Keeping Busy in 2020

We quilters are very lucky people- we have everything we need to sustain us through months of staying home. Some of are finishing off UFOs, or starting new projects or busy making masks. Or sometimes all three!

A while ago I started a project that I thought would be a great quilt book: making quilts based a single block. The block I chose was the tumbler block, because it is SO versatile. I enjoy playing with layout and colour, and found using this one block a very satisfying way to do this. I had trouble finding templates, so I had some made, and have sold them via my Etsy shop ever since. I am running low, and have a new set on order right now!

During my lockdown at home I have made a LOT of tumbler quilts, runners and more.. and have put together a slideshow for a 45 minute ZOOM presentation. This is such a great opportunity to share my ideas with other quilters, and hopefully inspire them to try this approach to making quilts. I have started taking bookings for my presentation, and am planning on creating a shorter, 30 minute show for those who prefer a shorter talk. If you know a guild that is looking for a trunk show to inspire its members, contact me at

I have posted before about the quilt that inspired my tumbler series… a baby mat for my granddaughter Charlotte, who is now 3 1/2. The good news is that there is a new grandbaby on the way, and is due the end of December. So excited… my birthday is December 29th, and I think this would make a wonderful birthday present!!

I realize I have made a LOT of quilts since I started 15 years ago, so I am going to be posting one of my quilts each day on Facebook and Instagram, starting today! Links below…

Printing on Silk Organza

As I move more deeply into making art quilts, I need to learn and try new techniques. One of the things I am interested in is transparency, so I tried printing an image onto silk organza. Here are my results- very pleased!!

    1. original image
    2. tape organza down so that it stays smooth and doesn’t move
    3. image on label after printing
    4. left to right: label (lots of ink left!), transfer on silk organza, ink from label rubbed onto paper
    5. silk organza transferred image on fabric background




Roofs completed

Working with these colourful fabrics certainly brightens my day! I made one appliqued block to prove to myself that this is doable. This quilt has so much applique in it that I should improve by the time I am done.

Even cuter with chimneys added!

And now I have built all the houses!

Sadly, this was the easy part of the quilt. I now have to master applique. Wish me luck!

And now for something completely different..

A member of York Heritage Quilters Guild recently showed a quilt that blew me away- it used a lot of Kaffe Fassett fabric (of which I have a LOT- the colours are stunning) and the pattern wonderful. Last week I was still thinking of it, so I ordered the pattern:  “The Village” by Kim McLean from Hyggeligt in St. Marys Ontario.
This project is a great distraction from what is happening in the outside world right now, and who doesn’t need that? I should end up with some new skills, and a very different quilt from my usual style- AND blogging about it should be an incentive to keep on track.

I have rarely (actually, probably never) made a quilt from a pattern, and I do not ever do hand applique, so even I am interested to see how this progresses.

I instantly adapted the house block- the door now reaches to the bottom of the block, and I removed one piece which looked odd to me. I also paper-pieced the roof. Below are images of the pattern, and my first block.

There are SO many design/colour choices to make that I decided to make the three pieces of the house- the chimneys, the roof and the main body- separately, and sort out the final arrangement when these are all made. There are 25 houses in the pattern, so I have a ways to go. Below are some of the pieces I have made to date.

Such fun! The animals are so charming that I may try making one now, to calm my anxiety about applique. Stay tuned!

I realize that I never posted the completed quilt of Ortegia, Valerie Goodwin-style, so here it is. It is hard to see the details on the island itself because of the black background, but I am pretty happy with the final result, except for the white roads. I tried various paints for this feature, but never got a completely solid line. Next time I would reverse the colours of the island and the roads, so black roads, white island. This is a small piece, about 28 cm (11 inches) square.


I have been playing with tumbler blocks a lot recently, and this is the other piece I finished a few weeks ago. This is such a bright and happy piece, it really makes me smile. I especially enjoyed filling the centre of each “cog” with a different design. Most of the design elements were fused to the background, and only needs a hanging sleeve to finish it up-  I have hestitated because I am not sure what orientation I want it to hang.  Size : 89 x 107 cm (35 x 42″).