Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Aurifil Designer of the Month

Along with my business partner at Nine Patch Media - Elizabeth Phillips - I've put on a lot of miles this year. Since my last post we have been to the APWQ Quilt Show in Tacoma where the Roses of Remembrance quilt won anHonourable Mention Award, a two week tour to China with 30 other enthusiastic travelers, Houston, for the annual International Quilt Market & Festival,  and on my own I spent 5 busy days teaching in Florida. Even listing it all make me tired. 

Standing in front of our Roses of Remembrance quilt, Barbara Shapel (who quilted it) and I are proudly showing off our Honorable Mention ribbon. By the way, the amazing quilt I'm holding is a miniature version of the quilt behind me. It was made by Ellen Palmer from West Virginia and her blocks are only 4" square. 

And, that's not all. We have been working on another Rose of Sharon book which means designing and making lots more quilts - but we can't share the pictures because it all has to be kept under wraps until the book is released. Trust me though, you're going to love it. 

Not only that but I hope you have been watching The Quilt Show Daily Blog and noticed that I have been 'showing up' on it quite frequently - we plan to film more segments this month so keep watching. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is - even though I seem to have been uncommunicative here, it hasn't all been lying around eating chocolates and reading trashy novels. (Although I have to admit there has been a bit of that this month.) 

Of course you know that I wouldn't have it any other way. I love making quilts and teaching others to make them. I love writing books about quilting, and I love showing how all the new toys make it faster and easier. At Quilt Market in Houston I got to introduce my new Rose of Sharon die - along with the first RoS die you can now cut 9 of the blossoms, 5 of t he leaves, and all four of the circles. Of course this makes tackling a Rose of Sharon type quilt much more appealing. 

Other exciting news from Nine Patch Media includes our new association with Lyn Kenny from Australia. Lyn is an extraordinary machine embroiderer and digitizer and we have collaborated with her to produce two new embroidery collections - Midnight Roses and Traditions. You must visit Lyn's website to see her other exciting designs - they have given us so many ideas for projects my 'to do' list has grown enormously. Please understand my 'to do' list contains the things I really want 'to do'.

And, last but not least,  this month I have the honour of being the Aurifil Designer of the Month and I hope you'll take advantage of the free pattern - and use it to become eligible to win the wonderful prize Aurifil offers if you post a picture of it. There has been a virtual parade of talented designers - one a month - who have all offered free patterns for your pleasure. Check out their websites also and enjoy using all ideas that have been provided.

I'm off to get all the Christmas decorations out and put up - this year I have two new ones to add to the collection - the first is the Aurifil Christmas Tree (free pattern provided) and the second one is a cute little wreath made with some of my wonderful Island Batik fabrics. The instructions were provided by Island Batik and I know they are happy to have me share them with you. 

First, cut 3" squares of green and red batik fabrics with pinking shears or the pinking blade on your rotary cutter. Using a pocket screwdriver (or the tool you use to poke out corners - something that won't puncture the fabric) center one fabric piece on the end of the screwdriver, and push it about 3/4" into a straw wreath - don't worry if you aren't 'exactly' in the center of the fabric - I even used pieces that weren't square. Cover one full side until no straw is showing. I used three different greens and one red batik. I'm sure it would look good with any combination of fabrics - so here's a great opportunity to use up those scraps of batik you've been saving. 

With best wishes for a happy holiday season and a prosperous, healthy, and happy New Year. 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The Shopping Channel

Hi friends,
 Ask me if I had fun doing The Shopping Channel for AccuQuilt. - Live TV is very different from filming something that can be edited - and it's a good thing that adrenalin keeps you 'on edge' as it was a very long day. My first segment was on at 8:00 a.m. and I had to be in the studio a minimum of an hour before (being a bit nervous I got there at 5:30 a.m.) and my last one was at 7:00 p.m. - which was followed by taking down the set. I got back to my hotel at about 9:30 p.m., packed, requested a 6:00 a.m. wake up call and fell into bed. I shut off the light and to quote a family friend, I was asleep before the light went out. 

Although there seemed to be a long time in between segments, there really wasn't enough time to leave the studio so to while away the time I watched other presentations and met some nice friendly people. I had a dressing room complete with a comfortable couch, my Kindle was filled with good reading material, and the cafeteria offered a nice variety of good food so I just settled in to enjoy the experience. 

Of course working with a product you are in love with makes it easy to present. Anybody who has worked with an AccuQuilt cutter knows that it truly makes our quilting lives easier, faster, and more accurate.

Another adventure starts tomorrow - my 50th High School Reunion. More about that later. 


Monday, May 23, 2011

Happy Victoria Day - Canadians

When I was in grade school we were taught a rhyme : The 24th of May, the Queen's Birthday, if we don't get a holiday we'll all run away. The 'Queen' of the rhyme was of course, Queen Victoria, but to make it easier for everybody (and more pleasant) the holiday was moved to the Monday closest to May 24th so we can all enjoy a long weekend. Of course that only applies to those who are not self-employed. For some reason we never seem to 'remember' that weekends are supposed to be for goofing off. Well, maybe not exactly 'goofing off' but - relaxing. OK, so what is  more relaxing than making a quilt? That's what I'm doing this Victoria Day - oh, and getting ready to fly to Toronto. 

I've also been going through my photos and found some more good ones from Quilt Market in Salt Lake City - 

I bumped into Brenda Miller and her friend, Lisa Hill in the airport in SLC and we shared a shuttle to our hotel. Brenda and Lisa got to witness the hilarious sight of me chasing the aforementioned shuttle as it drove away from our hotel with one of our suitcases still on top. The driver had removed the bungee cords holding the bag down, then went to the back of the van to take the other bags out. After emptying the back he assumed he was finished so he started to drive away. Fortunately I saw the bag on top and yelled at the driver - he didn't hear me - so I started running - and screaming - after him. When he got to the curb he had to stop or I'd never have caught him. After I banged on the rear window he got out and I just pointed to the top of his van. I would love to have a video of the whole thing - it was amusing after the fact. At the time all I could think of was 'will he notice it if it falls off? The people coming out of the hotel who witnessed the whole thing gave me a round of applause for my efforts.  

A much more relaxed meeting took place with Brenda and Lisa in Brenda's booth at Market.  That's Brenda on the right and the name of her company is Among Brenda's Quilts. Brenda is from  Strathroy, ON. 

One of the fun things we did in SLC was participate in an Aurifil Thread commercial. Jodie Davis from QNN filmed a number of us catching a large cone of thread that was thrown from off camera. We were to catch it, say what we love about Aurifil Thread, then throw the cone to somebody else - also off camera. In this picture we have the 'pitcher' - Alex Veronelli, I'm the catcher, and some of the infielders are Linda Pumphrey in the pink t-shirt, and Jodie with her back to the camera.

The filming took place in the AccuQuilt booth and I have some exciting news about AccuQuilt and me. I get to appear on The Shopping Channel -  demonstrating how wonderful the Baby Go is. It will be shot in Mississauga, Ontario and shown live on May 31st at 12:00 noon, 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. - all Eastern Daylight Time. You can watch it on The Shopping Channel in Canada or online anywhere. I'm looking forward to it and urge you to watch and buy your very own Go Baby and the very useful dies that are also being offered. I'm sure the prices will be very appealing. 

So, back to packing - and then I plan to sit in the greenhouse and enjoy happy hour with my DH. Happy Victoria Day all you Canadians.

Sharon Pederson

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spring Market Salt Lake City

As many of you know, Elizabeth and I travel twice a year to see all the new stuff available at Quilt Market - sometimes we are showing new stuff too. Our newest DVD, Dorothy's Sampler, was introduced in Salt Lake City - the location of this Spring's Market, and here I am doing a demo of the Drunkard's Path block from it.

This time we had an additional reason for going - we were 'reporters' for The Quilt Show. Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson are 'fixtures' at Market but were unable to go this time because they were off doing one of their Super Seminars - so we were 'deputized' to be their eyes and ears at Market. 

This required being able to shoot video and send it electronically to The Quilt Show and Elizabeth found this amazing gizmo - a steady cam - that allowed her to use her iPhone and not get the wobblies that you so often see with hand held video cameras. In the below photo we are taking advantage of two comfortable chairs in our friend, Jackie Robinson's booth, and you might be able to see the device I'm talking about - Elizabeth is holding it. 

As you can imagine, every techie fan wanted to see what it was and find out how to get one. Elizabeth joked that she had never had so much attention in her life - but it wasn't her they were interested in, just her 'equipment'.  

Market is always interesting, exhausting, but a 'not to be missed' event and this one was particularly fun. To see our interviews please visit and click on Daily Blog. I got to talk to some 'legends' in the industry and also some exciting 'up and comers' that I know we'll be seeing more of. 

One of the biggest joys of attending Market is getting together with old friends.  Often it is the only chance we get to see each other - however briefly. 

Fellow teacher and author, Charlotte Warr Andersen and I shared a hug, and it was fun to run into Val Jensen and Leslie Burtch from Quilty Pleasures Quilt Shop in Ottawa. 

 When we weren't filming for The Quilt Show it seemed I still ended up in front of a camera - here Jodie Davis from QNN and I are setting up a shot in the Aurifil Thread booth. I have a new Sashiko Thread collection with Aurifil  and I appear to be showing Jodie where to focus the camera to get a close up. 

I'm sure most of you have been at a book signing at one time or another, but have you ever been at a 'thread signing'. I was highly amused when this lovely lady approached me with a pen and asked me to sign her box of my Sashiko collection threads. By the way, they are the most gorgeous 12wt threads and would look good in other applications as well as Sashiko. 

As you can imagine, all this walking around filming, etc. requires you to keep your strength up and what better way than with ice cream. Well, it wasn't really ice cream - but raspberry sorbet is nothing to be spurned - and it was the perfect pick me up when I came across it in this booth. 

What would a quilt market be without quilts. This was my absolute favorite and when I saw the picture of it in the show catalogue  I was convinced it was a photograph of a dog. When we found it in the show I got up close and was absolutely amazed to discover it was all thread. The artist, Barbara Barrick McKie certainly knows her way around a sewing machine. The title - "I'm watching you" pretty much sums it up. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day Everyone,
There were lots of requests to see Elizabeth grandchildren's blocks so here they are.

The kids were both very pleased with their results and Mommy is going to make them into a small quilt. It was all very exciting.                                  

Greta took some inspiration from one of Carolyn Laukkonen's blocks that was entered in the Rose of Sharon Block Challenge. 

Sonny had his own plan and made a bee family collecting pollen from flowers. I am particularly fond of his placement of leaves.

Sharon Pederson

Saturday, May 7, 2011

3D Sunflower Block Pattern

Hi Quilting Friends,
As promised the link for the instructions for the 3D Sunflower Block is below.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Blog Tour. I loved all your comments and had a great time reading them and answering questions. I have really enjoyed working on the Rose of Sharon projects and I continue to develop new blocks, patterns, and projects. The possibilities are limitless.

The title of my book and DVD, Machine Appliqué for the Terrified Quilter really says it all. For those of you who have been afraid to try appliqué, I have included some photos of my "class" with Elizabeth's grandchildren, Sonny and Greta, as they put their  Mother's Day Rose of Sharon block together. I have to tell you, it really is child's play.

Greta and Sonny had a great day preparing their fused blocks and even did the pressing when they were finished. I can't post the finished blocks until Mother's Day as their Mom, Sarah, is a blog follower and I have been sworn to secrecy.

Tune in tomorrow to see what they did - and then you'll have to ask yourself why you are 'terrified' to try appliqué. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Welcome Blog Tour Gang!

It's been great fun participating in Volume 3 of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks and forgive me if you've heard this before - but I'm delighted to see my block on the cover !!!  Of course with all the work I have been doing with Rose of Sharon blocks, mine had to be a Rose of Sharon variation. With just three simple shapes (a blossom, a leaf, and a circle) and various sizes of those three shapes you can make any number of variations - and the block can be any size you want. 
If I were you I'd be first in line to get your copy of this issue - it's going to go quickly. It will appear by May 10th and after you've visited all the other stops on the Blog Tour I know you will  want your very own copy.  

I'm still playing with  Rose of Sharon ideas and I wanted to share my sunflower block  (who says you can't make a sunflower with rose shapes? ) While I was fooling around with this idea, it occurred to me that having some three dimensional petals would look good, so I fused two pieces of the same fabric together and cut them on my AccuQuilt Go cutter, then positioned them over a layer of already fused petals. I think it's fun and certainly 'robust'. 

While I was making sunflowers Elizabeth's grandchildren, Sonny and Greta, were making fabric pictures for Mother's day. They love the AccuQuilt shapes from the Rose of Sharon die and they are fearless in their approach to their creations! I know who to call in when I need help making blocks.

Oh Sonny.....Oh Greta......want to come and play at my house?