Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2012 - 90 Squares of a Curious Nature

Anyone who regularly visits my blog will already have seen and read all this but since Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival is going on, I'm telling the story for new visitors as part of the festival.

Amy's Creative Side

Category: Throw Quilt

This is one of two largish quilts I made this summer. In fact they are my FIRST largish solo quilts EVER!  I'm kind of new at this.

This quilt is for Uncle Reg (my mother-in-law's brother) who turned 90 this year. He's quite the inspiration with his good health, energy, humour, and attitude. He's had a really incredible life that has taken him from a modest Saskatchewan farm, through World War II as a pilot with the Royal Canadian Air Force (remarkably surviving several crashes), family life with three daughters, and now grandchildren. He still golfs and curls and both cheers and curses the Roughriders (our professional football team). He's also famous for his gardening expertise, roses in particular.

I won 6 one yard cuts of this fabric. It's Curious Nature designed by David Butler. When the fabric arrived I liked it so much that I bought fat quarters of the complete line. It's very masculine fabric and, for whatever reason and before I even realized it was Uncle Reg's 90th birthday this year, the fabric reminded me immediately of him. So ... good reason to make the man a lap quilt. I picked out the blue/oyster/cream/black toned fabrics from the line for this quilt. I envisioned photos on the quilt so I undertook figuring that out. It turned out to be challenging and time-sucking but, ultimately, I'm very happy with how the photos printed onto fabric. What I learned about that process is a whole blog post on its own.

Auntie Eileen volunteered to embroider the strip with the words, poppies and roses. She has a fancy embroidering machine.

I had the quilt longarm quilted by Lynette Hankewich of Ladybug Longarm Quilting. She just quilted in the ditch so as not to quilt over the photos. She did a great job considering "stitching in the ditch" is not so easy on a longarm quilting machine. Perhaps I could have quilted this by myself on my little Pfaff Tipmatic but I've never machine quilted before and I didn't want to start on this particular quilt.

I pieced the back of the quilt using what was left of the six 1 yard cuts that I won.

I used all the fabric scraps pieced together for the binding and I included a strip of red fabric with fleur de lis on it for a touch of red. I do like a touch of red. And this is Canada after all, so a nod to the French is always in order for we English Canadians.

The above photo (the one on the park bench) shows the colours in the quilt more realistically than in the other photos, which make the quilt look overall more "blueish" than it really is.

I was very lucky to have Sean stop by to hold the quilt up for me. Sean's Mom is a quilter, too. He and his brothers and his Dad are all closer to 7 feet tall so they are every quilter's "best friends". Prior to that I tried to take photos of it all by myself at various places at the University of Saskatchewan campus.

Quilt Stats:

Name: "90 Squares of a Curious Nature"
Size: 54" x 69"
Fabric: Curious Nature by Parson Gray (David Butler), one charm square in the middle of the quilt that has various synonyms for "home" on it and is from Sweetwater's Hometown fabric line, and Kona Pepper for sashing and borders.
Inspiration Quilt: Chrysalis by Heather D at the "Crafting ... Blog"
Longarm Quilting: Lynnette of Ladybug Longarm Quilting in Saskatoon
Particulars: The quilt has 90 squares representing 90 years. Photos were printed using an Epson laserjet printer and Epson ink and I used cotton inkjet sheets from Electric Quilt Company available at Periwinkle Quilt Shop in Saskatoon and PeachTree Quilt Shop in Regina.
Best Category: Throw Quilt

I didn't use a pattern but, after looking at the "inspiration quilt" and knowing charm packs were used to make it, I used 5 inch squares (a good choice because I could get two 5" square photos out of one cotton photo printer sheet), and 1.5 inch strips of Kona Pepper cut to 5" and 6" lengths. The squares have black borders on 2 sides only and then you just turn every 2nd square to get this jiggy look. If it hadn't been for struggles with my first attempt at printing on fabric, this would have been a very quick and easy quilt to put together. It's worth noting that if you decide to make a similar quilt, prepare all the fabric squares first and then lay the whole thing out and figure out where you're going to put your photo squares because that will determine where you put the two sashing pieces on those. You don't want to end up with upside down photos!

I like how Sean's sneakers peak out from under the quilt.

For the quilt label I used the corner of a handkerchief that features red roses since Uncle Reg is famous for his rose gardening.

The quilt was delivered and, with blessed happenstance, the quilt colours match Uncle Reg's decor perfectly! I'm so pleased about that.

Click on the photos if you want to see them full sized. 



  1. What a wonderful quilt...and a wonderful story to go with it! Great job!

  2. Great quilt Heather! And a great story..I love the label too!

  3. I haven't seen this one before - it's absolutely gorgeous, Heather! Love the fabrics!

  4. That's a great quilt. And Uncle Reg doesn't look anywhere near 90! Wish I am like that when I reach his age.

  5. I remember when you won this fabric Heather! It's a wonderful quilt and a great entry into the festival!

  6. SO glad you joined in at the festival - and I agree, Uncle Reg doesn't look 90! LOL

  7. I love this! The hanky on the back is the perfect finishing touch to a thoughtful and loving quilt. (I think Uncle Reg has been lying about his age, though ;-) he can't be 90 :-)

  8. This quilt IS fabulous...(thanks for showing it to me in-person, Heather). And yes the label is also wonderful...actually the roses are perfect, but they also remind me of poppies - also so appropriate!
    Oh...and agreed...Uncle Reg is a great looking 90 year old!

  9. Love the quilt. It's beautiful.
    You have a lovely blog. I'm writing from Sew Sisters Quilt Shop. We are having a Blogathon for Canadian quilting/crafting bloggers and would love it if you would be willing to let us link to your blog. You can get all the details here.

  10. You can just see the joy on his face! I love photos of people who received quilts. By the way I'm tagging you, check out my blog for instructions/rules

  11. Wow Heather that's a beautiful quilt!


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