Thursday, July 16, 2020

How a Quilt is born…


Journey with me for a moment down a rabbit trail as I trace back from this current project on my design wall to the place where the idea was born or conceived of, as it were, and how it became a UFO.

Ah yes, those blessed UFOs . Just how do they find their way into bags and bins and then get buried on shelves?

In this case it all started when I belonged to a Yahoo group. For those who don’t know what that is, they were the online social connecting place for like minded people pre-facebook. In one of my groups, I joined a ‘swap’ . The idea was to choose a block that would finish at 12″, choose fabric for your block, cut it up and then send it with the fabric to six other people. They would in turn do the same. The end result was these blocks (the bigger ones that are red, white and blue anyway). They arrived already cut and just awaited my stitches to make them come to life . And I got that far. I didn’t want to make a small lap quilt in red, white & blue. What should I do with them?

At that time we had acreage and were operating a Bed & Breakfast in our home. I had already made bed quilts for all the guest bedrooms, but we had a barn.

It was a horse barn but we never had horses, nor were we planning on getting them . I’m not a fan of cobwebs, spiders or mice, so I have to confess I never really explored our barn other than maybe stepping inside. My hubby and kids did but not me.

However I could envision this as a rustic cabin, or a musician’s studio, or a guest cottage to add to our room inventory. We did explore what it would take to create another septic field, another well, zoning bylaws, etc . but alas, it was not to be. That didn’t stop me from dreaming up a quilt idea for the future guest bed that would occupy this space however. But it was just a dream, an idea that never really hatched. That is how the UFO was born. That was in approx. 2011.

Over the years I would pull out the bag with the blocks to see if an idea might spark. Then I would tuck them safely away again when no inspiration was found.

At some point I found this picture in a magazine which gave a sort of framework to what I envisioned for my blocks.

This was in Issue 54 of Quilting Today Magazine.

And now here we are in 2020 and those blocks are still a UFO. However, in the last month or so, I’ve been intrigued by a couple of sampler quilts I found on Pinterest. I can’t say I’ve been a fan of traditional sampler blocks that are equal sizes and set in predictable rows with sashing. But these more random samplers that keep the eye moving on a journey of discovery keep my interested and intrigued.

So where am I going with this story? Today I pulled out the project bag again and happened to have some vacant space on my design wall So I put my blocks up there in no particular order (the picture above).

Then I remembered I still had a bunch more orphan blocks all together in a small container. I decided to dive in to see what I could find that might add some interest to my sampler quilt.

More orphan blocks!

I was looking for blocks that had blue in them, though not exclusively, and red, and decided to add yellow/gold as another colour to try in my sampler. These are all different sizes and they may or may not be added to the quilt. That’s for more playtime on the design wall which could happen tonight when it cools down a bit.

Do you wait for your projects to call to you? I confess that I like working on projects that I’m enthusiastic about. I get bored easily and I’m quite impulsive. That could be why the other projects I’m “working on” have sat on my design wall untouched for weeks while I journey back to the spark of an idea to make a sampler quilt. It just wasn’t time in 2011 but it’s definitely time now!

I’m excited to add some fill in blocks here and there to make it work. It’s not going to be an EQ (Electric Quilt) exercise in drafting it out first. This is just going to be pure design wall, fly by the seat of my pants quilting. And I’m so excited about where it will lead me.

And to my other two projects…I’ll be back. But for now there’s a squirrel that needs my attention.

Until next time,


Saturday, July 4, 2020

Canada Day sewing projects

My daughter and I spent our Canada Day working on quilting projects. I pulled out a UFO to finish up and she started a new project using a charm pack .

My hubby and son joined us for a salmon BBQ later in the early evening. It was a fantastic celebrationalbeit different than the norm.

Here’s what I was working on:

I plan on adding another row and then some plain squares on each side . I want to elongate it and make it a bit bigger. It’s currently about 45” square.

Here’s what my daughter was working on:

How did you spend your Canada Day ?

Until next time, be kind, be calm and be safe!