Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The First of Octember

Try to Remember the First of Octember was a Theo LeSieg book we used to read to our kids when they were small.  It's a fun story about an imaginary month full of promises of fun.  The name has always stuck with me.  This fall is speeding by and with September finished and October under way the name "Octember" seems to fit. 

Our first Mini-Retreat was a huge success.  We had a full classroom with many wonderful projects being sewn up.  Here is a (not the best) photo of Bonnie and Betty's Canada 150 top.  The colours were so rich and beautiful.  And it was neat that it wasn't the standard red and white quilts we've been seeing.

 We will be having more Mini-Retreats after Christmas.  With the quilt show in October, our big Shekinah retreat in November (which is now full) and Christmas in December we couldn't squeeze in another Mini-Retreat.  We do have our Quilt 'til you Wilts though so we'd love to have you join us for those.

And speaking of October, our latest pincushion of the month is now available.  A super cute little pumpkin!
And we are making preparations for the Saskatoon Quilters' Guild Quilt Show which will take place at Prairieland Park October 27th and 28th.  There is a great FB page Saskatoonquilts which shares some "sneak peeks" about the show.   Periwinkle Quilting is also the proud sponsor of the Trunk Show being held Saturday morning just before show opening at 9:00am.  The guest presenter is Elinor Burwash.  Information about Elinor can be found on the Saskatoonquilts FB page May 17 post.   Periwinkle will have a booth at the show and will be doing demos Friday at 5:30 and Saturday at 12:30 using the Westalee rulers.  And we will have a special coupon that show attendees can take back to our shop for fun, refreshments and good deals.
Outside of show preparations we continue with our Saturday Surprise Sampler blocks.  Blocks 1 and 2 are available with Block 3 available on the 14th of October. 

We've got the next few blocks planned and done up and we are very pleased with how they all play well together.  This is going to be a fun and happy quilt top.

As ever we are always getting new fabrics and patterns in the shop.  Feel free to stop by and check things out.  We're always happy to see you.

Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11, 2017

September is Upon Us

Again, I don't know where the time goes.  September has appeared.  The days are getting noticeably shorter - I have to turn the light on in my sewing room in the evening - and the nights are cooling off which is a welcome change for those of us that like to sleep in cooler temperatures.

This summer was glorious and warm.  And our warmer than usual summer precipitated a complete crash of our air conditioning system at the shop though.  That occurred early in July.  Unfortunately, through one thing or another (and I'm blaming our landlord here) we didn't get the air conditioning operating until the end of August!  During the interim, let's call it the "Summer of Quilting With a Glow", we kept the shop doors open and the fans running.  We had a few adventures including a pair of homeless 13-stripe ground squirrels who thought the shop had great potential.  I couldn't fault their choice in accommodations but they were rounded up and herded back out the door! 

Here is the crane before it lifted the new condensing unit onto our roof.
We also had SaskEnergy replacing the old gas line to the building which meant a lot of noise and now a lovely gravel pad right beside our back door.  It is due to be paved this fall but as with all things city driven it may or may not happen before the snow flies.

Needless to say we are happy to see Autumn and the return of regular schedules and all things quilty!

And with Fall comes new programming at Periwinkle.  We have our class list up on our new website.  (  There is a calendar as well so that you can see at a glance what is happening each month.  We have several new classes and some old favourites that never seem to lose their popularity too.
Ruler quilting is one of the new classes.  The above photo shows one of the Westalee ruler templates under my sewing machine.  Much fun with many uses and options for quilting designs.   We have Project classes and Technique classes and we have some more social type classes that are filling up quickly. 

We've also made up some more kits.  Jennifer did up a super cute pattern/kit using the Merrily line of fabrics.  It's proving to be very popular.  See photo below:

And we have the September installment of our Pincushion of the Month.  It's a simple and very handy low profile pincushion that snugs up again the base of your sewing machine.  Done up in Autumn colours it will keep your pins handy but stay out of the way of your project.  Here it is:

And finally we have the return of our Saturday Surprise Sampler.  We're calling it Hi/Lo and it will be bright cheerful fabrics on low volume backgrounds.  The patterns are all new and Jen and I are having a lot of fun planning and designing them!  Our first block came out this past Saturday:

We are trying to keep the first few relatively simple so as not to scare anyone away! ;)    And never fear!  You can always join us for an evening of  quilting (bring your own projects or your SSS blocks) and we can chat and sew and share our love of quilting.

We are looking ahead to the coming months and are excited for the upcoming Quilt Show being put on by the Saskatoon Quilters' Guild, Oct 27 and 28th.  Our own retreat at Shekinah is coming up November 17, 18 and 19th - I'm already plotting and scheming for activities and goodies for it!  And we will have a few smaller events at the shop in between all of these bigger ones. 

So stay tuned!  And as always, happy sewing!


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

How can it be August?!

I'm not sure what happened but all of a sudden it's August! 

Actually I know what happened.  I've been wrapped up in planning for Fall classes and activities at Periwinkle.  It's been lots of fun but has required lots of time and organization.   My hat is off to people that set schedules for a living!

So our September at the shop is looking like this:

In addition to old favourites we've added new classes and we are introducing a few series sewing classes like the Stashbusters group and the Bonnie Hunter Support Group (Quiltville-ians will understand this).  We are also bringing back the Quilt 'til you Wilt evenings and trying out a Mini-Retreat weekend for some fun and sewing with fellow quilters.  All of the classes and calendar pages can be found on our website: 

Another favourite we are bringing back are the Saturday Surprise Sampler blocks.  The theme this year is called "Hi/Lo".  We will have all new block patterns with bright fabrics set on low volume backgrounds.  The blocks will will be suitable for both modern and traditional quilt tops. We will begin the second Saturday in September.  Blocks will be available the second and fourth Saturday of each month through to June 2018.  As well, if you sign up and pay for the entire 20 blocks you will get your first block free.  Prices are $6.95 for pick-up in store and $7.95 for blocks that are mailed out.

This image is from "I'm Feeling Crafty".  It gives you a general idea of our plan and colour scheme:
Our blocks will vary in pattern and skill level so they will appeal to a wide variety of quilters.

In addition to the Fall scheduling, I've also re-vamped the Periwinkle website.  It now has a clean, more contemporary feel and it will allow us to add an online shopping component.  We have many customers who do not live in the city and we are hoping the online shop will allow us to better serve their quilting needs.  We are currently working on the online shop and getting it ready with kits and fabrics etc.  I'll make a separate post via Instagram, Facebook and email once it's up and running.

Needless to say there is lots happening at Periwinkle and we couldn't be happier.  Along with the Saskatoon Quilters' Guild Biennial Show October 27 and 28 and our quilting retreat at Shekinah November 17, 18 and 19 these next few months will be full of quilty fun.

So keep watch on Instagram, Facebook, this blog and the occasional email for updates and news of the "goings on" at Periwinkle.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


We all have busy lives.  Trying to get things done and find a balance between work, family and play.  With all that's going on in the world I'm glad there is quilting to centre my mind.  And there is also the ability to unplug, disconnect and escape for a while.  I took some time out to visit one of my sisters (I have 3 - and a twin brother!) in Kelowna.  It was the perfect thing to do. 

We walked a lot of trails.  Many of them were repurposed rail beds that are now groomed and go for many kilometres.  One of them runs 80K from Kelowna to Penticton and my brother in-law and nephew have it on their cycling to do list.  This particular photo was taken on the Penticton end of this trail.  So many vineyards, apple orchards, cherry orchards and even the occasional lavender farm in and around Kelowna!

We traveled to Vernon to visit a grassland sanctuary.  It was an old weather station that had been converted to a sanctuary where the public can walk and learn about the native plant species and even watch the marmots as they sit on their rock pile.  They also had a live bee hive which was visible behind glass.  We were able to watch them working so hard at keeping things going in the hive.  Because the vineyards need bees to help with grape growing there are many places that have hives and they are concerned and very serious about preserving the bees which have been declining in population.

Interestingly they also had the beginnings of a tiny house being built which they plan to raffle off as a fundraiser.

My tour in and around Kelowna included an apple orchard with the neatest shops.  A bee apiary which sold meads in addition to honey and honey byproducts.  We also visited an historic farm with the most amazing house.  There was even a quilt shop with ready made quilts and quilted items at this farm. I was momentarily distracted by half a dozen Necessary Clutch wallets until I remembered I had the pattern and better get on it!

We also stopped at a few quilt shops.  One in Vernon, two in Kelowna, one in Summerland (which was fantastic!) and one in Penticton.  My sister isn't a quilter so she deserves huge props for not only driving me around but putting up with me as I spent time dreaming of and choosing fabrics in each shop.

Of course we visited a couple of wineries.  Summerhill is just at the bottom of the hill from where my sister lives.  And we stopped at Missionhill.  I'm allergic to most wines so I didn't go crazy with wine tastings but I did manage to purchase a package of amazing dark chocolate cherries!

Okanagan Lake is experiencing the highest water levels it has ever had.  Consequently all of the beaches are closed and quite honestly non-existent.  Washed away by the high water level.  The homes and businesses along the lake are all sandbagged and praying they avoid water damage.  The next photo gives you a bit of an idea of how it is.

My final day was spent at the top of a mountain biking on yet another repurposed train bed.  It was absolute fun!  11 trestle bridges - we did 8 because I had to be at the airport in the afternoon - and 2 tunnels. 
And so I return home refreshed and recharged and ready to continue on with my life as wife, mother and shop owner.  I hope all of you will get the chance to enjoy some time away from the everyday this summer.  Happy quilting!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Giving Back in Small Ways

Being a quilter presents itself with all kinds of opportunities.  Today I'm happy to blog about Periwinkle's opportunity to support a very worthwhile organization called Days for Girls.  I discovered this group accidentally when there was a request on a friend's Facebook page for fabric to make the sanitary shields for girls (and women) in developing countries who don't have access to feminine products.  Without these items girls can't go to school, women can't go to work (no income) for several days each month! I must confess I had no idea this was a problem in our world.  But I knew I could certainly donate fabric on behalf of Periwinkle and so I did.   It was then that I was approached by Kathy Litwin of Days for Girls to set up a special fundraiser at the shop.  We wouldn't actually be raising money but raising fabric.  How does this work you ask?  Well here's the scoop:

Kathy has chosen a few bolts of fabric suitable for Days for Girls.  When you come to Periwinkle you will be able to purchase this fabric (at cost) in increments starting at .1m right up to the whole bolt if you like.  And of course any amount in between. The bolts are in plain view so you can see what you are paying for.  Once the entire bolt has been purchased it will go to Kathy and Days for Girls so that they can continue with their important work.   Kathy made us an awesome poster so that we can track our progress with each bolt.  The photo below was taken last week but today we are only .1m away from the purchase of the first full bolt! 

We also have a few brochures about Days for Girls if you would like to find out more about this organization or get involved yourself.

In this crazy world we are living in right now it feels good to do something that benefits women who need our help.  ­čśŐ

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