Let It Go!

I am always learning- every single day. Some days it may be the littlest thing that I have learned, but it’s still learning. I find inspiration everywhere. I also love to create. And through learning I am able to be creative. Through inspiration I gather ideas, they go through the blender that is inside my brain and eventually these ideas and inspirations somehow come out of me, in my creativity. But at what point are these concepts, techniques I have learned, and have been inspired from, actually considered my own designs?

Well after speaking with someone on the phone the other day- her opinion was, a design can never be considered an original design if someone had that design first. It doesn’t matter the design was inspired by something; it is still considered a derivative of that original work. Which means no matter how much blending goes on in my brain- no ideas would be my own original designs.

Have I lost you here? Because I ended that phone call scratching my head, then crying, then getting very angry. How can anyone’s designs be original and their own? Unless we were born knowing everything and walk around with blinders on, and earplugs in- never to be influenced by anything, our inspiration had to come from somewhere.

I started thinking of every creative thing I could and examples of how past artists inspire future artists. My thoughts were endless. There is no shortage of creativity in this world and millions of opportunities for learning. I spend WAY too long looking at quilts, fascinated by what people are creating, seeking out the next opportunity to learn, being challenged with my own quilting, which is the reason why I am still taking classes and workshops whenever something interests me. I will never stop learning!

So back to my phone conversation. Grab a cup of tea, sit down for a while, this is going to be a long blog post. But there will be photos, and inspiration, and tears, and creativity- everything, which makes me love being a quilter.

I started long arm machine quilting 15+ years ago when in our area, at the time, there was little to no training. Our only sources were books, DVDs, friends, yearly quilting conventions. I don’t even think quilting had an online presence like it does today. I wasn’t on Facebook posting photos, there was no Instagram, we did what we could to teach ourselves, and gather inspiration in little snippets where we could.

Years later I am still gathering inspiration, sometimes in the middle of the night, when I can’t sleep, I am on my iPhone, under the covers scrolling through Instagram being amazed at all the quilting around the world. I can guarantee I will be doing this exact thing in a few weeks when QuiltCon is happening, searching hash tags, photo feeds, sharing moments in time with all the other quilters who want to be excited with all the new ideas.

I was fortunate to attend the last QuiltCon, in Austin where I signed up for some lectures and workshops hoping to learn something new. I grow pretty stale very quickly in my quilting and just wanted to find that one little spark to ignite my passion again for another year. So I signed up for Krista Withers’ class called Compositional Drawing class. I had never taken a drawing class; never taken a class offered by Krista before and was so excited! What could I possibly be learning? I bought the required supplies, and I was ready! Though I was so disappointed when I was emailed my class handouts leading up to the workshop. They were quite vague, explained how to quilt a paisley shape and I immediately thought why did I sign up for a class I already knew how to do? I mean come on, I had been quilting paisleys for longer than Krista had been machine quilting! WRONG! And I apologize for thinking I wouldn’t learn anything before I even took the class. Funny thing is I never even used the paisley design in my quilt.

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Class handout from Compositional Drawing- Krista Withers

This class was a drawing class where we would learn a concept/ technique of dividing our quilt tops into areas and then quilting those areas with whatever designs we choose. We did not copy any patterns, trace any designs, or have Krista mark our samples. We were given free reign to come up with whatever design we wanted.

Here are the notes I took in class and my class sample.

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The technique was intriguing and as soon as I got home, I pieced a quilt top and started my own version of what I had learned.For me, I want to jump right into something with little to no planning. I learn by doing, not by drawing. Yes I made a few notes and sketches, but I wanted to quilt and I wanted to quilt NOW. I grabbed my blue marking pencil, some rulers and stencils and got to work. I learned a lot about this technique of quilting and when I can find the time, I have another quilt top just waiting for me to play around again. This is a design that is ever evolving. It can be reworked time and time again to include many different elements within that one idea.

Here is my sketch I made to be quilted on my quilt top.

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So here is where I start to get angry.

I took a workshop, learned something new, wanted to try this new idea I learned, worked on my design, made a quilt, entered my quilt in a juried show only to be told that my quilting designs were not my original designs and that the designs on my quilt were Krista’s designs. This got my back up a bit because while the concept and technique was Krista’s, I believe that the design is mine. I chose how to divide up my quilt top, how many horizontal lines to use, where to section off the smaller sections, how many circles to quilt etc. I learned so much in that workshop that I wanted to try it on my own and did just that. And isn’t that what everyone does after taking workshops? That is the whole point of a workshop- to learn something and then continue working on what you learned later after the workshop on your own.

I mean if we were to take a workshop and then never be able to work on it again, without being told our work at home was not original, then what the point of ever taking a workshop? What is the point of ever wanting to learn anything new? And if we were all making the exact same version of what we learned from an instructor, then the world would be full of the one exact same quilt. Because I am telling you- we all had to start somewhere. We were all taught how to quilt at some point in our lives. Even the self-taught quilters, found ideas and inspiration somewhere because none of them were born knowing how to sew a 9-patch block, as simple and easy as that block is.

I know that the lady that phoned me has strong opinions on copy write in the quilting industry. But for her to tell me that my design was not original was her opinion- and her opinion alone. Which got me doing a little research. Because while I knew my design was my own, I felt that I needed to prove it, and to be honest; she made me feel like I was somehow in the wrong. Every time I have entered my quilt I have given credit to Krista Withers saying I learned this technique in her workshop. I even gave her credits in the comments on some of my photos on Instagram. I have never once claimed I invented this technique of quilting- NEVER. But for this lady on the phone, being inspired by something is not acceptable, to give credit to Krista’s workshop is not acceptable. She stuck by her opinion that my design was not my own original design. But I do believe that the design I quilted on my quilt is my own original design and that design was inspired by a technique I learned from Krista.

So through research I found this article titled Deciphering the Myth Surrounding Original, Derivative & Copied work by Anna Hergert, which was published in The Canadian Quilter CQA magazine Spring 2013 edition.

“However, here is the good news—once the workshop participant returns to her own sewing space or studio and further develops the concept learned in the classroom, this subsequent work is considered original. In addition, it is important to point out that embroidery and quilting stitches are not copyrighted. Simple and compound stitches of any combination have been executed by our ancestors through the ages and as such they are in the public domain!”

This article states that if you took a workshop and learned something in that workshop- once you leave the workshop, go home and then further develop the concept learned, the subsequent work is considered original. UUUUMMMMM- that’s what I did.  And the fact that this whole original design issue has to do with my machine quilting stitches, which are clearly stated not possible to copyright.

Do I even have to go any further with this blog post because there is my point right there.  Why has this woman on the quilt show jury committee even bothered to call me and create an issue when clearly there is no need.

And why have I let it bother me for the whole week?  I need to start twirling around dancing singing the song from Frozen- Let It GO!

But I guess for me, it’s the principal of the whole entering a quilt into a juried show thing.  Shows like these have so many rules and regulations so that they give off the illusion of being professional.  How professional is it really when one person is the ONLY person to see all the online quilt entries, then makes decisions based on her opinion alone, as to which quilts actually go through and be seen by the 3 person jury committee?  Based on the entry forms and photos, this jury person forms her opinion on if all the photos are the correct size, if all the credit is given, if your design is original, if your quilt is in the proper category etc. Any entries that she has concern with, then she follows up. And those entries that are deemed satisfactory by this one person are then passed along to the next step where they then have the opportunity to be juried in.  Who knew jurying was a two step process? Not me until this week! Who knew one person’s opinion on what was an original design or not would be a great topic for a blog post? Not me until this week!

Thankfully after many phone calls, I was informed my quilt would be able to stay in the Modern Quilts category and be considered an original design.  Which is all I really wanted in the first place, why I entered my quilt in the NJS and in the Modern category.  Now it’s fate is in the hands of the jury, to determine if they would like to have it in the quilt show.

I don’t have the quilt with me now to take any photos, since it’s at QuiltCon, but here are some screen shots from my IG as well as from Krista’s IG.  You can see while our quilts are quilted with the same elements- lines, pebbles, circles etc. they are also different by where the elements are placed, how the quilt top has been divided and sectioned off etc.

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This is a photo from Krista’s IG

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Let me know what you think-   melonpatch.quilts @ yahoo . ca

(you will have to email me directly, I had to shut down the comments on my blog as the spam was out of control)

SWAPS- love them or hate them? I feel a rant coming on…..

I started swapping a little over a year ago- at the time I thought it sounded like a great idea! Kind of like a modern day quilting pan pal?

Well swapping isn’t all I thought it would be!

You all know the disclaimer that starts off by saying OPINIONS EXPRESSED BY THOSE OF THE INDIVIDUAL AND DO NOT REFLECT……blah blah blah.

Well these are my opinions about swaps and do not reflect all swaps in general. I am sure most of the swaps are problem free right?

Email me if you have any comments- I would love to hear them. melonpatch (dot) quilts (at) yahoo (dot) ca

So back to the topic at hand- Swaps. We all know them, you sign up, you get a partner, you stalk them for weeks trying to figure out what kind of quilt they would like, photos are posted for ideas, you work on your swap, you buy some fun extras and secretly mail out your precious parcel and then.. NOTHING! What the hell happens to all the MIA swaps? Is there a Bermuda Triangle just for quilting swaps?

My first swap was a Flickr Swap, called Sweet Swap- where I signed up, posted a mosaic on my likes, was assigned a partner and voila, instant swap. Since it was my first swap, I tried to be a good girl and follow all the rules and be a good swap partner. Some swaps have rules as to how many photos to post online, a deadline to mail your swap by etc. and I did all that right down to the letter! Well over a year later and I still have not received my swap in return. So where did it all go wrong? Who knows? The person running the swap asked for feedback from all participants to let her know if you had sent your swap and if you had received your swap. I followed up with her letting her know that my partner never acknowledged she received my swap- so did she ever get it? Was it lost in the mail? Is she just rude and didn’t want to post the required photos or send a thank you card? All unanswered questions. Even when following up with the swap leader, because I never received my swap, she said she would make me something and send it out so I wouldn’t be left out of the swap and nope, never got that either. Is this the way all swaps go?

Here is an in progress of the mini I made for the Flickr Swap. (I forgot to get a photo of the whole package before sending)

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On to swap # 2- the QuiltCon Lanyard Swap. This was an exciting swap as it was associated with the lead up to QuiltCon frenzy. Who wouldn’t love to make a simple lanyard to swap and then possibly meet your swap partner at QuiltCon to say HI? Sign me up I said, despite getting burnt on my first swap. On IG there was a special # for the swap, lots of creeping going on with partners to see what their tastes were, boy was I optimistic! And this swap leader- Jules seemed to be quite organized and helpful, so what could go wrong? She had a great email with rules and information- partner info- everything to ensure a great swap.

My partner Alex was easy to make for, and easy to add extras as well, she has a cute dog, she liked coffee, no problem! I sent my swap out and thankfully she received everything safe and sound and posted a nice thank you on IG. So far so good for at least ½ the swap.

Here is a photo of what I sent Alex for her swap.

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Jules had a deadline to let her know by, if we had received our swap in return. Once again I had the bad swap mojo and never got a lanyard. Why Me?

But Jules was in fact a great swap host and followed up with my sending partner Hilary who was going to be at QuiltCon and agreed to meet me in Texas and personally give me a replacement lanyard. Better late then never! Hilary was such a sweetie and made me the best lanyard- my faith in swaps was almost returning. Who knows what happened to that first lanyard that was mailed out- hopefully someone at Canada Post is enjoying it.

Here is a photo of the lanyard Hilary made for me and look at her pin that she gave me too!

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Still coming off my partially successful swap high, I decided to sign up for my 3rd swap- the Rainbow Mini Swap hosted by Kate. WOW Kate is a VERY organized swap host, and she assigned some swap mammas to keep each colour of the rainbow organized, sent reminder emails, checked to see if your swap was sent and received- more than anything I had seen in my 2 previous swaps.

But even with all the best intentions, I was doomed again with swapping partners. I totally must have a sign on my back that says- terrible swap partners please swap with me. Because it all went down hill from the beginning.

Kate’s swap required participants to post a few in progress photos on IG so I kept checking on my partner and see what she was making for her swap mini. Kate had made it pretty clear that you had to participate fully or your swapping ass would get kicked out. (my words, not hers- she is way too sweet to say that)

Swappers were not allowed to send your swaps if your partner had not shown enough progress- so guess what, my swapper showed no progress. She posted photo after photo of her cats, but no mini. So, way past the deadline my partner was removed from the swap. What was I going to do with the rainbow mini I had made? I mean I liked it, and I guess I could keep it, but it was intended to be swapped and I really wanted this swap to work- all my future swaps were riding on it. This was a make it or break it swap.

I contacted Kate and offered my mini if she needed one for another participant who had an equally wonky partner like mine. While waiting to see if I had to send mine somewhere, I got some happy mail. I had finally and actually received a rainbow mini swap present from Ginette. It’s like the sky opened up and dropped a little rainbow quilt in my hands to have finally received something in a swap! I think I heard a choir singing as my very first swap parcel was being opened. Ginette had made the loveliest star quilt and added a thread catcher and hand turned wood seam ripper her Uncle had made. Isn’t that the nicest thing? And being the twice burned and good swapper that I am, I posted an IG thank you as well as photos and even sent a written thank you note. I wanted to make sure my partner knew her swap had arrived and that it was just perfect. I didn’t want her forever wondering like I still am.

Here is a photo of the swap present I received from Ginette. So lovely.

Maybe if I followed the swapping thank you rules the good karma would come back? HA HA HA- NO sadly that did not happen. Kate found me someone that needed a replacement partner so I bought some Canadian extras, since this swap was going to the UK, and sent my parcel off hoping for the best. That was months ago and have I heard any feedback if my mini arrived in the UK? Not a tea-drinking thing. I mean, who does that? No acknowledgement of receiving a swap gift? Just plain rude!

I know I sound harsh and that sometimes things come up in a person’s life and they can’t honour their previous commitments, but when given the option to pull out of a swap to ease the burden and they don’t, what is the purpose? Are people signing up for swaps to be swap thieves- get sent a swap but send nothing in return? Have they no morals?
You are just ruining swaps for everyone else people- so stop it!

Please play by the rules; actually swap when you are signed up for a swap- that is why they are called swaps.

Here is a photo of my Kaffe Mini Swap that went to Georgia, with some tea as my partner likes tea.  This did arrive safely to her despite her changing her address the last week of the swap.  And my partner was nice enough to let me know she got it.

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Am I deterred from future swaps? For a while I thought NO MORE SWAPS! But then a really simple swap came up on IG. A Polaroid greeting swap. Just a block, no extras. I could do this, really what harm would it be? Use some of my fabric from my stash, write a short note, and off in the mail go the blocks.

This swap is actually so much fun. There are multiple daily posts on what blocks have been received and I love looking at all the cute fabrics.

Here are some of my latest blocks I received.  Wonderful blocks, personal cards and some interesting facts about the area my swap partners live in.

Once all the blocks come in each person should have 20 Polaroid blocks from all over the world.  I even got some from Norway, Germany and Australia.

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Then last week the Round 2 of the Rainbow Mini Swap started up- and of course since I loved the first round and Kate is just such a sweetheart, I signed up. Can’t tell you much about this swap other than my partner is in Toronto and we are both on Team Red.  I already follow her on IG so wonder if she will know I am her secret partner? I will post progress on this swap as I go along.

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So what experiences have you had with swaps- and please I hope you have had more luck than I have! Renew my faith in swaps!

OK getting down of my soap box now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SWO MOD Retreat – How fun is this going to be!

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The London MQG and the Toronto MQG are hosting the first ever SWO MOD Retreat in April 2016!

It’s a weekend away with others to sew and quilt, you can relax, eat delicious food, don’t have to worry about chores at home, basically have a great time with other modern quilters.  I love going on retreat because just being with others that love quilting, energizes me and de-stresses me (even just a little bit) and I have just the best time.

Our retreat is April 8-10, 2016 at the Elm Hurst Inn in Ingersoll.  It is open to all MQG members in SW Ontario as well as Individual Members.  There are a few spots still available, so if you want to join us here is the link for more information.

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Hope to see you there!  I will be the one in my pjs drinking wine- oh wait, there may be a few of us! 

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Cheryl Arkison is coming! Trunk show and lecture- November 5th.

The London Modern Quilt Guild Canada is hosting Cheryl Arkison for a lecture and trunk show on Thursday November 5th at 7PM.

This will be an exciting night!  Hope to see you there!

November 5, 2015 – Cheryl Arkison Lecture: Sunday Morning Quilts

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“Cheryl Arkison is a writer, quilt designer, teacher, mom, friend, sister, daughter, and the bestest wife ever.

Her first book, co-authored with Amanda Jean Nyberg, is called Sunday Morning Quilts. It was published in March 2012 by Stash Books. Her second book, A Month of Sundays, was published in July 2013. Her third book You Inspire Me to Quilt will be released in 2015. She has also contributed to the books Modern BlocksPlayful Little Paper Pieced ProjectsLucky Spool’s Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making, and theBlog Aid Cookbook”

-www.cherylarkison.com

Read More…

 

You and Me quilt accepted into the AQS show in Grand Rapids MI

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I was just filling out my additional information regarding the quilt show and looked at the list of “Semi Finalists” and thought I may never see my name on a list with Marilyn Badger or Sally Terry ever again-LOL so I had to print it out as a keepsake!

Congratulations to the AQS QuiltWeek® – Grand Rapids Semi-finalists!

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This year’s semi-finalists:

Paige Alexander
Roberta Amstadt
Alice Aukeman
Marilyn Badger
Mary Bauer
Elizabeth Bauman
Pam Beal
Thelma Bearden
Cassandra Ireland Beaver
Jan Berg-Rezmer
Jackie Berry
Cathy Boo
Barbara Sellers Bredemeier
Lonnie Brewer
Cheryl Brickey
Joan Brink
Pamela Brockwell
Andrea M. Brokenshire
Connie Brown
Jean Brueggenjohann
Clem Buzick
Lisa H. Calle
Lura Campbel
Elsie M. Campbell
Capitol City Quilt Guild
Susan Carlson
Sheri Cifaldi-Morrill
Sandy Clark
Barbara Clem
Peg Collins
Mary Coolsaet
Lenore Crawford
Bonnie Marshall Creel
Beverly Curtis
Donna DeFusco
Judy DenHerder
Donna Derstadt
Des Moines Area Quilters Guild
Lora Douglas
Rose Dumas
East Cobb Quilters’ Guild
Elizabeth Jayne Edwards
Chris Eichner
Elaine Krajenke Ellison
Marilyn Eparvier
Diane J. Evans
Megan Farkas
Fiber Art Friends
Linda Fleschner
Julie Foura
Jan Frazer
Linda French
Cindy Frese
Mary L. Frost
Cindy Garcia
Susan Garrity
Cathy Geier
Doris Goins
Olga Gonzalez-Angulo
Peggy Green
Susan Griffin
Becky Grover
Karen Grover
Shari McDonnell Guimont
Margaret Solomon Gunn
Happy Heart Quilters
Ann Harwell
Sue Hawkes
Antonia Hering
Dianne S. Hire
Pat Holly
Dolores “Del” Horan
Ann Horton
Joanne Howe
Leanne Hurley
Jan Hutchison
Deborah S. Hyde
Cyndi Johnson
Monica Johnstone
Journeys Thru Art
Georgianne Kandler
Donna Karolus
Susie Karr
Cheryl Kerestes
Patricia C. Kilmark
Cuauhtemoc Kish
Kathy Koch
Carol Kolf
Tim Latimer
Michele B. Lea
Janet Lewis
Susan Liimatta
Ann Loveless
Judith Loveless
Sally Manke
Beth Markel
Deb Martens
Angela Mason
Susan Harbolt McCombs
Ruth McCormick
Kristyn McCoy
Linda McGibbon
Barbara Barrick McKie
Kathy McNeil
Pamela Michaelan
Milwaukee Art Quilters
Melanie Jane Mitchell
Diane Mooradian
Valentina Mort
Caron L. Mosey
Nancy Mullin
Claudia Clark Myers
Ravoe Nelson
Bethanne Nemesh
Charlotte Noll
North Star Quilt Guild
Beth Nufer
Oakland County Quilt Guild
Joyce O’Connell
Lynne Osborn
Out of the Box Design Group
Jean Overmeyer
Amy Pabst
Catherine Palmer
Lynn Peck-Collins
Carol Perkins
Dan Perkins
Claudia Pfeil
Cyndi Phillip
Joanie Zeier Poole
Jyl Poole
Elaine Wick Poplin
Possum Town Quilters
Becky Preston
Nancy Prince
Sue Reno
Maria Reuter
Bonnie Rhoby
River Heritage Quilters’ Guild
Jodi Robinson
Julia Rockwell
Felicity Ronaghan
Stephanie Zacharer Ruyle
Pauline Salzman
Elizabeth Ann Sarles
Sylvia Schaefer
Beth Schillig
Linda S. Schmidt
Janet Schug
Patricia Shepard
Chieko Shiraishi
Beth Houck Shutty
Side Track Quilters
Lori Sikkema
Grace Sim
Maggie Smith
Marilyn Smith
Smoky Mountain Quilters of Tennessee
Janice Smyth
Gethyn L. Soderman
Christine Somerset
Edith Stein
Gail Stepanek
Karen Stockwell
Janet Stone
Dorothy Strefling
Linda Syverson Guild
Sally Terry
Judy Mercer Tescher
The Slice of Life Quilters
Zena Thorpe
Leslie Tidaback-Hilmer
Laura Trenbeath
Carla Triemer
Ann Turley
Sherry Turpenoff
Lynne Tyler
Utah Valley Quilt Guild
Mary Ann Van Soest
Barb Vedder
Kathy Veenstra
Kristin Vierra
Elsie Vredenburg
Christa Watson
Tamara Watts-McPhail
Suzy Webster
Sandra Werlich
West Michigan Quilters’ Guild
Sue Ann Wiltse
Linda Wolf
Victoria Findlay Wolfe
Julia C. Wood
Colleen Wootton
Linda A. Woytisek
Luca Zagliani
Anne F. Zick
Susan Ziel

Good luck to all of the semifinalists!

Missing Limberlost- Stitch’N Time is on summer break

Well today I was about to begin my regular Tuesday morning routine, when I realized that there is no learn to quilt class today, since we are on summer break.  Well this resulted in me having a pretty boring morning at home.

Thankfully we can get together once in July and once in August so I won’t miss everyone so much.  If you can make it- July 14 and August 11 are the dates.

So here is a long over due recap on the past few weeks.

The London Community Chaplaincy had their annual general meeting and invited the students of the Stitch ‘N Time classes and the volunteers. Nikki said it best- it was like the students were having their own quilt show!  Here are some photos from that night.

Hiba and her girls in front of Hiba’s very first quilt.

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Nikki’s quilt- one of many!

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Milehat’s brown table topper, her rag quilt and some of her crocheting and knitting afghans.

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Chima’s hand stitched blanket.

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A table full of Nikki’s quilts- boy she sure has been busy these past 2 years!

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The London Modern Quilt Guild Canada’s QuiltCon Charity quilt on display.

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All the volunteers got a thoughtful thank you card and some treats.

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And here are some more photos from the past 2 weeks at the classes.

 

This was the first day Chima used a sewing machine- I think she is a natural!

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Here is Nikki working on piecing a piano keys border.

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Milehat is a little shy hiding behind her finished flannel squares quilt.

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Here are some volunteers and Nikki hand tying her latest quilt for her nephew.

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Chima working away on her fleece rag quilt.

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This is a photo of Nikki’s quilt before it was basted- looks like stained glass when the light shines through.

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So as you can see these ladies are so busy!

Thank you to all the people that have donated fabrics and sewing supplies and machines.  We appreciate everything!

Can’t wait until September so we can start up again on a weekly basis!

Guest Blog post on Charity Quilting at Frankenstein’s Fabrics

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Marni was kind enough to interview me about my Charity Quilting- and you know how I love to promote what I am passionate about!  And don’t you just love her spooky graphics?  Since my daughter’s birthday is on Hallowe’en, I am partial to all things cute and spooky.

Here is my guest post on Marni’s blog: Link to my guest blog post> HERE

Marni will be posting a few more Charity Quilting interviews in the next little while so be sure to check out her blog and see what other charities that quilters are working with.  Click on her button and you can directly go to her website.  Thank you so much Marni for taking the time to let others know all about my charity quilting.

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Visiting the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild in Halifax

I love following the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild’s blog, and when a trip to Halifax found me in the city on their guild night- I was lucky enough to attend!

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I contacted Adrienne, the Guild’s President, who was so kind and gave me directions to the meeting. Usually they meet in Halifax at their LQS but for scheduling reasons, this meeting was across the water in Dartmouth. Lucky for me this meant some additional sightseeing and a quick ferry ride!

The Maritime Modern Quilt Guild is a very active guild that meets once a month for the usual Guild meeting, and once a month on a Saturday for an all day Sew-In, as well as every two months for a Skills Building workshop. They also meet all through the year, without a break for summer.

We had limited time in Halifax so left my husband cracking lobster for his dinner to grab the little ferry that runs between Halifax and Dartmouth. It takes around 10 minutes to go across, and gives the loveliest views of both harbours. It was only a short walk for a few blocks to the meeting location, which I learned was where they hold their Sew-Ins. The room had lovely light and a view of Halifax across the river. Not sure how any of the quilters would get work done with that view! I’d be staring at it all day long.

I was a bit early, and spent some time before the meeting talking to Adrienne. She has a blog that can be found at http://chezzetcookmodernquilts.blogspot.ca

We talked about each of our guilds and I learned that the MMQG has a bout 40 members with around 20 coming out regularly to the meetings. One interesting feature with the MMQG is they offer 2 levels of Membership. One if you live in the Halifax area and another if you live somewhere else in the Maritimes. Given that the East Coast is pretty large, those that live further away, and can’t attend the monthly meetings, are able to be a member of the Guild and not feel pressured to drive for hours and hours each month. These members are still able to participate in all the Guild activities like swaps and charity quilts, via mail. Adrienne also said that an Ottawa MQG Member just moved to PEI and that she would be organizing a PEI chapter of the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild. How cool is that!

The MMQG members started arriving and the meeting was buzzing with excitement. This guild is a very friendly and social guild- much like everyone we met from the East Coast! The Maritime Community is such a friendly one- where people offer you directions when they can see you are clearly lost in downtown Halifax, stop their cars EVERY time a pedestrian is crossing the street, cars don’t honk, the drivers are cautious, just an all around niceness!

The first few minutes of the guild meeting, the members were chatting and catching up on things since the last meeting. The first order of business was the nametag draw. The members have made their own nametags and for each person that remembered to wear their nametag, they get a draw ticket. This Guild must do a lot of draws and everyone was excited to win a prize. Karen won the nametag prize of some fat ¼’s.

Adrienne went though the guild business talking about the MQG updates, charity quilts, swaps and challenges. For their charity quilts, they make 8” HST blocks each Quarter. They have a predetermined colour palette and then the members make the blocks and hand them in at the meetings. For each block made, the member gets a draw ticket. Linda made 104 blocks in Q-1 and she was also the winner of the draw- a great book- Patchwork City by Elisabeth Hartman. The Guild as a whole made 230 blocks. With the blocks that the members make, one of the members takes the blocks home and sews them into a quilt top in whatever pattern they choose. Then someone else takes it to quilt and bind.

MMQG charity quilt top example

The Guild also just finished a member’s blog hop organized by Jenn.

http://maritimemqg.blogspot.ca/2015/05/meet-maritime-modern-blog-hop.html This was a way to get to know the members of the MMQG. They have awesome bloggers in this guild, some of them I was already following.

Adrienne also talked about the various challenges and swaps coming up for their guild. The MQG Riley Blake fabric challenge is nearing the deadline and for the June meeting they wanted members to bring their finished quilts to participate in a Viewer’s Choice contest among the members. Linda had just finished her entry and brought it for Show and Share.

MMQG Riley Blake entry

There is also the Michael Miller challenge that MQG members had just signed up for, and a Pillow Swap with the Edmonton MQG. They have done other swaps with Canadian MQGs and said if the London MQG was interest in a swap to let them know. (pillow photo from Jenn’s blog)

MMQG pillow swap

After the meeting portion was a slide show on Paper Piecing. Dena had a wonderful PowerPoint presentation on the step-by-step technique and had her block as an example as well as a few quilts she had made with the Paper Piecing technique. Dena is a very humorous presenter! The guild members were able to ask questions throughout the presentation if they needed more explanation, as PPing can be very tricky.

MMQG Dena's PPing example

After Dena’s presentation we had a quick break for CAKE! It was Adrienne’s birthday so we sang to her and ate some yummy cake while Show and Share began. There were some awesome Show and Share quilts from these ladies, who look like they are quite busy quilting!

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After the Show and Share, the meeting ended and many of the members stayed around a little while longer chatting. These ladies are just the nicest bunch of quilters! I hope if I get back to Halifax I will be able to attend another meeting!

As I was walking down the street, one of the MMQG members (so sorry I forgot her name) stopped and asked me if I needed a ride. I knew it was a short ferry ride to the other side, so I declined but thanked her. Should have taken her up on the ride, as Halifax is a very hilly city. I felt like I was climbing a mountain walking up those streets back to my hotel! I did enjoy seeing the city lights at night though both from the ferry and the roof top patio at our hotel.

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Thanks again to everyone at the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild for making me feel so welcome! Hope to see you again.

This is a link to their guild post with some photos.

http://maritimemqg.blogspot.ca/2015/05/mmqg-may-meeting-recap.html

 

 

 

Limberlost update

It was another busy week!

Nikki made a baby quilt and Jessie was helping her finish hand sewing the binding.

 

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Amy was cutting the edges of her rag quilt for her son.  She is almost done, but sure her hand must be cramping by now!

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Milehat finished sewing the rows together on her quilt.

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Yesterday I trimmed up Nikki’s quilt for her sister and put on the binding- it is ready to hand turn the binding, which might take a while as this is the largest quilt Nikki has made so far.

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And Nikki also made this lap quilt for her friend Nancy.  I quilted some leaves and swirls then put the binding on for her.  Here is yet another one that needs the binding sewn by hand.  She definitely has lots of hand work for the next few weeks!

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A new student named Chima joined our group, and she has started hand sewing a blanket stitch on a strip blanket.  She is also working on the binding by hand and she is quite quick at the binding.  We are getting close to the end of the term, with only about 1 month left of the learn to quilt classes.  Hopefully in the next few weeks Chima will be able to finish her blanket and pick some fabrics for a quilt that she can begin on in September, when we start up again.

Limberlost Quilting Group update from last week

After being busy for 2 weeks in a  row, I was really missing the quilting group at Limberlost!  It was great to get back and catch up with the ladies and see all that they had worked on the past few weeks.

Here is Milehat’s new “rag”quilt.  After she finished her first rag quilt, did all the cutting and washed it to fray the edges, she really doesn’t like how it looks.  So she has a bunch of squares that she is sewing into a regular quilt top, where the seams will all be inside.

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Here she is hard at work piecing her quilt.

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Nikki is working on a quilt for her sister with green and blue and brown fabrics.  She is making an improv log cabin, queen sized quilt. Here she is sewing the rows together into a completed quito top.

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Nikki also took some extra blocks and made some pillows to go with her quilt.

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By the end of the class she had a completed quilt top. Tomorrow we hope to pin baste it and get it ready for her to tie.

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Hiba was able to come to class, and it was good to see her.  She is so busy with school, I think she welcomed this break!  Willie was able to sew the backing and baste Hiba’s quilt for her, so it is ready to quilt/ tie.

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Here is the back- putting the borders on it makes it reversible.

IMG_1784And of course Nikki is working on many things at once, and this is a baby blanket she is quilting.  It is just 2 layers of flannel with no batting, so the baby can be wrapped and swaddled in it.  I think that tomorrow she may be working on the binding- if she didn’t already complete it at home.  
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Tomorrow will be another day full of lots of quilting! Thanks again to all the volunteers who continue to help out, and to everyone that has donated quilting supplies and fabric- you ensure that our classes are possible!

Pattern Testing the Magic Carpet Quilt

I have never tested a quilt pattern before- have to tell you it was a really fun and challenging experience.

Christina from A Few Scraps posted on IG that she had a new pattern called Magic Carpet, and I volunteered to test her pattern for her before she put it up for sale online.

I knew I was going to be away at retreat and would have some time to sew it, so I jumped at the chance. I saw the pattern photo and some of the examples she had in different colour ways- and wanted to make one with grey fabrics, ranging from light to dark and into black. The week before I received a bolt of Quilter’s Linen that I had ordered- and pretty sure the colour silver is not a bright blue- but that is what they sent me. So I thought this blue would look good with the greys and I had many, many metres to use up. Even with using it in the quilt, for the binding and backing, the bolt looks full, guess I will have to find another pattern to use more of it.

When reading the pattern, I had some confusion with the cutting directions. I made notes when working through each colour and eventually got everything cut properly. One thing about pattern testing- I was a tad nervous about relaying my input back to Christina as I felt like I was criticizing her or being too bossy. But I thought- what if I were a new quilter and had problems with the cutting section? I would want the cutting directions to be as clear as possible.  So I closed my eyes and hit send on my email and hoped for the best!

I am a person who loves a blank pattern so that I can colour in the blocks in my colour way. Christina included this with her pattern and I found it incredibly helpful. One thing I would have loved is a place to tape my fabric selection within the pattern so that I could look at that and reference the colours when cutting and sewing. This was one idea I suggested. You can see on my photo that I taped a bunch of fabric to keep me straight. I think using so many greys might have been a little more confusing if I didn’t tape my fabrics to my pattern.

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Well Christina took my suggestions and added a place to tape the fabrics to, and reworded the cutting directions to make it more user friendly. And she said I wasn’t bossy at all! Hopefully she is being honest!

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I noticed in the final version of the pattern some notes were made regarding directional fabric. I did not use directional fabric, but I think another pattern tester might have since this was different from the original pattern. I really appreciate Christina taking all the feedback into account and making changes to her original pattern. It wouldn’t be easy to create a pattern then have a bunch of people telling you what to change.

With there being a few IG people working on the quilt at the same time, we were all posting photos as we went along. Lots of photos were at the cutting stage, piecing stage and then photos of the completed quilt top. Someone even started the hash tag #ilovepatterntesting so people could look up our progress.  It was interesting to follow along with some many of the same quilts.

Once I had my entire fabric cutting complete, I started piecing the background fabric to all the different coloured fabrics. I must say that this step went together quite quickly. I read the instructions on sewing the strips together, then really did not have to refer back to them much when sewing the columns. Christina has some great coloured photos in her pattern so I basically put the quilt together by looking at the photos. How easy is that?

Here is the quilt top I made at retreat. Don’t you love the carpet at Memories Manor?

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I was working on this quilt at retreat with some people that did not sew, they were there to do scrapbooking. At dinner they had to walk by my quilt pinned up on the design wall, and they loved how it looked. Wonder if any of them will take up sewing now?

With the layout of the blocks and the colours of fabric I chose, I thought that the quilt looked 3D. I wanted to try some quilting to reflect that idea, and thought the farthest away light fabric would have narrow straight-line quilting. Then I worked my way up the greys from lightest to the black in the middle with the same straight- line quilting, but increasing the width of the lines by ¼” each colour.

Here is a close up photo of the quilting, which looks interesting. I actually quite like it close up.

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Sometimes I get a brilliant idea in my head- well I thought it was brilliant! After quilting this brilliant idea, I am not sure it is really what I was going for. I think you may need to stand really far away to see my concept, but then if you are too far away you can’t see the actual quilting-LOL  Let me know your thoughts- bring on the truth tea!  The photo is a bit blurry- so you might not be able to see the different widths of quilting.  I was hoping when you looked at the quilt the perspective would be a bit more noticeable. 

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I am now at the hand turning the binding stage- which might take a little while. Here is the finished quilt so far. (what a crappy photo- once the sun comes out I will take a better one.  I was standing on a chair trying to not get my head chopped off by the ceiling fan that doesn’t have a shut off)

Pretty cool pattern eh?

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Thanks again Christina for letting me test your pattern, it was a lot of fun! If you have IG look up #magiccarpetquilt and see what the other quilts look like.

Here is the link to her blog so you can purchase the pattern- A Few Scraps, Magic Carpet Quilt  and a link to her Craftsy page. 

 

 

 

 

Handle Bags Free PDF Pattern

Thought I would post the PDF pattern to the Grab Bag pattern from All People Quilt.  I made a few years ago and love them.  Some of my friends who were helping out with making these bags for Nicaragua, didn’t find them as fun to make as I did- sorry ladies!

Here is the PDF Grab-Bags copy 

and a photo of a few of the bags I made.

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Delayed Q1 Update and Q2 Predictions

I am away at retreat this weekend, and have FAST internet- something I am not used to! So I will take a few minutes and type a huge post of everything I have been working on and what I hope to be working on.

First of all, I have to show you this cute little paper pieced flying geese pin cushion I made this weekend.  with each colour I added and then looked at what was pieced, I kept saying how cute it was.  So here is what it looks like before the stuffing, since I left it at home.  This will be the first thing I finish when I get back.  This is a pattern from Jeli Quilts.  Kelly has so many adorable geese block patterns, have a look at her website!

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Earlier in the year I made a very minimal quilt with some soft colours that remind me of sea glass.  This has been added to my machine quilting To Do pile.

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And I have to quilt my Glam Garlands quilt too.

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Since I had so much yellow and grey fabrics, I decided to use them for my Rebel quilt.  Libs Elliott  designs some awesome quilts and saw that there was a QAL on IG for the Rebel quilt. So I signed up ASAP as this is a quilt I really wanted to do, just needed some incentive.

Don’t you just love it?  And just this weekend Libs posted a link to her Rebel quilt in a mini size, so I will for sure use up my left overs for a mini quilt.

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I was hoping to accomplish a lot on my retreat weekend, so this is the second quilt I worked on.  Last week I volunteered to be a pattern tester for Christina from A Few Scraps and her Magic Carpet quilt.   Her quilt looked so awesome and depending on the fabric selection, it looked 3D.

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While I was sewing a friend noticed my fabrics looked like the Kleenex box on the table.  I was so coordinated!

 

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Here is the finished quilt top- the fabrics range from Kona Silver, through the greys up to Black.

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Then my last quilt I wanted to piece together was one I saw at a booth in QuiltCon.  The sample was made with Carolyn Friedlander’s Doe fabrics.  I didn’t get the top finished, as we lost power for most of the afternoon yesterday.  I did get the strips pieced and then sewn into the rows.

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The next step is the sashing/ borders, but I need to cut that fabric very specifically to keep the pattern going the same direction.  I will work on this at home, so I can take my time.  I finished the bolt and don’t want to make any mistakes as I don’t have a lot of it.

Another IG friend is hosting a Rainbow Mini Swap.  Here is what I made to swap with my partner, but unfortunately I am on the “hold” list for sending it out.  Hurry up partner and get your mini finished, so that I can send this to you.  I just love it!  I made it with the Slice and Insert technique that Jacquie Gering taught in her workshop when she was here last year.

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And here is my MQG Riley Blake Fabric Challenge entry.  The fabrics that were supplies were adorable, and I had so much fun Improv piecing this mini quilt.

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And lastly, here is a new Barn Quilt sign I had made so I can put it on my front lawn for people to find my house easier.  After moving, I am worried that it is a bit hard to find my house, so wanted to give something easy to spot when driving by.

 

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That’s a quick update from the past few months and this weekend. On my Q1 list, I finished my daughter’s friend’s Graduation quilt, and pieced my Glam Garlands quilt and pieced my sea glass fabric quilt.

For Q2 I think I should stop piecing and start quilting.  My pile is growing and growing, and I need to finish up a lot of quilts.

Here are my Q2 goals- Quilt: Glam Garlands, Sea Glass, Doe fabrics, 3rd Graduation quilt, Rebel quilt and my Magic Carpet quilt.  WOW- that’s a lot of quilting!

Maybe my Q3 goals will be only binding?

 

Marsala- Pantone Colour of the Year

I thought I would participate in the Pantone Colour of the Year Challenge again hosted by On The Windy Side and Play Crafts.

When the colour was first announced, there was a lot of hate towards it.  But who could hate any colour of fabric? Especially one that looks like red wine!

I had an idea for a quilt and thought I would make it with my Marsala coloured Kona. I also used Titanium and Pepper because those are just awesome colours!

At QuiltCon I had to leave my Krista Withers class early and didn’t really complete marking my class sample.  So I read through my handouts, had a look at some photos on IG and decided to give it a whirl.

Still not too sure if the quilting is too busy for my style, but it’s growing on me.  I love the quilt as a whole though!

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