Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pretty Petals- A Finish!

I must admit that when I saw this little pattern in the Quiltmania magazine that originates from France, I was leary. The designer is Maria Tamaoka for Pinwheels and I wan't sure if my North American skills could match the Japanese author who created this patchwork.

I went my own way like many quilters who want to create something lovely that is very much their own style from any given pattern. I really enjoyed this Pretty Petals Quilt.

And par for the course, I needed to 'see' more embroidery thread and decided a Blanket Stitch was in order.

I thought you'd like to see my fishing tackle box repurposed to my portable thread holder, my hubby stills laughs about this one. 

I find it a little cramped, its not ideal and would love to have any suggestions?

I take all my hand work projects when I travel or even just go fishing. Its a neat way to work on projects when not at home and meet new people!

This mini quilt started taking on a finished look, the green repurposed fabric on the inner border told me it wasn't ready. 

I got brave and decided to use some premade HST's that had been sitting around in a little box for the next border.

I went searching in my stash and came up with the "Lorax" organic cotton fabric in green which sets off the whole quilt don't think?

Quilt Stats:

37 1/2 x 24 1/4 inches

Organic 100% Cotton in "The Lorax" collection from Robert Kaufman on the outer border and backing
100% cotton scraps from my stash
Premade HST from various UFO's which just happened to work out
Warm and Natural Light batting
Machine Quilted at home

And then, I have wonderful news, I'm moving into new larger space and that means my quilting book is going to be a little behind, but still shooting for an early December release.

As you can see, I've got work to do to move things out of the former music room and get organized before snow flies!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Pinterest- Crazy Quilts of the World

Check this out on Pinterest. Crazy Quilts from the World -

Writing a Book

I was very excited about writing a book as I purchased the copyright to "Quilting on a Shoestring" back in 2003. I was struggling with the cooperative publisher who delayed and delayed and then finally admitted they were in bankruptcy!!

That was a tough time for me. 

I took legal action to get my book back. I was working full time plus at the time, so the time to rewrite, re-edit, remake all the projects, get each pattern tested, then hire a photographer, I soon found my book in a hole, literally!

So I pulled back, took the horse to the barn and put it to bed! In the next 12 years I've learned more about photography, layout, publishing and networking!

I didn't realize it then, but I was a modern quilter of sorts with a crazy style and I used all sorts of recycled cloth and I wanted to empower others to do the same. 

It was a hard sell to my local area and local quilters. Except those in Women's Institute branches of the province. My local WI gals in the photo below.

Twelve years later, modern quilting arrived.

 It became popular to reuse and recycle cloth became more common place. But its still not the normal practice of most quilters. Maybe Gee's Bend quilters would welcome my ideas!

The sewing group in Glen Vowel welcomed my knowledge and one or two women finished their simple tops!

My book lay quietly waiting for its day. The day for that particular book has come and gone. The highlights of my reuse are being blogged about daily with hundreds of other bloggers. So what's new with my ideas?

The work done back then, has been lost in the sense that those quilts need to be reworked and remade! So that is another book in the wings.

Then as time went on and I learned more about blogging, I began to see the networking involved with any serious success for any one blogger. I wrote about my humble beginnings in this very enlightening post from 2012.

Then along the way, the Internet publishing opportunities for e-books has taken publisher's by storm! People are reading online with their tablets, computers, cell phones, Ipad's and more. Its now the best way for any author to make a decent living from the writing we do! Seriously!

If you search online for a publishing royalty amounts, you'll find the royalties are not listed on their websites. It takes a  bit of checking around to learn of 5-12% is standard and is that a proper compensation?

This means that if your book sells for $24.99, your take home royalty of 5% is a wee $1.25 for the hundreds of hours it took to write the book. Plus, you also hand over all the creative layout, editorial changes that make it not yours anymore. 

I know, if you are not  into making a living, and you are independently wealthy, then this won't make a bit of difference to you. You'll probably think I'm writing poppy cock!

I am focused and I feel like I can take this opportunity to get my work in digital or print if my customer wants. Its your choice and even better, my work will never go out of digital style for a download sale.

The marketing costs of your book are yours to bear for travel, accomodation etc to market your book! Yes, attending quilds might pay you if they feel its in their budget. But from what I've been able to glean on this subject is that sometimes the guild see's your print book sales at the event as your paycheck. 

And you cannot turn any further potential sales out of the individual patterns listed in your book because you are in a contract with the publisher.

I really like the simplicity and ease of doing it that has made me become an e-book publisher!

If you are already well entrenched with your crazy quilting techniques, you might prefer to buy a single pattern rather than the whole book, so then as an e-book publisher, I can sell individual patterns on Etsy or Craftsy because I am not in a contract with anyone that would prevent that.

If you want to write your own e-book, then you are in for a load of work and when you done you'll be the sole owner of the work. You will make the decisions about the layout, the writing style, the creative process and you'll be so proud of yourself!!

More on writing an e-book posts are coming along, I'll share what I've learned so maybe you can join me as an e-book publisher!

And, this is one of my Dresden Plate quilts waiting in the wings!

Here's a big thank you to the new followers! So glad you are all aboard!

Up next is the finished Pretty Petals!
 Bye for now everyone!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Colors Galore Crazy Quilting Tutorial "Updated"

I really love autumn colors, but when its summer, I love summer colors and about the only time I give in to the seasonal colors is winter and Christmas. Do you have favorite colors?

These Dresden Plates are coming along and you can read this post if you like by clicking on this link. I love to make a quilt 'pop', you know? 

I lean toward the color most bright against the project I'm working on. I don't care a hoot for matchy matchy!

In the quilt "Oranga Finished Yet?" I leave the rush of orange to take it to more calmer colors so the orange stands out and makes a statement of some sort. For example, this "Oranga Finished Yet?" is a freeform improvisational style of quilt. In my mind, improvisational work is just that, without a plan.

I use all colors in my work, this is part of what makes my upcoming book so different from other Crazy Quilting artists in the world. I don't live my life by the book or craft my art by the book either and I want to finally share my philosophy of crazy quilting.

This is why, finally, with the support of my hubby and the encouragement of our sons, I've done it! I've written my first book. Its going to be an instant download, so you can get started right away reading and using my techniques.

My tutorial listed inside this post shows the methodology of my block making, but making the block is just the start. 

Starting point!

Foundation muslin cut into 12.5 in.squares
(Beginners start with one square to completion)
(Experienced quilters can start with four squares) 

Pick out a selection of 6 focus fabrics that are in the same color choice, but with variable prints, textures and types of fabric.

Pick out a smaller selection of three to five accompanying fabrics that would add 'sparkle' and/or 'interest' to your eye.

Bold and dramatic effect!

Soft and dreamy effect! Lots of cotton here.


These are my choices for this tutorial! Yellow, orange, blue and brown! Only the orange flowered white background is cotton, all the rest of the fabrics are recycled silk from clothing. They may be folded, but that's because I've been harvesting awesome fabric from friends, family and thrift shops for decades!!
Yep, decades!

These are simply suggestions of colors choices I'd use to give you the idea that you pick the colors you'll use and put all the rest away. I want you to think outside of this instructional tutorial to express what it is you are mulling around in your head! Whatever that is, you'll mull it over, reflect and begin again with a new light on life!

This is supposed to be fun, creative and reflective! 

Taking a step towards the world of expression with crazy quilts is all about how you pull yourself away from the addiction to commercial patterns where the whole quilt pattern is laid out for you. If we were together in my studio I'd give you a hug!

Therapeutic comes to brave, be a wild woman! 

 I chose to add a green Chinese style satin, brown plaid kind of suit material, some sparkle of black orange cotton, deep purple embellishment and some various pre-embroidered vintage linens and the tea towel from Australia. 


Cut a five sided chunk, pin this piece on the muslin, centered.

  Cut a chunk of another focus fabric, place good side down on one side of your 5 sided beginner chunk.
This creates a 'V' shape to fill.
  In order to cover off the 'V' area, you'll need to cut a larger 'v' shaped alternate focus fabric. Place good side down, with at least another inch longer beyond where you'll stop sewing, back stitch.
Fold over the yellow, press so that when you turn over it covers the area as well as any seams with lots of room to adjust as you press and pin.

Fold over the first seam.
 Fold over the yellow a second time and press again.

Go to another side of the original center chunk and always covering seams, sew a  new piece on.

 At the end of the new piece, I see a 'V' shape and to cover this off without wasting fabric, you need to cut a 'v' shaped new chunk. Placing this good side down so that the 'v' will be covered off.

Sometimes, you need to make it a curved seam by turning under and pressing along the outside edge you form a curve.

 So moving along, you just keep on going, finding solutions, seeing new ways to cover off seams and prepare the complete the covering of the entire 12.5 inch block.

Its really quite simple once you calm down, have a cup of tea or whatever you like to drink and lets go.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

I'm on Facebook! Are you?

I know there is some fast and furious debate going on about Facebook and whether it makes sense. I keep up with most of my family this way as we're all over the globe. Plus, I love to see what other quilters are doing that don't have a blog.

But its also~learning about new ways of doing things.

If you weren't an embroidery nut like me, you'd see this innocent container of threads and such, as a wild leap to the unknown maybe? But if you are like me, its old hat to have gazillions of threads all over the home. I do have a really great husband, now I'm thinking about how much I have "MY" around the house. He's also not on Facebook.

And if you weren't a Crazy Quilter, then you'd see this little piece as really scary and click away. But if you just take some small steps, you can do it. You too, can become one of these addicted to crazy quilting quilters and sigh and move on without the fear of the unknown.

I work at it to make Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc a new habit. 

Yes, its all about being habitual in posting to all your social media links. 

So yes, it can be challenging, but with my book coming out this winter, my new look on this blog and the fact that I'm going to keep on going until my last breath. 

Yes, if you follow my blog long enough, you'll see me posting from my deathbed with a lap top in front of me, tapping away!!

These are the yummy fabrics purchased right here in Smithers at Beerda's on Main St. They are going into my new Alberta Sunset commission.

This is what I've learned about Facebook.

  • People find me from here for commissions that don't follow my blog or even knew about Good Earth Quilting Blog.
  • I get see something new that isn't on any of the blogs I follow. I refuse to spend my life in front of a computer so I do miss things.
  • I can post fast and easy from my phone!
  • Plus, I can join into the fun of Fabric and thread giveaways!

I'm not sure that its the " bee's knees" of the whole world, but it has worked for me and this is why its a good thing for you too. You are in control of the privacy settings and maybe if you are not computer literate, get someone you trust to help you set it up. In my town, the local college offers "computers for seniors."

My page is called "Carlithequilter" because Good Earth Quilting was taken up from a shop in India. I checked. When you visit my page, you'll see my blog name on that page, so if you are using Facebook, lets get it on!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Quilt As You Go- More Methods

Well, I thought most people already knew about QAYG, but apparantly not! When I posted that brief and not at all totally finessed tutorial at this link.

I've used this method for piecing crazy quilts since I made the first one, it seemed to work really good and so then I adapted it to my T-Shirt quilts and many others. I'd been really encouraged by the comments I recieved and so I went looking for others who block there quilts for machine quilting and then using QAYG for joining.

So first up is the popular British quilter Little Island Quilts. 

If you start using this method, you'll be joining at least quite a few quilters out there who don't really care if the whole quilt is perfectly machine quilted with all the little feathery things lining up. That's just the whole enchalada isn't it, it about 'crazy' as you go rather.

Everyone it seams has a different way entirely!

This quilter even has a class on Craftsy, go here if you'd like to take the class.

I had to laugh at the whole idea! Imagine, I thought that this simple way would require a class to work through it. But then I've been quilting for a long time and yes, beginner's need help!

And yes, this method is tailored to my own style for crazy quilting and is covered totally in my new book, which I've leaked out bits and pieces of this little behind the scenes project. It has a title, but can't say yet, you know how this goes, secrets are kept until it a real book for sale.

Email me if you'd like to subscribe to this book's newsletter.

Now, getting back to the various ways you can pop machine quilted or hand quilted blocks together and save yourself a bundle of money on having a professional do your machine quilting.

Barbara Backman has a great blog where she speaks to her side of the quilting journey and often sites historial quilts and the stories  behind them has a wonderful story of a quilt reportedly made in or around the 1860's, so listen, no one owns the copyright to this Quilt As You Go method. 

Thanks to Barbara Backman for this photo showing how far back Quilting As You Go was being used. Do read this article in full at the link provided as its really good to know about the way this long time ago quilter was innovative and a risk taker.

Then up next is the blog where this blogger has turned the whole process into several books and you might want to give those a try.

And then over at you'll find an wee tutorial on sizing your blocks for this method. Seek out Abby Holverson.

T-Shirt quilts are commonly done this way in that boring to me style of same sized blocks and all organized, but if that is what floats your boat, then search out that style of T-shirt makers and you'll find a gazillion of them.

Ok, everyone, back to my work here in the Twitter handle of #bulkleyriver. Follow me there if you are into Twitter as well, I'd love to have you.

Happy Quilting!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Oranga Finished yet?

When I started this a few years ago, I didn't really fully understand the new ideas around "Modern Quilts." I did know I liked it. Something around the randomness and solitude in solid colors can be mystical. I set off to learn about modern quilting like many of you did also.

So I just started where I was, with my own vision of what Modern Quilts were and went forward. To me going forward was like making 'crazy quilts' in solid colors or random squares and rectangles. I didn't really try to align my thinking with others or practice with any modern patterns.

I've named this quilt "Oranga Finished Yet?" because its been hanging around in various stages since 2010 or so, I started with random solid green, lime green and various orange prints, but soon its took on a real Halloween kind of feel. I quickly diverted on another path and out came the rotary cutter!

I rely on my instincts in quilting. I rarely allow myself to see the end of a project before I start it. Do you use your own intuition and instincts about your own play in textiles?

 I ask myself if its "Organic first."  I always feel like I'm letting someone down when I don't see out the organic first because I do know that soil is on the line in our global community, did you know that?

Soil is important to life itself and to our continued fun playing with textiles.

 I don't know, is it just me or a quilter do you care about how the cotton is grown or harvested? Or is it about cost or availability more important?

Please take this short survey. Click on the following link.

Thank you in advance?

Dutch Lady Designs

I am so happy with my new Blogger Template. I was tired of the free templates Blogger provides and wanted something fresh and new and I got it.

I found Daphne of Dutch Lady Designs in June 2015 and made my decision within a few weeks. It did take time to review each page of the ones that caught my eye first. 

I didn't know that my timeline and Daphne's were going to match but she was packing to go on holidays when I first contacted her. Daphne excelled at pulling it all together and got me my first newly acquired template of my own.

What a sweet lady to work with, she understood and made all the changes I wanted, installed the new template complete with my Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin, Instagram, Flickr and Pinterest!

Today, Sept 18, she posted another one of her Freebie Fridays! The clipart above is one of those nice floral designs that you can use to decorate your blog.

I decided earlier this year that I was not going to try to do everything. I was going to focus on my important work and not get sidetracked. But that is easier than said.

My UFO pile has had some success.

I think this Modern Makeover needs another border added, what do you think?

But more importantly, I'm re-writing the book I started back in 2003 and I'm so happy that I saved it all on two CD's. It was moved several times and now I've found it!!

I told you I was up to something and its starting to get really exciting.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Clever Embroidery Series #2

I love to find new people doing some extensive work in embroidery. This next guest is very special indeed, let me introduce Penny Berens of Tanglewoodthreads blog.

What age were you when you began hand embroidery stitching?

I picked up needle and thread many, many moons ago before the age of seven.  I used to have to embroider tray cloths and tablecloths and napkins as birthday and Christmas presents for the women in our family.

What teaching did you have when you started?  

It was my two grandmothers and my mother who were my first teachers.  My paternal grandmother was a home economics teacher, though it was probably not called that in her day.  I still have and treasure some of her linens and darned sheets.  My maternal grandmother used to make my dolls dresses beautifully embellished with shadow embroidery.  By the age of seven my mother had instilled in me a love of crewel work which was the type of embroidery we used to decorate our tray cloths etc.

Have you taken any classes, if so, where and who would you recommend as an online teacher of embroidery? 

When my sons became teenagers I took a City and Guilds correspondence course on embroidery and design through Dundee college in Scotland.  That was before the arrival of on-line classes.  Many, many snail mail parcels travelling back and forth across the Atlantic for a few years!  Nowadays there are many on-line City and Guild courses available in quilting, embroidery and many more.  I would recommend these in-depth studies to anyone really serious about their craft.

I have been privileged to have taken workshops from the late Julia Caprara and also Jan Beaney and Jean Littlejohn on their trips to Canada in the nineties.

For on-line workshops I would highly recommend Jude Hill at  It was Jude who inspired me to move away from the machine embroidery I was using at the time and back to hand stitching.

Do you sell your work or is it just for your own enjoyment?

I do not focus on selling my work, I prefer to have them available for shows.  I am interested in bringing more textile art into galleries.  To that end I am a member of the Ontario based group of textile artists called Connections whose goal is to do exactly that.  They can be found at

Please tell us what starts you onto a new project, what inspires you? 

There are two main areas I am interested in at the moment.  The first being my surroundings in rural Nova Scotia.  I am not a landscape artist but I prefer to record my reaction to this untamed corner of the world.  Included in that is colouring my fabrics using local vegetation and the water in my stream.  I am interested more in making marks than embroidery.  I well remember the old days when the back of my tablecloths had to be as perfect as the front.  My grandmothers would have a fit at the sight of my backs now which are glorious messes and very inspiring to me!

My second area of interest is daily rituals or routines.  For nearly four years now I have been recording in stitch the day's events.  This work is known as my 'Daily Scratchings'. I stitch on a scroll 6" wide and as you will see from the photograph it is now yards and yards long!

And on Facebook as Penny Berens

Thank you for reading about new and exciting embroidery enthusiasts.

Thank you Penny for participating and for adding the links and workshops that inspire you.

Reflections of progress in 2020

This year end post of the most "unprecedented" year of 2020 is all about the various stitching projects I started, are in WIP'...