Sunday, October 29, 2023

Pumpkin Spice Maples

As I write, I can hear leaf blowers and kids outdoors attempting to deal with the last of the falling leaves. But there's been a few leaves dropping indoors as well. Like this beauty by Roberta. SO gorgeous against that navy!

There's been lots and lots of Secret Squirrel sewing happening over the past month or so that I will share with you in January. Amidst the process of dropping off and picking up at Roberta's for quilting, she tucked a Crystal Manning pattern called Pumpkin Spice Maple Leaf into my bag. 

Always up for another squirrel to chase, I decided to play with a few fall colours while they were in season. And so did she! (Don't you love the middle colour that looks almost like pussy willows?) She is much further along with hers than I am with mine.

She got right into it, trying different combinations, each one as beautiful as the last. Not sure what that bottom print is called - the one that looks like poppies - but it's right in my wheelhouse. Love those large prints to add lots of texture.

Then she had four. As in nature, each on different from the other, and each one beautiful in its own right. So she needed to figure out just what in the world she was going to do with them.

Add a little sashing and a few dark cornerstones and you have the beginnings of a runner.

Then that fabulous poppy fabric came back into play for a border.

And then the dark brow cornerstone fabric became an outer border.
Here's a closer look at those borders.

She's still ruminating about how to quilt it but I know that she will pick just the right panto. I'm also thinking that there's a really good chance that the gorgeous large plaid in the upper right corner of the fifth image of this post (the one with all four of her blocks) will show up in the binding....M

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

The Goblins Are Coming!

The Queen of 'Ween has been at it again! There's no denying that this is one of Jane's favourite times of the year and recently she has pulled Linda into her creative web with the two of them deciding earlier this summer to make Hallowe'en quilts for Jane's great niece and nephew (two of Linda's grandchildren).

By late September they were finished and ready to be mailed.

Jane has just the BEST collection of Hallowe'en prints so digging through them was half the fun, I'm sure.

I have always loved this dot. Just fun, isn't it? The first photo in this post is another absolute fave.
And it wouldn't be All Hollow's Eve without a few black cats now, would it?

Creative gal that she is, when she was prepping her quilt for mailing she enclosed an "I Spy" list for Lucy to find items in the quilt. To say that they were thrilled to open their mail is an understatement. Logan loved his because 'it smelled like Granny'. How adorable!

Even Jane's wee pincushion has a Hallowe'en vibe, doesn't it?

Roberta quilted both of them with this great spiderweb panto, the perfect finishing touch. I haven't heard for certain, but I suspect that they've been sleeping under these treasures for the past month....M

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Feels Like Spring

Today is one of those drizzly, cool, grey autumn days that makes you want to sit in, wrapped up in a cozy quilt sipping a good cup of cocoa, so sharing a quilt that's filled with pretty spring irises seems like a good way to counter the season's gloominess. 

This is the second of Betty's Quilts for Survivors projects and I just love it. I'd seen a block or two as it was coming together but I wasn't quite prepared for the impact of seeing them all in one place. Gorgeous!

Similar to her fall-coloured quilt, this is a very simple modified Nine-Patch. Those beautiful irises  are common throughout but it's the variety of mauves and purples surrounding the centre squares that takes it to a whole other level. 

You can see how she transitioned her thinking to have all four cornerstones in one fabric and the sashing pieces in a second colour, bringing more structure/order to the design, despite it's scrappiness.

It's a terrific example of where more is better - there's so much variety and movement, lots of places for your eye to roam - and all within the confines of a very basic block.

She stayed with a garden theme for the backing as well. That green floral is a beautiful complement to all of the purples and yellows. And the periwinkle binding will finish it off so nicely. I'm already dreaming of spring!.....M 

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Fall Colours

We've had a sort of middling show of fall colours this year, with leaves falling early due to dry conditions and never really reaching the gorgeous show that we often get. But not so in Betty's sewing room!

She made two flimsies for Quilts for Survivors and they sort of bookend the summer season, this scrappy lattice, with lots of gorgeous oranges and tans (apologies, not the best photo), and a second that is much more spring like that I will show you next time.

This is where it all started last April as she was feeling her way through the process. 

Soon it started taking shape. You can see where the lattice is a combination of greens, teals, blues and browns, which made for lots of interest.

If you follow this blog on a regular basis, you will know that Betty hand stitches most of her quilts, but for this project she opened up a very special Featherweight to sew it together. The machine belonged to her husband's grandmother and still sews like a charm.

All of the autumn prints make for a colourful display and also made up somewhat for the lack of the real deal in nature this year.....M


Tuesday, October 10, 2023

Sandy's Sweet Stripes

QFS quilt number two from Sandy is a pretty Rail Fence made with a lovely collection of prints that play so well with the navy that runs throughout. 

If memory serves me correctly, she used a Jelly Roll for this one, but I'm not 100% certain. There's navy in each block, which you would think would make it dark, but the addition of interesting creams and grey soften it so nicely.

There are four strips in each block which creates lots of interest, and she quilted it on her machine, which I totally admire because I have yet to try machine quilting a project of this size.

Love those chartreuse corner stones - such a great combo with the navy border and light blue binding.

And speaking of the binding, doesn't it go well with that backing too? How can you not smile when you look at all those tiny little polka dots? Another beauty for someone to cherish....M

Friday, October 06, 2023

Sandy's Special Touches

Back in the spring when I first put out the call for Quilts for Survivors quilts/tops, Sandy didn't waste any time letting me know that she'd have a quilt top for me, so when we were together in August I was anxious to see what she'd created. Well, she did better than she had promised. Not a flimsy, but a complete quilt. And not one quilt, but two!

For the first one, she used remnants from her Under the Sea that was finished in 2018 - the king-sized quilt that reflects their love of diving. The one where her husband Ed sourced several fat quarters dotted with interesting sea creatures ... seahorses, crabs, whales, starfish, octopus, shells and turtles.

It's almost an 'I Spy' quilt because you find yourself scanning it to see what other interesting little critters you can find.

That aqua and blue combo, with just a little white thrown in, is timeless and just as beautiful now as when she made the first quilt. Such yummy fabrics.

And that backing is to die for! I've seen it in other colours but never imagined it for a back. LUV.

Like so many of us, she felt compelled to help out. In her words: "I found working on the quilts to be a really reflective time for me. Reading so many accounts on QFS and from books I’ve gotten from the library … it’s been an eye opener, for sure. As school kids of the 60s & 70s, we never heard about residential schools. And, when we eventually did, they were presented as the government providing private school for Indian kids. How bad can that be, eh? I was shocked to learn that the last school closed in the mid-90s."  

Those sentiments are what moved her to make the beautiful and heartfelt cards to be included with quilts when they are shipped to survivors that I shared with you last time. Such talent, and such a moving gesture; I know that they will be cherished by their recipients....M

Sunday, October 01, 2023

Truth and Reconciliation

Yesterday marked the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation in Canada, honouring the Indigenous children who never returned home from residential schools, as well as survivors, their families and communities. Knowing that we would be recognizing them in church today, it seemed appropriate to have all of the Quilts for Survivors items that we have been working on ready to share with the congregation and receive a blessing.

For the past several months I have posted a beautiful parade of quilts, flimsies and quilt blocks with you, made by my quilting posse. There are still more to come, but I want to show you how incredible they all looked together. 

The first row of pews was laid out with 10 completed quilts and 26 quilt tops. Seeing them all together was so moving and such a testament to the love and energy that our quilters and quilting friends put into this project.

I was overwhelmed seeing everything in one place, especially given that when we started, I had hoped for possibly half a dozen quilt tops.

The variety was just amazing and I know that Vanessa and her team will happily receive our bundle. The shipment will be delivered in a couple of weeks and also include a selection of bindings and backings along with monies raised at Coffee Hour to help offset their shipping costs.

And there's a very special box in the bundle as well. Besides being a quilter, Sandy is also a card maker and she created a dozen incredibly beautiful cards to be tucked in with the quilts when they are sent to individual survivors. So, so special.

An additional 20 quilt blocks will also be sent. I will share more about them in another post.

By my count, 15 quilters worked on this initiative, mostly from Holy Trinity and throughout the Ottawa Valley, but also from as far away as Ottawa and London: piecing, hand quilting, machine quilting. In true quilter fashion, they chose to help comfort those who need it the most and I know from following the QFS Facebook page that each and every recipient will be thrilled to receive a quilt, deeply touched that someone who doesn't know them would go to the effort of making one just for them.

My heart is full....M