Friday, August 17, 2018

The Family Vacation

I spent last week in Qualicum Landing on Vancouver Island in an amazing house with my husband, son and daughter-in-law, daughter and son-in-law and our beautiful little granddaughters. What a wonderful time we had!  We spent time at the beach (can't seem to catch these girls both looking at me when I take a picture)....

Visited Morningstar Farm, home to Little Qualicum Cheeseworks

A great way to get a picture of the Barn Quilt!

Not scared of this wooly sheep!

We swam in the pool near our house

Alice & Paul

Brooklyn & Scott

 Grannie made new tops for the summer.
Fabric is Scandia by Jane Sassaman.
Time to use some of my large 'Jane' collection!

Paul made Benny's for Breakfast - with 'the works'!

And I woke up very early one morning to see this sunrise.

The holiday was the best way to relax and recharge - a complete change of pace for everyone.

I highly recommend the house we stayed in if you are looking for a 'home base' to take in all the activities in this part of Vancouver Island:
It is #45 Qualicum Landing 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Fall Workshops - Calico Cupboard Quilt Shop - Victoria, BC

My workshop schedule at Calico Cupboard Quilt Shop has been finalized and I have created a mini-brochure with the details and pictures. 

You will find the link to my brochure here.

You can drop by the shop to see the samples and register in person, or by phone if you have a MasterCard or Visa.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Finished! Mini Pumpkins

Just completed a class sample for this Fall. Mini Pumpkins uses the Quick Curve Mini ruler from Sew Kind of Wonderful.

I changed my version of the pattern to have more orange pumpkins. Love how these curves are easy to cut and sew, and with no pins.

Want to make one too?  Join me for this workshop at Calico Cupboard Quilt Shop here in Victoria on Saturday, September 22, 10 am - 2 pm and you can have some pumpkins too!

The complete Fall teaching schedule will be available soon. Sign up for my FREE newsletter so you'll get the notification.

Hope to see you in the classroom soon!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Rockin' the ROCKS today

Having fun with rocks and pebbles as I make another sample for a Fall class. This one is for Free Motion Studio, a multi-session workshop at Calico Cupboard starting in September. Students have been asking for more practice, more designs, more ideas! Learn to stitch new designs as you make some fun projects in this workshop.

Detailed brochure for my classes will be available in late-August so stay tuned.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Winter Quilt - Start Now?

Do you start your Winter quilting in July?  I know a lot of quilt shops start getting their holiday/winter fabrics this month. You might like to try one of my new patterns.

Festival of Trees is an easy quilt with lots of graphic impact.

The fabrics are from the Winter Light Collection by Banyan Batiks

Here are a few closeups showing how I quilted my quilt:

After the quilt was finished I had fabrics left to make 1 more block. I used it to make this quilted bag. It will be a great 'wrap' for a gift this Christmas - wonder who I'll give it to?

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Border Quilt Quilt Along - My Fabric Choices


Jen just heard last night that the fabric she is using for her quilt won't be in stores until a bit later than anticipated. These things happen - could be weather impacting shipments to the fabric company or some other thing beyond anyone's control. So....

The START DATE for The Border Quilt Quilt Along has been changed to September 15th so you will be able to use the same fabric as Jen is using (Enchanted Forest Flannel). 

BONUS: You have more time to enjoy summer and leisurely prepare for the Quilt Along!
And I have a bit more time to work on my Fall Class Samples.
(Can you tell I'm good at turning lemons into lemonade?)

My blog post about my fabric choices was already set to go so I'm sticking with it. 
See the fabrics I'm going to use below.


Have you signed up for The Border Quilt Quilt Along? This is a pattern designed by Patterns by Jen and I joined in as soon as I saw the quilt.

Read my previous post about why I wanted to make this quilt and see how you can join the fun too!

Today I am sharing the fabrics I will be using for my quilt. While I love the flannel that Jen's using I thought it would be fun to change up the quilt to make mine a bit unique.

First, I decided I would 'swap the values'. So where Jen is using light fabrics I'll be using dark fabrics. I think my quilt will be a bit dramatic!

I'm in love with Banyan Batik fabrics and there so many wonderful colours in their amazing 'basic' collections called Ketan Multi, Ketan and Shadows.

Here is a picture of my fabric choices from those collections.

I started with the 2 Ketan Multi fabrics and selected the rest of the palette based on those colours.

Click the button below to learn more about The Border Quilt Quilt Along. 

I hope you'll join the Facebook Group where you can share your progress!

Now that I have my fabrics I will be working on the center part of my quilt. I'll be posting my results around August 15th New Date: September 15th so be sure to check back then. 

I'll be sharing in the Facebook Group and on the Patchworks Studio Facebook page too.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Border Quilt - Quilt Along

Have you ever done a Quilt Along? I haven't but I saw a post on Facebook from Jen Shaffer inviting people to join in. Jen's pattern company is Patterns by Jen.

I was first intrigued since she is using a Northcott Flannel fabric for her quilt and I love the Enchanted Forest collection.

So I had a look at the quilt we would be making and I LOVED it too!

I have always liked Medallion-style quilts. In fact I designed two Medallion quilts and posted the instructions on the Patchworks Studio website in 2000 and 2003. (Can't believe how long ago these were done!)

Quilters could join the fun to make the quilt like a 'block of the month program'. They bought a pattern package that included templates where they were needed, paper piecing blocks and the applique shapes that were added in some areas of the quilts. This package was sent by regular mail since this was long before the internet widely available, Facebook did not exist and I had to post monthly instructions on the website. I guess this was really an early version of a Quilt Along!

Here are pictures of the 2 medallion quilts that I designed.

Club Medallion, 2000
Melon Splash, 2003

This Quilt Along will be a lot more fun because you will be able to see Jen make her quilt  and I'll be making it too. I think there are other designers who are joining in as well. And you can share your progress on Facebook and Instagram.

So how do you join in the fun?

First..............READ Jen's blogpost here.

Second.........Order your pattern (links to purchase are in Jen's post) and there are a lot of options to get the pattern.

Third.............Join the Facebook group to ask questions and share your progress. If you are using Instagram use #theborderquiltquiltalong OR the really short #tbqqa so we can see your progress.

It all starts on July 18th with Introductory Posts

I'll be sharing the fabrics I'll be using. While I love those flannels.....I have selected something else and I'm doing a bit of a 'flip' with the quilt. You'll have to come back on July 18th to find out!

See you soon in the The Border Quilt Quilt Along!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Water Lily Block of the Month - Almost finished!

I spent a few days sewing in the last week. I am determined that my Water Garden Block of the Month quilt will not be a UFO!

The original quilt is 66" x 72" .

I wanted my quilt to be Queen Size so I re-worked the borders for my version.

I taught this Block of the Month at Calico Cupboard this Spring. Here is Sue D's quilt.
Sue wanted queen size too!

I am working on the backing for my quilt - it MAY actually make the quilt REVERSIBLE!
I'll show you want I come up with later in July. My goal is to have this quilt finished before I leave for vacation in August. 

Wish me luck!

Monday, July 9, 2018

Where to buy........Acorn Precision Piecing Products

I've had lots of inquiries about these new products I reviewed recently (Blog Post here).

Reminder of the products:

Seam Align Glue

Easy Press Solution and Pen

I received this list from a local distributor who sells the 
Acorn Precision Piecing Products to quilt shops:

British Columbia
The Cloth Shop - Vancouver
Stitch and Bobbin - North Vancouver
​Quilted Treasures - Coquitlam
Tom's Sewing - Surrey
Hamel's Fabrics - Chilliwack
Quiltworx North - Rosedale
Serge & Sew - Nanaimo
Island Cloth Castle - Victoria
Kismet Quilts - Port Alberni
Carola's - Gibson's
Heather's Fabric Shelf - Kamloops
Katja's Quilt Shop - Kamloops
The Quilted Quail - Kelowna
Cottage Quilting - Kelowna
R & R Sewing Centre - Quesnel
Kathy's Quilt Shop - Prince George
Kayda's Quiltworks - Prince George
Vanderhoof Dept Store - Vanderhoof

 Yukon Territories
Bear's Paw Quilts - Whitehorse

Quilted Gems & Treasures - Cold Lake South
Lori's Country Cottage - Sherwood Park

The Fabric Merchant - St John's

Nova Scotia

Sew with Vision - Halifax

I'm sure there will be more shops carrying these great products every week, so be sure to ask your local quilt shop first. Then refer to the list if you need to contact a shop outside your area.

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Paw Prints - Fabric Options

One of my latest patterns was designed to use the Polar Hugs collection by Northcott.

I thought it would be fun to try my design in two other fabric collections.

Rock City by Banyan Batiks - this collection will be in stores in December 2018

 Strokes of Brilliance by Northcott - in quilt shops now.

These 2 version look so different from the original one.

I used Electric Quilt software to try these other fabrics for my design.

Did you know that you can download fabrics to use in your EQ software?  

Here is a video showing how to do it. 

Some of the screens are slightly different now. 

The basic steps are:

Select 'Products' on the main menu

Choose one of the sections
(Coming Soon, Banyan Batiks, Current Collections, etc.)

Select the Fabric Collection you would like to download
(click on the Collection Name)

Click 'Download Fabrics for EQ' button
(in the column on the right side of the screen)

A 'ZIP' file will download.

Then use the video to help you 'unzip' the image files and save them on your computer.

Have fun designing!

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Happy Canada Day!

It is Canada's 151st birthday today and my family is celebrating with Pancake Breakfast and then the annual Parade in Sidney, BC.

We'll be wearing our red and white just like we did last year
and I'll be displaying my True North quilt.

Today I'm sharing a beautiful urban garden in the heart of Vancouver.

I visited VanDusen Botanical Garden when on my trip to Quilt Canada in early June. Creation of the garden started in 1966 and today it is a wonderful place to walk and learn about plants. 

Here are a few of the many pictures I took that day:

If you visit Vancouver, be sure to put VanDusen on your activity list!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Product Review - Acorn Precision Piecing Products

Last week I mentioned that I re-connect with friends and colleagues when I am at Quilt Market. I was excited to see some long-time friends with a booth at Market.

I have known Shelley Scott-Tobisch and Bernie Tobisch since the early 90's when they were the Bernina dealer 'inside' Satin Moon Quilt Shop in Victoria. I haven't seen them since they moved to the Vancouver area a long time ago. 

Shelley is a very precise piecer - every point matches every time and Bernie is sewing machine technician with over 40 years of experience. I miss having Bernie service my Berninas!

They were at Quilt Market to announce their new products: Acorn Precision Piecing Products. I saw Shelley's demo and I am very excited about the Seam Align Glue that means you never have to PIN again!  She also demonstrated a special starch pen than relaxes your seams so they are flat, flat, flat.

But don't take my word for it.....

Check out this great video where Shelley and Bernie show Alex Anderson how these products work:

I know one of the Western Canadian distributors is carrying these products (N Jefferson Ltd.). Tell your local quilt shops and they can order them for you - and NO MORE PINS!

Shelley and Bernie have also each written a book with C&T Publishing.

Shelly's book "Easy Precision Piecing" is due for release in July. 

Bernie's book "You and Your Sewing Machine" is also coming in July. 

Congratulations Shelley and Bernie - what a busy couple you have been!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Quilt Canada Vancouver 2018

When you go to Quilt Canada you can see quilts accepted to the National Juried Show (NJS) and several 'concurrent' quilt show. One of these additional shows took my breath away!

Inuvik Landscapes was created to celebrate the 10th Anniversary season of the Inuvik Quilting Guild in 2016. Guild members were asked to create a quilted, textile panel based on Inuvik photos from photographer Kristian Binder. Each photo was created as a triptych, with 3 works coming together to form a single image. Participants range from very beginner quilters to experienced artists.

Here are 2 of my favourites from the show.

Fireweed - panels made by (left to right): Donna MacDonald, Elise Declare-Jean, Lynda Smith

Inspiration Photograph

Spring Break Up - panels made by (left to right): Patricia Fielding, Bev Garven, Teresa Ritter

Inspiration Photograph

Monday, June 25, 2018

Ring Toss - a new pattern from an old design

I made a quilt with this 'ribbon-like' block over 20 years ago and I have wanted to design a pattern with it for a long time. My original quilt had the blocks in a traditional horizontal setting.

For this quilt I moved the rings around as I created the design using Electric Quilt sotware until they were overlapping.

The piecing is actually very straightforward. To simplify the piecing and avoid 'partial' or 'Y-seams' where the blocks overlap I sewed the units in horizontal rows.

I quilted free-motion feathers and swirls on my longarm, giving the lacy background lots of texture.

Fabrics are from the Darling Lace collection and Ketan by Banyan Batiks.

I also made a section of this quilt to show at my Schoolhouse presentation in Portland last month. I reversed the values so this quilt has a dark background.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

International Quilt Market - and a Product Review

My travels took me to International Quilt Market in Portland in late May.

I presented a talk at 'Schoolhouse' for shop owners. I spoke about using displays in their shops and showed quilts using upcoming Banyan Batiks collections.

Thanks to the Northcott/Banyan Batiks staff and my husband for showing quilts while I was speaking. And to the Marketing specialists who created a slide show of ideas.

My Extra Special thanks go to all the designers who provided their quilts for everyone to see!

Here are a couple of displays I created at home:

Banyan Batiks - Winter Light - Pattern coming soon
Darling Lace - Pattern coming soon for this collection too


I love going to Quilt Market. I get to visit with old friends and colleagues and see all the great new fabrics, quilts and products that are new.  

One friend I met up with was  Joan Ford of Hummingbird HighwayJoan has a 2nd company, Pudgie Parrot, and a great New Product called Your Nest.

If you know Joan, you know that she is crazy for BIRDS!  And what a great name for this product.  You can 'keep stuff handy' - in the sewing room, in your office, wherever you need to 'corral' stuff.

I'm using mine to hold several rulers, my rotary cutter and several marking and sewing tools.

Of course I chose the Hummingbird (lime green) colour.

You can choose Martin (purple), Peacock (turquoise) or Flamingo (pink) for YOUR Nest.

Think I need to get the other colours for my office and one for the kitchen would be great too.

Joan is working on having Your Nest distributed in Canada - know a distributor? Let them know about this great product so we can get them through our Canadian shops too!