Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Best Friends Forever - CQA/ACC Member Challenge - Winter 2014

This challenge brought in a variety of interpretations of the theme - mostly people who have been friends for a long time, some who are missed, as well as animals.These amazing quilts made it a difficult job for our judge, Elizabeth King (CQA/ACC Apprentice Judge) to select winners.Thanks to Elizabeth for helping with this task.
Also a special thanks to Susan Aylesworth of Quilting Confections of Windsor, ON for her donation of 3 fabulous prizes to go to the winners of this challenge.

This piece entitled “Memories” was created to honour my best friend Sandy A. She will remain my Best Friend Forever because she introduced me to quilting shortly after starting our quilt guild and shortly after that she passed away. The pictures taken with cameras of her, her work and the workshops and techniques she inspired us to try, are all we have to remember her now. She was a quilter’s best friend. 
Pat Golem

Having lived, all of my life, on a farm I have noticed new and odd friendships blossoming. A new born calf and a week old foal became the best of friends, which was to be a friendship forever. For many years they looked out for each other and were never far apart.
This is a 22 1/2" x 28 1/2 " wall hanging, using applique and free motion, that I designed myself except for the shapes of the cow and horse that I borrowed from a twenty year old coloring book that I had saved for a someday project.. I painted the facial expressions to suit my hanging. I have used real hair for the mane and tails, artificial nails for the cows' teeth, hot glue for the cows' horns and specialty buttons for other embellishments. The background animals are fussy cut from fabric and the quilt on the barn is painted. 

Linda Hatten


Friends of all ages are drawn together to sit and chat. This is from a commercial pattern which I have since lost so don’t know who to credit. It was fun to create 3-D hankie and belts.
Susan Wilson


Susan's third entry is whimsical, three friends playing in winter. My own design based on a Christmas card. I tried using Texture Magic and embellished with beads and buttons. It was quilted with the words Let It Snow and snowflakes.
Susan Wilson


The quilt I have entered was completed with thoughts of my sister. It hung in her room at the Palliative Care Unit for 11 weeks. She was such a awesome and strong woman. She lost her battle with cancer and now has her wings. She was my sister, my best friend, my mentor and my mother in many ways.
Quilting was also one of her many passions.
Unfortunately due to renovations I have misplaced the pattern with the name, but I do know the pattern was designed by a quilter in Brockville, Ontario.

Helen Lane


This is Keeta - Bill's best friend for 16 years. Bill is my brother-in-law. Keeta is starting to show a little grey on her mussel so I wanted to do something special to keep her around for many years to come. She also happens to be my dog'grandmother.
Sue Scott

Penpals -I have been penpals with a woman for the past almost 48 years...we started writing to each other in grade 6...February 1, 1967 was my first letter to her. Over the years we have shared many "best friend" experiences...each other's weddings, each other's daughter's weddings, births of grandchildren, taking motorcycle trips together along with our husbands, and eventually sharing a love of quilting (me first, then I got Peggy involved).
In March 2011, I suggest to by BEST FRIEND, Peggy, that we make round robin quilts. Attached is our story and a photo of my quilt. These quilts are our own design. (I didn’t attach this as there were names and is very lengthy - but if you wish, I can)

Mary Weber


This challenge was certainly challenging! Which friend? What to quilt? Finally I went back to the basics – my family. Mom, dad, 2 sisters and 1 brother – best friends in the blood. And this quilt displays an oft repeated scene lately – I arrive to visit my mother just in time for tea. I make tea and put out a treat (usually Christmas cake) then sit and chat with my mother and 2 sisters (one doesn’t drink tea and one only drinks Moroccan mint green tea!). We catch up with our brother’s latest phone call and updates about his family (hockey playing daughters in Calgary) and then go on to talk about the books we are reading.
Lauren MacDonald

This is me and my oldest best friend, taking selfies in the mirror, after we discovered we both had felt winter hats. 
Laine Canivet

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Cochrane Quilters' Guild First Parade

Cochrane Quilters' Guild were in the First Cochrane Christmas Parade on Dec. 13. Suzanne Stranks was very instrumental in bringing the idea to the guild and organizing the volunteers. 

Her DH (Dear Husband) works for TransAlta and they sponsored our float providing a truck/driver and entry fee. 

The entry fee was waived by the parade committee so we were able to buy fabric  (yes what a chore for a quilter isn't it) for red fleece skirts and white fleece scarves. We are all tickled pink to have been given First prize and a free entry into next year's parade. 

Suzanne Stranks holding the trophy

 With the win we led the parade through downtown Cochrane. We had to go past Addie's Creative Fabrics, our lqs (local quilt shop), and not one of us got out to shop!

Cindy Simpson
Regional Rep for Alberta

In this photo two of the gals with their backs to us..... they were busy watching the fellows with the Men in Kilts Window Washing truck/float. They did indeed have kilts on!

 from all of us who are a part of CQA/ACC!


Sunday, 21 December 2014

Member's Approach to the Trend-Tex Challenge-2

Lezley Zwaal is sharing her path and thoughts as she prepares her quilt for the 2015 Trend-Tex challenge with the theme "Blowing in the Wind”. In our last episode, we left her searching for an old family photograph. Her story continues....
I found the photo, and now have my sister’s permission to use it!
see note below

The picture? Not yet my quilt. However, a picture can tell you a story: My dad flew kites. As a young girl in Regina (windy prairies – open skies) dad made “box” kites - and they went waaaaay up high! I loved to watch him work on them, and get them soaring high! I don’t recall ever trying to fly them – I think he valued his hobby too much.
Then as time passed, life happens and dad’s kites no longer flew. Then I moved to Edmonton. It was a lonely first Christmas there – my hubby and I didn’t know anyone – and I missed my family. I wondered what to get the parents for Christmas that would be easy to send back home! I found a kite store when I was Christmas shopping! Memories flooded back – and I HAD to buy him a kite – maybe in his retirement he would be able to find time to fly them again!
He loved it and his hobby was renewed!!
Super fast-forward to 2014 when I open the website for the CQA/ACC in Lethbridge and see the BLOWN AWAY logo! Again – memories flood back! Now – to turn this into the challenge piece.
The kites he is flying!!! Does this not say “Trend-Tex Challenge colours?”


please note: this photo is a very old family photo!

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Youth Challenge - Alexa's Idea

Alexa Kalist, one of our 2014 Cantik Batiks Youth Challenge winners, had a wonderful idea for teaching youth to sew.  Make a simple stuffed animal (stuffie).  They’re easy, fun, and quick.  They can be stitched by hand and/or machine and the project is suitable for all experience levels. It’s a great way to unleash their creativity and build confidence.
Alexa designed an original stuffie and wrote the following tutorial.  I’m thrilled to share it with you.
I made my own stuffie, using Alexa’s pattern.  You can see him below and in the step-by-step photos.  His name is Mulligan.  He likes to collect lint and has a knack for finding lost pins and needles which makes him a handy fellow to have around.

I’d like to challenge our youth to make a stuffie.  They can use Alexa’s pattern or design their own.  Send your photographs, and the story of your stuffie, to youthprograms@canadianquilter.com.  I’d love to share them on this blog.

Please leave a comment at the end of the post so Alexa can see how much we appreciate all her hard work. 
Jo Ferguson 

How to Design and Make Your Own Stuffie
By Alexa Kalist

Alexa's Stuffie
Have you ever wanted to make your own stuffed animal but didn’t know where to start? Well if the answer is yes, then this is a project for you. This is a step-by-step guide to designing, making a pattern, and sewing your very own stuffed animal.                                                    
1. Start by figuring out what you want your stuffie to look like. You might want it to be big, or really small. It’s totally up to you.
2. You can use the pattern that I’ve provided or you can make your own. Here’s a link to my pattern:


Here’s how to make your own pattern: 
STEP 1:  Start by folding a piece of paper in half.  You can use a simple sheet of printer paper if that’s the size that you want your stuffie to be, or you could use a bigger piece if you want a bigger stuffie.                
STEP 2:  Starting at the folded edge of the paper, draw half of what you want your stuffie to look like. 
STEP 3:  Keep the paper folded and cut out your ‘half shape.’ 
Now, when you unfold the pattern, you’ll have symmetrical shape that looks like what you want your stuffie to look like.  


 3. With the paper unfolded, pin the paper to the wrong side of your desired fabric. Draw around the shape, take off the paper, and with an adults’ help, cut out the shape. You can now repeat these steps on the fabric that you want for the back of your stuffie.

4. Now you’re going to want to make some eyes for your stuffie. Cut our some round white circles, the size that you want for the eyes, and some smaller black circles for pupils.                                                                
*TIP:  You can use the lid from something in your fridge to make these circles.
5. Sew the white circles onto the piece of fabric that you want to use as the front of your stuffed animal. Put another piece of fabric on the wrong side of your stuffie shape under where you want to put the eyes. Make sure that you’re sewing the eyes on to the right side of the fabric.
6.  Now that you can sew the black part (pupil) on top of the white part. You can also sew on a smile with some red thread or embroidery floss.  You can add any other embellishments you’d like.                                

*TIP:  You can use a glue stick to help the whites and pupils, of the eyes, stay where you want, while you are sewing them on.


7. You now get to sew the two sides of your stuffed animal together. Make sure that you face the fabric right sides together while you sew, otherwise, your stuffie will be inside out! Use a simple running stitch, and leave a gap of about 2 inches un-sewn.
8. Now that it is sewn all the way around, except for the gap that you left open, turn your stuffie outside-in, and stuff with polyester filling, or whatever you have on hand to fill it with.                                          
*TIP: You can use the end of a pencil to get the stuffing into all the tight spots like arms and legs.
9. You’re almost done! Just sew the gap closed that you left open with a needle and thread, and voila!!

You have yourself your own personally designed stuffed animal.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Posting for CQA/ACC Conference Coordinator

The Canadian Quilters Association/Association canadienne de la courtepointe is seeking an individual to plan and coordinate the Quilt Canada 2016 conference in a major centre in Ontario.  This will be a part time position beginning on the date of signing the contract and ending on the date of submitting final reports after the 2016 conference, no later than 30 days post conference.  The contract will be renewable annually on approval of both parties.  Compensation to be negotiated.

Skills Needed:

·                 Experience organizing events of this type or similar events
·                 working knowledge of computer software - esp. Word and Excel
·                 demonstrate oral and written communication skills
·                 demonstrated marketing skills
·                 demonstrated negotiating skills
·                 demonstrated leadership skills and ablility to work as part of a team

To perform this role successfully, an individual:
·       Must be proactive, logical, efficient and be able to multi-task.
·       Must be well organized, have effective time management skills and able to work within established timelines.

To inquire about this position contact the President at president@canadianquilter.com

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Giveaway on the 15th

Everyone loves a great giveaway and this is simply the best!
Head to our fb page this Monday the 15th and enter our amazing giveaway.

Check out what is up for grabs!

The Go Iron travel iron has a rubber ring around the handle for a comfortable ergonomic fit.  The non-stick soleplate heats up in 30 seconds.  And best of all it can be used as a dry iron or with continuous steam.

The iron cleaner is a glue stick style applicator, which makes removing stains from the soleplates safe and easily.

Simply apply thin layer to the soleplate of iron set to 6°C, rub with a rough cloth to remove debris and then run the iron over a cloth to remove any excess debris remaining and you’re done!!

Stop by our fb page on Monday!!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Member's Approach to the Trend Tex Challenge - 1

Lezley Zwaal shares her story about designing and making her quilt entry for the Trend-Tex challenge. These are her thought processes - presented in several instalments. Watch this space for the next instalment!

Do I or don’t I?
Each year I look at my schedule that appears to be free and clear for working on the challenge for the CQA/ACC conference.   2015 looks no different – and so, the fabrics are ordered!  Life gets busy and a little time passes. Finally a package arrives in the mail!  

Trend-Tex Challenge Fabrics 2015

OH!  I forgot I ordered the challenge fabric!

I clear my desk and the package is quickly opened….
My first thought is “Oh my goodness – what am I going to do with this?”

OK – a cup of tea needed.

First in the process - Ideas

Photography is a hobby – and this year alone I have some spectacular subjects – from home in Edmonton, to Tofino on Vancouver Island to 4 weeks in Europe – Holland and France.  I should be able to find something!  Beach winter sunset, spring flowers, birds, windmills and rural Holland, Rotterdam – the city awakes, 24 hours of Le Mans auto race, Juno Beach and remembering WWII, Vimy Ridge and remembering WWI. 
I start scanning the files for photos that may speak to those colours….What am I going to do with that fabric that looks like kernels of corn still on the cob?
Oh – I should note that at this time I have not read the entire instruction set, nor gone back onto the website.  My search is with those colours in mind.
I have a difficult time with abstract.  I need to have a product that people cannot interpret the design as I envision it. So I start with a real photo, and then use the artistic licence to remove an item not needed, or add something to get the “feeling”.
But first – I have to choose the photo. There are just too many pictures, but finally I cull down.
starfish at Tofino, BC

prairie train trestle

Of course, now I read the specifications – and see the kite logo for “blown away”.  

I think there’s a photo that I have of my dad flying his kites!  But I didn’t take it – one of my sisters did.  

Now I’m on a hunt to find that picture. 

Continued in next installment - finding that special photo...

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Registration - it's here!

Registration for all the fun and educational activities at Quilt Canada 2015 is officially open now! Well actually it was open several days ago. But there's still room for you in all of our classes/workshops. Don't miss this opportunity to take a workshop with our wonderful teachers! Register now!

At this point, registration is only open to CQA/ACC members (as of Nov 26th). However it is worth it to become a member if you want to register for more than 2 one-day classes or one 2-day class. As a member, you'll save $25 per day. It is well worth the price and you get a subscription to The Canadian Quilter quarterly magazine, which is a great all-Canadian resource for local quilting news along with your membership. What a great incentive to join! Plus great workshops too!

Schedules and descriptions for all the workshop classes are available on the CQA/ACC website. You can register online to purchase tickets to Weeks Ringle's lecture "Transforming Traditions: Modernism and Quilts", the Closing Banquet and Ceremonies, a logo pin and more.

If you are not a member, registration opens Jan. 14, 2015.

So don't waste any time -  Register today and prepare to be blown away at Quilt Canada 2015 in Lethbridge, AB June 4-6!