Friday, December 19, 2014

Two New Colourways for Argyle Rag Ruffle

I am so pleased to offer two new colourways for the Argyle Rag Ruffle quilt! Colour is something that I truly love to play with, but I still struggle with!

Argyle Better best best yellow watermark

There is now this bright yellow and grey! I love these rag quilts!

And there is also the soft blue and brown for snuggling with.

Argyle Better best best blue watermark

I am in the process of looking for a wholesale distributor for my patterns. If you would like to distribute Pretty Pleat Quilts, please contact me! Or, if you are a store and would like to buy wholesale directly from me, I am happy to accommodate that also!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Snuggly Snowman Pattern is for sale

Now at Cindy-rella’s is my newest pattern, Snuggly Snowman. I am so happy with this pattern!
Photo Snuggly Snowman watermark
Snuggly Snowman photographed on snow!
It uses this beautiful white minky on the back which makes it extra snuggly. You can’t see from this photo, but all the white is made from this super soft minky.

The snowflakes are of my own design, but you could also use the 7” template from AccuQuilt (which they also carry at Cindy-rellas).

Monday, December 8, 2014

Cindy-Rellas is Awesome!

I have found the most perfect place in Regina to sell my patterns. In fact, it is my first place selling patterns and I couldn’t be more pleased.
You can see their website here.
Cindy, the owner, has been so generous with her time and advice. She didn’t seem phased that I have never actually sold any patterns in a store because everyone needs to start somewhere!

Cindy-rellas quilting store is the first place in Regina to carry patterns by Pretty Pleats
I am so very excited to be working with Cindy in her store. As you can see, she put my quilt on display at the front with the sewing machines. I would really like a new machine! :)
My pleated apples quilt is the first thing you see when you come in!

Friday, December 5, 2014

My finished shirt from the summer

I finished my shirt. I am not sure how I feel about it. It doesn't fit quite right and the lattice smocking (although very, very cute) is NOT STRAIGHT. (Whose fault is that?)


This is why I buy clothes at the store instead of making them at home. The last time I bought clothing, I got a t-shirt at Old Navy for $0.97. How can I make something that fits me for $0.97?

(Here is where I get into the ramifications of buying a shirt for $0.97 which, of course, are many. There is the whole worker situation in Bangladesh or wherever, not including the environmental cost of this shirt and the fact that most everyone has dozens of clothes that they are not wearing. I am not much of a shopper, but I do have a number of plain t-shirts that I wear every day. But I try to be conscious of the fact that we need to be careful about the things that we buy and how it impacts the world more broadly. End of rant.)

So I remade the shirt. I got rid of the smocking. I couldn't handle doing that again as I needed to wear it soon.

The Producers
Me and my handsome husband at the wedding.
This is, unfortunately, the best photo of the two of us together.

Anyway, I'm both happy and annoyed. Annoyed that it doesn't fit as well as one that I buy from the store (most notably because I can TRY IT ON FIRST before I buy it). And happy because this sucker is finished and I was able to wear it to my uncle's wedding. (His first wedding; 50 years in the making.)

(As a side note, what do you get for your uncle who is 50 and getting married for the first time? Do you get him a gift? Well, we decided to make him two Angry Birds pinatas. Yes, they were awesome, thank you! Way better than a gift card to The Keg.)

My original Angry Birds bride and groom, his and hers pinatas!
Also, a lot of fun when the bride give a hard whack to the groom piƱata!

I'll stick to quilts, I think. My only goal in making those is to make them flat. If you don't count the pleats! :)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sewing myself a shirt

My dad was in Beijing and bought me half a meter of silk.

My girl in the plaid dress I made her. 2009.
What do I do with this? I am not a clothing sewer. I can't remember the last time I made clothing for myself. I do remember making a dress for my little girl (before she started sewing her own things). And once I made pajama pants for my darling husband. I'm not sure why. It just seemed like the thing to do.

Now I'm not sure about everyone else, but I find that if I buy a pattern and then make it, it never fits. It's huge. Always. I make my regular size, which in every store is SMALL.

As I looked at the pattern, I wondered: maybe this is because for the actual bust for the small size is 43". Hello! 43"? What am I? A model in a girly mag? I am a small! I come with a small bust.

I measured my bust right now with a metal tape measure over all my clothes and it came in at 35". And I am at the height of my milk production with a six-month-old son. If you had asked me back before having kids, it would have probably been 25". Seriously.

Anyway, I have a plan to use this pattern to make a smocked top. Just the smocked part since the pattern is for a child. But I am not making it from a pattern. They will just make me look like I am wearing a mumu.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

I Have Lots of Time for Quilting with Five Small Kids

And here's how:

Baby Felix sleeping on his new blanket.

My baby, sleeping on a blanket in the living room. There is a type of magic that comes out when you have five kids. That fifth one is special (as well as the first four, of course).

I have a bouncy chair that I keep in the basement where I sew. He bounces. He giggles.

But what do I do with the other kids? I'll admit that I do the bulk of my "sewing machine" sewing when my darling husband is home.

I also do a lot of hand sewing with the kids are around--at the side of the playground, waiting for gymnastics, sitting at the table while they do a puzzle. Then I can listen to them tell me about their Minecraft world (ugh!) or their new Rainbow Loom project in minute detail (double ugh!) or whatever is on their mind. My hands are moving and I am listening to them.

I try to listen to them, even when I am not really interested, although I struggle with this. I have a very limited tolerance for Minecraft talk.

I'll admit that I would love to spend an hour every day sitting in front of my sewing machine, but the truth is, my sewing machine is in the basement facing a wall. And I am not interacting nor engaging with my children whatsoever when I am doing this.

So I don't do very much quilting these days on the machine. I do a lot of it in my mind, though, planning and dreaming of colours and techniques. I hope this comes across in my patterns at least! :)

And I imagine that one day the kids will be older and I will have more time to work on my projects. I am not eager for this, but I know it will come anyway...

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Teaching My Sons to Sew

In addition to my daughter, I have FOUR sons. I'm not sure how that happened...

My oldest son (aged 7) sewing his Plants vs Zombies quilt.

I should disclose now that we home school, so we have a lot of time to pursue such things. And because we home school, my sons are less likely to know that no one else sews! Boys or girls for that matter. I remember sewing in home ec in grade 7. Now my oldest is only in grade two, so we are starting them young.

Even my four-year-old son got in on the action, but he was much more interested in going to the fabric store and picking out the colours.

I was very proud of them. They really stuck to it. And since it is a type of creative construction (like Lego), they seemed to really enjoy it.

They are pretty pleased with themselves. It really was a group effort, but it came out well!
 I'm hoping to make a pattern available so that you too can make this quilt with your sons!

(I imagine that Minecraft would also lend itself well to quilting. If you know of anyone doing this, let me know!)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Regina Quilt Show 2014

The Regina Quilt Show was in May, but I was only able to get things ready for this post now! Time flies when it is finally nice outside.

I came in first in my category for Recycled Quilts! Woo! The prize is just enough to pay for my banquet ticket.

by Lena Schuck;
My first prize quilt: The Font Quilt. It was made out of recycled dress shirts and uses templates and spray paint. I have yet to find someone else who uses spray paint on their quilt!

Unfortunately none of the kid quilts won. :( We had three in a category of seven and not one of them placed. This was quite disappointing because I know who I would have given ribbons to.

But seriously, we were quite surprised by this, especially after seeing the other quilts. The one that came in second place was professionally quilted! By an adult quilter that won a bunch of prizes for her fabulous quilting! Well!

My girl with her jeans and dresses quilt. Also next to her brother's Pea Shooter quilt (the green and purple).
You will notice that we didn't get a ribbon although we are surrounded by then. That one to the right of the photo is just square blocks and quilted by a professional. I'm sure you know what I think!

And then there was the fact that my small children (7, 6 and 4) were up again 13 year olds. I really wonder what information the judges knew because in the children's category, shouldn't age be somewhat of a consideration?

My G with the quilt she made for Felix. The comment by the judge was that she should have picked a darker fabric for the name. I tried to steer her in that direction, but she wouldn't listen to me! :)

Maybe I need to be a judge! I feel like my friend and I spent the vast majority of our time going around and trying to figure out what the judges were seeing--why did this quilt win over that one?

Let's chalk it up to another learning experience.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Making Quilts with a 5-Year-Old

It has come as no surprise that my little girl wanted to make a quilt.
My big girl making her own quilt, the Heart Rag Quilt.

So we started one. I designed the pattern, then we went to Fabricland to pick out some fabric.

She traced the hearts and cut them out using little Fiskar scissors. Then we appliqued them on and stuffed them with stuffing. (We are using Crayola Washable Markers, so let's hope they stand up to their name of "washable.")

It went well. I like the pattern I developed because it is simple enough for her to do 100% of the stitching, but also not going to take us months and months to do.

The pattern is now available on Etsy. Teach your kids to sew. There is nothing more exciting than making something for yourself.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Argyle Rag Ruffle Pattern

If you've ever been given a rag quilt, you probably love it!

I know that I am lucky enough to have an aunt who has made special rag quilts for each of my children.

What I also know is that same rag quilt will be dragged around the house, washed, dragged, washed until it is literally... um... rags.

The first part to go is the fringe, the part that was ragged to begin with. How can we give the quilt the same "raggy" look but without losing it after 50 washes?

My answer is a looped rag quilt! On the edge, instead of a 3/4" seam that is snipped, there is a loop that gives that wonderful rag look, but without as much fraying.

Argyle Rag Ruffle quilt with awesome lopped ragged edge for more durability!

And if you have very tactile children (like I do), then the loops are lovely little places to put fingers through as you curl up for a nap.

You can see the pattern and buy it here. The first ten people who buy it and then make a comment on Etsy, will get 50% off their very next pattern purchase!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

An Alphabet Quilt with a Spray Paint Twist

"The Font Quilt." It is finished and ready for the Regina Quilt Show.

Font quilt with spray paint letters.

It's made with spray paint and old men's dress shirts. And fonts. Lots and lots of fonts!

Now I love fonts. I love the art of them. I love the constraints. I particularly love that they are 100% copyright free. So I can blow them up and print them and use them anyway I choose.

The Font Quilt
I have always felt particularly that I am not much of a sketcher. (I used to say, "Not much of an artist," but I quit saying that some time ago.) Ask me to draw a cat and you will get something with a round body, four legs which may or may not look like a bear. Or a dog. I might add whiskers to give you a better clue.

But I love fonts because I love design. It's like asking a ton of different people to draw a cat, but instead of a cat, you are asking them to draw an "A." And the A must be recognized as an A. Other than that, you are off on your own.

So fonts are fun. Fonts are beautiful. And I am paying my tribute to the font world here with my original design.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

My Epic I-Spy Quilt with Pleated Border

This quilt took me almost two years of work.

Mind you, I wasn't working continuously--I did have to cook and do laundry--but I did work on it a lot.

Each square is hand appliqued on. Each block is fussy-cut. Each border block was pleated. (Have I mentioned that I love pleats?)

I had this little Le Kit box (a pencil box from the 90s) that I put one square in. So when I was out and about with my four kids (only four at the time!*) I would sit on the sidelines and stitch. And stitch. Eventually, there were 24 blocks that each had 16 little hand appliqued squares on them. That's 384 little hand appliqued squares.

 *And now I'm feeling old because my daughter has stared to quilt! You can see what an instructional quilting video from a 5-year-old looks like here! (Don't worry--it's edited and only four minutes long.)

Detail blue pleated borders in I-Spy Quilt

At the Regina Quilt Show, this quilt won Best Use of Colour. (In Canada, we spell "colour" with a "u.") Before this, I would have gladly told you that I had a terrible sense of colour. But then I won this prize, so I had to quit saying this.

Red Pleats and detail of I-Spy quilt
I love colour! And I love pleats! And rainbows! So vote for my little quilt as best in ROYGBIV!

Also, please look at my other entry here for Modern Quilts where I use spray paint (gasp!) on a quilt made of recycled dress shirts!

Thanks for coming by.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

An Instructional Quilting Video from a Five-Year-Old Girl

My little 5-year-old made a quilt for her baby brother, Felix.

Having recently discovered the fun of iMovie, we decided to film part of it. Then I cut it into a four minute masterpiece.

Okay, masterpiece might be a bit of a stretch. But we did have a lot of fun doing it. For extra hominess, you can hear my furnace coming on and off in the background. I think we need a sound studio! I'll run this past my darling husband...

Monday, May 12, 2014

Giveaway Day: Citrus Pleats Quilt Pattern

What a great day for giveaways!

I have another new, original pattern to give away on this blog! And it could be yours!

Citrus Pleats wall hanging with an elegant pleated border.

This pattern makes a wonderful wall hanging 28" x 28". Notice the elegant pleated borders and the mitered corners.

Well, folks, both the mitered corners and the pleated borders are easy to make using my techniques in the pattern.

Detail of the pleated border--with this pattern, any experience crafter can make this beautiful quilt!

Contest is open everyone! In the comments, tell me your favourite memories of citrus.

If you do not win, but would still like to buy the quilt, you can do that at Etsy.

*My favourite memory of citrus is going to Sorrento, south of Rome, Italy, and standing in a ripe lemon grove. The smell was unbelievable!
Citrus Pleats Quilt Pattern

Thank you for all the entries. The contest has now closed.

The winner is comment #14!

Oh, thanks for the giveaway. Love the bright colors on your wall hanging. My favorite citus memories are all about the smells! Orange blossoms from the orchard that wasn't far from where I grew up!

Giveaway Day: Pleated Apples Quilt Pattern

If you are new to my blog, welcome! We are a new blog trying to bring pleats into the quilting world.

If you like the wonderful look of beautiful pleats, then this is the place where you can find inspiration, patterns and helpful hints once a week.

(On Sundays, because I like to relax and sew on Sundays.)

Pleated Apples Quilt Pattern
But today, you can win one of my brand new patterns of pleats! I am offering one free pattern of my Pleated Apples quilt. This makes a great baby quilt for either a boy or girl in its vibrant fabric and cuddly minky.

Pleated Apples detail of the pleated blocks. Fun textures and colors for a new baby!

If you don't win, you can buy it at Etsy.

In the comments, tell me why you love pleats for your chance to win. Open to winners worldwide!

The contest is now closed. Thank you to everyone who entered!
The winner is #7!

Thanks! I've wanted to use pleats but have been intimidated thus far. But it would make a great texture for a baby blanket! My baby daughter would love it :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Pretty Pleats is Here!

I love quilts. And I love pleats. To the best of my knowledge, no one combines pleats and quilts. Pleats give a wonderful texture and pizzazz to anything they are added too. Imagine a pleated handbag or a pleated dress. But a quilt?

Pleated Quilt boarder on my I-Spy quilt

Why is no one doing this? Pleats, if used right, add elegance and sophistication. They add bounce and fun. They add new and novel.

Let's use pleats in quilts. There are so many possibilities!

My passion is quilt making, but I work in other fields as well like teaching children to sew (often my own) and mathematics.

Join me on this journey to bring an old design element to quilts!