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.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Flowers on Friday

Look at these spectacular Magnolia trees!

Photos taken at Butchart Gardens.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Quilt Show - Sidney Museum

If you are in the Sidney, BC area be sure to visit the Sidney Museum to see quilts made by members of my weekly quilt group, Loose Threads.  The show runs until the end of April.

Here is a 'sneak peak' at a few of the quilts you will see:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

Westshore Quilters' Guild - Our Timeless Treasures

If you are in the Victoria area be sure to check out the
Westshore Quilters' Guild Quilt Show this weekend.

Friday, April 17, 10 am - 7 pm
Saturday, April 18, 10 am - 5 pm
Eagle Ridge Community Centre,
1089 Langford Parkway

Friday, April 10, 2015

Flowers on Friday

This week I want to share the 'backstory' about my weekly Flowers on Friday posts. You may have guessed that I love flowers - growing flowers in my home garden, picking up a simple bunch at the grocery store and shopping for flowering plants at our local nurseries. And taking pictures of flowers is always on my 'to do' list.

Every Friday I review my week including the goals I set for my business and see which ones I have accomplished. This review gives me a chance to celebrate my successes and the Flowers on Friday blog posts are one of my rewards, a celebration, a treat for myself. I am sharing my flower pictures with you so you can reward yourself for a great week too! So tune in each Friday and CELEBRATE along with me.


I spent last Sunday afternoon walking around Butchart Gardens and taking lots of pictures of their Spring gardens.  This week I am sharing the beautiful tulip beds.

I'll share more pictures in the weeks to come.  Happy Spring!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Too Easy Stained Glass - it REALLY is!

I have the perfect solution for those wonderful fabrics that you hate to cut up. You know the ones I mean....landscapes, large scale modern prints, children's theme prints. Use my Too Easy Stained Glass method and you don't need to cut that great focus fabric at all!

Too Easy Stained Glass,
Too Easy Stained Glass projects from my book Simple Stained Glass Quilts

I had a few goals in mind when developing this method:
  • I wanted to sew around the stained glass part only once instead of making the quilt top and then having to stitch around the shapes again to do the quilting.
  • I wanted to prepare the entire stained glass leading and then put it ON TOP of my focus fabric so I didn't have to cut it up and fit it into the 'spaces'.
  • I needed to find a product that would give me the best results.
My method uses fusible web - and it is just like magic....students who have taken this class say 'It's Too Easy' and that is where the name came from.

Do you have these types of fabrics in your stash? Don't know what to do with them?  Join me for TOO EASY STAINED GLASS at the Academy of Quilting and turn those fabrics into quilts.

The class starts on April 17th and I'll be there every day to help you discover this fun technique.

Too Easy Stained Glass,
Class Project, Academy of Quilting

In Lesson One you will learn the basic steps, including how to select fabrics for your first project, how to use fusible web to create the stained glass leading and how to fuse it to your fabric to make the quilt top.

In Lesson Two you will learn how I layer my quilt top with backing and batting and how to stitch the leading with a zigzag stitch.'ll be quilting at the same time!  I will show you how to stitch corners and curves so you have perfect stitching. I'll also show you how I bind my quilts.

In Lesson Three you will learn how to adjust or redesign the leading to fit a larger piece of focus fabric. I'll also share how I have used printed photographs in my stained glass quilts. We will also look at how you can create your own focus fabric and how to adapt this method to make a lap or bed-size quilt.
Too Easy Stained Glass, www.patchworkstudio.comToo Easy Stained Glass,

The class is open for registration so ENROLL TODAY and join me for Too Easy Stained Glass.   See you in the Classroom!

Friday, April 3, 2015

Flowers on Friday

Coming to you this week from CABS (Creative Arts Business Summit) in Washington, DC.

This beautiful bouquet decorated our meeting room. Aren't the spring colours amazing! The placement of the different flowers and colours reminds me of how we arrange our fabrics when we make quilts. There are different values (light / dark), the luminosity of the yellow flowers keeps our eyes moving around the arrangement and the range of textures add interest.

Flowers on Friday - CABS 2015

Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE LIME GREEN - so I had to take a closeup of the spider mum!

Flowers on Friday - CABS 2015

This could be a great inspiration for an Easter quilt. Hope the Easter Bunny visits your house this weekend!

Flowers on Friday -

Here's a picture of me with the flowers (and wearing Lime Green). Thanks Brenda Miller
(from Among Brenda's Quilts and Bags) for sending me this picture. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Product Review - Rotary Blade Sharpener

I have saved my used rotary cutter blades for many years in hope that someone would develop a way for me to sharpen them. I've tried a few but they were not very successful.

The most recent one I found is the TrueCut Linear Rotary Blade Sharpener by The Grace Company (

It promises to 'Extend the life of your blade'. The sharpener comes with detailed instructions for sharpening. You don't have to hold it in place when sharpening so there is added safety. 

I tested one of my saved blades and then cut a double layer, then 4 layers and then 6 layers. I had no trouble cutting 2 and 4 but cutting 6 was a bit more of a struggle. This tool will extend the life of my blades and I will use it next time I find myself having to press harder to cut. They also make a motorized sharpener so you can sharpen your blades with the push of a button!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Setting up a Workspace for Paintstiks

Fun with Paintstiks, my online workshop at the Academy of Quilting, starts on FRIDAY. Have you signed up yet?

Here is information about setting up a space for the workshop:

Preparing Your Workspace

You will need a table to work on. You will need space for your sketchbook, several pieces of fabric and an area for your materials and supplies.  My preferred worktable is 2' x 6'. I like to spread out and place lots of fabrics on my table, but you may find a shorter table is fine.

I cover my table with a plastic sheet to protect the surface.  I use an inexpensive clear shower curtain but a plastic painter’s drop cloth will also work well.

You will also need a place to lay out the fabrics after you have painted them.  There may be room on your worktable or you may need another plastic-covered flat surface.  More discussion about the drying time is later in this lesson, but this surface will be unavailable for other uses for up to 5 days. 

An option to create additional space from one surface is to create stacked surfaces.  To do this, you will need stacks of books or magazines and several pieces of very thick stiff cardboard, thin wood or foam core boards.  Use the books or magazines at each end, allowing plenty of airspace above your fabric pieces, place your cardboard, wood or foam core on top of the stacks of books or magazines and add more layers as needed. 

See you in the classroom!