A Very Favourite Fabric

Years ago (and I’m not sure quite how many years that may have been, but I think it’s at least eight), I bought a half yard of this fabric. I fell in love with it at the store the second … Continue reading

Pattern Sale

As Boxing Day is typically a day of sales here in Canada, I decided to have a Boxing Day sale of my patterns, which can be found here. The patterns contain detailed instructions on piecing with lots of photographs and diagrams, cheat sheets with printing sizes, pressing instructions and quilting suggestions.

Each pattern is marked down from $9 to $5 for this one-day event.  The patterns included are:

Chintz Circles

Pink Ice

Twinklingo Stars

The sale is on until 11:59 p.m. EST tonight and are available on the patterns page of my website.

Baxter, of course, isn’t all that interested in patterns. He’s having much more fun watching things out on the roof garden.

Bloggers’ Quilt Festival, Fall 2010

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Once again, Amy is hosting the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival.  If you click on the button above, you’ll find thumbnail photos from the participants and, if it’s anything like the spring festival, you’re in for a real treat with lots and lots of lovely quilts to see and stories about their making to read.  All this in the comfort of your own home!

I debated showcasing Chintz Circles again so soon, but couldn’t resist it as my entry in the Quilt Festival.  When the Inklingo Orange Peel Deluxe collection was released, I had played with the various designs and had a lot of fun doing so.  One of my favourite variations was the Alabama Beauty block and, while I had only made one block of it, it stayed in my mind.  Eventually, the lure of that block, particularly with my aunt’s 90th birthday coming up, and making an Alabama Beauty quilt with shabby chic fabrics was irresistible.

My aunt’s favourite colours are pinks and greens and I remember the chintz that was in her home when I was growing up so, as soon as I started making the quilt, I realized Chintz Circles was the perfect name for it.

Karen Dianne was making Alabama Beauty blocks at the same time and had shown some of hers on a design wall.  As soon as I saw that secondary circular pattern emerge, I knew exactly how I wanted to make my aunt’s quilt and I was off to the races.  By mid-April I had hand pieced 6 blocks and saw the first two circles appear.

Choosing the fabrics for each row became more complex as I had to be absolutely perfect with the placement of the fabrics that would emerge as circles.  I developed a routine for doing that as I finished a row and would sort the fabrics for each block into separate envelopes.  During the piecing, I was often thinking about the rousing games of double solitaire I used to play with my aunt at the cottage during the evenings.  We would be laughing so loudly that my mother, who was invariably trying to listen to a baseball game on the radio, would leave and  go listen to the baseball game out on the porch.  I learned then that long nails, while looking good, were also a great deterrent to an opponent in double solitaire as I developed strategies to avoid getting stabbed by my aunt’s perfectly manicured nails as we competed to be the first to put a card up.

By April 21st, a total of 16 blocks had been pieced together and joined and 9 complete circles had appeared.

As the quilt top grew, it took longer to add more rows and see more circles appear but by May 18, there were 25 blocks joined and 16 circles had made their appearance.

I was then in the home stretch and on June 21 a total of 42 blocks were joined, 30 circles had appeared and the hand piecing of the quilt top was complete.

The backing fabric was found, the quilt was basted and the machine quilting began. On July 20, the quilting was finished, the binding tacked down and this photo was taken very shortly after the last stitch was taken to attach the label.

August 1 was my aunt’s 90th birthday.  That morning I had washed and dried the quilt and it had that wonderful crinkly look that quilts get after being washed and dried.  Then came the best part — when she opened the gift and saw her quilt.  She still has those beautifully manicured nails I so remember from our double solitaire games!

Everything about making Chintz Circles was an absolute joy.  Choosing the fabrics, making the blocks and joining them together, quilting it, even working the thread ends in was fun as I often found myself reflecting on some of the marvelous memories I have of the time I have spent with my aunt over the years.   I still find that I quietly laugh to myself when I remember those double solitaire games and the fun we had.

There is no doubt I would have not made this quilt were it not for Linda Franz‘ brilliant invention of Inklingo. Having perfect shapes with stitching lines and matching points turned what may look like a difficult block to piece into something that was an absolute joy to stitch and blocks that went together perfectly every time.

Chintz Circles — Please Vote!

I entered Chintz Circles at Quilt Gallery’s weekly contest as this week the theme is scrappy.  There are some beautiful quilts in this week’s contest which you can view here — the same post where you can vote for your favourite.

The photo we took on the roof garden the day I finished Chintz Circles is found here and the post about it being given to my aunt on her 90th birthday is found here.

Smudge isn’t too interested.  He’d rather have a snooze as the grey chilly days of fall seem to be upon us.

Lester also seems to have found himself a nice cozy spot for a nap.

Photographing of Chintz Circles

For a number of reasons, I wanted a good photograph or two of Chintz Circles taken before giving it to my aunt on Sunday.  So on Wednesday a friend, who is a professional photographer, took some shots.  It was a fascinating experience.  The photos I’m showing in this blog were taken by us — not by the professional.  But some of the photos taken by him will eventually show up here.  The photo above was taken of the photographer checking some of his equipment and the area where the quilt was going to be hung for its pictures.

This shot was taken before any of the lights were turned back on but after the quilt was in place — with Goddie, the resident kitty, in place beneath the quilt.

From a different angle.

The wooden bar on which the quilt was pinned was then raised up a bit and the lights were turned on.

Watching the pictures being taken, and seeing them appear immediately on his computer screen was fabulous.  I’m fascinated by photography, so having this experience was wonderful.  If you ever have the opportunity to watch a professional photographer in action, don’t miss out on that chance!

Goddie is a gorgeous, friendly kitty with a beautiful coat.

Our resident kitties were having windowsill time again on Wednesday.  Lester was looking up at a toy I was holding over the camera.

While Smudge was doing what he does best, looking cute.

Fabric on Friday

Last weekend when we were at Sew Sisters, I found some great fabrics in the remnants bin to add to the shabby chic collection for the Alabama Beauty quilt I plan to make for us.  Finding remnants like these is perfect for Chintz Circles and other quilts.  These are all around a quarter of a  yard — just right for the scrap quilts I love to make.  While I have a few — some — well, okay, a lot of other things on the go, making that Alabama Beauty block and a quilt like Chintz Circles for us is definitely high up on the list.  I enjoyed everything about making it, even the fabric wrestling aka machine quilting.   Before I begin it, Pink Ice and Clams on the Half Shell will be completed, some more pieces printed for the Summer Picnic Dish quilt and, knowing me, who knows what else will be started.

The label for my aunt’s quilt will be done this weekend.  I’ve decided to make a block using shapes from the Orange Peel Deluxe collection, so some more curved stitching, and use a few of the fabrics that I used in the top.

I’ve added the post about Chintz Circles to Finished for Friday at Lit and Laundry.  It has been ages since I’ve had a finish and couldn’t resist.  There’s a list of those with finishes for Friday on this post — definitely worth going and taking a look and, who knows, you may just find a new-to-you blog that you really enjoy.

For some reason, my wrists and hands have really started to hurt again and, as I type this, my right wrist is swollen.  Because of the discomfort involved with typing, I’ve not been great about responding to comments the past couple of days, but hope to get all caught up over the weekend.  I have a feeling it was doing the binding that started this as applique does tend to bother my hands.  I think next time I’m stitching down binding I’ll do it in stages rather than all at once and see if that helps.

Thursday was a very cloudy day.  I think we’re going to get rain at some point today.  Thursday Smudge enjoyed some windowsill time.

While Lester was lounging in the pink chair.