Improv with Gwen Marston

Gwen Marston was the deciding factor for me attending QuiltCon this year. I've read her books for years and love her work. I decided that if I got into her class, I would go. And I did. Well, my husband is the real hero of this story.

See, I had a meeting at the time that registration for workshops opened for QuiltCon last year so I wasn't going to be able to register myself. My husband was going to be home that day though so I sat him down the night before, made him watch the "How to register for QuiltCon" video that the Modern Quilt Guild released and gave him my wish list of classes. We went over what order to try registering. Yes, I even had plan B and Cs for him, but I threw out plans D, E and F (you're welcome, honey). My top choices were classes with Gwen Marston and Melissa Averinos. He was such a good sport about it; mostly he found it so bizarre and amusing. I think.

The next morning as I left for work, I told him, "there's no pressure and I'll be happy with whatever options you can get for me." I don't think he really believed me. At 10:07, he sent me a text that I got my top choices. Eeeek! It took all of my self-control not to jump up and down at work when I got that  text, but there may have been an impassioned "yes" accompanied by a fist pump. I am a professional, you know. ;)

So now I was going to QuiltCon and I was going to take classes with Gwen and Melissa. Woo hoo!

I'll do another post for the class with Melissa, but today, I'll share some photos about the class with Gwen Marston. It did not disappoint!

Gwen's small studies:


One of my favourites of Gwen's small studies:


Another favourite:



Gwen demonstrating some of the techniques she taught us: 



Trying to get out of my comfort zone with this colour palette:


A little better:


Some progress on the different units:


Cute, eh?


Playing with placement:



Starting to come together:



Gwen and me! Eeek!



Some of my classmates work -- I can't remember who did what, but aren't they fabulous? Loved seeing the variety of work.







If you ever get a chance to take a class with Gwen Marston, take it. You will not regret it!

Modern Block Monday - BeeSewcial - Let's Get Linear

Hi all, this is my first bee block for a new bee I joined this year. I'm pretty psyched to be joining the talented women of BeeSewcial. Solid, improv designs according to a theme. Just the creative challenge I am up for! And a six week window for completion is the cherry on top!

Stephanie (@SpontaneousThreads on Instragram) was our Queen Bee for January. She requested deep yellows and neutrals with a pop of hot colour using Let's Get Linear (Line) as the inspiration. Check out her blog post for more information about the direction. Very cool!

We could do two blocks of around 12.5" by 12.5" or one block of 12.5" by 24.5". I thought I'd try the one larger block.



To see more of what this bee is up to, check out #beesewcial on Instagram and if you'd like to play along, you can post your blocks to #inspiredbybeesewcial. Come play!

QuiltCon - The People

It's been almost three weeks since I've been home from QuiltCon and I still don't have much more to say other than, "It was AWESOME." It was everything I love about quilt guild meetings and this online community, amped up 100%.  The quilts, the people, the fabric. The quilts. Ah, heaven.

The trip started a little rough. Major snowstorm in Ottawa (51cm!) threatened to ground the Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild drinking team (#ottmqgdrinkingteam minus @aboutkirstin because she went through Toronto), but we made it to Montreal. Only to be turned back for the night because of rudder trouble. Boo!

A photo posted by M-R Charbonneau (@quiltmatters) on

But we arrived safe and sound the next day. I stayed with a friend in Los Angeles so I missed most of the QuiltCon nightlife, but I had a chance to catch up with a longtime friend and a cousin and experience a bit of LA, so I am pretty darn ecstatic with my trip! I posted some photos to @quiltmatters on Instagram if you want to check them out.

First, we'll start with the people. It was really great to be in a place where everyone was excited about quilts. I met so many amazing people. People I'd known online for years and many new people. It was a little overwhelming for an introvert like me. Okay, I'm an extroverted introvert, but still an introvert. I tried very hard not to Fangirl, but it was so hard! And then I'd forget to take photos of the people I met. I'm not one for selfies much and I'm really regretting it now.

I met Leanne Chahley from she can quilt for lunch on the first day. Finally! I adore Leanne and her work so much that it was a thrill to meet her in person! What a treat to get to know her a little better. No photo. Boo.

I also got to meet and spend a bit of time with Chawne Kimber from Completely Cauchy, who's gorgeous work I've been following for years. She was so delightful. Her quilts in the show were beautiful and thought provoking. I wish we could have spent even more time together -- maybe next year. No photo again. Boo!

I stole this photo from Cindy at Live a Colourful Life (hope you don't mind Cindy!). I think I've been following Cindy since I started blogging five years ago and it was fantastic to meet her in real life. She's as kind and genuine in person as she is on her blog.


I also got to meet most of my new BeeSewcial mates for lunch. What a great group! Finally met Felicity in person too! Love her! We were having such a great time that I completely missed a lecture I was supposed to attend. Oops!


And I spent some time with Renee from Quilts of a Feather, whose quilting won best machine quilting (frameless) at QuiltCon 2016! Seriously, that woman has skills! She's been a favourite participant to TGIFF! for years and I find her and her work so inspiring. And guess what? No photo. Seriously boo.

There were many other fun new friends met and made (who I now get to follow on Instagram) in the halls, at the workshops, and wandering the show. It was a wonderful friendly atmosphere. My kind of peeps.

Okay, this post is getting a little long so I'll save the quilts and the workshops I took for some future posts. Hope you have a great weekend!

Glibly Blithe - AGF Stitched

Happy Monday, all! We have another AGF Stitched with Kimberly Blog Hop today, hosted by the Fat Quarter Shop and sponsored by Art Gallery Fabrics. This time it's the Blithe quilt!

The Fat Quarter Shop provided the free Blithe pattern, the handy Triangles on a Roll paper, as well as a great video tutorial, and Art Gallery Fabrics provided the fabric goodness. The Fat Quarter Shop also has a Blithe Quilt kit featuring the Chalk and Paint line by Sew Caroline and a backing set available.

I'm happy to be sharing my version the fun Blithe pattern, which I'm going to call Glibly Blithe. It's a happy quilt and whenever I hear the word blithe, I think of Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables. ;)


I used a lot of Katrina Roccella's beautiful new Avantgarde line for my quilt, with some Imprint and Prisma Elements fabrics thrown in.




Look at this little treasure I found on Katrina's Bauhaus in Dissection fabric. Nice Marshall McLuhan reference, eh? :)



I have to say that the layered triangle design of this quilt is looks more complicated than it is -- I love the clever construction! Some of the larger white triangles are actually made up of a smaller square and two triangles, which gives the quilt the layered triangle look. Using the Triangle paper made making the 6" HSTs a breeze so the top came together very quickly.

Stained Glass effect
For the the back, I used scraps from the front to mimic the Steps Above Prism fabric. A little whimsy.


The flu took down most of my household including me this week so I was only able to finish the top and backing, but I'm so pleased with where this is going. The binding is going to be the Steps Above Prism. Sigh. Isn't it delicious?



I can't wait to see what the others have done with this pattern. Check them out!


Also, Check out Fat Quarter Shop's Jolly Jabber blog for more details about the blog hop.

Wholecloth Experiment

I've been mulling over an idea about doing a colourful wholecloth using the walking foot quilting technique I learned from Heather Lair,...