Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Fabric Selection can Entirely Change a Pattern

007 - Slice It Up Placemats
In preparing for a recent demo, I needed to show the various steps to make these placemats.  The pattern cover showed the placemats in Christmas prints.  To show every step, I also made a set of the above placemats in modern brights.  What a contrast to the original pattern.

So when we are looking at a pattern, think beyond the colors on the pattern cover.  The results can be very striking.  I'm thinking I should change my pattern cover photo!

Sunday, 17 July 2016

From the Classroom

Spent what would have been an otherwise dreary Saturday in Calgary sewing with a great group of ladies st the Calgary Threaducation Centre for my Rail in a Rail class.  Everyone's quilt turned out great and they were all so different.  

The pattern has two sizes - a 42" square quilt top with a border or a 72" large lap quilt.  With the larger quilt, it is simply 4 repeats of the smaller quilt top.  The smaller quilt to is a great size for a baby quilt or table topper.  

Take a look for yourself:

Here is Jackie's stunner.  The bright colors just make me smile.  Jackie is debating on adding the borders as this is destined for a table topper. 

Judy worked like a beaver to get her quilt done by the early afternoon.  The colors are very caliming.  I can't wait to see how she will quilt this one.

Sharon agonized for hours on her fabric choices.  She was bound and determined to make this one from her stash.  Sharon had oh so many choices!

Pat took a more formal view for her color choices.  Another great finish.

To the ladies, it was a pleasure spending the day with you.

Monday, 20 June 2016

Dragons Heart Quilt Shop - Delightful Quilt Shop in Pincher Creek Alberta

Dragons Heart Quilt Shop

I can't believe we have been back for over a week now. Our annual Social Stitcher's Retreat was in Cowley, Alberta on June 9th to 12th.  We have been gathering together for over 10 years in a converted old Catholic church to sew, eat, share and laugh.

On our travels we always manage to visit a couple of quilt shops on our way down.  This year we visited a new shop in Pincher Creek - Dragons Heart Quilt Shop.  The shop opened in October of last year and has a wonderful selection of fabrics and patterns.  Our guild certainly did our best to reduce some of their inventory.  The shop has a classroom in the back and has three APQS machines.

The shop is participating in Row by Row this year and has a great die cut windmill on their row.  It is a must stop for quilters collecting the rows.

Lynn the owner is great and very welcoming.  We did enjoy our stop this year and will be sure to come back.  And if that isn't enough, they have decorated their bathroom in a rustic sewing theme.  Just take a look!

A Quilter's Bathroom

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Saturday's with Susan - Come Join me June 25th at Addie's

"Just the Essentials" Bag

Come join me at Addie's Creative Fabrics in Cochrane on June 25th from 11 to 12:15 pm for some tips and tricks for working with zippers and for the demo of this great little bag.  Just for attending this free demo, you will receive a complementary pattern for this bag.   

I have called it "Just the Essentials" as the bag will hold your phone, a credit card and some cash secure in the zipper pocket and your keys will be safe on the hidden inside key ring.  With two quilted pockets on the front and reverse of the bag, you will have room for all your essentials for Stampeding here in Calgary.  

Zippers, zippers zippers.  They really don't have to be that scary.  On Saturday I will demo a couple of tricks to getting you on your way to be a real pro!  

Again, the demo is free, so take that quick 15 minute trip from the city and join me at Addie's.  I look forward to seeing you.

Friday, 3 June 2016

Celebration of Quilts - our Entries into Heritage Park May 28 & 29, 2016

My Rail in a Rail
What a celebration! I spent 1 1/2 days surrounded by wonderful quilts.  In the morning Armiel, my pattern tester extraordinaire, and I volunteered at the Calgary Modern Quilt Guild booth, lunched with my parents and Social Stitchers guild and then a bit of touring around in the afternoon.

Couldn't temper the excitement and we were the first ones through the gates again on Sunday.  

I was really proud to have a Social Stitchers Group display of my Strip and Flip Pattern.  As an added surprise was two more Strip and Flip quilts as well!  It is amazing to see how different one pattern can be.  Lets take a look.

My Rail in a Rail

Social Stitchers' - Cityscapes, Almost Amish and a Traditional Blend

Social Stitchers' - Cozy Cabin, Orange Makes Me Smile and Spring Has Sprung
 Barb from one of my classes - Scrappy Stitch and Flip
Mary, one of my long armer's - Read All Over

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Saturday's with Susan - Join me April 30th

A Peak at our Free Pattern
Hope you have your taxes done... so you can join me on Saturday, April 30th for "Saturday's with Susan".  This free, did I say "FREE" demo at Addies Creative Fabrics in Cochrane.  We will have a complementary pattern to share to help you make something for your traveling family member, friend or teacher.

Also we will take a look at a helpful tool you can make yourself.  If you have a tendency to rearrange your block pieces when moving them to your sewing machine - this tool is for you.

Bring your show and tell so we all can be inspired!

I hope to see you from 11:00 - 12:15 on April 30th at Addies in Cochrane.  Please register in advance so that we can ensure we have enough copies of the complementary pattern for everyone.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Rail in a Rail - Modern, Traditional or ...just Relevant

Daley's Rail in a Rail Quilt - 72" square

After sharing some of my quilts with a group of quilters I was asked if I considered myself a modern quilter.  Before I really gave a lot of thought to my answer I replied I didn't like labels.  Rather, I enjoy many things about both traditional and modern quilting.  I love the precision of traditional quilting, but I am truly drawn to simple shapes and fresh colors.

My quilts and patterns are a blend of both traditional and modern quilting.

Take for example my newest pattern - Rail in a Rail.  The fence rail block is a very old traditional quilt block.  This block is often the block that beginning quilters start in their first quilting classes.  But, if you embed a smaller fence rail in a larger rail, add a monochromatic color scheme and you have a very modern quilt.  This design takes what was a very simple quilt and adds some more technical piecing, increased attention to layout and color choices.  And all this is before you even consider how to quilt the top.  Deciding on how to quilt a Rail in a Rail quilt is yet another learning.

It is not by chance that all the small rails meet precisely to create a diamond pattern in this quilt.  Rather, attention to accurate 1/4" seams, pressing to create nested seams and an organized approach are all key contributors to the success of this quilt.  It is a challenge to get all those tips and tricks into a written pattern.  This is when the written pattern or video simply can't capture the benefits of a face to face class.  It is impossible to get an answer to your specific questions from an online video.  We all learn in a face to face class.  I hope my students get as much from my classes as I do.  

For me, quilts today have to be relevant - to be loved and used.

When I started my first sketches of this quilt, I set out to make a quilt with simple lines and colors that my son Daley would want in his first home.  Whilst Daley still uses the quilt he took to university, this one had to be a quilt that he would want for his home.  This quilt had to be relevant to his style and preferences - no intricate piecing or fall colors for him.  The quilt also had to be useful, not a wall quilt or lap quilt for one for him. 

But, what is relevant to Daley may not be the same for everyone else.  For me to be relevant to a broader quilting audience, I try to make a more than one size of a quilt, switch over to more traditional colored and quilted versions for all of my quilt pattern.  As of right now, I have finished three Rail in a Rail quilts and have another three in progress.  Four are very modern, but the last two are anything but modern. 

Come join me at The Threaducation Centre in Calgary for my Rail in a Rail class on Saturday, July 16th.  We will be making the 42" square quilt top in the class, sharing those tips and tricks for a quilt success and  having a group discussion on quilting options for your quilt.  Let's work together to make a "relevant" quilt for you or that special someone.