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2 In Blog/ Quilting

Lakeside Sampler quilt

So far this year has been the year of making quilts for other people. And to be honest, I think this might be my first finish in quilt a long time! But it was a long time coming as I had planned on making this quilt for about a year before I started working on it.

A good friend from college got married a few weeks ago, and as he and his new wife love the outdoors, camping, hiking, canoeing, etc. I knew that this would be the perfect gift for them.

The Lakeside Sampler quilt pattern is by AnneMarie Chany and is such a great sampler pattern. It combines standard strip piecing, Flying Geese blocks, HSTs and strip piecing similar to Foundation Paper Piecing which makes for clean, precise strips. And those bold primary colours stand out nicely against the gradient “water” background.

I took the finished top to Krista Zaleski and she long-armed the simple straight line quilting across the width of the quilt using an off-white thread that blended well with all of the colours.

AnneMarie’s pattern was written and divided up nicely, considering there’s a lot of steps needed to put this quilt together. It also comes with a handy chart to keep your colour swatches organized should you use a different colour palette than what she used in her sample.

And I’m happy to report that the newlywed couple loved it! It was backed with Robert Kaufman Mammoth Flannel so it is extra cozy. I also included “quilt instructions” with the card, that included directions to USE THE QUILT – snuggle under it, get freaky on it… you get the idea. I’m of the mind that if I’ve spend a considerable amount of time on a quilt, unless its obviously a wall quilt or includes hanging instructions, I want it to be used, and well loved. Nothing would make me happier!

Have you made the Lakeside Sampler quilt before? Thinking about it? Check out the #lakesidesampler hashtag on Instagram to see all of the gorgeous quilts people have made lately!

0 In Blog/ Quilting

Libs Elliott collaboration!

libs elliott sew fine thread gloss collection

Well hello friends and welcome to another instalment of “holy crap I’m stupid excited!” Why you ask? (Hint… you just read the title of this post, right?!)

Yes!! I have teamed up with an AHHHmazing designer, a Canadian designer at that, to bring you another Sew Fine Thread Gloss collaborative collection. And you’re going to LOVE it!

Some background first. Last year as Program Coordinator for the OMQG, I had the pleasure of organizing and attending Libs’ Embrace the Chaos workshop here in Ottawa. It was such a fun workshop and Libs was a trooper – she was so sick, but stuck with us for the entire day. While we were packing up I shamelessly gave Libs a sample of Sew Fine Thread Gloss to take home and try out. Okay, honestly – I was driving her back to her hotel, so I pretty well had her hostage, and she wasn’t feeling the greatest so she probably just took it to shut me up. LOL! But you know what – that weird hostage product handoff has paid off my friends because LOOK AT THAT TITLE!

*Please note – I do not condone holding sew-lebrities hostage in your car while you force product on them. It worked out okay in this situation but might not in others. Thank you.

Fast forward to a few months ago. I was walking through the grocery store parking lot when I got a message on Instagram from Libs (fangirl moment ensued) wanting to talk about a collaboration! Umm yaasss!

And here we are. Also, what better timing to launch this collaboration than when Libs is the featured artist at Quilt Canada! So without further ado – may I present Libs’ Sew Fine Thread Gloss collection!

Meet the new Libs Elliott Sew Fine Thread Gloss collection: Amber Violet, Orange Lavender and Rose Wood!

In honor of this collection launch I arranged a mini interview with Libs to talk about her reasons behind the collaboration.

photo via

Q: Why did you want to partner with Sew Fine Thread Gloss?

L: There are a few reasons I asked to partner with Sew Fine Thread Gloss. Firstly, I’ve been using it for a while and it’s a product I really believe improves my overall sewing experience. The opportunity to curate some of my own scents and share this awesome product with the sewing community was too exciting not to pursue. Secondly, it’s a Canadian and woman-owned business – just like me! – so building partnerships like this helps to lift us both up and find success as women entrepreneurs.

Q: Has using a thread conditioner changed your hand-sewing experience?

L: Yes, it has really changed my experience. Despite keeping my threads fairly short, I constantly ran into issues with thread tangling and knotting up. But with just one or two passes of thread through Sew Fine, that’s no longer an issue. It’s made the whole hand-sewing process so much more enjoyable for me and I find myself looking forward to it more often now. Plus, the pretty scents are definitely a bonus!

Q: You’ve curated a selection of amazing scent combinations – what draws you to these scents and/or why did you choose them?

L: I wanted to curate scents that have a balance similar to some of my favourite perfumes that I’ve collected during my travels. I’ve always liked the juxtaposition of florals and citrus against more earthy and woody scents. To me, it feels like a balance between feminine and masculine. Rose Wood, Violet Amber and Orange Lavender are all scents that embody that special combination and spark daydreams of exotic places.

Q: You have some breathtaking EPP patterns – how does using a thread conditioner make these projects easier?

L: When I’m sewing EPP projects, I often thread 3 or 4 needles at a time so that I can sew continuously for longer periods without interruption. Now, I run all loaded threads through the conditioner and they no longer get tangled up while sitting in my needle minder. When I’m sewing, the thread glides through the fabric much more easily and I feel like the stitches stay more firmly in place.

Q: And a non thread gloss related question – what inspires your quilt-making?

L: I’ve always had this notion that objects have stories based on their journeys. I like to think that some parts of the story are known by those who own the object but some parts are only known to the object itself. What motivates and inspires me to quilt is that same notion – that I’ll put my story and stitches into a piece, then release it into the world to have a story and journey of its own. I like the mystery of not knowing where my quilts will end up.

Also a big shout out to Peggy Pirillo who made this mini quilt! She was one of my swap partners for the #libselliottminiswap early last year! Its the perfect backdrop for this launch!

If you happen to be reading this post Friday June 14th, Libs will have the collection with her at Quilt Canada and will be available to purchase for her class attendees. Otherwise, they will be available online at I’ll be roaming the floor all day Friday, so if you see me say HI! I’ll have lots of Sew Fine Thread Gloss samples to give out!

0 In Blog/ Quilting

Typecast of Characters Blog Tour – Letter V

Typecast of Characters Blog Tour

Hello!! Thank you so much for stopping by on my day of the Typecast of Characters Blog Tour!

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Jenn – graphic designer by day, modern quilter by night, and the maker behind Sew Fine Thread Gloss. I was very excited when my friend Sheri from Whole Circle Studio asked me to be part of this launch; I mean, look at the fellow quilters who have been part of this tour so far! I’m also a huge fan of English Paper Piecing (EPP) so being a member of this tour was right up my alley.

Typecast of Characters Blog Tour V Jenn McMillan
My letter is V! I couldn’t resist this green and peachy combo… but someone did. Keep reading!

Its funny how my project came along, which is also the reason behind why my single V block and the finished mini quilt have different colours/fabrics. When I found out that my letter for the blog tour was V I knew that I was going to make a mini quilt wall hanging for my daughter Ava – making these personalized minis for my girls have been on my “must make” list for ages, so this was a fantastic opportunity to get one made. The wonderful folks at Paper Pieces also graciously sent me an A along with my V so that I could make this mini.

I had started by making the V block that is shown above in the flat lay photo. I had just ordered more of that glorious olive green print from Giucy Giuce’s Quantum collection, and LOVED how it paired with the peachy coral, but my daughter was… umm.. unfortunately not as in love with the combo as I was. 🙁 For anyone with pre-teen daughters who are rather independent, you’re probably saying to yourself, “duh! what did you expect – she wants to pick her own darn colours!“. So that she did, which leads us to the finished mini quilt.

Some simple quilting and a bold stripey binding and she loves the finished mini! I might still do some hand-quilting on the letters to make them more pronounced, but for now, its up on her wall and she’s happy!

I thought only having one A template was going to be a challenge, but the template paper is a great quality and stood up to multiple uses. I made the first A, then the V, sewed those two together, and then took the papers out of the A to start over on the second. I glue baste my blocks, but there was no tearing or unusual wear or ripping of the paper while removing them, which made making the second A a breeze. Its great to know that the template paper can stand up to multiple uses if taken care of!

Typecast of Characters Blog Tour schedule:

• Wednesday, March 27: Tour Introduction by Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 1 — A: Kate Brennan of Aurifil
• Tuesday, April 2 — B: Mathew Bourdreaux of Mister Domestic
• Wednesday, April 3 — C: Tara Curtis of Wefty Needle
• Thursday, April 4— D: Leah Day of Free Motion Quilting Project
• Friday, April 5 — Week 1 Wrap Up featuring A-D and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 8 — E: Jess Finn of Paper Pieces
• Tuesday, April 9 — F: Sylvia Schaefer of Flying Parrot Quilts
• Wednesday, April 10 — G: Giuseppe Ribaudo of Giucy Giuce
• Thursday, April 11— H: Hilary Jordan of By Hilary Jordan
• Friday, April 12 — Week 2 Wrap Up featuring E-H and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 15 — I: Kim Soper of Leland Ave Studios
• Tuesday, April 16 — J: Yvonne Fuchs of Quilting Jetgirl
• Wednesday, April 17 — K: Karen O’Connor of Lady K Quilts
• Thursday, April 18 — L: Kristy Daum of St. Louis Folk Victorian
• Friday, April 19 — Week 3 Wrap Up featuring I-L and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 22 — M: Molli Sparkles of Molli Sparkles
• Tuesday, April 23 — N: Nicole Daksiewicz of Modern Handcraft
• Wednesday, April 24 — O: Scott Hansen of Blue Nickel Studios
• Thursday, April 25 — P: Pat Sloan of Pat Sloan
• Friday, April 26 — Week 4 Wrap Up featuring M-P and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, April 29 — Q: Joanna Marsh of Kustom Kwilts
• Monday, April 29 — Q: Lindsay Széchényi of Lindsay Széchényi (and Patchwork Threads)
• Tuesday, April 30 — R: Andrea Tsang Jackson of 3rd Story Workshop
• Wednesday, May 1 — S: Sarah Thomas of Sariditty
• Thursday, May 2 — T: Rachel Rossi of Rachel Rossi
• Friday, May 3— Week 4 Wrap Up featuring Q-T and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, May 6 — U: Kitty Wilkin of Night Quilter
• Tuesday, May 7 — V: ME! You’re here – thanks for stopping by!
• Wednesday, May 8 — W: Jenny Meeker of Bobbin Roulette Studio
• Thursday, May 9 — X: Stephanie Kendron of Modern Sewciety
• Friday, May 10 — Week 5 Wrap Up featuring U-X and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio
• Monday, May 13 — Y: Debby Brown of Debby Brown Quilts
• Tuesday, May 14 — Z: Nisha Bouri and Kim Martucci of Brimfield Awakening
• Wednesday, May 15 — Week 6 Wrap Up featuring Y-Z, Tour closeout and GIVEAWAY at Whole Circle Studio

If quilters are curious where they can get their own Typecast pattern, paper pieces and acrylic templates, here’s the scoop.. paper pieces, acrylic templates and hardcopies of the pattern guide are available at and a pdf of the pattern guide is available at:

Thanks so much for stopping by! Be sure to check out Sheri’s IG posts on Friday as I may have donated a little prize pack for a lucky participant!

Enjoy the rest of the tour!

0 In Blog/ Quilting

Carolyn Friedlander collaboration

Carolyn Friedlander Sew Fine Thread Gloss

This past summer I received an email that I NEVER in a million years expected to get. One of my favourite fabric and pattern designers emailed me. Me! First of all, I just about fell off my chair. That was before I read the email. I had a full blown #fangirl, heart pounding, goosebumps moment as I opened the email from Carolyn Friedlander asking if I wanted to collaborate with her.

Continue Reading →

0 In Blog/ Business/ Quilting

New Holiday Scents!

It pains me to write that summer is over, but as I’ve mentioned before, I LOVE the fall! The crisp air, the beautiful colours and the cozy scarves. I’d much rather be wearing layers in the cool mornings than being too hot to sleep. And with the changing seasons come the fragrances that remind you of fond memories and the holidays associated with them.

For my first holiday collection I thoughtfully chose 4 fragrances that remind me of the upcoming autumn and winter seasons.

I chose two autumn scents that are different, yet similar. Firstly, I am 100% on the PSL bandwagon with no desire to hop off anytime! I’d eat pumpkin pie any time of the year, and have actually requested it instead of birthday cake on multiple occasions. Pumpkin Delight is a nice mixture of fresh pumpkin, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and a hint of sweet caramel – the perfect blend to use when hand-binding your quilt and watching the cool breeze brush through the ever-changing leaves. The second autumn scent I chose reminds me of visiting coffee shops – sipping hot coffee, chatting with friends, enjoying a piece of coffee cake or pastry and leaving with that happy, warm feeling. The blend of coffee, spices and caramel round out my Coffee Cake scent.

The two winter fragrances I chose remind me of (again) happy memories and seasonal activities dear to my heart. The quintessential peppermint in Candy Cane is reminiscent of that classic holiday treat, with a splash of sweet sugar. Sticky mittens and faces after the Santa Claus parade, or sneaking pieces from the glass candy dish on my grandparent’s sideboard at holiday family dinners. And last but not least, Christmas. For me, this scent brings memories of fresh cranberries and dried candied fruits, apples, cinnamon and spices found in the kitchen during the holidays. Isn’t holiday baking the best?!

To get your hands on one (or all!) of these scents, stop by my Etsy shop, or see if one of your local (or online) quilt shops carry them.

I spent a lot of time trying different fragrance blends when deciding on this collection, and hope that everyone enjoys them as much as I do! Maybe one of them will create new memories for you, of sitting under your half-bound quilt on a chilly morning, or working on your hand-quilting at night in front of the fireplace. I’d love to hear about your favourite holiday memories!

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/ 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!







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.