Friday, March 30, 2018

Spring in the Woods

I have another finish! Yeah, there's been rather a surfeit of them, hasn't there?! Several deadlines have had me sewing furiously over the past few weeks. This is the March challenge that we, as Island Batik ambassadors, were given, to try a new technique.

I took some time to think of just what I hadn't tried; quilting for the past 20 years has had me trying pretty much everything. In full disclosure, I bought the 10° wedge ruler probably 15 years ago for a class that a guild member was giving on wedges. I went to the class, sewed the strips, cut a few wedges, and the class ended. So did the making of that quilt. Not a stitch since. It lives in a blue plastic bag. I made a wedge of pieced fabric a few years ago by using the degree lines and a folded technique. What happened to that test block? It lives in the orphan block pile. So I decided it was time to bring out the ruler, for which I paid good money, and revisit how to use it. Besides, Christina Cameli's new book had caught my eye when it first came out. Great excuse (like I need one) to buy a new book!
A new book and a glass of wine go hand in hand. Literally!
The fabrics I used in my project were provided by Island Batik, the Thermore batting by Hobbs Batting, and the Aurifil thread by Aurifil. I still go 'pinch me!' when I write sentences like that.

So what did I make?

This stunning (yeah I said that about my own project) table centrepiece, going to a very dear-to-me person! Stunning due to the fabrics which are drool-worthy, stunning because of the threads used to quilt it, stunning because it looks pretty complicated.

But it isn't. Not really. Christina's book is well-written. With quilting books, unlike fiction and non-fiction books, I do not read them from front to back. I leaf through, gazing in rapture at some of the quilts, maybe scanning a pattern here and there. Then I go back to the intro and read it.  I usually start reading, probably more like scanning, some of the 'how-to' chapters, but I need to DO as I read, so I will then pick a project (that could take a few days, as it did in this case). Then, when I'm making the project, I go back and read very carefully, usually several times, as I am constructing, the 'how-to' chapters. Her book is terrific, because it is like she knows how I operate! Within the instructions to this pattern (which btw is for an entire quilt, which I plan to make and Rose knows why) she tells you what page to refer to of the how-to chapters. 😇 I highly recommend her book, and no, I was not given her book, or asked to write a review.

Here are the fabrics I chose to work with from my Island Batik box of goodies:
The forest green is from the Alpine Jingle line, the 6" pieces and the purple lined up are from the roll-up stash builders, and the rich pink/greens piece is part of the extra pieces we received for use in projects. I had to do a little different way of cutting the wedges because of using pre-cut strips, but I did have enough. I mainly wanted this to be greens because the person I'm giving it to loves green. I wouldn't have had enough greens but I thought to added in a couple of blues because a couple of them are a blues/greens blend, and that was when the spring idea came. I had already known I'd make the diamonds in the purple and pink.

Carefully following her method and tips, I cut my wedges and sewed with a precise 1/4" seam on Tillie, my 1951 Featherweight. When I laid the first wedge down to see if it did measure 60°, was I tickled pink to see how very little I had to trim!
I followed the instructions for further trimming to make the triangle blocks that get sewn in pairs to make diamonds. In pretty short order I had my top.
I just had to take a stained glass looking photo!

Here it is on the kitchen floor so you can see the fabrics better:

Don't you think it's kind of cool that the runner is diamond-shaped, and that the wedges form a diamond, thanks to the purple and pink diamonds at their bases? Well, I do!

Because it's destined to be on a table, I figured the Hobbs Thermore batting would be the ticket. This is the third project where I've used it and I am still so impressed with it! It sticks as well as cotton to cotton does. Bella sure likes it. Had designs that this could be another pouffé for her to repose upon.

For quilting inspiration I looked at how Christina had quilted her quilt and used some of her motifs, circles being the main one. To get fairly nicely rounded ones, I used the Sulky spool of thread and a bobbin to trace two or three of the arcs as a general guide, (high tech I know), ensuring I had seven in each wedge. I drew out the first few. Drawing is always a good precursor to FMQ. After the first few wedges, I just winged it, free-motioning the majority of each of the seven circles in each wedge. I did find that I liked to trace that first large one.

Here are the circles in alternating wedges of the purple diamond blocks:

and feathers à la Kathleen of Kathleen Quilts, in alternating wedges of the pink diamond blocks:

I did back and forth lines and elongated figure eights for consistency between the circles and feathers in both pink and purple blocks.

For the diamonds, I did an Angela Walters design using my walking foot:

Hot off the 'press':

Truth tea: I then had to lie down a ruler and square it up. Squaring up means ensuring I still had 60° angles. I was a little nervous but this is what happened:
YESSS! (again)

Very happy.

I used a pretty green Aurifil I received in my Island Batik box of goodies for the olive green wedges, and to sew on the binding, which I sewed to the back and flipped around and top-stitched to the front. I used the olive green for the binding since it was the only green I had yardage of, but the rich green provides a nice frame to the vibrant colours in the quilt. I also used two different Sulky rayon variegated threads in the wedges and a Sulky metallic in the purple diamonds.

A shot of the label, appropriately blanked out name (with a green pice of beach glass!) of the recipient who prefers to remain anonymous in QBL. I always do both a cloth, write-on label and a sew-in mmm! quilts label.
The backing is a stitches-themed fabric, perfect for this sewing wizard of a person. When this goes live, I will have: given this gift which I love so much myself, to her, and met her at a random intersection chosen by both of us as a meeting-up point. My Easter weekend travels take me to within a couple of hours of her home, and she will have come east to meet me, where I will stop for a morning coffee and chat and HUGS! Big hugs! AND I get to meet one of her darling fur kids, "a silvery blue Staffie in the hot pink harness" (ahh like my darling boy who is safe with Dayna but would have loved to meet her Staffie).

This blog has brought me worldwide friends.  And I am honoured by their friendship. Humbled by them taking the time to read my blog, to comment, and to offer pieces of themselves to me. My heart swells with love for this girl, who does not blog, but who has reached out to me, at first mainly through my posts on my beloved Rocco, but then also through our shared love of all things Laurel Burch, and of course, through our love of sewing. I cannot WAIT to give her this runner! I don't know what excites me more: meeting her in person, hugging her, meeting her Staffie, or giving her this. What a blessed day I have to look forward to!

One last outdoor shot on our deck:

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: a quilt from Christina Cameli's Wedge Quilt Workshop made into a table centrepiece
Size: approximately 40" long by 20" wide
Fabric: Island Batik various collections
Batting: Hobbs Thermore
Backing: from stash
Quilted: on my Bernina, walking foot and free-motion
Threads:  pieced with Gütermann cotton; quilted with Aurifil 100% cotton and Sulky rayon variegated and Sulky metallic

Linking up:
Crazy Mom Quilts
Confessions of a Fabric Addict
TGIFF at Cheeky Cognoscenti
Busy Hands Quilts

Thanks to Tish for linking up my post while I'm away for the long Easter weekend. 😘



  1. I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend and meetup for the delivery of this quilt. I love it's shape and the colors. Beautifully executed and the quilting is the icing on top!

  2. That little mini is so unique and beautiful. Yes, it is stunning! She is going to be delighted, I'm sure! I have to admit I was chuckling (okay, a few snorts in there) out loud as I read your post though. Always fun to read someone who thinks like me. Haha! Enjoy your weekend, Sandra!

  3. Thanks for sharing, Sandra. Love the way you quilted your runner and thanks for the closeup photos so I could see. Thanks also for telling us a bit more about how the wedge book was written. I, too, enjoy books with great instructions.

  4. Such a beautiful finish Sandra..the book looks like it will be a good investment..and you have produced another stunning quilt..the recipient is a very lucky lady and I am sure she will be overjoyed to receive your gift. Love the stained glass window pic😀 quoting is perfect as always. And yaay, how nice to be able to write a sentence where you can credit the lovely companies who have provided such goodies...and no wonder..😀 love and hugs from your friend across the

  5. Yep, you nailed it! Stunning.

  6. Stunning, indeed! It looks like you enjoyed every moment and every stitch of making this runner. Enjoy your time with your friend...sewing for a friend is always the best, isn't it? Love in every stitch.

  7. Knocked it out of the park . . . AGAIN! :) I love this. It is so striking!

  8. And so much of our sewing and quilting that are gifts is the joy of making them, seeing a glorious finish, and the pure delight of the recipient's face, smile, email, or text to say how delighted they are. This is stunning, and for a green fabric lover, your friend will surely be overjoyed.

  9. So pretty. Your friend will be thrilled. I look forward to seeing the big quilt when you do it. Those Island Batik boxes seem to have a wonderful variety of quilting goodies. Thanks for the info and Christina's book. I have it on my wish list!

  10. Insert my chuckle... "surfeit"??? You always keep me Googling for new vocabulary! I like that one and plan to use it twice today!
    Yes, "stunning" is the perfect word for this piece. It is indeed stunning.

  11. Lucky, lucky friend to receive such a wonderful gift! Such a gorgeous and unique piece...I love it! The stained glass shot made my day :)

  12. Such a marvellous piece of work and you are also gifting a piece of yourself to your friend. You are so right about blogging friends, our lives are all so richer with these people in our lives.

  13. Gorgeous colors - and I love Bella! Just like my Ping - she must have a sit on every quilt....

  14. Love it. It is very stunning.

  15. Beautiful little quilt and it does look very complicated. Love the diamond.

  16. You rocked this month's IB assignment with your project. I also have Christina's book after I read that you purchased it and I was curious to see what projects were made with wedges. You picked one of my favorite patterns in the book and I can't wait to see the big version of what you are planning( Yes, I know, I think I do). Normally, my eyes crossed after reading instructions, but you are right on about how well the instructions were written and I, being the simple minded quilter, am ready to make a wedge quilt. I even found a 12" 30 degree ruler sitting in my ruler stockpile. After reading Christina book, I even learn some math and of course your post today I learned a new word. Your quilt is beyond beautiful and good for you to be gifting it. I can't wait to read your follow-up post because I really want to see a photo of the blue Staffie. Have a Happy Easter!

  17. WOW simply gorgeous!! She is going to love it!! The quilting brings those wedges to life. Love it!

  18. She will be over the moon! It’s quite beautiful, and so lovingly made.

  19. Wow, that’s gorgeous! What a fun blog post to read—wonderful quilting ✨

  20. Your table topper is stunning! I love everything about it... the fabrics, the design and your quilting. Such a beautiful finish.

  21. It is indeed stunning. It's a great piece. Well done for trying something new.

  22. I'm sure delivery would have gone very well - this is a gorgeous topper and I"m not surprised you would have liked to keep it! The batiks sew up really well in this design. It sounds like the book would be a 'wise' purchase too :-) Oh and the quilting of it - luscious!

  23. Wow, this turned out just lovely! I like the pops of color you've used, and the fan colors go so well together. Score!!!

  24. I always like your quilts--and then the quilting!! You do such a wonderful job of bringing the quilts to life and photographing the gorgeous details so we can see just what you did. Yay for you putting that ruler to use and getting such perfect results. I bet the recipient is over the moon. And I'm laughing about that intersection meet-up, which could have looked like some shady deal going down.

  25. This is gorgeous! Insure the recipient was knocked over. I’ll have to check out that book - looks very interesting.

  26. It's very beautiful Sandra. I love Christina Camelli. She's so laid back but informative. You of course did a wonderful job with the project and explaination and a wonderful job on the quilting.

  27. Amazing! Loved all your progress photos and your story. Lovely, lovely!

  28. What a fun post Sandra! And a very beautiful finish. Bella is such an attention seeker.... but then, it's not her fault she is so pretty and entitled. :) And thanks for walking us through your quilting. I really enjoyed seeing what you chose to do and why.

  29. Hey, this is really neat. I love the diamond shape for a unique factor, and the fabrics really are so pretty together. Love the quilting choices. Wow, Bella sure is gorgeous! Looks like her fur is just as long as our Isabeau's! So much fluff. :D

  30. Forgive me, because I am late to this party. But I am here now so let's get to the point. I agree with you on stunning and drool-worthy. Disagree with surfeit of finishes. There is a difference between "many" and "too many" and you may have many finishes but they will never be too many (because surfeit means excessive). Gosh, that backing fabric may just be the ticket to starting FMQ. Where can I get that?
    Oh, I forgot to say, I am in love with that table runner and I am so jealous of the lucky recipient.

  31. Wow! It's gorgeous! The colors and the quilting are beautiful. Congrats on another finish. Your a great friend if you can give up something that pretty.

  32. I’ve been having fun catching up on your blog. You have been so busy! Your quilting on this is gorgeous.


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