Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Big Quilt Bee is on Pat Sloan's Podcast!

Join us Monday March 27th at 4 pm EST as CQA/ACC chats with Pat Sloan about the Big Quilt Bee!

To date 300 finished quilts are made with enough tops and blocks to make an additional 200 quilts!

The quilts are so gorgeous and kids in care at Ronald McDonald Houses are just going to love them!

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Quilt Canada 2017- 3D Threadwork

You have to love it when a quilt teacher takes thread to a new level and turns it into 3D art!

That is something you can find only at Quilt Canada 2017 this June in Toronto ON, as Coreen Zerr is coming to teach a multitude of unique classes on threadwork!
This three dimensional workshop is only half a day, so you can still head to the Merchant Mall after and buy more thread!

301M - 3-Dimensional Thread Play for Landscapes (Janome)One Half Day Workshop
Friday, June 16, 2017, 08:30 - 11:30
Cost: $75.00
A workshop designed to further your skills in free motion thread play for landscapes. Design elements will be demystified and techniques explained to create depth.
In the workshop, participants will create and learn 3-D effects with products and thread work, create texture by working with threads in free motion zigzag

This workshop will take your thread work to the next level! For those bored with the same old stitch, learn new ways to make your project stand out!

 The objects on the quilt practically come to life using Coreen's three dimensional thread work.

This is one workshop that will fascinate the students and Coreen will break it down in ways that you will be a three dimensional quilt artist by the time you walk out of the class! See you at Quilt Canada 2017!

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Karen Henry comes to Quilt Canada 2017

In 2012, Quilt Canada travelled to Halifax NS for the CQA/ACC conference. The local organizing committee had Karen Henry as their chairperson, aka the quilter responsible for pulling off a national conference. To say things can sometimes go not as planned, there can be stressful times, and a few hiccups along the way would be a fair assessment of any national event.

What is completely off the wall crazy is that Karen Henry, the person in charge of ensuring it all worked, never stopped smiling! Like not even once!

It got to the point that some started looking to see if they could find her solemn or unhappy or even sad. Nope! All this quilter did was smile and laugh 24/7 for the whole conference! Even when she was sleeping! (ok, we may be joking about the sleeping part=) But seriously, laugh and smile and make friends is all Karen Henry did for the duration of the conference.

And now we have her booked to teach at Quilt Canada 2017!  We haven't even started to tell you about her talents in the quilting arena!  She is known for her unique landscape and pictoral quilts. Her embellishments on her quilts will stop you in your tracks for a closer look. You do not want to miss an opportunity to have her teach you. Keep reading to here what she says about her classes!

Parchment Oak Leaves

If you like to experiment with different techniques to enhance your quilts come and play at this workshop!  Bobbin Couching allows one to use a thicker line of thread that is not possible with the small hole in the needle on the sewing machine. It allows definition because it is a thick thread and permits a heavier mark of colour with a raised texture.

This class looks into the advantages of using bobbin couching in appliques and as thread play. In Parchment Oak Leaves the use of bobbin couching is explored on organza as a translucent item to be attached to the quilt. The translucency gives one the advantage of allowing the background to be visible through the stitched items which are easily sewn on with your sewing machine. The use of organza as a stabilizer lets the leaf retain its shape when the water soluble stabilizer is rinsed out; no pinning as in thread play. 

Landscape Quilts - Where Do I Start?

These landscapes are raw edge pieced and held together with the embroidered stitches. Once the fabric is on the bat and the embroidery floss or pearl cotton selected for the wall hanging the project is ready to go. These projects are truly portable and that ease makes them take away projects for the airplane, family visits or vacations; those times when your fingers are twitching, and your thoughts need a rest.

Pictoral Quilts For Beginners

These wall hangings are fun and easy to make. Most of mine reflect places I have lived and visited and they remain keepsakes of those spots. Some students work quite quickly and are able to finish within the class. It is wonderful to see the pattern adapted to the students' desire. The red shack has been purple, green and orange, the hills have been altered to complete green grass and fish nets have been added to the water. Students have made the shack every which way and relished the opportunity to encompass their vision. I feel I am there to guide them along the way.

Trust us when we say, you will never regret taking a class from Karen Henry! Her talents and personality are at the top of the class! Don't wait too long to register, she is a rare quilting gem!

Friday, 3 March 2017

Quilt Canada 2017 workshop on finishing your quilt

There is nothing more frustrating than finishing the most outstanding quilt you have ever made and then do a less than stellar job on the finishing part of it.
Well fear no more, Coreen Zerr is here to take all your troubles away!

Coreen is doing a workshop on finishing your quilt to perfection! She will teach you to block your quilt, how to face it, and the ever dreaded joining of the binding!

Here is what Coreen said about her class:

Many of my students like this class. So many quilters do not know how to properly sandwich a quilt, or how to make the quilting stay flat by blocking it. I will teach you all of this and how to put on a proper sleeve and all the different ways to finish edges. I have a really slick foolproof way to join the binding so that you cannot tell where you start and stop!

301A - After The Lovin' (Janome)One Half Day Workshop
Friday, June 16, 2017, 13:00 - 16:00
Cost: $75.00
So now that you have fallen in love with thread painting- what now? This workshop is focused on different techniques for finishing your art -from a fool proof slick way to finish the joins in your binding, how to make a “facing” for your piece instead of binding that shows, create a proper hanging sleeve, and how to block and hang your art so that it lays flat on a wall or in a show!

You know that one workshop you will always look back on and be glad you took it when you had the chance? This is that workshop! It will be there for your for the rest of your life! 

This is the workshop for you!  Never again worry about binding or how to face!  Take it all in Toronto ON this June with Coreen Zerr! 

Big Quilt Bee hit home for one quilter

Since the Big Quilt Bee started we have heard from quilters across Canada, no, that is not correct, we have heard from quilters throughout the world. They jumped on board with enthusiasm in making 1,000 quilts for kids in care at Ronald McDonald Houses, their positive attitude was contagious and soon all their friends were doing the same.

Occasionally a story about a child in care at RMHC reaches a board member or a committee member, that tugs at the heart strings. Sometimes it is the quilter themselves that has had an experience.

One such story came through email and we felt compelled to share it with you. Thank you to Liz Shakell for taking the time to tell us and be so open with such a personal family experience. And thank you to Melody and her family for allowing us to hear the story and for rising up and giving back. You truly are heroes!

This is the story as Liz, the grandmother told us, you better grab a tissue:

When I first heard of this project quilt Canada had taken on for  Canada 150, I was filled with pride and gratitude. To be part of a project that involves quilters from across Canada and now it  seems from around the world warms my heart. I had another reason to hop on board. Ronald McDonald house is very close to my heart and the opportunity to give back was a project I wanted to be part of.

In January 2012, our granddaughter Melody at the age of 2 1/2 ,living in Corbeil ON was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. In a moment she and her families lives were turned upside down. She was airlifted from North Bay ON to Childrens Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa. Those first days involved a battery of test and procedures including bone marrow biopsy, blood work, X-rays,insertion of a port a Cath for chemotherapy,etc. Her parents wouldn't and didn't leave her bedside.

It was at this time they were offered respite at The Ronald McDonald House right across the street from CHEO. Although they were reluctant to leave Melody even for a few minutes, it meant they could have a place to go that would offer them some comfort. A bed to sleep in was very welcoming. 

They soon found out how special RMH was! They met other families going through difficulties they could talk to, a kitchen to cook in, meals that community organizations offered, laundry facilities, a living room to share, and even exercise equipment. It was home away from home. 

It meant as grandparents we could travel to visit them, bring them food, offer relief at the hospital, and they had a safe place they could go to that was really close to Melody. 

This was even more meaningful, when after six weeks in the hospital Melody was allowed to go "home" and that meant going to RMH. They didn't actually return to their own home in Corbeil until the end of March! 

What was amazing to me, were the friends and support Melody gained during this time. She would return after a long day of chemotherapy and procedures and would ask to see her friends. They would get together and watch movies or play games . Sometimes depending on how her blood counts were she would be isolated and have to stay in her bedroom away from everyone. 

On one occasion her friend Casey, who was 13 at the time and was just finishing her treatment, she knew what it was like to be isolated, so she brought Melody a little kitchen of her own she could play with in her bedroom. There are many stories at friendship and support I could share. 

Melody and her family spent well over 100 nights at RMH over the course of her 2 1/2 year treatment and still spend the occasional night when they travel to CHEO for follow up.

It's really hard to explain exactly how important RMH is and what it means to families who have to be away from home and away from their children. Even though I worked in health care and knew about RMH I really didn't understand, and I really didn't appreciate how very important it becomes in the lives of these families. It really does become their home and gives them one less thing to worry about when their world is falling apart.

Thank you Liz, and we wish you all the best Melody!

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Quilt Canada - Coreen Zerr

Nothing beats having a superb line up of teachers for Quilt Canada 2017! Coreen Zerr is one such fabulous teacher, joining the team teaching a whole platter of workshops using thread to its full potential. 
Thread Gourmet is one such fun workshop. Coreen tells us that 'this workshop is perfect for beginners that want to learn all different types of thread play. 

The workshop will start out by covering all different types of threads and needles, and where and when to use them. It covers many tricks to make your creativity easier and help you find more comfortable ways to work.
There are fun ways to make your thread " paint" across the fabrics in both straight free motion and the most fun in free motion zigzag!'

201 - Thread Gourmet- A Menu of Techniques (Janome)One Full Day Workshop
Thursday, June 15, 2017, 08:30 - 16:00
Cost: $145.00
Experiment and refine your palette in all types of Thread Painting- from 3-D thread work to free motion stitches to create shading, dimension and life to your projects. Workshop is technique orientated where you are welcome to bring along projects for guidance.

 Look at all that texture and effect from thread!

Coreen will teach you how to bring your thread to life on your quilt! You don't need to be an advanced quilter, this is suitable for beginners!

This workshop just exudes endless possibilities for your quilts and your creativity! Sign up today so you don't miss out!

Julie Plotniko teaches at Quilt Canada 2017

How fun it is to chat with Julie Plotniko and find out a bit more about her and her workshops!

Julie taught at Quilt Canada 2016 and was adored by her students due to her gentle manner and 'no question is silly' attitude. Quilters loved the relaxed atmosphere she provided in the classroom as well as the great teaching she provided.

Julie is back at Quilt Canada 2017 in June in Toronto ON, with another superb selection of classes. Be sure to find your favorite and sign up.

What inspires you?
The beauty and diversity in the world that surrounds us.
History! All things historical, from ancient to recent. From the visual arts, music, textiles and architecture.
The more we differ the more we are the same.

What would I like my students to know?
Come to class unafraid and ready to have fun. I will take you on a journey that will inspire you!

Here are the workshops Julie is offering at Quilt Canada 2017

410 - Unlock the Amazing Quilter Within You (Janome)
One Full Day Workshop
Saturday, June 17, 2017, 08:30 - 16:00
Cost: $140.00
KIt Fee: $5.00
“Reach for the Stars Quilt”
Have you ever experienced blocks that seem to grow or shrink? Do your strips ever exhibit the dreaded “V” or “WOW”? Do your points and corners seem to get away from you? Do you know the difference between a measured, generous, scant or “quilters” ¼ inch seam allowance?
In this class we will fine tune your cutting, pressing and sewing techniques to unlock the amazing quilter within you! This as a wonderful class for both new quilters as well as those who would like to refresh their cutting and piecing skills. Class emphasis will be placed on a fun and relaxing learning atmosphere.
Students will concentrate on cutting and piecing the lap size variation in class and can expect to complete (a minimum) of one Block A plus two of Block B as well as have a good working knowledge of how to assemble their project at home. Those who are working on the Twin size quilt will also complete the additional cutting at home.
Consultation will be available after class via email if students require help to complete their project.

310 - Straight Line Strategy (Janome)
One Full Day Workshop
Friday, June 16, 2017, 08:30 - 16:00
Cost: $140.00
Do you know that there are an unlimited number of ways that we can quilt our quilts while using a Walking Foot?
Some straight line stitching techniques can look very traditional while others are decidedly modern. You can be playful or serious, funky or fabulous.
Come on a journey with me as we explore this sometimes forgotten, wonderfully fun method of quilting.
Grid quilting, chevrons, echoing an edge, decorative machine stitches, wonky straighīt lines and matchstick quilting are just a few of the designs we will explore.

210 - Make Mine Modern (Janome)
One Full Day Workshop
Thursday, June 15, 2017, 08:30 - 16:00
Cost: $140.00
Free Motion quilting for the “Modern” quilter.
Modern Quilts often contain bold prints, solid colours and extensive use of heavily quilted negative space.
The quilting really is what sets these quilts apart! Come and learn stitching and design strategy appropriate to these fascinating quilts.
Swirls and Whirls, Wild Hairdo, Square Stippling, Through the Loop, Brick Wall and Matchstick Quilting are just a few of the designs students will learn.

110 - Freeform Botanical Quilting Made Easy (Janome)
One Full Day Workshop
Wednesday, June 14, 2017, 08:30 - 16:00
Cost: $140.00
Let’s go organic with this class on free motion quilting designs from nature. Learn how to stitch a variety of fanciful leaves, vines, ferns and flowers. These designs look wonderful as a background or overall design on batiks, art quilts, children’s quilts and more.
Stitch them small with blending thread for a more traditional look or go big and playful. Designs are also suitable for use with your favorite colouring technique. Thread choice (colour, type and weight) to enhance design will be discussed as students stitch a small sampler.

Please take a look at all the amazing classes being offered at Quilt Canada this June 14-17 in Toronto ON.