Friday, October 14, 2016

Canada's Big Quilt Bee

In 2017, Canada celebrates its 150th birthday. As quilters, we wanted to celebrate in style, grand style! Our national quilt association decided that we would make 1,000 quilts to go to kids in care at Ronald McDonald Houses across the nation!

This is the cool logo Jill Buckley made! She is an amazing artist and a complete sweetheart to boot!

So we began promoting.... and then things went a little crazy!  Soon quilters from coast to coast were jumping on board.   We asked them to make a 'slab block' designed by Cheryl Arkison.   We named it Canada's Big Quilt Bee . #bigquiltbee is what we will use in our social media posts.

Jill Buckley also sent me some slab blocks.  Did I mention she has an incredible sense of humour?

I even made a fun movie trailer on facebook, that you can watch here.
We are inviting well known Canadians to come to the national conference in June in Toronto where we will host the Big Bee.   I have my three that I would like to come and am pretty much driving the committee crazy asking if they have heard back from them!

If you want to join in the fun and be a part of something national while helping kids at Ronald McDonald Houses... please join in!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Two Cute Quilt Tutorials

It's been a fantastic September to say the least.

This adorable Spider quilt was featured on the QUILTsocial blog, I created a free pattern and it was so much fun to make, be sure to check out the little spider hanging right off the quilt!

My little turtle quilt was also featured on QUILTsocial blog as well.  It is also a free pattern. 

I used some sweet buttons to make their little hats pop!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Schedules and Fall and Quilts

It's that time of the year again when the slow days of summer come to an end and my darling kids head off to school.

I don't know who is more sad, them or me.  I love having them with me all summer long and hate to see them head out to the confines of a classroom for the next 10 months.

I have been quilting on projects throughout the summer to meet deadlines.

One quilt has lovely solid modern colours in it and oh so many half square triangles!
I find that if I press and cut very exact plus sew exactly 1/4" then it goes much smoother in the long run.

I even found time to make a cute spider for a free pattern over at QUILTsocial in mid September.

I downloaded this very cool app on my phone called PRISMA.   And it allows me to manipulate pics in many different ways. Below is the original shot and the pic beneath that shows four different images of the same picture!  Cool ay?

Signing off, is a picture of my happy place.   When deadlines are pressing and life throws curve balls, I can go here. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Free Quilted Table Runner Pattern

I am back with a fun table runner pattern over at the QuiltSocial blog!
Day 1 instructions are here.
Day 2 here
Day 3 here. 
It involves piecing and fusing.  Very easy and very fast but allows you to play with color and prints to create adorable flowers out of various sized fused circles.  I had so much fun making it!

I stacked layers of circles together to create cute flowers then fused them down to the runner.  

To create the leaves, I simply free motion quilted the shapes coming out off the green pieced stems.

I had fun adding some creative quilting in the circle flowers as well as the background for the runner.

I was even named the 'Quilted Flower Queen' after someone saw this pattern=)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

'I Love Nine Patches' Book

I can't wait to see it! Martingale Publishing has done it again. With their fun 'I Love' series, they have put together a book with 16 adorable quilting projects in it centered around the nine patch.

I have the privilege of being in the book with TWO quilts! I don't mean to brag ( ok, I really do want to just for a moment) but the image of the quilt on the right hand side, second from the bottom, is my quilt!  That means I am a cover girl! Technically probably a 1/4 cover girl, but still... that is pretty exciting!

This book is all nine patches! And we know that those are super simple to make. Yet the quilters turned them into gorgeous quilts.   I picked just a few to show you how incredibly fun this book is!

Counted Nine Patch by Sherri Falls

Bespoke by Corey Yoder

Lollipops by Barb Cherniwchan

To The Nines by Audrie Bidwell

Old Nine by Tammy Vonderschmitt

The next two are mine! I remember madly sewing these up as my kids were out of school and I had to get them done and off to the publisher to make the deadline! It was so much fun and Martingale has to be the sweetest and kindest team of people in the publishing world that I have ever met! They treat you so well from start to finish, I simply adore them!

Jewel of the Nine by Jackie White

Take a Bite Out of Life by Jackie White

There will be some fun giveaways in a few weeks as the books hit the stores, so stay tuned! 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Goodbye May and June! Now onto quilting

I can't believe how time has just flown by! And life is full of surprises and unexpected events.
In May, there was a very unexpected death in the family and that shook life up to never quite be the same again. But I think that is one of those things apparently we have to go through, get through and somehow move on.

But this blog is not to make you sad.   June came in like a hurricane as it was all prep for Quilt Canada! Our national conference in which I got to play a small part in.  Up to it, my stomach was butterflies as I had some incredible opportunities to speak in front of quilters and of course was nervous.  

Quilt Canada arrived and it was unreal!   Literally. I designed and with the help of a great friend, set up our booth.  It won Best Booth award!  Ok, there wasn't really an award, but I know if there was an award it would have won!

 I used my Accquilt to cut out the circles... but still there are over 1,000 and I then had to glue and pin all those circles on! But really it is circles and I fell in love with it. 

See those cute lollipops out of pool noodles? Oh it was just the most delightful booth ever! Lots of people even took their picture in front of the circle heart! 

This quilt below is by Helen Fujiki and it won Best of Show.  All the winners are here

 Cinzia Allocca won an award with this fabulous black and white quilt!

Leanne Chahley also won an award with her fantastic blue circle quilt!

 I gave ten tours of the National Juried Show over the four days. One day had four tours, three of them back to back and 45 minutes in length.  It was tiring but it was so exhilarating being able to educate quilters on our National Juried Show and talk about how hard the judges work and the difficult decisions they have to make. 

I even lucked out and got to emcee the Juried Show awards night! Not the best pic of me but just wanted to show you that I was right up there where the action was! Really the best place to be when big awards are being given out! And it was a super fancy microphone, and the place was packed! Like standing room only! There is a chance it was because they wanted to see who won, but I secretly think they came to see me speak.   (totally joking!)

On the last day of show, the editors from 'A Needle Pulling Thread' give me the latest edition of the magazine.  Guess whose quilt that is?  Okay, did you guess me?  Yeppers, my quilt is right smack in the mag!

After two days of early bedtimes I think I am ready to head back into my studio and get quilting!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Quilt Canada 2016

As I write this, Quilt Canada is 7 days away! It is crazy how fast it has come up and how exciting it will be! The Canadian Quilters' Association (CQA/ACC) hosts an annual conference each year so that quilters across the country and beyond can come and learn, have fun and buy cool stuff=)

I will be attending and giving 10 tours over the course of 4 days through the National Juried Show. The tours have sold out and I would be lying if I didn't say I was a bit nervous. Here is last year's show.

Our national conference hosts lectures, workshops, evening entertainment, a huge merchant mall and the National Juried Show or NJS for short. The NJS is my passion. It is a juried show in which you send pics of your quilts and they are seen before a jury to determine if they are worthy to hang with the best in Canada, then prior to the conference they are judged. Oh ya, and we have a 5 year judge program and use judges from that program to judge our NJS, we really are just that good!

Since 2005 I have been entering the NJS, I have got my fair share of rejection letters but that didn't stop me, I would just keep entering.  I love it that much. In 2014 I became Vice President of the organization so part of my job was to sit in with the judging of the NJS, and I had to do it again as President.  Don't get me wrong I wouldn't have traded that experience for the world, but it meant I had to wait 2 years before I could enter again.

In 2016 I entered, and got 2 quilts accepted! I am over the moon excited to see them hanging there.  Everything about the NJS is amazing, the jurying by experts, then if you get in or not... man those acceptance emails are the best! Then the quilts are judged and there is so much anticipation as to who won Best of Show and all the other categories. And you don't get to see the quilts beforehand, it is all so secret and mysterious.  Finally, all is told at the Awards Ceremony for the NJS entrants and sponsors.

Don't even get me started about the sponsors... they are simply out of this world. Yep, they are brands well known in the quilting world, but it is so much more than that.  They sponsor the awards because they care about Canadian quilting and want to promote it, just like we do.  And they go out of their way to help CQA/ACC.  

So this year, not only do I get to have two quilts in the show, but I get to emcee the NJS awards nite and be right there when all the winners are named, well I get to name all the winners!  Oh the excitement and suspense will be thrilling!  And then over the course of the conference I get to take people through the NJS and tell them all about the quilts and quilters and share how awesome the NJS is.   It really doesn't get much better than that!

If you want to see the quilts and everything that is happening at Quilt Canada, you can download the app 'Quilt Canada 2016'.  Here there is an activity stream that everyone will be posting tons of pics of quilts and fun times!
As well follow us on our fb page.

See you on social media!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Prepping for Quilt Canada!

May and June are my crazy months!  Have been for the past four years. This is when I get ready for Quilt Canada and have the honour of representing the Canadian Quilters' Association at the conference.

This year someone thought it would be fun to see if people would like to tour our National Juried Show with me while I gave a short lecture as we went around and looked at the award winning quilts.  Despite my huge fear that no one would sign up, they did. So much so, that I sold out! And they added two more tours, and those sold out!

Needless to say, I will spend alot of time in the National Juried Show floor.. which is fine by me, it is my most favourite place to be at Quilt Canada, well that and the Merchant Mall!

I also thought it would be fun to have a really crazy booth for CQA/ACC.  You know, not one where you just hang quilts in.  Something that people would remember.   That may or may not be a good thing.  Regardless, I got put in charge of booth decorating.
To date I have pool noodles in use and 1,000 circles cut of various shapes and sizes.   Yes, there is an excellent chance I won't get put back in charge of booth decorating next year=)

Besides that I have discovered how to make tassels and have got it down to 90 seconds per tassel.

Uh huh, slight addiction happening.  And yes, they are showing up on my quilts in the very very near future=)