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“Pop it in your purse, Honey!” (New pattern and fabric design)

July 15, 2015

hsl.PurseNeedlebooksA couple of years ago I designed a little needle book for a swap that the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild did with the London (England) MQG. I thought it’d be neat to have a little pocket to keep a little stash of embroidery thread or a few emergency sewing kit buttons in. Here’s what I came up with:

Purse needlebook pattern

It turned out really sweetly and I was sad to give it up, but that’s a good thing when you’re making for someone else. The recipient loved it, so it was well received. A few people asked me if the pattern was available. I said that I was working on it. Well, here I am two years later announcing my new pattern: “Pop it in your purse, Honey” now available in my Etsy shop. Better late than never, right?! Read more…

PICK UP STICKS quilt block tutorial.

May 10, 2015

The contents of this post has been removed for the following reason:


I had written this tutorial as a block lotto for the Toronto MQG. I had seen a few pick up sticks quilts, had heard people chat about them, and thought it’d be a fun block lotto project. I tried to find an online tutorial that I could link to for our guild. I couldn’t find one so I wrote one, not realizing that the original was a pattern published in a book twenty years ago. I totally, inadvertently,  knocked it off. My bad! I felt quite ill when I received an email from the very lovely Bill Kerr, who very politely and respectfully explained the situation, and requested that I remove the post. Clearly I had not done my homework thoroughly enough. Having had some of my designs ripped off over the years, I have “a thing” about copying, and try to do original work or credit designers when using their patterns.

Here’s the scoop on the original:

The designer of this quilt was Weeks Ringle, and it was published and copyrighted in 2002 in Color Harmony for Quilts by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr of Modern Quilt Studio. It was shown at the ICFF international design show in New York city, as well as featured that same year in Oprah’s magazine and other publications. If you like Pickup Sticks, have a look at their hundreds of other patterns in their books and magazines at

If anyone has used my tutorial to make one of these quilts, please credit “Modern Quilt Studio” when showing your quilt either online or in person.

I would like to apologize to Weeks and Bill, and also thank them for being so respectful in the way they dealt with this matter. Really much appreciated.

And lastly, I hope that others may learn a lesson along with me, as I have to say this has been a humbling experience.

“Make It, Take It” winner.

April 14, 2015

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The lucky winner of the digital copy of “Make It, Take It” is Sandie of Crazy’boutquilts. Congrats, Sandie. Martingale will be emailing you soon! Hopefully next time you go on retreat your bed doesn’t collapse on you! ;D

Thanks everyone else for entering the draw, and for all your lovely comments.

“Make It, Take it” book review & GIVEAWAY

April 6, 2015

Well peeps, I haven’t blogged in two years, as I seem to have contracted a spot of “Blogophobia”. And I’ll tell you that if you ever catch this bug, the sure cure is getting a pattern published  in a book, as then you’re forced to do a review of said book, thus overcoming your ailment. So here I am! (Apologies for the neglect.)

"Make It, Take It" by Krista Hennebury.

“Make It, Take It” by Krista Hennebury.

The book is called “Make It, Take It – 16 cute and clever projects to sew with friends” published by Martingale, and authored by the fabulous Krista Hennebury of Poppyprint fame. She is a dear friend and the person who is pretty much entirely responsible for getting me hooked on quilting. She is also an amazing quilter and organizer of some very in-demand quilt retreats in Vancouver. (Seriously, you have to get on “the list” to get a spot!) Krista put together  a circle of lovely quilty rock star contributors from Canada, USA, England and Japan for this book.  The theme is retreats – patterns for getting your gear to retreats, as well as projects to make at retreats. Read more…

All together now: “YAY!”

May 7, 2013

Wow! It’s been only 3 weeks since the idea for  “to Boston with Love” idea began, and it has gone wild! (For more on how it got started read my previous blog post here.) At this point we have over 45 Modern Quilt Guilds and 70 individual makers (that we know of) participating. We’ve already received over 100 flags, and we have had emails with more promised from flag making enthusiasts all over the world including Ireland, England, Germany, France, Holland, South Africa, USA and of course, Canada. IT IS AMAZING!!


Flags makers from top left to bottom right: First 3 Berene, Georgia Campbell, Rita Hodge, Berene, Krista Hennebury, Berene, Dani Prem, Alison Sawers.

What really makes me so happy about this outpouring of love and enthusiasm, is the way people have come together as an international community. On the day of the bombings, as I watched the news, I listened to the media postulate on who could be responsible. They talked about right wing supremists, muslim extremists, people with mental health issues and other potential “groups” that may have wanted to take revenge. I was struck by how separated we’ve become as a society. And by we, I mean human beings. We’re all so focused on our own agendas – political, social, religious, and economical agendas. Everyone is categorized and put in a box. We fight for those in our own boxes and feel threatened by those in others. Yet I’m sure that if we actually sat down and spent time with people that we view as “different” to us,  we’d realize that we all have way more in common than we think. We seem to have lost site of the fact that we are all just fellow human beings sharing the same planet. We have forgotten to be kind to each other.  Read more…


April 28, 2013

Happy Sew Lucky PEACE pattern

Here is my revised Peace sign pattern, designed for the “to Boston with Love” project.

First thing first, let’s take care of business: Please note that you are welcome to link to this pattern, however you may NOT offer this pattern for download on your, or any other website – free or otherwise. You may print it out for charity sew-ins, however you may NOT print it out for a paid class. You may sew as many of these as you wish for personal or charity purposes. If you would like to use the pattern for business use, or resale-able items, please contact me to buy a license. You may NOT print, copy or reblog the pattern, instructions or tutorial, for sale as a pattern, or distribute it in any way other than stated above. Thank you! Read more…

“All you need is love” (a story about the good guys)

April 26, 2013

John Lennon wrote many brilliant lyrics, but in my opinion, this simple line is the most profound. It’s so obvious, and yet we often need a reminder. When the news of the Boston bombings broke I, like many, was shocked and saddened. Such a happy and historic event marred by a couple of extremists. How could a person be so incredibly cruel to his fellow human beings?  As I watched the news, I saw the photo of little Martin Richard holding the poster that he’d made that read: “NO MORE HURTING PEOPLE” It gave me that feeling of burning hurt in my stomach. 8 year olds should be climbing trees, riding their bikes in the park and standing on the beach watching the waves wash over their wriggly toes. They should NOT have to worry about being grabbed by weirdos, shot with assault rifles in their schools, or Heaven forbid, being bombed! The fact that this dear, sweet boy was concerned about these things, and then  hurt in the worst possible way,  just gutted me.

That night I had a dream: I dreamed about a park with trees filled with bright bunting flags flapping in the sunshine. The flags had hearts, and messages of love and hope. People were sitting on benches and on the grass below the flags, looking peaceful and happy, comforted by the energy of the love flying above them. It was a beautiful dream. I was inspired. I had an idea! In the morning I texted my friend Krista: “Do you know anyone in Boston?”

Peace & Love flags made by Krista Hennebury and myself.

Peace & Love flags made by Krista Hennebury and myself.

That was the beginning of what has, in less than a week, become something incredible: Krista connected me with Amy Friend, who despite having a crazy work deadline, and barely knowing me aside from a bit of online banter, amazingly agreed to be my Boston cohort (no small task!). Then my trusty friends at the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild joined the posse. We got Boston MQG on board, and now over 30 modern quilt guilds are participating, as well as a number of individuals, from all over the world. This project is shaping up to be quite something. And I think Boston will be truly touched by it. The quilting and craft community is really  special. Living proof that for every bad guy (or two) out there, there are thousands of good guys. And they have a lot of love to give!

Here’s what we’re up to:flags for boston

If you’d like to participate you can, you will just need to get going as the deadline is tight. PLEASE NOTE: There is a revised deadline for this project. They are now needed in Boston by May 21, 2013. More info can be found on Amy’s blog here.

Here is the project info plus a tutorial on how to make your flag. Here are a couple of free downloadable patterns I designed for the project, as well as a list of other tutorials and some inspiration.

Lastly, I’d just like to say thanks to everyone who has embraced this project so far. I truly value the quilting community out there, and especially the lovely peeps in my home guild, the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild. Thanks for being so supportive and well, just awesome.

Rest in peace little Martin. You’ve inspired so many out there to be better people.