Saturday, February 28, 2015

I learned stuff at QuiltCon

QuiltCon began for me on Wednesday at 3 am so that I could leave for the airport at 4 am. I go through US customs before I get on a plane - most larger Canadian cities have this service - but it means getting to the airport quite early for your early flight. 

I went to QuiltCon for a number of reasons: the quilts, the classes, the people and the MQG. On Thursday, I told you about my quilts, so today it will be the classes, with the rest to follow.

It appears that internet registration systems and I have good karma. I had no difficulty registering for 4 full day classes. Despite feeling guilty as others had trouble getting into classes, I decided that I really wanted to learn so I kept all the classes I am so glad I did. It is a long way for me to go to a quilt show and the total price tag was high, but I sure learned a lot.

On Thursday I learned a lot about quilting negative space and also modern quilts overall. Krista Withers is a fantastic teacher, and her compositional quilting class was the best quilting class I have taken so far.  The day was a delight and I am eager to put what I learned into practice.

Quilting from Krista Withers Compositional Quilting class

 Here is my practice piece. Krista's approach to teaching quilting was different from any other class I had taken - at the end I had this nice completed panel, not a bunch of messy starts and stops, to take home. She made a panel too, while the class did, so one could watch and ask questions and at the end she gave that away to one of the students.

On Friday I spent the day with Sherri Lynn Wood, learning how to use bias strips to outline curved shapes in a fun improv way. Sherri Lynn is a lovely teacher and shared a wealth of really great tips and tricks for dealing with the bubbles and waves that often arise when piecing large curved bias edges. Flatter, or a similar product is your friend when using this technique.

That photo shows the creations of the entire class!

Bias Strip blocks from Sherri Lynn Wood's workshop

And there are my blocks. I also bought Sherri Lynn's book, Improv Handbook for Quilters, so I can explore more of her techniques.

Saturday was a day with my friend Victoria Findlay Wolfe. Victoria is one of my favourite overall teachers for quilting - I come away from her classes having learned a lot and very inspired to be creative with the techniques she has shared.

The workshop was one of the projects from her book, Double Wedding Ring Quilts, which I also bought. I am really loving these huge blocks, and hope to finish this quilt soon.

I totally recommend a class with Luke Haynes if you get the chance. I love his work and signed up for this Sunday class mostly just to see what he was like. He asked us to work on something different from what we have been doing a lot of lately, to explore scale and shapes, whatever we felt like doing.  The class met as a group several times to work together to share ideas and tips on each person's progress. Luke shared many art and design concepts and was really nice to chat and work with.

Blocks from Luke Haynes Workshop

I played around with triangles and curves, working on a small scale. I have to say it was a relaxing and lovely day where I learned a great deal.

I finally started unpacking my QuiltCon stuff, and I think that I am ready to get back to sewing today too. I'll share more tomorrow.



Friday, February 27, 2015

If you were shopping... #25

Welcome to if you're shopping.... On Fridays I share news from my sponsors, in case you want to do a little shopping, or even window shopping, this weekend.

Southern Fabric is having a Riley Blake Sale.

Fluffy Sheep Quilting has beautiful fabrics, including this fantastic lawn print from Cotton + Steel!

 Sew me a Song has beautiful new bundles!

Sew Sisters Quilt Shop is having a Bundle Bonanza!

The Fat Quarter Shop is featuring this beautiful Memory Lane Quilt Kit.

Massdrop has a lovely Liberty Bundle.

Green Fairy Quilts has 35% off notions and fat eights bundles.

Mad about Patchwork's Monday Mosaic bundle is this lovely Petit Fours bundle which is 20% off till March 1.

Oakshott Fabrics  is featuring their new Scandinavia line and you can buy a kit with my Hint pattern.

Fabric Spark has a beautiful fabrics, some really beautiful new ones too.

I hope you enjoy your Friday and I'll have more about QuiltCon to share tomorrow!



Wednesday, February 25, 2015

QuiltCon 2015 - My Quilts

Breathe at QuiltCon 2015

I have the best time at QuiltCon 2015, and while I decompress just a bit, I thought I would start telling you about it by showing off my quilts from the show.

There is Breathe. She won first place in the Minimalist Design Category. Thank you again to American Made Brand who sponsored this category and its prize.

You can see pictures of all the winning quilts on the Modern Quilt Guild Blog here. Breathe was also selected to be part of the MQG travelling quilt show for this year, another unexpected honour.

Breathe's beautiful ribbon

I truly did not expect to win any ribbons at this show. Every single quilt was a winner as far as I was concerned and I was just thrilled to participate. I am so honoured and proud that Breathe won this ribbon. The beautiful ribbons were hand made by Elizabeth Hartman from Oh, Fransson!

Breathe at QuiltCon 2015

I confess to not taking that many photos at the show this year - I was just so busy looking at things and speaking with people. Here is a further away shot of Breathe, and to the right is my friend Nicole's (from Mama Love Quilts) stunning quilt Ascend which won second place in the same category.

Peace at QuiltCon 2015

Peace looked lovely hanging in the show. The MQG made the decisions about what category each quilt would show in, and they put Peace in the Piecing Category.

Cycles 2 at QuiltCon2015

And Cycles 2 was there too, after having been to the Houston International Quilt Festival in the MQG Exhibit. Cycles 2 was shown in the Use of Negative Space Category.

That's all I have for today, I will share more over the next few days. It was the best time, and I am already planning to attend next year too.



Sunday, February 22, 2015

Hint - Ta Da!


Let me introduce you to my latest quilt, Hint. She is about 40" square. She was made using a half metre package of Scandinavia shot cottons from Oakshott Fabrics. She was quilted with straightish lines with random spacings from 1/8" to about 1".


I designed Hint for Oakshotts to show off these stunning fabrics. One of the two threads used to weave the fabrics is a beautiful snowy white and the other is colour (except for the one with two of white threads) and this creates light colours with a great deal of depth. The coloured thread is not really a pastel, so the light fabrics shine with a lot more colour than you would expect.


Another thing about the Scandinavia line is that they have a nice weight. They seem to me to be lighter weight than a regular quilting cotton but not so light that they are difficult to use for quilting. They wash up beautifully too - all these photos are after the quilt wash washed and dried.


This design is currently available as a kit from Oakshotts here but watch for more about it later this month on the Shotthrough Blog. My goal in making the pattern was to use just a single 1/2 metre pack of the fabrics - there is enough fabric to make the front, back and scrappy binding.


The focus on using the 1/2 metre pack did require me to use different coloured borders, which is not my go to approach. But, now I have to say that I love them on this quilt, and it would be fun to change out the outside border to one of the colours as well or add a skinny border between the two in your favourite of the colours.


The back is classic and really shows off the beauty of the fabrics. And I used a scrappy binding to bring out all the hints of colour from the centre of the motif, which hints at circles, and hence the name.


The pattern also contains the math to make a large 84" square bed size quilt too. I have set out the actual fabric requirements, but also 2 one metre packs would give you enough of all the fabrics for top, back and binding and a bit left over of some for further play.

Pinwheels Booth at QuiltCon 2015

I am at QuiltCon, and thus the silence here on the blog - I've put a little on instagram if you cannot wait. You can see that Hint is here too, on display at the beautiful Pinwheels booth. I will have more for you tomorrow and over the week, it has been a great and overwhelming experience.



Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Scraptastic Tuesday, February Link Up Winners

Scraptastic Tuesday

First, thank you to our wonderful February Scraptastic Tuesday Link sponsors:

Congratulations to the following winners of these lovely prizes:
I'll email the winners shortly, but if you see your name here first, please just leave me a comment so we can connect. Remember, our next link up will be the second Tuesday in March 10, 2015 and we hope you will plan to join us then.

I've been rushing about to get ready to head off to Austin, Texas for QuiltCon, and I am afraid I have no scrappy projects to share today. Instead, I urge you to check out the links on the February link up for a lot of beautiful inspiration - just go here. And don't forget to check up on Nicky, over at Mrs. Sew and Sow, she is sharing some beautiful scrappy projects today.

It's just one more sleep!



Monday, February 16, 2015

A Poster Block and last call for the February Scraptastic Tuesday link up

Poster Block for Kari in Bee Sewcial

I made that Poster Block for Kari for February in Bee Sewcial. Kari asked for poster blocks, 10.5" x 16.5" unfinished inspired by this pin board. If you check the board you will see that I very closely followed one of the posters. It was a lot of fun doing the math/piecing and figuring out how to make this graphic.

Poster Block for Kari for Bee Sewcial

I also can't decide which way up I like better. Of course, now I am imagining this graphic as a large quilt and might just have to make it one day soon.

I spent the weekend rushing about getting ready for QuiltCon, making lists and choosing supplies for classes and doing a small bit of sewing. I'll share more tomorrow, and I have a couple of quilts to show off later this week too.

Scraptastic Tuesday

But for now, if you have not yet linked up with Nicky from Mrs. Sew and Sow, and I for the February Scraptastic Tuesday link, please go here to do so. You can link a blog post or photo about a scrappy project (finished or in progress) or ideas for using your scrap mountain. The link closes tonight at 10 p.m. MST and I will draw the winners of the fantastic prizes and post them in the morning.

It's a holiday Monday in Alberta today, but there is work to do at the office so that I can head off to QuiltCon, so off I am going to go. I'm leaving for Austin on Wednesday morning.



Saturday, February 14, 2015

if you were shopping... #24 - the Valentine's edition

Welcome to if you're shopping.... On Fridays - well today is Saturday and I am sharing the Valentine's Day edition of the news from my sponsors, in case you want to do a little shopping, or even window shopping, this weekend.

Fabric Spark has a Valentines Day only special

Southern Fabric is having a Valentine sale!

Fluffy Sheep Quilting has pink test fabric!

 Sew me a Song has beautiful new bundles!

Sew Sisters Quilt Shop is handing out free fat quarters over the Valentine's weekend.

The Fat Quarter Shop has this beautiful Chain of Hearts Quilt Kit.

Massdrop has red Wonder Clips.

Green Fairy Quilts has all their thread sets and spools on sale for 40% off.

Mad about Patchwork has this Kona Peony Spectrum bundle and yardage of these colours on for 10% off this month.

Oakshott Fabrics  is offering 20% off the colours of Love and Passion until February 15 - use the promotion code VALENTINE at checkout for 20% off Brighton Rock Fat 8ths packs and Ruby Red Fat 8ths packs.

Happy Valentine's Day!