Samplers, Shopping and Snow

9 Apr

Fellow Quilters,

As I write this post, I am heading to Mont Ste Anne with Hubby to extend our ski season by 2 weeks and enjoy the fabulous French cuisine in the charming restaurants of Old Quebec City.  My goal is to still be able to fit into my ski pants at the end of our vacation – a daunting task!  It is April, and all my local quilting friends are done with winter.  Mother Nature, however, does not agree, and there is snow in the forecast for the next few days.

Despite the weather, I had a fantastic 5 days at A Mountain Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge 2 weeks ago, teaching 4 classes, and presenting 2 trunk shows.  For the first time in my 5 years attending this top-notch event, it snowed.  Of course, being the lone Canadian teacher, I got blamed for the snow, not once but 3 times, and I’m okay with that – it comes with being a snowboarder.  I say, “Bring it on!”

The students in my classes did quite well, learning new techniques while enjoying the company of fellow students.  Unfortunately, I did not take pictures in 3 of the 4 classes – the only class in which I snapped photos was the Intro to Improv class.

Talented students in my Intro to Improv class

Talented students in my Intro to Improv class

More great improv blocks

More great improv blocks

The gals had a great time stepping beyond the boundaries of traditional piecing, and created some fabulous improvisationally-pieced blocks using fabrics from Northcott’s Willowberry collection, mixed with some ColorWorks solids and Artisan Spirit Shimmer.  It was a liberating experience for many of them, and I was as delighted with the results as they were.

I even took a class at A Mountain Quiltfest, from renowned quilter Karen Kay Buckley.  Karen’s specialty is applique, and I gleaned many nuggets of valuable information for future applique projects.  Not that I do much applique, particularly turned-edge, but the next time I give it a whirl, I will pull out my notes and incorporate Karen’s suggestions.  Karen spoke at length about the tools she uses, and I am inspired to build my own lightbox.  I also picked up a handy-dandy inexpensive compact foldable LED light for my travel sewing kit.

My new battery-operated or plug-in foldable LED light

My new battery-operated or plug-in foldable LED light

As in previous years, my trip to Pigeon Forge included a visit to the boot store, and once again I did not come home empty-handed.  I added a pair of dress boots to my collection of cowboy boots.

My new "dress" boots! I'm ready to hit the town!

My new “dress” boots! I’m ready to hit the town!

I tried on a couple more pairs that could easily have come home with me, however my luggage had no room, so I saved them for next year’s trip.  I have already been invited back for A Mountain Quiltfest 2019 – mark your calendar for March 19-23 – and will join renowned teachers Bonnie Hunter, Nancy Mahoney, Kay Nickols, Linda Hahn, Cheryl Sleboda and the inimitable Klaudeen Hansen.  I was Klaudeen’s cheering sidekick at the ever-popular Show & Tell event.  Several students from my previous classes also showed their completed projects, and it was thrilling to see them!  I am already looking forward to next year’s Quiltfest.  I may have to devise my own cheering apparatus for next year!

I have several projects on my plate currently, among them is finishing up instructions for 13 new patterns.  My meagre graphics skills are getting a workout!  So far, I have completed PC216 Mod Squad (using Shibori),

PC216 Mod Squad pattern using Banyan Batiks Shibori

PC216 Mod Squad pattern using Banyan Batiks Shibori

PC217 Abstract (using Primitive Lines),

My PC217 Abstract pattern, shown on the back cover of McCall's Quilting June 2018!

My PC217 Abstract pattern, shown on the back cover of McCall’s Quilting June 2018!

PC218 Morse Code (using Ikat Sketch),

PC218 Morse Code using Banyan Batiks Ikat Sketch

PC218 Morse Code using Banyan Batiks Ikat Sketch

and PC219 Sophie’s Garden (using Sophie),

PC219 Sophie's Garden pattern using Banyan Batiks Sophie

PC219 Sophie’s Garden pattern using Banyan Batiks Sophie

all featuring collections from Northcott’s new Banyan Batiks division.  I have also completed PC214 Oh Canada Chevron,

PC214 Oh Canada Chevron pattern using the STRIP-R fabric

PC214 Oh Canada Chevron pattern using the STRIP-R fabric

made with the new Oh Canada STRIP-R (pre-printed 2” lengthwise strips) – this quilt is made with only 3 fabrics! – and am working on a version for the Stars & Stripes STRIP-R as well.  Both patterns include a throw size that meets the Quilts of Valor guidelines.  I shall post pictures of the remaining new patterns next time – hopefully they will all be completed by then!

The other very exciting project I am working on is a fabric collection – whoop whoop!! It is for the Banyan Batik division, and will be part of the Fall 2018 sample release if all goes well.  I have been on a steep learning curve, without any formal training in illustration, and Creative Director Karen Gibbs is patiently guiding me along.  I am surprised by just how much I am enjoying the design process.  Taking that first step to put pen to paper was terrifying, however it has been quite a rewarding experience.  There is still a lot more work to be done before the collection is finalized, so I’m keeping me fingers crossed that we meet the deadline for the release.

One of my recently-completed projects was purging my sewing room.  This was done out of necessity – Hubby and I listed our house for sale.  The kids have moved out, and we figured this was our chance to sell it before they think about moving back (LOL!).  Hubby met with the stager while I was at QuiltCon, and noted her recommendations for each room – “Remove this, relocate that”, etc.  When she got to my sewing room however, she just rolled her eyes, sighed heavily and said, “Do what you can in here to make the room look less cluttered”.  Clearly, she was not a quilter!  I should have taken “before” and “after” pictures, but the “before” picture would have been embarrassingly cluttered, probably bordering on hoarding.  Having seen a few quilters’ sewing rooms in my travels, I know I’m in very good company!  Hands up if your sewing room is too cluttered for photos.  Now that I’ve cleaned mine, I have full access to my entire cutting table – all 36” x 72” of my cutting mat instead of the previous 22” x 54” that was not covered with piles of stuff.  I am not using it though, since I need to keep the room spotless for any potential viewings.  Instead, I have a make-shift sewing room at the ski cabin that will suffice for now.

During the purging process, I took a good hard look at my Stash of projects, most of them being older pattern kits.  With those 13 new patterns, I have enough to keep me busy for a while, so I have been donating quilt kits to the guilds I have spoken to recently.  It has truly been a weight off my shoulders to de-stash, and I highly recommend it.  It gets rid of the guilt of having unfinished (more like un-started!) projects that are likely also unwanted.  In reality, if I had wanted to make them, I would have done so years ago.  Now I am free to start new projects, and perhaps even purchase new fabric.  Speaking of which…

Michelle Dunn of the online shop Kallisti Quilts  was the guest speaker at my LQG last month, showcasing her comprehensive selection of unique Japanese and African fabrics, and I somehow ended up purchasing a bundle of to-die-for Japanese yard-dye wovens.

A lovely bundle of 16 Japanese yard-dyed fat 1/8's from Kallisti Quilts, destined for a special project

A lovely bundle of 16 Japanese yard-dyed fat 1/8’s from Kallisti Quilts, destined for a special project

Did I mention that I have a sewing room chock-full of fabric, and a 35,000-square foot warehouse at my disposal?  I have a project in mind, however – a modern lap/throw quilt for a friend – and this bundle will be perfect.  I shall use one of my new batik patterns, testing it on this bundle.

Speaking of batiks, in my last post, I asked for your comments regarding your favorite magazines.  I randomly selected Christi, Sherry Southgate and Gloria at glorybquilts to receive some Ketan.  Please email me and I’ll get your prizes out to you.  By the way, survey says… Quiltmaker seems to be the most popular, and print versions are still going strong, although downloads have their benefits.  Thanks to all for sharing your thoughts.

Speaking of Quiltmaker, I just read the latest issue, and I love it!  DSCF3907The theme is sampler quilts, and there are some fantastic examples, such as Diane Harris’ red-and-white Nebraska quilt,

Diane Harris' fantastic Nebraska quilt

Diane Harris’ fantastic Nebraska quilt

and Scott Flanagan’s Carnival – it’s brilliant!

Scott Flanagan's innovative Carnival sampler quilt

Scott Flanagan’s innovative Carnival sampler quilt

At last Fall’s Quilt Festival, I was inspired to pick up the Electric Quilt Dear Jane cd and a fat ¼ bundle of Kaffe Fassett fabrics.  This issue of Quiltmakers may be the impetus I need to start my quilt – after the patterns are written…  What’s on your quilting bucket list?  Let me know by April 17 for your chance to win some Canvas, Northcott’s modern texture in 32 luscious shades.  Good luck!



23 Responses to “Samplers, Shopping and Snow”

  1. Angela J Short April 9, 2018 at 9:50 pm #

    I’m hoping to finish up some lap quilts I am working on. Have a wonderful day! angielovesgary2 atgmail dotcom

  2. Sandy Allen April 9, 2018 at 9:58 pm #

    I have a double wedding ring quilt on my “bucket list” as well as a Lone Star quilt!

    • Patti April 15, 2018 at 9:56 pm #

      Sandy, I teach both of these, and they are not as challenging as you may think. Go for it!

  3. Quilter Kathy April 9, 2018 at 10:23 pm #

    I love sampler quilts and on my bucket list is finishing the Canada 150 sampler quilt… I only have about 1/3 of the blocks made… lots to do someday!

    • Patti April 15, 2018 at 9:57 pm #

      My colleague Elaine is also doing the Canada 150 sampler. Enjoy the process!

  4. Linda Jackson April 9, 2018 at 10:41 pm #

    Hmmm…quilters bucket list? A miniature New York beauty (cause why make it easy on myself?!), a black and white animal something quilt, one of those pieces with lots of curved flying geese, a dear Jane…I’m going to live forever!!!

  5. Tara Dewdney April 9, 2018 at 10:47 pm #

    My bucket list has to be applying all the quilting techniques I’ve learnt and finishing the quilts I have already pieced.

  6. stephanie Woodward April 10, 2018 at 8:54 am #

    Scott’s new quilt Carnival is now on my bucket list, I had to read the instructions two times to see his innovative, (at least to me) way of putting together the feathered star. Love it, and you are the best too.
    Our bee just made 31 pillow cases for charity and I make a juvenile quilt from the scraps, and I still have left overs, Help.
    Love the new book Charm School for more ideas of what to do with charm squares.

    • Patti April 15, 2018 at 9:59 pm #

      Good luck with Scott’s Carnival!

  7. Cathy B. April 10, 2018 at 8:57 am #

    An I-Spy quilt is at the top for our 2-year old grandson with autism struggling with speech. Also learning free motion quilting has perpetually been on my bucket list. Maybe 2018 is the year?!

    • Patti April 15, 2018 at 10:02 pm #

      When I eventually have grandkids, undoubtedly an I Spy will be on my To Do list as well. Re: free-motion, practice on an inexpensive panel – quilt it to death, then discard it. You’ll be well on your way after quilting just 1 panel.

  8. LINDA April 10, 2018 at 11:02 am #

    Hi, I’m hoping to get three new Baby Charity Quilts ready for donations! So enjoy making and giving these little quilts! Thank You for your inspiration.

    • Patti April 15, 2018 at 10:03 pm #

      Baby quilts – so sweet.

  9. HEATHER PORRITT April 10, 2018 at 3:39 pm #

    There was a awesome presentation of Log cabin quilts at our local guild… .I am so inspired to make one (yes I never have!!) I just need to finish up a quilt I promised my Aunt and bind up four other… Thanks for the chance to win

  10. Lisa Marie April 11, 2018 at 7:51 am #

    One day I want to make a quilt from a Judy Niemeyer pattern. For now though, I’m working on charity quilts, scrappy quilts, and seasonal table runners.

    • Patti April 15, 2018 at 10:04 pm #

      Judy’s designs are spectacular, a great Bucket List item!

  11. CateD April 11, 2018 at 7:50 pm #

    I’d like to make a classic blue and white quilt, with a more traditional block. And finish assorted UFOs.

  12. cozyquiltslb April 13, 2018 at 7:53 am #

    Those modern patterns are great. Top of my “to do” list is finish my sesquicentennial quilt for our local quilt show. Top of my “bucket list” is a quilt containing circles.

    • Patti April 15, 2018 at 10:09 pm #

      I’m looking forward to seeing your sesquicentennial quilt, Linda! I will be posting a free circle pattern on Northcott’s website in the next few weeks (it’s applique circles).

  13. Michelle Price April 15, 2018 at 9:52 pm #

    Hi Patti,
    I really enjoy your newsletter/ blog, and this time around, I can relate to you on the home-selling front. I wish you much success with this !

    I absolutely love your story, patterns, samplers and that beautiful selection of Japanese grey wovens. Thank you for sharing !

    • Patti April 15, 2018 at 10:06 pm #

      You’re welcome!

  14. stephanie Woodward July 24, 2018 at 8:02 pm #

    Love Quiltmaker, Scott Flanagan’s quilt is fascinating. Love your boots. I can’t wait to start your row along.

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