Friday, July 24, 2015

#98 Time to Show Off Your Wiggles

I'm kind of sad that the sew along is over, it has been a lot of fun, and quite a learning experience!
Our FaceBook Group grow to over 80; we had so many encouraging posts along the way when anyone hit a snag; and let's not forget our go getter, Marg...who had her quilt top made and quilted before anyone even started piecing theirs!! And even though there were more followers than sewers, everyone seemed so thrilled with the pattern and wanting to make one of their own at some point!! !!! I couldn't be happier for my first attempt at a sew along. I hope you all feel the same.

More happy news....I have also had some fun things happening with the blog itself, which is a total bonus for all of you too...I found some great blog sponsors, who also sponsored the sew along. I'd like to introduce you to or re-introduce you if you have been following my blog for awhile,  another amazing Canadian online Quilt shop that now also has a store front in Stittsville, Ontario....

Pam's was one of the first shops I found online, and I have been shopping there ever since. The customer service is fantastic, love the modern fabrics she carries, and the monthly stash builder bundle sales, as well as the quick delivery turn around!! 

10 Over Coffee with Pam from Mad About Patchwork

It was fun to get to know Pam better, we've chatted a few times about fabric, but it is so nice to get a sneak peak of the person behind the quilt in her own words, here's Pam.

What would you like us to know about yourself? Or as I like to, rank and serial number. 
Small town girl, from Woodstock Ontario. Studied math and computer science in another lifetime. Moved to Ottawa 20 years ago to raise a family. Quilt shop owner for 7+ years. Denyse Schmidt is my quilting muse, and I was thrilled to take her workshop at Quiltcon 2013.

Do you have any hobbies? And do you have any time for them now?
Of course I like to sew, and still make time for both quilt and garment sewing whenever I can. I like to do some bicycle riding in the summer with my husband...we've got a 100k ride coming up later in July which will test my endurance (wow, I'm impressed!!)my words

What is your favourite and least favourite part of making a quilt?
 The excitement of actually starting a new project is probably my favourite thing, and also my least favourite thing. Sometimes I get stalled on making the decisions, which fabric, which pattern, etc. I love it when everything finally falls into place.

What made you think about opening a Quilt Shop in the first place, and why did you originally choose an online store?
I was bored with my part-time work in a local optometrist office, and wanted the flexibility to work from home. At the same time I was becoming aware of the fabulous fabrics that I could find online...but only in the US. I thought it was time for a Canadian presence in the online fabric scene.

What did your learn in the first years of your business that would have helped you to know ahead of time?
If I had known all the challenges I was going to face along the way I might not have started down this path. It's a bit like a long distance bike race- I stay focused on enjoying the ride and let the road unfold in front of me

In the last year you've opened a brick and mortar store front, in Stittsville Ontario, what brought this about?
I ran the business as online only from my home for 6 years, but in the last year I had more local quilters wanting to come to the house to shop. It was getting a bit unmanageable and I thought it was time to separate work from home. A fantastic spot just down the road presented itself to I couldn't say no!!!

What changes did this bring to your already established online business?
More than I realized....back to Q#5! I have to manage my time better, and manage more staff. Orders still have to get shipped out on time (within a day) regardless of what's going on in the shop. On the plus side, it's been good because I can carry more inventory, which means more choices for customers.

What is your favourite part of owning your own quilt shop?
I love my's so rewarding to see the projects they share, online or in the shop. The quilting communtiy is fantastic, and I love being a part of it.

How would your describe Mad About Patchwork? What should we know as customers?
From the beginning I have carried fabrics that I love, and would want to use myself in a quilt project. There are lots of bundles and precast in the shop for those who want a quick start to a project. 
If you're looking for solids we keep more than 200 bolts of Kona Solids in stock, and this year we have added Freespirit Designer Essential solids to the mix, and will be hosting the Denyse Schmidt modern solids trunk show in the fall. 
We carry a limited inventory of books and patterns, but are always happy to special order items for customers (even full bolts of Kona and Designer Essential solids, at a 10% discount, I have taken advantage of this deal by about 10 bolts, lol) 
The shop focuses mainly on quilting cottons and Essex cotton/linen, but we are also adding other substrates like voiles, lawns, knits and double gauze for garment sewing.
We are offering 2 Clubs this summer (click on either to be taken to more information)

  1. Moda Frivols Club Starting in August
  2. Cotton + Steel Club is shipping later this month

Anything else you'd like to share that I missed asking about?
I have stopped blogging for the summer so I can play a bit more with the other social media channels like IG (@madaboutpatchwork) and FaceBook, so readers can follow us there for shop news and updates.

More Fun for You!!

Show us your Wiggles!! 

If you've been following along, or just found us, you still have time... complete your quilt top...and post a picture to the pinned post on our Facebook group page by next Friday July 31st, Midnight EST, to enter your name for all the great sponsored prizes!! That's it! If you haven't joined, please do......but I will also be checking Instagram for the #wigglemecolourful and #wigglemecolorful and will be adding these names to the draw bucket too. So if you are in the Facebook group and on Instagram you just doubled your chances at a prize!!

Here is the list of Sponsored prizes

$25.00 Gift Certificate

$50.00 Gift Certificate

$25.00 Gift Certificate

And if that isn't enough reason......

Cantik Batik Strip pack

 an offer you just can't afford to pass up.....

Rita is generously offering
Everyone in the FaceBook Group who finishes their quilt top or has even started your quilt top, and posts a picture (within the pinned post) a $15.00 Gift Certificate   

Yup, you read that right, everyone!!      

So what are you waiting for head over to Facebook and sign up and get sewing!!           

Friday, July 17, 2015

#97 Week 3 Wiggle Me Colourful

Let the fun begin!! Time to start putting all of your hard prep work into making a pretty wiggle!!

First thing on the agenda today is to print the following pdf file. It is going to be your construction chart, like the ones you get in some knitting patterns. This will be your row builder and row joiner chart of order.

...and now I am giving you permission to colour!! 

Yup, colour!! Grab you pencil crayons or go get your kids, this will be so much easier in colour...and not just any colour, but your fabric colours, or a simple version of them anyway.
I used the basic colour for each of my rows, and I left the background blank. You don't want to colour that in because it is a great place for further numbers and notes. I thought about adding some for you but decided that it was better for you each to add what you wanted to see on your own sheets.
So here we go. (take notice that the first square in the top row is a background square and not part of a strip set)

Once you are done colouring your sheet, lay out the background fabric strips next to your sewing machine in this sewing order:

  • 20.5" with the 2.5" strips
  • 16.5" with the 4.5" strips
  • 12.5" with the 6.5" strips
  • 10.5" with the 4.5" strips
  • 8.5"
  • and a single pile for each of your strip sets
Don't look to closely at this picture, lol, do as I say not as I do. (I figured it out after the picture, lol) ;)

Now following your chart you are going to sew your different strip sets and background strips together to form rows.  

You may want to add some extra numbers to help you remember which background length goes where. 
Your sides:  2.5, 4.5, 6.5, 8.5, 10.5, 8.5, 6.5, 4.5, 2.5, repeat
Your centre: 20.5, 16.5, 12.5, 8.4, 4.5, 8.5, 12.5, 16.5, 20.5 repeat

Also when you are pressing your row seams you will notice in the left border area I added a press left and right, so I would get the seams nesting properly. I also used different checks and highlighting as I constructed the top to keep things in order. Use the system that works the best for you. 

Here is a great tip that will speed up your row sewing!!! All rows except the row with the 4.5"centre (only four of them, yeah!!) can be sewn in one pass, chain piecing at its best! (The 4.5" is too short to flip, so you will have to sew it in 2 sections and then join them) Here's what I mean. (ignore the background size in the pictures this is just for a visual clarification of my instructions below)

  • place your background strip and your first strip set together and sew your 1/4" seam. Now take the unsewn  end of the strip set and flip it is right side facing up and sew your next background strip to the end, and repeat with the background strip adding the next strip set and repeat with the strip set adding the last background piece and your first row is all together. 

Once all your rows are all together and your seams are all pressed you can again join your rows together following your chart. I love that each time the amount of seams to sew goes down by half...sets of 2, sets of 4.....

At this point I press my seams open when joining my rows, but again its your quilt and you have your  preferences, go with them!!
Once all your rows are joined together and all seams are pressed...admire your gorgeous wiggles!!! :)

But there is one more step: Adding your border

  • measure from top to bottom in 3 sections of your quilt. I usually go in about 3 inches from each side and the centre. Hopefully you find a consistent number,  that is what you will use to make the side border cuts with. (my number was 67.25") 
  • sew (2) sets of 2 of your set aside background strips together end to end, and cut to size 
  • sew them onto each side of your quilt top and press seams. Save the leftover piece to sew one to each of the two remaining strips
  • now measure your quilt again from side to side, in the same way as before, for your top and bottom cuts (my number was 60"). Use this number to trim your remaining borders and sew them in place.

Your Wiggle Me Colourful Quilt top is now complete!!

I have to confess, eek, I have now made 2 tops and not finished either. (I am shopping for long arm quilting machine, but haven't decided or saved enough money at this point) so my stack of quilt tops keeps growing. So I can't say with certainty how accurate these measurements are,I used the Robert Kaufman quilter's app. I know the EQ7 fabric amounts were over generous and I tweaked them. 

So if you have your own system use that.

Backing fabric:  60"wide x 70"length dimensions and 42" fabric width:
4 yards


Backing fabric: 70" wide x 60" length again with 42" fabric:
 3 3/8 yards

Binding: using 42" fabric and 2.5" binding strips
1/2 yard of fabric

I hope you have enjoyed the sew along and that you are all in love with the quilt tops you have created!!
Next week will be having a show off your "wiggle" party on our FB page, that will run all week so you really have 2 weeks to get your "wiggles" together (and yes I chuckle every time I use wiggle this way, lol)

 You'll get all the info on that next week with the last blog post for the Wiggle Me Colourful Sew Along!! Thanks so much everyone for making this such a fun first experience with a sew along, though you have all !!

I can't wait to see what you all come up with!! don't forget to use #wigglemecolourful

Have a great week and happy sewing!!



For All of the Emmaline NCW fans and you know I'm one is a brief break down of how I pieced my wallet flap.....

The coloured strips are 1/4" wide by 2" long finished. 

  1. Trace the flap template onto 1/4" graph paper, adding a 1/2" for trimming later and draw out your wiggle pattern in increments of 1/4ish " drops and rises. 
  2. Make sure you have a rise in the centre where your lock will be. 
  3. Using your graph paper as reference cut out your background pieces the lengths you will need (don't forget to add your 1/4" seam allowances) by 3/4" wide (includes seam allowance) and your coloured strips 3/4"wide x 2.5" long. 
  4. Sew pieces together using the graph paper pattern you made, this takes a bit of time and reminded my of an accordion, lol. Its a lot of seams.
  5. Press seams in one direction, they are tight, trim flap with template (mindful to leave at least a 1/4" on either side of the longest wiggle rows for your seams) and continue on with your flap construction, as written in the original pattern.

Hope that answers all the questions!! 
Try it if you dare!! 

#WiggleMeColourful or

Don't forget for personal use only, 

Please remember to give credit where credit is do, and if you want to share this, refer people here to my post, thanks everyone.