Machine Piecing

I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that I’m going to fall far, far behind on the Case of the Secret Garden if I insist on hand piecing the entire thing. And I don’t want to let this one languish … Continue reading

Am I Going to Get Caught Up …

Follow my blog with Bloglovin … and finish Clue 6 before Monday when Clue 7 in the Case of the Secret Garden mystery quilt comes out? I don’t know! There was no printing this week. Just lots of stitching of … Continue reading

A Small Finish

The doll bed runner was finished and sent off and now it has been received and photos taken. Isn’t this doll bed gorgeous? It makes me want to design and make a whole bunch of mini quilts just for doll … Continue reading

Blogathon Canada … in Toronto and a Giveaway!


I’m excited to be one of the Ontario blog hosts of Blogathon Canada today! Thanks to Sew Sisters, my favourite quilt shop, for putting together this wonderful blogathon of Canadian quilters.

My name’s Cathi and I live in downtown Toronto, my hometown, with Mr. Q.O. and our Maine Coon kitty, Baxter who has his own following thanks to the daily Baxtertoons Mr. Q.O. draws.

Living in downtown Toronto, we are close to many major attractions, including the Rogers Centre where our beloved Blue Jays play and where the Grey Cup is being played this weekend. I love the gargoyles on the Rogers Centre – they always make me laugh.

And the CN Tower, which we can see from the roof garden.

While I have a sewing machine, I find hand piecing the most relaxing, therapeutic craft imaginable. No matter how stressful a day might be, half an hour or more — usually way more — with a needle, thread and fabric and the stress of the day is wiped away.

My favourite quilt so far is Chintz Circles, a quilt I made for my aunt’s 90th birthday and the one that started me writing patterns for use with Inklingo shape collections. I hand pieced and machine quilted it and enjoyed every minute of making it and even more the moment when my aunt saw it for the first time. When I had the top finished, I realized I had nothing that would work for the binding. So where did we go? Sew Sisters, of course, where I found the perfect French General faded red that framed it perfectly.

I tend to give most of my finished quilts away, it seems, so pretty much everything in this blog post are finished tops. When I realized just how many there are (and there are more that aren’t in this post!), I decided it’s time to start buying some batts and get these quilted!

Another favourite is the quilt in my blog header, the blue and white Texas Star quilt. I hand pieced and machine quilted it. That was the beginning of my journey making two-colour quilts. I love the classic look of two-colour quilts, but have learned that I absolutely have to love the fabric I’m working with or else it’s all too easy to get bored.

A pink and cream hand-pieced top was my next two-colour quilt top. Another hand pieced top, although I did add the final pink border by machine.

This little quilt top was inspired by the framing the blocks. I was at a quilt show with a friend and when I saw that fabric, it just had to become part of a Dresden Plate variation. Another hand-pieced top.

The dragonflies top is one of the last applique pieces I’ve made. I seem to have gravitated to hand piecing much more than applique over the past five or six years. I have the binding ready for this one and really do need to get it quilted and hang it on the wall.

Curved piecing is another passion. Making this Drunkard’s Path quilt using French General charm packs and some yardage was pure delight. Hand pieced again, except for the borders which I added by machine.

The reproduction star top is possibly not finished. I can’t quite decide whether to add another border to it or not. Hand pieced.

Fruit Punch is one of my favourite tops, waiting its turn to be quilted. And  yes, hand pieced again.

My most recent two-colour quilt top finish is the red and white Feathered Star/Sunflower quilt. It’s 72 x 92 and was made entirely by hand, although I know most people would have machine-pieced the HSTs used to make the feathers. I might have too, except they gave me such a wonderful opportunity for lots and lots of continuous stitching, which I love almost as much as curved piecing. This isn’t the best picture, but as it’s too large to hang on the wall we had to make use of the roof garden to take the picture.

I have decided to call this quilt Canadian Starburst. It couldn’t have been finished were it not for Judy at Sew Sisters. I had made half of the 12 Feathered Star/Sunflower blocks when I realized I was running out of the white on white fabric. The quilt sat for a few months while Judy worked her magic and found more of that white fabric. I still remember the Friday night when she called to say it had arrived at the store. We were up there very quickly and I was printing my shapes on fabric to finish the red and white quilt in next to no time!

I have machine pieced a few quilts, including this Japanese X/Spool top. It was fun making it by machine – once I got my head wrapped around just how differently one constructs a block when machine piecing as compared to hand piecing! But I did want to see how I’d do, and I’m happy enough with how it turned out. It will eventually be quilted and tucked away as it’s the perfect size for a baby quilt.

What do I love about blogging? The sheer inspiration that can be found on so many blogs by such extraordinarily talented quilters. And thanks to this week of Blogathon Canada, I’ve found some new-to-me blogs. Who could ask for more? Except maybe more time to stitch!

Now for the fun stuff. Here’s a list of some Ontario bloggers — and don’t forget there are lists of more Ontario bloggers to be found on Cara Quilts and Miss Print, the other two Ontario host blogs today, as well as more giveaways sponsored by Sew Sisters:

Bending Pins
Super Mom No Cape
Sew Maybe I Can
Krista Quilts
Liz’s Quilt Adventures
Aft Agley
Modern Aunties Quilts
Quilts by Joanne
Books and Quilts
Crazy Quilter on a Bike
Lindy’s Threads
All About Inklingo
Patchwork Sanity – A Woman’s Piece of Mind
Applique ‘n Patch Quilting

As I’m firmly convinced no one can have too many batiks, the giveaway sponsored by Sew Sisters is of this luscious bundle of batik FQs. I’d love to win this one myself! All you have to do to be entered in the giveaway is leave a comment. While I’d love it if you were to subscribe to my blog, either via a reader or by e-mail (see the subscribe by e-mail widget at the right), it is not necessary to get a chance to win. The winner will be drawn and announced on my blog Sunday. The giveaway is open to everyone, no matter where in the world you may be.

And there are yet more great giveaways still going on on most, if not all, the blogs that have hosted Blogathon Canada this week.  They are:

Sunday, November 18 Kick-off! Michele Quilting Gallery
Monday, November 19 BC Felicity Felicity Quilts
Monday, November 19 BC Cathy Blueberry Patch
Tuesday, November 20 NS Jeanette STAMP * STITCH * CREATE
Tuesday, November 20 NB Holly Through My Window
Wednesday, November 21 AB Shena Apple Pie Patchwork
Wednesday, November 21 SK Patti Retired to Quilt
Thursday, November 22 QC Marika Live, Laugh, Love… Sew
Thursday, November 22 MB Heather Church Avenue Quilts
Friday, November 23 YT Vivian Quilting Under the Midnight Sun
Friday, November 23 YT Janet Caribou Crossing Chronicles
Saturday, November 24 ON Cathi Quilt Obsession
Saturday, November 24 ON Cara Cara Quilts
Saturday, November 24 ON Kaye Miss Print

Baxter is ready for some fun visiting blogs today.

This is a shot from the summer of Baxter, but it is one of our favourites of him and shows why I love the view we have overlooking the roof garden.

A Small Finish

One of the things that got done on the weekend was finishing the little quilt I’m calling Meandering Minds. It’s 8″ x 10″ and is destined for the Alzheimer’s Art Quilt Initiative. Hand pieced, machine quilted. I used the 2″ … Continue reading

Another Teddy Bear Quilt

This is another simple quilt that was made for the teddy bears. It measures approximately 22.5 x 27 inches and was such fun to make. Twelve 4.5″ LeMoyne Stars and a border and it was done. It’s hand pieced and machine quilted. This was the first quilt I machine quilted using anything but straight lines. On the borders I managed to quilt a cable, although it doesn’t really show up in the picture. That may be one of the benefits of working with a small quilt when machine quilting for me – I can manoeuvre the quilt sandwich a bit easier.

During the summer of 2008 it was also put to use for a teddy bear outing on the roof garden. Finding the old photos of these quilts is rather fun. I’m actually finding quilts I had completely forgotten about.

I’m still working away on the pieced border for the red and white quilt and, while I work on it, am thinking about another idea for a red and white quilt. The next one will be a small quilt though, I think. This red and white Feathered Star/Sunflower quilt is going to be rather large although I have sorted out how I will baste it. I’ll put it in the collapsible floor frame to baste it. No more crawling around on the floor with safety pins, not that that’s even an option with an inquisitive cat like Baxter around. I can just imagine what a nightmare that could be.

Speaking of Baxter, this photo was taken last week. Mr. Q.O. captioned it, “Any treats over there?”

A Favourite Revisited

While I continue working on the red and white quilt, I decided I’d revisit some of my favourites. This is actually right up there at the top of that list. Simple nine-patch blocks, yes, but there’s something about this quilt and this photograph of it, in particular, that I just love. The nine-patch blocks measure 3″ finished, made with squares I printed using Inklingo. It’s hand pieced and machine quilted and looking at it makes me realize that the simple quilts are just as beautiful to me as the more involved ones.

It was the focus of a teddy bear adventure in this post back in June of 2008. When I looked back in my archives to find it, I was shocked that it was almost four years ago. Assuming I don’t get distracted again, which is never a safe assumption with me, I may show a few other quilts from the past on the blog over the next couple of weeks.

It was really quite chilly here yesterday. I think today’s supposed to be a bit better and then Wednesday better yet again. Yesterday the heat was back on and the windows closed again for most of the day. Oh, how we were spoiled by that lovely taste of summer in the middle of March.

Baxter was looking very alert for his photograph on Monday afternoon.

Cameron’s Windmills Quilt … Again

Yes, I know this has been shown before but I have it entered in this week’s Quilting Gallery contest which is for hexagons. There are some beautiful quilts entered, so please go have a look and vote for your favourites. Yes, I said favourites as you can vote for two entries this week.

With a little advance planning I was able to get the machine quilting done within a couple of hours and had only 4 thread ends to work in. All straight line quilting, of course, as that’s my skill level when quilting by machine. When I found this flannel a few years ago, I bought enough yardage of it to use as backing for 3 baby quilts.

I’ve found that a 2″ hexagon is perfect for a label as it gives me lots of room to write. I baste the turn-under allowance down as that makes the appliqueing on to the back go very quickly. In this picture it’s ironed to a piece of freezer paper to stabilize it when writing on it.

The quilt was made with “other” half 1″ hexagons which I printed using Inklingo. I love tessellating designs and had started the quilt top long before we knew about the new baby. However, when I learned my cousin’s son and his wife were going to have another baby I knew what this particular UFO was meant to be. Once I made that decision, it only took a couple of weeks to finish piecing it. With a tessellating design like this, there are tons of opportunities for continuous stitching which makes the piecing go very quickly. Of course, using Inklingo to print the shapes on the back of the fabric makes it even faster as there’s no basting over papers and removing them.

The blocks are very quick to make with a simple running stitch. Because of the matching points, there’s no guessing at where exactly the joins should be made. I think I was making upwards of 20 or so of these blocks in an evening and then had the fun of arranging and putting them together into the top. I have lots of them left and plan to make another of these little tessellating quilts at some point.

They press beautifully.

Last night we bought a new vacuum cleaner. Baxter was eyeing the box it’s in, definitely not impressed. He is not a fan of vacuum cleaners at all, but with a long-haired cat a good vacuum cleaner is an absolute must for us.

Flannel Quilt Finish

On the weekend, I got the flannel top quilted and bound. The label went on and it was washed and dried yesterday afternoon. Now it’s on its way to its intended recipient. It finished at 56″ x 64″.

Machine quilting it was definitely a case of fabric wrestling. I am so spoiled now using the silk batts that I really noticed how much heavier and more difficult to manoeuvre the cotton batt was. That’s the trade-off, I suppose, for the ease of basting a fusible batt. It ended up as a totally machine-made quilt, other than tacking down the binding, which is totally unusual for me. However, it also made me more confident about my  machine piecing skills.

Putting the binding on was fun. It was lovely and warm and was a true cat magnet. Baxter landed on my lap almost the minute I started tacking the binding down and stayed put for much longer than he usually does. Clearly a little flannel quilt is a must just for him.