Monday, March 27, 2017

Spreading the word and sale

www.payhip.com/CanuckQuilterDesigns

Anne of  Hudson Valley Quilts is featuring me and Canuck Quilter Designs on her blog today.  Anne is a freelance writer, blogger, quilter and librarian.  Answering her questions really made me think about how I design and write.  I hope you'll pop over to read about it.  She is also having a giveaway of one of my patterns, winner's choice! Jump over here to find out more and enter.

In conjunction with Anne's post, I am having a sale on all the patterns in my Payhip store.  Yes, all of them: the 14 pictured above, and the snowflake block patterns as well!  Clicking on the picture above will take you directly to my Payhip page, and entering the coupon code HUDSON at checkout will give you 15% off your purchase.

And just a reminder that I have free tutorials and a few free patterns for you (scroll down to the bottom of the patterns page for those).  The Canada 150th quilt pattern will be added soon, free until July 1st to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday.  In the meantime, the free String of Diamonds placemats pattern has been very popular.

String of Diamonds placemats. Photo courtesy of Renee of Renee's Quilting Addiction.
Renee from Renee's Quiting Addiction (also on Facebook here) wrote that she used them to teach a friend to quilt and is now using them again to teach a group of co-workers.  She  says: "Thank you for the simple pattern, a great teaching tool. By the time she gets to the 4th she will have all the basics down."  I'm so pleased my pattern is being used to infect more people with the quilting bug!

Finally, one more shameless appeal: if you have enjoyed any of my patterns or tutorials, please spread the word to your quilting friends and guilds.  A mention at your local quilt shop would also be appreciated! Many of my patterns have been picked up by distributors (both Checker and Brewer currently) and are available to quilt shops in printed format.  Please help me spread the word!

That's all for today.  Though I would rather be quilting, I'm off to figure out how to include social media links on this site. I'm on Facebook and on Instagram, but I know there is a tidier, more elegant way to include that information here! 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Look what they made...

On Friday evening my daughter and three friends took over my quilting space to piece a quilt top.  I think they had all sewn pillow cases back in 8th grade, so the sewing machine was not completely alien.  I demonstrated proper pinning, pressing and sewing technique then escaped upstairs.  I was called to demonstrate how to re-thread the machine, but otherwise, they managed on their own.


I sliced the panels of strips and added the sashing.  The girls were game to sew the sashing, but I goofed on the slicing (after they asked me to slice because they were worried about messing up!) and I had to figure out how to straighten things out.  I wasn't thinking clearly enough for that at that time of night, so I sent them home.  Working out a day and time these busy high school girls could all come over for the first part was tricky.  I didn't think we could get them all together again to add the sashing and still get the quilt finished in time, so I sewed the sashing myself today.

Are you ready for your daily chuckle?  A couple of the girls had after-school commitments so had to arrive later, and they and my daughter were concerned that the quilt would be done by the time they arrived. My daughter asked if it would take more than a couple of hours.  I was kind.  I didn't laugh out loud!

It took almost 5 hours for them to sew the strips together, so now they know sewing can be a bit more time consuming than they thought! I'm pretty sure they were proud of their work and they are very excited to give this quilt as a gift.


My daughter will be drafted to help me baste next weekend, because she, unlike her friends, is here. I'll quilt in the ditch the following week, and then I'll see who I can draft to help sew binding.  I'm just so happy my daughter actually asked to sew at all that I'll probably not quibble if she has a stack of homework and I end up sewing the binding myself!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Testing my Canada 150th quilt plan

I started my Canada 150th quilt last weekend.  It really is coming together very quickly. A couple of hours each day on four days this week has brought me all the way to borders, where I always stall because I don't like sewing on borders.  In another day or two (depending how long I dither about the borders) this will be a finished top, then I can dither some more about the basting, then the quilting.

Sunday's sewing - the large leaf block



Monday's sewing  - stacks of units for 12 leaves


Thursday's sewing - assemble the small leaves and join them into strips


Friday's sewing - filling in the background


I've given more thought to a sew-along.  I don't think I have time to organize one properly at this point.  What I plan to do instead is write the pattern (hopefully in the next week or two) then offer it as a free pattern for a few months.  I'll also suggest a sewing schedule for those who want a finish by Canada Day, July 1st.  On July 1st, I'll have a linky party for anyone to post their progress, flimsies or finishes of this or any other Canada quilt.

But first, borders!

Linking up with
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

RSC Butterfly - Red

March's colour is red for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge.  Here is this month's edition of my RSC buttefly:

RSC Butterfly in red - March

I think I spent more time pondering the wing design than actually sewing it this month.  I got hung up on the idea of using squares and rectangles I cut a couple of years ago when I thought cutting up my scraps into standard sizes was a good idea and would help me use them.  (That idea didn't work for me, and two years later my little trimmed scraps are all still sitting forlornly in the bins.)  Once I let go of that idea and opened up my thinking to any red scraps in my stash, I found a design I liked pretty quickly.  The upper wing bases are pieced in strips, with a common fabric pieced on the bias at the end of each strip.

 I also though of piecing a checkerboard sort of design for the lower wings, but decided that would be too much going on in one block.  Maybe next month I'll focus on the lower wings.

This year's RSC butterflies so far:

RSC butterflies January to March

 You can find a tutorial for the basic butterfly block here on this blog.

Linking up with
ScrapHappy Saturday at SoScrappy

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Canada 150th quilt plans

These fabrics arrived on the weekend: fabrics from Northcott's Canadian Sesquicentennial collection.

 

As you can imagine these are not in high demand in Iowa, so I sent my sister-in-law in Canada a shopping list.  Thank you!

I have a plan.  When I was thinking about how to represent Canada, I thought about various symbols of provinces, and historic events, and roots.  In the end I realized I couldn't possibly include everyone and everything in one quilt and I really didn't want to leave anyone or anything out.  Then it occurred to me that the flag represents it all: the people, the history, the landscape. When I think of the flag, of course I think of the iconic red maple leaf.  The maple leaf represents all Canadians, no matter our backgrounds and where we live, so I ran with the maple leaf theme.


I hope it translates well from this printed size to a throw quilt size!  I also plan to applique "150" inside the large leaf and maybe quilt province and territory names somewhere on the quilt.

So, does anyone want to sew along?

Linking up with
Celebrate - FĂȘtons 150 at Quilting and Learning 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Chic Country is a top!

Just a short post tonight, but I was impatient to share.  Chic Country is a top! 


I hoped the tweaks I made to the pattern to add the borders would make the circles pop, and I am not disappointed! I discussed those tweaks here.

Now I'm going to splurge and have a longarm quilter baste this for me so I can start hand quilting.  I really don't feel like basting but I really feel like quilting, and Liz has a very quick turn around time.  I'll have it back to get started on the quilting well before I would have talked myself into the chore of basting!

Monday, February 13, 2017

RSC butterfly block tutorial

Thank you for all the positive comments about my Rainbow Scrap Challenge butterfly blocks.  For those of you who asked, I took pictures while making last week's block so I could write a tutorial.



I'm going to share how to make the basic butterfly, without specifying how to make the wing markings.  I've just been playing around with my scraps, sewing scraps together then cutting down to the right size base sections J and I.  Go ahead and just play with your scraps and see what you end up with!

The block will measure 12" finished (12 1/2" unfinished).  For a single block you will need:

Background fabric:
  • 6 - 2 1/2" squares A
  • 2 - 4" squares B
  • 2 - 3 1/2" squares C
  • 2 - 2" squares D
  • 2 - 1 1/2" x 5 1/2" E
  • 1 - 1 1/2" x 4" F
  • 1 - 1 1/2" x 2" G
Brown (body):
  • 1 - 1 1/2" x 7 1/2" H
Wing base sections pieced from scraps:
  • 2 - 6" x 7 1/2"J
  • 2 - 5" x 5 1/2" I


Step 1: Draw a diagonal line, corner to corner, on the wrong side of each square.

Step 2: Sew F and G to the ends of H as shown below.

Step 3: Position squares A on the wing base sections J and I as shown below, right side down and with the drawn lines running across the corners. Notice that the right wing will be a mirror image of the left wing.  You'll need to keep track and make sure the squares are in the correct corners.  I didn't the first time and ended up wielding my trusty seam ripper.


Close-up view of A sewn to J

Step 4: Trim fabric from the corners, 1/4" away from the sewn diagonals.


Step 5: Press the background fabric into the corners.


Step 5: Position squares B and C on the wing base sections as shown below, right sides down and with the drawn lines running across the corners. Again, take care to make the wings on the right side a mirror image of the wings on the left side.  Sew along the drawn lines.  Now sew 1/2" away from the drawn line, on the corner side, to gain two bonus HST units.


Step 6: Trim away the corner fabric by cutting between the sewn lines.  The corner fabric will open up to a bonus HST square to use in another project.

Bonus HST units
Step 7: Press the background fabric into the corners.

Step 8:  Sew strips E to the sides of the lower wings.


Step 9: Sew each lower wing to the corresponding upper wing, as shown below.






Step 10:  Sew the wings to either side of the body to complete the block. 


This is the basic method for making my butterfly block.  You can choose to make the bases for the wing sections any way you choose.  

Just a few more thoughts about the two butterflies I've made so far.

Purple butterfly details

When I made the purple butterfly, I had a lot of assorted squares and strings.  I pieced squares in rows to make two sections a little larger than were needed  for the upper wing base sections, then trimmed them down to the required 6" x 7 1/2" size.  I sewed strings of assorted widths together to make base sections with the strings running vertically, and trimmed those down to the required size for the lower wing base sections. You'll notice I didn't pay attention to making the right side wings match the left side ones.

Aqua butterfly details

 For the aqua butterfly, I decided I wanted the wings to match.  This required piecing the base sections as mirror images of each other. The lower wing base sections were string pieced with the strings running diagonally, then trimmed to size.

I made the upper wings by sewing strips sets, subcutting them on an angle , shifting the sub-cut strips before sewing them back together then cutting my base section H out of that.  I actually had 5 colors in my strip set, but adding the background over the corners hid two of the colors.  From now on I will remember not to bother piecing anything interesting in 3 of the 4 corners, because they will just be cut off in the end!

Linking up with:
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion  by the River 
ScrapHappy Saturday at SoScrappy (a little late - sorry!)
Midweek Makers at Quilt Fabrication
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts