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.