Saturday, April 26, 2008



Announcing a new concept in learning to quilt. This is a minimalist, low cost approach to acquiring quiltmaking skills; or a renewal for quiltmakers who are tired of the current emphasis on the "fast, fast, what's new and popular" approach currently found in the industry.
Here( you will learn to approach quiltmaking with only a pencil, pins, a ruler, and a pair of scissors plus needle and thread. To begin with you will only need to know how to thread a needle.
At you will find the satisfaction of learning to confidently design and construct your own quilts, seeing them through from the initial stages of fabric and colour choices to piecing, applique, handquilting and binding. You will design and make quilt labels to document your quilt and you will also learn to make an invisible hanging sleeve that is an integral part of your quilt.
This is a website devised to empower women everywhere (with a special emphasis on those quiltmakers who are either far from centres where they might learn or whose family commitments are such that they cannot easily get away for classes or retreats)
I want to support quiltmakers to feel confident in their developing capabilities and to rely on their own artistic experience and judgment, while at the same time spending as little or as much as they want to develop their skills and artistic expression.
It is planned to have an ongoing instructional course on quilt design and the skills needed to finish a quilt of any size; a monthly update of pattern ideas along with 2 new projects a month: buying tips: where to find the best books, patterns and tools at the best prices; and how to shop for the best prices on a variety of first rate, quiltshop quality fabrics, backings and batting. Best of all is planning a members picture gallery and a forum for comments, queries and exchanges.
ABOUT ME: I live in rural eastern Canada, and I have been doing needlecrafts of all kinds for over 60 years. I have had a business website presence at
for over 10 years now, and set up my blog a few months ago at I have been making quilts for sale through my quilt studio for about 12 years now and am represented in quilt collections in North America and Europe.
I feel I have a very good grasp of trends in the industry, of quiltmaking in a historical context, and the requisite skills to make quilts that are very much in demand.
My life before "retirement" involved a career as an educational psychologist, and I have both the skills to know how to teach a complex subject like quiltmaking and the desire to empower women through the medium of textile arts. Best of all I am using an information management system on that enables me to post directly, so there is no waiting for a webmaster to load content, and your questions are answered in a very timely manner.
Come on this journey with me over the next little while - I know you will not be disappointed! You and I will exchange lots of ideas at
I have a one month trial, moneyback if you are not satisfied and decide to cancel membership within the first 30 days. You can't go wrong!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Tutorial: Sea Creatures - Part 3

The above illustration is to help you in cutting and basting bias strips to represent seaweed for the sea creatures quilt - choose a fat quarter of muddy green, brown and/or dark plum print. Draw lines at 45 degree angles about three quarters of an inch apart on the wrong side of the fabric. Cut away the short triangle and set it aside.
Next turn over a quarter inch seam allowance and baste it. Then cut away the three quarter inch strip inch along the marked line. Do this until you have as many strips as you will need to make seaweed, and when you have enough, turn over all the strips another quarter inch and pin. Set aside.

Before you go any farther in cutting out fish, starfish, jelly fish turtles, etc, it's time to get a border around the inner part you have pieced. If you are using a print that is directional, as I did, you will first cut a top and bottom strip across the fabric. Each strip should be about 10 inches wide. Fold it over, wrong sides together and right sides outward, and then either drawing freehand or making a paper template, trace shallow a shallow curved line along the inner edges and then pin and cut along the drawn line. Set aside. Measure your side edges of the central piece and give yourself a little extra that you will trim off later. Cut two strips each about ten inches wide, then wrong sides together and right sides outwards, trace another curving scalloped line on the inner edges and pin together and then cut along line. Arrange the four pieces on your work table and carefully turn under scalloped edges and then baste down all four pieces along their scalloped edges.

First pin and then baste the side pieces, You will have first drawn a line on the outside of the pieces about 8 inches from the edges. Then turn over to the wrong side, baste checking that the scallops fit the central pieced section without gapping. Next arrange the top and bottom pieces to fit nicely and to make the edges all fit at 90 degree angles. (Again you can draw a line on the wrong side about 8 inches in from the edge). Baste and check by spreading out on the table and measuring to be sure the quilt top is square and all sides are equal. When you are satisfied, baste and set aside.

Next select prints you will use for fish, turtles, starfish and jellyfish.

I chose two shades of green for the turtle, a beige and a coral for two different starfish, a dark blue, a lighter green and a red and a mustard for fish and the same mustard for a jellyfish. These prints will be compatible with the "Nantucket" style print I am using for border.You can blow up and save to your computer the template drawings - then print them off and cut them out.

The dotted lines on the jellyfish tentacles show where they will be slid under the body of the jellyfish.

Next and last part of the tutorial will address arranging the appliques and sewing them down.