Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Birthday of a Famous Canadian

Today is the birthday of my father, Cliff, who would have been 91, were he still alive. I miss him so much still, things I know he'd love, things I know he'd find hilarious, things I wish I could share with him. The Freefall Quilt Along was an idea germinated last Fall when I participated in a blog hop for Paintbrush Studio, organized by Bernie of Needle and Foot.  I made Windfall using the gorgeous collection of that same name.  This quilt is, to paraphrase Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl, a quintessential Canadian quilt, perfect and timely for Canada's sesquicentennial, 150th birthday on July 1, 2017, although I didn't plan it to be all this at the time.

Taken in my home town of Kingsville, Ontario, Fall 2016, 50.5" square

I knew I wanted to release this quilt as a pattern, but I also wanted to challenge myself in my blogging life by running a quilt along, so using this as the pattern, but in a smaller size, seemed appropriate.  I approached Paintbrush Studio about my idea, making the swirling leaves on a large shadow leaf a spring themed quilt.  Thus, they became the main sponsors, and thus, I created Freefall, using the collection by that same name!  Man I do love synchronicity, more so when it is orchestrated by powers beyond moi. 😍😁
Taken in North Port, Florida, Spring 2017, 37.5" square

When setting out the timeline for this QAL, I wanted it to be a bit slower (and do-able) of a pace.  I had to bump this further ahead in the calendar year when I had to make Coins of the Atocha for Benartex's Modern By the Yard magazine, or e-zine.  Then, I decided why not allow a little extra time, as in 4 weeks from the flimsy finish, which was May 15, to get the quilts quilted? And lo and behold, that meant that this parade would be June dad's birthday. As I mentioned way back in the beginning of this quilt along journey, Dad always used to write on our wall calendar, shortly after my mum would put up the new one in January, "Birthday of a Famous Canadian" on his day. We kids all loved it.  He'd wink; Mum would roll her eyes with a half-grin. So the final parade of quilts of this Maple Leaf pattern, symbolic of Canada, is happening on a most auspicious date for me. 😍

I think everyone knows how dead chuffed (to quote my English mum) I am about the participation in this, my first QAL. I have gotten goosebumps at seeing such a variety of lush fabrics used for my design, in Fall themes, Spring themes, bright and happy themes.  I myself created another smaller yet version of my pattern, a cushion cover, aka pillow cover. See below. I plan to release the pattern in short order, and it will contain instructions for both quilts and the cushion cover.

Note: if you are visiting here for the first time, or have not heard of the Freefall Quilt Along that ran from March to June, click on the Freefall tab at the top of my blog where you will find all the posts with instructions.  There is a colouring page in my Craftsy Store, as a free PDF download. 😁 That is an affiliate link; as an affiliate I feel it is my duty to tell you of their Supplies Event on now and through the can score some sweet kits and yardage and yarns, and tools, and threads...

This measures 18.5".  You can set the falling leaves in a few different ways, because of the 'shadow' HSTs behind them. It was a bit difficult settling on the final layout!

So...drum roll....

Let's see!! I cannot wait to see how these have all come together, quilted or flimsy.  I will leave the linkup open until Sunday so you've got a couple of extra days to get 'er done and I will draw for prizes on Sunday evening.

Just what are those lovely prizes again?
1.  A fat quarter stack of Freefall fabrics from Paintbrush Studio
2.  A $25 gift certificate to Sew Sisters Quilt Shop
3.  A $25 gift certificate to Fat Quarter Shop
4.  6 fat quarters or 3 half-yard cuts of fabric from Needle & Foot Fine Fabrics
5.  A copy of Crafted Appliqué by Lara Buccella of Buzzin' Bumble
6.  Two patterns to two winners from Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs (Magnolia Mystery is beginning! Eeep! That link will take you there.)
7.  Two patterns from Yvonne at Quilting Jet Girl.
8.  A pattern from Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts.
9.  A pattern from Joanne at Canuck Quilter.
10.  A pattern from Beth at Cooking Up Quilts.
11.  A pattern from Tish at Tish's Adventures in Wonderland.
12  A pattern from Cindy at Stitchin' At Home.
13.  A pattern from moi.

Heartfelt thanks to each one of these sponsors who so generously offered prizes for my first quilt along.  Heartfelt thanks to each of those who participated, fitting this in amongst various other obligations and projects and life in general.  Heartfelt thanks to Tish and to Julie for offering to test the pattern. It would not have been as straightforward without their valued input.  Also heartfelt thanks to Jen for testing the instructions of the large leaf shadow point blocks.

Wow!  All right, let's get this show on the road!


  1. Congratulations on completing your first hosted QAL! I had a great time and am really looking forward to seeing what everyone links up. :)

  2. Thanks for a great QAL, one I could keep up with! Happy Heavenly Birthday to your dad.

  3. I'm so glad you explained it all again today. It seems Freefall was meant to be. Thank you for taking us on this journey. My version is patriotic, for Canada's 150th. I have 8 blocks partially quilted. Will hold off linking a pic of my flimsy in case the quilting gods are smiling on me this weekend. Not likely, but one can hope. I love that first photo. The quilt certainly seems like it belongs with the tree in the beginning of its autumn glory.

    This is my first year with no father for Father's Day. My father-in-law died at the end of December, and mine died early May. Both were 91. I know what a gap the loss leaves. I am pleased we are all sharing in the birthday of your father, the famous Canadian.

  4. I miss our beloved Pops so much!! :'( Remember how he always told us he's born in the middle of the month and the middle of the year? :)

    1. And yes, guffaw, we LOVED that calendar entry, he was so excited for and proud of his birthday each year!! <3

  5. Sandra, a BIG CONGRATS on your first ever and very successful QAL!!! I had so much fun sewing along with you and everyone else. Free Fall is a beautiful pattern. I'm pretty sure your dad would be so proud that we are celebrating his birthday with the big reveals of our quilts, all on the birthday of a famous Canadian <3

  6. The QAL has been a truly A PLUS... success. The pattern, your photos, words, diagrams, encouragement, help and ideas, and so much more, Congrats, a winner in every way. My binding was all done last night, not quite the midnight oil, but too close for comfort. Wonderful ways we have all used fabrics in so many colours to make the Freefall, and every one is truly fantastic. Now for some R&R!!!

  7. I had to edit my post, so deleted it from my blog, and now a MAJOR problem with open live writer. I cannot publish it again after fixing the link. I will try and paste it into blogger later on.

  8. What a great QAL you ran, Sandra, and I've loved checking out all the links to see what everyone has done. Sadly, no, I didn't take part myself, but I have enjoyed reading all about it as you have been posting the parts to make this beauty.

  9. It's been lots of fun quilting along with you Sandra.

  10. Where oh where can I get this pattern?

  11. Both Windfall and Freefall are so beautiful! I really love that pattern - wish I could have participated in your QAL, but wasn't in the right place, project-wise to start something new. I also love the little one you're making!

  12. What a great way to celebrate and remember your famous Canadian. I love the calendar story. Congrats on your first QAL.

  13. Good work for which I would like to appreciate you. And lot of congrats and best wishes for Famous Canadian.
    Emma Charlotte
    The Academic Papers

  14. Congratulations on your first and very successful quilt along . Well done you! You made your dad proud . Not only is your mother dead chuffed but I'm sure she got a quare gunk to see you childer doing so well artistically !

  15. I loved participating in your first QAL and seeing the other quilts and meeting the other quilters in this group. You were an awesome leader Sandra and I say let's do another one again.