Houses of All Shapes & Sizes

4 May

Fellow Quilters,sponsor blog tour button

Today is my lucky day, and yours too!  This week is the blog tour for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 15, and not only is Northcott a sponsor, but I also have a block in the issue.  The good news for you is that you get 2 chances to win a copy of this great issue chock full of creative blocks – one chance for commenting on this post and one for commenting on my block post.

I really enjoy writing the Northcott post – it allows me to stretch my creative muscle by recreating some of the blocks and making them with the fabric collection featured in the Northcott ad in this issue.  This time around it is Little Genius (Little Genius ), part of the Tiny Treasures series of small-scale prints.  Little Genius is also a Quilts for Kids collection, benefitting Quilts for Kids ( ), a non-profit organization dedicated to brightening the lives of children who suffer from abuse or life-threatening illnesses.  Quilters are so kind-hearted and generous with their time, regularly making quilts that aid those people less fortunate.  Coincidentally, my modern guild had a charity sewing day last month, and we made a quilt with various house blocks for a local facility that provides support for families living with cancer.

With that in mind, I selected any blocks in Volume 15 that looked like houses, whether they were traditional or not.  This included #1441 Tree Houses, #1449 Beach House, #1495 Adventure Seeker (it is a teepee), and #1499 Candy Box (it reminded me of modular housing).  Since, as quilters, we like these quilts to be quick and easy, I also selected some of the easier blocks, such as #1411 Diamond Twist and #1489 Offset.  I noted that #1489 Offset looked like a low-rise apartment.  With 6 different blocks in all, I had lots of options.

I then set to work recoloring them in Little Genius, keeping the background the same in all blocks to maintain cohesiveness.  Here they are!

Little Genius blocks

Then I set them into a variety of quilts, creating 6 different options.  The first one has 2 each of all 6 blocks, with the lengthwise border stripe used for the outer border.  I added sashing to minimize the varying grids in the blocks.  It looks like a sampler quilt.

Quilt #1 - all 6 blocks

Quilt #1

In Quilt #2, I used the 4 main “house” blocks, keeping the sashing and border.  I think you would agree that the result is somewhat less “sampler-y”.

Quilt #2 - the 4 house blocks

Quilt #2

Quilt #3 has just the 2 main “house” blocks, and I like this version a lot.

Quilt #4 - the 2 main house blocks

Quilt #3

I used only the teepee and apartment blocks in Quilt #4, changing the block ground to solid cream, and it has a cleaner, more modern look.

Quilt #5 - teepee & apartment with cream ground & non-stripe border

Quilt #4

In the final quilt, I used the 2 more modern “houses” (the modular one and the apartment one) and used a less-busy print in the border.  The effect is quite grid-like, and appeals to the modern quilter in me.

Quilt #6 - modular & apartment blocks with plainer border & solid cream ground

Quilt #5

I am having a tough time deciding which one is my favorite, so I’m asking for your help.  For a chance to win a packet of Little Genius fabrics and a copy of “100 Blocks Volume 15”, please post a comment to this blog by midnight tomorrow Friday May 5th telling me which quilt is your favorite.  I’ll randomly select 3 winners.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog, and this post on behalf of Northcott.  Please check out my other post today as one of the block designers – you’ll be glad you did!  For more chances to win a copy of “100 Blocks Volume 15”, be sure to visit the other blogs in the tour as well.



Two Tips for Two by Two

11 Apr

Last Thursday night our area had a late-season storm that dumped 4” of heavy snow on us, so Friday was a self-proclaimed Snow Day – I like to refer to it as a Sew Day.

View from my sewing room

View from my sewing room

I am presenting several guild trunk shows in the coming months, and wanted to get some new quilts made for them.  Earlier in the week, I had pulled out the fabrics for my new Two by Two pattern that is made with Northcott’s Noah’s Ark collection. It has instructions for a lap, twin or double-size quilt that showcases a cross-wise panel and a lengthwise border stripe.  It also has instructions for a crib-size quilt that utilizes a book panel.

Two by Two crib quilt

Two by Two crib quilt

I had started the crib quilt on Wednesday, and determined that, even though I had fabrics to make only the crib and twin sizes, I actually had almost enough scraps to make the lap version as well.

Two by Two toddler-lap quilt

Two by Two toddler-lap quilt

I could donate it to my guild’s charity quilt program! I picked up a 2nd panel and an additional 1/4yd of one fabric, and I was good to go.

There is something therapeutic about sewing all day long.  I put on my tunes, made a pot of tea, and enjoyed the snowy view outside my sewing room window while I stitched away.  By day’s end, I had finished piecing the crib quilt and the twin quilt, and the blocks for the lap quilt were done.  As I was sewing, my piecing process made me think about a technique that I discuss in my Borders & Binding workshop. I use it when I have pieced sections that I am joining to unpieced sections AND the unpieced sections are on the lengthwise grain of the fabric – lengthwise borders are a good example.

In our quilting fabrics, the lengthwise grain of the fabric is not as stretchy as the crosswise grain.  We typically cut our strips width-of-fabric, or crosswise from selvage to selvage.  When piecing, we can use this stretchiness to make 2 sections fit together.  This is particularly helpful when the 2 sections are supposed to be the same length, and somehow ended up as different lengths.  Perhaps our seam allowance was not exactly ¼”, or our cutting was not entirely accurate.  When one of those sections is cut on the lengthwise grain and is the shorter length, we do not have the ability of stretching it to fit.  How, then, do we manage to fit the 2 sections together?  We use the feed dogs – those jagged teeth under the presser foot – to make the longer section feed faster than the shorter section by placing the longer section on the bottom and the shorter section on the top as we sew the sections together.  One of the wonderful students in my class at A Mountain Quiltfest in TN last month called this the “baggy bottom” method.  I used this method when I added the outer borders to my quilt, since they are cut on the lengthwise grain.  It is counter-intuitive for me to do this – I like to have the pieced section on top so that I have control over the direction of all the seams.  However, it is much easier to put the border on the top and check each cross seam from underneath as I approach it.  I also used this method when I sewed the blocks to the sides of the panel – I checked my panel and determined that the lengthwise grain ran vertically in the panel.

The outer corners of the Two by Two quilts have ¼-circle fan blocks.  These blocks are constructed using 5 wedges cut from a template.  I know that paper-piecing these blocks would be more accurate, however the larger size quilts have 10” blocks, and that doesn’t fit onto a standard 8½” x 11” piece of paper.  My blocks were ever so slightly larger than square, which would have made the outer edges of the quilt wavy – not good!  I used a square ruler to trim the 2 straight edges so that the block was once again square – I positioned the 45° diagonal line through the middle of the center wedge to determine where to trim the 2 straight edges.  My 3 quilts now have perfect corners and flat borders.

trimming the fan block

trimming the fan block


I am teaching my Borders & Binding workshop several times in the next few months, including:

  • April 20 at the Niagara Heritage Quilt Guild in St. Catherines, ON
  • May 3 at the Windsor Quilt Guild
  • May 15 at the Beaverton Quilt Guild
  • May 17 at the Moraine Quilt Guild in Newmarket
  • July 28 at Quiltfest 2017, sponsored by Tennessee Quilts in Jonesborough, TN I am also teaching my Fast & Fabulous Bargello wall-hanging class and my Stacks of Presents wall-hanging class AND presenting my lecture/trunk show at Quiltfest.  It is a fabulous 3-day event packed with classes and lectures (details at

I had a fantastic time teaching at A Mountain Quiltfest last month.  All my students were wonderful – so enthusiastic, and overflowing with Southern charm.  It was delightful!  There were 400 quilts in the various exhibits, including a special silent auction to raise money for the victims of the Pigeon Forge & Gatlinburg area who lost their homes in the fire a few months ago.

Ronni's quilt

Ronni’s quilt

I purchased a lovely Christmas quilt from my friend Ronni from Florida – this picture does not do it justice.

Ronni's quilt label

Ronni’s quilt label

The label is great!

I would like to share a couple more pictures of recent projects with you.  The first one is a gorgeous quilt made from Northcott’s Peony Passion for staffer Marilou, who is currently undergoing chemo.

Marilou's quilt

Marilou’s quilt

Susanne pieced it and I quilted it.  Marilou and I share the same birthday.  Best wishes Marilou!

The other quilt is my guild challenge quilt.  The colors that I had to use (and no others) were yellow and black.  I had fun with this, utilizing some of the techniques I learned in Lenore Crawford’s class 3 years ago.  I used a photo of a flower (daisy or sunflower) as inspiration, cropping it to show only part of it.

Mellow Yellow

Mellow Yellow

I called it Mellow Yellow.  Coincidentally, there was a VERY similar quilt in the show at A Mountain Quiltfest with the same name.  I wish I had taken a picture!  It was eerily similar.

Thanks to everyone who commented on their best class.  The randomly chosen winner is Darlene of QuiltShopGal – great advice! I am participating in a blog tour next month for the next issue of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, so be sure to visit, ‘cause I always give away packs of fabric and a copy of the magazine.  There’s a special twist this time!  See you soon!



It’s Quilt Show Season

16 Feb

For most quilters, this time of year is a bit early for “Quilt Show Season”, when area guilds have their annual or biennial quilt shows.  For me and Northcott, however, it is full-on quilt shows right now.

Last month my colleagues and I attended Road to California in Ontario, CA, about 1 hour from L.A.  It was our first time at this show.  The weather was unseasonably cool and very rainy, but that didn’t stop the quilters from coming.  We met thousands of enthusiastic quilters from the area and beyond – lots from neighboring states, quite a few from Canada, and even some from Europe.  We were taking sign-ups for our monthly newsletter, chatting with consumers about the quilter-friendly features of Northcott’s website (the Product Finder is the best!), inspiring passers-by with our colorful display, and providing information on where they could find the displayed fabrics at Road to California.  When we had a quiet moment or two, usually toward the end of each day, we would zip around the show to view the incredible quilts in the show, and shop for quilting essentials.  LAGA, a vendor that I had not seen before, was selling beautifully-stitched purses and bags, and I just had to have one.

Ria handbag by LAGA

Ria handbag by LAGA

The bags are made in Indonesia by Tsunami survivors and profits help them rebuild their lives.

Now, I am very particular about my purses – they need to have tons of perfectly-sized pockets for all of my stuff. I am not one to toss everything into my purse, have it fall to the bottom, and then dig for it when I need it.  No, there needs to be a pocket for each item so that I can retrieve it instantly.

Studio Kat's Encore bag insert

Studio Kat’s Encore bag insert

After purchasing my beautiful purse, I stopped by Studio Kat’s booth and bought a pattern for the Encore purse liner. Now I’m all set!

Next week, the Northcott team is heading to Savannah, GA for QuiltCon.  This is Northcott’s 2nd year at QuiltCon, but it is my first time, and I’m very excited.  I am rooming with fellow Barrie Modern Quilt Group member Judi, who is also a QuiltCon rookie and is equally pumped.  I have signed up for 2 evening classes: one on quilting ideas & inspiration, and one on designing modern quilts using Electric Quilt. In addition to taking classes, I am also presenting a demo/lecture on Alternate Gridwork, showing lots of examples from my stash of quilts. I still have 1 quilt to piece for this, and one to quilt as well.  My colleague Elaine is also doing demos – curved piecing and improv piecing.  All of this is in addition to manning the Northcott booth – taking newsletter sign-ups, promoting the special Northcott challenge for QuiltCon attendees,chatting with quilters, and more.  If you will be there, please drop by and say hi.  It will be a busy but thrilling week!

Next month I am once again heading to A Mountain Quiltfest March 21-25 in Pigeon Forge, TN to teach and present my trunk show. Three of my 5 workshops (Stacks of Presents, Easy Lone Star, and Fast & Fabulous Bargello) are already full!  There are a couple of spots in my Simplified Double Wedding Ring workshop, and my Borders, Bindings & More workshop still has space as well.  It is my favorite workshop – the student learn so much!  Mountain Quiltfest is a great event – the teaching faculty is fantastic, and the quilts in the show are amazing.  There are lots of vendors, and the team that runs the show is delightful.  Pigeon Forge is a great town, with so much to offer.  It is an entertainment mecca, with a variety of dinner theaters, attractions, and of course the fantastic Smoky Mountains. Many of the quilters return year after year, and it is so nice to reconnect with them.

Stacks of Presents is my newest workshop, and I am also teaching it locally at Oakville Sewing Centre on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th.  Owner Linda is making a party of it, with everything but green beer!  I’ll be sure to wear green – when your name is Patti, it’s a given that you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

To round out Quilt Show Season, the Northcott team is once again having a booth at AQS Paducah April 26-29 for Quilt Week. We had such a great time last year, and our booth was non-stop busy. I expect that it will be the same this time around. If you’ll be there, stop by and see what we’re up to.

Speaking of quilt shows, I have been busy with the challenge for my traditional guild.  I can’t show you a picture of my entry, since the voting hasn’t taken place yet.  I’ll share a picture in my next post, and talk about my inspiration.

I have also been busy with 2 projects for an upcoming issue of Quiltmaker’s Quilts From 100 Blocks.  As soon as I have some photos from the magazine editors, I’ll share them with you too.  I also made a large lap quilt for my ski club’s fundraiser.

Stacks of Rails & Boxes

Stacks of Rails & Boxes

I snapped a quick photo before I dropped it off at the club.  It was made with Northcott’s snowboard fabric collection called Freestyle. I backed it with flannel to make it extra cuddly!

I have been doing my level best to get back up to speed with my snowboarding this year.  I didn’t board at all last year, as hubby and I were in New Zealand and Australia for our winter.  I must admit that I had way too much trepidation getting back onto the slopes.  I lost a big chunk of my confidence in my ability to snowboard.  I am so thankful that I put myself into the 8-week adult lessons this year.  It has been the single best thing to give me confidence. Every time I go down a run, I am thinking about the techniques that instructor Tim has taught me – techniques that will help me successfully get to the bottom of the hill, and to improve. I am even trying out a new snowboard that will make my riding easier and more fun.  After all, isn’t that what it’s all about? The same philosophy can also be applied to quilting.  Classes can do so much to teach us new techniques, or to help us improve our current methods.  They certainly give us confidence, and they can be a lot of fun.  Isn’t that why we quilt?

It’s time to give away some fabric.  For a chance to win a packet of luscious Northcott fabric, please leave a comment on my blog by February 20 telling me about the best class that you have taken.

See you soon!


Some Fun With Mini Blocks

16 Nov

Fellow Quilters,
What is on your design wall? I have a little project on mine – literally! A while back, Carolyn Beam, editor of Quiltmaker magazine, asked if I’d like to participate in a fun little sew-along that she and the staff at the magazine are doing this year with some of the blocks from past issues of “100 Blocks”. The sew-along features half-size versions (6″) of 49 different blocks from past issues of “100 Blocks”.

3 color options in Quiltmakers 100 Blocks mini sampler

3 color options in Quiltmakers 100 Blocks mini sampler

The digital pattern is available from Quiltmaker here and kits for 3 different options are also available here . My Lavender Lattice #856 from Volume 9 was included in this special sew-along. Here is what it looked like originally, made in Northcott’s Lavender Market.

original Lavender Lattice #856

original Lavender Lattice #856

I also used the block in an issue of “Quilts From 100 Blocks”, this time using Christmas Traditions. Here is a picture.

Featured in Quilts From 100 Blocks, using Christmas Traditions

Featured in Quilts From 100 Blocks, using Christmas Traditions

I used an alternate block with it, and set it on-point, and it took on an entirely different look.

detail of Christmas quilt

detail of Christmas quilt

This time around, my block seemed to say “star” to me, so I selected a variety of yellows and golds from the Artisan Spirit Shimmer collection, and added a piece of yellow Sandscapes and a lovely rich gold from the new Shimmer Echoes. I chose a navy background for the night sky. I also selected 4 other blocks from the sampler pattern and colored them in the same fabrics. Here are my 5 chosen blocks.5 blocks in Shimmer
Now, if you have followed me on any of the “100 Blocks” blog tours, you know that I love to mix and match. Today’s 5 blocks yielded some great results! I initially combined 2 different blocks in a straight setting. Here are the various combinations. #169 variations#194 variations#856 variationsSome of them are a bit too rigid for my liking, one is a bit too busy, one is too plain, but several of them turned out quite well!
Then I combined different pairs in an on-point setting, and they really sparkled.#169 on-point variations #856 on-point variationsother variationsI rather like the ones that include the outer triangles from block #90 in the setting triangles. Some of them are so different from the others. I’m having a hard time choosing a favorite, so I would like your help. Please post a comment on my blog by Friday November 18 telling me which one is your favorite, and how many projects are on YOUR design wall. I will randomly choose 3 comments, and those commenters will win a packet of Shimmer fabrics. Quiltmaker has also given me an issue of Volume 9 (rare – it’s out of print!) to give out. You can also stop by Quiltmaker’s blog to see which fabrics they’ve used to stitch up my block. Thanks for your help, and good luck!

Eagle Pass Has Landed

15 Nov

Fellow Quilters,100 Blocks Volume 14 cover

It is Tuesday today, and that means that it is my day to blog as part of the Quiltmakers 100 Blocks Volume 13 blog tour.  The tour lasts all week, with 7 pattern designer bloggers each day.  I am wearing 2 hats today – I am blogging as a sponsor of the tour (Northcott provides some prizes for you to win) AND I have a block in this issue – woop, woop!  myblockisin14_95The issue is just hitting newsstands, and the blog tour is a great sneak peek at what’s inside.  I have an advance copy, and let me tell you, it’s good!

My block is #1319, Going to Class.  It has a school of fish, and the fish are swimming in opposite directions.  It reminds me of when I was in high school and there was a 5 minute window to get from one class to the next – everyone was racing in opposite directions!  Hence the name Going to Class.

#1319 Going to Class

#1319 Going to Class

Normally in my blog posts for 100 Blocks, I recolor my and a few other blocks and combine them to see what happens.  However, this time my block did not play nicely with the other blocks.  I scanned the issue looking for designers that I know, and spotted Chris Hoover’s #1341 Morning Glory block.  I recolored it in the Eagle Pass collection that Northcott is showing in this issue.  I came up with 2 color options – I think I prefer the green one.

Chris Hoover's Morning Glory block version 1

Chris Hoover’s Morning Glory block version 1



Chris’ block version 2

Scanning the issue, I saw Deborah Johnson’s #1380 Piper’s Puzzle.  Recoloring it gave me this.

Deborah Johnson's Piper's Puzzle block

Deborah Johnson’s Piper’s Puzzle block

Next, I combined the two.  I’m not really liking it.

Chris' & Deborah's initial Eagle Pass blocks

Chris’ & Deborah’s initial Eagle Pass blocks

What if I change the background to make it the same in both blocks?  Still not liking it.combined blocks different grounds

Okay, what if I designed a quilt around the panel from the collection?  This collection is digitally printed, so the detail in the designs is so realistic.  Northcott featured this collection in our booth at Quilt Festival last week, and the attendees loved it!  They came right up close to examine the detail in the fabric.  For my next attempt, I put the panel in the center and put blocks in the border.  Here are 2 options.  I’m liking it more, but I think I can do better.Framed panel with 2 options

My final version has some additional inner borders to separate the panel and the blocks so that both stand out.  It is double/queen size now, 86” x 96”, and I’m liking it a lot.  It’s a real guy quilt.  With 2 sons, guy quilts are popular at my house.Bordered panel with sky ground

Now, with these posts, there are always giveaways.  I will give a prize pack of the Eagle Pass fabrics to 3 lucky people who comment on my post by midnight tonight.  Quiltmakers has also given me a copy of Volume 14 to give away.  For your chance to win, please post a comment today telling me who you would make a guy quilt for and why.  And don’t forget to visit the other bloggers for a chance to win prizes at their blogs too.

I am blogging again tomorrow as part of Quiltmaker’s Mini sew-along, so please visit again – more prizes!!



Eye Candy

10 Nov

Fellow Quilters,

Today’s post is a quick one, to give you some eye candy of what I’ve been up to lately.

I had a great time in New Liskeard 2 weeks ago teaching my Stacks of Presents class to an enthusiastic group of quilters at Buy a Yard or 2.  Mike cooked gourmet meals for the weekend retreat, including a turkey dinner, since the project was holiday-themed, and Gayle partook in the class.  Long-time quilting friend Liz billeted me.  Several gals either finished or almost finished their quilts – well done, ladies!  Those northern gals were so much fun!

Shirley's Stacks of Presents

Shirley’s Stacks of Presents

Shirley posted a picture of her completed top on Facebook.

I am scheduled to teach the Stacked Presents workshop next March 21 – 25 at A Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge, TN as well, along with my lone star, simplified double wedding ring, bargello, and mitered borders workshops. I notice that Cynthia England is also teaching there, and is the speaker one night!  Cynthia just won best of show at Quilt Festival in Houston last week.  For details on Mountain Quiltfest, visit

Over the summer, I spent a bit of time piecing a couple of small quilts, but didn’t spend any time quilting – I was at the family cottage, and my longarm machine is not portable.  I really enjoy the quilting part of quilt-making, so I got my fix last month quilting several of the quilts to be featured in Northcott’s booth at Quilt Market.  Here are some photos of a couple of modern ones.  It is stretching me as a quilter when I put one of these on my frame, trying to think of the best way to quilt it.  I really enjoyed the process!

Strips & Bars pattern by Patti Carey

Strips & Bars pattern by Patti Carey


Strips & Bars quilting detail

Strips & Bars quilting detail

The grey one is my Strips & Bars using Northcott’s Colorworks Concepts, out next March.

R-evolution by Kat Wilson Tucker

R-evolution by Kat Wilson Tucker

The white & stripes one is by Kat Tucker Wilson of Next Step Quilt Designs using Simply Stripes.

I was part of the Northcott team manning the booth for Quilt Festival last week, and colleague Elaine challenged me to make a wall quilt using Stonehenge Gradations in the new Graphite colorway for a display in our booth (we were challenging attendees to make one using 5 chips (5” squares) from the Graphite fabrics.  The fabrics said “cow” to me, and I added a super-quick fusible cow face to my Rail Fence quilt, and named it Don’t Fence Me In.

My "Don't Fence Me In" challenge quilt

My “Don’t Fence Me In” challenge quilt

It attracted a lot of attention, as did our entire booth.  Quilt Festival is like Mecca for quilters – 25 aisles of booths, and then there are the quilts!  I was thrilled to see my Psychedelic quilt hanging in the Superior Threads booth.

My "Psychedelic" quilt in the Superior Threads booth

My “Psychedelic” quilt in the Superior Threads booth

My entire thread stash is Superior Threads!  Ninety percent of my stash is variegated thread, and Superior is king of variegation.  My Gammill and I are particularly in love with Fantastico, a high-sheen variegated thread.  I picked up a cone of Superior’s newest thread, MicroQuilter, a super-fine 100-wt for applique and micro-stippling, and am looking forward to giving it a try.

At Festival I met up with Susan-Claire of Gourmet Quilter – my mom and I are making her That Town & Country Block-of-the-Day quilt, and Mom’s version is half-size.  We have the first 49 blocks done – yes, I know, we are about 35 weeks behind.  Susan-Claire snapped this photo of me in her booth with Mom’s version.


Mom’s mini Town & Country quilt

I am participating in 2 blog tours next week, with prizes being given out for both of them, so if you are not a subscriber to my blog, please make a note to drop by on Tuesday Nov. 15th for the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks tour and Wednesday Nov. 16th for the Quiltmaker 100 Blocks minis sew-along. You may win a prize or two!100 Blocks tour Nov 14-18

See you next week!


Welcome to the Toronto Stop on the Road Home Row-along!

15 Sep

Fellow Quilters,

Today I join 4 other quilters who are blogging about what home means to them, as we participate in The Road Home Row- along.  The Row-along, organized and hosted by Marian of Seams to Be Sew and Amy of Sew Incredibly Crazy, has 40 designers from all around the world, each creating a row reminiscent of their “home”.  It started September 6 and runs for 6 weeks, with bloggers posting each Tuesday and Thursday.  You are invited to collect as many rows as you want, and they are free!  There are also tons of prizes – each blogger has a prize, there are weekly prizes, and also some grand prizes, so increase your odds of winning by visiting as many of the blogs as you can.  Let me tell you about my row.

I am a Toronto girl, born and raised here.  While I now live an hour’s drive north of the city, I still travel into the city to enjoy all that it has to offer – world-class theatre, cuisine from every corner of the earth, top designer boutiques, professional sports teams (including World Series winner Toronto Blue Jays), world-renowned hospitals & universities, all crammed into the city.  Despite that, it is a very green city. Toronto is on Lake Ontario, one of the Great Lakes, and our waterfront is a leisure playground, with lots of boating in the summer months.  The best view of our spectacular skyline is from the Toronto islands, just offshore of the waterfront.  Toronto is the biggest city in Canada, and our airport is the hub for air traffic to the US and overseas.   How do I design a row reflecting these characteristics of my hometown?

Each row is 12” by 24-40”.  Now, if you’ve been to Toronto, you know that there is a special building (the CN Tower) that is iconic, and it is very tall – 1800ft!  This meant that my row needed to be vertical.

My piecing bits & pieces

My piecing bits & pieces

I am a piecer at heart, so I needed to include some of that.
My row has storm at sea blocks to represent the lake.  I used a selection of Northcott’s Toscana suede-like texture to create my row, including the range of clear blues for the sparkling water.

Storm at Sea blocks

Storm at Sea blocks

The seams nested together because of the direction that they were pressed (2 opposing corners pressed in, and the other 2 opposing corners pressed out).

I selected warmer teal blues for the flying geese blocks to fill the sky. I randomly arranged them on my work surface, moving them around until I liked the color placement.

Assorting the flying geese pieces

Assorting the flying geese pieces

Then I sewed the sky to the lake, inserting the skyline background between the 2 pieced sections.

Putting it all together

Putting it all together

Finally, I added the applique pieces that bring the row to life.

My finished row waiting to be quilted

My finished row waiting to be quilted

Here is my helper Susanne, preparing the applique pieces.

Susanne preparing the appliques

Susanne preparing the appliques

She is in the Northcott sewing room (we are in the midst of Quilt Market preparations, so she is almost buried in projects).


I hope you enjoyed your visit to Toronto.  The free pattern for my row is available on Craftsy (Road Home Row-along Toronto) until the end of October.  Marian and Amy have collected lots of prizes, so be sure to visit Marian’s site at Seams to Be Sew  to enter for a chance to win a lovely 18” x 24” cutting mat from Calibre Arts or a fabulous embroidery disk from Anita Goodesign (embroidery is so popular right now!).  These prizes are available for US residents only, so if you’re NOT a US resident, I have something for you too!  For a chance to win a packet of Toscana fabrics like the ones used in my row, please leave a comment on my blog telling me where “home” is to you.  I will collect entries until September 21st.

Here is the full list of participants in The Road Home Row-along – have fun visiting as many as you can, and entering to win the prizes.

September 6

Allie-Oops SweetHappy Life 
creates Harrisville, MI Sunrise Coast
Cynthia’s Creating Ark
creates Adelaide South Australia
Kissed Quilts
creates Grand Coulee, Washington
Renee’s Quilting Addiction
creates Alberta, Canada


September 8

Sew Incredibly Crazy
creates Colorado
Quilt in Piece
creates Amanzimtoti, South Africa
3 Patch Crafts
creates Bulgaria
Just Let Me Quilt
creates Las Vegas, Nevada

September 13

Tweety Loves Quilting
creates Edinburgh, UK
creates Heber City/ SLC
Seams To Be Sew
creates Idaho Falls, Idaho
Pine Valley
creates New Zealand


September 15

bdieges designs
creates Road to Tehachapi (CA)
Elizabeth Coughlin Designs
creates Worcester County in Central Massachusetts
Cloth and Paper Studio
creates North Georgia Mountains
Patti’s Patchwork
creates Toronto, Ontario Canada

Seacoast Quilter
creates New Milford, Connecticut
September 20

creates Denmark
Heleen Pinkster
creates Netherlands
Seams To Be Sew For Batts In The Attic — date may change
creates Hollywood/LA
Rebecca Mae Designs
creates Northern Maine


September 22

Words & Stitches
creates Beaches of California
Quilt Art
creates Africa
I Can Quilt 2
creates Baltimore, MD
Any Pattern
creates Port Angeles, Washington


September 27

Creatin’ in the Sticks
creates Dodge City, Kansas
MooseStash Quilting
creates Alaska
Patchwork Breeze
creates West Michigan Shoreline
Sue Griffiths Featured At Just Let Me Quilt
creates Northern Rivers Region, NSW, Australia


September 29

Quilted Fabric Art
creates Burlington Vermont
Westend Quilter
creates Manitoulin Island, Canada
Pamela Quilts
creates Oregon
Quilt Fabrication
creates Silicon Valley, CA


October 04

Linda Robertus
creates Netherlands
Elm Street Quilts
creates North Carolina
Sarah Quinn Featured At Seams To Be Sew
creates Outer Space

Patchouli Moon Studio
creates Central New Mexico
October 06

Cheryl LaPlant Featured At Quilt In Piece
creates York, Maine
Miss Loreen’s Schoolhouse
creates New Hampshire
Bumbleberry Stitches
creates Oklahoma
Needle in a Hayes Stack
creates Mojave Desert


October 11
Show N Tell Day