25 July, 2012

High Tea at the Banff Springs Hotel

In an effort to keep both myself and the girls focused - just a little - this summer I brought in the Summer Fun Jars. The idea comes from Merrilee at Mer Mag. Hers are vastly more pretty than ours are, and a brilliant use of Pinterest.  Function rules here with my impatient girls. Two jars: To Do and To Make. Six slips of paper in each. Sunday night pull to plan for the week.

This week our To Do draw was High Tea at the Banff Springs Hotel. A fancy dancy tea party, complete with tiaras, sparkly nail polish, high heels (for me), and a tower of treats. Plus, a change of scenery and an adventure through a castle.

(Future blogger? She's drawing our food.)

Making up a game because the Croquet set was nowhere to be found.

Grandma was lucky to join us for our trip.

22 July, 2012

Scrappy Sunday - All Together Now

If you've had the opportunity to see our book, Sunday Morning Quilts, you know that the photography is gorgeous. It isn't just a bunch of quilts on a bench/chair or quilts on a wall. Sadly, we weren't able to participate in the photo shoot but we were absolutely thrilled when we were sent the photos to preview. The photos show the quilts being used, something very important to us. And they reflect the spirit of the book perfectly.

To achieve this C&T smartly used some gorgeous and real people, in addition to simply loverly settings. My favourite photo in the book is this one:

Those feets and legs are none other than Kristy, C&T's Art Director. On a photo shoot you make use of all the folks around you!

One of the girls, our cover girl, is none other than Sarah, the niece of a longarmer that one of C&T's staff, Ruthmary Schauer knows. Did you follow that? Amanda posted her story. Contrary to popular belief, she is neither one of our kids.

The photos in this book reiterate just how much putting together a quilt book is about collaboration and working as a team. It wasn't just Amanda and I sewing and writing furiously to produce beautiful things. That is the crux of the work, yes, but that doesn't make a book. The editing, the photography, the design/lay out work - they all come together with the projects and words themselves to create something beautiful and cohesive. We had an amazing team in Stash Books. They respected our vision for the book, but translated it with their experience and market knowledge. There was so much back and forthing between us and them that we never felt like the rest of the process wasn't also ours once the quilts and manuscript were submitted.

And even though the book is out in the world, and has been for months now, it still feels like we are a team. We all want the book to do well. And we are treated like part of their family. It's been a wonderful experience.

We're wrapping up our Scrappy Sunday series today. At this point we'd like to celebrate the next phase of the book process - what happens when readers get their hands on the book! Honestly, this is the most exciting part. We've seen posts, received emails, and had conversations with people inspired by the book. Whether they tackled their scraps or made a gorgeous quilt, we love to see it and hear about it. If you are a store teaching classes based on the book, or you've got a wonderful sample display, we'd love to see it!

To this end we're hosting a linky party. Share with us, we want to see and celebrate with you. And speaking of celebrating, of course there might be some prizes for all of your partying with us!

Thank-you so much for making this entire experience ever more wonderful.

16 July, 2012

For the love of textiles

I can't resist sharing this.

Quilts are wonderful things.

15 July, 2012

Scrappy Sunday - Alternatives

When Amanda and I started on Sunday Morning Quilts we had grand plans of showing two versions of each quilt. Well, aren't those plans grand?! It isn't in the book, but we've since decided to sew our way through the book. In addition to all the great versions other people are making, we wanted to make our own version of each other's quilts. This is the first instalment of us sewing our way through the book.

62'' by 88''

On this one I went to the opposite spectrum from Amanda again. I emptied out my string jar, dividing the colours into warms and cools. (And I still had strings left over!). My Monster has already claimed this one because it is striped. 

Scrap Like Dat
72'' by 72''

This is an alternate colour treatment for Scrapper's Delight. Amanda did an amazing job with random, colourful scraps. I didn't want to recreate that look, so I went to one of my favourite quilts from the book. I took the fabric choices from Sunday Morning for this version. And a controlled use of pale grey in each block.

Both of these quilts were long-armed by Janet Madeyski, from Pieces and Threads quilting.

Don't forget about our  Sunday Morning Quilts Flickr group. Share your projects there too.

13 July, 2012

Gen Q Winner

As randomly chosen by The Monster - or Big Big, as she calls herself around her little brother - the winner of the Generation Q Winner is #10.

I asked folks to tell me about their favourite quilters.

Katie R wrote about how Quilt Dad cracks her up on Twitter.

You're the winner Katie! Congratulations.

And congratulations to Generation Q on their first of hopefully many years.

11 July, 2012

Full Circle Announcement

Look at those pretty circles. All sorts of Liberty goodness in my not-quite-patented process.

These are being whipped together courtesy of the new Liberty Lifestyle fabrics and my impending teaching schedule. I've got a Perfect Circles class coming up and guess where it is?

I am beyond excited to join the faculty at Quilt Con. Such esteemed company (Lotta Jansdotter, Denyse Schmidt, Jacquie Gering, Lizzy House, and more!) and what looks like to be an amazing event. You can come and take half and full day workshops, attend lectures, see a couple of quilt shows, and even shop.

My Perfect Circles class runs twice over the course of the event. We will run through all manner of circle techniques - from sizing, creating, placing, and sewing your circles. Circles, circles, everywhere! And we all know how I love my circles.

See the complete line-up here. Registration opens August 30, 2012.

And big thanks to Stash Books for sponsoring my class!

08 July, 2012

Scrappy Sundays - Get 'er Done!

In a perfect world a book would get written in peace and quiet, with the work treated like it was a full-time job. In a perfect world.

In the real world a book gets written in the early morning and very late hours. Sewing happens on the dining room table while the rest of the family eats next to you. You edit manuscripts at the pool during swimming lessons. In the real world.

For Scrappy Sunday this week Amanda and I are talking about how we, ourselves, got it done.

This is actually a question I get asked a lot. How do I get it done? The short answer is that I don't sleep. Much. The longer answer isn't much different.

Personally, I write better in the morning. This means I set my alarm to get up early, even in the summer. I will try to get at least an hour, hopefully two, in before anyone wakes up. With baby now that doesn't always work, but I try. In the winter, though, I couldn't turn on any lights or make tea because it would sometimes wake up the girls. That meant I hunkered down in a corner of the dining room with only the light of my monitor keeping me company. If Hubby was out of town I would stay in bed, ignoring my screaming bladder, and write until the girls came in to jump on the bed and me.

Most of my sewing was done at night, right after the girls went to bed. The second I closed the door after bedtime kisses and songs I was pulling out my machine and the latest quilt. If Hubby was home he watched TV while I did this (we have a living/dining room combo). If he wasn't then I put on some music while I sewed, sewed, and sewed.

For most of the writing of the book I still had nap times for the girls. The Monster only decided to stop napping just after I sent off all the quilts for the book. She was nearly 5. Of course, her younger sister decided the same thing for herself at the same time. I was just thankful that they went as long as they did and that they held off until the majority of the work was done. That gave me a few hours every afternoon to work. More often than not that extended after nap time with the use of PBS Kids.

Yes, that's my other secret. PBS Kids, I owe you a world of gratitude. Both your fun TV shows and great website kept my girls going when I just had to get 'er done.

I also took advantage of my kids during this time by putting them to work. They sorted scraps for me, pushed the foot pedal in games of red light/green light, and helped me bind quilts. This is where The Little Feet, Pins and Needles series came from. We also got them involved in photo shoots.

Speaking of taking advantage of things... We live in a great community. There is a hall which houses the preschool and hosts a tot-time one morning a week. I had access to space and big tables to baste. I used all these features, sometimes all at the same time, to get things done. This meant basting quilts while I watched one kid during tot time and the other was in the basement preschool!

At the end of the day we still had to eat, so I took advantage of batch cooking. One day in the kitchen - sacrificed quilting time - could yield a half dozen meals. I also fed the family popcorn for dinner sometimes. Most days it was kind of nice to stop, clean up the table, and turn my brain to other things. Having a defined break does wonders for productivity. You return to the task refreshed. This applies to work stoppages for games of Candyland too.

When my Hubby was away for about 4 of the 6 months we had to do this book I actually found it to be easier to get the work done. Don't tell him that! But I could work at my own schedule without having to interrupt his. But when crunch time came I was very thankful to have him around. He took the girls out of the house for fun days so I could frantically quilt, he handled the rush repair of my machine 3 days before the quilts were due, and he made me leave the house for dinner when I didn't think I had the time to stop to eat.

Having a partner in Amanda made everything easier too. It was fantastic to have a second set of eyes on a project, someone to vent to that completely understood what you were going through, and a partner to share the work load.

So, there you have it. I don't sleep much, I don't sit and watch much TV, there is good and bad cooking for meals, and I really don't fit exercise in. That's how I get 'er done. But I also had naps, took breaks for cuddles, books, and creative play, and even managed to stay mostly happily married. But it all takes focus and determination. And tea, really strong tea.

06 July, 2012

Gen Q - Warmth

Walking down the hallways of a cold convention center, crowds of quilters, store owners, and designers pushing against me and my baby boy in his Bjorn, I spot a tall man with a very colourful shirt. He picks me out of the crowd and before I can unclip the baby carrier he's stolen my kid. Cuddles ensue.

That's how I met Scott Hansen, from Generation Q and Blue Nickel Studios.

It was at Spring Quilt Market back in May. Generation Q in print was launching into the world, so we both had babies. The big difference is that his baby was allowed on the show floor.

While Gen Q is an ezine and web-site, they are also now a print magazine. Thanks to a tremendous Kickstarter campaign they were able to move from the on-line world to print. People were keen to see the magazine be a success. People backing people. It was a perfect reminder that while quilting may be a business, it is a business backed by people, not fabric.

Of course, I've got another connection to the magazine. Nikolai's quilt is in the premiere issue! We now get to snuggle under the love from Rashida. The pattern is available on-line now.

Now folks, you can get your own copy of Gen Q. Leave a comment here between now and July 11th for a chance to win the premiere issue. Tell me a story about some of your favourite quilting people.

And don't forget to visit the other spots on their anniversary tour.

June 25 Kaye Prince 

June 26 Carrie Bloomston 

June 27 Cara Wilson 

June 28 Heather Jones 

June 29 Melissa Peda 

June 30 Rose Hughes 

July 1  Bari J 

July 2  Fat Quarter Shop

July 3 Emily Cier  

July 4 Blue Nickel Studios 

July 5 Jackie Kunkel  

July 6 Cheryl Arkinson

July 7 Amy at Amy's Creative Side 

July 8 Julie Herman

July 9 Megan Dougherty

July 10  FabTalk blog 

05 July, 2012


Thank-you all for entering our little celebration this past Scrappy Sunday. I loved learning more about you. Funny, it never occurred to me that people would quilt more in the summer because they stayed inside with the AC! And it was great feedback to hear what quilts you liked from the book. There was no clear winner. I think that is just perfect too. It means we succeeded in providing a whole lot of inspiration.

Here are the winners. If you haven't received an email from me it means you are a "no-reply commenter" in your posts.


No-reply commenting is a big pet peeve of mine. I may not always get the time on every single post, but I do like to respond to comments and questions whenever I can. But if you have it set so I can't hit reply to your comment then you'll never hear from me.

Here is a great walk-through to change your settings to allow people to respond to you. Take a second to check, and maybe change your settings. Quite often we don't know we have it set that way.


Now back to the winners!

Leanne wins a copy of Sunday Morning Quilts. How generous of her, she's going to share it with a friend.

Hildy in Germany wins an electronic copy of the book.

There are 4 scrap packs to be had.
Patti Shanks

I've only got an email for one of you, so if you see your name on this list drop me a line (cherylATcherylarkisonDOTcom). I'm happy to share my scraps with you! If I don't hear from you by the end of the day on the 8th then I'll be drawing someone else's name.

Thanks for sharing. Join us this weekend for another Scrappy Sunday!

03 July, 2012

Things to Come

I hate when people blab about the work they're doing but can't share. Sounds like bragging. But here I go.

Folks, there are some very, very fun things coming down the pipe. More classes, fun posts, lots of quilts. And I hope to share it all with you. What? You thought I was resting on my post-maternity butt? 

Up first is a fun review later this week.
Then I've got big plans for those Liberty Charms up there.
We've got more behind the scenes peeks at Sunday Morning Quilts, and more giveaways.
Oh, and more quilts to share, of course.

Along the way I will engage in more than a few water fights, sidewalk chalk art sessions, and porch swing reading. It is summer vacation, after all. I plan to embrace the vacation part of it as much as possible.

01 July, 2012

Scrappy Sunday - Let's Celebrate

Happy Canada Day! Happy 4th of the July in a few days! And most importantly, Happy Birthday to Amanda Jean in a few days!

In light of these wonderful things to celebrate we thought a celebration was in order. And what's a party without gifts?

We know that for new quilters or, really, for all quilters, acquiring scraps can be a little exciting but time consuming. We both have a quilting addiction where we are constantly in our stashes cutting and slashing. That means we have LOTS of scraps. I think I have more scraps now than I did before I started all the quilts for Sunday Morning Quilts!

Today I'd like to giveaway some scrap bags. I'll fill an envelope, or 4, with scraps a plenty. Strings, your favourite colour, some low-volume. You name it and I've probably got it! And, of course, some books get to leave the house! A Canadian reader will win a hard copy of the book, and I can send an electronic copy to an international reader. So much goodness to share!

Amanda is doing the same thing too, double your chances to win.

Leave a comment below (international guests are always welcome). Tell me, do your sewing habits change in the summer?  Or, let me know which quilt in Sunday Morning Quilts is your favourite and tell me why.

Giveaway open until Thursday, July 5, 8 am MST.