Sew Canadian

Have you been following along the Sew Canadian blog series at Mad About Patchwork? All summer, two Canadian bloggers have their sewing space featured on their blog on Sundays.

Today, it is my turn along with Felicity of Felicity Quilts. You’ll find the post here. If you come from there, I welcome you in my space. If not, I invite you to have a look. It’s great to meet other Canadian sewers/quilters and learn about their sewing space.

Sewing Without a Plan

Usually when I start a quilt, I plan most of it ahead. I even choose my binding fabric before I start cutting fabric for the top. For the quilt I’m currently working on, I didn’t and I’m really enjoying it. It all started with a charm square bundle. At one of our guild meeting, we organized a rainbow charm square (5″) swap. The participants had to bring a solid charm square and a coordinating print charm square in one color of the rainbow for all others participating. Here is what we came home with.

This year, the guild is making quilts for a palliative care center. I decided use my charm square bundle to make one. So, this was the start for my quilt. I started working on it at our last sew-in. I decided to make simple pinwheels for each color by slicing the charm squares in half and sewing them with halves of white charm squares. Then, I sew 4 units together to create pinwheels. Because of the seam allowances, I had to trim them down afterwards. I ended up with 8″ blocks.

With the blocks done, I worked on their layout on my design wall to decide on the arrangement of colors. I thought it would be interesting to extend the secondary pinwheels created by the white fabric in the border. I just had enough Kona in Medium Gray to make additional blocks and the border for a good size lap quilt. I think it will end up a bit less than 40″ x 50″. I didn’t measure it exactly.

Pinwheel Quilt

I finished assembling the rows last night. I don’t know yet what I’ll do once the top is finished (backing, binding and quilting). For the quilting, I might try to extend the pinwheel pattern in the gray border too, but I don’t know how I’ll do it.

But, before I start quilting this quilt I have another one to quilt. It’s also for the palliative care center. This one was pieced and basted by my friend Cinzia from Deux Petites Souris. It features small improv houses from the same bundle. Even though it started from the same fabrics, it looks so different. I love it. She gave me the challenge to quilt it with a a contrasting variegated thread in orange/yellow. I’ll try to show some pictures when I’m done quilting.

Cinzia is really a reference for improvisational piecing. I admire her work. This is not natural for me, but I might be tempted to do this again. I’m not ready to make something without my rulers though. I have another charm square pack waiting (Pretty Potent collection by Anna Maria Horner). I might do something along the same lines as this pinwheel quilt. I think projects like this without too much math and no need to calculate everything in advance are perfect for summer.

Closing the Loop on the Cosmic Voyage

Some of you might now that I participated in this year’s Fabric 8 contest (see this post). The contest is hosted by Spoonflower and Robert Kaufman Fabrics. The theme for this year was Cosmic Voyage. You can currently vote for the final collection.

Back in June, I wasn’t selected in the semi-finalists. Still, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do for the different prints in my collection. So, I continued working on this project of mine. Today, I’m closing the loop and showing them to you. Here are previews of the different prints at a fat quarter scale. You can also see them in my Spoonflower shop. I tried to make designs on the theme that could be fussy cut, but that could also be cut on a smaller scale just for the color and texture it would add to a patchwork project. I hope you’ll like them.


Solar System




I just uploaded them last night. I will order some samples. I can’t wait to see them for real! Does it inspire you some projects? Is this the kind of print you like to work with? Let me know what you think about it.

Petal Pinwheels Tote Bag

I was able to finish my project for the current MQG fabric challenge yesterday. As I said in my previous post, I made a quilted tote bag.

Petal Pinwheels Tote Bag

You can see a few pictures of the process for the variation on the cathedral window and the portholes in this previous post. As mentioned there, I followed the construction instructions from on Elizabeth Hartman’s tote bag pattern to assemble the bag.

The bundle of fat eights provided to us for the challenge was from Michael Miller Fabrics. Most of it came from the Petal Pinwheels collection. I used most of the prints provided. I did buy two additional prints from Michael Miller for the bag exterior and lining. They are respectively: Painter’s Canvas in Slate by Laura Gunn and Nature Walk in Coral from the Wee Wander collection by Sarah Jane. Below, you can see the lining and inside pockets.

Petal Pinwheels Tote Bag

The only think I regret is that I didn’t put interfacing on the center print and the first porthole fabrics. I was too eager to start and I didn’t have any home. I did put some on the Painter’s Canvas print and I prefer how it holds. Now, I want to take a look at what others have made with the fabrics provided. If you are are on Instagram and want to have a look too, check the hashtag #mqgfabricchallenge.

Half-Rectangle Triangle Valance

A few months ago, I made a valance for my sewing room using half-rectangle triangles. I’ve been waiting for my tutorial to appear on Sew Mama Sew to share it with you. Then I completely forgot about it. So, here it is.

Half-Rectangle Triangle Love!

The HRTs have sizes ranging from 2″ x 2″ to 2 x 5″ in the center. I’ve used the same templates as the ones provided in the tutorial. It’s just different layout of the HRTs. The prints are all from an earlier collection by Cosmo Cricket for Andover Fabrics (Early Bird). Just like those sewing machine covers I’ve never finished (here and here). I should really get back to those!

Back to the valance. I’ve lined it with a black out fabric. It was a leftover from curtains I’ve made for one of my boys room. I hope the lining will help to avoid the patchwork fabric from fading. I also took a little shortcut for hanging the valance. Instead of sewing a hanging sleeve, I used a translucent serpentine tape similar to this. It works great. Here it is hanging on the wrong side for you to see.

Now, I just need to change the curtain pole which is way too large for my valance!

Summer Sewing

It has been a long time since I shared some projects on the blog. With the kids summer vacation, sewing time has been a bit limited. However, I did manage to finish a few quick projects before school ended. I made two open wide zippered pouches (tutorial from Noodlehead) and a few lanyards (similar to these). I didn’t take the time to picture all of them. But, here is the set that I made for my son’s teacher.

Zip pouch and lanyard

I also made a set of tea towels for my step father’s birthday. My mother and him just finished renovating their kitchen. Since he loves to cook, I thought he would love some handmade tea towels. I used some yarn dyed Essex linen in black and just added a strip of green quilting cotton to add a bit of punch.

Essex linen tea towel

I was looking for a good way to finish the corners and I found this great tutorial on how to do mitered hem. It really makes a neat finish.

Essex linen tea towel

I also started working on my Michael Miller Challenge organized by The Modern Quilt Guild. I’m making a tote bag. It’s based on Elizabeth Hartman’s pattern. I’m following her construction instructions. However, I’m not making quilt-as-you-go log cabins for the exterior. As mentioned in this post, I wanted to explore some fabric manipulation techniques to add texture to my project. I chose to make a variation on the cathedral window with some portholes. It was inspired by the windmill cathedral window block. I just love this version by Nylia on Flickr. As for the portholes, they were inspired by a quilt from Lucie Summers. Here she explains how she does her portholes. Today, the kids were at my mom’s place. So, I had time to work on my project and I manage to finish my portholes. Here are a couple of pictures of the process so far.

Progress MQG Michael Miller Challenge

Progress MQG Michael Miller Challenge

Progress MQG Michael Miller Challenge


Progress MQG Michael Miller Challenge

The next step will be the quilting. I hope you are having a great summer!

Half-Rectangle Triangle Tutorial on Sew Mama Sew!

I have a tutorial featured on Sew Mama Sew! today. You can check it out here. It is a table runner I’ve made using different size of Half-Rectangle Triangles (HRTs).


In the past year, I’ve seen different things that inspired me to use HRTs. Among them, this basket and these paintings. In the table runner I designed for Sew Mama Sew! I chose to use different sizes of HRTs to add movement to the project. A bit like what is done with the patchwork in Bargello quilts, but on a smaller scale

The fabrics were generously provided by Art Gallery Fabrics. The prints are all from the Splendor 1920 collection by Bari J (Decodence Azure and Delicate Sautoir Grey for the lighter and darker prints, Nouveau Geo Blue for the binding). The solid color fabric is from the Pure Elements collection. The color is Empire Yellow (PE-407). For the backing, I used Flights of Fancy print from the same collection (Splendor 1920). I l like how we can see the quilting texture on the back and with this print, I think we could use this table runner reversibly.


I originally had sketched different layout for the runner. I’m proposing you one in the tutorial. And here are a few other layout ideas using the same HRT sizes.

HRT Layout Idea 1

HRT Layout Idea 2

HRT Layout Idea 3

If you make a project using this tutorial, I would love to see it. If you are on Flickr, please add your photos to my group.

Cosmic Voyage

I’ve been doing a bit less of sewing lately, and a bit more of designing on the computer. After finishing my online class on Processing (I told you I would do this again), I saw the announcement of a design fabric contest on Spoonflower. Fabric 8 takes place once a year and his done conjointly with Robert Kaufman Fabrics. This year’s theme is Cosmic Voyage. I decided to take the challenge. You can see what I’ve submitted here. This image below represents a fabric piece of 18″ x 36″.

Today, the semi-finalists were announced. I wish I could ask you to go vote for me. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it in the 100 semi-finalists selected by Robert Kaufman (you can go voting here though). Still, I wanted to share with you what I submitted.

For the first step, we had to submit only one fabric design on the theme. The 8 finalists will later present a collection of four fabrics, including their first design. So, I though of doing a cheater quilt to show off different design in one print. I now realized that this might not have been the best idea. I’ll explain later why. When sketching some ideas, I thought of joining some blocks to form a space ship. When playing with different shapes, I found that it worked out quite well using pentagons for the blocks. Here was my initial sketch.

The idea was to use the other pentagons as windows on different things you can encounter in the immensity of the cosmos: nebula, galaxy, solar system, planet with craters. I put a lot of work and learned a lot from doing the 4 different designs for the pentagons. This is the part I would like to show. Most blocks have a geometric texture to them and a lot of it was done using Processing. The color palette was inspired by the colors in a picture of a nebula. So, here they are:

My favorite one is definitely the nebula made out of random triangles. But all together in one print, it might be too much. I think that the biggest problem was the scale. I had to make the pentagons big enough to see the details in each design. But at this size, the space ship just feels like it lacks details compared to the rest. Maybe, I should have drop my original idea and only focus on one print or at least drop the space ship. At some point, I had to submit my design. I’m still happy with what I have accomplished. And I will probably rework on some of the designs or at least use some elements from them in future projects…

Sorry for those who prefer to read some more sewing and quilting related projects. But don’t worry, I’ll have a project to share with you in the coming days!

Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Amalgam Quilt

Have you had a chance to stop by the Blogger’s Quilt Festival hosted by Amy’s Creative Side?

There is some beautiful quilts in all categories and some great prizes too. If you are coming from the festival, I welcome you here. Thanks for your interest and I hope you’ll enjoy my blog and projects.

I decided to enter my Amalgam quilt in the Original Design Quilts category.

Amalgam Quilt
I’ve put a lot of thinking into this quilt in the past year and I’m glad of how it turned out. You can read more details on the design here and the making:  herehere and here. I love to play with patterns, solid color fabrics, value and asymmetry. And this design combines it all.

I also wanted to mention that this quilt will be part of a provincial quilt show in a week or so: the CQQ (Courtepointe Quebec Quilts) Salon. If you happen to be near Montreal, come to visit the show. There will be a few quilts from other members of the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild. I’m looking forward to it.

Thanks again for stopping by and don’t miss the great inspiration at Amy’s Creative Side.

Pattern Design and Fabric Printing

I received my first order from Spoonflower last week. I’ve been wanting to try out their digital printing services for quite a while. I finally did it. My package included fabric swatches, a printed color map and a some fabric samples of my own designs!

Spoonflower fabric

How did I came to this? Well back in November, Agnes a friend from the Montreal Modern Quilt Guild shared the work of Libs Elliot on our Facebook page. She is a Toronto based quilt-maker. I loved her work and all the process behind her designs. She uses a programming language to generate her patterns: Processing. This programming language was specifically develop with the visual arts community in mind. The tool Libs Elliot uses was mainly developed by Joshua Davis. When I saw about his work and that he was giving a online class on Skillshare, I decided to sign-up for it. The course is Programming Graphics I: Introduction to Generative Art.

I don’t speak much on the blog about what I was doing before being a stay at home mom and making sewing/quilting projects … I have an engineering background and my last job was as a software developer in a company developing software for 3D animation. So, I was quite interested to follow Joshua David’s class. To me it felt like a great occasion to combine both interests. I wanted to learn about Processing not necessarily to make quilt patterns, but to generate patterns in general. And, maybe to help in the design of fabric prints!. When I signed-up for it, I was offered to take a Surface Design class for free (Introduction to Surface Design: Creating and Mixing Patterns). I thought it was a great complement and decided to sign-up for it as well.

I made each class project to put in application what I was learning. For the surface design class, I decided to give a theme to my project: the asterisk. I played with transparencies on one of the design and chose to integrate hand-drawn elements (lines) in another one. So the fabrics sample I ordered from Spoonflower are the result of this project.

For the generative art class, I made some pixelated arrows. I developed the code to do so. I used different shades of lime green to color the arrow pixels. The value of each pixel was chose randomly, but the pixel had more chance to be lighter as we got closer to the beginning of each arrow. Here is the result.

Pixel Arrows - Pattern Design

I was really satisfied with both classes and quite happy of what I learned. The is a bit different from the projects I usually share here. But, there is some fabric involved. You might see more from this in the future as I really enjoyed working on these projects. I hope you liked reading about it.