Home for the Holdays

Brody has decided that it is to cold and snowy for small dogs and this is what he will do all winter!  Me too!

Brody has decided that it is to cold and snowy for small dogs and this is what he will do all winter!  Me too!



Hello Friends.  These past few weeks have been taken up with preparations for the holidays and the arrival of our girls.  Lauren will be flying in from London England with her significant other, Anthony, to spend Christmas in the “great white north”.  Mother Nature is co-operating, and sending us snow and cold weather for Anthony’s first Canadian Christmas.  Erin is arriving from Guelph, before Christmas to help with the annual pierogi making. Always a treat for me, as I get to spend some mother-daughter catch up time in the process.  Erin’s partner, will join us for New Years.  We will have all the family at home for the first time and the Alexiuk house will be bursting with activity and welcomed chaos.

I am feeling quite organized this year, the decorations are up and my shopping is all done so just some wrapping and cooking and I will be ready for the gang to arrive. I’m a bit scared to relax though, just in case the power goes out and then – well behind and scrambling again!  LOL

I am happy to report that I managed to complete the large quilt (minus the outer border – but done none the less) for Daniele just in time for the office party Friday.  Scratch that off the “To do” list.  I will quilt it in the new year when things quiet down. 

Daniele's Quilt - Starget, a pattern by Studio 180 designs.

Daniele's Quilt - Starget, a pattern by Studio 180 designs.

The tree wall hanging is stitched together but no borders and not quilted yet.  Hmmm, maybe if there’s time!! If not, we will get it ready for next Christmas.(don’t sweat the small stuff right!) Let us know how your list made out and please send pictures of your special Christmas projects.  

A pattern called "Holiday Stars" available at Cindy Bee's Quilt Shoppe in Espanola, Ont.

A pattern called "Holiday Stars" available at Cindy Bee's Quilt Shoppe in Espanola, Ont.

In the studio, the quilters who come on a weekly basis for classes have been busy making decorations and gifts for Christmas.






Classes at the studio will take a break now till mid-January.  I have several new ideas for classes for the new year.  So, I am hoping to get some quilting time in early in January to see them take shape.  







As the new year approaches plans for workshops and events begin to take shape. I am happy to announce that details have been finalized for the 2017 Northern Ontario Quilting Symposium. I will be sending out the information posters for this event early in January.  This year’s guest instructor will be Kathy Wylie (check out her website here).   Stay tuned for more information about this event when we can focus and the holidays are behind us. 

Well that about sums it up for now.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the friends of Quilting by the River for your support and patronage over the last year.  From my home to yours,

A very Merry Christmas and a safe and Happy New Year.    

Thanks for dropping by. Until next time, stay safe, stay warm and Happy Quilting.

It's the season to make lists!

Hello Friends.  I woke up this morning to a blanket of snow.  I guess there is no escaping it living here in Northern Ontario.  I was able to get my greenery into their pots and decorated for Christmas before that white stuff came and my fingers froze!  Brody and I have been enjoying some lovely walks along the tractor trail.  The bush looks so different without the leaves. Not the colourful palate of fall, just many shades of brown! Somehow, it always makes me feel like snuggling in a quilt made from flannel.  Hummmm!



Back at the house, it has been a productive few weeks here at the studio. I have made a good start at my gift list and I have gotten to some neglected chores around the house. Importantly, I finished a table runner that has been added to the “In Studio Sessions” one-day workshop repertoire. 

This runner is by Doug Leko called “Star Light”, found in his book Town Square.  Doug constructs his creations using Studio 180 tools.  If you have time, check out the many other patterns that he has on his website here.

If this runner is something that you are interested in making here with me, just give me a shout and we can arrange a day that is convenient for you to came to the studio.   For more information about this runner click here.

Just in time for this runner - look what arrived at the studio this week!

Just in time for this runner - look what arrived at the studio this week!

I have been able to carve out some precious piecing time for my own quilting. Remember that list I made of things to have done for Christmas?  Well, I am happy to report that I am well on my way to completing the quilt that will be a gift for one of the girls at my husband’s office.   

Almost finished is a new wall hanging inspired by my friend Leianne Monro McCallum (a quilting teacher in Uxbridge, Ontario). She recently posted a picture of these pieced tree blocks from a book by Kim Diehl, called Simple Christmas.  I loved the tree, but wanted only one tree and for it to be a little larger. So, I made it bigger and used my Tucker tools to construct the units.  I will repost when I have it finished but right now it is on the design wall. I am very excited about it and think it will look wonderful on the kitchen wall.   Gosh, now I have to finish it for sure…

Despite all this planning, I have not yet pulled out my unfinished Christmas projects from last year – I guess the new ones are more exciting.  How is your “To make for Christmas” list coming? 

The Storm at Sea workshop held on November 5th & 6th was a big success.  We were in a new venue (which always has me a bit nervous) but I did not blow any fuses and the room worked really well.  The quilters out did themselves with all their brilliant different colour combinations!  By the end of the weekend they were well on their way to finishing their projects.  A weekend of fun and learning with friends is just what is needed before the busy holiday season sets in. 

I am now back in the studio full time again, available if there is a project you are having problems with or need help starting.  Every day I try to get one thing off my list for Christmas, with my goal being a few days before the family arrives to just chill and quilt maybe!  I’ll let you know how that works out for me.  

Thanks for dropping by.  Until next time, stay safe, find that snow shovel and pull out a UFO!


Oh Goodness I found myself thinking of Christmas!

Hello friends.  I've been at camp for the better part of 3 weeks now.  This really cuts into my quilting time. I tried  to find time, when the family retreats to their quiet place, to do some planning, sketching and writing.

Today, a spec of anxiety crept in, when I realized that September is just around the corner, and with that so is - wait for it - Christmas.  With the family all at home (Lauren and Anthony here for holiday from the UK) there was the odd conversation about the plans for Christmas. 

This year I am really going to try to get organized, make a plan and start early. One big item on my “To Do” list is a full size quilt that I make as a gift for one of the employees at my husbands office.  I started this last year with a double bed size Hunter’s Star for our Assistant Joy.  Not sure who is next on the list but with limited piecing time for personal quilts I think I’d better start something soon.  

A while back I made the “Little Lacy Bag” by Border Creek Station.  This would be a great little gift for those special friends or family.  They stitch up quick and the Lacy Zipper is just so cute. 

Last Christmas I noticed that some of my wall hangings and seasonal table runners were getting other “old and used” looking .  We never really think about these things until we get to decorating mid-December and then - it’s to late!

So I’ve decided to make a list on my white board of all the things I’d like to get made.  Prep the fabric cutting, necessary appliqués and such, so when I have a fee Sunday, (this is where we have a good belly laugh) pull out the project and “Voila” Done!  

 If you have trouble sticking to a plan like I do, we can check up on one another occasionally.  We can share our progress or any suggestions and modifications to the plan. So send along your emails or comment in the comments section and we will see if we can beat this Christmas creation dilemma.  Oh, that reminds me, I have several I need quilted.  Anybody know a longarmer?  LOL

As promised, in preparation for the November workshop,  here is another Storm at Sea design variation.  This one is scrappy and great for those who have a stash that needs reduction.  

Scrappy Storm at Sea

Scrappy Storm at Sea

Thanks for dropping by.  Until next time, stay safe, enjoy the rest of August and watch out for fall mums!