This was the first fat quarter bundle I bought, at a sewing show in Edmonton called Creative Stitches (I think). I went with my BQF (Best Quilty Friend), L. She and I got into some wonderful trouble where sewing and shopping and quilt classes were concerned. I miss her, now we live so far apart, and our sew days we'd have during school vacations. We were both teachers. This was a quilt and a technique, however, that only I did. We often took the same classes. She got me into Colourwash quilts; I got her into Stack 'n Whack. In fact, I got her into quilting, period. We both were seamstresses, so it wasn't that much of a leap, nor was much persuasion needed, ha!
The FQ bundle was a show special, so a pretty good deal. I loved the rich colours, wanting a Christmas-colours quilt for on our bed. This one could be on for a couple of months as the fabrics aren't Christmas motifs. I'd already bought the Buggy Barn pattern, 'Crazy About Hearts and Stars', and these fabrics would work perfectly for the cover quilt on that pattern. So after some debate, I bought that fat quarter bundle.
I don't remember the fabric line, but it is one by Robin Pandolph for Moda Fabrics. I was a selvage reader from the get-go of quilting, always interested in the designers' name, the name of the fabric line, and the company. I gravitated to Moda and Hoffman Fabrics immediately when I started quilting.
I am pretty sure that I got the matching backing fabric on one of my then-guild's bus trips. It is a brushed flannel, so this quilt is super-cosy. As you can see, I didn't have quite enough, so added in the green piece to make it large enough.
I have always labelled my quilts. I've always been a documenter, a journal-keeping, record-keeping type of person, so this was important to me before I even knew why it is so important. Over the course of several months, once year, I wrote a "Reason Number --" blurb about the importance of labelling quilts for the guild newsletter, which is when I really learned how important it is.
Buggy Barn Designs is known for their 'crazy' quilts, where you stack multiple layers, and whack them apart according to their block design. You sew them back together, very improv-style, where the seams won't align edge to edge, but you trim and keep going. For example, the block may start out with a 15" square, but when sewn, it perhaps squares up to around 12". I've made two of their quilt patterns and have another one out of a book of theirs on my list of "Want to Make" quilts.
Here's a close-up of the actual block, a rectangle. There is no appliqué; no Y-seams, only straight line piecing. Pretty cool!
I quilted it on my Bernina, FMQ-ing a heart shape in the heart and then going back over it with a wavy line, making it look rather lacy. This is a technique I learned from Kathy Sandbach's books. In each heart I did a holly design, just eyeballing it, and elongating the holly leaves to fill the star points. I had taken a couple of classes at Central Sewing in Edmonton, where I'd purchased my Bernina in 2003, one of which was on Sulky threads, so this was quilted with Sulky Blendables 12 and 30 weight in the stars and the hearts, the border a 12-weight, and either a Mettler or Gütermann, 50 weight cotton in tan, green and off-white, and a red Sulky rayon in the background of each block, matching the colours to the background.
I've been a feathers-loving girl forever...
After the first wash, I realized that I should have echoed or done something to 'squash down' the background of the feather curves, but I had no clue then how or what, so I left it, and as these things go, I've never gone back in and done some closely-spaced lines or echoes. The thread for the feathers is a Sulky Blendables reds with a little blue, a 12-weight. The guy I took the threads class from said, "If you're gonna do ALL that work quilting it, use a thread that will show off your work." To make the spine, I would use a dinner plate to draw the curve of the spine with a Clover chalk rolling marker, and then echo that 1/2" away, the width of my walking foot. I would draw the longer arcs of several of the feathers to get the angles right, but FMQ the bumps. I hadn't yet learned the 'hump and bump' style of doing feathers until I took a class a couple of years later from Matthew Sparrow, (this was before he started Sparrow Studioz, now Sparrow Quilt Company) who bought Karen McTavish's longarm and had taken several classes with her. Matt Sparrow is the one from whom Kathleen Quilts got her loaner machine, and where Angela Walters taught weekend classes just last summer, and I didn't know until the day she left and I was there in Edmonton...still a tad broken up about that. They bring in big names. Waaah! Natalia Bonner is there this coming weekend... Be still my quilty heart--!!
Okay, regroup. Where was I? Oh, a tip for FMQ-ing with the 12-weight, of which I have little bit left of all three! And no, I'm not ashamed to admit it either. Yeah yeah I'll be one of the quilters who, when I die, my family or the person to whom my sewing stuff goes, might be going, what the beep did she keep this for? But I know why. First and most important, you always can use good quality stuff, and second, living outside of a major centre as we have done for oh, 30 years, you learn that it's a smart thing to do because you always need stuff like this when the weather is bad, or when you're in the middle of a creative buzz, or when it's 11 at night (who am I kidding; I rarely sew or even awake at that time lol), but it could be at 8 on Saturday or Sunday when the stores are closed...
This quilt goes on my bed as the top quilt (I have two, and even have a third lap-size or throw-size, on my side because I like weight on me when I sleep) at the beginning of December. It got shuffled last weekend, (I always leave it until Ukrainian Christmas) and is now the bottom quilt while my January quilt is the top quilt. If you'd like to see what my January quilt is, see below:
You can go here to read a former TBT post about it. 😊 Yup, I aim, not quite there yet, to have a quilt for each month on my bed.
Pattern: Crazy About Hearts and Stars by Buggy Barn
Size: 73.5 X 85"
Fabric: Robyn Pandolph for Moda Fabrics, cotton top and brushed cotton backing
Batting: Warm 'n Natural
Quilted: on my Bernina; completed November 2005
Threads: pieced with Gütermann cotton; quilted with Sulky Blendables 12 and 30 weight, and either a Mettler or Gütermann cotton, Sulky rayon
Linking up with
My Quilt Infatuation for Needle & Thread Thursday
Next TBT is February 1. This linky will remain open until Sunday midnight EST.