Samplers, Shopping and Snow

9 Apr

Fellow Quilters,

As I write this post, I am heading to Mont Ste Anne with Hubby to extend our ski season by 2 weeks and enjoy the fabulous French cuisine in the charming restaurants of Old Quebec City.  My goal is to still be able to fit into my ski pants at the end of our vacation – a daunting task!  It is April, and all my local quilting friends are done with winter.  Mother Nature, however, does not agree, and there is snow in the forecast for the next few days.

Despite the weather, I had a fantastic 5 days at A Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge 2 weeks ago, teaching 4 classes, and presenting 2 trunk shows.  For the first time in my 5 years attending this top-notch event, it snowed.  Of course, being the lone Canadian teacher, I got blamed for the snow, not once but 3 times, and I’m okay with that – it comes with being a snowboarder.  I say, “Bring it on!”

The students in my classes did quite well, learning new techniques while enjoying the company of fellow students.  Unfortunately, I did not take pictures in 3 of the 4 classes – the only class in which I snapped photos was the Intro to Improv class.

Talented students in my Intro to Improv class

Talented students in my Intro to Improv class

More great improv blocks

More great improv blocks

The gals had a great time stepping beyond the boundaries of traditional piecing, and created some fabulous improvisationally-pieced blocks using fabrics from Northcott’s Willowberry collection, mixed with some ColorWorks solids and Artisan Spirit Shimmer.  It was a liberating experience for many of them, and I was as delighted with the results as they were.

I even took a class at A Mountain Quiltfest, from renowned quilter Karen Kay Buckley.  Karen’s specialty is applique, and I gleaned many nuggets of valuable information for future applique projects.  Not that I do much applique, particularly turned-edge, but the next time I give it a whirl, I will pull out my notes and incorporate Karen’s suggestions.  Karen spoke at length about the tools she uses, and I am inspired to build my own lightbox.  I also picked up a handy-dandy inexpensive compact foldable LED light for my travel sewing kit.

My new battery-operated or plug-in foldable LED light

My new battery-operated or plug-in foldable LED light

As in previous years, my trip to Pigeon Forge included a visit to the boot store, and once again I did not come home empty-handed.  I added a pair of dress boots to my collection of cowboy boots.

My new "dress" boots! I'm ready to hit the town!

My new “dress” boots! I’m ready to hit the town!

I tried on a couple more pairs that could easily have come home with me, however my luggage had no room, so I saved them for next year’s trip.  I have already been invited back for A Mountain Quiltfest 2019 – mark your calendar for March 19-23 – and will join renowned teachers Bonnie Hunter, Nancy Mahoney, Kay Nickols, Linda Hahn, Cheryl Sleboda and the inimitable Klaudeen Hansen.  I was Klaudeen’s cheering sidekick at the ever-popular Show & Tell event.  Several students from my previous classes also showed their completed projects, and it was thrilling to see them!  I am already looking forward to next year’s Quiltfest.  I may have to devise my own cheering apparatus for next year!

I have several projects on my plate currently, among them is finishing up instructions for 13 new patterns.  My meagre graphics skills are getting a workout!  So far, I have completed PC216 Mod Squad (using Shibori),

PC216 Mod Squad pattern using Banyan Batiks Shibori

PC216 Mod Squad pattern using Banyan Batiks Shibori

PC217 Abstract (using Primitive Lines),

My PC217 Abstract pattern, shown on the back cover of McCall's Quilting June 2018!

My PC217 Abstract pattern, shown on the back cover of McCall’s Quilting June 2018!

PC218 Morse Code (using Ikat Sketch),

PC218 Morse Code using Banyan Batiks Ikat Sketch

PC218 Morse Code using Banyan Batiks Ikat Sketch

and PC219 Sophie’s Garden (using Sophie),

PC219 Sophie's Garden pattern using Banyan Batiks Sophie

PC219 Sophie’s Garden pattern using Banyan Batiks Sophie

all featuring collections from Northcott’s new Banyan Batiks division.  I have also completed PC214 Oh Canada Chevron,

PC214 Oh Canada Chevron pattern using the STRIP-R fabric

PC214 Oh Canada Chevron pattern using the STRIP-R fabric

made with the new Oh Canada STRIP-R (pre-printed 2” lengthwise strips) – this quilt is made with only 3 fabrics! – and am working on a version for the Stars & Stripes STRIP-R as well.  Both patterns include a throw size that meets the Quilts of Valor guidelines.  I shall post pictures of the remaining new patterns next time – hopefully they will all be completed by then!

The other very exciting project I am working on is a fabric collection – whoop whoop!! It is for the Banyan Batik division, and will be part of the Fall 2018 sample release if all goes well.  I have been on a steep learning curve, without any formal training in illustration, and Creative Director Karen Gibbs is patiently guiding me along.  I am surprised by just how much I am enjoying the design process.  Taking that first step to put pen to paper was terrifying, however it has been quite a rewarding experience.  There is still a lot more work to be done before the collection is finalized, so I’m keeping me fingers crossed that we meet the deadline for the release.

One of my recently-completed projects was purging my sewing room.  This was done out of necessity – Hubby and I listed our house for sale.  The kids have moved out, and we figured this was our chance to sell it before they think about moving back (LOL!).  Hubby met with the stager while I was at QuiltCon, and noted her recommendations for each room – “Remove this, relocate that”, etc.  When she got to my sewing room however, she just rolled her eyes, sighed heavily and said, “Do what you can in here to make the room look less cluttered”.  Clearly, she was not a quilter!  I should have taken “before” and “after” pictures, but the “before” picture would have been embarrassingly cluttered, probably bordering on hoarding.  Having seen a few quilters’ sewing rooms in my travels, I know I’m in very good company!  Hands up if your sewing room is too cluttered for photos.  Now that I’ve cleaned mine, I have full access to my entire cutting table – all 36” x 72” of my cutting mat instead of the previous 22” x 54” that was not covered with piles of stuff.  I am not using it though, since I need to keep the room spotless for any potential viewings.  Instead, I have a make-shift sewing room at the ski cabin that will suffice for now.

During the purging process, I took a good hard look at my Stash of projects, most of them being older pattern kits.  With those 13 new patterns, I have enough to keep me busy for a while, so I have been donating quilt kits to the guilds I have spoken to recently.  It has truly been a weight off my shoulders to de-stash, and I highly recommend it.  It gets rid of the guilt of having unfinished (more like un-started!) projects that are likely also unwanted.  In reality, if I had wanted to make them, I would have done so years ago.  Now I am free to start new projects, and perhaps even purchase new fabric.  Speaking of which…

Michelle Dunn of the online shop Kallisti Quilts  was the guest speaker at my LQG last month, showcasing her comprehensive selection of unique Japanese and African fabrics, and I somehow ended up purchasing a bundle of to-die-for Japanese yard-dye wovens.

A lovely bundle of 16 Japanese yard-dyed fat 1/8's from Kallisti Quilts, destined for a special project

A lovely bundle of 16 Japanese yard-dyed fat 1/8’s from Kallisti Quilts, destined for a special project

Did I mention that I have a sewing room chock-full of fabric, and a 35,000-square foot warehouse at my disposal?  I have a project in mind, however – a modern lap/throw quilt for a friend – and this bundle will be perfect.  I shall use one of my new batik patterns, testing it on this bundle.

Speaking of batiks, in my last post, I asked for your comments regarding your favorite magazines.  I randomly selected Christi, Sherry Southgate and Gloria at glorybquilts to receive some Ketan.  Please email me and I’ll get your prizes out to you.  By the way, survey says… Quiltmaker seems to be the most popular, and print versions are still going strong, although downloads have their benefits.  Thanks to all for sharing your thoughts.

Speaking of Quiltmaker, I just read the latest issue, and I love it!  DSCF3907The theme is sampler quilts, and there are some fantastic examples, such as Diane Harris’ red-and-white Nebraska quilt,

Diane Harris' fantastic Nebraska quilt

Diane Harris’ fantastic Nebraska quilt

and Scott Flanagan’s Carnival – it’s brilliant!

Scott Flanagan's innovative Carnival sampler quilt

Scott Flanagan’s innovative Carnival sampler quilt

At last Fall’s Quilt Festival, I was inspired to pick up the Electric Quilt Dear Jane cd and a fat ¼ bundle of Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  This issue of Quiltmakers may be the impetus I need to start my quilt – after the patterns are written…  What’s on your quilting bucket list?  Let me know by April 17 for your chance to win some Canvas, Northcott’s modern texture in 32 luscious shades.  Good luck!

Cheers,

Patti

B’s… Banyan, boarding, blogs, boots, Bevelled…

7 Feb

Fellow Quilters,

Hmmm…. The last time we chatted, it was November, and it is now February – what happened to the past 3 months?!?  I feel like I’m in a time warp these days!  As things have cropped up in my Inbox, I have been making a mental note to include them in my next blog post, and now the list is rather lengthy.

In November, I was lucky enough to spend 4 days in the Northcott booth at Quilt Festival in Houston, TX, meeting quilters and showcasing Northcott’s new batik division, Banyan Batiks.  Last summer I designed 6 patterns from various Banyan collections, and made up my quilts for the Banyan booth at Quilt Market/Quilt Festival.  Creative director Karen Gibbs has really pushed the envelope with Banyan.  Unlike regular batik collections, Banyan collections are theme-based, much like non-batik collections, and provide a coordinated group of fabrics that are designed to work together.  It makes it so easy to create cohesive quilts.  Furthermore, Karen has included some terrific designs, such as panels and awning stripes – highly unusual designs for batiks.

Abstract by Patti Carey (made with Banyan's Primitive Lines)

Abstract by Patti Carey (made with Banyan’s Primitive Lines)

I literally jumped at the opportunity to work with them.  Some of my patterns are traditional, however I pushed myself to create some modern-ish designs as well.  When quilting these, I went to my go-to resource on modern quilting – my stash of Angela Walters books – for inspiration.  Well, imagine my thrill when Angela, during her Quilt Festival blog post, actually showcased my Abstract quilt (made with the Primitive Lines collection) and pointed out the point-to-point quilting on it – WOOP WOOP!  You can see Angela’s YouTube post here .  My quilt is at the 1:30 point of the 22-minute video.  There are a few blogs that I follow, and Angela’s Quilting is My Therapy is one of them.  Last Fall I had the opportunity to attend one of Angela’s lectures, and I am now a self-confessed groupie.

I will be taking the Abstract quilt to QuiltCon later this month in Pasadena, CA, where I will be presenting 2 trunk shows: Alternate Gridwork, and Modern + Metallic.  I will be showing my other modern Banyan quilts, plus a few more that I’m trying to get made by then.  Northcott has a booth at QuiltCon, with lots of quilty inspiration and goodies. If you’re going to be there, please stop by and say hi.  One of the quilts in the booth is Colourwerx’s Mod TV,

Mod tv quilt by Colourwerx

Mod tv quilt by Colourwerx

made with Northcott’s brand-new Canvas texture.  Designer Linda Sullivan will also be doing a demo at QuiltCon, showing how to make the block from Mod TV.  I had fun quilting the sample for Northcott’s booth, using Angela Walters’ book (yet again!) for ideas.green tv navy tv I also quilted Colourwerx’s Spikey quilt for the booth – lots of ruler work, but I’m quite pleased with the outcome.

Spikey by Colourwerx made with ColorWorks and Canvas

Spikey by Colourwerx made with ColorWorks and Canvas

detail

After QuiltCon, I have several local guild talks – Haliburton, Hamilton, Kingston and Mississauga – then I head to Pigeon Forge, TN March 20 – 23 where I will be teaching 4 classes during A Mountain Quiltfest.  Three of the classes are full, however there is still room in my half-day Intro to Improv class on Wednesday March 21.  If you’ve never tried improvisational piecing, this 3-hour class is a “no pressure” way to dabble in it.  It is so liberating! I’ll have lots of fresh ideas from QuiltCon too!  I am also taking a class on applique, from Karey Kay Buckley – how awesome is that?!?  I have 2 pairs of the amazing Karen Kay Buckley scissors.  Karen is one of several high-caliber teachers at Mountain Quiltfest this year.  I think this is my 5th year at A Mountain Quiltfest, and I enjoy each year as much as the previous one – great quilt show, great vendors, great teachers, great venue, and a great city.  As well, my favorite boot store is just down the road from the convention center… just saying….

When I go to events such as QuiltCon or A Mountain Quiltfest, I try to squeeze in classes as my schedule permits.  It is a wonderful opportunity to learn from the experts, since these events draw top-notch teachers.  I have been in classes where the teacher questions why I am taking the class, and I respond, “There is always something new, another nugget of knowledge”.  I am always on the lookout for quilting classes, particularly longarm classes, particularly for modern quilts.  The quilting design class I’m taking at QuiltCon should give me some ideas and inspiration, so I’ll report back in a future post.

Speaking of classes, I am once again taking snowboarding lessons with my boarding buddies.  I really need them this year, since, after 2 years of demo-ing new snowboards, I treated myself to one that is the correct length for me.  It is 2½” shorter than my old board, which doesn’t sound significant, but it is HUGE!  I can turn on a dime, but I don’t have the stability of the longer length.  It rides very differently than my old board, and for the first few days, I looked and felt like a rank amateur.  After much practice, though, I am improving. Instructor Tim even had us riding “switch” (reverse), and doing small jumps in the terrain park last weekend.

My new snowboard and my ski jacket - a match made in heaven

My new snowboard and my ski jacket – a match made in heaven

Even though I chose my new snowboard because of the features, the color of it clinched the deal – it matches my ski jacket perfectly.  Secretly I think we were meant to be together.

Speaking of snowboarding, I received a picture from quilter Vicki Spiering that I want to share with you.  Vicki made this fantastic quilt of her snowboarding son and drew inspiration for the background from my Winter Solstice pattern.

Shred the Gnar by Vicki Spiering

Shred the Gnar by Vicki Spiering

My boarding buddies and fellow boarders at Northcott think this is an epic quilt!! The fabric Vicki chose for the board is perfect! The back story for this quilt is inspiring, and I thank Vicki for sharing.  It represents so many memories for her.  She actually made 4 different backgrounds before she found the “right one”.  I was so thrilled when Vicki gave me permission to share the photo of her quilt with you.  “Shred the Gnar” is on its way to AQS.  Good luck Vicki!

I have some prizes to announce for my last blog post, part of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Blog Tour.  The winner of the magazine and packet of Stonehenge Gradations Mixers is Betsey, while Lyn M. and Susan S. receive packets of the Mixers.  Congrats!

I just finished quilting my latest pattern, Bevelled, made with a 2½” strip pack of Banyan Batiks’ Ketan texture. DSCF3848

PC228 Bevelled by Patti Carey using Ketan strip pack

PC228 Bevelled by Patti Carey using Ketan strip pack

It was super easy to make and I am loving the Ketan.  I have some extra pieces taking up space in my sewing room, and they need to go.  For a chance to win a packet of Ketan, please leave a comment by February 15th telling me your favorite quilt magazine(s), and if you prefer print versions or on-line versions.  I will give away 3 packets.  Good luck!

Cheers,

Patti

Mixing it up with “100 Blocks”

13 Nov

Fellow Quilters,

Today I am joining a talented group of designers participating in the latest blog tour for Quiltmakers 100 Blocks.  Issue #16 hits newsstands this week, and to celebrate, Quiltmakers magazine has organized a blog tour, with lots of great prizes at each blog.  There are also prizes at Quiltmakers’ blog, so be sure to comment on their site for a chance to win some great quilty stuff.

It’s hard to believe that 1600 different blocks have been designed since “100 Blocks” first started!  I have had fun designing some of the blocks in past issues, as well as designing some quilts using blocks from the various issues.  Some of my quilt designs have even appeared in issues of “Quilts From 100 Blocks”, and a few of these quilts were results of my blog posts in the ”100 Blocks” tours.

For the latest issue, I played with a selection of blocks created by the designers who used Northcott fabrics in their blocks.  They included Acquisitions Editor Lori Baker with her block #1554 Is It Butter Yet?, Northcott pattern designer Sue Beevers with her block #1556 Directional Debut, Northcott pattern designer Chris Hoover with her block #1571 Stand Tall, and Northcott colleague Elaine Theriault with her block #1593 Any Which Way.  I also added #1557 Stars & Stripes by Karen Bialik, another Northcott pattern designer. I colored the blocks in Northcott’s Stonehenge Gradations Mixers, featured in Northcott’s advertisement in the issue.  Each Mixer contains a mix of colors from Stonehenge Gradations, making them super useful and super gorgeous!  I selected 3 Mixers containing purples, blues and greens, as well as one containing magenta/orange.

blocksThe real fun began, however, when I combined the blocks.  So many choices!  Should I choose a straight set, or an on-point layout?  Sashing between the blocks or not?  Light ground or dark ground?  1556 & 1571 straight-set optionsWhile all the blocks played nicely in a straight set, some were destined for this arrangement – Lori’s and Karen’s, for example. 1557 & 1593 The others worked well in both arrangements, and some even gave some wonderful surprising effects when placed on-point.  I really enjoyed working with combinations of Sue’s and Chris’ blocks.1556 & 1571 on-point options

I know that Lori and Elaine like modern quilting, and their blocks reflect this.  Since I like modern quilting too, I played with their blocks a bit more.  Here are 2 options of their blocks in a quilt, with and without sashing – what a difference the sashing makes!1554 & 1593 I also had some fun with Elaine’s block on its own.1593 options

It’s time to give away some prizes!  For a chance to win a copy of Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Volume 16 and a packet of Stonehenge Gradations Mixers, please leave a comment on my blog by midnight CST tonight (November 13), telling me which quilt is your favorite.  I will also select 2 additional winners to receive a packet of Mixers fabrics.  Good luck to everyone!  I truly enjoy reading your comments : )

Thanks for participating, and have fun visiting the other bloggers on the tour this week.

Cheers,

Patti

Row, row, row your quilt

21 Sep

Fellow Quilters,

Fall is definitely in the air!  I was at a friend’s cottage last weekend, and the temperature of the lake was “refreshing” a.k.a. numbing.  The leaves are changing colour, providing a spectacular display.  It won’t be long before the leaves are down and snow is on the ground!

With that in mind, today I join 4 other quilt designers from around the globe in sharing our designs for the 2017 Christmas Caroling Row-along, coordinated by Marian at Seams to be Sew (great job, Marian!).  CCLogo-2All told, there are 42 participants, each sharing their free pattern for a holiday row during the 5-week event.    Each participant was asked to design a row 30” x 8-12” – it could be wide or tall.  Last year, as part of the Road Home Row-along, I designed a tall row, so this year I chose a wide row.

My all-time favourite Christmas carol is O Holy Night, and I haven’t found a version I don’t like – Josh Groban’s is exquisite.  I wanted to capture the stillness of a winter night, and the beauty of breaking dawn, but how to create that glow?  I wondered if a bargello would work.  I would need a large range of lights to darks in the blue colour family.  Northcott’s Creative Director Deborah has built wonderful ranges of values into several Northcott Essential programs, including Toscana (suede texture), ColorWorks (solid cotton), and my favourite collection, Artisan Spirit Shimmer. I also selected any blue fabrics from Northcott’s holiday collections. DSCF3653Armed with a stack of fabrics from Northcott’s warehouse, I started my quilt, laying out the fabrics from light to dark.

To capture the glow of breaking dawn, I built my bargello in two directions at once – horizontally and vertically.  It ultimately changed the way I constructed my quilt so that it wasn’t a typical bargello – I had to build each column separately – but it was worth it.  The columns become narrower as they approach the center of the quilt, as do the rows.  I think it took me longer to cut the pieces than it did to construct the bargello!  My work surface quickly became filled with columns as I cut my way through the 16 fabrics required for the bargello.

Adding each fabric to the bargello layout

Adding each fabric to the bargello layout

Each column is made from pieces more than twice the width required, and cut into 2 columns once the pieces are sewn together.  In effect, I pieced only half the columns, cutting each one into 2.

Cut each column in 2

Cut each column in 2

To make the seams nest, I pressed the seams in alternate columns in opposite directions.

Press seams in alternate columns in opposite directions

Press seams in alternate columns in opposite directions

The quilt still needed the main characters – the nativity scene, stable animals and wise men – and these were added as a quick-fused silhouette.  The star was also quick-fused.

O Holy Night by Patti Carey

O Holy Night by Patti Carey

My row remains unquilted for now – I may choose to wrap it to a wooden frame and hang it.  Alternately, I may quilt it and wrap it around a frame, or quilt and bind it to be used as a runner.  Or I may combine it with some of the other fabulous rows in the Christmas Caroling Row-along to make a larger wall quilt or lap quilt.  To download the free pattern for O Holy Night, please click here:Craftsy download or Payhip download

Some wonderful prizes have been donated by several generous companies for giveaways during the Christmas Caroling Row-along, and it is my pleasure to offer you the opportunity to win a new Ott-Lite Wellness desk lamp valued at $79.99, graciously donated by Ott-Lite.Ott-Lite logo

Ottlite Wellness desk lamp

Ottlite Wellness desk lamp

Who doesn’t love Ott-lites for better vision when quilting?  Simply click on this  Rafflecopter link here by September 27 to enter.

In addition, NorthcottNorthcott logo and Calibre Art Calibre Art logohave donated prizes for each day of the Row-along – a huge thanks to them!  Enter today to win here: Calibre Art Rafflecopter giveaway and Northcott Rafflecopter giveaway . Visit Marian’s blog at Seams to be Sew every day to enter via Rafflecopter for these prizes.  Shipping charges may apply for non-US residents. Rules for the contest are listed here (fine print).  Please review them, as some of the prizes have deadlines or restrictions.

Here is the list of the awesome participating bloggers – please be sure to visit to collect your rows.  You’ll be well on your way to a Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Quilting Affection
Any Pattern
Just Let Me Quilt
Quilt In Piece
Kissed Quilts

Thursday, September 7, 2017
Daydreams of Quilts 
Seams To Be Sew
Be A Quilter
Creatin’ in the Sticks
Fun Threads

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Sew Incredibly Crazy
Masterpiece Quilting
Sugarlane Designs
Happy Sewing Room

Thursday, September 14, 2017
Barbara Dieges
Cynthia’s Creating Ark
The Quilted Snail
Ms. P. Designs USA   (sponsored by Just Let Me Quilt)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017
Jaded Spade Creations
Adventurous Applique and Quilting 
UlaSewing / SzycieUli
From Blank Pages

Thursday, September 21, 2017
Martina Latimer
Quilt Fabrication
Patchwork Breeze
Patti’s Patchwork
Miss Loreen’s Schoolhouse

Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Cheryl LaPlante  (sponsored byQuilt In Piece)
Morning Glory
Pampered Pettit
Fun Threads

Thursday, September 28, 2017
Mountain Meadow Designs
Quilt Art
Made By Marney
Renee’s Quilting Addiction

Tuesday, October 3, 2017
MaryMack’s Blog
Kathys Kwilts and More
Pamela Quilts
Duck Creek Mountain Quilting
Heleen Pinkster

Thursday, October 5, 2017
Seams To Be Sew
A Dream and A Stitch
Upstairs Hobby Room
Words & Stitches

Cheers,

Patti

Tools of the Trade

21 Jul

Fellow Quilters,

I have been making quilts for 25 years now, ever since Northcott started selling quilting fabric.  Prior to that, Northcott designed and printed fashion fabric for the home sewing industry – think “local fabric store”.  When we started selling quilting fabric, I had to learn to make quilts, since I was responsible for making the displays for our trade shows.  Quiltmaking sewing is actually quite different from garment sewing, and I slowly learned the skills (and lingo!) required for quilting. It wasn’t until a couple of years later that I took a class, and learned how much I didn’t know.  More importantly, I learned skills in that class that I still use, “tools” for my “technique toolbox”.  The class was a colorwash project, and I didn’t actually finish the project – a common occurrence among students, I have learned.  In addition to learning about how to make a colorwash quilt, I learned that we should make the entire quilt on one machine.  I also learned about nesting seams – a fundamental tool in quiltmaking.  From the teacher, I picked up little tips along the way.  That class was so much more than simply buying the book or pattern and making the quilt myself.  It was the opportunity to learn from someone more experienced than myself in the skills required for that project.

Over the years, my skill level has increased, and I have found ways to make my quiltmaking experience better, faster, more efficient, and more enjoyable.  I have added a lot of tools to my technique toolbox.  I began sharing my methods with other quilters by teaching. It has become something that I truly enjoy.  It is quite gratifying to see someone have success with a skill they didn’t have before you shared your knowledge with them.  It is particularly thrilling to see the student’s self-confidence increase.  The biggest thrill comes when a student takes what they’ve learned from you and takes it beyond what you even imagined.

This year I have the opportunity to teach twice in the lovely state of Tennessee.  In March, I taught at A Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge, and next week I join a faculty of renowned teachers at Quiltfest, held at Tennessee Quilts in Jonesborough.  I will be teaching bargello, Borders & Bindings, and Stacks of Presents – it is my newest class, and results in a lovely seasonal wall-hanging.

PC185 Stacks of Presents

Stacks of Presents holiday version

The first 2 classes are almost full, however there are still a few spots in the Stacks of Presents class if you are available (http://www.tennesseequilts.com/quiltfest.html ).  I will have your kit waiting for you!  I am also doing a presentation on How Fabrics are Designed and Printed, combined with a mini trunk show to inspire you.

The other equally fabulous benefit of a class is the opportunity to connect with other quilters.  I have met many wonderful quilters over the years that have become friends, and I am very excited that two of my quilting friends, Mary and Sandi, will be in my class!  Woop woop!  We shall have a blast. Then there’s the faculty. I have known fellow teacher Nancy Mahoney for years and am looking forward to seeing her too. I also want to take in the presentation by Esterita Austin – it should be great!

Speaking of tools, I have a new YouTube video on my favorite quilting tool, the narrow Hera marker by Clover.  I encourage the students in my classes to use it, and Northcott just posted a quick video of exactly how I use this great tool.  You can watch it here: Patti’s Hera marker video

It’s been a while since I’ve had a giveaway on my blog, so I’m thinking it’s time for one.

PC205 Butterfly Beauty

PC205 Butterfly Beauty

I have been making my samples for 2 of my new patterns that use the gorgeous Flight of Fancy collection.

PC206 On Golden Wings

PC206 On Golden Wings

For a chance to win a packet of Flight of Fancy, please post a comment on my blog by July 31 telling me what your favorite quilting tool is, and which of the 3 colorways of Flight of Fancy you like best.  You can see them here: Northcott’s Flight of Fancy collection Good luck to everyone!

Cheers,

Patti

Zebras and Other Illusions

7 Jul

Fellow Quilters,

Today’s post is just a quick one because I have a pile of work to do on an exciting new Northcott venture (I can’t tell you about it yet) AND I need to finish up the details for my row as part of the Christmas Caroling Row-along in September (the logo is over on the right).  So, without further ado, a couple of musings and tidbits for today…

My commute into the office takes me along a 4-lane freeway through a rural area that includes farms and rolling green hills.  A couple of weeks back, as I was driving, thinking of all the things on my To Do list, out of the corner of my eye I spotted 2 zebras in one of the fields.  I did a double take – why were zebras grazing in that field?!?  A couple of very quick glances revealed that it was a horse farm and the horses were wearing zebra-patterned blankets.  Hahaha!  What a great illusion!  Unfortunately, the traffic was moving at 60mph so I had no opportunity to slow down and snap a picture. It brought a smile to my face however, and made me think about how I have been playing with the idea of creating illusions in my quilts.

The other musing is from a dinner that I attended.  I was sitting beside someone I didn’t know – a friend of a friend.  Light conversation ensued – “what do you do”, “where do you work”, etc. It’s always interesting explaining to someone what you do for a living when you work in the quilting industry.  Sometimes, particularly with Border Patrol officers, you get The Look, as they process what “quilting industry” means.  My dining companion, however, proceeded to share a wonderful story with me.  Her mother grew up in a rather poor family, with 5 children in a 4-room house, and the 3 sisters shared 2 beds in one of the rooms.  There was a quilt on one of the beds, and as was typical of that period, it was made from patches of old clothing.  The quilt was a great source of entertainment for the girls – they would select a patch and make up a story about where that fabric came from -what the garment looked like, who wore it, what they were doing while wearing it.  The quilt was so much more than patches of fabric – it allowed the sisters to dream.  Even though it was made from scraps, it became a cherished part of the girls’ lives, so much so that the woman sitting beside me was telling me about its importance.  It was humbling to hear the story.  I often receive emails from quilters who have made a quilt from one of my patterns.  They share photos of their quilt, telling me it’s for their daughter/son, grandchild or niece/nephew who is getting married or going off to college.  It is a symbol of the quiltmaker’s love for the recipient.  These quilts are also much loved by the recipients – they are much more than blankets.  Last week I attended a workshop and lecture by modern quilting guru Angela Walters.  In her lecture, Angela talked about the “blankets” (quilts) made by her husband’s grandfather, and how special they were to the family.  If you ever get a chance to attend one of Angela’s lectures or workshops, I highly recommend it – in addition to being inspiring, she is also very funny!

I was scrolling through some photos on my camera, and came across a picture that I took a couple months back of the magnolia bush/tree in my front garden. I am usually away when it blooms, so it was a pleasure to see it in full bloom.  There were an exceptional number of blooms this year – isn’t it glorious?magnolia

Time to get back to work.  We’ll chat soon!

Cheers,

Patti

Shimmering Diamonds

4 May

Fellow Quilters,

Welcome to my second post today!  My regular subscribers are probablymyblockisin15_95

scratching their heads right now, thinking “Did she fall and bump her head?” because I NEVER post twice in one day.  Well, you know what they say – Never say never.  There is a very good reason for 2 posts today – I am wearing 2 hats as Northcott and I participate in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 15 blog tour, taking place this week.  My first post was for Northcott’s participation as a sponsor of the tour.  This post is because I have a block in the issue – woop-woop!

#1454 Diamond Cut block

#1454 Diamond Cut block

My block is #1454 Diamond Cut, made with Northcott’s uber-delicious Artisan Spirit Shimmer. It has just a hint of metallic gold – enough to make it shimmer (haha) but not enough to make it at all challenging to work with.  I have made numerous quilts with Shimmer, and they all turn out drop-dead gorgeous because of the fabric.

The Diamond Cut block is similar to the block that I used for my Bevels quilt featured in the November 2015 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts.

Bevels quilt from November 2015 McCall's Quick Quilts

Bevels quilt from November 2015 McCall’s Quick Quilts

 

However, I added corners that create a secondary design when multiple blocks are sewn together.  Using 2 different values of one color gives the distinct impression of shading in the fabrics, creating an optical illusion.

Quilt #1

Quilt #1

In this alternate colorway version, I used multiple colors and placed them on a black ground, using one color (gray) for the corner pieces.

Quilt #2

Quilt #2

In the 3rd version, I used a light (cream) ground instead of black as above.

Quilt #3

Quilt #3

I also played with a few other blocks in Volume 15 that had a central on-point square motif.  While there were several in the issue, only 2 had the same grid as Diamond Cut – #1464 Checkerboard Square and #1474 Nine Patch Palette.  Here is Diamond Grid with Nine Patch Palette, and then with the corner squares of Nine Patch Palette recolored.  What a difference!

Quilt #4

Quilt #4

Quilt #5

Quilt #5

Diamond Grid didn’t play as well with Checkerboard Square in my opinion.

Quilt #6

Quilt #6

I also combined Checkerboard Square with Nine Patch Palette, both with and without recolored corners.

Quilt #7

Quilt #7

Quilt #8

Quilt #8

I have 3 copies of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 15 to give away, and I will throw in some Shimmer fabrics as well.  For a chance to win one of the 3 prizes, please post a comment on this blog post by midnight tomorrow Friday May 5th telling me which of the 8 options is your favorite.  If you haven’t commented on my earlier post for the Northcott giveaways, please do!

As I write this post, I recall writing a similar post for Volume 13 which came out around this time last year and which also featured one of my blocks.  It was a crazy-busy time, particularly because, while returning to Canada from a Florida vacation, I had to make an unplanned multi-day stop in Paducah, Kentucky to join my colleagues in the Northcott booth at AQS Quiltweek.  I did not have any of the clothes or shoes that I needed to wear at the show (cycling shorts, golf clothes and swimsuits were NOT appropriate), so I called my son at home and walked him through my closet via the telephone as he pulled out the required dresses, matching shoes and jewellery, and Fedex’d them to me.  Remarkably, he managed to select all the right ones!

Enjoy the 100 Blocks blog tour road rally, and be sure to stop at the other designers’ and sponsors’ blogs to enter the rally.  Good luck!

Cheers,

Patti