Sunday, 14 February 2016

Jane Sassaman Workshops at Quilt Canada!

You heard it right! CQA/ACC has booked Jane Sassaman to come and teach 4 incredible workshops at Quilt Canada 2016, June 15-18th in Toronto ON!

You will not want to miss an opportunity to learn from a legend in the  quilting world!
Her quilts have traveled everywhere, she is a published author, her fabric collections are like no other and she is an extraordinary teacher!

Ms. Sassaman is teaching four workshops, one each day of the conference so that you have plenty of opportunities to choose one that fits your schedule!

111-Personalities of a Leaf
111-Personalities of a Leaf
1 Day: Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Kit Fee: N/A
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate
Cost Including Lunch: Members: $140.00; Non-Members: $155.00
Machine embroidery adds personality to your quilts and needlework. The stitches you choose affect the emotion and atmosphere of your work. In this workshop we will make a simple sampler using a repeated leaf appliqué, but by changing the finishing embroidery stitches each leaf takes on different personalities and attitudes.
This is your chance to get familiar with the stitches contained in your sewing machine or to sample some stitches you have never tried before. Whatever machine you have, we will try to find the stitches which speak your language and will make your needle projects more expressive.
211-Machine Appliqué
211-Machine Appliqué
1 Day: Thursday, June 16, 2016
Kit Fee: N/A
Skill Level:  Beginner to Intermediate
Cost Including Lunch: Members: $140.00; Non-Members: $155.00
This workshop will focus on rich surface design as students learn techniques of precision machine appliqué. Students will be exposed to organic shapes in other mediums (Art Nouveau, etc.) and will be challenged to apply these shapes to their textile compositions. Each student will experiment with several appliqué and decorative embroidery options.
311-Suns and Moons
311-Suns and Moons
1 Day: Friday, June 17, 2016
Kit Fee: N/A
Skill Level: Beginner to Advanced
Cost Including Lunch: Members: $140.00; Non-Members: $155.00
Suns and Moons is a machine appliqué workshop based on the circle motif. Using Jane’s appliqué techniques and experimenting with our decorative stitches, we will begin by making a series of colorful fabric discs which will then be arranged into a dramatic and contemporary composition.
411-Abstracting from Nature (designs class)
411-Abstracting from Nature (designs class)
1 Day: Saturday, June 18, 2016
Kit Fee: N/A
Skill Level: Beginner to Advanced
Cost Including Lunch: Members: $140.00; Non-Members: $155.00
Nature is an endless source of inspiration. In this class we will examine a wide variety of artists interpretations of nature before beginning to manipulate natural forms ourselves.  Through a series of exercises we will experiment with abstraction and exaggeration to capture the essence and energy of your favorite flora and achieve dramatic visual effects.  We will then translate these ideas into fabric . Drawing skills are not needed but participants should have a strong interest in developing their own design language and unique visual symbols.
This class is especially beneficial for the drawing impaired and the tragically literal.

Not only that, we have her booked for a lecture, during our Quilter's Nite Out!   Without saying too much, not only are you getting to hear Jane Sassaman speak, but we have gifts for all attendees, giveaways and door prizes galore! It is going to be a party for sure!

Don't wait too long, her classes are filling up quickly!

Friday, 12 February 2016


Executive Director

The Canadian Quilters Association/Association canadienne de la courtepointe is accepting applications for the position of Executive Director who will be responsible for the successful leadership and management of the organization.  This is a part time position of approximately 20 hours per week, working with a volunteer board of directors, one staff person and several contractors.  Compensation will be competitive.

The Canadian Quilting Association/Association canadienne de la courtepointe (CQA/ACC) ( is a national not for profit organization that promotes excellence in quilts and quiltmaking and fosters a climate of sharing among Canadian quilt makers and enthusiasts.

·       Marketing and/or Business degree and experience with a Not for Profit Board of Directors.
·       Knowledge of administrative procedures and legal requirements for a not for profit organization.
·       Communication skills
·       Advanced Computer and Website skills.
·       Ability to develop, plan and implement Projects and Strategic Goals.
·       Ability to work both independently and as a team member
·       Experience in budgetary and human resource management.
·       Operates in a timely, objective and transparent manner.
·       Excellent decision making, problem recognition and problem solving skills.
·       Good interpersonal and team management skills.
·       Understanding the quilting scene in Canada and its trends is an asset.
To inquire about this position and for the full job description contact the President at  

Applications will be accepted until March 15, 2016.  

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Coats & Clark Present a Slipper Tutorial!

CQA/ACC is thrilled to have Coats & Clark guest blogging for us! They are one of our amazing sponsors that is participating in Quilt Canada 2016 and boy did they go all out for you! 7 huge boxes of thread is waiting to be distributed to quilters attending the conference!

Coats & Clark Thread – Hints, History & Spa Slippers Project

Annette Millard is passionate about sewing and has worked in the sewing industry for many, many years and is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands. She currently enjoys supporting the Coats & Clark community writing blog posts about products and projects for the Coats Sewing Secrets Blog.

Dreary weather makes me want to stay inside and sew. You will love the Spa Slipper Project we have to share with you below! First, I have a bit of info about the over 250 year history of Coats & Clark threads. I always wonder how products began and who invented them, don’t you?

The Clark brothers were weavers in Paisley, Scotland in the 1750’s and in the early 1800’s, silk, the primary thread used in weaving at that time, became quite scarce due to Britain’s war with France. To keep the industry going, the inventive Clark brothers came up with a method for twisting cotton to make thread that was strong enough to replace silk and linen for weaving and hand sewing. They soon opened their first mill and invented a process for winding thread onto wooden spools. Remember those?

Impressed by the Clarks’ success, the nearby Coats family also began producing cotton threads. Both brands became popular in America when threads arrived with British sailors. Coats and Clark brands were exported from Britain to North America until war once again changed how business was conducted. In the 1860’s, US Civil War tariffs made exporting costs prohibitive, so both brands began manufacturing in the US. By the late 1800’s, the Coats and Clark families merged operations and birthed the tradition of thread excellence that we still trust and enjoy today. To read more Coats & Clark history, click here.

Our Spa Slipper project calls for two colors of Dual Duty XP General Purpose Thread. Due to Coats’ continued inventiveness, innovation and dedication to quality, Dual Duty XP thread is core-spun using modern technology for consistent tension and fabulous stitches. This means that smooth, long, multi-filament fibers are tightly spun as a “core”, then wrapped and twisted again with spun polyester to create a single strand. Two or more of these core-spun strands are then twisted together to make the high-strength, beautifully fray-resistant Coats thread you count on. The General Purpose weight is exactly what you need while you’re zigzagging and sewing through several layers. But, you’re not always sewing Spa Slippers, so let’s take a look at all three weights of Coats Dual Duty XP.
Coats Dual Duty XP General Purpose Thread . . . the thread you’ll use most for machine and hand sewing.
·        Available in 114, 229 or 457 meter spools.
·        Easily find just the right color for your project - General Purpose 114m has the widest color range available, including Fashion Brights, Color Tints and Multi-Colors.
·        Perfect for all fibers and fabrics – quilting cottons, knits and wovens.
·        Use a size 70 to 80 needle.
Coats Dual Duty XP Fine Thread . . . the thread you’ll use for sewing sheer magic.
·        Solves your longing for pucker-free seams in light-weight fabrics.
·        Strong, yet the perfect weight for lingerie, bridal, silks, organza and sheers.
·        Excellent for Machine Embroidery.
·        Use a size 60 to 70 needle.
Coats Dual Duty XP Heavy Thread . . . the thread that makes bold, heavy stitching fabulous.
·        Heavier and stronger than General Purpose or Fine.
·        Great for creating bold accent Buttonholes, Cording and Topstitching.
·        The right choice for interior and exterior upholstery fabrics.
·        Use a size 100 to 110 needle.

And here’s my secret favorite thing about Coats thread – the trap spool! On the end of each spool, you’ll find a little slotted “trap” to lock the end of your thread in before you store the spool or you can lift up the trap, wind the thread inside and snap it closed to secure the thread. You know that exasperating, knotted, wild mess that you call your thread box? Gone!

A thread hint story: One day, while I was working in a sewing store, a customer came in steaming mad because the thread kept breaking on her brand new machine. Since thread choice is key to successful sewing, I asked what kind of thread she used. Her answer? “I don’t know. It was in a box of sewing stuff my husband’s ex-wife stored in the attic years ago”. When I explained that old thread may not be good thread and cheap thread is the worst, she cursed the ex-wife a little, but bought new thread and came back later to thank me. Thread can last for years if it’s stored properly, but exposure to direct or sunlight, moisture and extreme temperatures can compromise its integrity.
Pamper yourself this month and go through your thread box with the following in mind.
·        Test your “old” threads. Take a 38 – 45cm piece of thread, hold one end in each hand and pull on it until it breaks. If you feel some resistance, it’s probably okay, but if it breaks easily, it’s time to say goodbye.
·        Look at the color of a few meters of your old threads. Do they start out light, then get darker? This is thread that has been discolored by light exposure and it’s probably time for it to go, too.
·        Consider tossing thread with just a few meters left on the spool. It’s unlikely that you’ll actually have enough to use on a project when you need that color, so its really just clutter.
·        Banish any “5/$1.00 bargain” or thrifted threads and replenish your supply with fabulous new Coats threads.
·        Click here to download a PDF of the Dual Duty XP 114 meter spool color choices so you can pre-shop. Print and stash this in your thread box for future reference!

Click here for the free pattern for these wonderful Spa Slippers. They were featured along with several other Spa Projects on the Coats Sewing Secrets Blog recently and you’ll love the other projects, too. You can have an all day Spa Sewing session! Click here to read the Spa Projects post. For more information about Coats brands and products, click here to visit Make It Coats.

Enjoy your sewing and make good thread choices – you deserve it!

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Counting Inches #3

Great news!

After totaling up the inches from December and January meetings, we are able to announce that we’ve made it as far as Winnipeg, MB. This is amazing as there were some guilds who didn’t have a meeting in December.

It’s a good thing we are making progress. Going through these COLD months (and also the colder provinces right now), we sure need all those quilts to keep warm! 

Don’t forget to send your inches to Marilyn at We'd like to make it to Toronto in time for Quilt Canada 2016!

Here are some pictures of Show and Tell:

Quilt from Annapolis Valley Quilters
Quilt of Valour quilt that was quilted by one of their members.

Victoria QG

Manitoba Quilters - one of their ABC (Adults, Babies, Children) quilts

Nanaimo QG 

Kemptville Quilters 

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Quilting Stitches Served Straight Up

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.

I spent the weekend away before the holidays and ended up stumbling upon a charming boutique filled to the brim with locally handmade items. Despite the offerings, I was determined not to buy anything for myself: In a decidedly gift-shopping state of mind, I couldn't be tempted.

Now weeks later, my holiday gifts purchased or made, wrapped, and unwrapped already, something from the store is still haunting me. I'm experiencing that much dreaded feeling - the aversion to which causes many of us to buy more fabric than we often “need”: Buyer’s Remorse’s cousin, Buyer’s Regret.

The item was a beautiful, heavy quilt with a crinkled cotton texture and clean linear piecing. The jewel of the crown was lots of simple but chunky hand quilted stiches in a contrasting colour. Something about the expertise with which it was made combined with its cozy vibe reminded me of my Auntie Susan’s quillows. In retrospect, I can’t believe she let us take those camping, and immediately made a mental note to adopt her tremendous chill about her fine work.

Armed with a combination of nostalgia and FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), I decided to have a go at something with a similar style: A simple quilt that’s all about the stitches. But, instead of making an impact with creative stippling, lots of straight bold lines will let the thread speak for itself.

Knowing this quilt is all about the right thread means it’s all about the right needle, too.

Piecing with a Microtex Needle

For piecing, I usually use trusty Gütermann Sew-All thread (I’m not a natural fibers purist) with a Universal needle. This time, I decided to plan a little bit better (a long standing quilting resolution of mine) and choose something more specialised: Sulky Polylite 60 weight with a size 90 Microtex needle.

Piecing with a Schmetz Microtex Needle

Using a finer thread will reduce bulk, which discourages quilt top lumpiness. The Microtex needle pairs well for precise work and super straight stitching since it is slim and extra sharp. For finer cotton, especially at the piecing edges, this combo worked perfectly well and sewed very smoothly, making piecing a piece of cake.

Quilting with a Metallic Needle

Once I had a good look at the completed sandwich, I decided to add some sparkle to the plus signs. They already reminded me of a European pharmacy sign and so I wanted to accent this with concentric plus signs. I used a variegated version of Gütermann Metallic thread, pulling in a few of the main colours in the floral print. The effect was a shiny rose-gold.

Quilting with a Schmetz Metallic Needle

For the bobbin thread I chose a quilter’s classic, Gütermann cotton thread. Once I found the perfect neutral-ish colour, I decided to back all the top threads with it.
Since the back pattern is busy, I liked the idea of creating texture instead of contrast. The Metallic needle (size 90) was an obvious choice though I could have also used a Top Stitch. The key is an extra-large eye, which prevents the shredding of specialty threads. Of course, I followed all the rules for successful sparkly stippling.

The main print ended up looking a little bit more babyish than retro, so I pulled from a darker colour for the main body quilting stitches to break it up. Still set on straight lines, I went with a classic crosshatch: some bold, some fine.

Bold Cross-hatching with a Topstitch Needle

Bold Cross-hatching with a Topstitch Needle

Having loved the look of the variegated metallic thread, I opted for another variegated thread in a heavy weight: Sulky 12 weight Blendables Cotton. To accommodate the gauge, I paired this with a size 100 Topstitch Needle.

Fine Cross-hatching with a Quilting Needle

Fine Cross-hatching with a Quilting Needle

When using a lighter weight thread, like this 30 weight Sulky Blendables Cotton, the quilting needle is an obvious go-to. (I used a size 90) Its sharp and pointy tip is designed to sew through multiple layers without snagging or damaging your fabric while the tapered shaft is low impact on your finer cottons.

When in doubt

Even if you know needle selection is important, it can be tricky to remember which is best for what. Luckily, most needles are named by purpose: A Denim Needle leaves little to the imagination. For more specialty or nuanced quilting needle education – there’s an app for that!

Inside the Schmetz Needles App

If you’re not an iPhone user, you will find the same information at

Next time, the finishing touches: binding and labelling!

To get your own Schmetz Needles & quality quilting thread, visit your local Canadian quilt retailer.
For more inspiration and product education, follow H.A. Kidd and Company Limited on Facebook.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Check out the Vendors at Quilt Canada 2016

Quilt Canada 2016 in Toronto ON is shaping up to be the biggest conference to date. Our Merchant Mall is huge! So much so, we had to make it bigger to fit in all these awesome vendors that are coming to see you! They are there to help you with your quilting needs!  They will be bringing the newest, most colourful, different and unique products to show you what is hot and trending in quilting these days!

We are thrilled to introduce you to the incredible  line up of vendors for Quilt Canada 2016!

APQS Canada/Whirls n' Swirls Quilting
Black Sheep & Ewe
Blue Fig
Border Creek Station
Brother International (Canada)
Bytowne Threads
Cobwebs and Caviar
Collection Inedith
Country Clothesline
Country Concessions
Cozy Quilts
Creative Sisters
Creemore House of Stitches
Distinctive Sewing Supplies
Earthly Goods Quilting
Eddycrest Furniture

Fabric Please
Fabric Spark
Fabric Spot
Flare Fabrics
Fun with Stitches
Grantham Books
HA Kidd
Handi Quilter
Harebrained Happenings
Inspired Getaways
JP's Quilt Studio
Kalabandar: Scarves from afar
Kallisti Quilts
Kawartha Quilting Systems
Kindred Spirits Quilt Co
Meerkat Trading
Pastime Pieces
Perfect Pear Quilts
Quilt Thyme
Quilters Line
Quilters Nine Patch
Quilting by Design
Quincy's Quilting Inc
Redfern Enterprises
Ruti's Needlebed Ltd
Sew Fancy Inc
Sew Little Time
Sew Sisters Quilt Shop
Sewrite Distributors Inc
Soft Impressions
Stone Threads Fibre Art
SVP Husqvarna Viking
SVP Pfaff
The Cotton Mill Threadworks
The Quilted Cardinal
The Quilting Bee
Threads that Bind 
Tiger Lily Quilts
Ultimate Sewing Centre
Village Square Quilts
WonderFil Specialty Threads