Yorkshire Rose Quliters Guild of Toronto

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

What's happening at our October meeting this Wednesday

Come hear Alizon Sharun as she shares with us the Canada 150 challenge and show that she co-curated, The Perth County Tartan. It is a visual representation of the people and history of Perth County. “Quilt Squared” is an exhibition of One Foot Square quilt & fibre art pieces based on the colours or what they represent in the Perth County Tartan.

Date: Wednesday, October 11
Location: Danforth Mennonite Church, 2174 Danforth Avenue
Doors open for socializing at 7:00 pm
Guild meeting starts at 7:30 pm

Don't forget your mug for tea, your change for treats and library raffle, and your membership form or card!

Monday, 2 October 2017

York Heritage Quilters Guild: Quilt Show 2017

A Celebration of Quilts XIII will be taking place November 10-11, 2017 at the Toronto Botanical Gardens.

Hours are: Friday Nov 10th 2017: 10 am – 7 pm   Saturday Nov 11th 2017: 10 am – 5 pm

Find out more on their website: https://yhqg.org/quiltshow2017/

Monday, 25 September 2017

Meet a Canadian Quilt Blogger: Lorna McMahon of Sew Fresh Quilts

There are so many amazing things happening in the online world of quilting, so we thought it would be a great idea to share some of the people who are out there - online and IRL (in real life!) - who are making the quilting world go.
In this post, we will introduce you to Lorna McMahon of Sew Fresh Quilts.

 Yorkshire Rose Quilters Guild (YRQG): Why did you start blogging?

Lorna McMahon (LM): I began blogging as a way to document my quilting journey. I live in an isolated, rural environment and wanted to connect with other quilters. At the time, we were still on dial up internet because we were unable to get any other service. I felt like I really lived in the middle of nowhere.

YRQG: How do you connect with your readers?

LM: In the beginning, it was only through the comments I would leave on other people’s blogs that I could make a connection. As time went by, I began to add tutorials and tips to my blog. And then I started offering free quilt alongs. This attracted more readers and soon I was receiving comments on my blog posts and was able to respond to those comments by email. Connecting with others was my main motivation to start the weekly Let’s Bee Social link party where everyone can link up on my blog and are encouraged to visit with their fellow linkers each Wednesday. I also connect with my readers through social media. Facebook is one form of connecting but I am also now on Instagram where it is even easier to get to know those who follow me. When I began to teach classes and workshops and to offer trunk shows to guilds, this was when I was finally able to transition into connecting with my readers in “real life”. And that is when I realized I actually live in the middle of everywhere!

YRQG: Which of the projects featured on your blog are the most popular with readers? Why?

LM: Quilt Along projects have been the most popular because they offer the most fun to my readers. It’s nice to visit other people’s blogs to see what they are working on, but to be able to participate together while working on a project makes it feel more like a party! You just never know what patterns will be the most popular with readers. Some old favourites are: Elephant Parade, Fox & Friends, Forest Friends, and Black Birds. Some more recent patterns that have been very popular are: Ducks in a Row, Fox among the Birches, and Giraffes in a Row.

YRQG: How are you celebrating Canada’s 150th on your blog?

LM: I guess I started early. Late in December 2016, I released the Canada 150 quilt pattern and shared my finished lap and baby quilt versions that the pattern includes. My grandmother used to make a lot of rag quilts. She made a large throw rug that was made to commemorate Canada’s 100th anniversary. This helped to inspire me to want to offer all of my fellow Canadian quilters the opportunity to create their own commemorative quilt that could be treasured by their families for years to come.

YRQG: Do you offer any bonuses or special content to your blog subscribers? If yes, do you partner with any other bloggers or retail outlets to offer those bonuses to readers or to increase the reach of your blog?

LM: I don’t have any special content that is ONLY provided for my blog subscribers. My quilt alongs and tutorials are open to everyone. Other bonuses that I have offered are giveaways. For some of those giveaways I have paired up with online fabric shops. However some prizes have come directly from my own stash.

YRQG: Do you have a retail shop for visitors to your blog / shop?

LM: It wasn’t long after I started quilting that I realized if I wanted to keep making more quilts, I would need money to buy more fabric. And once I realized that the people I was meeting online, and those who began following my blog, were also quilters, I knew that selling my quilts was not going to be the way to do it. So I started learning how to design quilt patterns. Fellow quilters would want to make their own quilts, so if I could come up with quilt designs that they liked and would want to purchase then I could make money doing that. I started out on a few other sites, but opened my online Etsy shop in 2013 and that is how I currently offer my patterns for sale. And because Etsy is open to anyone looking to purchase handmade items, I have been able to sell some of my finished quilts too!

YRQG: What is unique about your blog or your sewing style?

LM: In the beginning it is a bit of a struggle to discover just what will make your blog and sewing style unique. You may be tempted to emulate an established quilting blogger’s style, figuring that is how to be successful. I knew I had to avoid this, but I was not sure what my style was. So I tried a lot of new techniques and gained experience. When I created the Elephant Parade pattern, I knew that I had finally found my niche – creating traditionally pieced modern quilt designs. But we all know that that is only the half of it. A finished quilt top is only a top, not a quilt. I practiced all kinds of methods for quilting. And even felt that I had mastered how to perform free motion quilting. But I did not enjoy it. Then I began practicing edge to edge organic wavy line quilting. At first I felt compelled to apologize for sharing, yet again, another finish with the “same old” wavy line quilting. But so many people began asking me how I performed this quilting style. Others, like me, wanted to have a fast and fun way to finish their quilts without having to struggle with burying threads while outline quilting or being all stressed out by free motion quilting. And now I proudly consider this my signature quilting style!

YRQG: What bloggers or teachers are you inspired by?

LM: I am inspired by quilting bloggers who have become established. Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts. Rita of Red Pepper Quilts. Faith of Fresh Lemon Quilts. Lee of Freshly Pieced. These quilters each have their own unique style. Each has a large following. And each of them has the tenacity required to keep on. Starting a blog is one thing, but keeping it going year after year takes hard work and dedication. It’s not easy to stick with it for the long haul. And with today’s social media, I think there has recently become a tendency for some to give up on blogging in favour of the ease offered by these forms of micro blogging instead.

YRQG: Is there a particular style or genre of artwork that inspires you?

LM: Charley Harper. The Modern Minimalist Master. As an artist, Charley Harper was always way ahead of his time. If you look at his entire body of work chronologically, you will see how his style was developed. The element of minimalism, his use of simple shapes and minimal detail, is only one facet of the appeal his work has. His use of repetition and the “odd man out”.  His use of unique viewpoints. Even his clever use of a play on words or rhyming words for naming his works is appealing. Charley Harper’s work inspires me, fascinates me and most of all – makes me smile.

YRQG: Where do you find ideas for your content?

LM: Most of my content is derived from new patterns that I have designed, and my ideas for those have many sources. Nature is my number one source for content. Another source, as previously mentioned, is Charley Harper’s style which can be credited for my source of inspiration for Rural Squirrel and Fox among the Birches. People writing to me with requests for a certain quilt design have resulted in Ay, Chihuahua!, Mermaid, and Rainbow Unicorn. Some of my ideas for designs have come from fabric that I liked. The Elephant Parade pattern was created after seeing a fabric called Elephants in Grey by Ed Emberley. The Crocodile Rock pattern was created after seeing a fabric called Crocs Park from the Urban Zoologie collection by Anne Kelle. So some of my quilts start from choosing the backing first! Other ideas have come from using an element from an earlier design and reworking it in a new layout. For example, the Jungle Friends design contains a large number of jungle animals. Many of those animals, like the crocodiles and giraffes, were used alone in previous designs. Or I may take one element of a previous design and make a new pattern that uses only that one animal. In the past I used to worry that someday I would run out of ideas, but with so many sources, I now realize that the possibilities are endless!

My content is not limited solely to posting about my own new designs. Sharing helpful tutorials is a great idea for adding content to your blog that will attract new readers. Participating in blog hops and quilt alongs hosted by other quilting bloggers is a fun way to connect with other bloggers and to provide blog content. Fabric. We all love it. It’s simply refreshing to take photos of new fabric and post about the details.

YRQG: What is one thing you would change if you were starting over?  Why?

LM: The number one thing I would change if I was starting over is that I would have purchased my own domain - and kept it. It is not expensive. It’s a small investment. You never know where blogging will take you. And what you don’t want to have happen – happened to me and also happened to many others like me. I began my blog using the free blogspot platform offered by Google back in 2012. After getting to know a few other bloggers who use worpress, I felt like I might want to migrate my blog over to that platform instead. So I purchased sewfreshquilts.com and began a new site over on wordpress, but was unfamiliar with how to do it, so I just posted that you could find me over at sewfreshquilts.blogspot.com and provided a link to my original blog and kept on going with my original blog. The domain name that I purchased expired after one year and I did not renew it. Well.... there are people out there who watch for this kind of thing and they then purchase these domain names and “hold them for ransom”, hoping you will one day come to decide you would like to have it again. And it was only this past few weeks that I did just that. In preparation for the next step in my journey, I wanted to create a new, clean site (my new clean house) to direct prospective clients to, but still have a link to my original blog (my messy creative house). I wanted to have my domain name again. They ask for a premium price. And I am not going to get into how much it would cost, but it all depends on if they are aware that you want it. You can go on an auction site and make a bid. Or you can buy it outright. Bidding makes them aware that you want it and they are not obligated to sell it to you following your bid. I first considered just adding to or changing what I wanted for a domain name, as an alternate – thesewfreshquilts.com, sewfreshquilts.net, sewfreshquilts.ca, sewfreshmodernquilts.com – but I wanted my baby back! So I paid up and am now the proud owner of MY domain again. I encourage you to come for at visit at my new clean house – sewfreshquilts.com – but if you are looking for the fun me.... I’ll still be spending the majority of my time hanging out at my messy creative house over at sewfreshquilts.blogspot.com

Monday, 18 September 2017

Sew and Share at the September Meeting

Tella shared the quilt she designed for her great nephew. She borrowed the animals from another pattern and called this crib quilt "It's a Jungle Out There!"
And of course there's a matching pillow:
Keeping with the jungle theme, Shirley used her own layout - and discovered the challenges of improvisational design - in her Jungle Baby Quilt:
Lots of quilting for babies this summer as Elizabeth finished up a Project Linus quilt design called Up Up and Away. She calls hers Fly High Atti for her grandson:
Animals, animals, animals! Anne shared her "Two Elephant" wallhanging:
Anne was quite busy over the summer as she also completed her own applique design, "On the Way Home from Work:"
And in anticipation of winter, the "Cool Family" wall hanging:
And more babies and more animals! Jacqueline shared her variation on a log cabin design, "Forest Friends," a crib quilt for her niece:
And she also shared a diaper change mat made for her own baby which was made with an iron caddy pattern from Sisters' Common Thread:

Monday, 11 September 2017

What's Happening at our September Meeting this Wednesday

Daryl Aitken from Fabric Spark was at the 2017 Spring Quilt Market and Trade Show held in St. Louis last May and she is coming to talk with us about the latest fabric collections and trends. Come with any questions about what really happens at a quilt market and trade show. 
Daryl and Fabric Spark are on Instagram. You can check it out for more inspiration.

Date: Wednesday, September 13
Location: Danforth Mennonite Church, 2174 Danforth Avenue
Doors open for socializing at 7:00 pm
Guild meeting starts at 7:30 pm

Don't forget your mug for tea, your change for treats and library raffle, and your membership form or card!

Monday, 28 August 2017

Summer Quilting Adventures - Did you make it to any new or favourite quilt shops this summer?

While we are much more likely to be spending our free time in the garden or other lovely outdoor places in the summer, the holidays often lend themselves to quilting inspiration - finding new quilt shops, attending quilt shows, or even finding quilts in unexpected places.
My family trip to the CNE resulted in discovering this stunning, inspirational quilt, the Quilt of Belonging:

My photo really doesn't do it justice, but you can find out about it at www.quiltofbelonging.ca

Visiting the cottage, I also had the opportunity to visit two quilt shops I had never visited before, Simcoe Sew and Quilt in Barrie, and the Muskoka Quilting Co in Bracebridge. I had fun looking around, seeing the different products, picking up the Row by Row, and buying some fun panels and fat quarters. I've definitely added to my to do pile!

Did you visit any new or favourite quilt shops this summer? Are you going to be travelling soon and are looking for quilt shops to visit? Maybe someone in the guild has some suggestions. Leave your questions and suggestions in the discussion below.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

June 2017 Block of the Month – “Canada 150 Block”

It’s our final block of the month, and this one is to commemorate Canada’s 150th birthday!

There was quite a lot of controversy about the logo, and design firms were dismayed that a student won the contest to design the logo. Ariana Cuvin won the contest to design the logo. She says that she intended the base of the maple leaf, which is made up of four diamonds, to represent the four provinces that formed Confederation. The nine other diamonds expanding outwards, were meant to represent the six other provinces and three territories. “The repeated shape is meant to create a sense of unity and the 13 shapes forming the leaf represents our togetherness as a country,” she explains.

How to Make The Block

Dana Szucs Hayden designed the block and has given us permission to use it for our block of the month. It’s a free pattern that is available at her website SeaSew

( http://sea-sew.blogspot.ca/2015/04/canada150-quilt-pattern.html )

Or you can download a copy of the pattern by clicking here.

This month’s block is foundation pieced. Remember that when you’re paper-piecing this block, you’re using a template that is a mirror image of the logo – it looks like you’re sewing the logo backward but it turns out if you follow the pattern.
The individual segments are easy to piece while the A+B+C section is the hardest part to put together. You will find it helpful to refer to the block carefully when assembling the segments.

Dana' Instagram site has some additional instructions. You do not need to have an Instagram account to look at the pictures.
These are some of the best tips:

Joining A to B:

Joining A/B to C:

Detail of A/B

Finished "Right" side A/B/C

Close-up A/B/C

Thursday, 22 June 2017

May 2017 Block of the Month: Canada Goose

Yes, it’s time for a block to celebrate the Canada Goose to be a part of our BOM theme, commemorating Canada’s 150th birthday. Canada geese are found throughout North America, except for the high Arctic and most southern parts of the US. The Canada Goose is one of the most common birds in Canada, and in many parts of the country, migrates south or north with the changes of season. In our part of Ontario, the large v-shaped groups of Canada Geese flying north mark the end of summer. In some parts, the weather supports Canada Goose populations year round. Canada Geese choose the same nesting spots that their parents did, which can be a problem with our wildly changing environment in south-ern Ontario. Rapid landscaping changes and new construction wreaks havoc with bird nesting sites. It’s not clear where the original name came from, but the first reference to the Canada Goose is from 1772, so it’s been a bird associated with our country for well over 200 years.

How to Make The Block
This month’s block can be made in a variety of sizes to suit whatever layout you’re using for your Canada 150 quilt. Flying Geese is a popular block, and there are many methods of construction. Julie Baird from Generations Quilt Patterns has kindly allowed us to use the instructions at her site that includes a foundation-pieced version as well as a pieced version.

Simple pieced construction: http://www.generations-quilt-patterns.com/quilt-block-patterns.html#FlyingGeese
Foundation-pieced version: http://www.generations-quilt-patterns.com/flying-geese.html

April 2017 Block of the Month: “Maple Leaf”

The maple leaf was used as an emblem by early settlers in Quebec. In the 18th century, maple leaf flags were displayed by French Canadians along the St. Lawrence River. Because of this history in the region, by 1868 the maple leaf was part of both the Ontario and Quebec flags.
Its ascension to the centerpiece of the Canadian flag was not without controversy. In 1964, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson established a committee to choose a new flag to replace the union flag. The maple leaf was chosen among several different flag emblems to represent a new, modern culture distinguished from our roots in Britain, and paying tribute to the first settlers in Canada’s history.
Queen Elizabeth II proclaimed the new flag on January 28, 1965, and ever since, we have been enjoying Canada Days with our beautiful flag flying high.

How to Make The Block
This month’s block is made using an applique technique of your choice. You can find the maple leaf patterns by clicking here:

There are two maple leaves on the first pattern – use one or both. The first patterns were made using authentic maple leaves I found in my neighbourhood last fall, and one is slightly smaller than the other. The patterns have no seam allowance, which is ideal for fusing and then securing using raw edge or a satin-finish. If you are using an applique method such as needle turn applique, you will need to add an appropriate seam allowance to each leaf as you cut it out.
For the stem, using either bias tape or stitching several times with a darker colour may be an alternative to cutting out and fusing a thin piece of fabric. I’ve also attached a maple leaf pattern that Carolyn Loewen shared – you may find it a little easier to make and it is more true to the look of the maple leaf on our flag. Thank you Carolyn!

Choose one version or the other to applique at least one of our iconic Maple Leafs onto your Canada quilt!
If you’re not following along with this Canada-themed block of the month, consider appliqueing a leaf onto quilts you make this year to mark 2017, Canada’s 150th birthday.

Friday, 26 May 2017

April's Sew and Share

Here are some of the wonderful quilts that our talented members shared with us at the April meeting:

Coral made a wedding quilt for her niece, the Love Quilt, using a medallion centre with piano keyboard borders:

Suzanne shared two quilts. First was a baby quilt for Olivia:

And second was her quilt, Noshi "Increase":

Carole shared her wall quilt, "A is for Apple":

Anne showed two quilts she made. Leaders and Enders:
And a string quilt:
Margaret showed a wheelchair quilt of her own design:

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Meeting: Wednesday April 12

This month's meeting features Jan McGoey, a hand quilter, as our guest speaker. Jan will be presenting her trunk show “The Scenic View—My Quilting Journey So Far”.

Don't forget to bring your membership renewal form to this meeting. If you hand in your membership renewal form and money at the April meeting, you will be entered in the draw at both the May and June meetings.

Meeting at the Danforth Mennonite Church 2174 Danforth Avenue
Socializing @ 7:00 pm and Guild meetings start @ 7:30 pm.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

March Block of the Month: the Inukshuk

The block of the month for March focuses on the Inukshuk, using a simple applique of the shapes often found in these formations.

The word “Inukshuk” in Inuit means “in the likeness of a human.” These statues are found all over the arctic regions of the world, and were originally used to indicate that the person viewing the stones was on the right path, or was in a place where others had been. Traditional Inuit tradition held that these markers were never to be disassembled or destroyed, as their installation in Polar Regions had great value to others as a navigation tool.

The symbol today is used in a variety of ways and it’s common to see Inukshuks erected by non-Inuit people to mark peaks of mountains, or just to leave as a remembrance of an event or people. For the 2010 Olympics, Vancouver used the Inukshuk as a symbol to pay tribute to the Inuit people and to reflect Canada’s embrace of our Indigenous heritage. In modern symbolism, the Inukshuk represents a positive message of welcome and friendship.

How to Make the Block

This month’s block is made using an applique technique of your choice. 

You’ll notice the “rocks” that make up the Inukshuk on the next page have no seam allowance, which is ideal for fusing using fusible web (such as Steam a Seam or Wonder Under) and then securing to a background using raw edge or a satin-finish. 

A traditional-looking Inukshuk would be constructed using stone, so consider using grey or black for your applique. Or have fun with it and use a bright for a modern take on the symbol.

If you are using an applique method such as needle turn applique, you will need to add an appropriate seam allowance to each “rock” as you cut it out.

March's Sew and Share

Elizabeth shared cozy baby bunting bags that she has made for new baby's in her life:

Klara made this great I Spy quilt which could be given to a young child to build their observational skills or a university student for a great drinking game!

Sherri shared her Thicket baby quilt:

And Sherri was busy this month and also shared her Amy Butler string quilt:

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Meeting this Wednesday March 8: Joni Newman

Come hear Joni Newman share a retrospective trunk show at our meeting tomorrow. Joni is a quilter, designer and teacher from Stittsville known particularly for her stained glass quilting. You can see her work at her website, Quirks and Quilts.
Don't forget that Joni is also leading a half day workshop on Saturday March 11 sharing her method of creative fun making a stained glass quilt “the easy way”. Sewing machines not required! Click here for the Registration Form for the workshop.

And bring your registration form for membership in the Guild for the 2017-2018 year! Click here for the YRQG Registration Form for 2017-2018.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

February's Sew and Share

This month had a large range of quilt styles:

Isabella showed Denim Dazzle, a pattern she got from a Fons and Porter magazine:

Klara made two quilts using a Bargello design: Lightening Stripes:

and a Christmas tree design using her new bedazzler:

Shirley was busy making all the Block of the Month blocks. Here she is showing the Bear Paw:

June used a Kaffe Fasset charm pack and pattern from Susanne Woods' book, Scraps Inc Volume 1. She called it Windows on London as it reminded her of the taped windows in WWII:

Joyce shared her queen-sized quilt, Aphrodite, inspired by the fabric:

Suzanne and Coral made two quilts using feed/sugar sacks:

Catherine shared her Quilter's Garden quilt:

and her quilt, Tansley Woods, made for her mother when she moved to the Village of Tansley Woods:


Friday, 17 February 2017

February Block of the Month - Bear Paw

February's Block of the Month explores Canada’s bears. Did you know there are three types of bears in North America?

The Black Bear is the most common bear in North America. Bears eat a largely vegetarian diet although they are omnivores. They have a life expectancy of about 25 years, and would be expected to live longer into old age if not for hunting. 

The Black Bear includes the white Kermode or Spirit Bear, which is a genetic anomaly and appears largely on the coast of Western BC. Contrary to popular belief, Kermode bears are not related to Polar Bears or the result of any species cross-breeding.

The Brown Bear, or Grizzly Bear, lives in a variety of habitats and its range is decreasing, as humans continue to move into its territories. It is the second largest carnivore in North America and its only predator is man. 

The Polar Bear lives in Canada’s north and are among the largest bears in the world. Polar Bear populations are disappearing as humans encroach upon their habitat and global warming continues to destroy the sea ice that is their home.

All indications are that the future of bears in Canada is not bright. Human activity, environmental destruction and hunting are taking a toll on bear populations from coast to coast. Future generations are unlikely to inherit a vibrant bear population in Canada.

It may be a good idea to make a Bear Paw block or quilt now, while your quilt recipients can still see an actual bear in the wild.

How to Make The Block

This month’s block can be one of several sizes: instructions are provided for 7”, 10-1/2” and 14” sizes. I’ll be bringing a sample version of the block to show at the February guild meeting. 

This is a pieced, fairly easy block that results a complex-looking block. Julie Baird from Generations Quilt Patterns has kindly allowed us to use the instructions at her site: http://www.generations-quilt-patterns.com/bears-paw-quilt-block.html