Everyday Pleasures

2 Jun

Fellow Quilters,

Quilters are some of the kindest people in the world – so many of them/you/us make quilts simply to give away, sometimes to people that we don’t even know.  Right now, many quilters across Canada are making quilts and pillow cases for the citizens of Fort McMurray, recently ravaged by forest fires, simply because we can and because they need them.  My modern quilt group is coordinating a group quilt project, and my regular quilt guild is collecting quilts and pillow cases.  Local shops have also encouraged their customers to join in, with overwhelming response. It’s inspiring!

I was thinking the other day of some of the special people and experiences that I’ve had the pleasure to know because of my involvement in quilting.  Last month, I presented a trunk show and workshop at the Kemptville Quilt guild.  My host Maureen was so hospitable, as were her husband and grown kids.  Son Eric practiced woodworking as a hobby, and he gave me one of his fabulous hand-made seam rippers before I left.

Seam ripper

Hand-crafted dual seam ripper made by Eric

It feels so nice in my hand, much nicer than the chain-store ones in my tool kit.  It is a treat to use!

Likewise, during the quilting cruise that I was on in February, I had the pleasure of having Pat Buckley Moss and her daughter Mary in my classes.  I gave Mary my leftover fabrics for her sashiko quilt that she wanted to enlarge.  I needed to lighten my load on my return trip!  When I returned home, there was a lovely hand-painted ornament in my mailbox, crafted by Pat herself.

painted ornament

Hand-painted ornament by Pat Buckley Moss

I did not know until that moment that Pat is a fabulous artist!  Now I have a cherished memento of our time on the cruise.

Two weeks ago, I was in Salt Lake City attending Spring Quilt Market, the industry trade show.  It was great to re-connect with my colleagues, whom I haven’t seen for several months as I travelled in New Zealand, Australia & the southern USA.  Northcott has some wonderful talented team members, and I enjoyed spending time with them.  Christina snapped a photo of me in my new dress made with a border print from the upcoming Radiance collection and posted it on Facebook.

Radiance dress

Me wearing my dress made with the Radiance collection

The dress pattern is an old one from my stash of clothing patterns, and I try to make a new dress for each show.  This one is my favorite!  It was perfect for Spring.

While at Market, I met up with fellow pattern designer Susan-Claire Mayfield, a.k.a. Gourmet Quilter, from New Zealand.  She is such an inspiration to me.  She has this fantastic Block-of-the-day pattern called That Town and Country Quilt.

That Town and Country Quilt

That Town and Country Quilt by Gourmet Quilter

You sign up at Gourmet Quilter, and Susan sends you 7 new blocks every week. I first saw it last summer at the designer retreat that we both attended, and fell in love with it.  Well, when I was at AQS Paducah in April, Susan-Claire was at Hancock’s, and I purchased the fabric kit for her quilt.  I haven’t even ordered the pattern yet.  I truly have no idea when I shall make it, but it is a darling quilt.  I haven’t even started yet, so I am officially 5 months behind.  Maybe I’ll start it this summer with my mom at the cottage…

I have several presentations/trunk shows in the next 3 weeks, so if you are in the area of any of them, please drop in.  The biggest one is Friday June 17th at Quilt Canada in Toronto.  This is a wonderful 4-day conference with teachers from everywhere.  There is still space in my trunk show at 2pm if you haven’t already bought a ticket and are available.  I’m also at the Sunset Quilt Guild in Kincardine on June 6th, the Bayfield Quilt Guild on June 21st, and the Ganaraska Quilt Guild in Orono on June 22nd.

Last month I participated in a blog tour for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 13 issue, and I’d like to announce the winners:

Dana Gaffney and Kathy Pfaltzgraff will receive packets of Shimmer fabrics from the Artisan Spirit brand by Northcott for their comments on the My Favorite Jewels post. Dana also receives a copy of the magazine.

Joellyn Partyka and Vicki Terpstra will receive packets of Toscana pinks for their comments on the Pretty in Pink post.  Joellyn also receives a copy of the magazine.

And lastly, Kathy Erickson, Diana M. Diana, and Glenda McDonough will receive packets of Beacon Hall cranberry for commenting on my post way back in December. Thanks to all who posted a comment.  Your feedback is terrific!

Occasionally, quilters email me with pictures of quilts that they’ve made with my patterns.  It’s such a thrill to read these emails.  Joanne Tschantre recently sent me a picture of her Celtic Cobblestones quilt, made from the pattern in Love of Quilting magazine 2 or 3 years ago.

Celtic Cobblestones quilt

Joanne Tschantre’s Celtic Cobblestones quilt

Didn’t she do a nice job?  Thanks for sharing, Joanne.

Time for a giveaway!  Today I will give away 5 of my patterns.  For a chance to win, please visit Quiltwoman.com, click on my name in the Designers box and choose your favorite one, then leave a comment telling me which one it is.



Pretty in Pink

6 May

Fellow Quilters,

This week I have been participating in Quiltmaker’s “100 Blocks Volume 13” blog tour.logo  If this is your first visit to my blog – Welcome!  If you also visited on Tuesday, then Welcome back!  To all of you who commented on Tuesday’s blog, thank you.  I enjoyed reading each and every comment, as you told me about your favorite jewels.  Some of you mentioned family and friends.  Many, many of you said that your favorite piece of jewelry is your wedding ring – truly heart-warming!  I will be selecting the winners from Tuesday’s post shortly.

For today’s post, I scanned the issue of Volume 13, selecting blocks that were designed by some of the pattern designers that partner with Northcott.  I came up with 6 blocks, and recolored them in Toscana, the fabric collection that Northcott has advertised in the issue.  Toscana is a fantastic texture that looks like suede and feels like silk, and comes in 135 delicious shades.  I chose a selection of pinks, ranging from pale Pinky Swear to deep Miami Beet.  Here are the 6 blocks:

Dream Catcher by Chris Hoover

Dream Catcher by Chris Hoover

Corner Block by Celine Perkins

Corner Block by Celine Perkins

Flashlights by Daphne Greig

Flashlights by Daphne Greig

Z-Z-Z by Kat Wilson Tucker

Z-Z-Z- by Kat Wilson Tucker







Jaded Jewels by Patti Carey

Jaded Jewels by Patti Carey




Pinwheel Plus by Kate Colleran








Then I started combining the blocks into different settings.  The results were, um, interesting.  Even though all of the blocks are 12″ they didn’t want to “play together” very nicely.  I made a sampler, making the background dark, and added sashing between the blocks to separate them (like kids!):



It was quite busy!  I tried a couple of 2-block combinations with light and

dark grounds:

Jaded Jewels & Flashlights quilt

Jaded Jewels & Flashlights quilt

Dream Catcher & Pinwheel Plus dark ground quilt

Dream Catcher & Pinwheel Plus with dark ground

Here is the same quilt with a light ground:

Dream Catcher & Pinwheel Plus light ground quilt

Dream Catcher & Pinwheel Plus quilt

What a difference!  Here is one more combination:

Pinwheel Plus and Z-Z-Z quilt

Pinwheel Plus & Z-Z-Z

I have copy of “100 Blocks Volume 13” to give away, and I will also give away a couple of packets of these lovely Toscana pink fabrics, perfect for Spring!  For a chance to win, please post a comment on my blog, telling me which BLOCK above is your favorite and which QUILT above is your favorite.  The deadline to post a comment is Sunday May 8th, which is also Mother’s Day.  To all of the moms – Happy Mother’s Day!

The other bloggers participating in this tour also have prizes, and great posts to boot!  Please visit them using the Quilty Pleasures blog link.  And thanks for stopping by!  See you soon.





My Favorite Jewels

3 May

Fellow Quilters,logo

This week, the 13th volume of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks hits the newsstand, and many of the designers featured in this issue (including yours truly!) are participating in the blog tour.  I love, love, love these tours!  I get to have a conversation with you, sharing some quilting ideas, and asking you to share as well.  Your comments are such a pleasure to read.  For many of you, as for me, quilting is a thread that joins many aspects of your life.  Your quilts and stories inspire me.  They motivate me to keep doing what I’m doing, and enjoy the process.

Over the past 4 months, quilting has taken me to the other side of the world and back.  Hubby and I spent 7 incredible weeks touring just about every corner of New Zealand, visiting roughly 20 patchwork shops along the way.  We then boarded a cruise ship for 2 weeks, and I was immersed in all things quilty as our Quilt Camp at Sea group sailed from Auckland to Sydney.  Upon arrival in Australia, Hubby and I toured numerous wineries and quilt shops (seriously – does it get any better?!?) before heading to A Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge, TN for another quilt-filled week.  After a couple of side trips (Memphis & Nashville), I headed to Paducah for 5 days at Quilt Week.  Ohmygosh!!  It is Mecca for quilters.  My 2 colleagues and I met literally thousands of quilters in the Northcott booth, and shared quilting tips, inspiration, fabrics and stories with them.  So much fun!

So, what does any of this have to do with jewels, you ask?  Well, New Zealand is a jewel of a country.  Yes, I know that for most of us, it is a very long plane ride away, but it is worth every minute.  I highly recommend adding it to the top of your bucket list.  It is spectacular, and has inspired a few more quilts to be added to my To Do list (I may need to take a landscape quilting class first).

In Australia, I was hoping to acquire a pair of opal earrings to replace the ones I lost.  Alas, I came home without any new earrings.  Perhaps a return trip is in my future.

During all of my travels this year, I have met countless delightful quilters and quilt shop staff – all jewels!

jewel blockOh yes, and my block in “100 Blocks Volume 13” is Jaded Jewels,
called this because it looks faceted when shades of one color are used for
the prism-shaped pieces.  I really like color – all colors – and I think I own more turquoise-colored jewelry than any other color. Naturally, I chose the turquoise, or peacock, colorway of Artisan Spirit Shimmer for my block.  With 9 different values from light to dark, it was easy to create my block, choosing 6 of my favorites.  This block is much easier than it looks, and I had it sewn together in no time.  I even came up with a couple of quilt ideas:jewel lap quilt

Above is a lap-sized quilt, and below is a bed runner.  jewel bedrunnerI am really liking bed runners these days – they keep my feet and shins toasty without making the rest of me too warm.

Each of the bloggers participating in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 13 blog tour will be giving away a copy of the magazine.  For a chance to win, please leave a comment on my blog, telling my about your favorite jewel or piece of jewelry.  I will even include a bundle of Artisan Spirit Shimmer fabrics in your favorite color.  To see all of the colors of Shimmer, visit  Northcott – Shimmer .

Have fun visiting all of the other blogs, and please drop by again on Friday for another chance to win, when I do another post for the tour.




Breath-taking Vistas Everywhere!

11 Jan

Today is Day #5 for Hubby and me on our NZ adventure.  Mother Nature has certainly been on our side, and blessed us with brilliant sunshine almost continuously.  I’m feeling thankful that I brought the #45 sunscreen.  We have been on some terrific bike rides to stretch our legs and justify an extra glass of NZ wine.

View of Mt. Cook from Lake Pukaki

View of Mt. Cook from Lake Pukaki

On our way from Lake Tekapo to Oamaru, we cycled part of the Alps2Ocean trail, taking in the surreal vistas from the shores of Lake Pukaki.  The water colour of this glacier-fed lake is pale aqua, a stark contrast to the browns and greys of the surrounding hills.  With a view of Mt. Cook in the background, it is breath-taking.

Cycling has not been our only form of calorie-burning.  We have also enjoyed some fabulous hiking.

View from the top of Mt. John at lake Tekapo

View from the top of Mt. John at Lake Tekapo

In Lake Tekapo, we tested our lung capacity and quads by hiking the short trail (same elevation change but shorter distance) to the peak of Mt. John for a 360° panoramic view of the Canterbury Plains. It was worth the effort!  Today we got our workout by walking around the city of Dunedin, New Zealand’s equivalent to San Francisco as far as steep roads go.  We decided that walking the streets would be safer than cycling them – I’m not sure the brakes on my rental bicycle could handle the pitch of these roads.

I managed to squeeze in a couple of quilt shop stops.  On the way from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo, we stopped at The Tin Pin in Geraldine to say hi to shop owner Lisa Nelson.

Lisa Nelson of The Tin Pin in Geraldine

Lisa Nelson of The Tin Pin in Geraldine

She has a terrific shop on the main street, and a terrific attitude to boot!

Today, on our stroll through Dunedin, we stopped in to see Sue at Threads Needle Craft.  In addition to quilting fabrics, she also stocks other needle arts supplies.

Sue at Threads Needle Craft in Dunedin

Sue at Threads Needle Craft in Dunedin

Interestingly, both women fold their bolts of fabric into 11” wide bolts instead of the 22” wide size that I am accustomed to seeing.  Both shops had a selection of NZ themed fabrics, perfect for souvenirs, don’t you think?

Tomorrow promises to be another activity-filled day, with hikes to Mt. Cargill and the Otago Peninsula, before we head down to Invercargill at the south end of NZ. If the sunny weather holds, it will be the longest day of our trip, with 15 ½ hours of daylight.  Such a treat compared to our Canadian winters!

Until then,



My New Adventure Begins…

7 Jan

Fellow Quilters,

Hubby and I embarked on a wonderful adventure today.  We kissed our beloved Canadian winter goodbye and spent 27 hours to get to Christchurch NZ.  We left frigid temperatures yesterday, and arrived in the garden capital of NZ today.  Here are a couple of pictures of the beautiful hydrangeas and hollyhock in the gardens at the hotel that is our home for the next couple of days.  DSCF1468DSCF1467We rented bicycles for our trip, and quickly jumped on them this afternoon to alleviate the issues associated with a 27-hour trip (lack of exercise!).  NZ is a great country for cyclists, and Christchurch fits right in, with bike lanes on most of the roads.  Christchurch is known as the garden city in NZ, for it is lush and green.  This is in stark contrast to the view from our airplane window as we travelled from Auckland to Christchurch this morning – it was mostly mountainous, with very little sign of life.  We toured the downtown area of Christchurch today, including the areas devastated by the earthquake in 2010, then further damaged by the numerous after-shocks in following months.  Here is a picture in Container CityDSCF1460I can only imagine what Christchurch looked like before the massive earthquake.  After riding around for a few hours today, the only thing Hubby and I need to get used to is riding on the left side of the road, opposite North American driving practices.  While driving the car today, Hubby turned the windshield wipers on several times in an attempt to put the turn signals on.  Hopefully in 2 more days, he will be thinking “left” instead of “right”.

Time to call it a day – the jet-lag is setting in.  Tomorrow will be another busy day, including a longer bike ride and perhaps a visit to Art of Sewing, the local quilt shop.

Until then, Cheers!


Super Simple Seminole with STRIP-Rs

10 Dec

Fellow Quilters,

Today is a busy day – I am double-blogging.  I am the guest blogger over at the McCall’s Quilting blog AND I am blogging here on my own site.  If you are visiting through the McCall’s blog, a warm Canadian welcome!  If you are visiting just because, please check out my post at McCall’s, and leave a comment there for a chance to win one of 3 fabric prizes compliments of Northcott.  I am also giving away fabric prizes, so be sure to leave a comment below.  More about that later.

I am a guest on the McCall’s site because my Painted Porcelain quilt is featured in the January/February 2016 issue of McCall’s Quilting, on newsstands now.  Here is a picture:

Patti's Painted Porcelain queen-size quilt

Patti’s Painted Porcelain queen-size quilt

I used Northcott’s Porcelain Blue collection designed by Deborah Edwards. It is a beautiful collection of classic blue and white, reminiscent of Delft blue dinnerware.  My quilt is equally traditional.  The block looks like the Roman Stripe block, with a half-square triangle on one half of the block, and strips of various fabrics making up the other half-square triangle.  My pattern is deceptively simple – I used the STRIP-R fabric from the Porcelain Blue collection for those “pieced” triangles.  A STRIP-R (pronounced “stripper”) is a fabric with (21) 2” wide lengthwise strips across the width of the fabric.  It looks like this:

Porcelain Blue STRIP-R

Porcelain Blue STRIP-R

I think STRIP-Rs are the greatest thing since… well, rotary cutters. Think of them as jellyrolls already sewn together.  If you have visited from the McCall’s blog, you have seen some of the amazing ways that you can use them in quilts.  I want to show you another cool use for them.  I have the honour (that’s Canadian for “honor”) of being the featured designer in the current issue of The Canadian Quilter, the quarterly newsletter of the Canadian Quilters’ Association (www.canadianquilter.com).  Here’s part of the article from the magazine.

Article in the Winter 2015 issue of The Canadian Quilter

Article in the Winter 2015 issue of The Canadian Quilter

I designed a pretty throw-size quilt especially for the issue, made with Beacon Hall, the sister collection to Porcelain Blue.  Beacon Hall has the same prints as Porcelain Blue, and is available in black/white and red/white.  I used the red/white combination for Beacon Hall Baskets, a vertical strip quilt with 4 columns of baskets and 3 columns of Seminole strips.  Guess what?  Those Seminole strips are made with the Beacon Hall STRIP-R! How easy is that?!?  I cut the STRIP-R into 3 sections:

Cutting the Beacon Hall STRIP-R

Cutting the Beacon Hall STRIP-R

Then I cut each section into 2½” wide pieces and made a Seminole strip from each one by aligning the “seams” without the bulk of actual seams.

Piecing the Seminole

Piecing the Seminole


I used this same concept in my Ambience Medallion pattern (available at www.quiltwoman.com) using Northcott’s Artisan Spirit – Ambience collection.

Ambience Medallion wall-size

Ambience Medallion wall-size

The Seminole corners were made with a STRIP-R.  It makes the piecing so efficient that I was able to make this quilt top yesterday afternoon.

I’ve been spending lots of time in my sewing room lately making up quilt top samples for my travelling trunk show.  Most of the quilts have STRIP-Rs in them, and I can get these tops done in less than a day.  Here’s one that I pieced one evening, a variation of my Shimmering Strata pattern originally designed for Artisan Spirit – Shimmer.

Shimmer Strata pattern made with Ambience STRIP-R

Shimmer Strata pattern made with Ambience STRIP-R

In the original quilt, I strip-pieced the 9 light-to-dark values of 4 different colour palettes of Shimmer, then created my bargello.  In this Ambience version, I simply used 3/8yd of 4 different STRIP-Rs from Ambience.  The STRIP-R in Ambience has only 7 values, so my quilt is a bit shorter, but it does not impact the design.  In my Ambience version, there are only 3 horizontal seams in each bargello column instead of 15 if I had sewn strips together, and there is no bulk from those seams.  In the narrow strips in this quilt, eliminating this bulk was the key to making this quilt a breeze to piece. I saved so much time that I was able to whip up a batch of Pecan Toffee Shortbreads, hubby’s favourite Christmas cookie.

Pecan Toffee Shortbreads

Finely chop and toast ¾ cup pecans. Let cool.

Combine 1 lb room-temperature salted butter & 1 cup icing sugar.

Add 4 cups flour, 1 cup at a time (I use all-purpose).

Add cooled chopped toasted pecans & 1 cup Skor toffee bits, and mix until combined.

Roll into 1” balls and place 2” apart on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets (the parchment paper is a necessity). Flatten slightly with the dimpled end of a meat tenderizer dipped in flour.

Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes or until bottoms are light golden.


Now for the giveaway. I have 3 Beacon Hall fabric packets to give out.  For a chance to win one, please visit the McCall’s blog post (http://www.mccallsquilting.com/blogs/?p=11786) and come back here to leave a comment telling me which 2 quilts shown in my McCall’s post are your favourites.  Please comment by December 16th to be eligible.



1200 Blocks and counting…

18 Nov

Fellow Quilters,

The latest issue of one of my favorite quilting magazines is just hitting newsstands – Quiltmaker’s ever-popular 100 Blocks’ 12th volume – and I am participating in the blog tour today.  Northcott is one of the sponsors, and is providing some prizes, so for your chance to win one of the packs, please visit Quiltmaker’s blog at http://www.quiltmaker.com/blogs/quiltypleasures/  and leave a comment.  Web editor Diane Harris has added a couple of interesting features to this volume’s tour, including a daily tip and a complimentary itty bitty block pattern – how fun!

Fluctuations throw - grey version

Fluctuations throw – grey version

I have participated in several 100 blocks blog tours, and I must say that I just love the feedback that I get from my visitors.  I usually take some of the blocks, either made using Northcott fabrics or designed by a pattern designer who also designs patterns for Northcott, and I recreate them in the fabric collection that is featured in Northcott’s ad in the issue.

The featured collection is Artisan Spirit – Ambience, and the quilt featured in the ad is my Fluctuations pattern – woohoo! This is one of my favorite patterns, because it is deceptively easy – I use the STRIP-R pre-printed 2” strip fabric from the Ambience collection for the chevrons in this quilt.  Each chevron is made of only 2 pieces of fabric.  How cool is that?!? I have also used the No-Sew Circles in the border for a quick appliqued look without the challenge. (You can purchase the pattern here: http://www.quiltwoman.com/patterns/fluctuations-quilt-pattern-pc-176/ )

The Ambience collection includes a range of 8 values in 6 eye-popping fresh color palettes, plus a STRIP-R and No-Sew Circle fabric for each palette.  To recreate the blocks from Volume 12, I worked with the 8 values in the twilight palette and added a few fabrics from the other palettes for contrast.

Scanning the issue, I selected the following blocks:



#1115 editor Carolyn Beam’s Tulip Patch block, originally made with Artisan Spirit – Panache.  Here is my version in Ambience.



Karen’s block

#1130 Karen Bialik’s Townhouses block, originally made with Artisan Spirit – Shimmer.  Here is my Ambience version.


Chris's block

Chris’s block

#1145 Chris Hoover’s Easy Breezy block.  My appliqués are slightly different, since I have not yet mastered appliqués in Electric Quilt.  I chose pinks for the flowers.



Celine’s block

#1193 Celine Perkin’s Rock Candy block, recolored here with Ambience.


I found it interesting that 2 of the 4 blocks feature flowers.  I tried combining the 2 flower blocks, however the results were less than stellar.  Instead, I used Celine’s block as my alternate block.  I was chatting with Celine at Quilt Market 2 weeks ago, and commented to her that I have used her blocks several times as alternate blocks in previous blog tour posts – they have turned average quilts into “I want to make that” quilts.  Let’s take a look at some of the options:

1)  Celine’s & Carolyn’s

Celine's & Carolyn's

Celine’s & Carolyn’s


2)  Celine’s & Chris’

Celine's & Chris'

Celine’s & Chris’


3)  Celine’s & Karen’s

Celine's & Karen's

Celine’s & Karen’s


I also thought that these blocks would make terrific table runners:


Carolyn's runner

Carolyn’s runner

4)  Carolyn’s

Celine & Karen's runner

Celine & Karen’s runner

5)  Celine’s & Karen’s

Chris' runner

Chris’ runner

6)  Chris’

Celine's runner

Celine’s runner

7)  Celine’s

Notice how Celine’s and Karen’s blocks work well together – the side triangles on Karen’s block extend the edges of Celine’s blocks to create an illusion.

Now, I have 3 prize packets of fabric to give away as well, but I would like your opinion.  For a chance to win a packet, please leave a comment telling me which block above is your favorite, AND which quilt or runner (#1 to 7) is your favorite.  It’s always so interesting to see what you have to say, so please don’t be shy.

Don’t forget to visit Quiltmaker’s blog at the link above for a chance to win one of their packets, and also to see what the other bloggers in the tour have for you as well.  Most of all, thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the latest issue of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks.




J’s – Jem, June and Jane

3 Nov

Fellow Quilters,

It’s that time of year again, when my mom and I make a road trip from Canada to her winter home in Florida.  Last year was the first time I did this drive, and in snowy weather through Buffalo (so fun!), and I must say that I am enjoying the drive much more this time around, partly because I am more familiar with the route and also because the weather has been fantastic for a road trip – clear blue skies and warmer temperatures.  Today we drove through NY State, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.  The hilly scenery was delightful!

We have an extra “passenger” onboard – a new addition to my sewing room.  A compact little Janome Jem Platinum is packed in my suitcase, along with 8 packages of fabric, each one a partially cut quilt top – my travel cutting mat is only 12” x 18” instead of the 36” x 68” one in my sewing room, so I did my preliminary cutting at home.  I will be working on the quilts as time permits over the next 2 weeks, and will bring the machine back in my carry-on when I fly home.  It is certainly small enough to fit under my seat in a padded backpack, and weighs only 12lbs.  Have you ever travelled with a sewing machine?  I did a google search to gather travel tips before I decided to travel with my machine.  I am curious to hear any stories, good or bad, or any suggestions that you have.

Somewhere that you DON’T need to bring a machine is Quilt Canada 2016, in Toronto next June 15th – 18th. Machines are being provided for the conference, thanks to Janome. I am delighted to be part of the faculty for Quilt Canada, and will be teaching my Simplified Double Wedding Ring class on Thursday June 16, as well as presenting my “Interesting Quilts from Unusual Fabrics” trunk show Friday afternoon.  I am joined by 16 other talented teachers from Canada, and 3 teachers from the US, including Thursday evening’s keynote speaker Jane Sassaman. Sign-up opened last week at http://www.canadianquilter.com/events/quilt-canada-2016.php.  I shall be reviewing the list of classes and lectures in the next couple of days to see if I can squeeze in some “continuing education” when I am not teaching or lecturing.  It’s never too late to teach an old dog some new tricks.

One of the quilt kits that I will be working on while in Florida is a project that I designed exclusively for The Canadian Quilter, the fabulous quarterly magazine of the CQA.  My project will be featured in the Winter issue, coming out next month.  Needless to say, I am SEW thrilled!  It features a really creative way to use STRIP-R’s, Northcott’s fabulous fabric with pre-printed 2” wide strips.  I’ll post a picture in an upcoming blog post.

Time to catch some zzzzz’s – I have another 9-hour drive tomorrow, maybe stopping at a quilt shop or two if I can! Cheers,


Memories and Quilting

7 Oct

Fellow Quilters,

Last weekend, Hubby and I had the honor and pleasure of celebrating the 80th birthdays of my BFF Karen’s parents with 58 of their closest friends and family. It was a surprise party, and mom Bev was overwhelmed when she saw her BFF Eileen, who she hadn’t seen in 20 years.

Eileen, Bev and I

Eileen, Bev and I

I had a chance to chat with the two of them, as they recounted stories of their earlier days.

The invitation specifically said “no gifts”, yet Karen’s parents have been a part of my life for 35 years, and I wanted to give them something special. What to do? The night before the event, I decided that a quilt was in order. I dug through my stash for some cream fabric, cut it into 5” squares and ironed freezer paper to the back of each square for support. I bought a rainbow-colored pack of permanent fabric markers. At the event, I passed out the squares at each table during dinner and asked each attendee or couple to sign a square. They could add comments or other things to their square if desired. The response was truly amazing, as each attendee worked on their square. So many of them took the time to personalize their squares, using several colors and adding motifs that tied them to Bev & Don. Here are some of the squares.Don & Bev's squares The biggest thrill for me was watching everyone creating their squares – they had so much fun! It was as if I had given them permission to play! I will combine the squares with photos of the attendees, and hope to have the lap quilt finished in time for Don’s actual birthday in December. I’ll post a photo of the quilt when it is completed.

Hubby and I will be making wonderful memories next February 13-27 when we cruise New Zealand and Australia with the Quilt Camp at Sea gang on the cruise of a lifetime. Many of the quilters on this cruise have cruised with organizers Pat and Len Tobin several times because they take care of all the details that make the cruise extra-special – daily door prizes, swag bags, extra treats, block exchanges and more. One of the nicest details, for me, is having the classroom space to use for sit & stitch (or chat) time with the other quilters. Some very special friendships have formed on these cruises, and new ones are formed each time, as new cruisers participate. In fact, the Quilt Camp at Sea motto is “creating friendships at sea, one quilter at a time”. I get the same warm & fuzzies on these cruises as I did at Don and Bev’s 80th birthday party, and am already “sew” excited about this upcoming cruise. I will be making my class samples next week for my sashiko class and my super-easy-stained-glass class, then preparing the kits for each student (all you need to bring is your basic sewing supplies, such as scissors and pins). There are still 3 or 4 spots in my classes, but the last date to sign up is Saturday Oct. 10 (Pat tells me that all of the paperwork MUST be done by Monday). Lots of spouses are going on this cruise, so Hubby will have company while I am quilting. (On the last cruise, Hubby took part in an on-board pub crawl organized by the cruise director!) Please consider joining Hubby and I for 2 wonderful weeks of summer Down Under in the middle of our winter – email Pat or Len at QuiltersAlaskanCruises@comcast.net or call (360) 456-3819 (Pacific Time Zone).

Thinking of summer Down Under reminds me of my last post, as part of the EQ7: Seasons Row-along.  Since my row was snowmen, I asked readers to comment on their favorite thing about winter.  While a few readers mentioned crisp fresh air and snow-covered trees, most of the comments seemed to favor crackling fires and snuggling under quilts to escape the cold. (I really think those readers need 2 weeks in the south Pacific next February!)  Congrats to Edna L. for posting a comment – she has won a packet of Toscana suede-like texture fabrics courtesy of Northcott.  I also want to mention winners of my STRIP-R post on Sept. 10th.  Packets of the luscious Artisan Spirit – Ambience fabrics went out to Lori W., Carol J., Shirley J., Lisa E., and Ellen M.

Also along the “winter” theme, I have had numerous requests for a pattern for my Stacked Presents quilt featured in The Quilter magazine a few years ago.

Stacks of Presents holiday version

Stacks of Presents holiday version

The pattern PC185 Stacked Presents is now available at www.quiltwoman.com and includes 4 sizes from wall hanging 32” x 37” to queen-size 90” x 108”.  You can make it in holiday fabrics, or choose bright or elegant fabrics for a completely different look.

Stacks of Present twin size using Artisan Spirit Shimmer

Stacks of Present twin size using Artisan Spirit Shimmer

Stacks of Presents queen-size elegant version

Stacks of Presents queen-size elegant version

To my fellow Canadians, have a Happy Thanksgiving.  Hubby and I will enjoy turkey and pumpkin pie with our boys and extended family.  Since the pear tree in our backyard has a bumper crop, I will be making Pear Cranberry crisp as well:

Pear Cranberry Crisp

Combine 4 cups cored diced unpeeled pear, ¾ cup cranberries, ¾ cup chopped walnuts, ½ cup sugar, 1 tsp ginger & ¼ cup flour, and place in a greased 9” x 13” dish.

Combine 1 cup oatmeal, 2/3 cup flour, 2/3 cup brown sugar and ½ cup butter or margarine until mixture is consistent and crumbly.  Loosely spread over fruit mixture.  Bake at 350degrees for 30-40 minutes or until fruit is tender.  Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream if desired.



Patti’s Frosty Friends for Seasons Row-a-long

22 Sep

Fellow Quilters,

Today is a beautiful Fall day in my neck of the woods – bright sunshine and temperatures that are hovering around 70°F (22°C). The leaves are turning and I am enjoying a bowl of pumpkin pie ice cream – yum! Canadian Thanksgiving is just 2 weeks away, and we often have a dusting of snow at the family cottage where we celebrate with turkey and homemade pumpkin pie. This early snowfall means that winter can’t be far away, and that means another season of snowboarding, skating on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, and snowmen. To help you welcome winter, I have designed a row of frosty friends as part of my participation in Marian Pena’s EQ7: Seasons Row-a-long. This is week #4 in this fun event, and I am joined by 5 other talented quilters today. Thanks to Marian for organizing this, and thanks to all of the quilters who have used Northcott’s Toscana suede texture in their rows. Check out all of the terrific rows and blogs below:


Visit the other designers who are participating in this Row Along.

Here is the entire list of participants, including this week’s participants.

Read all of the rules for the giveaways HERE and have fun! September 1, 2015 Marlene at Kissed Quilts http://www.kissedquilts.com

Lynn at Thimble & Mouse http://thimblemouseandspouse.blogspot.com/

Doris at The Quilting Queen Online http://thequiltingqueenonline.com

Janine at Quilt Art http://quiltartdesigns.blogspot.com

Bea at Be A Quilter http://www.beaquilter.com

Anneka at Stof Genoeg https://stofgenoeg.wordpress.com/

September 8, 2015

Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts http://sewfreshquilts.blogspot.com/

Carol at Fun Threads http://funthreads.blogspot.com/

Amy W. at Sew Incredibly Crazy http://sewincrediblycrazy.blogspot.com/

Marian at Seams To Be Sew http://seamstobesew.com

Anneke at Stof Genoeg https://stofgenoeg.wordpress.com/

September 15, 2015

Reeze at Morning Glory http://blog.morningglorydesigns.net/

Marian at Seams To Be Sew http://seamstobesew.com

Jennifer at Sew Hooked http://sewhooked.com/

Carol at Just Let Me Quilt http://www.justletmequilt.com/

Anneke at Stof Genoeg https://stofgenoeg.wordpress.com/

September 22, 2015

Carla at Create In The Sticks http://createinthesticks.blogspot.com/

Patti at Patti’s Patchwork http://www.pattispatchwork.com

Nancy at Patchwork Breeze http://patchworkbreeze.blogspot.com

Marian at Seams To Be Sew http://seamstobesew.com

Linda at Linda Franz http://www.lindafranz.com/blog/

Anneke at Stof Genoeg https://stofgenoeg.wordpress.com/

September 29, 2015

Amy H. at Country Junktion http://www.countryjunktion.com

Darlene at Quilt Shop Gal http://quiltshopgal.com/

Marina at Sews To Be Sew http://seamstobesew.com

Loreen at Loreen’s Schoolhouse Quilts http://loreen.typepad.com/loreens_place/

Anneke at Stof Genoeg https://stofgenoeg.wordpress.com/

My row of snowmen started out looking like this in Electric Quilt.EQ image Now, I don’t normally do appliqué or embroidery in my quilts, so designing this block took me out of my comfort zone. The eyes, mouth, buttons and even the carrot nose were easy with the tools available on the appliqué layer in the block drawing board, but the arms were another matter. I had fun making the twig arms in EQ and learned more about EQ along the way (you can teach an old dog new tricks!).

After piecing the blocks and putting them into a row, it looked like this. DSCF1380I and Susanne, my piecer and right arm, were not looking forward to making all of those tiny black circles for the eyes, buttons and mouth. What to do? Being the crafty gals that we are, we grabbed an orange permanent Crayola fabric marker and some black and brown fabric paint. Voila! These guys had character in no time flat!DSCF1383 DSCF1384 I think I shall add a border and turn this row into either a table runner or a small quilt to hang above a doorway.

For instructions on making this row, click here – Patti’s Frosty Friends pattern. There are some awesome prizes being given out in this Row-along, so don’t forget to enter.

Northcott Fabrics   6-8 Yards of Cotton that feels like silk!
You are allowed ONE entry per week, so don’t enter this one from every blog. (Multiple entries will be disqualified. Value of $60-$80 is based on $10.00 per yard cost of fabric.)
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Fat Quarter Shop   $25.00 Gift Certificate.
You can enter at each of the blogs featured this week! 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am also giving away a prize! Please post a comment on my blog by midnight September 26 telling me your favorite thing about winter for your chance at a packet of Toscana fabrics. Enjoy the rest of the Row-a-long and thanks for stopping by.