PreQuilt x 3rd Story

In the fall, I had the privilege of meeting up with Laura Henneberry in Toronto. Laura is half the mastermind behind PreQuilt, a web-based app that lets you pre-colour a quilt to test out ideas before you start cutting into fabric. The other half is her husband Gar Liu, who is the web developer. Together they developed this tool for quilters to be able to visualize their quilts without expensive software.

You can create a quilt from scratch using a library of blocks or use existing designer patterns and re-color them. I am so pleased that my design, Banner Year, is available for “pre-quilting’!

Abby Glassenburg of While She Naps wrote a piece about PreQuilt when they launched in the summer: “For designers, offering a pattern on the PreQuilt app gives their customers an obvious value-add – the ability to easily see how the finished quilt will look made in an infinite array of different colors. It’s often challenging for customers to visualize how a pattern will look in colors other than those pictured on the cover photo, but PreQuilt makes it easy and fun.”

PreQuilt offers solid colour palettes from major fabric manufacturers like American Made Brand, Kona, RJR, Michael Miller, Moda, Riley Blake,  AGF, and Free Spirit. Choose your favourite or explore a manufacturer that’s new to you — or mix it up! As a web-based app, you don’t have to download anything — you can simply play around on the site and save an image of your quilt design when you are happy with it. Here’s a clip of how I played with it:

Patterns are currently available from designers such as Laura Henneberry herself (Commonwealth Quilts), Rebecca Burnett, Rachel Hauser (Stitched in Color) and Krista Hennebury (Poppyprint) — with more designer collaborations coming soon. When you purchase the pattern through the PreQuilt shop, we share the proceeds. Give it a go and have fun!

Laura and Gar’s quilt design Vocal as it appears in the PreQuilt app

Tips & Tricks: Lone Star Quilt

The traditional lone star quilt is the base for Our Song, Your ReflectionThis beautiful classic design uses strip sets cut on the diagonal to create a large-scale pattern. Here are some tips to make this a successful endeavour! First things first: Don’t be scared. Once you get going, it’s a ton of fun with very rewarding results.

Our Song, Your Reflection in Alison Glass’ Kaleidoscope. Photo by Quilt Photography Co.

Choosing fabrics: If this is your first time making a Lone Star, pick fabrics that blend into each other well. That means a gradient, or really busy prints in the same colour family. If your points don’t match perfectly, they’re less noticeable. High contrast fabrics are less forgiving.

Photo by Deborah Wong.

Tip #1: Hands off. Be as gentle as possible with your fabric. This goes for general handling and when you’re guiding the fabric through the machine. Don’t pull on it.

Tip #2: Starch or pressing spray. The Lone Star is based on 45 degree angles, which means that you are cutting fabric diagonally across the warp or weft (straight grain) of the fabric. These are bias edges and can be stretchy and unwieldy. When you are sewing your strips sets together, use your favourite starch or pressing spray to keep your fabric behaving before you starting diagonal cuts. As you continue along, you can continue to starch/spray when you’re pressing but the first time is the most important!

Tip #3: Pressing direction. People ask me which way I press — and I say, I don’t worry about it when it comes to Lone Star construction. My reasoning is that the seams meet at a 45 degree angle and are never going to be outright stacked. The seam is going to be “spread” along a distance of the seam and are not terribly bulky (see Tip #5 for a visual of how the seams meet). If you want to be fastidious about it, you can alternate pressing directions when you are assembling your strip sets.

Tip #4: Checking your 45 degree angle. As you cut your strips from your assembled set, your 45 degree angle may start to stray from a true 45 degree. Check you 45 degree along a few “interior” seams to avoid your angle from “creeping”. If it’s starting to creep, trim off a bit to make it true again.

What a creep! The 45 degree angle is off after a couple of cuts.
Always check at a few interior seams to see if your 45 degree is on.

Tip #4: Diamond piecing. If you are sewing two diamond shapes together, mark a 1/4″ seam allowance on the back of one to get them to line up properly. Finger press the seam before pressing gently with an iron. Using a 1/4″ seam guide helps here.

This is how two 45 degree diamonds go together.

Tip #5: Matching points. When it comes time to join two diamond strips together, mark a 1/4″ seam allowance on the back of one strip. I mark at the intersections only.

Align your strips, right sides together. When you fold back one layer right on that 1/4″ line, your to seams should make a nice diagonal like this:

Want to see that again? Here:

Pin them in place and sew.

See? Lone Stars are so worth the effort. Go for it and don’t look back!

Our Song II – A Collaborative Quilt

As the crowdfunding campaign for Our Song, Your Reflection was unfolding in May and June of this year, I asked a few quilting friends — new and old! — to each make a star block. It could be paper pieced from the original pattern, their own star invention, or a traditional block. With each block, I asked them to share what community means to them. While there was wonderful diversity in their star blocks, it was clear that all of them greatly valued their communities as vital to their quilting practice. Support, inclusion, encouragement, and connection were key words that came up again and again.

Our Song II – a collaborative quilt.

Read about each individual block in “What Does Community Mean to You?” Part 1Part 2, and Part 3.

Everyone sent their blocks to me and I had a great pile of happy mail to open from across Canada, the United States, Switzerland, and Australia. And there was one more block to add before I embarked on putting them altogether into one quilt – mine. I chose a traditional friendship star – such simplicity and expression in this little block. The friendship star ended up “leading” the swan in the final design.

I had given the participants a small range of colours to choose from and the subtle variety in colour was a wonderful challenge to assemble into a cohesive whole. I was pretty scared at first, but I finally had to jump in and learned that the only scary thing about this project was the jumping in! I found my process was the most painterly experience I’ve had in my quilting life. (I felt a bit like Neil Buchanan from Art Attack! Remember that show?) As you can see, I used a wide variety of solid scraps to blend the colours together. There was a modularity to the grid of the design – the blocks measured 2″ x 6″ or 6″ x 6″ finished, which allowed me to use standard 2 1/2″ strips to do some filling in.

What was important to the creation of this quilt was laying it out on the floor instead of on a design wall. This gave me the option to casually drop a crumpled mess of fabric to fade the colours into one another. I found this to be a really creative and invigorating process after a loss in “sewjo” over the summer.

The inclusion of a swan was an obvious reference to the original Our Song, Your Reflection quilt, but without the lone star behind it. I’m happy announce that I will be releasing this 20″ swan block as a separate pattern – one that is less daunting than the whole Our Song pattern. It will be released on Oct. 11, 2018 as the “Our Song Swan”! Stay tuned.

For the water that the swan sat on, I used triangular scraps from the first #oursongquilt to signify the otherwise calm water being disturbed by the swan’s presence. These little bits also helped the colours transition from blue to yellow-green.

Straight-line quilting was all I had the time for and I took a bit of a risk — I used a 28wt Aurifil thread in a peachy colour (2315). It’s a heavier weight of thread than I’m comfortable using so I crossed my fingers that it would look OK and not be too obvious.

I used the same type of blending method for the binding. A handful of colours to continue the design of the quilt right to the edge rather than to frame it.

The backing was a bit of an unconventional choice – Carolyn Friedlander’s Snake in Ash from her Gleaned collection. There was no clear connection colour-wise to the front of the quilt, but the design spoke “feathers” to me (rather than snake!) so I found it to be fitting.

I’d like to thank the following people for lending their time and energy to this project. What a joy you were to work with!
Alyce Blyth of Blossom Heart Quilts
Mathew Boudreaux, Mister Domestic
Shannon Fraser of Shannon Fraser Designs
Krista Henneberry of Poppyprint
Lisa Hoffman-Maurer of Sew What You Love
Adrienne Klenck of Seam Work
HollyAnne Knight of String & Story
Stacey O’Malley of SLOstudio
Kim Soper of Leland Ave Studios
Silvia Sutters, A Stranger View
Julia Wentzell of Briar Hill Designs
Kitty Wilkin, Night Quilter
Your Reflection, by Meaghan Smith from the Our Song, Your Reflection project. Keep an eye out for Our Song II at the end!

Our Song, in Kaleidoscope by Alison Glass

Earlier this year, designer Alison Glass released her line of shot cotton solids, Kaleidoscope. I had the privilege of exploring these saturated colours in a second version of Our Song, Your ReflectionThe result was a blazing sunset on a contrasting cool colour palette for the water. This quilt is all about texture, texture, and more texture.

Listen to Meaghan Smith’s song that goes with this quilt.

Quilted by Sheri Lund of Violet Quilts. Photograph by Quilt Photography Co.

The Our Song, Your Reflection pattern releases October 11, 2018. Be the first to know about its release by signing up for the newsletter!

Continue reading

Canned Pineapples: 2019 Quilter’s Planner Blog Hop

Welcome to the 2019 Quilter’s Planner Blog Hop! If you’re new to 3rd Story Workshop, I’m Andrea Tsang Jackson – a designer, artist, quilt maker, and probably some other things. Today, at the beginning of a summer long weekend here in Canada, I get to introduce you to my design, “Canned Pineapples.” A combination of small paper-pieced pineapple blocks and embroidery, this hoop quilt uses a small handful of scraps to produce a glowing group of fireflies.

Photo taken by Kitty Wilkin (Night Quilter) for The Quilter’s Planner 2019

Do you remember being a young adult? Maybe you are one! That feeling of freedom to do whatever you wanted to do? No adults (or kids) dictating what you could or could not do… because you were the adult in charge? Eating supper in front of the television. Staying up late just because you could. Eating cake for breakfast. Taking off for a weekend with your friends to see a concert.

Photo taken by Kitty Wilkin (Night Quilter) for The Quilter’s Planner 2019

That’s what my friends did every summer. We would go on a camping trip to Saratoga Springs, NY to see a Dave Matthews concert because often that was the closest venue to us on the band’s tour. We drove for a few hours, crossed the border, set up our tents, set off for the Saratoga Springs Performing Arts Center, danced in the rain while enjoying our favourite band. One post-concert night, we stayed up watching fireflies under the stars which shone so brightly in the black night. It was magical.*

Of my paper pieced animal patterns, I have a land animal (Sleepy Fox) and a sea animal (Narwhals #1 and #2). I wanted to round out the collection with an air animal. Fireflies (or as I have learned, “lightning bugs” in the south) were the perfect inspiration.

I have seen a lot of beautiful pineapple blocks lately, both large and small (Karen LewisMelanie TuazonGiuseppe Ribaudo). “Canned Pineapples” uses the block’s radiating geometry to create a glowing effect with a gradient from bright yellow to navy. They aren’t too too tiny, so they’re very achievable. And with only three in the design you could put this together relatively quickly.

I am no embroidery expert, but I have done some in my crafty past. I liked exploring these different stitches to add some smaller fireflies to the composition.

Photo taken by Kitty Wilkin (Night Quilter) for The Quilter’s Planner 2019

A project of this scale is so satisfying and I am thrilled to share it with you in the 2019 Quilter’s Planner. You can pre-order your 2019 Quilter’s Planner here (U.S. customers), and your pre-order comes with some extraordinary goodies. Canadian pre-orders can order through Clinton Modern or Mad About Patchwork. Another U.S. and international option is Fat Quarter Shop.

*My future husband was there with me. I just didn’t know it.

There are plenty of amazing patterns in the 2019 Quilter’s Planner. Follow along on the blog hop and see what’s in there:

Monday, July 23: Cheryl Brickey Meadow Mist Designs @meadowmistdesigns
Wednesday, July 25: Kitty Wilkin Night Quilter @nightquilter
Friday, July 27: Karie Jewell Two Kwik Quilters @karie_twokwikquilters
Monday, July 30: Mandy Leins Mandalei Quilts @mandaleiquilts
Wednesday, August 1: Megan Fisher @ayragon
YOU ARE HERE –> Friday, August 3: Andrea Tsang Jackson 3rd Story Workshop @3rdstoryworkshop
Monday, August 6: Trinia  Braughton Penguin Feats @penquinfeats
Wednesday, August 8: Lee Monroe May Chappell @maychappell
Friday, August 10: Karen Lewis Karen Lewis Textiles @karenlewistextiles
Monday, August 13: Isabelle Selak South Bay Bella Studio @southbaybella
Wednesday, August 15: Sylvia Schaefer Flying Parrot Quilts @flyingparrotquilts
Friday, August 17: Yvonne Fuchs Quilting Jetgirl @quiltingjetgirl
Monday, August 20: Kate Colleran Seams Like a Dream @seamslikeadreamquilts
Wednesday, August 22: Shannon Fraser Shannon Fraser Designs @shannonfraserdesigns
Friday, August 24: Kerry Goulder Kid Giddy @kidgiddy
Monday, August 27: Kitty Wilkin Night Quilter @nightquilter

Photo taken by Kitty Wilkin (Night Quilter) for The Quilter’s Planner 2019

Dreaming the Night Sky

Photo by Deborah Wong

I had the opportunity to work on a double sized commission for a wee toddler. Her parents wanted to have quilt made for her that would grow up with her. That meant nothing too cutesy or any blatant imagery that a 20-year-old would not appreciate in 19 years. This is a parameter that I love working with.

Long-arm quilting by Sheri Lund of Violet Quilts. Photo by Deborah Wong.

Their interest in female astronauts as strong role models inspired her nursery decor, which was also the main inspiration for her quilt.

I had some fun painting “galaxies” with watercolour to get inspired. A quick and fun online course taught by Emma Whitte of Black Chalk Co led me through the exercise and got me back into a medium that I really enjoy. Because my quilting hobby has become my job, I’m on a bit of search to find a new hobby and watercolours might be it…

After a bit of discussion, the concept and design ended up relatively simple. 21 columns of 22 HSTs (half-square triangles) in 10 shades of navy/black/grey with four accent colours. The columns were offset by a half-unit.

Keeping track of sets of HSTs

The random geometric night sky was the background for four constellations overlaid one another at different scales. The constellations were in lighter shades of white to aqua.

Photo by Deborah Wong

Gemini, which was hand-stitched in perle cotton to emphasize it, is the little girl’s astrological sign. The other three constellations — not delineated but blended into the rest of the sky — are those of four significant females in the aerospace field:

  1. Jerrie Cobb, one of the central figures in Stephanie Nolen’s Promised the Moon, was a female aviator in the era of the space race. A privately-funded program (Mercury 13) sought female pilots to train to be astronauts, who had the scientific and technical background to fly space shuttles, but were physically easier to propel into space because of their smaller stature. Sadly, none of the women in the program ever made it to space. Her astrological sign is Pisces.
  2. Karen Nyberg (Libra) is a current NASA astronaut who had her work exhibited at Houston International Quilt Festival in 2014, starting with a block she made in space with limited tools and little gravity.

  1. Roberta Bondar (Sagittarius) was the second Canadian in space and the first Canadian female in space.
  2. Julie Payette (Libra), currently the Governor General of Canada, was another Canadian female astronaut and was Chief Astronaut of the Canadian Space Agency from 2000 to 2007.

I hope this quilt inspires a little girl to dream big. Her name is written in the sky.

Photo by Deborah Wong

Fabrics
  • Night sky in Kona Cottons: Nightfall, Storm, Navy, Windsor, Indigo, Nautical, Coal, Charcoal, Pepper, Black
  • Constellations in Kona Cottons: White, Sky, Dusty Blue, Azure
  • Backing: Essex Yarn-dyed Linen in Peacock

Photo by Deborah Wong

Part 3: What Does Community Mean to You?

This is the third instalment of people in our community sharing their ideas of what community means to them. Through the Our Song, Your Reflection project, I wanted to share stories of how community has helped, influenced, transformed the work and lives of quilters/artists/businesspeople. I invited a some to make star blocks and tell us their story. I will be assembling these blocks into a collaborative quilt later this summer.

HollyAnne Knight of String & Story says, “I love that the quilting world still lives by the wisdom that ‘many hands make light work.'”

View this post on Instagram

Andrea over at @3rdstoryworkshop is in the middle of an amazing community project and asked me to share my reflections on the quilting community. ✨ I love that the quilting world still lives by the wisdom that “many hands make light work.” I see that in our community’s immense generosity (you might remember that I also interviewed Andrea just last week over @quiltsforcure about childhood cancer) and even in my recent undertaking: #summerstashbustingchallenge (talk about people coming out of the woodwork to cheer for each other and make progress together!). In short, dear quilters, you are amazing and encouraging folk! 💗 ✨Here’s a bit more about Andrea’s project: "A collaboration between Andrea @3rdstoryworkshop and songwriter @themeaghansmith, #oursongquilt celebrates community and the passions that connect us. You can get the song, pre-order the quilt pattern and fabric kit, get limited-edition swag (enamel pin!), and share your community's story in the music video through this project! Link in @3rdstoryworkshop profile." ✨Bonus: if you’re interested in foundation paper piecing (the technique I used to stitch this little block), just hop over to my blog for a new post! 💃🏽 (Link in profile)

A post shared by HollyAnne Knight (@stringandstory) on

Pat Sloan, an established leader in the quilting community, says,  “The community of quilters uplifting each other is strong and we are more mighty because of it. I can not even count the number of designers, industry folk and quilters that have become my family, my community.”

View this post on Instagram

Have you every had a year where a theme seems to be coming up over and over again? That has been my year. It’s like the moon & the stars have aligned and my life this year is celebrating community. In January my husband and I celebrated our 18th year running our small family design business. We took a leap of faith, left the corporate world and hung out our shingle. That first leap would not have been possible without community. I had quilters introduce me to people in the business in the late 1990’s. I had shops help me by supporting my work. As I have gone along through the years, I have found that the stories and the work of others inspires me. The community of quilters uplifting each other is strong and we are more mighty because of it. I can not even count the number of designers, industry folk and quilters that have become my family, my community. When Andrea of @3rdstoryworkshop told me about her collaboration project with songwriter @themeaghansmith, and how it celebrates community and the passions that connect us, I got goosebumps. I’m thrilled to share it so you can get in on the fun! I made this unit to send to her… Swipe to see her amazing quilt❤️ Andrea and I will chat on my Podcast Monday June 18 and she’ll tell me how this came about. You can learn about it, get the song, pre-order the quilt pattern and fabric kit, + get limited-edition swag (enamel pin!), and share your community's story in the music video. Click on the link in her profile at @3rdstoryworkshop so you can join in #oursongquilt!" , . Psstt..I have a confession…. I might have bought a kit.. because I seriously believe in community and this quilt is AMAZING. Andrea is collection blocks to use in another quilt and I’m shipping mine off to her. . . . #community #quiltersofinstagram

A post shared by Pat Sloan (@quilterpatsloan) on

Lisa Hoffman-Maurer states it simply:

Lysa Flower talks about how she dreamed of being a part of a movement, and then found quilters.

View this post on Instagram

@lysaflower reflects: "As I sewed my blocks, I thought about my community. I remember in art school, sitting in Art History, learning about the different movements. I longed for something like that. Artists meeting in cafes, encouraging each other, discussing different techniques, sharing information, swapping pieces of art work… . Jump ahead to 2010. A little tweet about the @vancouvermqg starting up landed in my lap. Shortly after that I co-founded the @fvmqg… and as luck would have it I'd have the chance to almost yearly visit the @lamqg. I've traveled twice to @themqg #quiltcon and to @quiltmarket. I had no idea back then I was joining a movement, all I knew is I wanted to PLAY! And this doesn't even include the huge community on @Instagram! . I'm so grateful for each community and the unique people in them. I'm grateful for the ALL the things they've taught me, their humour, their encouragement, their talent and their friendship.” . Thank you for sharing, Lysa! . #oursongquilt #quiltersofinstagram #quiltingcommunity #quilt #quilts #modernquilts

A post shared by Andrea Tsang Jackson (@3rdstoryworkshop) on

Krista Henneberry of Poppyprint has become a human connector through the work that she does. I’m so glad I met her last year; she has become a mentor to me.

View this post on Instagram

I made this sweet little twinkly star block for @3rdstoryworkshop ‘s #oursongquilt project (more info below). Swipe to see her beautiful quilt design. I met Andrea & other members of the @_maritimemqg last year in Halifax while on a teaching tour. They certainly represent a fun, positive quilting community! ⭐️⭐️⭐️ What does the quilting community mean to me? Well, that’s a very long list. This community is where I create, work, relax, travel, learn, teach, share, collaborate, volunteer and organize. It’s where I feel supported, understood and appreciated. Through my retreat business, teaching and guild affiliations, I’ve found a secondary calling as a human connector; I enjoy watching personal & professional relationships flourish after I’ve made introductions and appreciate when others do the same for me. ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️ A collaboration between Andrea @3rdstoryworkshop and songwriter @themeaghansmith, #oursongquilt celebrates community and the passions that connect us. You can get the song, pre-order the quilt pattern and fabric kit, get limited-edition swag (enamel pin!), and share your community's story in the music video through this project! Link in @3rdstoryworkshop profile. #aurifilartisan #aurifil

A post shared by Krista Hennebury (@poppyprint) on

 

Part 2: What Does Community Mean to You?

A few more people in our community share their ideas of what community means to them. Through the Our Song, Your Reflection project, I wanted to share stories of how community has helped, influenced, transformed the work and lives of quilters/artists/businesspeople. I invited a some to make star blocks and tell us their story. I will be assembling these blocks into a collaborative quilt later this summer.

But first, we could not talk about quilting and community and not talk about our local quilt shops (LQS). They are a meeting place. This is mine, Patch Halifax.

View this post on Instagram

What's your LQS (for non-quilters, local quilt shop)? I'm sure it has built community around you, like it has for me. This is Chris; she owns my local quilt shop @patchhalifax. We are colleagues. We are friends. She is part of my community. . "I will be eternally grateful for the friendships that have grown within the quilting and sewing community @patchhalifax. I certainly feel like my life has become much happier because of those friendships, but it's also been such a joy to watch other people develop and grow friendships after having shared in the experience of making. I will never forget when two of my dearest quilty friends each told me separately that they were hanging out with the other for a quilting date and it was like watching a pair of teens start dating. So. Much. Joy." . In partnership with Chris, we're able to offer kits for #oursongquilt. Pre-order yours here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/our-song-your-reflection-love-community/x/18098535#/ . Photo: @emmapoliquin . #community #quiltingcommunity #quiltersofinstagram #sewist #sewistsunite

A post shared by Andrea Tsang Jackson (@3rdstoryworkshop) on

From Shannon Fraser of Shannon Fraser Designs: “It warms my heart to know that we continue to lift one another up in our individual creative journeys. I’m amazed at the talent we have and our willingness to share our learnings.”

View this post on Instagram

You know how much I love our community, so when Andrea of @3rdstoryworkshop invited me to help support her new Our Song, Your Reflection project – a collaboration between herself and songwriter @themeaghansmith that focuses on celebrating the importance of community and the passions that connect us – I was totally in! . The lovely connections I’ve made with friends who just get me, the support and encouragement I’ve received and the kindness I’ve seen shared are just some of the reasons I adore being a part of our community. It truly is a place of #communityovercompetition and it warms my heart to know that we continue to lift one another up in our individual creative journeys. I’m amazed at the talent we have and our willingness to share our learnings. It just brightens my day that I’ve found my creative home – I just wish I could hang with more of you in person. Plus, where else can we go to talk about our love of fabric without someone getting that glazed over look in their eyes?! 😉💕 . This stunning star is one element of the gorgeous #oursongquilt Andrea designed (swipe for a full picture of the quilt). You can get the song, pre-order the quilt pattern and fabric kit, get limited-edition swag (enamel pin!), and share your community's story in the music video through this project! Link in @3rdstoryworkshop profile. . #quiltingcommunityisawesome

A post shared by Modern Quilts | Shannon Fraser (@shannonfraserdesigns) on

From Mathew Boudreaux of Mister Domestic: “To me, the quilting community is an utopia of acceptance and inclusion, where uniqueness and individuality are celebrated. You do you absolutely. ”

From Kim Soper of Leland Ave Studios: “Does a craft make us more compassionate? I truly believe it does, and here is why: we all feel a need to belong to something greater than ourselves.”

View this post on Instagram

You guys are really special. If there’s one thing I’ve learned this year through your words, your generosity, and your interviews — it’s that the quilting community is full of amazing, wonderful people. That’s why I gladly said “yes” when Andrea Tsang Jackson @3rdstoryworkshop asked me to participate in her project Our Song, Your Reflection – a collaborative effort between herself and songwriter @themeaghansmith, celebrating community and the connections we build through our crafts. One of the questions I ask in #TheCreativityProject2018 is whether or not having a craft makes us more compassionate. I truly believe it does, and here is why: we all feel a need to belong to something greater than ourselves. We all want to feel that our lives mean something, and that we are contributing to this world in a meaningful way. Having a craft, and being a part of a crafting community, is a way to create that connection to something beyond ourselves. When we are connected in community by something that we pour our hearts and souls into, we are connected in a powerful and meaningful way. Having that meaning in our lives gives us the courage to be present for others and gives us the love and self-value that we can then pass on to others. Without craft, and the crafting community, there would be less connection and less compassion in the world. I truly believe this. This is the 6.5 inch star that I made as part of the collaborative quilt Andrea is going to compile to accompany the #oursongquilt. You can see a full picture of the original quilt if you swipe right. And if you go to the link in Andrea’s profile @3rdstoryworkshop you can get the song, pre-order the pattern, purchase a fabric kit to make the quilt, and so much more. #bettertogether #creativelifehappylife #modernquilting #quilting #quiltingcommunity #lelandavestudios #3rdstoryworkshop #community #whyiquilt #whyicreate #makersofinstagram

A post shared by Kim Smith Soper (@lelandavestudios) on

Stay tuned for more odes to community. This is Our Song.

Part 1: What Does Community Mean to You?

Through the Our Song, Your Reflection project, I wanted to share stories of how community has helped, influenced, transformed the work and lives of quilters/artists/businesspeople. I invited a few people to make star blocks, specific to the #oursongquilt design or their own take on it, and tell us a bit about what their community means to them. I’m so inspired! I will be assembling these blocks into a collaborative quilt later this summer.

From Alyce Blyth of Blossom Heart Quilts: “I know that for me, the quilting community means everything! It’s brought me lifelong friendships with other creatives who understand this passion to create, and as an introvert, having such a meaningful way to connect with other people has opened up the world to me.”

View this post on Instagram

When Andrea of @3rdstoryworkshop asked me to be involved in her new project, I was thrilled! I was (and still am) rather obsessed with her Elsewhere Bee quilt, so I'm honoured to be included in her new collaborative project with songwriter @themeaghansmith and make this block for #oursongquilt. ✨ The project celebrates community and the passions that connect us. I know that for me, the quilting community means everything! It's brought me lifelong friendships with other creatives who understand this passion to create, and as an introvert, having such a meaningful way to connect with other people has opened up the world to me! 💫 To find out all about this amazing project that involves a quilt (swipe to see the quilt!!), pattern, a song, and swag (hello, enamel pin!) and more, check out the link in @3rdstoryworkshop profile.

A post shared by Alyce Blyth (@blossomheartquilts) on

From Stacey O’Malley of SLOstudio:  “I started making quilts in 2014, when I had moved far away from family and friends. Finding the quilting community – both online and in real life through guilds – has brought me many friends, inspiration and motivation – the community has been a network of support and encouragement for sure!”

View this post on Instagram

I made this ✨ star block to participate in a new project that Andrea @3rdstoryworkshop launched last week – the #oursongquilt which celebrates our community. 💖 . . I started making quilts in 2014, when I had moved far away from family and friends. Finding the quilting community – both online and in real life through guilds – has brought me many friends, inspiration and motivation – the community has been a network of support and encouragement for sure! Thank you ☺️💖! . . . Andrea collaborated with songwriter @themeaghansmith to create the #oursongquilt ➡️ swipe for the pic of the beautiful lone star swan quilt! You can pre-order the quilt pattern, hear the song and share your story in the music video through this project! Check out the link in @3rdstoryworkshop profile for all the details. #quilting

A post shared by Stacey Lee O'Malley (@slostudio) on

From my local pal and fabric designer, Julia Wentzell of Briar Hill Designs: “This project is about having a community/tribe/chosen family, where we feel like we belong, and we all lift one another.”

View this post on Instagram

✨✨What does having community mean to you? Two friends of mine have collaborated on a special project! I met Andrea through the @_maritimemqg and we easily became friends. @themeaghansmith and I have been friends for 20 years, and I’ve always admired her big heart and incredible songwriting skills. They’ve collaborated on a project where Andrea’s quilt and Meaghan’s song speak of the same message- Having a community/tribe/chosen family, where we feel like we belong, and we all lift one another. Except for my University days which, (I’ve said this before) was like a fairy tale, I’ve spent most of 3 decades sewing solo. Choosing to join the Maritime MQG, teaching @patchhalifax and sewing with friends @seam_work have been such a delight for me. Being with people with the same passion makes easy friends, (friends who totally feel your pain when you need to use a stitch ripper, or the joy of perfect points, #amiright ?) That’s what the message of Andrea’s quilt, and Meaghan’s song are -seeing your reflection in the light of another. Check out @3rdstoryworkshop feed for more info. 💛 #oursongquilt #igquiltcommunity #quiltyfriends #quiltyfriendsarethebest #quilt #quiltblock #community #shininglikeastar

A post shared by Watercolour, Fabric & Quilts (@briarhilldesigns) on

From local business owner and quilting teacher Adrienne Klenck of Seam Work: “As I taught others to make quilts I saw that I have a strength that I did not know I had — I’m a good teacher! In classes I started to see my passion for making and what it does for me (it soothes my depressed mind in more ways than I can count) in the reflection of others and it made my heart sing.”

View this post on Instagram

Andrea @3rdstoryworkshop and songwriter Meaghan Smith, have collaborated on a project that celebrates community and the passions that connect us. Our Song, Your reflection has really got me thinking about community. I used to be a solitary sewer but that all changed five years ago. I started the @_maritimemqg and then started teaching @patchhalifax All of a sudden I had found my people! My new community was made of up strong and inspiring men and women who all spoke my language, the language of making and doing for others. This was inspiring enough, but then something else happened, as I taught others to make quilts I saw that I have a strength that I did not know I had, I’m a good teacher! In classes I stared to see my passion for making and what it does for me (it sooths my depressed mind in more ways than I can count) in the reflection of others and it made my heart sing. That song gave me the courage to open Seam Work with the dream of making that generous community even just a little bit bigger! Check out @3rdstoryworkshop feed for more info. 💛 #oursongquilt #igquiltcommunity #quiltyfriends #quiltyfriendsarethebest #quilt #quiltblock #community #shininglikeastar

A post shared by Seam Work (@seam_work) on

From Kitty Wilkin (a.k.a. NIght Quilter): “What would life be without the ability to create beauty, inspire others, collaborate to help make the world a more beautiful, peaceful, and nurturing place for all, and to share in the wonder and beauty of the natural world with like-minded people!?”

View this post on Instagram

60/100 of #100daysofsewsmaller for #the100dayproject is a miniaturized #oursongquilt block, along with its regular sized friend. A while back, Andrea @3rdstoryworkshop asked if I would want to participate in a project celebrating our community of makers, and of course my answer was a resounding yes! ✨I'm grateful to have found this wonderful community of quilters, since living in rural Maine, there aren't any guilds that meet near enough to me to make it possible for me to attend as a mom of little ones. When I began my blog NightQuilter and later joined Instagram, I was newly a mom of 2 (and now 3!) and the few minutes I spent quilting and creating each day helped feed my creative soul and keep me sane. Being able to connect with other quilters was such a lifeline in those wee hours of the sleepless nights, and now I consider many of those early quilty connections my dearest friends. What would life be without the ability to create beauty, inspire others, collaborate to help make the world a more beautiful, peaceful, and nurturing place for all, and to share in the wonder and beauty of the natural world with like-minded people!? I'm so happy to have found my tribe, and I'm happy to help spread the word about this project that celebrates community and the passions that connect us.💕 . A collaboration between Andrea @3rdstoryworkshop and songwriter @themeaghansmith, #oursongquilt celebrates just that–community and the passions that connect us. You can get the song, pre-order the quilt pattern and fabric kit, get limited-edition swag (enamel pin!), and share your community's story in the music video through this project! Link in @3rdstoryworkshop ‘s profile. 💕 . Swipe to see the full quilt created by Andrea, and visit the link in @3rdstoryworkshop 's profile to find out more!✨ . I love this photo of big and little… the large 2”x6” Our Song Quilt star block with the shrunken 1 1/4” block paired with the big and little spools of @aurifilthread (1148-Light Jade) that perfectly match the Capri Kona cotton by @robertkaufman I used for the blocks. 😍💎✨ . #sewsmaller #the100dayproject2018 #quiltingcommunity #aurifilthread #matchymatchy #bigandlittle

A post shared by Kitty Wilkin (@nightquilter) on

Our Song, Your Reflection

I have teamed up with award-winning songwriter and musician Meaghan Smith to create Our Song, Your Reflectiona celebration of community through music and quilting. The project gets to the core of what makes us tick as creatives — connecting people and connecting with people through our art. The project is structured as a crowdfunding campaign that invites contributors to be a part of the “Your Reflection” music video, to increase offerings associated with the release of the song and the quilt pattern, and to celebrate the “us” in our communities.

Continue reading