Tuesday, December 6, 2016

What's on My Table, Tuesday?

MUST get this zipper done today so I can move forward on this project - it's a gift, no hints!



Are you still making gifts too??

Monday, December 5, 2016

Gulf States Quilting Association - Annual Seminar

The Gulf States Quilting Association Quilt Seminar 2017 will be held in New Orleans from March 15 - 18, 2017.

This is their 31st Education Seminar and registration is now open.

I am thrilled to be included as one of the instructors for this wonderful event.

Here are the classes I will be teaching:

Thursday, March 16: Give & Take Applique - Design Discoveries



Friday, March 17: Too Easy Stained Glass


Saturday, March 18: Machine Quilting with Decorative Stitches






Registration closes January 31, 2017, and classes fill quickly so don't delay your registration so you can get the class you want!

Will I see you there?

Friday, December 2, 2016

Meeting My Goals

One of my goals this year was to update the Workshops information on my website. I'm happy to say that this task is DONE!



I have updated the descriptions for all the workshops and added more pictures, particularly of student's accomplishments in 'project oriented' workshops. 





I have also made it easier for Workshop Coordinators to see all my offerings in one place by creating a printable PDF file that they can share with their committee and guild members.


My schedule is filling nicely for 2017 but there are a few spaces left. A few bookings are 'percolating' for 2018 as well.

If you would like more information about any of my workshops, email me and I'm happy to work with you to tailor a special learning experience for you and your group.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Product Reviews - Free Motion Tools

I have taught Free Motion Quilting for many years and I thought it would be fun to tell you about a few products that I've tried to help me control my quilt as I stitch on my home machine.

Noble Notions makes Quilter's Grip and Quilter's Tips.

Quilter's Grip is a set of 2 odd-looking blue plastic shapes, one for the right hand and one for the left. They are easy to get on and off and they helped me move the quilt fairly easily for free motion quilting. However, I found my hands became cramped if I used them too long.
 
Quilter's Tips are harder to get on and off but they also worked well. I didn't have to put one on every finger to gain more control. I didn't have to remove them if I needed to trim threads but threading the needle if I changed threads took a bit more practice since I wasn't used to having something on my finger tips. They can also be used when hand sewing to get a better grip on your needle.

 
I normally use Machingers quilting gloves when free motion quilting. They are thin so my hands don't get hot and the rubberized ends of the fingers give good control of the quilt as I move it under the needle. I think I will continue to use these instead of the 'grips' and 'tips'.

 
Recently I had a student in a free motion quilting class who was using Grip & Stitch™ quilting disks from Clever Craft Tools. I tried them in class and I think they are a great option if you don't like to wear gloves when free motion quilting.

 
 
Do you have a favourite product that gives you more control when free motion quilting? Tell me about it and I'll share it here on the Blog.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Last Day.....to take 30% OFF Classes

This is the LAST DAY to take advantage of
30% DISCOUNT on
MY ON DEMAND CLASSES!

These classes are presented through the Academy of Quilting.

Attic Windows - Design and Quilting - $30 US  now $21 US

What's in your Attic Window? Is it a country or woodland scene? Wild animals or fish in a pond? A bright children's print? Theme prints are perfect for windowing. I will show you how to explore a variety of window options to suit your window fabric and how to design your own one-of-a-kind quilt.  You will work with graph paper and some easy tools to design your quilt.

You will learn to select the supporting fabrics and sew traditional mitered windows with my fool-proof technique. This is both a design and sewing class and is suitable for confident beginners with rotary cutting and basic quilt making skills.


Paper Piecing Paradise $40 US  now $28 US

Paper piecing, foundation piecing, sew and flip, whatever you call this method, using it you will give you perfect blocks and no more chopped off points! During this class, you will learn how to create your foundations, select and prepare your fabrics and how to sew perfect blocks every time.

Even traditional blocks can be pieced this way; it is not just for small blocks or unusual blocks with sharp points. You can make the layout as shown in the class sample or rearrange the blocks to create a sampler or a completely different scene.

This is a paper piecing starter class, suitable for beginners with basic quilt making skills.

If you have found foundation piecing difficult in the past, I know you will learn to love it in this class.

Ripless Paper Piecing - $30 US  now $21 US

This is one of my most popular 'in person' workshops! This small project will pay big dividends. You will learn how to foundation piece without sewing through the paper. Using this easy method, you will have perfect points without spending hours removing tiny scraps of paper with tweezers. You will also save time and thread by being able to sew with a regular stitch length.

A bonus in this class is learning all about value. that is the relative lightness or darkness of fabrics. This is an essential skill for anyone who works with colour!

I will continue to guide you as you choose a quilting design and bind your project with a single fold binding. Skill level: Easy.

Seminole Piecing - $30 US  now $21 US

Seminole Piecing is a patchwork method used by the Seminole people of south Florida to enhance their garments.

I will show you how to create eight bands of patchwork using simple rotary cutting and basic piecing techniques. The magic comes when you cut the units apart and sew them back together. You will be inspired by her suggestions to use the bands to trim garments and home d├ęcor items.

You will make a tote bag, bolster pillow and wall quilt in this class and will have lots of ideas for more projects.

Level: Advanced beginner and up.



Too Easy Stained Glass - $30 US  now $21 US
This is another one of my most popular workshops!


Let’s face it. Quilters love fabric, but some fabrics are hard to use. Those wonderful landscape fabrics will not be the same if we cut them into tiny pieces. What to do? I have the perfect solution. Framing your quilt with leading lines creates an often surprising new view of your fabrics, drawing the eye in and giving greater attention to your focus fabric. You will learn a no-bias, no-glue stained glass technique.

As you make a small project, I will show you the Too Easy steps that set this approach apart from other methods. You will then explore further design options for a variety of fabrics and sizes.

All Levels.




Don't miss this great opportunity to SAVE 30%!

Register TODAY




Monday, November 28, 2016

What's On My Table, Tuesday?

More holiday projects....I'll do the 'reveal' in January.


Don't you just LOVE that Lime Green bag - my FAVOURITE colour!



Thursday, November 24, 2016

FLASH SALE - FREE SHIPPING for ALL Patterns!

Two Days only

Thursday, November 24, 2016
through 
Midnight (Pacific Standard Time), Friday, November 25, 2016

 

ALL Patchworks Studio Patterns 

will be SHIPPED FOR FREE!*

*while quantities last


- anywhere in the world
- these are printed patterns (not downloads)
- patterns will be shipped by Air Mail!

Choose from:





No Limit on the number of patterns you can order!

Remember...........

this special offer expires Midnight (PST), Friday, November 25, 2016


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Canadian Sampler

I am excited about a great way to celebrate Canada's 150th Anniversary!

I was invited by Sew Sisters Quilt Shop to design and make a block for The Canadian Sampler Block of the Month.

Earlier this year the shop invited 20 amazing Canadian designers to each design a red and white quilt block to celebrate our great nation. I am honoured that they invited me to design a block! I know you'll enjoy making my Pacific Stars block.

Each designer created a 12" red and white quilt block that expressed their love for our beautiful country and you can register to make the quilt now.


All the details are on the Sew Sisters blog.




I hope you'll join the fun and make this beautiful quilt!


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What's on my Table, Tuesday?

I have projects to finish but.....

can't wait to start URBANOLOGIE by Sew Kind of Wonderful.



I bought this Block of the Month pattern in Houston and I had fun today selecting fabrics for my quilt. This is definitely my NEW YEAR project!

I want to teach this Block of the Month here on Vancouver Island. Interested?  Where?

Leave a comment and I'll see what I can do about scheduling this fun project.

It will happen mid to late 2017 I think. Must get MY quilt done first!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Quilt Binding Tip

Here's a quick tip for binding your quilt.

I always 'test fit' my binding before I sew it to my quilt. I do this so I can be sure that my binding join seams do not end up in the corners where they would create too much bulk to make perfectly mitred corners.

You will notice (on the lower right corner of the picture) that I didn't cut off the 'tails' where I joined the binding strips. It makes it MUCH easier to see the seams when I do this test fitting! I'll trim those after the binding is sewn to the quilt.



Tuesday, November 15, 2016

What's on My Table, Tuesday?

Preparing for Holiday Sewing!



I'm getting ORGANIZED for a sewing marathon!
 
There are 5 projects in this bin - and a LIST - love LISTS!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Why do we wear a Poppy?



Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Remembrance Day is observed on November 11 in most countries to recall the end of hostilities of World War I on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month",

We also remember all the men and women who have served our country.

The red remembrance poppy has become a familiar emblem of Remembrance Day due to the poem "In Flanders Fields" written by Canadian physician Lieutenant-Colonel John McCrae.


In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.


Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.



On November 11, please take a moment to remember these special people who gave their lives and served (and continue to serve) our country..

I included the post above in my weekly newsletter. I received an email from one of my subscribers, telling me how important the Poppy Fund is to her and her family. Her story touched me deeply and I share it with you (posted with permission):

If anyone asks you where does the money go that is raised by poppy sales each year – now that most of the older Veterans have passed – I can tell you:  it goes to help a whole new slew of Veterans from the Afghan War and other recent wars.  

My son, is a Vet. of these new wars.  In 2002, Michael was is Afghanistan peacekeeping/fighting for Canada when on April 18, 2002, a bomb killed the first four Canadians soldiers who were killed on ‘active’ duty since the Korean War.  That bomb missed my kid by about 8 feet!  

He was pretty messed up by this and his method of dealing with it was Chrystal meth.  He spent 12 as a drug addict but I am now soooo happy to be able to say he has now been clean for 2 ½ years.

In 2009, I went to Edmonton, to see him, for four days and stayed nine months.  I went through $24,000 in four months, between making his mortgage payments, paying all his bills including lawyer’s fees to get and keep him out of  jail.

I finally ran out of money and called Veteran’s Affairs and asked for an advance on his ‘soon-to-be-approved’ pension as the mortgage and other bills  was due again and I was broke.  They explained that they did not do that but told me to call the POPPY FUND.  I said I thought that that was for War-Veterans and they told me that yes it was and that Michael was a War-Veteran!   

After crying for a while with that realization, I called the Poppy Fund and they told me to bring down all of my son's bills including the mortgage and they would certainly pay them.  They would also provide food vouchers for both of us .. if and when we needed it and would continue to look after us until the pension came in and we were OK.
   
His pension came in the next month and I received a call from the Poppy Fund to see if we still needed their services… which we did not.



We convinced our son to move back home with us and after a few more years of struggling …. he now has 2 ½ years of sobriety.    

I want to thank Mary for sharing this story with me and allowing me to share it with you.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

What's on My Table, Tuesday?

Loot from Houston - now to find homes for some goodies and start using others!



Monday, November 7, 2016

Houston - The Quilts!

When I was at International Quilt Market I allowed time to see the Special Quilt Exhibits and the Quilts: A World of Beauty competition quilts. Today I'll share a few of my many pictures.


When I visit a quilt show and take pictures I always take a picture of the quilt description as well as the quilt. This is so I can give credit to the quiltmaker and read the story about their quilt. All the photographs posted here include the name of the quilt and the quilt maker. I have also included a bit of information about the quilt in some cases. This is so easy with smartphones!


One exhibit where I spent quite a bit of time was the Japanese Quilts - WA QUILT: KOTOHOGI-Celebrations.  The "Wa" quilts reflect a very Japanese sense of colour, material, scenery and pattern. The overall theme of this exhibit is to convey the feeling of different Japanese festivals and celebrations.


Soap Bubbles
by Keiko Goke, Miyagi, Japan


Celebratory Fan
by Junko Sawada, Kanagawa, Japan

A fan is regarded as a symbol of prosperity
 according to its spreading shape.


Red & White
by Yoko Okamoto, Osaka, Japan


  


The next quilts were all entries in the Quilts: A World of Beauty competition.

From the Art - People, Portraits and Figures category:

African Village
by Janneke De Vries-Bodzinga
Kollumerzwaag, Friesland
The Netherlands
This is an original design inspired by the maker's holiday in Africa.


From the Group category

Manoa Falls Valley
by Shigeko Haruki and eight friends,
Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan

The quilt description:
This the view and flowers we saw in the forest in Manoa on Oahu, Hawaii.
Can you hear the birds chirping?



From the Art - Abstract, Small category

Spring Thaw
by Beth Gilbert, Huntley, Illinois

Inspired by the idea of long-awaited spring.

This quilt won the Koala Studios Master Award for Innovative Artistry, sponsored by Koala Studios.  I was so excited to see this quilt in person!  I had seen photographs and the quilt is so amazing. I felt like I could just walk over and take one of the cushions from a shelf. This truly is a well-deserved winner! 

Silk Road Sampler,
by Melissa Sobotka, Richardson, Texas


Here is part of Melissa's artist statement:

Where East meet West in Instanbul, there is a
spice bazaar that has been there since 1597.
 
There, surrounded by exotic smells and tastes,
 the vibrant colours of the Silk Road come alive. 



I took a lot more pictures but these ones give you a sense of what 
appealed to me as I spent a morning viewing the quilts. 

Can't wait for all the surprises next year!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Seam Ripper Review


Today I am sharing a review of Seam Rippers. I received this Dritz Quilting Folding Seam Ripper in a goody bag at a retreat where I taught..I wondered if it was a 'good' one. You see, I'm very particular about my seam ripper. We all need one – even the best sewers among us!


I own two seam rippers. A short one came with my Bernina sewing machine and I bought the other one when I thought I had lost the first one. Both have a fine 'prong'. I use the longer one most often. The shorter one is the one I take to classes since the handle can be removed and it becomes the cover. I use a soft zipper bag for my class tools and it is safer to have a seam ripper with a cover. I've lost the cover for the longer one! One good thing about the folding ripper is there is no cover to lose. It also has a fine prong and I tried it recently and it works as well as my others.


You may wonder about the rippers I do not like. I took a picture of my seam rippers along with the one that I think is more difficult to use. You'll see that the prong on that one is much larger. It is difficult to slip it underneath a single stitch. So, if you have one like this, you might find a finer one makes your stitch ripping much easier.