Happy Holidays & Merry Christmas

So where do we go from here? You might have noticed that I didn’t announce anything for 2024 after finishing the HedgeHUGS BOM. And that’s because I need a break. Even though I pretty much stopped posting and abandoned some social media platforms, it feels like I didn’t get anything done this year. I have pattern samples finished that have been lying around for almost a year and a half with no time to actually write and publish the pattern. And let’s not even talk about the long list of half-finished designs and design ideas. Longarm quilting is still my main business and eats up most of my time but I also have quite a few medical appointments and am involved in the two local guilds. And I did quite a lot of traveling which of course I don’t want to give up either.

I have also not come up with “the” idea for a new BOM. I have played around with several ideas but I found nothing really satisfactory. So here is where you come in. I would like to start another project later in 2024 but I haven’t been hit by inspiration so far with anything that might work as a block of the month. What would you like to see? Leave a comment, and maybe inspiration will hit me.

So instead I will show you a few of the things that kept me busy this fall. I did the registration for the quilt show again and organized the quilt intake and return which is a huge, very time-consuming task. But I love a good spreadsheet and well organized events, and I had a lot of fun doing it. The guild had not enough people for setting up the frames, so this year the quilts were displayed in the sanctuary of the church where we hold the shows.

Quilt Show 1

Picture courtesy of Lyn R.

I usually don’t participate in the show challenge (if the day just had more hours!!). But this year inspiration suddenly hit me in late September, and I whipped up an entry in a few days. The theme was a “song with a colour”, and I suddenly had this vision of “Red Roses for a Blue Lady”, and it turned out pretty much the way I saw it in my head.

Red Roses for a Blue Lady


Two guilds means two Christmas parties with lots of activities. At the Chilliwack Quilters Guild we played Bingo with fabric cards, and the blocks were collected afterwards and will be turned into donation quilts.

Bingo Blocks


We also made a bobbin blossom brooch which is a very quick project, especially when you use a magnet instead of a pin. It looks really nice and is easy to do although the instructions looked quite intimidating at first.

Bobbin Blossom


And then we played the “Left, Right, Centre” game. Everyone starts out with three Jelly Roll strips, and the one who ends up with the last strip(s) when all the others have been placed in the centre wins the whole pile. Only that this year the winners of each table played a final round against each other with the winner taking all the strips. Well, guess who the (reluctant) lucky winner was… yes, I went home with about 120 strips of fabric. There is a huge variety of patterns and themes, and nothing is coordinated. I folded them, and they found a home in my big Fisherman’s Friend tin, and I have decided I will make (probably three, depending on how many strips there actually are) Jelly Roll Race quilts and donate them back to the guild’s We Care program.

Strips 1 Strips 2


The Chilliwack Piecemakers Christmas Party was even more hilarious (you would have loved it, Joanne). We played some games, had lots of door prizes, and the President made all executive members sing a quilty version of “Twelve Days of Christmas”. I was lucky (and maybe everyone else too because I can’t sing very well publicly) and managed to get the twelfth verse that I only had to sing once.

We also made Healing Heart blocks for a member going through some rough times, and a nice collection was gifted to her as a “fabric hug”.

v


And then my husband needed a new Dinkelmaus (the German version of a bean bag, if you want to know more or download the free pattern, check here). His was wearing thin after about 15 years, and he would leave kernels of spelt all over the house. Since they make such great gifts and don’t take long to sew, I made a whole collection and gave them away to my quilty friends.

Dinkelmäuse


Last but not least I spent almost all of November on my Christmas Cards, they were all finished in time and mailed out in early December.

Merry Christmas


I hope you all have a happy and safe holiday season, take some time to slow down and relax and enjoy your friends and family. See you all in 2024!

 



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Black Friday Sale 2023

I hope everyone south of the border had a great Thanksgiving. It’s Black Friday again, and I am offering a discount code for 20% off during checkout. BLACK2023 will be valid until Nov 27, 2023 11.59 pm PST. Please note that it works only on this website and not on any other platform that might be selling my patterns. Now is the time to check and see if you missed any blocks or get that special pattern you have always wanted. I know I haven’t been very creative this past year, if you could all send me some extra time, that would be helpful. I hope you’ll find something anyway. Happy shopping!

Black Friday Sale 2023



Previous BOM blocks can be found here:




Die deutschen Versionen mit metrischen Maßen befinden sich hier:






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Black Friday Sale 2022

Another year, another Black Friday… and another sale. Once again I am offering a discount code for 20% off during checkout. BLACK2022 will be valid until Nov 28, 2022 11.59 pm PST. Please note that it works only on this website and not on any other platform that might be selling my patterns. Now is the time to check and see if you missed any blocks or get that special pattern you have always wanted. Happy shopping!

Black Friday Sale 2022





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Black Friday Sale 2021

Once again, it’s that time of the year… Black Friday has arrived, and I am having a sale again this year, offering a discount code for 20% off during checkout. BLACK2021 will be valid until Nov 29, 2021 11.59 pm PST. Please note that it works only on this website and not on any other platform that might be selling my patterns. Now is the time to check and see if you missed any blocks. Happy shopping!




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Happy Holidays

Christmas will certainly be different this year! Due to Covid restrictions, many of us will not be able to celebrate the way we are used to which is of course disappointing. But protecting all of us and our loved ones is more important than physical gatherings, and with the help of technology we will still be able to be together and maybe even create some new traditions. A lot has changed in the last few weeks, and with the arrival of vaccines, hopefully we will be able to get back to more normal times next year. I will be taking a much needed break for the next two weeks. Have a happy holiday season, thank you all for reading my ramblings and leaving comments, you are all very much appreciated. I’ll see you on January 1, 2021 with the first block of the new Monkey Business BOM. Until then, have a good time and be safe!

Christmas Trees

 

 



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Black Friday Sale 2020

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are upon us, and I am also having a sale again with a super creative discount code 😉 Enter the code BLACK2020 during checkout and receive a 20% discount on your purchase. The coupon code is valid until Nov 30, 2020 11.59 pm PST and works only on this website (and not on other platforms I might be selling my patterns on). Happy shopping!

Black Friday Sale 2020



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Calling All Local Quilters: Chilliwack PieceMakers Guild Is Going Virtual

As you may know, Chilliwack has two quilting guilds, a “day guild” and a “night guild”. I am the current president of the the Chilliwack PieceMakers Guild, the “night guild”, and will do some shameless promotion in this post 🙂 We have been very busy trying to adapt to the Covid situation. Our general meetings are every month on the third Wednesday night from 7 to 9 pm. We know that many quilters don’t like driving in the dark, especially in bad weather which is often given as a reason why they don’t want to join a guild that meets at night. This year, all our meetings will take place on Zoom, no driving involved. This is your chance to meet our creative group and join the fun. Zoom is super easy to use, you don’t need to sign up for an account, you just have to follow the invitation link. We ran two test meetings this past week for members to try out Zoom and had a lot of fun. Those who had never used Zoom before were surprised how easy it was. We are offering phone support and step by step walkthroughs, so far we have been able to get everyone connected, no matter how experienced or tech savvy they were.

Chilliwack PieceMakers Logo


If you are a local quilter (and local does not just mean Chilliwack, we have members from Abbotsford and Agassiz as well and would certainly welcome quilters from Hope etc… you get the idea) and would like to give our virtual guild life a try, please contact us through our website or leave me a message, and I’ll get you connected. Our September meeting next week will start slow, we want to make sure that everybody can find their way around Zoom, and we will mostly do Show & Tell, so everybody can talk about what they made during the summer. We will also have “Breakout Rooms”, a super fun feature of Zoom. If you have more than a handful of people in a virtual meeting, you can’t really get a real life conversation going, everybody will talk over each other, and you won’t be able to hear a thing. Zoom offers the possibility to divide participants up into a number of smaller rooms, and we will use this feature for our coffee break and randomly place a few people together in rooms to be able to chat and visit and meet new people. We will mix up everything once or twice, so it will be a bit like speed dating and much less intimidating than walking into a real life meeting where everybody seems to know each other.

For October, we have a virtual trunk show and quilting demonstration planned. You will be able to see everything on your screen in detail, much closer than you would be in reality. It will be like looking over the presenter’s shoulder.

We have to stay apart for a while longer but that doesn’t mean we have to be alone. If you would like to join us, please don’t hesitate to contact us, and we will help you get connected.



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Penguin Backing Fabric

You might have noticed that I didn’t post a picture of my sample block this month. I don’t have a huge fabric stash, that’s not the way I work. I come up with a design first, and then I hunt down the fabrics, and sometimes it just takes a while to find the right ones. But my first block is finally done and ready to show.


And I also managed to find backing fabric for the quilt. I don’t usually buy a lot of novelty prints but I like my backings to match the theme of the quilt, and of course I had to order this cute penguin fabric when I saw it online. And they even wear hats and scarves!



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Yes, I am still here…

These sure are scary times that we live in! If you wondered what happened to me, I needed some time to deal with the evolving situation and my mental health. I have been aware of what was coming for a bit longer than many of you. Having a pharmacy degree and a math major son, I understand the threat of exponential growth very well. In addition to that, COVID-19 seems to have spread in the WA square dance community before we were really aware of it. We usually danced in Kirkland, WA once a month, and we knew that in February lots of dancers suddenly seemed to be ill. But we didn’t know what it was until March 2, when one of them, a man in his 40s, passed away, and it was confirmed that respiratory failure due to COVID-19 was the cause. Several other square dancers tested positive afterwards, and while most of them are on the mend by now, one very sweet gentleman in his 90s is still in ICU fighting for his life.

(UPDATE: I just received the news that 92-year-old Wayne passed away today. What a sad day for our dance community.)

We had two square dancing weekends in WA planned for March and immediately cancelled everything. The last time we danced with any of the infected dancers was February 9, so we were not worried about our personal health. But there is a lot of mixing and mingling between BC and WA dancers. All events never took place in the end, and for good reason, but I started campaigning to close down square dancing here in Canada right away. At the time people still thought I was overreacting but as you know things progressed quickly. By the time square dancing was shut down and I started working on the quilt guild meetings, people had begun to realize that something was very wrong and we had everything cancelled before large groups were officially banned.

The last week has been one huge mental health emergency for me. I am usually very good at keeping my anxiety under control with progressive muscle relaxation and similar techniques but right now I find it very hard. I am sure many of you feel the same pressure. Be kind to yourself. Sometimes all you are able to do is make a cup of tea and sit on the couch. And that’s okay. These are scary times but we will get through this. It might just take a bit longer than we originally thought. The best thing we can do right now is stay home and avoid all unnecessary contact.

For those of you who are local and use my quilting services, I will continue to quilt for others. I will post an update on the “Quilting Services” page on how I have been handling this without any direct contact. My regular customers have been wonderful in accepting these changes and dropped off bags on my doorstep and discussed quilting options on the phone and via email. But I will have a lot more time to work on my patterns, and I am trying to get my head back into the right place to be able to do this.

I am happy to announce that I have another BOM project with nine blocks almost ready. It should have been ready two weeks ago before the situation started to escalate but I will get my act together and get it ready over the weekend. So stay tuned for next week, and we should be able to start on April 1. In the meantime, please be safe and stay home and healthy.



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Wild Roses

This pretty floral quilt in blue and yellow was made by Linda. She asked for low density quilting, and we picked “Ginger Flower” for her quilt, a floral swirly pattern that picks up the five-petal flowers of the outer border fabric.

Wild Roses




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Butterflies

Nancy made this pretty butterfly quilt using floral fabrics in soft colours. She stitched around the shapes using a machine blanket stitch and switched from matching thread to contrasting threads after a while to make the quilt more interesting. The quilting design is called “Wild Wind”.

Butterflies




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Mrs Buckingham

Mrs Buckingham moved in with me right before Christmas. She wasn’t exactly a Christmas gift, I just happened to find her at this time of the year. Mrs Buckingham – in case you are wondering – is a beautiful vintage Singer treadle machine, a Model 15. All my vintage machines have names, just my modern computerized Pfaff machine is just “my sewing machine”. For some reason I could never think of a good name for her.

Mrs Buckingham gave me a bit of a headache too when I tried to find a name for her. It wasn’t until I opened the drawers and found the original manual in one of them. In neat handwriting it was marked “Mrs Buckingham”. I am assuming that this was the name of the original owner, and it only seemed fitting to choose this name for the machine.

Before I started my quilting business I used to write a personal sewing blog, and I posted pictures of all my machines when I acquired them but I have never written about my collection here. For anyone interested, here is a quick overview. Most of these machines came without a manual, and I did some research to figure out the model numbers. I am fairly confident they are correct but I am not an expert, so please don’t yell at me if you find a mistake 😉

Noelle

My first vintage Singer was this black Featherweight, her name is Noelle, and I have pieced quite a few quilt tops with her. She was my travel machine back in Germany and accompanied me to retreats and other sewing events.

Sweet Caroline

When we moved to Canada and our boxes hadn’t arrived yet, a friend gave me her mother’s Singer machine from the early 60s… meet Sweet Caroline, a Singer Slant-O-Matic 403 special. I was able to get a darning foot and even used her for free-motion quilting.

Hope

This is Hope, the first machine we purchased in Canada, a Singer 201. My husband found her on Craigslist, the owners were moving and wanted to get rid of her. The power cord was missing, and we decided to risk it and purchased her anyway. We were able to use Sweet Caroline’s power cord for Hope, and she was in great shape, just needed to be cleaned and oiled.

Heather

Then my husband discovered that he liked working on vintage machines and started looking for them on Craigslist and at garage sales. This is how Heather moved in with us, a Singer 128 vibrating shuttle 3/4-size machine.

Cleo

At a garage sale, we found Cleo, a Singer 127. She is closely related to Heather, the only difference is that Cleo is a full size machine. My husband was still pretending, by the way, that he was buying these machines for me…

Sugar Fairy

This is the one machine that I really wanted, and we searched for quite a while before we found my little “Sugar Fairy”. Noelle, my black Featherweight is a European machine, and because of the different voltage I couldn’t just plug her in after we moved to Canada. So instead of getting a voltage converter, I started looking for a white Featherweight with North American voltage. Makes sense, right?? These white machines are much less common than the black ones and more expensive but we finally managed to find one in good shape and for a good price.

I haven’t bought a vintage machine since 2015 but all my other machines are electric, and when Mrs Buckingham crossed my path, I figured that I really needed to add a treadle machine to the collection 🙂



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