Tuesday, July 2, 2013

It's official!

The store is closed.  I would like to thank all of my fabulous customers for supporting me in my quilting dream.  

There are a number of reasons I made the decision to close.  The first one is my health.  I am about to begin another round of chemotherapy which will have extreme side effects.  There is no way I could get through the chemo and run the store, and although I have some really fabulous friends who would have stepped up here, it would still require me to be available.  

Needless to say, when the landlord chose to lock me out instead of discussing the issue, I realized that over the next few months, which are the slowest of the year, that I would constantly be under stress wondering if he would do it again if I was late with the rent.  Stress is not a great thing when you are already facing illness.

The other reason is, although I made the right move in terms of location for many of my TTC customers, it turned out that being situated next to a dance studio was not the right move for the business.  As I found with the last newsletter, people were not signing up for classes like they used to and that is a huge part of the business.  There were definite rumblings about the noise which sometimes emanated from next door.

I will not go quietly - the plan is to continue doing my pattern designs and I have some other great quilt ideas up my sleeve.  As I begin chemo on the 10th of July, you may not be hearing from me in regards to new designs and patterns but, I will try to keep you updated on my progress and I did promise to finish my Amish With A Twist, along with a few other projects that I had started in the store.

I would like to send out a huge thank you to everyone who has helped and given moral support over the past two weeks.  Liz, who took over the cash, served as my taxi service and made sure I ate properly.  Leeane and Gail who helped set up the store for the sale, came in untiringly to cut fabric and help with everything.  Linda, my rock, for everything she has done for the past few months to help me get through the tough days.  Laurissa, who is tall enough to reach all the tough stuff and did some major hauling of boxes and bags.
Diannah who can clear a thread rack in seconds and managed to keep Gillian busy.  Last but not least, Gillian, without her I would have just walked away and left it all!!!!  She was the driving force behind the re-opening of the store, the sale and everything that went to Value Village in the end.  She left no stone unturned, if it could fit in the car it made it to VV.

For all who would like to know, the balance of the fabric, books and patterns have gone to very worthy causes.  East Toronto Quilters Guild for Linus quilts, etc.,  Etobicoke Quilters Guild for comfort quilts, Mississauga Quilters Guild for their placemats program and Healing Heroes (Quilts of Valour) for our service men and women.  I am also happy to report that a number of the store samples (7) have been donated to the flood victims in Calgary.

I decided not to take any pictures of the end!  The end is a new beginning for me - hopefully one that includes good health!  I am looking forward to a new chapter in my quilting journey.  Hopefully many of you will come with me!!!

Happy Quilting!


Monday, June 3, 2013

Spring quilting!!!!

As much as I love gardening, quilting is still my passion and luckily it is shared my many other quilters.  Babies are born and they need quilts to be bundled in, there are wedding quilts to do and milestone birthdays that deserve our very best gifts - quilts!  There are those dreaded deadlines and so we continue to quilt.....

First I will bring you up to date as to where I am on that gorgeous Amish With A Twist....I have started doing the outside of the blocks....

Block 2

Block 3

I should have more done but as many of you know by reading my blog - www.creationsbyjoann.blogspot.com, I have been obsessed with The Farmer's Wife of late.  I'm hoping to get more done in the next few days.

I will also share with you some fabulous customer quilts I've been lucky enough to be inspired by....

First Kay and her friend made this fabulous quilt at Laurissa's Bloomin' 9 Patch class....
Cathie has been working on this quilt for about 10 years but that actually includes selecting the fabrics.  It's that fabulous pattern, Yellow Brick Road and it is stunning.....

This pic shows the blocks - she came by one Friday night to "babysit" me (I think it was May 10th) and marked her rows and blocks.

Yesterday we had our monthly Sunday Stitch & Bitch and check it out!  They held it up sideways but - still effective......

Chris never ceases to amaze me with the quilts that she produces and this month (May) at our Stashbusters (Scrapaholics) Club night she didn't disappoint.....

Here are two quilts she did, changing them up but using the same strips....using different backgrounds they look completely different.....

She is also working diligently on one of Bonnie Hunter's patterns and each month it grows.....

Liz came by last week and showed off this gorgeous quilt which I believe is a wedding present and she was getting it off to the long arm... (wish I could take a decent picture - ugh!)

The last quilt and really an inspiration belongs to ????  Okay, I know it is very unlike me but as many of you know I am within my rights to use "chemo-brain" as an excuse here,  I cannot remember who brought this quilt in, so someone has to "own up" and help me out here.....

I would like to introduce you to the new "boss" at Cock A Doodle, in case you haven't met her yet -----  This is Missy!  She belongs to Gillian and when Gillian is in the store, Missy is there to look after us all!

She's very photogenic and loves having her picture taken.....

She also has her own "throne" - our very own Queen of Quilts!!!!  Her favourite spot is on top of the quilt!

Gillian is away for the next few weeks so the "boss" is off for a while.  I have to say, I really do miss her.

Happy Quilting!


Monday, May 27, 2013

Urban Pods Revisited!

Urban Pods has been quilted!  Sandy (Lindal) popped in to the store to drop off a quilt to a customer and saw my Urban Pods sitting and waiting to be quilted.  That was about the end of April.  On Monday May 6th she came back with the quilt completed.  I quickly got the binding on and started sewing.  I had it done in record time - finished it Tuesday May 7th.  I have been meaning to post the pictures for three weeks but I have been otherwise occupied.

As you can see she did a spectacular job.  The quilt is in the store and you really need to get a look at it up close and personal to see all the work that went into this custom quilted piece.
Here's a picture of the back - you can really see the fabulous quilting she did.
Again a larger photo of the back....I chose to break up the back with some of the leftover fabrics and at the same time I used a Pigma Pen to write my label  on some of the white fabric.
My original intent was to quilt this one myself, so I had to make a little change to the label to correct it, but it all worked out just fine....and I gave Sandy full credit for her fabulous work!
Another picture of the back where you can really see the quilting....
If you are looking for a Long Arm quilter, Sandy is available and as you can see - a fabulous quilter - you can reach her at 416-229-4728.  Don't forget to tell her I sent you....

Happy Quilting!


Sunday, May 5, 2013

It must be May.....

The newsletter is on it's way to you all!  Hoping you'll love the class line-up, I tried to throw in a little of everything and there will be more coming.....

Yesterday was Healing Heroes - Quilts of Valour day at the Doodle and Judy brought in yet another completed quilt for which she quickly whipped up a pillow case to match.....
This is a great pattern and the quilt is really awesome - loads of leaves in the boxes.....She quilted the boxes in the ditch and then meandered inside and outside the boxes.  There were another 8 finished quilts delivered to Virginia, then Pat, then Alison as well.  These ladies just keep producing gorgeous quilts.....

I have received all of my blocks for the 9 Patch Exchange and since my dear friend Debbie came in to quilt with me yesterday I began work on the quilt top.  Since there is going to be a reveal planned I will give you this one pic to whet your appetites and you will have to figure out what I'm up to......

Jo-Ann's 9 Patch Exchange Quilt

I am thrilled with the way it's coming along so I honestly can't wait to get it done.  Stay tuned!  I think today I received the last group of outstanding blocks so everyone will receive all of their blocks and they too can make some awesome quilts.  Can't wait to see them all!  It may even inspire another exchange!

Happy quilting!


P.S. If you want to see what's happening with The Farmer's Wife head over to Jo-Ann's Creations, Trials & Tribulations.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Where does it go......

I have been focused - on quilting and preparing the newsletter which is about to hit the "waves".  (Internet air waves...)

So the Asian Invasion has inspired me - below the beginnings of my Bento Box quilt - I'm using the Anna Griffin Asians to do it.  The middle block didn't really work for me so I've since "unstitched" it and used the fabrics for two other blocks which I will share next time.  I think it's going to be awesome and I'm working on it at the store so come by and check out my progress....

 Bento Box quilt

On the home front, Amish With A Twist is coming along fine.  I completed Block 12 - Birds In The Air and the extras for the first border.
 Block 12 - Birds In The Air

I spent Saturday at the store cutting out the fabrics for Lessons 13, 14 and 15, while Debbie kept me company while working on her Box Step quilt in Red, Black and White.  Wish I had taken a picture but I think I'd left the camera at home.

Then home to start the next stage of the Amish - sewing the setting blocks!  Check out Block 1 - Rail Fence enclosed......

 Rail Fence enclosed.....

Then back to my Asian obsession, below is Nine By Twelve using those fabulous Asian fabrics we received last week.  I just need to add the borders which I hope will happen this week some time or this weekend maybe....and then write up the patterns for this and the Bento Box and wow!!!!
Nine By Twelve

Today I spent polishing and putting the finishing touches on the newsletter so look out - it'll be online momentarily......great classes, loads of fun!

Happy Quilting!


Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Asian Invasion......

Talk about a busy week for me!  Thursday night we, Linda cutting and Gillian and I packing, were busy getting the Amish With A Twist first installments ready for pick-up.  In the meantime there were 4 large boxes of fabrics to unpack.

That happened on Friday - first 12 bolts of Kyota, which this picture (of course) does not due justice to.  I've already started a project using 6 of these fabrics - you'll see it further down the page.  

 12 bolts of Kyota next to our gorgeous Champagne Lights

Then there are an additional 17 bolts of Honoka from Anna Griffin which is absolutely gorgeous!  The feel of this fabric is gorgeous too!  Oh, and I started yet another project - check below...... 
 Anna Griffin's Honoka

I have a new spot for great new fabrics - it's Jo-Ann's Treasure Chest - a place where I can put all my favourites.....

 Check out my Treasure Chest

Introducing Riley Blake - Serenity!  It is absolutely stunning!  You really have to see this in person and I will tell you that it is going fast.... The Friday night crew and the Saturday bunch has already had their cuts.....

 Serenity by Riley Blake

Okay, okay, I know!!!  Yet another project on the go!  This one is at the store and I'm gonna try for a "block a day".  It's a Bento Box - and I'm using those fabulous Honoka prints from Anna Griffin.  I can't wait to see how it evolves but I had to, because I had a dream......seriously, I dreamt about this quilt Friday night.....
 New Project - Bento Box with Honoka
Of course there is still the Amish With A Twist on the go - Block #9 is finally done (there was a slight lull there while I got other important stuff done).

 Block #9 - Star Diamond Block

Then of course there are my little extra blocks I made from the left overs.
 Leftovers from Block #9

Block # 10 - Square In A Square is also done.  There were no leftovers with this one (unfortunately). 
 Block #10 - Square In A Square

Do you remember the Radical Rail - I've got 20 blocks done!  That's two thirds of the quilt top!!!  Almost there.......
 Radical Rail - soon to be a pattern and a class

That didn't stop me - here's Block #11 - Hole in the Barn Door, again no leftovers for blocks, but that's okay, I have plenty for an "extra" project.  I'll keep you all posted on that idea.
 Block #11 - Hole in the Barn Door

This is project #3 -  Nine by Twelve!  It's made from 6 of those great Kyota fabrics and the first 3 rows are together.  Working on the next 3 now.....
My Kyota Project

I spent the whole afternoon quilting away and it was wonderful!  I love it when I have a day to quilt.....amazing what I can get done!  We'll be kitting a few of these great projects too!

Happy Quilting!


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I am so conflicted........

We have been invaded!!!!  Yesterday two boxes arrived full of gorgeous Asian fabrics......

 Just a taste of the Orient.......
This grouping is more like a meal......all $14.95/metre

Why am I conflicted!  Well you see those gorgeous fabrics (the meal),  I cut some and I have a plan!!!!  Now, I am busy working on Amish With A Twist (Block 9) and the Radical Rail is coming along nicely, so what will happen if I add yet a third project to the mix?!?!  Well, we are going to find out - I'm also writing a pattern for this great project, working on the newsletter and cutting all the fabrics for Amish With A Twist so that it will be ready for pick-up this weekend......

On top of that, another two boxes of fabric have arrived!  More gorgeous Asians......can't wait to get into those boxes, it was all I could do to leave them alone and do what I had to do today.....tomorrow is another day.

More to come......

Happy Quilting!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

What a great week......

First of all, you had to be there.  Have you ever seen 7 women awe struck?!!!  I mean sitting with mouths wide open in awe!!!!  We sat and watched while Anne filled the design wall with her Dear Jane -  she has 3 blocks left to do....it is absolutely stunning, and it took her 4 years to complete - there are some pretty tough applique blocks in this quilt.  There were many she did over because she just didn't like the way they turned out....pretty awesome quilt!!!!

Needless to say, this inspired me to get back to my Farmer's Wife - two blocks done tonight....check www.creationsbyjoann.blogspot.com. 

Then I watched as Gillian started on her Stashbusters Quilt, she was determined to get the blocks done and has, as of today, only 10 more to do, to have an 80 block quilt.

Check this out......done with strips......
For the record, I have not been idle myself.  I managed to continue on with my Amish With A Twist....

Block 7 - Snow Ball Block plus Square In A Square cornerstones for the inside border.

Sometimes I take scraps a little too far and I just couldn't resist using the left over triangles for something, so here are my leftovers from Block 7.....

Block 8 - Flying Geese Block

....and of course there were leftovers here too.....

I am now also halfway through the Radical Rail quilt which is coming along nicely - I have 15 blocks done....

FYI - the fabric has arrived and I am already cutting Instalment 1 so those of you who are doing the BOM - Amish With A Twist - you will very soon be hearing the news that the kits are ready to go.....It's so exciting!

Tomorrow I will be (hopefully) finalizing class dates for the new newsletter so that will soon be appearing in your inboxes.....

Happy Quilting!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Back on track......

It took a couple of days for me to recover from the wedding!  It was a long night and a dream come true for all of us who were a part of it!  The happy couple is recuperating in the Bahamas for the next two weeks (too bad they didn't need their godmother to go along **sigh**)....I'll post a pic on my blog (www.creationsbyjoann.blogspot.com).

In the meantime, I finished block 5 of Amish With A Twist and it came out awesome .....
Block 5 - Star Block - Amish With A Twist

Completed it last night.  Tonight I came home and worked on Block 6 (there were errors....oops!), it took a little longer than expected but it too is done!  Note, I also got two more sets of strips for the border done.....

Block 6 - Hour Glass Block - Amish With A Twist

So... Block 7 is also on it's way to being done, along with another extra.  I love the way this pattern is coming together.  Nancy Rink really did a great job with this.  As you prepare the blocks you are also preparing all the other parts of the quilt so at the end it will just be a matter of putting it all together.  Some nights I wish I could just keep going, but we all know what happens when you do too much, mistakes happen.....and I hate un-sewing!  (back stitching)

Yesterday was fun, Rochelle dropped by to show off her finished quilt.  It was one of our great Mystery Quilts - the one night mystery!  She did a great job and she says her daughter loves it.....
Rochelle's Mystery Quilt

Today was a fun day for me, Linda came by to get some fabrics for a quilt she wants to make.  She got some of those fabulous Champagne Beiges.  I'm actually in the middle of designing a quilt using some of those fabrics (not putting down Amish With A Twist!) and will have a pattern ready in a wee while.

Liz came by with lunch, what a treat!  Then I had a great afternoon checking out some new fabrics for the store (I'm excited about some of the great new stuff that's coming - which prompted a few more quilt pattern ideas!)

Late in the day Lyn and Jessie came by - new quilters and so we set about getting Lyn started on a great quilt with some charm squares she had.  I hope she comes by and shows me her progress,  it's going to be awesome!

Okay - I think I'll go back to Block 7.....

Happy Quilting!


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Come join us......

Stashbuster's Club
Thursday April 11, 2013
6:30 - 10:00 P.M.
$15.00 (includes dinner)
(2nd Thursday of every month)
I'm going to start work on a pineapple quilt.  Chris is working on something, not sure what.  Gill has a bunch of strips to work with and Linda, I'm not sure which project is being worked on - but we are all determined to get those scraps into quilts.......
If your looking for some great ideas  to use up scraps and make some quick quilts - this is definitely the place to be......there are spots available so come join us!
Happy Quilting!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A little more......

I have not been idle, just slow!  Tonight I completed Block 4 - Amish With A Twist......
 Block 4 - Pinwheel Block - Amish With A Twist
Back of Block - notice my teeny tiny pinwheels
That's to remove bulk in the seams

As I mentioned previously, the patterns are super in that they give very good instructions and some great tips too.  If you sign up and manage to come for the 1 hour class/discussion you will receive a number of great tips too!  I will also include extra tips with the patterns......

At this point, one third of the blocks are done, along with other portions of the quilt top.  I'm really enjoying this!  Check out my blog - www.creationsbyjoann.blogspot.com to find out what else I'm up to at the same time.....

Happy Quilting!


Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What I did on my Easter vacation.....

Before I share my vacation with you, I want to put a picture up for posterity.  I have the most amazing customers, don't think I don't know this.  You are all so good to me, which brings me to the photo.

One of my customers, Esme, who lives in South Africa, made a rare trip to Toronto to visit her son and his family.  She came by the store and brought me a most beautiful gift.....aren't they gorgeous, and the scent was truly amazing!  Now this photo will preserve them forever!

A gift from Esme

Between Monday and Thursday Sit & Sews there is always lots of production going on.  You know how I love sharing some of these projects and this one is no exception.  Linda finished her charity quilt for York Heritage Quilters' Guild.  The fabrics came from the guild stash so the 60's look is not Linda's choice bur she did a great job with what she had - even if she did have to raid Raili's 60's stash to finish it.....
 The front

The back

Now, we get to how I spent my Easter vacation.  Four days, Friday to Monday, it was great!  Let's see, I did laundry, I cleaned a little which prompted list making (ugh), and some quilting!  As I had planned, I got started on Amish With A Twist.....
Amish With A Twist

I started from the beginning - Block 1 - Rail Fence.  The neat part about this Block of the Month is that you are making other parts of the quilt as you are constructing the blocks.  Below is the Rail Fence block, plus strips that will be the inside border in two colour ways.

Block 1 - Rail Fence - Amish With A Twist

Then came Block 2 - Four Patch Block.  This is where I got a little confused!  When you look at the quilt, you see 12 different blocks, so when the cutting instructions told me to cut strips for the four patches, I thought, why would I waste all that fabric to make one block?  Well that prompted me to take a look at the quilt and guess what - this one actually makes 3 of the same block, 2 of which are for the 2 opposite corners of the large border, plus strips for the inside border.

Block 2 - Four Patch Block - Amish With A Twist

The last one I managed to finish was Block 3 - Nine Patch Block.  This one is also very straight forward and there are no extras here, just the block.  So that concludes "package" #1.  I've shown the leftover fabrics here from the first installment.
 Block 3 - Nine Patch Block - Amish With A Twist

A few tips for this BOM:

1 - Read through each pattern carefully before starting.
2 - Check your cutting instructions for all three patterns before beginning to cut so you can plan your fabric.
3 - Work on one block at a time and all the extras and it's as easy as pie....

I haven't finished any more blocks but Kay was in today to do some quilting and I managed to cut out the next 6 blocks plus the extras for installments 2 and 3, so blocks and tips will be forthcoming soon.

I have to say, I am really enjoying this process.  It's been awhile since I did a Block of the Month and one of my favourites is the variance in the blocks.  This one may actually end up on my bed, once it's done......That may be one of the reasons I haven't painted my bedroom yet!  Holding out for the perfect quilt!

Happy Quilting!