Friday, June 28, 2019

Summertime Quilting

Happy Friday, this week was the start of summer holidays in our house, and it has been great so far. I love having all the kids home all day, and we have been making it somewhat of a routine the we do chores in the morning and play in the afternoon. Yesterday we did double chores so we could have a fun day today, which turned out to be a picnic at a park and an afternoon in the pool at home and than dinner at Opa and Oma's house, and would you believe I totally forgot to bring my quilt along to take a photo of it there, oops!
With the business of the first week of holidays I have not done any sewing since last week Saturday (I mended a pillowcase for my sister on Wednesday, but in my mind that does not count.) This has been my longest non sewing streak in months, for some that may be normal, but I usually am at my machine for a couple hours every night but Sunday. This past week I just really didn't feel like it, and I had no pressing deadlines to meet either. I have always told myself that if I don't feel like quilting I am not going to, I don't want to turn my hobby into a job (even though it technically is my job.)  However after a week off I now have the itch to go quilt really bad, so I will definitely make time tomorrow to do some quilting. My brain is once again full of new projects and ideas, and there are a few quilt alongs and summer challenges that I want to participate in. I have done a few of the blocks for the Moda Bakeshop Quilt Along, and on Wednesday the first of six patterns for the Moda Summer Charm Swap was released. We also have our class reveal happening in mid-August and so I will need to get to work on the samples for those right away here. 
Even with the kids home, I still seem to get just as many projects done in the summer months as I do in the winter. In the summer I will often do a lot of my cutting outside on the patio table, as well as doing some hand binding in my deck chair, that way I can still watch the kids in the pool, and feel like I am accomplishing something at the same time. I have yet to pull my machine outside, but who knows maybe this summer it will happen.
I know some ladies who take their sewing machines camping, and even go on a camping/quilting retreat, I don't think I could convince my husband that my machine needs to come with me in the trailer this year, but I could bring a hand project to work on in the evening.
I am curious do you ever do any of your cutting or sewing outside? Has it ever even crossed your mind? Do you quilt more or less in the summer?
 PS Carrie graduated from Grade 12 yesterday, she looked beautiful in a dress that suited her perfectly!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Fresh Quilts

All of us at the shop have been hard at work making some fresh new quilts to hang on the walls in the store, and showcase some of the beautiful new fabrics and patterns that have come in this spring.
Jenn stitched up this fun quilt called Skylines Reflected. It is a pattern by Zen Chin, and the fabrics she used are from the collection Spotted also by Zen Chic. Last I checked there was one kit left for this quilt.

Carrie did up this quilt with a neat color change effect. She used the collection Aura by Mister Domestic for Art Gallery Fabrics. We have made kits for this quilt, and all the triangles are precut, you just need to lay them out and sew them together.
Carrie also made this quilt using Twilight by One Canoe Two for Moda. The pattern is called Daybreak. I love the soft yet modern color palette of this quilt.

Esther quilted and bound this Tonka Panel for a really quick project, that is a great size for the little Tonka lover in your house (the bigger Tonka fans may need some borders added to the panel, but we have some great coordinating prints for that as well). And how adorable is this baby quilt?

I made this fun quilt using the Stripology Ruler, it is called Alberta and I used fabric from a collection called Arctic by Elizabeth Hartman. After completing that I did a quilt for myself, using Pollinator by Leslie Tucker Jensee for RJR Fabrics, and a pattern called Turning Twenty Again, but my usual quilt photo spot is not big enough for it, so I will have to bring it to my Mother In Laws and get a photo of it there instead.

Laura made this bright, summery quilt with an Art Gallery Collection called West Palm, the green background is just so different and fun!

With all these new quilts in the store, and an abundance in our house already, we will be selling the ones we do not need. The sale will happen next week Saturday, July 6, which is also Settler's Day in Coaldale. The quilts for sale have not been used, they have just hung in our store for a while.
What quilts have you recently finished?

Friday, June 21, 2019

Row x Row 2019

If you drove past our shop today, you may have noticed a few changes. We have slowly improving our curb appeal over the last year. First we got some new updated signs in place, and than we got the new door and window decals. The overgrown cedar out front was removed awhile back. This week we got several new planter boxes set in place, from Rick's Concrete. and we also have hanging flower pots hung around the two fronts of our shop. During the summer we like to have our little bistro set out with a quilt over one chair, as well as a fun little bike with a quilt over it at our other entrance. All of the flowers and quilts make our building seem less like a business center, and more like a friendly shop to enter.

So speaking of entering shops, Row x Row 2019 officially started today. We once again are a participating shop in this fun event. The point of the event is to stop and check out various quilt shops during your summer travels. Each shop also has a prize for the first person to bring in a finished quilt using 8 different rows from the current year. The prize from our shop this year is 25 fat quarters from the collection True North by Kate and Birdie.
Every year there is a different theme, and this year it is Taste The Experience. Esther designed our row this year, and it features a food truck with a couple little chicks on it. We can give out one free pattern for our row to you if you ask for it, and we also have kits available if you want to use the same fabrics as we did.
We also have the pattern for the 9th row, a row that was designed to benefit charities, as well as the Row x Row Junior Rows for kids aged 6-14. The junior rows were designed to be sewn by kids and the Row x Row website has some fun activity sheets to go along with the sewing.

In 2016 we had everyone that picked up a kit or a pattern sign their name and hometown in a book and it was really neat to see where people were visiting from, we had people from across Canada and a surprising number of people form across the States as well, and not just Montana, we had people from Wisconsin, California, Florida and more. So this year we decided to use a map and have everyone that comes in for Row x Row place a pin on the place where they are from. It will be fun to see at the end of summer where we all had visitors from.

To find all the shops that are participating, the activities for the Junior Row x Row, and more information on Row x Row, you can get the official website by clicking here.

Will you be collecting rows this summer or are you done with the whole experience?

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Summer Make and Takes

First up, thank you to everyone who came out to the show and stopped by our booth and thank you to those who came out to our shop over the weekend.
There have been several requests for some classes during the summer. So Esther and I came up with 4 different projects to do as make and takes. For each project there will be a morning option and an evening option, all of them will be on a Tuesday. The morning classes will run from 10am until noon and the evening classes will run from 7pm until 9pm. If you register on online be sure to select the time frame you would like.
For all the projects the supplies and patterns needed are included in the price. You can come choose your fabrics from our shop, and we will either set them aside for you until the class, or you can bring them home and take them back on class day.
Because these are free classes, and we are only charging for the supplies we ask that you purchase the fabrics from our shop.

The first class is a 3D Spinner Table Topper. This table topper is a great way to freshen up your table for summer. The pattern is from a Missouri Star Block Book. This class will take place on Tuesday July 9. This one is $22, and the book that is included has an additional 9 precut friendly patterns.

On July 23 we will be making casserole totes. These neat little totes come in 3 sizes, loaf pan size, square 9x9 casserole and the standard 9x13 casserole, and each has a wire frame around the top to keep it sturdy. They are perfect for carrying your casserole in especially too and from potlucks and summer barbecues. These would also make fantastic gifts for those about to get married, and since they don't need to be for casseroles, you could also fill it up with baby items for a new mom, or fresh toiletries for a housewarming gift or a college student headed out for a new season of school. You can sign up to make 1 of the totes, or choose all three and get the supplies for one of each. The two smaller sizes are both $35, the 9x13 is $40 and for all three it is $95. On the online registration page there is several options for the casserole tote, be sure to select the correct size and time that you would like.
There is an option to make your casserole totes wipeable with a product called Odicoat, if you wish to do this you will need to do it ahead of time so it has time to dry. This is not included in the prices listed.

In August we will do two more classes.
The first is on August 6 with Carrie. She has made 10 or so of the Wax and Wool Totes, a pattern by Noodlehead. These tote bags are perfect for throwing everything in and leaving the house. I have two, one that I use for a diaper bag for my son, and the other that I use for going to work, on fieldtrips, or going to appointments. They easily hold a water bottle, notebook, Ipad or eReader, wallet and some snacks. Carrie uses hers as a bookbag for school right now. It would also be a great library bag for the kids. Whatever you choose, it is a fun versatile bag. Cost for this one is $66.

The final make and take of the summer is on August 20. This one is to make silicon pot holders. The pot holders work great to hold hot pots on the counter or table, and there is a little sleeve for your hand so you can grab dishes out of the oven with it as well. $26 is the price for this one.

For all the classes you will need a sewing machine in good working order, fresh needles, thread (most of the projects have some topstitching involved so you may want to get a spool that matches when choosing your fabrics), clips or pins and scissors. We do have Oliso irons, as well as rotary cutters, mats and rulers available to use but if you prefer your own you may bring them along.

You can register for any of the above classes by clicking here.


 As a sidenote for anyone that took a picture with Mrs Peck at the show and posted it to social media, can you also tag @chickenfeedquilts in your photo, if you used the hashtag #mrspecksadventures but are a private account I am unable to see the photos, but if you tag our shop in the photo, I should be able to. I will choose a winner on Friday. Have a fantastic week!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Lethbridge Festival of Quilts

Happy Friday. Today was day 1 of the Quilt Festival in Lethbridge. I was at the show almost all day, I just stepped out to grab a few things from our shop and a coffee from The Chrysalis Cafe. It was a busy day at the show, I was told they even had to open a second lot for parking, because the first was full, and they have never had to do that before so that was great.
I loved meeting so many new people as well as reconnecting with friends.
Esther and I also did a presentation this afternoon. actually Esther did the presentation and I stood there nodding, and occasionally holding up a bag for her. Anyways our presentation was on Bags, and how the interfacing and hardware you use can transform your bag. We showed off some of our favorite bags as well.
I had a chance to walk through the show as well and there are some gorgeous quilts on display, and lots of vendor booths to do a little shopping at, some of them are local, but there is a good number of vendors that did some travelling to attend the show as well.
If you didn't make it out to the show today I highly recommend that you take some time to go out to the college tomorrow and browse through all the booths as well as look at all the beautiful quilts on display. If you do get there be sure to stop by our booth and say hi, and to take a picture with Mrs. Peck our new mascot. If you take a photo with her post it on Instagram with the tag #mrspecksadventures or post it as a comment on our Facebook page on the Lethbridge Quilt Show post, for a chance to win a gift basket from our shop.
Everything in our Booth at the Show and in our shop in on sale 20% off for the festival as well.
I hope you have a fantastic weekend. I am ending my busy week with a mini soccer tournament for my boys tomorrow morning and helping out either at the shop or at the show in the afternoon.
On a totally different topic altogether, I spent the day at Beauvais Lake yesterday on a field trip with my oldest. I haven't been to Beauvais for almost 20 years, but it is a park that I need make a point of visiting more often, it was so beautiful there, and my son loved the hiking and looking for frogs and tadpoles in the reeds around the lake. Have you visited lately? What parks around here do you love to visit?

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Gypsy Wife: Assembly

We have reached strip cutting and assembly! Although it seems like we are nearing the end, this final part of the quilt is actually quite time consuming. (Sorry for the buzz kill attitude)
Initially I was going to do this in two posts, but even though it is a lot of work I don't think that I need to post two weeks of instructions. Once you get going it is straightforward.
There are a couple ways to tackle this section of the quilt, you can cut all the strips for the whole quilt all at once and than begin assembly, work through it in order of the sections or work your way across the quilt.
I decided to work my way across the quilt from right to left, its backwards from the way my brain usually works, but that is how the sections in the quilt go, it did mean working on several sections at one time, but I kept my blocks organized and it worked well for me, and that way I was able to get the same fabric running all the way from top to bottom and didn't need to worry about running out of it before I got to the remainder of the line several sections later.
For the most part whichever method of assembly you choose it is all about staying organized.

Before starting assembly I went through and made a chart. The chart lists the strip number, the length of the strip, and what section the strip goes in. That way it was easy to follow along where I was and which strips to cut next. Once that was done, I laid all my strip fabrics on the table and cut them into 1.5" strips. (When cutting the strips, if you plan to have the same fabric run top to bottom for each individual strip there are a few that need quite long cuts, specifically the ones in section 10 and a few in 6 and 7. I recommend cutting these first and setting them aside so that you don't run out of that fabric.) Than following my chart I would cut strips in sets of 10, as I found that an easy number to work with, and I had alphabitties through those numbers to label each set. I would grab blocks from the necessary bags, and sew them with the strips following the diagrams on pages 26-31. When a section was complete I would set it aside until I had all 10 done.
There are quite a few partial seams in the assembly, they are marked with little stars and arrows for which side to start sewing on. I only sewed about halfway down those strips, definitely not going all the way to a 1/4".  I had a few spots where I needed to do a partial seam and it doesn't have it listed in the pattern, but I forgot to write down which strips they were, most of them were in section 7.

When all the sections were complete, I put them together as pictured on page 32. For that I did section 1 to 2, added 3, put 4 on with a partial seam, than 5, number 6 next and than 7 (to the sides of 4 and 6) than finished up the partial seam from 4 and completed the right side of the quilt. Section 8 went on to number 9, 10 got added to this, and than I joined the left and right sides to finish the top!
I quilted my quilt with a simple meander a little tighter than I normally do and bound it in a blue stripe. My backing is an ivory cuddle, because I will not put anything but cuddle and fireside on the back of my quilts. 

For the reveal/show and share party I am thinking we get together in September, that gives everyone a few months to get their quilts finished up, and I know for a lot of people quilting in the summer is usually put on the back burner.

Thank you so much for quilting along with me. I had a blast, and I am so thrilled that I finally made this quilt after much procrastination. I hope you had fun as well.

If you have any questions during assembly or on any of the blocks that you need to make yet, please let me know, either on the Facebook Group page or through email.

I am willing to share the chart I made with you, but since it has all the measurements on it, I don't want to post it directly here. I just want to avoid copy-write issues by putting up on internet all the measurements needed for every strip. 
If you send me an email, I will send the document to you. If I haven't noticed any blocks from you, I may ask that you send me a picture of your book, just as proof of ownership, again a copy-write thing. 

My email is


Friday, June 7, 2019

At The Seashore Quilt Along

If you are looking for a fun summer quilt along to participate in, Moda Bakeshop is running a new one called At The Seashore. It is the fourth year for the "Summer Camp" Sew Along and this year it will follow an Ocean Theme. It is free to join in and you will be able to print the patterns from the Moda Bakeshop website.
The fabric requirements and introduction for this quilt along were just posted this past Monday, and on Wednesday a checklist was made available, and now they are sharing the various layout options. Throughout the summer the Chef's will post new block designs every few days. The blocks will range in difficulty and there will be traditionally pieced blocks, some with a few curves, and some applique.
The initial fabric requirements call for a fat quarter bundle but it doesn't specify a size, this is because all the layouts will require a various number of blocks. Moda fat quarter bundles usually range from about 25-42 prints so that is a good base, you can go scrappier and use smaller pieces or go less scrappy and use larger cuts of fabric.
There will be four different layout options to choose from, each is a different size, with varying numbers of blocks, sashing, background and filler blocks. Each layout will have additional fabric requirements, which will assist you in choosing fabrics.
Once you have chosen your setting you can begin to fill in your checklist sheet with how many blocks you need to make and what fabrics you will be using.
We have lots of fun Moda Fabrics in store for you to choose from, lots of others too but for this Quilt Along the designers prefer you to use Moda as it is a free pattern they are offering to you.
You can find more information by clicking this link here. It will lead you to the landing page for the quilt along, where the posts for the settings and fabric requirements all listed.
Will you be joining in on this fun Quilt Along, it is a great way to make a fun summer quilt and expand your horizons by using a different color scheme than you are accustomed to or by trying out some new techniques.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Sew Hometown: June

This month marks the halfway point of our Sew Hometown Quilt Along. We are making the Simple Star block this month, which finishes at 12", and we are making three of them.
 When choosing fabrics be aware that one of the pieces being cut from the light fabric is quite large, so double check your sizes and make sure you have enough of it before cutting.
The block itself is quite straightforward.
I used my Folded Corner Clipper for the 4 flying geese units, by using the ruler I was able to cut out the drawing lines steps.
For step 3 in the instructions be sure to make 2 units with the dark square on the left and 2 units with the dark square on the right, so opposite, otherwise when you go to put the block together your units won't all work properly.

I am loving how these blocks are all coming together, and that we make a varying size and amount each month, it keeps it fun and interesting. Have you been sewing along? It is not too late to join we still have the patterns for sale in our shop and if you are from out of town, you can click here to purchase it from our online shop.