Friday, 31 December 2021


In the waaay back of early pandemic days, in April of 2020, Bonnie Hunter started a mystery quilt called Unity, and unlike her usual winter mysteries this was a round robin quilt--each week we got directions for another round of blocks. YAY! Something to do while we're stuck at home for a few weeks :P I have very limited fabric stash at home, and the local stores were closed to in person shopping. So I emailed Along Came Quilting and connected with Sharla. I wanted to do an all blue quilt--described to her what I wanted, she texted back some photos of fabrics, and she had a short stack of bolts to choose from by the time I went to the store to peer at the fabrics from behind a taped line through the open door (this was waay back when when we were being told NOT to mask because masks were for the medical professionals). Not an optimal way to purchase fabrics but better than on my computer monitor. I think we did better than OK. But I did learn, the hard way, that Grunge doesn't have anyting on the selvedge to indicate the colorway, and its hard to match up later if you didn't get the color name off the boltend when purchasing the first time. Luckily, when I needed more, Kim was able to take my swatch into the store and match the bolt, give me the name, and then I could order still more again online from Willow Creek, as I emptied the bolt at ACQ.
And then the fun began--I like having a step all cut out and ready to sew, its easy then to sit down for even just 15 minutes and run fabric through the machine.
I was planning all along to make Unity for our bed--but I thought I wanted it square, rather than rectangular, so I put flying geese all the way around (In Bonnie's pattern the geese are only on top and bottom)
It kept growing and growing, and I really ran out of room to lay it on the floor for photos
This was where Bonnie's pattern ended, and with my geese all around, about 98x98. I decided I wanted it a little wider, so the sides would cover the drop of the mattress, so I made it rectangular after all, by adding a checkerboard border to the sides. This is where it took me a while to source the extra grunge, and to figure out what to add. 99 1/2 x109 1/2 was the prequilting measurement. and this is my quilt, for our bed, so custom quilting all the way!! which meant it had to wait for me to have a large chunk of time on the frame, and the right mindset for designing the quilting. The right mindset has been a little hard to come by some days in the past few years. December was finally the time! Wool batting for lovely loft to show the quilting and for warmth and comfort.
I gave the quilt a mix of ruler work and freemotion --straight lines, continuous curve, ribbon candy, loops, figure 8s.
And really, I can look at the back as much as the front. I haven't yet reversed it on the bed, but maybe next month!
Some areas I knew right off how I wanted to quilt them, and some took quite a bit of drawing and planning.
Binding only took an afternoon--I had already made the Susie's Magic Binding last year when I finished piecing the top, so it went quite quickly for a king size quilt. I love that method.
This quilt was on my frame for a full month, I generally track my hours on all quilts, but I didn't on this one--suffice to say it took a ridiculously long time. I was extra picky on this, as it's the first bed quilt I've made for us in more than 10 years, since I've had my Innova. I wasn't able to do precision work or ruler work on my old setup.
Post quilting measurements are about 96x106, so it shrunk up about 3 1/2" in each direction. I've come to expect anywhere between 1-3" It makes a lot of sense, if you think about crumpling a piece of paper and then trying to lay it out again--it won't be its original size as the folds/crinkles have shrunk it in. I did presoak all the fabrics, so I don't expect it to have much shrink from washing--it's been cold here so it went straight on the bed (our other quilt had silk batting and I was a little chilly some nights) where it has been keeping me perfectly warm. There is room for some more shrink though, so it will be OK either way.
Happy New Year! Michelle

Thursday, 30 December 2021

Christmas at Noreen's

Merry Christmas from Noreen's house. Noreen made 5 Christmas quilts for gifting this year. She started early--I quilted the first few in March, but wasn't able to share until after Christmas because secret Christmas gifts. Quilt one got a feathered swirl (a la Kathleen Quilts) freehand edge to edge design and had a pretty pointsetta backing. This one is being gifted to someone who does do freehand quilting, so I was aiming for a design that I don't think she does on her own quilts.
The quilting does show nicely on the back
Quilt two is, I think, a BQ2 block. Pointsettas and pinecones.
There was so much movement and pattern in the background fabric, I didn't want the quilting to compete, so a ribbon meander in a red thread. Ribbons being very Christmas appropriate.
The quilting can't really be seen from the front--but shows nicely on the flannel backing
Quilt 3 is called Christmas Relish.
This quilt I quilted with freehand curls, which I like to call filigree. I think it's very elegant and has lovely mtion. I used a shiny gold colored Magnifico thread for this one.
And again, the longarmer is rewarded with a lovely showing of the quilting on the back
I think quilt 4 is called Honor. The piecing in this one was more simple, so I added a little custom quiting combined with my favourite E's and 3s.
I just love the panel in the center of this one.
And again, the quiltng shows well on the flannel backing
And lastly we have, quilt 5, Christmas Dimaonds. One of the things I really like about this quilt is how it has fabrics from the others, perfect for family gifts.
The one block quilt made it easy to do freehand clamshells. I just love the texture this design gives.
The quilting is a little hard to see in these photos on the front, but once again, the red flannel backing was my friend
I bet it was a great Christmas for Noreen's kids!

Wednesday, 29 December 2021

Geesey Geese 2

When Katherine finished her first Geesey Geese Quilt, she took her "curated scraps" and built another--similar yet different.
This quilt received leaves in the geese, and ribbon candy in the setting columns
And Katherine pieced the backing with Giant Geese, using the Big Geese Quilt Tutorial from Bryan House Quilts
The quitling shows up well on the back

Tuesday, 28 December 2021

Geesey Geese

Katherine participated in the Geesey Geese sew along hosted by Rachel Hauser @stichedincolor and this is the top she made from that sew along
Katherine asked for leaves on this quilt--and as usual, she was right. The freehand leaves added fabulous texture. I didn't want to do the same leaves I'd done for Katherine before, so I added a double curvy line between each leaf vine.
When the direction of the geese changed, I changed the direction of the leaves.

Friday, 24 December 2021


These are some 26" pillows I made for eldest and their housemates. I had the remnants from this Pathways quilt I had made a few years ago, and I had kept them all together, wanting to use these Moda Shibori fabrics in a project again someday. This used up the scraps from that quilt entirely, and some extra fabric had to be purchase for the backs of the pillows.
I think both sides look great, so it won't matter how they're arranged on the couch.
And while I was making pillows with scraps, I made this one for myself. It's a 20" form. These were all the fabrics I had left from the Fractal quilt, and I got one pillow from it. It's not stuffed yet, in this photo, but it sits on my spot on the couch, so I enjoy it when I watch TV. It was hard to give away the quilt, I loved it so much, so this is a very nice reminder of the fabrics. I look at this photo, this was just before I had to do some unsewing, as I had sewn the pillow back to the wrong side....we all have those days I delayed posting until I rememberd to take finished photos--I used up every bit of that rainbow panel I had

Sunday, 19 December 2021

Patchwork City--Metro

Vicki made this quilt--Metro, from the Patchwork City book by Elizabeth Hartman
I had so much fun quilting this quilt, recognizing fabrics Vicki had used in previous quilts I have longarmed for her, and admiring everything about the blocks--design, precision, fabric choices.
I quilted it with an Angela Walters freehand design--because Vicki had told me the quilt had a top, I felt comfortable putting this very linear design on it--and thought it complemented the modern feel to the blocks as well
Since starting to make this quilt, Vicki said they've done some rearranging in the house and so she didn't quite know where she was going to put this quilt. I very quickly offered to house it for her, but she declined my kind and selfless offer, and came and picked it up. :(
Vicki made the backing beautiful too--with this lovely rainbow of fabrics used in the front of the quilt