quiltin retreats

My mother told me there would be days like this!

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Hello Friends. I have tried all week to write this post and things just keep getting in the way. Do you have days like that? Do you have weeks like that? Days start out with my list of priority things to do (with intention) and then “poof” life! Oh well, one mustn’t grumble! I am presently at the Northern Ontario Quilting Symposium weekend. There are 23 quilters signed up for the workshop including myself who will be a student for a change. I have had the Judy Neimeyer leaf series table runner pattern for over a year and can’t wait to learn how to make it. A big treat for me to not have to figure it out by myself. Let the learning begin. Our guest this year is Sherida Giddings and I am ever so happy to have her teach us the ins and outs of paper piecing.

This is a busy time of year for quilting teachers as we are out and about teaching at workshops and shows. My spring is especially busy this year and I want to extend a warm welcome to all my new followers from Mississauga, Branford/Cambridge area and those north in the Timiskaming area. I had the pleasure last month to present my trunk show to the quilters of the Mississauga quilters guild.

Mississauga Quilters Guild members.

Mississauga Quilters Guild members.

I had a blast and met so many new interesting ladies. Thank you to Ruthie for inviting me and I will be returning on the 13th of April to walk them through Studio 180’s Shaded 4-patch unit technique. I am so looking forward to opening the doors of creativity and introduce the many ways to use this versatile unit.

I recently spent an evening with the NorthShore Pins and Needles Quilting and Stitchery Guild of Espanola sharing and discussing Copyright and how it effects quilting today. A necessary discussion that should be had in every guild with the major points brought forward and enforced.

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My next pattern is with the graphic designer, as she deciphers my photos and turns them into the beautiful line drawings that we cannot do without. If you’re like me I look at the pictures first and read the directions if all else fails. Pictures are worth a thousand words and that is so true when it comes to quilt patterns. I hope to have it available by late spring.

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In the Studio this past month, I have had to put my skills to the test and just “quilt it”. A request for custom quilting on a beautiful quilt by one of my students. My stress level was a bit elevated but she was pleased. I am sure not as much as I was to know she liked what I had done. Sometimes you just have to get out of your comfort zone and just do it.

Catch a Falling Star with orange peel appliqué.

Catch a Falling Star with orange peel appliqué.

Anne brought in her completed Catch a Falling Star quilt which she had added extra appliqued orange peel shapes to the corner stones. LOVE IT!

Learning is calling so Thanks for dropping by. Until next time, stay safe, try paper piecing and keep learning.

My world is cold and Crunchy!

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Hello Friends. Wouldn’t you know it, just because the hubby and I are not going on a winter vacation, Mother Nature has sent us into a deep freeze. Or its always like this at this time of year but we are on a beach and miss it. Whatever the case, cold and crunchy is life in my neck of the woods. We, being all the folks, I talk to, are hibernating until this streak of unbearable cold passes. I’m a tough northerner but we have out limits. What do you do in such cold weather? Quilt, Stitch, play with fabric, pull out fabric bundles, count your UFO’s. Yup it’s that time of year when we look at our stash and wonder where it all came from. I swear fabric has the ability to propagate. But never the less, at -30C, I don’t have to go to the quilt shop to look for something to quilt with.

It is usually at this time of year when I am assessing how things have been going at the studio and what kinds of things I want to do, that I try to come up with a word or phrase to keep me on track. I have decided that this year’s word will be Intention.

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Intention: a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future. Intention involves mental activities such as planning and forethought. Wikipedia

On any given day I can have 3 – 4 different quilting project ideas. Several projects on the go and just as many scheduled commitments that have to be taken care of. So, I will TRY to set my days with intention. Plan what to work on each day and carry them out that commitment. Ok, I hear you laughing, but I did say “try”! If your like me and feel the need to get it together drop me a comment and let me know if you will be trying some new motivator this year.

With the days speeding by, Symposium will be here before we know it. I have had an overwhelming response to this year’s guest and workshop topic. Sherida Giddings will be teaching the paper piecing leaf series by Judy Neimyer. Space is going fast so don’t delay Sign up and join us for a great weekend.

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For more information on this year’s Symposium click HERE.

Now for some exciting news, yours truly was asked to make a profession guest appearance on a CBC series called “Back in time for Winter”. This is season 2 of the series which follows one adventurous family on the time-travelling journey of a lifetime as they take on iconic trends in food, design and domestic gadgetry, beginning in the 1940’s. Each week the family from Sudbury Ontario will live through a new decade of Canadian food and domestic trends. I was asked to teach the mother, two daughters and the grandmother how to hand quilt. My dear friend Daintry, just so happened to have a period quilt which we used so the family could hand quilt on. I am so grateful to have had her help and expertise in this adventure. I will let you all know when it is to air but am told most likely winter 2020.

Since I brushed up on my hand quilting skills, I thought I would put my efforts to good use and come up with a few new classes for spring of 2019. An heirloom hand quilted pillow top or framed piece and since we are quilting, a small piece to get you started on Big Stitch Quilting. I will keep you posted as to when these classes will be available.

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Quarry by Lise Brown

Quarry by Lise Brown

Lastly, Thank you Lise for sending in this picture of your finished quilt top from the November workshop. Looks beautiful! Well, time for me to snuggle on the couch and R&R. Thanks for dropping. Until next time, stay safe, stay warm and go play with your fabric stash.







Makin' Lists!

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Hello Friends. Happy December! Today I’m in my little office space updating my “To Do” list. I have a Christmas food list, Christmas gift list, things to bake list, things to quilt list…. How’s your list(s)? I think what is different this year, and it is an observation not a complaint, is the fact that we will be spending some of the holiday here at the house and Christmas eve to Boxing Day at the River House. So, my brain is saying, “So where does the Turkey go”? All in all, I’m feeling pretty confident and organized. Ask me in two weeks and we will see what the answer is. LOL

Thing have just been a hopping here at the studio. Regular Monday and Thursday classes have resumed, and I have taken in a few quilts to longarm quilt. I have one more customer quilt to do before Christmas, then I have to squeak in a table runner, presently unfinished, and a wedding gift for Christmas) and a lap quilt. The lap quilt is a Christmas gift also, and if it gets quilted, excellent, if not, well she will understand.

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I have been quite busy sending out patterns to various stores and quilters. Good news for the quilt shop owners out there, Checkers Distributing will now be carrying my patterns. This is excellent for all my US followers. Here in Canada, Erie Quilt Art is distributing patterns for Quilting by the River. For those of you who are just friends – you can still call me or order through my website. I always love to hear from quilters far and near.

With Christmas knocking at our door there is still time to get yourself a Stitching Lap Table. I discovered these a few months ago on one of my journeys and I can’t live without it. A multi adjustable table that sits on your lap. Perfect for applique (using with the apliquick tools, prepping Hexies, drawing lines on squares for half-square-triangles or just to use as a small lap table for writing, drawing (practicing your free motion motifs) or just about anything you would like to do in a chair but need a table.  My friend Anne, who is rather tall, loves it as it elevates her work surface, so her neck and shoulders no longer get sore.  The table comes with a free pattern, so you can make additional covers to match your own décor.  

I have 3 left until I order more in January. So, get Santa to me a shout and spend the holidays stitching merrily along while ringing in the New Year.  Click here to watch a video demonstration.

2019 is shaping up to be super exciting.  I will share more news in January. For now, I am looking forward to April and the Northern Ontario Quilting Symposium. This year’s guest instructor will be Sherida Giddings.  She is a Judy Neimyer Certified Instructor.   Sherida will be teaching the leaf series of patterns from Judy’s collection.  Posters and more information will be ready for the early part of January, but best start thinking of it now and register early as this is sure to be a big hit.  Sherida has also agreed to do a Trunk Show on Friday night (April 5, 2019) open to everyone. You will not want to miss this as her quilts are amazing.  

Now for pictures from the November Workshop “Quarry”. We had such a great time and what a terrific group of ladies. Everyone made wonderful progress, I have been sent pictures of some of the finished quilts. Send in those pictures ladies so I can add them to the gallery for everyone to see

Well my long arm is calling and time is ticking so Thanks for dropping by, Until next time, stay safe, keep warm and throw out the list!!