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20 In Blog/ Quilting

Canadian Summer QAL!

You’re here! Yay! I am super excited and honoured to be the first stop on the Canadian Summer Quilt Along. Pull up a lawn chair, grab an iced tea/iced coffee/adult sippy cup of wine (#iwould) and be prepared to get inspired by the incredible line up we have prepared for you!

Our wonderful host Anita (@daydreamsofquilts on IG) organized this QAL to celebrate our love for this beautiful country of ours! And as you can guess, all of the quilters on this QAL schedule are all fellow Canadians. We were each tasked with creating a 12″ finished block that represents something that we love about Canada. Some of the quilters on the schedule created very patriotic and beautiful blocks, but mine is a little more personal. When I think of what I love about Canada I automatically think of summer, and when I think of summer I think of my family.

To make a long story (and massive family tree) short (no trees were harmed in the writing of this blog post), my paternal grandmother is one of 7 children. Back in 1975 the 7 grown children and their expanding families decided to organize an annual summer family reunion. The Grant Family Reunion is going into its 43rd year this summer and has been a highlight of my year since I was born. From catching up with cousins who live far away to seeing my great-grandmother have a few sociables and play pranks on those who went to bed early, some of my fondest family summer memories revolve around these reunions.

Less than a year old me and my great grandmother Annie Grant.

As with most family reunions, there are a few friendly – yet serious – tournaments that we partake in. We have a Euchre tournament and a Horseshoe tournament. I take my game of horseshoes VERY seriously! LOL! And I’ve come thiiiiiis close to winning the trophy a couple of times, but have yet to win (*sniffle*). So in honour of my favourite summer family sport, I created a horseshoe block. I wanted to be able to get a nice curve to the horseshoe so decided that needle-turn appliqué would be the technique of choice.

Have you ever done needle-turn appliqué? If not, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered! Also, I’ll mention that you do NOT need to hand-baste your pieces onto your fabrics – if you’ll find it easier to glue baste or machine baste, please do whichever basting method suits you best.

If you happen to have a Creativebug membership, my favourite needle-turn appliqué class/tutorial video is Carolyn Friedlander’s Hand-Stitched Appliqué Quilts tutorial. Carolyn’s technique is pretty well the exact same as mine when it comes to the needle-turning and stitching. And if you don’t have a membership, you can always sign up for their free trial and use your free credits to take this class! I’m a HUGE fan of Carolyn’s style, slow-stitching mentality and fabric designs, so this would be my #1 recommendation.

Here’s the link to the PDF of the block pieces! You will need:

  • a fat quarter for your background, cut to 12.5 x 12.5″
  • a 12×12″ scrap for the horseshoe
  • smaller scraps for the flower, flower centre and leaves

Cut out your shapes on the solid line – the dashed line is your basting line, which is 1/4″ from the edge. Follow Carolyn’s tutorial or use your own awesome needle turn appliqué skills for the basic technique. Start with the horseshoe, then stitch on your leaves, the flower and then the flower centre. Give it a good press and you’re set!

Now to get this party started on the right foot I am also hosting a giveaway! I’ve got a Sew Fine Thread Gloss prize pack (my awesome side-hustle!) that includes 3 thread gloss scents to help you with your summer sewing projects! All you need to do is comment on this post and tell me what your favourite summer family tradition is. Contest will be open from June 11 at 9am EST to June 15th at 11:59pm EST. I’ll draw a name at random and post the winner here and on Instagram – be sure to include your Instagram handle in your comment so I can tag you! Open to residents of Canada only.

If you haven’t seen the entire quilt, in all its Canadian glory, here’s Anita’s full sized quilt with flag sashing. Isn’t it GORGEOUS?! Now get needle-turning! I hear there might be a super amazing grand prize for someone who completes all of the blocks…

Leave your comment to win! And thanks for stopping by!



0 In Blog

Print Panache QAL Week 2 & glue basting!

Have you ever come across a technique after years of doing something a certain way and once you learned how amazing it was, you had one of those amazing fireworks, doves flying out from behind you, angels singing, rainbows and flying kittens AHA! moments?! That’s how I felt when I was taught how amazing glue basting is when Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP). Glue basting for the win! I’m a complete and total convert and I will never thread baste again. Cross my heart.

glue basting technique

Because of how long the lead time is between submitting patterns and the actual published date, I had written and submitted my Print Panache pattern long before I discovered how beneficial this under-appreciated office/craft supply is to my FPP process. Its a game changer. If you’re reading this and saying “jeez Jenn – have you literally been living under a rock all this time?”, well yes, yes I have. If I had known how often I would use glue sticks in my sewing practice I would have been preaching the benefits LONG ago.

Before we start I must tell you that, from experience, I prefer the Elmer’s glue stick. Before going on vacation a few months ago I grabbed a few UHU glue sticks from my local art supply store, and while they worked fine consistency-wise, I found that after the glue dried, the fabric and paper curled quite a bit. As far as I can tell – for the small EPP pieces I was working with – the curling won’t affect the overall piecing, but for large areas of fabric and paper such as this pattern, I decided it best to use a glue stick that I know won’t warp or curl once dry. So do yourself a favour and either test the brand of glue stick with fabric and paper, or just go ahead and get an Elmer’s – you won’t be disappointed.

glue basting technique

Okay, enough rambling. Here’s a super quick and mostly visual step-by-step for glue basting a large block like the one in my Print Panache pattern. As with every FPP pattern, we will be placing the fabrics on the back of the pattern file and sewing on the front.

glue basting technique

Get a general idea of where your first piece of fabric will be placed and apply your glue to that shape. It doesn’t need to be fully saturated – just enough that your piece of fabric won’t be going anywhere once you’ve placed it on the glued template.

glue basting technique

Place your fabric for piece #1 over the shape on the template, making sure it extends out to the edge of the seam allowance and covers any other edges by at least 1/4″.

glue basting technique

Here’s a view from the wrong side/fabric side.

glue basting technique

Lying the pieces back down on your cutting mat, use your ruler, a piece of cardboard or another tool such as the Add a Quarter Plus ruler to score along the line between section 1 and 2.

glue basting technique

glue basting technique

Align a 1/4″ mark of your ruler, or the notched edge of an Add a Quarter Plus ruler along the folded edge and trim your fabric.

glue basting technique

Align your fabric for section 2 along this trimmed edge, making sure that it will cover the entire section once flipped. Sew along the line between section 1 and 2 with a 1.5 stitch length.

glue basting technique

Now either press with an iron or use a seam roller to flatten your seam.

glue basting technique

Flip this section back over and apply glue where the fabric covered the template. Fold it back over and finger press to adhere the fabric to the glued template.

glue basting technique

glue basting technique

Continue with the remaining pieces of the template. Trim to the outside border (12.5″ box) and set aside.

glue basting technique

The glue will baste your fabrics to the template until you are ready to take them off. Using this technique will speed up your production time, but will also increase the cost of your overall project slightly, because of having to purchase the glue sticks. You can always raid your toddler’s craft stash first before investing in a bulk pack of glue sticks from Costco!

I hope that tutorial will help make your block production a bit speedier. It is also extremely helpful when FPPing patterns with small pieces, as the glue will help keep the tiny pieces from shifting while you’re placing or sewing them.

I can’t wait to see some finished blocks popping up on Instagram! Be sure to use the #printpanacheQAL hashtag and tag me @jennmcmillan so I can see your progress!

Happy sewing!


1 In Blog

Print Panache QAL Week 1!

Its here!!! Months of planning and organizing and we’re finally here! Today kicks off Week 1 of the Print Panache QAL!

This week is a soft intro into the QAL (although I know some of you are already finished your cutting and are ready to sew!) – we’ll begin our time together this week focusing on introductions, inspiration, fabric pull and choosing our layout.

So if you’re here, and you signed up for this QAL I’m guessing you probably have some sort or idea who I am. But for those of you who are new followers I’ll give you the Coles Notes! My name is Jenn (“Hi Jenn!”) and I am a graphic designer, modern quilter and the maker behind Sew Fine Thread Gloss. I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember, but quilting has become my absolute passion over the past 5 years. And with all those graphic design skills at my ready, I’ve found my way into the quilt pattern design world.

I was completely honoured to have my Print Panache pattern published in Love Patchwork and Quilting earlier this year. This pattern (also known unofficially as 1 Block, 10 Quilts volume 1) is great for the beginner quilter who has been wanting to learn Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP), and equally as great for the intermediate quilter who is looking for a fun, quick throw quilt that they can customize to suit their style and preferences.

Okay – inspiration! For me, I’m ALL about Pinterest. I use it for work saving web design inspiration, new tips or design techniques, quilt patterns that I like, etc. One of my favourite boards that I can just get lost in is my Colour Inspiration board. There are so many incredible colour combinations to discover, and I love collecting pins with different or unique palettes to use in future projects. Take this image for example! I found it on Pinterest and just loved how the colours worked with each other, so I saved it to my board for future use. Little did I know it would end up being the colour palette for this quilt project!


Print Panache Inspiration

Print Panache colours


As you can see from the above photos, I had found my inspiration and so the second photo shows my fabric pull for my quilt! I’ve chosen the coral colour for my centers, dark purple for the small corner angle, and then the lighter purple and mustard yellow for the two long side angles. I’m super excited about how there colours are going to play together in the finished quilt, but before I get ahead of myself, lets talk about layouts!

There are “officially” 10 layouts supplied in the pattern, but should you feel inspired to follow an improv colour palette or layout, the possibilities are endless! Here’s a quick snapshot of the layout that I’ve chosen for my quilt. Because I did a more geometric layout for my first version, this time around I’m going for a completely different look!

quilt sample layout

So what do you think?! I’m excited that its going to look COMPLETELY different from my first version!

Now I want to see what you are all up to! Since this week is all about introductions and getting ready, I want to know a bit more about you! Who are you, why did you join this QAL and what plans do you have for your quilt? Share your inspiration, fabric pull, etc. on Instagram this week using the #printpanacheQAL hashtag. Keep in touch over Instagram as well – I want to see your progress! If you have any questions or just want to share, tag me @jennmcmillan!

I’ll be posting a quick tutorial later this week about glue basting. The instructions for this project were written long before I became a glue basting convert, so I wanted to share with you my process for glue basting a FPP pattern – and with large pieces like the ones in this block, glue will be your best friend!

Thanks for stopping in and happy sewing!


0 In Blog

The Kinley Pouch

The Kinley Pouch

The Kinley Pouch

Okay, I had a total fan-girl moment. I managed to keep my sh!t together but DAMN was I excited when Jen from Jen Fox Studios contacted me at the start of last month and asked if I was interested in sewing up her new pattern, the Kinley Pouch! I’ve become a huge fan of Jen’s since discovering her Instagram account a few years ago. I’ve also been fascinated with different surface design mediums; be it silk screening, fabric paint, or decolourant, and loved finding another quilter and sewist who was free in her exploration of form, technique and motif. Her IG feed is definitely a huge source of inspiration for me, so I was honoured when she got in touch.

I love a good pouch. I’ve made hundreds; literally. Box bags are my usual go-to. I’ve made quite a few of Anna Graham’s Petal Pouch (so cute!!), snap purses (that fit credit cards!) and a whole slew of your basic rectangular zip pouches. But when I saw the photos for the Kinley Pouch I was intrigued.

We were a few days away from leaving on holidays when Jen got in touch. She sent the pattern file, and I had about an hour to spare the night before we left on our 24hr drive. I had already prepped my EPP kit with my Warmhearted quilt pieces ready to go, and wanted to be able to do some hand-work on it while on the road. I grabbed a few pieces of solid Kona, sewed the outside panel together and got to work with the decolourant.

The Kinley Pouch

With a basic thin paintbrush I painted lines of decolourant across the length of the pouch top. Once dried I simply ironed over the fabric and the decolourant does its work, stripping the colour out of those areas. I then washed the fabric to remove the residue and hung it to dry. The next morning I grabbed a piece of backing, ironed fusible batting to both sides grabbed some 12wt aurifil threads that coordinated and away we went!

I spent time here and there over our holidays hand-quilting randomly on top of and beside some of the decoloured lines and I am really happy with the overall effect. Once we got home from vacation I got the rest of it put together, but strayed from the instructions slightly.

The Kinley Pouch

Instead of machine sewing the binding on both sides, I opted for hand-stitching the binding on. I LUUUUVVV hand-binding!

My finished Kinley Pouch looks a little different from the other ones that have been made so far, but I love it, and that’s all that matters with our handmade items, isn’t it?! I love the structured side panels and how when unzipped, the pouch opens up to full width. There is tons of room for customizing the outer and inner layers, using different substrates, textures and fabrics. Jen also gave instructions for lining with poly, which would be fantastic for a makeup case! I’m pretty sure I’ll be making more of these in the future – my oldest daughter has already called dibs on this one!

For more details on the Kinley Pouch, or to purchase the pattern, click here. Also, if you’re not already following her, check out Jen’s Instagram feed – if you’ve ever been interested in learning more about decolourant or seeing it in action, she’s the one to follow!

Thanks so much for stopping by!


The Kinley Pouch








0 In Blog/ Quilting

Print Panache QAL!

Print Panache quilt-along

Print Panache Quilt-along

Who doesn’t love a QAL?! What about a QAL that uses a simple block that can be arranged in a multitude of ways, to create your own customized quilt? Well if that’s what you’re looking for, then you’ve come to the right place.

My Print Panache quilt is actually the first in a series of foundation paper pieced (FPP) quilt patterns that I’m designing, alternatively known as “1 Block, 10 Quilts”. If you’ve seen my pattern in Issue 57 of Love Patchwork & Quilting, then you’ve seen the block and the ten different quilt layouts that can be created by rotating, alternating or staggering the blocks. If you choose to not follow any of the provided patterns, and improv your layout, the possibilities are endless!

So here are the details, schedule, and all the goodies! Please bear with me as this is the FIRST quilt-along I’ve organized and I’m going to do my best to sew along with everyone who participates!

The QAL will follow an 8 week schedule and is outlined below. But before we get into the fine details, I’ve got some PRIZES!!!

The prizes

The following companies have graciously donated prizes for this QAL! Be sure to check them out and show them some social media LOVE as they’re helping to make this event a success!


Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 57


Love Patchwork & Quilting has offered a year’s digital subscription to one lucky participant! They have also offered us a special subscription promotion (which I am TOTALLY signing up for!) Details will be forwarded upon registration. Thank you SOO MUCH to the team at Love Patchwork & Quilting – they have been an absolute pleasure to work with and I’m so happy they’re on board for this QAL!


Mad About Patchwork


Mad About Patchwork (my LQS) has generously donated a $50 (CAN) Gift Card as a prize to one lucky participant! They have also offered a 10% off discount code for participants to order fabric for their quilts! Discount code will be forwarded upon registration.


Hobbs 40 Year Logo
Hobbs Tuscany Wool


Hobbs Bonded Fibers has donated a queen sized batt of their Tuscany Wool batting to one winning participant! I’ve been dying to try wool batting in a quilt and will be getting one of these for myself!


 Sew Fine Thread Gloss logo     Bytowne Threads Logo


Sew Fine Thread Gloss & Bytowne Threads are teaming up and have 3 awesome prize packs! 2 lucky participants will take home a hand-quilting set (1 thread gloss, 1 pair of embroidery scissors and 1 spool of 12wt white mako Aurifil thread), and 1 lucky participant will take home a deluxe hand-quilting set (1 thread gloss, 1 pair of embroidery scissors, 1 package of leather stick-on thimble pads [the kind I use ALL THE TIME!] and an Aurifil thread sample pack)!

The details

First things first – to quilt along with us you’ll need a copy of the pattern in Issue 57 of Love Patchwork & Quilting. Its currently on newsstands in the US and Canada, but if you can’t find a printed copy locally, you can purchase a digital copy of the magazine and download the pattern template through the app. Fabric requirements are included in the pattern.

The template is either 2 pieces of 8.5×11″ taped together, or there’s an enlargeable version – I would suggest taking that to a print shop and having them print your 36 blocks on the size of paper needed (11×11″) at the proper size (10.5×10.5″ with seam allowances).

You might also want to grab a big glue stick! The instructions mention pin basting, but I’ll be doing a blog post towards the start of the QAL demonstrating glue basting, which will be super handy for these big blocks! Make sure they’re the washable white craft kind!

Registration – April 3-29 (lots of time to register, and order fabric for your quilt!)
April 30 – Week 1 – introductions, inspiration, fabric pull & layout pick
May 7 – Week 2 – Row 1 blocks
May 14 – Week 3 – Row 2 blocks
May 21 – Week 4 – Row 3 blocks
May 28 – Week 5 – Row 4 blocks
June 4 – Week 6 – Row 5 blocks
June 11 – Week 7 – Row 6 blocks
June 18 – Week 8 – final layout


Participants must post either their inspiration colours, or fabric pull and which layout they’re planning to follow (or improv) between April 30 – May 6. I also would LOVE for you to introduce yourself, tell us where you’re from, etc.

Participants can work at their own pace, week by week, and post updates as they complete their blocks (6 blocks per week average) using the #printpanacheQAL hashtag. There are 36 blocks in total to make the 60×60″ throw sized quilt. Should participants wish to make their quilt bigger, go for it! Just add more blocks onto the ends of the rows, and/or add additional rows of blocks and continue the block arrangement pattern.

During the week of June 18 – 24, to be eligible for the prizes, participants must post their final layout (either the blocks finished and arranged in their chosen layout, or quilt top sewn together). Final check in must be posted on Instagram by June 24 at 11:59pm EST.

Winners will be chosen at random from participants who have posted their finished layout or finished quilt top, and will be announced by June 28th. This event is not affiliated with Instagram, Facebook, or any other platform used for promotion. To be eligible to win, you must have an open Instagram account that I can check to ensure that you’ve met the required check ins.


Thank you so much for following along and I hope you join us for this super easy, and quick quilt-along!


Print Panache Quilt Along!







1 In Blog

Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 57!

Love Patchwork & Quilting FPP quilt project

The day has finally arrived!! After months of secret sewing and keeping the project under wraps, I’m super excited to get to share my project for Love Patchwork & Quilting’s Issue 57!

Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 57

One of the things that I wish I had when I was learning different quilting techniques and methods was a quick and easy pattern (other than basic patchwork) that would result in a visually appealing final composition, without having to struggle through learning the technique. I constantly hear from so many quilters that they don’t like to foundation paper piece (FPP) which just blows my mind, because I love it SO MUCH! The accuracy you can achieve with FPPing is just one of the reasons I love it, not to mention the ability to create complex shapes or motifs. So you see that mention about an easy FPP pattern for beginners? Yep! That’s mine!

Some of my favourite FPP patterns include the Tattoo Quilt blocks from Berene Campbell of HappySewLucky. I’m currently working my way through these blocks and had the pleasure of taking a workshop with Berene this past October with the Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild. I can’t wait until the rest of the blocks are released and I can finish my version of the Tattoo Quilt! Berene takes such care and detail when designing her patterns. And the messages and purpose behind these blocks are inspiring.

Berene of Happy Sew Lucky at OMQG

Another set of FPP patterns that I’ve been loving lately is the Mug Club by Kid Giddy! I just finished up the #libselliotminiswap and made a couple of the mug patterns from Kerry’s pattern set and they turned out so well! The way that just a few fabrics situated at a certain angle can create such dynamic shapes in a pattern just makes me so happy! And having the ability to really pay attention to placement of your fabric and fussy cut is an added bonus.

Libs Elliot Mini Swap and Mug Club mug rug

Anyways, back to the purpose of this post. I wanted to design a fun pattern that would be beginner friendly, but could look like a complicated pattern. My pattern “Print Panache”, or 1 Block, 10 Quilts v1 (as I call it) is just that; a single, simple FPP block that can be arranged in 10 different ways to make 10 different quilts! And you could actually create more than 10 different quilt patterns if you varied the placement and arrangement of the blocks. The block measures 10″ and I enlarged the block to 20″ for the two pillow cases shown in the photo. The fabrics that I used are from the Panache collection by Rebecca Bryan and Kona solids in White and Black by Robert Kaufman Fabrics. I used a combination of big-stitch hand quilting on the patterned shapes and a triangle motif on the white and black shapes. What’s not shown in this photo is the bold peach patterned fabric from the Panache collection that I used on the backs. I can’t wait for the quilt and pillows to make their way back to me so I can share some closeup photos of the details! For the pattern, check out Issue 57 of Love Patchwork & Quilting!

Love Patchwork & Quilting FPP quilt project

Thanks for following along! Let me know what you think of the pattern!



2 In Blog/ Lifestyle/ Quilting

A new year…

Sew Fine Thread Gloss

2018 has finally arrived. I’m happy that its finally here because I feel like the second half of 2017 was a rough 6 months. Too many illnesses, deaths, rough times, harsh realizations, etc. for it to be enjoyable. I know there will always be hard times to be had, but I’m happy that I feel like my invisible internal reset button has been hit, even if thinking this way helps me to focus on what’s to come. One of my realizations late last year was that, even though I absolutely LOVE the hustle and bustle of a good craft show, they might not always be worth the work, for me, in this stage of my life. That’s not to say that I won’t apply for the next big Ottawa Etsy show this fall, but I’m definitely scaling back on them. One of my goals for 2017 was to focus on more “me” projects, which I have! And funny enough, I’ve had more custom quilt requests than I can shake a stick at! By focusing on the “me” projects that I enjoy – most of which have been quilts – I’ve gotten more interest in people wanting me to make quilts for them. Funny how things end up happening that way. But in 2018 I will continue to work on projects that bring me joy.

So now I’ve got to find the balance, as I have a tendency to take on too much at once and get overwhelmed. I have only taken on a few freelance design projects recently, but have also turned down a lot. Saying no to a project is very hard for me – I have a habit of wanting to help people. But I’ve stuck to my guns and said no. Its really hard saying no.

Another “re-sew-lution”, which is a partial continuation from last year, is NOT buying any new fabric. Unless its for a commissioned quilt, or I need something small to finish a WIP, I do solemnly swear that I will not buy any fabric that does not have an immediate purpose. Its in writing now, so I’ve got to stick to it.

On the quilt pattern front, I’ve got two projects coming out in magazines early this year! Having a pattern published in a magazine was one of my goals for 2017 and, even though they weren’t out last year, the wheels were turning. I have an EPP mini quilt coming out in the next issue of Make Modern Magazine (sneak peek in the top photo!) and a FPP throw quilt and pillow set coming out at the end of January in issue 57 of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine! I’m SUPER excited to be a “published” quilt pattern designer, and look forward to creating more fun patterns in the future. I’ve got an entire sketchbook filled with ideas. Now to just find the time to make them come to life!

Make Modern Magazine EPP pattern

A new project that I’m really excited about has taken form, and is close to its “official” launch. I’ve started making a beeswax based thread conditioner called Sew Fine Thread Gloss!

Sew Fine Thread Gloss - Natural

What happened to be rather serendipitous, I started talking to a few sewing/quilting friends here in Ottawa about the beeswax based thread conditioner that I’ve been making, and what they thought. Would the people in our local sewing and quilting community be interested? Do a lot of people use thread conditioner? I personally have used Thread Heaven, but wasn’t a huge fan, which was my main reason for making a beeswax based thread conditioner. After some thorough research, a basic business plan, a funny product name, and one recipe, I soft-launched here in Ottawa at Mad About Patchwork. The response I got was fantastic! Could this be something? Next thing I know, I hear that the owners of Thread Heaven had retired and closed the business. Wow, so there’s a hole in the market for thread gloss! Could this actually go somewhere? I’m determined to find out, and do things the proper way – I’m registering the business, getting all of my little business duckies in a row and diving head first into official entrepreneurship. Am I crazy? I’m still working a full-time job that I love! Will all of my business and marketing training actually pay off? I guess time will tell. In the meantime, I’m happy making something to help people make things, instead of just making things for people to buy. Does that make sense?! Yes. Yes it does. Wish me luck!

10 In Blog/ Quilting

Addy’s crib quilt – Blogger’s Quilt Festival

I’ve been meaning to share photos of this quilt for a few weeks but hadn’t gotten around to it until now, so what a great reason to share than to be part of the Blogger’s Quilt Festival! Some would call it serendipity, some might call it fate, but it all started when I was planning the room colours for my youngest’s bedroom (she’s now 2). As a graphic designer I work with a myriad of colour combinations and palettes on a regular basis, and I happened across a palette that wasn’t overly girly, but unique, and (I think) was just gorgeous together – white, navy, light aqua/teal, and a pinky coral. I LOVED it! So I mixed a batch of custom chalk paint for the furniture, painted the walls and got to work. I also made a twin quilt for her “big girl” bed, but that will be another post for another time.

Shortly after she was born I was browsing around my local Chapters store and did I not find four Wonderland prints from Rifle Paper Co. on SALE! I have total admiration for Anna Bond and her paintings/illustrations, so when I found these prints, and they matched the colours for Addy’s room, I just HAD to have them. Fast forward to late last year when the Rifle Wonderland collection for Cotton & Steel came out, I just knew I had to incorporate the fabric somehow into her room, because it was meant to be! As her big quilt was already finished, I started planning an oversized crib quilt, that would work for both the crib, and then as a throw when she outgrew the crib (which is fast approaching!).

I created this quilt as an oversized Crystal Star block, using a solid Kona, a couple of Cotton and Steel basics, and the teacups print from Wonderland. The final size is 56″ x 56″ and was created with HSTs and four solid corner blocks – a quick and easy project! I had just enough of a super soft Robert Kaufman chambray to use for the backing and then used a white with silver glitter dot fabric that I got from our local guild stash sale for the binding. I quilted the blocks using a coral and teal Glide thread in simple angled lines so it wouldn’t be dense, but soft and cuddly.

One of the things I love about making quilts for my girls is that they’ll (hopefully) have them for a very long time, will comfort them, and keep them warm, and so far they love them, which makes me happy. And the little lady herself wanted to be part of the photoshoot, so just because she so darn cute and was sooo good while I tidied her room and set her hoard of stuffies aside for these pictures, here she is, sticky face, boogers and all!

For those of you stopping by via the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, thanks for checking out my quilt and be sure to check out the rest of the amazing quilts on the tour!

0 In Blog/ Quilting

Piecing, linen and lessons learned.

I love Essex linen but I don’t love it in this quilt. And that’s okay.

This is the first quilt that I’ve made that combined small piecing and Essex, and I’m not a fan. Lindsay Neill’s Pen and Paper patterns are some of my favourite quilt patterns of all time. I love her style and I love everything that comes out of that crazy creative brain of hers. I had made a few snail blocks from her Garden Snails Quilt pattern before I decided to make an entire quilt for my oldest daughter, so I knew how it went together and was happy with my finished snails. Then I thought that using Essex would make for a nice background. This is where my issues started. Essex and small piecing don’t mix. At least I couldn’t get them to play nicely together. It stretched and shifted and distorted until my poor little snail antennae got cut off because I couldn’t square my blocks properly (Lindsay if you read this, I’m sorry for butchering your adorable snails!). Le sigh. I knew I was in for a treat when a friend from my guild regaled her tales and tribulations of quilting Essex that was cut on the bias. And my snail blocks were already 3/4 done – at least I knew I wasn’t alone.

Thankfully I didn’t have any issues quilting the quilt, other than a bit of warping/stretching along the edges, but okay because I had wide borders. I spent the morning with Julie from the Longarm Workroom and we did a simple all-over pattern. I’m thinking though that a few of the snails need a bit of embellishments; maybe a moustache or hipster glasses!

I’m glad that the quilt is finished, because it was the first time I’ve ever been frustrated with how a project was coming together. In the end it looks great, Ava loves it, I love the colours and prints that I’ve chosen, and, ONLY I will see the little janky antennae on those poor snails. So now is the time to let that shit go. Lesson learned from this quilt: I still love Essex linen, but now I know not to try using it on the bias, or for small piecing. Unless I want to make myself crazy… again.

0 In Blog/ Quilting

I made a really big, little thing.

I’ve had this idea written down in a notebook and in the back of my mind for a long time and I’m so stoked about how it turned out! It was a simple mini to go along with my “Larger than Life” project. A paper clip. Just a basic paper clip. I have a thing for office stationery; ask my co-workers. I’ve got a massive collection of post-it notes, “special” pens (I’m a leftie so the struggle is real to find a decent non-smudging pen), and my favourite notebooks. But I’ve always felt that the paper clip was under appreciated.

I was lucky enough to be gifted a massive collection of vintage and just plain old bias tape and I never use it. I had also been working on a commissioned quilt for a few hours, and wasn’t the slightest big tired (this was at midnight last Friday night) and wanted to just make SOMETHING that didn’t have a deadline, or needed to be made. Something fun and frivolous. And it all came together so perfectly!

I grabbed this piece of Libs Elliott‘s Gem Stripe in Teal fabric from her Tattooed collection (which I’ve been hoarding) and it was actually pretty fantastic because I used the stripes on the fabric to guide the placement of the bias tape. I used a double sided fusible hem tape to position it, then ironed it all down. I quilted the background randomly following the lines using a nice shiny Glide thread and then stitched down the edges of the bias tape to secure it.

I still have my scrap bag from the #100days100blocks2017 quilt-along sitting beside my sewing table, so I snuck in a few bright scraps to liven up the black binding. The finished piece measures 16″ square. And thanks to my little helper for holding it up during our little photoshoot!