BE KIND AND PLEASE "REWIND"

Secret designing revealed-Yay! I had been sitting on this idea for a while now. I'd even started buying fabric for it but was never satisfied. It was so clear in my head how it should be. The idea was to invent the ultimate, snuggling on the couch, watching shows quilt, based off a North American test screen... Then I got another one of those emails I love! It was from Daryl of Andover Fabrics reaching out and inquiring if I'd be interested in working with Libs Elliott's latest collection called Mix Tape. Boy would I! And Mix Tape was a perfect fit! So perfectly, perfect! I'm thrilled to bring you "REWIND" a FREE pattern ready for download HERE.

I can't wait to get my hands on this new collection and sew it up!!! Until then I'll be pining away for Libs' Mix Tape collections of tiny lips, hearts, stars and skulls. Not to mention those selvages!!! Have you seen the selvages? Each print has THE BEST titles like: Tainted Love (Lysa Flower fun fact, it's my very favorite song!), Heart of Glass (YES!), Lick it up (my husband was a HUGE Kiss fan back in the day. I even did an embarrassing painting of Paul Stanley for him in high school. Maybe I'll show it to you some day... er maybe not, cringe, ha, ha!), Satisfaction (if you had to choose, Beatles or the Stones?), You Shook me (Hello AC/DC!), and more! OOh! My Cassette patterns are SCREAMING for these selvages!

Until we get the fabric in our hands to sew REWIND up, here are some RECOMMENDED TV shows for curling up on the couch with: Amazon Prime's The Marvelous Miss Maisel, The Night Manager and The Man in the High Castle. A show I watched on my own, on the nights when everyone was away, Good Girls Revolt (fingers tightly crossed they do another season!). Oh and we just started watching Sneaky Pete (totally binge worthy)!

RECOMMENDED for your play list (how could I not, this quilt is screaming for this song): The BUGGLES, 1979's Video Killed the Radio Star and here's their 2004 version. I think Prince Charles quite enjoyed it, don't you!

PART 2: ANDREA TSANG JACKSON : : 3RD STORY WORKSHOP

I hope everyone has had a chance to recuperate from heavy sugar consumption this past Easter weekend... because I have something pretty sweet for you! The second part of Andrea Tsang Jackson's (3rd Story Workshop's) interview series! Sit back, relax: we're going to start at the beginning...

1. What is the very first thing you remember making as a kid that you were really proud of?

In Grade 3, my friend and I made this picture of a butterfly and a flower out of tissue paper. It was outlined in pencil a big sheet of stiff paper (she probably drew it; I wasn't that great at drawing). We then "coloured it in" with little squares of tissue paper that we moulded on the end of pencil and glue onto the paper. The tissue paper stood up and the final look could be likened to a high-pile hand-hooked rug. It was in the end probably a couple hundred pieces of tissue paper. We got to stay in during a few recesses to finish it, because our teacher knew it was going to be an impressive piece!

2. You came to quilting when you were expecting your first child in 2011. What did you make? (Do you have a photo of it you'd like to share?)

I made a fairly traditional looking quilt with a gridded layout, sashing and borders. It was a block that I designed that depicted a crane, but one of the 12 cranes flew the opposite way to all the others. I had no idea what I was doing and I only visited one quilt shop and a chain store to gather my supplies. I hadn't a clue about the modern quilting movement. The back was sort of improvised with the leftover fabric and more "modern."

3. Are you self taught? For starting quilting in 2011 your work is very impressive, what has your quilting journey been like?

I am a self-taught quilter, but I have had extensive training and experience in the design fields. I think that this background has given me a relatively fearless approach to quilting. Anything can be made, it's a matter of whether it's worth making and how it should be made.

It's been two years since I started quilting seriously and I have learned so much in that time. There is a glut of information online to learn from, which is wonderful. I've learned so much from my guild mates, as well. The trickier part is determining what should be taken into my practice and what information or techniques are not for me.

Surrounding myself with community has been integral in pushing me forward; an encouraging word goes a long way and it's very motivating. I certainly would not have pursued quilting with such gusto had there not been people to back me. My journey has been entwined with people, both quilters and non, and that makes it worthwhile and enriching.

4. When did you start making patterns? Do you do wholesale?

I started designing patterns in early 2017, a year after I joined the MMQG. There were some people that had asked for patterns for the Gemology Collection I had launched and I thought this would be a way to add a different revenue stream to my work. The first patterns I designed were a set of four gemstones. Funny enough, the day after I release the last of the series, Princess Cut, Kat Jones' Bling won Best in Show at Quilt Con. I have since released three more paper-pieced patterns, which were spurred from commissioned works and wonderful clients. Later this month, I will release my first traditionally pieced pattern, Banner Year.

I am doing wholesale right now, mostly to shops in Canada.

5. What's next for you? Any exciting projects you can tell us about?

Currently, I am working on an exciting collaboration with award-winning singer-songwriter Meaghan Smith. I have gotten so much out of the local, Canadian and international community of quilters that I wanted to honour these people in a special way. Quilters are special people with such generous spirits, both with their work and their encouragement of each other. Meaghan, whose mother is an avid quilter, is writing a song about the quilting community and I am designing a quilt pattern to accompany the song. It will being crowdfunded through an IndieGoGo campaign. The project will be launched in late spring and to keep tabs on it, you can sign up for my newsletter HERE

6. What would you recommend for our playlists. Songs or podcasts. 

1) My favourite podcast is 99% Invisible. I think everyone should listen to it so they can understand how design influences every aspect of their lives. I have often said that design is only noticeable when it is extremely good or extremely bad. The vision for my professional life is that people will understand design and how it makes the world better, not prettier.

2) Wow in the World is an entertaining science podcast for kids with loveable characters Mindy and Guy Raz.

3) Since I am working with Meaghan Smith, I listen to a lot of her music. Well, to be honest, I listened to a lot of her music before I started working with her! Her current songs are all commissioned works through her "Our Song" project. They are very meaningful songs that honour, commemorate, and celebrate real people and relationships. Get your Kleenex out.

 

IMPROV (NOPE NOT THEATER) WITH BARB MORTELL

I met Barb Mortell in the early 2000's through a mutual friend. In fact she was working at the fabric shop where I saw Amy Butler's first line of fabric! (You know the day everything changed!) Last Sunday I took my third workshop with Barb through the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild @vancouvermqg. You might know Barb or you might know her and not even know it. She was in Sherri Lynn Wood's book The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters: A Guild to Creating, Quilting & Living Courageously. Barb's quilt is on page 38. 

The workshop was appropriately titled Door Jam, based off a quilt of Barb's with the same name. Her inspiration for the quilt came when she was walking her dog around her neighborhood and noticed some beautiful yellow doors on grey houses. Volia, a quilt and a workshop was born. I brought ALL my fabric (when it comes to bringing fabric somewhere, dare I say, I'm never under prepared)... to only use three colours: black, white and pink. I was blown away by people's projects! @kristenandrews tiny green lines on a navy background made me swoon. @sherrichalke also made sun shiny doors and @dinkydoo, aka Alicia, got the most done. I just loved her doors! I, however, sewed, changed my mind, ripped apart my block, sewed it together again, ripped it apart, cut it and I'm still playing with the layout. I did end up with one block I liked but it's only 3"x 5"! And people say paper piecing is hard!!! Improv is the ultimate puzzle! While I haven't finished my block, Barb has a way of saying the right thing at the right time. She's very wise and I'll continue to take as many classes as I can from her. 

And guess what?! You can too. Barb has started on a new adventure called ARTLEAP! She has classes that go even beyond quilting! But if quilting is your jam and I'm guessing it is if you're here please have a peek at what she's up to by clicking HERE.

RECOMMEND PATTERN: Valentine's DAY!!! I'm completely jazzed about Kam's @needleplusthread new cross-stitch pattern. Oh my gosh, she's crazy talented. AND if you head over pronto you still have time to enter and win it! Click HERE to enter. 

RECOMMENDED NEWSLETTER: Abby Hersey! Check out her candy heart FREE pattern and her Galentine's Day FREE Downloadable cards. Find them HERE. I subscribe to her newsletter and I love it. She's my kind of gal!

Okay and it's that time... RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: I love you by SAID THE WHALE... sing it with me!... "you know, you know, you know, love you!"

FEELING CURVY WURVY? THEN YOU'RE GOING TO LOVE JENNY HAYNES!

Have you ever been roaming around Instagram and then BAM! You come across someone and their work just grabs you by the eyeballs?! That's what happened when I came across Jenny Haynes account @pappersaxsten. Curves are her thing and in my humble opinion curves (along with piping, bathing suits and bras) are the pinnacle of sewing. So when I come across someone who can do them and do them really well... I go into a Wayne's World spin of I'm not worthy gushing. I just had to share her work with you and Jenny was kind of enough to chat with me and share about her world and her work in this two part interview (join us next week for the second part). Okay let's get started shall we!

1. How would you describe yourself? What do you want people to know about you?
I'm enthusiastic, loud, creative and empathetic. I dislike rudeness and like equality and inclusiveness.

2. When and how did you begin sewing?
As a young girl. I made my own clothes (weird, 80's contraptions) in my teens and (more normal outfits) in adulthood. I made quilts for gifts and soft furnishings for my first flat.

3. You studied Pattern Cutting and Tailoring plus Fashion and Textiles... how did you end up quilting? How long have you been quilting for?
I've always made quilts. Every family member has one. After studying pattern cutting and fashion I got disheartened about the fashion industry and had a break from making. When I got back into sewing, when my children where born I made quilts for my husbands family and loved it so I decided to try making quilts for a living.

4. Curves. When did you realize that was your thing?
I thought it was when I made my first Drunkard's Path block but looking back at my portfolio from my fashion studies, I realized it was always a favourite.

5. By looking at your Instagram account you do a lot of planning for your quilting. It also looks like you do mostly straight line machine quilting or hand quilting. Can you tell us a bit about your process?
The planing was mainly because I only had two hours a day and only during term time so I had to be really efficient with time. I realized I really enjoyed the planing and the quilt design in Touchdraw. I'm looking forward to get time for more play and experimenting now that the youngest is at school. I've been asked to join the Improv Bee Kathryn Upitis @kupitus has arranged. It's called #beeinspired2018 and includes some of my absolute favourite makers. They will push me out of my comfort zone I'm sure.
When it comes to quilting it's mainly down to lack of skills (I'm terrified of FMQ) that I stick to straight lines. I'm hoping to try out some templates for quilting in my domestic and maybe one day I can get a longarm.

6. Is there a sewing/creative tool or book that you just can't live without?
When I got hooked on curved piecing I did not know the block was called Drunkard's Path or that there were templates out there so I had my own made. I use them for most of my designs and if I need a different shape I have them made. There is now a Double, Triple and Oval Drunkard's Path template. I had some requests for custom templates and I've got some new shapes in mind.

To check out Jenny's Templates or some of her quilts for purchase you can check them out HERE.

7. What three songs would you recommend for everyone's playlist.
This is the hardest question of all for me. Being married to a musician and walking music encyclopaedia makes me analyse my music taste too much.

I'm a bit old school (Bruce, Van, Grateful Dead) and also a bit scatty with my music taste (lots of 80's like Eurythmics and Prince) so it could be anything from Old Crow Medicine Show- Wagon Wheel, The Smiths-This Charming Man to Depeche Mode-John The Revelator.

WHY I HEART THE MQG AND THEIR NEW BOOK! : : PLUS A BLOG HOP : :

Where to begin? In art school I so badly longed to be part of a movement. Like impressionism or cubism but all those ships had sailed. I have always LOVED fabric but it was a well kept secret through my art education. It was well... girly, not big (as in scale) and too colourful (another big no, no). Fast forward to the year 2000. One of the gifts of having my first son other than intense nesting fever, I made several baby quilts (including one where I hand painted the fabric). He didn't sleep much (err, I know that doesn't sound like a perk) so my life whittled down to what I had time for. If I was going to use my precious time it had to be doing something I really, REALLY loved to do. So long horror films! My husband loves you but I've been faking it this whole time! I started to really embrace things I loved/needed to do. I still wasn't quilting yet but I had started buying fabric, making kick ass Halloween costumes and taking the odd printing workshop here and there.

Fast forward to 2010. New to Twitter I had seen this little tweet about the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild starting up. This tweet changed my life and put me on a trajectory that landed me here. I had very little knowledge of what The Modern Quilt Guild was. All I knew was that I wanted to be part of it so bad I could taste it! I couldn't even put into words what modern quilting was but I knew it when I saw it. And I LOVED everything I saw. E V E R Y T H I N G. It was a movement. YES! Fist Pump!

I went to that first VMQG meeting and then quickly co-founded the Fraser Valley Modern Quilt Guild. With very little experience I started sewing every challenge, sewing in quilt bees and took every workshop I could. That first year I made 12 quilts! I was so in love with the movement that this shy girl went to a LAMQG meeting... by herself! I'm not sure where the courage came from but a big perk was meeting Latifah Saafir. I remember her telling me about this idea they had, which became Quiltcon! (Side note: are you going in 2018? ME TOO! I just decided. High five!)

Fast forward to November 2016. After my Cassette Tape quilt had been accepted the year before I thought I'd like to expand on that idea with another design. I research A LOT before I start a project and when I came across the old movie poster of John Cusack from Say Anything holding his Boombox over his head... everything kind of fell into place. I posted on Instagram as I made the Say Anything quilt. It was an intense month but people were so generous in cheering me on. Gosh I love that November 30th deadline. (Shout out to @mscattergood for mocking up my boombox over John Cusacks head!)

I was thrilled when Say Anything was accepted into Quiltcon! And I was doubly thrilled when I received an email invitation for it to be a part of a book by the MQG, Modern Quilts: Designs of the New Century. M I N D B L O W N .

I've seen the list of quilters included and, understanding this is totally cliche, I'm humbled. There's just no other good way to say it. I mean, my heroes are in there. And then! My quilt will be joining the Museum tour! The location details can be found HERE.

It's been an incredible year but the party doesn't stop here! We're celebrating with a blog hop! So many great blogs, quilts and people Have a look-see HERE

While you're checking that out, stay cozy over this winter holiday break okay! Again thank you for a wonderful 2017. I swear every time I saw a boombox being sewn I gasped with delight! Hugs all around. I'll see you in the new year. Until then I'll leave you with my favourite holiday song: FATHER CHRISTMAS by the KINKS! Warning once you listen to it you'll be singing it all day. My gift to you, wink! Wink!

 

THANK YOU FOR ALL THE LOVE!

It took me by complete surprise! A week ago I threw up a picture of this quilt on Instagram. Honestly I rushed it a bit because I wanted to get to Natalie's pattern give away. Um... it kind of exploded. Melody Miller (the designer of fabric I used) posted it on her Instagram feed, as did Latifah Saafir (the designer of the Glam Clam pattern I used). I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who liked and commented on it. These two ladies, Melody Miller and Latifah Saafir, I totally have designer crushes on. For them to repost the photo was very generous. Again, thank you for all the love. I really appreciated it. xo

Now on to announce the winner of the Hungryhippie Sew's pattern giveaway! Congratulations... We have TWO winners picked randomly by Natalie's daughters, @nikistorr and @ohsobrooke!!!! Yay!!!! ...ALSO! Natalie is doing a HUGENORMOUS giveaway this week on her blog: a bundle of brand new sewing and quilting patterns, sewing notions, fabric fat quarters, and possibly a vintage Magnum PI poster! But she's not promising the poster, because she loves him. To enter just leave a comment. There might also be an interview *blush* with moi. 

Guess what else we have to celebrate! Snap to Grid is in stores!!! Yay!!! It was in Hawthorne Threads newsletter last week! And check out The Cloth Pocket store's mood-board! So RAD right ?!

And as tradition would have it, RECOMMENDED FOR YOUR PLAYLIST: selected by Natalie's daughters Awolnations - Sail (Unlimted Gravity Dubstep Remix)

 

I'm Overwhelmed... but in a good way.

I wasn't 100% sure what making sewing patterns entailed. All I knew is that I wanted to make them. Then Instagram. To my shock and delight upon completing my Mixed Cassette Tape Quilt, requests for a pattern flooded my feed. It gave me momentum, encouragement and the kick in the pants to hurry up and do it already! Then, the same thing happened with my Control Freak quilt (pattern released in December 2016) and recently with my Say Anything quilt (pattern coming 2017). You have no idea how tickled and grateful I am for those requests.

What I wasn't prepared for... I don't even know how to put it into words. All I know, it's BY FAR my favourite part of being a sewing pattern designer. See the look on Laura's (@lbaker537) husbands face Christmas morning! When I saw that photo I realized this pattern is out in the wild! People are making it! This project has become part of their daily lives. 200%! that's how much Sara (@sewsweetness) blew up the pattern to make a snugly quilt for her son! (Photo not shown but seriously go check it out!) Amazing! Rebecca (@hugsarefun) also made a pillow for her husband and so did Ann (@stitchsupplyco), again for her son. All were made to be opened Christmas morning... I'm a little verklempt! Thank you for welcoming these patterns into your life. It gives me the warm fuzzies all over!