Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year - look back, look forward

Breathe at QuiltCon 2015

I wanted to look back on 2015 and record some quilty milestones and accomplishments. In 2015:

  • I had a lot of fun quilting.
  • Breathe won first place in the QuiltCon show's Minimalism category and she was chosen to tour with the MQG exhibit. Breathe is my favourite of all the quilts I have made.
  • Echoes was published as a pattern in the first ever QuiltCon Magazine.
  • Echoes won first place in the Modern Wall and Bed Quilts category at Quilt Canada.
  • Echoes was also chosen for the Modern Quilt Guild Exhibit at the Houston International Quilt Festival in October and she will be at the Quiltcon show in February 2016 in Pasadena CA.
  • My first pattern in a book was published in Krista Hennebury's - Poppyprint - book Make it, Take it.
  • Stephanie - Spontaneous Threads - and I conceived of and were a part of a fantastic quilting bee with the best bee mates - Bee Sewcial and it will continue into year 2.
  • I am a part of an international round robin group to make a mini quilt, again with a wonderful, talented group of quilters - which has been fun and far more challenging than I expected.
  • Nicky - Mrs. Sew and Sow - and I successfully hosted Scraptastic Tuesday for the whole year.
  • I went to Spring Quilt Market.
  • I went to QuiltCon.
  • I taught my first quilting class in Inuvik, Northwest Territories.
  • I made almost exclusively quilts, which was what I wanted to focus my sewing time on doing.
Overall, 2015 was a fantastic quilting year for me.


 I am not big on New Year's Resolutions and such but I do want to note a few things:

A 2016 word - intention. 

I don't normally do this "word" to be guided by thing, but I keep coming back to intention so I am going to have a word after all. Intention in my actions, my choices, my time, whatever. I hope to look back on 2016 and feel less buffeted about by things. I might have to make a small quilt to remind me.


Community - my blog, social media, quilting events

I plan to be more engaged on my blog this year. My plan is to share more of my creative journey and progress as well as more tutorials. Nicky and I will continue to host Scraptastic Tuesday and as I mentioned the other day, I will be one of the global community of Finish-A-Long hosts too. I hope to use instagram more consistently. I might even make friends with Facebook, we shall see on that one. 

I also plan to engage with modern quilters at QuiltCon and hope to be able to attend one of the Quilt Markets. I am giving some thought to entering a show or three as well, but first it is time to make some of the new quilts that live in my imagination to enter. 

Look on a wall


I have so many patterns in my head to write up and to try out. I am hoping to get two written and tested shortly - Consider and Twirl - and I know I have said that before and did not do it. This year is going to be my year for patterns - both for sale and as tutorials, that is one of my intentions. (see, maybe that word thing will work). 


So stay tuned, I think that 2016 will be a fun year!

All the best to you and yours for the New Year and thank you all for inspiring me and supporting me.



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Quilty recap, the photos - 2015

2015 Finished Quilts

I wanted to take a look at what I have made in 2015. First, the quilts, and other projects. One of my goals was to focus on making quilts, not other things. I see that I mostly stuck to that plan. I finished 13 quilts and three other projects.

2015 Bee and Round Robin blocks

I was a member of Bee Sewcial this year, which is a bee that my friend Stephanie from Spontaneous Threads and I conceived of and run. Bee Sewcial will continue into the next year, and I am so glad as it is a source of monthly inspiration and challenge. I also joined an international round robin where 6 of us are making a mini quilt - so the challenge is to add something small to each quilt as it arrives. This mosaic has my contributions to each, as well as my contribution to Marci's baby quilt, which I also quilted.

There is also a link for your best - most visited - blog posts of 2015, so, leaving out giveaways, blog hops and link ups, here are my most visited posts, starting with the most visited to least:


1. Pow - Ta Da! and a tutorial

Big Tote

2. A bit about Quilt Market, Spring 2015


3. Hint - Ta Da!


4. Echoes Ta Da! & she was in the QuiltCon magazine too

QuiltCon 2015 Pin Swap

5. QuiltCon 2015 - there was sharing

I found this an interesting exercise, in that statistics are no always indicative of much. However, I was pleased to see that my blog gets the most visits when I speak about new quilts I made or about quilt industry events as those are things that I find the most interesting too.

And I went and made my best nine on instagram (at and this is what resulted. I guess I have shared a lot of photos of Echoes and people seem to like it too.

Well, that's 2015 recapped in photos, I'll see about reviewing some milestones and making a new focus in another post soon.

I'm linking up with Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs, where you can check out a number of beautiful blogs too.

I hope you are enjoying the holidays, I have taken the week off and am still unpacking, organizing, visiting, eating and generally having a lot of fun.



Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Big news for the 2016 FAL!

There is big news for the 2016 Finish - A - Long!

For those of you who are new to the FAL, it is a place to find motivation and encouragement to complete those unfinished projects that are hanging about becoming UFOs. Every quarter you post a list of projects you hope to finish in the next three months, and then at the end of the quarter, you post a link from your blog, flickr or instagram of each successful finish from your original list. Each finish is an entry for wonderful prizes from our sponsors.

The FAL has grown and grown since Rhonda - now Rhonda's Ramblings - started it in 2012 in the USA. It moved to Canada in 2013 where Leanne - She Can Quilt (that's me) - hosted it, then in 2014 it was off to Scotland in the UK where Katy - The Littlest Thistle - was in charge, and in 2015 it moved to New Zealand where Adrianne - On the Windy Side - has been doing the honours. And it really has become too big for just one blogger.

So the 2016 FAL is going global - a community of bloggers across the world will be jointly hosting the FAL. Our hosts will be:

There will be shared link-ups that you only need to join on one blog for your links to appear on all the hosting blogs. Otherwise, the FAL will remain mainly unchanged and we are hoping that everyone will join us.

2015 Finish-Along

Please link up your Q4 2015 finishes with Adrianne at On the Windy Side, from December 31, 2015 through to January 6, 2016.

And please plan to join the 2016 FAL. The Q1 link for your proposed list of finishes will open on January 7, 2016, on all of the new community hosts.

2016 FAL
2016 FAL

In the meantime, you can grab the 2016 FAL button and follow along with everyone in the hosting community. On Instagram and other social media, for 2016, please use the hashtag #2016FAL and follow the FAL account @finishalong.

It's going to be great fun!



Monday, December 28, 2015

paris - Ta Da!


Let me tell you about paris. She is a 24" square mini quilt, inspired by the events in Paris a short while ago.

I entered the Modern Quilt Guild Michael Miller Challenge and was sent a number of pieces of the patterned black and white fabrics, which are part of the Glitz line. The challenge allowed the quilter to add any other Michael Miller solids. I was stumped creatively with these bold, high contrast metallic prints and let the challenge sit.


However, as those who entered the challenge agreed to enter their quilts in the QuiltCon show, as as the entry date approached, I started looking around for some Michael Miller solids in my stash. I realized that I had a whole little bin of scraps left over from my ongoing paper piecing project (Violet Craft's Lion). Then the terrorism in Paris happened and I was upset. So I decided to quilt out my sadness. I made the red/orange scraps into a big piece.

in progress

Continuing along with improv, I improv pieced around the blob, and was surprised to see that it resembled a teardrop - sometimes working without a lot of particular care allows you to create what you need to make.

I used up almost every bit of the patterned Michael Miller fabrics piecing around the red tear.


Then I quilted it a lot.


Given that this quilt is not large, the quilting did not take that long, but it was very satisfying to do.


I did wash the quilt to bring out the quilting. This time I washed it before I bound it. first I zig zag stitched around the outside edge.


The textures and colours are fantastic - I want to make a lot more pieces with this kind of quilting - sort of controlled scribble.


There she again, paris. This quilt is much more about the making for me than the finish - she helped me process my sadness and anger over the events in November. She looks quite dramatic on the wall too. Although I am so tempted to wash her again as that smooth binding bugs me.

I have to mention that paris is a " #QuiltConReject ". I entered her at the last possible minute. I got the quilt out of the wash as I was leaving for a business trip. So, I was away from home and had no sewing machine to attach the binding. On the very last entry evening, I hand stitched it on to the front and the back, and then I photographed her and entered with about 1 minute to spare (she was entry #1943). But she is not going to be in the show.

I am good with that. The challenge was supposed to feature the challenge fabrics and it is pretty clear that I featured the solids. But I have to say thank you to Michael Miller Fabrics and the Modern Quilt Guild. But for this challenge, I would not have made this quilt, and making her was a process that was so good for me.

I hope you are enjoying the holiday season. I was able to spend the entire day yesterday tidying my office and sewing spaces. There is so much more to do but I feel better already. Maybe today I can sew a bit.



Thursday, December 24, 2015

It's a white Christmas after all, Happy Holidays!

Fingerless mitts

I thought I would stop in here quickly, as I have some errands to do to finish the last things to make our family Christmas. This afternoon, after a quick trip to the mall, I will be baking pumpkin and apple pies, which is something that I love to do.

I thought I would also share some photos of the fingerless texting mitts and toque that I made for my youngest, although now adult teenage son.

Fingerless mitts

The point was to give those hands some protection, as this one is always connected to his community, no matter what the weather.

Fingerless mitts

For the hat I wanted to make a traditional Canadian style toque - with ribbing and a folded up brim. When it is really cold, one can fold that brim down.

Fingerless mitts

I prefer a thumb gusset so that the thumb is both warm and can be flexed about on the keypad without distorting the mitten. I used a seed stitch as I love the texture and it feels a bit more masculine with this Noro Silk Garden Light yarn.

Fingerless mitts

I took that photo on our front porch on Dec 15. It has been warm here.


However I woke up today to frosted trees and it is still snowing. We are having a white Christmas after all.

I just took these through my windows, it is a pretty snowy day.

And the winner of this beautiful pink and navy bundle from Fabric Spark is Danielle. Thank you to everyone for joining in and if you wanted these fabrics and did not win, Daryl has more of them in her shop, just saying.

All the best to you and yours!


Monday, December 21, 2015

A Giveaway - in partnership with Fabric Spark

I've partnered today with Fabric Spark for Daryl's 12 Days of Christmas event. Daryl invited me to curate a fat quarter bundle for this giveaway and I chose that beautiful navy and pink bundle. 

For today only, from now - 9 am Eastern Standard Time (EST) until midnight EST, you can enter the draw to win this bundle by doing any or all of the following (each one counts as an entry):

  • Add one comment to this blog post and let me know how this bundle inspires you.
  • If you follow my blog or me on the internet somehow, you can make a second comment on this blog post telling me how you follow me and where.
Note: Please make sure I can find you, or add your email to your comments.

Don't delay, the giveaway closes at midnight EST (which is 10 pm at my house in Alberta, MST) tonight (Dec 21). If you need to figure out the timing at your house, you can always check here. This giveaway is open to everyone, no matter where in the world you live.

Edited: It's after midnight EST, so this giveaway is now closed.

It's a beautiful bundle, and it will be a lovely present for one of you. Daryl and I will  announce the winner December 23.



Tuesday, December 15, 2015

December Scraptastic Tuesday winners

Nicky and I have prizes to distribute for the December Scraptastic Tuesday Link up. And I don't have anything to share scrappy project wise today, but I will hopefully have more later this week as I have some scrappy presents to make.


In the meantime, we did decorate the Christmas tree and here is an attempt to capture the rainbows in the crystal ornaments. Clearly I need to get out my real camera and try again, but it still makes me smile to see the holiday celebrations getting underway.

Now onto the prizes from our fantastic sponsors:

A huge thank you to our generous sponsors for providing the following prizes which were awarded randomly among to the following lucky winners:
    Congratulations to all our winners and thank you to everyone who linked up for the lovely inspiration. I will be sending emails shortly to get the prizes to people.

    Please plan to join Nicky from Mrs. Sew and Sow and I for January's Scraptastic Tuesday on the second Tuesday in January which is January 12, 2016.



    Sunday, December 13, 2015

    If you were shopping ... #48 - Sponsor Holiday Sales

    Welcome to if you're shopping.... On Fridays, sometimes Sundays,like today,  I share news from my sponsors, in case you want to do a little shopping, or even window shopping. Today I have some special holiday deals to share.

    Fabric Spark is celebrating the 12 Days of Christmas with  a different special deal every day until December 23.

    Sew Sisters Quilt Shop has some special holiday offers.

    Sew me a Song has the most fantastic selection of custom curated bundles!

    Green Fairy Quilts is having a 12 days of Christmas event with a new deal each day until Dec 23.

    Check out the 2015 Holiday Gift Guide at the Fat Quarter Shop.

    Oakshott Fabrics has beautiful holiday gift suggestions.

    Mad about Patchwork has a fantastic sale selection.

    The Fat Quarter Shop has started their Countdown to Christmas Daily Flash Sales.