April 4, 2011 at 10:15 (Uncategorized)

Nothing like the internet for providing an arena for quilters to get together and plan their strategies.  As I’m sure most of you know,  shortly after the earthquake in Japan, an official “call” went out for quilts.  I haven’t blogged about this yet, but have been watching what was being organized and preparing a few quilts myself to be shipped out.  The following email is from Patti Carey of Northcott fabrics.  In this email she describes the efforts between Northcott and Bev Rogan.  Both websites have been mentioned.   I strongly urge every quilter to send in a quilt of any size – just think of how many quilts we can get!!!

Hi Ladies,
Firstly, thank you for spreading the word about Northcott’s assistance in getting Canadian quilters’ quilts to Japan. We have received many positive comments in the past few days, as shops and quilters band together to create “blankets of love”.
As a result of my email, I was contacted by fellow Canadian Bev Rogan, who has set up a website http://www.quiltsforjapan.ca to also collect quilts to send to the earthquake/tsunami victims in Japan through a relief organization called CRASH. Bev has arranged for the quilts to be included in a 40,000 square ft container that Global Samaritan Resources, partnering with CRASH, is shipping to Japan in May. Bev was interested in partnering with Northcott to include as many quilts as possible. Our goal is the same – getting quilts to the victims in Japan. I see this as a wonderful opportunity – Global Samaritan Resources is paying for the shipping of the container – how generous! A further shipment, if necessary, could be covered by Northcott. I am happy to field questions regarding this, as several quilters have contacted Bev, expressing concerns and confusion on where the quilts are going.
I am also in discussion with the editor of Patchwork Quilt Tsushin to determine if she would benefit from also partnering with CRASH. Again, everyone’s goal is the same – to get the quilts to those who need them. The situation in Japan changes daily, and we will try to remain flexible in order to meet the needs of those in need.
There has been some confusion regarding the quilts themselves, as different bits of information have filtered through to me. Anything from crib to full will be gratefully accepted, though large lap/small twin is most requested (approx 50” x 70”). Warp-speed manic quilters like myself can work on larger quilts, while those who are more comfortable with a slower pace are encouraged to work on smaller quilts. Bev has some very helpful information under the How Can I Help/Quilt Specifications tab on her website, such as including a photo of the quilter safety-pinned to the quilt in a zip-lock bag.
I hope this update clarifies some of the questions that have arisen over the past few days, and that my “emergency relief co-ordination” skills soon kick in. If you could once again share this update with your network of quilting friends, I would very much appreciate it.

Patti Carey
Director of Marketing
101 Courtland Ave.
Vaughan, ON
L4K 3T5
(905)760-0072 (905)760-0073 fax
Visit my blog at http://www.pattispatchwork.com


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Gotta love this kind of a business meeting!

March 23, 2011 at 20:15 (Uncategorized)

As part of the Editorial Advisory Committee for Quilter’s Connection Magazine (www.quiltersconnection.ca), I am required to attend certain meetings and events.  Believe me, this is not a hardship.  Not when the other committee members include Susan Jensen, Pippa Moore, Jean Boyd and Heather McArthur.   We sit around a table with a big pot of tea and plot the present and future of the magazine.  We talk about events happening in Canada and things that inspire us.  We enjoy each other’s company.  Oh, and did I mention that only 3 of us are in one room?  That’s right, just Heather, Sue and I in Vancouver.  Pippa is over on Vancouver Island and Jean is in Ontario.  They join us by way of a telephone in the middle of the table.  However, they have assured us that they are sipping tea as well.

We were joined by another quilter this time.  Karen Christie is Heather’s assistant.  Hired just last week she tried her best not to look too overwhelmed by the topics that were swirling around like a whirlpool.

Monday’s meeting took up the entire day.  After saying goodbye to Pippa and Jean, we carried on with a planning meeting for the magazine’s quilting retreat, September 9th.  (information on the retreat can be found in the spring issue of Quilter’s Connection Magazine or online http://www.quiltersconnection.ca)  It’s exciting to make plans for this fun event, obtain sponsors, arrange door prizes, and giggle about our exclusive service – sewing machine valets!  How special is that!

Lunch was another interesting affair.  For some reason we all though we had volunteered to bring salad, so we ended up with a very healthy meal!

Finally the best part of the day.  Testing out the “show me how” project for the summer issue.  I won’t give away too many secrets but it has to do with shaving cream and designing your own fabric.  The following photos show how much fun we were having.  Not only has Sue developed this for the magazine but she is also  teaching the technique to guilds and shops.  If you want to have a shaving cream party with incredible results you can contact Sue through her website  www.quiltedescapes.com

Heather taking pictures of each step for the magazine

Karen obviously enjoying her new job assignment

Beware of quilters bearing shaving cream!

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Fabric for your sanity

March 16, 2011 at 10:02 (Uncategorized)

Last week my son wrote his entrance exams for college.  He seemed to handle it well, but I was a wreck!  I can’t remember ever being so nervous before but the stress hit me big time.  This just seemed to be such a momentous occasion that would have life altering affects.  It seems stupid, but I really let it get to me.  The exams took 3 hours during which time I though I would go out of my mind until I discovered the best antidote.  I went to a quilt store!

The school my son is trying to get into is close to Wineberry Fabrics – a shop I don’t get too many opportunities to visit because it’s quite a ways from my home.  When I walked in I was so frazzled that I could barely put two sentences together, which made it a bit embarrassing when chatting with the owner Linda.  However, after about 20 minutes of browsing and fondling fabric I felt my nerves settle down and life fall into place again.  I didn’t buy too much (sorry Linda) but loved the fabric I did buy and loved the relaxed feeling I had when I walked out.

So, take it from Dr Tricia  – my prescription of any sort of nervous disorder is to visit your local quilt shop and take a deep breath of fresh fabric scented air!

Here is a picture of Wineberry Fabrics in Surrey where I found my sanity again:


In other news, I’m busy with teaching these days and loving it.  Tonight I teach at The Needle and I in Burnaby BC.  I’m also getting ready to fly to Ontario to teach the Spicy Table Runner class at Country Concessions in Cookstown.  I’m excited to get back there again after filming their shop for “The Great Canadian Shop Hop” several years ago.  Here is a picture of the sample I’ve made for the class.  They supplied the fabric and I love their choice of colours.

Cheers to all

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For the love of fabric

February 9, 2011 at 17:38 (Uncategorized)

What is it about fabric shopping that can turn your day into a rainbow day?   I was out with my son doing some practice driving for his driver’s license when we happened to pass a quilt shop (oh my, how did that happen?) He then learned the valuable lesson about waiting in the car until I finished shopping.  No, that’s not a sexist remark – I wait all the time for my husband while he shops in music stores.  Anyway, when I came out 10 minutes later, I was on top of the world with a hand full of beautiful fabric.  Just look at what I bought:

Ever since Heather and I took the spicy spiral table runner class in the States, I have perfected the technique and am now teaching it in Canada.  The pattern designer, Patty Latourell is a real doll.  She lives in California for 1/2 the year and in Ontario for the other half.  Can you guess which half of the year is for California?!?

Since I’m teaching this class I’m required to make  samples for each store.  The fabric I bought today will go into making my 5th table runner and end up in a shop …. somewhere.  Don’t know exactly where yet, but if you are interested in having me teach this class just go to your local quilt shop and have them email me.

I’ll also post a picture of this one when it’s done.  I can hardly wait to get started cutting up this beautiful fabric, so, bye for now!

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Manage your tools!!

February 1, 2011 at 09:56 (Uncategorized)

I had the biggest laugh the other day that I’d like to share with you.   I had the luxury of taking a class at Quilted Bear, a local quilt shop last week.  It was a one-block wonder class – seems to me everyone on earth has learned this technique so I figured it was my turn.  I find half the fun of taking a class is preparing and packing up for it.  I was able to fill up my go-to-class bag (I’ll show that off in a future posting), buy new fabric, debate threads, change the blade in my cutter and so on and so on.  Off I went to class and as usual enjoyed seeing old friends and meeting new ones.

The problem arose when I started to cut my strips.  Something very strange was happening – my cutter was shredding the fabric.  Now, I love my cutter.  It’s a Martelli, ergonomic cutter that I’ve had for years.

Never a problem and I always enjoy showing it off.   This time however, instead of perfect straight clean cuts, I was making a mess!

Everyone was darting glances my way, the teacher commented on the fact that this probably wasn’t the best cuter to use.  I went into denial until I looked down and saw bits of fabric on the floor, the chair and myself!  It was embarrassing and very puzzling.








Finally I took a long hard look at my rotary cutter and you won’t believe it – I had loaded it with two blades!!!!

What an idiot!  No wonder my cutting was fuzzy, every time I pressed down on the cutter the two blades separated and the fabric was caught in between!   It was a good laugh at my expense and a good lesson on “what to watch for when you’re changing your rotary cutter blades”!   Readers beware.  I took out the extra blade and my cutter was back to working perfectly.


The rest of the class went well and I am now enjoying playing with the design at home before I sew it all together.  Here are two more pictures.  The first is what the fabric looked like before I cut it up and the second is the quilt in the making.  Pretty nice eh?




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Grouse Mountain Guild

January 21, 2011 at 11:30 (Uncategorized)

I spent a wonderful morning yesterday giving a talk to the Grouse Mountain Guild.  They were such a nice group of ladies, this was one of those guilds I left thinking “I wish I was able to join this group”.  Alas (do people still say alas?) with doing shift work at my regular job, as soon as I join a group my work hours change and I’m unable to attend.   It was like that for the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild.  I really wanted to be part of that new and exciting group but so far I’ve only managed two meetings.  The other group I really wanted to join was in Montreal however a commute of almost 5,000K is a bit much on a monthly basis!

Anyway, back to present topic.  I was invited to speak to the Grouse Mountain Guild yesterday and had a great time.  When I walked in I was approached by several women I had known in guilds a few years back.  They greeted me warmly and welcomed me to their group.  It was a nice feeling and a good way to start out.  Unfortunately when I was setting out all my stuff to preparing for the workshop part of the lecture, I discovered I had left ALL MY SAMPLES at home!!! I had spent over 4 hours working on those samples the day before and now it was all in vain.  I must admit I was panicing behind my public smile.  Luckily a lot of women had completed the homework that I had sent to them the month before and I was able to use their work to demonstate to the group as a whole.  I think the lecture/workshop went well, at least I received a lot of ohhhhs and ahhhhs and had the satisfaction of several people saying “oh, that’s what you do – isn’t that smart”

I love speaking at guilds as much as I love teaching.  I was fortunate enough to be the “feature teacher” in the last issue of Quilter’s Connection Magazine and have started to receive requests to teach out of town.  Alright!  I say:  “bring ‘um on!

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Quilts for Christmas

January 8, 2011 at 11:36 (Uncategorized)

Spent a pleasant morning in bed with a cup of tea and the new installment of Quilting is Murder.  I love the way my bed looks now, but unfortunately it’s now time to take down the Christmas decorations and that includes all the Christmas quilts.

I did something a bit different this year. Last spring I took a class to create a braided bed runner. I did mine in Christmas fabric then stored it away for 8 months. During the Quilter’s Connection Magazine retreat I made 3 matching pillow cases. Finally December arrived and I put toether our holiday bed. Instead of making an entire quilt, I covered our existing quilt with a white sheet then spread the runner on the end of the bed. Add the pillow cases and I was totally thrilled with the results. Every night it felt like we were climbing into a cloud. As much as I love my regular quilt, I’m now thinking of making a spring runner, then there’s summer, fall, halloween……..

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As if there isn’t enough to do….

January 4, 2011 at 12:07 (Uncategorized)



I should add, Quilting is Murder, and so is this!  Not that it isn’t fun mind you.  I’ve really enjoyed working on it (in fact that’s why I’m telling you about it), but the morning has gone by and now I’m scrambling to work on my article for Quilter’s Connection Magazine, clean the house, cook dinner AND try to get some time in for actual quilting.  Im giving a lecture and teaching a class  soon so I simply must work on these projects, but I keep trying to find one more clue….

This quilting murder thing is a brilliant idea to attract quilters to the shop’s websites.  Whoever came up with the idea is a real genius.  Once you sign up to be a “detective” you have to search each website IN DETAIL for the magnifying glass icon.  When you click on it, it directs you back to the murder website and provides you with a clue as do who gets killed and who dunit.  Fun, informative and hard on the eyes!  I’ve also enjoyed reading the comments on their facebook page.

If you’re interested in internet games, I’d highly recommend this one.  Be careful about who you recommend the site to – I told Kim Jamieson-Hirst and she found all the clues before I even found half!  Didn’t help my ego!!  However, she was able to give me some clues to finding the clues, so Thank You Kim!!!

I’m not sure how to add the button to this site, so if you want to become a detective just go to http://www.quiltingismurder.com and sign up.  I’ve also added it to my blog roll list even though it isn’t a blog.

Happy detecting!

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December 24, 2010 at 09:39 (Uncategorized)



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How far would you go to attend a class?

December 9, 2010 at 09:31 (Uncategorized)

Earlier this month, Quilter’s Connection Magazine editor Heather McArthur and myself decided to attend a quilting class out of town.  The quilt shop is about an hours drive from my house so it was arranged that Heather would join us as my husband and I drove down in our RV.  After the class we would park at a local campground then Heather’s husband would join us for dinner and drive her home afterwards.  It was planned to be a nice little escape for all involved.    However, you know the statement about mice and men and the best laid plans…….. it started to snow.  Our first snow fall of the year.  The night before our class I had a horrible time driving through the streets of the city and was sure we would have to cancel our trip, but when we woke up the next morning the report was that the roads and highways were clear.  They were, but it was still made for difficult driving.  Then when the class was over, the water on the roads started freezing making conditions even worse.  We persevered, driving our RV over icy dirt roads and rejoiced to arrive at the campground that was still open despite the snow.  

There is nothing cosier than being inside a warm RV on a snowy night with hot chocolate, chili for dinner and good friends.

Oh yeah, the class was fun too.  Here is a photo of Heather and I showing off our projects.  She got her’s done before me but I managed to contain my jealousy and still speak to her!

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