Friday, December 4, 2020

Medina Dots Table Runner & Matching Placemats

 I'm excited to share my latest project for Oakshott Fabrics! Everything you see here was made from one F8 stack of the Lipari and one F8 stack of the Ruby Reds collections (a total of 16 super-sized Oakshott F8's which measure 10" x 27"). I set myself the challenge of creating a pattern that would not only let the fabrics shine, but let you feel good about your purchase by using up all of the precious cloth in the two F8 stacks. The result is a super luxurious set of table linens with playful shapes and vibrant colours reminiscent of Moroccan market stands.

The table runner features 60 degree triangles of the blue and green Liparis, appliquéd Ruby Reds circles (by hand, or machine) and a unique diamond-shape that is sure to fancy-up your table! The 6 coordinating placemats make use of the remaining F8's from the Lipari stack with leftover triangles pieced as a border accent. Everything is beautifully bound in a scrappy Ruby Reds binding using up almost every inch!  And because I have a feeling someone will ask...the binding went these angles in the exact same way it works on right angled quilt corners. It just takes a little finesse when turning to the wrong side to create the mitre.

I used a regular cotton blend batting in the table runner, but for the placemats I wanted a bit more structure that would stand up to more regular washing (by hand). I chose heavyweight fusible fleece by Pellon and am very pleased with the crisp finish. 

Everything is pieced with Aurifil 50wt and quilted with a luscious green Aurifil 40 wt thread. I give all of the recommended thread weight and colour info in the pattern. I didn't want to compress those pretty circles with quilting, so I chose to simply quilt 1/4" from all of the piecing lines with my walking foot and repeated the same angles and double lines on the placemats. A Hera marker works a treat for chemical and chalk-free marking on Oakshott shot cottons.

If you're looking for some luxe and would like to make your own set, the .pdf pattern is available in my Etsy shop here and you can purchase the full fabric pack directly from Oakshott here. I've also got a limited number of full kits for sale myself that include all fabric for front and binding of the runner and 6 placemats, the full colour printed pattern + die-cut cardstock circle templates for a great price of $125 Can shipping to North American addresses for $20 Cdn (or available for local pick from my front porch). Please contact me via my email address (upper left corner under my headshot) to claim one! ONLY FOUR AVAILABLE AS OF DECEMBER 4.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Chic Upcycled Suede Pillow

 I recently made this double-sided pillow for a friend's birthday out of her old suede trousers! Read all about the process and how Aurifil thread really took this project to the next level over on the Auribuzz blog here.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Upcoming Workshops with Open Registration

 The following workshops (which are limited to 20 or 25 students) each have a few available spaces for open registration. Each workshop is priced according to the sponsoring shop or guild's policies. Please email* the appropriate contact listed with each date for more information. I hope you can join me for a Zoom workshop soon!

Emails are written below using (at) for @ and (dot) for . to avoid automated spam. When typing these email addresses into your mail program, please use the @ and . symbols.

For full class descriptions, please see my previous posts.

Speed Date With Improv

Wednesday, November 4 & Thursday, November 5th (the workshop is divided into two half day sessions. Students attend both days) from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time. Seymour Quilter's Guild. Contact Barb: bmcgillivray(at)cw(dot)bc(dot)ca

Saturday, November 7 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Twilight Quilter's Guild. Contact Diane: cluke(at)kwic(dot)com

Saturday, January 16, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mountain Time. Lethbridge MQG. Contact Kathy: keoliver(at)shaw(dot)ca

Monday, September 28, 2020

ZOOM Workshops


I'm currently offering three online workshops for live Zoom classes. At this time, my lectures and classes are offered to guilds and shops only. I'm not set up to sell classes to individuals, however often guilds will fill classes with non-members so please message me via instagram or email if you'd like to be put on my "interested list" for notification of upcoming spaces

I am able to host on my own Zoom platform or on your guild/shop platform.

For rates, availability and to book a workshop, please contact me directly via email (address in top left sidebar).


Think of this class as speed dating with improvisational piecing techniques that include curves and free-cutting.  It will be fast-paced and a lot of fun:  several techniques are introduced and demonstrated one after the other with very little time to second guess, stress or obsess over perfection. Every student will end up with a unique, original improv sampler quilt!  The focus here is to explore line, shape and happenstance in abstract design, so keep things simply graphic by using solid-coloured fabrics in black, white and one pop of colour.  In the afternoon, Krista will share design wall tips to jigsaw the improv elements together, seeking balance and creative design opportunities.  Some pre-cutting is required.

This Zoom class combines pre-recorded technique videos with live instruction/support from Krista throughout the class.

Quilt Size: without borders, approximately 20" x 20". Fabric required: 1/2 yard black, 1/2 yard white, FQ colour (all solids or reads-as-solids).

Class time: 6.5 hours with 30 minute offline break. 

2-day option: 6.5 hours on day one with 30 minute offline break, 3-hour day two for more support on puzzling together the improv elements into the sampler collage.

Class size: 20 students


Explore the possibilities of colour expression and free-cutting while you create this wonky, nested Courthouse Step quilt (reminiscent of paper lanterns) in your own personal colour story. We’ll work intuitively from the centre out, creating a dynamic quilt with loads of personality. There will be no squaring up with this one -- instead Krista will show you how to “build out”, finding the fit between adjacent blocks and using up all of our scraps in the process. As in all of her workshops, Krista will share loads of tips while encouraging all students to find confidence in new techniques that will inform their pursuit of designing original quilts. Put your traditional quilting skills to work and explore improvisational design and piecing in a fun, supportive environment.

Quilt size: wall hanging to lap size depending on the amount of fabric you start with. A collection of 18-25 F8's for wall hanging or 18-25 FQ's for large lap to single size (solids or reads-as-solids) plus 1 FQ contrast colour for block centres is recommended.

Class time: 4 hours 

Class size: 20 students


The Threadplay Pouch workshop is offered as a follow up addition to the Aurifilosophy Lecture described on the Zoom Lectures post.

To support guild programming, Krista also offers a half-day (3 hour) workshop to follow the presentation. Students will make a Quilt-as-you-go zipper pouch. The pouch is designed to show off stitch patterns in multiple thread weights. Participants may purchase custom Poppyprint Aurifil sample thread packs in advance that include 5 small spools of thread in weights 12, 28, 40, 50,  & 80 wt. A minimum of one month lead time is required to order and ship sample packs to the guild representative for distribution to members.

Pouch size: approximately 6˝ x 9˝

Class Time: 3 hours

Class Size: 20 students

What students are saying about these classes:

"For those of you who know me well, improv has not been one of my go to techniques. The fabric consumption was way too much for me. But Speed Date with Improv eliminates that concern with fabric waste" 
-Susan, @modernblendedquilts

"Speed Date is my number one technique class"
-Gillian, @sewgolly

"Thank you so much Krista for taking the fear out of improv cutting and piecing!"
-Linda, @myquilts

"hands down the best patchwork course I've ever been on. Krista is so organized and patient. I can't believe how much I learned in one day"
-Rachel, LondonMQG (UK)

"..this class was SO good!! it was awesome to learn these techniques and add some new things to my arsenal, such as the grading technique. I think the combination of videos and live feed is excellent. Krista is a gifted teacher.
-Cindy, @liveacolorfullife 

ZOOM Lectures

 1. Poppyprint: The Search for Signature Style

Krista can present this Powerpoint slide show live at your meeting on ZOOM (60 minutes with question period), or send a pre-recorded .mp4 file to overseas guilds in not-so-convenient time zones* to share with their members (45 minute recording).

As a traditionally-informed modern quilter, Krista has explored many different styles and techniques since she began quilting in 2000. In this photo-rich presentation, Krista shares simple yet effective strategies that have worked for her in the search for a unique creative voice while remaining connected to myriad inspiration sources like print and social media, quilt shows, conferences, local quilts shops and guilds.

2. Who Gives a Flying FQ About Accuracy?

Krista can present this Powerpoint slide show live at your meeting on ZOOM (60 minutes with question period), or send a pre-recorded .mp4 file to overseas guilds in not-so-convenient time zones* to share with their members (50 minute recording).

In this live Powerpoint slide show, Krista presents an update version of her webinar originally produced for the Modern Quilt Guild. In it, she discusses the why and how of cutting, piecing and pressing accuracy, then follows up with the “but when is it really important?” part. This presentation is chock full of information, myth-busting tips, many detailed photos, notion recommendations and piecing tricks. We may even get into the side vs open pressing debate!

Krista is a certified Aurifilosopher, having trained with Aurifil's owner/President Alex Veronelli and Master Thread Educator Karen Miller. She can deliver a live, professional Powerpoint lecture on the origin, history,
production and uses of all Aurifil thread weights with photographic samples of projects and specific threads stitched out onto quilt sandwiches for comparison. Each Zoom attendee will receive one small spool of Aurifil thread in a random colour & weight and a product catalogue (shipped after the presentation directly to a guild representative for distribution).

Threadplay Pouch AufilosophyWorkshop

To support guild programming, Krista also offers a half-day (3 hour) workshop to follow the presentation. Students will make a Quilt-as-you-go zipper pouch. The pouch is designed to show off stitch patterns in multiple thread weights. Participants may purchase custom Poppyprint Aurifil sample thread packs in advance that include 5 small spools of thread in weights 12, 28, 40, 50,  & 80 wt. A minimum of one month lead time is required to order and ship sample packs to the guild representative for distribution to members.

*Krista lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in the Pacific Time zone.

For current lecture fees and availability, please contact Krista directly at poppyprintcreates(at)gmail(dot)com 

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Varietals - A Monochromatic Improv Study

Here's a recent finish, the second in what I hope will be a series of three quilts all based on improvisational (free cut) hourglass units. This mini-obsession started with the
"Try a Triad" design challenge (still open!) issued by the Canadian Quilter's Association to make a modern mini quilt using only red, blue and yellow fabric. I really loved the resulting design and composition of my challenge quilt but the colours are not at all 'me'.   I decided to hit my Oakshott fabric stash and try a monochromatic version.

Varietals 25" x 25"

Oakshott fabrics are shot cottons, which means they are woven with two different colours of thread. One colour for warp, the other for weft. In the photo above, it may appear that there are more than 3 colours of fabric used. Had I been incredibly diligent about piecing the fabric with the threads always in the same vertical and horizontal orientation, the quilt would appear more uniform, but it wouldn't be as interesting, in my opinion. That is just one more delightful aspect of Oakshott fabric; it gives quilts added visual interest and depth because as you change your viewing angle on the flat, two dimensional artwork, the colours subtly change as the different threads some into view and the fabrics absolutely glow. 

These are the 3 colours I used to make Varietals. Iris is black + purple thread, Grape is red + navy thread and Mallow is red + purple thread.

The tricky aspect to all of this fabric awesomeness is photography. Everyone who loves working with Oakshott will tell you the same thing: it is really difficult to adequately capture the depth in photos. Every time I share one of my quilts in a show or lecture, I hear the same thing, "wow, that quilt is even more incredible in real life!". The best way to describe the sheen and depth is to compare it to Dupioni silk, another fabric you may be familiar with. In the case of Varietals, I could have made this quilt with regular quilting cottons, but with only 3 shades of one colour and no real value difference, the quilt would probably have a flat, less interesting appearance. 

In terms of construction, I first cut sets of squares in a few different sizes from each fabric. The squares were stacked and then free-cut on both diagonals using a rotary cutter but no ruler. Swapping triangles out, I then pieced a lot of improv hourglass units. For me, the challenge of quilts like this is the puzzle-piecing of all the units into a pleasing composition. These are techniques I teach in my Speed Date with Improv workshop. Here, my desire was to portion the quilt into three colour sections that blend toward the center. Keeping like-sized units in groups prevents the quilt from having a completely chaotic appearance. 

As an Aurifil Artisan, I am very lucky to have access to the 270 colours available for my projects. To add more dimension to the piece, I purposely didn't try to exactly match the fabrics, but chose thread colours that I thought would shine on the fabric. I've been using Aurifil thread for about 17 years now and have settled on 40 wt as my go-to quilting weight. I used to stick with 30 wt for quilting (and still do sometimes when I'm not quilting so densely), but I've come to love the look of 40 wt on closely-spaced straight line walking foot quilting. These lines are eyeballed using the edge of my walking foot as a rough guide, about 1/4" to 3/8" apart. I don't try to keep the lines perfectly straight, or perfectly spaced. After all, this is an improv quilt! The lines run at different angles for each colour section. My stitch length is set around 3.0 on my Juki. I've had quilt judges say that my stitch length is too long, but for a wallhanging that isn't going to get any wear and tear, I think this looks much prettier than tiny stitches where I really notice the holes more than the thread.

Aurifil colours from L-R: 2581 Dark Dusty Grape (on Grape), 1100 Red Plum (on Mallow)
 and 2745 Midnight (on Iris)

I used almost every scrap of the supersized Oakshott FQ's that I had for each colour (Oakshott is milled at 55" wide and cut by the meter, so you actually get a luscious piece of shot cotton that is 19.5" x 27"!). That meant a binding was out of the question, so this quilt is faced using most elements of this great tutorial on my friend Terry's blog.

I got the name from my visit to Naramata, B.C. at harvest time last fall. I'd never been when the vines were laden with grapes and it was a gorgeous sight to see!

Any day now, I'm going to find the focus required to start my third version, which I plan to make a bit larger and using 3 different Oakshott reds. I hope it will turn out as beautifully as this one!

Thank you to my friends at Oakshott Fabrics and Aurifil for the fine materials they share with me so that my projects can look their absolute best.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Spicy Mexican Chocolate Cookies

After posting photos of my all-time favourite Christmas cookies on Instagram yesterday, many people expressed an interest in the recipe (there are MANY if you Google the title of this post). However, here's the one I've been using for 25 years:

preheat oven to 350F. Makes 6 dozen 

6 oz unsweetened chocolate
Melt the chocolate gently over a double-boiler. Set aside to cool a bit.

2 C + 2 Tbsp flour
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (don't be tempted to use more!)
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Blend above dry ingredients in a medium bowl

1 3/4 C sugar
1/2 C. unsalted butter at room temperature
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
Cream the sugar and butter together in mixing bowl. Gradually beat in the eggs one at a time with vanilla. Slowly stir in the melted, partially cooled chocolate.

Mix in the dry ingredients just until blended. Cover tightly and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
Form 1" balls of dough, roll in icing sugar and place 2" apart on parchment-lined sheets. Gently press a raw almond into the top of each cookie, just so that it stays (don't flatten the ball). Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cookies will appear raw-ish in the middle.  Gently push down the almonds a bit more. Allow to cool.

Happy Holidays, everyone!