Thursday, 2 July 2015

How about that sparkly stippling...

Zoë MacDonald is E-Commerce and Social Media Manager at Canada’s largest manufacturer and wholesale distributor of quality sewing, quilting, and knitting supplies. Crafty lady and recent quilting convert, she is keen to share her love for the latest in notions.

In my mind, there are two attitudes you can adopt when tackling your stippling stitches.

One approach is utilitarian: the stippling stitches hold the layers of your quilt sandwich in place. Carefully sewn in a complimentary, neutral or invisible thread, these stitches may reside neatly in the ditches of your quilt seams, in a grid, or in a stippled pattern complimentary to the flow of your fabric. In this scenario, stippling plays a supportive role and your fabric and piecing work is allowed to shine without distractions. In other words, the stippling is like a supportive back-up singer whose job – not to be underestimated - is to support the main attraction (your quilt piecing).

A different approach is making stippling a co-star, or even the main attraction; like a duet performance with two powerful vocalists. Sure, personal preferences will draw your ear (or eye) to one or the other, but there is no denying that their collective star power is evenly distributed. Both elements compete for attention, and it shouldn’t work, but somehow it does: beautifully! 

What I’m talking about today is on the topic of this second kind of stippling.
Once you’ve decided that your goal is to create stand-out stippling work, might I suggest adding a little razzle dazzle with sparkly thread? And if you’ve come this far, I would like to kindly nudge you to fully commit to the best, brightest and hands down sparkliest thread on the market: Sulky Holoshimmer.

Sulky Metallic, Sulky Silver Metallic, & Sulky Holoshimmer

Now, this is indeed a special thread. Similar in quality to decorative ribbon, it’s made from flat ribbon-like foil that is laminated with polyester to create maximum reflectivity and superior sparkling ability. Like a celebrity among your thread stash, what makes this thread extra special can also make it a challenge to work with. Well, no longer! With the tips and tricks I’ve learned from our product experts, you can achieve the very best thread performance (and maximum sparkle) sans the frustration.

Sparkly thread success kit

First things first, set the stage with the right tools and supplies:

• Sulky PolyLite (60 weight) in the bobbin thread. Because of the superior strength of this thread, you should wind the bobbin only half full and at half speed. Failing to do so could result in a flying bobbin (which is only fun the first time it happens) or the bobbin can become distorted or even break.
• Heirloom Sew Smooth sewing lubricant.
• Schmetz size 90 Topstitch needle.

Sparkly thread success kit

Ready, set, sparkle!

Now that your toolbox is stocked, get set:

1. Change your top thread to the vertical orientation, to avoid twisting and ensure proper unraveling.
2. Increase your stitch length, and decrease the top tension on the machine.
3. Insert a new TopStitch 90 needle.
4. Draw a thin line of (Sew Smooth) lubricant in a vertical line along your spool, and add one drop through the eye of your needle (you can use a cotton swab to put it on the needle).

Now, it’s your time to shine. Aside from taking it slow – and very slow to start – these combined elements will work for you to create your most stunning stippling yet. The tricky part is achieving a stitch length long enough to show the hologram effect of the thread, but not so long that it makes smooth curves look choppy.

PSA: There are no quilting police

There is no quilt inspector who will break down your door to inspect your stitches with a magnifying glass. There are no citations and no penalties for imperfections (or as I prefer to call them: design details). With each stitch too close or too far, you are one press of the peddle closer to the super stippling of your dreams. Go on and follow my (decidedly imperfect) example, and you sew girl (or guy)!

High on the satisfaction of tackling sparkledome, you might even decide to try another intimidating technique, like free-motion writing! Which got me thinking about a new way to tag my quilts…

"this took forever"

To get your own Sulky Holoshimmer thread & other fine quilting thread, visit your local Canadian quilt retailer.
For more inspiration and product education, like H.A. Kidd andCompany Limited on Facebook.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Logo Design Contest

Love to design, draw or sketch?  Here’s your chance to design a logo for Quilt Canada Conference to use on all Quilt Canada advertising and merchandise.  We are offering a Northcott fat quarter bundle, the pattern "Fat Dominos" by Karen Bialik - The Fabric Addict, 
a CQA/ACC Membership and recognition at conference for the chosen logo. 
Guidelines are simple:

       Include the name “CQA/ACC Quilt Canada”.
       Do not include any dates or years. 
       Use your design skills! Think of this as an opportunity to use your quilt design skills – consider line, shape, colour, value and balance.
       Think simple! Don’t add texture or get too detailed – otherwise it won’t work well in all media.
       Be creative! We want your idea to be one of a kind.

The chosen logo will be reviewed, and possibly adapted, by a professional graphic artist to ensure it is reproducible in all media including printing, clothing and digital media. The chosen logo will become the exclusive property of CQA/ACC.

Please photograph or scan your entry and send to by July 1, 2015.

Contest sponsored by Northcott and Canadian Quilters Association/Association canadienne de la courtepointe.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

GIVEAWAY on Facebook!

You heard it right!
We are offering up another giveaway on our facebook! Thank you Sulky Threads!

The Lynette Jensen's Thimbleberries "Flying Colors" Designer Thread collection has 10 spools of Sulky 30 Wt. Blendables™ Cotton Thread. This thread collection is great for quilting in the Thimbleberries fabric color palette

Sulky Blendables made from 100% Egyptian Cotton that is grown in Egypt. Most critical to its quality is that it is dyed and finished in Italy, which is why you see “Made in Italy” on the spool.

Head over there now for a chance to win!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

WOW! What a Conference

The show is over, but all the wonderful memories of what went on in Lethbridge, AB this year at Quilt Canada 2015 will live on.
Beach Sculptures by Judy Leslie

A record number of people went through the National Juried Show to see all the exciting quilts. Of course, everyone just had to see the BEST of Show. This quilt, Beach Sculptures, was made by fibre artist, Judy Leslie.

All the winners of the NJS are available to be seen on the CQA/ACC website. There are some amazing quilts there - absolutely stunning - by some talented quilters.

Elaine Quehl

And talking about talented, CQA/ACC Teacher of the Year (or TOY as we call it) was presented at the AGM to Elaine Quehl. Elaine has been a teacher at our Quilt Canada conferences, a quilt artist, designer and is well-known for her fabric dyeing and hostas. Congratulations Elaine!

Presentation of cheque to Children's Wish Foundation

A cheque was presented to Ginny from Children's Wish Foundation (Western Canada) at the final banquet. From all the quilts and cards sold in the travelling show, It's Time for Colour", we were able to present a cheque for $10,000. Amazing! Thanks to all who helped with this show, and in particular, those who purchased the quilts and cards. Good Job!

A big thank you to all the sponsors and quilt guilds who donated prizes and money to this conference. We really appreciate your commitment to quilting and quilters in Canada. 

A special thank you to the LOC (Local Organizing Committee) from Lethbridge, AB. The LOC and all the volunteers helped to make this year's conference a big success. They've been working hard for the last two years to make sure this year was a wonderful show.

A huge thank you to the University of Lethbridge. There were many positive comments about the staff and the facilities.

And finally to all of you who attended, in being a part of bringing quilters together from all across Canada and beyond, and also for supporting quilting in Canada!

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Exciting News!

Due to illness Weeks Ringle has cancelled her travel plans to Quilt Canada.

The good news is that her business partner and husband, Bill Kerr,  has collaborated with her to develop many of the workshops and lectures that they offer. We are pleased that he will step in and present the same workshops and the Friday night lecture "Transforming Traditions: Modernism and Quilts". Bill assures us that participants will be equally pleased with his workshops. We are confident that you will enjoy his style and be satisfied with these changes.

According to one of CQA/ACC's Board members, he is equally creative and an excellent teacher.

At this point there are a few spots available in both the workshops and the lecture.  If you want to jump on this unexpected opportunity, contact Jackie Philpott at

If you would like more details about the classes or the lecture, visit

You may find out more about Weeks and Bill's collaboration at:

Trend Tex Challenge

What a wonderful display of quilts made with this year's challenge Trend-Tex fabrics!

There are over 80 entrants. Thanks to Trend-Tex Inc. for sponsoring this event again this year for the 27th time. 

Stop by to bid on one of these beautiful quilts. (in the 1st Choice Savings Credit building with the other shows)

 Also can be seen on the CQA/ACC website under galleries

These quilts will be up for show until Saturday June 6th at noon. This silent auction will be CQA/ACC's only fundraiser. When the quilts are taken down, winning bidders may pick up these quilts at the CQA/ACC table.


Trend-Tex fabrics

Friday, 29 May 2015

We Arrived in Lethbridge!

The Board is back together again!
We have arrived thanks to the lovely chauffeurs of our LOC Effie and Kathy who picked us up at the airport. The board of directors is settling in to two days of board meetings prior to the conference starting. This is what we spotted an LOC driving:
How fun are they, sporting the QC dates on their rear windshield?

We had dinner at the university, and came into the room and found this lovely decoration! Seriously quilters, these gals have pulled out all the stops. 

Flying in we could see all the hills and were told they were called 'coulees' in Alberta. Once we got settled, a few of us took a walk out to see these beautiful rolling hills. 

 We stumbled upon a buffalo out here on the range and it let us pose with it for a picture.

Now here is the good stuff!  See this running track below?  This is going to be filled from one corner to another with vendors in the Merchant Mall! You will be running from vendor to vendor, especially if you are or become a CQA/ACC member as a whole pile of merchants are giving deals just for CQA/ACC members!  Don't delay, come to our table and sign up.. and get a free tattoo while you are there!  (washable of course=)

Can we just say, the facility is amazing!
They even had our Quilt Canada sign up in the main entrance of the NJS/Merchant Mall location.

This is going to be one amazing Quilt Canada ever! Don't miss out!