Friday, September 25, 2020

Book Review: Modern Quilt Bible

Modern Quilt Bible by Elizabeth Betts, is another new book that has been added to the Mahone Bay Quilters Guild library. It has lots of colourful photos of quilts and illustrations for piecing them. The book is divided into two sections. The first one focuses on ten design concepts and ideas for modern quilting: (or any quilting)

  1. Colour
  2. Fabric
  3. Compositional Elements
  4. Grids
  5. Negative Space
  6. Symmetry and Asymmetry
  7. Optical Effects
  8. Playing With Shapes
  9. Modern Traditionalism
  10. Making Your Way

Each one of these also includes a project to make.

The second section features techniques and step-by-step illustrations that are used to make the quilts. For example: various ways to piece together blocks (paper piecing, curved piecing), applique and then finishing of the quilt.

This book is an excellent resource for those of you who are interested in making modern quilted projects. If you are a beginner or have been quilting for a long time, it is worth a look!!


Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Book Review: Modern Memory Quilts

Suzanne Paquette is a modern quilter, designer, and creative director. Her book, Modern Memory Quilts, 'a handbook for capturing meaningful moments' in someone's life, contains 12 projects accompanied by stories that inspired them. These quilt projects have all the information and directions you will need to make and finish the quilt. 

I find it quite helpful to go to one of the on-line book sellers and have a virtual look inside the book I'm interested in purchasing. Usually the table of contents will give you a good idea if the book is what you are looking for.

If you would like to incorporate some special clothing into a modern memory quilt, this book, with its colourful photographs, will assist you in doing this. 

As she writes: 'Creating quilts made with fabric that is woven with memories and emotion is meaningful and rewarding work'. 


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Squash Squad: Sue Spargo's Stitch Along on Instagram

Yesterday was the first day of Squash Squad, another of Sue Spargo's Stitch Alongs on Instagram. This is my progress so far. The metallic braid, by Kreinik, is couched on the squash with Valandi #8 perle cotton, colour 18. The chain stitch on the stem is Valandi O154.

Hopefully, I'll get the vine and leaf stitched tomorrow as well as playing catch-up!




Monday, September 21, 2020

Book Review: Cuppa by Sue Spargo

Today's new guild library book is Cuppa, by Sue Spargo. This quilt pattern book has detailed instructions and full-sized applique / embroidery designs for stitching and embellishing the quilt shown on the front cover (see below). The finished quilt is 38 inches square. Techniques for making this quilt, include wool applique, layering and hand embroidery. However, I can see using some of the cups and mugs in a mini wall hanging and on a tote or book cover. A bonus pattern is included to make a zippered embroidered applique project bag for holding threads, notions, and project blocks. (Also shown below).

Today, Sue Spargo launched a new on-line, free project to stitch, called Squash Squad.  To view the first block check HERE.  


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Book Review: Free-Motion Quilting 101

I'm back with another book review from the NEW books that have been added to the Mahone Bay Quilters Guild Library. This particular one, Free-Motion Quilting 101, Techniques & Patterns for Beginners by Ashley Nickels, is the ideal book for the beginner quilter and is a good resource for those who teach free-motion quilting.

To become comfortable with free-motion quilting, it needs to be practised frequently. In other words, set aside time to 'play' with your sewing machine, threads and fabric. This is where this book comes into 'PLAY"!! If you are new to free-motion stitching, this one can help guide you along in the quest to quilt your own project pieces.

Inside the book, you will find:

  • workbook- style practise sheets which contains 15 foundational designs. For example: wonky hexagons, waves, whale tails. . .
  • a project session containing 3 simple projects and 1 larger project that is a culmination of the techniques learned in the book
  • and detailed information for finishing a quilt

I used this book as a reference when I taught a class of free-motion quilting techniques at my guild earlier this year.

Look inside the book HERE  

Please note: I have no affiliation with promoting or selling this book.  

There are lots of You Tube Videos HERE


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Quilt Book Review - Mahone Bay Quilt Guild

This is my second year as librarian for the Mahone Bay Quilt Guild, Nova Scotia. Part of my job is to purchase new books for our library. Of course, members give me recommendations on what to get! Last evening, the guild met virtually via Zoom and I did have a chance to show the books.  However, since we aren't meeting in person yet, I decided to start writing about them here.

I'll start with this one. 

If you have any hesitation about straight-line quilting, this book is for you! I'm not associated with the selling or promotion of this book, but I can definitely see it's value to any quilter. Natalia Bonner, expert quilter and author, has over 'sixty new linear patterns for triangle blocks, square blocks, borders, and allover designs.' You will learn to quilt on your domestic or long-arm machine, with only straight lines, using your walking foot or doing free-motion quilting with rulers. How great is that!!

The book has lots of step-by-step photos that any level of quilter can follow. If you wish to see inside the book, check out any of the popular on-line books sellers.  

Natalia also has a BLOG that is worth a look.



Thursday, August 20, 2020


Look what came for me in the mail from Cast On Cast Off, St. John's, NL. Cast On Cast Off  had a draw last month and my name was picked. How lucky!! Thanks bunches for picking me. The yarn is Bergy Blue Heritage 2ply from Briggs and Little. Of course, the knitting book, Saltwater Gifts by Christine LeGrow and Shirley A. Scott, is fabulous! It is filled with lots of colourful photos and easy to follow NL knitting patterns. A must have book for knitters.


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

More Masks

Things have been busy here in Pine Grove. I've been making masks! Twenty batik masks went to a business in Lower Sackville, NS. Here they are waiting for the elastic. I forgot to take a photo when they were finished.

My granddaughter wanted three more masks and my daughter asked for another one in a light colour (the blue one).

These four masks will be going to Boston and Illinois.

I have five more almost done.

Check out the YouTube videos, as there are lots of different designs to choose from.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Mask Pattern for you to try

Yikes! How did it get to be July 21st!!! Time sure does fly and I only go out when we need groceries or to visit family. Needless to say, this 'lock down' has made me realize how much time I've wasted out shopping and looking around at stuff that I don't really need. I have refined my priorities. Have you? Now that stores are opened, we do need to shop locally wherever possible and wear a mask.

When this 'lock down' started, my husband researched various masks to make. He found one that was designed by an American surgeon. This surgeon was not satisfied with the ones he was using and wanted the fabric away from his mouth and nose.

My husband sketched out a pattern from the doctor's site, for me to experiment with. Unfortunately, he forgot to save the link. As recommended on various mask making sites, Batik is the best fabric to use because of the tighter weave. There is a nose piece tab stitched on the top of the mask to hold a pipe cleaner (refer to diagram). The pipe cleaner is folded three times, cut to size and slipped into the tab. It moulds quite well to the shape of the nose.

I've had people comment on the mask because the fabric is away from the nose and mouth. You don't feel as claustrophobic as with some other masks.

As the mask is double, cut two pieces of the paper pattern. This mask is stitched on the top and sides so that there are no pin or stitch holes to allow anything to enter. I stitched the sides first and then joined them along the top (the same as if you were making an insert for a bag). Leave an opening for turning along where the nose piece tab goes. This opening gets stitched when sewing on the tab.

The pattern can be made in different sizes by making it larger or smaller.  You could also cut off the sharp corners and make them straight and then attach the elastic.
Cut two
Showing nose tab

Elastic goes over the head

Elastic goes over the ears

Thanks for visiting!
I've linked this post to the Needle and Thread Network.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Happy Canada Day / Memorial Day in Newfoundland

Happy Canada Day!

I would like to extend a Happy Canada Day to all my relatives and friends living outside this wonderful country of ours and to those of us who live here!
Enjoy your day wherever you are.
This little wall hanging is from the Spring / Summer 2011 edition of Fons & Porter's Quilting
My home province of Newfoundland, celebrates Canada Day, and the Battle of Beaumount Hamel.
On July 1st, the battle of Beaumont Hamel, was fought by the brave soldiers of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment. These men followed orders to go over the top at Beaumont Hamel, where the majority of them died or were injured. The Forget-me-not is a symbol of that regiment.
I took this photo of forget-me-nots on a walk in Bridgewater, NS, a couple of weeks ago.

Enjoy your day and stay safe in these troubling times.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

90 Stitched Circles - Instastitchwithsue

The 90 Day Stitch Sampler, with Sue Spargo, is finished! It was a delightful experience, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Each appliqued wool circle had its own unique design that was stitched with a variety of threads. Over 40 stitches were used in the sampler. 

The sampler ended with this little Bluebird:
Love the variegated thread. Note the Drizzle Stitch tail. This stitch gives a lovely dimensional look to the piece. This little bird can be positioned in a variety of ways. I flipped this one to face inward toward the other designs as it was too close to the edge to stitch the way Sue presented it.

The finished sampler. If you click on it, it should get a bit bigger.

Below, is the sampler before it was stitched. You can see the colours of felt I used. In hindsight, the softer colours that Sue Spargo used, would have been easier to work with especially for choosing thread colours. I worked with what I had on hand, the bright wool circles on a black background. 

Which is your favorite design?
My granddaughter selected the fox 'because he is cute'. I have several that catch my eye.
Check out my Instagram @jctextileart for lots more photos of the circles. You don't have to be an Instagram user to view the various posts.

My new web site is coming soon with a new blog design that will be linked back to this one.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Drizzle Stitches - Insta Stitch with Sue

Well, folks, the 90 day challenge from Sue Spargo is nearing the end. Number 81/90 was just posted. It's been a fun stitch along and I've done more Drizzle Stitches in the last few weeks than ever before. Have you ever tried them? No? Have a look HERE for Mary Corbet's Drizzle Stitch Video Tutorial.

Here's # 61 showing drizzle stitches with beads

# 55, Drizzle Stitches without beads

# 43
# 80

But here's my pièce de résistance, with 106 Drizzles, # 78, the African Lion! Well, my lion just got back from the hairdresser where he had an old fashioned perm!! In fact, there is hardly room to see his face and ears. One thing I can say, the circle colour was a perfect match (which didn't happen often), as was the circle for the acorn above.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Insta Stitch With Sue - Continued

There are now 13, one inch circles, from Sue Spargo's Instastitchwithsue, left to do. It's hard to believe that I actually kept up with this activity, but I'm glad I did.

Here's a few more from the collection:

This activity was a good one for practising stitches, colour selection of threads, for the circles in my collection and for observing how Sue and company put together the stitches for the various designs. Working within a one inch area was, at times, challenging. I didn't have all the correct sizes of needles and had to improvise. There was no going to the store for more. I did order them from Amazon, but they did not show up. Lesson learned: don't order something small from such a big company. I figured the needles would come with the other things ordered (my mistake)!!

I also need to stock up on a few more colours of #5 perle cotton.


Saturday, May 30, 2020

Hand Embroidered Circles - Instastitchwithsue

Blogger has decided to introduce a change on how we post to the internet. This change in method, is very similar to Word Press, which I am learning how to do. A new web site design, for my work, is coming soon. There will be a new blog on that site which will focus on the work I do in my studio. I will still use this blogger and link it back to the new site. Thanks to my husband for taking on this task.

Below is # 62 from the free stitching with Sue Spargo's, instastitchwithsue from Instagram. This is a Red-Spotted Guard Crab. Since a purple circle was the next one to use, it fitted in with the actual colour of this species of crab.

Stitches for this design include: chain stitch, trellis stitch, bullion knots and French knots.

Here's a few other embroidered little critters. They aren't perfect, far from it. I decided early on that I wouldn't pull out any stitching unless it was absolutely wonky on the eye! Variegated thread often brings its own colour scheme - sometimes when you don't want that to happen. For example, the little green owl has odd colours from the thread used and the lamb has two different leg colours.


Saturday, May 16, 2020

More Circles: (half way mark just passed at # 45) Instastitch With Sue

Have a look at a few more of my one inch circles. The colours shown below are not exactly the same as in real life. I have five full rows plus three on row six.
Seven more have been stitched to the above 'doodle cloth"

I like this one. Too bad my circle wasn't yellow but I am working with the colours that I originally stitched in place.

Lime green is a challenge when on a black background.

My Irish Owl!!! Some variegated threads in use.

I believe I used the wrong weight of thread for the wings but it works!

The circle turned into an oval. Oh, well . . .

The colours are off on this one. There is more contrast in the loops than in this photo.

I choose the wrong colours for the ladybug but I was not about to change them. In the group photo,  the body is a purple shade not a gray.


Check out my Instagram page @jctextileart