quilting tips

My world is cold and Crunchy!


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.


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.


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.

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.

Ready or not - Its September

Early morning fog on the lake.

Early morning fog on the lake.

Hello Friends.  It happened – it is September.  If you’re like me, you never quite lose that back to school feeling.  The start of a new season!  I still get the urge to buy new pencils, or perhaps some paper.  I did take a walk-through Business Depot last week and bought some new office supplies.  (I couldn’t help myself) More so for me, it is the start of a new quilting season and for the quilting guilds, a new year.  I tend to slack off in the summer and feel tremendously overwhelmed in August.  I know that once the kids go back to school and everyone is home from camp and outings, they begin to search for their next quilting project.  Excited to contact quilty friends who have been put aside to make time for family and vacation. 


Fall is a great time to revisit being organized both at home (ie washing windows Blahhh) and in our quilting world. I started the new creative year with a new planner. I bought it weeks ago and have been chopping at the bit to make the first pencil marks for the fall of 2017.  I have had quite a few bookings for workshops this fall, so it wasn’t hard to make “to do” lists.  (Check out my calendar here to see where I will be and when.)  I find my planner keeps me accountable and as I get older and busier (thing tend to slip my mind like washing the windows.  LOL) jotting things down is just what I need as a gentle reminder.  A kind hint – just don’t write down the things you would rather not remember, like cleaning the oven.

I have been trying to come up with a few new projects for Christmas.  Things were going great until one morning last week someone posted a cartoon caption of how many weekends there were left before Christmas (16 weekends and only 113 days). People, really! I do not need these stressful reminders in August when I am at camp, blissfully by the lake. One of the projects that has sparked interest is by my dear friend Katrina Thomas of The Hope Chest Quilting. She has just published the cutest Christmas stocking. 


  I will be starting mine in the next week or so.

Fall is also a great time to take stock of essential quilting items for the new quilting season. It is always good to check your blade on your rotary cutter. Give your machine some TLC. A good cleaning saves on problems down the road, and we know dust bunnies make babies!  Change your needle.  A mere price to pay for problem free quilting. 


There are a few new Technique sheets available from Studio 180.  The techniques are not really new but the sheet gives you the “how to” for multiple sizes and in my opinion, is a must have in your tool box. Remember that all Studio 180 (Deb Tucker) tools and products are available here at Quilting by the River. 

Any spare time that I have had in the last few days has been spent stitching the binding onto the very large King size quilt I have been working on. Two more sides to go, so I had better get at it.  Thanks for dropping by.  Until next time, stay safe, enjoy the holiday weekend, and start planning your next project.

What you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask!

Hello Friends.   Happy Easter.  It has been a wet day for the bunny.  A real rainy Easter weekend here in my neck of the woods. This week we saw the return of the deer, who like to graze in the front yard and soon will be eating my asparagus. The sand hill cranes are back and I am sure a plethora of other critters that have not yet wandered into the yard.  Despite what the calendar may say, I find Easter always marks the beginning of spring for me.  I put the winter quilts away and pull out the bright ones.  My wardrobe changes as I begin to wear some brighter blues and peach type colours.  Over all, it marks for me a feeling of light and airiness. 

Last week I started you on an exploratory adventure into deciphering colour terminology.  So let continue with a few more definitions


Our journey begins this week with “Analogous” colours.  These are 1, 2 or 3 neighbouring colours from each side of a selected colour. 

Complementary colours are two colours that lie opposite one another on the colour wheel.  This is probably the most common and widely used colour scheme.

Next up, we have “Split-Complementary”.  Here we combine both complementary and analogous colour schemes.  Your selected colour may be the centre colour in the analogous colour plan and accompanied by a complementary colour.  In quilting, I like to refer to this complementary colour as an accent colour. 

Lastly, is the “Triadic” colour scheme.  This colour scheme finds its partners lying equal distance from each other on the colour wheel. 

Oh Goodness!  How is one supposed to know all this?   Well, that is exactly why I like the 3-in-1 colour tool.  As I mentioned in last weeks’ post, this quilter’s colour helper takes that worry away and gives you all you need to know about making those colour choices for your next quilt.  That my friends is just skimming the surface, but hey with a good tool, a few friends and a well informed quilt shop, you will find colour choices easier then you think.

Well now, that was fun!  As you mosey along in your days, make note of some of the bill boards, cloths and just about anything, including all that, that Mother Nature offers.  What colour combinations do you see when you're going along with your day.  Have your camera handy – you never know when a colour scheme tickles your fancy!

I am on the road again, for the next few weeks, as I am teaching out and about in Northern Ontario.  I will post when I get back but please follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I will keep in touch with all the goings on.

Thanks for dropping by.  Until next time, stay safe, watch for deer, and maybe buy some pencil crayons.