Tuesday, September 16, 2014

There's still time......

............to register for my Fun with Paintstiks workshop at the Academy of Quilting!!

Elizabeth's Quilt - Quilt U Student

Class starts this Friday, Septmber 19. One lesson is posted each week for 4 weeks and the classroom will remain open until October 27th - plenty of time for you to really discover the many ways to use Paintstiks..

Ivy Stencil
This is a process class to teach you how to use Shiva®Artist’s Paintstiks to add color to paper and fabrics. You will use direct application techniques on a range of fabrics and values. You will learn how to combine two or more colors to make other colors, including using special blender Paintstiks and how to place the paint in specific spots with masking tape, commercial stencils and your own stencils made from freezer paper.

Here is a comment from one of my previous students:

I have had the Paintstiks for a long time and was so happy to get the chance for some very good ways of how to use them. I learned many ways to use the paints, some ways I like better than others, and that is knowledge, also. The class was well thought out and had a nice flow from one to the next. I put all of the work, carefully labeled, into a sketch book and designed fabric for the covers. It is great to have such a reference. I'm planning on using some of what I learned on my next big project. VO, Oregon

See you in the classroom - we'll have lots of creative fun. Sign up TODAY!

Rubbings, Stencils - Layers

Friday, September 12, 2014

Flowers on Friday

Blooming in my garden this week..............clematis.
I have had to 'baby' this plant for several years and this is the best display so far.

REMINDER - don't miss out!
Don't forget to enter the Patchworks Studio Flowers on Friday Summer Challenge
where you can WIN a GREAT PRIZE!
Deadline for entries - just over a week to get your entry in!

Deadline: September 20, 2014

Thursday, September 11, 2014

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 September 19
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.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pattern Writing - The "Inside Scoop" - Part 2

A while ago I spoke about how I work to create a new pattern design. If you missed it, here's a link to the start of my process.

When I decide that a pattern should be produced in final form, so it can be sold in your local quilt shops, I start by opening a few basic documents on my computer. I have a couple of documents for the layouts I will need:

The Pattern Cover and the Instructions.

My covers have a standard 'look'. I use the same font for the titles and other text, my logo is always in the same place and the picture of the project is as large as it can be on the page. Each pattern gets a pattern number, to make it easy for shops and distributors to re-order the patterns.
I include a reference to the fabrics I used for the project and the size of the finished quilt. If I am including several sizes, I will put this information on the cover too. 

I put 2 covers on each page and save the file as a PDF. The covers are printed  and cut in half by my local print shop. We have a great system - I email them the file, they print and cut them in half. They let me know when they are ready and I pick them up. The 'turn around' time is amazing - I can have covers the same day or the next day. My local printer is also a Canada Post outlet so it is 'one stop shopping' for me!

For the pattern instructions I have two options. 

Some patterns will need to be printed on 11" x 17" paper. These are the ones that have an applique pattern that is larger than 8" wide. I like to provide the 'full size' that a quilter will need to make the pattern. It would be frustrating to have to go to a copy centre to enlarge a design before you can get started.

My other option is 8 1/2" x 11" paper.

I choose the appropriate basic document for the pattern. Sometimes I am not sure if one will be better than the other so I'll start with my 'best guess'. If it is not working well I can always switch to the other style and just copy the part I have written into that new basic format.

I have the 'back information' laid out in my documents. It includes a place to write a sentence or two about the pattern. Sometimes this is hard to write but I think about what I would like to know about the design and that helps me develop this area. 

I repeat the quilt size here so you don't have to go back to the cover to find that information. The pattern number is here too.
Below that is the table with the Materials List. I include as much information as possible in the table, including the fabric numbers if I am using Northcott fabrics, where the fabric is used in the project and the amount of fabric required in both yards and metres. I refer to my paper file and double check all these calculations before this table is final. I include amounts for backing and batting (and for fusible web if it is needed for the project).

Next is information about the Equipment you will need to make the quilt. Most often this is your sewing machine, rotary cutting tools and thread but if I recommend special equipment or supplies, that is included here too. 

I always include the Skill Level for the pattern. This helps quilters decide if they have the skills and knowledge to make the pattern. Most of my patterns are designed for Confident Beginners with a few designed for Intermediate skill level.

A barcode and Patchworks Studio Logo and contact information complete the pattern back.

The first section of each of my patterns is General Instructions. I talk about seam allowances, and pressing in this area. I also include special instructions for the technique used in this pattern. This might be my top tips for fusible applique or other helpful hints for a particular design. My copyright information is also included here. I ask quilters to respect my copyright so I can continue to offer new designs. 


That is the easy part...now I have to write all the steps that you, the quilters, will need to do to make the project. I'll tell you about that in Part 3 of Pattern Writing - The "Inside Scoop".

The pattern that I used for the images in this post is one of my latest.  My Windswept quilt is a reminder of the colours of autumn and crisp, cool days and nights. Fused appliqué leaves are drifted by the wind and the innovative fabrics are from Northcott's Artisan Spirit Falling Leaves collection.

 These fabrics were designed by my friend Elaine Quehl and are in stores this month. Elaine's method results in such luscious fabrics - and now you can buy them and get that hand-dyed look in your own quilt.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Flowers on Friday

Osteospermum and Stocks

This variety of Osteospermum is called 'spoon' - it reminds me of the little spoons that are used with salt cellars. Anyone still use these?  We use very little salt so these are in the back of the china cabinet!

Don't forget to enter the Patchworks Studio Flowers on Friday Summer Challenge
where you can WIN a GREAT PRIZE!
Deadline for entries: September 20, 2014

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Winter is coming......and I'm sure you'll want a BREAK in February when the cold winds blow and snow or gray rainy days are in the forecast.  Why not JOIN ME in Hawaii for Quilting on the Beach.

I will be presenting 2 workshops:

Give & Take Applique Design Discoveries (2 days) - Feb. 8 & 9

Day one of this workshop will include learning the basic principles for the Give & Take Applique two-for-one technique, making a small Valentine project, and testing machine applique stitches to enhance your project. You will also learn my special tips for finishing small quilts and then create your own Give & Take Applique designs through a series of exercises with paper. I'll will work with each student to refine their designs and select one to make in fabric the second day. 

The excitement builds on day two as I show you how to turn your paper design into a pattern. You will test your design with practice fabric and then create a plan for your choice of project (such as a wall hanging, table or bed runner or lap quilt). After refining your design you will begin to create your unique Give & Take Applique masterpiece. 

Machine Quilting with Decorative Stitches (1 day) - Feb. 10

Did you buy that sewing machine with hundreds of stitches? Do you use them? Come to this class and learn how you can use decorative stitches to add interest and excitement to your machine quilting. Learn how to select the right stitches, choose needles and threads and make a set of samples for reference for all your future quilting projects.

Book your Adventure TODAY!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Fabric Dyeing Day

We have been having an amazing summer with warm sunshine nearly every day since the beginning of July. I was hoping for this since I scheduled a 'day of dyeing' with friends from my weekly quilt group. 

We attended a lecture by Ana Buzzalino at the Victoria Quilters' Guild earlier this year and were intrigued by her dyed quilts. She makes a quilt entirely using white or cream fabrics and then puts it into the dye pot to see what happens. We wanted to give it a try too so I prepared my garage a couple of weeks ago we had a go. 

This is the photo of our 'before' projects - Jill, Anne, Peggy and Rose.
Peggy is holding her project and Rose's and Rose is holding mine.

We 'suited up' to mix cups of dye and the process was underway.

We met at our friend Sandy's home to show our results. Unfortunately Anne couldn't join us so we'll have to check out her results when we get together soon.

Dyeing our 'white' projects. Loved the wide range of fabrics and
dye results in all the projects.

Showing off lots of other fabrics, cheesecloth and silk pillows that we dyed.
Amazing results everyone!

Rose gave this quilt to her mother many years ago.
 Originally white with a print it now has an updated colour - what a great idea Rose!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Birthday Lunch

We celebrated a milestone birthday with my Mother on Saturday at the Bengal Lounge in the Empress Hotel in Victoria. They provided a wonderful cake with granadilla flavour - that is passion fruit if  you aren't familiar with this fruit.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Flowers on Friday

Today is my Mom's birthday so I thought I would share a photo of a lovely rose bush she has in her garden. It blooms all summer and she always has a vase of roses in her living room.

My Mom is an amazing gardener - both flowers and vegetables. Wish I had all her talents for growing things!

Don't forget to enter the Patchworks Studio Flowers on Friday Summer Challenge
where you can WIN a GREAT PRIZE!
Deadline for entries: September 20, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Flowers on Friday


The bees were buzzing all over these flowers at Butchart Gardens in July.

Don't forget to enter the Patchworks Studio Flowers on Friday Summer Challenge
where you can WIN a GREAT PRIZE!
Deadline for entries: September 20, 2014

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Sign up TODAY - Ripless Paper Piecing at the Academy of Quilting

Marlene's quilt from Ripless Paper Piecing

It's not to late to join me for Ripless Paper Piecing at Academy of Quilting.

Class starts on Friday - why not join in the FUN!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Alaska Quilt Cruise - September 6-13

Preparations are well in hand for my upcoming Quilting Cruise to Alaska. Kits for the lap quilt we will make are almost complete. Here are the packages all cut and ready for sewing.

Kits for Give & Take Applique - Design Discoveries are next on my preparation schedule.

I can't wait to meet everyone and see all that Alaska has to offer.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Flowers on Friday


Found thesegrowing in the garden at the Deep Cove Market, just around the corner and down the street from my home. A great place for local produce, specialty food items and baked goods.

Don't forget to enter the Patchworks Studio Flowers on Friday Summer Challenge where you can WIN a GREAT PRIZE!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Academy of Quilting - Ripless Paper Piecing

 Ripless Paper Piecing online workshop at the Academy of Quilting starts on August 22

You may already have some experience with paper piecing, sometimes called foundation piecing since the usual way is to sew onto a foundation. This class will show you how you can achieve the accuracy that paper piecing gives without some of the extra steps. The steps you WILL NOT do are:
·create one foundation for every block you sew
·sew with a very small stitch length that is extremely difficult to rip out if you make a sewing mistake
·spend time removing the foundation from your blocks
·fill your recycling bin or garbage with the foundation removed from your blocks

I like to think of this method as the Green Alternative. I have made many paper pieced blocks and quilts. I shudder to think of all the paper I threw in the garbage over the last 25 years. At least in the last few years, it has gone to be recycled, but it still makes me feel wasteful!

A step that can cause difficulties when paper piecing is having the right sized piece of fabric to cover a section of your block. I will show you how to avoid this problem with some prepration steps.
In this class, you will learn how to
·select fabrics in a range of values in two color families; a very complete discussion of 'value' is included in this class.
·download a foundation piecing block
·set up your machine for ripless foundation piecing
·sew your blocks and add borders
·audition and test quilting designs before quilting and binding.

Along with the main project (pictured above) I have added a 'BONUS' project to the class. This Ripless Star Table Runner will be a great addition to your table.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Pattern Writing - The "Inside Scoop"

For several weeks I spent a LOT of time on the computer putting the finishing touches on my 2 new patterns. I have quite a system for creating patterns which helps me prepare them for publication but it still involves quite a bit of time to get everything 'just right'.

I created the designs using Electric Quilt software  several months ago and made lots of notes about each project. When I decide to publish a design as a pattern for sale I go back to those notes and turn them into the supply list and the cutting, sewing and finishing steps that you can follow to make the quilt. That is when I find out if I have been successful in these 'preparation' steps!

Pattern Writing - The "Inside Scoop"

I create my design - a time consuming process in itself, trying ideas, different fabric arrangements, borders, or not.

First I create files for the new design: both an electronic file on my computer AND a real paper file folder. The folder has a printed picture of my design and any other printouts from Electric Quilt. These may be the rotary cutting instructions for blocks, printed applique shapes, block or quilt images that I have exported to other software so I will be able to use them when I write the pattern. The file gets a PS number (that's Patchworks Studio, of course). 

Next I begin making notes about the design. I determine all the shapes and sizes that will be needed for each fabric. This involves lots of counting and re-counting and studying my design very carefully to be sure I don't miss anything. I 'do the math' for all borders so I am sure to allow enough fabric. When doing this step I have to decide exactly how a quilter will make the quilt so I make notes about that too.

Windswept File

Holiday Lights File

I have to decide the best way for a quilter to cut all the shapes needed and from that I can determine the fabric amount that will be required. I calculate this both as 'yards' and 'metres' since my patterns are sold worldwide. Helpful tools at this stage are my calculator and a tape measure that has both Imperial (inches/yards) and Metric (centimetres / metres) on it. I could probably just have a chart to refer to but I am such a visual person that I want to SEE the conversion.

I often use my rotary cutting rulers at this step too. I use them to measure applique shapes so I am sure to allow enough fabric. I also do paper sketches to decide how the shapes might be arranged so there won't be a lot of fabric waste. I have to do this, too, when I calculate fusible web if the applique technique is fusing.

All these notes go into the paper file and when I am ready to create the pattern documents it is easy to grab the file, open my electronic file and get started.

Stay tuned to the Blog for more about the next pattern production steps. 

And leave a comment if there are specific questions you would like me to answer.