Tuesday 30 July 2013

Just Hoppin' Around

It can be said over and over, no one knows how to have fun like quilters do!   Chocolate River QG in New Brunswick shows us just how much laughter they can bring to a project!

As President Betty Rice describes it;  "On one of our project days at Chocolate River Quilters Guild, a member showed a stuffed frog that she had made and then suggested we could use that as our project.
 As the end of the year approached, it was suggested that we'd have a "Frog Parade" at our closing Pot Luck lunch.
Each person "dressed" and named their frog appropriately, then introduced their frog to all. Some of the names were "Tequila Froggie, Rubee Tuesday, Philias Frog, Frenchie, Dottie, Roxy Roller, Monsieur Chappy & Madame Chippy, Princess Lily and her Prince, and Miss Peabody with her TuTu."

Take a look at the adorable frogs:

Do you ever clown around with your quilting friends?   We would love to hear about it!  Drop me a line at vicepresident@canadianquilter.com.

Jackie W.

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Slabs and Flags

Our compassion defines us and sets us apart.   Quilters are once again rising to the occasion and helping those in need.   Here are a couple instances of quilters that have sent in slab blocks to Quilts for Calgary and flags to Lac-Mégantic.

Deborah Wheeler says, "I was able to donate two quilts to Quilting for Calgary and have six slab blocks (they are addicting—you can’t make just one) to send to Cheryl Arkison.  It is wonderful to see what can be accomplished by working together."

Slab blocks by Deborah Wheeler

Carolyn J. wrote in and said that Cheryl Arkinson was in Abbotsford, BC this past week and Ms. Arkinson was loaded up with slab blocks and quilts from the quilters.

Cindy Simpson, our Alberta Regional Representative, is showcasing the flag she made for Lac-Mégantic that had the horrific train derailment.  You can find out more information here.

Flags made by Cindy Simpson

If you or your guild has a story or pictures you want to share, please email vicepresident@canadianquilter.com.

Wednesday 17 July 2013

Slabs are Rolling In

Mr. Rogers is quoted as saying, When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me; 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'”

I often wonder if Mr. Rogers' mother was a quilter.

It is simply amazing the compassion and generosity that quilters show to those in need.   It really defines who we are, and makes us proud to be part of such a caring community.

The devastation in Calgary continues and thanks to Cheryl Arkinson and her wonderful idea of 'Just One Slab', quilters have a place to send their 'slab' blocks and quilt tops.   

Here is an accumulation of 29 'slab' blocks and 24 lap size quilt tops from the Happy Quilters group from Gore Bay ON, and Island Quilters Guild from Manitoulin Island ON.  

Do you have pictures or a story about what you are doing for Calgary?  Or for Lac-Mégantic, Quebec?
Please send it to vicepresident@canadianquilter.com.

Wednesday 10 July 2013

Crafts of Yesterday with Instructions

Brant Heritage Quilt Guild does a most unique program called 'Crafts of Yesterday'.    The idea is to recycle old fabrics like their foremothers.

Patricia Ryckman-Fleming, chair of the Program Committee was most generous in sharing her information.  Patricia is a quilt teacher and for several years taught fashion design at Mohawk College in Hamilton Ontario.    Patricia made the cutest ladies aprons from a man's shirt.

1.  Obtain a shirt from the man in your life, shop when prices are marked down significantly or take a trip to Value Village and look for new or next-to-new shirts that are made from good quality fabrics.  Shirts with a button down collar and shirt tails in "large" sizes are best as they give you more fabric to work with. The shirt size can be adjusted up or down depending on the size of the recipient.  Fabrics in plaids, checks, and stripes are good-look for interesting colours.  Name brand shirts are a nice bonus because you can detach the label and sew it on the pocket to give a bit of pizazz to your apron.  The shirt can be cut off with a co-ordinating fabric added at the bottom perhaps 6" deep finished.  Consider extra pockets here as well.

2.  Wash and iron the shirt. Button the front buttons and turn up the collar.

3.  To cut the shirt lay it out flat on a table.  Start with the side seams and cut away the seam allowances.   Remove the sleeves in the same manner. Cut the back off below the yoke.

4.  I like to leave about 5/8" of the back yoke below the collar soit will sit easier on the neck.  Measure and mark every inch or so across the yoke, then mark
the cutting line down to the underarm.  This can be slightly curved at the bottom but straighten it out at the edge for adding the seam binding.   

5.  Pocket - Usually the 'men's' pocket is too large and/or misplaced for a ladies apron so carefully remove the pocket and the label.  Resize the pocket or cut a new one from the sleeves.  Be sure to match the pattern of the fabric to the placement on the shirt.  Stitch the label on the left side of the pocket and stitch the pocket to the shirt.  (Machine stitch length 2.3)

6. For binding the apron top, sides and making the ties - cut diagonal binding 2 1/2" wide from the back of the shirt.  Cut 6 - 2 1/2" strips from the upper left to the lower right on a 45 degree angle - three strips on each side of the first cut.

7.  The longest two pieces are joined together on 45 degree angle folded in half lengthwise and pressed then used for binding the upper part of the apron from center back to the sides.  The middle length pieces are used for the ties and the shorter two pieces for the sides.

8.  As we are using bias binding always pin them in place before stitching so they do not move. Stitch the upper binding to the apron with a 1/4" seam allowance.  Turn to the right side, pin in place and edge stitch.  This should leave a neat stitching line on both sides of the binding.  Trim the binding even with the side edges.

9.  Ties - Fold the ties in half inside out. Stitch down the side and across one end using 1/4" seam allowance.  Turn, press and edge stitch all the way around.  Lay the ties across the apron front ending at the sides, pin and stitch to hold in place.

10. Side Seams - Pin binding to the back and stitch using 1/4" seam allowance.  Turn the bottom of the binding inside out and stitch with 1/4" seam allowance.  Stitch the binding up the front extending into the loose binding about 1 1/2" at the top.  Fold the tie outward and top stitch a rectangle on the front to secure.   Turn down excess binding on the back and hand stitch in place.  Press and you are finished. 

There aprons make nifty gifts for family or friends and make especially nice hostess gifts.  

Bonnie Kelley demonstrated how to make a Toothbrush Rug.

Patricia has written the instructions for us:

 This is an easy, quick craft to learn using new or used fabrics in the ways of our foremothers.
Cotton fabrics are the most economical to use for these rugs as they can be washed, dried and will give extended wear.  

 You will need a "big needle".  In the past many people altered a toothbrush by cutting off the bristle end and filing it to a point like the tip of a needle.  The other end of the toothbrush with the hole in it is used as the eye of the needle to thread the strips of fabric through.

 The strips you use can be cut 1/2" to 1" wide and a yard or more long, then folded in half lengthwise as both sides of the fabric will show.  1/2" strips will make the rug look finer while the 1" strips will be a little more rustic looking. 

Decide on the width of your strips and measure your fabric cutting snips at that interval across the top of the fabric.  Grab that little piece of fabric and tear down until you have several strips.  Fold these strips in half lengthwise.

 Cut a small slit in the end of each strip for knotting together.  Put the end of one strip through the slit at the end of the other then feed the tail of the first strip through the slit on it's own end.  Pull gently and you will find they are connected.  Pin the knot temporarily to hold as you begin to work your rug.  This procedure is repeated as you join each strip.

 Hold two strips side by side.  The strip on the left is the filler strip and the one on the right is the knotting strip.  Make a half-hitch knot with the knotting strip around the filler strip by crossing the knotting strip over the filler strip then under and back through the loop.  Slide the knot near where the strips are joined and pull it snug but not tight.  Repeat 3x resulting in four knots.  Join into a circle by pushing the needle down through the first hole passing under the filler strip and back up through the loop - this forms a half-hitch knot and links the strip into a circle.

 Hold the filler strip beside the previous round of knots.  Continue making knots and working rounds until you reach the desired size then weave the ends of the knots in to finish off.

 As you go, add extra knots to form the curves of the circle.  In the lst and 2nd rounds you will probably need to add an extra knot for every two knots by pushing the needle through the space in the previous round.  Continue adding extra knots as needed to make your rug lie flat.  Spread your rug out frequently to make sure it is lying flat.  If it bubbles up you will need to add extra knots in the next row.  If the edge ruffles you may need to add fewer knots in the next row.

Tie in any loose ends from the knots and you are finished.  Some gals say they can sit down and make a small one in a day.  

Patricia also taught the making of Penny Rugs using three colours of felt.  

Penny rugs were quite popular in the late 1800's and early 1900's when women made decorations for their furniture out of wool scraps using pennies for patterns.
This craft disappeared as textile factories opened up and produced a myriad of home products. Over this past year many quilt shops have been carrying beautiful felted wools,threads, and books with patterns and they have become very popular.

There is no doubt about it, the Brant Heritage Quilt Guild has some very talented ladies!
Thanks for sharing Patricia and Bonnie!

Wednesday 3 July 2013

Through The Eyes of a Bug Challenge

Our challenge ended and boy did we have some fantastic entries!   
They all deserved to win, but our awesome judge Brandy Lynn Maslowski narrowed it down to three winners which will be featured in our Fall Newsletter.

Here are the fantastic entries submitted.   

by Fay Blanchard
Everything is exploded in size in a bug's eyes.

by Carole Thornton
As an avid gardener I am sure a bug looks at my flowers and sees meals.  From this idea I designed a quilt to depict how I think a bug views my flowers. The flower is constructed of silk dupioni, cottons and thread painting.  The petals have been left un-stitched and stiffened to give a three dimensional effect.  

by Thelma (Bureyko) Newbury
This morning I went out into the garden to see what kind of inspiration I could find for “Through the Eye of a Bug”.  Sparkling in the sunlight was a broken spider web amidst a patch of Queen Ann’s Lace. 
by Lisette Leveille
I always think bug sees what they would like to see.  Since bees produce honey, then flower pollens must taste sweet, like a bowl of fruit.

by Lauren MacDonald
Since I’ve been bitten by the ‘quilt bug’, I thought that that point of view made sense.  I met two women in Penticton who were really appreciating Quilt BC and asked if they would mind if I took their photo for this challenge.  They agreed and here’s the photo I took.

by Laine Canivet
I stencilled the bird, dandelion and butterfly on fabric which I dyed by wrapping it in wet tissue paper. Embellishments such as old earrings, a bead I made from a plastic page protector and silk flowers create this scene as viewed by a bug.

by Shona Barbour

by Susan Scott
This is our cat "Ashman"  peering at a bug & considering weather or not to consume it.

by Maureen Roach
I used pencil crayons on fabric, with free motion stitching and fused piecing.

by Christine Reid
At this time of year, I have been finding spiders coming into the house.  I can envision a spider on the wall looking down and seeing the love we have in our home as we share with our family and friends.

by Beth Michailidis
My quilt depicts elements in nature including the butterfly and flower.  I also created the sensation of wind and sunshine by my choice of shapes, colour, and machine quilting techniques.

by Cindy Simpson
This quilt is an original from a photo I took last winter when I was in Port Macquarie Australia. The fabric was hand drawn with sharpie markers and treated with rubbing alcohol, the method was inspired by Laine Canivet. It is machine quilted using rayon threads.

by Mia Peterson
I have never done paper piecing and thought this picture would do well to go with the theme as well as to learn a new skill.
The paperpieced pattern was from Two Thimbles Quilt Shop, in Bellingham, Washington. It was there design for the Tri-County shop-hop.
I bought the fabrics while there, adding the worm as my bug being the lunch.

by Heather Myers
In our lives, everything revolves around the dog – so when we thought of a bug’s eye view, that’s what popped into our minds.  Sort of a big-game safari from a bug’s perspective. 

Please note that a wonderful quilt came in from Paula Perri, but due to technical difficulties, was unable to post.
If you have the urge to enter and you really should, as it is a total blast, check out our latest challenge - 'These Boots Are Made For Walking.'