Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Granny's Choice

Donna made this striking black, white and grey quilt for a special couple's anniversary.  The centre blocks are called "Granny's Choice" and you can find tutorial on the Quilts by Jen blog here.

A lot of of the fabrics in the quilt have a floral or vine pattern so we decided on the Sweet Pea pantograph.  The surprise is the thread choice that you just barely see above - ORANGE!  The lucky recipients of this quilt recently painted their bedroom orange and Donna added the fabulous orange flannel to the back of the quilt, so we decided to have a little fun with the thread color.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Bjorn Bear and Dogs in Sweaters

Amy and Reneta worked together to create a lap quilt and pillow for a friend who is going through some tough times.  The pattern for the quilt is Bjorn Bear by Elizabeth Hartman.  We used the Heartstrings panto.

I just love the glasses!

Reneta and Amy also made Elizabeth Hartman's "Dogs in Sweaters" Pattern for this pillow.  

The girls had a vision for the quilting.  I was asked to add the word "Courage" to the background and densely quilt around it to make it pop.  

I suggested adding something to the bottom corner for balance, we decided on adding Jill's name.  

Jill's beloved dog is a Dachshund, so the pillow is very fitting.  I couldn't help but give this guy a fancy sweater!

Friday, February 2, 2018

On The Right Path

Reneta has been at it again.  This time Australian fabrics and a pattern called "On the Right Path" by Mack and Mabel patterns. 

My quilting is pretty hard to see on the front, but shows up nicely on the cuddle backing fabric.  We selected the Novaya Zhizn pantograph and black thread.

This quilt is a great way to show off a favorite fabric collection.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Hockey Lonestar

This stunning tribute to a favorite hockey team- The Winnipeg Jets was designed and made by my very talented friend Dawn. (Please note there is not a pattern for sale for this design.)   Dawn worked from a traditional Lone Star pattern, but it is her artistic eye for the color placement that puts this one over the top!  

If you looking at examples of how most Lone Star quilts are quilted, they have feathers, or tonnes of feathers.  That wasn't going to fly here, so a more geometric approach was called for.  I wanted to keep the centre star "the star" of this quilt. I echoed around the entire star shape and then added a mix of continues curves and straight lines  to achieve the desired effect.

I filled is some of background acreage with quarter squares filled with u turns.

I knew I wanted to fill the rest with a background that would jsut highlight the centre.  Dawn popped over and we doodled a bit and discussed option and she loved the "cracked ice" triangle meander.  I was a bit worried as I had never done it before and there was lots of real estate to fill, but she was totally right.  I love the final effect!

Since all of the fabrics in the quilt were solid, I matched the top and bottom thread to the fabric on the top of the quilt.  There is a bit of a secondary design on the navy backing fabric.  I am so used to matching my bobbin thread to the backing, that is always shocks me to see bold thread on the back, but it was the right decision for the quilt to ensure a totally crisp finish on the front. 

Thanks for letting me help bring your vision to fruition Dawn, I truly enjoy our collaborations and look forward to the next one!

January Recap

I'll start with a photo of a quilt to prove that I still do that occasionally!  January was a busy and fun month.  New adventures made the month fly by!  I was lucky to have a visit from my friend and business partner Kathy, along with Aussie quilter Desley of Addicted to Quilts.  Desley wanted to experience a real Canadian winter and Kathy was her guide for 10 days.  

We took Desley and Kathy out to our humble abode on on the ice of Lake Dauphin.  Desley was so excited when we drove the truck out on the ice!  It was a good cold day, but a wood fire in the shack makes everything okay.

We bundled Desley up and she was experiencing the challenges of walking on the ice in bulky unfamiliar clothes.  Even though we had next to no snow on the ice after some freezing rain the week before, Nolan took her for a spin on our snowmobile.

Kathy had great luck and pulled up a nice fish before I even got my hook in the water!  (Must have been the extra special way I baited her hook!)

Our friends Genny and George have a bigger shack where we could all visit and have lunch together.  George fried up freshly caught fish and here are Genny and I heating up the wieners and beans!

Kathy, Desley and I even found a little time to talk quilting and played on the longarm a bit  It is always interesting to see how another quilter approaches a design.

The following weekend my family headed to Winnipeg to see Come From Away at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre.  It was AMAZING!!!   It tells the story of what happened the week after September 11, when 38 planes and 7000 passengers landed in the small town of Gander, Newfoundland.  Laughter and many tears!   If a production of this show comes anywhere close to you I strongly urge you to go see it.  I would have stayed and saw it again if there were tickets!
Here is a glimpse:

I have also been learning the ins and outs of my Instant Pot Pressure Cooker that I got for Christmas.  It was a bit intimidating at first, but I am enjoying it a lot.  Lava cakes, ribs, Mongolian chicken, orzo, rice, soup, dulche de leche - all have been successful!

And I was also lucky enough to teach a workshop for the Roblin Jewel Quilters on our Highway 10 Designs pattern - Lug Nuts.  I didn't get any photos, but the ladies were awesome and I really enjoyed teaching.  I have taught little things at my quilt guild here and there, but this was my first time doing a full day workshop and I look forward to the next opportunity.

Oh, and quilting, yes I snuck in a bit of that too!  This is Vanda's version of the Labyrinth quilt.

Vanda used mostly oriental fabrics, so we used a gold Magnifico thread and the Fascination panto.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Traction by Highway 10 Designs

Today is the day that we launch our latest Highway 10 Designs pattern - Traction.  We are pleased to offer both traditional paper patterns or PDF downloads in our Etsy store.  

I am so please with the final product and excited to share it with you. This pattern does not require any specialty rulers, just a standard 6" x 24" ruler with 60 degree agree markings will do!  The pattern also includes instructions for three sizes - Lap, Double and Queen.

 The original idea for the pattern surfaced early in 2016, but the best way to approach piecing it wasn't initially obvious.  Kathy and I attended a retreat in the summer of 2016 and worked out many of the kinks, but the tweaking and perfecting process of writing this pattern took us to 2018!    The pattern is an intermediate level, but it comes together much more easily than you would imagine at first glance.  Kathy pieced the yellow and black version you see above and the pretty pink version you see below.

Both of these versions have a complementary pantograph for the quilting. The different color choices really change the look of the pattern don't they?

I pieced the grey and turquoise version that always seemed destined to be our "cover girl" so she got the custom quilting treatment.

I extended the diamonds shapes into the border and surrounded them with pebbles for interest.  

Some loops and shells and a bit of ruler work brought it all together. 

One of the tasks that always is a bit challenging is coming up with just the right pattern name.  We kept seeing tire tracks in the snow (or mud) so it only made sense to dub it "Traction" right?

Along with paper copies of Traction, we are now also able to offer paper copies of our Stellar pattern.  You can learn more about that one here.  Visit our Etsy store or contact us for wholesale inquires.