Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
One of my adult students, Janet, successfully finished her Christmas wall hanging on Saturday during class. I am very proud of her accomplishments, this was originally a UFO and we were determined to have it completed for this Christmas. I'm glad she reached her goal! It also was the first time she hand embroidered and did applique by machine!
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Just thought I would upload a photo I took today during one of my classes. This is Alexis and Sydney, they are both 9 years old and have each made a heart photo frame, using paper piecing, as Christmas gifts.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I have studying and assignments to do, with finals coming up, but it is SO hard to stay focused when it seems like the people around you are having so much more fun, preparing for the holidays!
I spent some time baking cookies on the weekend, it was a nice break from school work! (What on earth is a quilter doing in a kitchen? I have no idea!)
Also, the Winter edition of Quilter's Connection magazine, that I am being featured in, is now out and available to purchase either online or in store. (mine is in the mail and on it's way from BC. so I have not yet seen it!) It is available at Chapter's or at select quilt shops including Evelyn's in Newmarket and Sew Sister's in Toronto.
I'd much rather be sewing Christmas gifts or shopping or doing more holiday baking, but I am stuck doing school work for another few weeks until the end of finals on December 20th.
The craft show I did on Tuesday night went well too!
I am off to Brampton this weekend for a cheerleading competition, PCA Nationals! Our team is a varsity team, consisting of both Durham College and UOIT students. Very excited!
I wish everyone good luck with avoiding distraction in order to accomplish everything on their to-do list!
Monday, November 28, 2011
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Tuesday, November 8, 2011
The craft show held at Durham College proved to be a success! What an exciting weekend and great way to meet other crafters and people who appreciate your art.
I'll be at a craft show, held this coming Saturday november 12th, 10AM-4PM at the Ajax Community Centre.
I'm working away at a few new ideas for Christmas gifts, I have 2 large quilts that are waiting to be bound and several smaller projects on the go. I will post pictures as soon as I complete them! It would be very inspiring for Christmas ideas.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Just five more days before the Durham Region Craft Show. It is being held at the Durham College gym, 2000 Simcoe St. N. in Oshawa, on Friday October 28th-Sunday October 30th. All of my items are packed and ready to go! I hope it will be an exciting weekend.
It is incredible how quickly the fall is passing! With Halloween coming next week, I'm so excited for the winter season to arrive. There are so many beautiful Christmas prints and patterns that I am hoping to create this winter! I'm not sure if I will have time until my winter break from school, but it is nice to dream about! There's two really cute Christmas wall hangings featured in the latest issue of Quiltmaker, they are small and quick to do and would make terrific gifts!
My students are working on holiday napkins, Christmas stockings, place mats and pillowcases, as they are all easy and also make perfect gifts for family and friends.
Today my Mom told me I needed to organize my fabric better and get rid of some of my sewing machines. I happen to have an extensive collection of older sewing machines, some of which actually work and some that do not, some of them I use and some of them are just so pretty to look at. I feel like a little boy who collects model cars LOL. The most recent one was given to me by a friend of my Father, it's an old Singer (and the body is actually green metal). She told me it needed to go, as we simply do not have the space for it. I told her, I can't sell it, it probably doesn't even work properly! So she said, well if it doesn't work properly, what is the point in keeping it? Needless to say I spent about an hour cleaning it and adjusting the tension until I got it to stitch flawlessly...I am now allowed to keep it LOL.
I love collecting old machines, they look so much more durable and unique than modern sewing machines today that only have plastic bodies. I have a treadle sewing machine that has hand painted flowers along the neck and base, old things are just so beautiful! I can't part with them, they all tell a story.
I'm hoping a few of you can relate to this!
Remember, people will see your quilts long after you are gone...not your housework!
Monday, October 10, 2011
Now...what am I thankful for? Well, I'm thankful for being blessed with the gift of opportunity.
I'm thankful for the opportunity to be raised in this beautiful country, I'm thankful for the opportunity to make friends, I'm thankful for the opportunity to have an education and so many other things that we take for granted on a daily basis.
And of course I am thankful for thread, fabric and needles! Can you imagine a world without quilts?
I keep my queen-sized quilting frame and machine at my cottage. I purchased it at the end of the summer and when school started I did not have the opportunity to try it. So, I took down a baby panel and practiced on that. I am now thankful for the opportunity to do so.
Now that I am back home I must return to reality and do some school work...Which is painful, as I just received the latest edition of Quiltmaker magazine in the mail and there are some fabulous quilts that I am dying to create. I'll pray for the opportunity of time, there seems to be so little of it these days!
--"Life is a gift, and it offers us the privilege, opportunity, and responsibility to give something back, by becoming something more."
Happy Thanksgiving to all, God bless.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I had a fabulous time and all of the ladies were very welcoming and attentive during my presentation. I always enjoy meeting new quilters so that we can share stories or project ideas, and have a few laughs.
In the Fall issue of Quilter's Connection magazine, I am featured on the last page, as an advertisement for what will be in the next issue. In the winter issue, there will be a full article about my business and quilting story. It is a fantastic magazine with many good articles and fun pattern ideas, it is also a Canadian magazine, I advise everyone to read it! It is available online or at Chapters.
Well, I have to keep this short due to the many school assignments I have yet to complete.
If anyone is spending their day sewing, remember, "A day patched with quilting, seldom unravels". ....I wish I could sew today!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
On Monday September 26th I will be visiting the Gwillembury Quilt Guild and presenting my trunk show. I'm very excited to meet the guild members.
This upcoming Thursday is my brother's 23rd Birthday, and he is receiving a quilt. It's a double-queen size and is made with browns and various shades of blue and a little bit of green. Unfortunately it is not entirely complete, it still needs to be quilted and bound, so I wrote on the card, "Please return for further assembly!" With school, teaching classes and my extra curriculars it is hard to say when it will be completed.
Sew many quilts, Sew little time.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
" The winter wind was cold on my bare hands as I attempted to create what I had hoped to be, a beautiful flower arrangement for my wife and daughter's grave. My wife, Susan, died of cancer eight years ago. When she died, I thought that would be the end of my life. Little did I know, that is where it truly began.
She left me with our beautiful little girl, Marion. She was nine when her Mom died. Susan was a quilting enthusiast and Marion adored and cherished everything her Mother made for her. I believe that is what hurt her the most, to see her Mom's sewing room unused. Since Marion was very young and had no one to show her how to properly use her Mother's equipment, she accepted that no one would ever finish her Mom's current project, a beautiful Sun Bonnet Sue quilt for Marion. It broke my heart to see her mourn for her Mother and to understand that she would never get to cuddle with her Sun Bonnet Sue quilt; but I just did not have the time to learn to sew as I had so many other responsibilities.
Two years later Marion was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The Doctor said she had one year to live. I never felt so much anger towards life. The world felt so cold. Losing my wife left me feeling alone and angry, at least I had others to comfort me. Losing two family members felt like sitting in the bottom of a dark, cold empty hole with no one to ease my pain. On our drive home from the hospital she said, "Daddy, I want to see my quilt finished before I die". I did not respond to her request, I wanted her to see it completed also. I did not know what to say, her statement had brought tears to my eyes. I had no idea who could finish it for her. I pondered over the situation until the next day, when I suddenly realized how much it would mean to her if she could have the quilt with her to hold at every Doctor's visit and medical procedure. I vowed to finish that quilt.
I went to the library. I read many books on the operation of sewing machines and quilting. I even attended a work shop at the local Quilt Guild that Susan had once belonged to. Many of the women had been friendly with Susan and were very helpful and answered all of my questions about how to properly sew the tiny pieces together to form adorable Sun Bonnet dolls. It took me an entire month to complete all twenty quilt blocks, sew them together with the sashing and add the borders, I remembered that my wife usually preferred to hand quilt the top, batting and backing of the quilt together rather than have it machine quilted. So I rummaged through her supplies and found her quilting frame and thimble. I practiced hand quilting until I was pleased with the spacing and length of my delicate stitches. I layered and basted my quilt together and fastened it firmly to the inside of the frame. After kissing Marion good night, I began to quilt around each doll. I thought of Susan while I worked and I imagined her laughing at my attempt to match her highly skilled work. The feeling of her presence made me feel relaxed and before I knew it, I had quilted through the entire night. Sunlight filled the room as I finished my last line of quilting, I expertly tied the knot and snipped the thread. The quilting was complete. After I drove Marion to school, I completed the binding. When Marion came home from school I presented it to her, I had never experienced a feeling of so much accomplishment and pride. Marion shrieked excitedly and jumped into my arms. "Oh, thank you Daddy! It is so beautiful! But who finished it?" I explained to her how I had done a lot of research and hard work to finish it and keep it a surprise for her. "You did a wonderful job Daddy, I absolutely love it!". She kissed my cheek and held her quilt tightly in her arms. She looked up at me, with a big smile and lovely sparkling eyes and said, "Mom would have been so proud of you". I smiled back at her and said, "yes, I think so too".
I still believe that it was the power, warmth and comfort of that quilt that provided my sweet daughter with enough strength to live on much longer than the Doctors had expected. Eventually, the cancer spread and the pain became too much for her small body to fight. I was so impressed with her maturity and her strength; I believe I cried more than she had. Marion inspired me to continue quilting; it brought her much joy to see the progress I made in my quilts. It also helped occupy our worried minds, even up to the last day of her life. We talked about quilt designs and brainstormed different ideas. When she passed away at the age of thirteen, I was determined to help put an end to the horrible disease that had taken the life of my wife and daughter. Finally I came up with a plan, but I needed some help in order to put my plan into action. Immediately I contacted the Quilt Guild.
We formed a program at the guild called "Sewing Against Cancer". Thirty quilters joined our program. Our intentions were to each make a quilt and host an auction to raise money for cancer. Our first auction was a huge success; every quilt raised slightly over six hundred dollars. All together our guild raised twenty thousand dollars for cancer research. We now have auctions every year and each year we raise more money. Our program has grown with time and now quilters from around the world send us quilts for the auction and participate in our battle against cancer.
Sometimes I still feel Susan's presence in my sewing studio. This brings me pleasure while I am designing or working on a quilt. The memories of Susan and Marion continue to touch my heart and bless me with inspiring ideas."
Friday, August 19, 2011
I have recently indulged in the purchase of a new sewing machine, the Janome 1600P Professional. It is a beautiful machine! So quiet and it flies through heavy thicknesses that my other machines seem to slowly drag themselves through. I also bought a small quilting frame that I can use this sewing machine with, looking forward to assembling the frame...I hear it takes about 3 hours to set up....but it will definitely be worth the time and money I spent on the frame and the machine!
Also, I have successfully completed my first youtube video. (With the help of a very special friend!) It is a quick 'how-to' on making a basic pillowcase. I am hoping to create a small series of videos to promote what I do and sewing as an art in general. The link is below!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Today after teaching my sewing classes, I began feverishly working away at all the items I need for my upcoming craft show. I was going through my "stash" and I excitedly came across some Christmas panels. One of them was for a beautiful Advent Calendar. I suddenly remembered purchasing it, several years ago, but it probably worked it's way down to the bottom of my priority list. I decided to make it today.
I glanced briefly at the instructions that came with it, (I usually don't follow them, because I hate following instructions that come with panels) and I began to cut out the pieces. The strips of numbered squares, that are to act as the pockets to put your treats in, are to be hemmed and then stitched onto the main piece of the wall hanging. I disagree with this part of the instructions. I like to line my pockets, it makes it look so much more complete. So I cut out all the strips of the pockets, with a coordinating solid to be the backing (or the lining of the pockets.)
Then, to give the pockets a little "puff" in order to be able to fit a nice bulgy piece of chocolate, the bottoms of the pockets are to be sewn on with little pleats, which make the opening of the pockets puff out, so that you can ideally fit more into the pocket. This sounds like a brilliant idea to me, what quilter doesn't love a nice bulgy piece of chocolate during the Holiday season?
While sewing on the longest of the strips, which has 6 tiny pockets all attached, one of the pleats was absolutely not agreeing with the rest. I took out the pin I was using to hold it together, and decided just to pinch it together with my fingers, while lowering the pressure foot with the other hand. But then, I started to sew, not realizing that my fingers were still practically under the needle.... Don't worry, I snatched my hand out of the way very quickly, so the needle only got a chance to make a tiny hole in my nail.
Today was the day I ALMOST sewed over my finger....and I will never, EVER forget it.
E-mail me if you've ever had a sewing related accident, I'm looking forward to some stories!
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
I recently completed two full sized quilt tops, waiting to be quilted and bound. One is made with various shades of blue and brown and the other is made with batiks, in lots of bright colours! It is the first entire quilt that I have made using batiks, I was thrilled with the final look. I received my first shipment of batiks in June and as soon as they came in my mind began to spin with all of the ideas that I had to use them for. I began with a table runner and then a bag and finally the full size quilt. Once both of my quilts are completed I will be posting the pictures.
Today I booked a booth for an upcoming craft show, which will be held in October at Durham College (2000 Simcoe St. N, Oshawa ON). I am very excited as this is the first craft show that I will be in. I also have two trunk shows coming up, one in September and the other in October, I can't wait for the fall!
One of my new projects that I will be teaching in the fall is a Christmas Tree wall hanging made with fabric yo-yos and buttons, it is a perfect way to use up 6" squares of various greens or Christmas fabrics and odd buttons!
Thursday, May 26, 2011
I recently presented my Trunk Show for the Prince Edward County Quilter's Guild. I had a fabulous time displaying my work and answering many questions from my attentive audience. I have two more shows lined up for the fall, and am already eager for those days to arrive!
I'll be continuing my spring lessons until Saturday June 25th and my summer lessons will commence on Monday July 4th. Summer lessons will be available Monday through Thursday, 9-11AM and 12-2 PM.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Since I am very busy finishing off my first year of university, yet I eagerly wanted to make a brief post, I decided that today I would show off the work of one of my star students.
This is a twin-sized, Rail-Fence variation, done in a variety of bright fabrics to create a scrappy look. She has been sewing for a year and a half and I am very proud of her accomplishments and how far she has come. This is definitely one of my fondest examples, of how children can learn to sew very well if they are patient and work hard at developing their skills.
I enjoy displaying the work of my students as it inspires those who are currently working on quilts, or those who are building up confidence to tackle a larger project.
Age is never an issue, it's all in your mind-set!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
This is my Bow Tie quilt, I made it in July 2008. I treated the blocks as if they were log cabin blocks, and arranged them in a "Barn-Raising" set.
Like many of my quilts, this one has a specific story behind it. The material was given to me by my inspiration, Carole Gould. Her mother had started the quilt, using scraps of material from old dresses or other projects. The pieces that she had already cut out were left in an old Eaton's Cottage Sweets chocolate box, of which Carole was going to throw out. As the saying goes, one quilter's trash is another quilter's stash! I was so intrigued by the idea and decided I was going to finish what her mother started. The background fabric was originally cut from sugar sacks. Since the background pieces were quite worn, I changed them for a plain beige cotton that was of a similar colour. Then I trimmed up the pieces that were already cut, and selected only the fabrics that seemed to be in the best condition to use in my quilt. Although I had lots of fabric to make a larger quilt, I decided to make it lap-sized so that it could be used as a wall hanging. I made the border in a checkerboard style, using leftover bits of both the solid and coloured fabrics.
Although the one block her mother had completed was pieced by hand, I pieced all of mine by machine and machine quilted it myself as well and hand bound the edges. The backing was a large piece of 1930's fabric that Carole had in her stash that went well with the top and was large enough to be the backing and binding of the quilt.
This quilt makes my list of favourites because the story is quite personal and means alot to me. This quilt displays the whole reason why people began quilting in the first place. To take things that were no longer useful, like worn clothing and sugar sacks, and to create something with a new use, something beautiful, something to keep your hands and mind occupied when troubles have you down, something that will get passed down in family generations, something that can become a conversation piece in years to come, something that creates a history all on it's own.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
For quite some time people have been continuously asking me to create a website, or at least a blog. So here I go, venturing off into an online world full of uncertainty.
I suppose I'll begin my first post with a short introduction.
Although quilting and other forms of needle work have been around for centuries, I believe it has developed immensely. Years ago, the purpose of quilting was to keep your family warm. One would use up scraps from articles of old clothing or perhaps even sugar sacs, in order to make their quilts. Today, I believe quilting is more than a household hobby. It involves more than making bedspreads or making something with friends just to keep your mind off of troubling matters. Quilting has evolved into one of the most gracious arts I have ever seen. Some say it is a lost art, I half agree with this statement. Yes, some quilts are old fashioned, and yes, many people prefer to purchase bed spreads and clothes today, rather than making things themselves. The reason why I say that I half agree; is because I am currently doing something about it.
My name is Tiffany Tuttle; I’m nineteen years old and currently reside in Oshawa Ontario. I am a full time student at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and am studying to earn a business degree. I have been an avid sewer since the ripe age of eight. No, I did not pick up the skill from my mother, or any other family member for that matter. I took sewing lessons for three years and learned the basics of making simple clothing for myself. The summer I was twelve, I decided to take a quilting summer camp. I signed up to make a rag quilt; the instructor had informed my mother that it would take me a couple of weeks to complete the quilt if I worked on it daily. At the end of my first week of camp I had completed my rag quilt and made a pillow to match. After that week....well, I was hooked. I spent the rest of the summer taking more lessons and making several projects that ranged from patch work bags to aprons and Christmas stockings.
By the age of thirteen, my instructor, Carole Gould, who was the owner of the store in which I took lessons from, suggested I try my hand at a sampler quilt. The quilt included twenty blocks that used various techniques in which I hadn’t tried before. Carole told my mother this one would take me at least a year, “after all”, she said “some adults in my class are still working on theirs, and they started them two years ago". At the end of three weeks I had completed the entire top of my quilt. I received lots of praise from the staff who worked at the store and the adults who were still working on the same quilt. For my grade eight graduation I made my dress, so it was exactly the style and colour I wanted, best of all I did not have to worry about having the same dress as someone else. At the end of that summer, I was hired as a part time quilting teacher for Carole’s store, I taught children’s classes on Fridays and Saturdays. On my occasional breaks from school I would even help teach the adult classes. I remember being asked by one of the adult students, what I would like to be when I grow up. Carole had frequently bragged about me to her customers and always told me how proud she was that I accomplished straight A’s at school every year. I answered the question with utmost confidence, “I want to be the owner of a quilt store, just like this one”. For several years Carole tried convincing me that I should take advantage of my grades and be a lawyer or a doctor, so that I would always have a steady income. As most entrepreneurs know, business can be risky at times. But there was absolutely no way anyone was talking me out of it. “Besides”, I said, “Aren’t husbands supposed to provide the steady income for us?”
In December 2008, Carole was retiring and unfortunately the new owner did not want to have any children’s classes, therefore I quit. I knew teaching children how to quilt was sometimes chaotic but if no one passes on the craft, in twenty years or so we won’t have any adult quilters either. That winter, I was entered into a young entrepreneur program called My Summer Company. Of the fifteen hundred applicants, I was one of the lucky twenty students who were selected. We were given workshops, mentors and advisors to help us operate a summer business. The business I started is called Quilter’s Workshop and although I was only supposed to operate for two months in the summer of 2009, my business is still operating successfully. I teach three different sewing and quilting classes to children and adults, every Saturday. My students work on a variety of projects and all do an excellent job! I am the only business in my area that offers lessons to children. On top of teaching lessons, I have presented my trunk show to multiple quilt guilds in Ontario. I bring as many of my full sized quilts as I can, and almost every wall hanging and small project that I can pack into my car. I enjoy speaking to guilds as it is fun to discuss a common joy with other people. I think it is great to share ideas and to inspire people with my work.
Since I’ve learned to sew, my life has transformed. Sewing is a skill that should be taught at a young age, I like sharing my love of sewing with others and teaching my craft because I know how useful it can be. Aside from being able to alter clothing or fix garments you can use your quilting and sewing abilities to decorate your home, there isn’t a single wall or nook in my home that isn’t displaying a wall hanging or other quilted item! I also enjoy making memory quilts or making pillows with pictures on them, as gifts to friends and family. I truly believe there are so many possibilities when it comes to quilt making and it is definitely a stress reliever!
I hope to one day own a full size quilt store and maybe even publish a few pattern books! Until then I will continue running my part time business, speaking at guilds and making lots of quilts!
Tiffany Tuttle of Quilter’s Workshop – 905-725-3701