Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Simply Moderne - a new mag on the rack

The folks at Quiltmania have done it! They're producing a gorgeous new modern quilting magazine called Simply Moderne and they were kind enough to send me a copy to peruse.  I've always been a big fan of the styling, varied projects and high production quality of Quiltmania and have earmarked several patterns for "making one day" in my copies.  This includes a stunning Civil War fabrics quilt (YES, I'm serious and YES one day I'll make it - I even have the fabric!).

Simply Moderne Magazine

This premier issue includes several pages featuring photos of quilts from QuiltCon, 2015. Simply Moderne Executive Director Carol Veillon remarked in her editorial how inspired she was by the energy, quilts and excitement at the Austin, TX event.  It was a lovely surprise to see that a photo of Chess on the Steps was included in the QuiltCon feature, alongside the beautiful Shifting Impressions made by my friend and fellow Canadian Marianne Haak.  I must say, it is one of the best exposed photographs of my quilt that I've seen in print - it's very special, in fact thrilling, for me to know people appreciate my work enough to share it in publications.  It's even more fun to see my quilt featured along with the beautiful quilts of so many of my friends, including Leanne, AmyAra Jane, Martha & Rachel. It makes me realize how much my world has grown in the past 6 years of blogging, making and sharing - my heart is pretty full.

Simply Moderne Magazine

There is a wonderful article on Victoria Findlay Wolfe shot in her amazing Manhattan loft and several great photo spread/features on shops in New York, Austin and France.  I love seeing interior shots of stores to check out what is selling around the world and how goods are displayed.  You'll also find new book and notion reviews as well as recommended modern quilting blogs to check out.

Simply Moderne Magazine

Aside from the great feature stories, there are 13 patterns for quilts sewing projects! I read through all of the instructions; they are concise and well-written and provide a range of quilting options from eager beginner to seasoned skill-hound. I particularly love Michelle Tucker's Sew Vintage quilt.  The styling and photography is gorgeous - there is a full frontal shot of every quilt, which is something I always want to see in books and mags.

Simply Moderne Magazine

The magazine will issue 4 times per year and I'm already looking forward to the second issue! One-year or two-year subscriptions are available for U.S. and Canada here.  Subscribers to the paper edition automatically receive digital versions as well.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Around Town Take II

I whipped up this tote for a friend's birthday the other day. It's very straight-forward pattern and a satisfying make. There's something so familiar about rugby stripes - I just love the design of this Around Town Tote Bag.

Around Town Tote Bag by Poppyprint

The pattern can be found in the Liberty Love book by Alexia Marcelle Abegg, one of the uber creative and talented Cotton & Steel designers. The book is out of print now, but you may find one hidden online, or second hand. It's a book on my sewing room shelf that I return to often.  The pattern calls for Liberty tana lawn for the accent strips, but I substituted Anna Graham's gorgeous Ripple canvas from her new Rain Walk line printed by Cloud 9 fabrics (purchased from Fabric Spark). The offset stripes are Essex Linen.

Around Town Tote Bag by Poppyprint

I added an interior pocket and key clip. It's a deep bag and it's a long way down for keys! I also modified the pattern a little bit by adding 1" of depth to the bottom print strip and sewing a 1" gusset into the corners of the tote for some added capacity.  The lining is a sweet Moda print called Be My Honey by MaryJane (I've had it for a couple of years in my stash).

Around Town Tote Bag by Poppyprint

The patterns calls for using an upcycled leather belt for handles, but I have some vinyl on hand so I cut 4 strips and sewed them WST in pairs (for extra strength).  I used my 9mm wide zig zag set to 0 length to make the X stitches, then sewed extra security straight stitches in a box around the X's.  Last time I made this bag, I used gorgeous deer hide for the handles but sadly I don't have enough left to cut more long handles.

I'm slowly making my way through a very long list of fun sewing to do for myself and others. It's always slow-going in summer...especially this exceptionally HOT and dry one here in Vancouver. We're in a rare drought with strict water restrictions. Our lawn is crispy and our garden limp and sad. I've been sewing downstairs where it's cooler as my south facing sewing room is quite a cooker, even with the UV coating on the window.  

I've got a new toy to share with you just as soon as I make enough space to take it out of the BOX!!! So excited.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Need Some Quilt Backings? How About Bindings?

If you're like me, you've got a stack of quilt tops just waiting for a good sale so that you can stock up on yardage to use for backings. So, here is some sponsor news for you: Sew Sisters has just added a bunch of new fabrics to their end of season sale rack at a shocking $4.99/m!!!  That means a queen-sized quilt back could be had for less than 40 bucks.   Everything is in limited quantities, so no dilly-dallying!

Like this Love Grows print from Paintbrush Studio.

Love Grows - April Showers Ivory

This Kaffe Fassett Folk Art print would do for the back of a Christmas table runner or tree skirt!

Kaffe Fassett - Folk Art - Red

There are also several prints that I think would make really fun binding, like this navy/white Riley Black Fly Aweigh Waves (also available in yellow and red).

Fly Aweigh - Waves Blue

Or this Riley Blake Unicorns & Rainbows bias stripe (available in 2 additional colourways). I love a bias stripe that I can cut on the straight of grain!

Unicorns & Rainbows - Stripe Pink

This Pepe in Paris bias stripe is a sure winner, too.

Pepe in Paris - Diagnoal Stripe Lime

While you're there, if you don't already own a package of Clover Wonder Clips, then pick up the August featured product and be amazed at how useful they are in your sewing room: secure your binding for tacking, hold outer and lining of bags together, clip stacks of blocks in row order. Know any more uses? Leave your suggestions in the comments!

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Local Book Signing!

I'm super excited to participate in my first public book signing (I've visited several local guilds, but this is my first time in a shop!).  This Sunday, August 16th, I'll be in the sweet village of Ladner, B.C. parked at The Quilted Bear quilt shop. I've brought along a trunk show of book projects so you can see first hand, the beautiful designs of all of the talented contributors to Make It, Take It.  Everyone who purchases a book will also receive one of my "Retreats Rule!" buttons.

There's something for everyone on Sunday. It is the annual Classic Car Show and Quilt Walk. On from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., the main drag is closed and transformed into a parking lot of gleaming vintage cars, trucks and motorcycles.

This stunning quilt was made by my friend Matthew Wheeler, Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild member and former owner of the Quilted Bear.

All photos by Chung Chow, 2014, the Delta Optimist newspaper

 The shop windows, railings and yoga studio space are all decorated with quilts from local quilters.  Every summer I say I'll make it out to Ladner for this show but I've never been in town. I'm excited to finally participate; as well as the book signing, I've got two quilts hanging in the show (Selvage Colourblock and Light Of May). I haven't been to an outdoor quilt show since Sisters about 6 years ago.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Little Post about a Little Island

This will be my last photo post from our family trip to the Maritimes in July. After our family reunion week, the four of us drove across the Confederation Bridge to visit my sister and her family in their Charlottetown home, in Canada's smallest province, Prince Edward Island.

I've been to the island several times, but this was our first time staying in Charlottetown proper, in my sister's new house.  We had a wonderful four days of relaxing, walking through the leafy streets of the city admiring the beautiful heritage homes and their gardens, dining al fresco on Richmond St. (Row Lobster House, Receiver Coffee), enjoying the theatre (Bitter Girl, Anne & Gilbert the Musical), visiting the beach and seeing my sister's Demi-Pointe Dance Shop, for the first time.

Here are a few pics for you!  Unfortunately, I didn't take many on this trip.  If you love Anne of Green Gables, golfing, beach walking, lush green countryside, lobster, kind and generous locals, step-dancing and fiddle music, then just trust me: get ye to PEI!

This beautiful historic All Soul's Chapel built in 1888 is rarely open to the public, but we 
got lucky on our walk into town!  The walls are PEI standstone and the chapel is a "masterful example of High Victorian Goth Revival architecture in Canada, designed by architect William Critchlow Harris, Jr."

I just can't get enough of the charming heritage homes in Charlottetown. I posted several photos on Instagram taken during our 'town walks'.

I got busted taking this photo as the homeowner opened his front door and jokingly told me he charges a dollar per picture. We had a nice chat and he willingly gave his wife 100% of the credit for their gorgeous garden.


Richmond St., alongside the Confederation Centre, is closed to traffic. It is great fun to dine outside and listen to live music - the jazz festival stage was just across from the restaurants and featured local musicians all day and evening.


A stunning new lobster mural,  painted on a wall in a downtown parking lot took my breath away! 


A gorgeous view along the boardwalk around Victoria Park in Charlottetown


The steeple of the church at Avonlea Village


This is so cool; all around the island these quilt block signs indicate the Arts and Heritage trail  More info about the sites are available by scanning the QR code below each sign!

A visit to Brackley Beach - swimming was not advised due to a proliferation of red jelly fish, but I did manage to wade in through the thousands of dinner-plate sized jellies clumped together in the shallow surf.

There's always plenty of real estate on a PEI beach! Miles and miles of red sand for walking.

PEI has done an incredible job of educating visitors about the importance of preserving delicate dune ecosystems, so almost all beaches have boardwalk access to protect the dunes.

These castles were just about at the end of their day.

We enjoyed reading this wonderful public chalkboard 'interactive mural' outside the Anne & Gilbert theatre.

It is so great to hang out with cousins! My two on the outside, with my sister's two in the middle on the set of Anne & Gilbert. It was a thrill to finally see them on stage, both have been in this musical, or Anne of Green Gables, in past summers.

In need of any dance shoes, tutus, tights, leotards, gymnastic suits, yoga pants? 
Check out Demi Pointe!

Okay folks, thanks for allowing me to indulge you in family holiday photos. Back to quilting action soon! 

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Nova Scotia - Canada's Ocean Playground

That's the licence plate slogan, but Nova Scotia is also a province of hard work. The sea and beaches are fun in summertime, but the sea is also a place of work. This is evident in every small port and fishing village dotting the shoreline of the province.  Many lobster fisherman ply the offshore grounds in rather small boats - it is not an easy job and the risks are high. The beaches, villages, boats, wharves, processing shacks and lighthouses sure make for picturesque photos, though.  I thought I'd share some with you in this post.

 Fort Point Lighthouse & museum, Liverpool, N.S.

Carter's Beach, Port Mouton, N.S.
(if the water wasn't so cold, you'd think you were on a Caribbean island)

The crystal clear waters of Carter's Beach

Hunt's Point Wharf, N.S.

Processing shacks, Hunt's Point Wharf, N.S.

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The Maritimes is full with salt- and sun-weathered building treasures.

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I think these must be the real deep-sea lobster traps...or else they're made extra strong to stay down longer and hold a larger catch than the traditional, arched wooden traps.

Tied up at Hunt's Point Wharf

Hunt's Point Wharf from the beach. This is one of the most photographed wharves in the province. From the time I was about 14 to 30 years old, my grandparents owned a house and three rental cottages on this idyllic bay with shallow, crystal clear water and fine white sand. I've got many happy memories of this place.

After our week on the South Shore at the family reunion to celebrate my parent's 50th wedding anniversary, we packed up our rental car and headed to my sister's place in Charlottetown, PEI. En route, D requested a visit to the iconic lighthouse at Peggy's Cove. The rest of the photos were taken there. Honestly, it is the most picturesque seaside village ever!

An art festival was on during our visit, so artists 'in residence' were painting throughout the village.

Lobster floats

The week before we visited, a tourist was swept off the rocks by a rogue wave. He got lucky; a fisherman was just pulling out of the harbour and came to his rescue in the high swells within 15 minutes. Another 5 minutes and the story would not have ended well - the frigid water of the North Atlantic is unforgiving.

Another view of this world-famous lighthouse.

You've got to love a piper!

I hope you enjoyed my little tour of our South Shore highlights! I'll try and return to some quilty posts soon...

[NOTE FOR OBSERVANT READERS: I realize that there is some extra script from Flickr showing up on a couple of the photos. Flickr has once again changed their code for imbedding photos and I'm still working out how to change the HTML so that their logo and photo name doesn't automatically appear in an ugly frame around all of my pictures. WHY FLICKR? WHY? I'm so bummed by their constant upgrades and changes that paying users DO NOT WANT. There is a giant "we hate this new imbed code" comment thread on their site]. Sigh.