Tag Archives: Blue Quilt

2016-6 Carpenter Star


This quilt was inspired by some men’s shirting prints I received from a Toronto shirt factory that makes upscale shirts.  I made a bunch of half square triangles and set them together in a Carpenter Star design.  I opted to make the flying geese to increase the size of the quilt.  With extra negative space, it made a great canvas for fancy quilting, so custom quilting with feathers seemed to fit my vision.  The quilting design in the blocks is Barbara’s Feather’s by Donna Klienke, the pattern in the border is Naysa’s Feathers by Christy Dillon and the design in the flying geese is a simple feathered sash I created.  The background of the flying geese is freehand matchstick quilting.  It is single bed size.

I like how the blank space shows the fancy quilting well.  This is one of my personal favourites of the year.








2016-2 Blue Sampler


This quilt could tell a story! When a local woman was cleaning out her house to move, she offered me a box of fabric.  Of course I cannot refuse fabric!  When I went to pick it up, I explained that I would use the fabric for quilting,  Once she heard I was a quilter, she insisted on giving me two of her mother’s quilts.  They had been well used and she did not want to throw them out, but absolutely could not take them with her on the long move across the country.


The quilt needed repair, so I started with each block, hand stitching broken seams and reattaching some of the applique designs. You can notice the degree of fading exposed by the loose appliques.


One block, I completely replaced.  I found a complementary fabric in my stash and made a new block.  Can you tell which block is new? After the top was repaired, I then mounted it on the longarm and quilted it densely.  The blocks are a feather design called Golden Topaz by Donna Klienke of One Song Needle Arts.  The sashing is a formal feather design I created and the border is a feathered rose pattern.   The machine stitching will hold it together and give the quilt a new and longer life.  This quilt will be a donation quilt, most likely to one of the Syrian refugee families we are expecting to arrive in our community soon.






2013-21: Printed Panel Quilt

Printed Panel Quilt

After working so intently on my Log Cabin Quilt, I wanted to do something easy!  I pulled this printed panel top out of my stash and custom quilted it with a point to point sash pattern and an ornate block pattern.   The binding is attached to the front and I will  hand stitch it to the back during a lakeside vacation later in August.

Quick and easy!   It is nice to have a quick, uncomplicated quilt to balance out the intensity of a densely quilted one with tiny pieces.

2013-18: Holiday Squares

Scrappy Blue QuiltThis scrap quilt was made with left-over 2.5 inch squares from several other projects.  Early on, I decided the size of the blocks would be 5 squares across by 7 down.  I simply made up the blocks as I collected the squares.  It took several years before the blocks were finished,

Then, of course, it took a few more years until I was inspired to add sashing and borders .  I had originally intended to put yellow sashing with the blue, but when it was on the design wall, I felt the yellow was too overpowering.  I substituted this blue pinstripe.  It is definitely softer, although I find the quilt a bit gloomy for my tastes.

The finished quilt is 80″ by 96″ and is densely quilted with the pantograph called Red Oak by Nancy Haacke.  The thread is Superior So Fine on top and Superior Bottom Line in the bobbin.  The binding is applied by machine to the front and invisibly stitched on the back with Superior MonoPoly.

The two thumbs in the photo belong to my 6’2″ husband and 6’3″ son who were pressed into quilt-holding duties!

2013-16: Double Pinwheel Quilt


This quilt is made from left-over blocks from the second set of blocks I ever made.  That was back in 1997, before I knew about points and matching seams and squaring up blocks!   I took the best of the lot and made the first quilt  http://wp.me/p1RFMf-4s in 2011.  These Double Pinwheel blocks were the left-over blocks.  I could not bear to throw them out, so I added coping strips of yellow print and then squared them up to the same size.

Then I added a blue striped sashing and a yellow and blue sashing block for the corners.  The border is a tiny blue shirting check.  The quilt design, Anne’s Garden by Anne Bright, is quilted with a Superior light blue So Fine on top and Bottom Line in the bobbin.

Even though the blocks are not as accurate as my current quilting standards would want, I am still very pleased with this quilt and look on it fondly as a statement of where I was when I started quilting.  Not perfect, but a great testimony as to how much I have learned since 1997 when I started quilting.

And it means another UFO done and one more quilt that goes into my wedding gift stash!

2013-5: Rail Fence Baby Quilt

Rail Fence Baby QuiltThis little baby quilt top is one I made last year after I was given fabrics from a shirting fabric.  All of the top and border fabrics are from the bag of scraps.  It is a simple pattern and it went together quite quickly.  Great way to use random scraps.  I quilted it with a Deb Giesler digital pantograph, a very dense panto of daffodils and tulips.  I decided to enlarge the panto to the full width of my throat space so it would be less dense and minimize the need to advance the quilt.  It worked out to almost three full rows.  I chose a purple Poly thread on top with Bottom Line in the bobbin.

Binding for me is always the element that causes quilts to pile up in the “Still-more-to-be-done” corner.  I applied the binding to the front and it sat in the pile for a while.  Then the quilt made it to my hand sewing bag, which I carry with me to meetings and events, always with two projects.  If I get one finished, then I have another one ready to go.

Last week, Patti Carey of Northcott came to our guild as the guest speaker.  She showed her machine bound quilts and explained her technique and said she has never been caught by the quilt police.  At break, I examined the quilts quite closely and decided that her style of binding would work well on my utility quilts and gift quilts.  I would still bind competition quilts by hand, but for other quilts, this is perfectly acceptable.

Patti applies her binding to the back with a regular straight stitch.  She then folds the binding to the front and fastens it down using a blanket applique stitch.  As her top thread, Patti uses a clear polyester thread like Superior MonoPoly and in the bobbin, she uses regular thread in a coordinating colour.

I decided this simple scrap quilt was a good one to try out a new technique.  I pulled it out of my hand sewing bag and decided to give it a go.  Since my binding was already applied on the front,  I did the reverse of Patti’s method.  I used clear Superior MonoPoly in the bobbin and a pale blue thread as my top thread.  My preferred binding is 2 inch double fold fabric, so when I fold it to the back side, it ends up very close to the seam line.  With the blanket applique stitch set with a length of 5 and stitch width set at 1 I carefully stitched so the vertical stitches were a fraction of an inch outside the seam line and the horizontal stitch made a small sideways stitch into the binding.  I am very pleased with the resulting look of the binding.

Here are photos of the binding from both the front and the back:

Binding from the back

Binding from the back

Binding from the front of the quilt

This method will work very well for my regular quilts.  I will still do competition quilts by hand, but this method should keep my pile of quilts waiting for binding under control!  In fact, I can hardly wait to bind the next one.

2012-32: Blue Dot Strippy – Strip Challenge

Blue Dot Strippy

Blue Dot Strippy was made out of the leftover pieces from my Blue Strippy Quilt.  I really did not want to have leftovers hanging around my sewing room, so I decided to make them up into a second top.

Because it was for a strip challenge, it had to be different from the first one, which was a bit challenging since by the rules of the strip challenge, I was required to use the same fabrics with the optional addition of one fabric.  I have lots of white fabric given to me from a local shirting factory, so white was the logical choice for the additional fabric.   To make the quilt different, I opted to make the orientation vertical n contrast to the horizontal layout of the Blue Strippy Quilt I made first.   I had enough four patches to make three columns of  blocks and enough left over bars to make three columns of bars.  Three of each would not make a balanced quilt, so I knew I had to add something to make it both balanced and wider.  The pieces hung on my design wall for several weeks before I got the idea to cut the 5 inch bars vertically and make strips of 2.5 inch squares to frame the four patches.

The quilt needed to be wider, but with limited blue fabric left in my package, the only option was to add wide white strips.  That gave me the width needed, but the white open space was too empty.   I still wanted to achieve a different look from the first quilt, so I began to think in terms of alternate shapes.  I opted to join a few strips, back them with lightweight fusible and then cut out circles.  My final choices were circles of 5″. 3″ and 2″ diameter.  Once cut, I carefully measured and positioned them onto the white strip before fusing them.  Then I used a machine blanket stitch to finish the raw edges.  When the two strips had their dots attached, I then assembled the five strips to make the final top.

The top finished at 46″ by 62″ and was machine quilted with a simple loop meander which offset the angular edges of the strips, echoed the circles in the design and gave a light-hearted feel to the top.    The quilt was machine bound with a navy binding.

This quilt appealed to the show viewers.  It won first place in Viewers Choice and also won the Designer’s Choice Award.  I was pleased that others liked it so much, but also a bit embarrassed to have won so many ribbons, since I was the coordinator of the strip challenge and the quilt show.   My son congratulated me but also good naturedly  ribbed me about winning, saying that it was not sporting behavior to win a competition when I was the organizer of the event.

Several guild members noticed my reaction to winning and told me to enjoy the ribbon, that I won fair and square!  “The people have spoken!”  A week has passed since the voting and I am now happy to have won the ribbon.  It is hanging in my quilting studio where it will inspire me to be creative for the next challenge.

2012-26: Blue Block Orphans

Blue OrphansThis quilt is a compilation of the orphan blocks of about 8 people.  The only thing these blocks had in common was the color blue.  I pulled all of these blocks out of the many that have been donated to our guild outreach committee and put them on the design wall to play with.

DSC00351At one point, this is what the design wall looked like.  Even though I really liked that cute little house block, it did not belong here.  Not enough blue! Once I  had a general layout with the desired blocks, I started assembling and adding coping strips of a blue flowered fabric that gave me the spacers need to make it all fit.

The quilt finished at 40″ x 45″ and I really like the look of it!  I think what appeals to me is the challenge of making something nice out of found fabrics and blocks. It was donated to Victim Services, since they prefer to have small quilts.

Project 2011-48: Denim and Chintz Quilt

This Denim and Chintz quilt was fun to make.  There was no specific pattern. The design block is a random combination of squares and rectangles that make up a 10 inch square.  Each smaller component is joined with a 1 inch trip, which finished at 1/2 inch.  My original intention was to make all of the blocks with this method, but I lost interest in making the blocks after half of them were complete.   The project sat on a UFO tray in my sewing room for about 6 months, until I made a design decision that made finishing it simpler.  Rather than making more pieced blocks, I decided to add some plain blocks to complement the pieced ones.  That made finishing faster and much more likely to happen.

Because the quilt is made of denim and chintz, it will be durable and heavy.  The batting is polyester.  The backing is a medium blue cotton shirting.  It was quilted with a feather meander in a medium blue cotton covered poly thread.  The binding, made of the same fabric as the joining strips, was applied to the back and top stitched to the front.  Finished size is 50 ” by 70″.

Goal Status: 48 projects complete and 4 more to complete by December 31 to reach my goal.    That is four quilts to complete within three days.  I might be a little busy until New Year’s Eve!   I am glad I took a break over the holidays even though now I need to focus intently to get the rest done.  It will be like  a mini quilting retreat- a marthon of quilting to meet my goals.

Project 2011-46: Drunkards Path

There was a time when I was worried I might not have enough quilt tops ready for gift giving, so I made a foray into eBay to buy some flimsies.  Long story short, the tops did not turn out to be exactly what I expected.  Embarrassed by my less-than-prudent purchases, I stuffed them into my flimsie cupboard to hide their shameful existence.  To ensure I am never again tempted to purchase tops without seeing, touching, verifying quality of fabric and construction techniques, I am firmly encouraging myself to quilt all of the tops.  In the process of   fixing and finishing,  I have discovered a silver lining to this experience.  I have learned a great deal about turning challenged flimsies into presentable tops.  I know much more about straightening borders, quilting in extra fullness,  and keeping tops square and flat.   Quilt Rescue skills, I call them!

This Drunkard’s Path was one of the dozen or so tops I purchased.   It was the best top of the entire lot.   The hand-stitched top was quite old, but the fabric was in very good shape and the seams were finely stitched.

This top required some repair to several seams and four of the blocks were assembled incorrectly, making the pattern a bit off.  I removed the wonky blocks, reassembled them correctly and then put them back into the top.  I also had to make some seam adjustments on the sides, nipping in the seams till opposite sides  measured the same length.  Once straight and square, I added the printed inner border and the wider tone on tone outer border to finish it off.

The center of the quilt did not lie completely flat, so I quilted it with a dense meander that helped to draw in the excess.  The low-loft cotton batting  has a bit of an old-fashioned look to the finished quilt.  The borders are quilted with very narrow horizontal lines, resulting in a densely quilted firm border.  I used a mushroom colored thread in the center, which seemed to blend with both the dark and lights and a dark teal thread in the borders and a Bottom Line thread in the bobbin.

The binding, which matches the inner border, is  applied to the back and top stitched to the front.  Finished size is 84″ by 98″.

I’m quite pleased with the resulting quilt.  It turned out significantly better than I anticipated.  In fact, I can stop feeling embarrassed and be proud of how I rescued this top from oblivion.

Goal Status:  46 quilt projects complete and 6 more to go to get to my goal of 52 completed projects by December 31st.    Two weeks to go!  Can I accomplish what I set out to do?  The next week will be quite busy, but I am still feeling I will manage to complete my goal.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!