Sunday, 22 November 2015

Counting Your Inches Across Canada - Part 1

You know the saying 'back by popular demand?'  YOU let us know that you did not want us to retire the counting of the inches.  You emailed, called, dropped in to our guilds, threw spools of thread at us,  followed us around with tape measures (may be a slight exaggeration here). But you told us you loved doing this national challenge!  You were heard, so the challenge is back and we are running behind so we need your help if we are going to make it!
Marilyn Michelin, a former board member, has kindly agreed to look after this project for us and she is excited!  Over to you Marilyn:

There’ll be no Lollygagging along the way this year! 
As we are a little late in starting, we still have managed to get enough inches from 10 guilds to get us to just outside Calgary, Alberta on our way to Toronto, Ontario, where Quilt Canada 2016 is being held.
After having had a wonderful time at Quilt Canada 2015, we leave the University of Lethbridge to travel north. 

What a wonderful group they were - welcoming, energetic, and amazing! We met lots of new friends at the show and now can’t wait to get to Toronto to see some of them again and make some more new ones.

Cactus Rose Quilters' Guild (Medicine Hat, AB) shared their October meeting on facebook - a wide variety of quilts and sewn objects were shown.

Keep sending in your inches to Marilyn  ( so that we can make it to Toronto for Quilt Canada 2016 - June 15-18, 2016!

Send along a picture or two of your guild meeting Show & Tell too. We like to see all the wonderful quilting that is being done by quilters across Canada!

Friday, 20 November 2015

Mystery Quilt for Canadian Quilters to Celebrate Canada's 150th Birthday!

We have a special post to bring you today!  We are super excited to have Cantik Batiks join our team at Quilt Canada 2016.

You may know them as the awesome company who sponsors our Youth Challenge, but they have stepped it up and are doing a Canadian Themed Mystery Quilt for quilters!
Let me tell you the blocks are simply amazing! Here is what they have to say:

Cantik Batiks, a Canadian owned company, is celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday.
Shania Sunga, our Canadian designer, has designed a 13 block Canadian Themed Mystery Quilt available at Canadian Quilt shops.. Every 6 weeks, a new Province or Territory will be featured until April 2017, in time for Canada’s Birthday!

Individual wall hanging kits of each Province and Territory are also available from your favourite quilt shop.
In addition, Shania Sunga has designed 13 different fabric collections to depict the colours and beauty of 10 Provinces and 3 Territories. Each collection will have Gemstones (2 ½” strips), Gemfives (5” strips) and Gemcubes (10” squares). Collect all 13 Canadian Provincial and Territorial Gems!

A Special commemorative fabric collection will also be available for Canada. Stunning projects have been created to celebrate Canada’s special day including Homecoming wall hanging designed by Shania Sunga.
All the Canadian, Provincial and Territorial fabric as well as the blocks and wall hangings will be available for a minimum of 2 years for consumers to create a commemorative project.
 “What does Canada mean to you” We challenge everyone to celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday using Cantik Batiks.

For the most up to date Mystery Block information, current images and block deliveries go to
Come and visit Shania Sunga at the Cantik Batiks booth at Quilt Canada 2016. Bring your blocks/patterns to be signed!

Cantik Batiks thanks the CQA/ACC for supporting quilting in Canada and sparking the passion in all age groups. Fabric begin as fabric. Quilters turn  fabric into love.

Now if that isn't enough to get you running to your quilt store to pick up the blocks or wall hangings, they are releasing the pictures each month here! 

Here is Block 1:
New Brunswick 
Hartland, New Brunswick is home to the World’s longest covered bridge. The bridge is 390m long (1,282ft). The Black-capped Chickadee is the Provincial Bird. 

Nunavut is Canada’s newest Territory established in 1999. The Inukshuk are monuments of unworked stones that are used by the Inuit for communication and survival. The traditional meaning of the Inukshuk is “Someone was here” or “You are on the right path”
Mount Thor (image to the right) Located in Auyuittuq National Park on Baffin Island, is the World’s greatest vertical drop of 1,250 m (4,101ft) with an average angle of105 degrees.
The Rock Ptarmigan is Nunavut’s territorial bird.

Stay tuned as the blocks get released to see the gorgeous creations they produce!  You don't want to miss joining in on this fun adventure with Cantik Batiks, as we gear up to celebrate Canada's 150th!

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Quilt Canada 2016

Are you ready? Are you as excited as we are?

Quilt Canada 2016 broke the mold! We changed things up, made it bigger, made it better and we did it to make every quilter like you HAPPY!

How you ask?  First we found some pretty amazing sponsors! Check out this incredible door prize!

We are offering a slew of workshops

Janome has once again given overwhelming support to provide domestic machines for all workshops that require them.

Handi Quilter is supplying Sweet 16's for classrooms,  and a long arm machine for lectures!

The workshops are so varied and so fantastic! And guess what?  We did not make them all the same price this year!  We have priced them so that there are workshops for every budget!

We added lectures!  Yep, that's right, we have our incredible teachers offering lectures throughout the four days too!

Don't freak out but we are having a Quilter's Night Out!  We can't say too much right now, but Jane Sassaman is going to be giving a talk!  

Okay, our Merchant Mall is insane!  We keep getting more and more merchants so we keep making the shopping area bigger and bigger! We will be releasing the names of vendors very soon. 

We haven't even talked about the quilt shows yet!  Our National Juried Show hilights the best in Canada, our concurrent shows demonstrate the incredible talent our country has in quilting. 

The fact that we are at the International Centre in Toronto ON is the icing on the cake.   The place is huge! All one level and minutes from the hotels, and tons of parking!

Seriously, if you haven't booked your workshops, lectures, hotel... don't wait too long.   This is going to be the conference of all conferences! 

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Remembrance Day Quilt

Remembrance: A Tribute to Sacrifice

Size: 57” wide X  53.5” high. Perimeter:  221”

Hand painted poppies, pieced poppies are a variation on the pinwheel design, and machine stitched.

Quilted by: Machine Quilted on a domestic sewing machine.

No other participants have contributed in the design and execution of this work, however, credits are to be given for the poetry and photos.

In Flanders Fields, by John McCrae 
‘In Flanders fields, the poppies blow,
Short days ago…
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow.’

The Question, by Rudyard Kipling
‘If it be found when the battle clears,
Their death has set me free,
Then how shall I live with myself through the years
Which they have bought for me?’

Death in the Mud, by R.W. Adie   (used with permission)
‘Know why, when wrong is wrong, and right is right, and how to play a noble part.’

Tipperary Blues, by R.W. Adie  (used with permission)
‘The days I treasure are shaped by….
The agony of brothers I’ve lost…and the sisters, oh so fair.’

Machine stitched drawings based on Photos:
Cpl. Andrew J. Eykelenboom, used with permission by the Eykelenboom family
Gunner Allan Adie, used with permission by the Adie family

Quilt Images taken by: Bill Jorgensen

Date completed: January 2008

Artist’s Statement:

For the ultimate sacrifices made on our behalf this innovative wall quilt is a tribute to Canada’s soldiers.  May they rest in peace.   

In his poem, The Question, Rudyard Kipling challenges us most profoundly: 

‘If it be found when the battle clears, their death has set me free,
Then how shall I live with myself through the years which they have bought for me?’

We will remember.

Hennie Aikman

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Quilts of Valour

The (QOV) organization is an amazing one for Canadians to be a part of.
Taken directly from their website, 'they support Canadian Armed Forces members past and present with quilts of comfort, in their time of need.'

A Quilt of Valour™ is a Tribute to a CAF Member

A Quilt of Valour™ is a "hug from the nation" to a CAF Member who serves and makes sacrifices for our country. The quilt standards must reflect the level of gratitude that we want to demonstrate to the recipient. Quilts of Valour™ can be made by individuals, social groups or quilting bees. In all cases we request that the standards we have established are followed to ensure that a high quality symbol of gratitude is presented.
The quilt specifications are 55" x 70" symbolizing Canada.  All the details are here.
One idea that a member came up with is that up to and on November 11th start working on a Quilt of Valour. Do it by yourself or with some friends and let us know about it.   The hashtags to use are #rememberthem  #quiltofvalour. 
We encourage you to do this on your facebook, twitter or Instagram accounts and use the hashtags above and we will pick it up and repost.  Alternately you can email any activities you are doing around this.

Let's support our Armed Forces and pay tribute by what we do best - quilting!

Thursday, 29 October 2015

A circle cutter that's out-of-this-world

Zoë MacDonald is E-Commerce and Social Media Manager at Canada’s largest manufacturer and wholesale distributor of quality sewing, quilting, and knitting supplies. Crafty lady and recent quilting convert, she is keen to share her love for the latest in notions.

As a quilting newbie, I am always on the look-out for ways to get the wow factor that seem manageable to me. While I love the interlocking circles on a Wedding Ring pattern quilt, the complexity of this pattern makes it more daunting than inspiring to me. (I thought quilting meant no more curved seams?)

After all, when you are addicted to the fresh start of a new sewing project, armed with crisp new fabric and purpose, getting to completion can be its own challenge. Most of my UFOs aren’t quilting projects, but I imagine there is a quilting equivalent to being up late, surrounded by pleated and gathered mint chiffon, wondering where it all went wrong. This is especially true for those of us who are prone to distraction, or “easily inspired”.

All this to say, I’ve learned (the slow way) that it pays to keep it simple and focus on one (maybe two) striking features that you know you can nail. So, I pressed on, and in my quest for quiltsperation I noticed a common theme among many bold modern quilts: circles. Either in ascending order or polka dot grid, layered like a Venn diagram, or integrated into pictorial motifs (ladybugs, flowers, etc.), They. Were. Everywhere.

By Jennifer Houlden - as seen on Quilt Social 

Quilts spotted at Quilt Market – as seen on Jackie’s Art Quilts Blog

Works in progress – as seen on Jackie’s Art Quilts Blog here.

Quilts by Product Specialists Cathy McClean & Donna Housley – as seen on H.A. Kidd Facebook

… and suddenly, it occurred to me that I can do this! Or, at least some version of this, thanks to my secret weapon: the TrueCut Circle Cutter.

How to cut a perfect circle with the TrueCut Circle Cutter (without marking, tracing, or snipping):

Unlock the gear (lefty loosey) then lock again (righty tighty) when the red indicator is pointed at the correct measurement. 


Unlock safety near blue blade “button”, and make sure blade cover is removed. 

3. CUT!
Place circle cutter with blue button facing you: Remember, “Blue to belly”. Press down on gear shape on what will be the centre of your circle, with your non dominant hand and dominant hand over this arm and on the blue button. Then, apply pressure, swooping the cutter around the centre gear for a full 360 degree turn.

 Create perfect-circle quilt appliqué

1. To prep your fabric for turned appliqué, increase desired finished circle size by ½” (13 mm) and have lightweight fusible interfacing (I used HeatnBond brand) and main fabric ready to cut. (For raw edge applique, apply Heatnbond Light to the wrong side of your fabric.)

2. Use TrueCut Circle Cutter to cut both circles.

3. Match adhesive side of interfacing with right side of fabric circle. Sew along edge with ¼” seam allowance (6 mm).

4. Use pinking shears around seam allowance to notch fabric and reduce bulk at the same time before turning.

5. To turn, cut a slit in interfacing side and reverse appliqué circle through this opening. To help ensure a smooth edge, use an Heirloom Crease Marker and/or Fabric Folding Pen along the seam. 

Now, your appliqué circles are ready for the appliqué-tion of your choice! For instance…

A solar system quilt! (Spot the TARDIS - courtesy of Dr.Who-loving team member, Ivana)

I fused the sun and planets in place over the scattered sky-themed half-square-triangle quilt base, using wool heat setting. I used the turned edge appliqué technique to allow for a simple straight-stitch with Sulky Holoshimmer to secure in place, and stippled the “orbit lines” with the same thread combination.

While I took some liberties with scientific fact, you get the idea. Aside from playing fast and loose with the size scaling, you’ll find technically-not-a-planet Pluto peeking in from the opposite corner. It’ll always be an honorary planet to me!

Bringing it full circle

With the TrueCut Circle Cutter, cutting circles is fun and easy enough that it will inspire you to create just for the sake of circle-cutting. Like a doughnut pincushion, or no-pattern pot holder:

You can never have too many.

A good outlet for scrap batting. Don't forget to use Unique Therm Fleece!

What would you make if you knew cutting circles was this easy?

For a chance to win, submit your comment by Friday, November 6th at 4pm. Canadian residents only. 

Update: This draw is now closed. Congratulations to winner Laura!

To purchase your own TrueCut Circle Cutter, visit your local Canadian quilt retailer.
For more inspiration and product education, follow H.A. Kidd and Company Limited on Facebook.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

You Asked For It!

We were contemplating retiring the 'count your inches' across the country but the overwhelming response from our members and guilds to continue had us beat! We are doing it again!

We are travelling from Quilt Canada 2015 - Lethbridge AB to Quilt Canada 2016 in Toronto, ON.

Our journey is 3,627 km or a whopping 142,806,299 inches!

At your guild meetings, measure the inches around the perimeter of your quilt during your Show and Share or on your charity quilts. Send the total of those inches to our awesome volunteer Marilyn Michelin at
We do want to see what you are quilting, so please send a picture or two and a sentence describing it so we can use it on social media!

We are super excited to do it once again, albeit a little stressed that we are starting late so may not make it.. and that would devastate us! We are counting on you to count alot of inches! Get quilting!