Friday, May 22, 2015

Flowers on Friday


Brilliant....just BRILLIANT!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

New Patterns Coming - Pre-Order SPECIAL!

Two new patterns are almost complete and they will be shipping during the first week of June. 

Dominoes & Checkers is a very easy pattern that uses strip piecing for most of the design. I used Northcott's Mountain Lodge Flannel for my quilt. It will be delivering to quilt shops soon. 

You could also use your stash, particularly a large scale print for the red and the gray moose print rectangles in my quilt. 

The pattern has 2 size options: the Quilt is 63" x 76" and the Bed Runner is 27-1/2" x 86".

Snow Follies uses a great new Northcott collection designed by Alaskan artist, Barbara Lavallee. The Eskimo Snow fabrics will be in your shops soon too.  

I used the panel for the focal points in the quilt and coordinating fabrics show the fun theme of this fabric.

To celebrate the release of these 2 new patterns I am offering a 'Pre-Release Special'.

Place your pattern order  before May 29th
and you will receive a 10% discount
on either pattern 
(or both).

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Product Review

I taught Free Motion Quilting in Yellowknife and students found this product helped them quilt more easily.

I use Machingers - soft, flexible, gloves. The fingertips are coated to provide a better grip as you place your hands on your quilt to move it around for free motion stitching.

I found my own skill improved when I started using these gloves many years ago.  I had tried other gloves but my hands just got too hot. 

Machingers are made from 'breathable' fabric that is comfortable to wear. I like how they are long enough to provide support to my wrist as well as my hand. Other gloves were too short and often were slipping so the gloves felt loose.

The gloves are available in 4 sizes and the package back includes a 'sizing' chart so you can select the best size for your hands.

I recommend these gloves so much that I am now carrying them in the Patchworks Studio Store. I have included the size chart so you can get the best fit for your hand size.

Order Machingers here
and see how YOUR free motion quilting improves too!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Flowers on Friday

Fritillaria - Crown Imperial

Thursday, May 14, 2015

More from Yellowknife - The Workshops

I presented a Trunk Show to guild members on Thursday evening, spent Friday touring the city (Museum, Visitor's Centre, Quilt Shop) during the day and students joined me on Friday evening for Too Easy Stained Glass.  I love teaching this workshop because everyone can make a small project with fabrics they love.  Here are a few photos from the workshop.

Love the way Liz added decorative machine stitching to her piece.
Cristine used a tropical print.

Mary and Kate - more great fabrics!
Saturday and Sunday were full day classes. First up was my latest Ripless Paper Piecing project,
Flight Path.  Students learned the technique and began work on their quilts. I loved seeing all the blocks displayed on the wall.

Mary solved a 'value' concern by making blocks with a darker background!
Esther's blocks joined together.

On Sunday students learned all about Give & Take Applique as they made a New York Beauty table runner. No paper piecing, no curve piecing for this project.  Great fabric selections by everyone in the class!

A selection of blocks - all amazing!

Monday was a 'free' day with a Machine Quilting in the evening. My wonderful host, Linda, and I toured Old Town.....

Pilot's Monument
Love these house numbers

and then I was treated to taking a class myself!  Linda took me to Old Town Glassworks so I could make etched glasses with northern images.  It was SO MUCH FUN!  And I have 2 wonderful keepsakes from my trip.

My etched glasses - Inukshuk and Ravens

A Great Big THANK YOU to everyone I met in Yellowknife. You made my visit so special and I'll remember it always.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Report from Yellowknife

I flew to Yellowknife on April 30 to visit the Yellowknife Quilters' Guild. This is a very active and enthusiastic group of quilters. I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them.

I was excited to visit an area that plays a part in my family's history. My grandfather spent many summers in the area in the 1930's as a Dominion Land Surveyor. He played a part in the development of some of the largest gold mines in the world! Here is the sewing kit I inherited from him. He took it with him on every trip to do any mending required for his tents, clothing and sleeping bag. I think my love of sewing comes from this branch of my family since my great-grandfather was a tailor!

Yellowknife is the capital of Canada's Northwest Territories and it sits on the shore of Great Slave Lake, the tenth largest lake in the world. The lake freezes in the winter and becomes a wonderful playground for snowshoeing, cross country skiing, ice fishing and for viewing the Northern Lights. Days are very short in the winter and it is bitterly cold so being a quilter is the perfect winter pastime!

Summer days are long, with only a few hours of darkness (and it's not completely dark). That was the first thing I noticed the first night I was there. The sky was still light at 10 pm. Of course that meant the sun came up early too!

Sunset - May 4, 2015 - 10:01 pm

I will post pictures from the workshops later this week.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Flowers on Friday

The fragrance was AMAZING!


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Product Review: Sew Red Glasses

A chance stop at a booth at International Quilt Market in Houston last fall yielded a fun (and useful) tool.
Sew Red glasses are used to determine colour value of fabric. You may be familiar with the Ruby Beholder tool that has been around for many years. These glasses work the same way but you don't have to hold the tool up to your eyes – you just put on the glasses!

I gathered some green and purple batik fabrics to see how the glasses worked. It is easy to arrange the green fabrics in value order without the glasses. Similarly, the purples weren't too hard to arrange.
Blending the two groups together was much easier when I wore the Sew Red glasses.
I got the regular glasses but there is also a 'clip-on' style.
Check their website:

Friday, May 1, 2015

Flowers on Friday

 Pasque Flower


Monday, April 27, 2015

Our New Addition!

Brooklyn Eva Elizabeth Greig arrived on Friday, April 17th.  We are excited to welcome our first grandchild! 

Great Grandmother Jean
Melissa, Scott and Brooklyn

Friday, April 24, 2015

Flowers on Friday


Photos taken at Butchart Gardens.

Camellias are evergreen shrubs or small trees up to 20 m (66 ft) tall. Their leaves are alternately arranged, simple, thick, serrated, and usually glossy. Their flowers are usually large and conspicuous, one to 12 cm in diameter, with five to nine petals in naturally occurring species of camellias. The colors of the flowers vary from white through pink colors to red;

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Product Review: ScrapTherapy® Mini Scrap Grid & Sew Sassy Thread

Check out this EASY way to make mini 9-patches. And I do mean MINI – only 1-1/2" finished size. 

This is ScrapTherapy® Mini Scrap Grid, an invention by Joan Ford of Hummingbird Highway  and author of the book ScrapTherapy® Cut the Scraps

Joan uses every last bit of fabric to make amazing quilts. The printed fusible interfacing is the key to her method for 9-patches. She usually works with a cluster of nine 9-patches but for my test I decided to make just one 9-patch.

 The steps are very easy:

1.    Cut nine 1-inch squares. I used 4 light and 5 dark. Arrange the squares on the fusible side of the interfacing square inside the light dashed lines and iron in place.

2.    Sew the horizontal seams first by folding on the light dashed line and sewing on the solid line to get a perfect 1/4" seam allowance.

3.    Clip the intersections that are marked on the interfacing

4.    Arrange the seams alternately to reduce bulk when you sew the second set of seams. Press the block when you have finished sewing and you will have a 2" square 9-patch.

I framed my square with blue fabric strips, layered it with backing and batting and decided to try another Houston purchase for the quilting.

Superior Threads released a new thread recently. Sew Sassy is a 12-weight, 3-ply polyester thread designed with Jane Sassaman and for projects where you want the thread to be very visible. They recommend a Topstitch #100/16 needle to accommodate this thick thread.

I changed my needle and found the thread worked very well for both decorative stitches and straight stitching. I lengthened my stitch length for all the stitching tests and loosened my top tension slightly. I used Aurifil 50-wt cotton in the bobbin. 

A final trim with my wavy blade cutter and I have a fun little block that I will use as a mug mat in my studio.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Looking for Fabric?

Did you know that Northcott has a great tool - the Northcott Product Finder.  If you are looking for a Northcott fabric and want to know which shop ordered it, you'll love this tool.

Here's a video showing you how to use it:

Monday, April 20, 2015

Happy you!

Do you remember that song? Happy Trails to you, until we meet again....

This was the theme song for Roy Rogers and Dale Evans - and I was a huge fan when I was about 4 years old.  I had an old fishing hat with a string that was my grandfather's. I loved to hang it around my neck so the hat was on my back....and when I ran around the hat bounced on my back and I imagined I was riding a horse.

Here I am with the hat on my back....and my doll 'Billy'.
How does that fit with a new pattern you ask?  Well, when I was asked to design a quilt using Northcott's new fabric, Rodeo Roundup, I remembered playing 'cowboy' with my old hat and I said 'yes'.

Here is my new pattern, Happy Trails.

Lap Size - 54" x 74"
 I started with the border stripe of cowboys and bucking broncs to make a horizontal row quilt. I love row quilts!  They are such fun to make and it is great seeing your quilt grow with every row you make.

The pieced blocks are my own design, once used in a vertical orientation for a flannel child's quilt in a magazine article I wrote many years ago. And to add just a bit more fun I added the pieced border blocks. These make the quilt look like an old rug that you might find on the set of Bonanza!

The fabrics will be in your local quilt shops very soon. Why not make this pattern for your own 'buckaroos'.  There are 2 sizes - lap size is 54" x 74" and the double size is 74" square.

Double Size - 74" square

Order the pattern online here.