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I made a really big, little thing.

I’ve had this idea written down in a notebook and in the back of my mind for a long time and I’m so stoked about how it turned out! It was a simple mini to go along with my “Larger than Life” project. A paper clip. Just a basic paper clip. I have a thing for office stationery; ask my co-workers. I’ve got a massive collection of post-it notes, “special” pens (I’m a leftie so the struggle is real to find a decent non-smudging pen), and my favourite notebooks. But I’ve always felt that the paper clip was under appreciated.

I was lucky enough to be gifted a massive collection of vintage and just plain old bias tape and I never use it. I had also been working on a commissioned quilt for a few hours, and wasn’t the slightest big tired (this was at midnight last Friday night) and wanted to just make SOMETHING that didn’t have a deadline, or needed to be made. Something fun and frivolous. And it all came together so perfectly!

I grabbed this piece of Libs Elliott‘s Gem Stripe in Teal fabric from her Tattooed collection (which I’ve been hoarding) and it was actually pretty fantastic because I used the stripes on the fabric to guide the placement of the bias tape. I used a double sided fusible hem tape to position it, then ironed it all down. I quilted the background randomly following the lines using a nice shiny Glide thread and then stitched down the edges of the bias tape to secure it.

I still have my scrap bag from the #100days100blocks2017 quilt-along sitting beside my sewing table, so I snuck in a few bright scraps to liven up the black binding. The finished piece measures 16″ square. And thanks to my little helper for holding it up during our little photoshoot!

0 In Quilting

The Kindred Quilt Pattern

Oh dear – so my goal of blogging regularly has been shot to hell. Gotta step up my game, so might as well go big or go home! And by that I mean that I just self-published my first quilt pattern!

The Kindred Quilt was the first quilt pattern that I ever designed. It was originally only supposed to be for me but I wanted to share her with the world. Please be kind! She’s a 63″ x 72″ throw quilt, using only HST’s and a few solid blocks. Super simple, super easy and a great quilt to tackle if you’re a beginner wanting to try out a HST pattern with some interesting internal shapes. Because its my first self-published pattern, and I’m still working out all the kinks and specifics (don’t worry – the pattern is correct, I just mean all the fine print, etc. associated with pattern writing) it will be listed for $5.00 (CAN).

I would love to know what you think! Please leave a comment, and please be gentle. To purchase the quilt, please go here!

0 In Blog/ Quilting

#goalachieved x 3

EPP mini quilt by Jenn McMillan

Weird post title, I know. But I am excited to write this post even though I can’t divulge any of the finer details just yet. A few months ago I wrote about my creative resolutions for the year. While I’m in-process with a few of my resolutions, I’m happy to announce that resolution #4 has been achieved!

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#100days100blocks2017 update!


Update time! We’re currently on day 10 of the #100days100blocks2017 challenge on Instagram! Lots of participants had started making collages to show their first 9 blocks so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon. Its nice to see the first batch of blocks together and get a feel for how they’re all jiving. Also, nice to be able to evaluate if you’ve got a good colour/tonal balance (if you’ve got a specific palette and that’s what you’re going for!)

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0 In Blog/ Quilting


Committing to a long-term project scares the crap out of me. Honestly. Not in the sense of being actually afraid of doing it, but knowing me, I’ll get it started and then get bored along the way. Tula Pink’s City Sampler book has been on my shelf for what feels like a long time. I’ve tagged a few pages of blocks that I liked, but haven’t used it for anything other than a bedside table decoration. So when Angie from Gnome Angel announced a second #100Days100Blocks quilt-along I was instantly on board.

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Binding time!

I feel as though this quilt has been in-process forever. But the end is near and I can’t be more excited! Last week I dropped my full-sized majestic pineapple quilt off to Sharyn at Huntley Quilting Studio (inside Mad About Patchwork) to be long-armed. I chose a basic meander/stipple pattern for a nice flowing all-over quilted effect. I think its a nice balance between the angles of the pattern pieces and the flowing quilting.

Last night I finally got the time to trim and sew the binding on. Normally this is the point in a project where I just want to get it finished, so I’d machine finish the binding, but since I’ll be taking a LOT of photos of this quilt, I’ve decided to spend the time and hand-bind it properly. I’m hoping it’ll only take me a few hours, and there are a few new Netflix movies that I actually want to pay attention to, so it’ll be the perfect time to finish it!

I’ve got a few other process photos on Instagram if you wanted to check them out. Once the quilt is photographed I plan on submitting the pattern to quilting magazines (one of my 2017 crafty resolutions) – wish me luck!

0 In Blog/ Quilting

OMQG & VMQG Mini-mini swap!

Earlier this year I signed up for a mini-mini swap through the Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild. We would be making mini-mini (under 48″ diameter) quilts and swapping with the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild! We were asked to fill out a questionnaire and our answers, likes, dislikes, etc. would be given to someone in Vancouver; but we were given a different name than the person making our quilt. Scouring Instagram for clues and trying to find the person we were quilting for was fun, except if the person has no social media presence at ALL! 🙂

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The Mini-Majestic Pineapple

Just an update to my previous post. Above is a snapshot I posted on Instagram of my progress on my mini-Majestic Pineapple. As mentioned before, I’m creating this for the Ottawa Modern Quilt Guild’s Essex Linen mini quilt challenge. It is also a mini version test of the large throw-sized quilt pattern I’m currently working on. I’ve done some hand stitching on this version because I wanted to incorporate some texture against the solid colours but will probably end up doing an all-over or section specific quilting on the full-sized because I’ll be using multiple prints in yellows and greens. I’ll be sure to post updates on the full-sized as they come along!

0 In Blog/ Quilting

The Majestic Pineapple – in the works

Copyright Jenn McMillan 2017

I know tons of creative people who doodle, sketch or draw during the day. I’m one of those people; currently in front of me at my desk are 2 small sketch books, 1 large sketch book, 2 graph pads and 2 watercolour pads. I’ve also got two pencil cases full of the myriad of black ink pens, pencils and other mark-making tools that are standard to graphic designers, or at least the ones I know. But unlike most, I find myself doodling in relation to my quilty obsession.

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My 2017 Creative Resolutions

Creative resolution #1 – blog! I guess there’s no better place to start, am I right? So here I am; a new year and a new set of creative resolutions that I am committing to follow through on.

I feel as though I’m at a crossroads of sorts. I’ve always kept my day-job career and part-time crafty endeavours separate which, in the past, has felt like a nice balance. I work full-time as a graphic designer for a private agency and I do a wide variety of design work. I love my job, don’t get me wrong, but I would come home and not want to do more work on the computer. Over the past few years I’ve let go of my freelance clients and focused solely during my evening time to sewing, quilting, knitting, painting, etc. I’ve built a nice little business (Once Upon an Extra Stitch) making quilts, bags, coffee cozies, infinity scarves, etc. and have done fairly well over the years. I love to sew. LOVE to sew. But there is a little piece of me longing to be the person behind the fabric; the person dreaming up the patterns and coordinates, textures and substrates to curate those incredible collections. I’ve got a sketchbook filed with quilt and appliqué patterns. I’ve got another half-dozen sketchbook filed with doodles, sketches and  drawings that I’ve loosely put into themes. But what to do next?

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