Wednesday, May 4, 2016

A Quilt for Alice

Here is the quilt I made for my new granddaughter, Alice.

The wedding quilt for my daughter and son-in-law had 'bicycle themed' fabrics, so I thought Alice should have one too!
Coming soon.....a new pattern based on Alice's quilt will be released later this year using a collection called Tee Pee Time from Northcott. This is wonderful Cuddle Comfort Flannel and the pattern will have 2 quilt sizes, including one that uses the 24" x 42" panel.
Sign up for my F.R.E.E Newsletter (in the right sidebar) to be the first to know when this pattern is available.  You will receive a free pattern (and more) as my Thank You.


Sunday, May 1, 2016

Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Volume 13

Hello Quilters.....Welcome to Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Blog Tour!

The most recent issue of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks is hitting the newsstands now.  Can you believe it is Volume 13 of this great magazine? 

I'm thrilled to report that a block I designed is included in this issue.

I was struggled a bit trying to decide where to focus my attention (and creativity) for this blog post....but there it was, right in the magazine!  The first advertisement, on the back cover, is for Northcott's Toscana fabrics. I chose Toscana fabrics for major parts of my block so it just seems like serendipity that I should show you a few more ways to make my block using these fabrics.

Toscana is 100% cotton - that looks like suede.  There are 135 colors in the collection, from the palest pales to the darkest darks in a full rainbow of colors (plus neutrals). I can always find a color to coordinate with prints in my stash.

I decided to work with fabrics from my stash and use my  Electric Quilt software to show you a few quilt designs using my 'Flashlights' block.

I'll be giving away some of these fabrics too!  Details at the end of this post.

About using fabrics in Electric Quilt software:

Did you know that you can download fabrics images from Northcott's website to use in your Electric Quilt software? I do it all the time when designing patterns with Northcott's fabrics.

Here is a YouTube video showing you the steps to download the fabrics from Northcott's website.

Note: The website has changed a bit since that video was posted. To find the Toscana fabrics follow these steps on the Northcott website.

Select Products > Essentials

Scroll down to Toscana 9020 and Click

You will see images of all the fabrics and the button 'Download Fabrics for EQ' in the sidebar. Click the button and follow the instructions on the video to save the Zip file on your computer. Your EQ manual includes instructions to import the fabrics into your project file.

So...let's see some quilt designs with my block. For the quilt images that follow I used 2 color combinations and I added 1 more fabric for my blocks. I changed the applique semi-circles to be 2 values of the same color.

Here are the colors I used:

Quilt #1 uses 2 types of rows of blocks. In rows 1, 3 and 5 the blocks are arranged horizontally and in rows 2 and 4 the blocks are arranged vertically. There are 5 blocks in each row.

Sashing (4" wide) is sewn between the block rows and a 4" border surrounds the quilt. The final border is 1" and the quilt is bound in the same fabric. This quilt measures 70" wide x 86" long.
Quilt #2 takes advantage of rotation for the blocks. You need to have an even number of blocks across and down for this arrangement. Every 2nd block is rotated 90-degrees in this arrangement. I call this arrangement 'Windmill' since the rotation results in a windmill effect where the blocks meet. This quilt measures 48" square.
The use of 2 fabrics for the applique makes the windmills stand out in this colorway.
The use of 2 fabrics for the applique makes the windmills stand out in this colorway too.

Quilt #3 is a horizontal set quilt, with no sashing between the blocks. To my eye there appears to be an optical illusion where the lighter value melon shapes appear to be tilting.  They are not tilting at all. It appears as if those patches are being 'pulled' toward the darker rectangle of the blocks. Do you see this too?  This quilt measures 48" wide x 60" long.


Quilt #4 is a straight horizontal set quilt too. But this time I changed the color placement for the strips, in the block to eliminate the 'tilting' effect that appeared in Quilt #3. I also changed the color for part of the block to see what would happen. This quilt looks like rows of beads.

It was easy to re-color the blocks in Electric Quilt and to print the 2 different blocks that are required for this arrangement.

 The  re-colored and re-arranged blocks used for this quilt:

  The re-colored and re-arranged blocks for this quilt:

And now for my giveaway. I have 3 prizes, but I would like your opinion. For a chance to win , please leave a comment telling me which quilt above is your favorite (#1A, #1B, #2A, #2B, #3A, #3B, #4A, #4B).

I will randomly draw 3 names and each person will win 1/2 yard of each of the fabrics used in their favorite quilt plus a copy of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks, Volume 13.

The deadline for comments is midnight, Saturday, May 7th (Pacific Time).

I will draw an additional name and Quiltmaker will send this lucky winner a copy of the magazine too!

Don’t forget to visit Quiltmaker’s blog to see what the other bloggers in the tour have for you as well.  Most of all, thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the latest issue of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Online Learning ...... Whenever it works for YOU!

Do you take classes from the comfort of home?  In your PJs, with all your 'stuff' close at hand?  That's the beauty of online learning. No need to pack up your machine and all your quilting supplies - and find that you forgot something important, like your foot pedal, or that you have the PERFECT fabric for the project....on the shelf at home!

Yes, you do miss some wonderful aspects of classes when you learn online at home. Some of the in-person social nature of classes may be lacking but I find a combination of online learning and in-person workshops work very well for most of us.  And, depending on how the online class is designed, you CAN still have a connection with the other students in the class.

And the best online workshops work WITH YOUR SCHEDULE...also known as 'On Demand'. That means you don't have to join the class on a particular day at a particular time.  So, whether you are in Canada or Australia or England, you do not need to worry about a difference in time zones. 

One of the On Demand workshops that I teach at the Academy of Quilting is Seminole Piecing.

Seminole patchwork was developed by Native American Seminole women in south Florida in the late 1800s. It was, like so much patchwork, originally a product of necessity. A bad winter made it impossible to travel to down river for new supplies, so the women used up the last strips of old fabric. These designs were first painstakingly constructed by hand. They used these very intricate looking bands to decorate their garments. The advent of the sewing machine in the early years of the twentieth century revolutionized Seminole design and production.

Women began creating more elaborate patterns which often reflected their individual tribes. A competition developed among designers. All of this was fueled by the fact that tourists were willing to purchase clothing that was decorated with the patchwork designs. By the 1920's, Seminole women were actively courting the tourist trade and had begun using prints in their patchwork design.

Here is a jacket I made that incorporates several Seminole bands.

Would you like to learn to create your own Seminole patchwork?  In this class you will learn how to make 8 different designs and can use them to make a totebag, bolster pillow and a wall quilt. This is such an intriguing patchwork method and easier to do than you may think. If you can sew a 1/4" seam, you can make magic with this technique.

You will use rotary cutting, strip piecing and re-sewing to create the patchwork.  We will begin with simple designs that you can sew in an hour and then progress to more complex designs that build on your new-found skills.
The basic technique is familiar to most quilters: sew strips of fabric together, cut them into pieces and then sew them back together again. The bold, graphic designs that result from this process have many uses. You will be inspired by my suggestions to use the bands to trim garments and home décor items.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Show 'n' Share - MINE

I can finally share something that I made earlier this year.  My granddaughter, Brooklyn, turned 1 year old on April 17th and I made her this fun dress and hat to celebrate.

Fabrics are Northcott Topsy Turvy
Here's a link to Northcott's Website.
I used the Petal Dress & Hat pattern from Sew Baby! It was very easy to sew - just 3 pattern pieces for the dress and 1 for the hat.
This multisize pattern fits 6 months - 2T so I'm sure I'll be making it again.
Brooklyn enjoyed blowing out the candle on her cake with a bit of help.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Show 'n' Share

Sue J. sent me this picture of the New York Beauty runner that she started in a workshop with me.  

This pattern is from my book Give & Take Fabric Appliqué

Buy the book HERE.

No, this is not PIECED, it is APPLIQUE. With this method you get perfect curves and sharp points.

I love the colours Sue used for her runner - anything with Lime Green excites me!

As my 'Thank You' for sharing her picture Sue selected my Fandango pattern - another Give & Take Appliqué design.

Would you like a FREE pattern too?

Send me a photo of a completed Patchworks Studio pattern (or book or workshop project) to share on the blog, in my newsletter and on social media and I will send you a FREE pattern!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

New Kits - and 'simplifying'

In my last newsletter I spoke about 'simplifying' (if you don't receive my FREE newsletter you can subscribe to the right).

Northcott has produced an amazing fabric that simplifies piecing - STRIP-R's.  This fabric is a stripe across the width of the fabric..... and the stripes are exactly 2" wide. These fabrics are a great way to SIMPLIFY!

You know about 2-1/2" wide precut strips, right. Well this fabric elminates the need to sew all those strips together!  STRIP-Rs are available for many Northcott fabric collections including the new Stonehenge Gradations and Ambience. 

STRIP-R - Ambience Collection
STRIP-R - Gradations - Onyx colourway

I used the STRIP-R from the Artisan Spirit Nature Studies collection
when I designed one of my latest patterns.

Meadow Lark uses Strip-R for the pieced border in my quilt.

Kits are available for both these quilts - but quantities are VERY LIMITED.
Cost is $99.95 Canadian

(Kit includes all the fabric for the quilt top, the binding and the pattern).
Backing fabric is also available at a special price.
Meadow Lark - Indigo colourway
62" x 59"


Meadow Lark - Orange colourway
62" x 59"

The full width 'ombre' fabric also makes this pattern simple.
It is used as the focus fabric in the windows of my quilt.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

How I Use Paintstiks

I thought I would share a few quilt pictures with you today.  I used Shiva Paintstiks to embellish each of these pieces.  You can learn how to use Paintstiks in YOUR work in my online workshop starting this Friday.


This is the first Anemones quilt I made. I printed the images and then 'crazy' pieced them into a background. I quilted the shape of the anemone plant leaves on this piece.

This is my second Anemones quilt. This time I painted inside the quilted leaves
with Shiva Paintstiks.
I used several colours to get more shading.
This was  a sample for an Architectural Applique workshop where students
find images in architecture to use in their work.
I quilted bubbles in areas of the background and when they didn't show up well
I painted these areas with Paintstiks to lighten them and draw attention to those areas.

Poppy Fields
I painted the background fabric - one my first attempts painting with fabric paints.
I hung the fabric on my wall and stared at it for a LONG time. I imagined a field of poppies so I painted the circles with a red Paintstik. Some are darker (more paint) and some very light (very little paint). I think that adds depth to this piece. 

The stems were made with a wooden skewer placed in ink and gently placed onto the surface. That WAS the scary part!  I machine quilted and hand embroidered this piece.

The next two closeups are of a Kelp collage. This piece is very heavily embellished with threads, fibres and beads.  When we see Kelp on our beaches we often see bubbles among it. I used several 'washers' to paint the circles on these pieces. Thanks to my DH who found all those different size washers in his stash in the garage! 

I hope this has piqued your interest in how you might use Paintstiks in your work. These are just a few ways to use them. This is an extensive course where you'll learn many different techniques.

Hope you'll join me in the classroom on Friday.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Fun with Paintstiks - at the Academy of Quilting

Registration is open for my Fun with Paintstiks class at the Academy of Quilting

Class begins on FRIDAY, April 15th

Whenever I offer this class, many of the students said they had bought Paintstiks but just didn't know what to do with them. Is that YOU too? Why not join me and discover what you can do with your Paintstiks! 
I will show you how to use Shiva Paintstiks to add color, pattern and texture to your fabrics. You will learn several ways to apply the paint, how to put it just where you want it and how to blend paint to create a rainbow of rich colours.

You will fill a sketchbook for future reference as part of each exercise. The final lesson includes using the paint to highlight and color quilted projects and appliqué designs.

You will have plenty of time to learn in this class since the classroom remains open until May 23.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Show 'n' Share and On Demand Workshop

Gladys W. sent me this picture. It was made using the Rose Window project from my book Simple Stained Glass Quilts.

Here is what Gladys told me about her project:

The quilt now hangs in my church. Three of us in my quilt group each made one circle and then we pieced them together to make the wall hanging.

Great job Gladys and friends!

You can see more images from this book here.

As my 'thank you' for allowing me to share her photo Gladys received my Crisscross pattern for free!

Would you like to learn how to make a Simple Stained Glass quilt?  Sign up for my Too Easy Stained Glass workshop at Academy of Quilting. This is an 'on demand' workshop. You can start anytime!

You will learn my no-bias, no glue stained glass technique as you make a small project. I'll be with you every step of the way as you make your first project.

I used a 'pond' landscape fabric for this class project.
You can use a printed photograph to 'see' in your window!

See you in the classroom.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Quick Curve Mini - Upcoming Workshop

I am still having fun working with the Sew Kind of Wonderful rulers.  The most recent one is the Quick Curve Mini. Here is a sampler quilt I made using one technique using this ruler.  

I am teaching this workshop at Cloth Castle in Victoria in April.

Date: April 15
Time: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Cloth Castle
786 Goldstream Ave. 
Victoria, BC

Phone to register: 250-478-2112