The time has come and I am out in beautiful British Columbia assisting my daughter in her transition to motherhood. We have been doing yoga and walking daily to get this labour started and it has not happened yet (her due date is actually March 18).
"Crafty" Prep for Baby
I thought I would share both my daughter and son in laws' crafty preparation for baby. Some of it is quilty, some wood work, some purchased and thoughtful items to make their nursery very special.
Let's start with wood work. My son in law is a talented woodworker and he made a really special piece of wooden wall art for his new baby. He painted, stained and wood burned it to provide a very special message to his little one...... Have I got your curiosity ? Check out his work below:
Another of his painted and wood burned wall art, this one was made for their home and not for the baby but I thought I would share it with you because it is so beautiful. See below:
My daughter Katie shown below, made the lovely hexi quilt below for her baby to be.
Check out the quilting, she is relatively new to machine quilting and English Paper Piecing, she did such a great job!
The rug they purchase is indicative of their life style, it's all about the outdoors, mountains, wildlife, camping, hiking and fishing.
The crib (provided by Chad's Parents) is a mini crib because their home is small and right now it's in their bedroom , so adorable!
The baby supply organization of course will be endless, however they have thought of a clever idea for a tiny home that is moveable. If they are changing baby or bathing baby, they can move products/supplies around. It is a basic utility cart from IKEA but such a great idea. See below:
Some natural watercolour paintings painted as gifts by my husband (and grandpa to be Rick) prior to baby.
These make a great addition to baby's room. See these below:
I gave you a sneak peak of the baby quilt/wallhanging at the top of this blog post and it is currently hanging in the baby's room. Made by myself, I had purchased the pattern at the most recent quilt show in Waterloo. I left out the pattern in my studio purposely quietly to see if my daughter liked it and .......she loved it. I then had to get all of the fabric from the quilt shop and they still had it (lucky us!). The quilt was quilted on my long arm with a leaf free motion pattern. After all Bears are in the woods!
Bringing it all together ! See the picture below:
I hope you are having a great Saturday and Happy St. Patrick's Day!🍀🍀🍀
Hopefully our wee Leprechaun will arrive soon :)
I hope everyone is really into enjoying life and hobbies/passions this year!
I am back in the swing of things after some holiday travelling to British Columbia and and a 10 day Cruise in the Southern Caribbean.
My travels were fantastic however, I came home with the nastiest flu I have ever experienced! So if you are on my list for custom long arm quilts to be done, please excuse my tardiness. I promise I will get to them!
I am feeling better and about to get back at it and I felt it is a great time to reflect on last years accomplishments and/ or challenges .
In 2017, I quilted a ton!, taught lots of classes, took some classes, completed lots of long arm quilting work, honed my crochet skills, made a custom memorial quilt, thread painted, tried new recipes, hosted a lovely wedding for my eldest daughter, helped my youngest daughter get settled in Waterloo, held many trunk shows at area guilds, designed 3 new patterns, tried new quilting rulers and tools, got published, completed some hand embroidery, had a fantastic time with friends and family, travelled and had my ankle replaced!
Thank you all for your continued love and support! I could not have gotten through this year without family, friends, students, store owners, editors, blog followers, doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, fellow quilters and my wonderful customers.
Phew bring on to 2018, I am finally ready for you!!!!
Below is a photo montage of my journey through 2017
.... and a happy last day of January (yeah!) to you!
Wow I have not been writing on this blog since November! The 9 long arm quilts to be done before Christmas are down to 2! (Even 2 quilts are daunting right now but I will get er' done!!)
So as you can imagine, along with the obligations of work, family and housekeeping and issues with my recent ankle surgery, I have simply not had the time to share some of my recent work.
However, I wanted to share with you some wee projects, 10 to be exact.
Pictures are shown below, they are Santa Pot Holders, the pattern was found here at Quilting Digest. I also added a recipe card for sugar cookies for santa and will share the recipe in this post.
As you can see they are simple blocks, I started by laying down the face right side up on the sandwiched backing and Insul-Bright and flipped and sewed the rest of the fabrics. The beard was then quilted (free motion swirls), a binding and loop was added along with a yoyo for the hat and buttons for the eyes, nose and on top of the yoyo. Easy Peasy!
I have a ladies group I belong to and I wanted to give them all a small token gift to celebrate the Christmas season and spread some joy. These cute pot holders are lined with Insul- Bright a heat resistant batting for crafters and wonderful for lining pot holders, oven mitts, candle mats etc. See the image below, it's a relatively affordable staple item in my stash of supplies on an ongoing basis for items that need a batting that will handle the heat.
I think 4 of them together would make a nice centre piece or candle mat? Maybe next time!
Check out my sugar cookie recipe below, I printed it on card stock and a free printable recipe card on Pinterest .
This recipe is fool proof. So if you don't want to make Santa's, please enjoy my recipe.
I then attached the recipe card to the loop of all the pot holders with curling ribbon, totally optional, but added a nice little touch to this little santa pot holder. This would make a great take away gift for a party or table placement gift and you could just add names to it.
That's it for now, I must get back to my pre-Christmas long arm quilting.
Enjoy the season and I hope you are all ready for Christmas.
Have a lovely week! ?
I have not blogged as frequently lately and I am trying to get into a routine to do this more frequently, it's not like I am not doing anything with quilting and sewing because lately I have been working on quite a few projects. 9 Quilts are in the queue (before Christmas completion deadline) for long arm quilting along with a custom t-shirt quilt to be made from start to quilting finish and some of my own UFO's and upcoming Christmas gifts. I am sharing below one of my UFO's that I am currently working on. It will be a wallhanging for my guest room when it is done. Pattern credit to be given to "Tumbling Blocks" from Tomorrow's Heirlooms by Deborah J Beirnes and it is from a workshop I took with Deb Beirnes who taught this to the ladies of the Elmira Needle Sisters in the spring of this year. I am hoping to get it quilted prior to the end of the year! We can all hope.
I have also been working on the long arm quilting completion of 3 of 9 quilts. My sisters quilt was in the queue first post surgery and there are a few photos of this custom quilted wall hanging below:
Another of my customer long arm quilts, Lois's family memory quilt complete with a house quilt pattern, some meandering and lettering on the border:
Lois was able to capture all of her families' hand prints and place it on a quilt. Imagine the coordination in that! Even the newest baby!!
With all of my upcoming projects and long arm work, I am sure I will have lots to share. I am also back to teaching so I will have lots of interesting free motion work to show you!!
So check back with me often and Happy Monday!😊
Hi everyone, my door was going to be bare for halloween this year until I happened upon the above pattern which I purchased at the recent Waterloo County Quilters' Guild Show from a vendor there. The pattern is from babs n' jas designs by Barbara Haworth- Attard 'n' Judy Ann Sadler available here
I whipped this little wallhanging (door hanging in my case) on friday because I wanted to make something easy and fun and this fit the bill perfectly!
As you can see I added some outline stitches around the bats so they would show up on the black border and I added goggly eyes to add to the fun look of the bats.
Quilting does not always have to be large quilts, sometimes the sheer joy of making something pretty, uncomplicated and "finish able" is such a joy!
Have a Happy Halloween!🎃
Hi everyone, we had an exciting event on the weekend. The wedding of my daughter Katie & brand new son-in-law Chad. I thought it would be helpful to share some DIY ideas for weddings with you.
It's not all sewing but DIY and anyone who sews or quilts is probably a DIY'er. I wonder what the statistical probability is of that? Also, read to the end, you just may see some sewing!!
First off, my mother made me a wreath for my front door to make a statement that says "this is the wedding month". It is made from grapevine wreath, lace, ivy, spray roses, a glue gun and other flowers. See the picture below:
We started the wedding week with a bachelorette party. This party ended up with attendance issues because every lady invited to the bachelorette was also invited the following weekend to the wedding and just could not do 2 weekends in a row.
So we improvised and started out the party with the 4 ladies and then invited the guys (on the way back from their camping/bachelor weekend) to join in our festivities. We planned a social paint night. I hired an artist to teach us to paint! Of course we had some great beverages and food as well and what a hoot it was with the guys! See pictures below:
Now on to the wedding.....
Flowers, Hair and Make-up:
Hydrangeas, spray roses, english ivy (from our garden), greenery and limonium (latifolium sea lavender) for the bride.
My beautiful daughters- Katie the Bride and Mallory Maid of Honour, they looked stunning (no bias there). Hair and make-up was done by my sister-in-law, Aileen (a trained hair stylist and aesthetician) and she helped the girls to look so lovely! We were at a retreat centre for a weekend, so very fortunate to have a stylist for the weekend.
The ceremony site:
The ceremony was in a wooded area with an alee of trees making a natural aisle way. It needed some decor but we did not want to take away from it's natural beauty. The before picture (at the rehearsal) is below:
On the aisle of trees we hung canning jars with wire and added baby's breath to them. Keeping it simple but pretty. See below:
The reception site:
The reception was held in an outdoor pavilion on the same property. Some challenges we were considering were night lighting, temperatures, candles and mosquitos (along with other flying critters).
We also placed tiki torches on the property to direct guests to facilities at night and filled them with Citronella oil to repel bugs.
We also had a "Comfort Station" complete with quilts to warm people, bug spray, first aid and sun screen available on picnic tables outside of the pavillion!
My daughter had requested vintage dishes and dishes that are not the same. Quite a tall order! The going rate for vintage plates to rent these days is $6.95 per plate!!! Guess what? If you ask family and friends and troll through vintage and second hand stores for a year, you can collect 180 vintage plates for a lot less, some were borrowed as well! See picture below:
In addition to collecting plates, we collected about 22 sets of vintage salt and pepper shakers and set them on log end on each table (cut by the grooms step-father). Look closely above you will see a log end and a barn and silo salt and pepper shaker and below you will see apples on a log end.
Natural weathered planters and live plants were in the centre of each table and a great spot to place a table marker. The weathered planters were constructed by Katie's grandfather, Katie's sister's boyfriend Mike and Katie's Dad. Weathered with steel wool and vinegar by Mallory (Katie's sister) and yours truly and planted by Katie's dad and Mike. See a close up photo of the planter below:
We used 2 simple ivory Ikea candles per 6 foot table for candle lighting because they would be very basic in style and would not conflict with the rest of the style. You can see these in the table setting above. We also added rented wine and water glasses and white linen table clothes, napkins and wooden chiavari chairs.
The table numbers were wood burned on natural wood pieces cut out by the bride's dad and then wood burnt by the brides sister's boyfriend.
Mike again ! He was such a great help!!
Mike also wood burned directional signs for around the grounds showing guests the way to the ceremony, reception and washroom facilities. See photo below:
Speaking of wood burning, I also dabbled in it for the first time ever! I have new appreciation for how hard it is! IT IS A LOT MORE DIFFICULT THAN IT LOOKS! I worked on the Mr and Mrs signs (ovals purchased at the dollar store) wood burned them and added burlap and lace. See the pic below:
The Kissing Menu: At the last hour (and I'm not exaggerating) Some very good friends of the bride and groom (and our family!) The Sommerville's, decided to make a Kissing menu up and have them framed at each table. Apparently, this menu was also at their wedding in the fall, so now it's a tradition!! The menu had guests perform different activities in order to have the bride and groom kiss. None of the "tinkling of the glasses". My sister and I of course picked the serenade and sung Skinna Marinky Dinky Dink - from Sharon Lois and Bram at a Mic and at the Front of the Pavilion of course! No Shame there!! See the picture of the Kissing Menu below:
Highway and road signage:
We painted up some rough made A frames (Made by the bride's dad) to direct traffic from the main highway and into the lane way to the wedding site. They are not perfect but they were fun to do as a family with white and black paint. See these below:
We used a basic piece of MDF board and painted it with chalk board paint and chalked it up to make a simple bar sign. This was propped on an easel encased in burlap from the father of the bride's work. It was also secured to the easel in case of high winds (outdoor venue challenges!) See photo below:
The bar was made with urethaned barn boards and saw horses and wrapped with burlap. DIY'd by my talented brothers and husband. Sorry no pictures of it. There were too many people lined up at the bar all night blocking photos I guess! Canning jars begged and borrowed from family members were the drinking glassed requested by the bride and groom as this is what they drink out of at home. We also had plastic green ones for the children, placed at their individual place settings.
Wine was made by the groom's mom and step father, we had both white and red available in various ranges of dry and sweetness. See pic below:
The Welcome Table:
This receptacle for wedding cards was a challenge for us as the decorators as Katie and Chad specifically did not want "Bridal Like" decor and wanted more rustic charm to showcase who they are as a couple. Chad used to be a log home builder and still works in timber work. Hence, we came up with the idea of building them a "Hillier Homestead" out of twigs, glue sticks, wood shims, and sphagnum moss to "house" their cards. For my youngest daughter Mallory and I it was a 2 day project, but well worth the effort. Mallory used a box to make the walls for the house and the roof and literally sculpted the shape of a house. We then cut out windows and doors and added plastic for windows and fabric for curtains and stained glass to make this adorable homestead to securely hold the cards. The door was painted orange because it's the grooms favourite colour. There is an opening on the roof where the cards fit in perfectly. See the picture below:
A picture of the bride and groom just after they got engaged was added to the welcome table. See picture of this below:
We also added guest gifts to the gift table. The bride and groom are huge DIY'ers and they brought home made soap all the way from BC wrapped in labels that went with their wedding invitations. They were placed in whicker baskets and added to the welcome table ready for guests to arrive.
Live plants with coleus and potato vine flanked either side of the welcome table. Katie requested natural plants for decor and her Landscape Architect dad was happy to provide! See below:
Add some floral elements to the welcome table and it's completely DIY'ed.
The Memory Montage:
A lot of weddings these days have photographic displays with video technology. We unfortunately could not do this because of the outdoor location. Therefore we DIY'ed a photo display with old picture frames, painted and distressed. We hung jute lines and used tiny clothes pegs to hang memory photos of the bride and groom and added a very long and wide piece of lace behind the display to protect it from the elements and create a vintage look. See the photos below:
A picnic table was taken over by the coordinator of the Kids Zone (the grooms step mom) along with some very helpful friends (The Delnet Family), it was covered with butcher paper. Crayon packs were available along with pipe cleaners and a "wedding activity" book complete with colouring pages, word searches, a maze, note area, decorate a cake and tic tac toe. The kids Zone also had a soft Frizbee for the kids to play with outside of the pavilion area, but near this picnic table!
The cake was made in my home ( I am a Wilton Certified Cake Decorator). My daughter did not want a "decorator's cake" and I had to consider the weather. I made a messy iced triple tiered cake made of vanilla sponge filled with a fresh raspberry coulee and stabilized whipped cream icing. I had a custom wood topper made to repeat the words carved into her ring box by her husband (to the moon and back) and added baby's breath for decor to keep it looking natural. The groom cut me a beautiful log piece that completely encompassed the table it stood on. (I think I will DIY that later!) See the photo below:
Treats for the kids:
Mallory and I made fresh canning jar sugar cookies for the kids (all 28 of them+) cellophane wrapped them and placed them in a basket to give to the kids once they were seated. We also provided juice packs at the bar and skittles! See the photo below:
Treats for all at the late night table:
Many, many family members made homemade cookies and squares including: Mom of the groom (famous Chocolate Chip ), step mom of the groom (Famous Cinnamon pinwheels), aunt of the bride (Famous Ginger Snaps) (Alison), step grandma of the groom (famous date squares), aunt of the bride (famous peanut butter marshmallow squares) (Rosemary), friend of the family (Katrina L) (famous peanut butter balls and chocolate covered oreos) and yours truly (famous sugar cookies and gluten free desserts). We ended up with a variety of goodies!!
Such wonderful home made baked goods. Some of the treats were the bride's favourites and some were the groom's favourites. We also added to the late night table by supplementing it with Vincenzo's (from Waterloo, Ontario) Antipasto platters (a personal favourite of the bride). I never had a chance to get a picture of this table! It was enjoyed by many !!
Speeches and a Presentation of a Gift:
Our Nephew and MC extraordinaire, Derek, kept the flow of the speeches going, shared personal, funny stories about the bride and groom, made announcements and kept the evening on point and it was awesome!
......and finally when it was time for speeches, my husband graciously thanked my daughter Mallory and myself for all the work we had put into the wedding and shared his sentiments about marriage and the bride and groom.
It was then time for the mother of the bride (yours truly) to speak, she had 2 cute stories about the groom and stated she would get too emotional to talk about the bride but that she had a quilt to present and read the label on the quilt out loud. See this label below:
See the picture of the quilt below:
Yes it took time for all these DIY's and yes lots of effort, but I would not have changed a thing. Anything worth it in life is worth doing right! We have new appreciation for the role of the decorator!
However, while respecting the custom look this bride and groom requested and budgetary constraints, we were determined to give this Bride and Groom the best and nothing less.
Post Wedding Day Breakfast: for this I need to credit the Porritt Family with special thanks to my parents Stan & Linda for cooking up the pea male bacon and pancakes and for the rest of my siblings and in laws for setting up and taking down, greeting guests at the stone retreat house. The Porritt family were especially wonderful for a lot of the physical set up and take down of all of the wedding venue and for that I will be eternally grateful! I'm sure I will be called upon for future weddings and I welcome them to keep me in mind to DIY at their own family weddings!
Thank you for having the patience to read this blog post, hopefully it inspires you to do DIY with your wedding plans or the plans of others. Feel free to share these ideas and it would be my hope that your wedding will be as memorable as my daughter and brand new son in law's was!
To all of you- friends and family who attended and assisted in any way to DIY, set up, take down and make Katie and Chad's day memorable, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts! You contributed in starting of Katie and Chad's life together in the most positive and loving of ways! They certainly felt the love!!
Riverstone Retreat Centre, Durham, Ontario www.riverstoneretreat.com
Awesome Food by: Carolyn Helder
Great Rentals (linens, glass wear, tables, chairs):
Four Season's Party Rentals, Markdale
A DJ who kept the party hopping!:
Brent From Spin Doctor, Kitchener
Katie's Bridal Gown:
Happiness is home made ❤️❤️
All the best to Katie and Chad as they enter married life and embark on an exciting adventure together❤️❤️
Along with the excitement of a wedding in the family, I am happy to say that the Canadiana Quilt that my husband and I designed is in the 150th Edition (Summer 2017) Edition of Quilters' Connection Magazine! This pattern is now exclusively available in the magazine!!
If you are looking to make any Canada Day projects, I encourage you to get your copy at your local quilt shop or purchase it direct from Quilter's Connection Magazine here . To find a store near you, there is also a store locator on the website at quiltersconnection.ca
The magazine (Issue#32) is like the image below:
More pictures of my pattern below:
Look closely at page 7 on "Scrap Bag" someone (M Furnell of BC, Canada) also made my Summer 2016 Quilt "Hot Summer Fun". See the modified version of my pattern (picture upper left).
I promise, I will eventually get this pattern on my website!
Special Thanks to Quilter's Connection Magazine for believing in my work and for continuing to write a magazine to connect Canadian Quilters!!
In the meantime, Happy Saturday and Happy Reading and I must get back to my wedding prep responsibilities. My eldest daughter's wedding is 2 weeks today Yikes!
Hi to all of our followers, you will notice that I have not been posting as frequently because my daughter (Katie) gets married in less than a month and it's a "weekend away wedding" at a retreat centre. As a result, everything must be brought in which means rentals (tables, chairs, linen, catering etc.) along with decor.
This is precisely what I have been busy with! Along with a pinched nerve in my neck, my quilting has had to take a holiday to heal and with lots of help to get ready for the wedding from family and friends. Hallelujah!!
My daughter recently shared her engagement story on her blog/website here
My son-in-law to be (Chad) went to great lengths to propose and it was a very romantic, DIY rustic, thoughtful, outdoorsy proposal. Exactly like this couple!
The wedding of course will be outdoorsy and rustic. Keep in mind we are doing this while the couple getting married lives in another province!
My youngest daughter (Mallory) and I are attempting to execute some outdoorsy, DIY decor elements. I have to say I could not do it without her, she is so good at DIY and a talented artist!
I will be sharing these DIY's & subtle sewing/quilting elements directly after the wedding on this blog.
I cannot spoil the surprise by posting it before! We are having lots of fun!
For now just a little glimpse into the engagement sight below, you can click on the picture and it will take you to the full story on the couple's website:
Happy Monday everyone!
I hope you are enjoying this lovely weather!☀️
I recently attended a sewing and quilting event and saw the below amazing IRON ON Transfer Pens being demonstrated and decided I "NEED" them!
LOL, yes I definitely can use them.
Wow I am so excited about what I can do with them. Check out a picture of them below:
The above are pens I purchased, yes in all different packages because I wanted all of the colours the store had and therefore I had to settle for new and old packaging but they are by Sulky. (All are working great even older packaging).
Now you are wondering .... What to do with these??
I will show you below how they work first and in future posts, what I will be doing with them.
1. Draw out a black line design. There is a free PDF download of a maple leaf in the Shop/ Free PDF Patterns section of this website here. This is the design I am using first. You could use any design or stencil you already have as well. I have a project planned for the maple leaf so this is why I am using it. See below traced out black line design:
2. Cut out a piece of fabric you would like to transfer your design to. I am just going to use a piece of white fabric because I will later insert it into a project. See below:
3. Shake up your pen and draw over your black line design with a sulky iron-on transfer pen ( I used red for the first maple leaf).
4. Heat set your fabric with an iron. Simply iron over it to warm it up to prepare it to take the ink.
5. Press your image ink side down to right side of your fabric and press. Do not slide your image or iron, press in all areas of the design with a cotton heat setting (if using cotton). Works best with cotton and cotton/poly fabrics per instructions on package
6. Check it out below! The ink is vivid and red and lovely, I am really impressed.
7. So I pressed 2 more with the same inked image (inked only once!). The instructions states you can use the inked image 3-4 times.
8. I decided to use the pens as a marking tool only with this project. See how I satin stitched these leafs below:
Another wee project idea... use your quilting/scrap booking/craft stencils, ink the design directly onto paper (no black line drawing needed as the stencil is your guide) and then transfer to fabric. See below photos where I am using the ink purposely to make it be the design element. Its easy as 1, 2, 3
There are many possibilities with both of the leaf and blossom image, I could use them as quilt blocks, embellish something with them ... a pocket, a bag front, pillows, make quilt labels, home dec etc. The sky is the limit!
The important thing is these Sulky Iron-on Transfer Pens allow you to transfer images with ease and no printer required unless you want to search for images on line and use them. They are awesome!
Check back over the next few weeks to see what I do with the above images.
I hope I have inspired you today in some way!
Happy Tuesday ☀️Hoping for sun!
As promised I completed the pattern for my "Modern Ombré Quilt".
I just loved making this queen sized bed quilt (or modern wall hanging)
It is easy to construct and it's a great way to examine what colours and shades you have in your stash or your 5 favourite colours!
Another reuse project for me this year. I am bent on using up my stash while still making nice things!
To make mine, all the strips came from my stash except 2 in the pink to red section. I clearly love colour and I think this quilt is so bright and happy it was not only a pleasure to design and construct, but I also enjoyed the simplicity of the quilting.
Check out this my pattern below, available as a PDF download here for only $5.00 Cdn or we are happy to ship it to you for $12.00 Cdn as well if you are interested in a journey to explore colours with ombré placement.
All of the math is done for you, the pattern contains clear and concise directions, a coloured layout diagram and quilting suggestions.
Check out our shop page we accept most payment methods and ship anywhere in the US and Canada. Other countries, please contact us for shipping rates so that we may ship to you as well.
Happy Tuesday! Happy Spring🌷☀️
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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