Sunday, 26 July 2015


We are so excited to bring you our new National Juried Show (NJS) Categories for this upcoming Quilt Canada 2016. The deadlines will be posted early this fall on our website, but here they are so you can get started!  We hope you like them as much as we enjoyed putting them together. We created a committee using a few Board members and some outstanding CQA/ACC members who had lots of experience and knowledge with juried shows. Together the committee came up with a new set of categories for you!


Art, Abstract – Wall Quilts
Quilts must be abstract, cutting edge, non-literal original compositions with emphasis on color, line, and design.

Art-People, Critters – Wall Quilts
Quilts must be of original forms and compositions, illustrating some recognizable aspect of the human or animal form.

Art-Naturescapes, Pictorial – Wall Quilts
Quilts must be of original forms and compositions. This category illustrates aspects of natural scenery, including land, sea, forests, mountains, deserts, gardens, flowers in natural surroundings or a recognizable image, such as objects, still life, wildlife, cityscapes, etc. Creatures and animals may be a component, but should not be the focus of the quilt.

Quilts from Patterns/Books/Workshops – Wall and Bed Quilts
Quilts may be based on modern or traditional-style piecing and/or appliqué, made from published patterns, books or workshops.  Written permission to use the pattern, from the designer and/or publisher is required as part of the entry.  For entries started in workshops, permission from both the designer and instructor is required.  Written permission must accompany entries of works strongly resembling the work of another artist.  Written permission must also acknowledge that the designer/instructor is aware that cash prizes are offered and whether or not the designer/instructor waives her/his claim on the prize. 

Traditional – Wall and Bed Quilts
Quilts may be based on traditional-style piecing and/or appliqué, using blocks and/or patterns in the public domain or they may be totally original.

Modern – Wall and Bed Quilts
Quilts depict modern design and demonstrate originality in the design, colour and/or techniques. Minimalism, asymmetry, negative space, and alternate grid work are often a part of modern quilt compositions, as are improvisational piecing and solid fabrics.  The use of public domain patterns and blocks is permitted.

Guild Rosette Winners
Winners of a CQA/ACC Rosette at the local guild level in the previous two calendar years are eligible for this category.  Quilts may be an original design or from patterns, books or workshops.  If the top is made from a book, pattern or workshop, written permission to use the pattern, from the designer and/or publisher and/or instructor is required as part of the entry.  Written permission must also acknowledge that the designer/instructor is aware that cash prizes are offered and whether or not the designer/instructor waives her/his claim on the prize.  If the top was quilted by a person other than entrant, the quilter must be acknowledged.

(Wearable Art and Miniature to be offered Alternately)

Wearable Art (2017)
Entries consist of a garment, outfit or costume constructed using quilting techniques, with some quilted areas. Garment may be of original design or made from a pattern.  Pattern designer must be acknowledged.

Miniature in 2016
Quilts must have overall patterns reflecting reduced scale and miniaturization. If blocks are used, they should be no larger than 4 inches square. Miniature wholecloth quilts should be entered in this category. Quilts must have a perimeter less than 96 inch total. 

As always we have our awards of Excellence in:

Domestic Machine Quilting
Hand Quilting
Long Arm/Mid Arm Quilting
Workmanship for Appliqué
Workmanship for Piecing
Work by a first time entrant in the NJS
Thread Work using WonderFil Thread
Group Quilt
Judge's Choice
Viewers' Choice

Monday, 20 July 2015

Get thread-ucated!

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 creature of habit, I admit that I have a tendency to remain loyal to a handful of basic tools and techniques despite the diversity and perpetual development of specialty products out there.

Thankfully, as someone employed by Canada’s exclusive distributor of a world renowned thread company, I have the privilege the learning the nuances and features of the many offerings provided by the industry leaders at Gütermann.

With one hundred and fifty years’ experience and a longstanding reputation for commitment to quality, consistency, and innovation, it’s no surprise that the name has become synonymous with top quality, beautiful thread.

With the proper thread selection, you can improve both the ease of making, and the end result of your fine work.

Without further ado, let’s get thread-ucated!

Keeping it real with natural fiber construction and quilting threads

Ever wonder why quilters are devoted to Gütermann Machine Cotton thread?

Notwithstanding the allure of the all-natural, this lustrous long staple thread will take up dye and maintain its integrity through high and frequent exposure to heat which is why it is the perfect pick for piecing.

Its hand quilting counterpart, Gütermann 100% Cotton Hand Quilting thread, is specially designed with hand stitching in mind. Thanks to its special glace finish, this thread will not twist or snarl while hand stitching and easily glide through multiple layers.

Tip! Stop hand quilting with thread designed for your sewing machine!

Use Gütermann 100% Silk thread when you are quilting on more delicate fabrics but want to stay true to natural fibers. This is especially handy on silk pillowcases, bedding, and wearable quilts.

A strong thread that nearly rivals the strength of classic Cotton, silk thread gives a polished matte finish, making it equally popular with Heirloom sewing projects.

Stippling Spool School 

With piecing done and layers sandwiched, there are a seemingly infinite number of different ways to finish your piece with quilting stitches. Whether you’re adding stippled texture to a full size quilt with intricately planned pattern, or you’re a rule-defying, criss-crossing free-mo enthusiast, thread selection can add a new dimension to your design.

For a subtle stitching style, matching thread is a given. When your quilt colour palette is all over the map, a pale grey is your next best bet for blending relatively muted colours.

Another option is using Gütermann Nylon Invisible Thread for the top stitch thread. The translucent nature of the thread (available in two colours to match light and dark fabrics) makes for low contrast and a very subtle, “invisible” appearance.

See, by contrast, how bold the 100% Cotton looks in zig-zag adjacent to the “Invisible” quilted grid. With fine Gütermann Bobbin thread in the bottom, this technique is also especially effective in securing appliqué edges.

Tip! Be sure to use Nylon Invisible Thread at the quilting stage only, as it should not be pressed under high heat.

On the other hand, for a more bold stippling style, you can add a subtle sparkle or oodles of brilliant bling to your project with Gütermann Dekor Metallic & Sparkle Metallic threads, available in a vast array of colours including seasonal variegated combos.

Tip! Not quite so related to quilting, but an absolutely essential tidbit for Canadians:

Better binding with fusible Thread 

As someone who is new to quilting, I have yet to master binding. I am constantly peeking to the opposite side to assuage my concerns about slippage or less than perfectly matched seems on the front and back side. 

Enter, Gütermann Fusible thread

Zig-zag stitch (from the needle or bobbin thread) so that the Fusible thread is on the opposite side of your secured single fold bias strip, then fold to the opposite side and press.

Now, your binding is fused on and ready to sew in place – perfectly.

Tip! Fusible thread is a heavier weight thread. Adjust needle (larger eye) & tension accordingly, and have a needle-threader handy.

Yes, there's a thread for that

While we’ve only just scratched the surface of Gütermann’s plethora of thread offerings, by now you can tell that, when in doubt: Yes! There’s a thread for that. For maximum success, tailor your thread selection to your specific needs for each stage of your project, and don’t forget to get a needle to match. 

Look for Gütermann thread at your local Canadian quilt retailer. 
For more inspiration and product education, follow H.A. Kidd and Company Limited on Facebook.

It's Giveaway Time!

Go and check out our fb page and find the post on this iron!  Enter to win now!

The Go Iron travel iron has a rubber ring around the handle for a comfortable ergonomic fit.  The non-stick soleplate heats up in 30 seconds.  And best of all it can be used as a dry iron or with continuous steam.
Iron Cleaner       
The iron cleaner is a glue stick style applicator, which makes removing stains from the soleplates safe and easily.

Simply apply thin layer to the soleplate of iron set to 6°C, rub with a rough cloth to remove debris and then run the iron over a cloth to remove any excess debris remaining and you’re done!!

Monday, 13 July 2015

Our Sponsors

As we do the final report and evaluations for Quilt Canada 2015, one thing keeps resonating with us throughout all our reporting. We could not have pulled it off without our sponsors.

Behind every company that assists us to put on a Quilt Canada are wonderful people that believe in promoting quilting in Canada as much as we do.

They deserve a shout out for helping us do what we do best and that is putting on a fabulous conference like the one we attended in Lethbridge, AB!

We are seriously underway now working on Quilt Canada 2016 in Toronto, ON and are looking forward to working with our sponsors again and meeting new ones along the way.

To all our Quilt Canada 2015 sponsors, a heartfelt thank you from Canadian Quilters!

Here they are, with links all found on this page:

Thursday, 2 July 2015

How about that sparkly stippling...

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.

In my mind, there are two attitudes you can adopt when tackling your stippling stitches.

One approach is utilitarian: the stippling stitches hold the layers of your quilt sandwich in place. Carefully sewn in a complimentary, neutral or invisible thread, these stitches may reside neatly in the ditches of your quilt seams, in a grid, or in a stippled pattern complimentary to the flow of your fabric. In this scenario, stippling plays a supportive role and your fabric and piecing work is allowed to shine without distractions. In other words, the stippling is like a supportive back-up singer whose job – not to be underestimated - is to support the main attraction (your quilt piecing).

A different approach is making stippling a co-star, or even the main attraction; like a duet performance with two powerful vocalists. Sure, personal preferences will draw your ear (or eye) to one or the other, but there is no denying that their collective star power is evenly distributed. Both elements compete for attention, and it shouldn’t work, but somehow it does: beautifully! 

What I’m talking about today is on the topic of this second kind of stippling.
Once you’ve decided that your goal is to create stand-out stippling work, might I suggest adding a little razzle dazzle with sparkly thread? And if you’ve come this far, I would like to kindly nudge you to fully commit to the best, brightest and hands down sparkliest thread on the market: Sulky Holoshimmer.

Sulky Metallic, Sulky Silver Metallic, & Sulky Holoshimmer

Now, this is indeed a special thread. Similar in quality to decorative ribbon, it’s made from flat ribbon-like foil that is laminated with polyester to create maximum reflectivity and superior sparkling ability. Like a celebrity among your thread stash, what makes this thread extra special can also make it a challenge to work with. Well, no longer! With the tips and tricks I’ve learned from our product experts, you can achieve the very best thread performance (and maximum sparkle) sans the frustration.

Sparkly thread success kit

First things first, set the stage with the right tools and supplies:

• Sulky PolyLite (60 weight) in the bobbin thread. Because of the superior strength of this thread, you should wind the bobbin only half full and at half speed. Failing to do so could result in a flying bobbin (which is only fun the first time it happens) or the bobbin can become distorted or even break.
• Heirloom Sew Smooth sewing lubricant.
• Schmetz size 90 Topstitch needle.

Sparkly thread success kit

Ready, set, sparkle!

Now that your toolbox is stocked, get set:

1. Change your top thread to the vertical orientation, to avoid twisting and ensure proper unraveling.
2. Increase your stitch length, and decrease the top tension on the machine.
3. Insert a new TopStitch 90 needle.
4. Draw a thin line of (Sew Smooth) lubricant in a vertical line along your spool, and add one drop through the eye of your needle (you can use a cotton swab to put it on the needle).

Now, it’s your time to shine. Aside from taking it slow – and very slow to start – these combined elements will work for you to create your most stunning stippling yet. The tricky part is achieving a stitch length long enough to show the hologram effect of the thread, but not so long that it makes smooth curves look choppy.

PSA: There are no quilting police

There is no quilt inspector who will break down your door to inspect your stitches with a magnifying glass. There are no citations and no penalties for imperfections (or as I prefer to call them: design details). With each stitch too close or too far, you are one press of the peddle closer to the super stippling of your dreams. Go on and follow my (decidedly imperfect) example, and you sew girl (or guy)!

High on the satisfaction of tackling sparkledome, you might even decide to try another intimidating technique, like free-motion writing! Which got me thinking about a new way to tag my quilts…

"this took forever"

To get your own Sulky Holoshimmer thread & other fine quilting thread, visit your local Canadian quilt retailer.
For more inspiration and product education, like H.A. Kidd andCompany Limited on Facebook.