Chenille Block Tutorial (entry 63)

Hi Ladies, thought I would share a quilting tutorial of one of my favourite techniques: Chenille. For those of you who have never tried this or who don’t know of it…enjoy.

1) Use contrasting fabrics to get a good effect. Mine are blue, beige, blue reversed, orange marble, beige b, stiff interfacing, dupioni silk with fuse right side face down as this is my lining. You don’t need the interfacing if you are using the chenille blocks in a quilt. I based this tutorial on my new Scissor Keeper pattern and kit (to come)

Line the edges of your fabrics up in a nice pile, mark “X” with choco-liner

Sew the cross lines then begin to sew the chenille lines using your foot as your width guide

finish each quadrant the same way

Once you are done sewing, cut in between each sewn line, in all sections in all quadrants. You will need the sharpest scissors you own as you will be cutting through the top 4 layers. Again, if you are doing these chenille blocks for a quilt you not use interfacing and you will cut through all top layers.

Rinse really well in cool water (if using silks) or warm water if using cottons, you want this to be completely soaked make sure you get every layer. Dry, you may want to add this to a load of clothes so there is some substance in the dryer to help the chenille process.

Here’s what it looks like once washed and dried – don’t you just love it!! It’s so warm and cozy 🙂

Have I got you inspired?

Here’s projects I’ve completed using this technique, some of you might have seen: 

for my niece who loves cats.

monthly embroidery project that I added the chenille too.

My newest pattern, Chenille Scissor Keeper with matching needle keeper

This set is for my Mum, which she loved!

for my SIL, and she loved this also…

Any questions, just email.

Weekly Challenge (entry 61)

So I was over at Vivian’s blog and she did a post mentioning what her weekly challenges are to get finished…so I thought maybe if we write our goals down for the week – we can own up to each other and get them done…what do you think?

Here’s mine:

– finish the back for Zach’s quilt, get it pinned and ready for quilting

– finish my bag pattern, tutorial and sample for class Wednesday

– get my Freebie 15 companion blocks finished (6) so I’m caught up

– maybe piece my Journey of a Quilter month two block and get the blog posting done

– get the rest of the Journey of a Quilt month one kits ready to send out…hopefully soon (still waiting on stuff)

What are yours? Thanks Viv for the great idea… Let me know – even send me some pics if you want 

Until next time…have a happy and creative day


Retreat: Quilting in the Rockies (entry 60)

Hi all, so I have some very exciting news to share with you…PastimesOnline is having a retreat!! 

Nestled in the Rockies in Radium, British Columbia only 2.5 hours from Calgary a private retreat location awaits, cooking looked after, prizes will be FAB, company will be excellent…

Country breakfast & lunch & catered in a la carte supper
arrive on Thursday afternoon 3pm (for you early travellers)
Friday full day of sewing and visiting
Saturday full day of sewing and visiting
Sunday Brunch, sewing and depart at 1pm

For those of you who are interested a customized lesson/class from Calgary Quilter/Designer Ana Buzzalino maybe offered. Specifics for the class to be determined but think along the lines of introduction to fabric painting and quilting or machine quilting tips and techniques.

The dates available will be:

Option A: Thursday April 22 – 25, 2010

Option B: Thursday June 24 – 27, 2010

Option C: Thursday Sept 23 – 26, 2010

Approx cost for the weekend inclusive will be $200 plus taxes. This will include meals Friday, Sat, Sunday Brunch. If you want to take the class with Ana (to be determined) this will be based on interest and you will be contacted directly for additional costs.

I’m blogging to see about interest in either of the 3 dates above. The space is limited, approx 8 people maximum. So if you & a friend are interested please contact me with the preferred option and I will add you to the sign up sheet.

Radium is in the perfect setting for relaxation, known mostly for their Hot Springs so if you would like to take some time to indulge and spend the day relaxing you will be in the right place.

(located right beside Invermere, British Columbia)

…nice picture of the Rockies to get you interested 🙂

 I look forward to hearing from you…more pics to come showing the inside of the retreat location…

Christmas Goodies (entry 59)

Hi Ladies, this post is going back to Christmas because I have to share with you the quilty goodness stuff that I received for our family “home-made” Christmas.

Say “hi” to Joey from my in-laws

Chenille pot-holders from my Mum

this wasn’t from this Christmas but a few years ago from my Mum, cute hey?

Here’s my Inchie Quilt for the swap I did through quilting gallery, look at the beading.

here’s the cute bag my Inchie came in

a new Singer from my Sister Lisa, to add to my collection…I think that’s 6 antique sewing machines…

This is what my SIL made for Tig – what a nice Auntie  🙂

my SIL made this skinny-minnie quilt for me…and my BIL made the candle – sitting on the back of my toilet for the holidays – Love it!

how adorable is this? A thread spool holder complete with magnet for your needle from my Aunt in Law, Karen and Reg. It was in the same box as a beautiful collectors silver dish…unfortunately I like this better 🙂

and Tig, sitting in her favourite chair on her favourite faux fur blankie…thanks MIL.

Until next time…have a happy & creative day,

Fabric Painting Class & Updates (entry 58)

Hi Ladies, how’s everyone today? I’ve been listening to a pile of podcasts lately and loving all of the good information on them. Allison Rosen just interview Jennifer from CraftSanity and it was soo good.


I love getting to know all of you in this huge online world, more personally. Thus my e-interviews. I have quite a few ladies that I have asked and they have accepted…just waiting for their little write ups and I’ll be posting all about THEM!! If you want to be e-interviewed just let me know!!

So…I’ve taken this amazing fabric painting class with a wonderful teacher, Ana Buzzalino. I painted only one other time in my life on a hard piece of canvas (I’m not sure where that art piece is today…) with my Grandma when I was about 7 maybe, in acrylics.

Anyway, I wanted to learn a new technique and that, I did! Check out my Masterpiece – I’m so proud…it was a day that started out with some frustrations trying to get my head around this painting thing, mixing colours, added water to the right thing – paint not brush- and remembering where the light is coming from…but about halfway through the day we started enjoying ourselves and look at how it turned out.

Here’s the 3 of us that sat together and enjoyed the day learning this amazing new technique

Our finished pears…what do you think? Could you do this? Would you like to try this? If you are in the Calgary area and would like to take a class, email me and we’ll set one up. Also, for those of you who are taking the class May 29th – please tell a friend. We have space for 15 or so and about 8 are taken.


I’ve also completed two of the cutest birthday presents (Chenille Scissor & Needle Keeper) I’ve made to-date…well except Gracie’s Quilt!!

my Mum’s


Which one do you like better? What colour scheme would you prefer?

I’m just in the process of finishing up a free chenille tutorial, pattern & kits – so stay turned to learn a great technique.


I’m also working on getting my Freebie 15 block…98 pieces. I’ve cut two blocks wrong and had to re-piece then proceeded to cut one of these two wrong again…can you say “frustrating” and now I can’t seem to get them to fit…so I’ve put it aside for the moment. I have to have it done by Friday morning at 9:30…I’m sure some of you can relate.

Here’s my most recent pizza box, I can say I’m not the biggest fan of the batiks never mind with this lovely metallic fleck added to the design – it’s so hard to sew through…any suggestions? I do however, like the way it turned out in the end 🙂

(can you tell I love this block design?)


Here’s Tig waiting for me…well I think she’s waiting but she’s just catching some zzzzzz’s 🙂

she always seems to have her socks on her feet perfectly matched up – little cutie.


Until next time, have a happy & creative day & please pass my blog on and leave a comment 🙂


THANKS to all of you ladies who signed up for Journey of a Quilter – I’m at 20 people, the cut off is this Sunday (17th). So for those of you who’ve procrastinated…your time is running out and I would LOVE for you to join me…For those interested in Kitten’s Tale I’m still accepting sign-ups for another couple of weeks or so…so let me know if you want to be added to the contact-signups sheet and you’ll be notified when the BOM is ready to start 🙂

e-Interviews (entry 57)

Hi Ladies, I’ve heard back from a few of my ‘regulars’ (I can say that now) of my blog and online store and so far all of them have said yes…to what you wonder?

I’ve decided I want to get to know YOU on a more personal level. So, I’m going to be doing e-interviews. If you are interested, please let me know as I would like to hear from ALL of you out there in blog-land AND from those of you who lurk but don’t comment 🙂

So to kick it off, I’ll be the first:

How many years have you been quilting, what or who got you started?

I’ve been quilting since 2003, when my Aunt-in-law, Karen took me to a Guild Potluck, I was so inspired and in aaaw that I signed up for every class and bought hundreds of dollars worth of the “must-haves”.

Were you a sewer first? 

I can truly say no. I’ve always been creative, liked to knit since I was young but no not a sewer per-sa. I was newly married when my Aunt gave me her old sewing machine (1980 or so Kenmore, metal body weighing a tonne) and I signed up to take some sewing classes to learn the basics – which I loved. My sewing teacher Susan, ended up to be a member in the guild I had been so inspired by and as they say…”The rest is history” 🙂

What is your favourite technique?

Mine would have to be two things, paper piecing and scrappy quilts.

Do you have a favourite store: online or Brick & Motar and why?

Yes, Traditional Pastimes, Calgary, Alberta. A Brick & Motar that is very quaint, helpful staff.

What is a tool that you can’t live without?

My Ginger Scissors. In 2005, I was teaching a class at my local guild and I was walking around helping people with their Raggedy Anne dolls when I picked up Kim’s scissors and cut a piece of fabric with them, WOW my life has never been the same lol. 

Who is your biggest influence in the Quilting world – famous or otherwise?

 I think my influences change from time to time. Since I’ve started this online business I’m influenced by so many of the women I am in this sisterhood with, my Guilds. They all touch my heart and soul on so many levels – thank you ladies. There is also so many here in blog-land: CathiMishka, Heather, Rachel D, Lisa, Rachel G, just to name a few as I read about 100+ blogs.

Do you listen to podcasts? Do you have a favourite?

 I listen to all sorts of podcasts for business and pleasure. Go to iTunes and search Podcasts. Some of my favourites are Within a Quarter Inch, Quilting Stash, Sew Stitch Create, Life Coach, Bon Appetite, Digital Marketer and more.

My first official quilt, “Bird Bug”. I have to say I LOVED making this one. Why is it, so many of us start with applique?

all needle turn applique, by hand, invisible thread for the echo quilting

don’t you just love the red button for the eye?

I’m not really sure what this label shape is :~)


I so look forward to getting to know you all better, have a happy and creative day,

BOM: Journey of a Quilter (JOQ) (entry 56)

Hi Everyone, thought I would do a quick blog posting about the Block of the Month Starting up pretty soon. I’m hoping to have those who want to join sign up before the 15th of January. The pattern portion of the kits will be sent to me around the 25th of the month from Australia then I will add all of the goodies (cottons, silks, flosses, pins, needles, etc) and get them in the mail.

When I initially put the poll out there for voting between Journey of a Quilter and Kitten’s Tale, I received an overwhelming response of 40 for JOQ and 30 for KT. So far I’ve had about 10 sign up for Journey of a Quilter which is fabulous and thanks to those of you who’ve committed.

I’m still waiting on the fabrics for Kitten’s Tale, I’m using this awesome line of fabrics: Feline Friendship by Henry Glass that I thought would be purrrfect. The tones in the colours are similar to that as shown, here’s a preview of some of the fabrics, I’m hoping to get this whole line but still waiting for confirmation. There will also be silks mixed in with these can you say luxurious.

 If you want to be contacted when Kitten’s Tale is available for sign up, please email me and I will add you to the list.

I will offer a prize each month as encouragement to get your block finished and a digital photo sent to me for our photo blog page. Initially based on the 40 interested gals I had selected the 5″ Gingher Designer Scissors complete with collectors tin 🙂 and I would still like to be able to offer these or something as fabulous but that will require more participants. If we don’t get a min of 30 to join, I will of course have another great prize each month.

If you have any questions about my Block of the Month clubs, please email me and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Have a happy and creative day.

2009 Re-Cap of my Year (entry 55)

I think 55 is a good entry number to re-cap the year 2009 and getting the idea for this from ParkcityGirl Website – thanks Amy.

**when I first wrote this entry, I didn’t have any quilting projects added sometimes I’m so focussed on the project at hand and forget why I’m doing this and all of the quilting that drives me**

Here’s a montage of my year in a nut-shell:

January: re-negotiating contracts with my business partner at Exhibit Studio, setting budgets for the coming year, discussing the market, reading the Twilight Series

February: high stress with the market crashing, not enough work to keep employees busy, trade shows getting cancelled, trying to figure out different avenues for Exhibit Studio, reading the Twilight Series

March: My Birthday, thinking about my quilting business, something I’ve always wanted to do, how can I make this work, the huge decision about deciding to sell Exhibit Studio, reading the Twilight Series (lovin it so much!!)

April: more discussions about quilting business online, partnership with another gal, hmmm, lots of debating about doing this on my own or with another person. DH showing so much interest in this new business venture for us, possibilities are endless, reading the Twilight Series

May: sold Exhibit Studio to my partner, Bye ES I wish you well :), now onto full time thinking about online quilting business, what should the name be, how can I make this work, what do I want my goals to be? May long weekend camping and waking up to 4″ of snow, so much fun!

{taken the day before the snow storm, which we slept like babies through it all, lol}

June: Started training for a race to clear my head and regroup for a new chapter in my life, Incorporated my new business name of Pastimes Online Ltd. Pastimes could be used for any hobby like Scrapbooking, Photography (DH’s passion), cooking, etc. and online self explanatory. Registered my business, which felt so good:) and camping (bliss)

July: Training for the race, figuring out block of the month programs and found this great site, ordering in some supplies, finding Manufacturers to do business with all over the world. Finding a great one in India – thanks Anant for all of your help & I love the silks!!, camping at Kaslo, BC – what a fab place!

{the famous SS Moyie}

August: Training for the race, placed orders for cottons, dupioni silks, threads, Gingher Supplies, Quilters Tea (our own blend) and more! Finished Pinkie Lee.

this one I’m keeping for me 🙂

September: Race time, 12km in 1.5 hours, my 8th Wedding Anniversary, (I love you Jeff), waiting on materials, building website (thanks Jeff), taking pictures, prepare for Podcasts, reading, reviewing, & rating websites (pros and cons) to figure out what I love the best & what you will love the best. Finding Squarespace and Squareflo – both life savers of time and money, reading Friday Night Knitting Club – touched my heart! My cousin got married & my sister and I made a set of personalized sheets. Designed my first pattern, Cutest Camera Bag.

{on the home stretch, phew}

October: My DH’s birthday, ThanksGiving, spending time with Family, always a joy! Playing with my new silks that have arrived. Finding an excellent supplier for lightweight fusible materials for applique, silks etc. Our very good friends had a beautiful baby boy, Zach. Opened PastimesOnline – what a month. Started another Freebie 15 project with my LQS.

{which will be available to purchase soon}

{perfectly matching threads, beauty}

{mom and baby Zach at his baby shower}

{waiting to be layered and quilted, hopefully soon}

{official store home page}

the theme is leaves and I LOVE the colours

November: Shooting my first podcast, finished first block for the Journey of a Quilter Block of the Month and loved it! Realized yet again how much I love being part of my quilting guilds and how these women impact my life. Started work on the development of the basement, new home of PastimesOnline and my new Studio location. Quilt til you Wilt weekend to complete the two housecoats for my nephews. Quilters Connection Magazine, finally a magazine for Canadian Quilters – thanks Heather! Joined the Toyota 4x4ing Club with my DH, started reading The Book of Negros – WOW!

{where to begin?}

{almost finished and boy what a journey}

December: Marketing investment with QuiltDash and Within a Quarter Inch, hosted Christmas potluck for my Lakeside Quilters Guild, and attended the potluck for my other awesome Guild called Flying Needles, hosted Christmas Dinner for 13 plus 4 and it was probably the best Christmas ever. Permits approved, more work on the basement, dry-wallers scheduled, carpet ordered, dreams coming to fruition, *sigh* life is good.

Here’s some of the gifts I made for family:

aprons for MIL and SIL

housecoats for nephews and messenger bags for nieces (silks)

silk scarf for Mum, it kind of works with the red shirt 🙂

Happy New Year everyone, I am so looking forward to starting an amazing 2010 and getting to know you all who follow my blog, comment and email me privately as well as all of you who’s blogs I read. I would love more comments and please let me know what you would like to see and read about or ask me questions…

Until next time have a happy, warm and creative day, 

Around the Net: Clare’s Craftroom (entry 54)

Hi everyone, hope Santa was good to you…He was super good to me, so I’m thinking I was a good girl in 2009!!

I’m sitting in my studio, it’s snowing again outside, we definitely had a white Christmas this year – it was awesome!!

I’m in the process of making the cutest Birthday present for my Mum I can’t disclose as of yet but my DH saw it and said “make one for Colleen as well” my SIL so I spent the day creating and it felt wonderful.

I also tested some new silk flosses and fell in LOVE with them. They glide through the fabrics and shimmer like jewels the BEST to work with. So I’m going to finish the pattern I’ve just created, get the tutorial on here for all of you and kit these little beauties up and include some of these fab flosses…just look at the way they glisten.

I found this cute site: Clare’s Craftroom, she has winsome patterns and is a delight to read.

this is the header on her blog, don’t you just love how cheery it is?

This frog is what made me read more into her adorable site…

This one is called John Bear 🙂

{All photos courtesy of Clare’s Blog}

Until next time, come join our Block of the Month Club: Journey of a Quilter 

AND if you can think of the reason why you LOVE your iron, I need to know. I’m desperate to find the best iron out there and why, so if you love yours please pass the info on & if there is an iron on your wish list, please let me know that also, thanks.

Have a happy, creative and warm snuggly day…