Thursday, July 5, 2018

Throwback Thursday #7 - Dad's Quilt

Welcome to another month of Throwback Thursday. How can it be that the 18th year of the 2000s is past the halfway point? It floors me how fast the time goes. My dad always said how when he was a kid, the days dragged until the weekend, and the weekend was over in a flash. He'd say now that he was retired, the months go by like days, entire seasons fly by as a month used to...

And I know all too well what he meant!

He's been gone now ten years and I miss him still, our rendezvous at Kennedy's Coffee Shop, our lunches at Simple Pleasures, his humour, his stories, his love for his grandchildren, his love for his country. You may recall from last year's QAL, my first one, Freefall, that he used to write on the new calendar, "The Birthday of a Famous Canadian" on June 15. And snicker. As would we kids. And Mum would roll her eyes with a half-grin on her face.

So I thought it fitting that I photograph the quilt I made him in 2001 for his 75th birthday in a beautiful spot in Canada, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. It's not his beloved Alberta, but I think he'd approve.

What a perfect spot to photograph quilts! Behind my trusty quilt holder is another one of 'my' Great Lakes, Lake Ontario. Far far away to the north, on the horizon, not visible because of the width of this lake, which is 85 km at its widest, is Toronto.

Allow me to show you a collage of our view as we crested the hill from the parking lot.
Queen's Royal Park
Pretty picturesque no? And there is one of us, Preeti, of Sew Preeti Quilts, and me! We had a great weekend in Niagara Falls (American side) and Niagara-on-the-Lake (Canadian side) of the Niagara River, which you see in the top right photo. I'm standing in Ontario looking mostly east, and that is Fort Niagara on the promontory in New York!

Back to my Dad's quilt:

My dad, the eldest, was born in a little French town in Alberta called Legal, pronounced Le (not lee) and gal as in girl, emphasis on 'gal'. His dad, my grandpa, was a hired hand on farms during the first years of my grandparents' marriage, until they could afford to buy their own piece of land, which had a small log cabin on it.
1992 'The Old Farm'

So obviously I knew I'd make him a log cabin quilt. From my notes I used to keep about some of my first quilts, I wrote that it's set in the barn-raising set, because he grew up on a farm. The centres of the blocks are red, which symbolizes the heart, (love, warmth) of the home. Blue was his favourite colour, so I used three of them, brown for the logs, used three brown, and a nature print for the border with both colours in it made up the palette. I realize now that Dad influenced my love, respect and passion for nature; he had a longtime subscription to National Geographic, and watched many nature shows, the theme of one, The Nature of Things, I can still easily bring to mind.
Thus, a soft brown flannel for warmth went on the back. I remember finding it on a quilt guild bus trip but I don't remember what shop, and I didn't write down any fabric details. I do know the blue trees fabric is SSI (South Sea Imports) because I have a bit of it in green still!

For the quilting, I used all Sulky threads.😍
I'd done a fair bit of Stack 'n Whack quilts (Bethany Reynolds' kaleidoscope method), both teaching and making, and I'd been doing some fancier FMQ on my domestic, a 1979 Elna Air Electronic. The leaf pattern is one from her book she provides. I made a paper template, traced around it with the Clover chalk markers (that suddenly seem to be back in popularity!) and then followed the outline with FMQ, and FMQ-ed the stems freehand. I used a Sulky grey rayon here. It filled the blue diagonals well. You can see I did walking-foot quilting with a Blendables thread in the brown areas.

In the border I used a Sulky metallic in silver:
I did this design by making large and a small diamond templates and tracing around them. I used the edge of my walking foot to echo the 1/2". You can see I ignored the inner border, extending the log cabin quilting designs right across it.

I bound the quilt with a 1/2" wide binding, quite a bit wider than I do now, 1/4"! The binding and the inner border is the same fabric as one of the blues in the log cabin blocks.

The quilt is still in perfect condition. I brought it home with me when I was out there in May. It will be passed on to either Dayna or Brady, who will inherit all my quilts.
Right after he opened it at his party. Sadly all three men, his brother, and a good friend, pictured here, are no longer with us.

While we were doing our quilt shoots....
yep, we got some looks lol
and skipping stones....

...I made sure to get a kind person to photograph Preeti and me with the H2H quilt I made:
Full disclosure: I haven't given this to the Syrian refugees in Windsor yet, but I have a friend with whom I had coffee last week who is the director of the Children's Aid Society. She has direct contact with refugee families, as they help them adjust, and in conversation with her, I learned that she can give my quilts directly to a family in need. I still won't know who, as confidentiality is #1, but I will now that they have gone to a refugee family in need. In the past I gave quilts to the Muslim mosque and school, and also some H2H quilts to the Sexual Assault Centre, which will get the second H2H quilt. How is Preeti connected to this refugee quilt? Well, other than being an immigrant herself, she gave me a $25 gift certificate she'd won from Sew Sisters Quilt Shop in Toronto. The cost of postage, she said, made it prohibitive. I bought Canada 150 fabric with it, adding to it with my own money, and made this quilt, which uses the Humboldt Broncos block btw.

The Epicurean restaurant - excellent
Niagara-on-the-Lake is a gorgeous little town, full of flowers, lush trees, bushes and plants, old Victorian-style houses, B&B's (we should've stayed HERE!) and a main street full of interesting boutiques, restaurants and flowers galore.
It was hot and humid! The flowers (and moi) soaked it up.
Oh! nearly forgot to show you the label:
I didn't usually name my quilts back then. The Pigma Micron pen has held up very well. I just love a flannel backing, so cuddly!

And one last shot, on a log (had to!)

Quilt Stats
Pattern: Log Cabin
Size: 53.75" square
Fabric: Various, 100% cottons
Batting: Warm 'n Natural
Backing: flannel
Quilted: on my 1979 Elna Air Electronic, FMQ and walking foot
Threads:  pieced with 100% cotton Gütermann; quilted with Sulky Blendables, Sulky Metallic, and Sulky rayon

Sorry for the delaying publishing this post; trying to put my hands on the two old photos I knew I had somewhere, took a bit longer than anticipated. And then there was a power outage as a storm went through...all good now.

Linking up
My Quilt Infatuation 


  1. It's a beautiful quilt and there are clearly so many memories, old and new, in this post, Sandra. It's great to see how well the micron pen is holding up on the label!

  2. I loved reading about your Dad's quilt, it's perfect in conception and composition. Your choice of border really adds to the airiness and flow, the log cabins blocks just mesh. And the quilting and all of the details--eye and mind boggling for me, the one who quilts only in straight lines and one color thread. :)

  3. Hi Sandra! How cool, seeing a picture of you and Preeti! And you Dad's quilt is fabulous, especially the pictures of him and his friends when he received it. {{Hugs}} My Dad has been gone since 1982 and I still miss him and my Mom (2011) very much. I think it speaks to how they raised us in a loving environment where we were able to get to know them as people as well as parents. Thanks for sharing all this love with us! Happy Thursday! ~smile~ Roseanne

  4. Ah, what a wonderful tribute to your dad! I'm glad you took the time to find those old photos because they add so much to the story. Log cabin quilts are the best, and yours is so well thought out to tie in with your dad's history and interests. I love all of your photos of your time with Preeti and your awesome photo shoot at one of the Great Lakes. (If people haven't been there, they just don't understand the pull of the the salt-free coast, right?) Good to know the pen held up. That's what I used back in the day, and it's nice to know the writing might still show.

  5. We packed so much into our 2.5 days, I am still trying to recover from the exhilaration. The Falls, the Maid of the Mist, the Riverboat Cruise on Buffalo River, and the Wine Tasting in Ontario. It was double the fun (being with Sandra) at half the cost :-D Wish we had a little more time...
    Sandra - I love the Old Farm picture with the log cabin in the background.

  6. Beautiful quilt pictured in a beautiful location. Such a wonderful story also. I really love the quilting you did.

  7. So nice to read the story behind your dad's birthday quilt.

  8. What a lovely quilt, with so many memories woven into it! I hope you wrap up in it now and then, just to feel a hug from your dad. How fun that you and Preeti could connect while there! Good to see both of your smiling faces!

  9. What a beautiful quilt and a wonderful story to go with it.

  10. Thanks for sharing the story. It's a great quilt.

  11. Love the story behind your dad's quilt! Sweet memories to go with a beautiful log cabin quilt. Great photos especially with Preeti!

  12. Your Dad's quilt is beautiful, along with the wonderful story. The blues in the quilt are definitely Alberta blue skies... I'm going to google map "Legal"

  13. Your Dad's quilt is beautiful, along with the wonderful story. The blues in the quilt are definitely Alberta blue skies... I'm going to google map "Legal"

  14. it's just so beautiful, i love it, the blues, the log cabin, the whole thing! thank you for sharing

  15. How fun that you and Preeti got to meet and enjoy some wonderful scenery together! Love the story about your dad's quilt.

  16. The log cabin quilt for your Dad is so full of love! It was clearly cherished, as it should have been. I'm sure your children will cherish the link to their grandfather. And thanks for sharing the tale of your weekend with Preeti. Judging from the two blogs, you had a blast. And that's as it should be too.
    ps. definitely recognize the Canada 150 fabric. Good to get it used.

  17. meant to link up this month, all a bit mad here, and i missed the post. I loved your story about your dad's log cabin, his childhood home. Are you making a note of all these things? Weirdly on 15 June, I thought to myself, this is Cliff's birthday! I love his quilt. My sister has the quilt I made my dad. I know she treasures it, and my cousin one i made for my aunt. Looks like Preeti and yourself had a great day, quilts, stone skipping and wine drinking with a good friend, what's not to like.

  18. I don't know how I missed this wonderful post. I guess I've been zoning out on my computer time but I'm so glad I caught it this morning! Beautiful quilt with a beautiful meaning and such warm memories it brings to you. Oh, and those flowers on the corner!!

  19. Missed this one Sandra. It' a beautiful post with beautiful photos again. I can't believe how well this quilt has held up. I'm sure your Dad loved this quilt and I know it is a quilt that helps you to remember him as well.