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My 2013 so far

February 23, 2013

So back in early December, shortly before the madness of Christmas was about to begin for my family, I sat down and really thought about my goals for 2013. I thought back to how 2012 began, and just how amazing,

The VMQG Workshop I taught in November 2012 – Pretty In Patchwork Holidays – Greeting From Antarctica Pillows

The FVMQG workshop I taught in October 2012 – Fox and Gnome Totebag

insanely busy,

Fox and Gnome tote bag pattern released in November 2012

Arctic Seal block pattern published in Quiltmaker’s 100 blocks Vol 6

Did Someone Say Treat Wall hanging, published in Quiltmaker Sept/Oct 2012

You Got Cookies wall hanging, published in Quiltmaker Nov/Dec 2012

Lil’ Matryoshki table runner, published in Quiltmaker’s Quilts from 100 Blocks Fall 2012

I Love Sushi Quilt pattern released in July, 2012

Lil Matryoshka quilt block, published in Quiltmaker’s 100 blocks Vol 5

Vintage Mason Jar Lanterns free pattern released  in April 2012

The Singer Featherweight free pattern released in April 2012

I Love My All Stars quilt pattern, published in Quiltmaker May/June 2012

Lil’ Monkeys take the Bus quilt pattern, published in Quilts from Quiltmaker’s 100 blocks Spring 2012

A new Paper Piecing Photo Tutorial released in February 2012

and exciting it was!

Greetings From Antarctica Pillow pattern, published in Pretty in patchwork Holidays by John Q. Adams

Once December was done, our house guests returned home, and some semblance of normalcy came over my home, it became quite clear to me that I needed this year to be my year of rest, relaxation, family fun, love, clarity, direction and fulfillment. And maybe even in that order?

My life in Iphone shots – Jan, 2013

My January was full of Scrappy trip along happiness. Oh did I need to do that project. Finally some pressure-free sewing, just for me!

It was such a good decision, as February so far has been full to to brim with family priorities. And that’s just fine with me to be honest. I’m so thankful I can work from home and be readily available for those who need me.  I’m also so so thankful that my hubby has a great job he’s happy in, which can support all of us. *phew* 

Looking back, I feel like family came second all last year, and I find myself needing to readjust my focus a tad this year.

My life in Iphone shots – Feb, 2013

Don’t worry, there will still be lots of crafty, sewing and quilting goodness coming your way. I might even try for an I Love Sushi Quilt-a-long if there’s enough interest. Or maybe a new mystery quilt-a-long? I’ve had some fun ideas brewing for awhile now, and quite a collection of unpublished patterns stacking up!

A little English paper piecing, all hand pieced and quilted.

I’ve even contemplated joining the xplus-a-long

Happy Sewing my friends!

QuiltCon on Instagram and Flickr

February 20, 2013

quilt con

I’m just going to go ahead and assume that if you’re reading my blog today, then chances are you’re not at QuiltCon, and are at home lamenting that fact as I am.

What’s QuiltCon? Oh, it’s only the inaugural Modern Quilt Show and Conference, and biggest event ever for The Modern Quilt Guild movement yet! It’s happening in Austin Texas right now, and will incorporate a juried quilt show (with cash prizes), vendors, lectures and workshops  from top modern quilters, including Denyse Schmidt, Anna Maria Horner, Elizabeth Hartman, Malka Dubrowsky, Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr! I don’t know about you, but I’m DYING to be a fly on the wall.

So here is a list of some people you should be following onInstagram and Flickr to see all the behind the scenes goodness of what’s going on in Austin:

@bettycrockerass – (Flickr) Jen Carlton-Bailly, who blogs at Betty Crocker Ass. She’s an avid quilter/sewist who I’m fairly certain has a quilt or two in the show. She posted a shot of her official name tag which read: Social Media Manager for the Modern Quilt Guild. So far she’s posted all kinds of neat stuff from the setup of the trade and quilt show.
oh fransson

@elizabethagh – (Flickr) Elizabeth Hartman, an amazing quilter and author who blogs at Oh, Fransson! Her feed has featured the making of all the gorgeous patchwork award and participation ribbons and some early quilt display set up. She’s teaching two workshops: The Marmalade Quilt, and Free Motion Quilting on a Home Machine.

@kristafleck – (Flickr) Krista Fleckenstein, who blogs at Spotted Stones. She’s a very talented quilter and is attending with her baby girl in tow. I’m pretty sure she has a quilt or two on display at the show.

@lolablueocean – (Flickr) Krista Withers, who blogs at Krista Withers Quilting. She’s an amazing long arm quilter, I know several quilts at the show feature her work, and I love seeing the world through her eyes.

@annamariahorner – (Flickr) Anna Maria Horner, fabulous fabric and pattern designer we all know and love, who blogs at Anna Maria Horner. She’s also teaching two workshops at QuiltCon: Composing a Quilt, and Every Last Stitch.

@happy_zombie – (Flickr) Monica Solorio-Snow, another fun fabric designer who blogs at The Happy Zombie. I met her in Seattle last summer and omg I LOVE her! She’s heaps of fun and so is her ig feed.

@sewtakeahike – (Flickr) Penny Layman who blogs atSew Take a Hike. She’s a good friend and talented paper piecing designer who is teaching two workshops: Beginning Freezer Paper Piecing by Template, and Advanced Foundation Piecing – Designing Blocks. She hasn’t posted anything yet of her trip, but I’m sure that’s because she’s crazy busy getting prepped. I’m hoping she’ll post some paper piecing goodness though!

Edited : @fatquartershop is posting some fun stuff, as is @calamitykim!

Also the #quiltcon hashtag will hopefully make it onto everyone’s photos!
Just in case you’d like to also follow me on instagram, my handle is @artisania .
Have fun following along all the QuiltCon goodness! I know I will..

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February 20, 2013

I really mean it.

The aftermath of Sunday’s distressing discovery, and Monday’s subsequent victory, found me elated, relieved, disgusted, and dismayed. It honestly gave me pause as to whether I should continue to offer free patterns on my site. This isn’t the first time someone has stolen a pattern from me and well, may not be the last.

And then I wondered if maybe it was my over tiredness talking, as the past four weeks have been quite busy and sleepless for me. I decided to then read through your wonderfully supportive comments, and looked at all of the many emails I received from friends, designers, customers, and people I didn’t even know alerting me to the issue, and genuinely upset on my behalf. I saw a lot of tweets, facebook comments, flickr and instagram comments of support and notes of action taken to help, and it … no, YOU reminded me of why I put free patterns up in the first place.

This crafting, sewing and quilting community of ours is such a rich and wonderful place filled to the brim with honest, passionate friends who are all looking out for each other, and genuinely interested in helping each other grow and learn. I very clearly remember being so happy to find free photo tutorials, and free patterns when I needed them the most. So much of my passion for sewing and drive to keep trying and learning truly stemmed from the generosity of a handful of knowledgeable people.

Origami flowers I learned from a free tutorial

I thank them, and I thank you for keeping me inspired, and for your notes of thanks and happiness over finding my videos and patterns. It honestly makes my day when someone emails me a photo, or adds one to the Artisania Flickr group of something they’ve made using one of my patterns. Every time. Your smiles really warm my heart and that makes it all worth it!

Happy VMQG Greetings from Antarctica Pillows Workshop attendees

If you’re hankering for more happy thanks, head over to Jen’s video post at SewHooked. Yes, we were doing whatever we could to fix the problem, but believe me she was too! This is one woman you want in your corner and I’m honoured to call her my friend.

And I’m so very honoured to call you my friend too.

Happy Sewing!

Pattern Theft!!

February 17, 2013

Edited — The offending website has finally been shut down! Thanks to everyone for your amazing support and due diligence in getting the word out there and contacting your designer friends! What an amazing crafty community we have and I’m so very thankful for each and every one of you!!!


So it came to my attention this morning, via Jen who blogs at SewHooked, that Los Angeles Needleworks is swiping the free patterns from many sewing, quilting, crochet, embroidery and knitting designers and selling them on their website. Including several of my patterns.

Recognize my gnomes and hedgehog?

Please do not buy from this website!! Support your hardworking indie pattern designers, and buy patterns directly from the designers.

I just can’t believe the sheer number of patterns this person is claiming to have designed herself! Here is her google+ profile , Her facebook,  andtwitter.Although judging by the terribly translated descriptions, she may not be an actual person, but maybe a front for an overseas jerk?

I’ve heard that her Etsy store and shop facebook page have been taken down, but as of 7:30pm PST the website is still up and adding new patterns.

My husband, rife with anger wrote the following letter to the domain and site hosting providers:


Re: Copyright Violation –


It’s come to our attention that one of your customers is currently running a website under the URL of  Through this site they are selling patterns for download that are being pulled from various other websites without the owners permission.


Primary example I’ll refer to is the pattern designed by my wife Sonja Callaghan of

Here is the link to her original pattern “Gnomeling and Fancy Mushroom” that was posted up under copyright in 2008:

And here is the link for a “Gnome With Mushroom House Paper Piecing Pattern Quilt Block” currently up on the Los Angeles Needlework site:
Gnome With Mushroom House

The primary issue at hand is that not only are they in effect STEALING the pattern outright (image & all) and then SELLING it on their site, when this has been available for FREE on the Artisania site for 5 YEARS.

Artisania is receiving no credit, payment or any type of compensation for this offering, and has never been contacted by, or granted permission to, the Los Angeles Needlework website to use the pattern. Here are two more listings of Sonja’s which are being sold by Los Angeles Needlework:

Gnomlette and Lil’ Hedgehog Patterns

The listing at the Los Angeles Needlework site:

The listing at the Los Angeles Needlework site:
Hedgehog Paper Piecing Quilt Block Pattern

This letter is official notification under Section 512(c) of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), and I seek the removal of the aforementioned infringing material from your servers. I request that you immediately notify the infringer of this notice and inform them of their duty to remove the infringing material immediately, and notify them to cease any further posting of infringing material to your server in the future.

Please also be advised that law requires you, as a service provider, to remove or disable access to the infringing materials upon receiving this notice. Under US law a service provider, such as yourself, enjoys immunity from a copyright lawsuit provided that you act with deliberate speed to investigate and rectify ongoing copyright infringement. If service providers do not investigate and remove or disable the infringing material this immunity is lost. Therefore, in order for you to remain immune from a copyright infringement action you will need to investigate and ultimately remove or otherwise disable the infringing material from your servers with all due speed should the direct infringer, your client, not comply immediately.

I am providing this notice in good faith and with the reasonable belief that rights my company owns are being infringed. Under penalty of perjury I certify that the information contained in the notification is both true and accurate, and I have the authority to act on behalf of the owner of the copyright(s) involved.

Should you wish to discuss this with me please contact me directly.


Vince Callaghan

Please, if you recognize any of the patterns, please notify the designers so they can also take action against this blatant fraud.

If you’re a designer affected by this copyright infringement, start writing to paypal, the domain host website, and anyone else you can think of who can help stop this site.

Here is another designer who’s trying to do something about it.

Thanks for your help and support!


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The Scrappy Trip along

February 13, 2013

By now I’m sure you’ve seen some evidence of the Scrappy trip around the world quilt frenzy that’s been happening around the interwebs.

Well, it was sometime in early January when I happened across the early quilts in the #scrappytripalong tag on Instagram and Flickr, when suddenly I HAD to try it.

“Just a few blocks” I said to myself. “I’ll use some of the fabric I bought in Seattle last summer”

Just something easy and fun to do just for me. I deserve some me sewing time!

Just four blocks oughta do… no need to go all out and really drink the koolaid, right?

Yeah, what if I recovered one of my rather drab old floor pillows?

Any excuse to do some free motion quilting on my new girl was reason enough for me!

Seeing the back of the pillow top just makes me want to do a whole cloth quilt so badly! It seriously pained me to hide this inside the pillow!

I left the red and yellow squares empty so they would poof out a bit.

And I have to say it felt so good cutting into some of my special fabric!

Ok, honestly? This was such a satisfying and fun project! Those blocks were like candy! They came together so quickly and in like two days I had a finished pillow..

“Well that was so much fun!” I said to like every person within hearing distance, and phone distance, and internet distance….

And it haunted me. All those strips and quick quick blocks…

…”and don’t I have a ton of fabric I’ve been dying to play with for ages now?”

And for the first time in my life, I started a happy quilt just for my family to cuddle up in and enjoy. Can you believe that every . single . quilt . I’ve made over the years have just been for show and not for actual use? How ridiculous!!

I was a woman possessed. I turned to my hubby on the second day and said “I will be unavailable as a wife, mother and general useful person around here for the next handful of days. There is food in the fridge.”

And by the end of that day I had blocks to show..

Lots of blocks!

THEY’RE LIKE CANDY I TELL YOU! Sweet, lovely, yummy highly addictive candy… (see how I used two kinds of blocks? One where the dark value was 3-3 and the other 2-4? Well I had a vague hopeful plan in mind)

by the third day I was playing with the layout…

And was so pleasantly surprised that my varied blocks created these perfect clean points in a neato, larger variation of the common Scrappy Trip Around the World quilt layout. By the end of Day 3 I had my top pieced!

Then spray and pin basted by day 4 ..

It came with me to the FVMQG-VMQG sew in..

And hung out with Paula’s Kaffe Fassett themed Scrappy Trip..

Where we held a lottery for all the scrappy trip around the world blocks that were made that day!

I highly recommend sew-ins! Especially where “travel handmade” is the swap theme..

I managed to make some progress on my Hexie lily pad quilt..

It was finally time to quilt this sucker up!

I backed it with the softest flannel I could find..

And after 6 days of sewing, quilting and binding, I had my new, cuddly couch quilt!

Seriously, you should try it.

Go on! Just one block can’t hurt, right?

The Twleve Days of Craftmass Insanity

January 5, 2013

Hey hey hey!

Happy New year everyone! Hope 2013 has been kind to you so far!

On New Years Day I was pleasantly surprised to see that I’m in the member spotlight over on the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild blog this month!

And if you’re still hankering for some more interview goodness, I was also recently interviewed over on


So as promised, here is a quick look back into the crazed handmade happenings which dominated my December. Even though it pains me to even think about writing a Christmas tune in the first week of January, here is my rendition of the “Twelve Days of Christmas Sewing Insanity”, or better known as :



On the first day of Craftmass my big brother said to me, “Can my four kids and I come on Boxing Day and stay for a week?”

On the second day of Craftmass I said to my hubby, “Can you clean the guest room? And the kids room too? Oh and their bathroom?….And can you caulk the upstairs tub? And finish painting the landing?  And replace the curtain rod, but don’t hang those back up, try these instead so I can change my mind again, and can you take the garbage out please? Oh and by the way, Jay and his kids are coming for a week won’t that be fun?

On the third day of Craftmass I found an awesome deal, a new in open box Janome Horizon  7700 QCP for less than 1/2 the retail price!! So of course I had to buy it and drive three hours the next morning to pick it up and bring my new baby home.

and yes I made a quick little placemat just for me, just because..

On the fourth day of Craftmass, I sewed a string of lights, designed by my friends Penny and Kerry of Sew Ichigo.


I also used Monica’s Happy Zombie Winterkist Charm Pack fabrics, aren’t they perfect?


Click over to the Sew Ichigo site to find the pattern template for the string of lights! Penny should have it up shortly 🙂

On the fifth day of Craftmass, I designed a gnome ornament. And started sewing 20 – I must be out of my mind – cute little gnomes.

My first try was totally weird and goofy. Lots of pattern tweaking followed.

On the sixth day of Craftmass, my hubby said to me. Can you make a quilt for my sister please? That’ll take you like a day right? Oh and don’t forget about Christmas part Deux where we host dinner for my side of the family on the same day your brother and his family are expected to arrive. Maybe we should make a shopping list…

On the seventh day of Craftmass, I bought ALL of the groceries at the store and they had to close down, cause I need to host 2 big Christmas dinners, and feed 10 people for a week.

On the eighth day of Craftmass, my little brother said to me. We can’t make it to xmas dinner since our baby’s due any day and your house is too far, but if you hosted at Dad’s then we can make it. Ok I said, let’s plan for dinner at Dad’s. And then after calling everyone to confirm the change, I realized that he does NOT have a dishwasher!! Then I recruited child labour to make a baby quilt.

On the ninth day of Craftmass, I said to my family. I’ll be upstairs sewing for the next 18 hours,  I don’t care what you eat, just please don’t starve, and maybe throw a sandwich at me, and maybe take a shower, and put that laundry away, and maybe vacuum the stairs, oh and hubby, please can you pick up the roast, and the turkey today? And NO you can’t drink all the egg nog, god help you if I need to go grocery shopping again!

On the tenth day of Craftmass, I received some fun packages. two quilts back from Quiltmaker,

and the Spoonflower tea towel panels I designed, featuring my great great grandmother’s handwritten German Cheesecake recipe.

Then I decided that I had nothing to give the men, so I sewed up some lined flannel scarves,

helped finish the baby quilt, sewed up the tea towels, made the kids wrap some stuff, and sewed a bunch more gnomes.

And my hubby prepped all the food. and even made a ratatouille. Then  Liam had a birthday party at the swimming pool, and so I took him and my quilt, and binded by the sidelines showing the other ladies all the nice hunky men.

On the eleventh day of Craftmass, I packed up all the food, half of my kitchen utensils, pans and serving dishes, both of my children,  all of the gifts, and remembered all the food in the fridge in the garage, and even remembered the pies and apple juice in the back freezer, but forgot the onions, then drove an hour to my Dad’s, put the Turkey in the oven, and had a wonderful Christmas with my family.


and yes that boy on the left is the same blond girl with the bob, doing the embroidery in the earlier shot. He suddenly decided it was time for a haircut.

On the twelfth day of Craftmass, I didn’t get dressed. Santa had come,

he liked the chocolate milk,

And brought me awesome goodies from Poppyprint

and we hung out, and then my little brother called, they want to come all the way out anyway even though she’s over due, and so they came, and he built me two shelves for my kitchen, and she insisted on helping me clean for tomorrows onslaught of guests, but she’s 9.5 months pregnant, how can I let her? Ok what about some easy dusting and vacuuming? So Xmas day I cleaned, and prepped for the next days dinner, and went to bed early cause all hell’s going to break loose for…

On the thirteenth day of Craftmass, YES I NEED AN EXTRA DAY TO GET THROUGH THIS SONG, I didn’t lose my mind like I thought I would. Let me simply say that a huge prime rib roast was slow cooked, all day in the oven,

thirteen people came to dinner, and we had a great week with all 6 kids! The oldest is missing from this shot.


Hmm… doesn’t Christmas 2013 in Hawaii have a nice ring to it?

Merry Christmahanzaquanzicka!!

December 24, 2012

As I race around this morning prepping to host my family’s Christmas eve dinner at my Dads house, I want to wish each and every one of you wonderful people a weekend full of laughter, great food, coziness, warm hearts and beautiful memories. I have so much to share from the happenings in my studio this past week, and year end wrap up posts have been percolating in my noggin. But as family is flying in on the 26th to hang out for a week, I’ll likely get share my own version of the Twelve days of Craftmass after new years.

Until then, may all your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmahanzaquanzickas be white!

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The Fox and Gnome Tote Bag Pattern

November 18, 2012

Is now up for sale in my Instant Download Pattern Shop, and in my Etsy Store!

This is the project pattern I developed for the paper piecing workshop I taught for the FVMQG back in August, and it was a hit! There were wee little gnomes and precocious darling foxes all over the place.

This is a 10 page PDF E-Pattern, rated moderate for novice sewists and quilters. I know just how time consuming paper piecing can be when you’re just starting out, so I purposely kept the bag construction really simple and straightforward so it’s more of an instant gratification once the paper piecing is all done. It’s also reversible! I personally like my totes to be a balance between sturdy yet foldable so I can keep them handy while I’m out shopping and need another bag.

The first 6 pages of the pattern print out as a handy instruction booklet. You can either cut the pages apart, arrange and corner staple together, or print double sided and sew together.


The Fox and Gnome tote bag is both charming and practical, and would make your holiday shopping so much more fun don’t you think?

Winner winner chicken dinner!

November 7, 2012

But before I get to the lucky magazine winner,  I want to thank you all for leaving some pretty awesome jokes and funny stories in your comments! I’ve been giggling, and laying your doozies and groaners on my kids and hubby for the past two days. Ha! I seriously don’t think his eyes could roll any further to the back of his head, and for this alone, You all rock!

Ok drumroll please…….

And the winner is Prima Donna who said:

Congrats Miss Prima Donna!! Check your email(s) for one from me!

Since there were so many great jokes in Mondays comment stream, I decided to turn some of my favourites into those Someecards  we’ve all come to love.  Enjoy!

There’s even one for the Germans!

Happy Sewing everyone!


Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 6!

November 5, 2012

Hey hey hey!

It’s a fine day to help announce the release of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks Volume 6 magazine, don’t ‘cha think?

Oh I love these special issues, they’re just chock full of fantastic blocks! And this one doesn’t disappoint!

I was so excited about having a block in this issue, I coerced my monkeys with halloween candy  appealed to my children’s loving nature and asked them to pose out in the front yard for me.

So mommy, what page is your pattern on?

Try page 27 kiddo!

Yep, right beside one really cool swirly geese block, you’ll find my Arctic Seal on the first 2 page spread of the foundation pieced patterns section.

He’s a quick and easy pattern to whip up and enjoy all winter long! I used Robert Kaufman’s quilter’s linen in aqua for the ice, and Alexander Henry’s heath in black/white for the night sky. I have no idea who makes that cherry fabric I used for the nose, I’ve been hoarding my few remaining scraps literally for 7 years now lol!

If you’d like to win a free copy of the magazine, please leave me a comment below with your favourite joke or a funny story, and I’ll draw a winner on November 8th, 2012! Make sure to leave an email address or some way to contact you!   The winner’s been announced! Thanks so much for playing!

Make sure you pop over to Quiltmaker’s blog to find the rest of the blog tour sites, and snag yourself more chances to win a magazine!

Good luck and Happy Sewing everyone!

and reading…

..or drooling…

I promise, that won’t be the winner’s copy! 


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