Monday, December 31, 2018

Looking Back at 2018

Well another year has come and gone.  This was our first full year in our new home in NW Ontario and even though the aurora is not as bright as up north we did get a few nights in the spring where they light up the sky.   This new year will also be a big milestone for Tamarack Shack, it will be my 10th year in business!   I opened my doors on January 9, 2009 and started my blog soon after.  I am so thankful for discovering this amazing business, actually the business found me and I couldn’t have imagined spending the last 10 years doing anything else.   Thank you to all my clients ( near and far away) for trusting me with your quilt tops, it has been wonderful getting to know all of you!  I think that has been the best part of this business, meeting so many amazing and talented people.
Now this is the time I like to look back and see what I have made this year. I didn’t think I did that much until I started going back through this years blog post and realized I did get a bit done!  I’m so glad I have stuck with my blog and kept it going the past 10 years, it has always been my personal quilting journal as well as a record of my longarm journey. So lets see what I did this year.


At the beginning of January Lori and I released a new Highway 10 Designs pattern called Traction. I had this one finished before we moved and then made second sample in Emo.

I also made a City Slicker quilt using my batik scraps.


I also jumped on the Jelly Roll Rug band wagon and used a batik Gemstone set to make this rug for my kitchen.


This was a special quilt as the pattern was designed by good friends of mine, George and Wendy van der Walt, and I knew when I first saw it I had to make it for my sisters birthday.  The pattern is called ‘Islendingadagurinn’ and you can find it here.


Lori and I made a bright and bold version of our City Slicker pattern using our batik scraps and a black background.

After the terrible bus crash in Humboldt this spring I also made a Bronco’s quilt to donate to those affected by the tragedy.


Decided it was time for me to try some modern bright fabrics and made this “Falling in Love”quilt, pattern by Fabriculous and can be found here.


Baby Quarter Sections using ‘Funanimals’ fabrics.

Saw a sample of this quilt in Keystone Quilt Shop and had to make it!  First time making a Jelly Roll Race quilt.

Roundabout cover
We released a Highway 10 Designs pattern called Roundabout that makes two table runner and 6 placemats.


Diamonds and Squares pattern using Garden Delights fabric.

And our last Highway 10 Designs pattern release for the year, Simply Dashing!

Mineral Matrix was my biggest project this year and I’m so happy to have it on my bed!

And the last finish for the year which was just completed last week, Quarter Sections using Australian themed fabrics. 
So that is 14 finished ( only counted the one Traction, not the one made in 2017) so not too bad! 
Happy New Year to all my blog readers!  Thank you for visiting me and I hope 2019 is full of creative time in your sewing rooms!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Australian Quarter Sections


I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas holiday.  I just got back from visiting friends and family in Winnipeg and can now catch up on my blog posts.   I finished this sweet baby quilt before I left but didn’t get photos of it in the snow until today.  We came home to about 20cm of new snowfall so I was happy to see that!   A few years ago my friend Desley sent 5 fat quarters that have an Australian themed children's print and I thought it was time to cut them up!   I used our Highway 10 Designs pattern called Quarter Sections as it only takes 5 fat quarters for the baby size.  I was very lucky and found a blue for the outer border that matched the prints very well.   I quilted the center with free hand 3’s and E’s design using yellow So Fine thread.  I quilted the border using the 15” QP Curve Template and blue So Fine thread.  I have a tutorial showing how to quilt this design which you can find here.


I only had white fabric for the backing so dyed it a cheery yellow using MX Procion yellow dye.  I used yellow Bottom Line thread on the back and Quilters Dream Blend batting.



When I went out to take pictures the neighbours  horses were playing in the fresh snowfall.


So I ran and got my zoom lens to take a few pictures.


A few weeks ago two of the horses finally came over and let me pet them. Usually they all run away or keep a far distance so that was nice!


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Mineral Matrix Quilted

I finished quilting my Mineral Matrix quilt this a week and hand stitched the binding on yesterday!  I quilted it with Continuous Curves, loops, feathers, swirls and just a small amount of SID around each block and between the borders.  I just love the colours of the Tonga batik fabrics in this quilt and the sashing design is so unique!  

I used three colours of So Fine thread, Blue #434, Green # 511 and Brown # 466.  I used a beige Bottom Line thread in the bobbin for the whole quilt top.  I used the green thread on the blocks and sashing which saved a lot of time during the quilting process and I really like how it looks. I use to shy away from darker threads on lighter fabrics but I’m getting braver with bolder thread choices.

I painted my bedroom walls a soft sage green last month to match the quilt.  I’m hoping to get a new bedroom set in the next year or two as I have been slowly eliminating the oak wood out of my home.

Love how the back looks with the one thread colour and I used Quilters Dream Blend batting.

I quilted swirls in the inner border, feathers in the blue border and Echo Curves using the 20” Quilted Pineapple curved Template.  I have a tutorial on how to do the curved border design here.

Quilting shows up so well on the back!

So happy to have it on my bed now and the 104’ square sized fits my Queen size bed perfectly!


Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Mineral Matrix BOM

In November I started working on a great BOM project called Mineral Matrix by A Wing and Prayer. I purchased the kit from Up North Quilt Shop and instead of getting the monthly kits I bought the whole project…I’m not very good at waiting!  The fabrics are all Tonga Batiks and I love the colours, that is what first drew me to this project!   I cut out all 12 blocks and sashing pieces and bagged each one to take to a quilt retreat in November. I was able to finish all the blocks and sashing pieces at the retreat!  Like I said I don’t think I could have wait each month for a new block, I like to dive into a project. 

I then assembled the quilt top at home and posted this next picture on my Instagram account.  Lucky thing I did that as someone with a keen eye spotted a mistake in one of my blocks!  I was so grateful she said something as it was so easy to fix at this point. I would have been so sad to have found the mistake after quilting it!  It is a quilt for my bed and I would be looking at that mistake everyday!  Can you find it?

It was a quick fix as I just had to turn a small section in one block.   Here it is all fixed, that might help you see the mistake.  I just loaded it onto my longarm today and will do some light custom quilting.   Hope to have it done by Christmas but its a big one, 104” x 104”.


Sunday, December 9, 2018

Simply Dashing–Highway 10 Designs Pattern #12

We have another new Highway 10 Designs pattern now available in our Etsy shop.  Two patterns in one month,  yes we have been busy!  Introducing Simply Dashing…isn’t he a handsome fellow!   Stunning in Black and White but would look fantastic with any two high contrast fabrics.   This quilt pattern included sizes from Baby to King and written with clear step by step instructions as well as charts for keeping the cutting and blocks well organized.    We were not sure what to name this one so at the Keystone Retreat in September we brought the quilt top and asked the quilters at the retreat of they wanted to try to name our newest quilt pattern.  It was fun to watch them writing out their suggestions and putting them into a basket. Lori and I would then each night bring the basket back to the room to read all the suggestions.  When I read Simply Dashing we knew it was a winner as it had our travel/highway theme we try to use ( dashed lines on the highway), describes how quick it is to make and also how handsome it looks!   So Kathy S. ( not me) was our winner and it was fun to see her reaction when we announce we would use her suggestion. 

It took me awhile to figure out how I wanted to quilt this one but once I decided to use Monopoly thread I knew I could quilt across both fabrics without distracting from the piecing.   I loaded my quilt lengthwise on my longarm and quilted free hand wavy lines so they ran from top to bottom.  The backing is black with a fine grey print so I used grey Bottom Line in the bobbin.  Batting is Quilters Dream Blend.

Found this great spot on Off Lake to take pictures on this beautiful sunny Saturday.  The ice is thick enough to hold a snowmobile and I even saw a few ice shacks out on the lakes already.

Lori made her Simple Dashing quilt in solid Navy and Teal grunge dots.  Check out her blog post at Night Owl Quilting and Dyeworks to see how she quilted the circles…hint its not a pantograph!

I found a beautiful spot on Clearwater Lake for these photos.


Lori also made a sample Baby quilt using solid grey and a pink print.  She quilted it with the Sweet Pea pantograph.


Simple Dashing is available in both Paper and PDF downloadable in our Etsy ShopPlease email us at for wholesale inquiries.

Simply Dashing coverSimply Dashing back