quilt classes

What the heck is "Monochromatic"

Hello Friends. It seems like everyone is in full swing this month finishing up projects from the winter season.  I had a lovely email from one of the Timmins quilters who shared with me a photo of her finished Hunter’s Star quilt.  Margaret took part in the weekend workshop back in the fall of 2015.  It is so nice to see the work everyone has put into their creations. I love her barn raising layout.

There have been some new quilts started and finished as well.  After seeing the “Starlight” quilt I made for one of the girls in hubby’s office last Christmas, Garlene fell in love with the pattern and has made her quilt in mauves and purples and added the pieced border which I opted not to do on mine.  Take a look at how different the two quilts look side by side. What a difference fabric selection makes.

I have been thinking a lot lately about colour. On any given day here in the studio students ask,

“What colour goes with this fabric?” “How do I pick colours for my quilt?”

So I thought I would see if I could shed some light on the subject of colour and through the next few posts demystify the colour dilemma.

Let me first introduce you to my favourite tool.  I do not like or know how to use a colour wheel.   However, I love my 3-in-1 Colour Tool, by Joen Wolfrom.  This tool looks like an array of paint chips that include the colours of the colour wheel: blue, red, yellow, green, orange and violet or purple.





Locate your fabric colour on one of the card chips. 



The back of the colour cards provides you with a selection of colour schemes to choose from.  There are some really big words in this section so I will go through them one by one. 

The first is “monochromatic”.  A monochromatic colour scheme means using fabric which are all the same colour.

For example, a quilt made from all red fabrics (not counting the background as a colour). You could use all the same red fabric or a variety of reds, but all fabrics are red none the less.






We also call these quilts that use one colour and a background “two colour” quilts.  Colour wise, monochromatic quilts are the easiest to pull together.

Now go look in your stash and make a monochromatic block.  Hmmmm!  We will leave it at that for now.  I will cover more next time as we continue to demystify colour and terminology. 

With the days rapidly flying by I wanted to remind you that the Rayside Balfour Quilt show is on April 22nd and 23rd.  I plan to pop by for a visit and see all the lovely quilts on display.  Also, the Northern Neighbours Workshop in Trout Creek is fast approaching.  A big shout out to all the quilters attending and I'll see you soon.  A big event at the end of the month for our northern communities, with the Quilt Day 9 event in Englehart.  I’m coming and with bells on,  I know that we will have a hoot of a good time. Just a reminder, Registration for the Northern Ontario Quilting Symposium with Kathy Wylie closes on the 19th of April.  The Sunday Apliquick class is full but there are still spaces left in the Saturday Hexie class.  Tickets will be available at the door for the Trunk Show if you find yourself free Friday evening. We would love to see you there.  So, a busy couple of weeks here in the north, as our weather starts to warm driving becomes bearable once again!

Thanks for dropping by.  Until next time, stay safe, happy spring and watch out for deer.




Quilting, Quilting, Quilting!

Hello Friends.  I am noticing the leaves changing colour on the trees and slowly making a quilt on the ground below.  I have had a few hours here and there this past month to do some fall decorating.  I purchased some pumpkins, a few mums and a small bail of straw.  So I’m hoping that we have a few weeks to enjoy these beautiful seasonal flowers before all the plants get hit by frost.  With the nights turning colder, the mornings have been great for small outdoor discoveries.  A few weeks ago, the sunlight, dew and temperature all synced so that the spider webs in the trees glistened like veils of silk in the morning light. I couldn’t believe how many there were in the trees.  Mother Nature is decorating for Halloween!

Shortly after the long weekend in September, I embarked on one last summer adventure.  The three of us sisters, along with my nephew and eldest daughter, portaged into Great Mountain Lake in the interior of Killarney Park.  When I was growing up, my family had a cabin on the lake on the point just across from Great Mountain.  With the expansion of the Killarney Park boundary in the early 1990’s, the cabin and the sauna had to be taken down. Although the building are gone, the memories of many summer holidays are still vivid in our hearts and minds. I have not done any extensive portaging in years, so my muscle memory was not so vivid.  I am still feeling the miles of paddling and weight of the pack my back weeks later.  Massage anyone!



I haven’t just been gallivanting.  I was able to finish the top to my “miniature”.  Also, I have the last two table runners done for the November workshop.  The studio has been buzzing with the quilters returning for regular classes.  The Tuffet class has been a big hit.  Just have a look at how cute Deb and Marilyn’s tuffets turned out.  Way to go ladies! If you’d like to make a tuffet of your own you can get in touch with me for the particulars.




For the next two weeks I will be off visiting our youngest in jolly 'ol England (ok so gallivanting again... LOL). But, I have been busy prepping for the Storm at Sea workshop so that when I get back I am all ready to go.  If you are registered, and questions arise, I am available via email. There is still room so if suddenly your plans free up and you would like to attend, please email me and we can make further arrangements. Otherwise, I am back the 29th at which time you can give me a shout on the phone.  This week's Storm at Sea colour inspiration is Highlighted Hearts, see picture below:

I took a break from packing on Saturday to attend the Northshore Pins and Needles Quilters and Stitchery Guild Quilt Show in Espanola.  I love quilt shows!  It is just so inspiring to see how every quilter puts a little of themselves in each of the quilts.  Even though some of the quilts were the same in construction, each quilt appeared different with their individual colour choice and placement of value.  All were beautiful and the hard work and love that went into the show was evident. Here are some random pictures of some of the quilts that were on display.

That’s all for now as I’m going to give the house a quick lick and a splash before I leave for my visit.  Thanks for dropping by, stay safe, rake some leaves and maybe start a new quilt project. 



Make mine a minnie please!

A wild rose found growing on the shoreline at camp.

A wild rose found growing on the shoreline at camp.


Hello Friends.  Summer has surly arrived here in Northern Ontario. I know this because along with the many trips to the greenhouses and the weekly hum of the lawnmower, there is a buzz at dusk and dawn that can be no other then the swarms of black-flies and mosquitos that come out to feast.  Summer is also the time when the family spends time at "camp" (Northern Ontario speak for cottage).  Away from the busy duty filled weekday life, camp is a place to recharge, slowdown and take in ones surroundings.   For me, summer gives me some time to quilt a few things off my "want to" list as opposed to my "have to" list. This year I seem to be drawn to all things little.


With the use of the Studio 180 tools, making small units and miniature quilts has never been easier.  I feel a class coming on!   

Flying geese units squared to 1 1/4" x 2" using the Wing Clipper 11 tool.

Flying geese units squared to 1 1/4" x 2" using the Wing Clipper 11 tool.

Miniature Shaded Four-Patch - a technique sheet by Studio 180 with units squared up with the Tucker Trimmer 1

Miniature Shaded Four-Patch - a technique sheet by Studio 180 with units squared up with the Tucker Trimmer 1

The undertaking of a small quilt or minnie has its advantages:

  • it does not need a lot of fabric
  • It's a perfect opportunity to hone ones skills
  • does not need the time commitment that a large quilt does

I find I gravitate to small projects after the on-slot of 4 or 5 large quilts.   My first try at the twister tool was the minnie by Lisa Bongean of Primitive Gatherings.  It's just sooo cute!

Have you made a minnie?  Would you like to try? if so we, would love to see your pictures or leave me a comment or tell us your story in the comments sections.

The studio has a few new items in stock for your quilting needs.  Anita Zobens, during her workshop at the Quilting Symposium, demonstrated and referred to these items so they are now available at Quilting by the River.

  Appli-Glue -  mini bottle with the small tip applicator - used for turn edge applique

Stable Stuff Poly - Soft Stabilizer sheets used in turn edge applique  

Breezy - dye trapping cloths for the washing machine

I think that's all for now!  Thanks for dropping by.  Until next time, stay safe, apply bug repellant and go make a minnie!