Friday, March 28, 2014

Puss in the Corner Quilt Tutorial

Hello Quilters!
I've had a few people ask about the crib quilt made with the Puss in the Corner blocks.
Here's a tutorial to help you make your own version.

Supplies for a crib quilt measuring 40" x 56"

1.30 metres of light fabric (1 3/8 yards) cut into 18 - 9 1/2" squares or use layer cakes, trimmed.
18 dark and medium 9 1/2" squares or use layer cakes, trimmed.
.40 metre of binding fabric (1/2 yard) cut into 6 - 2 1/4" strips.
1.60 metres of backing (1 3/4 yards)

Place two squares, both right side up, on top of each other.

Cut through both squares 2 1/2" from all four raw edges.

Cut squares.

Shuffle the corners and centres so that you have two opposite blocks.  Repeat with all pairs of squares.

Stack them up and chain piece the sections together. Press open or toward darks.
Chain piecing the units.

Two seams to go!

Completed pair.

Arrange the blocks alternating a dark centre with a light centre.
Sew together in rows.  Quilt and bind!!!

 Blocks are arranged 5 across by 7 down with the blocks alternating dark and light corners.
 My quilt is stipple quilted using King Tut variegated thread.
I think the light fabric that I used was a bit too busy for the design but I was only using fabrics from my stash and that fabric had been living in my cupboard far too long!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Happy Spring........I Wish!

Hello Quilters!
Yes, it's Spring apparently........  Not seeing much evidence here other than strong sunshine.  It's still quite cold with lots of snow left on the ground and still ice on Lake Huron.  Oh well, more time to quilt!
It's been a busy time here.  I had the opportunity in February to go to Mexico for a week with my daughter.  We had a wonderful time together.  When your children become adults with their own lives sometimes it's hard to have one-on-one time.  To have a week together was just so much fun!!!
It seems I am partial to Mango Tangos......enough said.
Valentin Imperial Maya Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
The North Lambton Quilters Guild had a charity quilt day in March.  There was a great turnout to come and make pro-bono quilts for people going through some tough times.  This is the quilt that I made that day.
The pattern is called "Second Floor Walk Up" by Susan Guzman.  The pattern was printed in the Winter 2013/2014 McCall's America Loves Scrap Quilts magazine.  I'm trying to use up a bunch of old plaids from my stash so that's what into this particular quilt.  Often we end up with too many feminine quilts.  This one is more of a masculine one.  The quilt was cut out when I arrived for the day at 9:00 and the top was completely sewn by 4:00 when we ended.  Quick and easy......a good recipe for charity quilts.

I was also playing around with quick ways to come up with fun quilts using layer cakes or 10" squares.  Here's what I came up with.  The quilt is the traditional "Puss in the Corner" block quilt but the method is fun and easy to do.  It would make a good mystery workshop where the students could trade 10" squares to get variety into their quilts.

I spent about a week cutting out all the pieces for a new Log Cabin quilt.  It will be a large queen size quilt when I'm finished.  When I get busy teaching, I like to have a project on the go that I can just do a block here and there chipping away at the quilt in between trips.  
The test block.

Dark strips cut and placed in cutlery tray.  Dark trays for dark fabrics.

Light strips in light cutlery trays labelled for size.  
Keeping the cut strips in cutlery trays keeps them from distorting and they are easy to transport if I'm going to a retreat out to quilt.  It's a little Type A but it works!

I had a great visit with the New Millennium Quilt Guild this week in Walkerton, Ontario.  What a lovely group of quilters!  They had me present the "Tips and Tricks for Quilters lecture and the Angles and Squares workshop.  A big thank you to Helen and Mike for allowing me to stay with them during my visit.  I will be returning to work with this group doing Colour Studies.
The Walkerton Quilters
THE BIG NEWS!!!!!!  My quilt entitled "Faith", the angel was juried into the National Juried Show!!

Here are some photos sent to me from the Mahone Bay Quilters Guild of two completed Fireside Log Cabin Quilts.  I just love it when I get to see the finished quilts!!!
Barb's quilt.

Helen's quilt.
I'll be teaching my Colour for Quilters workshop tomorrow in London, ON to the London Embroiderers' Guild.  I hope to see some of you there.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

2014 Colour of the Year

Hello Quilters!
Just in case you needed to know.........
The Colour of the Year 2014 is..........ta da!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Working in the Studio

Hello Quilters!
It's been a busy month working away at some new ideas in the studio.
First of all, I have some local teaching booked that you might be interested in if you live in the London area.

Saturday, March 29th I'm teaching Jaybird's Lotus Quilt at Cornerstone Quilts and More.  Just check the website for costs etc.  Here's the photo of my quilt sample.  I have been experimenting with quite a few quilts using the Hex 'N More ruler and I am very pleased with how easy it is to use.  Not only that, there are so many things that you can do with just the one ruler!  Students will need to purchase the ruler and pattern for this workshop.

Saturday, April 19th I'll be teaching Colour For Quilters at Kalidoscope of Quilts in Exeter.  If you have difficulty choosing colours for your quilts and want to learn the basics of colour theory, this is the workshop for you.  All you need is a shoebox of your fabric scraps, paper and scissors etc. and you are ready for this workshop!  This workshop fills up quickly so you might want to get in touch with them sooner rather than later if you are interested.  A $10.00 kit fee is charged for this class.

Thursday, May 8th I'll be back at Kalidoscope of Quilts in Exeter to teach Buggy Barn's Shifting Gears quilt.  This is an intermediate class for those students who are comfortable cutting out a quilt and have an accurate 1/4" seam allowance.  I can't wait to see the different colour combinations the students come with for this one.  Students will need to purchase the book for this workshop.

Marcia Derse jelly rolls came home with me!
Cherised Pieces in Tillsonburg held their annual retreat at The Elmhurst Inn, in Ingersoll again this year.  This is their third retreat.  We all had a wonderful time quilting up a storm and eating far too much of the delicious food served there.  As always, Cynthia was a gracious and generous host for this event.  We visited Cynthia's new location in downtown Tillsonburg.  The shop is absolutely beautiful!!  All of the fabric is perfectly displayed with full-spectrum lighting.
Everyone had an 8 foot table to work on.

Some goodies from the shop to temp us!

Cynthia was telling me that she has a couple of spots left in her February retreat.  Tempted???

I went to visit Quilters Nine Patch for their blizzard sale January 23rd.   Two of my friends and myself were the first in line when the shop opened for their sale.  The first 20 customers got a door prize.  We left home at 7:30 in order to be first in line but it was worth it when we got our door prize!
We are planning another road trip this month.  It's a beautiful shop full of samples and kits.  They sell everything from kid's fabrics, modern fabrics and civil war fabrics.  What makes it even more worth the trip is the Crossroads Restaurant in the same building.....delicious!

Two of my quilts have been submitted to The Canadian Quilters' Association's National Juried Show.
Here they are:

Wagon Wheel
Everybody take a moment and send some positive vibes so they get accepted, okay???? THANKS!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Reflecting on 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone.  I hope that 2014 sees all of you healthy and happy and having lots of time for your quilting projects.  Also, I wish you time to learn a new technique and take a few new workshops.  We all have enough fabric and ideas that we really could probably manage on our own for years to come BUT in order to grow, we need some instruction!
I see quilters all the time that tell me they have 20 years of quilting experience.  In reality, they have one year's experience repeated 20 times.  Let's get out of our comfort zones this year!
I've been doing just that by experimenting in the "modern quilt" world a little bit by trying to come up with workshops that could fall under the modern quilt heading while still respecting colour and design theory.
I'm thrilled with this modern quilt that my hubby came up with the name for..... Ladders!  In this photo the binding hasn't been sewn down yet.

Unfortunately, when I quilted it on my Juki, it became a mess.  Yesterday I quilted a crib quilt and had the same problems.  So......either I completely lost my skills over Christmas or there is something terribly wrong.  The only thing I changed was the brand of basting spray that I was using.  Perhaps I should have used a heavier coat than I'm used to.  It may not be the spray but I'm going to go back to my usual brand and see if the problem goes away.

Over the Christmas break I had a friend and neighbour tell me that she wanted to learn to quilt by making some placemats.  We had a wonderful time!  The problem is that I forgot to take her photo with her placemats.   We have another quilter!

With the new year comes the year end accounting....not my strong suit so it's a good thing that I'm married to an accountant.  Reviewing expenses and contracts from 2013 brought back great memories with visits to guilds and groups all over Canada.

I've had some "interesting" experiences too.  I have to say that I LOVE being in the classroom.  There isn't anything I like more than a classroom full of quilters that are ready and willing to learn something new.  Having said that, there seems to be a noticeable change in the way out of town quilting instructors are being treated.  Friends that are also professional instructors tell me that I'm not alone in this observation.  When I first began to teach, teachers were treated like guests.  In some cases now, we are treated like television channels.... just do your thing and get lost.  I've driven for 3 hours to give an evening lecture at a meeting that ends at 10:00 p.m. only to have to drive back home again because no one was willing to billet me.  One meeting wouldn't even give me a glass of water saying "We just have coffee."  UM!  One billet locked me into my accommodation area.  Yup, a slide bolt on her side.  Freaky!   Another didn't have running water in the bathroom I was assigned.  
I'm not a diva, I promise.  I just need a clean bed in a quiet room and a place to have a shower before I teach that day.  Trust me, everyone will enjoy a workshop much more if I'm rested and showered!
If you happen to be the workshop coordinator for your group, please CHECK THE ACCOMMODATIONS before you let your teacher stay there.  Just because someone volunteers to host doesn't mean they actually know what's required.  Shall I tell you about staying with the "cat lady" and all the flea bites I had?????
For the most part I am treated very well when billeted.  It only takes one to make retirement look good.
I'd love to show you more pictures but my computer is stuck trying to download the placemat photos. Hubby (also my I.T. guy) is out so I'll leave those for my next post.
We are experiencing some severe weather here.  Good quilting weather though.....
Stay warm everyone!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas to all!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

May Santa fill your stockings with fabric and notions!

 I hope the season see you spending time with friends and family while taking a break from usual routines.
This is our first Christmas in our new home.  We are so happy to share it with our two children who are staying for a few days before heading back to their hectic lives.  It's not often that we are all together at once so for me, that's the greatest Christmas gift of all.

I had a wonderful visit with the Bluewater Quilters Guild at the end of November.  Unfortunately, I didn't take one photograph.  At their meeting I presented my Tips and Tricks for Quilters lecture.  The following day we had the Angles and Squares workshop.  What a great group of ladies.  We had some very beginner quilters in the group who gamely signed up for this one.  I can't wait to see the final results.

I have been working away in the studio since then.  Here is the Buggy Barn quilt that is finally finished and beautifully quilted by Shirley.

I love the colours!  The pattern calls for the inside stars to be brown but mine are in the blue green instead.  Intentional?  I'll never tell!!
This is the quilt that I accidentally cut the large star blocks to 8 inches instead of 8 1/2".  I was able to steam them larger and then Shirley quilted them down.   It looks perfect!
Everything except the backing was out of my stash.  Why does that feel like the quilt is free, I wonder???

I'm working on some new workshops for the coming year(s).  Actually I'm dipping my toes into the "modern quilt" direction.  Of course, I can't give up my colour and design theory to do that so I will have my own special spin on "modern".  Stay tuned!  Anyone want to be in the testing group?  Let me know if you do.

Shirley is away for awhile so I have a few quilts just waiting for her to quilt them.  With luck they will be local workshops.  I'll show you them once they are quilted.
Two workshop samples from patterns by Jaybird Quilts.

One of the new modern quilts is made of solid fabrics in two colour families plus a neutral and an accent.  I can't wait to teach this one!!!  Again, it will have to be quilted first before I can show you the photo.

Another workshop has a random pieced background.  It used up most of my lime green stash.  That's enough of an excuse for me to buy more fabric!
Still working on the lime green quilt.

The Marsh Store in Coldstream is having their annual Christmas sale from December 27 to 31 with 30% off everything in the store.  I'm sure I'll see many familiar faces there.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Clover Needle Cassettes

Hello Quilters!
This is one of my favourite products but I'm having trouble finding them.  I'm not sure if Clover makes them anymore.  If you see any in your travels, please let me know.
Clover Premier Needle Threading Cassette - <span itemprop="image"></span>