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Showing posts from 2016

Last finish of 2016!

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Presenting Sparkling Trail, purple batik version!  I finished it with 7 hours to spare to call it a 2016 finish.  I made the quilt top in fall 2015, planning to finish it by New Year's,  and I really didn't want to tick over into 2017 with it unfinished again!

I struggled with how to quilt this.  I ripped out quilting, let it sit again, had someone else baste it for me in an attempt to move it forward (because I was highly unmotivated to baste it again - basting once per quilt is plenty, than you very much) and then let it sit a bit more while I waited for it to start talking.  It was quiet for an awfully long time but it finally started talking the day after Christmas.  Guess what I've been doing most of the week?

You're going to laugh.  I told my coworkers it was going to be simple, quick, light straight line stitching just to get it done.  That really was the plan until the quilt found its voice.  Maybe it considered that a threat and decided it should start expres…

Tic Tac Who? pattern release!

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Here it is! Tic Tac Who? is a pattern!
My Tic Tac Who pattern is now available for sale in my Payhip and Craftsy shops, and will be available to quilt shops through distributors sometime in January. 

The simple X blocks and plain squares are a perfect balance for the more involved focus blocks.  The focus blocks add just a touch of challenge, but don't require cutting any triangles or any paper piecing.  You can see versions with all three blocks in past posts:  duck, puppy and owl.

I owe a huge thank you to my wonderful testers, who volunteered to make blocks or a full quilt and offered lots of useful feedback.  I hope you will click through to view their versions on their blogs or Instagram.  I love seeing the designs come alive in different fabric choices!

Janet Olsen- Rogue Quilter Andrée Faubert- Quilting and Learning Lissa La Greca - Lovingly Lissa Sandra Walker - Musings of a Menopausal Melon  Marlene Scobbie - Cats and Capers
Sherill Pecere, Lorna Comeau and Elaine William…

Merry Christmas

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Tree trimmed (including 2016's new ornament, made just under the wire last night)

Rudolph quilt deployed.

Cookies decorated (family effort)
Ragoût de poulet simmering. 

Tourtière ready to heat up. 

Table set. 

Dog watching for Santa (gotta watch those pesky reindeer!) 

We're ready for réveillon!  (That's the French Canadian side of the family Christmas traditions.)
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas, from my family to yours!

This and That

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It has been a busy few weeks and though I emailed the winners of my giveaway I didn't get a blog post up recognizing them as I had planned.  Let me correct that oversight now.

Vicki of Vicki's Crafts and Quilting won a copy of Wandering Geese Karen of KaHolly won a copy of Autumn Moons Ariane of Ariane Quilts won a copy of Snow Dreams Elively won a copy of Quilter's Scrapbook
So, what have I been up to?  There has been baking.  Here's the fruitcake fruit mixture bubbling on the stove, defying gravity, apparently.  Gotta love those sideways loading pictures.

I tried not making fruitcake last year and there were sad faces.  Yes, some people do like fruitcake!  Or maybe just this particular recipe.  In any case, those family members that requested it are getting some in their Christmas parcels this year.  My brother gets cookies too - though if I don't get them packaged and mailed soon there won't be any left to send in time for Christmas arrival!
There has been a…

SewPro Stars Blog Hop

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Today is my stop on the SewPro Stars blog hop! Welcome! 
Thank you to Andi and Jessica for organising the hop to keep the momentum from SewPro going. They have also assembled a giveaway prize package, so be sure to read to the end to participate in that, as well as a Canuck Quilter Designs pattern giveaway.


Just when I was feeling really negative about the business side of my pattern design business late last spring, I stumbled across a reference to SewPro.  The convention website promised presentations on various issues I had been struggling with.  It's like the internet read my mind and threw that across my path.  Off I went for a few days in September. I met inspiring, creative people and soaked up lots of advice and information from industry rock stars. Do Pat Sloan and Tula Pink ring any bells? Then I came home and tried to digest all I had learned and figure out what I am going to do with it all.



Here's the quilting that came out of all that.  It represents the equilibri…

Trunk Full of Quilts 2016

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Soma of Whims and Fancies is hosting a virtual trunk show.  She has invited us to share our favourite quilts in a new post and to go get inspired by other quilters' trunk shows.  Sounds like a fun community activity to me!  I'm in!


However, I ran into trouble.  They're all my favourites!  I don't think I can fit them all in one post.  I tried to think of themes to narrow things down, but that didn't help much.  In the end, I passed the buck.  I asked my family to choose.  Keep in mind that I only gave them 5 minutes each to think of two or three.  Still, I figured whatever popped into their minds first is probably what made the biggest impression.  I'll list them in chronological order.


My son picked this house quilt.  It's the second quilt I ever made, all flannel and hand quilted in the ditch of every seam. This one is pre-blog and pre-digital camera.  The colors are actually all bright primary colors.  What shows up as black here is actually a deep brigh…

Chic Country in progress

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While I ponder what to quilt on the purple Sparkling Trail, I think I will keep cutting fabric for my daughter's new quilt.



I'm making a larger version of Sew Kind of Wonderful's Chic Country, substituting my daughter's favourite very bright greens for the greys in the pattern's cover quilt.  I have all the first cuts made.  Now I need to cut the curves.  I think it will look fabulous in the end, but it's slow going.  Then there will be the sewing, then the quilting...She may get her quilt before she graduates from high school!

This quilt won't talk

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I finally finished picking out the quilting I had started on this Sparkling Trail quilt last January or February.  The quilt sat untouched for months until I acknowledged the fact that it wouldn't fix itself.  Now I'm back to pondering what to quilt.  I don't know about you, but I've had some quilts be very talkative, telling me exactly how they should be quilted.  This one is very, very quiet.

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you've seen this pattern a few times.  The first version was very heavily freemotion quilted.  The second was quilted in concentric circles with my walking foot.


I still haven't quilted the little mini versions (here and here).

I really need to get this purple one done. Though I had never used purple before, I love the colors in this quilt.  It needs to be finished and out on the living room couch to be used and appreciated.  So please, send me suggestions! With a few ideas to prod it, maybe t…

Spring Blooms on point setting

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Someone asked in a comment on my Spring Blooms tutorial yesterday if it was OK to use a different fabric for the setting triangles if the the blocks are set on point as I did in my quilt.  My first reaction was "Of course!  It's your quilt, do what you want!".

I still feel that way, but after reflection, it occurred to me that the question was more about what it would look like.  If you're looking to reproduce exactly what I did, then no, you can't switch fabrics.  It will look different if you use different fabric for the setting triangles than you did for the block background.  Using the same fabric floats the blooms on the quilt.

However, if you're not looking to reproduce exactly what I made, have fun with it.  I fired up EQ7 and colored the triangles differently to give you an idea what things could look like.




I rather like it this way.  If I ever make this quilt again I think I'll choose different facbric for the setting triangles.  It's a litt…

Tic Tac Hoot!

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Tic Tac Hoot was the last Tic Tac Who? quilt I designed.  I had the other two finished when my daughter suggested an owl version.  I love owls!  I think it dates back to being a Brownie leader in Halifax in university.  My leader name was Sleepy Owl. It's a long story, but I promise I was wide awake and enthusiastic!



Tic Tac Hoot turned out very well in the end, after a very slow start!  My first attempt at designing an owl yielded something that looked more like a bat, and definitely wasn't baby-cute.

I tweaked a little and came up with something I thought would work so I stitched him up in fabric.


Oh, that beak! This looked more like an owl but something was off, so I tried again.




I was getting closer to a finish!  I popped him into the quilt layout on the design wall...



I really thought the green background and the darker sashing would work, but once it was on the wall, I couldn't bring myself to start sewing everything together. It stayed up on the wall a few days, and …