Letters from Quiltcon

Yesterday emails were sent, read, and either celebrated or commiserated over.

The wait is over, and Quiltcon has its show quilts. Regrettably, none of my quilts will be hanging in Austin this February. Nor am I the only one without an entry, many of my amazing, talented quilting friends did not get in. Instagram has a new hashtag: #quiltconreject

Here is where I have a problem: the word reject.

Reject can be a verb or a noun. As a verb, reject means “dismiss as inadequate, inappropriate, or not to one’s taste” As a noun, reject means “a person or thing dismissed as failing to meet standards or satisfy tastes”. Reject has the undertones of failure, inadequacy, of not being good enough. Its not a very happy word, and using it to describe ourselves and out work is detrimental and frankly insulting.

People, WE ARE NOT REJECTS.

We were not rejected, we were regretfully passed up. Not because our quilts weren’t good enough, but because they just didn’t fit with the vision the curators had for the show.

It is hard to get a letter saying that your work is not chosen. I understand all too well. But that does not mean you aren’t good enough.

Jess over at Quilty Habit spelled it out perfectly in her blog post Positive thoughts on Quiltcon Rejection. She gets to the heart of the matter in a great way. there were over 1300 entries to Quiltcon. The show coordinators have a vision of how they want Modern Quilting to be represented to the public, and the quilts they chose reflect that vision. There are so many interpretations of Modern Quilting, so many aesthetics and techniques and visions, that to narrow it down to one must have been agonizing. But they did, and then they had to flip through the thousand plus entries to find the quilts that reflect the chosen aesthetic. It is the same selection process used in museums and art galleries. You could submit a masterful landscape painting that accurately reflects the people, time, and techniques of the style, but if they want flowers in vases, the landscape isn’t going to make it, no matter how talented and perfect the landscape is.

From what I have seen from the quilts that did get in, this year Modern Quilting will be represented by bright, bold colors, simple quilting, color blocking, and graphic designs.

So lets change the hashtag. Lets rejoice in our shared love of quilting! Lets cheer for our friends in the show! Lets ooh and aah over the quilts that will be displayed, and see the show for what it is : a curated selection of quilts, selected from a pool of the best modern quilts in the world-our quilts!

#notaquiltconreject

*UPDATE* Latifah Saafir at The Quilt Engineer has an amazing, insightful post about the jury process. Go check it out, it helps to put things in perspective!

Happy Goes Mini

Happy Goes Mini

Pantone Color of the Year 2015 is….Marsala?

Yup. Marsala.

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For a couple weeks now we have been anxiously awaiting the announcement of the Pantone Color of the Year for 2015. Pantone is the leading authority and biggest influence on color in the garment, textile, and design industry. If you want an accurate color, you quote Pantone swatches. Every year Pantone introduces its color of the year, and this year they chose Marsala. MARSALA.

Obviously I have mixed emotions about this color.

My initial reaction was not complimentary. Nor were the words I used to describe it. I won’t repeat it here. 

If I were a garment or interior designer, I would be very happy. There are a lot of possibilities with Marsala in interior design and the fashion world. My wallet, as it turnes out, is Marsala. A crocodile skin print in Marsala, with gold acents and a nice shine. its very nice. I can see a lot of riding boots, belts, purses, wallets, coats, accents on sweaters and home decor such as lamps, rugs, and trim. Even as an accent wall in the home, there are possibilites. The romatic little blurb about the color makes you want to like it and use it, and as makeup, oh goodness, my favorite eyeshadow just happens to be Marsala with a shimmer.

As a quilter and quilt designer however…..it is going to be a challenge to embrace this color.

 

A Paper Piecing Tutorial

Lately I have been so (sew!) busy, that I haven’t had time to write as much as I would like. I have a bunch of ideas strewn about my sewing room on scrap pieces of paper, of ideas for blog posts and tutorials, as well as some free pattern shares for you all. As I find them I will start working my way through them. Well, those still legible despite cat teeth marks and copious amounts of peanut butter fingerprints (those only happen ONCE, and he knows it!)

Today it’s all about paper piecing, which is perfect because I have a couple of patterns for P&B Textiles coming out very soon that use paper peicing!

Cartwheel Mini-Addapted from Cartwheel COnstellation published in AQS magazine January 2010

Cartwheel Mini-Adapted from Cartwheel COnstellation published in AQS magazine January 2010

Paper piecing, also known as foundation piecing, is a method of sewing your fabric to the wrong side of a piece of paper, stitching down the printed lines on the right side of the paper. It makes piecing irregular angles and tiny shapes a breeze, and you don’t have to worry about your straight and bias grain as much as if you were piecing normally. You can also paper piece blocks made from templates or blocks you could piece normally, it makes for very accurate points and corners.

Supernova

Supernova

 

My favourite method for paper piecing is a combination of a couple different techniques I have learned over the years. The tutorial works for all manner of foundation patterns, simple, complex, pictorial…

Rainbow Star

Rainbow Star

When I paper peice ( I am sure you noticed that I interchange the terminology) I like to pre cut my fabrics. This is how I know that a) my pieces will be large enough to cover the entire area of the foundation section, and b) that I actually have enough fabric to make all the pieces. There is nothing worse than cutting a piece too small or not having enough fabric to make all the pieces!

When foundation piecing it is important to pay careful attention to the sewing order of the peices. The sewing order is laid out so that the next seam sewn always covers the first.

To determine the size of strips to use:

Lay the foundation printed side up on your work area. Find the sewing line between the first and second section of the foundation pattern. This line will be the first line you stitch down, so you use this line to find the length of the fabric strips.

*NOTE* If the first section is a triangle shape, or has a long edge that is also the seam allowance, like the triangle of a flying geese block, then you want to use that edge as the length of your first piece plus seam allowance, and then determine the width. I cut Half Square Triangles for triangle shapes, that way there is less waste fabric.

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Take a large clear acrylic grid ruler and place it over the template, with the 1/4″ line on the stitching line and the bulk of the ruler covering the first section. Adjust the ruler so that it starts at least a 1/4″ past the end of the stitching line. Find the end of the stitching line, and the measurement on the ruler that corresponds with it. Add 1/4″ to that number. This is the length of your piece with seam allowances included.

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Now without moving your ruler, find the outer edge of the first section and the measurement that corresponds with it. Add 1/4″ to that number. This gives you the width of the piece with seam allowances included. Write down the two measurements inside the foundation section, this helps avoid a million measurements on a single piece and avoids confusion.  As a general rule, I will add an extra 1/4″ to each measurement as a safety net-sometimes fabric shifts as you are sewing.

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Now move your ruler so that the bulk is covering the second section of the foundation pattern, again with the 1/4″ line of the ruler on the same stitching line. Using the same method as above, find the length and width of the piece. Continue across the foundation, from section to section in the order they are sewn, until you have mapped out the measurements of each section.

To determine the amount of fabric you need:

I use this calculation to determine how much fabric I need:

42″ (the average usable Width of Fabric) divided by the length of the piece = the number of pieces per strip (always round this number DOWN to the nearest whole number)

I then divide the number of pieces needed by the number of pieces per strip, and round the answer UP.

Finally, take the number of strips needed and multiply it by the width of the pieces, then divide by 36 ( the number of inches in a yard). The final sum is the required yardage.

So for example:

I need 16 white rectangles 2 1/2″x 7 1/2″

42/7.5= 5.6, rounded down to 5

16 pieces/ 5 pieces per strip =3.2, rounded up to 4 strips

4 strips x 2.5 wide=10″

10/36= 0.2777777 , rounded up to the nearest whole cut of fabric, which is 0.3333333, or 1/3 yard. 

Here is a handy chart for you to reference!

0.125 = 1/8 yard

0.250 = 1/4 yard

0.333 = 1/3 yard

0.375 = 3/8 yard

0.5 = 1/2 yard

0.625 = 5/8 yard

0.666 = 2/3 yard

0.75 = 3/4 yard

0.875 = 7/8 yard

1 = 1 yard

 

I like to label my fabrics in the order they are pieced, that way I don’t confuse myself if there are lots of little pieces.

Now that we have our fabric pieces cut we can start piecing the foundations.

1. Lay the first fabric strip right side up on the wrong side of the paper over the first section of the pattern. Hold the fabric to the paper and look through the printed side of the pattern, holding it up to a light in, to make sure the fabric is covering the entire section and there is approx 1/4″ extending into the second section for seam allowance. Pin in place.

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2.Place the fabric labelled #2 right sides together on top of the first, matching the raw edges in the seam allowance. Secure the second piece of fabric, turn the foundation over and stitch down the line between the first and second sections of the pattern, extending your stitching through the printed seam allowance.

 

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*Note* Sometimes it’s easy to misjudge the placement of your fabrics when foundation piecing. When this happens you will have to remove the stitches. The cleanest way to do this is with a sharp seam ripper. Place the seam ripper between the paper and the base layer of the fabric and ripe the stitches. The thread on the paper side will remain intact, all you have to do is pull it off and it will take all the extra thread bits out as well.

3. Press open with a hot, dry iron. Fold the paper back along the second stitching line, where piece 2 and three meet, and trim the seam allowance to 1/4”. I use a piece of template plastic and an Add-A-Quarter Ruler to make this quick and easy.

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4. Place the third fabric RST with the second, matching the raw edges to the seam allowance and stitch as before, making sure to stitch at least 1/4″ past the next line or through the outside seam allowance, depending on where the piece is on your template. Continue stitching, pressing, and trimming until all the pieces are sewn.

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5. Trim around the pieces, leaving a 1/4” seam allowance. Often the seam allowance is marked as an outline around your shapes.

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Some people swear by leaving the paper in when sewing. With simple shapes-squares and rectangles- I will remove the paper before sewing the shapes together. This gives a tighter, stronger stitch, I can easily match seams, and the fabric feeds evenly through the machine. For complex shapes, such as wedges and triangles, I will first pin the pieces with the foundations intact to make sure my seam allowances line up, and then remove the paper from the bottom piece, the one that is going to be at the feed dogs. That way I have a line to follow, and I know my pieces will line up. I find that when I leave both layers of paper I get slippage and the fabrics shift inside the paper.

Poppin' Pillow

Poppin’ Pillow

I use this same technique for pretty well all of my paper piecing. You can make so many awesome blocks with it, I really hope you find it helpful!

Happy Stitching!

StaceyDay_Logo

 

Officially a Craftsy Designer!

Woo hoo!!

A couple months ago I submitted a design for the Red, White, and Free collection by Sandy Gervais for Moda. To my surprise and delight, it was accepted and I was able to turn it into a pattern. The nice people over at Craftsy liked it and turned it into a quilt kit! WOW!!

Presenting Celebrate Old Glory!

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Celebrate Old Glory

I love how it turned out! All those stars and squares swirling around! The fabric was a lot of fun to work with too! Vibrant colors, and fun prints that didn’t overwhelm each other. I really like the flag print on the back, don’t you?

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I quilted it using an all over meandering swirl. I chose a taupe thread, which blended nicely with the fabrics and let them take center stage. The binding is actually a panel that I cut on the diagonal. It made for an interesting binding that didn’t overwhelm the quilt.

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I am really over the moon about this quilt! You can get your kit here. It is an intermediate quilt, but if you are a confident beginner and take your time, I think you will be just fine! Be sure to tag me on Instagram @staceyinstitches and upload a picture of your finished quilt to my Flickr group, Stacey Day Quilts!

Thank you!

Thank you!

Happy Stitching!

StaceyDay_Logo

 

Blogathon Canada Wrap-up and Winner Announced!

blogathon_badge_2014

Well, what a week!

We hopped all around Canada, visiting some great blogs and meeting some great people! I was so thrilled to be a part and to read all the wonderful comments people left! It was great to meet you all!

And a big thank you to Sew Sisters Quilt Shop for putting on this great event every year, and the sponsors for supporting Canadian Bloggers and Quilters.

Camelot_Logo timeless_treasures rklogo.jpg northcott-logo-color-blacktext-website iaza16500765838700

 

Now onto the good stuff! The winner of this beautiful bundle of Tula PInk Moonshine is……

Blogathon Giveaway Moon Shine in Strawberry

Blogathon Giveaway Moon Shine in Strawberry

….Number 239 Lee!! Who Said: “You have a fabulous blog!! I love Grace and Favour!” Congratulations Lee!

Winner Blogathon Canada 2014

 

I certainly had a ton of fun, and hope you all did too! Thanks you to everyone who participated for making this such a success! I cannot wait until next year!!

 

Until next time,

Happy Stitching!

StaceyDay_Logo

The Reclaimed West Blog Tour *Winner Announced!*

A huge thank you to everyone who visited for The Reclaimed West Blog Tour.

I wanted to reply to everyone’s comments, thank you all so much for your kind and encouraging words! I drew the winner of my free pattern, and the lucky number is……#25! Beezus, who said “Congratulations Stacey”. Yay!

Reclaimed West Winner

 

Welcome all to my day on the Reclaimed West Blog Tour. ( If you are here for the Blogathon Canada tour and giveaway, click here after reading all about this wonderful tour and entering this giveaway, and if not, check out both for some great fun!!) You can find all the tour dates and blogs here on the Timeless Treasures blog. They are a super group of very talented ladies, so check them out!

Reclaimed West Logo

reclaimed west collage

I cannot even begin to describe my feelings to you all, having a design chosen as part of The Reclaimed West Tour. So a little back story might be in order.

 

I own almost every Judy Niemeyer pattern there is. She is one of my biggest influences, and it shows constantly in my work. I have made her Amazon Star in three sizes, 18″, 40″, and the full 104″. My Sapphire Star quilt, made from her Glacier Star pattern, has been juried into multiple shows across North America and even took home a ribbon from the Canadian Quilters Association. I have a private running challenge with my Grandma over who is going to finish her Pepper Dish first, and I was even able to provide an extra copy of Birds of Paradise to someone after the call went out on Quiltworx Facebook page. I love Judy and Judels work, and will even get up extra super early on sale days just to get the latest patterns.

Being a part of the launch of her new fabric line, The Reclaimed West, is a huge deal for me. Understatement of the year maybe….

I could ramble on and on about how beautiful the fabric is, the richness of the colors, the striking prints (only Judy and Judel could romanticize cows to the point where I would willingly sew with them), and the soft silk feeling of rolling around in a pile of…I mean…sewing with the fabrics.  Instead I will show you with the introduction of my new pattern:

Star of the West

Star of teh WestWhen I saw that Timeless Treasures was looking for submissions for the line, I fell out of my chair and immediately got to work playing. I knew that I wanted to do something to show the influence Judy had early on when I first started quilting, but at the same time keep true to the aesthetic that has evolved into my own style. So I started playing with the layouts and negative space. And playing…and playing… and playing.

I realized I was over-thinking things, and settled on a simple feathered star block. Then I found a color layout that I loved, and added the geese border. I wanted to reclaim that old favorite of mine, the lone star and flying geese, by adding some negative space and drawing out a little modern in the overall design. I created something that I loved, and sent it off with hope in my heart.

Stitching Enhanced

 

After I picked myself off the floor a second time, when I got the email saying my design had been accepted, I got to work drafting and writing. In true Judy style the quilt is foundation pieced. I love foundation piecing, it makes pointy points! Then the big day arrived with a box of fabric on  my front step. I crawled on up and opened it and immediately started sewing.

I finished in record time (for me) and then I was stumped. How to quilt it? The finished size is 64″x 64″, not unmanageable on my machine. But I was stuck. I simply could not decide. I definitely wanted to pay tribute to the beautiful quilting found on all of Judy’s quilts, but also wanted to keep within the modern traditional. Enter Ann Olson of Ann’s Quilt and Stuff. She took my top and turned it into a masterpiece. She delivered exactly what I was looking for, free motion triangle fillers, straight lines, and these amazing triangle feathers in a tribute to the gorgeous feather work found on an original Judy quilt. I cannot even begin to thank Ann enough.

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Enhanced 2

From start to finish, this quilt has been an incredible journey for me. To be a part of the blog tour with all these amazing quilters (almost all of which are certified Quiltworx instructors or successful business owners, or both) has been a joy and a privilege.

 

Star of the West is available from my Craftsy shop. The pattern is a PDF download, full color diagrams and pictures. The foundations are included in the pattern, but require legal size paper (8 1/2″x 14″ paper) to print. I am also giving away one of my patterns to a lucky commenter today! Just leave a comment at the end of this post. I will draw the winner on Friday, November 21 at 8pm (the conclusion of the tour). Timeless Treasures is also giving away an awesome Reclaimed West prize package here! You get an entry a day. Just visit the blogs of the day and follow the link back to enter each day.

blog-tour-prize-package

Thank you for stopping by and allowing me to share my quilt with you. Please visit again!

Happy Stitching,

StaceyDay_Logo

 

Welcome to Blogathon Canada! *Comments Closed*

Blogathon Canada is a week long event featuring some great Canadian bloggers. Hosted by Sew Sisters Quilt Shop and supported by a bevy of amazing sponsors, this Blogathon Canada promises to be the best yet! If you are coming over from the Sew Sisters website, you have probably already entered the great Aurifil Giveaway they have running today, but if not, be sure to click the Blogathon link above to enter and then head on back for some more great stuff right here!

blogathon_badge_2014

 

I am thrilled to be one of the hosts for BC. Not only do I get to introduce some great local Bloggers ( a few of which are fellow Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild Members), share a little about myself, and kick off this awesome week,  I get to have a great giveaway too! Are you excited? Great! Then lets get things rolling!

The dragon quilt #1

The dragon quilt #1-My very first quilt way back in the day. Being from Northern Alberta, the closest fabrics shops were a 444 km drive away! So this was made from an assortment of small pieces collected from my Grandma’s stash and larger broadcloths and cottons from Walmart.

Hi! I’m Stacey and I am a Quiltaholic! I love everything about quilting, from picking gorgeous fabrics to making tops to actually quilting and finishing some! I also design and write my own patterns, as well as do some writing and designing for a couple of great companies. I was bitten by the sewing bug early, when I made my very first quilt with my Grandma at 6 years old. I have always sewn on and off, and in 2002 my Grandma gave me her Janome 6600 for Christmas. That machine got me through college-where I earned a diploma in Fashion Production-travelled North with me when I met my husband, and then south again when I went back to school to get my diploma in Medical Radiography. I quilted on and off through all those years, but it was when I moved here, to the Lower Mainland, that I really started quilting in earnest. In the summer of 2010 I met Krista (@Poppyprint) at the Lions Gate Quilt Guild show, and she led me to the very first ever meeting of the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild. It was the most amazing experience of my life, and I will always be thankful for that chance meeting. I had been a solitary quilter for a very long time, set apart by my style and age. I didn’t realize how many like minded quilters were out there until that meeting, nor the strong online presence and resources were out there. I started entering challenges and shows, having fun the whole time, looking forward every month to those VMQG meetings.

Fossilized Amethyst

Fossilized Amethyst-this beauty is my entry for the Hoffman Challenge 2014. You can read more about it here.

 

I started my blog in 2012 (it took me that long to embrace an online presence) when my son was born. I guess I didn’t feel busy enough, ha ha! I still managed to find time for sewing and quilting, and while I do have a few more Works in Progress than I might like, they are slowly being finished and given to loving homes. I do keep quite a few for myself, my quilts rotate around in my hallways (which are nice and long, perfect for hanging lots quilts!)

Sherbert at the Beach

Sherbert at the Beach- I entered this quilt into the AQS Lancaster show. You can read more about it here!

Thank you for visiting, and have a look around! There are tutorials and free patterns scattered about in here, I did try to corral them into a single tab up top, but you know how those things tend to migrate! (I can tell you there might be one here, and here, and possibly here)

Putting on the Ritz

Putting on the Ritz-This was my very first in print pattern. It can be found in Issue 16 of Fat Quarterly

Here is the list of great blogs I get to host for! Be sure to check them all out, and then come back here and tell me your favorite in the comments below.  Why you ask? Well, for this amazing bundle of Tula Pink’s Moonshine! Thats why! Yay!!! I love giving away great fabric! The giveaway is open to everyone, international friends are welcome! If you are a no reply Blogger, please be sure to leave your email in the comments so I can reach you! My partner host for today, Jessica over at Momiji Studio, will also have some great fabrics to give away as well as another list of great BC bloggers, so be sure to hop on over and keep the fun rolling!

Blogathon Giveaway Moon Shine in Strawberry

Blogathon Giveaway Moon Shine in Strawberry

Without further ado, it is my pleasure to introduce a great group of British Columbia Bloggers! I am honored to know many of them in person, and pleased to make some new friends. I hope you do too!

aRt by Rhoda Forbes

Adventures in Life

Poppyprint​

Good Earth Quilting

Terry Aske Art Quilt Studio

What Comes Next?

Blueberry Patch

Grace and Favour

Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild

Daphne Greig

 

Happy Stitching!

StaceyDay_Logo