Northern Neighbours

Free Motion Workshop with Tracey Russell.

Northern Ontario Quilting Symposium:  Free Motion Quilting with Tracey Russell

Northern Ontario Quilting Symposium:  Free Motion Quilting with Tracey Russell

"Waiting for the ice to melt".  Photo courtesy of Lake Penache Campers and cottagers   

"Waiting for the ice to melt".  Photo courtesy of Lake Penache Campers and cottagers


Hello Friends.  I can't help myself, I have to comment on the weather.   April 18th and we are fully covered in snow, with 2 feet of ice still on the lakes.  Not to mention the storms.   I am up north near Kirkland lake May 24, 25 and I sure hope I will not need my snow tires.  If I have to put up with winter this far into spring then I hope all the mosquitos have frozen.  On the bright side, quilting season has been extended by a few weeks before the spring chore list starts.  

This past weekend I had the pleasure of hosting Tracey Russell at the Northern Ontario Quilting Symposium.  Tracey is an amazing free motion quilter and did not let us down. Those in attendance left with their heads full of ideas and new techniques.  I can't wait to see the quilts that are a result of the weekend.  On a stormy note, Sunday saw the onset of a winter storm that brought us freezing rain, ice pellets and snow.  It made for an interesting drive home for the quilters and for our guest Tracey.  I am happy to report that all arrived to their destination safe and sound. 

I am off in the morning to Barrie Ontario where I have been invited to do a trunk show for the Kempenfelt Quilters Guild.  A big shout out to all the quilters there.  The weather seems to be behaving itself, but I have left my snow tires on just incase.  This time I have a few new quilts to debut, along with my two new patterns.  Of course I will be heading out early, I feel there is a shopping opportunity to be had.  


There has been some new arrivals in the studio in the past few weeks.  One of which is just a pure novelty.  I fell in love with Tatoo Elementz.  They are decorative decals for your sewing machine or where ever you want to pretty things up a little.  They are removable, and just so darn cute.  Juki and Millie both got some. Don't they look just darling?  You are always welcome to drop by and say "Hi" and have a look around.  I always have "my quilters must haves" in stock at the studio.  Give me a shout just to make sure I will be around for your visit.  

I made a stop in at our local quilt store the other week and darn if there wasn't a pattern that just spoke to me.  I couldn't resit this perfect little wallet.  It only took a few hours and the hardware was so easy to put on.  I was nice to stitch a "Little" (that project that you can finish in a few hours) because we are always making these large quilts that take days, weeks, months! Thanks to Marilyn, I think I have to make a few more for my friends.  

Diva Frame Wallet

Diva Frame Wallet

Speaking of friends, Diane Jenner of Diane's Creative Elements has been out to the studio a few times and together she was able to make her first tuffet.  She wasn't sure she could sew all those strips together, but look, it turned out great. 

Diane with her Tuffet

Diane with her Tuffet

One more finished project to report.  Susan brought her finished Northern Neighbours table runner for show and tell at guild.  I alway feel so proud when I get to see someone's class project all finished.  Great job ladies.  If you have pictures of your finished class projects, please send them along and I can add them to the gallery site.  We all would love to see your creations.

Susan with her Norther Neighbours Runner.

Susan with her Norther Neighbours Runner.

Well there is still a few more things to pack before bedtime, so I had better get at it.  Thanks for dropping by.  Until next time, stay safe, don't shovel any more snow and go find the "OFF", just so your ready.  

On the road again!

Hello Friends.  Its that time of year again when groups and guilds are holding year end workshops and get togethers.  I am so lucky to be part of all the "quilty" goings on here in Northern Ontario.

Spring brings out the quilters, as the driving becomes more favourable and we are in need of some quilting therapy!  But it's not just quilters that are out.  This week, we have had a surge in the animal sightings, with deer in the back yard and bears in the front.  The quilters who frequent the studio have had quite a show these past few weeks.  That's enough now - "get back in the bush."

My "out and about's" started April 22nd with a visit to the Rayside Balfour Quilt Show.  There were venders booths, with so many nice things that we need. :)  A beautiful boutique of ready made items to purchase, made by the guild members, and lets not forget the quilts.  Here is just a few highlights of some of the quilts that were on display.

Quilts from top to bottom:

My Mothers Garden - Paulette Prevost,  63 Sampler - Diane Blais,  Log Cabin - Gail Levesque,   Pop Stars - Pauline Soucy,  Christmas at the lake - Yollande H. Nepssy,  Close up of machine applique on Christmas at the lake,  Carolina Lily - Debbie Serafini.

A few days later the SUV was packed with supplies and off to Trout Creek and South River to spend time with the Almaquin Quilters Guild.  Wednesday the quilters embarked in a one day workshop where they learnt to make the beautiful leaf in the "Northern Neighbours" quilt.  Three Studio 180 tools, alot of laughs, great food, old friends and new acquaintances.

 All in all it made for a great day and I had a blast.  That evening, the remainder of the guild joined in as I was asked to show some of my other quilts in a Trunk Show.  I hope that I will be able to spend more time with this wonderful group of quilters in the future.  Thank you so much my new friends. 

Zoom Zoom, home for a quick repack and change, then off to Englehart for Quilt Day 9.  This is a yearly event that takes place in rotating towns in the northern communities.  The show in Englehart this year saw quilters from all over the north, Timmins, Kirkland Lake, New Liskard and all points in between.   I was asked to present my Trunk Show "What have I learned from quilting" Saturday afternoon.  When I got on stage to begin, I looked out to see a sea of faces.  Oh My Goodness!  There were a lot of quilters staring back at me!

 We were able to share some laughs, quilting tales and life stories.  With so many in attendance - Quilt Day 9 was a huge success.  A special Thank you to Lori Jordan, who's organizational skills made the day run smoothly and all the volunteers who were there both Friday and Saturday fussing about. The ladies who made lunch.  More Food!  You should have seen the food!  It's not like quilting is an aerobic sport.   

Well, It's not over yet.  This weekend I am hosting Kathy Wylie at the 2nd Annual Northern Ontario Quilting Symposium  I will have more stories and photos to share with you next time. Right now, I had better get into the studio to pack those boxes again.  Until next time, stay safe, quilt with a friend, and don't let the deer eat your tulips!

Last of the Year-End Workshops

Hello Friends.  Sorry that I went missing for a while – Spring happened! April was a whirl wind of activity with workshops and classes.  With me being on the road so much my eldest daughter offered to helped me out with my blog posts.  I would dictate my post (while doing other things like packing or sometimes while I was driving and hands free of course), she would write it up, and then add the pictures.  Let me tell you, this is like cooking and having someone else do the dishes (especially the pots! LOL). I got spoiled pretty fast and miss her help immensely.  If you noticed she added her own touches to the posts and has left me now (bar raised) to continue. 

Let me start off where I left off – at the last weekend of April.  

On Saturday, April 30th, I had the pleasure, once again, to spend the day with the quilters of the Rayside Balfour Quilters Guild.  The ladies were excited to take on the Northern Neighbours Quilt Pattern with the added bonus of familiarizing themselves with my three favourite Studio 180 tools in the process. The Wing Clipper for making flying geese units, the Corner Beam tool,  and the Split Rects tool. We had great fun, along with all the little tips and tricks that go along with making the beautiful leaf blocks.  Added in there the bonus tip of the many uses of coloured electrical tape.  LOL   You’ll just have to join me to find out for yourself.   

If you have any of these tools and have not yet used them, I highly suggest pulling them out of storage and giving them a go. The quilters were excited to learn that the Fons and Porter Magazine highlights a quilt pattern monthly that features a Studio 180 tool.  As these tools grow in popularity, quilts patterns that use Tucker tools can be found in many of the other magazines as well.  

Diane Blais sent in a picture of her four leaf topper.  I just so love seeing these pictures.  Thank you so much!

Diane Blais sent in a picture of her four leaf topper.  I just so love seeing these pictures.  Thank you so much!

Sunday, I was able to stay close to home and join the many quilters of the Sudbury and District Quilting and Stitchery Guild at their annual yearend workshop.  We spent a few hours together doing some precise piecing while covering the Migrating Geese technique outlined in a Technique Sheet by Studio 180 designs.  Everyone did a fine job with bands of geese flying north for the summer. 

Always an added bonus, we got to see a completed project from a previous workshops!  Monique Gascon brought along her Northern Neighbours quilt to share with the group.  Make note of the fussy cut moose in the centre of the leaves!

Paulette Lajeunesse showed off her finished Northern Neighbours quilt as well.  Way to go ladies!   They all look so different even though they're all (technically) the same. 

I am staying close to home for a few weeks, catching my breath and spending some time with the Hubby.  He has been very busy while I’ve been away renovating my studio (that’s a whole other blog post!).  There’s a few really good home cooked meals in his future as I just can’t thank him enough for all that he does.  The Studio is back up and running and open for business. Classes resumed this week and I’m available for full day workshops here in the studio this summer while the driving is free of snow. If you and a few friends would like to come and join in on the fun feel free to give me a shout and we can set up a time. 

Thanks for dropping by.  Until next time, stay safe, plant a flower and keep on quilting.