Thursday, August 17, 2017

Raffle Quilt - Library Fundraiser

Norma, CEO/Librarian, contacted me for permission to use my National Tapestry quilt as a fundraiser for the Thessalon Public Library in Ontario.

The draw was held at the town's 150 Canada Day celebrations and I'm pleased to report that the fundraiser was a success!

Here is a picture of the quilt on Canada Day.

I'm happy to give permission for these sorts of events. Just contact me if you are planning to raise funds with one of my quilt designs.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Great Quilting Info...........

I recently discovered some very interesting quilt stories on the Quilts Inc. website.

Suzy's Fancy is a series of columns written by Suzanne Labry.  A recent one caught my eye..........

A Queen's Protest Quilt.....

I saw this crazy quilt made in 1895 by Queen Liliuokalanithe last reigning monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, when I was in Honolulu just before my Quilting Cruise in 2009. 

Thanks to Suzanne for sharing the story of this quilt. 

Why not add Suzanne's columns to your 'must read' list.  I know I will.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Fall Workshops - Calico Cupboard

I will be teaching several workshops at Calico Cupboard here in Victoria.  I'm offering each workshop multiple times to accommodate as many students as possible.  

To book a class, please call Calico Cupboard at (250) 658-2722

Here are the classes and the dates:

Machine Appliqué FUNdamentals - offered 2 times

·         Friday, September 15, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm 
·         Saturday, November 18, 1:30 pm – 4:00 pm

Learn how to use fusible web to make wonderful appliqué designs. Step by step instructions include tracing, fusing and finally stitching the appliqué. We will concentrate on satin stitch. Blanket stitch will also be demonstrated. You will learn all about setting up your machine
 and how to stitch smooth curves and sharp points.

Machine Quilting with Rulers – Domestic Machines - offered 2 times

·         Saturday, September 16, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm 
·         Friday, November 17, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

In this workshop you will learn to create beautiful quilting by using specialty longarm quilting rulers on your domestic sewing machine. Learn to use rulers to stitch incredibly smooth lines, curves and motifs while free motion quilting. Daphne will share tips and techniques to achieve success with this exciting new development in the quilting world!

You will receive a special fabric pack and instructions to make a quilt sample to use in class when you sign up for this workshop.

You MUST have the machine quilting ruler foot for your machine brand installed on your sewing machine. You also need rulers designed to use with your particular foot.

This workshop is for quilters with Intermediate to Advanced Free Motion Quilting, skills and who are very familiar with their machine and its functions.

Machine Quilting – Beginner Free Motion Quilting - offered 4 times

·         Saturday, September 16, 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm
·         Thursday, October 5, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm 
·         Saturday, October 21, 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm 
·         Friday, November 17, 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Class Description:

Free motion quilting is like 'drawing with your sewing machine'! You are in control of how and where your machine sews. You are free to stitch interesting and creative patterns and you don't need to continually turn your quilt through your sewing machine.

In this introductory workshop you will gain confidence and begin to develop your own style and designs. Daphne will share her best tips, the ones she has learned from over 20 years of free motion FUN!

Book your class today by phoning Calico Cupboard at (250) 658-2722

Monday, August 7, 2017

BC Day - Red Cross Appeal

Today is British Columbia Day and my thoughts are with all the people of our province who are impacted by the wildfires burning in many areas. 

People have lost homes, their livestock and have been evacuated. Firefighters from areas throughout the province and from all over the world are working to contain the fires and save homes. 

We thank them all for the work they do.

If you would like to help the people impacted, please consider making a donation to the Canadian Red Cross.through their British Columbia Fires Appeal. 

No amount is too small.  Thank you for supporting our beautiful province.

This map is from the BC Wildfire Service and shows the current fire situation.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Workshop Number THREE

The third class I took recently was a one-day workshop with my friend, Elaine Quehl, sponsored by the Victoria Quilters' Guild.  I took a fabric dying workshop with Elaine at Quilt Canada a few years ago and enjoyed her relaxed and informative style of teaching.  

I signed up for Liberated Strip Piecing, gathered a scrap bag of hand-dyed fabric by Ricky Tims and some of my own, my sewing machine and tools and off I went. We were in the gym so each student had an entire table to work at - it was wonderful to have all that space!

I had no plan in mind and with the guidelines that Elaine showed us I was soon making units. It was a wonderful day of playing with fabric and arranging the pieces I made on my design wall.  

This is my piece so far....

I have ideas about the composition but it will have to wait for a month or so. I've been 'drawn away' to work on preparations for my Alaska Cruise and making a new pattern quilt to display at International Quilt Market. I leave next week to teach on the Alaska Cruise and my quilt must be finished and shipped before I leave! 

I definitely like this way of working. I have done other 'improvisational' work. It is a nice change from the precision required for the quilts I design for patterns.  Here are a couple of examples of other pieces I've made:

Miyagi Tsunami, 2013
Birches, 2007

I will definitely finish the piece I started in Elaine's workshop. I have set my portable design wall near my sewing machine so I can think about ways to adjust/improve the composition as I work on other projects. I'll share it when it is finished.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Painting Class

Yesterday I hinted about another class I took earlier this summer. I said I dipped into the 'paint pots'. I bet you were thinking that I was painting on fabric.....

Nope....I know how to do that. I have always wanted to learn about painting with acrylic paint. As in, painting on a canvas.

I registered for a 4-session workshop at the McTavish Academy of Art.  You may remember that this is where my friend Peggy and I displayed our work for a Studio Tour earlier this year. We were very impressed with the Academy and it's owners.

I can 'paint' a landscape with fabric.............

but painting with acrylic paint is so different!

Here is the result of my class.

I used a photograph from a previous Alaska Cruise as my inspiration. 

I definitely have a LOT to learn....and I actually would prefer to paint more abstract designs. I have all the tools and paint now so I'll have to put painting time on my schedule!

I had one more 'learning opportunity' and I'll tell you about that one on Friday.

Monday, July 31, 2017

The Teacher takes Classes

Each year I try to take at least one workshop. I think it is good for the teacher to become the student. I always learn something new by putting on this new 'hat'.  This Spring/Summer I outdid myself!  I decided to expand my knowledge and skills by taking 3 (yes THREE) workshops.

First was a 2-day session to learn more about using my longarm machine. This seminar was hosted by Cloth Castle here in the Victoria area. Marjiree Kale (HandiQuilter Ambassador) showed us how to use stencils and templates to begin a design on the first day and the 2nd day was all about feathers.

I have quite a bit of experience with free-hand quilting on my machine but this gave me lots of ideas for future quilts. We had time to test our ideas on the 2 machines that were set up in the store. Now....if I could just have more time for quilting!

Tomorrow I'll tell you about how I've 'dipped my toes' into the Paint Pot!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Designing New Patterns - Fall Fabric Collections

Another task that has taken a lot of my time in the last few weeks is designing new patterns for upcoming fabrics. This can be a long and very detailed process.

These are the files for each pattern I have designed in the last few weeks. 
It's a total of 7 NEW PATTERNS!
I design all my quilts and projects using Electric Quilt software. Over the years I have become a very experienced user of the software. I can 'sing and dance' with Electric Quilt!

When I am designing I use scans of the actual fabrics that are in development by Northcott. Sometimes I have some existing projects that have been waiting for just the right fabric.

Other times I'll get a 'seed' of an idea; perhaps do a small sketch on paper.

and then I use the software to design, develop and colour my idea.

Sometimes that first idea will be great; often it is not.   These are 'rejects' from this round of designing. I'll keep them though. Perhaps a future collection will be just right.

I often take that initial idea and it leads to other options. Perhaps it is another way to arrange the design, another way to colour patches with fabric and finally I'll have something I LOVE.

Most of my quilts are 'patchwork' but sometimes I need to add some applique to make a better design.  I need to show as accurate a representation of the quilt as possible so that means I need to DRAW the applique in the software too.

 For one of the new designs I wanted to show motifs cut from one of the fabrics and appliqued on the quilt. That meant I had to draw the actual shape of the 'fish' that I wanted to applique. The pictures below show the drawing space in Electric Quilt where I traced a fish from the fabric and a part of the quilt where I placed this fish and another one.

Sometimes I need to make parts of my design using fabric so I can be sure it 'works'. Here are some test samples for a couple of the patterns.  I got VERY EXCITED when I figured out how these sections can be made with very easy patchwork!

I made lots of notes at this stage. They will help me when I write the pattern. Even the seam pressing details can help a quilter be more successful with their piecing. Pressing will be important for the 'blues' sample, something that I discovered by doing these fabric tests.

Of course the design is just the first step!  I still need to calculate the fabric amounts required, write the instructions, draw diagrams, check and re-check and edit, edit, edit.

And, finally, there is a final pattern that can go out all over the world to inspire quilters to make their next quilt.

I hope this gives you just a bit of insight into the processes I use when designing new patterns.

See my current pattern collection in the Patchworks Studio Store.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Teaching Workshops - Calico Cupboard

Calico Cupboard (quilt shop in Victoria) has moved to a new location and has a great teaching space. I was invited by Diane to teach a few workshops in June and July.  

There are now 23 local quilters who have CONFIDENCE with Free Motion Quilting. This workshop was on the schedule once and more and more quilters kept asking me to schedule more sessions. I taught the class 3 times!  

It is on the schedule for the Fall too. The full fall class schedule will be available in a few weeks. 

The other workshop requested was Shattered Crystals, a pattern designed by Pine Tree Country Quilts. Seven enthusiastic quilters joined me for this workshop. We were making the smaller quilt size but several students wanted to make it larger.  Here is the picture that Sue D. sent me.

Sue did a great job adding borders to the quilt. I think the bright border around the center really enhances the patchwork. Sue also 'echoed' the center by including narrow borders between the wide borders. An excellent design choice Sue.

I had a wonderful time being back in the classroom. Thank you to all my wonderful students and I'll see you in September!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Did you think I was on Vacation?

Not on vacation....lots going on....designing, teaching, learning, quilting! I'll tell all the stories over the next few weeks.

But today I have to share this great picture taken on Canada Day (July 1st).  

We always meet at the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast in Sidney. This year we all dressed up for Canada's 150th birthday.  The girls loved the Sidney Days parade too. We had a great day!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Little Ones on the Way?

Are you expecting some additions to your family? Want a couple of quick quilts for gifts? Thinking of getting ahead of the gift giving holidays?  I have 2 NEW patterns that might be just what you are looking for.

First is Baby Beginnings. I designed this quilt because I LOVE this new fabric collection from Northcott.  Who can resist flannel fabric with ONESIES! The fabric is called Hello Baby - what a great name

This fabric collection has 3 different colourways and I couldn't choose just one for the pattern - sometimes we want a quilt for a little girl, sometimes for a boy and sometimes we are making it ahead and there ARE new parents who have decided to be SURPRISED!

So I included all 3 colours in my pattern for a baby quilt and cot quilt.

PS368 Baby Beginnings - Baby Quilt 36" x 45"

PS368 Baby Beginnings - Cot Quilt 36" x 36"

Other Colourways for both sizes

These fabrics will be in your local quilt shops starting July (that's just around the corner!) and the pattern is available now.  Order this pattern from my Patchworks Studio Store TODAY!

The other new pattern also uses a Flannel fabric. This fabric collection is called Snow Bears - wintery polar bears having fun in the snow! This is a Quilts for Kids collection. That means that a percentage of all sales of these fabrics is donated to Quilts for Kids Inc.

I called this pattern Bear Tracks - I can imagine bear footprints in the snow!

My pattern includes a large quilt (54" x 74"), small quilt (39" x 44") and a pillow (11" x 27").

These fabrics will also be in your local quilt shops starting July and the pattern is available now.  Order this pattern from my Patchworks Studio Store TODAY!

Hope these patterns give you inspiration for some fun summertime projects!

Wednesday, June 14, 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 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!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

A Successful Studio Tour

I am spending today re-sorting and re-arranging following a very successful weekend Studio Tour. No....I didn't have to tidy MY studio and invite the public into my home.  My friend Peggy and I shared a space at a local elementary school that is no longer used as a school.

Two very enterprising young artists have created the McTavish Academy of Art.  What a wonderful community art space. It is amazing to see how they have transformed the school into art space, a Yoga studio and community gathering venue.

We were assigned the Dance Studio to show our work and were in shock 
when we saw how large the space was! 

 We were not daunted....and managed to create a wonderful display of our work.

We covered the end 'Dance' wall and a part of the mirrored wall with quilts.
Special thanks to Alan for helping us hang the quilts!

 The 'barre' under the window was perfect to display MORE quilts.


Tables were decorated with small art pieces and table runners.

Wooden stands were perfect for wallhangings and more quilts.

More tables filled the center of the room.

Peggy's sewn creations, including amazing re-cycled denim handbags and hats, 
were displayed near the entrance.

Some of my work that did not sell during the tour will be added to my website's For Sale section soon.  I'll let you know when to check it out!  In the meantime, if you see something in the pictures that interests you drop me an email and I'll let you know if it still available.

Thank you to everyone who supported the Art Sea Spring Studio Tour.  

Monday, June 5, 2017

Upcoming Workshop - Calico Cupboard, Victoria

Our local quilt shop, Calico Cupboard, has moved to a new location and along with a lovely new space there is a great classroom!  Quilters visiting the new store have been asking about classes and several have been scheduled for this month.

On June 24 join me in the new classroom to make Shattered Crystals.  

This amazing and easy quilt uses just 3 fabrics and the effect is stunning.  Choose either white or black and Northcott's Artisan Spirit Expressions digital panel fabric. Add your favourite accent colour and you are all set.

Class is 12 noon - 4 pm and the cost is $40 + gst + pattern.  

Drop by the new store or 
phone 250-658-2722 to reserve your spot.

Calico Cupboard  is located around the back or lower end of 4500 West Saanich Road.  At the front of the building is NexGen Hearing.  There are two ways to get to the shop:

a) You can access the driveway beside the front of the building (between us and the Olive Grove Restaurant) off of West Saanich Road


b) you can access the driveway from the side road, Viewmont Road. Turn off West Saanich Road onto Viewmont (beside the Med Grill Restaurant parking lot), and we are the second turnoff (1st is the dance studio, second is CALICO CUPBOARD, 3rd is Weight Watchers).

Friday, June 2, 2017

Save the Date - June 10/11

Preparations are in full swing for the Art Sea/Saanich Peninsula Spring Studio Tour. My cutting table is covered in fabric and projects in their final stages. I'm sure my friend (and co-exhibitor) Peggy F. is in the same state! 

Here are a couple of items she will be showing when we invite the public to see our work.

The tour  is on June 10 & 11, 10 am - 4 pm.

We will be exhibiting at the

1720 McTavish Road
North Saanich