Thursday, January 11, 2018

Christmas PJs - and QUILTS!

My mother gave me new pyjamas every Christmas when I was young. And it was the ONE present I could open on Christmas Eve.

I continued this tradition with my own children and have started it with my granddaughters too.

I made them nighties and coordinating quilts this year. They opened the nighties on Christmas Eve and the quilts were part of their Christmas Day presents.


Alice's Quilt


Brooklyn's Quilt

Snuggling with their quilts - Christmas morning

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Happy New Year - Christmas Preparations!

My time before Christmas was extremely busy. That's why you haven't heard from me in almost a month!  Here is a bit of what I was doing.

I spent several days looking after my granddaughter Brooklyn. I decided it would be fun to have her help make some cookies to give to family members.

Here she is helping with 'thimble cookies'.  I found the perfect 'thing' for her to use to make the indent. It was too hard to have her use a thimble. We tried all the thimbles I had - such small fingers on a 2-1/2 year old!

She also made gift tags (with Grammie's help) for each package of cookies.  She enjoyed making thumb prints with my red ink pad and I turned them into little birds. She loves birds, especially watching them come to our feeders just outside our back door!

It was such fun watching her hand out her gifts on Christmas Day. She was sure to tell everyone 'it's got a birdie on it'!

Come back tomorrow to see the sewing and quilting I did in the last couple of weeks before Christmas.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

On the Go - Last Class Sample

I finished my last sample for Calico Cupboard Spring classes yesterday.  

This is On the Go, a fun modern quilt.

Here is a close-up of the quilting. I really enjoyed planning the quilting for this quilt and I practised longarm ruler work and free motion designs.

Class details:

Mar 9 and Mar 16: "On the Move"
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (2 sessions)   $60
A modern, fun and easy quilt project!  No special rulers required!  Yes, those triangles are all different sizes but the unique way to make them is very simple! Join Daphne the designer, for 2 fun and productive sessions.  You can make a baby or lap size quilt in class. We will discuss in class how to make a larger size as well.  This class is suitable for all levels of quilters, with an emphasis on confident beginners.

This is a great way to showcase 4 theme fabrics and you just need Fat Quarters of those 4. Add some supporting prints and solids and you'll have a great quilt too!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

The Planning is Done, the Dates are Booked!

I am excited to share the upcoming Classes and the Block of Month that will be starting at Calico Cupboard in January!  Registration is now open! 

Water Reflections Block of the Month
This stunning 6-month Block of the Month quilt was designed by Sue Harvey & Sandy Boobar of Pine Tree Country Quilts.  It features fabric from Northcott's Artisan Spirit Water Garden collection.

There are two versions for this quilt. 
One has a panel; the other is pieced in the centre.  You will need to choose one version for your quilt.

Instructions for both quilt versions are included in your patterns.  The full-colour patterns are printed on cardstock and your pattern and fabric kit will be packaged in a clear zipper bag - a great way to stay organized!

Skills you will learn as you make this quilt include:
  • precision piecing and pressing
  • partial-seaming and fussy-cutting
  • set-in seams
  • cutting 30-degree angled pieces
  • machine or hand applique
  • half square triangle units
Sign up is available immediately, and the first Block kit will be ready in January 2018.  I will be doing 1-1/2 hour monthly Demos, from January to June. There will be a small fee to join these Demo sessions and you can sign up now for these too.

The deadline to sign up for the Block of the Month is January 10, 2018.

My other Classes from January to March

Jan 27th:   Fine Finishes - 6 Ways to Bind Your Quilts   10 a.m. - 4 p.m.     $60
You will finish the edges of sample-size quilts using 6 different methods, which will become your reference samples. Daphne will show you finishing methods for ALL types of quilts and options for both hand and machine sewn finishes.
Jan 26th:  Beginner Free Motion Quilting    10 a.m. to 1 p.m.      $30
In this introductory workshop you will gain confidence and begin to develop your own style and designs.  Learn how to stitch interesting and creative patterns without having to continually turn your quilt through your sewing machine.

Also offered in February - February 3rd: 1:30 to 4:30 pm

Feb 20th: Machine Applique FUNdamentals  
10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.    $35

Step by step instructions, including how to use fusible web, and stitching the applique. Concentration will be on satin stitch, however blanket stitch will also be demonstrated. You will learn about setting up your machine and how to stitch smooth curves and sharp points. This class is suitable for all levels of quilters.

Mar 9 and Mar 16: "On the Move"
10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (2 sessions)   $60
A modern, fun and easy quilt project!  No special rulers required!  Yes, those triangle are all different sizes but the unique way to make them is very simple! Join Daphne the designer, for 2 fun and productive sessions.  You can make a baby or lap size quilt in class. We will discuss in class how to make a larger size as well.  This class is suitable for all levels of quilters, with an emphasis on confident beginners.

Most samples are on display at the shop. I am still quilting 'On the Move' and it will be there next week!

Drop in and have a look or call the store at 250-656-2722 to sign up.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A Walk Down Memory Lane

I just received these pictures from Diane G. in New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania. Diane's quilt was a second place winner in her county fair.

This quilt is a 'walk down memory lane' for me because it is a pattern I designed in 1999! The Millennium Quilt was a way to celebrate the start of the new century. It was an online Block of the Month sponsored by Patchworks Studio (one of the only quilting websites in Canada at the time). Quilters were asked to send in pictures of their completed quilts. Perhaps a dozen or so would send pictures............

The flood of pictures was AMAZING! And from all over the world.  I have a photo album full of pictures. Yes, actual photographs! Sending electronic photographs was not easy back then.

Netherlands, Ontario, Michigan

Here are a few pictures of some of the other pages in my album.

California, Oklahoma, Virginia, Iowa, Mississippi!

Maryland (3 quiltrs) and Australia (2 quilters)

Washington State
One of the few electronic pictures received from Roxy A.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Another New Pattern

Add an asymmetrical border to this digital panel to make this wall quilt
that celebrates the majestic bald eagle.

You can also use any 24" x 40" panel for this design.

Quilt Size: 40" x 58"

Skill Level: Confident Beginner

Fabrics shown are by Northcott 

REMINDER - Spread the Net Challenge

I will donate $5.00 from the retail sale of every Patchworks Studio pattern
to Spread the Net

One malaria net costs $10.00 so every pattern you buy will pay for 1/2 a net.
Buy 2 patterns and you'll buy ONE NET!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Quilts for SALE

Are you looking for gifts for family, friends or even yourself? I have added more quilts and quilted items to the 'Quilts for Sale' section of the Patchworks Studio website.

They include

Placemats (holiday and year-round themes)

Table Runners - SHOP HERE

Christmas Runner - 14" x 42"

Wall Quilts - SHOP HERE
Ariano Shadows - 29" square

Lap and Bed Quilts 
Starstruck - 51" x 67"

Blue Stars - 65" x 78"

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

New Pattern

Crossroad Squares is my latest pattern. This quilt uses Island Batik fabrics; it would be great in other fabrics too. Choose 1 large scale 'theme' fabric and select 2 coordinates and a background.

Here are some other ideas for this design:

Monday, November 20, 2017

Spread the Net Challenge

Each year, malaria kills an estimated 438,000 people, and it remains the leading cause of death of children under 5 in Africa.
Since 2007, Spread the Net has helped protect the lives of over 41 million people by contributing to the delivery of more than 19 million malaria-preventing bed nets to families in Africa.

Co-founded by Rick Mercer and Belinda Stronach in 2006, the Spread the Net Student Challenge is a friendly competition between Canadian schools to raise funds for bed nets. The top fundraising elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools receive a visit from Rick Mercer himself and appear on an episode of the Rick Mercer Report!
This is a cause that I strongly support. You can read more about the Challenge here.
Starting TODAY and running until January 29, 2018, I will donate $5.00 from the retail sale of every Patchworks Studio pattern to Spread the Net. One malaria net costs $10.00 so every pattern you buy will pay for 1/2 a net. Buy 2 patterns and you'll buy ONE NET!
Why this project?
The reasons are many....
  1. This is the final season for The Mercer Report, a Canadian comedy/public affairs show hosted by comedian (and all round adventure seeker) Rick Mercer. It's a fitting tribute to all the years of laughs and sober thought Rick has given me and my family.
  2. Every TWO MINUTES a child dies from malaria. The scary truth - malaria is treatable and preventable. For just $10 one bed net can help save the lives of two children for up to three years.
  3. My father and I were born in Africa - my father in Zimbabwe and me in South Africa. A part of my heart will always be there.
  4. Because this is a 'school/student' challenge it can educate and encourage lifelong support for charitable giving by students. This puts a 'face' on who we help - it is person-to-person giving.
  5. I have two 'under 5' people in my life - my beautiful granddaughters, Brooklyn and Alice, and I can't imagine having to protect them from this killer disease.
  6. And why is January 29, 2018, the end date? This date is my father's birthday. He would have been 89 years old. This is a way to honour him too.

I hope you'll get on board and buy a pattern or 2 today.
Here is the link to all the Patchworks Studio patterns giving season is coming.
Why not buy a pattern for yourself and one for a friend?
Together you will SPREAD THE NET!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

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 my 'on demand' workshop TOO EASY STAINED GLASS at the Academy of Quilting and turn those fabrics into quilts.

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,

You can enroll for this class any time - it is an 'on demand' class.  
ENROLL TODAY and join me for Too Easy Stained Glass.   

See you in the Classroom!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Online Learning ...... Whenever it works for YOU!

Do you take classes from the comfort of home?  In your PJs, with all your 'stuff' close at hand?  That's the beauty of online learning. No need to pack up your machine and all your quilting supplies - and find that you forgot something important, like your foot pedal, or that you have the PERFECT fabric for the project....on the shelf at home!

Yes, you do miss some wonderful aspects of classes when you learn online at home. Some of the in-person social nature of classes may be lacking but I find a combination of online learning and in-person workshops work very well for most of us.  And, depending on how the online class is designed, you CAN still have a connection with the other students in the class.

And the best online workshops work WITH YOUR SCHEDULE...also known as 'On Demand'. That means you don't have to join the class on a particular day at a particular time.  So, whether you are in Canada or Australia or England, you do not need to worry about a difference in time zones. 

One of the On Demand workshops that I teach at the Academy of Quilting is Seminole Piecing.

Seminole patchwork was developed by Native American Seminole women in south Florida in the late 1800s. It was, like so much patchwork, originally a product of necessity. A bad winter made it impossible to travel to down river for new supplies, so the women used up the last strips of old fabric. These designs were first painstakingly constructed by hand. They used these very intricate looking bands to decorate their garments. The advent of the sewing machine in the early years of the twentieth century revolutionized Seminole design and production.

Women began creating more elaborate patterns which often reflected their individual tribes. A competition developed among designers. All of this was fueled by the fact that tourists were willing to purchase clothing that was decorated with the patchwork designs. By the 1920's, Seminole women were actively courting the tourist trade and had begun using prints in their patchwork design.

Here is a jacket I made that incorporates several Seminole bands.

Would you like to learn to create your own Seminole patchwork?  In this class you will learn how to make 8 different designs and can use them to make a totebag, bolster pillow and a wall quilt. This is such an intriguing patchwork method and easier to do than you may think. If you can sew a 1/4" seam, you can make magic with this technique.

You will use rotary cutting, strip piecing and re-sewing to create the patchwork.  We will begin with simple designs that you can sew in an hour and then progress to more complex designs that build on your new-found skills.

The basic technique is familiar to most quilters: sew strips of fabric together, cut them into pieces and then sew them back together again. The bold, graphic designs that result from this process have many uses. You will be inspired by my suggestions to use the bands to trim garments and home d├ęcor items.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Ripless Paper Piecing - faster, easier and no paper to remove!

Did you know that I teach online classes?  This is through the Academy of Quilting and most of my workshops are On Demand. That means you can start anytime that works for you. All the classes have several lessons but you don't need to wait a week or more between lessons. Work at your own pace, fit it into YOUR schedule.

See my classes here.

Today I'd like to tell you about the Ripless Paper Piecing class.  This has been one of my most popular online (and in-person) workshops for the past few years.  

We all love to be accurate when we piece our quilts. One of the ways to ensure this is with 'foundation paper piecing'. There are changes we make to our sewing machine and some preparation to do for this technique. 

With my 'RIPLESS' method there are no adjustment to make for sewing and the preparation step doesn't take as much time.  But the real saving is what happens after you sew your block!  You save both TIME and PAPER because there is no need to rip the paper from the back of your block and throw it away.

Intrigued?  Here is the class project.  It is not large and you can probably pull fabrics from your stash; you can make the quilt in your two favourite colours.

As a bonus in this workshop I talk a lot about how 'value choices' are so important when you choose fabrics for your quilts. I think this is a section you will refer to over and over as you continue your quilting journey.

So....remember, this class is ON DEMAND - you can start today, or tomorrow, or next week.  And you can fit the 3 lessons into YOUR schedule.

Play the video to see what some previous students created in this class:

Hope to see you in the classroom! Sign up TODAY.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Online Workshop - Paper Piecing Paradise

Paper piecing, foundation piecing, sew and flip, whatever you call this method, using it you will give you perfect blocks and no more chopped off points! 

This is an On Demand workshop - you can start any time!

During the 4 sessions I will show you how to create your foundations, select and prepare your fabrics and how to sew perfect blocks every time. Even traditional blocks can be pieced this way; it is not just for small blocks or unusual blocks with sharp points. 

You will have access to the 'Classroom Forum' to ask questions and share your results. I can't wait to meet you and share my tips for success.

You will learn how to 
  •          download a foundation piecing design from the Internet
  •          choose a foundation material
  •          set up your machine for foundation piecing
  •          foundation piece a cabin block
  •          use Add-a-Quarter™ rulers when foundation piecing
  •          make multiples of a foundation
  •          pre-cut shapes to speed up foundation piecing
  •          foundation piece nine different blocks including multi-part blocks
  •          foundation piece strips of Flying Geese for borders
  •          chain sew when foundation piecing (and why you would want to)
  •          add an inner border and outer foundation pieced border
  •          finish your wall hanging

You can make the layout as shown in the class sample or rearrange the blocks to create a sampler or a completely different scene. This is a paper piecing starter class, suitable for beginners with basic quilt making skills.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Machine Applique FUNdamentals - Spring Sample

Just finished this new class sample for my Machine Applique class at Calico Cupboard.  Was lots of fun selecting fabrics and creating the design.

Full schedule of classes will be announced soon. Why not sign up for my Newsletter and be the first to know.  Signup box is in the right sidebar. I'll send you a free pattern as my gift!

Saturday, November 4, 2017

International Quilt Festival - The Quilts

As a part of my time at Quilt Market I can see the quilts on display for International Quilt Festival which starts 1 1/2 days after Market ends. It is wonderful to wander through all the exhibits with very few people. I can take my time, take pictures of quilts (where permitted) without asking people to move out of the way and I can read the posted signage with each quilt. Here is a hint to all you photo-takers - take a picture of the 'writeup' right after the quilt and you'll know who made it and the story behind it.

There are HUNDREDS of quilts on display - so I can't see everything! I review the list of exhibits and choose the ones I want to see.

Here is a brief selection of the quilts (and one 'installation') that caught my eye. 

This first set of quilts were a part of the

Quilts: A World of Beauty

the annual Judged Show of the

International Quilt Association

These pictures were taken BEFORE the awards were announced the day after I left. 

At the Waterhole by Sheila Finzer, Terrebonne, Oregon
The elephants were stunning but the shadowy images of the trees in the background also spoke to me.
Sheila was inspired by a photo she took  while in Kruger National Park in 2011.

Awarded Second place in the Art-Pictorial category.
See the Leaves for the Tree by Marilyn Farquhar, Heidelberg, Ontario

Winner of a Judge's Choice award - choice of David Taylor
Unfurling by Frieda Anderson, Elgin, Illinois
Frieda dyes all her own fabrics; this pieced includes cotton fabric and silk, rayon and cotton hand-dyed thread.

Frieda's quilt was awarded First Place in the Innovative Pieced category.

Uptown Rail Fence by Maria Shell, Anchorage, Alaska
Maria describes herself as a 'bit maker' who then builds them into bigger and bigger compositions.
I love the energy and colour of this rail fence. I also see it as a 9-patch!

Awarded Third Place in the Innovative Pieced category

Dawning Forest by Soyoung Chung, South Korea
I love the contrast between the pieced background and the textured trees.
The quilting throughout the background adds subtle texture while the trees are heavily textured.
The tree on the right has the perfect texture for a Lodgepole Pine - one of my most favourite trees.

Majestic Redwoods by Pat Durbin, Arcata, California
Tree quilts always stop me in my tracks!
Hwasung Fortress by Mikyng Jang, Seoul, South Korea
This is 'wholecloth' quilt using Thread-Drawing to create the design - AMAZING!

Direction Optional - Group Quilt by 2016 members of Bee Sewcial, Denver, Colorado
Inspired by the #BeeSewcial January 2016 "Linear" prompt/theme
using a palette of off-whites, yellows, grays and pops of colour.

The theme was interpreted in so many ways and the innovative ideas are stunning in this piece.


Skyline by Linda Sullivan, Quilted by Teresa Silva, Arcadia, California
This quilt was in the Tactile Architecture(tm) 2017 exhibit.
Windchimes - curated by Barbara Hollinger.

The ten members of Fiber Artists @ Loose Ends created this installation.
This is only one of the 4 sections of the installation. The pieces rotated and moved in the breeze.
 Is a visit to International Quilt Festival on your 'bucket list'?  This is only a very small portion of what you can see. Beauty and inspiration all around! Start making your plans to go to Houston.

Next year's Festival dates are:

November 8 - 11, 2018
Preview Night, November 7
Classes begin November 5 (YES, there are also amazing classes you can take!)

George R. Brown Convention Center
Houston, Texas