Yorkshire Rose Quliters Guild of Toronto

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Festive Market Recap!

It was indeed a festive evening at our annual Festive Market!  There was something for everyone and every price range, with lots of stocking stuffers and gifts.  From jewelry to handmade knits, pottery to cat toys, and pillowcase kits to pocket tissue holders, our vendors had everything needed to help shoppers finish their Christmas gift lists.   Participants were treated to a buffet of Christmas goodies, and it was a lovely, if cold, evening.  






Monday, 11 December 2017

Festive Market this Wednesday

It’s time again for our Festive Market, one of the most popular events we hold every year.

Bring your cheer and a Christmas gift list and shop at member tables and vendors at this special celebration. 

If you plan on doing some shopping, be sure to bring cash as our tables won’t have machines for credit or debit.

Admission and refreshments are free for everybody. Perhaps you would enjoy bringing a friend or two.

All attendees are eligible to draw a paper to win a door prize. 

Christmas goodies will be provided by the Guild Executive.

Date: Wednesday, December 13, 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Location: Danforth Mennonite Church, 2174 Danforth Avenue

Monday, 4 December 2017

Getting Ready for Christmas

This time of year, it is always fun to find small projects that will bring a little joy. Here are a couple of Christmas stocking projects that can bring a little magic and fun to your Christmas decorating.

Mini Christmas Stocking Garland from Melissa at Polka Dot Chair!

These adorable stockings go together quickly, make good use of scraps, and would be a quick way to add a handmade touch to your Christmas this year.  
Here's where to find it:  


Liberty Stockings from Blonde Design

These old-school elf stockings are gorgeous in Liberty fabrics, but would be fabulous in any fabric in your stash!
Take a look and see if you can resist stitching up a few for your Christmas decorations this year.  The link below will take you to a quick and easy tutorial, along with the pattern for the stocking with that charming little curl at the toe (the pattern pieces are at the bottom of the tutorial).  

What Christmas sewing projects are you working on this year?

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Meet a Canadian Quilt Blogger: Reece Montgomery of Happy Okapi

There are so many amazing things happening in the online world of quilting, so we thought it would be a great idea to share some of the people who are out there - online and IRL (in real life!) - who are making the quilting world go.

In this post, we will introduce you to ReeceMontgomery from Happy Okapi

Yorkshire Rose Quilters Guild (YRQG): Why did you start blogging?

Reece Montgomery (RM): I taught myself to sew from online tutorials and lots of trial and error. I found I wanted to share what I was learning. I was also seeing that a lot of people (mainly Canadians) were frustrated at not being able to find the beautiful fabrics and notions our neighbours to the south were able to access so easily and affordably. I love shopping online and thought this would be a way to help spread the news about some of the great Canadian resources we have. From there, my passion grew to wanting to share the latest patterns and trends, but still keeping up with Canadian content.

YRQG: How do you connect with your readers?

RM: I try to keep fairly current on my blog, but even when I don't have a new post up, I like to share deals, sales, and new patterns on my facebook page, and you can always see my latest projects on Instagram

YRQG: Which of the projects featured in your blog are the most popular with readers? Why?

RM: My readers seem to really like when I host sew-alongs. I think this is for several reasons: Some of them really find a second way of explaining things helpful in putting together a complex project. A lot of them already have the pattern, but just need a push to get started. Most of my sew alongs also have discounts and prizes, so it motivates people to complete the project. Lastly, it's always more fun to "work together" even if it's virtually. I usually create a hashtag and all the participants can see what everyone else is working on.

YRQG: How are you celebrating Canada’s 150th on your blog?

RM: I teamed up with some other Canadian bloggers and did a Cross-Canada Blog Tour, with a large focus on bag making. http://www.happyokapi.ca/blog/canada-150-speaking-and-sewing-canadian. We featured Canadian pattern and fabric designers, along with amazing shops. It was a lot of fun and really quite incredible how talented the designers and makers are in Canada.

YRQG: Do you offer any bonuses or special content to your blog subscribers? If yes, do you partner with any other bloggers or retail outlets to offer those bonuses to readers or to increase the reach of your blog?

RM: I do have a sales tab on my site, which I update regularly with sales, including exclusives discounts just for my readers. I also like to have giveaways and try to obtain discounts for readers if it's relevant to what I'm blogging about.

YRQG: What bloggers or teachers are you inspired by?

RM: So many! I love Anna Graham of Noodlehead's elegant and humble style. Conversely, there is nothing subdued or understated about Libs Elliott and I find her energy so catching! Lysa Flower is someone else I find so inspiring, her creativity just blows me away! She's always making something that catches my eye and makes me wish I was faster so I could make one too. 

YRQG: Where do you find ideas for your content?

RM: All over! I've almost always got my jaw on the floor when I'm browsing Instagram. I really can't believe the amazing things people create. I don't just follow sewists either, I follow all sorts of artists: metalsmiths, potters, knitters, weavers, even body painters. I find it all so energizing and humbling at the same time. I also get ideas from just everyday life: if I'm looking for something or I see a lot of people asking the same thing, then I realize that's a good topic to blog about. 

Monday, 13 November 2017

Sew and Share at the November Meeting

Isabella shared her quilt, Inukshuks. This is a baby quilt made from a kit she got at a York Heritage Guild meeting. This quilt is going to Scotland for her cousin's first grandchild.

Shirley shared this tote bag that she designed and made as gift bags:

Anne shared her quilt, Seasons by the Lake, for this queen quilt that she designed based on a picture in a book: 

Claudette shared this iPad cover she designed:

Debra shared a quilt that her friend, a former member, made. The pattern is Castenguay, designed by Rose Marie, using a nine patch and applique:

Gail shared this sweet baby quilt using a pinwheel pattern:

Gail also shared this queen quilt - an inspiration for us all to work on quilts to submit for the quilt show!

Monday, 6 November 2017

What's happening at our November meeting this Wednesday

This month we will be hearing Johanna Masko's presentation: Blocks Unblocked – Deconstructing Sampler Quilts based on her experience with Laurie Aaron Hird's
"Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt."

Johanna Masko is a patternmaker, designer, and instructor, and she will be sharing  her methods for breaking down traditional blocks into simple units, and shows us the underlying grid structure that form the foundation for most geometric blocks. She will also give tips for working with small-scale patchwork and ideas for streamlining our piecing, whatever the project might be.

Johanna has two blogs: Seams Likely and Johanna Masko Quilts.

Date: Wednesday, November 8
Location: Danforth Mennonite Church, 2174 Danforth Avenue
Doors open for socializing at 7:00 pm
Guild meeting starts at 7:30 pm 

Don't forget your mug for tea, your change for treats and library raffle, and your membership card!

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Christmas Idea - Custom Tea Towels

Have you heard of Spoonflower?  It's an online site that allows you to print your own fabric in a variety of different substrates, including Kona cotton, canvas, and knits.  You can upload your own designs or choose from hundreds of thousands of designs by other people.   It's easy, you choose the design you want, select the kind of fabric you want it printed on, and the yardage, starting with a minimum size of a fat quarter.  

Spoonflower has some great ideas for creative projects, including this one, turning old recipes into tea towels.  Do you have some old recipes that are family favourites, or older recipes from previous generations that you cherish?  Turn these treasures into tea towels for everyone in the family to enjoy for years to come!  

Here are the step-by-step instructions to make this charming mementos:


Have you ever used Spoonflower before? What projects did you use it for? Tell us about your experiences in the comments below!

Monday, 23 October 2017

Presidents' Challenge for 2018: A square foot garden

For this year's Presidents' Challenge, think about what is in your garden. What do you see? One magnificent flower? A beautiful flower bed? Pots of flowers lining a staircase or hanging from a balcony? Are there dragonflies? An old fence rail? Children on swings? A cat in the sun? A view of the starry sky?
Use your imagination to come up with an original way to express this theme, and you can use any technique, machine or hand, traditional or art quilting.

The quilt needs to:

  • be 12"x12"
  • have 3 layers - top, batting, and back
  • be quilted
  • have binding or be faced
  • have a sleeve or rings for hanging
  • be identified with a label including quilt name, quilter's name, 2018 Challenge, and credit given for any pattern used

A maximum of 3 quilts per person will be accepted. You could create a triptych or 3 individual quilts.

Quilts are due at the May 2018 meeting and will be judged by the Guild members present - a viewers' choice ribbon will be awarded.

The quilts will be kept by the Quilt Show committee as part of a challenge group show in September 2018 and again be part of the viewers' choice ballot.

You decide beforehand if your quilt is for sale or to be picked up at the end of the show (details closer to show time!)

Do you have any questions, comments or concerns about the 2018 Challenge? Let us know in the comments below.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Sew and Share at the October Meeting

Our Sew and Share this month started with two completed Canada 150 quilts from last year's BOM.

One from Shirley:

And one from Isabella:

Tella shared a beautiful quilt, Memories of Nunno, that she designed from the fabric from her father-in-law's shirts:

Nadine has been busy making neck pillows:

Suzanne made two whimsical wall quilts that have yet to be named but were started in Al Cote's summer course:

Carole P. shared a beautiful memorial wall quilt that she designed based on her husband's company logo:

Coral shared an Indian whole cloth quilt that she bought in Hill Town near Jaipur that was hand quilted by a local crafter:

Coral was also busy quilting up abstract art pieces that she worked on in Al Cote's summer course. Coral used paint, ink, machine stitching, and embellishment with beads, Paverpol, and Tyvek:

Carole T. shared My Canada, her own pattern that she adapted from a newspaper ad:

Carolyn used the Piece O'Cake pattern to create her Whimsical Garden wall quilt:

Helen shared a mini quilt of a yurt made by a Mongolian Quilting Guild that she purchased on holidays:

Sherri showed her new Kimono that she made from Shirley Dawson's design at Fabric Spark:

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

What's happening at our October meeting this Wednesday

Come hear Alizon Sharun as she shares with us the Canada 150 challenge and show that she co-curated, The Perth County Tartan. It is a visual representation of the people and history of Perth County. “Quilt Squared” is an exhibition of One Foot Square quilt & fibre art pieces based on the colours or what they represent in the Perth County Tartan.

Date: Wednesday, October 11
Location: Danforth Mennonite Church, 2174 Danforth Avenue
Doors open for socializing at 7:00 pm
Guild meeting starts at 7:30 pm

Don't forget your mug for tea, your change for treats and library raffle, and your membership form or card!

Monday, 2 October 2017

York Heritage Quilters Guild: Quilt Show 2017

A Celebration of Quilts XIII will be taking place November 10-11, 2017 at the Toronto Botanical Gardens.

Hours are: Friday Nov 10th 2017: 10 am – 7 pm   Saturday Nov 11th 2017: 10 am – 5 pm

Find out more on their website: https://yhqg.org/quiltshow2017/

Monday, 25 September 2017

Meet a Canadian Quilt Blogger: Lorna McMahon of Sew Fresh Quilts

There are so many amazing things happening in the online world of quilting, so we thought it would be a great idea to share some of the people who are out there - online and IRL (in real life!) - who are making the quilting world go.
In this post, we will introduce you to Lorna McMahon of Sew Fresh Quilts.

 Yorkshire Rose Quilters Guild (YRQG): Why did you start blogging?

Lorna McMahon (LM): I began blogging as a way to document my quilting journey. I live in an isolated, rural environment and wanted to connect with other quilters. At the time, we were still on dial up internet because we were unable to get any other service. I felt like I really lived in the middle of nowhere.

YRQG: How do you connect with your readers?

LM: In the beginning, it was only through the comments I would leave on other people’s blogs that I could make a connection. As time went by, I began to add tutorials and tips to my blog. And then I started offering free quilt alongs. This attracted more readers and soon I was receiving comments on my blog posts and was able to respond to those comments by email. Connecting with others was my main motivation to start the weekly Let’s Bee Social link party where everyone can link up on my blog and are encouraged to visit with their fellow linkers each Wednesday. I also connect with my readers through social media. Facebook is one form of connecting but I am also now on Instagram where it is even easier to get to know those who follow me. When I began to teach classes and workshops and to offer trunk shows to guilds, this was when I was finally able to transition into connecting with my readers in “real life”. And that is when I realized I actually live in the middle of everywhere!

YRQG: Which of the projects featured on your blog are the most popular with readers? Why?

LM: Quilt Along projects have been the most popular because they offer the most fun to my readers. It’s nice to visit other people’s blogs to see what they are working on, but to be able to participate together while working on a project makes it feel more like a party! You just never know what patterns will be the most popular with readers. Some old favourites are: Elephant Parade, Fox & Friends, Forest Friends, and Black Birds. Some more recent patterns that have been very popular are: Ducks in a Row, Fox among the Birches, and Giraffes in a Row.

YRQG: How are you celebrating Canada’s 150th on your blog?

LM: I guess I started early. Late in December 2016, I released the Canada 150 quilt pattern and shared my finished lap and baby quilt versions that the pattern includes. My grandmother used to make a lot of rag quilts. She made a large throw rug that was made to commemorate Canada’s 100th anniversary. This helped to inspire me to want to offer all of my fellow Canadian quilters the opportunity to create their own commemorative quilt that could be treasured by their families for years to come.

YRQG: Do you offer any bonuses or special content to your blog subscribers? If yes, do you partner with any other bloggers or retail outlets to offer those bonuses to readers or to increase the reach of your blog?

LM: I don’t have any special content that is ONLY provided for my blog subscribers. My quilt alongs and tutorials are open to everyone. Other bonuses that I have offered are giveaways. For some of those giveaways I have paired up with online fabric shops. However some prizes have come directly from my own stash.

YRQG: Do you have a retail shop for visitors to your blog / shop?

LM: It wasn’t long after I started quilting that I realized if I wanted to keep making more quilts, I would need money to buy more fabric. And once I realized that the people I was meeting online, and those who began following my blog, were also quilters, I knew that selling my quilts was not going to be the way to do it. So I started learning how to design quilt patterns. Fellow quilters would want to make their own quilts, so if I could come up with quilt designs that they liked and would want to purchase then I could make money doing that. I started out on a few other sites, but opened my online Etsy shop in 2013 and that is how I currently offer my patterns for sale. And because Etsy is open to anyone looking to purchase handmade items, I have been able to sell some of my finished quilts too!

YRQG: What is unique about your blog or your sewing style?

LM: In the beginning it is a bit of a struggle to discover just what will make your blog and sewing style unique. You may be tempted to emulate an established quilting blogger’s style, figuring that is how to be successful. I knew I had to avoid this, but I was not sure what my style was. So I tried a lot of new techniques and gained experience. When I created the Elephant Parade pattern, I knew that I had finally found my niche – creating traditionally pieced modern quilt designs. But we all know that that is only the half of it. A finished quilt top is only a top, not a quilt. I practiced all kinds of methods for quilting. And even felt that I had mastered how to perform free motion quilting. But I did not enjoy it. Then I began practicing edge to edge organic wavy line quilting. At first I felt compelled to apologize for sharing, yet again, another finish with the “same old” wavy line quilting. But so many people began asking me how I performed this quilting style. Others, like me, wanted to have a fast and fun way to finish their quilts without having to struggle with burying threads while outline quilting or being all stressed out by free motion quilting. And now I proudly consider this my signature quilting style!

YRQG: What bloggers or teachers are you inspired by?

LM: I am inspired by quilting bloggers who have become established. Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts. Rita of Red Pepper Quilts. Faith of Fresh Lemon Quilts. Lee of Freshly Pieced. These quilters each have their own unique style. Each has a large following. And each of them has the tenacity required to keep on. Starting a blog is one thing, but keeping it going year after year takes hard work and dedication. It’s not easy to stick with it for the long haul. And with today’s social media, I think there has recently become a tendency for some to give up on blogging in favour of the ease offered by these forms of micro blogging instead.

YRQG: Is there a particular style or genre of artwork that inspires you?

LM: Charley Harper. The Modern Minimalist Master. As an artist, Charley Harper was always way ahead of his time. If you look at his entire body of work chronologically, you will see how his style was developed. The element of minimalism, his use of simple shapes and minimal detail, is only one facet of the appeal his work has. His use of repetition and the “odd man out”.  His use of unique viewpoints. Even his clever use of a play on words or rhyming words for naming his works is appealing. Charley Harper’s work inspires me, fascinates me and most of all – makes me smile.

YRQG: Where do you find ideas for your content?

LM: Most of my content is derived from new patterns that I have designed, and my ideas for those have many sources. Nature is my number one source for content. Another source, as previously mentioned, is Charley Harper’s style which can be credited for my source of inspiration for Rural Squirrel and Fox among the Birches. People writing to me with requests for a certain quilt design have resulted in Ay, Chihuahua!, Mermaid, and Rainbow Unicorn. Some of my ideas for designs have come from fabric that I liked. The Elephant Parade pattern was created after seeing a fabric called Elephants in Grey by Ed Emberley. The Crocodile Rock pattern was created after seeing a fabric called Crocs Park from the Urban Zoologie collection by Anne Kelle. So some of my quilts start from choosing the backing first! Other ideas have come from using an element from an earlier design and reworking it in a new layout. For example, the Jungle Friends design contains a large number of jungle animals. Many of those animals, like the crocodiles and giraffes, were used alone in previous designs. Or I may take one element of a previous design and make a new pattern that uses only that one animal. In the past I used to worry that someday I would run out of ideas, but with so many sources, I now realize that the possibilities are endless!

My content is not limited solely to posting about my own new designs. Sharing helpful tutorials is a great idea for adding content to your blog that will attract new readers. Participating in blog hops and quilt alongs hosted by other quilting bloggers is a fun way to connect with other bloggers and to provide blog content. Fabric. We all love it. It’s simply refreshing to take photos of new fabric and post about the details.

YRQG: What is one thing you would change if you were starting over?  Why?

LM: The number one thing I would change if I was starting over is that I would have purchased my own domain - and kept it. It is not expensive. It’s a small investment. You never know where blogging will take you. And what you don’t want to have happen – happened to me and also happened to many others like me. I began my blog using the free blogspot platform offered by Google back in 2012. After getting to know a few other bloggers who use worpress, I felt like I might want to migrate my blog over to that platform instead. So I purchased sewfreshquilts.com and began a new site over on wordpress, but was unfamiliar with how to do it, so I just posted that you could find me over at sewfreshquilts.blogspot.com and provided a link to my original blog and kept on going with my original blog. The domain name that I purchased expired after one year and I did not renew it. Well.... there are people out there who watch for this kind of thing and they then purchase these domain names and “hold them for ransom”, hoping you will one day come to decide you would like to have it again. And it was only this past few weeks that I did just that. In preparation for the next step in my journey, I wanted to create a new, clean site (my new clean house) to direct prospective clients to, but still have a link to my original blog (my messy creative house). I wanted to have my domain name again. They ask for a premium price. And I am not going to get into how much it would cost, but it all depends on if they are aware that you want it. You can go on an auction site and make a bid. Or you can buy it outright. Bidding makes them aware that you want it and they are not obligated to sell it to you following your bid. I first considered just adding to or changing what I wanted for a domain name, as an alternate – thesewfreshquilts.com, sewfreshquilts.net, sewfreshquilts.ca, sewfreshmodernquilts.com – but I wanted my baby back! So I paid up and am now the proud owner of MY domain again. I encourage you to come for at visit at my new clean house – sewfreshquilts.com – but if you are looking for the fun me.... I’ll still be spending the majority of my time hanging out at my messy creative house over at sewfreshquilts.blogspot.com