Stratford Park Meets 100 Blocks

14 Nov

Fellow Quilters,

Once again I have been invited to participate in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks blog tour, this time to celebrate the release of Volume 8.  As usual, I had lots of fun scanning the issue for blocks that used Northcott fabrics or were designed by quilters who publish patterns in partnership with Northcott.  This time around I found 6 blocks – #721 Pin-whirl by editor-in-chief June Dudley (she used Serenity by Cheri Strole), #733 A Night Out by creative editor Carolyn Beam (she used assorted Northcott fabrics), #742 Walk About by Chris Hoover of Whirligig, #761 Formation by new Northcott pattern designer Shayla Wolf of Sassafras Lane, #794 Orion by Celine Perkins of Perkins Dry Goods, & #800 On the Grid by Jocelyn Ueng of It’s Sew Emma.  I chose 4 of the blocks to play with this time, redoing them in Northcott’s Stratford Park collection of tonal textures.  Let’s take a look at the blocks!

June's Pin-whirl block

June’s Pin-whirl block

Jocelyn's On the Grid block

Jocelyn’s On the Grid block

Celine's Orion block

Celine’s Orion block

Chris' Walk About block

Chris’ Walk About block

Stratford Park is a collection of 6 tonal prints (pindot, ticking stripe, vine, floral, Jacobean, embroidered eyelet) in 6 color palettes: white, pearl, ivory, fawn, chocolate and ebony.  My favorite fabric in the collection is the embroidered eyelet, and I have used it in 4 quilts that I have made so far with Stratford Park.  It adds so much interest to the quilts, and quilts beautifully.

I tried combining some of the blocks in various quilt layouts, but not all of the blocks wanted to play nicely with the others – this happens sometimes.  So I made some digital quilts showcasing each block on its own.  What surprised me were the secondary patterns that were created in each quilt.  Aren’t the quilts interesting?

#5 - Jocelyn's & Celine's blocks as a quilt

#5 – Jocelyn’s & Celine’s blocks as a quilt

#2 - Chris' block as a quilt

#2 – Chris’ block as a quilt

#1 - June's block as a quilt

#1 – June’s block as a quilt

#3 Lots of Celine's blocks with some of Chris' blocks

#3 Lots of Celine’s blocks with some of Chris’ blocks


#4 - Jocelyn's block as a quilt

#4 – Jocelyn’s block as a quilt

I am giving away a copy of this fabulous issue of Quiltmakers 100 Blocks.  For a chance to win, please post a comment by November 18th telling me which quilt you like the best.  If you’ve participated in previous blog tours, you know that I also include a couple more giveaways, so I will also give away a couple of fabric packs of Stratford Park.  And please visit the other blogs on this tour (  to see what the other quilters are sharing with you.  Next week I will post some pictures of my Stratford Park quilts, so please come back for a visit.  Until then, enjoy the tour!



Panama, Panels and More

12 Nov

Fellow Quilters,

The mayhem of October and Quilt Market preparations is over, and I am settling into the mountain of paperwork that has taken over my desk.  Fellow Northcott staffer Hania, who likes a minimal amount of clutter, shakes her head when she sees my desk.  I am one of those people who functions nicely in a controlled amount of clutter – I have a lot of stuff on my desk, but I know where to find whatever I’m looking for.  I think that creative people need a certain amount of clutter.  How about you?  Is your sewing space spotless, or do you have to push piles aside to cut a fat quarter into pieces?

I have lots of loose ends to tie up, and several new ones to show you.  Last month, being October, I teased you with a couple of fat quarter packs of Sweet Jane, our latest Quest for a Cure collection supporting breast cancer research.  There were some wonderful comments posted – thank you to all of you!  It seems that a lot of us have very supportive spouses/partners, followed closely by friends, sisters and children.  I randomly chose 2 comments – congrats to Jane Ritz & Kathleen Lambert.

In my August post for 1 Million Pillowcase Challenge I also had a giveaway, and Bonnie Pfrimmer, Sheila and Myra were the winners of packets of Noah’s Jungle fabrics.  During my August road trip through Alberta, Canada I presented trunk shows in which I inspired the attendees to use panels in their quilts for simply stunning quilts.  Since Noah’s Jungle has 2 panels, these lucky quilters will receive them in their packets.  How fun!

Another quilt that uses panel-type fabric (it is actually running yardage of 8” blocks) is my Frosty’s Mittens quilt, featured on the cover of Quilting for Christmas, the annual holiday issue of The Quilter magazine.img-Y04132153-0001
Needless to say, I was delighted when I saw my quilt gracing the front cover!!  It uses the Holly Jolly Christmas flannels for a super easy, super comfy lap quilt.

Northcott has recently added a free downloadable pattern for Solar System to the website. WebBanner_Image

This easy wall quilt features the Stonehenge Out of this World collection, and several of the fabrics glow in the dark.  We even added twinkling lights to it.  How cool is that?!? The Solar System wall quilt uses the panel in the center, and has 2 simple borders.  I taught this class at Quilt Market – it is an abbreviated version of my favorite new class on Borders and Binding, in which I teach participants 6 different border techniques, along with our speedy machine binding that looks as good as hand-binding.  I really love this class because it empowers quilters – they learn how to fearlessly apply mitered borders to their quilts, among other things.  The students pre-cut the mitered borders before they apply them to the quilt.  Now, I know what you’re thinking, but trust me when I say that it works!  I was delighted when the Quilt Camp at Sea organizers asked me to teach this class on their upcoming Panama cruise next April 7-18th.  The students will start with a panel as their “quilt”, and then add lots of borders as they fill their “technique” toolbox with these new-found skills.

Borders workshop sample

The other class that I am teaching is my Simplified Double Wedding Ring, and this one is almost full.  Kathy, Pat and the QCAS gang do an amazing job of co-ordinating everything, including providing sewing machines.  It is like going on a retreat on a luxury floating resort.  I am really looking forward to several of the ports of call, including Aruba, Curacao, Cartagena, Costa Rica, and of course the Panama Canal!  I will be ready for some fun in the sun by April, and look forward to seeing some of my quilting “buds” from previous cruises, as well as making some new friends.  If you are interested in joining me, please visit  It will be a blast!

I’d like to send a shout-out to 2 guilds that I visited this week – Dunville’s Own Tiny Stitchers, and the Erin Village quilt guild.  Tomorrow I am presenting at the Prince Edward County guild in Picton, ON.  I am also participating in a blog tour for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 8.  As in previous blog tours, I am giving away a copy of the magazine, and a couple of fabric bundles, so please come back tomorrow for a visit, or even better, subscribe to my blog.  And have fun visiting all of the other sites on the blog tour.



Sweet Jane Fabric Giveaway

15 Oct

Hello Quilters!

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Too many of us have been affected or know someone who has been affected by this disease. I found this great site that has everything you need to know about breast cancer. It is so important to perform regular breast self exams!

QFC logo
Sweet Jane is Northcott’s latest Quest for a Cure collection. It was created by Deborah Edwards in honour of Jane Spolar, one of Northcott’s designers currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Northcott is donating a portion of the purchase price to breast cancer research for every metre/yard of Sweet Jane that is sold.

Plus there are two FREE patterns you can download for this collection:

WeavingHopeWeaving Hope by Jane Spolar
Visit Jane’s web site
*It’s on the home page, you have to scroll down a bit to get to it

Stacks of Support by Patti Carey (free download)Stacks of Support by me, here is the link

Oh yes the giveaway!
Please post a comment telling me who the sweetest person in your life is and why. Example: The sweetest person in my life is my husband, because he never complains that I quilt too much and he supports my love for the craft!
Your comment counts as an entry. I will draw two lucky winners at the end of October. Each will win a fat quarter bundle of the Sweet Jane collection. Good Luck everyone!



All Aboard!

19 Aug

Fellow Quilters,

Today is a fun day! I am participating in a blog hop by One Million Pillowcase Challenge to celebrate the half-way point of the challenge – that means that half a million pillowcases have been made and donated to local charities. Wow! That’s a whole lot of love that quilters everywhere are spreading! If you have donated a pillowcase, reach your right hand over your left shoulder and give yourself a pat on the back.

Last month, One Million Pillowcase Challenge made a Pinterest board of their 20 favorite patterns and asked readers to vote on their favorites by repinning them. By month’s end, the results were in – the most repinned pattern was the train appliqué #32.

Each of the blog hop participants has been asked to make up this pattern and post a picture on their blog. I poked through Northcott’s sample room for samples of our newest collections and chose fabrics from a darling collection called Noah’s Jungle, shipping to quilt shops over the next 2 weeks. Noah’s Jungle, designed by Northcott’s Creative Director Deborah Edwards, includes a crib panel and pre-printed 10” squares, along with a multitude of coordinates. The panel and squares are ideal for quick kids’ quilts (it’s nice to get the quilt made before the kids grow up!). I chose the coordinates for the train pillowcase, and told my talented and trusty sidekick Susanne to go to town with the train pattern. She did a wonderful job, even fussy-cutting some of the animal characters and placing them on the train cars. Here is a picture of our pillowcase.

IMG_2261      IMG_2263

This pillowcase would be a wonderful complement to either of the 2 patterns on Northcott’s website for the Noah’s Jungle collection – Kate Mitchell’s “One Fish, Two Fish” or Laura Blanchard’s “Follow the Leader” – on a toddler bed. Here are pictures of Kate’s and Laura’s patterns.

Follow the Leader by Plum Tree Quilts     One Fish Two Fish baby by Kate Mitchell Quilts
Laura’s quilt                                                      Kate’s quilt

Now that the pillowcase is made, I need to donate it. First I visited and registered my pillowcase – the total clicked to 508,700! My quilt guild donates cuddle quilts to a few worthy local charities, including Yellow Brick House, a women’s and children’s shelter ( I checked out their website and was astounded to learn that 75% of children that witness abuse will themselves be perpetrators or victims of violence in adulthood unless intervention is received. These shelters provide a critical step in stopping the cycle and getting these moms and kids back on track. I clicked on the website’s wish list, and saw that school supplies top the list of items urgently needed, so I will pick some up and include them with the pillowcase when I drop it off. It will help lessen the burden of a struggling mom, and the pillowcase will hopefully be a constant reminder to a child that someone cares enough to make him or her something special.

If you visited my blog before, you know that I like to give things away. Today’s giveaway is a packet of Noah’s Jungle fabrics! Please post a comment telling me your favorite Noah’s Jungle quilt pattern (Kate’s or Laura’s) by August 23rd for your chance to win a packet. I will choose 3 winners. Good luck, and keep making and donating those pillowcases!



Choose your favorite block & quilt

29 Apr

Fellow Quilters,
The newest issue of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks (volume 7) is rolling off the presses as we speak, and the folks at Quiltmaker’s have organized another blog tour. Today is my day to post, so a warm welcome to visitors from the tour!
Northcott’s ad in the issue features the spa colorway of Serenity by Cheri Strole. I chose the alternate colorway (Caribbean – I am sitting on a beach in the Bahamas today!) to play with various blocks in this issue, and I would like you to tell me which block and quilt below are your favorite, for a chance to win a copy of 100 Blocks Volume 7.
There were 5 blocks designed by pattern designers that also design for Northcott, so I started with their blocks, substituting Serenity for the fabrics shown in the magazine.
Marilyn Foreman of Quilt Moments designed #664 Kaleidoscope Star. Marilyn’s specialty is kaleidoscope, so I used the main print from Serenity for the center portion of the block.

Marilyn's Kaleidoscope star
Chris Hoover of Whirligig Designs used Northcott’s Fragrance in her Tilt-a-Whirl block #669 and showcased the stripe beautifully. Since there wasn’t a stripe in Serenity, I used a directional vine print in its place in the center of the block.

Chris Hoover's Tilt-a-Whirl
Celine Perkins of Perkins Dry Goods always has a block in 100 Blocks, and #687 is Apron Strings. There is lots of plain area in this block.

Celine Perkin's Apron Strings
Marjorie Rhine of Quilt Design NW designed #688 Hearts Around, and it works quite well with Serenity.

Marjorie Rhine's Hearts Around
Jocelyn Ueng of It’s Sew Emma designed #697 Trendster – it has lots of movement.

Jocelyn Ueng's Trendster block
I also used Quiltmaker tester Peg Spradlin’s Pay Day block #695, as she used Northcott’s Kaleidoscope collection in hers. It looks lovely in Serenity too.

Peg Spradlin's Pay Day
Then I started combining the blocks in quilts, and that’s when the fun started! Not all of the blocks played well together – 4×4 layouts don’t always play well with 3×3 layouts. Some of the combinations were much more interesting than quilts made with just one block. Let’s take a look at some of them.
This quilt is a combination of Marjorie’s Hearts block #688 & Jocelyn’s Trendster block #697. The two blocks flow into each other so well that it’s hard to tell where one block ends and the next one starts!

688 & 697 combo
I thought Celine’s Apron Strings block #687 was not too exciting until I combined it with other blocks. Wow! It is a fantastic alternate block! In this next quilt, it is set with Marjorie’s Hearts block.

687 & 688 combo
In this quilt, Celine’s block is paired with Chris Hoover’s Tilt-a-Whirl block #669. This quilt now looks like it has blocks set on point instead of straight-set.

669 & 687 combo
In this final quilt, Celine’s block is set with Marilyn’s Kaleidoscope Star block #664, and creates a diagonal trellis effect – amazing!

664 & 687 combo
Okay, now it’s your turn. Post a comment on my blog by midnight tonight April 29th, telling me your favorite block and quilt, for a chance to win a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 7. I will also choose a couple of names for a bundle of Serenity fat quarters. And thanks for stopping by! See you soon!

Loose ends…

26 Apr The Northcott gals at the Quilt Marathon


The Northcott gals at the Quilt Marathon

The Northcott gals at the Quilt Marathon

Fellow Quilters,

As soon as I wrote my last blog post, I thought “Oh, I meant to include…  and I forgot to include…”  It’s kind of like going to the grocery store without a list, because I left it on the kitchen counter.  Does anyone else do that too?

On March 1, I coerced several gals from Northcott to join me in a Quilt Marathon at Quilter’s Cupboard in Uxbridge, ON.  This is the 3rd time that owner Sue Carmichael has organized a marathon to raise money for cancer programs.  The 30-hour hand-quilting marathon is broken down into ten 3-hour shifts, with 8-10 quilters in each shift.  Like any marathon, the participants collect pledges, except we let our stitches do the running instead of our feet.  Hania (Marketing Coordinator), Jennifer (Marketing Specialist), Susanne (piecer extraordinaire and breast cancer survivor), Ghazal (Graphics whiz) and I were joined by Laurie Moynes, our northern/eastern Ontario sales rep and resident hand quilter.  We dressed up in pink for the occasion, and eagerly took our places around the queen-sized quilt frame under the watchful eye of Laurie.  That’s me with the pink hair (from Jennifer’s stash of costume stuff).  Quilter’s Cupboard had 2 quilt frames on the go, and is still collecting pledges, but has raised $38,500 so far.  Woohoo!  We had a lot of fun, judging from the chatter in the car on the way back to the office.
I have been invited to participate in another blog tour for Quiltmakers 100 Blocks.  Volume 7 hits newsstands shortly, and the blog tour starts next week.  In fact, I am posting on Monday April 29, so you may want to visit and post a comment for your chance to win a copy of Volume 7 or one of the fabric prizes that I am throwing in.  I had a lot of fun playing with some of the blocks.

I wanted to share a photo of an awesome quilt from Debbie Kalenty of Quilters Obsession in Flagtown NJ.

Debbie's BOM program made with Stonehenge Woodland

Debbie’s BOM program made with Stonehenge Woodland

She is using Stonehenge Woodland for a Block of the Month program by Wing and a Prayer.  Doesn’t it look great?!?

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to speak to a group of 175 dedicated quilters in Kirkland Lake, ON at their biennial meeting of the area guilds.  I call them dedicated because all of us drove through a Spring snow and ice storm to get there.

Pat of Pins & Needles

Pat of Pins & Needles

There was a merchant mall, with several vendors selling Northcott, including

Judy of The Hobby Shop

Judy of The Hobby Shop

Judy Gryska of The Hobby Shop in Kirkland Lake, Pat Kraznosen of Pins & Needles in Haileybury, Lori’s Quilt Shop in Timmins, and Christina Doucette of NeedleWorks in Cochrane.  In fact, Christina had my Polar Opposites pattern made up and hanging in her booth!

Christina of NeedleWorks with my Polar Opposites pattern

Christina of NeedleWorks with my Polar Opposites pattern

I was thrilled to see it.  It was great to see some of my quilting “buds” from previous Elk Lake retreats, and to make some new friends.

With the snowfall, I was able to get in one last day of snowboarding before hanging up my board for the season.  I didn’t want the day to end!!  It was tough deciding which run to choose as the last run of the season.  I am already looking forward to next winter – how crazy is that?!?  Now it’s time to clean up the garden and dust off the golf clubs…



Announcing the Stone Strip Winners

22 Mar

Fellow Quilters,

I was on Lisa Sipes’ blog ( the other day, and had to laugh at one of her posts, where she commented at the start of one particular post that she didn’t intend to leave her readers hanging for 2 months between posts, but that life just seems to get in the way.  I can SO relate!  When I was contemplating entering the blogosphere, Aaron, Northcott’s resident expert on all things web-based, said that most blogs fizzle and die because bloggers run out of things to blog about.  That will NEVER happen with me.  I have so many things I want to share with you that, by the time I get around to writing a blog, the list is so long that it is overwhelming.  Northcott staffer Hania keeps reminding me on days like this that the best way to eat an elephant (my overwhelming list) is one bite at a time, so…here are my bits and bites.

Thanks to all of you who left comments on the new Stonehenge Strip packs.  If your comments reflect the success of these packs, there will be a lot of Stone Strip quilts being made in the next few years.  I tabulated the results of your comments, and determined that many of you need a vacation or are tired of winter, because the most popular pack was Iris (purple/green), followed closely by Sand & Surf, then Singapore Sling.  I found this quite interesting, because the most popular Stonehenge colors are the neutral ones (browns & greys).  A shout-out to Linda Franz’ Ink Lingo blog followers ( I have randomly chosen 6 winners of the packs, and they are:

Autumn – Becky Weimer

Lakeside –Laura Manning

Singapore –Denise Gross

Festive – Joanne Perry

Spring – Sheila McMillan

Winter – Karen Nussbaum

I used the Stonehenge Woodland winter collection in my Misty Pines quilt featured in the February 2013 issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine.

Winter Solstice for McCall's

I really wanted to call my quilt Fifty Shades of Grey, because it is, but somehow felt that editor Beth Hayes would not go for it.  This quilt is a real departure from my usual style, in that it has no borders.  In fact, I chose to use a faced binding (all of it is turned to the back, so that none of it shows on the front).  I had a lot of positive comments from McCall’s readers.  This quilt is about as artsy as I get, and I will hang this quilt on a taupe wall at our ski cabin when it is done travelling.

Speaking of skiing, despite the date, it is still wintery here in southern Ontario, and last Sunday I had absolutely the best day of snowboarding ever.  We awoke Sunday morning to about 8” of fresh powder, a snowboarder’s dream.  I was on the hills seeking out untouched patches of powder for 7 euphoric hours until the lifts closed.  Tim, my boarding instructor, describes powder as a bad drug, and I was on a blissful high all day, floating weightlessly from patch to patch, with an ear-to-ear grin plastered on my face.  Days like this in Ontario are rare, and it was such a treat! We likely have only 2 more weekends of skiing before I need to hang up my board, and I plan to take full advantage of them.

I had a delightful taste of summer March 4-8 as I did a whirlwind trip through central Florida, doing presentations at 11 shops and guilds.  I was warmly welcomed by the Manatee Patchworkers guild in Bradenton, the Memory Makers Quilt Guild in Bunnell, the Alachua County day guild in Gainesville, the Coastal Quilters in Jacksonville, and the Rocket Quilt Guild in Cocoa.

Karen Grof and the staff at Happy Apple Quilts in Palm Harbor brought in a room full of quilters for my trunk show on March 4.  Karen’s shop is bright and cheerful.

DSCF0729   DSCF0731

Donna and Carol at Quilts on Plum Lane in Dade City squeezed in a packed room of enthusiastic quilters for my trunk show Tuesday morning.  Donna has the largest selection of flannel that I have ever seen in a shop, bar none!  And she’s in Florida!!  Unfortunately I did not have my camera with me.

Next stop was Tomorrow’s Treasures in Crystal River.  Owner Susan Rass has a lovely shop with a large bright classroom.  She even found an extra panel of Northcott’s Stonehenge Christmas Traditions for me to show with my quilt from this collection (see the quilt in my August 2012 post).  Hint:  If this quilt is on your to-do list, call Susan and order the 6 panels required for the quilt.


My final stop on Tuesday was Kathy Boos’ Sew & Quilt Shop in Bunnell, and another packed room of eager quilters.  Kathy’s shop is a happening place, quite large and very lovely.  She even had a sample of one of my newest patterns from Northcott’s By the Sea collection!  How fun to see it made up!


On Wednesday I headed over to Stephanie Metts’ Suwannee Valley Quilt Shop in Trenton.  OMG!  This shop is to die for!  It is a destination shop, as there is not much else in Trenton, but I strongly encourage every quilter to put it on their list.  I told Hubby that it’s a good thing we don’t live closer, or I’d be poor.  There are entire rooms for Christmas, Harvest/Halloween, Asian, Children’s, basics, books, etc. all in an old Coca-cola bottling plant.

DSCF0742 DSCF0743DSCF0744 DSCF0745DSCF0753

My last shop visit was to Theresa Bringardner’s The Quilt Place in Rockledge.  Holy cow!  If you can’t find it here, it doesn’t exist.  Theresa has 12000 bolts of fabric, including entire shelves of Florida-themed fabrics, novelties of all types, and walls of batiks.  The store was hopping!  I even met some quilters from my own quilt guild while I was there.

DSCF0761  DSCF0755 DSCF0760

Thinking of Florida makes me think of the quilt that Susanne and I are working on for the next issue of Quilt Trends magazine, on newsstands June 11, featuring Stonehenge Undersea Adventures.  It is a fun toddler-size quilt that uses the panel from the collection.  I also did another toddler quilt for this group that will be appearing in the Fall issue of Fons & Porter’s Easy Quilts, on newsstands July 2.  Which one is your favorite?  Moms and Grandmas of twin boys could make both!

Under the Sea for Quilt Trends Summer 2013     Undersea Adventures 48x60 for F&P

I am the proud owner of 2 new quilting books.  Northcott pattern designer Linda Hahn’s newest New York Beauty book is hot off the press.  New York Beauty Diversified is full of scrumptious quilts that feature New York Beauty blocks in innovative settings. Normally “do-able” and “New York Beauty” do not belong in the same sentence, but these quilts look do-able.  I think my fave is Hues of the Hudson.

img-322132936-0001    img-322133008-0001

The other book that I am dying to try is Simply Successful Applique by the incredibly talented Jeanne Sullivan.  Jeanne won first place in the appliqué category each of the 3 years that Northcott ran the Quest for a Cure block challenge.  Her workmanship is beyond words.  Her book (her first!) has spectacular how-to photos that even an amateur appliquer like me can follow successfully.  I am so proud of Jeanne and what she has accomplished with her book.

img-322132701-0001 img-322132917-0001

That’s all for now – gotta run. Talk to you soon!




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