Georgian Bay Quilt Retreat, Summer 2016

This past weekend, members of our guild packed up their sewing machines and headed North to this lovely home on the shores of Georgian Bay for a weekend of quilting and relaxing.

It’s such a gorgeous spot, with picture-postcard Canadian views where we were surrounded by lake and sky and the quiet was punctuated by the call of the loon and the occasional jet-ski.

 We were generously given the use of this sunny studio space to fill with the hum of our machines, and of course, chatting and laughter. 
 We even spilled out into the living room. 
 But we didn’t spend our whole time sewing. We’re a very well rounded group. And there was that big beautiful sparkling lake. 
 So we went swimming. Or should I more accurately say floating. 
 We bobbed up and down in the water, and talked some more. World events, entertainment, politics, quilting, quilting politics. You name it, we covered it. 
 And when we were tired of swimming, we got out, toweled off…
 …and did some eating!
 Eating was the second most popular activity of the weekend. 
 We all took turns making the meals, and I’m telling you, we ate like queens! (That’s grilled peaches, Tres leches cake, and coconut ice cream for dessert at one of the meals)
 And Doris made these AMAZING savoury pies for lunch on Sunday. I’m still drooling over the memory. 
 As the day ended, and the sun began to go down, we all waited to see the sunset. 
 And we were not disappointed. 
 It was absolutely gorgeous. 
 But of course, all good things must come to an end. After two lovely days of sewing and laughing and eating and drinking we packed away our machines, swept up a surprisingly large amount of lint and thread clippings, and headed back down the highway to our homes.
A special thanks again to our kind and generous hosts, the Van Halems. Can’t wait to do it again!


Our next TMQG block lotto is all about thread!  This will make a fab sewing themed
quilt when all pieced together. And you’re not tied down to one specific block
so you can really have some fun with it. In fact you can use ANY spool pattern
you want as long as you adjust the block size or add extra background fabric so that your blocks fit the dimensions below.


Width: multiples of 4 (plus ½” seam allowance) 
Height: multiples of 6 (plus ½” seam allowance)
Eg:       4 ½” x 6 ½” (smallest size)
            8 ½” x 12 ½”
            4 ½” x 12 ½”

           12 ½” x 12 ½”   etc
There is no limit on how big you can go as long as you keep these proportions.


SPOOL: Textures or colours that look like spools (woodgrain, sketch, Aurifil orange etc)
THREAD: Striped, thread-textured or sewing-themed modern fabrics (as shown in samples)
BACKGROUND: Kona SNOW (no alternatives, please)

COLOURS: Modern brights

3. DEADLINE: September meeting (Sept 25)
4. ONE ticket PER SPOOL. (So if you make ONE block that has FOUR spools in it, you’ll get FOUR lotto tickets for the draw.)

Other than those rules you are free to be creative.

Here are some links to a few free patterns & tutorials. (Don’t
forget to adjust to the block sizes to the dimensions listed above.)

Faith of Fresh Lemon Quilts has this super cute (and free) spool pattern set:

And here are a few more options to check out:

As mentioned at the June meeting, If you are a paid up TMQG member  and would like to use my paper piecing spool patterns for this block lotto, message me (Berene) on Facebook and I’ll email you the PDF file. (Gratis!)

Look forward to seeing all your blocks. You have all summer long to get addicted to making them. 🙂
See you in September! 


April Meeting

April was an exciting month for our guild. We have grown and expanded our membership over the last year or so, and as a result of having more members, have decided to change our meeting practices a bit. Instead of our usual big circle, we’ve changed to rows of chairs, and instead of our very, very long “show and share” we’ve decided to tighten it up a bit and only show finished works (no more WIPs) and have a limited number of slots for show and share. That way we will have time to do more workshop/demo type things. It went pretty well our first time out. We still saw lots of great work, but had time to learn new things too.

Things like this:
 Jeannie Jenkins gave us a great demo about block accuracy. She had all sorts of tips about cutting fabric. 
She showed us two quilts she had made with tiny Half Square Triangles. 
Same basic blocks/motifs, but a very different feeling to the two quilts. Colour/value choice makes such a difference. 

Also, Jeannie has the COOLEST TOOLS, including this little Lazy Susan/Cutting Mat Board that blew my mind. I must have one of these!

 Here are the adorable blocks made by our members for April’s block swap. I really love this pattern. Its Raspberry Kiss and can be found at the Wooden Spoon Quilts blog, if you are interested in making some. Lucky Rebecca won the swap, and made them into a beautiful little quilt that she is selling to raise funds to help those in Fort MacMurray.

And now on to the Show and Share portion of our meeting:

 Sheila made this simple and beautiful classic with fabrics from her Grandmother’s stash. Her Grandma is going to be 89 this year, and he piecing abilities are not what they used to be, so Sheila put this together for her. It’s called “Nana’s Barn Raising”.

 One thing I love about our Guild is how into the quilts people are. There is such a great vibe of interest an appreciation as our members share their work. And of course, in this digital age, lots of people take pictures.

Valerie made this really interesting set of small quilts based on news photos of train crashes.

She was struck by the abstraction of these arial images. I think its a really interesting visual exploration of tragic events. The series is called “Off the Rails”. The one that you can see in the picture above is called “Lac Megantique”. If you want to see more of Valerie’s work, you can check out her blog

Gwen had a lot of amazing work to share with us. No less than THREE quilts to show. The first is this lovely double-bed sized star quilt. The central star was made with 5″ x 5″ charm packs. She used this particular quilt as a chance to practice her free motion quilting.

This buttery soft beauty was made for her neice’s wedding.

And since Gwen is no slouch, the back is also beautifully pieced.

This last quilt was in spired by the quilts of Gees Bend.

And another beautifully pieced back. Also, I am in love with that stripy binding.

Catherine made this striking small quilt/wall hanging for the Northcott Chip Challenge. It really has a nice sense of flow to it.

Paul is a visitor to our guild. I believe that the Victoria Modern Quilt Guild is his home Guild, (or maybe it was the Vancouver MQG? Please forgive my forgetfulness!) but he’s here in this part of the country to visit his relatives in Hamilton. And since he’s friend with one of our members, he decided to come and join our meeting for the day and show these quilts to us before he gives them away forever. This first one is called “Big Wheel”

The back features some equally lovely improve pieced rectangles.

This stunner is called “Mom and Dad’s Quilt”. I’m actually jealous of the people who get to have this on their bed and I don’t even know them! He cut the wedges that the hexagons are made of from striped fabric, which gives a really nice effect.

But look at the back. OH MY GOSH LOOK A THE BACK! I am gobsmacked by this quilt.

And this cute little number is called “Snips and Snails”. I do love a quilt with text on it.

Also, how cute is this back? Adorable. I believe he said the little house fabric was from Ikea.

Christine had the quilt that she’d made for our mini quilt solids challenge to show. I am very, very impressed with those nice sharp points.

And look at Doris’ lovely mini solids quilt! I adore those little slices, and the very dense linear quilting.

Wendy brought in this intensely ornate little piece that she calls “Effervescence”. She made this piece with in an Al Cote workshop at the Etobicoke Quilt Guild, using a reverse appliqué technique that gives a lot of nice dimension to the piece.  
One of the great things about quilts is that they have the potential to be a three-dimensional artwork, because the back is can be as beautiful as the front, as is definitely the case with this work. 

Quilts for Pulse

About a week ago I posted on the TMQG Facebook page that I had a quilt vision that I hoped my fellow guild members would help me realize, and here (finally!) is the tutorial for the blocks that I’m looking for.

The idea is simple, because the way to accept one another is simple:  LOVE.  The most shocking thing to me about the hate expressed by the murderer in Orlando on June 12th is that his hate was for how people loved one another.  I hope this quilt, this small gesture in a very large world, will join with a million other small gestures to tip the balance on the side of love.

Love is Love

I am asking for LOVE and IS blocks, in bold, bright colours.  No black, white, grey, etc.  It is also important that the letters be legible, so contrast between the letters and the background is important.  You can achieve this in different ways: using a cool background and warm letters (or vice versa) OR using a light background and dark letters (or vice versa).  Generally, prints that are on the smaller side, and that don’t themselves have a lot of contrast within them, will work best.  Make them as scrappy or as solid as you’d like, just keep them bright and cheerful!
Each of the letters “finish” at 3″ x 6″, so they should be 3 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ before you join them all together.  This is a good place to check your dimensions, since you can cut the 4 final border pieces a bit thicker if necessary if you tend to find your seam allowances are a bit bigger than a scant quarter inch.
I pressed all my seams open, but do what works for you.  As long as the blocks are the correct size when you’re done, how you got there doesn’t matter. 🙂
Ok, let’s get on with it!

LOVE block


Main fabric:
1 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
1 – 1 1/2″ x 5 1/2″
Background fabric:
1 – 2 1/2″ x 5 1/2″


Main fabric:
2 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
2 – 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
Background fabric:
1 – 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″



Main fabric:
2 – 2″ x 2 1/2″
2 – 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
Background fabric:
1 – 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
2 – 1″ x 1″
2 – 2″ x 2″
This is the only block that is a bit tricky.  Draw chalk lines on the diagonal on the 4 squares of background fabric.  Then put them on opposite corners of the main fabric pieces that are 2″ x 2 1/2″ (right sides together!), with the diagonal lines parallel to each other.  You can see this in the second step of the diagram below.  Then stitch along those lines, but ever-so-slightly shy of them, so that you end up with a scant seam.  You can them trim the excess triangles before you move on to the next step.



Main fabric:
2 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
1 – 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
1 – 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″
Background fabric:
1 – 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″
2 – 2″ x 2 1/2″


Putting it together

Background fabric:
5 – 1 1/2″ x 6 1/2″

2 – 1 1/2″ x 17 1/2″

The LOVE block finishes at 8″ x 17″, so yours will be 8 1/2″ x 17 1/2″.  I would suggest joining the letters together first, without the last 4 border pieces, and then checking your size.  At this point you should have a unit that is 6 1/2″ x 15 1/2″.  If you’re a little shy, you can always cut those last four strips a bit wider to make up the difference.


IS block


Main fabric:
2 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
1 – 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″
Background fabric:
2 – 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″



Main fabric:
3 – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″
2 – 2″ x 1 1/2″
Background fabric:
2 – 2″ x 2 1/2″


Putting it together

Background fabric:
3 – 1 1/2″ x 6 1/2″

2 – 1 1/2″ x 9 1/2″

The IS block finishes at 8″ x 9″, so yours will be 8 1/2″ x 9 1/2″.  Just as with the LOVE block, you can check your size at this point:  you should have a unit that is 6 1/2″ x 7 1/2″.  Again, if you’re a little shy, you can cut the last four strips a bit wider to make up the difference.

And that’s it!  I am really looking forward to all the fun colours that everyone chooses.  Make as many or as few as you’d like.  I’ll put them all together, but I would love it if another guild member would be willing to quilt it, since that’s the stage where projects stall around my house. 🙂

Finally, if you want to share your blocks on social media, tag it with #quiltsforpulse, #loveislovequilt and #torontomqg.

See you all on Sunday!

Love is Love

Hello TMQG’ers
If you’ve been watching CNN lately you’ll know it’s election season. And the same applies here in our quilty community. Here are all the details that you need to know about our upcoming election. (Sorry, no Wolf Blitzer poling stats or snazzy John King 3D graphics.) 
This email requires a good read, so make yourself a cup of tea and get comfy.
There have been lots of meetings, and discussions about how we would like
to improve our guild, where we’d like it to go in the next few years and who
the new leadership will be. Well now it’s time to put all that talk into action!
The June meeting is your chance to vote on who you would like to run for
president and other important roles. This is important info so PLEASE READ all the way to the bottom.
• Nominees
get put in the ballot
• Deadline
for nominees is 11am on Sunday, June 26, 2014.

Paper ballots will be cast at the June TMQG meeting.

Online voting is available only to those who can’t make the meeting. (See note

Voting is for the role of President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary
only. Additional committee roles are based on volunteer sign-up.

Votes will be counted as a group on Monday June 27.
• The
new President and Executive will be announced by email and on the Facebook page
on or by Monday June 27 at the latest.

If you volunteer to be on the ballot, or are nominated with your approval, you
are committing to take on the responsibilities of that role for one calendar
fully paid up member of the TMQG. If
you have not paid your dues in full you cannot be elected.
fully paid up member of the TMQG. If
you have not paid your dues in full you cannot vote.

You volunteer yourself to be on the ballot, or another TMQG member can nominate
you, but ONLY once you have confirmed
that you are willing to take on the responsibilities they are nominating you

To put your / the nominee’s name on the ballot do the following:
Email with the email subject: “TMQG election ballot
and state your name, the position you would like to run for, and your phone
number in case there are any issues. If you are nominating someone else, both
you and the person you are nominating need to email Berene, so that we know
they understand the commitment.

Please also add your name to the Facebook sign-up list for others to see
ahead of Sunday’s vote.
Email to let her know, and she will send you a key to use as
an online ballot. Deadline for online ballots is midnight Saturday, June 25.
As you will see when you read the responsibilities below, there is a LOT of
work involved in making the guild run in an efficient and successful way. The
more people that collaborate the better a community our guild will be. There
are a variety of skills required and time involved for the different positions,
so see what fits you best. Every member should get involved in some way. PLEASE
SIGN UP in some capacity! Even if it means you share a role with a friend.
Note: the roles and responsibilities listed below are the abridged version for the purpose of this blog post. The full detailed version was sent out to all TMQG members by email. If you did not receive it, contact Becky.
• Runs the guild and actively
participates in leadership and decisions.
• Primary contact for Toronto MQG
• Oversees Guild & Executive Council
• Prepares meeting agendas
• Prepares an annual report (year-in-review)
• Arranges for, schedules and facilitates general
meetings and board meetings
• Attends monthly guild meetings, sew days,
Executive Council meetings, and guild programs.
• Is responsible for
securing location for monthly guild meetings 
• Facilitate
communication with members and performs the duties of the President if needed.
• Prepares monthly newsletter.
• Maintains a Guild calendar.
• Plans and prepares recommendations for programs
and demos.
• Assists in maintaining TMQG’s social media
• Attends monthly guild meetings, sew days,
Executive Council meetings, and guild programs.
• Actively participates in leadership and decisions.
• Maintains TMQG’s bank account including
preparing reports.
• Prepares budget for approval of Executive
• Provides annual financial report to Toronto MQG
• Pays bills.
• Handles membership dues collection throughout
the year.
• Files all required official paperwork and tax
returns in a timely manner.
• Attends monthly guild meetings, sew days,
Executive Council meetings, and guild programs.
• Along with the other officers, actively
participates in leadership and decisions.
• Takes notes at monthly meetings.
• Maintains all social media such as Toronto
MQG’s blog, Flickr, Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter accounts. (Coordinates with
• Posts monthly meeting re-cap to Toronto MQG’s
• Posts announcements, guild business, etc. to
the blog
• Corresponds as necessary with organizations
that have dealings with Toronto MQG.
• Runs monthly meetings if President and the VP
are absent.
• Keeps records of minutes of meetings.
• Ensures photos of Guild events are taken.
• Attends monthly guild meetings, sew days,
Executive Council meetings, and guild programs.
• Along with the other officers, actively
participates in leadership and decisions.
• Organizes and runs
annual election in June.
Committees are created for the purpose of
creating and building fellowship and meeting the needs of guild members. 
Committees can be suggested by any member, but only the Guild Executive Council
can officially create or dissolve a committee.
Committee members are based on volunteering
your name. These are not elected positions.
• Maintains Guild Roster on the MQG website
• Assists in collecting membership dues and guest
fees and remits to Treasurer
• Assist in distributing material to members
• Record attendance of members and guests at
monthly meetings
• Work closely with Treasurer to maintain
accurate and current roster
• Coordinates nametags and annual nametag prize
• Coordinates door prizes to be given out at the
end of each meeting
• Keeps list of
members’ blogs on the TMQG blog updated. 
• Actively recruits member and guest speakers for
meeting demos and presentations on topics of interest especially as they relate
to modern quilting style and techniques.
• Actively recruits member or guest speakers and
teachers for special Guild programs and workshops with a focus on modern
• Researches, suggests, and plans meeting
content, including teacher and speaker visits sponsored by Toronto MQG
• Coordinates at least 2 workshops/classes
annually for members
• Coordinates at least 3 annual internal and/or
external guild swaps, round-robins, etc.
• Coordinates all aspects of any fat quarter
• Coordinates all aspects of any MQG challenges
• Coordinates all aspects of at least 4 block
lottos annually
• Coordinates pub-nights
• Coordinates sew-downs
• Coordinates all aspects of annual charity
project and promote philanthropy for Toronto MQG
• Coordinates all aspects of annual MQG charity
quilt production and submission
• Coordinates all aspects of at least 1 quilt
show or exhibit annually. This may be in conjunction with a larger body (e.g.
Quilt Canada)
• Takes photos at monthly
meetings. Coordinates with SECRETARY for images on social media maintenance.
So you see there are lots of options, something for everyone. So sign up and get involved.
Please be on time for Sunday’s meeting. Look forward to seeing a good turnout! 

Drum Roll Please….

The votes have been tallied for our Quilt Canada 2016 Solids Mini-quilt Challenge. Thanks to all of you who submitted a quilt and to everyone who visited our exhibit and voted. We had 1,510 votes and people had a very hard time choosing their favourites! Look how great it looked…

And now for the news you want to hear. The winners of our three beuatiful fat quarter bundles courtesy of Robert Kaufman Fabrics are….

First place goes to Rebecca for quilt #9.
(No, I didn’t cheat! Julie and Laura will attest to our security measures.)

Second place goes to Doris for quilt #8.

Third place goes to Lynda for quilt #12

I would like to add an honourable mention for quilts #7 and #6 by Berene and Adrienne respectively. They were both hot on the heels of third place!

And finally, the winner of our draw from the voters’ ballots was Jean Hillis, who happened to be volunteering right around the corner white-gloving on the show floor. She had a beautiful quilt called Adagietto in the NJS that was a second place guild rosette winner!

Adagietto by Jean Hillis
It was a fabulous show and a great time was had by all who attended. Congratulations to our winners and thanks again to all who participated and to Robert Kaufman Fabrics who provided our beautiful prize bundles of Kona Cotton Fat Quarters.

February Meeting 2016: Part Two

Ok, February Meeting Part II. Because 60 pictures seemed like a lot for one post!

Our member Elisa, who is originally from Brazil, was celebrating the fact that she had been in Canada for one whole year. And what better way than with this boldly patriotic block!

 Elisa also made this lovely nature themed small quilt. She has it all pinned together and ready for quilting. She’s made some really nice fabric choices here, allowing it to be abstract while still clearly referencing the natural world. Really lovely work.

 Karen brought in this giNORmous quilt, the block for which were made in 2011 as part of a block of the Week club from the Sew Sisters shop. It is made with the Stonehenge fabric line from Northcott.

 She had so much of the fabric that she even pieced the back. Very impressive.

 Karen also did not mess around when it came to making quilts at the Quilts for Refugees sew down. She made, count them, ONE….




 …FIVE! Five, cheery bright little quilts to welcome new families to our country and communities.

 Julie has been making little free motion quilting samples, in order to practice her technique.

 She has found this process to be therapeutic, and the end result of her very pretty little doodles was this small piece. It beautifully addresses her experience with depression. The dark background is punctuated with one hopeful shining star, and the words quilted into the piece whisper “the darkest nights produce the brightest stars”. A beautiful and emotionally charged work.

 Lynda brought this piece in to show us. I love her simple layouts, the little scatter of mixed media…

 …and that she always manages to sneak a few birds in there somewhere!

 Sheila showed us this punchy little baby quilt top quite awhile ago, but brought in the project in its quilting stage to get our feedback on whether she needed to quilt it more densely. After we’d discussed it for awhile she said something along the lines of “basically, I’m asking for permission to stop quilting.” We’ve all been there, had a good laugh, and permission was granted.

 She’s also making some adorable baby/child clothing for her niece.

 And to further solidify her status as “best Aunt ever”, also made these early little pretend tea bags to go with her niece’s tea set.

 Samarra’s work always impresses me, but these crazy little portraits really left me gobsmacked.

 Just so creative and so beautifully executed. Stunning work.

 Christine brought in this fun little tote bag. Which makes me think that this is what I should do with all the small, unfinished things I make. They should obviously become tote bags.

 And I’m so in love with this star quilt that Sabrina made. She made it as part of the Super Star course at the Workroom (our host store) and is a quilt that is on my to-do list for sure.

 Debbie brought in this Ribbon Quilt, also made as part of a Workroom class, this one taught by Johanna. I love the subtle colour choices she went with. Its such a strong pattern, so these quasi-neutrals are a great choice.

 Lisa is another new member. It was her first meeting with us, and she had a lot of work to show. The quilt above is called “Imperfect Heart” and is another beauty made as a part of the Quilting for Refugees sew down.

 She calls this bold quilt “Value Village Special”, because believe it or not, that centre panel was actually purchased from her local Value Village Thrift Shop! Crazy. So she put some borders on it and quilted it up.

 These small pieces are a series of improv experiments. They will probably become wall hanging.

 Such a lovely, subtle feel with a Japanese influence. I feel like we’re going to see a lot from Lisa in the future.

 Doris made this beautiful small piece called “Some Kind of Blue” as part of a challenge with the other quilt guild she attends. I love the dense quilting, the subtle gradation of blue in the hand-dyed fabric and that little shot of gold up in the corner.

 And here’s an amazing piece by our president Rebecca, called Bump and Grind. So original. And a great example of what we’re talking about when we say “Modern” Quilts.

 Rebecca also had a pattern published in Simply Moderne Quilts and Crafts magazine called Poppin’ Wheelies. Its a great pattern, and a really wonderful magazine, one I had not seen before but if it has work like this in it, I’ll be watching for future issues.

And there you have it, our February Meeting in two posts.

February Meeting 2016: Part One

Ok People, I’m having a problem with this here guild. Can I be honest here? Can I tell you what the issue is? Ok, here goes: There is just TOO MUCH TALENT here! I’m telling you, I get overwhelmed by it. So many great ideas. So many amazingly skilled people. So. Much. Beauty! I get home after one of our meetings, and my camera is literally heavier from all the pictures I took.

We started with a look at the next block lotto pattern. Isn’t it adorable? Its Raspberry Kiss by Rachel at Wooden Spoon. As per usual with our block lottos, all members have are invited to make as many blocks as they like, and then bring them in to the April meeting. You will receive one ballot per block you made and the winner of the draw gets to take all the lovely little blocks home to put together for a quilt top.

Our next order of business was a fat quarter draw. We had so many people bring in fat quarters that we split the pile in two (warms and cools) and did two draws. Laura and Elena were the lucky winners.

Marilou shared a quilt that she had quilted as part of a Craftsy Creative Quilting With Your Walking Foot workshop with Jacquie Gehring.

I love that the back is just as pretty as the front.

Sue brought in this beautiful quilt top which she has sandwiched and started quilting.

She used the Improv Handbook by Shelly Lynn Wood. This one was based on the string method.

This is Debbie’s contribution to the Quilts for Syria sew-down. Led by our member Berene of Sew Darn Cute, many of our members got together to make quilts to give to Syrian Refugees to help welcome them to Canada. Much of the fabric was donated and since there was only an afternoon to use, people got really creative with making simple, yet striking quilts. Debbie used the clever device of Half-Square triangles to make this stunner. Not only is is beautiful, but meaningful. The design, with the stray blocks coming together with all the other blocks leads one to think of the refugees joining a new community here.

And look at the lovely details she’s added to the quilting. A heart with a maple leaf. Some real Canadian Love!

Berene designed and printed these labels on Spoonflower for all the participants to add to their quilt.

Dia brought in a quandary. She made these blocks as part of a Block of the Month club in 2013, from Alyssa Lichner of Pile O’ Fabric.

I love these, but Dia has run out of fabric (that background fabric with the little stars) and isn’t quite sure what to do with them.

We suggested throw pillows. I think this one would be amazing on my couch!

Due to my poor short term memory (I blame parenting) and my crappy note-taking skills (nobody to blame but myself) I don’t actually know who made these lovely place mats. I want to say Emily, as she was sitting in that quadrant of the room. Was it you Emily? Anyhow, they are a really great way to use some nice fabric pieces, and would make the breakfast table look so fun. I feel a sudden need for place mats in my life.

Berene, who as I previously mentioned was the organizing force behind the Quilts for Refugees sew down event, certainly did her part to make some lovely things during the course of that afternoon. Here is a very cheerful Maverick star.

The fabric looks like feedback reproductions, which is a favourite of mine.

And she also made this amazing “Map of the World” quilt. Simple, bold giant log cabin style layout,

…but with this very meaningful patch in the middle. Look how she’s embroidered the flightpath from Syria to Canada.

Berene also brought in this amazing quilt of her own design. Its called Rainbow Mashup. If you are interested in making one like it, she has the pattern for sale in her etsy shop.

Georgia, our youngest member brought in this lovely piece that she made as her contribution for Quilts for refugees. I love the subtle colour palette she used.

And I can’t resist posting this pic of her sitting on her quilt, because of the way her outfit seems to match it so perfectly, right down to the pink shoes.

Elaine had this eye popping number to show us.

She made this by cutting up a panel from the ColorWorks Concepts line. Such a great concept. I think it was the panel that is on the left hand side of the page that this link will lead you to.

And isn’t this amazing! It s a free (FREE!) download from Sam Hunter at Hoffman, called, quite appropriately, The Droid is Not for Sale.

Honestly, how adorable is this little BB8? Amazing!

Northcott Colourworks Challenge

Catherine used her JayBird Mini Hex and More ruler to make these two very different feeling quilts, from the same pattern. I find it endlessly amazing how much fabric choice affects the mood of a quilt. These could not be more different! The one on the left is called “Black Diamond” and the one on the right is called “Not so Mellow Yellow”.

And would ya look at this! Here are all the bingo card blocks we made for our Christmas Party game, all sewn up into the nicest quilt. I believe it was Catherine took on this challenge. She solved the problem of some variation in the size of the finished blocks by setting them wonkily with white sashing to even them out. Pretty successful I think.

Kim is new to our guild and new to quilting, but I’m telling you, this lady does nothing by halves. Above is her first quilt, called “Big Blocks”. Quite an accomplishment, especially for the first one out of the gate.

Not one to rest on her laurels she moved on to making a baby quilt, aptly titled “Ryan’s Baby”.

And to top it all off she moved on to this stunner, called “Jimmy’s Breakfast Quilt” named in honour of her Dog. Apparently she made all of these over a month and a half at the Neilsen Park Creative Centre, as part of a project class. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty impressed.

All right, so that is Part I of our February Meeting. Stay Tuned for Part II. Coming soon!

January Meeting, 2016

Welcome to 2016! After having informally kicked off the year with a few of our members at our Winter Quilting Retreat, we had our first official meeting of 2016 with a much bigger group in the Studio space of the Workroom in Toronto. It was good to see the familiar faces and a few new ones as well. As soon as we got the business and announcements out of the way, we got right down to show and tell because there was so much great work to see.  
 Samara kicked things off with her finished “High School Yearbook, Class of 89” quilt. Its so great to see the finished version of this, as she’s been working through the stages of it and sharing her progress along the way. 
 The back is just as awesome as the front, featuring the black and white “grad” photos. 
 There are lots of great little details, like buttons and braces. Its a really amazing piece. 
 But that wasn’t the end of the portraiture. Samarra also had this “Photo Booth” quilt to show. 
 The colours! The dots! The earrings! It all makes me so happy. 
 And the awesomeness just kept coming. This is a series of “sketches” that she is working on, what she refers to as “portrait experimentation”. 
 These really are blowing my mind. 
 Such great concepts. 
 And so much whimsy. 
 And speaking of whimsy, Jeannie had this lovely doll to show us. She has resolved to finish up the some of the many UFO’s (unfinished objects) that are lurking around her sewing room, and decided to start with this doll that she began to make at a class with Cheryl Smith that was held at SewSisters. She calls her, quite fittingly, “Fini”.
 Elaine was joining us for the first time this meeting, and had this very fun, pillow-cube to share. She was putting in the last stitches to close it up, as she plans to display it in the Northcott Cottons booth at the upcoming QuiltCon (booth #616 if you want to check it out in person)
 Gunnel brought in these beautiful, heavily textured little pieces to show us. Both of them are made with photo transfer techniques, and other dying and embroidery. The one above is called “Split Rock”….
 …and this one is called “Leslie Spit”, and both were inspired by her bike rides around the city. 
 Interestingly enough, this beautiful fabric is not even intentional. When I asked Gunnel what this was she said “oh, that’s just the cloth I put underneath things when I’m printing!” She’d just used it to wrap up the other two pieces she was bringing in to show! I think its a really good sign when even your accidents are beautiful. 
 And speaking of happy accidents, I had nothing to show this month until Rebecca said “oh, does anyone know who this quilt belongs to? It was left behind in the shop.” What a surprise to find it was mine! That one on the left there was a quilt yours truly (Andrea) designed and made for a Riley Blake Challenge. And then Catherine C. laughed because she had brought the quilt she’d made for the challenge along to, and was just in the process of binding it. We both missed the deadline by months and months, but what does it matter? I’m always in it just for the fun of making. Anyhow, we thought they looked very nice together, and I’m happy to be re-united with my long lost quilt!
 Catherine I. brought in this amazing Pick-up Sticks quilt which she’s been working very hard on in order to have it done in time for her brother and sister-in-laws 25th wedding anniversary. So it was quite a surprise to her when, having mentioned this to her brother he informed her that it was only their 23rd anniversary this year. So she’s finished early! This way she has two years to sew on the binding. 
 This quilt was also her first attempt at long arm quilting. It was completely free-handed, which is to say that she did not mark it beforehand. She said it was a really great experiences and she will definitely long-arm a quilt again. 
Karen brought in her sandwiched, and soon to be quilted, quilt made with a technique she calls “Tubing”. She’ll be teaching a class about how to make it at the Stoney Creek Quilt Guild on March first. It has such a fun and riotous group of patterns, due to the fact that she used 20 different fat quarters to make it.  
Another lovely pick-up sticks quilt, but this one was made by Lisa. It is being donated to the Interpersonal Violence Unit at the Guelph General Hospital where it will be donated to a survivor of sexual assault. 
Lisa is also expecting a Grandbaby in the middle of March, and so has made this adorable “Doggone Cute” quilt, designed by Lorna MacMahon of Sew Fresh Quilts
Honestly, how cute is that? 
Christine brought in this gorgeous Basket Weave quilt from the book Denyse Schmidt Quilts. We were impressed to learn that it is only the 2nd quilt she has ever finished! And that lovely shade of blue (in case you were wondering as we all were) is Kona Peacock. 
Lynda brought this striking little mini quilt to show us. It was made as an entry for the EZ Quilting Triangle Challenge. This is not the greatest picture, but it will have to do, as all the other ones are blurry (sorry). But what is good about this picture is that one of our new members, Elena was showing us how to more effectively photograph black, or dark coloured quilts. She was illustrating the use of a secondary light source to create relief shadows, allowing for the quilting to read better in a photograph. One needn’t have the light this close necessarily, as she was just giving us the idea, but its a good tip for playing around with lights when you take pictures of your quilted works, especially for entering in competitions of challenges. 
Doris, who always has lots so show, had a really cool tote-bag which she had made with fabric that she dyed herself. 
And another little challenge entry quilt, also mostly in black. 
One nice thing about making mini quilts is that they back can be as interesting as the front. 
And also, she had this lovely, light wool scarf that she’d hand-dyed. Doris really knows how to take full advantage of a workshop!
We all know that quilting is not an “overnight” craft, and Deborah proved that point with this gorgeous quilt that she made for her daughter. She’s been working on it for two-and-a-half years, and capped that off with a 6 hour first attempt at long arming. 
Its made with a Tula Pink pattern called “Dream Weaver” and, as far as I’m concerned, was totally worth the effort. 
Rebecca is as usual, the queen of the neutrals, with this gracefully simple baby quilt, which she had entitled, “Subtle-T”. 
And after show and tell was done, Catherine led a workshop about improving accuracy in your piecing. 
She covered a lot of interesting points, from cutting to pressing to using a scant quarter inch for seams. It was very informative and I’m hoping will definitely improve my work. 
Thanks all for coming out to make it a fun, full, informative meeting. See you next month!

Quilt Canada 2016 Solids Mini-Quilt Challenge

This is for our exhibit at CQA Quilt Canada in June. Attendees to the show will vote to determine the winner. Prize will be announced soon.

14″ x 14″ quilt using ONLY TWO OR THREE of the following Kona Cotton Solids:

School Bus

NO other fabrics may be used on visible portions. It is fine to use anything for the backing, facing or sleeve.

You may use any colour of thread for quilting and piecing, but you may not embellish your work with anything else or change the fabrics in any way. That means no sequins, buttons, glitter, paint, ink, dyes, bleach, etc.

Your quilt must have a faced binding. Here is a great tutorial if you are new to the technique. Don’t sweat it, it’s easy!

Your quilt must have a 2″ sleeve. Here is a tutorial for attaching sleeves, but keep in mind that this tutorial is for a large sleeve. You can start with a piece of fabric that is 4 1/2″ wide instead of 8 1/2″ as called for in the instructions.

Other than those requirements, you are free to do as you wish, but please try to keep in mind that it should be “modern.”

Entries will be due June 1, 2016. Our regular May meeting on May 29 is cancelled due to the thread workshop we are holding, but if you are attending that event you may hand in your entry then.

Just to be crystal clear… You may use either two or three of the listed fabrics. You may NOT add any other fabrics (nope, not even white!).

Have fun creating!