Two Quilts for Two Sisters: warming the heart with hearts and chains

Dear Vi,

Last spring I made two quilts that I haven’t shown you yet, and since it’s getting close to the end of the year, and considering these are the only quilts I finished in 2017, I thought maybe I should get their pictures posted!.

The quilts were made for two adult sisters in my family.

I wanted the two quilts to share common elements while also speaking to the personal tastes of each sister, so I chose a versatile pattern: the Irish Chain with hearts.

The first quilt is made with sweet floral fabrics for a soft, comfortable, old-fashioned feeling.

It is the most basic of the Irish Chain versions: a simple 9-patch alternating with a plain square. Except instead of a plain square, I pieced a heart using the same fabric I’d sewn the 9-patches with.The quilt is finished with a mix of machine and hand quilting.

The center of the hearts are hand quilted, as is the looped row of hearts running along the bottom edge of the quilt.

The 9-patches are done in straight-line quilting, and I practiced my free-motion quilting by making loops and hearts in the borders. I’ve only tried free-motion quilting a couple of times and I really enjoyed it. The stitching isn’t perfect, but neither am I, lol!

The second quilt is a Double Irish Chain in a soft grey neutral palate.

I tried to enlarge this so you can see the print. It’s very sweet, and reminds me of France, for some reason. Perfect, because its new owner is bilingual!

I hand quilted hearts into the plain squares. The chains were done with my walking foot.

The soft, neutral tones in this quilt were a challenge to photograph. I apologize for the poor lighting.

It was a pleasure to make both quilts, and I know they are being enjoyed.

Now I think you’re all caught up, as far as finished quilts go, anyway!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours from me and mine. May you always have a warm quilt to warm you, body and soul. ♥

 

 

Pinwheels for a Baby

Dear Vi,

We’ve all been very excited over the news that Mr. C’s cousin Frank is going to be a grandpa! Well, the baby was due on Valentine’s Day, but she decided to put in her appearance a few days early.

I haven’t gone anywhere near mama or baby yet because I’m still fighting off the after shocks of the flu (sinus infection followed by bronchitis). Some things you just don’t want to share, am I right?

…but I’ve been quietly stitching away in the background in anticipation of the special delivery.

I had so much fun shopping for the fabric. I decided not to use my stash…I wanted something brand new. Don’t you just love these sweet vintage-inspired prints? They go so nicely with the pinwheels, which are themselves a vintage quilt block. In fact, according to one quilt historian, the pieced pinwheel block pattern hails back to 1795, following the invention of the cotton gin!

I put prairie points between the inside & outside borders because babies just love little tags of cloth to explore and fiddle with..

At 35 x 42 inches, it’s perfect for tummy time.

Hand quilted with love for our wee Logan ♥

 

 

Disappearing 9-patch

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I wanted to make a quilt for my aunt, who has always been a very special person in my life. But time passes and things don’t get done and you know how it goes. (sigh)

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So one day last spring I was sorting my sewing room and I came upon an unfinished quilt top. It’s one I started way back when. Before I had (mostly) mastered the art of matching corners, lol.

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I’m not sure why I put it away and didn’t finish it. I think maybe I felt (at the time) that the colours were too bright, or maybe I didn’t like using grey for the background neutral. I really have no idea.

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Anyway, it was spring when I pulled it out and all the spring flowers were in full bloom. I carried it out and took some pictures with the tulips. And oh my gosh…the quilt just sang!

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Suddenly, every spring colour just jumped out at me, and I realized that every single colour was in the quilt. It screamed Spring!

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That’s one of the things I love about Kate Spain’s fabrics. She really captures the colours in nature.  🙂

020I looked at the grey background and thought of the soft spring rain that comes and melts all the snow, and makes the flowers bloom.

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And I thought to myself, this quilt belongs to my aunt, whose favourite season just happens to be spring.

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Mine, too!

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This is a lap-sized quilt made from the Cuzco collection by Kate Spain. The backing is cream flannel and it was hand quilted in a clam shell pattern. I didn’t wash and dry it before I sent it, but when she does, it will shrink a wee bit and pull around the stitches, creating that wonderful crinkly look that makes a quilt so soft and snuggly.

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