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 ♥

 

 

Tyler’s Quilt: Indomitable Spirit

Warning – this post has lots of pictures!

I have a quilt finish to show off today! This is the quilt I recently made for my second-youngest nephew, Tyler.

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A quilt is never finished until it has had its official photo shoot, and this quilt had two photography sessions! First, we took it on a beautiful nature walk to Margaret Falls. This was the perfect place to photograph this quilt.

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Look at how the shapes in the landscape compliment the shapes in the quilt. It makes my little quilt-photographers heart sing!

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The second photo shoot was just up the road. I really wanted to have the quilt photographed with horses (don’t ask me why, I really have no idea. Well…maybe because my nephew lives in Montana. And you know, Montana…horses…)

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Sadly, the horses weren’t as interested in the quilt as I thought they should be. Actually, they were afraid of it. Big piece of fabric – boo, scary!

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Happily, two girls came riding by and consented to help.
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And of course who could resist this shot? Love, love, love the long view down the valley.

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Every quilt has a story. Including this quilt. Keep reading, here it comes.

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Tyler turned 18 last week and is graduating from high school this year.

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While I am happy that I finished the quilt in time for his birthday and graduation, I actually was inspired to make him this quilt because I wanted to honour his accomplishments in in Taekwondo.

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This young man has two black belts and is working on his third. I am so proud because I know how much focus and dedication and practice that goes into mastering a craft at any age.

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Each of the coloured blocks represents one of the belts he had to master. The quilt is backed with simple white cotton to represent the outfit the practitioner wears.

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I chose the wonky cross-hatch block for this quilt because the shapes of the lines reminded me of the shapes drawn in the air and the shapes that the body makes when doing martial arts.

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…and also because it’s just a fun and funky pattern that is uber-suitable for a young man of 18.

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I named the quilt Indomitable Spirit, which is one of the tenets in the Taekwondo code. I don’t think I could have chosen a better name.

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Indomitable Spirit measures 50 x 74 inches and is hand quilted. I quilted it free-hand, without a frame and without marking. The first time I’ve ever done either.

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My stitches are what I prefer to call “organic,” (meaning they’re uneven, being the first time I tried quilting that way). I like to try something new whenever I can, and I wanted to try free hand quilting. So it was a bit of a learning curve for me. Appropriate, too, since this quilt honours accomplishment, which requires taking a first step and giving it your best.

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Nothing you accomplish in life comes without practice, right? Like a black belt. Like learning to hand quilt free-style.

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Congratulations, Tyler – your spirit is truly indomitable.

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Live long and prosper!

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