Category Archives: MONDAY ! REVIEW

MONDAY ! REVIEW: Paula Reid’s Borders and Bindings DVD

About a month ago I reviewed Paula’s “Fluff and Stuff” DVD. I was so impressed, I contacted Paula and she sent me some additional DVD’s which I’ll review over time. Today’s review is of her DVD “Borders and Bindings”. I found it immensely detailed, stuffed with useful tips and information.

Paula covers several different types of borders and bindings.

  1. Straight or butted corner bindings. These are the easiest and most common. Paula adds advice on rotary cutting, measuring and types of needles to use, in this section.
  2. .”Crumb catcher” – a bright shot of color that is very narrow. It creates an accent but has to be small to avoid covering points on the quilt.
  3. Borders with cornerstones. Detailed info on how to measure and decide on border width offered in this section.
  4. Mitered corners – if you’ve been avoiding these, you no longer need to. Paula’s instructions on how to calculate sizes with a “piece of mind allowance” is invaluable. She also offers advice on when to use them and how to do multiple borders at once.
  5. Border Treatments – This section offers advice on choose colors, creating hanging sleeves, and how to measure and cut. There are detailed techniques for pinning and sewing and how to piece fabric to make longer borders.
  6. Scalloped edges – I thought this would be extremely difficult but Paula’s advice makes it easy to get beautiful scallops.
  7. Prairie Points – Again, Paula not only shows you how to use them, when to use them, how to make them, and how to finish a quilt with these points.
  8. The final section deals with how to create hanging sleeves and samples of ideas using border.

The DVD comes with a PDF file with instructions on measuring for borders which includes diagrams. There is also a PDF file with a pattern and instructions for making the Fat Quarter Quilt demoed in the DVD.

I can’t recommend this DVD enough. It is packed with useful information that would be helpful to all but the most advanced quilter.

Where can you get it?
First of all, you can buy it directly from Paula at:

In addition, I found a copy at the Fraser Valley Regional Library so you might be able to get it through an inter-library loan. Details are: Publisher:[S.l.] : LiTen Up, Inc. Productions, c2004, Branch Call Number:DVD 746.46 BOR, Title: Borders & Bindings, Finishing Your Quilt with Paula Reid.

At Sweet Pea Quilting we have all the supplies you’ll need to make any of the borders and bindings you see in the DVD. We look forward to seeing you in the store.

Happy Quilting!




MONDAY ! REVIEW Art Quilt Design DVD with Carol Taylor

I loved this DVD so much I took it out of my library for a second time. It has had a big impact on my sewing and embellishment of fabric. Carol Taylor is a true fabric artist. The full title of the DVD put out by Quilting Arts TV, is Art Quilt Design, Strategies for Success.


You can learn how to work with textured fabrics to create wall hangings while balancing color, size and value to create a cohesive design. If this DVD had another title, I would call it, “Couching Concentric Circles with Carol”. When I looked at Carol’s work, I thought…well, I’ll never be able to do those beautiful, symmetrical spirals. However, with Carol’s detailed instructions, I was soon couching up a storm. In fact, couching has become my favourite technique. I pretty much couch everything I can lay my hands on.

In addition to excellent advice on planning your design, Carol offers finishing techniques using facings rather than bindings.

Who is this DVD for?
I’d say it if for people who have some sewing experience and want to do something pretty spectacular. If you have scraps of exotic fabrics, you will find a use for them here. I know as quilters we’re attracted to fabric so you probably have a lot you can work with right now.

I found this DVD in my public library. You can also download a version from for $14.95 (US I think). If you have to have the DVD, not the download you can find it on Amazon but it is much more expensive and ships in “one to two months”. I suggest asking for an interlibrary loan.


Okay - not perfect but my very first EVER attempt at couching. Done on fabric made up of scraps.

Okay – not perfect but my very first EVER attempt at couching. Done on fabric made up of scraps.

If you’re interested in the fabric made from small scraps, you might want to check out Friday’s blog post: FRIDAY ! FREEBIES Elegant Evening Bag from Scraps of Fabric.

There is a list of supplies and tools on the back of the DVD. We have many of these at Sweet Pea Quilting, including WonderUnder, Fray Check and batting. You’ll always receive at warm welcome at Sweet Pea Quilting.

MONDAY ! REVIEW Intuitive Color & Design by Jean Wells


Today’s post is about a book by Jean Wells. She has written multiple books and this one is being revised and will be republished in July of this year. In the meantime, you can order this one on or through Jean’s website. More details below.

What’s included in this book?
The book is 96 pages with lots of full color illustrations. Jean Wells takes you into fresh territory where you use your own vision to design and piece free form quilts that will surprise even you.

The book includes 11 creative exercises to develop your use of color, design and piecing. They include some 3-D wall quilts. Jean shows you how to take photographs and journals to find inspiration and how to develop your ideas into quilt design. Here’s an example.

A very quick look at Jean's process.

A very quick look at Jean’s process.


In addition, Jean provides some innovative finishing methods to show off your quilts at their very best.

Who is this book for?
I would say this is for an experienced quilter who wants to take their quilting to another level, a quilter with the confidence to make mistakes and willing to learn new techniques.

Where can you find this book?
If you’re willing to wait, you can buy the new one from in July. The current edition is available from now.   It’s also available at the Vancouver Island Regional Library in the following locations:

Location Call No. Status
Campbell River Non-Fiction ANF 746.46 WEL DUE 01-30-17
Courtenay Non-Fiction ANF 746.46 WEL DUE 01-27-17
South Cowichan Non-Fiction ANF 746.46 WEL DUE 01-27-17

The book is also available from Jean’s website at

Here at Sweet Pea Quilting we have all the supplies and tools you need for both traditional and innovative quilt making. You’ll always receive a warm welcome at Sweet Pea Quilting.

MONDAY ! REVIEW: Fluff and Stuff DVD from Batts in the Attic

I’ve been sewing for over 50 years – almost 60 (I started in my cradle of course) and I learned some very useful things in this DVD that I had never heard before. This version of “Fluff and Stuff” was done in 2004 and Paula Reid of Batts in the Attic, has revised it now. You can get the latest version on her website – details later in the post.

UPDATE: I emailed Paula and asked about the difference between the older DVD and the new one. Here is her answer. “The new version has a newer, more updated machine and some new content.  I added a visual demonstration of how to determine which way to go on machine tension, also illustrations of battings and such.  So many new battings and notions have come out since I made the first one that we definitely had to do a new one.  I also think the basting demo is a little clearer.”

Cover of revised version of DVD available on Paula's website

Cover of revised version of DVD available on Paula’s website

This DVD is about machine quilting even very large quilts with your home sewing machine. I was impressed with what she was able to do. Paula has a business doing machine quilting for customers and has quilted over 1200 quilts since she started. She describes herself as “something of a perfectionist” and she does tell you how to machine stitch with great attention to details.

In this DVD she covers the following topics:

  • Effects and expected results of using different battings for your quilts including which are easier for the beginner to use.
  • Needles – which to use for synthetic batting, which to use for what and how often to change them.
  • Threads – what to use in a variety of situations:
    • What to use for ‘stitch in the ditch’
    • What to use when you have a contrasting backing
    • What to use for decorative stitching
    • How to know when your monofilament is too old to use successfully
    • How to wind monofilament on your bobbin and when to use it in your bobbin.

Some of the tools that Paula recommends are:

Availability of this DVD

I got my version of this DVD from my public library. The same 2004 version is available at the following locations for the Vancouver Island Regional Library:

Location Call No. Status
Ladysmith DVD DVD 746.46 FLU Available
Nanaimo North DVD DVD 746.46 FLU Available
Nanaimo Wellington DVD DVD 746.46 FLU Available
Qualicum Beach DVD DVD 746.46 FLU Available


You can buy a revised version on Paula’s website at  or, if you want to start right now, you can purchase Paula’s class at Craftsy . See the preview here:

A few of the threads in stock at Sweet Pea Quilting.

A few of the threads in stock at Sweet Pea Quilting.

Downsides and Upsides:

I really can’t say enough positive things about this DVD. As an experienced sewer, I still learned lots of valuable information.

At Sweet Pea Quilting we have many of the tools and supplies mentioned in the DVD. Here is a partial list.

  • 505 temporary basting spray glue.
  • All types and weights of batting including polyester,100% cotton batting and a blend of 50% cotton and 50% bamboo which is very popular. All are low loft.
  • Basic threads and all types of decorative threads including Monofilament nylon in clear and smoke. 50 wt cotton, and metallic are Mettler Brand.Rayon is 40 wt. by Sulky.
  • Needles including: Jeans/Denim 80/12, Microtext Sharp 80/12 and metallical of Metafil 80/12.Jeans/Denim 80/12
  • Quilting gloves (instead of batts)
  • Markers we have Frixion pens, they are temp and remove with steam and Charco Markers in yellow, blue and white which can be washed out.

You’ll always receive a warm welcome at Sweet Pea Quilting in Parksville.

MONDAY ! REVIEW: Patchwork City by Elizabeth Hartman

Good Monday Morning Quilters and Sewists! Did you enjoy the wildly changing weather forecasts all weekend? A truer word/s was never spoken than those by weather forecaster on a weather channel this weekend. It was something like, “There is a great uncertainty in the forecast this weekend.” It made me laugh out loud.

patchworkcity1Today, I’m reviewing a wonderful book by Elizabeth Hartman, Patchwork City, subtitle, “75 Innovative Block for the Modern Quilter“. This book is chock-full or ideas with 75 modern quilt blocks. The book includes three quilt block sizes, 8″ x 8″, 5″ x 8″ and 5″ x 14”, each with a lively name. Some examples are: Favorite Sweater, Bowling Alley, Emergency Exit, Magazine Rack, Carpool and Laundromat. As well as easy-to-follow cutting charts and instructions each block is shown in 3 different fabric combinations.

patchworkcity2 patchworkcity3

Inside the back cover of the book is a pocket with full-size freezer-paper templates for a number of cut pieces from the blocks. Each block in the book takes two pages and includes:

  • A photo of the block
  • A drawing of the block with the segments clearly marked
  • Fabric Requirements and Cutting
  • Instructions for making the block
  • Two alternate versions of the block.

None except that I dislike the cover – much too busy I think. I thought at first it was a comic book.

The book is very clear and easy to follow, use and understand. It provides patterns that would work for you, if you prefer a modern style or perhaps for a quilting gift to a younger generation that prefers angles to flowers.

Who is the book for?
I’d say definitely for intermediate to advanced quilters. Intermediate knowledge and tools needed.

Book Details:

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: C&T Publishing / Stash Books (Nov. 7 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1607059517
  • ISBN-13: 978-1607059516

Where to find the book:
I found mine in the public library. You could try interlibrary loan service if you don’t find it. You can also buy from for $26.85.


MONDAY ! REVIEW – Take your quilting to a whole other level with Gloria Loughman

A quick note about our seasonal store hours. We will close at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday the 24th and Saturday the 31st. We will be closed on Sunday, the 25th, Monday the 26th and Sunday the 1st and Monday the 2nd. Otherwise, we will be open our regular store hours of 9:30 to 4:30 M-F and 9:30 – 4:00 on Saturdays.

quiltedsymphonyGood winter morning everyone. For the west coast, it’s pretty cold where I am but I sit cozily inside my warm house with books, quilting videos, my sewing machine and lots of fun projects to consider. One of my recent passions is for the work of Gloria Loughman. I took a class called “Landscape Quilting” from her and I was excited by the possibilities. When I saw that Alvina had her book, ‘quilted symphony’ I was pleased that I’d have a chance to see more of her work.

Gloria Loughman is an Australian quilt designer and has won many awards for her landscape and abstract quilts. She creates raw edge fused landscape quilts. In this book, ‘quilted symphony’, she encourages you to liberate your creative side with abstract art. She shows you how to take a photo or other image and create a balanced and artistically pleasing design. Her instructions are detailed and a number of patterns are included in the fold-out at the back of the book.


Gloria teaches basics of color and principles and elements of design. She shows you how to take a photo or other image and create a balanced and artistically pleasing design. Her instructions are detailed and a number of patterns are included in the fold-out at the back of the book.

This book would give you food for a whole year of creative activity. It’s beautifully illustrated.


The downside of this book is you will want to do everything and may feel a bit overwhelmed with choices. Perhaps starting with one of Gloria’s patterns would be best.

In some cases, she describes supplies that are called different things here in Canada. One of her must-have products is “Steam-a-Seam”. We have Steam-a-Seam in stock in Sweet Pea Quilting so no problems there. Her fusible ‘vilene’ is another name for a fusible interfacing. If you’re not sure what to substitute, you can check out this post on the “You Sew Girl” blog where she directly compares Vilene and Pellon. Of course, at Sweet Pea we have a good selection of fusible interfacings.

Details of the book:


  • Paperback: 120 pages
  • Publisher: C&T Publishing (April 16 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1571206604
  • ISBN-13: 978-1571206602

Alvina can get this book for you or you can order it from In could not find it in the collections of the Fraser Valley or Vancouver Island, or Vancouver public libraries. If you want it, you’ll have to purchase it. You could ask for it for Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas gifts, we have lots of ideas here at Sweet Pea. You could consider this:

A Sweet Pea Quilting Gift Certificate
We can make this certificate out for any amount you desire. It’s a great way to give a gift to someone when you’re not sure what she wants or needs to add to her quilting collection. Call the store at 250-586-1050 for details.

If you want some more gift ideas, check out blog post from last Wednesday, Hints for Gifts.





MONDAY ! REVIEW – A Report from Sweet Pea and Spicey

Hi Everyone. No MONDAY ! REVIEW today. I have a few things I’m almost ready to review but for this snowy day in December, decided I’d report on the sample sale over the weekend at Sweet Pea Quilting.

Spicy checks out the newest bag!

Spicey checks out the newest bag!

The sale was a huge success with lots and lots of people coming in over the two days. Almost everything sold. There are a handful of items left and these will be further reduced so take time to come into the store and pick up a bargain for yourself or for a Christmas gift. We’d love to see you (and so would Spicey).

By the way, this batik bag kit is available here at Sweet Pea Quilting.  This one uses a pattern by Aunties Two and it is called Camden Bags. We have chosen 29 different fabulous batiks and using a new product called “ Duet Fuse” which is a precut double sided fusible strip of batting. It is already cut at 2 ½” inches wide so it nicely nestles into the 2 ½” batik strips we are using. You can see the roll in one of the pictures. Using this product has made this project a breeze so far because everything is pre cut for you.

When I saw the finished sample, I thought it must have been very difficult to make but Alvina, who made the sample, says it’s quite fun and easy. You still have time to make one before Christmas. What a welcome gift this would make.

Camden Bag - Available at Sweet Pea Quilting Parksville, BC

Camden Bag – Available at Sweet Pea Quilting Parksville, BC

MONDAY ! REVIEW Batik Quilts by Marianne Fons and Liz Porter

Batik Quilts by Marianne Fons and Liz Porter and published by Leisure Arts is a colorful book with a large collection of some of their favourite quilts. The patterns are for all skill levels and are of all sizes, from a baby quilt to a full-sized quilt.

batikquiltscoverAccording to the books promotion, you can create paradise. “Create paradise with quilts in exotic fabrics! For this book, the editors of Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine have collected their most popular batik quilt patterns for all skill levels.”

The book includes an article about how batik fabrics are made.

There are 24 Designs: Under the Sea; Split Rail Fence; Imperial Diamonds; Circles, Circles; Batik Magic; Prairie Skies; Blue Bayou; Crossed Kayaks; September Leaves; Woven Wonder; On the Dark Side; Tucson Sunset; Triangle Surprise; Tranquility; Horse Play; Charming Diamonds; Sailing; Sunflowers; Night Blooms; Gold Rush; Baby Blue Mini; Candy Flowers; Graceful Ladies; and Double Wedding Ring.

The authors have trademarked their Sew Easy lessons and these guide you via photographs and description through any specific techniques you need for a particular project.


You can download size options and quilt top assembly instructions from their website. One of my personal favourites is the Split Rail. See more of it here. They include sizes for both Queen and King beds.

Split Rail Fence Design

Split Rail Fence Design


I can’t imagine any of these patterns being particularly appropriate for a complete novice.

Where to find the book:

I found this at my public library – my first choice of source. However, many people will want this in their quilting library. has it but the price is high. You can also order directly from Leisure Arts at at a price of $26.99 (US I believe).

If this has inspired you, we have a wonderful selection of batiks at Sweet Pea Quilting. Here are just a few to whet your appetite.batik1 batik3 batik4 batik5Don’t forget our annual sample sale this Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2nd and 3rd.


MONDAY ! REVIEW in Review with Totes

Hi Everyone. This morning I want to revisit last week’s MONDAY ! REVIEW because I spent some time working on some of the projects in Quilting Arts TV Series 600 DVD. You can see that review here. Most of the QAT episodes have matching patterns online but I could not find the bag patterns (and I did a serious search) so decided to create my own pattern. If you need more than just measurements, then we have some fun bag patterns in stock at Sweet Pea Quilting.

Close-up of my bag done in Moda coordinated fabrics, some scraps from my stash and a fabulous hand-made button from Molly Magid of Mission Clay Works.

Close-up of my bag done in Moda coordinated fabrics, some scraps from my stash and a fabulous hand-made button from Molly Magid of Mission Clay Works.

I had some beautiful Moda fabric pieces from one of their collections – maybe Barbara Brackman. Sweet Pea has some of this fabric still in stock. If you choose something else, Alvina can help you coordinate your choices to create the perfect combination for you.

I didn’t have much of each piece so had to improvise. I used different fabrics for front and back pockets but all were coordinated so the color scheme worked. I used a heavy weight fusible non-woven interfacing. I wanted the bag to have some ‘heft’ on it’s own.

Back of the bag with different pocket from front.

Back of the bag with different pocket from front.

The bags I saw on the DVD had a simple lining, no pockets. I decided to put two pockets inside…one for keys and one for a cell phone. That way the bag could double as a purse.

If you like this design and want the measurements and details, check out our blog on Friday when I will offer a free tutorial for making it.

Stop in to Sweet Pea Quilting in Parksville to find all your quilting needs and free advice. Don’t forget that we have our annual sample sale December 2nd and 3rd. We’d love to see you there.

MONDAY ! REVIEW Quilting Arts TV Series 600 with Wonderful Totes


Quilting Arts TV: Series 600 DVD Set

Quilting Arts TV: Series 600 DVD Set

Today’s review is Series 600 of Quilting Arts TV. I’ve reviewed several Quilting Arts TV series before and I don’t get tired of them.  These episodes were produced in 2010 but I find them just as fascinating now as they probably were then. There are several episodes that got me ready to jump up, grab my fabric and head to the machine. As usual, Pokey Bolton, the moderator, has a series of wonderful guests although I found a couple of the episodes about computer software less than thrilling. It wasn’t their production value but rather, that if you were not familiar with the software, they would mean almost nothing to you.

One episode, although I didn’t think much of it at the time (really didn’t like the resulting product), stayed in my head. A few days later, I was at an art opening in Vancouver. The art was lovely but it was the paper napkins that really caught my attention. I took a clean one and carefully put it away in my handbag to be used later… for art, not food! The 2nd segment of episode 610 that came together with the napkin, was Fusing Techniques for Creating Collages with Jennifer O’Brien.

Standard Paper Napkin

Standard Paper Napkin

You can see the original napkin here.  By following the technique described in the lesson mentioned above, I appliqued the napkin to a border fabric and then the actual pillow fabric. If you want full details and a pattern, I will publish them on this week’s FRIDAY ! FREEBIES. I had difficulty finding the correct spray glue. The one I had was temporary. That made it very sticky and then after ironing, it lost its stickiness. I had to substitute a fusible web which seemed to work fine.  More details on that Friday. Also, you can download Jennifer’s instruction for her collage wall hanging here.

Purple Pillow Paper Napkin Collage

Purple Pillow Paper Napkin Collage

The success of the first pillow got me thinking and searching through my ‘everything’ drawer in the kitchen. The good news…I cleaned out the drawer. The bad news, I didn’t have much of a selection of paper napkins but there were a few hangers-on from last Christmas.  You can see here my second pillow. I used a scrap of fabric to back the napkin that gave the impression of candy canes. I used it on the diagonal so that it wouldn’t fray so easily and also, to give the idea of the candy cane’s swirls of red on white.  I’ll also have the pattern and instructions for this in Friday’s post.

Paper Napkin inspired Christmas PIllow

Paper Napkin inspired Christmas PIllow


My favourite episodes/segments were:

  • Episode 601 – Segment 1: Kathy Mack and Winslow Market Tote
Kathy Mack and Winslow Market Tote

Kathy Mack and Winslow Market Tote

  • Episode 601 – Segment 2:Reversible Patchwork Tote
Reversible Grommet Bag

Reversible Grommet Bag

  • Episode 610 – Segment 2: Fusing Techniques with Jennifer O’Brien

Recommended Spray Glue:
The  glue I should have used is the following, the Odif 606 Permanent Spray Glue. I recommend buying locally if you can as the price on Amazon is higher.

Odif 606 Permanent Spray Glue, made in France. Buy at:

Odif 505 Temporary Spray Glue.

NOTE: Sweet Pea has this and other glues and fusible products in store. You can buy everything you need (except the napkins) for these products at Sweet Pea Quilting in Parksville, BC

505 is the one I used but it did not react well on the napkin. By using the spray both top and bottom of the napkin, you seal the napkin with a coating. I would not recommend machine washing but I think you could spot it nicely in lukewarm water.


Upsides of Series 600 DVD set:

I learned a LOT from the videos. I have about ten projects in mind already. I really have to stop viewing these videos or I’ll never stop.


Downsides :

To use the ideas in the episodes, it helps to be an experienced sewist already. Also, it was incredibly difficult to find the patterns.

Source for the DVD I found the DVD at my local public library. You can probably get it on an inter-library loan if you use the following information. You can also download it from the Interweave website at:


Publisher:, c2010
Branch Call Number:DVD 746.46 QUI
Characteristics: 4 videodiscs (ca. 348 min.)