Friday, October 16, 2020

Fantastic Fusion Workshop

For the past two Thursday evenings, I have participated in an online workshop, Fantastic Fusion, with Lisa Walton, Textile Artist, from Sydney, Australia. This was organized by the Mahone Bay Quilters' Guild for its members.

19 quilters were eager to learn something new. Many admitted that they were definitely out of their comfort zone. However, you couldn't tell that by the pieces that were created. Lisa was a wonderful teacher, quite prepared with samples, videos, photo gallery and live demos. It was six hours of fun! 

Using Zoom, we were able to see all 20 of us on one screen (thumbnails). We got to see what the other was doing, ask questions, make comments, chat . . . almost the same as been in a physical classroom. The other upside - no packing to go to a classroom, unpack etc. You know the drill. I was in my own space with all my 'stuff' at my fingertips. No, "Oh darn, I forgot to bring . . ." or "I have the perfect piece of fabric for this, but it's home". On that score, I prefer working here in my own studio!

These batik blocks are the result of week one. My colour scheme came from the colours in my back garden and the quilt my sister, Joan, made me for my July birthday, 2018. The blue represents the sky.

Week two

These are the same blocks from above. I chopped them up, cut extra strips and put them together to form this piece. I managed to fuse some of the pieces together but the rest are pinned to my board to do later. It measures approximately 18" x 26" and will be quilted and free-motion stitched.

My colour inspiration:


Thanks, Lisa. It was very nice meeting you.


Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Squash Squad Blocks 1 - 4

Squad Squad stitch along with Sue Spargo, started on September 22 (HERE). Since then, four out of nine blocks, have been featured on her blog. 

The following squash blocks are in various stages of completion. 

Block One, Spaghetti Squash

There are suppose to be small buttons added to the turquoise circles. I'm still debating whether or not I'll do something with them. Not buttons! 3 bees are waiting to be added to the vine on the right.

Block Two, Long Island Cheese Pumpkin


Block Three, Queensland Blue

I have two more flowers to make on this one and some running stitches on the background.

Block Four, Baby Boo

This is day 1 / 4 of stitching 

Last evening the couching and chain stitching was completed. I'll probably get today's stitches embroidered tonight.

For those of you, who just found my blog, take a look at the 90 Circles Instastitch with Sue, that were hand embroidered during the lock down.


Saturday, October 10, 2020

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving

 Happy Thanksgiving Weekend Canada! 

Wishing all my relatives and friends near and far, a very happy, safe Thanksgiving Weekend. 

In honour of this special holiday, I have the perfect autumn quilt, which was made by my sister, Joan, in Tennessee. She made it and hand delivered it in 2018, for my July birthday. 

This photo was taken today where the temperature reached 22C. I was lucky to get the full view of the quilt as it was a bit breezy. The wind reminded me of home in Newfoundland where it's windy most of the time!

The back fabric is all birch trees.

My back garden is displaying its gorgeous autumn colours, most of which, are in this quilt.

Links for your pleasure:







Sunday, October 4, 2020

Trek to Avonport

Saturday, I visited Avonport Discount Fabrics in Avonport, NS. If you haven't visited this quilt shop, put it on your travel list. Have a look inside this shop HERE (post from a few years ago). Needless to say, I didn't come away empty handed!

These 1m cuts of batiks are just as brilliant as they appear here!

More Batiks - Fat Quarters this time.

Birch Trees - cotton

Forest - cotton

I also purchased some more Misty Fuse for a zoom workshop I'm doing with Lisa Walton from Sydney, Australia. The workshop is called Fabric Fusion, which has been organized for us by the program committee of Mahone Bay Quilters' Guild.

A few links from Britain:


Saturday, October 3, 2020

Book Review: Walk 2.0

Jacquie Gering has another new book, Walk 2.0, More Machine Quilting with Your Walking Foot. It is a follow up to her previous book, Walk, which is already in the Mahone Bay Quilters' Guild library. If you want to quilt your own projects with your walking foot, both these books are good resources. 

Walk 2.0  "focuses on how to adapt designs and techniques to suit the machine and equipment that you have and where you quilt". There are lots of designs to choose. However, having designs is one thing, but knowing which design to use is important too. That's where this book can help. You are guided along the path, going from smaller practise samples to quilting larger pieces.

The table of contents includes:

  • Walking Foot Refresh
  • 60 degree Designs
  • Sashiko-Inspired Designs
  • Rotational Designs
  • Quilt as Desired

So, it's time to get some sample squares ready so that you can follow along with Jacquie on using your walking foot.  


Friday, October 2, 2020

Book Review: Mini Wonderful Curves

This next book is Mini Wonderful Curves, 16 Seasonal Quilt Projects Using the QCR Mini, by sisters, Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson. Patterns include tulips, sunflowers, pinwheels, hearts, fall foliage, bats, winter tree and more . . .  The book is full of beautiful coloured photos of the quilts and the patterns. There is no guesswork on fabric placement to create each quilted project. Again, as with their previous book, One Wonderful Curve, a pictorial tutorial for using the mini version of the Quick Curve ruler, is included.

The projects include wall hangings, table runners and quilts, in a fresh contemporary style with a curved flair. Again, another book to check out.


Thursday, October 1, 2020

Book Review: One Wonderful Curve


Today's book is One Wonderful Curve by Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson. The ruler to go along with the book, has been added to the Mahone Bay Quilters' Guild collection.


I find the 12 quilt designs in this book quite delightful! The designs are constructed using one simple curved block. Of course, by adding additional pieced elements to this block, you get totally different quilts. It is perfect for any level of quilter. The colours used are vibrant, which certainly draws my eye to them! 
This books teaches how to use the ruler through photos. Quite often this aspect is passed over quickly. Not in this case! The directions are easy to follow. 

Another great book to add to your collection!


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.