November Block of the Month

The November Block is now online through a link on the Block of the Month page.  Have fun with it and please let us know if you make any extra ones for yourself or other.

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Beautiful Bargello – A Fall Workshop

Thanks to Moira for these super photos from the Bargello Workshop in October presented by our talented member Pat.  Inspiring!

“The Bargello Workshop was a lot of fun and the day just flew by.”  – Moira

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Hints, tips and ideas galore!

October’s meeting was truly packed with good stuff. Right off the bat, as we signed in at the door, we each filled out a small form for December’s Secret Santa Mug Rug exchange, just names, favourite and least favourite colours were divulged. At the November meeting, those who have not yet drawn a recipient’s name will get the chance to do so, and instructions for the mug rugs will be disclosed… hope you’re all dreaming up designs already… my imagination’s running rampant!

Results of our first Block of the Month project were displayed for all to see. It’s always interesting to see the variety of fabrics picked by different quilters, and how the blocks come together. A name was picked out of the pumpkin and the “winner” gets to put the quilt together. BOM winner draw Oct17

As for the next one, well, Marilyn kept us guessing until later in the meeting to find out about it… read on to find out what it is! Let’s just say it’s a tad more complex than the envelope block!

Community Quilts had another wonderful month, giving away no less than six quilts. Many thanks to these ladies, who are making a difference one quilt at a time.

The Quilts of Valour team has a special request: they are asking for suggestions for their next project. Possibly something in bright colours? If you have any ideas, please contact Anne, Suzanne or Norine.

Linda passed along an invitation from Lions Gate Quilters’ Guild, who have space for our members to attend their COPS days (Creative Ongoing Process Session). These are social quilting days held from 9:30am to 4:00pm at Highlands United Church on Edgemont Boulevard in North Van. The next COPS days are on November 18th and December 9th. It costs $15, and please bring a plate of sweets or savouries to share. Contact the LGQG COPS Day co-ordinator to book your spot. Book sooner rather than later, because there is a cut-off time and the events will be cancelled if there is not enough interest.

If you’re like me, you like to see things demonstrated by a live person, not just a YouTube video. So how wonderful it was that this month we were treated to not one, but several “speakers” who shared some nifty tricks and ideas with us.

Glenna’s demo of how to make a Burrito pillowcase was a godsend! You’ll find an instruction sheet in the Members’ Only area of the website.

Marilyn not only revealed our next Block of the Month, she also demonstrated the whole thing. This one’s called Migrating Geese.

Kory shared a great idea for those whose sewing machines have embroidery options for lettering.

The idea is to sew the “label” right into the binding, and the perfect example is one of the community quilts she had on hand. Kory’s guidelines are also on the Members Only page or you can follow the online tutorial to which she refers.

A true labour of love is how I think of Linda’s Fidget Books, which are wonderful for patients with dementia, Alzheimers or other memory issues, or for kids. Using different textures, pockets, embellishments that can be opened, closed or simply moved, one creates a tactile experience that comforts. Some embellishments should be avoided, such as choking hazards (tiny objects and anything that can be broken off and swallowed), however, it’s a wonderful gift for a loved one… think: little secret pockets with rewards inside, fabric images, zippers, bangles, chenille, satin, velvet…

Cutting down on cutting is a good way to describe the Stripology “ruler” demonstrated by Les. As a bonus tip, she demonstrated a new-style rotary cutter with a horizontal handle and is easier on the wrist. Essentially, the ruler has slits in which to cut fabric in measured widths fairly quickly.

There are many ways to finish off one’s binding, and Sonia had another great method to share. This one uses the binding itself to measure where to cut.

Many thanks to Glenna, Marilyn, Kory, Les, Linda and Sonia for an inspiring gathering. Let’s do it again!

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Tips for injury-free quilting from a Physiotherapist

Our September speaker certainly came at the right moment: with our sweltering summer finally giving way to Fall, we’re all keen to get back to our sewing rooms! For hours, no doubt, which could mean injuries if we don’t pay attention to how we’re sitting, standing, ironing and so on.

Deanna McMullen, registered Clinical Physiotherapist and co-owner of Aveeva Physiotherapy and Wellness Studio in North Vancouver, demonstrated how to sit at your machine, keeping arms and legs at a 90 degree angle, and one’s back well supported. Which makes the right chair at the right height very important to avoid common injuries, such as carpal tunnel issues, shoulder tendinitis, neck pain, tennis elbow, sciatic nerve pain and headaches (I bet we all relate!). Using an item to raise your non-pedal foot (telephone directory, anyone?) is also recommended, and be sure the pedal is close to you so that you’re not extending that leg, which can put pressure on the sciatic nerve. It’s all about that 90 degrees!

If you weren’t there, you missed an impromptu demonstration of the “ironing board dance”… move along with the iron instead of leaning over and possibly pulling something in your back!

Deanna also had us practising stretches that might alleviate some of these aches and pains, or avoid them altogether by taking breaks every 30 minutes or so and doing a few before things start hurting. Her complete presentation can be read here, and look out for an email with the link to an illustrated instruction guide to the stretches. If necessary, consult your doctor or physiotherapist about problems you may be experiencing.


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More Quilt Stories from the Road

The Sugar Pine Company can be found in the scenic Rocky Mountain town of Canmore, Alberta, just a short drive from Banff.  Alcoves, shelves and walls are packed with material, quilts, fabric packs and all manner of quilting inspiration, beautifully displayed.  There was lots to explore around every corner.  It is a sewing and knitting shop as well.

The Sugar Pine Co.The Sugar Pine Co.The Sugar Pine Co.

Poppin’s Quilt Parlour in downtown Penticton, B.C. deserves much more than a pop-in by quilters.  Poppin’s has a large variety of fabrics, as well as many display quilts, patterns and notions to keep you browsing.  Friendly staff helped me find what I was looking for and showed me what was new and interesting in the quilt world.


Fort Steele is a large and interesting Heritage Town just outside Cranbrook, B.C.  It began as a North West Mounted Police post in 1887, under the command of Superintendent Samuel B. Steele.  Its purpose was to bring peace to an area being affected by a gold rush, the arrival of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and land disputes with indigenous peoples.

Wonderful heritage buildings, wagon rides along the dirt streets of the town, old-time weddings still held in the Bandstand, lively street theatre and other entertainments are keeping this period in B.C.’s history alive.

Traditional quilts of the era can be seen in the Officer’s Quarters and other residences in the town.  Dressmakers are still working at Mrs. Sprague’s Dressmaking in the Carlin & Durick General Store.

the officer's quartersthe officer's quartersFort SteeleFort Steele

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Quilt Canada 2017

Report from Marilyn:

In June I went to Quilt Canada 2017 in Toronto.  It was a four day conference put on by the Canadian Quilter’s Association and I decided to go because I had a quilt accepted into the National Juried Show (NJS).  There were about 350 entries for the National Juried Show and 127 were chosen to be shown in Toronto.  Of those 127 there were 44 who were first time entrants.  I feel honoured to have my quilt chosen.  Here are a few pictures of the NJS.

I bought a pass for all four days.  I took a one-day workshop on thread painting with Coreen Zerr where I learned more about thread and now hope to use more thread for embellishment.  I went to the evening lecture with Hollis Chatelain on her quilting journey and her views on social comment in quilts, and, a morning lecture with Elaine Theriault on quilt challenges where she showed many of her completed challenges.

There were other shows all with lovely quilts to peruse.  Quilts from a few of the shows are on the CQA website.  Just now their shows are listed on the Home page and you can also roll over the Galleries menu item and choose one of the shows.

  • Guild Rosette Show – CQA has a program where they give out rosettes at local guild quilt shows across the country.  They asked the winners of those rosettes if they would like to display their quilts.  They were beautiful.
  • Cantik Batik’s Youth Challenge – there were local guides who had quilts in the challenge available to talk to viewers.
  • A local Modern Quilt Guild
  • A few of the Quilts of Valour
  • FAN (Fibre Art Network) – They had the botanical quilt show they had at Van Dusen this Spring except that some of those quilts had been sold so there were additional hangings.
  • Canada’s Centennial – There were a couple of quilts that were made in 1967 to commemorate Canada’s centennial.
  • Newfoundland – There were quilts from a group in Newfoundland who showed quilts that were made to commemorate Newfoundlands military losses in World War I.
  • In a separate room there was The Trend Tex Challenge – Stitching a Canadian Memory which is also on the CQA website.  There were bids on all the quilts by the end of the four days.  It is fun to participate in this challenge and the funds raised in the silent auction helps CQA.

The Quilt Bee continued and by the end of the conference there were over 2000 finished quilts.  The final count is 2614 quilts to be given to Ronald McDonald Houses across Canada!!

Then there was a very large merchant mall.  Aurofil had jigsaw puzzles races to win a spool of thread. The Northcott booth asked people to sign in for their newsletter then they could spin the wheel to win and even the consolation prize was a pack of charm squares.  Quilts of Valour hosted a booth and sold blocks which could be returned to them to be made into quilts.  There were a lot of sewing machine, and medium and long arm machines booths.  These are only a few examples of what there was to see.

It was interesting and fun to meet people from all across the country, to see us as part of a large quilting community, and to see that it is vibrant and has appeal to so many people of all ages.  Mark your calendars for CQA Quilt Canada 2018 which will be here in Vancouver on May 31-June 2, 2018.  See you there!

Posted in Shows & Events, Travel

Quilts in Our Community – A Quilt Show by the Sunshine Coast Quilters’ Guild

The Sunshine Coast Quilters’ Guild presented a quilt show called “Quilts in Our Community” on June 17-18 in Sechelt, B.C.

From Moira … “It was a great show.  The planning and execution went very smoothly.  We had lots of volunteers and the members were very pleased with the results of their hard work.  We had a judge for our Challenge Quilts and we had three Viewer’s Choice awards.”

Sunshine Coast Quilters' Guild Show 2017

Sunshine Coast Quilters' Guild Show 2017

Moira with “Yellow Bits,” the raffle quilt.

Photos:  Moira

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Quilts in the Chapel – A Big Show by a Small Guild

Some photos from Quilts in the Chapel, a quilt show presented on June 10 at St. Martin’s Anglican Church in North Vancouver, B.C. by the Grouse Mountain Day Quilters Guild.  A wide variety of quilts and a showcase of talent and creativity.

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