I wanted to show you the quilt that I made for the daughter of a very dear friend two years ago. I’d made Jade a baby quilt when she was small, but she was turning 12 in 2018. Not a little girl anymore. It was time to make her a quilt that would carry her through her teens.
I don’t know what took me so long to post these photographs. This quilt is two years old, now!
Jade loves to read, if you haven’t guessed already.
I had so much fun choosing all the fabrics for the book spines and making things to put on the shelves! Everywhere I went, I had my eye out for just the right scrap or piece of trim.
There are a lot of things to look at in this quilt.
As I created each shelf, I imagined Jade laying on her bed with a book, or examining the quilt and discovering all the treasures I’d sewn into it.
I even tried some techniques I’d never done before. Broderie Perce, anyone? Broderie perce is a technique where each flower is cut out separately, laid out as you please, then sewn together to create a picture. In this case, a bowl of roses.
I put the bowl of roses on the shelf for a very specific reason. When I first told Jade I was making her a new quilt, she asked me for a “roses” quilt. Which she obviously didn’t get. This little bowl is a nod to that request.
The conditions weren’t the best the day we set out to photograph it. The light was all wrong, it was windy, the browns of early spring hadn’t yet given way to the colours of summer…
I finished this quilt just in time to give it a good test drive during a short camping trip to Jasper National Park last
It’s so much fun having a quilt to photograph when you’re camping!
This particular project was a “Shop your Stash” challenge quilt hosted by the Good Time Quilters, one of the guilds I belong to.
We paid for the pattern, sight unseen last fall, then had the rest of the year to make something using the pattern as inspiration. The only caveat? You had to shop your stash. And did I ever!
The pattern is Garden Party by Blackbird Designs. It’s a combination of piecing and applique, with little 3-D flower centers.
And, because I always try to learn something new with every project, I decided this quilt was a good opportunity to try out the quilt as you go method. This allowed me to use up a whole lot of those small pieces of batting that are too big to throw away (because batting is so damned expensive!) but too small to back anything larger than a place mat. I’m not 100% sold on the method, but at least I’ve tried it. 🙂
The backing is made up of miscellaneous bits and pieces of green & brown fabrics. What I’d call my ugly fabrics.
Including this interesting piece:
Mr. C. actually likes the back better than the front. I guess there’s no accounting for taste, lol.
It’s quilted free-motion style on my little Janome 2030 in what’s called the stipple pattern .
Folks, this was my very first attempt ever(ever!) doing free-motion quilting, and I’m pretty darned proud of myself. I didn’t quilt inside the flowers…as a result, they’ve puffed up a bit. I like the effect.
And you know what? It’s 100% made from my stash. I didn’t buy a single new thing to make this quilt. 🙂 This makes my thrifty heart do a happy dance!
It’s destiny is to live at our cabin at Fox Lake, in the Yukon, where I plan to spend chilly visits snuggled up in front of the fire for years to come. If you come visit, I’ll share a quilt corner with you. But you might have to fight Mr. C. for it…
I wanted to make a quilt for my aunt, who has always been a very special person in my life. But time passes and things don’t get done and you know how it goes. (sigh)
So one day last spring I was sorting my sewing room and I came upon an unfinished quilt top. It’s one I started way back when. Before I had (mostly) mastered the art of matching corners, lol.
I’m not sure why I put it away and didn’t finish it. I think maybe I felt (at the time) that the colours were too bright, or maybe I didn’t like using grey for the background neutral. I really have no idea.
Anyway, it was spring when I pulled it out and all the spring flowers were in full bloom. I carried it out and took some pictures with the tulips. And oh my gosh…the quilt just sang!
Suddenly, every spring colour just jumped out at me, and I realized that every single colour was in the quilt. It screamed Spring!
That’s one of the things I love about Kate Spain’s fabrics. She really captures the colours in nature. 🙂
I looked at the grey background and thought of the soft spring rain that comes and melts all the snow, and makes the flowers bloom.
And I thought to myself, this quilt belongs to my aunt, whose favourite season just happens to be spring.
This is a lap-sized quilt made from the Cuzco collection by Kate Spain. The backing is cream flannel and it was hand quilted in a clam shell pattern. I didn’t wash and dry it before I sent it, but when she does, it will shrink a wee bit and pull around the stitches, creating that wonderful crinkly look that makes a quilt so soft and snuggly.
My youngest nephew is graduating from high school next month, which I think warrants a quilt from Auntie Nita, don’t you think? Someday I’d like to make a quilt for all my nephews. All thirteen of them (wipes brow).
For Ross, I chose the Bento Box pattern because it is modern and masculine. Now, let me tell you something about Ross. Unlike his Auntie, he is a big sports fan. He knows all about all the different teams and who plays what position and who coaches whom and who got traded where and why. All that stuff.
Football, mostly (I think), but other sports, too. The Seattle Sea-hawks in particular, thus the colour choice of blues and greens.
I have named this quilt The 12th Man, because when making this quilt, I learned that the 12th man is a term for the fan. Apparently in American football, only 11 players are allowed on the field at one time. The 12th team member is the fan. That would be Ross. 🙂
The quilt measures a generous 86 x 61 inches which should be just great for a young man. It was machine quilted in organic wavy lines. When I was quilting it, I imagined each line of wavy stitching was a quarterback carrying the ball down the field, dodging right and left, weaving in and out.
Many of the squares came from the We Bee Canadian Flickr group quilting bee that I belong to. Each quilter is assigned a month, and every month we make her the block of her choice. When it’s your turn, you get a pile of blocks in the mail…so much fun! For two rounds, I requested these bento box squares in blue & apple green batik. So the quilt was really a group effort, full of wishes for a bright future for Ross.
You must have guessed that I did some quilting during my recent 2 months visit in the Yukon, right?
Well, of course I did…and I took some pictures, too. Enjoy!
I know what food will taste like when I get to heaven…it will taste like Dee’s trifle. So when the Moda Trifle Dish sew-along happened, I knew who I was going to make this for.
Each row was designed by a different Moda Bakeshop guest blogger. I found that to be a bit of a challenge…
…because I had trouble getting them to all go together smoothly. I ended up adding or subtracting spacers between blocks, jigging things to get them to fit. But in the end, they did fit and I was pleased with the result.
Trifle is a sweet, old-fashioned dessert, so I decided to use sweet, old-fashioned 1930’s reproduction print fabrics, along with a variety of whites and a little bit of grey for the background. Everything came from my stash.
And speaking of sweet, old-fashioned, this truck belonged to Dee’s grandfather-in-law. Yes, this truck – the one right here in the picture! I think she’ll be surprised when she sees this photo, don’t you?
I added a row of decorator trim to the top edge to simulate whipped cream. Because, you know…trifle.
The backing is adorable! Look, it’s all baking items in lime green and bright pink! Dee is going to looooove it!!!
Trifle Dish was hand quilted with a #10 John James needle and 40-weight ecru-coloured hand-quilting thread in a shell pattern. I did actually start to do it by machine, but then picked it all out and did it by hand instead. Crazy. I know.
I wanted the photos of this quilt to be meaningful to Dee, so some of the pictures were taken in Carcross, Yukon, where Dee’s in-laws hail from (Hi George! Hi Millie! Hi Donna & Heather!)
And guess what…so do mine! (Hi Cal & Norma!). Now you know it’s a small world when your good friend’s in-laws and your in-laws all come from the same place that has a population of under 300.
Carcross is the sweetest little teeny tiny town about an hour from Whitehorse, on the shore of the spectacular Bennett Lake. Keep going further down the South Klondike Highway and you’ll find yourself in Skagway, Alaska in about an hour.
I had some help, of course.
Other pictures were taken at the Robinson Roadhouse…a historic site on the South Klondike Highway, half-way between Whitehorse and Carcross. A convenient place to stop and use the outhouse (because I take pride in knowing where all the outhouses are… Hello! Yukoner!)
Pictures were also taken at our cabin on Fox Lake, because that is where Dee’s and my friendship takes place.
I mean, we’re friends wherever we are, of course. But here at Fox Lake is where the magic happens for us. Back in the day when we were full-time Yukoners, she and George used to come out on a Saturday afternoon. Dee would always bring her knitting or her sewing along, and would sit on the deck and have a good old-fashioned stitch & bitch while our guys fished off the dock or did whatever guys do together when they’re at the lake.
All those good times were stitched into this quilt along with every delicious yummy bite of Dee’s trifle I ever ate.
I asked friends to collect our mail for us when we left to spend two months in the Yukon because I was going to be gone right in the middle of the time that quilts might be arriving from the Hands2Help charity quilt drive. I told my friends that I was expecting two or maybe three parcels. Imagine my surprise when I opened my door and walked in to this great stack of boxes!
This is so exciting! To date, 14 quilts, 3 tops and enough extra 9-patch squares to make a baby quilt have arrived from towns all across Canada and the United States:
Mt. Juliet, Tennessee;
Saint Paul, Minnesota;
Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire;
Simi Valley, California;
The Villages, Florida; and
I’m unpacking them right now and have to say that I’m feeling completely overwhelmed with the care and attention that went into the making of every one of these quilts. It’s obvious that their makers were thinking of the children who will find comfort and joy when they wrap up with a picture book, make a fort, snuggle up. I can feel love oozing out of every single one of these beautiful quilts.
I’m completely blown away at your generosity, dearest readers. Oh my goodness! Because You Matter has taken on a whole new meaning. It isn’t just the children and teens that matter and deserve a quilt, it’s YOU generous people who make the quilts that matter, too – that give these beautiful gifts to deserving folks in need of them. Because we all matter!
One more parcel is still waiting at the post office, so if you sent something and don’t see your town listed, that’s probably it. I’ll pick it up next time I go to town.