Friday, February 27, 2015

Pocketful of Sunshine

Great song by Natasha Bedingfield.  Great quilt by moi, if I do say so myself!  Fabulous new-to-us breakfast this morning! 

Allow me to sidetrack you for a moment away from Pocketful of Sunshine with this Bowlful of Goodness.

Bowl on the right: ingredients layered.  Bowl on the left: mixed up and ready to dive into! Yum!

This is my take on "Nutty Oatmeal Bowl", one of several breakfast recipes my husband sent to me last week.  He found it on a cycling site somewhere, he says.  It was fast and easy to put together and so yummy and nutritious!

For each bowl:
1 cup cooked oatmeal
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
about 1 cup fresh (or frozen) berries and/or fruit (I used blueberries and strawberries, but the original recipe said bananas and berries)
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Mix together and eat.  The oatmeal was hot when I mixed it up, and tasted fabulous, but it is still delicious cooled right off (that's, um, what happens when you take foodie-type pics of your breakfast, and then another shot or two of your new quilt).  It's all good though.

So apparently our fence is angled. Who knew.  Makes sense, though, as the land is graded to fall away from the house... This is why the quilt is folded at the left side.

Charm squares.  I love 'em/hate 'em.  Well, hate is too strong, but they frustrate me because I want to use all 5 square inches.  I do not like cutting them down with a 1/2" of waste fabric, or losing lots of yardage in seams. However, having said that, Carrie Nelson does amazing things, albeit 32" square sized quilts on the average, in her Schnibbles quilts.

So last year, after making one of her Schnibbles quilts, Winter Night, I decided to make better use, as in get a larger end result, of my other charm squares pack.  Enter Hidden in Plaid Sight.  This was an original design, simplistic as it may be, but effective, a great quilt on which to practise Angela Walters' Dot to Dot Craftsy class I took right around that time.  I had a few people ask me for the pattern!  So I decided to buy another charm squares pack with some coordinating yardage (cue Fat Quarter Shop) to recreate Hidden in a different colourway and feel.  And write instructions as I went.  And yes, big breath, I should have the pattern ready for sale in my soon-to-be Craftsy shop, and perhaps on payhip too, for all the quilters overseas clamouring (lol) to get their hands on the pattern.

Update: the pattern is now available for just $6CA in my Etsy shop.

So a few details.  This rendition I called Pocketful of Sunshine. The quilt just named itself when I started layering it to begin quilting it.  That yellow ray shining diagonally across the the quilt is what did it.  And here is where serendipity kicked in.  On my original quilting ideas sketch, I had the "rays" of one of Angela's dot to dot designs going in an upwards direction from the bottom right to the top left.

Started quilting, and after the second or third, took the quilt out from the machine, laid it on the floor and GASP!  They were going in the wrong direction.  Check the quilt-on-a-fence photo and the one below.

After talking myself out of the idea of flinging myself or the quilt under a bus (none of them go down our street anyhow) I took stock and thought, you know...the rays of the sun shine down... and voilà, I like it just fine "upside down".

Isn't that sort of flower, sort of pebbles-pow cluster-thingie the coolest?
Here is one on grey, with the threads I used, all of which worked wonderfully.  Then again, that's a Bernina for ya!
And here is the back view of another:

Sadly, I only did the two, because they just don't show up very well on patterned fabric.  I will file that design away for another quilt!  It's in Leah Day's From Feathers to Flames book.

Speaking of the back, here it is.  I was pretty ecstatic when it came; one never can be 100% sure when ordering online.  It is an absolutely perfect fit - I even used two squares of it on the front- with Sphere, and it is not even a Moda fabric!  I like how the different-coloured bobbin threads pop here and there on the back. I match the bobbin to the top for the most part when I FMQ.

Made my own label again, from leftovers.  This is about as improv as I've gotten in over a decade.  It was kinda fun!

Those of you who have followed me for a while will know this is my preferred method of applying a label, to actually piece it into the backing, making the label an integral part of the quilt backing, and quilting over it.  Makes it pretty much impossible to remove as not only would all the quilting stitches have to be ripped out; there would also be a "hole" when the fabric is removed, and you would expose the batting.  Yep, that's about it for scraps left over from this quilt, except for a small strip of the border fabric.  This pattern makes very good use of your fabric!

This pattern is just great for quilting on a domestic, as well as for trying out all kinds of motifs, be they Angela's, Leah's, or your own!  I mainly used Leah's designs here: swirls with pebbles, pea gravel, angles and circles, the pebble-centred star-bursty flower, and her bubble wand in the outer border.

Love, love how that design turned out!  THEN, in Angela's Free Motion Quilting book, I read where she advises to look at the motifs in the fabric and quilt them.  Epiphany.  This "Sphere" fabric has a plethora of shapes for doing just that! Look at the top grey square in the photo above!  The wavy lines in the grey square in the second row!  Coolio!  I ended up using several of the patterns in the fabric to quilt.  I did figure eights on the white sashing bars,and two long straight lines (enter walking foot) with circles in between (reenter FMQ foot) in the teal horizontal sashing.

Awesome texture.
Happy quilt
I would never have chosen such a bright yellow, but this is where charm square packs can push you a little outside of your comfort zone.  I just love everything about this quilt, and I'm okay with saying that, from the fabric, to the colours, to the layout to the batting.  I'm a Warm 'n Natural lover, but this one is a very very close second.  Even with heavy quilting, I think it stays softer than the Warm.

I can see why Bella wants to snuggle in it!
Quilt Stats
Name: Pocketful of Sunshine
Size: 48" square (she shrunk 1.5" through quilting and then washing!)
Pattern: original design by moi
Fabric: Sphere by Zen Chic for Moda; backing is Pimatex Basics by Robert Kaufman
Batting: Pellon Nature's Touch 100% cotton (really like the drape and the softness even after all the quilting I did)
Threads: ditch-stitched mainly with Aurifil 2625 and also with Mettler white; quilted with Sulky rayon in off-white and Isacord in 4230 and 4421.

Update:  (I made a note to include this in the post, and well, shocker, I forgot until just now when straightening up my sewing area, I found my little book.)
For those of you who like this quilty kind of stuff (I know I sure do) I also noted that I used 6 bobbins of thread to quilt this baby, and that one row of circles inside the lines on the tea sashing took me on average 10 minutes to do.  Also, this was the first quilt where I buried my threads for most of the white bars sashing quilting.  And I survived.  I thought it would be a huge PITA but it wasn't. At all.  I need to find better self-threading needles though, as these did not impress me.  At all.  Anyone have a fave to recommend?

Linking up with TGIFF over at Persimon Dreams today, and Confessions of A Fabric Addict. This is also another one of the projects on my list for the 2015 Finish Along First Quarter, as well as a personal goal.....Next!


  1. This quilt looks great! I like how you laid out the charms. Happy to hear you are getting close on publishing your pattern.

  2. Love the quilting on this quilt, and the colors you chose are beautiful together!

  3. It looks like a great pattern, I sure do love the quilt.

  4. Sandra, you've created a stunner! It looks beautiful and then when we get to see closer shots it looks even more gorgeous! Really love your FMQ! Your pattern makes the perfect palette to get to show off your skills!

  5. I. LOOOOOOVE. This. Quilt.
    LOVE it. Great job!! I love anything sunshiny - love how the rays of sunshine radiate through the quilt.
    And that yummy breakfast looks almost as delectable as the quilt. Almost.

  6. Oh, Sandra, this is amazing. Thanks for all the close-up pictures. I absolutely love it. Especially how you arranged the fabrics.

    We put berries in oatmeal all the time. It cools it off for the little ones. I will have to try it with yogurt.

  7. Yeah - It *is* a great quilt!! Seriously in love with its colors. You did a great job of placement with the charms and I love the design. :)

  8. This is so much fun! The gradient and quilting are wonderful!

  9. This is gorgeous! I really love the FMQ you did and the color gradation is fantastic!


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