Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tuesday Preview CQT Episode 26

Happy New Year! 

I have so much to be thankful for and so much to look forward to in 2014! This year has been the start of great things to come with Canadian Quilt Talk and it's so nice to have all of you on board. I've tried all kinds of new projects from patterns, tutorials, podcasting and videos, to teaching, speaking, judging and more. I've learned so much and met so many stellar people! I'm very excited about what's to come in 2014.

However you decide to celebrate tonight - Have fun & stay safe! 

CQT Episode # 26 is all about New Year's Resolutions in the Quilting Studio. 

I'm not talking about the typical - exercise more, make more money, reduce stress kind of resolutions that last a few days or weeks and then fizzle out. I'm talking about looking at yourself and the kind of person you want to be. Looking back at your great and the not so great projects to see what you gained and what you learned so much from. I'm talking about building on last year's accomplishments and making an effort to gain more creative time for 2014.

And I'll be announcing my most exciting project to date! I'm publishing my very first book and I can't wait to fill you in on all the details. It's not a step by step pattern type of book, but a children's picture book to bring the heritage of quilting right into the hearts of a younger generation in your family. Here's a little sneak peek, but I'll be telling you where you can go to see more…I'm so excited about this project that I can hardly contain myself!

And speaking of bringing quilting into the heart of a younger generation, here's the winner of our first weekly Quilter's Corner of the New Year….

PAT NICKLOW - Pat tells the story of how her granddaughter caught the quilting bug and had her first quilt complete at 9 years old. Congratulations Pat! You have won the adorable book 51 Babyville Boutique Projects.


Dream Big and Work Hard in the Studio with Canadian Quilt Talk! 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Merry Christmas everyone! And now the moment you've all been waiting for…….

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR following my blog and listening to my talk show. You guys are awesome! 



Congratulations Vicki Hill! Thank you so much for liking Canadian Quilt Talk and entering the draw! I am so excited to be able to offer a really great prize this week from MY TWO SPONSORS. Here's what you've won:  


You can see the 3 gorgeous Northcott Oh Canada fabrics in front and I'll also be throwing in 5 holiday flannels from my own stash of favourites. THAT'S 8 FAT QUARTERS! PLUS, since you can never have enough SWAG I'm tossing in my latest pattern called Black Sheep Block Party

Happy Holidays Everyone! 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Tuesday Preview - MERRY CHRISTMAS from Canadian Quilt Talk

Holiday Wishes from Brandy Lynn Designs 

Wishing you all the best this holiday season from my home to yours. 

I went for a long walk on the beach this Christmas Eve with my husband and son (but for the first time without our dog). It was so sad to miss our pup but wonderful to have those great memories of his favourite place. Walking in that sand on the lake just brought out the joy of living where we live, loving who we love, and spending time with family. 

There will not be a Canadian Quilt Talk podcast this week on Dec. 26th. I had planned to have one, but realized that sometimes a girl needs to take a break and take advantage of some more snuggle time. And I wish the same to all of you whether it’s with your friends, husbands, kids or grandkids and even those pets that bring us so much joy every day. 

But here are a few things that are happening over the holidays:

Dec. 27th (10am Pacific) 
Wine Bottle Bag with 5 tips for embellishment
The perfect hostess gift for that New Year’s Party.
Jan. 10th (10am - 1pm Pacific)
Mini Table Topper Workshop for only $10
Techniques include: half square triangles, an inner flange, prairie points and how to face a quilt.
It will be drawn tonight at midnight Pacific (Dec. 24th) and announced tomorrow on the Explore Fibre Blog. Good luck to everyone who’s entered! 

I sincerely hope you find yourself surrounded with love and laughter these holidays and into the New Year. 

Dream big and work hard in the studio with Canadian Quilt Talk!

Monday, December 23, 2013

The 2014 Quilt of Valour Challenge

Happy Holidays Everyone! 

I recently announced a challenge on CQT Holiday Episode #25 for all of you to make a Quilt of Valour. Since that episode aired last week I have already had one photo emailed in! I'm so excited to show this Quilt of Valour made by Melissa Marginet of Beausejour, Manitoba. 

I can't wait to see photos of Quilts of Valour by all of you. So, here's the challenge:

Make a quilt for Quilts of Valour anytime from now until the end of 2014. (I know it takes time to make a quilt, so you have a whole year!) If you send me a photo of the quilt you’ve made to donate - I’ll post it on my blog and send you a free Brandy Lynn Designs pattern. SIMPLE AS THAT!

So congratulations Melissa - your pattern is on its way! 

I was blown away when I recently interviewed Lezley Zwaal from Quilts of Valour and shocked by the huge need they have for quilts. If she received hundreds of quilts today she could give them all away in a heartbeat, so the need is there. That's why I decided to issue the Quilts of Valour Challenge!

And I'm not just asking YOU to drop everything and make a quilt. I'm asking you to join ME in making a Quilt of Valour. I've drawn up my design, chosen my fabric and I just spent an hour piecing and cutting my half square triangles. 

Please come along with me and make a Quilt of Valour! 

It is just good for the soul and it will really help an injured soldier in need of a warm hug.

For my first Quilt of Valour I’ll be using the Stonehenge Oh Canada line of fabrics by Northcott. You can find Oh Canada fabrics in quilt shops across Canada, or you can use any fabrics you have in your stash of course! I’m so excited to take on this challenge with you and I'm very proud to have landed Northcott as a sponsor for this project. 

Be sure to check out the Quilts of Valour website for quilt specifications. There's no point in sending a tiny kids quilt when they are hoping for adult twin quilts, so read their suggestions before you start.  

So that’s it - a simple challenge. Make a quilt, let me know and you get a free pattern. 

Why don't you follow along on my adventure AND JOIN ME TO MAKE A QUILT OF VALOUR? Watch the blog to see my progress as well as the quilt photos from everyone else who joins me. 

Now get quilting everyone!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Brandy's Favorite YouTube Holiday Songs

Only 5 more days until Christmas! 

A quick note about the HOLIDAY PRIZE GIVEAWAY: I know that not everyone has an iTunes account, so if you like the CQT Facebook page and leave me a comment here on the blog, that will count too. GOOD LUCK EVERYONE! 

Now here's a countdown of the songs I mentioned on Holiday Episode # 25. ENJOY!

# 5  - It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams. 

# 4 - 12 Days of Christmas by Straight No Chaser

# 3 - Drummer Boy by Pentatonix

# 2 - Drummer Boy by Sean Quigley

# 1 - Carol of the Bells by Pentatonix

Share this post with everyone you know to give them a little bit of holiday love from you AND Canadian Quilt Talk! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

CQT Holiday Prize Giveaway


I hope you've had a chance to listen to the CQT Holiday Special. I am so excited to be able to offer a really great prize this week from MY TWO SPONSORS:  


You can see the 3 gorgeous Northcott Oh Canada fabrics in front and I'll also be throwing in 5 holiday flannels from my own stash of favourites. THAT'S 8 FAT QUARTERS! PLUS, since you can never have enough SWAG I'm tossing in my latest pattern called Black Sheep Block Party

Now that the podcast has aired, the cat's out of the bag for what you need to do to enter the BIG DRAW now - so here it is! 

1. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK. Simple as that. I have a goal for 2013 to reach 500 likes and I’m so close! I’d love to reach my goal so we can have an online celebration! And if you’ve already liked the CQT Facebook page then THANK YOU! That counts towards the draw entry too. 

2. GIVE US A REVIEW ON ITUNES. I’ve never even asked for a review until today so I don’t have a single review, but apparently it boosts ratings and exposure, so if you’ve been a regular listener to the podcast and you’ve not yet had a chance to give us a rating or review I would love it if you would consider doing that! 

Here’s how to do it! 
Just SEARCH Canadian Quilt Talk iTunes on the web. 
CHOOSE as many stars as you like and WRITE A COMMENT to let everyone know what you think of the show. That would really help me out and I’d be so grateful. 

3. POST A COMMENT on the Explore Fibre Blog that you’ve LIKE us on Facebook and RATED us on iTunes.   

So let’s review what you need to do to enter: 
1 - Like us on Facebook 
2 - Write a quick review on iTunes
3 -  Post on the blog that you’ve done it! 
 EASY AS 1-2-3! And you'll be entered to win the Holiday prize draw. 

DRAW ENDS at MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24th.

WINNER will be announced on the Explore Fibre Blog on Christmas Day, Dec. 25th 
(after breakfast and presents).

I'm still blossoming with Canadian Quilt Talk so my contest entries are not that huge yet. What does that mean? Your chances of winning are really great! So take a few minutes and enter to win! It's as simple as a few clicks of the mouse. 

Episode 025 Canadian Quilt Talk - Holiday Special

Don't miss the CQT Holiday Special. You'll hear Brandy's favourite Christmas things, she'll announce how to enter the Holiday Prize Giveaway and issue a challenge to listeners for 2014. 

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tuesday Preview CQT Episode 25

Hooray! We are celebrating Canadian Quilt Talk Episode 25 

I can't believe we've come this far and it's such a fitting number because many of us are celebrating Christmas on the 25th of this month. On this week's episode I'll chat about my favourite Christmas things and there's even a special little message from Ricky Tims himself. This podcast will be short and sweet (like holiday goodies) because I know you'll be wanting to spend time with family. Can you believe this is the last podcast before Christmas? That means it's only a week away! But I'll be back again on Boxing Day to chat about my favourite quilty things of 2013. Here's a quick holiday snapshot of Gavin hiding amongst the stuffies. His look says, "Do you really have to take a photo of me every ten minutes?"

CQT 25 - Holiday Show

For the Quilter's Corner, of course,  I'll share the great holiday stories that were sent in last week. The winners already have their pdf stocking patterns for download from Maria Habrovsky of Quilts For Sale. 

Not in the spirit yet Mr. Scrooge?

So I'm adding in a SURPRISE 2013 HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY! The prize is a secret so you have to listen in on Thursday to find out! This is going to be twice the value of my usual prizes, but you'll have to work for it! My 2 biggest sponsors are coming together for a fantastic prize giveaway. They are The Quilt Pattern Magazine and Nortchott Silks Inc

SUBSCRIBE before Dec. 31st for the TQPM monthly online magazine and you pay the December special of ONLY $10!  

Look for these gorgeous Stonehenge Oh Canada fabrics by Northcott at your local quilt shop today! 

OK, so I guess that's a huge hint about what the prize will include! So here's what you'll have to do: 

1. Listen to the CQT Holiday Podcast # 25! It airs this Thursday at 4pm Pacific. (And for those sneakers who want in early, you can start checking at 3pm because that's when I post it due to lag delays in air time so sometimes it goes early.)

2. At the end I'll announce the SECRET TASK. (HINT: It's so simple and has to do with reaching my Facebook goal - and many of you have already done it, so that counts!) 

3. Leave me a REVIEW ON ITUNES. If you listen to the show I'd love it if you'd leave me a review! You can choose as many stars as you like and let the world know what you think of the show. Here's how to LEAVE A REVIEW

4. And FINALLY, POST IT ON THE BLOG! Come back to the Explore Fibre Blog and post the following:
  1. I have done the SECRET TASK (actually say what it is)
  2. I have left a REVIEW ON ITUNES
So that's not to much work at all. Just do these 2 things and let me know and YOU COULD HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN!

I'll be doing a random draw of everyone who leaves a review on iTunes, does the secret task and leaves a comment. Draw ends at 12:00 MIDNIGHT PACIFIC TIME. And the winner will be announced on the blog on Christmas Day. (after presents and breakfast!)

Happy Holidays everyone! Quilt hard, drink responsibly and don't stitch and drive (if that's even possible)! 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Still Waters King Quilt - Happy 60th Birthday Kim!

I'm so excited that the cat's out of the bag about a quilt I've been working on for months! My Dad asked me to make a quilt for his lovely wife Kim several months ago for her 60th birthday in December. I was very excited and took on the challenge without a second thought! She received the quilt as a gift at the big party today.

Since I've become a quilt professional Kim has taken a particular interest in quilts - not in making quilts herself, but in looking at, bidding on, and wanting quilts for herself. It got to the point where my Dad started taking snapshots of quilts she loved so he could give me an idea of what she likes.

I know her decor, her favourite colours, and her style, so it was quite fun to create a quilt that she would love. I started to draw up my own designs scanning the internet, old magazines and more to find something that would catch my eye. I had a clear idea that turquoise would be a feature colour.

Then I saw an ad in an old magazine from 2010 and I knew it was a perfect fit. It was the Still Waters pattern designed by Cheryl Malkowski of Cheryl Rose Creations. It just looked like the wave water theme I was aiming for so I called her up and ordered the pattern right away.

The next challenge was to change a smaller rectangular gradated pattern to a king sized square quilt pattern. This proved to be quite a thinker, but possible. I laid it all out on paper and came up with the perfect size. Then it was on to the search for fabric. The magazine ad was so old that the fabric was no longer available from the distributor, but I knew it was Green Tea Tonga Batiks, so the search was on. After a few days I found 2 different online stores that had a few bundles left and put in my order.

Once I had the fabric in my hands it took some creative thinking to get it all organized. I was surprised that I had to trim all of the 10" precuts which kept me up one night until 2am, but then it went together like butter. I love curved piecing so I quilted the nights away. After a few weeks of squeezing in time wherever possible, I had the entire top done with a few extra fabrics added in to make it a king sized topper. 

Thinking well in advance that I'd be hard pressed to quilt a king quilt in good time on my domestic machine, I booked some time in November for my good friend Eileen Zornes to quilt it. With a perfect motif for the wave theme, she did a gorgeous job! 

I also called upon my friend Karen Jeffrey to embroider these little ditties…

Finally I took a few days to get on that picture perfect binding and then wrap it up to ship away to Winnipeg. They had a huge birthday party for her this afternoon and I was able to check in on Skype. She certainly had a teary-eyed thank you. It was a complete surprise and she loved it. Here's a quick snapshot of it on my own bed before I shipped it off.

Happy Birthday Kim! Love you!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wine Bottle Bag Mini Tutorial

I'm starting to think I should create a new monthly segment called YOU ASKED FOR IT! I gave a quick and easy bonus WINE BOTTLE BAG tutorial on my recent live webinar and I've been overwhelmed with responses asking for more…instructions that is. Apparently you all don't have "video"graphic memories. Well neither do I so here's the goods...

Before you get started, here are 3 things you should know:

1. I chose a simple wine bottle bag to allow quilters an opportunity to embellish, piece, design and play on the bag to their heart's desire. This is meant to be a testing ground for new techniques. If you like, I have a full day workshop called Fibre Art Frenzy so click on the link to book a class for your guild.

2. The CQA has put the call out for wine bottle bag donations for CQA Niagara 2014 in June, so I encourage you to make one and send it along. And here's where you send them:

Marilyn Michelin
7 Dixie Rd.
St. Catharines, ON L2N 2A7

Be sure to add a note that you heard all about it from Canadian Quilt Talk! 

3. You can literally pull together an adorable bag in under 10 minutes depending how crazy you go with embellishment. I already have more than a dozen to send in myself. I'm having so much fun using up leftover fabrics from quilt projects and all those fat quarters I keep collecting, and collecting, and collecting!


NOTE - EMBELLISH the bag before construction so that you have your 12” x 20” rectangle ready to complete. Try to feature your design centred about 2” up from the bottom of the rectangle and 10” down from the top. Here is a screen printed holly design on a curve pieced bag. (You can also use stitching, couching, stamping and more…)

Holly Screen available at www.brandylynndesigns.com

1. FOLD the 12" x 20" fabric lengthwise right sides together inserting the fold of the ribbon 9” down from the top. SEW the long side of the bag capturing the ribbon inside, and SEW the bottom of the bag. PULL the ribbon up so it is hanging out of the top of the bag.

2. CREATE a boxed bottom by folding the 2 corners into triangles. STACK the 2 triangles and mark a 1-1/4" line on one, fold it back and mark the other. SEW on the marked lines to create each boxed corner. SNIP off the triangles leaving a 1/4" seam allowance. LEAVE the bag inside out and STUFF the ribbon down into the bottom of the bag. 

3. FOLD the raw edge opening down 4" wrong sides together and remove the wide base of your machine to sew the cuff. BE SURE the cuff measures 4” all the way around and lies completely flat. SEW the top edge (your bobbin thread will be on the decorative side). Then SEW a 1/4” seam allowance on the raw edge 4” in from the finished top of the bag, carefully turning it around your machine base.

TURN the bag right side out, CLIP all threads and VOILA! You have a lovely gift - all you need is a good bottle of vino!

Do you have a quilting technique you are struggling with or is there a quick tip or trick  you've always wanted to learn? Send me your questions anytime to info@explorefibre.com.


Episode 024 Canadian Quilt Talk - Quilts of Valour

On this week's episode we chat with Lezley Zwaal, the founder of Quilts of Valour - Canada. This society gives much needed quilts to injured soldiers and veterans across Canada.

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tuesday Preview CQT Episode 24

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to the Tuesday Preview. 

On this week's episode I interview Lezley Zwaal - founder of Quilts of Valour - Canada. This society gives quilts to injured soldiers and veterans across Canada.

I'm so excited to feature QoV on the podcast this week for two reasons:

# 1. I have met Lezley a few times now and she has a heart of gold. She is passionate about this society and has been putting a tremendous amount of effort into it for over 8 years. 

# 2. This charity is such a great cause! There are thousands of injured soldiers and veterans out there who are just at a point in their lives where they could seriously use the hug of a warm loving quilt. Just saying. 

Canadian Quilt Talk Episode 024 - Quilts of Valour - Canada

And now the moment you've all been waiting for... Today's prize for the weekly Quilter's Corner is brought to you by Flare Fabrics - a Canadian online quilt store specializing in top quality batiks and bold, contemporary cottons at great prices. Find out more at www.flarefabrics.ca

And this week's winner is . . . Deb Vezina. She talks about how a quilt of used clothing brought joy to her father-in-law. Congratulations Deb! You have won a pack of 40 Christmas Tonga Joy Treat Strips from Flare Fabrics. The perfect addition to your holiday stash! 

And before I sign off today - I need one more holiday story! I have 3 pdf patterns by Maria Habrovsky  of www.quiltsforsale.ca

I already gave away pattern pdfs to Elizabeth Cross and Marlene Fitzsimmons - Congratulations ladies! So remember - we still have room for one more winner. I can't wait to hear your stories - short and sweet. Send your story to info@explorefibre.com

Until next time . . . dream big and work hard in the studio with CanadianQuilt Talk!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Quilted Holiday Tree Ornament THEN AND NOW

I had so much fun hosting my first online live webinar. I learned so much dealing with a light malfunction, pixelation and camera focus issues as I moved around and more, but I was overwhelmed with the positive feedback! So many of you gave great suggestions and said that I handled the technical problems with grace.

Thank you! I can't wait to make some changes to my system and try it again.

For now, I thought it would be fun to post a then and now photo of the ornament that I taught in the webinar. I just hung this on the tree today, but I'm sure I made this first one over 10 years ago…

I look back and smile at my ziggy zag to straight stitch, my choppy hand quilting and my inability to finish tiny mitred corners. Here's the one I taught in the webinar this week…

They are exactly the same size, but demonstrate way different skill levels. I'm not saying it is perfect, but I've come a long way baby! Stay tuned this week on the Explore Fibre Blog for my mini tutorial on how to make a holiday wine bottle bag.

Happy Holidays everyone!

The TQPM Dream Team

More than just an online magazine - A FAMILY OF QUILTERS!

Check out this great group of ladies who came together just a few years ago from around the world, including Canada, the US to bring you The Quilt PatternMagazine - a monthly online magazine chock full of patterns, stories and great info for quilters with less ads and less emphasis on designer fabric lines. They each bring their own level of expertise to the table and have such a passion for quilting that many of them have their own businesses in the quilting world as well.

The Quilt Pattern Magazine Dream Team

Row 1: Barbara Douglas, Barbara Chojnacki, Karen Gass
Row 2: Sharon Kirkpatrick, Maria Hrabovsky, Carol Dockery
Row 3: Cindy Mccoy, Isobel Meekins, Nan Baker

You can read their full BIOS HERE at the Quilt PatternMagazine website. 

Here's a list with links so you can check them all out:


Cindy McCoy

Maria Hrabovsky
Quilts for Sale: http://www.quiltsforsale.ca
Quilts for Sale Blog: http://www.quiltsforsale.ca
Maria Michaels Designs: http://www.mariamichaelsdesigns.com
Maria's Quilt Scraps Blog: http://www.mariamichaelsdesigns.com/blog/

Barbara Chojnacki 
Six Gables Designs: http://www.sixgablesdesigns.com

Carol Dockery
Quilter by Night Designs - http://www.quilterbynight.com 

Karen Gass
Cotton Spice - http://www.cottonspice.net

Isobel Meekins (no website at this time)

Nan Baker
Purrfect Spots - http://www.purrfectspots.com

Sharon Kirkpatrick 
Is a quilt designer and teacher  and founder and owner of the Quilt Pattern Testers group, which supports the need for good pattern testing for quilt designers.

Barbara Douglas 
Stone Cottage Designs - http://www.stonecottagequilts.com


So there you have it! Some great surfing material when you are relaxing over the holidays. Have fun! 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Episode 023 Canadian Quilt Talk - The Quilt Pattern Magazine

Canadian Quilt Talk has teamed up with the Quilt Pattern Magazine and we have all kinds of fun things in store. This week learn all about the magazine, the staff and the exciting things coming up in the New Year. 

Check out this episode!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Tuesday Preview CQT Episode 23

The Quilt Pattern Magazine with Maria Habrovsky

You don't want to miss this podcast because I actually SING! Yes, I know I sound much better in the shower or alone in the car, but I wanted to get you into the spirit so I wrote a little jingle.

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! My husband and son are starting to sneak in questions about what I want with 20 or so days left to go. I'm impressed! And I know what you want to see under the tree - it's PRIZES GALORE, so I've teamed up with The Quilt Pattern Magazine (TQPM) and we are going to have so much SWAG. We are going to start off on this fun adventure together over the next few months with some great subscription giveaways to bring your quilting to the next level and get the word out to even more people that quilting is here to stay! Wait 'til you see the great quality and variety of patterns they have to offer!

Canadian Quilt Talk Episode 23 - The Quilt Pattern Magazine
This week I'll be featuring TQPM on Canadian Quilt Talk and chatting with its Co-Founder Maria Habrovsky. You'll learn why she started this great online magazine with CEO Cindy McCoy, what they have to offer, how they've teamed up with Canadian Quilt Talk to get the word out about the latest patterns, tips and tricks, and they're offering a great subscription deal for listeners of my show!

This week they'll be giving away a full year subscription which will go in a random draw during my FREE ONLINE WEBINAR - Holiday Tree Ornament this Thursday at 10am Pacific. SIGN UP HERE - there are only 5 spots left as I write this!

But on this week's podcast I'll announce the 3 winners of the holiday bonus stories. Maria Habrovsky with her business Quilts for Sale will offer a free pdf stocking pattern to 3 lucky winners who have submitted a holiday story. I only have 2 stories right now - so get your story in by email.

Happy quilting everyone! Get those last minute projects finished up for the holidays.