Monday, November 23, 2015

Sew Modern Monday | 11.23.15

Hello, friends!

As promised, it's time to re-kick off {Sew} Modern Monday! My "to-do" list has included "re-make Fresh Mini Quilt Club minis + new pattern covers" for quite some time. Some how they just keep getting pushed further & further towards the end of the list. Which is why I've enlisted the help of my dad, Leon! After 30 years in law enforcement, he's recently retired and believe it or not he's taken a liking to sewing. To be completely honest, he's a sewing work horse -- you can give him a project & in a few days it's done. I need projects sewn, he likes sewing. Win, win! Don't be surprised if you see more & more of him around these parts. I'm very excited to have him on board with Canoe Ridge Creations, making it a family affair. 


This week's project is my Monkey Business Mini Quilt pattern done in crisp black, white, and chartreuse -- which is quickly becoming one of my favorite color combinations. The mini quilt top measures 21" x 21" and the instant download PDF pattern can be found in the Canoe Ridge Creations Pattern Shop. My original version of the pattern was quilted with a modified cross-hatch design and I plan on using it for this mini quilt as well -- it just compliments the piecing perfectly!


I've just marked down the individual Fresh Mini Quilt Club designs to $5 each through Thanksgiving weekend. Each pattern includes full color diagrams and easy to follow step-by-step directions sent directly to your PayPal e-mail address. The mini quilts finish between 18" and 25" square, making them a perfect + quick holiday gift. Keep your eyes open this week as I'll be adding 12 NEW mini quilt designs from Round 3 & 4, too. 

Now let's see your creations! 

1. Link up a recent sewing or quilting project (progress pictures, finish project, tutorial -- you choose!) using modern fabrics and/or designs. Please link to the specific post, not just your blog home page.
2. Please link back to my blog somewhere in your post. That way your readers can join in the {Sew} Modern Monday fun, too.
3. What fun is a party without conversation?! Please take the time to visit & comment on other people's posts, too.
4. Don't have a blog but you use Instagram? No problem -- just link up your Instagram account instead. Tag your photos with #sewmodernmonday, too!

Happy Sewing!
XOXO, Megan

Thursday, November 19, 2015

#SewTheRainbow 11.19.15

Hello, friends!

Late last fall I started a new hashtag on Instagram called #sewtherainbow, for three reasons: 1) I love Instagram 2) I love sewing 3) I love rainbows. Win, win, win! In just one year the hashtag includes 1,500+ photos from fabulous sewists + quilters just like you. It's one of the happiest hashtags to scroll through, I love seeing all the rainbow goodies! Each Thursday I am going to feature FOUR unique #sewtherainbow photos for the blog readers to enjoy & to inspire us all into the weekend. Enjoy!

You can follow the #SewTheRainbow account here.

Follow Canoe Ridge Creations on Instagram, too. 

Top Left: @twomoreseconds
Top Right: @jenisstitching
Bottom Left: @traceyjayquilts
Bottom Right: @sassafraslane

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Starting A Blog

Pattern: Starshine

Hello, friends!

In my last blog post I mentioned how Canoe Ridge Creations started while I was in college -- simply as a way to share sewing projects with friends & family back home. I had read a few blogs here and there, but by no means would consider myself an avid blog reader. Which means, I knew virtually NOTHING when I decided to jump into blogging. There are so many things I learned along the way -- trial and error...and sometimes, error again. Some of you might be in the very same boat right now, maybe you've wanted to start a blog for some time but don't know where to start. Or you've had a blog, but are open to suggestions to make it even better. Or it's possible you think I'm full of hot air, in which case just keep on moving. Kidding. :)

So here it is, 5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Starting A Blog

1. Fake it 'til you make it, and then fake it some more. Act like a blogger, be a blogger. Act like a pattern designer, be a pattern designer. Yeah okay, it's not that simple -- but close! Have confidence in what you write, share, present to your blog readers and guess what, they'll take you seriously. I promise. It's like how they say "Dress for Success", if you get into the mindset of being a professional blogger/pattern writer/designer (assuming that's what you want) the rest will fall right into place naturally.

2. Blogspot vs. WordPress. It's an age old debate & here's my two cents. When I started Canoe Ridge Creations, Blogspot was all I knew (remember, I seriously didn't know anything about blogging) -- it was easy, quick, and user friendly. I chose a generic template and I was off! Now it's suited me well and I've learned how to write simple code, blog design, etc. to make it my own unique space. However, if I were to do it all over again I'd choose WordPress. Here's why, I like the creative control & ability that comes with WordPress -- to make it 100% your own space. In fact, transitioning from Blogger to WordPress is on my "to-do" list (oh sigh, that darn "to-do" list!).  My point is, do your research and choose what best fits you.

3. Get a URL, and get it now! It's such a simple thing that brings validity to your blog & it's content. Remember, fake it 'til you make it. For less than $20 a year you can own your own unique URL, plus it's cleaner looking on social media, business cards, etc. If you're just starting a blog go and do some research on URLs and if your new blog/business name is available. It just might influence what you name your blog. Also social media -- make sure you secure the same user names on social media, too!

4. Trolls are real. This has been the hardest part of blogging for me and to be honest, it still hurts. I remember the first time someone left a less than desirable comment on my blog (constructive criticism = yes, please!, blatant, mean spirited comment = keep it to yourself). It was the worst. I called up a good bloggy friend of mine, spilled my guts on how hurt, upset, & angry I was that someone would leave such a nasty comment. Do you know what her response was? "Welcome to the big league, Megan." Yeah okay that may be true, but it doesn't make it hurt any less. So here's my advice: Just like Taylor Swift says, "Shake it off!" Let it go, ignore the trolls, and delete the comment if you like -- it's your blog after all!

5. Pictures matter. Pictures do matter, so much. Especially if you are a sewing + quilting + creative blog -- you want your creations to shine in the blog post. The best thing I did (and I wish I would have done it sooner) was invest in a DSLR camera. The quality of my pictures became SO.MUCH.BETTER. after I made that change.

Now I know that going out and purchasing a big (and expensive) camera might not be in everyone's budget, and that's totally fine. Here's one EASY photo tip that you can change -- the size! When I first started blogging my pictures were small like this.

At Sewing Summit, a fellow blogger & event speaker suggested that your pictures should fill your entire blog entry space like this.

Pattern: Sea Breeze Mini Quilt

Uh, HELLO?! Same exact picture but so much better, right? Please note this difference is only seen in the Desktop view, not the Mobile version a blog.

Now if I were to add a 6th (and maybe 7th) thing it would be to JUMP RIGHT IN & learn from your mistakes. You can't learn & grow unless you try. It's important to share what you've learned with others. This online sewing + quilting community is fabulous, but in my experience the waters change a little bit when you enter the actual "quilting industry." Naturally people become more competitive, but that doesn't mean we need to be any less supportive of one another (that topic is for a whole different blog post!).

There you have it, the 5 Things I Wish I'd Known Before Starting A Blog. Leave a comment below if you learned something new or have something to add!

Talk soon!
XOXO, Megan

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Operation: Bring the Blog Back!

Operation: Bring Back the Blog
Pattern: Monkey Business Mini Quilt
Hello, friends!

In August of 2010 I started my blog, Canoe Ridge Creations. What originally began in college as a way to share my sewing + quilting to friends & family, it quickly transformed into something more. I still remember the first time someone (other than family) commented on my blog. Um, hello...seriously?! I was so excited! Little by little it transformed into something so much more. I met fabulous women (and men!) who were into the same thing -- sewing & quilting. They talked the same talk, and walked the same walk. They were MY people.

The blog transitioned into pattern writing for books & magazines, eventually into my own line of patterns, and the Fresh Mini Quilt Club. Writing + sharing on my blog was my happy place, nothing excited me more than hearing from a reader who tried a new technique + tutorial from Canoe Ridge Creations or was inspired my something they'd seen on my Instagram feed. I loved it all!

And then 2015 happened. Brandon & I got engaged and married (hello, wedding planning is serious stuff! oh and that wedding quilt never happened.), we moved twice in less than six months (the last one happening 3 weeks before the wedding -- I don't ever want to do that again), I took some college classes, started a completely different job. Etc. Etc. Etc. Don't get me wrong, all EXCITING stuff -- but that meant sewing & blogging took a backseat. At first I was relieved to take a little break from the pressures of blogging. 1 month turned into 2 months...2 into 4...and now I'm sitting at almost 8 months?! So here's the thing, I've been feeling like I was missing something in my life and I've finally pin-pointed it -- it's blogging!

What do you say - let's bring the blog back! And to do that, I'm going to go back to the basics of blogging. Sharing what I'm working on, what's happening in our lives, and not feel pressured to only share finished work. One of those "blogging basics" that I'm bringing back is the {Sew} Modern Monday Linky Party. Does anyone remember those? It's been a while, but it was so fun & inspiring. Starting this upcoming Monday, November 23rd the {Sew} Modern Monday Linky Party is back and ready for all of you. Check out all the information + details below, snap a few pictures of what you are working on (Instagram users are welcome too!), and come back Monday ready to share your projects & maybe even get a little inspiration from another reader, too.

Sew Modern Monday, so how's it work?

1. Link up a recent sewing or quilting project (progress pictures, finish project, tutorial -- you choose!) using modern fabrics and/or designs. Please link to the specific post, not just your blog home page.
2. Please link back to my blog somewhere in your post. That way your readers can join in the {Sew} Modern Monday fun, too.
3. What fun is a party without conversation?! Please take the time to visit & comments on other people's posts, too.
4. Don't have a blog but you use Instagram? No problem -- just link up your Instagram account instead. Tag your photos with #sewmodernmonday, too!

It's good to be back!
XOXO, Megan

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sew Alongs & Clubs Happening NOW!

sew alongs and clubsThe online sewing & quilting community is my favorite. There's always something new & exciting happening to connect and inspire us to SEW! Here are just a few of the exciting new SEW ALONGS & CLUBS happening NOW. This small little group is full of variety -- there's an online quilt group, mini quilt club, national sewing month series, block of the month, quilt along based on a book, and a back of the month club! Because no size fits all in quilting, there is something for everyone here! The only way you can explore new techniques and have different sewing experiences is to surround yourself with great clubs, groups and sew alongs. We are so excited to have teamed up so you are introduced to others who we love and follow also. 

It's time for you to explore and start sewing! You'll find a quick description of what each is all about followed by a link for more info on signing up or sewing along. Have fun!   

Sew Along & clubs -- you should totally join!


Mini Quilt Club by Canoe Ridge Creations- Join Megan (that's ME!) at Canoe Ridge Creations for Round 5 of the Fresh Mini Quilt Club - Starting August 1st, 2015! Over the course of six months Fresh Mini Quilt Club members will receive six fresh, modern mini quilt patterns on the 1st of each month -- they'll all be a surprise, yay! Each mini quilt will measure between 18" & 24", along one side, making them a quick & easy project. Whether you have been wanting to give quilting a try, or have been it it for years, this mini quilt club is for you! 

HOW DOES IT WORK? On the 1st of each month, club members will receive a fresh, modern mini quilt pattern right in their inbox. This easy-to-follow & printable pattern will come complete with color diagrams and step-by-step instructions. Remember, each new design will be a surprise!
WHY MINI QUILTS? Mini quilts are quick + easy projects, they don't take large amounts of fabric (budget friendly, yay!), are great for trying out new quilting techniques, and look great in your home!
WHO SHOULD JOIN? Everyone! Each mini quilt design will feature basic patchwork techniques -- perfect for beginners & the more advanced quilter.

More info- click here!

patchwork posse quilt group
Online Quilt Group by Patchwork Posse - The online quilt group is similar to your local quilt guilds. We provide you with full access to a community & forum with monthly exclusive patterns- including Block of the Months, Sew Alongs, swaps, and guest designers and more! You will have access to the group – any time, any where! We are open 24/7 so you can check in, share, print and participate around your personal busy schedule. This yearly quilt group is designed to expand your sewing and quilting skills, introduce you to designers from around the world, and provide a community to share and be inspired. How does it work? Register for $35.00 for one year. After purchase you have access to a private Facebook group and to all the patterns for one full year (from date of purchase) PLUS, there is something new in the group weekly- chat, patterns, guest, and more. Love to sew, share, chat? You're just what we need in our online quilt group! Come join the fun! 

More info- click here!


quilterchiccombo The Hey Mama! Sew Along by Quilt Chic is a free quilt block of the month program. We are on block 9, but all of the patterns are available for pdf download. I will also be including finishing instructions for the quilt. This is for any level of quilter, from beginning on up. Join me for the Hey Mama! quilting sew along! A fun, free block of the month in which you can still participate.

More info- click here!


think big amy

Think Big Sew Along- by Amy Ellis is all about making the quilt you want to make! There’s 10 blocks in the book, all 18”, which makes for a fast finish no matter how big or small. Amy will walk you through all the math so you can make the right quilt for you whether a pillow or king size bed quilt! She's hosting a quilt-along starting next week (August 3rd) with three of the blocks included in the book so we can be creative together. I’ll be sharing all my tips for making these blocks and hopefully learn something new from all you too! Ready to Think Big? Stop by! Think Big with super sized quilt blocks, and quilt along with Amy.

More info- click here!


back of the month club lee

Back of the month with May Chappell - Want to design interesting quilt backs? Sometimes they’re as much fun as the front. May Chappell's new club called Back of the Month is like a block of the month for quilt backs! Each month, you'll get a pdf outlining a quilt back design idea. Each will focus on a way to design an interesting back, bringing elements from the front (and using all those scraps!). Since obviously quilt backs are all different sizes, there will be lots of information about sizing things and applying the designs based on what you have. Here are the details: On the 15th of each month, you’ll get an email from Send Owl to download a pdf. The subscription lasts for 6 months and is only $12. You have until August 14 to join. You’ll automatically receive Month One when you sign up! Come join the fun!! Learn creative ways to design your quilt backs with May Chappell's Back of the Month Club! 

More info- click here!



National Sewing Month Series by The Sewing Loft- Love fabric scraps but not sure what to make? Well, The Sewing Loft has you covered!
During National Sewing Month they are shifting gears and focusing on all things scraps. There will be challenges, projects, storage solutions and SO many creative ideas. And I almost forget to mention, one mother load of a giveaway to help keep your needle moving! It's shaping up to be one massive party.
Love fabric scraps but not sure what to make? The Sewing Loft has you covered! Check out all the fantastic things they have in store for you during National Sewing Month! 

More info- click here!