Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas, Colour and 2015

December had flown by, as it usually does.  I still have ideas to share, more things quilters might want and need for quilting.  Have you heard about Kraft-tex?  Have you tried the new Studio 180 tool, Corner Pop?  Are you planning to take part in the July Shop Hop?  Yikes!
This is the season to take time for family and friends.  Relax and enjoy.  It is the memories made visiting that last long after the festivities are over. 
Here is the last idea for quilters this year.  What is your colour style?  Everyone is drawn to colour so differently.  We see quilters drawn to their preferences when choosing fabrics for the next project.  They struggle when making a quilt for someone else who has given them preferences out of their comfort zone.  That is where we can help.  That is the fun part of working in a quilt shop.  Thanks for letting us play with you in choosing fabrics for your quilt.  It is the fun part. 
Looking forward to next season, visit the Pantone Color Institute website to see where colour is heading in 2015.  The colours used for fashion in the spring are seen in the fabrics coming in the first half of the year.  Colours are cooler and softer.  There are still some spots of brightness but the overall feel is more subtle.  Will you be the first to spot the colour of the year?

Marsala is a subtly seductive shade, one that draws us in to its embracing warmth.Leatrice EisemanExecutive Director, Pantone Color Institute®                

This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.
Leatrice EisemanExecutive Director, Pantone Color Institute®    


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Who Thought It Was A Good Idea?

I know I am not the only one who thought giving a quilt item would be a good idea.  I am sure, also, that I am not the only one who will be binding in the car on the way to a family gathering on Thursday.  This is Canada and we live in the lee of the Great Lakes, particularly Lake Huron.  If the fall has been warm, the lake is not frozen over and any wind coming across can pick up moisture and drop it as snow over our area.  Long term planning is dependent on the weather and which way the wind is blowing. 

Good news!  Christmas Day is Thursday and the weather should be good for travelling.  We decided on Sunday, the day before yesterday, that the weather would allow us to travel to Hamilton to spend the day with Tim's sister and her family. 

A quilted gift doesn't really take all that long to make if it is placemats or a doll quilt.  An experienced quilter should be able to get a couple of gifts done fairly quickly.  Right?

I started yesterday on some placemats for my sister-in-law's mother-in-law because placemats you make mean "I was thinking of you but didn't go shopping and choose something that would make you feel guilty in not having a gift to return the favour but show you I am glad to be sharing this special day with you."  Right? 

Tuesday 10 am progress report:

If I quilt and bind 2 at a time, I can see how many to wrap Christmas morning.

On Sunday, at a Christmas dinner with Tim's cousins, Tim asked his sister if the great nephews would like some vintage toys he has in his collection.  She said they would.  But what about the great nieces, I thought.  I volunteered to make a couple of doll quilts.  It wouldn't take long to whip up a couple.  Right?

Tuesday 10 am progress report:

There is a second doll quilt underneath.  If I get the borders on before going out I could quilt them tonight. 

The one good idea I am going with is that placemats and doll quilts will be well used, well washed and well loved.  That means I should sew the binding on the back and bring it to the front for topstitching.  That will make them more durable and save me a whole whack of time instead of binding by hand in the car on the way.  Right?

My friend Janet sent me this image of a Procrastinator's Clock today:

I have been seen by others as an optimist.  Today I know all will be ready on time and, if not, it will be ready when it is needed.  All will work out as it should, one way or another.

Wishing you speedy projects and wonderful time with family, friends and others you care to spend time with. 

Update 8 pm

Placemats- no progress, I have tomorrow

Two doll quilts, bound by machine and ready for a washing. 

Flannel backs on both.  I used Moda candy from the 'Miss Kate' collection for the patchwork along with Kona Snow and other Moda prints by Bonnie and Camille for the borders and binding. 
Now, I can go upstairs and have some supper.

Monday, December 22, 2014

A Few of My Favourite Things

Today I would like to share some of my favourite quilty things.

Other Blogs:

Sew Mama Sew- great ideas for projects, great information.  Today I saw a link to a list of binding tutorials

Moda Bakeshop- free patterns using precuts like jelly rolls, charms squares, etc  Tons of useful information, hours of fun reading

Yarn Harlot- not quilting but knitting.  Stephanie Pearl-McPhee lives in Toronto, is an author who sees the world with humour and is someone who we can relate to.  You can relate to her stash building and use.  She will put a smile on your face, tears of laughter in your eyes and remind you that life is a roller coaster ride we might as well enjoy.


Wonder clips-  most other things I can manage without or find a substitute to fit the task.  But, when there are layers  of fabric and foam batt to hold firmly, there is no other tool that works better than these clips.  Now Clover makes them in bright colours!  Maybe  there will be some in my Christmas stocking....

Quilt Books

I love books!  All kinds of books from fiction to cooking to quilting.  I love to pull a book from the shelf and look at the quilts, think about which one I would make, read about a technique I may have forgotten.

Uh oh!  The store needs me.  I'll be back and add to this later today, maybe after I start some Christmas shopping...

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Machine Needles

Long, long ago when I was young and learning to sew, there was one package of machine needles.  When one broke you replaced it with another.  Sometimes you needed to get a new package of universal number 80/12s.

When someone comes in and says she wants to start quilting, the first question we ask is, "Do you have a sewing machine?  Do you know how to thread it?"  If she starts, it won't be long before she needs more sewing machine needles so we recommend the same universal 80/12.  We may ask if it is for machine quilting and recommend a 90/14 needle.  But in this modern age of choice, the variety of machine needles by a variety of manufacturers can be overwhelming once you start researching and looking for the right tool/needle for the job.

A common needle problem is skipping stitches.  A worn needle may be the cause.  A commonly heard suggestion is to change the machine needle every 10 hours of sewing or with every new large project.  Another cause may be the size of the needle is too small.  Try moving up one size.  If you are using a 70/10 go to a 80/12 or 90/14.

If the thread keeps breaking it may be the needle causing problems.  Change the needle in case there is a burr.  It also may help to move up a needle size.  The larger needle will make a larger opening for the thread so there is less friction and stress on the thread as it moves through the fabric.

There are different types of machine needles for different sewing jobs.

Quilting and topstitch needles have a larger scarf on the back of the needle so the thread fits closer to the needle and there is less drag on it as it moves through the needle.
Jeans needles have a sharper point and are useful for Brenda's bags.  If you have skipped stitches on multiple layers of a bag, the jeans needle may help.
Titanium needles have a coating that makes them about 5 times stronger than other needles so the added expense is worth the extended usage.  They still should not be used to sew over pins.  My experience is they bend instead of snap off.

Schmetz needles have a wonderful website full of educational information about the anatomy of a needle, usage charts and more information that you ever thought you needed to know.
Superior Threads website has great information.  Look at the top of the web page for the Education articles.  There is a ton if helpful information about home machines, long arm machines and industrial machines.
These 2 websites should keep you busy learning for many hours!  Ask for a variety of needles in your  Christmas stocking.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Versitile Wave Bag

Anne, who works here, found this pattern and made herself a bag.  When she brought hers to work, we knew it would be popular.  I ordered the patterns, the swivel hook hardware and the zippers. 
Here is the store sample she made.

This bag has an inner black purse that is lined and zippered.  The outer part is reversible.  The shoulder straps are attached to the wave outer part so it supports the weight of your valuables.  The outer part is buttoned on so changing it is quick.

I would be tempted to make the purse part in another colour than black.  What about a nice gray with the reversible part in a day print and an evening metallic?  What about a neutral springy colour from the Pantone top 10 colours for spring 2015 and the reversible in one of the brights and one of the lights? 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Hexagons One Way or Another

How many ways are there to make the currently popular hexagons?  Here are a few:

1.  English Paper Piecing
Use precut paper templates.  Baste the fabric to the paper and whip stitch the folded side to the next hexagon.  The papers are reusable.  Handstitchers who want a project to take wherever they go like this method.

2.  Die Cut
    Moda has die cut hexagons in their collection of Bakeshop items.  We have had some off and on.

3.  Templates
You could use these for hand or machine work.  There are small holes at the seam intersections for ease of piecing.  When you machine piece hexagons, you stop and backstitch at the intersection point.  This makes it easier to fit the angle into the next hexagon. 

4.  Hex n More
This special tool makes hexagons, half hexagons (trapezoids), 60 degree triangles and jewel shapes.  It is produced by Jaybird who has lots of great modern patterns for intermediate quilters.
5.  Creative Grids Hexagon Trim Tool
This is the Creative Grid Hexagon Trim Tool.  It works like the log cabin and pineapple trim tool.  The basic process is to cut a centre shape to size and add larger than needed pieces to it.  Then, use the tool to trim the fabric to the perfect size.  If you are trying hexagons for the first time, this tool will make seam allowance challenges go away.  The instructions are clear and you can follow them step by step.  If you are a more visual learner, Creative Grid's website has great videos to demonstrate how to use the tool.  I made the tea hanging from a Cut Loose Press pattern.

There are very likely more ways to make and sew hexagons but these should be enough for you to get started!  Happy Hexies!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Heart of Quilters

The December blog posts are about things quilters would like to give or receive as a gift for creating and making quilts.  Today is the yearly post about the giving nature of quilters, their thoughtfulness and their caring for others. 
Quilters, alone and with others, give away countless hours and dollars worth of materials to help others.  There is little recognition other than from quilting peers. You don't see it on the news. You may read about it in a little article in a paper if there is room that day but, most of the time, quilters carry on supporting others without fanfare or celebrity. 

In the last couple of years, more and more quilters are creating Dignity Quilts.  In nursing homes or other group care homes for the elderly, people felt the need for moving the deceased out of the building with dignity.  A quilt made to gurney specifications can cover the person as they are moved out.  Many Dignity Quilts are made with symbols of passage that signify a life lived and moving on.  Butterflies, the tree of life, doves and symbols of friendship were used in some of the quilts I have seen.  What a thoughtful way of moving on!

Many guilds have outreach quilts that can be shared in the community.  Here are some of the people who have received a quilt to hug them in their time of need:
cancer patients
flood, fire and tornado victims
children in homes, not there own, in need of a warm hug
children with special needs
Alzheimer patients
and so many more.

Wherever there is someone in need, there will be a quilt for the asking or given anonymously by a quilter who cares. Thank you for being the heart of quilting; you know who you are!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Wool, Wool Felt, Wool Applique

The other day someone called and asked if we have wool felt.  So today, let's talk about wool fibres and felting.
Wool fibres will felt together when exposed to warm water, a little soap and friction.  Remember wool sweaters that were mistakenly thrown in the washing machine and came out many sizes too small?  I belong to the Canadian Embroiderers' Guild, London chapter, where I took a class on wet felting around a rock. We took some pieces of loose wool roving, wrapped them around a rock and then wet them with warm water and a little soap.  We started working the fibres to create friction until they started to mesh together and form a firm fabric tightly around the rock. 
Needle felting is the process of melding fibres into a fabric using barbed needles instead of water and friction. The needles cause the wool fibres to hook together.
We sell some wool felt in black and white.  It is not woven but is felted until it makes a fabric.  You know it is 100% wool because it is at least $25 per metre.  We have had other colours of wool felt for under $15 per metre but, even though we called it wool, it was mostly acrylic fibres with a little wool.  Both work for wool applique.  Because the fibres are tightly bonded together they fray very little when cut so are easy to applique with a blanket stitch. 
Wool applique can be done with woven wool fabric.  It can be felted to make it more firm and denser but this I call felted wool fabric.  Marcus Brothers came out with a line of wool fabrics this fall in about 20 antique like colours for wool applique.  It is $54 per metre but we have cut it into 9" by 10.5" pieces for $3.25.  Usually you use smaller pieces for applique so you can get a wider variety of colours without having to invest by the metre.
If you search through second hand and thrift shops you may find wool suits, coats or sweaters.  You can take them apart and felt the wool fabric for applique. 
Aurafil makes a wool blend thread.  We have a few colours which I like for wool applique.  There is no shine to the thread so it blends well with the fabrics.  The thread is 50% wool.
Now, knowing a little about felting and wool, you can figure out that wool batt may take special care.  If you machine wash wool batt in a washing machine with warm water and soap you will be encouraging the batt to felt.  If you go the expense of using wool batt for warmth, take extra care to clean it very very gently!!  If you choose wool batt because you want a warm quilt remember this.
It is not one quilt's job to keep you as warm as you want to be!!
I am up to 3 quilts upstairs at the store (we live here).  If it is a cold winter like last year, it may be a 4 quilt winter.  The last quilt is Aunt Bessie's wedding present, a 100% polyester crimplene top and bottom quilt with polyester batting and hand quilted.  No heat escapes under that quilt!

Book Clubs

At Quilt Market, the trade show for quilt industry retailers, there is a day before the show opens called Schoolhouse.  Every half hour from 11 am to 6 pm there are information sessions to attend.  Every half hour there are 10 or more sessions to choose to visit.  You have about 5 minutes to change sessions.  Sessions are put on by fabric designers, book publishers, pattern designers or product designers.  There are a couple hundreds of quilters hurrying to change sessions.  By about session 4, I need a break because there is so much to see and enjoy.  By 6 pm I am overwhelmed, overstimulated and over informed but very excited and happy!

In October I went to a session by Martingale, one of the larger book publishers of quilting books.  As the presenter was talking about great new books I began thinking about book clubs.

We love books.  We gather together to talk about fiction books so why not have quilters' book clubs?  Gather together with a few friends to talk about your favourite books.  Share ideas, talk about family and quilts you are working on.  It wouldn't have to be once a month.  Since we are not gathering to hand quilt at quilting bees anymore, a quilt book club would give us an opportunity to gather together and share time with friends.  No sewing machines and tasks involved.  Here are some thoughts to get you started. 

1.  Create a group of quilter friends who want to share ideas by talking about quilt books.
2.  Pick a date.  It could be once a month, once every other month or four times a year.
3.  Pick a topic.  Not everyone has to bring a book or the same book but the group should have some to share.  Topics could range from applique to colour to art quilts.
4.  Pick a location.
5.  Meet, snack and chat.

Other than that, meet and have fun.  We learn by sharing!!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Foam Batting

Foam batting is a layer of foam with tricot or soft polyester fabric on either side.  It is easy to sew, washes well without shrinkage and is great for adding dimension to projects.  We use it for bags to make them stand up and look good for long periods of time.  I made 2 tote bags with the Whistlepig Creek pattern, 'Six Pack Stack'.  It is used 6 fat quarters and is reversible. 

I was going to take a photo of the two bags so you can see what a difference the foam batting makes.  However, did you know I was away for the last 11 days and have been posting while on the road?  I prepared all the posts before we left and posted them each day.  I know you can set the time for posting each one but I have never had success with that.  So, today I cannot find the second bag with the foam batt.  I know Murphy's Law of quilting states I will find it as soon as I post this but you will have to wait another day.

Or not!  The phone rang, I answered it and, while talking, spied the bag.  So here they are:

The bag on the left is made with regular batting, 80-20, and the bag on the right has foam batt. These days it is nice to have a bag that doesn't fall over and require you to touch the floor to get it.  Many of Brenda's bags use the foam batt.  You will see the results in previous posts for 'The Voyager Bag' and 'The Girlfriends Bag'. 

Leftover pieces of foam are great for cosmetic bags for travelling since they sit up straight on a hotel bathroom counter and protect breakables in transit.

Another new pattern of Brenda's this year is the 'Simply Dry'.  Use charm squares or make your own 5" squares and foam batt to make a cushioned drip dry mat for your kitchen or bar.  The foam batt dries quickly, you can test and practise machine stitches for decorative work and make a gift all at the same time. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Lynette Anderson and Block of the Month

For those of us who have been quilting since the early 1990s, it occurred to me one day that Lynette Anderson is my new Debbie Mumm.  Her fabric has a folksy air to it and features the themes of family, friends and pets.  She does lovely embroidery work too.  When I first ordered her fabric she was with a company called Lecien.  Now she is designing for RJR.  Her new line features brighter colours but still with a country feel.

Lynette is from Australia, produces cute wood buttons and has a great sense of whimsy. 

She has designed a Block of the Month for RJR called 'Daisy Chain Cottage'.  The image does not do justice to the colourful fabrics but is here to give you an idea of what the quilt is like.  You can check it out better on the RJR website. 

The pattern is free online and the fabrics are all in stock waiting for me to make the store sample so you can see how delightful it is.  I saw the quilt at Quilt Market and love it, can't wait to start making it.  Want to sew along?  It just occurred to me that I don't have to finish my sample before you start.  We can work together, gain inspiration from each other and have a great time while working away.  You in?

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Digitally Printed Fabric

Most patterned fabric is screen printed using screens of 12" or 24".  Each of the colour dots or symbols on the selvedge indicates a screen that has been used to print on the fabric.  One colour at a time is printed.
There are now digitally printed fabrics.  More colours can be layered creating more detailed images with more depth and in different widths of repeats.   These fabrics cost more but can be well worth the price for creating artful quilts.

We have one bolt from Hoffman fabrics in a line called Wanderlust.  Brenda, of 'Among Brenda's Quilts and Bags', has a free pattern on the Hoffman website using the line.  I chose the one print which includes the Eiffel Tower because the Ailsa Craig Community Quilt Festival is welcoming quilters from France next May.  Also, there are a number of quilters in our area that have travelled to France and want to create a memory of their adventure.

Keeping in mind the quilters from France are coming, we are ordering other fabrics with that theme in mind.  French General designs from Moda are based on antique French textiles.  The Rue Indienne line is here and the Bon Voyage line is due in April. These are screen printed.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Quilting Thread By Hand or Machine

Welcome to the confusing world of thread!  Choosing a thread is like choosing a car or new sewing machine.  You need to test and try to see what works for you and for your machine.  Have you noticed your sewing machine has a taste for some threads and not others?  Do you know which brand of thread works for your hand sewing and glides easily through your machine?  I think I could blog every day for a month and still not talk about everything we need to know about thread.

The best advice is to choose the best quality thread you can afford that fits the need of the sewing job you are working on.  Bob from Superior thread says a good quality polyester thread does as little damage as a good quality cotton while a poor quality polyester thread does as much damage as a poor quality cotton.

Different quilting machines, both  longarm and midarm machines, will work best with different threads.  Tim uses King Tut on the top most of the time.  In the bobbin, he uses a lighter weight thread like Masterpeice, cotton, or Bottom Line, polyester .  All of these are by Superior Threads.  His longarm works best with the variegated King Tut but breaks more often with the solid colours.  He could use the same thread in the bobbin but he would be winding bobbins frequently so lighter weight thread in solid colours work in the bobbin, balancing well with the heavier top thread.  He tested some other brands in the top but they just broke and proved to be very frustrating.

When machine piecing, the weight of the thread can make a difference.  If you are sewing together many points, a lighter weight thread takes up less space in the seam allowances.  It is amazing what a difference it makes.

We have carried Wonderfil lines of thread for awhile.  Tim uses DecoBob in the bobbin since it is a strong thin thread.  It is polyester and a great blender.  Wonderfil is a Canadian company so the cost is   lower than other threads.

Spagetti is a 12 wt hand quilting weight cotton thread by Wonderfil.  It comes in solid colours and can be used in a machine with a larger needle.  I have used it for hand quilting and embroidery (in place of 12 wt perle cotton).  This year we added Fruitti.  It is also a 12wt Egyptian cotton thread but is variegated and comes in 41 colours.

Quilters need 4 basic colours of thread for piecing: light beige, dark beige, light gray and dark gray.  The beige colours are used with earth tones and the grays with jewel tones.  Since seams are usually pressed to one side and the stitch is shorter than usual (about 2.0) because there is no backstitching, you should not see the thread most of the time.  If you want to see the binding stitch I was taught, those are the only thread colours you need for stitching the binding down too.

So, I guess, you should become a thread collector and tester.  If your family is looking for stocking stuffers for you, suggest thread.  Or come to the sale we are having after Christmas and choose a few types to try.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A New Take On Patterns

There will always be a need for well written, detailed patterns written in the traditional format.

Today, there are tons and tons of free patterns online but beware because you get what you pay for.  They are many with inaccuracies so you may have difficulty with instructions or yardage.

The new trend is to small quick patterns.  These may be designed to sell products like the Cut Loose Press patterns from Checker Distributors.  You may not need all the products listed so beginners should ask for advice from shop staff or quilter friends.  However, they are projects that you can make with confident beginner experience, most of the time.  They allow you to try something new and can be a fun way it out.   Here are a couple that are popular at The Marsh Store.  The cell phone wallet takes 2 fat quarters and is a great gift for non-quilters.  The 'Trim the Tree' uses the curvy log cabin tool.  This pattern asks for enough fat quarters to give you a good mixture of shades and textures but you will end up with enough fabric for a couple of trees.

Martingale Publishers are coming out with a pattern line in late January which feature small patterns on glossy card stock.  They are projects that are quick and fun.  I took a photo of one in Houston.  there are plans to keep adding to the selection.  They come in categories to cover a range of favourite quilt topics: precuts and children to name a couple.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Downton Abbey Fabric Is Here

We have the latest lines of Downton Abbey fabric.  Season 5 starts in North America in January so put together a throw or lap quilt to snuggle under as you follow the adventures of the characters.  You can find images of the lines and free patterns at the Andover fabric website.

The Downstairs Collection features creamy backgrounds with small prints in floral and geometric designs.

The Lady Rose Collection features bright young colours worn by Rose.  These are beautiful fabrics for fresh summery quilts or any of Brenda's bags patterns.

The Downton Abbey image is featured on several backgrounds.  Plus, there are other logo prints to add a special touch to a fan's quilt or to make a pillowcase.

The Lord and Lady collection are darker and make stunning more masculine quilts.

There are labels that would work for any quilt, printed and ready to add the information needed for documenting your work.

The Egyptian Collection is due out in the new year when Lord Grantham travels to Egypt as part of the King Tut expedition.

I googled Downton Abbey block of the month and found a website doing a mystery quilt along.  It sounds like fun but you need to register and pay online to take part.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Voyager Bag

This bag by 'Among Brenda's Quilts and Bags' has been a favourite since it came out.  The bag is the acceptable size for a carry on bag, is great for weekend getaways or any time you travel.

We have everything you need to make a bag.  Pick your favourite fabric and add fusible foam batting and a package of accessories.  We have a variety of 30" double slide zippers.  Classes are available.  It takes about 2 days of class time to make most of the bag but is well worth your time and effort.

Here are a couple of versions:

Check out Brenda's website for show and tell.  You will see many versions of the bag and the wonderful quilters who made them.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Row By Row H2O

Did you take part in the Row By Row experience last summer? If yes, it is coming back even bigger next summer.  If no, great ready for some summer fun.
Check out the website to see all the provinces and states taking part.  2014 included 26 states and Ontario with over 1500 participating quilt shops.  See the winning quilts on Facebook.  Each area has its own Facebook page and you don't have to have an account or page to view the results.
Here is how it works:

1.  Starting on June 21 and until September 8, 2015, whenever you travel look for the participating quilt shops.
2.  Each shop you visit will give you a free pattern for a row based on the theme of water.  The row must be 36" long finished and no more than 9" high.
3.  If you want to take part in the contest, collect a minimum of 8 patterns from 2015 participating shops.  Go home, make a quilt with the 8 rows.  You are free to choose fabrics and settings for your quilt.  Piece it, quilt it, bind it and label it.  Be the first person to bring a quilt through the door of any participating shop and win a 25 fat quarter bundle. The Shop you will at may add a bonus prize if you include its row.

That's it.  Travel, visit and have fun.  Start planning with your guild friends and quilt buddies.
Here is a sneak peek at the logo and fabrics by Timeless Treasures for 2015.  One of the license plates on the last fabric is from a shop in Ontario!

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Creative Grids Pineapple Trim Tool

I love log cabin quilts.  I love making them, using and seeing how others make them.  I love the traditional log cabin blocks and courthouse step blocks.  I have made a Colorado Star log cabin, once and never again.  I do not enjoy paper piecing.  I do not do well with complicated piecing in shapes with angles that do not make a square.
So I never imagined I could make pineapple log cabin quilt blocks.  This year I have made 2!!  One I made in the spring with Lynette Anderson fabrics.  I was asked to demonstrate the tool at a guild meeting so made the quilt with the demo blocks.

Last month I was asked to teach how to use the tool at a different guild so I made a second quilt with Lynette's 'Starry Night' Christmas fabric line.

Both are made with the Creative Grids Pineapple Trim Tool.  The centre starts with a 2 1/2" square.  Logs are cut a minimum of 1 5/8" wide and long enough to cover the side of the log before.  After a round of logs is added they are trimmed to the required length and width with the tool.  There are some tricks to making accurate blocks but it is much easier than templates or paper piecing. 
I see more pineapples in my future!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Playing Cards from C&T Publishing

Here is a great gift idea for your quilting friends who like a break from stitching.  Take them to a retreat, impress your non-quilty friends with colourful cards and enjoy.

Friday, December 5, 2014

30 Years of Kona Cotton

This year Robert Kaufman added 33 new colours to the line of Kona cotton.  That makes a total of 303 colours to choose from.  At Quilt Market there was lots to see and enjoy at the Kaufman booth.

Check out the Robert Kaufman website for the Lookbook.  The 30 quilts are some you may recognize, some you are planning to make, some you might like to make or some to enjoy for the mere pleasure of seeing what can be done.
On their Facebook page there are links to the 30 quilts blog hop.

 A quilt made from solids gives you the opportunity to experiment with free motion quilting designs or some straight line modern designs.  

We have as many Kona cottons as we can fit in the one area of the store.  Some days there are more than can fit and we still order more.  I wish there were room for all 303 but we have a colour chart and can order!!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Roll & Go

'Among Brenda's Quilts & Bags'.... that Brenda is at it again.  She needed a way to use some Canadian flag fabric in a unique project so she created a quilt to take wherever you go. 

The quilt is made in 12 large blocks which are joined in a 'quilt-as-you-go' method on the back.  There is Velcro in the middle top of the back.  Follow the direction to fold and roll the quilt before adding the carrier.  Store your bits and valuables in the zippered pocket of the carrier and head out.

Make a picnic version, sleepover version or a version is support of your favourite sport.  Someone suggested making one to take to hospital treatments.  The store sample has football on the front, soccer on the back and team colours for the carrier.  This is a good time to start collecting and sewing so everyone gets their own version for next Christmas!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Gift Certificates

Whoosh!  That was me running past the computer in a hurry today!  So here is a short idea to give as a gift for Christmas.

Gift Certificate

The gift of shopping for fabric, patterns, notions and other creative bits and bobs for quilting.  It will be worth 30% more at the Inventory Clear Out sale after Christmas.

December 27 to 31
10 am to 5 pm
30% 0ff all regular priced inventory!!

Off and running......

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

'Threads of Time' Block of the Month from Windham Fabrics

We are doing this Windham Fabrics block of the month starting in January.  The shop kit is here and we have started working on the store sample so drop in after December 14 to see how it is coming.  I hope to have many of the flying geese done and to be working on the 9 sets of 4 blocks for each month.  The quilt is a double size but can be made larger by adding borders.  We haven't received the first shipment of fabrics so the cost isn't set yet.  But here are some details:

This is a 10 month program to make the blocks and flying geese.  For each of nine months you receive fabric and the pattern to make 4 blocks of one design and 40 flying geese.  In the tenth month you receive the fabric for the borders and binding.
The cost is divided into 10 months and includes all the fabric for the top and binding, the patterns each month and a class if you wish to learn as you go.  I can send the kits by Canada Post if you want to participate and live to far away.  Postage is at cost.

It seems the block of the month programs we have done and are planning to do have a 1800s reproduction look to them.  The store was built in 1869 so I guess there is a theme to them.

I will post more information as it becomes available.