Monday, March 27, 2017

Spreading the word and sale

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