Monday, September 22, 2014

Little Quilts Cocktail Shakers and a giveaway

Hello there, fans of Amy, Sarah, sweet little quilts, cocktails, and Liberty!  Welcome to my stop on the Little Quilts blog tour, where I will happily gush on and on about how much I am enjoying this addition to my quilting library.

I met Amy during my first foray into swapping back in the Flickr Doll Quilt Swap. I was then introduced to Sarah and her beautiful work shortly after when these two talented ladies teamed up for their Dollies on Line pattern company.  Amy's Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts was one of the first blogs I followed years ago and she thrilled me one day with a sweet unexpected gift prompted by a mini quilt I'd made. I knew right then, that she was my kind of people.  Something tells me that I will get to meet both of these amazing quilters next year in person.....

So, if you've been following along this blog tour you already know that the tour is a swap!  Each of us has a secret partner for which we are making a quilt from Little Quilts. Prior to receiving my copy, I had already decided (based on the Amazon "take a look inside" photos) which pattern I'd use. Then my book arrived: cue indecision.  I wanted to make ALL THE QUILTS! Really! That rarely happens with me and books. Every pattern appeals to me. I know this will be my go-to guide whenever a swap comes around because there is definitely something for everyone and plenty of room for customization with fabric choices, fussy cutting and expanding to larger-sized quilts.

Shaken, Not Stirred by Poppyprint
planning, planning, planning

Having recently acquired a bumper crop of Liberty tana lawn F8's, I was anxious to use some of them in this special quilt. I paired them with that other British fabric I love, Oakshott Colourshotts. After marking several pages in the book, eventually I returned to my original idea because my little brain just loved the idea of an all-British cocktail shaker quilt: A James-Bond-ish Shaken, Not Stirred table runner.

Shaken, Not Stirred by Poppyprint

I think these two kinds of fabric really enjoy each other's company. The foundation piecing for the cocktail shaker shapes is very straightforward and not at all fiddly as far as paper piecing goes. It's actually a great project for a first go at this technique.  Can you spot the teeny Hello Kitties in the border print?

Shaken, Not Stirred by Poppyprint
"Shaken, Not Stirred"

The runner finished up at 16" x 31".  Hopefully my partner has a suitably sized coffee table or side board, or even a bar!  Of course, there is always the awkward skinny wall option for hanging a table runner. 

Shaken, Not Stirred by Poppyprint

I quilted the runner with a gorgeous blue Aurifil 28 wt thread in a straight line diagonal grid pattern that parallels the piecing. And I used this perfectly-suited Laurie Wisbrun print from my stash on the back!

Shaken, Not Stirred by Poppyprint

Shaken, Not Stirred by Poppyprint

To see what everyone else is making for their secret partners in our blog tour swap, have a look at the other stops listed below!  If you don't have it already, ask your local quilt shop to stock this wonderful book for you...then organize a swap with your guild or quilting friends!

If you'd like to win a copy of Little Quilts courtesy of Sara and Amy's publisher, leave a comment and let us know if you've ever made a doll or mini quilt before!  I'll close the giveaway October 4th and chose a random winner.  To win, you MUST leave your email address in your comment if it is not linked. If I can't contact you with one click, I'm afraid I have to chose another winner.  Good luck!

September 1: Amy and Sarah
September 8: Pam Vieira-McGinnis
September 15: Nedra Sorenson
September 22: Lynne Goldsworthy and Krista Hennebury
September 29: John Adams
October 6: Katy Jones

Friday, September 19, 2014

Where Modern Quilts and Glaciers Meet

See this colossal cruise ship?

In June of next year, I'll be wielding a rotary cutter and wearing a perma-grin as I teach modern quilting workshops on the Celebrity Infinity. I hope you'll join me! Space is limited, so if you have any interest, read on for contact information.

Lynn, of the Modern Quilt Guild of Victoria, is a cruise specialist I've been working with to design a fun week of workshops including my latest Improv Under the Influence pattern Chess on the Steps! I'm so darn excited, not only to meet new friends, have the opportunity to teach this super fun technique and quilt, but also to revisit the incredible scenery of the BC wild coast and Alaska.  Fair warning: it won't take much arm-twisting for me to carry on about glaciers, too (see my little profile up there on the left). I'm kind of into the metamorphosis of snow.

If you'd like more info about the dates, workshops, pricing and the early booking specials on offer until October 5, please contact Lynnmcneill(at)cruiseshipcenters(dot)com and ask about the Modern Quilting Cruise!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Plotting a Little Quilt

I've been having some fun, friends!

It involves some of my most favourite fabric.


And my new favourite quilting book.


And a cocktail shaker or 7.

That's double-O 7.

All will be revealed on September 22 (with a giveaway!), but if you can't wait until then, 
have a look here or here 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Bumblebee takes it!

Thanks to everyone who had a look around Mad About Patchwork's shop and specifically Pam's lovely curated bundles. This one, Flight of the Bumblebee proved a popular choice! In fact, it was the choice of our winner!

Flight Of The Bumblebee

It's lucky number 43....

A hearty slap on the back and congratulations to my Aussie pal Kirsty!!!! Yes, that's you Madame Bonjour!  My entire family had the pleasure of visiting with Kirsty and her two littlest over delicious cups of coffee and hot chocolate, in Aix en Provence a couple of years ago. If you are wondering how we ran into an Aussie mom of four in the south of France, you'll just have to head on over to her blog and have a gander back (waaaaay back) through her incredible photo essays.  But before you do that, be sure to check out her latest pattern, the gorgeous Diamonds in the Deep. Kirsty is a VQC - Very Clever Quilter.  Shoot me an email with your home addy girl - I'll have Pam get your Flight of the Bumblebee bundle on it's way (waaaaaay) down under!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mad About Patchwork and a Giveaway!

Hello there and welcome to my new partner, Canadian quilting retailer Mad About Patchwork from my 'hometown' of Ottawa (I say hometown because that is where I did the bulk of my high schooling, although I only lived there for 5 years of my life). I miss the Rideau Canal, my favourite thing about Ottawa in summer and winter!

Mad About Patchwork

Mad About Patchwork is an established Canadian online shop with a focus on fabric and patterns for modern quilters. With personal customer service from Pam and her helpful staff, fair prices, and same day shipping from Ottawa, it’s a sweet deal for Canadian shoppers.  Pam opened the shop in 2008 as a part-time venture from her basement, but this year she moved to a new brick and mortar location, with friend and business associate Laura.  Follow all of their adventures in sewing on the shop blog.

Your favourite modern basics are always in stock – my go to neutral EssexLinen (for $9/yd), Westminster shot cottons and over 200 bolts of Kona cotton.  Here are a few of the shop's special services you should know about:
  • A custom die-cutting service for Kona cotton – your choice of any in-stock colour cut into 5” charms (in packages of 40) or 2.5” strips (in packages of 20).
  • Books are always 20% off retail price
  • Patterns ship for free! If you don’t see what you’re looking for, send an email. We will do our best to bring in a book or pattern that you’re having a hard time finding. 
  • custom gift certificates for gift-giving

A peruse of their September sales section turned up some great stash builders, like several Denyse Schmidt prints (Posy!) and Stitch Circles and Squares for only $8/yd!

Stitch Circles in Stone

Or this adorable Wee Wander Meander in Petal

Wee Wander: Meandering in Petal

Or my favourite Mormor Pilvi print in eggplant

Mormor: Pilvi in Eggplant

Pam also offers pre-orders on lines coming soon. There are 45 Cotton & Steel prints to choose from and I've already made my pre-order!  I'm also going to choose a few of the geometric Gramercy prints from Leah Duncan - I love Commute by Taxi, NY Circuit in Ashen and Manhattan's dawn.

The Giveaway
Head on over to Mad About Patchwork's online shop and have a look around. Choose your favourite custom curated FQ bundle on this page and you could win that bundle!  You've got three chances to win a bundle of 9 FQ's:

1. Leave a comment naming your favourite custom curated bundle.

2. Like Mad About Patchwork on Facebook and leave a second comment letting me know you did (or already do!). There is a convenient Like button on their shop sidebar.

3. Follow Poppyprint on Bloglovin', or if you already do just let me know in your third comment.

I'll emply the Random Number Generator on Sunday, September 14 around my dinnertime to choose a winner.

International entries are most welcome.  You MUST leave a way for me to contact you. If you are no reply blogger, or wordpress blogger I cannot reply to you, so please leave your email in your comment (you can use the format jane(dot)doe(at)gmail(dot)com if you like). If I can't find you, I'll have to draw another winner and that's a bummer!

Comments are now closed, thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Strike Camp

Our kids are not in school. I'm trying to stay calm, but our son is supposed to be in his final year of high school and the teacher's strike is still full on because the union leadership and provincial government employees are behaving like....well, they are NOT behaving! At least not like the professionals!  Talks have repeatedly broken down, the provincial mediation guru has walked out, the government continues to provoke the union with unrealistic offers, the union continues to demand too much money. I just want my kids in school and my teacher friends working.  I think they should televise the talks so that we can all monitor behaviour and see what is really going on behind the closed doors and media black out. At least maybe then they'd act like grown ups.

Buccaneer Bay 2014

So, instead of returning to classrooms last week, the kids and I returned to one of our favourite places: Thormanby Island. We had our own little strike camp with our hosts: my generous friend Andrea and her dad Bruce.  His sweet pup Sophie entertained us, too!  B was able to join us for the weekend and we had such a nice time reading, playing cards, hiking, swimming, paddle boarding, eating and drinking (sunset happy hour on the beach!). We've enjoyed a record-breaking hot, dry summer that just keeps on giving. The weatherman says we'll have sun right through till this Sunday, with temperatures heading back up to the high 20's Celsius.

Here's a little photo summary of our extendo-summer 5 day trip:

Buccaneer Bay 2014
This is how people and stuff get from the dock to the cabin one bay over

Buccaneer Bay 2014

Buccaneer Bay 2014

Buccaneer Bay 2014

Buccaneer Bay 2014

Buccaneer Bay 2014

Buccaneer Bay 2014

Buccaneer Bay 2014
deer tracks in the sand

Buccaneer Bay 2014

Buccaneer Bay 2014

And while I'm here, I just need to say Happy Anniversary to this incredible husband of mine. I never, ever, dreamed 28 years ago when you introduced yourself to me in Physics 101 that we'd end up together 3 years later and married now for 20 amazing, happy years!

Buccaneer Bay 2014

  I so look forward to the next 20, B. xoxoxox

Monday, September 8, 2014

Chess On The Steps!

Finally! I've been waiting so impatiently to share this quilt with all of you.

Chess On the Steps by Poppyprint

The design is inspired by an anonymously-made vintage quilt I saw two years ago in Blaine at the American Quilts - The Democratic Art exhibit. Photographs were not permitted at the show and the book was sold out. I later purchased it from Amazon, but "my" quilt wasn't included in the hardcover book!  Thank goodness I had sketched it on the back of a receipt found in my bag; this simple concept has been on my mind for ages.  The original quilt was made with fabric scraps of solids and prints in cotton, wool and polyester. I recall that the vertical borders contained a lot of solid red scraps with colourful prints and the horizontal borders had mostly brown and black solids mixed with light-coloured prints.    

If you've been reading Poppyprint for a while, you may recognize that I've made a few other projects using the same piecing technique, which I've called Improv Under the Influence. See them here, here and here.  It is a technique that I'm excited to teach (four workshops lined up for the coming year in both modern guilds and traditional ones!).  It is my hope that it will appeal equally to improv-curious traditional quilters as well as those who've already embraced modern quilting.

Chess On the Steps by Poppyprint

Outside the Vancouver Art Gallery, there are always several games of chess going on. These take place on, or near, the former courthouse steps.  The basis of this quilt design is one large Courthouse Steps block, built around the central improv chess (or checker) board.  That's how I came up with the name. Possibly over-complicated, but that's me.

Chess On the Steps by Poppyprint

This quilt is currently the Pattern of the Month, free for members of the Modern Quilt Guild. I am so happy to be able to share the piecing technique with members of the guild.  After some time on the guild's website (on the community page), I will be permitted to sell it here for non-members. I do however, encourage you to join the MQG, which you can do as an individual if there is no satellite guild near you. The resources available to members are outstanding and include a free modern quilt pattern every month, regular webinars on really interesting topics, discounts at QuiltCon, fabric challenges with amazing prizes and so much more!  

Chess On the Steps by Poppyprint

This quilt was made entirely of the new Colourshott shot cottons generously provided by Michael Oakshott. The quilting was all done with free-form (unmarked) lines with my Pfaff IDT (built in walking foot).  I just followed seams in the piecing and went for it.  There are 7 coordinating colours of Aurifil 30 wt thread on the quilt.  Sewing with these shot cottons is so enjoyable as the colours are beautifully saturated - at times I feel like I'm working with sari silk!

Colourshotts used for Chess on the Steps

What do you think? Are you a traditional quilter that is improv-curious, or a modern quilter looking for a new, fun piecing technique? Check out the pattern!