Monday, April 28, 2008

Day 67 - of 100 Days of Quilts

Prairie Sun

Have you ever gone digging through a box of old scraps, and actually found a quilt? It happened to me a few weeks ago at my mothers house. I routinely dump bags and boxes of scraps onto my mother, who loves sewing up these little pieces into projects. I was helping her sort through a box that had some larger pieces in it, when I unfolded this quilt top. I had completely forgotten about it! I had pieced this top 10 years ago, right after our first quilt was published in American Patchwork & Quilting. This is actually a variation of that quilt. I had a piece of brown wheat fabric in my stash, and I modified the star block so I could use it. I loved the way it turned out, but I knew my mother didn't have time to hand quilt it for me, so I guess it was set aside. When I found it again, I packed it up, and sent it off to one of our quilters.
And can you believe the quilting? I gave this quilt to Jacquie Pohl, and told her to keep it simple. I put it all into her hands, because quite frankly, I didn't know how I wanted to have it quilted. Jacquie knows me, and she also knows how to bring out the best in a quilt, and so handing this over to her was the right decision. Now I just have to finish the binding, and bring it down to our local quilt show that is happening this weekend.
See you tomorrow.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Day 66 - of 100 Days of Quilts
Oasis - The Quilter - March 2007

Some days I feel like my house is actually a shipping department. There are always boxes coming and going. I usually am really good about knowing what is passing through my door, but last week a box arrived that I wasn't expecting. I was curious, and when I opened it up, I found this quilt. It had been at the magazine publishers for over a year! And it was a relief to see it, because it was our one missing quilt.

Because we have over 100 quilts, we keep a written record of where they all are, but this one had been 'missing-in-action'. Cori kept saying that it must still be at the magazine, and I was POSITIVE that it had been returned. Looks like Cori was right again.

Anyway, it is good to have this little lap quilt back home, and tucked up where it belongs, with all of the others.

See you soon.
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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Day 65 - of 100 Days of Quilts

all boy - completely kids
This was one of the photo's we took the other day during our photo shoot of all boy. Just thought I would share a quick pic before I head out to Myra's to do some last minute work for our trip to Dryden Ontario for the quilt show and dinner. Hope to see some of you there and we will talk to you next week. Have a great weekend...we plan too!

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Day 64 - of 100 Days of Quilts

Garden Tiles - Quiltmaker - March/April '07

On this rainy / snowy Thursday morning, I am taking another stroll down memory lane. I went down to my library a few nights ago, to look for some of our past magazine quilts. Ah, the memories. So while Cori is busy photographing our new quilts, I will dust off some of our earlier projects.
Do any of you remember this quilt? It was a project requested by Quiltmaker, and they wanted to use our Bohemian Rhapsody line of fabric. Once again we met with the editor - Brenda - and she helped choose the color palette. Once again, the editor made a choice that surprised me. We had designed the quilt with a narrow white strip between some of the blocks, just to calm down the colors. Brenda really wanted us to us a black and white print instead of just a solid white. Huh? What do I do? Do I tell her that I think she is wrong? Or do I follow her instructions, and see what happens? We chose the second option. She is the editor, and this isn't her first day on the job, so she must know what she wants. And once again I was surprised. Using the black and white print is NOT something I could have envisioned, but it really does add some life to the quilt. A solid white would have made the project more 'flat'. So her is another example of why I am not an editor, mearly a designer, who still has more to learn.
See you tomorrow.
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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Day 63 - of 100 Days of Quilts

Girlie Girl

Annette is wanting to see some more of the completely kids fabrics so here it is.
This quilt is a pattern coming soon to our shop. It is a twin size quilt with the large flower motif in the center and easy pieced borders. In colors of pink, orange and green, what girl wouldn't love it! Even if you don't have a little girl or grandaughter, what's wrong with making it for yourself, it would make a great TV blanket. (this is a great design for a teenager too.)

Seeing as we are a bit behind I thought I would post another quilt today - hope you don't mind. Thanks for the comments. We keep getting emails letting us know how much you all love the 100 days of quilts. Has anyone started their own 100 days yet, let us know.

This afternoon Myra is coming by and we will be photographing the
"all boy" quilt (the brother quilt to girlie girl!) Wish us luck! Stay tuned for more...oh if you are a subscriber to newsletter, I just received it in my inbox and to my surprise...we are the feature again.


(PS -this is my little girl, tucked up in her bed, watching cartoons, while recovering from her tonsillectomy a few days before. -myra)
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Day 62 - 100 days of quilts
snow ball quilt

This is a quilt I made for myself, I think it was the year before last. I used only stash fabrics and that was my goal. I had seen this simple pattern at a quilt show in Lethbridge and decided that I needed to make it using my stash. I had a lot of greens and khaki shades and accents of red. The quilt is quilted with all over swirls.

Not all quilts can be the "WOW" quilt. This is simple but fun to put together. You could make it using scraps. Mine may look scrappy but I call it organized scrap where you use numerous fabrics but you just repeat them. So it is still color coordinated but has that old feeling.

On another note... you may be wondering why the blog has been a little slow these days! Our completely kids fabrics arrived last week and we have been running back and forth to the printers, photographing quilts, packaging patterns and getting ready to attend a quilt show in Dryden Ontario. So please bare with us as we get it together. Next weekend is our spring retreat in Portage La Prairie, so we won't be slowing down for a little while.
Thanks for your patience!


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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Day 61 - 100 days of quilts

Summer's Day
If you have been wondering what we have been up to these last few days...oh boy were do I start.
We have been going FULL steam ahead. This quilt just came back from our lovely quilter and then binding hasn't even been hand stitched on yet. This quilt is twin size and yes we will have a better photo momentarily. The quilt is also done with our compleletly kids collections. And on that note, Myra picked up our fabric today, yeah!! We are getting all of our patterns ready to go to print, I will pick up a few of those tomorrow any one want to come over and stuff patterns?? hahahah. And then on top of that we are getting ready to go to Dryden ON next weekend and we are so looking forward to that! HOpe to see some of you there.

Myra took this picture of the back of the quilt so you can see better how this quilt has been quilted...beautiful. That's all for now, back to work!
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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What you can do with fabric

Hi, this is just a quick note between quilt posts, to share with you some of the events of the Manitoba Prairie Quilt show. Unfortunately I wasn't able to attend the show. I was in Winnipeg that day, but I was at the north end of the city, in the Maple Surgical Center with my daughter. Part of me was hoping that I would be able to sneak down to see part of the show, but I knew that my daughter was going to need me, and it is a wonderful feeling to be needed by your children.

There were many events, and one of them was a challenge. MPQ picked four of our fabric last year, to make up kits for the challenge. The theme was Live, Laugh, Love, and they could add more fabrics and embellishments. I believe that the small hangings were auctioned or sold sometime during the weekend, but if you want to see some of their great creations, click on the link below.

And I wanted to say THANKS FOR THE INSPIRATION to everyone who participated in the challenge. I have loved going back and looking at the quilts on the site. Isn't it amazing how so many different quilts can be inspired by the same theme and fabrics? I recognized some of the names under the quilts, and it made me smile, because you can see their personalities in the project that they created. There is more than one that I wish I hand hanging in my house, and they have definitely given me some more ideas for future projects.

See you all at the next MPQ show!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Day 60 - of 100 Days of Quilts

College Quilt

Yes, it's another favorite that I have picked for today. Is anybody counting how many favorites I have?
With our first fabric line, we produced a book to showcase how we would use the fabrics, and this is our rendition of a College quilt.

We wanted to make a quilt, that had an old vintage look to it, and that was embossed with the virtues one might need to get them through the college years.

I think this could also be a great scrap quilt, because it has large pieces, so you can really notice the fabrics. And these large areas also provide a perfect opportunity to try some creative quilting. Try a new design in each block. Make some of them traditional, and some of them modern and linear. Why not? You just might learn something new while making a college quilt.

See you tomorrow.
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Friday, April 11, 2008

Day 59 - 100 days of quilts
Petunia Picnic
The above version of Petunia Picnic was done for our fourth book Four Season's of Quilts. This quilts is 56" x 56" and was intended to be a large table square or a picnic blanket if you so dare! The pieced blocks are actually paper pieced and I guess we were ahead of our time...using so much white - we are big into that right now, as you will see in the next version below.

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This version was one I did for myself just recently. I feel in love with the Amy Butler print that I used in the center. I changed the layout slightly, still paper pieced the "flowers" and changes the dimensions to 30" x 34" for my table center. For the flowers I used three fabrics from our Bohemian Rhapsody collection, a coral, green and yellow. And again I used a solid warm white to calm the whole thing done. This is kind of a lesson in fabric if you will. Sometimes when you use too many of these more modern fabrics in one project it gets to over done and busy. That is why we love to through in some tonal fabrics and of course white or ivory - a place for the eye to rest and then the modern fabric becomes the star and the other fabrics just enhance it!
The quilting was done by a good friend of mine, the floral vine in the border was just the right thing. I never told her how to quilt this one, it was a great surprise to unwrap this parcel.
Do you like the more modern fabrics? How do you use them?
p.s if you are wondering what Myra is doing today...she is at the hospital with her daughter. No emergency, Robyn is having her tonsils (i am not sure i spelled that right!) out today.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Day 58 - of 100 Days of Quilts

Charm square quilt
Isn't this quilt great! It's another one of my favorites, and it's not mine. I really shouldn't be talking about this one, because Cori is the one who dreamed it up, and created it.
A few months ago we were at a quilt shop, and Cori picked up a charm pack. Who can resist them? They are fun to buy, but do you ever get anything done with them? Personally I would just keep adding them to my ever growing stash. But when Cori has fabric sitting around, it MUST be used up in a project.
The quilt idea was simple, but beautiful. She framed the various charm pack blocks with either white, green or chocolate. And there are an odd number of each framing color. I also love that she used a huge print for the backing, which was actually from the same fabric series as the charm squares. And my final comment is about the quilting. The linear, simple, square quilting is the perfect fit for this project. It makes it feel more modern and structured, where meandering quilting would make it feel more country.
That's it for my insights.

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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Day 57 - of 100 Days of Quilts
Prairie Acres
Today we are going back to the beginning. Do you remember me talking about the absurdly long village I created when I learned how to paper piece? Well, that long row of houses inspired other villages, city streets, country school houses, and churches. We had so many idea's that we put them all together, and sent them off to Martengale & Co. And that is how our first book was created.
When you send in a book proposal, there is a lot of information that needs to go along with it. You also need to send a sample of your work, so that they can look at your workmanship to make sure that it is up to their standards. This is the project that we made to send a long with our proposal. Well, actually this is the second version of the project.
We have had an enormous education in writing books, and magazines. We first created this book using 5" blocks. As we went through the process of writing the book, we realized that the actual 'print area' on a page is 7" x 9". So if we kept the blocks this size, it would greatly increase the number of pages in the book, which would increase the cost of printing, which would ultimately increase the final price tag of the book. So, we re-created this project using 4 1/2" blocks, so that 2 blocks could be printed on each page. And we also made sure to keep these measurements in mind as we created the other chapters as well. (You can have great quilt creations in your head, but when you have to put them down on paper, you may have to edit your grand idea.)
Our first book 'Down in the Valley' was broken into four very distinct chapters. The first chapter was called Prairieland, and it was very important to us, because it represented where we live. This small table square has fields as the center, and it surrounded by a farm, a school house, a town and a church. It really was fun to create, and looking at it again, I almost get the itch to start piecing houses again.
See you tomorrow.
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Day 56 - 100 days of quilts
Town and Country CD project
We did this CD for Electric Quilt a number of years ago (Myra will remember the year!) You can still get it if you go to
It was a collection of paper pieced projects, inspired by our first book Down in the Valley. We designed 30 projects under the headings; City Streets, Country Roads, Mountain Trails and Prairie Paths. What's so neat about the CD is you can choose a projects, then you can change it and re-color it and then print out the paper piecing sheets all on your home computer - you become a designer. It has cutting instructions and other tutorials.
So now that I have dug up this CD I am inspired to make some of these projects! The nice thing about the CD is we did not have to make all 30 projects because it is all virtual!! But I must say there are some really good ones in there. We did make a few for display so I will post a few more in the next 44 days! Can you believe that we have posted 56 quilts, It has been amazing for us to see all of our projects. When you have so many it is hard to remember. (yeah, I know boo whoo)
Back to the project at hand...Myra made a sample of this quilt when we did the CD but this one I made for my mom and dad for Christmas a number of years ago. It hangs in the stairwell. The whole thing is paper pieced and all of these projects are larger, some full size bed quilts that are paper pieced! This quilt is probably about 50" square, but I think that Myra's version was larger.
Thanks for watching!
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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Day 55 - of 100 Days of Quilts
Out of the blue

What kind of quilt can you make for a young boy? Well, how about an airplane quilt. We usually have a subject in mind when we design a quilt, and this is one that we created last summer.

The top quilt is twin size, and the bottom one is baby size. Both quilts use the same size airplane applique template, and they have the striped quilt backs that we love. We created both quilts using the RJR handsprays, but they would look great done in prints as well.

Cori and I have endless kids quilt ideas, but by the time we get all of them made, our kids will be grown.

See you tomorrow.
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Friday, April 04, 2008

Day 54 - of 100 Days of Quilts

Nantucket Rose
This is DEFINANTLY another one of my favorites. (I have a lot of those) We created this large wallhanging to show off our Cape Cod fabric collection, and I love the way it turned out. I think it is a very classic quilt, with traditional piecing, but in the urn, we created a unique flower arrangement, so that it did have a fun little twist to it. We also chose a very classic color combination, keeping everything in the tan/brown/chocolate family, and only adding a spark of burgundy, and green.
If you ask Cori, she will tell you that this project is 'Myra size' which means that it is probably 70" x 70" square. For some reason, I really do like this size. It's an extra large wallhanging, and I love those. Most people do find this an un-practical size, but I enjoy making quilts, they don't always have to be practical. So I have a question for you. Do you choose projects to make, based on their finished sizes? Because with some quilt patterns, the finished size is really odd. So does that matter to you? Let me know what you think, so that in the future, I know if I need to designs quilt to be a bit more practical.
See you tomorrow.
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Sharing Inspiration
We got this picture e-mailed to us, showing us another idea for what to do with a side border.

Diane made this quilt, which is loosely based on our Baby Blessings quilt (day 8 of 100 Days of Quilts) but she added a verse where we had put a baby initial, and she added a side border of piano keys. My first response was WOW, and my second response was 'why didn't I think of that?' So this is a great idea that could be used in combination with our last quilt we posted, or just to add to the side of any of your other quilts.

Thanks for the idea Diane!

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Day 53 - of 100 Days of Quilt

Banded Lap Quilt

Sometimes we like a quilt so much that we do it twice. The top picture is an A-symmetrical lap quilt that we put into our Love Joy Peace book. But when our Cape Cod line of fabric arrived, Cori envisioned this quilt is a new color palette.
What I like about this design, is that is gives an area for creativity. On our first quilt, we left it open, and simply used a print bird print for this large area. But I think this is where you can get very personal. It would be great to fill this area with a long trailing floral vine. Or how about an urn full of fruit? What I suggested Cori put along the side of her quilt was her family name of 'Derksen'. What do you see in the wide border? We love taking a quilt, and re-thinking it, because with every quilt, there really are so many possibilities.
see you tomorrow.
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Day 52 - of 100 Days of Quilts
Turtle Crawl
I am so anxious to start showing you some of our new quilts, that I am literally taking them out of the box, and posting them on the web! Yesterday I was running to the bus depot, and the mailbox, picking up boxes of quilts. This one came in from Indian Head, Saskatchewan, where a very dear friend actually followed directions! (sorry Joan, I couldn't help it) Cori and I had so many projects that had to be finished in such a short time frame, that we asked some quilting friends to help us out. And that has been a very good decision.
So, today I will finish binding this quilt, and then send it over to Cori, who will get it photographed, and have the pattern printed, so that it will be ready when we start travelling in just a few weeks. Is anyone in Dryden counting down the days until your show? We are. So much has to happen before we can go, but we are really looking forward to seeing all of our friends out there in Northern Ontario.
Now I have to run, and catch the UPS guy. I finished two magazine quilts last night, and I have to get them to Fons & Porter, so that you can see them on your newsstands in a few months.
See you tomorrow.
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April Fools!

Even God likes to play tricks sometimes. Yesterday He sent us over an 1" of snow! But it was the most wonderful, gentle snow fall I could ever remember. The snow actually fell down in clumps. It looked like pieces of quilt batting falling down from above. I tried to capture it on camera, but a picture just can't do it justice. In the picture, the bright white spots are the snow that is falling, and you know the snow is thick when you can actually photograph a snow clump in the air.

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