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WIP Wednesday — Pam

August 6, 2014
Posted by: Pam

This is the first in a regular feature on work in progress. The whole Mad About Patchwork team — Kaisa, Sharyn, Laura and myself — will be taking turns with this feature. You’ve already met Laura and myself through the blog, and if you’ve been to the loft you’ve likely met Kaisa and possibly Sharyn.

Granny Squares Front

I’m kicking things off this week with a bit of an introductory post. I’ve been quilting for about 18 years, owner of Mad About Patchwork for the last 7 years. I started out as a traditional quilter, and have followed the modern quilting movement since I opened the on-line shop. Mostly self taught, with a few workshops here and there, I consider myself an expert at straight line piecing, and a novice in most other areas. I’m trying to stretch myself and add paper-piecing and applique to my tool kit. I look for inspiration in books, magazines and blogs. I usually follow a pattern (or at least a block tutorial) but am comfortable adapting those as I like. I try to find time to sew weekly, and don’t like having a lot of unfinished projects about. My favourite color is blue, although I never met a colour I didn’t like. Denyse Schmidt is my modern quilting muse and I was thrilled to take her improv workshop at QuiltCon 2013.

Denyse Schmidt improv

Almost all my quilts are long-arm quilted by others, although I can manage some straight-line quilting if needed. I would love to have a long-arm machine and time to develop some free motion skills of my own, but that will have to wait while I focus my energies on the shop. I avoid making too many commitments when it comes to quilting (I don’t like to work under pressure) , but I do enjoy being part of an on-line bee with a group of fellow Canadian quilters.

String X

July was my month as queen bee, and I plan to finish this String X quilt top in August. This block is adapted from Block Party — A Modern Quilting Bee, a book I often refer to when looking for inspiration.


I’m also working on the City Sampler blocks I started almost a year ago. With 55 blocks done I need to make another 15 and then put them together as a twin size quilt.


This block of the month quilt that I finished up in June is ready for binding. It’s just back from long-arm quilter Carol Darou who did an amazing job in adding texture and interest with her free-motion quilting.


And finally, these are two pieces of fabric I’ve put aside to try my hand at garment sewing — Shape of Spring Petal Print in Twig for a Schoolhouse Tunic, and Mary Thistle Knit in Midnight for a Deer and Doe Plantain T-shirt.

You’ll meet Laura, Kaisa and Sharyn in the coming weeks and I’ll be back with an update in September.


July 29, 2014
Posted by: Pam


I spent a few hours with Bonnie and Sandra in the Waffle Kisses sewing studio last night.


We made this lovely little neighbourhood of mug rugs — I’m on the left, Sandra in the middle and Bonnie on the right. Laura’s workshop included all the materials, so all we had to do was arrive on time. We found the perfect fabrics in Laura’s stash for our creations, and spent the next couple of hours sewing and socializing.  Laura has a nice line-up of workshops for August posted, and  her fall schedule is in the works.

String X

These are the String X blocks that have been arriving from my Canadians Quilt { bee } mates — everyone has done a great job of finding just the right shades of green and taupe for me. I’m looking forward to finishing this up in August once all the blocks are in. I hope you’re finding some time to create this summer.



A rainy day at the lake

July 16, 2014
Posted by: Pam

Postage Stamp in pink

I was invited to spend the day with some QuiltCo members at their summer retreat at Buckingham Palace (a lovely lakefront property not too far from the town of Buckingham in Quebec). Although the weather was dreary the company definitely was not! Such a talented group of quilters, and excellent cooks to boot. I came home rested and relaxed, with most of my pink postage stamp top pieced (only 4 more rows to go). These pink squares were cut from my scraps quite some time ago, and I am happy to have this UFO almost ready for quilting.

Pink Bolts

I had it in the loft today to take some pictures, and at the same time audition some backing fabric. How about Catnap Finn in Raspberry? Or Enchant Tea Party in White? Wee Wander With The Birds in Pink?  I think I have a winner — can you guess?

You win too … with 20% savings on all 3 of these awesome pink prints for a limited time. Sale ends Monday July 21 at noon.

A Summer Days Skirt

July 8, 2014

This month we’ve got four great projects lined up for you from our Pitch It to Win It Summer Days edition.  First up is Shena of Apple Pie Patchwork with the adorable skirt she made for an adorable girl.


Summer Days Skirt 2

Shena came up with her own creation, a combination of this tutorial and her own ingenuity.  She started with cutting the pieces of the fabric into 4.5″ x 12.5″ strips and sewed them together to make a tube.  Once she had the tube completed, she measured the circumference, added 0.5″ seam allowance and cut an accent piece (the bottom of the skirt) to measure 3.5″ x the circumference plus the extra 0.5″.  She then sewed the accent strip into a tube, pressed it in half (wrong sides together) and then sewed it to the bottom edge of the skirt so that the folded edge was the bottom of the skirt.  Although she forgot to sew right sides together, you can’t even tell!  I wouldn’t have noticed it if she didn’t mention it to me :)  To cover up the seam, she added a ribbon trim and top-stitched it in place.


For the top accent, she again cut a strip the same as the skirt circumference and sewed it into a tube, and then made an elastic casing by pressing a 1/4″ down, and then pressing another fold 1/4″ wider than the elastic.  She sewed the casing in place, leaving an opening to feed the elastic through.  Then she sewed the top accent to the skirt.  She used 1/4″ seams for the whole skirt.  She threaded the elastic through, then made her model try it on a couple times while she adjusted the elastic.  She sewed the elastic together with a reinforced stitch (back-stitching like crazy) and then sewed the little opening shut.  She also finished all of the exposed seams with zig-zag as she went, so that they wouldn’t fray.

Isn’t the skirt darling?  I’d have to say the model is cuter though!  If you’d like to try your own hand at a Summer Days Skirt, be sure to pick up a Summer Days bundle.

Summer Days Bundle

Just Add Baby

July 7, 2014
Posted by: Pam

Baby Knickers + more

A few hours sewing on a Saturday afternoon  produced a little gift for a neighbour’s new grandchild. Free pattern for the knickers from Anna Maria Horner and bucket hat from Oliver + S; t-shirt from Joe Fresh. The fabric is Glow Friends in Pink from the Wee Wander collection; I used less than a yard for the knickers and hat with another 12″ WOF piece from my stash for the hat lining.

Bucket HatWhat were you sewing this weekend?


Cathy’s Carousel BOM – June Wrap Up

June 30, 2014
Posted by: Pam

After some marathon sewing last Friday I was able to finish my blocks and put them all together for the final post in this series. I don’t like to make too many commitments when it comes to sewing, so it’s a relief to have met my deadline for this one!

Cathy's Carousel - June

I still had a block to finish and wanted to include the pinwheels from Cathy’s original design.  Instead of a single row of pinwheels I did a great big 9-patch alternating 6″ pinwheel blocks with the white background blocks. I added 2″ sashing all around that to make it the same size as the Dresden Plate block (22 ½” unfinished). I also finished off the Dresden Plate with a yellow-gold center (thanks to Kaisa for pointing out the perfect fabric to use there!)

Cathy’s instructions for June show you how to put all your blocks together. I decided to use a Pearl Bracelet in Semi Sweet as my sashing fabric for the braid and inner border. I used the colourful stripe fabric from my initial fabric selection to do the horizontal sashing. In the end I didn’t use the Spring Fling block I made because it was just a bit too narrow to work into the quilt without some major fiddling about. Maybe it will find it’s way into the quilt back.

Cathy's Carousel

Here’s Cathy’s final version so you can see where I made my changes. You can finish your quilt with borders any way you want; I’m planning to make a piano key border with the small pieces of leftover fabric and then send it off for quilting. I promise to post a final photo of the finished quilt whenever that happens!

I hope you’ve enjoyed working on your own version of Cathy’s Carousel. If you have, please consider sharing your photos … Cathy and I would both love to see them in the Flickr group.

String X Block for Canadians Quilt {bee}

June 27, 2014

July is my month to host the Canadians Quilt {bee} and I’ve been scrambling to choose a block and a colour scheme. I ended up building the colour scheme around a couple of key prints and some coordinating solids.


Westwood Duck Feathers in Aqua (3rd from left) and Charley Harper Red Eye Vireo (on the left) were the inspiration for this scheme; the solids are Kona Ice Frappe, Pond and Stone. The rest of the pieces pull it all together.

The block pattern I finally settled on is from Block Party (The Modern Quilting Bee) by Alissa Haight Carlton and Kristen Lejnieks; published in 2011 by Stash Books. A must for any modern quilting library IMHO.


It’s the String X Block from May in the book (Josie Stott’s quilt). The book has instructions for foundation piecing the string, but I am asking my bee members to sew the string without the foundation.

Start with strips approx. 5″ to 6″ in length, and varying from 1″ to 3″ in width. Use a mix of prints and solids (I am sending everyone a few strips from my stash to keep the blocks cohesive). Sew the strips together joining the long edges, until you have a piece that measures at least 18″ in length.

I need 16 blocks to make the quilt (4 blocks together makes the X pattern) so I am asking my bee members to piece a second strip that is at least 6″ in length. I will combine the shorter lengths into longer pieces to make the extra 4 blocks that are needed.

That’s it for the bee —I am going to trim the strips and set with background triangles. I haven’t completely made up my mind on the colour for the background (my sample is using an Essex Linen/Cotton in Linen colour).

To finish your own block (in case you want to try this) you would trim the pieced strip to 4.5″ wide. Take an 11″ square of background fabric and cut along a diagonal into 2 pieces. Align the strip between the 2 triangles so that the block will be square and sew the triangles to either side of the strip. Then square up the block to 12.5″ x 12.5″.

Happy stitching!

Lotus Pond Lovelies

June 19, 2014
Posted by: Pam

Lotus Pond by Rae Hoekstra

Lotus Pond organic cotton by Rae Hoekstra for Cloud 9.

Geranium Dress

Bonnie made up this adorable Geranium Dress (available from Rae at Made by Rae) with  Lotus Drop in Orange. So cute!  If only I had a little one to model it. The  coordinating bucket hat is a free pattern from Oliver + S (also made by Bonnie).


And it’s reversible too. Love the snails!

Fathers and Sons Bunting – Pitch It to Win It

June 17, 2014

I like bunting: triangle, rectangle, heart, circle, square, scallop…Whatever the shape, it doesn’t matter.  If I had the time, I’m pretty sure my entire house might be covered in bunting.  Instead of “putting a bird on it” – a la Portlandia – I could put bunting on it.  I could even put bunting on bunting, but that might be just a little excessive.

In the past when I’ve made bunting, I’ve never taken the time to figure out a shortcut.  It didn’t cross my mind that there could be a quicker, easier way to make it.  And then I was scouring tutorials to make bunting for the studio and came across this one courtesy of Family Ever After.  One look and I knew that my Fathers and Sons bundle was going to become some boyish bunting for my little boy’s room.  Instead of using a patterned ribbon, I chose a natural fibre ribbon and folded it over the top of the scallops and then zig-zag stitched the length of the ribbon at the end.  I love how easy it was and how quickly it came together.  Now that my son is taunting my daughter with chants of, “I’ve got bunting and you don’t,” I feel like I’m going to have another project to complete in the very near future!







Fathers and Sons Feature – Week 2

June 10, 2014

It’s week 2 of our June Fathers and Sons Pitch It to Win It feature, and this week’s project comes to us from the beautiful Bonnie.  She used this tutorial from Jeni @InColorOrder to create this fantastic drawstring bag. I love the way the bag highlights the warm yellows, the blues, the reds and the grays and showcases their patterns and textures.



According to Bonnie, the tutorial is easy and the bag comes together quite quickly.  I see a few of these in my future as scrap or unfinished knitting storage.  If you’d like to pick up your own Fathers and Sons bundle, they are in stock now while supplies last.  Next week we’ll have a new tutorial ready for this bundle, so stay tuned!  And be sure to check out our current Pitch It to Win It contest for our Summer Days theme.  This is one you don’t want to miss!



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