Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Embellishments - Old Growth Quilt

I have had a lot of questions about how I embellished my Old Growth quilt.

Here is a close-up showing the bobbin quilting and couching in more detail.

Today I will talk about the basic tools you will need for bobbin work. Next week I'll talk about couching.

I recommend you have a second bobbin case for your sewing machine. You will be adjusting the bobbin tension to accommodate a wide range of thick threads. Having a second case means you will not have to re-set the tension for your normal sewing threads. Keep this bobbin case in a separate place, perhaps in a zipper bag like I do.

You will need a range of threads to put in the bobbin, so empty bobbins are required too. I think you can never have too many bobbins!

Feeding in the 'ends' of threads to bury them is best done with these specialty needles. On the left is a an Easy Threading needle and the one on the right has a large eye.

I did my 'bobbin work' after I quilted Old Growth because I had very little time in which to complete it. Because the quilt was stabilized with batting and backing I did not need to use a stabilizer. If you do the 'bobbin work' before quilting you will need a stabilizer on the wrong side of your work. One that I like to use is Stable Stuff. It does not need to be removed after stitching.

And the threads for bobbin work....anything that is not 'fuzzy' will work.  Here are some examples of what I use and the results on my quilt. All the stitching is done 'free motion' with my feed dogs lowered and from the wrong side of the quilt.

Perle Cotton
(DMC and Prescencia)
I like size 8 and size 5

From a distance this looks like thousands of French knots.

Hand-dyed Crochet Cotton and Perle Cotton

Hand-dyed threads - stack stitches to add texture,
I used mid-green upper thread.

6-strand Embroidery Floss

Very loose bobbin tension adds more texture with these threads.

Next week I'll talk about how I use fuzzy threads.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Quilt Labels - My process

Do you label all your quilts? I always label mine. 

My labels start with 2 things: Electric Quilt Printable fabric and Microsoft Word.

Sometimes it is as simple as my name, contact info and the date the quilt was made.

Sometimes I like to add colour and interesting shapes to my label. If I use MS Draw (inside Word) or add ClipArt I put the text inside a 'text box' and place that on top of the drawn shape or the ClipArt image. That is how both these labels were made.

When I sewed this label to the quilt, I framed it with strips of fabric used in the quilt.

I can add pictures to my document like I did for these wedding quilt labels for my children. 

And sometimes I put a picture of the quilt on the front or, in the case of the Old Growth quilt, I added the picture that inspired the quilt.

And I've used 'extra blocks' for labels too.

I save my document often as I go along. And I always print a test on paper to see what the label will look like. Have I made any typos? Is the font easy to read? Do I like the colours? Have I allowed a seam allowance around my label?

When I am happy with the design I print the document on the prepared fabric sheet. 

If I am making only 1 label, I fill the rest of the sheet with 'generic' style labels with my name and contact information.  I can use these labels for other quilts and add the quilt name and any other information I want to add using a permanent marker.

I hope my labels have given you ideas for ways to label your quilts. 
I'd love to see pictures of the labels you have added to yours.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

End of an Era

At the end of June we said our 'goodbyes' to a local Sidney, BC institution - Theo's Place restaurant. The owners, Theo and his wife Penelope, have retired and we will miss them. While we didn't 'eat in' all that often, this was a favourite 'take out' restaurant for our family for over 20 years. My husband would do the 'pick up' and he and Theo always spent a few minutes discussing life (and sometimes hockey if there was a game on the small television near the entrance.)

Theo and Penelope are part of a larger family and close friends who came to the Sidney area over 30 years ago. In Greece their families were all in the restaurant business. This continued for many of them here. We have some of the best Greek restaurants right here in our small town. 

I wanted to thank them and immediately thought of a quilt. The newspaper notice was published only a week before the closing date so no time to make something new. I have a large stack (many stacks in fact) of pattern quilts that need new homes. My Mykonos Marble quilt was a perfect choice. 

So the quilt got a new label, our entire family had dinner at the restaurant on the Wednesday before the closing and I gave the quilt to Theo after our meal.

There were hugs all round from Theo - we had to drag him from the kitchen since the restaurant was so busy!  

Wonder how I make labels for my quilts? Come back tomorrow and I'll describe my process.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Happy Canada Day!

Today is Canada's 149th Birthday!

Happy Canada Day

I'll be celebrating with my whole family at the
Sidney Lions Pancake Breakfast in Sidney, BC this morning. 

Perhaps we'll stay for the PARADE too!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New pattern for Fall 2016

My work days are usually filled with 2 sorts of tasks - computer work (mainly designing and writing patterns) and studio time. The studio time often takes a 'back seat' to the design and writing time unfortunately. I tell myself each Spring that 'this will be the summer to sew' but progress is often slow. Don't you sometimes wish there were more hours in a day.

I have made progress on a new pattern to be released this fall. I was asked by Island Batik to create a pattern using their upcoming fabrics. I selected a holiday red and green collection (Holly Jolly) and a winter blue collection (Frost) to make an updated version of a Give & Take Applique pattern.

Here's a sneak peak at the banners for the Holiday Bells pattern that will be available in October. They are on their way to California to be photographed for the Island Batik Fall wholesale catalog.

I always announce publication of new patterns first in my FREE newsletter (and newsletter subscribers always get 10% off all pattern orders).
So....why not subscribe to the newsletter while you are here. The place to subscribe is on the right, at the top of this page.  I never share your email address with anyone and you won't be flooded with emails from me. Just once every couple of weeks you'll get a brief note about what's happening in my studio and my life. I often include product reviews and other informative information.

As a BONUS, you'll receive a free pattern as my thank you right away.

What are you working on for the summer?  Any large projects or some of your UFOs?  Have you made a quilt using a Patchworks Studio pattern or a project in a workshop with me?  I'd love to share your photos so email your pictures to me.

Happy Summer Sewing everyone!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Where will your travels take you this summer?

Have you started collecting Row by Row Home Sweet Home patterns yet?  What about kits for each shop's row?

I've been following the buzz and excitement in several Facebook groups and I am amazed at the diversity of the designs I have seen so far.  The quilts that will be made using these patterns will be wonderful. And they are a great way to remember your travels.

If you are travelling throughout British Columbia you can visit 57 shops to collect your Row by Row patterns!

To make it easy to find these shops, there is a Google Map with each shop marked on the map.

This is what the map looks like:

Here is the LINK to the Google Map.  You can 'zoom in and out' with your mouse to more detail. And if you click on a 'red teardrop' you will see the Name, Address, Phone number and Website for that shop.

If your travels will take you to other provinces or anywhere in the US or Europe there is a map for that too.

Here's the LINK so you an ZOOM IN!

So, plan your route, have fun collecting and safe travels everyone!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Row, row, row....

Are you ready to 'start your engines'?  Row by Row Experience® 2016 starts NEXT WEEK - on Tuesday to be precise.

This amazing event is in every Canadian province, all US states and Europe too. So, no matter where your travels take you, you can collect free row patterns from the quilt shops you visit.

I have designed rows for 5 shops this year, 3 here on Vancouver Island, 1 in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia and 1 in New York state.

This year's theme is 'Home Sweet Home' so all the rows reflect the local shop's vision of what 'home' means to them.

Here are a pictures of the rows I have designed. Shops will be handing out the FREE patterns and they'll also have kits available for purchase so you can make your row just like the 'in store' sample. Happy ROWING everyone!

Bib 'n' Tucker, Victoria, BC

Black Sheep Quilt Shop, Duncan, BC

Snip & Stitch Sewing Centre, Nanaimo, BC
Hamels Fabrics & Quilting, Chilliwack, BC
Fabric Mart NY, Yorktown Heights, NY

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Kit Sale - for a Limited Time Only


until quantities last!


These Kits are 30% off

Kits include fabric for the quilt top and binding
plus the pattern

Meadow Lark - Indigo

Backing Fabric

Meadow Lark - Orange

Backing Fabric

This Kit is 35% off


Backing Fabric

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Show 'n' Share

I received this picture from Kathryn C.  This is the Crosstown Path Mystery quilt.  Yes....there's another Mystery coming.  I have the design almost finalized and now I need to separate it into parts and write and test the instructions.

One big would you like this Mystery to be?  My preliminary idea is a LARGE quilt - approximately 81" square.  Too big?  Email me to let me know your preferred Mystery Quilt Size.

And be sure to sign up for my FREE newsletter - I'll announce the new Mystery in the Newsletter FIRST and spaces will be limited.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Planning Ahead....Alaska Quilt Cruise - August 2017

Although this wonderful adventure is more than a year away I'm getting very excited about my next quilting cruise.  I have just finished making the project that I'll be teaching onboard the ship and I love how it has turned out!

Under the Northern Lights features a panel designed by celebrated Alaskan artist Barbara Lavallee. Her fanciful portrayal of an Alaskan winter makes this a wonderful keepsake of your trip.  The quilt is a nice lap size and you can reserve a pre-cut Sail 'n Sew Fabric kit so you can start sewing as soon as our class begins.

One of the reasons I am so excited is that this cruise is organized by one of the industry's BEST cruise co-ordinators, Deb Luttrell of Stitchin' Heaven and her amazing staff.

I will be joined on this cruise by quilt teachers Brenda Henning and Donna Thomas. They also have some wonderful projects for you. And you will be sewing on Bernina 330 sewing machines (one for each student) and we will use Aurifil 50 wt. thread as we make our quilts.

Every quilting guest can take every class and we only sew on the 'at sea' days. Still lots of time to explore our interesting ports of call: Juneau, Skagway and Victoria (that's the major city 20 minutes from my home and also the home of Butchart Gardens).  If the Gardens are on your 'bucket list' you will be able to explore them and still have time to check out a couple of my 'home' quilt shops too!

I know you want to know MORE....

First, you'll want to check out our ship, Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas. The ship sailed into Victoria in mid-May this year. Here is an article) all about the ship (with pictures) from our local newspaper.

Next, pop over to the Stitchin' Heaven site to read all the details about the amazing benefits included in this cruise, project information and a detailed itinerary. Oh yes, pricing is there too.

If you have any questions not answered on the Stitchin' Heaven site, use the Stitchin' Heaven Travel Contact Form and one of Deb's staff will get right back to you. Any questions about my project? Just email me.

Hope to see you onboard!

Monday, June 6, 2016

We have a WINNER!

Thank you to everyone who left a comment on my Little Lovely Lindsay post.  Through a random draw, Marilyn R. is the winner of these 5 fat quarters.

I'll have more Prize draws throughout the summer. Be sure to sign up for my FREE newsletter to get the deets!  You will receive a FREE PATTERN as my thank you.


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Little Lovely Lindsay - FREE Pattern

Hello Quilters,

Be sure to read right to the end of this post. You can win some freebies and get the FREE pattern. You don't want to miss out!

I recently had the pleasure of working with Susan Emory of Swirly Girls.  I remember attending her first Schoolhouse presentation at International Quilt Market where she showed her first fabric collection for Michael Miller. At that time I was designing a lot of patterns with Michael Miller fabrics. It was an exciting time for her and for me as a pattern designer. We were sharing our creativity with an international audience. We both have come a long way over the years and we are still sharing our creativity through quilting.

Susan is running her Little Lovely Free Pattern Series all year long with designs from her studio as well as from guest designers. This month I am the designer of Little Lovely Lindsay, named for my daughter. 

I used ColorWorks solid fabrics from Northcott for my block. I love the high contrast and my quilting designs are easy to see with these solid colours.

I used longarm rulers on my domestic Bernina 440 for the first time when quilting the curves for this project. I had to firmly hold my curve ruler in place and not push my free motion quilting foot toward it too strongly. It is a bit different from using rulers on the longarm but it can be done if you are careful. I'm hoping Bernina is working on a 'thicker' free motion foot to make this process a bit easier...I've heard a rumour that they are (but don't quote me!)

I used my walking foot for all the straight quilting lines. And I LOVE that serpentine stitch (#4 on my 440). I use a longer stitch length than the default (I use 2.3) and the design is perfect for sashing or narrow borders.

Both Susan Emory and I are giving away prizes on our blogs as well as the FREE pattern. Be sure to leave a comment here on MY blog for a chance to win my prize. 

On Sunday, 9 pm Pacific time, one person drawn at random, will win this set of 5 fat quarters.....

Be sure to head on over to Susan's Blog to see her version of my design, download the pattern and leave a comment there for a chance to win her giveaway as well.

Good luck everyone. While you are here, why not sign up for my FREE email newsletter. You will receive a different free pattern as my gift and more!  I share what's happening in my quilting life, quilting tips and the occasional product or book review and I NEVER share my subscriber list.  The subscription box is to the right, at the top of this page.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Show 'n' Share

I am so pleased to share these photos from Sheila Hancock.  

This quilt was made and donated the the Stony Plain Fish and Game Club and Wabamun Gun Club, for their dinner and silent auction.

The pattern is True North and the fabrics are Oh Canada from Northcott. Read below the pictures for more about Stony Plain and it's Sister City in Japan.

Here is the story of this quilt sent to me by Sheila:

I live in a town called Stony Plain. In our community there are several murals painted on buildings throughout the town.   This mural was made and painted on the Town Office Building to honour the Friendship between the two communities.  In the mural are both Mayor of Shikaoi and the then Mayor (Donna Cowan) of Stony Plain.

The Town of Shikaoi, Hokkaido, Japan, and the Town of Stony Plain, Alberta, Canada have been sister city's for 30 years. The year 2015 marked the 30 year anniversary of our two towns twinning, and I had the pleasure of traveling to Shikaoi, Hokkaido, Japan, as an adult delegate. February 2015 22 people from our town (Our current mayor William Chow, a couple of Councillors, past mayor Donna Cowan, Representative from the County of Parkland, Town employee's and 11 selected people from our community) travelled to japan, to join in the 30 year anniversary celebration. While over there, our experience was amazing, and the community and all of their people treated us like royalty. They are very hospitable people, loving and kind. Their town is a population of 5,000 and they have a farming community surrounding them.  They have seasons and weather very similar to ours, but I believe they receive more snow. They are in the mountains, but not like our rocky mountains. The views are amazing.  They grow a lot of lavender and a lot of potatoes, the skins are light/thin, amazing flavour. Dairy is also a big industry for them.  I am not fond of dairy, but their dairy is amazing; the yogurt tastes like ice cream. I could go on forever about the experience.  The memories will live a lifetime in my mind and with the thousands of photo's I took. ANYWAY.... That is why I selected that area of our Town to take the photo, to have the beautiful mural in the background.

Thank you so much for sharing the pictures and the wonderful story Sheila.

If you would like to make a True North quilt you can buy the pattern here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

One Wonderful Curve - Book Review

I have been meaning to tell you about this great book for a few months but time seems to get away from me. One Wonderful Curve is the 2nd book by the wonderful designers from Sew Kind of Wonderful.

These are contemporary quilts and each one uses the Quick Curve Ruler designed by sisters Jenny, Helen and Sherilyn.  I have taught several workshops using this ruler and the QCR Mini ruler and students learned how to cut the perfect curves and sew perfect blocks very easily. I love tools that can be used over and over again - and the Quick Curve Ruler fits my requirement well.

This book has patterns for 12 quilts and each one is very appealing.  This is not a book where you'll like just one or 2 designs.  I'm sure you will want to make them all!

The Techniques section is well-illustrated, showing how to cut and then sew the curves. Close-up photographs are very helpful in this section.

Projects range in size and complexity. The first project, Summer Citrus Runner, is easy for quilters who are new to the technique and for anyone wanting a quick project.

There are wall-size projects and full bed-size projects in the book.

My personal favourite is Moroccan Vibe Quilt. I have a collection of fabrics I bought in Hawaii last February and just need a couple more to find and then I can get started on this quilt.

One other thing I LOVE about the book is the photography. I can really SEE how each project was quilted.  A bonus at the back of the book are Quilting Suggestions to help with this part of your project too.

Although I wasn't able to attend Spring Quilt Market this year I found this photo of the Sew Kind of Wonderful booth taken by Quilters Newsletter Magazine.

I'll be watching for new patterns for quilts displayed here!

You can buy the book (and a wide range of patterns)
directly from the gals at Sew Kind of Wonderful.