Sunday, 18 November 2012

Santa’s Christmas Workshop

Before I tell you about the amazing workshop we had a couple of weeks back, here is one more little photo of Whiskey. Carter - Whiskey photo

Look at those gold eyes!  Every time I see a photo of a Bengal with green eyes I have to think how lucky Whiskey was in getting the gold ones.  I can’t imagine that little face without those spectacular eyes :)

Ok . . . back to quilting.


On October 27th, 2012, As The Crow Flies Quilting Workshops presented “Santa’s Workshop” to 60 enthusiastic participants from all over Manitoba.


Participants were able to choose between two feature projects to work on throughout the day – or there were smaller, quick projects that were also available.  The one project was the Teeny Tiny Trees wall hanging that you see draped over the table and the other project was the Easy Peasy Christmas Orange Peel quilt that is draped down at the bottom of the photo.

Up on the stage you can see Sheila, Val and Sheryl demonstrating one of the many ideas that we presented that day.  The four of us have been busy gals for the three months leading up to the workshop – planning menus, projects, decorating, seating, power connections . . . you name it, we thought of it!!


Here is a shot of the “inspiration” table.  Everything that was displayed had a pattern to go with it.  A huge email with a gazillion attachments showed up in each registrants email box a few days after the workshop.


There were towels, potholders, table runners, cards, gift tags, pillow cases, pillows, stockings, tree skirts . . . and the list goes on.  There was a lot of activity around this table and lots of photos taken so that they could refer back to it later.


We had the tables set up down each side of the hall, with the cutting tables down the centre.  Worked like a charm!!  If someone needed help, those centre tables came in handy for on the spot demos as well.


It was great seeing everyone helping each other and passing on techniques and ideas.


Of course there was food!!!

The dessert tables are always the most talked about part of our workshops.


Cupcakes and cookies . . .


More cookies . . . and squares and slices galore!


Plus a few cheesecakes thrown in for good measure!

We also served lasagna, French bread and an amazing salad with pecans and oranges mixed in with romaine lettuce and an awesome dressing.  YUM!!

It was a fantastic day and people are already wanting to book for the next one . . . trouble is we’re not saying just yet what the theme or the project will be.  Some gals say they don’t care . . . they just want to be there!

I know that we managed to motive and inspire a few people to get ready for Christmas at this workshop.  How are your Christmas projects coming along?  I know I’ve started a few more since the workshop and better get back to them . . .

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Frosty & Teddy Sightings

I was super excited to see these little guys of mine show up over on the Connecting Threads "Notions" blog last week.


Laraine did a fantastic tutorial on how she put these little fellas together.

Frosty Photo  Teddy Photo

I remember that when I designed these I used the snowman on my mother-in-law’s Christmas present that just happened to have some of the same fabrics in it.  She was more excited with the tag than the quilt I think!

I still make these as gift tags occasionally, but lately have used them more for decorating . . . either as magnets or ornaments.  Of course you can use your imagination and come up with new ways to use them as well.  They are easy to make and use only scraps of flannel fabric and batting to make – lots of fun!

Connecting Threads has this pattern available as a PDF – so convenient and easy to order.  Check out all of the Connecting Threads PDF patterns – they have something for everyone!


Well . . . she’s almost 9 months old now.


Time has been flying by.


We are loving her sense of humor,


little snuggles,


playing fetch and hide and go seek.


I recently purchased a Nikon D3100 camera and a couple of lenses . . . she’s not overly happy about the purchase.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Ideas = Brains – NOT!

It is so hard not to get drawn into all the lovely new lines of fabric that keep coming out.  I already have my eye on the Fall lines and haven’t even thought about what project to use these lovelies for.


There is certainly getting to be quite a collection of fabric packages in this sewing room and also lots of UFOs getting piled up in corners.  I always have the grandiose idea that the project won’t take as long as I know it will and therefore I never get that project done before the next one comes along.  More ideas than brains!!!!


I have finished the last wedding quilt of the season . . . but then got cornered to make a laptop bag . . . not quite my usual comfort project, for sure!  But I will persevere and get ‘er done – sooner than later I hope.


I have been doing some Halloween sewing, getting pattern orders sent out, gearing up for a new Fall/Winter workshop in October/November, and planning teaching projects for 2013.  So I guess I’m not completely standing still . . . it just feels like it most days.


Little Whiskey has become a little more settled with the whole quilting thing and can actually get quite cozy in the sewing room now.

The dreaded trip to the vet for her little operation was on Tuesday this week (July 31), so she is a little sore and needing lots of babying this week.  Glad I’ve had the week at home with her . . . lots of snuggling and little naps together – just what the doctor ordered!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

And The Winner Is . . .

Thank you to everyone over at the Connecting Threads "Notions" blog and thank you to everyone who took the time to stop over there last week and leave a comment.

What a wonderful group of gals!  I wish I could send patterns to everyone, but unfortunately that's not in the cards.

Sandi over at Crazy 'bout Quilts was the lucky number in the draw and I'll be getting her patterns together to send shortly.

I have some new ideas for some new patterns and I'm really looking forward to booking some time off work to get some of these ideas beyond the "thought" phase and into more of a working model stage.  Unfortunately work has been a bit crazy lately and every time I go to book time off, something happens and I don't seem to get away.  Soon, I hope!!

Now that Canada Day and the 4th of July are behind us, it is really time to get settled in for a Summer full of quilting.  I can't wait to get hunkered down in my nice cool basement and start sewing on a new project or two . . . or maybe finish a project or two . . . either way, I hope to get some sewing in soon.

Happy stitching everyone!

Friday, 29 June 2012

Guest Blogging and a Give Away!

Today I am guest blogging over at the

 Connecting Threads Blog

 (it’s really called “Notions”)

and I’m super excited to invite everyone over there for a visit.

Until a month or so ago I didn’t even know that they had a blog and just in case you didn’t – now you know too!

Spring Has Sprung Cover Page Simple Stitches - Photo - Connecting Threads copy

I love the Connecting Threads fabric and threads and have used them for years in different projects.  Not all that long ago they introduced the pdf patterns for downloading and I think they are great.  You receive them as soon as you purchase and then you can start your project immediately – or at least have your materials list so you can go shopping.

Teddy Photo Frosty Photo

These are the eight designs that I now have listed over at the Connecting Threads pattern download department.  There is also a search function there so if you have a favorite designer you can type in their name and it will pull up all of those patterns for you to see.

Hen Pecked Sweetness- Connecting Threads Prairie Pine Burr - Connecting Threads

Something else I didn’t know is that they featured my “Canadian Gardens” quilt in their May catalogue.

 Canadian Gardens Cover Page copyDSC08860

I really need to get my head out of the sand before the year is over.  So many things are happening that I’m just a little late to the party for.

Scrappy Happy Photo - Connecting Threads copyShadow Stars Photo - Connecting Threads

So enough said here – head on over to the Notions blog and make sure to say hello for a chance to win a 3-pack of patterns.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Still no quilting!

There is so much on the go right now .  .  . lawn mowing, gardening, flower planter planting, house cleaning . . . on and on we go!!!


Whiskey has been keeping us very entertained and busy as well.  Dishwashing time is one of her favorite things to do and very rarely misses an opportunity to inspect that everything is correctly placed in the racks.


Toys are also a big hit for this little monster . . . especially the toys that need supervision by an adult.  I cannot imagine the feathers she would swallow or inhale if she was left to her own devices with these toys!


Another big favorite past-time for her is sleeping . . . . . . . . .  and sleeping . . . . . . . .and sleeping.  Which, in a way, is really wonderful . . . I tell myself that while I am at work she is sleeping the whole time.  This way I don’t worry so much about all the naughty things she could get into Smile.


Sometimes she is just really good at posing . . . with a quilt of course.

Whiskey was introduced to the sewing machine sound yesterday morning and I had to make sure I kept my hand around the needle part of the machine.  She was thinking that the moving parts looked rather intriguing.  I will need to remember to bring toys to the sewing room so that I will be able to divert her away from that danger.  Once I get back into the swing of quilting she will get pretty bored with the whole concept and sleep through most projects – at least I`m hoping she does!

Next post should be a little more `quilty` . . . weather cooperating of course.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

I am still breathing . . . but barely!

OK . . . I don't know what's going on with my blogger account, but I cannot open it at home anymore and have to find other desktop computers (work!) to even think about doing any updates - very frustrating!


I think this little mouse project is the last thing I was working on at the sewing machine and that was almost a month ago.  This was a little demo project that we had for a Quilt Camp workshop that we put on on May 5th.  It was a wonderful day - different ideas were presented - there was t-shirt yarn demos; fabric dyeing; mitered corner construction; continuous prairie point demo and instruction and hints on preparing our quilts for a long-arm quilter.  It was a great day and I don't think there was anyone that didn't go home without learning something.

DSC08380DSC08379Here are a couple of views of the "barter" quilt.  The fabric is by Basic Grey by Moda and I love the scrappy, vintage look of it.  This quilt and a duvet cover will be hitting the mail in the next week or so.

Then this little devil . . .


will be completely atoned for!

Whiskey is a little monkey, and we are absolutely enjoying the complete dickens out of her.  A little wild, a lot lovable and never a dull moment when she is around - except when she's sleeping of course!


She has grown a bit since even these photos were taken and I sure hope that I can get a little more up-to-date with this blog thing soon.

All the weddings, showers, visitors, memorial services and workshops, should be over for now and I can get back to a little bit of normal in my life.  Although my Dad has just announced that he's moving to town in August . . . wonder how much packing, travelling and setting up he'll be needing me to do?  OK, so life might slow down for a month :).

Sunday, 1 April 2012

April Tools Day

Last week I was contacted by Moda Lissa from MODA to see if I wanted to participate in her April Tools blog post.  Of course I said “YES”.

I have tons of favorite tools in my sewing room, so when it came down to choosing just one to send off to Lissa, it was a somewhat difficult choice.

I got to thinking about what I search for, grab for and use the most in my sewing room and besides the cutting mat, rulers, rotary cutter and all the other usual items, I just had to pick my calculator.

Now in this day and age of iPads and other technological gizmos that we have, and which I use the calculator on as well . . . my good old, over-used, still operating, little black pocket-style calculator serves me well.

So there you have it . . . simple personified!

BUT, if you want to see what other designers in the world are saying their favorite tool is, head on over to the

 Moda Lissa  blog

to read about them all.

Thank you Lissa for including me!  It has been enlightening to see all the tools that rank up there as the favorites.  It’s always a good day when you learn something new!

SummerGirl(Marlene) (24) (640x424)

Here is my Whiskey baby . . . six weeks, three days old.  I think she is bird watching here – pretty intent on something :)

Thursday, 29 March 2012

New Pattern(s)!

Both Pattern Covers on One Page copy

Introducing “All Cooped Up” and “Pickin’ Up Stiks”.

I have to say these are my all time favorite patterns right now.  If I’m looking for a quick gift or seasonal quilt, this is my go-to pattern.


Just choose 12 fat quarters and some border/contrasting  fabrics and you’re ready to get cutting and sewing.


You make the “All Cooped Up” version first and then from the scraps from that one, you make the “Pickin” Up Stiks” quilt.


I made this one for a little boy recently.  It’s hard to tell from the photo, but some of the prints are tires and the blue and cream fabrics are maps.  My goal was to use prints that he wouldn’t outgrow too soon and I think this is the type of quilt he will easily use for many, many years.

Copy of DSC07208

The next few quilts are from a class that we taught last year.


It was labeled as a beginner class, but everyone that sees the pattern wants one just because it is that go-to, easy as pie, suits everyone’s taste, type of patterns.

DSC07235     Plus it is a “2-fer” . . . you get two in the package and they are just meant to be done that way.

The patterns are now available in paper or pdf format – take a peek up under the heading “Sipiweske Patterns”.