Monday, 29 September 2014

Modern Block Monday - The Trials and Tribulations of the Union Jack

A new week! A new block! Janet from my Canadians Quilt Bee asked for this Union Jack block by Tracyjay Quilts (this free pattern is available on Craftsy). This is a combination paper pieced and pieced block. Boy, did this one test my patience! With myself -- the pattern is just fine!


First, I agonized over the fabric selection. Janet wanted red, white and blue fabrics that read as those, but had some of the other colours in them. For a solids girl like myself, this was a big stretch (This isn't a complaint -- I like doing bees for exactly these reasons). I started with a different white and blue, but realized midway through that I didn't have enough of the white. Seam ripping. A piece of red fabric was too short for one of the paper piecing sections. Seam ripping. Did it again -- same piece! Seam ripping.

This block did not like me. And I didn't like it...until it was done. I wasn't sure about the lighter blue either, but I think it works. Hopefully Janet thinks so too!


Happy Monday, all!

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Quilt Hack #2 - Mini Fabric Bolt

One of the best quilt hacks I ever came across was from Angela Pingel at Cut to Pieces. She uses comic book boards to store her fabric like mini bolts. Brilliant! Up until then, I was storing my fabric horizontally and having a hard time keeping the stacks neat and tidy. I'm not a neat and tidy person so I love easy storage ideas.

The 8.5" by 11" boards come in 100-board packs and can be purchased at comic book stores (or at for about $10/pack of 100. Because they are made for the long-term storage of comic books, they are acid-free and of archival quality -- perfect for storing fabric too. :) Here's the thing though, once you start folding all your stash onto the boards, you start to realize exactly how much fabric you actually have. Ahem!

I store any fabric that's a 1/2 yard or larger on my boards. I fold the fabric in quarters along the selvage edge, which is handy because that's how I cut fabric too.

I wrap the fabric around it.

Then, I tuck in the raw edge, and secure it with a pin. Done!

Don't they look so pretty like that?

Have a quilt hack you'd like to share? Let me know (quiltmatters{at}gmail{dot}com) and I may feature it here.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

What's Up, Buttercup?

Have you heard Craftsy's BIG Fall Course Sale is happening now? 50% off ALL online classes until September 22, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. Once you enroll you can watch your classes anytime, anywhere, forever. Have you checked out Craftsy's latest class additions? I've got my eye on Patsy Thompson's Ultimate Free Motion Quilting course as my next course. FYI, I am an affiliate.


I've had a number of local quilters ask me if I was teaching my Modern Free Motion Quilting Sampler on a weekend and I'm happy to say that I am! I'll be teaching it at The Country Quilter, Richmond, Ontario on Saturday, September 27th from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. There are a few spots left so if you are interested, contact The Country Quilter

I'm out and about quite a bit this Fall. Here are some other upcoming speaking and teaching events:

Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Let's Talk Modern Quilting Lecture and Trunk Show 
Common Thread Quilt Guild, Ottawa, Ontario

Saturday, October 25, 2014
Modern Free Motion Quilting Sampler
Montreal Modern Quilt Guild, Montreal, Quebec

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Let's Talk Modern Quilting Lecture and Trunk Show
Arnprior District Quilters Guild, Arnprior, Ontario

Monday, November 10, 2014
Let's Talk Modern Quilting Lecture and Trunk Show
Kemptville Quilters' Guild, Ottawa, Ontario

Saturday, November 29, 2014
Modern Totems Workshop
Ottawa Valley Quilters Guild, Ottawa, Ontario

Wednesday, December 10, 2014
Let's Talk Modern Quilting Lecture and Trunk Show
Limestone Quilters' Guild, Kingston, Ontario

Fun! Fun! Fun!


We went to an Ottawa Fury soccer game recently. The new Landsdowne stadium just opened and they only seated people on one side, which gave us a great view of the seats on the other side. Doesn't the seat arrangement look like it could be a cool quilt? You find inspiration in the most unlikely places sometimes...

Have a great Thursday, folks!

Thursday, 11 September 2014

TGIFF! - A Banner Day for Otis

Welcome to TGIFF!, where every finish deserves a celebration!

Today, I'm sharing the quilt I made for my new nephew Otis. The last time I wrote about this baby quilt, we talked about the quilting. Lines, wishbones, loopy loos, stippling -- so many great options! I wanted the quilting to accentuate the bunting so in the end, I chose a combination of echo lines, loopy loos and stippling. The quilting was done with Aurifil 2021 (I don't even have to check the colour card or the bottom of the spool anymore to remember the number - lol!). I left the bunting unquilted. I like that the bunting puffs up, but time will tell whether that was a good call. If it doesn't wear well with washing, I'll add some quilting.

Here is the finished A Banner Day for Otis. I'm so very pleased with how it turned out!

A Banner for African Lion Safari

The fabric for the bunting cords, the backing and the binding is Red Clown Stripe by Michael Miller:

Originally, Otis looked a little 'under-whelmed' by his welcome gift.

"Really, Tante Mich? It's 25C out!"
But he's enjoying it now!

Isn't he a cutie?! This quilt finishes at 40" by 60" so it will grow with him a bit. I can't wait until he's old enough for me to tuck him in with this quilt.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

The lovely Anja from Anja Quilts and my TGIFF! bestie Laura from Quokka Quilts have asked me to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop and I am happy to oblige! Anyone else keep wanting to add "in 80 days" or is it just me? I digress. I have four questions to answer for you.

1. What am I working on?

I have a lot of works in progress (WIPs) and I'll switch between them as the inspiration hits. This may seem like too many for some people, but I find that if I just let myself move from project to project as the mood strikes, then I stay more productive. I hate feeling like I "should" work on something because I find that it ends up stymying my creativity.

The project on my design wall that's getting my focus right now is this baby quilt for a friend. The late night lighting is throwing the colours off, but you get the idea.

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Hmm, that's a tough one. I think there are two things that you tend to see a lot in my work -- solids and rainbow palettes. With solids, I love that no matter which way I cut up the fabric, the colour stays true and I don't need to worry about a secondary colour in the print becoming the dominant colour in the cut fabric. I also don't have to worry about the figure/ground relationship of the fabrics themselves and can just focus on the design of the quilt.

I also find something really joyful in a rainbow palette. Two reasons really -- a rainbow appeared as we were leaving my dad's funeral when he passed away 11 years ago and my middle son went through a rainbow drawing phase when he was 3. The quiet time we spent together drawing rainbow after rainbow is a memory of him that I cherish. I've enjoyed discovering and working with different rainbow palettes -- dark ones, bright ones, and toned ones. All this said, I love trying new things and trying different styles.

Scrap{Bee} 2.0

Rainbow Creek

Rainbow Bright

3. Why do I write/create what I do?

I love making beautiful and useful things. I always have. I love the tactile nature of quilts and their warmth. Seeing something I made -- especially something I designed and then made -- makes me happy and satisfies my soul. I started the blog to keep my writing skills active while I was on parental leave and to participate in the great online quilting community.


4. How does my writing/creating process work?

Usually I try to do some quilting (at least 20 minutes) every day. Once I get going though, I often end up doing more. It's going to be a challenge to do that going forward, but it's such a great way to relax that I want to continue it. When it comes to blogging, I mostly write posts as I want to publish them. With my return to the office though, I may try doing some batch writing.

Happy Canada Day, Eh!

Now, I'm supposed to tag 2 or 3 other people, but I think most of the people I know have participated already. If you haven't though and would like to participate, consider yourself tagged! :)

I'm hosting TGIFF! this week so get those finishes ready!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Bubbles - A Work in Progress

Hi all, happy Wednesday! First two days on the job have gone well. I have a LOT to learn, but the group is great and they are easing me in nicely. Phew! Shall we talk a little quilting then?

Have you heard about the Mystery Fat Quarter Event at Fabric Spark? Until September 14th, you can get a free fat quarter with the purchase of the equivalent of a yard (or 4 fat quarters, 2 1/2 yards, etc.). The Fabric Spark gang will pick the fat quarter to work well with your purchase. Fun! Aren't you curious to see what they'd pick? More details are on the Fabric Spark site.

I'm working on a quilt for a friend's baby, who was also born on the same day as my nephew. When we first began talking quilts and my friend told me the room colours (orange-red, celery and charcoal grey furniture), this quilt by Janet McWorkman immediately came to mind. Wanting to offer her more ideas though, I pinned a number of great baby quilts to a board on Pinterest to show her and get an idea of what style she'd like. She immediately zeroed in on the one I had imagined too. Love it when that happens!

I couldn't find a pattern so I thought I decided to try to figure it out and design something similar. I showed you this palette last week.

I laid out the greys and creamy white (Kona Snow) in the approximate proportions I was looking for. Then I cut out 5 different sizes of circles on freezer paper and filled the white area until I was pleased with the layout. (The photos are off - late night designing and all)

Then I started adding the colours, pressing the freezer paper to the fabric and adding a seam allowance to turn the edges under later.

All the colours are in place, but I find the Celery colour is a little lost. 

Better. May play around with this some more.

I had originally planned on doing the circles as turned edge appliqué, topstitched down by machine. Or maybe zigzag stitch around the circles. I could do raw edge appliqué, but it is a baby quilt that will see a lot of washing. I could also fuse them down and satin stitch around the edges. I'm still mulling the next step so please feel to jump in if you have an opinion!
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