A September visit from Tasia, owner of Sewaholic Patterns and author of The Sewtionary

sewtionary cover

I’m thrilled to announce that Tasia St. Germaine, owner of Sewaholic Patterns, author of the newly released The Sewtionary and blogger of Sewaholic, will be visit us at our September guild meeting!

You can read more about Tasia at the bio on her blog!

tasia portrait

Here’s a little bit more information about Tasia’s presentation to the guild:

Meet Tasia from Sewaholic! Ever wondered what it’s like to design sewing patterns for a living? Tasia from Sewaholic Patterns talks about how she got started, what it’s like to run a pattern company, and answers any questions you might have! Peek through her samples and patterns and check our her new book, the Sewtionary.

Tasia will of course be having a pop-up shop (cash only please) for selling her book ($30), patterns ($10 – an amazing price) and maybe labels ($5) if she has any in stock.

sewaholic patterns

We can look forward to Tasia sharing her time with us during the meeting and depending on time, the pop-up shop may run for a short while before and after the meeting but will be open during the break.

We look forward to meeting Tasia in September!

Our needlebook exchange with the London Modern Quilt Guild!

Time flies so quickly in these busy times and I’m only managing to get to my post about the needlebook exchange two months and a bit after the fact!  Mine is being used in my hexie travel kit. How about yours?
Van needlebooks
Van needlebooks group

I spoke with Krista to find out more on how the exchange came to be. “The swap came about very late one evening of the Fat Quarterly retreat when I was in the lounge of the Grange Hotel with members of the LMQG. We were laughing and carrying on, tired from our long day at retreat and a few glasses of wine. I can’t remember exactly how the swap came about but London hadn’t done an international swap yet and we decided we should get one going! I think it was Shevvy or expat Canadian Amy, or maybe Kelly who suggested it. I mentioned VMQG had already done Tote bag and pin cushion swaps so we settled on needle books to keep the cost of shipping down. Their guild is smaller than ours but several Londoners were keen to make more than one needle book. It was really fun to see how many quilters from each guild incorporated cultural elements into their needlebooks. All in all a super fun swap!”

It was super lovely to receive and open our needlebooks at our holiday meeting. And looking at the pile of wrapped books, it was really hard to choose!!

UK needlebooks wrapped

It was a wonderful experience to share with a modern guild from so far away! A huge thank you from everyone at the VMQG to the LMQG for joining in on the fun!

UK needlebooks group photo


The Right Needle + The Right Thread = Stitch Bliss – an upcoming visit from Carola Russell

At our last meeting I shared that Carola from Carola’s Quilt Shop on the Sunshine Coast will be visiting our February meeting – Monday, February 17th.   Carola will be giving a talk as well as holding a pop-up sale for members to get their shopping on!  The talk is entitled “The Right Needle + The Right Thread = Stitch Bliss” and Carola provided me with the following description: Tips, tricks and techniques that make your sewing pure joy. Choosing the right tools, supplies and equipment  should be a ‘thoughtful’ process and Carola will help you along with your sewing knowledge adventure.

I also mentioned that members will be able to place advance orders on Auriful thread to Carola which she will then bring on meeting night.  A digital colour card can be found on Aurifil’s website as well as photos of individual spools. Please remember that the colours may appear differently on your monitor than they will in person. Carola will be bringing lots of thread with her in all the spool sizes so please don’t worry if you’re not ready to place a pre-order.

Here are her sale prices on thread:

– Large cones 50wt (neutral colours – black and white, greys, taupes and beiges) (6452yd/5900m) – regular $44.99 /  sale $38.25
– Large cones 40wt (neutral colours – black and white, greys, taupes and beiges)) (5140yd/4700m) – regular $44.99 / sale $24.50

Aurifil 50 Weight Cones

– Large spools 50wt (1421yd/1300m) – regular $12.99 / sale $9.95 (6 for $55)
– Large spools 40wt (1093yd/1000m) – regular $12.99 / sale $9.95 (6 for $55)

aurifil spools

– Large spool 28wt (820yd/750m) – regular $12.99 / sale $8.50
– Large spool 12wt (355yd/325m) – regular $12.99 / sale $8.50

– Aurilux polyester 36wt (inventory reduction) (1200yd/1100m) sale $3.98
– Lana wool/acrylic thread (inventory reduction) (380yd/350m) sale $3.98

Pre-orders can be sent to info@carola.ca or by calling 1-604-886-1245. Please state that you are placing an order to be delivered by Carola to the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild lecture. Payment can be made to Carola when she’s here.

There will also be 12 spool “designer” Auriful kits available at the pop-up shop for $89.95 (regular $129.95)

Carola will be bringing all sorts of goodies to her pop-up shop with prices at least 15% off retail and some items will be 35-50% off. She knows that we are a modern guild and will be sure to bring stock that we’ll love! As for payment types, she takes Visa, Mastercard, cheques and cash. The pop-up sale will run for half an hour before the meeting, during the break and after the meeting finishes.

We’re thrilled to have Carola join us in February!

Michael Miller’s Cotton Couture – VMQG’s Big Reveal!

One of the many great things about being a member of the VMQG is that we are included in many of the promotions done when a fabric company has a new line of fabric. In this day and age, companies like Michael Miller Fabrics recognizes the value of having their wares tested and shown off, on social media and in person, by those who have creativity, expertise, and passion: Our members!
Cotton Couture, like it’s name suggests, has a smooth finish and tight weave as one would look for in a quality dressmaking fabric but also handles itself nicely as a quilting cotton.
All those who opted to participate in the Michael Miller Cotton Couture Challenge had three months to complete their projects using the modest bundles of tropical-coloured solids provided and optional solids. A little goes a long way with our group. On November 18th we had the big project reveal and as expected it was wonderful and varied. Then we had the difficult task of voting for our favourites. Really, there were so many inspired interpretations of the prescribed colours that everyone deserves a gold star.  We had prizes for first and second place and want to thank Michael Miller for the Cotton Couture colour cards and Sew Sisters Quilt Shop for the gift certificate for first place. The results were:
#1 – Laurraine Yuyama & her super-sized jar of jelly beans was the crowd favourite:
#2 – Jo Ann Lee & her adorable townscape pillow:
And most everyone else that could fit into two group shots:
group 1
group 2Thanks everyone who put so much thought and time into their work, and a special thanks Michael Miller for sharing your new line with us and making this all happen. More MM eye-candy can be found here: http://www.michaelmillerfabrics.com/
Next challenge? An assortment from Riley Blake being handed out at the December 16th VQMG meeting. Soon, clever members, put on your thinking caps again and rev up your machines.

(written by Niki Storr)

Book review – Sewing for all Seasons

seasons cover

This month I’m reviewing another wonderful book from a Portland author – what do they put in the water there?! Susan Beal’s Sewing for all Seasons was a year long labour of love for her. The idea came to be in the autumn, projects were designed for the proposal in the winter, she shopped for fabrics and sewed all spring, and finished writing everything in the summer.

seasons grid

Like her experience creating this lovely book, its 24 projects are divided up into the seasons of the year. The chapter for spring is made up of projects with bright colours and floral fabric patterns, summer has great projects for outdoors spaces and hot and sunny days, autumn brings cooler weather into its designs and uses wonderfully earthy tones and the winter projects are about celebrating holidays, gift giving and ringing in the upcoming new year.

The projects vary in level of difficulty from “easy” to “intermediate/advanced” and there is a wonderfully helpful techniques section at the beginning of the book.  I had a hard time deciding which project to try and finally settle on making the Nesting Canisters in the chapter for spring. It’s a project I’ve always wanted to make to help with tidying up my sewing space and now I had the perfect excuse to devote time to making some!


The instructions were super easy to follow and all three canisters were put together in no time.  I was missing one suggested tool, a binding tape maker, but I had no problem making the binding tape by hand using my iron. Now that I’ve made the canisters once, the pattern was written so well that I’m confident I will be able to make them again without referring to it.

jo-anne canisters

There are many projects in the books that I’d love to make for myself including the very pretty Spring Flowers Wrap Skirt as well as the Gardening Apron, and all of the projects would make for great gifts no matter the time of year.

projects grid

This is another book I would happily add to my collection!

A big thank you to Chronicle Books for providing the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild with a complimentary copy to review.  It will be the feature door prize at our December meeting!

Book photos reprinted from Sewing for all Seasons: 24 stylish projects to stitch through the year, Copyright (c) 2013. Published Chronicle Books LLC.

Photo of personally made Nesting Canisters by Jo-Anne Platt.

Book review – Quilting Happiness

book cover small
I’d heard many wonderful things about “Quilting Happiness” by Christina Lane and Diane Gilleland and it was in my list of books to buy.  When Holly asked if I wanted to review it, I jumped at the opportunity.

My first impression of the book is one of a sense of community.  When I joined the VMQG, it’s what I was looking for and it was such a gift to have found it.  I felt at home the moment I sat down at my very first meeting and I felt the same way when I started reading Christina and Diane’s wonderful book.  It was akin to sitting down with a dear friend who just “got it” and understood this crazy passion we all share.  Even Christina’s dedication had me laughing, “For my mom, who taught me this valuable lesson: You’ll never notice it on a galloping horse.” As a quilter who can sometimes get caught up in the minutia of the mistakes we all make, this was such a warm welcome to the book.

dedication small

There are four distinct project chapters: Inspired to Quilt, Quilting for Yourself, Quilting for Others and Quilting Together. Throughout each chapter, both Diane and Christina share what inspires them.  What is it about quilting that most inspires you, fuels your passion and keeps you creating?  For me it’s the fabric – choosing it and seeing it in a gorgeously folded stack for the first time.  It’s the unlimited possibility that the stack contains.  The fabrics I’ve chosen for a particular pattern are all my own and no other quilter would choose the same combination.

In each chapter you’ll also find wonderful tips and ideas, as well as creative exercises and suggestions on how you might make your quilting life more fulfilling and a source of continuous happiness.  All of these are well thought out and can help readers to reflect at a deeper level on their love of quilting; perhaps even helping in seeing facets never considered before.  It’s all done in such an open and joyful way. There’s even a great quiz part way through the book called “Get to Know Your Inner Quilter” and based on your results, the authors make suggestions on which projects in the book might most suit your style.  Mine was spot on!

The instructions for each project are incredibly detailed – something which I appreciate a great deal, even as a more ‘experienced’ quilter.  There are colourful diagrams throughout and they are very easy to follow.  At the start of the book, it’s mentioned that the book isn’t necessarily for beginners, but between the detailed project instructions, the how to get started section and the amazing end chapter on tools and techniques, I think this would be a great, inspiring book for a beginner to pick up and dive into.

Before writing this review, I thought it important to try out one of the patterns.  Due to a crazy fall schedule, I chose the smallest and simplest, The Liberty Mini-Quilt Art.  I have a lovely bag of Liberty scraps and this was a great reason to dig into them.

The Liberty Mini-Quilt Art

The instruction listed for this short pattern are very concise and when the book directs you to use a particular technique, you’re able to find detailed information on how to complete it in the last chapter of the book entitled “Tips and Techniques”. I learned a great way to quickly assemble half square triangles!  I’ll confess that my biggest issue with quilting is accuracy in cutting.  The first of my two mini-quilts did not come out in the dimensions it should have, but that was definitely due to quilter error! I simply reminded myself of Christina’s mom and the quote about a galloping horse.  Having completed these small quilts, I’m excited to try the others in the book that have caught my eye.

Mini Quilts

I’ve also read two of the patterns from start to finish and even in simply reading them, I found them to be exact in their directions and the addition of the various tips and ideas make it not only a wonderful book to work from but one to simply read as well.  Not only will the book remain on my list of books to buy, it now has a lovely and inspiring spot at the top!

The Petal Pie Quilt

If anyone else has picked up the book, please share your thoughts in the comments. I look forward to reading them.

A big thank you to Potter Craft for providing the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild with a complementary copy to review.  It will be the feature door prize at our October meeting!

Book photos reprinted from QUILTING HAPPINESS: Projects, Inspiration & Ideas to Make Quilting More Joyful Copyright (c) 2013 by Christina Lane and Diane Gilleland. Published by Potter Craft, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, LLC, A Penguin Random House Company.

Photo of personally made Liberty Mini-Quilt Art quilts by Jo-Anne Platt.