Monday, 15 May 2017

Quilt Canada is 4 weeks away!

The excitement is mounting as we prepare for Canada's national quilt conference, Quilt Canada 2017, in Toronto June 14-17th!


We have the giant Merchant Mall filled with vendors selling machines, fabric, thread, notions and so much more! Lectures, workshops, quilt shows and snacks!  We are so ready to cut the ribbon and get this quilt party started!
You simply must join us. Many of our workshops are full, so if you want one, hurry up!  Our lectures still have a few openings so be sure to check out the amazing offerings of incredible teachers!

Did you download our app?  How cool is this, go to your phone or ipad, and download in your app store 'Quilt Canada' and you will be right on top of things!

One of the coolest evening events ever is a terrific lecture by the one and only Kathy Wylie and then a showing of your quilts!  How fun is that?  There are some, but not many tickets left, so please don't wait too long, we want to see your quilt! 




Oh, in case you were wondering, the Big Quilt Bee is at 700 finished quilts! 300 more to go to reach our goal of 1,000 quilts for kids in care at Ronald McDonald Houses!  Yep, quilters are truly the best!


Ok, stop reading and go see what you want to do at Quilt Canada!  A lecture, a workshop, an NJS tour, volunteering? We have it all! 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Bold Hand Quilting

So lucky to have one of our great sponsors Coats and Clark visit us today!

About our author:
Annette Millard is passionate about sewing and has worked in the sewing industry for many years. She is always happiest with needle, fabric and thread in her hands! She writing blog posts about products and projects for the Coats & Clark Sewing Secrets Blog. Follow Annette and more of her sewing adventures on her own blog, www.sewfullife.com





Beyond the tiny stitches of traditional hand quilting, comes the trend towards a bolder approach! Big Stitch Quilting is delightful and distinct in appearance, a bit speedier, but still closely related to it’s small stitch cousin. Today I have a few tips and tricks plus four wonderful projects from Coats and Clark that will make your Big Stitch Quilting life fun, bold and beautiful!


Needles and Thread Make All the Difference
Needles and thread are the most important considerations in the success of Big Stitch Quilting. This is a technique that creates a bold expression and your stitches will be the stars. Many quilters try to achieve this distinctive look by using six strands of embroidery floss or heavier-weight perle cotton. Unfortunately, these often create a fuzzy or frayed look from the friction of the floss or perle cotton passing through your fabrics and batting over and over again. This can be frustratingly disappointing - when your stitches are starring, you want a solid, uniform look to the thread that creates them!

I’m thrilled to tell you about Coats Bold Hand Quilting Thread – it’s perfect for Big Stitch Quilting and comes in 17 colors on 160 meter spools! Coats has created a 25% Cotton/75% Polyester blend that can be machine washed, dried and ironed, so your finished project will be easy care. The Cotton content and glace finish gives Bold Hand Quilting Thread the lovely luster that makes floss or perle cotton appealing.  But, the strength of the Polyester is just what you need for durable and smooth big stitches. Once you’ve put in all that work, a handmade masterpiece should last for a very long time! Click here for more info and to view the luscious colors.

A heavier thread calls for a larger needle. For Bold Hand Quilting Thread, Coats recommends a size 6 or 7 hand sewing needle or an embroidery needle. Just be sure to choose a needle with an eye that is big enough for the thread to pass through easily. If you decide on an embroidery needle, check to see that it is a sharp point needle, not the kind that is dull on the end and designed for cross stitch. Try out your choice before you actually begin your project to make sure it is a good fit for you, your Bold Hand Quilting thread and your fabric and batting.  


Big Stitching Basics
As usual, you will create a quilt sandwich with your quilt top, batting and backing. Baste this together as you normally would, before you begin your project. I suggest starting with a practice piece if you’re new to hand quilting. If you’re an experienced hand quilter, you may want to practice, too, though. You’ll want to retrain your hands to make longer stitches! In traditional hand quilting, most quilters load their needle with stitches so that they have 8 to 10 stitches per 45mm. For Big Stitch Quilting, plan to make your stitches twice as long – from 4 to 5 stitches per 45mm. Since you are working with a larger needle and thicker thread, loading two to three stitches at a time will work best. 

 I find it best to cut a medium length of thread – around 60cm or so. A longer length is cumbersome to work with and really does not make the stitching go faster. If you’re a lover of thimbles, definitely use one.

Stitch length perfection should not make you crazy, but if you want your stitch length to be as consistent as possible, these are a few of my favorite tricks.

·        Use a ruler to mark your quilting lines, but instead of a solid line, use evenly spaced dots. These will become your stitch “markers” that can be easily followed as you’re quilting.

·        Your finger can be an excellent tool for consistent stitching. If you’re right handed, mark the side top of the index finger of your left hand with three or four evenly spaced pen marks. Lay your finger along the stitching line and take a stitch at each mark. If you’re a left handed stitcher, mark your right index finger. Just don’t prick your finger!

·        On a small project, machine-baste your quilting lines with a 4 to 5mm stitch length. You can follow these lines and use the stitches for consistent hand quilting length stitching over two machine stitches for each hand stitch.

Four Big Stitch Quilting Projects from Coats and Clark
Now that you’re ready for Big Stitch Quilting, here are four marvelous projects for you to try! I’ve ordered them from smallest to largest, so you can start out slowly if you like. And, if you’re in gift-making mode, the first two are absolutely perfect. Enjoy!


Strips ‘n Stitches and Log Cabin Pincushion
·       Two tidy places to keep your pins in traditional pieced style. Your addition of bold hand quilting will make them unique and out of the ordinary! Click here to download the pattern.





Dot2Dot Tablet Sleeve
·       A stylish way to keep your favorite tablet safe becomes the perfect base for whimsical Big Stitch Quilting. Using a dotted fabric makes even stitching easy!  Click here to download the pattern.





 Chevron Pillow
·       An on-trend design, a comfy pillow and your new skills in bold hand quilting make this a winning combo for your d├ęcor! Click here to download the pattern. 











Thursday, 20 April 2017

Demo Booth at Quilt Canada 2017

The Demo Booth for Quilt Canada 2017 is up!  What an exciting line up of fun and interesting demonstrations for you to attend, and the best part is, it is all free! Grab a cup of java and sit down and prepare to be entertained and educated! 

Time  Wed 14th    Thurs 15th 
10am     Distinctive Sewing Supplies: Sew Yourself a capsule Wardrobe 
11am Distinctive Sewing Supplies: Sew Yourself a capsule Wardrobe    Meerkat Trading: The Bolt and the Beautiful - the Shweshwe Saga
12 noon Schmetz Needles by Rhonda Pierce Director of Marketing and Education Schmetz   Sew Fancy: Needles, Needles & more Needles
1pm Meerkat Trading: The Bolt and the Beautiful - the Shweshwe Saga   Cathy McClean: A New Innovation in Rotary Cutting (TrueCut)
2pm Country Concessions: The Battle of the Stars    
3pm Cobwebs & Caviar: Joni Newman presents Zippy Zippers + other techniques for finishing bags   Country Concessions: The Battle of the Stars
4pm Sew Fancy: Panel Play   Cobwebs & Caviar: Joni Newman: Using Zentangles in Quilts
_______________________________________________________________________________



Time  Fri 16th    Sat 17th 
10am Cobwebs & Caviar: Joni Newman: Stained Glass Quilting   Meerkat Trading: The Bolt and the Beautiful - the Shweshwe Saga
11am     Country Concessions: The Battle of the Stars
12 noon Cathy McClean: Applique 101 with Heat n Bond    Sew Fancy : Let's start stitching sashiko
1pm Country Concessions: The Battle of the Stars   Cathy McClean: Its more than just Batting 
2pm Meerkat Trading: The Bolt and the Beautiful - the Shweshwe Saga   Distinctive Sewing Supplies: Sew Yourself a capsule Wardrobe 
3pm Sew Fancy: Alma's Tool School    
4pm Distinctive Sewing Supplies: Sew Yourself a capsule Wardrobe     












Thursday, 13 April 2017

Quilt Canada 2017 Mobile App

CQA/ACC is proud to present a mobile app for Quilt Canada 2017! We have created a tutorial to help you through the steps of downloading it.

It has everything a show guide would have in it, but better!  (Don't worry we are printing show guides, but they simply aren't able to contain all the information we crammed into our mobile app in an easy, user friendly way) Here are some of the perks to having a mobile app:

  • Everything is at your fingertips.
  • There is a daily schedule and times of every show and event happening.
  • You can get instant notifications, for door prize winners, demo schedules, last minute changes, etc.
  • The activity stream is for you to see what everyone else is doing at Quilt Canada and for you to add in your comments and pics!
  • There is a map of the Merchant Mall with all of the vendors hilited at the touch of your finger.
  • List of all vendors, workshops, speakers, and sponsors!
  • You can connect and make new friends on the app.
One of the best parts about it, is if you are unable to go, you can download the app and look at all the quilts on the activity stream so you can see the talent and creativity of Canadian quilters!

Tutorial:

Go to your App Store on your device, or may be called Google Play as well.


Click on it and hit the search button at the bottom, looks like a magnifying glass. Some devices the search button may be at the top.

Once you click on that, you will get your keyboard and a bar at the top, type in 'Quilt Canada'.

You will see a search engine bring up Quilt Canada 2017. Click on that. 
Click on the little cloud with the arrow to download the app. Other devices may just 'install'.

Our app works on iPad. While searching for the app on your iPad, make sure to switch to "iPhone only" mode in the App Store as shown on the screenshots below


Once it finishes downloading, it will say 'Open'. Click on that and it will take you right into the app. Or on some devices it may just be in your app list, so just select Quilt Canada.


When you are done playing in the app, you will always be able to go back by finding the icon on your desktop or front of your device, as shown below. Or on some devices it may just be in your app list, so just select Quilt Canada.

When you get into the app, you can see the menu with all the different options. You can create a profile so you can add pics and comments, but you don't have to in order to use the app.


There is a daily schedule so you can see what events are on that day, what time shows open and close at and much more. 



All our speakers and their topics are covered too!


Don't wait!  Download the app today!  Let us show YOU what is happening at Quilt Canada 2017 this June 14-17th!




Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Charitable Sewing- Be a Sewing Superhero

Love it when a sponsor drops by to share with us! Coats and Clark is one of CQA/ACC's amazing sponsors!


About our author:

Annette Millard is passionate about sewing and has worked in the sewing industry for many years. She 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.

Those who sew and quilt are the most generous people I’ve known. There’s something about hands-on making  that expands our hearts and inspires us to reach out to others. Our Sewing Superpowers can enrich lives around the world through charitable sewing!


Little Dresses for Africa
My fabulously generous friend Barbara, has been making Little Dresses for Africa for many, many years. Every week she meets with a group of women who share the joy of sewing as they make simple, bright dresses for this wonderful project. The dresses are simple designs, often made from pillowcases and when delivered convey a valuable sense of worth to these precious girls. A quote from the Little Dresses for Africa web site explains the incredible value of these hand-sewn frocks. “The road is especially tough for little girls and young women.  Often small children are left as primary care-givers of even younger children, because of disease and poverty.  These little dresses, given freely to those in need, plant the seed that they are worthy.” Little Dresses for Africa also partners with those who provide the girls with lessons in sanitation, clean water, good health and family skills. It's not just a dress!
To learn more about Little Dresses for Africa and how you can be involved, click here to visit their web site.


Image from Days For Girls


Days for Girls
As some of these same girls grow and leave their Little Dresses behind, monthly sanitary needs become a high priority. Once puberty begins, many African girls stay home and miss essential school time one week each month. Sanitary pads and other supplies we take for granted here in the US are simply unavailable. Days for Girls is a network of sewists who stitch together washable, reusable kits so that menstruating girls can attend school every day of their cycle. With the kits, girls are given life-saving health and hygiene education.  Days for Girls states their impact well.: “Women, and girls discover their potential and self-value, are equal participants and agents of social change and are given opportunities to thrive, grow and contribute to their community's betterment while ensuring quality sustainable feminine hygiene.” My friends, Jeanette and Claire, are among thousands of women throughout the world who meet weekly to sew. They enjoy the company of fellow sewists and the opportunity to give dignity to their little sisters in Africa!
To find out more about Days for Girls, it’s mission and how you can help, visit their web site by clicking here.


Image from Patchwork Posse

Alzheimer Fidget Quilts
There are, of course, many needs for generous sewists in your local community. Near to my heart is the Alzheimer Fidget Quilt. If you have a loved one who suffers from dementia, you know that an object to “fidget” with is often very soothing. My mother, who suffered from Dementia would have loved one of these!  A Dementia Fidget Quilt is full of pockets, buttons, zippers and other things that soothingly keep aged hands busy. These blankets of handmade love become a treasure for the one who receives them and a great comfort for their family. Similar to the blankies we loved in childhood, a Fidget Quilt can be an amazing friend!
To find out more about Fidget Quilts and their value for those with Dementia, click here to visit the Alzheimers Association web site.
For a Fidget Quilt tutorial, click here for a great post on the Patchwork Posse blog.

Image from Sew With Aloha
Be a Sewing Superhero!
There are many ways to use your sewing powers for charitable sewing locally and around the world! I’ve listed just a few more below with links to patterns.
·        Adult Bibs - click here
·        Chemo Turbans - click here
·        Lap Robes -  click here
·        Wheelchair & Walker Caddies - click here
·        Adaptive Clothing for Military Vets - click here
You will also find lists of opportunities on Sewing.org or Nancy Zieman.com. Or you may have your own list or be aware of needs that your stitching would help. The power of charitable sewing is not just in what you offer, it is also in what it offers you. Set aside sewing time, participate in a project and your life will be enriched immeasurably!

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Thank you to Canadian Quilt Guilds for their sponsorship!


It is always incredible to see the generousity of Canadian Quilt Guilds when CQA/ACC asks for their support.  We are seeing it in the Big Quilt Bee, when quilters across Canada are making blocks, tops and quilts for kids in care at Ronald McDonald Houses.


But we also see it from a financial point of view when guilds are asked to help sponsor Quilt Canada. It is this generousity that continues to humble the Board of Directors, staff and volunteers that help put on the conference. We know how hard guilds work to fundraise and please know your donation is very much appreciated to help promote quilting in Canada through our annual conference.


The guilds below have sponsored activities at Quilt Canada 2017, please give them a heartfelt thank you!

Black Gold Quilt Patch Guild
Brant Heritage Quilters Guild
Mahone Bay Quilt Guild
Busy Hands Quilt Guild
Fraser Valley Quilter's Guild
London Friendship Quilters Guild
Sunshine Coast Quilters Guild

Island Quilters' Guild
Northern Lights Quilt Guild
Moraine Quilt Guild
Dufferin Piecemakers Quilting Guild
Bue Mountain
Timberlane Quilting Guild
Chateauguay  no info
Nanaimo Quilters Guild
Tofield Country Quilters
Fraser Quilter's Guild
Near North Quilters' Guild
Vermilion Quilters
Lethbridge Centennial Quilters Guild
Manitoba Prairie Quilters
Prince George Quilters Guild
Kanata Quilt Guild
 
Piecemakers Guild of Calgary
Cornwall Quilt Guild
Crocus Quilters
Central Alberta Quilters Guild
Orillia quilters guild
Northern Lights Quilters Guil
Orchard Valley Quilters Guild
Happy Quilters
 
Foggy Bay Quilt Guild
Kootenay Quilters Day Guild
Northshore Pins and Needles Quilt and Stitchery Guild
Region of York Quilters Guild
Lillooet Quilters Guild
Mississauga Quilters Guild
Quilters Guild of Renfrew and Area
Castlegar Quilters
Kempenfelt Quilters Guild
Lions Gate Quilters Guild
Ottawa Valley Quilters Guild
Abbotsford QG
The Quilted Mouse
Victoria Quilters' Guild
Georgian Quilters
 
Huron Perth QG
Niagara Heritage Quilters Guild
The Highland Quilt Guild
Penticton Quilters Guild
Oxford Quilters Guild
Pembroke Log Cabin Quilt Guild
Langley Quilters' Guild
Chilliwack Quilters Guild
Guilde Acadienne de Clare
New Millenium Quilters
Northern Piecemakers Quilt Guild
Arkeley Area Quilt Guild
Saskatoon Quilters' Guild Inc
Gwillimbury Quilt Guild

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Big Quilt Bee is on Pat Sloan's Podcast!

Join us Monday March 27th at 4 pm EST as CQA/ACC chats with Pat Sloan about the Big Quilt Bee!


To date 300 finished quilts are made with enough tops and blocks to make an additional 200 quilts!


The quilts are so gorgeous and kids in care at Ronald McDonald Houses are just going to love them!