Monday, 27 February 2017

Celebrating Five Years: a giveaway

Does time go faster as you get older? It sure feels like it. I cannot believe it has been five years since I stared talking to you here. My blog was always meant to be a journal for me to record my quilting journey. After five years it is still that and so much more.

Since I started blogging I have found a community, birthed a guild, become a teacher, and I can even make something now without a pattern!  Becoming more confident with my sewing skills and sharing these skills with others has been a huge triumph for me. This blog started all of that. And you, my dear readers make all of this a ton of fun! I still get a thrill when a comment shows up after a post.

Before I get into the giveaway, I wanted to share my finished Mad About Patchwork Scrap Challenge that I talked about last week...String quilt success!

I had so much fun making this piece. Reflecting on it now I see some things I would change, but that is the fun part about learning right! Overall, I love it and it now lives on my office wall where I can enjoy it at the day job.

Many thanks to Rachel at Stitched in Color and Mad About Patchwork for this fun challenge. You can enter for a chance to win the same fabric bundle that I used for this challenge over at Stitched in Color this week so make sure to drop by and check it out.

OK, OK, back to the good stuff.

Congratulations to @twilight_leigh

To celebrate blogging and YOU I have a wee giveaway. I have been asking around about favorite notions and it turns out many of my favorites are yours too. So today's prize is a selection of my top five sewing notions...

1. Wonder Clips - the name says it all!
2. Rotary Cutters - we all love our rotary cutters. My favorite is the Olfa Splash, I love the quick release button for blade changes.
3. Rulers!!!! - everyone loves rulers and I have recently discovered the magic that is Olfa Frosted rulers. That little bit of grip makes cutting that much easier.
4. Seam Ripper - you love them, you hate them, but this Clover one is my favorite
5. Hera Marker - not on everyone's list, but it's on mine (and I love the Clover version) and I give them as gifts all the time, a great way to mark your quilt with no marks!

1. Leave a comment - any comment.
2. For another chance to win head over to my Instagram Page @chezzquilts make a comment and tag some friends for more chances to win.

The draw will close at midnight AST on Friday March 3rd
** this draw is open to the whole world!

Good luck and as always, thanks for visiting!

Sunday, 19 February 2017


Tomorrow is Heritage Day in Nova Scotia. A time when we celebrate contributions to this province’s unique heritage. A great day to talk about my latest challenge!
A couple of weeks ago I was having a little quality Bloglovin time and came across the Mad About Patchwork Scraps Challenge at Stitched in Color. Eight fat eights were up for grabs from MAP, for Canadian readers to make something scrappy. Rachel was going to pick three readers to take on the challenge.

I wrote this: "I am in the East Coast (NS) and am dreaming of a pattern. A pattern that brings traditional NS quilting and modern themes together. Modern Heritage?". I was one of the folks picked!
We were allowed to add one fabric to the scrap pile so I chose a new white tone on tone from the Friedlander Collection.
Now I needed to make something. And in a very quick turn around time. especially since I did not get the scrappy fabric until just two days ago and our finished piece is due Thursday! (note- late fabric due to blizzards, not MAP!)

So what is my quilty heritage in Nova Scotia? I did some research. I looked for stories and inspiration. Looking for something unique that I could then interpret in some modern way. Guess what I found?

The quilters in Nova Scotia have been making the same patterns that all quilters have been making since the beginning of quilty time. Four patches, hexagons, Irish chains, bear paws, strip quilts, flying geese, HSTs. I was looking for something different. What I found was a comfortable solid ground.

"the story of quilting in Nova Scotia has less to do with creation of elaborate or unusual quilts, and more to do with production of functional but often visually pleasing quilts by hardworking, practical women. It is a story of continuity, of tradition and remarkable output. Where hands of many generations have worked together to provide comfort for family, friends, and strangers, both at home and abroad." Scott Robson, Sharon MacDonald, Old Nova Scotian Quilts

Right, so you will not see anything revolutionary from me here today. But maybe you'll see one of your old favorite patters or techniques in a bit if a different way. This is where string blocks came in.

At our January MMQG meeting we had a great demo by Miss Scrapmaster Herself on string blocks. These babies have been on my mind a lot in the last year as my scraps have been piling up and I am still in Sew My Stash mode. It seemed the strings were calling me.

I turned the MAP bundle into more scraps (the 9" strip dictated a 6.5" foundation square) and added a white background to spruce up the darker color palette. I started off thinking all of my strips would be the same size. Randomly placed, but the same size. But then I got bored. I started piecing large  strips and narrow strips. In the end if was an improv frenzy. It was fabulous!

I finished up this special piece this morning and I am just smitten. I can't share with you yet, but watch here and at Stitched in Color for the full reveal later this week.

Ill also be celebrating my Five-Year Blogversary this week, so stay tuned for a birthday giveaway!
Happy Heritage Day!

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Tinsel: Christmas in February

I have decided that the best time to make holiday items is during and post said holiday. Way less pressure!

Over the Christmas Holidays I really felt like sewing something holiday-ee. I had been sitting on these Cotton + Steele Tinsel scraps from a project back in...wait for it...2013! Time to use those scraps!
the size and shape of scarps that I had left really helped determine the pattern, and I wanted something that let the fabric shrine so I chose a simple cross block. There is a lot of a color in these fabrics so I thought I would go with a cream solid for the plus. A great idea in theory, but can you see the pluses in all of that noise? Neither can I.

Not giving in and taking some advice from the cyber world, I added sashing in the same cream. Much better! 

Once the top was done I still had some scraps left. Now I was on a mission. Must. Use. All. The. Scraps. So I improv pieced the rest of the scraps and came out with a giant plus which I then pieced into the back. I still had a couple of scraps left so I made that into a pillow top (yet to be finished).
The last piece - binding. I was out of fabric. I had lots of cream left but I really wanted a tinsel finish. So a call out on IG and my friend Chris at Patch Halifax came through from her scrap bin. Enough for binding with four inches to spare!
So the good news - all scraps were consumed and I declare this Scrap Project #1 for the year. The goal is to have lots of scrappy finishes this year.

So have you made a Christmas themed quilt? I have always wanted one, but I suspect it will be used all year round...

PS. don't forget I'm celebrating 5 years in the bloggy universe this month! Stay tuned for a giveaway!

Saturday, 4 February 2017

The only swap I will do this year...

I keep repeating that to myself over and over, like a mantra, warding off evil spirits...this is the only swap I will do this year, this is the only swap I will do this year... This is my mini quilt for the #mqgswap, the first swap run by the Mothership.

It's not because swaps are evil or anything like that. I really like them! But I tend to get sucked into things when I already have a million things on my list to do. Then I fell overwhelmed, then I feel quilty. Why do we put ourselves through that? So, no more swaps for me this year. I'm going to focus on that pile of WiPs again this year, I am getting to the bottom! And, I am still sewing from my stash this year which delights me...using all of my fabric treasures.

A little more about this swap. I started with fabric of course. My partner wanted bright colors and in the depth of winter I needed some sky colors so this is where I ended up...

Then my partner really had a liking for Libs Elliott designs so I thought HSTs would make me happy and get to a Libs Elliott feel. I hit Pinterest for some inspiration.

The mini-quilt ended up at 24" square. I did spiral quilting on this piece, I love the texture that it gives and thought it was a good contrast to all of those straight lines.

 This piece is now off to Calgary I hope my partner likes it!

In other news, at the end of this month I am going to be celebrating five years in the quilty bloggy world. Where has the time gone? So of course I am all "reflecty" this month, but I promise not to get too boring. In fact I am planning a little giveaway for my blogversary so be sure to stay tuned...

I have also been busy sewing up orders for Seamwork these days. Canadian Flag Pillows are pretty popular since our Country is celebrating it's 150th Birthday this year.

And I made this sweet puppy pillow for my friends daughter to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Well, that's me for now. I'm off to Patch Halifax this morning to teach some folks how to make Elizabeth Hartman's Sleep Sloth. Should be a fun day!

See you soon!

ps:  I'm going to sneak in to TIGFF! this week, and also linking up with Show Off Saturday.

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

HELLO my name is Grateful

Three years ago I founded the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild and since that time have acted as President. A role which has taken me on an amazing adventure. An adventure which lead me to find a community. A community of creative, supportive, fun and loving people.

This month marked my last presidential duties as I passed the crown on to the amazing Crystal (@halifaxmom on IG). How emotional was I as I passed the Tiara and our Guild Banner on? I cried!  Now I am a crier people, anyone who knows me knows I am always good for a cry, happy or sad!

But what made me even more emotional was the surprise of this amazing quilt!

Twenty five members of the guild participated in making this most special gift, all in secret of course! I have to send special thanks to my friends Linda and Amanda for organizing all the work. I have goosebumps again just thinking of the stitchy love that went into this quilt.

The quilt features all of the colors from our guild logo and has tons of special touches like the piped binding that Amanda did, the organic straight line quilting by Linda, and look at all the fabric from everyone's stashes! I like looking at every block :)

The back - it gets even better - see the big sail boat!!!! Thanks Karen for doing the piecing on that baby. Of course it is the MMQG logo and it means so much to me to have that pieced into the quilt.

Right down to the label (thank you Beth!), absolutely everything about this quilt makes my heart sing.
I think I am out of words to describe these first three years of MMQG, but I know this...

I have learned, loved, laughed and cried and I can't wait for more!
Thank you

Friday, 20 January 2017

This is not my first finish of 2017...

It's my last finish of 2016! Yup I am still a slacker when it comes to blogging right now. Oh well, at least I own my slacker qualities ;)

So back in November the Maritime Modern Quilt Guild brought in their first famous designer Libs Elliott! I was so excited to meet Libs and learn to conquer the y-seam with her Weight of Love Quilt.

I started the adventure with a fabric pull, using my hoarded print from Priory Square as a start. Time to use the "good" fabric!

I ended up in love with my fabric combo and it was all from my stash! I even had enough in the end to make a scrappy binding. I'm still committed to making from my stash this year. I did so well in 2016 some of my fabric bins are empty! What?! Must. Resist. Buying. More. Fabric.

The class with Libs was great! It's Y-Seams not Cry-Seams people! and I loved learning about how Libs designs her quilt patterns using computer code. fascinating

Confession time - if you get close to this quilt, it is a bit of a hot mess. Appliqueing the center piece onto the background did not go well for me, but I consider it a huge lesson learned. If your options are building a"fabric frame" to baste to or a full panel of fabric...choose the full piece. Just saying.

Good news is, I took the pictures from far away, so it looks awesome! You're welcome.

Some IKEA Nummers on the back. My stash of this is running dangerously low, so it only goes on special pieces.

It was  so fun to meet a famous quilty person! That's right I met Libs Elliott - see I have a picture!  

MMQG is hosting workshops  Krista Hennebury of Poppyprint fame in May, cannot wait!

The only thing better than a fresh finish - Quilt photo shoot outtakes. Thanks Barb!
Anyone else out there still reporting on 2016 finishes, or have you all moved on? I hope I'm not the only one....

See you soon

Linking up with TGIFF! because it's Friday and I finished something!

Friday, 9 December 2016

Seam Work

First I would like to start by welcoming you if you are dropping in from The Needle & Thread Network. I am being featured today on their site and I am so pleased to "meet" you! I hope you have some time to check out the blog :)

So It's December! How the heck did that happen? Anyone else have a Santa's sweatshop set up in their house for holiday making? Mine is in full swing AND I have been busy with some other stuff.... some exciting opening an Esty Shop! I introduce Seam Work

For most of the year I have been thinking on this whole Etsy thing. I wanted to open a shop. BUT, I was a afraid.  Afraid to start something new, to put myself out there,  what if people don't like my things? Crazy fears.

But then in the Fall I started to get excited about it, started looking into how it all works. And then I had a sew day planned with my friend Jeanette from Stamp Stitch Create. As we are sewing away she says "hey wanna start an Etsy shop together?" (or something to that effect lol). She was nervous too about starting something new.

So we held hands, looked over the edge of the abyss, and opened Seam Work in November. We both just needed a little nudge to get going. Quilty friends are good for that :) Now we have a great shop that will be full of both of our quilty goods. Good for us, good for our customers!

You can visit the shop  HERE

Jeanette and I pose for our Shop photo. I think we are pretty cute!
Since the shop opened I have been busy making custom flag pillows. I am now a Jedi Master in the ways of the invisible zipper.

And look at our adorable labels!

So I guess I am officially a small business owner and I am loving it! I cannot thank Jeanette enough for doing this with me. I think together we are going to have a hell of a good time!

Do you sell your quilty things? I would love to hear all about it!

Talk to you soon, I have some finishes to share so I should probably write a post more than once a month...