Sashiko, samples, studios and survey

25 Jul

Fellow Quilters,

The last time I chatted with you, it was April, and I was knee-deep in snow.  Now it is July, with sweltering temperatures, and I am thinking wistfully of snow, hoping the thoughts will keep me cool.  Our area has rather high humidity levels, so 80° feels more like 100° with any amount of activity.  My desire to go for a good ride on my bicycle has been over-ruled by my desire not to pass out from heat stroke, so my bike is languishing in the garage.

So, what have I been doing instead? Well, I’ve been keeping myself very busy with numerous guild presentations and workshops, including the Georgian Bay Quilt Guild, Oakville Sewing Centre and Napanee Heritage Quilt Guild in May, followed by the Hamilton Quilt Guild and Simcoe Sew & Quilt in June.  Here is a pic of the sashiko class at SS&Q – 18 enthusiastic gals.

sashiko class June 2018 at SS&Q Barrie

sashiko class June 2018 at SS&Q Barrie


Due to the overwhelming response, a 2nd class has been scheduled for October 13.  Next month, I will be presenting a trunk show and workshop at the Chatham-Kent Quilt Guild and also teaching a bargello class at SS&Q.

In May, I was also crazy-busy whipping up samples for two 30-minute presentations for Quilt Market, the industry’s semi-annual trade show.  Northcott has the stunning Imagine collection (with 5 fantastic panels!) shipping to stores in December, and with the help of my colleagues, I designed and stitched up 7 quilt tops and a dress in 5 days.  Here is a link to one of the Schoolhouse presentations .  I’m wearing the dress that I made, with my sparkly boots!

In June, I wrote patterns – 8 of them, in fact – and tested them, so I currently have 10 projects in various stages of completion.  There is Shaded Tiles, made with the fabulous Stonehenge Maplewood (the ombre fabrics make this quilt glow),

PC210 Shaded Tiles

PC210 Shaded Tiles

and In the Reef, a pattern for 2 different options of a tropical lap or throw quilt featuring a digitally-printed underwater seascape (Coral Reef).

PC211 In the Reef

PC211 In the Reef

Then there are 4 different winter/holiday patterns:  In the Woods, with vintage-looking Spruce Mountain (I used the lengthwise border stripe in a horizontal strip quilt),

PC222 In the Woods

PC222 In the Woods

Cameo Stars, with ethereal Stonehenge Joy to the World (I fussy-cut the block panel into octagons),

PC223 Cameo Stars

PC223 Cameo Stars

Gifts Galore, using the fun and funky Fa La La,

PC224 Gifts Galore

PC224 Gifts Galore

and Tree Line, made with Banyan Batik’s Winter Light (I used a stamped tree border print in this modern quilt, making it super-quick to whip up).

PC230 Tree Line

PC230 Tree Line

I’m also working on 2 patterns using Amish Life, based on the charming artwork of renowned artist (and quilting friend) Pat Buckley Moss.  I have gone on several quilting cruises with Pat, and it was a thrill and an honour to design with her fabric.  Her collection includes some printed cameos, a panel and a border stripe, and I used them in Bordering on Amish

PC212 Bordering on Amish

PC212 Bordering on Amish

and Snapshots of Life.

PC213 Snapshots of Life

PC213 Snapshots of Life

While cutting out the cameo blocks, I came up with a little tip:  I needed to cut the blocks 7½”, however my ruler is only 6” wide.  I positioned my ruler so that the 3¾” line was centered in the cameo and cut along the edge of the ruler.  Then I grabbed my smaller 4” x 14” ruler and positioned it beside the 6” ruler so that the cut line was at the 1½” line on the small ruler.  Voila!  I could now accurately cut a 7½” wide strip.

Trimming the cameo blocks to 7 1/2"

Trimming the cameo blocks to 7 1/2″

Because of this flurry of activity, my makeshift sewing room is bursting at the seams!  I am running out of places to pile stuff.  I have been reading with interest, therefore, the terrific 6-week Creative Spaces blog hop hosted by fellow Northcott pattern designer Tammy Silvers of Tamarinis and her friend Cherry Guidry.  There are 16 pattern designers participating, sharing a plethora of tips on designing and organizing a sewing studio (a.k.a. room), favorite tools, and general management of the stuff that goes on in our creative space.  I have already picked up a few choice nuggets – thanks gals! I had to laugh at some of the photos being shared, and the quantity of some sewing notions (scissors in particular) that some quilters own.  I have 7 pair, including the large and small Karen Kay Buckley ones in my travelling toolbox and the pin-on ones for my longarm.  WAAAY less than others!  How about you?  How many pair of scissors do you use specifically for your hobby?

The other question I have for you relates to purchased patterns, and I would be grateful for your feedback on this.  I realize that patterns are not inexpensive – the average quilt pattern is in the $10 range. In comparison, a quilt magazine is about $7 and often contains 10 or more patterns.  I appreciate every purchase of one of my patterns.  I try to add value for the purchaser by including multiple sizes in each pattern.  Occasionally an alternate size isn’t appropriate, often because of the particular fabric being used in the pattern.  In these cases, I try to include a second design (as in the In the Reef pattern above).  How important is it to you to have multiple size or design options in a purchased pattern?  Please poll your quilting buddies (maybe forward this blog post 😊), then leave a comment below.  I will randomly select 1 responder to receive some of Pat Buckley Moss’ Amish Life collection.  I’ll leave this one open for 2 weeks, until August 8.  Good luck and thanks for your input.  In the meantime, I’ll be in my sewing room, plowing through 10 quilts…..



PS.  Congrats to Stephanie Woodward, the recipient of the bundle of lovely Canvas textures from Northcott’s Essentials.

19 Responses to “Sashiko, samples, studios and survey”

  1. stephanie Woodward July 25, 2018 at 5:55 am #

    I like lap size quilts, my buddies likes king size. To each her own, therefore multiple sizes are important to us. Keep up the great work, and once again thank you for allowing me to enter and win. I cannot wait to see the great fabrics and plan what to do with them.

  2. CateD July 25, 2018 at 7:07 am #

    Most often it is important to have different sized offered. Thanks for asking

  3. Michele T July 25, 2018 at 7:07 am #

    Having the option for different sizes or design is really important to me as I prefer smaller quilts to make I hand quilt all my quilts which is very time consuming, so size is all important (otherwise a large quilt is set aside in favour of a quicker project!)

  4. Linda Jackson July 25, 2018 at 8:06 am #

    Hey PattI! Man, you make me feel like a slacker!! LOL
    I have to admit to rarely buying individual patterns, as you say magazines are cheaper with more patterns in it (often with multiple size layouts as well), as well as thousands of free online patterns.
    So for me to buy a single pattern i have to absolutely LOVE it or it is attached to a kit that I can’t live without.
    What about a leaflet with 3 or 4 patterns on it?
    As for scissors….I thought that wasn’t a thing in my house but apparently it is. I have 9 pairs (9!?!?) that are in my sewing room and others around the house so that no one uses my sewing scissors.

  5. Kathy C July 25, 2018 at 10:36 am #

    I like the option of different sizes, depending who/what it is being made for.

  6. Fireside Quilter July 25, 2018 at 3:17 pm #

    Having an option for different sizes is important to me. I’ve bought quite a few patterns over the years and I always choose a pattern that has size variations…. especially if it’s a pattern that I love to bits and want to make several! I also like the idea of having other design ideas and even colour options!!

  7. Shirley Mandler July 26, 2018 at 6:16 am #

    I like multiple size options. I also hate square quilts unless it’s a king sized quilt or a smallish wall hanging. I prefer making quilts that will be useful in the future, like double bed sized or larger. Small projects don’t excite me.

  8. cozyquiltslb July 26, 2018 at 8:15 am #


  9. cozyquiltslb July 26, 2018 at 8:18 am #

    My first preference would be multiple sizes that way I don’t need to do the math…bedsize, and lap. Second would be multiple layouts and colourways, Thirdly would be suggested quilting designs

  10. Jean Hunter July 26, 2018 at 4:47 pm #

    I, too, like multiple size options. I also love to see your colour choices and combinations.

  11. Irene Plato July 30, 2018 at 6:13 pm #

    Multiple size options for me too.

  12. Bev Smith August 1, 2018 at 1:29 am #

    I also like multiple size patterns. I usually make lap size quilts which are great for gifts, baby quilts and table covers and runners. I can’t wait to get my hands on some of the ones you have shown here.

  13. Sandy Allen August 1, 2018 at 7:30 am #

    I prefer patterns with multiple sizes. Most of the time, I am trying to find a pattern to fit the fabrics I have, not the other way around.

  14. Sherry Southgate August 1, 2018 at 7:50 am #

    Since almost all of the quilts I do are hand applique, I appreciate when a pattern includes different settings instead of sizing. I am good at applique but not good at figuring out how to measure or put them in different arrangements.

  15. Virginia Keast August 1, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Great patterns in this collection. I do like the option of several sizes because sometimes I have an idea in mind and when it comes to do it I need a different size and I am definitely not good at math. Keep on sending us these great patterns.

  16. Jan August 1, 2018 at 11:26 am #

    I don’t think I have ever put a pattern I love back on the shelf because it did not include size options. That said, I would not buy a king-sized pattern to make a lap quilt but I would do the opposite. Make something bigger is much easier than making something smaller.

  17. Christi August 2, 2018 at 3:03 am #

    Sometimes multiple sizes isn’t going to work but if it does yes of course I want that. A couple of years ago I bought a pattern that has you set the pieces on and stitch them down with a blanket stitch. I wrote the designer and asked why she didn’t include instructions for inset triangles. She wrote back I could do that myself. Needless to say I won’t buy her patterns again. If I wanted to do it myself why buy the pattern? If I spend 10-12 I want clear, complete total instructions.

  18. Jenny August 5, 2018 at 9:29 am #

    Multiple sizes are important and often help me decide whether or not to buy a pattern. An added bonus would be a few options about colourways – not necessarily photos of finished blocks but even fabric swatches would be helpful.

  19. Shirley (Petunia Pinner!!) August 13, 2018 at 11:40 am #

    I do like the multiple sizes in a pattern, but it’s not a purchase-buster if not included. Although magazines have multiple patterns in them – who actually makes more than the one pattern that caught their eye to buy the magazine.
    Happy sewing!!

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