Wednesday, January 31, 2024

QFS Closer to Home

Last fall's delivery of quilts, tops and blocks for Quilts for Survivors was a huge undertaking by my circle of quilters, one that required that our four large boxes of goodies be delivered to Timmins, approximately an eight hour drive from here. Thankfully, a couple from our church was up for an adventure and delivered them in person, taking time to enjoy the fall colours along the way. It saved us a bundle in shipping costs!

Since then, Anne has made two additional quilts and found a way to donate them directly to survivors in our area, saving the need for shipping and creating a personal connection with the women who received them.

For approximately 18 months, she has been learning how to bead at The Hub (apparently it is much more difficult than it appears). It's a relatively new Indigenous-run gathering place designed for sharing and providing support where all are welcome. Her first project was this beaded feather.

And she's now working on a dream catcher.

But back to the quilts. 

As we were making our quilts last year, Anne held one back for Betty, one of the women that she had befriended there. A kind soul, she still suffers from her time in residential school and is very grateful for the support of this caring community. She just could not believe that someone would make her a quilt. 

It's very pretty, made with a simple four patch block and lovely green cornerstones. That light pinky-mauve fabric is such a beautiful colour.

And the blue and white toile backing worked so nicely for it; I love the scrappy binding. 

The second is one she designed specifically for  Susan, a beader. Susan makes beautiful earrings with a chevron design that Anne used as a jumping off point, which was a brilliant idea.

In no time at all, the blocks were up on her design wall.

The black print in this one contained a very special 'Smile girl' message.

Susan was thrilled with her gift.

If you want to donate a quilt to a residential school survivor in your area, it's quite easy. Just complete the QFS online Quilt Request form and someone will follow up with you regarding next steps, which includes sending you a label, letter and poem to include with the quilt. You will eventually send them a photo of the quilt you want to donate. This helps QFS avoid shipping duplicate quilts and keep an accurate count of all quilts that have been sent. It also saves them shipping costs.

Susan and Betty are beautiful friends. How wonderful that they now share this additional bond....M

Sunday, January 28, 2024

Squaring the Circle(s)

Remember Halo? I've been enjoying it on my design wall for months on end (or is that years?) but I thought I'd finally tackle a few of the edge blocks and see if I can't finish it some time this century. I have a design wall so it would be nice to actually use it as one rather than as a holder for an almost-completed quilt 😏(though I do love seeing it up on the wall).

Currently, all of the edge pieces form half circles, so I need to add the adjoining curved pieces that square everything up (the pieces to the left). 

I wanted my border to be a little wider so I've cut the edge pieces twice as long as the template; they are 12.5" x 5". If it looks like it's too much when everything is together I can always trim it back a bit.

I toyed with using various shades of greys for this to create a bit of a border within the pattern itself but opted to continue with the totally scrappy look.

There's no rushing curves so you have to get into a bit of a Zen mindset. It's proving to be a nice change from assembling trees and it's wonderful to finally see the border come together. 

Truth be told though, it feels like I am spending more time pinning than I am time sewing.

A little work last weekend and a bit more this weekend and I'm almost half way there. The bottom left corner looks a little funny because I haven't inserted that piece yet. I can see where one or two pieces might need to be shuffled before it's sewn together, but I'll wait until all of the border pieces are together before venturing there....M

Friday, January 26, 2024


Apparently I had Roberta laughing out loud when she read my last post about saving all those tiny HSTs from my Holiday Forest project.

She is making the same pattern and, lo and behold, couldn't just toss her trimmings either. Girl after my own heart.

We started working on our forests around the same time and it's been fun to be able to track my progress with someone else. Hopefully it means that I will be able to keep up with her!

Before we began, she made up a test block in blues just to see how it would work. Lovely, isn't it? Especially that blue and white print second from the top. After seeing the block worked up there was no turning back.

For her throws (we're both making two) she's using most of the same fabrics as I am, so in no time at all her work space looked like this. Who knows, there might be a blue one in her future. (Didn't think to ask what that lovely bundle against the wall is for.)

She's also been more adventurous in her colour combos than I. Where I tended to be very monochromatic in building my trees, she has used a couple of different colours together and I really like it. Maybe I should learn to colour outside the lines a little more?....M

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Look Out For That Rabbit Hole!

You didn't really think that I could toss all of the beautiful trimmings from the sew and flip angles in the Holiday Forest blocks, did you?

When I sew each diagonal seam, I automatically sew a second parallel seam a very scant half inch from the first seam before pressing and trimming, ending up with this little pile of lovelies. There are eight in each block, so they do add up.

Not wanting to lose too much momentum with making the tree blocks, they sit to one side and are slowly being pressed and trimmed to HSTs that measure 1 7/8". A fresh blade really helps get a crisp finish.

They would make sweet little basket blocks or scrappy little Bear Paws. I haven't really had time to play with them yet but I'm certain that there's a bright future for them. 

Lots more trimming to come. 

Waste not, want not is an adage I live by, though these little diversions down rabbit holes do help explain the speed at which some of my projects advance. Or don't....M

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Snow Storms and Hand Stitching

We have had little snow this winter which has felt drab and dreary when you are accustomed to a landscape of white. Just enough squeaked through mid December so that the ground was white for Christmas, but just. Well, that ended this week with a couple of good snowfalls, including the storm that came through Friday night. It's just so nice and bright and white now!

If it's not bitterly cold out I enjoy shoveling. Even if it is very cold, it doesn't take much to get warmed up once you are into it, so yesterday morning was a real treat. With a foot of snow on the ground, and more coming down, it took a bit of time to get things cleared up, but it was happy work.

Then it was time to tackle a task that I've been avoiding. There's been some secret squirrel stitching going on these past few months that I still can't fully share with you, but suffice it to say that a hanging sleeve was required. I have made one or two over the years but not enough to do so without checking out some instructions first. You can attach a sleeve either during the binding process or after it is bound. This sleeve will be temporary so I followed the directions for a finished quilt.

I'm not a slip stitcher, preferring a ladder stitch for my hand stitching. I kept my stitches small, doubled my thread for additional strength and worked to catch a bit of the batting as I went.

This quilt is large - 95" wide - so I decided to split the sleeve at the centre in case there is a need to hang it from three points for extra support. The green pin marks the centre of the quilt so there's a two-inch opening. Today there will be more slow stitching to finish it up....M

Friday, January 05, 2024


I love the quieter pace of the days between Christmas and New Year's and when it rolls over into the first week of the year I'm more than happy with that, too. There are a few volunteer commitments that keep me busy throughout the year and they will ramp up again in the coming week, but for this week I have stayed offline as much as possible and spent some time playing in the sewing room.

The Christmas tree came down today - 😞 - but there's lots more trees coming to life downstairs.

Roberta put me on to a collection of Laundry Basket Quilts fabrics and I had come across a sew along for how to make the trees for Holiday Forest so, despite that long TO DO list of mine, this one suddenly found its way at the top of the list. Can you say holiday squirrel?

These fabrics are to die for. Seriously. Not sure if it's more fun planning each tree combo or sewing them together but it has been such a lovely way to welcome the New Year....M