The Quilt Show

The Splendid Sampler - In The Sunshine

The Splendid Sampler - Applique and Improv

In The Sunshine

18.5'' x 18.5

My 15th wedding anniversary is coming up in a couple of months. One of the more entertaining moments of our wedding day (aside from the baby nearly born there) occurred as we walked down the aisle after the ceremony. After almost 6 years of dating it seems our wedding was a much anticipated affair. So our friends standing up there with us shouted out a coordinated, "Finally!!' 

After nearly a year of The Splendid Sampler I kind of feeling shouting Finally!! myself as my block debuts.

In the Sunshine was envisaged to celebrate my love of applique, a desire to not have really tiny pieces on this small block, and just a little bit of my true love, improv. And really, who doesn't love a flag waving in the sunshine?

Get the pattern here. Finally!

The Splendid Sampler

It was fun to play with my own fabric in this mini quilt. My first line, Tag, recently came out with Connecting Threads. I've made a handful of quilts already with just my fabrics, but the true measure of a fabric is how well it plays with others. So the background squares include my fabric plus a mix of stashed black and white prints. Then I dug into the scrap bin for the solid fabrics on the flags.

Now making a mini is hard for me. I get why people love them - boy is it fast from start to finish - but I prefer to Go King or Go Home! And when I am sewing for myself I default to improv piecing: curves, letters, slabs, and everything else.  That being said,  I really enjoy the switch up to designing patterns. It gets my brain working in a different way plus seeing the different results from other quilters is pretty thrilling! That's why I am so excited to see what each of you do with the block. This was a quick one to make, even with the needle turn applique. Get the pattern here. 

For those of you new here let me tell you a bit about myself. I live on intersection of the Rocky Mountains and the Prairies, in Calgary, Alberta. A pretty dreamy location. We get a proper winter - which I love - and it gets just hot enough in the summer. I'm such a Canadian! We have 3 nearly feral, outgoing, and active kids. My girls have followed me to the pool. In my youth I was a competitive swimmer then rower. After a decade working on environmental policy and sustainability issues I switched gears to staying with my kids and to become a professional quilter, writer, and a teacher. With three published books, online classes, national and international travel to teach on top of our busy lives I could say it is a fine balance, but it is more like a rocky seesaw that just can't quite make it even. But hey, I chose it and I'm making it work!

The Splendid Sampler, Applique, Improv Curves

So take a few moments to hang out here. Check out my quilt gallery for inspiration, read through the blog for a glimpse into my compulsion to create, and feel free to sign up for my biweekly newsletter. My mission here and in everything quilting is to inspire creative action in everyone, for everyone. I am what you see - bold, blunt, kind, generous, open, and a little bit weird.

PS If the curves make you nervous, check out my episode of The Quilt Show, where I break it down. 

The Quilt Show, Improvisational Piecing, and I

The Quilt Show Cheryl Arkison

Back in August I had the pleasure of a trip to Denver (with my favourite Evil Genius as assistant) to film an episode of The Quilt Show. Alex Anderson, Ricky Tims, and all of their staff were amazing! The behind the scenes action and prep work were so well organized and it was a fantastic experience. And now the show is live!

If you are a member of The Quilt Show you may have already seen the episode (number 1911). If not, The Quilt Show has generously opened up viewing for my special readers for one week only. Free viewing lasts only until December 4.

UPDATE: Link now works. Apologies if you tried an earlier version.

The Quilt Show Slabs Big Quilt Bee

On the show I demo making Slabs and a brief overview of Improv Curves. It's a totally free class! And that's on top of an interview/mini trunk show.  More of me than you might want! Or, because I have limited ability to travel, a snippet of me in your home.

It was a total thrill to bring my Evil Genius with me. A truly special experience for us both. And The Quilt Show treated her like a star! She stepped up and went to work on set while I was filming, helping set up and processing sales in the shop. A huge thank you to the show for welcoming her as well. Here she is with me backstage for cuddles and a bonus interview.

I've been a quilter for over 18 years now. Ricky Tims' book, Convergence Quilts, was one of the first ones I ever bought. And Alex Anderson is a super star quilter, with a career to envy. I never could have imagined that I would end up a guest on their show! What a strange journey life can be. Now that I've had another onscreen experience I can honestly say I need to make this a more regular part of my life. I even told Alex that when she wants to retire, that she can feel free to consider me for her replacement. Just sayin'.