Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Bluest Quilt



Do you ever look at a quilt and wonder what the story is behind it? The quilt that I am writing about, holds a lot of emotions for me. And like most quilts do, it tells a story. I’d like to share this story with you today.

Last year, I was encouraged by a group of my former students (who I will proudly refer to as my quilting friends) to work on a new quilt throughout the year, and enter it in the 2017 Brooklin Spring Fair, in the OAAS machine quilt category of the homecraft competition. It seemed like an attainable goal for me - and at that moment, I already had a quilt in mind! What seemed like a perfect idea shortly turned into the most difficult task I'd ever come to accomplish.

Let's jump back in time for a moment...

Many of you may have heard my "quilting story" presented at various quilting guilds. For those of you unfamiliar, my quilting story is heavily influenced by Carole Gould. Who was, in my opinion, the strongest woman I know. She was the absolute best quilter, best teacher, best business woman, best advice-giver, ever.  She was inspiring to say the least and taught me almost everything I know about quilting.  I worked in her store for many years and came to refer to her as my Grandmother, even though, in my heart, she was so much more than that.



In July 2016, just a short month after the 2016 Brooklin fair, Heaven gained a new angel, clad in blue, no doubt.
She was taken from this world unexpectedly and at a very chaotic time in my life. (I was in the middle of a move) Unfortunately I was unable to see her, in the days before she passed. This made me feel angry and scared. I tried not to be scared, because I knew she wasn't.

The day that I received the news was horrible. Amid the mess of my surroundings, of boxes that needed to be unpacked, my heart was an absolute disaster. I couldn't unpack, I couldn't organize, I couldn't do anything but sob. Horrible gut wrenching, heart-breaking, blue, sobs.

The days following her funeral were a series of me attempting to get my life in order, I unpacked boxes slowly, each time I found boxes of fabric or notions, I put them in my sewing room. I did not unpack them, I did not organize them. I went through a phase where I did not want to sew. I didn't think I could ever sew again. 

I am so grateful to say that I possess the first sewing machine she ever purchased on her own. (For anyone wondering, yes it works beautifully) It made me upset to look at it, it made me wonder if I could ever look at it or use it again without breaking down.



Over the Christmas holidays. I knew I needed to try to work on the quilt that I intended to enter in the 2017 fair. I knew I had gone several months of "hiding" from the quilting world, and I needed to overcome my anger. I had to fall in love with sewing again.

 The evening that I chose the fabrics for this quilt, I was so discouraged. I wanted to ask her what she thought of my choices. How was I supposed to make this quilt, if I could barely choose the fabrics without breaking down?
 I thought making this quilt would be nearly impossible.

As the quilt began to take shape, I felt a mix of emotions. I was pleased with the development of my quilt and was happy that I was working towards a goal. But I was still so angry that she was gone from me.  



It was when I was putting on my borders, that it really hit me. I was crying while trying to pin the borders on, because I was SO close to having the top completed...yet the devastation of not being able to share my progress with her was heart breaking. My boyfriend asked what I was thinking. I told him my heart was broken because she wouldn’t be able to see it. He reassured me, "She can see it, she can see everything."
His words provided me with some comfort, and with that, I had a new motivation to complete it. I needed to get it done before the fair, I couldn’t let her down.





I finished hand sewing my binding just two days before the fair. Talk about cutting it close!

To give my story a happy ending – I did end up receiving 1st prize for my category.
However, this is not the only thing that I am happy about.







I am proud of myself for receiving the ribbon (and the fact that my quilt will move on in the fall to the district level!) but I am also proud of myself for finishing a quilt that I thought would be too heart breaking to complete. I am happy that it features her favourite colour, blue. But most of all, I am happy that I could fall in love with quilting again. I know that this will be a slow “recovery” and that my heart is still on the mend. But I know now, that no matter what I am working on, she can see it and she will be proud of me.



This is the "bluest" quilt that I have ever made. It really has taught me so much.


What am I working on next? Well, I am happy to announce that I am trying to finish unpacking my sewing room, a year later. Better late than never right?!






Happy quilting, everyone!
-Tiffany xo

Friday, November 4, 2016

2016 Craft Show Season

Hi Everyone,

A quick little post to talk about craft show season!

My craft show season is soon coming to an end! I have participated in one craft show each month since June! I don't know where the time has gone but I only have ONE more craft show before I'm finished for 2016. (The entire year has blown by!)

I absolutely LOVE craft shows. I love every aspect of it. I love meeting new and returning customers. I love seeing someone light up when they purchase one of my items to be given as a gift. I love meeting loads of shoppers who appreciate the "handmade" aspect. I love getting to know other craft show vendors and being immersed in a venue that is just EXPLODING with inspiration, support and creativity. And I also love shopping at craft shows and finding that perfect, unique, one of a kind, handmade gift!

My upcoming and final craft show of 2016 is the West Rouge Holiday Artisan Sale, held on Saturday November 12th 2016. It is quickly approaching and I have yet to finish sewing for it. (Here's a little secret though, I never truly finish preparing for craft shows - it is constant preparation!)



If you are interested in selling some of your handmade crafts at local craft shows, I put together a video with some tips! You can check out the YouTube video here.



Happy Craft Show-ing !

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Durham Craft & Gift Show 2016

Hi Everyone!

Excited to announce that this year will be my sixth consecutive year participating in the annual Durham Craft & Gift Show, by Metroland Media.

Come check it out this weekend - October 21st-23rd held at the Durham College/UOIT Campus, 2000 Simcoe St. N. in Oshawa!

Please use this coupon and enjoy the show for FREE! (Regular admission $6)





Wednesday, March 9, 2016

It's been a while...

Hi Everyone!

I realized that it has been a very long time since I have posted anything on my blog! Where on earth has the time gone?

I have a couple of videos to share with you,if you are not subscribed to my YouTube channel, please feel free to do so!

So what's new....

I had a pattern that was featured in the Winter 2016 issue of Quilter's Connection magazine,of a patchwork sleeping bag pattern! I made a YouTube video HERE where you can see a close up of the sample and also find out more information on where to purchase Quilter's Connection magazines.

I was given the opportunity to read a digital copy of the children's book Maya's Blanket.
I did a YouTube video review of the book, which you can view HERE
It was a really great book and I feel like it would make a great addition to any Easter baskets that you may be putting together this spring!

I promise that I will have an Easter themed tutorial video out very soon, so don't forget to hit subscribe on my YouTube channel so you never miss a video!

What spring projects are you working on? I'd love to see them!

Feel free to send me an E-mail at quilters.workshop@gmail.com or follow me on Instagram by searching quilters.workshop

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Welcome to 2016!

Happy New Year, everyone! Welcome to 2016!

To start off 2016, I wanted to share a video to advertise my small store! For those of you who don't know, I have been operating this business since 2009. I teach 3-4 group sewing classes a week, travel to quilting guilds and give presentations, sell my items in craft shows and operate a small gift store in downtown Whitby, ON.
All of the products that I sell are handmade by local crafters who I have met through various craft show events.
On top of all things "small business" I also work full time, so I don't often have opportunities to share all aspects of my life with you!

If you are interested in having a sneak-peak to my store and the variety of products made by some talented people, please check out this video

One of the things I would like to accomplish this year, is to be more consistent with the posting of my YouTube videos. So please stay tuned for a Valentine's themed video & many more to come in 2016. As well, don't forget to check out the Winter issue of Quilter's Connection magazine to find my pattern for a patchwork sleeping bag!

In the meantime, please feel free to check out my previous tutorials & product reviews!

You can visit my YouTube Channel, HERE
You can "Like" my Facebook page, HERE
You can follow me on Instagram, HERE

I'm so excited for 2016!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The End of 2015...

Hi Everyone!

As 2015 comes to an end, I just wanted to say thank you so much for everyone who supports my business. To all my students, all the people who attend craft shows that I participate in, all the people who read my blog or watch my YouTube tutorials - THANK YOU! I wouldn't be able to do what I do, without all my supporters.

A special thank you to Heather, at Quilter's Connection Magazine, for featuring one of my patterns (yet again!) in the Winter 2015 issue that recently came out.
I'm so honoured to be given the opportunity to be part of her fantastic Canadian magazine.

My pattern for a patchwork children's quilted sleeping bag is on page 36. Enjoy!




My last video of 2015 has been highly requested, ever since I posted my "Sewing Gift Ideas 2015" video.


Here is the link to the tutorial on how to turn an old button-down dress shirt into a pillow cover!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFm5XCiFqjs

I'd love to see your creations! If you make a pillow from my tutorial, please send me a photo at quilters.workshop@gmail.com or tag me on Instagram! (Instagram & Facebook links are in the description of the YouTube video)

Happy New Year!
See you all in 2016!

Love, Tiffany

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Sewing Christmas Gift Ideas & Custom Orders - 2015

Hi Everyone!

Last night I finally got around to posting a new inspiration video on quick and easy projects that you could whip up before Christmas or even use as stocking stuffers!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2acprCkJY4

I've done this type of video for the past two years and I am so happy to come back each year with new last minute ideas that you can make mostly using materials you already have! If you're interested in viewing the videos from previous years, or other full-length tutorials, check out my YouTube channel. :)

I also have successfully finished all of my custom orders that needed to be done before the 19th of December!
Here's all ELEVEN memory pillows that I received as orders, just only over the past week.







Totally exhausted after completing this order, and also teaching additional classes for my students to have the opportunity to complete their own Christmas projects. It is now time for me to start my own holiday shopping/gift making.

Are you working on anything unique for Christmas gifts this year? I'd love to see photos of what you're working on, or photos of anything you make from my videos!
quilters.workshop@gmail.com

Happy Sewing!
Love, Tiffany