What tools do you use to help you to make things? I use classes that I take, quilting and sewing tools, a sewing machine of course, my own purchased patterns and free ones available on the internet of course etc. etc. etc.
Craftsy.com has an article about 7 Free patterns for DIY hostess gifts and in my opinion, gifts in general.
Craftsy.com is very supportive of artists who write their own patterns and encourage them to share their patterns on their website.
Although Craftsy is a business, in addition to making $ via their website and through artists who contribute to it, their support serves to assist up and coming crafters and artists who make their living via their talents to achieve success!
I encourage you to check out this blog post where ironically they have my free pattern as their #1 DIY hostess gift. WOW I feel special!
Thank you Craftsy.com and check out this blog post, you may find some last minute ideas to make this Christmas season. Check out the post here
Craftsy also has a deep discounts on classes, a great last minute gift! Check it out here
Recently, local guild members and quilters were asked to complete a small, quilted but unbound quilt (measuring 15 1/2" square) to be entered into a competition at the International Plowing Match (IPM) (Wellington County 2016) and then to be used and assembled into "one magnificent raffle quilt".
The theme chosen for this competition was "Thirty Shades of Green". The top 3 winning quilts would be given prizes and these were generously donated by Northcott Silk.
Renske Helmuth who is the Quilt Committee Chair for the IPM was requesting 30 blocks at first but tells me she got 80+ blocks!!! Some real talent and competitive enthusiasm in this area for sure. More than one quilt will be raffled!!
So although I have never entered a competition before, I decided to try my hand at it. I sure had some trepidation. I thought about what I wanted to do in my quilt and gave some thought about crops, farming, food sources and our current environment.
The criteria for the block was that it had to be 15 1/2" square, interesting on the back, to complement the front, a noticeable amount of green fabric used and embellishments would be permitted.
I chose a sunflower because of it's importance as a food source for our planet and because I have always loved its beauty, strength and versatility. I also felt it would be an excellent subject for my thread painting passion!!!
This was also a tuesday technique that I blog posted about recently!
See a photo of my inspiration is below, this was taken from my sister and her boyfriends garden:
A picture of my finished entry into the competition is below, front of quilt:
A photo of the back of the quilt is below:
I feel honoured and proud to say I won 3rd place in this competition!!!
A brief description of my entry is as follows:
The Sunflower (Helianthus) is grown as an important food source for the planet. It is very useful to birds, bees and human consumption. The green foliage in the background has 30+ shades of green fabric fused and then heavily free motion quilted, to represent the rich green environment we need to grow such an important plant. The Sun Flower is heavily thread painted and quilted with a free motion technique and beaded in the centre. The mighty sunflower shows it's beauty and versatility always and this is why it is depicted by day on the front and by night on the back of this block.
Although I got a very nice call from the Quilt Committee Chair Mrs. Helmuth advising me of my win, I also got an email announcing the win and I will briefly summarize:
"Judges Elizabeth King and Bonnie Murdoch determined the top three blocks based on criteria such as workmanship, creativity and incorporation of the theme. Both judges live in Waterloo and are members of the Waterloo County Quilters’ Guild. King has judged nationally for the Canadian Quilters’ Association and Murdoch organized the Waterloo guild show in September. Both are long time quilters."
"Third place was a stunning jewelled sunflower by Robin Bogaert of Waterloo. The block was skillfully thread painted and beaded. The judges admired the intensity of the treadwork on both the front and back."
There are of course first and second place winners and I would be remiss not to mention their very talented efforts and congratulations to them as well!!!
The International Plowing Match takes place Sept 20 -24th 2016 in Minto, Ontario
The IPM Quilt Show and Competition takes place August 19 and 20th at the Harriston Curling Club in Harriston, Ontario- be sure to mark your calendars!
I'm sure I will also be talking about this event in future blog posts.
I am so thrilled and thankful to all who quilted, organized and judged all of the quilts!
Feeling inspired to continue with thread painting!
This week I did not get the quilting/sewing done that I wanted but the focus was on planning a family Christmas and that is more important!
Priorities had to be set and we all know about that.
I had a lot of errands to run and baking to do and want to share my recent DIY- Easy Christmas Centrepieces
These centrepieces are both affordable and fast and easy to make.
The cost breakdown for 6 table centrepieces:
Total cost per table only $5.89 !
Of course if you have items on hand this could be even more affordable
Light your candles, admire it and enjoy your time with your family!
Isn't that an unusual and very precise block? I thought it was appropriate at this time of the year as it has a significant star in the centre and this is the month of the significant star!
Yes it is English Paper Pieced. Did you know that most blocks can be English Paper Pieced? Because they are shapes, card stock templates can be made from them and then the fabric can be wrapped around the shape to baste it in place.
So..... if you like something to keep your hands busy in the evening while watching TV or listening to music, English Paper Piecing is wonderful. Hexi piecing is all the rage right now and this is the same "EPP" technique. Check out the photos below to see how I put it together:
After the pieces are slip stitched together, the entire block will be pressed well and the basting will be removed once it is sewn into a project. This "project" will be revealed to followers of www.quiltingintheloft.com blog at a later date.
Wouldn't this be great with corners added for a pretty pot holder or made larger for a centre piece or candle mat ... or an entire quilt, the possibilities are endless and that is what is great about making blocks :)
Want to give it a try? Download the free PDF pattern in the shop/free PDF patterns section of this web site, use the menu above to navigate to it. Print the pattern out on card stock. Cut your fabric pieces out a scant 1/4" bigger than your card stock. Baste the fabric to the card stock and slip stitch the pieces together. If you need help with the piecing there are many tutorials about EPP on the Internet. I recommend you make use of these tutorials if you are unsure. I sewed the block above together in an evening while watching "The Voice" - that means you can do it too!
Enjoy and Happy Wednesday!
See the little green gadget on the stocking? It is a LED Needle Threader by Dritz and we all know that quilters and sewists' love gadgets. This one is useful!
I use it regularly, particularly at night or when I am travelling in a car.
It measures only 1 3/4" long by 1 1/4" wide so it fits perfectly into my purse and weighs next to nothing so it is very portable.
I'm thinking, you could use it to travel on an aircraft as the cutter is very discrete!
I got mine from Connecting Threads
Connecting Threads has this on sale right now at 20% off at $5.59 US
So give this as a stocking stuffer or it's an idea for you.
Are you the sewer in your life?
I'm sure that with all the work you are involved with for Christmas prep, you deserve it!
Hi everyone, as you can see I have not posted since last wednesday as I was busy with the activities of the season! I was attending a neighbourhood Christmas party, Christmas shopping, attending the Christkindl Market in Kitchener and baking of course.
Check out the Christkindl Market at http://www.christkindl.ca a wonderful activity for the whole family in Kitchener, Ontario Canada- try to attend it next year! This market had hand made baked goods, quality handcrafts, wonderful food and music and was a nice way to launch my husband and I into the Christmas spirit.
As for baking, I thought I would share with you my favourite cookie recipe and a recipe you can use all year. It's not dairy or gluten free (so I cannot eat it) but tasty and my family loves it. It's all about family isn't it?
Classic Thumbprint Cookies
(this can be doubled)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees and grease a cookie sheet.
Cream sugar with butter, mix in add egg and vanilla. Sift flour and salt in a separate bowl. Mix dry ingredients with wet. Form into balls about 1" in diameter. place 2" apart on cookie sheet and press with your thumb to make an indent in the centre of each cookie, add raspberry jam and bake for approximately 13 minutes or until edges of cookies look like they are golden brown. Makes about 24 small cookies. Delicate, delicious and crispy with the bright taste of raspberry jam - yum!
Enjoy and Happy Monday!
I just finished a table runner after doing a workshop with the Elmira Needle Sisters. Or at least the top is done! My goal is to get the quilting done by Dec 11, 2015. So hopefully, I can share the custom quilting design with you then! I do not have time to do a quilt right now with long arm obligations, pattern designs, teaching and this blog, my time is limited but I enjoyed making this table runner. Below is a pic of the table runner top.
The "block" for this project is actually kind of an unusual finished size it is 4 1/4 x 7 1/2" - a rectangle. When you are finish making one, you automatically think ... What the heck am I going to do with that? Well I discovered via the assistance of a great teacher Susan, that with this wonderful Quick Curve Ruler, repetitive blocks and careful layout I could make a variation on the "Urban Pods" table runner. See one block isolated below:
Because I used only one kind of feature fabric, I did not have to worry about making mirror image blocks, I simply had to flip them around, audition the layout and sew them together. A picture of this ruler is below:
If you look closely, you will notice that I placed medical tape on the back side of the ruler to stop it from sliding while I was cutting. This is a great tip if you have this ruler.
The ruler comes also with a free pattern which is awesome and it is called "Urban Runner". This is a great bonus! How many rulers do you know that come with a free pattern? Pics of the free pattern handout are shown below:
What I found out as I was taking the class is that Sew Kind of Wonderful has 25 patterns available, some are available here and 2 books that utilize this clearly versatile ruler!
The ruler also squares your blocks and can be moved around to make other shapes (this is called techniques). These techniques are why they created patterns and books. They created a single product (the ruler) that can be expanded upon. It's on sale at Connecting Threads right now for 50% off you pay only $16.00 USD or approx 21.35 CDN . This is a real deal compared to what I paid for the ruler!! Also if you order over $75.00 there is free shipping.
I was so happy with the way my table runner went together and with the motivation to do more with this ruler, I just borrowed their first book from the Waterloo Quilters' Guild Library, see pic below:
The above book is also on Sale at Connecting Threads right now for 20% off - $15.16 US or approx 20.16 CDN
..... and then I got all hopped up on my excitement and bought the most recent, hot off the press, just revealed at Houston Quilt Market in October book also from the same 3 women at Sew Kind of Wonderful, One Wonderful Curve 12 Contemporary Quilts. See a pic of this book below:
The book above includes 6 techniques with the same ruler and 12 more quilts.
Do I need to say more, there are rulers I buy and do not get much use out of them, but this ruler is going to get lots of use because, I love the quilts and plan to make more, they are fresh, modern, have lots of opportunity for quilting and the most recent book, has quilting suggestions in the back, yeah!
The only place that I can see to get the new book above is
If you purchase the book from them, please tell them I gave them a positive review!
Oh and did I mention, I see scalloped edges on my quilts and borders with this ruler??
I dream of many projects from this wonderful group of ladies and their ruler, patterns and books in the new year. My dreams are colourful!
A great time to start getting ready for Christmas, the parties you will attend and the decorating you have yet to do! This tutorial shows you how to make a Star Pentagon Christmas Ornament that you can hang on the tree, attach to a gift or my personal favourite--- use it as a wine bottle charm! I hope you enjoy and are able to try making this easy little project!
You will need to download and print the pentagon shape at the end of the tutorial from my shop/free PDF patterns page, please use the menu above to find this and print out the shape.
Star Christmas Ornament (or Wine Bottle Charm)
You will need:
Small scraps of fabric – one light and one dark to contrast each other
Hand sewing needle
Stretch Beading thread (optional)
Ornament hanger (optional)
Pentagon Shape provided
6. Fold the pointed edges down towards the center on the front evenly all
around and pin. As you can see the star has emerged! See photo below:
7. Using a thin hand sewing needle (or beading needle) and a bead, sew a
bead at the inside point of the star you just created. See Photo below:
8. Remove side center pins as you go.
9. Sew all inside points as in 7 until they are all sewn down and secure.
See Photo below
10. Make a bead loop with stretch thread or attach a ornament hanger to
the top of your pentagon star, hang on the tree or attach to a bottle of
wine ready for hostess gift giving this holiday season. See photos
below and enjoy!!!
*Don't forget to download the PDF pentagon shape in my shop area*
Enjoy, Welcome to December and Happy Tuesday!
Hi I'm Robin and I am a professional long arm quilter, pattern designer and teacher. I am passionate about all things quilty!
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