Saturday, April 30, 2016

#May is for Makers

Here's something cool. Lindsey over at LR Stitched has launched a wonderful initiative for May. She's written a great little post (and designed this awesome button) that explains her thinking and her hope for the month right here.  Have a read.

May Is For Makers |

We've all shared patterns with friends. We've all balked at prices. We've all asked "where can I get that for free". In reality, most sewing and quilting patterns are around $10. In Canada, we pay up to $20 for quilting magazines - I have stacks of them, yet I can count on one hand the number of projects I've actually made from a magazine. They are great inspiration, but it is the individual patterns in my collection that I return to over and over, either to make or to dream of making. Patterns like Anna's 2-4-1 Tote (in fact, any of Anna's bag patterns!), or the Liesl's Weekend Getaway Blouse or Kirsty's The Plus Side Quilt

  digital weekend getaway blouse + dress sewing pattern  Image of Quilt Pattern PDF - The Plus Side

Guess what?  I've even bought patterns from blogging friends and others I don't really know, just to say "thank you" and acknowledge the inspiration and great content they provide for free in between their pattern releases.  I know, my halo shines.  My "pattern downloads" folder on the laptop overflows. Doesn't mean I will ever getting around to making every pattern I've purchased, but it's easy to drop $10 to show someone the love. Around these parts, that's a lot less than a meter of fabric or a couple of lattes!  I'm acutely aware of the time and energy it takes to come up with an idea, sketch it, test it, write it up, make it, edit it, produce it and finally, get it ready to market and sell. I cringe every time I see someone comment on a blog "will you create a tutorial for this? I'd love to make one!" Yes, but how much would you love to make one? Would you reward the designer for two, three or four days' work by spending $5 on a pattern? Would you? I hope so.

Here's another great post by Mandy with some food for thought on supporting indie.

I'm ahead of the game. I've already bought my first indy pattern for the month. It's one that EVERYONE but me has made already and it's high time I put my extensive zipper stash to use. Can you guess which pattern it is? Tune in Monday for the first day of #MayisforMakers!

Support creative people. 
The end.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Supplies Event at Craftsy this weekend!

Just popping in to let you know that there is a huge supplies even on at Craftsy this weekend...kits and fabrics up to 50% off!

I just downloaded Latifah's FREE GlamClam quilt pattern from the Craftsy pattern store for the (live, in person) class I'm doing with the VMQG when Latifah visits next month. I'm so looking forward to it because I've sewn curves many times, but never devoted an entire project to them. There are some great fabric bundles on sale that would make a gorgeous GlamClam quilt!

Robert Kaufman Rhoda Ruth Pre-Cuts - None
Rhoda Ruth by Elizabeth Hartman is 30% off

FreeSpirit Wander by Joel Dewberry Pre-Cuts - None
Wander by Joel Dewberry is 20% off

Boundless Solids Modern Brights Pre-Cuts - None
Boundless Solids are 35% off. A 42-charm pack is only $7.25

Check out all of the deals, including Aurifil thread, here.

********This is an affiliate post********

Friday, April 8, 2016

Win a Bernina 880!

How would you like to be the owner of the Ferrari of sewing machines? You can win a top of the line Bernina 880 valued at $14, 999 from Bernina Canada! No purchase necessary. Just head to their website and enter here.

Picture: BERNINA 880

If I had unlimited funds, I'd likely sew on a Bernina. Until that time, I'll try to win one. I will freely admit to coveting the Bernina walking foot, which I believe to be the best in the biz. The BSR (stitch regulator for free motion quilting) would also be sweet. I have a tendency to go a little large on stitches when FMQ'ing swirly shapes. 

This post isn't sponsored, but they do have monthly prizes for top referrers, so I'm sharing for my Canadian readers to get in on the action and maybe score a few notions. Good luck!!

Friday, April 1, 2016


Just wanted to share the happy news that I've sold my first ever quilt from a show (I've been paid for commissions before). It was a little moment of excitement when I received a notification on Instagram along with a photograph of the buyer sticking the "sold" sticker on my quilt description sheet at QuiltCon 2016!

The Five by Poppyprint
"The Five"

You can read the full story of this tiny quilt (it's not much bigger than a piece of paper) and the inspiration behind it, here.

Even more exciting for me was the news that my quilt was purchased by an art collector. He was attending the show with his wife, who is a quilter.  I struggle with identifying myself as an artist and have always preferred Quilter as my descriptor. I believe this comes from my total lack of formal art training and not wanting to represent myself as something that I'm not.  I've never felt the need to refer to myself as an artist. I'm quite happy and proud to be a Quilter.  

A Quilter who made something that has artistic value to a stranger.

As always, there was some controversy surrounding quilts for sale, quilts that sold and the sale prices. Apparently, people were actually peeling the "sold" stickers off of the quilt labels to see what the prices were! Since I wasn't in attendance in Pasadena, I escaped any potential criticism over my $200 price tag. Frankly, I appreciate the opportunity to even try to sell a quilt that QuiltCon provides. I priced my little quilt at a comfortable place for me: enough that I'm satisfied my work has value, but not so little that I'd feel insulted by a stranger acquiring it for such a smokin' deal.  I feel great about selling this quilt and thrilled that someone appreciates it enough to hang it on their wall and enjoy.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Slopestyle Ski Photo Essay

Happy Easter!

Red Mountain 2016

We came across this sweet little rabbit on our recent ski trip to Red Mountain in Rossland, B.C. After enjoying some lovely powder turns we made our way down the mountain through the trees and there it was, frozen like a statue as we marvelled at her camouflage.

We haven't had a photo essay for a while, so I thought I'd share some more photos taken with my new iphone 6 (which is WAY too big and I'm so bummed that Apple issued a smaller phone with the same photo capabilities just a week after I got this one - the story of my tech life!).

Red Mountain 2016
No lift lines make for a sweet ski vacation!

Red Mountain 2016
This one is actually taken by B of our group after a little hike up for a back country run through lovely, untracked powder fields. I'm in the red jacket third from the right.

Red Mountain 2016
B dropping in for some sweet turns.

Red Mountain 2016
Dreamy...just dreamy. 

>Red Mountain 2016
It was a pleasure to bring D's friend along for the week - they had a ball!

Red Mountain 2016
With three mountain, Red has so much terrain it was like we had the entire resort to ourselves!

Red Mountain 2016
An excellent reminder with all of the glade skiing there is on Red!

Red Mountain 2016
Slopeside facilities

Red Mountain 2016
Classic ski town fencing!

Red Mountain 2016
You gotta love a ski lodge with serve-yourself mini marshmallows!

Red Mountain 2016
Our happy little ski family, (minus one son busy building robots at university).

Saturday, March 26, 2016

All Classes on Sale!

Craftsy is saying 'so long' to the U.S. National Craft month with a huge sale. All classes are only $19.99 U.S. until March 28!

On the bottom right you can see the talented hands of Christina Cameli who teaches two excellent free motion quilting class on the platform. I purchased her first class and found her teaching style super approachable and fun. I haven't had a chance yet to try all of the patterns she suggests but I do plan to try a QAYG quilt with all solid fabric blocks quilted in different styles from Christina's class and her book.  If I'm not mistaken, the hands in the top left corner belong to Angela Pingel, who teaches a fun class on disappearing blocks using pre-cuts!

What I love about Craftsy classes is that you can watch them on a screen near your sewing machine, pause whenever you want to and try out the techniques. I've used the free zipper installation class many times this way! Plus, learning in your jammies is always a bonus.  Every class has a community of students with whom you can share results & ideas. You can even ask your teacher questions.

I've recently become a Craftsy affiliate, so if you purchase any classes by following this link, I will receive a small commission.  If you have interests outside quilting, that's awesome - Craftsy offers classes in knitting, embroidery, crochet, photography, cake decorating, cooking, woodworking and garment sewing as well!

Friday, March 25, 2016


I've been involved in the making of many, many (too many, in fact) quilts for friends who are ill with cancer, or strangers who need a comforting quilt in difficult times. Recently, a completely different kind of quilt project came to my attention and I jumped on board without really anticipating the affect it would have on me.

A quilter in New York named Zak Foster recently visited Mexico. During his trip, he learned about the tragic events of September 26, 2014, when 43 students went missing during a protest in Iguala, Guerrero, Mexico. Since that day, the families and friends of the students have had no satisfactory answers as to the fate of the young men, mostly aged 18-24.  Many demonstrations have taken place. The internet is full of art pieces and tributes to these young men. There are agencies supporting their families in the search for justice.  Zak, in cooperation with one such agency, decided to create a quilt. A tangible show of support, made by quilters around the world, to honour these young men.

Doriam González Parral

I went through the list of names still available for a quilt block and chose a young man the same age as my son. His name is Doriam González Parral. His friends called him "Kinder" because he was so small for his age. Normally, he didn't attend political rallies, but went along this time to support his friends and older brother Jorge Luis. On that fateful night, their parents lost both boys.

43for43 in honour of 43 young Mexican students "disappeared" by authorities in Ayotzinapa 18 months ago.

Zak asked that blocks be made only with white and red fabric to show solidarity. Each block should say the student's entire name.  When I discovered Doriam's brother was also taken, I got in touch with Natalie, who is making Jorge Luis' block. It was really comforting for me to have a partner to collaborate with. I found I could not focus and come up with a plan on my own. Everything I thought of seemed 'not good enough' or too amateur for such a weighty project. This was an excellent exercise in letting go of ego and embracing empathy. When I discovered this photo, I realized that whatever discomfort I felt in my lack of artistic ability, it paled in comparison to the sorrow of their poor mother.

Natalie started improv-piecing, but found the letters were getting much to large to fit onto the 12" block. I offered to machine applique the two name blocks and use her improv letters for a joining strip below the two blocks that will say "los hermanos" (the brothers). I learned from a Spanish-speaking neighbour that you would not say "los hermanos Parral" (my original idea) because both family surnames are required.

43for43 in honour of 43 young Mexican students "disappeared" by authorities in Ayotzinapa 18 months ago.

It was Natalie's idea to embroider line-drawing portraits of the brothers on top of their names. I hope that our resulting blocks will suitably honour these young men, taken illegally from their family and without any official acknowledgement.  Please have a look here and sign the petition if you would like to offer your support in the quest for justice.

43for43 in honour of 43 young Mexican students "disappeared" by authorities in Ayotzinapa 18 months ago.