Where Does the Time Go?

Holy Cow.

Is it almost September already? Yup, apparently it is according to my phone, computer, and AQS wall Calender.

August always seems to fly by for me. There were the 10 days on vacation, 5 days waiting for a new video card after the crash of my computer, starting a new quilt for the 2013 CQA Quilt Show (in Penticton this year, only a 5 hour drive! Woo-hoo!), <—- Apparently Woo-hoo is not in the spell check dictionary but woo-bop is. Go figure. I also started the blocks for the 3×6 block swap I am participating in, and the name tag for the RATZ Swap. For those who want to know, RATZ stands for Rapid Tiny Zakka. Zakka means many tiny things in Japanese, so that’s what we make. The last month was needle-books, month before that was key chain tags. I am sorry I missed the needle-books because they look so cute. I am looking forward to the future swaps though. I actually finished my name tag on time and sent it to my partner in New York state. I hope she likes it.

 

I also received my packets from the Hoffman Challenge. This year marked the 25th anniversary of the challenge, so to celebrate for every 25 entries they would pull a name out of a hat and send off a packet of Hoffman Batiks and Sulky Threads. I got home from vacation to find this package at my door! I love the colors, especially the peacock thread! Batiks are my favorite fabrics, so I was giddy when I got the email saying I had won a prize draw!

I also found a second packet from Hoffman with my letter of acceptance into the trunk show and the goodies they send along: a beautiful cloche pin,  Sulky thread, and a fat quarter of a Hoffman screen print.

I am always excited when my quilts are chosen to be in a show. Even though I don’t win ribbons it is an honor to have my work displayed with some of the best from around the world. I was very excited in 2010 because my quilt Starfire was in the same traveling trunk as Fly Away by Jaqueline de Jonge, who you all know if one of my favorite inspiring quilters! Solaris, an original design, was also chosen to travel in 2011. It should be arriving home in October.

I have been participating since 2010, and I look forward to the new fabric each year. When 2012 was revealed, I was aghast. Its not that the fabric was terrible, its just not my thing. Right up Grandma’s alley, but definitely a few blocks and a kitty corner from mine. But that’s why they call it a challenge, right? Last year, when I had lots of time to sit and draft, I replicated the pieced inner panel from the Claudia Clark Myers/Marilyn Badger collaboration Greensleeves. (I did not include the applique.) Then I emailed Claudia Clark Myers and received permission to sew it up and enter it into the challenge.

I ended up going a different direction last year, but I found for 2012 it was the perfect pattern to showcase and at the same time hide this fabric. Again let me emphasize that while the fabric is nice, it is just REALLY not to my taste. The effect was charming, and I named the quilt My Secret Garden.

The fabric for 2013 is stunning, and I am so happy that it is in my palette. It has quite a large repeat as well as a huge amount of visual content in the repeat. I have an Idea forming for what I want to do. Now the waiting game begins until I can pre-order my fabric from one more of the online retailers. This one will sell out fast!

While I was away I started working on my entry for the Canadian Quilters Association Juried Quilt Show. I am making the Jaqueline de Jonge pattern Listen With Your Eyes. Here is a sneak peek at what I have completed so far! My color wheel has more than 100 different fabrics, not a single fabric repeats! I pulled all but 9 from my stash, somehow I was a tad low on yellow/lime and aqua. This is the original quilt, and I got the pattern here.

 

I also received my Glacier Star quilt back from Julie House of Sculptured Threads Quilting in Arizona. She did an amazing job and I highly recommend her. You can check our her work on Facebook. I am going to enter this quilt into the Georgia Quilt Show. I need to think of a name, any suggestions?

 

Thanks for being so patient with me! The gallery should be up and running in a week or so. As always, Happy Quilting!

This little fellow was out on my parents deck. The Mountain Bluebirds were out full force one evening, and he had a small run in with the window. I picked him up so he could get over the deck, and he is now happily living in the back  forest.

A New World for Baby Quilts

Does it ever seem like when one friend has a baby, suddenly everyone is having babies?? Not that I’m complaining, because it means getting to make lots of super cute baby quilts! I love the selection of spunky, modern fabrics available right now for babies and children. Especially all the owl prints. I love owls, and its so great that they are in right now! The only problem I’m having is that the owls all seem to be in little girl colors! I love how they look, but I don’t think my son would enjoy a hot-pink and green owl quilt as much as I would *sigh* so I slowly walk on past and find the blues, greens, yellows, oranges, reds and  browns. Don’t get me wrong, I love what they have for baby boys, such a breath of fresh air over baby blue, white, and more baby blue. But maybe they might consider all these adorable little owls Ok, I found that they do make all those adorable little owls in that palette! Zoologie from Robert Kaufman!

Anyhow, I digress!

One of my best friends, M.H. just welcomed a new little girl into her family. Born yesterday morning at 9lbs 13 oz, and she came in just under 3 hours, all natural, though not by choice I’m told! M.H. is a champion, and they chose the most beautiful name for their little girl. So yesterday baby H and I went to the fabric store and picked up some cotton prints and a pastel mint minky, and we whipped up a crib sized quilt.

I always make my baby quilts 45″x60″ ( or somewhere around that mark) because its the perfect size to lay baby on the floor to play, and when baby is old enough to use fluffy quilts safely (not until after 9 months) it will fit their beds and their growing bodies. On average, a 60″ long quilt can be used as the main covering until the baby hits 3 years old. Sometimes longer, depending on the child’s growth.  After that they are the perfect size to cuddle up with on the couch, floor, wherever your child wants, AND it works as a bed runner!

Since I plan baby quilts to last so long, I always choose colors and prints that are fresh, bright, and fun so that as they get older the child doesn’t feel that the blanket is too babyish. I always back with either minky or flannel so its always warm and cuddly, and I do an all-in-one backing/binding. I love this method, as it keeps the corners soft and flexible, and keeps the binding from becoming too bulky. It is also much easier than trying to use minky in traditional binding methods, minky is naturally stretchy and can be finicky.

Here is the finished baby quilt. I used the Turning Twenty block with only 6 fat quarters instead of twenty, and added 3 1/2″ borders. It makes a perfect crib size!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fabrics:

Urban Zoologie by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman

Good life by Deena Rutter for Riley Blake Designs

Hoos In the Forest by Doohikey Designs for Riley Blake Designs

Get Together by David Walker Studios for Free Spirit

Baby Safari by Carina Gardner for Northcott

The Threads that Weave

I have been sewing and crafting since I was 6 years old. All my life I have been surrounded by talented, creative women like my mother Sue, my Grandma Shirley, and my Auntie Pat. Every holiday, celebration or special occasion a quilt was gifted or created, and I always loved how the colors flowed, and how you could convey an emotion using nothing but little pieces of fabric.  Little did I know then, but I had been bitten by the quilt bug.

The first quilt I ever made on my own was one I had a dream about. My mom always tells the story best. “Why don’t you start with something small first, and see how it goes?” was her advice, but when it comes to quilting and art I have never really been one to test the waters before jumping right in. After a month of drawing up the design, picking the perfect colors, and some “Let’s see if this works…”, I showed my completed quilt to mom. After a minute of stunned silence, she gave me a hug and then introduced me to the website of Carol Bryer Fallert. I took one look at her quilt New Dawn and I was forever hooked.

To me, quilting is freedom. I have heard there are rules, but I would be hard pressed to tell you what they are. I love the smell of fabric, the feel and texture, and the stunning array of colors I can’t even put names to.  My favorite fabrics are batiks, and often I am inspired by a single piece of fabric that sings to me in a tune I can only answer with a needle and thread. I create my own patterns, drawn from the inspiration I find in countless books, magazines and other quilters. I am greatly influenced by the work of Sharon Schamber, Jacqueline De Jonge, Judy Niemeyer, Marilyn Badger and Claudia Clark Myers.  I have many of their patterns in my library, and look forward to someday completing them all at least once.

I wouldn’t be able to quilt the way I do without the love and support I find in my family. My wonderful husband has been known to make surprise stops at local quilt stores when we are on vacation, and doesn’t raise too much of a fuss when I spend a little bit more than I planned on a beautiful piece of fabric. He doesn’t like to admit it, but the man does have an eye for color!

The best part about quilting is the fellowship and commonality that quilters have. Quilting is a language all its own, and you can walk into any local quilt shop and find a friendly face and even friendlier advice.  I am honored to be able to share my quilt story with everyone, and I look forward to meeting many fellow quilters!

Circa 2003, one of my first quilts.

Welcome to my Quilty World!

Welcome to Stacey in Stitches!

I have finally started The Blog. Blogging is a new experience. I had never read a blog until a few months ago, even though my fellow guild members all talk about all the wonderful things they find and friendships they have made. I kept thinking that bloggers were mostly angst-ridden teenagers who never grew up and use blogging as a medium to vent. I am sure many still do, BUT, to my delight and surprise (and embarrassment that it took me FOREVER to actually discover this), it is a wonderful way to meet people with new and inspiring ideas, and to learn new things about the things you already love! Like QUILTING!

I love to quilt. I have been quilting for 10 years now, and there is no foreseeable point in the far future when I might ever stop. Maybe if I lose both hands, but as long as they have helper monkeys to run the fabric through for me I will be fine! I can’t even run out of room for my fabric stash, because let’s face it, that is what Rubbermaid containers and crawl spaces were made for! Thank goodness for understanding husbands and partners, though I think they all secretly think if they complain too loudly that we will hem all their pants 3 inches too short!

So about me…..I am a founding member of the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild, an although my quilts are not what many would call modern, they certainly aren’t “traditional” either. I design and sell quilts and quilt patterns.  I am also a new Mom to my cute-as-a-button needs-more-quilts son who was born in March of this year, so if I devote a blog post or two please bear with me. He is my first after all.

As I get started into the world of Modern Quilting, blogging, and all that fun crafty stuff, I hope you enjoy the journey with me!