Friday, 24 October 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival - A Banner Day for Otis

The Blogger's Quilt Festival is one of my favourite times of the year! If you haven't been here before, welcome! A huge thank you to Amy Ellis @ Amy's Creative Side for organizing this inspirational bonanza.

I decided to share this bunting quilt I made for my nephew Otis. My sister wanted bright colours for the nursery and picked out some yellow, red and blue fabrics. The inspiration for my design came from Laura's bunting quilt. The fabric for the bunting flags and cording was turned under, secured to the white background with a glue stick and machine appliquéd using a blanket stitch.

A Banner for African Lion Safari
I spent a lot of time deliberating on the quilting, but settled on echo lines, loopy loos, and stippling to accentuate the bunting. I left the bunting unquilted and I like that the bunting puffs up, but time will tell whether that was a good call.

I'm so very pleased with how it turned out!

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

This quilt finishes at 40" by 60" so it will grow with Otis a bit -- long enough for me to make him another one.

I'm entering this into the Appliqué category of the Blogger's Quilt Festival. There are so many gorgeous quilts in the Festival so I hope you get a chance to do some touring and enter yourself!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Making Progress - Layers of Leaves

I'm sure you've probably heard the news of the events here in Ottawa on Wednesday. It was a rough day to say the least. Our hearts are broken for Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and his family. So very sad! Many Ottawans, yours truly included, were in buildings on lockdown for most of the day. It was scary, but we're okay. I'm so proud of how our military, police and Parliament security reacted to and handled the situation. We're trying to get back to normal today, though with Cpl. Cirillo's sacrifice front and centre.

As always, quilting is my therapy for stressful situations so I was pretty happy to spend Wednesday evening sharing my quilts with the Arnprior District Quilter's Guild. What a great group!

I have also made good progress with my Layers of Leaves piece. Here are a few photos of some of the design choices I've been considering tonight.

1) Go dark at the bottom?

2) Try some green?

3) Green and dark grey?

4) Green and brown?

5) Finish with the same grey as the top?

6) Finish with a slightly darker grey than the top?

What do you think?

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Layers of Leaves - A Work in Progress

Inspiration: Smoky grey skies, orange and yellow leaves...

Design: Yeah, a little abstract...

Revised design courtesy of my youngest:

Colour ideas:

Curious where this might be going? Me too...

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Quilt Hack #3 - Magna Doodle

I know what you're thinking -- how the heck is Magna Doodle a quilt hack? I swear I haven't lost it...yet. One of the great ways to build muscle memory for free motion quilting is to practice drawing continuous line motifs. I use my kids' Magna Doodle to practice motifs and figure out how to get in and out of corners.

Aren't those Diego bandaids pretty? ;)
Ann McLean from The Country Quilter kindly sent me some photos of the Modern Free Motion Quilting Sampler class I taught there in September. And look at that...there's a photo of me demonstrating how I use the Magna Doodle. 

Using the Magna Doodle
It was such a gorgeous day that we ate outside in the yard.

There was also a lot of quilt talk...

And we did get a LOT of quilting in...

 I think everyone slept well that night. :) Thank you Ann for the photos! 

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Proud Moments

You know that feeling of joy and pride when you finish a quilt? I love that feeling.

Since I started teaching quilting, I've been surprised to find that I get that same feeling when students show me their finished quilts. I see how proud they are of their work and it, in turn, makes me feel proud that I had some role in that. It's awesome!

Recently, Heather Williams, who took my Modern Free Motion Quilting Sampler class back in February, showed me her finished quilt. Whoa! She took it to a whole new level!

She expanded on the 12 blocks the class covered and made her quilt with 100 blocks. It's gorgeous!

And she's working on another one! Beautiful work, Heather. Thank you so much for sharing it with us!

Have a wonderful weekend all!

Thursday, 9 October 2014

TGIFF! - Fibonacci Is Not Random - Part One

Welcome to TGIFF! I'm so happy to say that I've finished repairing the last of my Fibonacci Is Not Random triptych. Woo hoo! Even though it's the last one I've fixed, it's actually called Part One.

Like its sisters Part Two and Part Three, this wallhanging uses block measurements from the Fibonacci sequence up to 13" -- 1", 2", 3", 5", 8" and 13".  It was made back in 2003-ish for our old dining room. It was damaged a few years later so has sat waiting in my WIP pile to be fixed.

For the quilting, I used Aurifil # 2312 and used a walking foot quilting technique that I learned from Heather Lair. I decided that I wanted circles to be prominent on this piece for a sort of crop circle effect. I really love this style of quilting.

The back gives you a better idea of the quilting.

This quilt is 12.25" by 31", just like Part Three. I lost 3/4" on the width and 1/2" on the height from the tighter quilting.

Why do I find Fibonacci numbers so interesting? This short TED Talk by Arthur Benjamin shares what's makes this sequence so cool.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Playing with Plum Crazy & Giveaway

My TGIFF bestie, Laura from Quokka Quilts has released her first pattern, Plum Crazy! I'm so excited for her. Yay!

She sent me a copy and I've been playing around with some fabric to see what might look good in this design. I found that this was a pretty easy pattern to select fabric for. Yay! I have purchased a number of fat quarter bundles over the years, which I absolutely love, but I can't bear to break them up. Laura's maximized the use of fat quarters for this project and created a design that showcases the fabrics nicely. Double yay!

First, I pulled fabrics for a fun kids' quilt -- Dr. Seuss. I think I'd use the green solid for the sashing and the stripe for the binding:

There's this bundle of New Zealand fabrics that my sister brought me years ago and that I can't cut up unless I can use most, if not all, of it (yes, silly rule of mine, but there you go). I would go great with a black solid for the sashing and binding:

And this bundle of Bohemian Rhapsody paired with a red solid that I've been holding onto for that "perfect" project:

Which to try first? Decisions! Decisions!

You can see other versions of this quilt on Laura's blog and other bloggy friends will be sharing her pattern and their fabric selections in a pattern hop this week too.

To celebrate, Laura's offering 20% off the pattern this week -- promo code Plum20. She's also offering a giveaway of a PDF of the pattern to my readers. Sweet!

To participate in this giveaway, just leave me a comment, between now and Friday, October 10th at 6 p.m. EST, on what makes you 'plum crazy' when it comes to quilt patterns. Followers of my blog get a bonus entry -- just leave me a comment letting me know how you follow along. Followers of Laura's blog also get a bonus entry -- again, just leave a comment letting me know how you follow along.

No reply bloggers -- please leave your email address in your comment so we can reach you.

Cheers and good luck!

Friday, 3 October 2014


A variety of snippets today...

For fabric lovers across Canada, FabricSpark is having a 'take a break from freight' special this weekend -- free shipping on Canadian orders! Sweet! Promo code is Freeship. Made a little trip over there myself to take advantage. :)

For quilt lovers in the Ottawa area, the Running Stitch is having their first Share the Love Quilt Show at two locations -- Kanata Baptist Church (465 Hazeldean Road) and at The Running Stitch (462 Hazeldean Road). The hours for the show are today, Friday, October 3rd from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, October 4th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hmm, now to figure out how to sneak away from the fam for a couple of hours... ;)


On Day 1 of my renewed habit (I promise I won't tell you what I do every day), I made block No. 2 from Tula Pink's City Sampler book. Nice. Easy. Fast. I "heart" this.

Untitled's Friday! :D

Thursday, 2 October 2014


First things first -- shopping! Did you hear that Fabric Spot is having a great 20% off sale (excluding gift cards) until Friday, October 3rd? Woo hoo! I picked up a little of this, and some of this, and a little of that. I wish the budget would allow more because there are sooo many goodies! :)



Habits are a funny (funny=odd, not funny=ha ha) thing. It's so hard to get into a good habit, and so easy to get out of it! It's also remarkably easy to get into a bad habit, but that's a story for another day. ;)

In 2011, I started a habit of doing a minimum of 20 minutes a day of something quilting-related. Not just reading about quilting, but doing. I've been pretty good since too, with the exception of vacations and holidays. I love this habit, where that 20 minutes usually turns into 40 minutes or longer. Quilting feels calming, creative and productive to me -- a welcome moment in a life that is often anything but calming, creative and productive (think trying to clean with 3 little kids around).

This little habit o' mine even got to the point that it felt 'itchy' if I missed more than two days. Seriously. I'd find myself starting to get cranky over things that wouldn't normally bug me. A sign of addiction? Maybe, but I'm fine with that.

With the addition of a full-time job, my cherished habit has fallen a bit by the wayside. I'm pretty sure that this will be a temporary break in my habit and that it's just a part of adjusting to all the changes going on around here, but I miss it and I'm itchy.

It's a new month and so I pledge to re-new my habit. 20 minutes a day!

Do you have a quilty habit? What do you do to get you back into a good habit?


“Motivation is what gets you started. 
Habit is what keeps you going.” ~ Jim Ryun
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