February 14, 2018
I didn’t really plan to make Valentine cards this year; I was going to use an e-card for my family. However Deloise inspired me with a card she made and I thought I should do a few as well.
The patterns I used are all ones that I had admired over the last few years and this was a chance to make some of them. Although I took apart the one on the right a couple of times I think I could improve on the pattern by extending the heart shapes to the border on each side.
Stars are a favourite design so I couldn’t resist this one that included a heart. I see now that I should have had all those background hearts heading in the same direction.
I made a table topper for Pat’s Valentine, and not only because I wanted something to display at our upcoming House Concert on the 16th.
We have two months between miniature quilt meetings so why am I always working on my project in the few days before each meeting?
The rail-fence blocks were done a long time ago – leftover scraps from a table runner, a chair cover and a bunch of neutrals I had in my bin. I always intended to make something with them and when I looked for a project for our meeting the idea of getting a bin of blocks off my table really appealed.
I made the pattern up myself. I was hoping for more of a shadow box look to the blocks; perhaps I need to have the border colours the same width. I think my Second Time Around (Splendid Sampler) will be done with shadow boxes so I’ll find a different tutorial when I start putting those together. I have to admit though that when I see the photo it does give a bit of the effect I was going for.
The name of the quilt comes from the 40 pieces of fabric that make up the centre squares in each of the blocks.
I was going through some files on my computer and realized I had never featured my Celtic Crystals quilt. This surprises me as it is probably my most ambitious quilt to date (and it may not ever be topped).
This was a block of the month that I purchased from one of our local quilt shops (no longer in business). Of course I didn’t keep up with those blocks. A quick look through previous posts says that I finished Block 1 in September of 2013 – it was pretty much downhill from there! I remember that the block didn’t finish to the right size and it had to be taken apart and redone – no wonder I was put off the whole thing.
The quilt is done entirely in batiks; I love the colours in batiks but it isn’t my favourite fabric to work with. I pre-washed all the fabric but I did it all in one batch so I worried for most of the piecing that I had enough of the right colours to finish all the blocks, and that I was using the right colours in each block. I needn’t have worried as I had lots of fabric left.
I was able to find some post from Superior Threads that showed how they quilted each block. Although I wasn’t able to follow their exact plan it certainly gave me some inspiration and courage to attempt a few new designs.
The quilt hung in the 2017 Quilt Show and now has a permanent place in my stitching room on Texada. And it wasn’t until our Christmas trip that I noticed I had put something together wrong. Too late to change it – do you see the problem?
The idea for this originated with a Guild Christmas Party. We were all handed 25-patch blocks and we proceeded to play a game of Bingo with them. The calls were “birds in red fabric”, “snowflakes on blue fabric”, etc. I didn’t win any games, but I came home with an idea of making a Bingo quilt. I thought it would be fun to play at the beach using seashells as our Bingo markers.
I decided on columns of red, blue, green, yellow and orange for my 25-patch blocks, all from my scraps. It was taking a long time and I was running out of scraps of the right colour but with different patterns. When I had grandkids here over the summer I had enough blocks that we were able to play a “trial game”. The trial failed miserably and I set it all aside.
When an opportunity arose to try my hand with a long-arm quilting machine I quickly put together enough blocks, in no particular order or colour, for a fast finish. It took about three hours to quilt on the long-arm and setting up the machine took at least an hour of that time. Although it was fast to complete the quilting, the long-arm will take as much practice as free-motion quilting on my own machine to get anything that looks good enough to use as either a donation or gift.
This is my first finish of 2018! I’ll throw it in the car for sunny days at the beach but until summer I’ll use it to keep myself warm when we watch TV. It is small enough that I can wrap my legs in it and still be able to knit.
And who knows – it looks to me like it would make an awesome “I Spy” game.
My Leader and Ender project for 2016 is done and has been passed along to the Guild for Community Quilts. I had to get it out of the house because if I kept it much longer I’d be wanting to keep it for myself. It’s been folded and stored in a bag for that very reason – out of sight, out of mind.
I’m not sure why I like it so much – is it that the scraps I used in the quilt are some of my favourites or maybe it’s because I can remember where almost every scrap came from. It was my own design, based on something I saw online, but I can see a few things that maybe should have been done differently. There are a few nine patches that didn’t show up well with the background – specifically in the top right corner.
It took forever to quilt. I outlined all the nine patches and then did a free-motion flower in the background squares. The final border was quilted with a meandering pattern – my go-to design! I don’t know why I went to all that trouble (except it was good practice) because the quilting doesn’t show up on either the front or the back.
I used my own backing for this – I loved the top and none of the backings we had for Community Quilts really worked with it. I used a multi-coloured binding, most of which was left from other projects I’ve bound.