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!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

One of the Best Jokes on the Board!

As you know the Board of Directors for our amazing Canadian quilt organization is made up of some pretty awesome people.   This includes all past Board members as well. What you may not know is Board members have an incredible sense of humour!

Today we found out just how funny some of the recently retired Board members are! We have been in meetings for the past two days in Toronto, ON before we go and work our CQA/ACC booth at the Creativ Festival.

Three of the five board members are new and today felt that they couldn't take it any longer and started presenting the rest of the Board with these beautiful handmade gifts! Linda, the President, and myself, Past President, the only 2 members that have been on the Board prior, were completely caught off guard, until we found out the story!

When we asked why this was done, they explained that they were told by the outgoing Secretary that it was customary to give a lovely handmade gift to the Board members at the meetings! Well we just burst out laughing!

These poor 3 new members had been stressing since they signed on what to make, and chatting about it the past few months via email, finding out our favourite colours, what we liked etc, and then stressing since we arrived when we were to do the big exchange of gifts!

Needless to say, Linda and I had nothing to donate back but look at what we scored!   A handmade necklace with fancy crystal beads and felted and embroidered handmade wrist cuff!   (missing is cathedral pin cushions)

On the upside, we are going to look like a million bucks wearing our new jewellery!


Thursday, 8 October 2015

Finding Your Way Around the Canadian Quilters' Association


This post is to hilight some amazing people and things that we have going on at the Canadian Quilters' Association/Association canadienne de la courtepointe, or CQA/ACC for short.

First off is our website that is chock full of quilting goodness and eye candy!  Not to mention so much great information.
Have you checked out all the inspiring quilts from our latest National Juried Show? How about our annual fundraiser to promote quilting in Canada, our Trend-Tex Challenge?  You can also see the last five years for each of these fantastic shows!
Look at this amazing jacket that was juried into the 2015 National Juried Show!  Made completely with selvedges by past Board member Judy Kelly.

Take a look at our website on the right hand side to see all the social media platforms we are on!
There has to be at least 1 or 4 that you will like to follow us on! Our pinterest boards are just loaded with colour and quilts and inspiration. Facebook has monthly giveaways! Instagram and twitter are there for the quick moment to look and stay informed!

Now, do you love what you see? Want to see more and support quilting in Canada? Sign up to be a member and get our quarterly magazine delivered right to your door!  We revamped our magazine and it is AMAZING! We have patterns, techniques, and so much more information and insights into quilting in Canada and abroad! Don't wait, sign up today!

Looking for a great Canadian teacher? Check out our Professional Quilters page!

Right here on our blog we have some wonderful reading to keep you up to date with our quilters in Canada! If you look to the right of our blog, you will see our members who have active blogs where you can see what they are up to, and find great ideas and inspiration!

As well, you can see many of our member guilds and look at the ways they are reaching their members and the unique things they are doing!

We hope this helps you find your way around our site and encourages you to follow us on one of our social media platforms so you can stay connected with quilters in Canada!  If you can't find something, drop us an email at Most importantly, we hope it has convinced you to join us and become a part of our quilting family!

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Trend-Tex Challenge Is Here

Finally the time has come!

We wait and wait all year for the next Trend-Tex Challenge to come and it is here at last!

The excitement of the new theme, the new fabrics, the giddiness of designing a quilt, is just too much fun not to participate!

This year the Vice President, Leslie, has chosen 'Living a Life in Green' as her theme. That just brims with possibilities! You could do an environmental theme, go green with nature, or all green if that is your favourite color=)
Remember you get 5 fat quarters and have to make a wall hanging based on the criteria provided.

Here are the five fabrics you will receive.

All the details are here that you need to create your masterpiece.  Oh wait, did I mention there are prizes?  You bet there are!

This is our only fundraiser to help us promote quilting across Canada, and we can't do it without you!
So come on, click here and order that luscious fabric!

We can't wait to see what you make!

Generously sponsored by