-a-Seam 2

It's BACK.... I am so happy that Steam-a-Seam 2 is back in production and arriving in stores everywhere. This brand was my 'fusible of choice' for over 15 years. When production ceased due to an issue with the backing paper I tried a lot of other brands. But nothing had all the qualities I was looking for in a paper-backed fusible web: stability of the fusible sheet (protected by an extra layer of paper), ability to trace on the paper with a pencil or permanent marker, and the best part - sticky backed fused shapes to allow me to place and re-place my appliques as I designed on my vertical design wall.

So both Steam-a-Seam 2 and Lite Steam-a-Seam 2 are back - and even better than ever!

There are still 2 papers so my fusible is protected and won't separate from the paper. The only change - one paper has a grid printed on it. I now don't have to explain to students which side to trace on - it's always on the paper with the grid.

And the package said - "Printer Friendly".....that was a hint to me that I should test it out. They definitely mean an INKJET printer - not a laser.

The package of sheets I got at Quilt Market has 5 sheets, 9" x 12". I trimmed one sheet to measure 8-1/2" x 11" - to fit my printer.

I have an inkjet printer/copier/scanner. I printed the block design from my Fandango pattern on the side with the grid. I thought it might take a bit of time to dry.....I gently touched the printing as soon as it was printed. And it was DRY - immediately dry.  Amazing!

My printer is an Epson WP-4540 with DuraBrite ink.  I'm not sure if other types of inkjet ink will dry as quickly so I suggest you test your inkjet printer.  Also, you will want to know which side of the paper your printer will print on - check that before you print too. Here is how to do that:

Write 'FRONT' on a piece of paper, load it into your machine (into the paper try or the back feed) and print a document - anything will do.

If the printing is on the side with 'FRONT' written on it, you load your fusible with the grid just as you loaded your paper. If it prints on the other side, you need to turn the fusible sheet over so your printer will print on the side with the grid.

My testing continued....

I cut out my printed square, fused it to the wrong side of a square of dark fabric the same size as my block design. I used a Teflon sheet to protect my ironing board and the iron...but I did run the iron over the printed side just to see if the grid or printed lines would transfer to my iron. (I KNEW you would ask....) No problem....nothing on the iron!

Then I cut exactly on the design lines with my small rotary cutter.

And here are my test blocks. This is a Give & Take Applique design. I used all the shapes and got 2 blocks. The fabric is the new Artisan Spirit Sandscapes from Northcott. It will be in stores in January.

Come back next week and I'll give you my TOP TIPS for machine applique!

Intrigued by Give & Take? Buy the Fandango pattern here.

And see all my Give & Take Applique patterns here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Flowers on Friday - and AN INVITATION

It is time.....for my garden to have its winter nap.

Flowers are fading, drying and frost is expected this week.


I am looking for some GUEST BLOGGERS to help me continue my Flowers on Friday series. Is your garden still blooming? Or do you have flower photos taken in your garden or on your travels? Why not share them with my followers.  We would love to see your flowers and read your stories. Stories do not have to be long - a couple of sentences would be just fine.

Your photos should be as clear as possible. I may resize/crop to put them on the blog.  Send the pictures as an attachment to an email  and title your email 'Flowers on Friday'.

Find my contact email here.

I'll be watching for your submissions.  As a thank you, I'll email you a FREE PATTERN (PDF file)!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

New Pattern

Chips & Churns is one of the quilts I designed for Northcott using their ColorWorks solids. The colors of this collection have been updated with an amazing range of values.

I love the way quilting shows so well on solid fabrics. Here's a closeup of the quilting.

I designed the pattern in 3 different colour themes: pastel, country and dramatic. And there are 2 sizes in the pattern - 55" square and 85" square. The blocks are large and quick to piece. This quilt would look amazing in prints too!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The Wedding Quilt

I finally got a picture of the wedding quilt I made for my daughter and son-in-law at their home. I had a few pictures of it 'on the frame' but it's so much nicer to see it in it's place.

I had a wonderful time collecting fabrics that would suit them - it started with a piece of 'bike' fabric several years ago. I made very good use of Swatch Buddies as I built the collection. Haven't heard of Swatch Buddies?  If you are a collector (and who isn't?).....Read my review here.

I added fabrics that had meaning for Lindsay and Paul: a fabric with words about cooking and fabric with an accounting ledger and several with dots and graphic lines since this fits their modern style.

I made 'pennant' style blocks, lots of them!  I had no idea how I would arrange the quilt until I began sorting the pennants. Some were light pennants with dark fabric backgrounds and some were dark pennants with light backgrounds. When I found the BEST FIND OF ALL fabric (with words and bikes) the design came together.

 Some fabrics have bikes tossed all around, some are directional. After I came up with the final design I had to count the blocks I needed - lights or darks, bikes right or left or up or down. I moved my studio tables around so I could arrange all the blocks on the largest wall in my studio. I would put the blocks on the wall, decided what I needed and then label and photograph the blocks on the wall and take them all down again. I didn't want my daughter or son-in-law to see it when they visited as I made blocks and more blocks!

When I had all the blocks completed and on the wall for the last 'final fitting' I hung a quilt over my studio door so my daughter wouldn't see it when she visited - she never asked why it was there!  I think she thought it was to block the sun in the family room so it wouldn't shine on the TV....or she did have an idea and thought it was best not to ask so I didn't have to make up a story. (Thanks Linds!)

I loved making this quilt, playing with so many fabrics and seeing the design come together. And then I had to quilt it!

The quilt is very wide (in case they ever get a king size bed) and it just fit on the Avante. A marathon quilting weekend plus a few extra days and I'm thrilled with how the quilting turned out.

And here is the label on the back. I scanned the bicycle-built-for-two that they used on their 'Save the Dates' and printed it on Electric Quilt fabric. A frame of bicycles was the final touch. The backing fabric is the fabric we used for the table runners on the tables at the reception so it has meaning too. And a large piece of THE BEST fabric is in the middle of the back too.

Now....what type of fabric will I collect next?  I've just done a major clear-out. I think I need to finish some UFOs first!

Sunday, November 9, 2014


I love that my guild has an annual garage sale so members can'trade' items from their sewing rooms. I missed it last year so I'm wading my way through lots of stuff that I realize don't need. My studio is topsy turvy as I unearth lots of goodies.  Here is the pile to go so far. 

My fabric cupboard is taking shape but I have several other storage areas to go through. Might run out of time for this sale...think I need to do one of my own, maybe in June or July!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Flowers on Friday

Here is another wonderful arrangement on Holland America's Zuiderdam.

Photo taken during my Alaska Quilt Cruise.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

International Quilt Festival - Ruby Jubilee

I was in Houston for International Quilt Market the weekend before Festival and had very little time to see the quilt exhibits. I managed to take a few pictures of the red and white quilt exhibit celebrating 40 wonderful years of Quilt Festival. What an amazing accomplishment. Congratulations to everyone who has been involved with the show!

Monday, November 3, 2014

International Quilt Market - Houston

Here are a few pictures of the Northcott booth at International Quilt Market. I design patterns with their upcoming fabrics and I am the sales rep for Vancouver Island. I go to Market to help in the booth and to see everything that is NEW in the world of quilting. These fabrics will be coming to a store near you soon!

Northcott's ColorWorks solids have been revamped with all new colours. I LOVE working with solid fabrics because you can add so much texture with the quilting design.

 My Chips & Churns  quilt is top right in the photo above. 
Here is a closeup of my quilting. See how the texture shines with solid fabrics!

Sandscapes is the latest addition to the Artisan Spirit series. This collection includes a wide range of exquisite marbleized textures in vibrant hues with metallic accents. There are twelve palettes ranging in a progression of value which makes them perfect for quiltmakers.

A portion of the sales from Sandscapes will be donated to Prokritee, a certified fair trade company based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, employing the artisan women who inspired this collection.

Amazing neutrals - quilts by (clockwise from the top left):
Jean Boyd, Elisa Wilson, Sue Harvey/Sandy Boobar and Patti Carey

Traditional, Modern, Applique, Landscapes
Sandscapes work well in all of these! 
Eclipse (top right) is another new design from my design company, Patchworks Studio. 

Sunglow/Coral colours.
Quilts by Karen Bialik, Diane McGregor, Wanda Milankov and me
(bottom, horizontal, Star Gazer bedrunner).

And a closeup of the bedrunner quilting - an amazing job done by Northcott's longarm quilter. THANKS Northcott!

Patterns will be available for my 3 quilts in the next month. 
Watch my Newsletter for the release date.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Flowers on Friday


Also known as Schlumbergera, this is a small genus of cacti found in the coastal mountains of south-eastern Brazil. Plants grow on trees or rocks in habitats which are generally shady with high humidity and are quite different in appearance and care from the desert-dwelling cactus. These cacti are treated as houseplants here.

I have good success getting my plant to bloom by setting it outside on the shady front porch on the North side of our home during the summer. 

You will often find these plants in your local floral shops at this time of year since they are also known as Christmas Cactus.  Water sparingly and why not give your plant a 'summer vacation' next year. Let me know if you have success!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Flowers on Friday

Wedding Bouquets
Lindsay's bouquet included a piece of the trim from my wedding gown to wrap the stems of the beautiful flowers.
The Matron of Honour's bouquet.