Thursday, March 7, 2019

TBT #15

Welcome to another edition of Throwback Thursday. For those who may be new to my blog or who are not familiar with TBT, it is where we pull out, photograph, and tell the stories of quilts or quilted projects we've made before our blogging life! Mine today is another Christmas quilt, this one a little over 17 years old, and with the snow that fell on February 27, the day before this photo shoot, it is rather fitting!

I had a very curious, and somewhat annoying helper that morning... He's still alternating between sweet and a turd. And yep, MacGyver got the gate done (isn't it fab?) so no more baby gate on our doggie playpen, er backyard deck!
Here's a full-on shot:
Yes, he still managed to get in on the action. This was a 9-patch exchange I organized, and was a part of during the year 2001 in my then guild, Fort Saskatchewan Quilt Guild in Alberta.

Each month we brought in twelve, (I think), 3" finished 9-patch blocks. The only rule was that they had to have five darks as you see. You could do whatever kind of quilt layout you wanted with them. I got the idea from a McCall's Quilting magazine where a group of four friends did this.

 I can't remember if one of the quilts in the magazine had these stars, but I definitely know not one was a Christmas quilt, and I wanted one for our bed, so I made the triangle in a square blocks.

You might notice a pop of five gold stars in the four corners and centre, which echo the five darks in the 9-patches. I chose 9-patches that had the most golden tones and used those for the centres, and then instead of setting the red triangles on the cream background, I set them on gold to create gold stars.

Did you notice the original cream stars?! Isn't that cool how they fade in/fade out? Yeah, I've loved tromp l'oeil (eye-fooling) stuff for a long time, and designs that overlap and shadow... surprises within a quilt!

 I've also loved quilting with Sulky metallic threads for a long time too, as is evident  in the gold holoshimmer thread I used to quilt the gold stars. It glinted so wonderfully in the morning sunlight. Hard to catch on camera though.

I used a Sulky 40 wt variegated thread to meander over the quilt top. Ha! I've also been quilting my name in my quilts for a long time. This quilt was quilted on my sweetheart Elna Air Electronic I bought when I was still in university, in 1979, from Eaton's where I worked in the fabric department (yeah, ask me how much of my paycheque came home LOL).

I think I got this backing, which I'm pretty sure is a Northcott, from Wal-Mart, (gag, I know; I have boycotted them most of their existence in Canada once I learned of their tactics in small towns...) as they did carry a lot of Northcott back then. It goes so well with the red on the front:
The people in my guild loved my quilt backings. They'd often put ugly or plain fabric or sheet on the back, whereas I got sale fabric and put nice stuff on the back.

I like that I made a smaller star (Ohio Star I think) in each of the four corners to carry through the theme. It's hard to tell, as I used a red rayon thread in the border, but there I did loops and meanders and the five-pointed stars you draw as a kid without lifting your pencil. Notice the little-bit-wobbly quilting of a five-pointed star in the corner star?! But also note that I wasn't afraid to: A. just go for it, and B. use contrasting thread!

Here's the label, and yes I've always always labelled my quilts, and I'm so glad I have, as that is so important to record important details.

 And yes, I've often made my own labels, or, as in this case, incorporate part of a block from the front of the quilt! Love this wonky star, as the label is a rectangle, not a square!

 One last shot:
Rufus the photo bomber, quilt grabber, PITA, sometimes sweetheart, wanted Freddy Fox (used to be Naala's toy) to be in the photo too I guess!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: original design; a 9-patch exchange through that year
Size: 65 1/4 X 65 1/4"
Fabric: various
Backing: Northcott, David Textiles, and various others
Batting: Warm n Natural
Quilted: pieced on my Elna Air Electronic with Gütermann; quilted on my DSM Elna with Sulky threads
Made in November 2001

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  1. This quilt brought back memories my guild did a four patch exchange and I used a layout similar to your's I no longer have that quilt. Love the backing fabric.

  2. Beautiful. I love the stars you put in the corners of the borders. I love exchanges, they’re always a wonderful challenge.

  3. I love how the quilt seems to sparkle in the dappled sunlight and shade on the morning of the photo shoot!

  4. Fun to reminisce! And what a great idea you have/had for pulling everything together. Great idea for a swap. Also: fun to know you're a quilter from w-a-y back! Me, still feeling relatively new.

  5. Hi Sandra! Aww, Rufus just makes me smile standing back there watching you. Wondering why on earth is this gate here to keep me from joining you down there on the lawn. And if you're going to take so long, I'm just going to have to play with my toy. What a beauty this quilt is, and look at all the good quilty squishiness going on in those photos. Such fun variety in the nine-patches. That definitely was a fun exchange! ~smile~ Roseanne

  6. Oh, Sandra, this is gorgeous!! I want to copy it block for block. I know I'm going to zoom in and study each little bit of it. It would make a great Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt--or a "Red is a Neutral" quilt that is being done right now at the Ad Hoc Improv Quilter's group. Love the back even if it is from a store I also boycott. The photo bomber is just adorable, too. He reminds me of my grand kiddies. They love to proudly hold and share their favorite stuffed toy of the moment when they have their pictures taken.

  7. My mom never understood why I wanted to put pretty fabric on the back of a quilt; she saw the back as all "utility" because no one ever saw it. I have quilts from my ancestors that make me chuckle because the backing fabric is u-g-l-y. They just used yardage that they found on clearance. Anyway, your quilt is lovely and still so vibrant and pretty after 17 years! Love it, Sandra!

  8. Beautiful quilt, Sandra - backing included!! So glad to see Rufus in on the action too! I love that inquisitive "whatchadoin' mom?" look!!

  9. Beautiful quilt! I love that you took such a simple block and made a far more complex, stunning quilt. And I, too, have shunned the boring plain muslin quilt back theory my mom tried to teach me and buy the loudest, craziest, personality-filled backs I can find. I love to give a calm, organized, traditional quilt to a friend and watch as they turn it over and find llamas or a wild floral print! (I do try to use a back that matches their personality or likes.) As for the turd puppy...we do cats, but I know EXACTLY what you're talking about. I think God decided little ones should be cuter than adults because it keeps us from losing our cool when they do the naughty things! But they do grow into wonderful companions once the crazies are outgrown!

  10. I love your quilt. I think I've done this pattern in blues but I'd have to search high and low to find it...might have given it away. LOL

  11. this is lovely. We all know the backsides are important! Such a disappointment, to flip over and see a dreadful backside.

  12. Hi Sandra, that's a really lovely quilt - great colours (and back :-))

  13. I love this design! Hmm, I have a growing collection of nine patches that are going to need a home one of these days...

    Hope the puppy stage of craziness becomes a fond memory soon :)

  14. Love your precious quilt. And Rufus - he cracks me up :-)

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  16. That red is incredibly vibrant. I bet it is Northcott and not an off brand from the W store. I don’t have one near me so I don’t know what they carry - and yes I don’t like their politics at all. I love the gold - its funny my favorite shade of gold is in my mola today. Pup looks good with his gate, and its good for them to have their spaces and boundaries. I miss our backyard for that - Percy doesn’t like Maine as much for a backyard - we make him wear a collar but I am thinking of some fencing, but its complicated.... Funny we picked quilts nearly as old as each others....great minds.

  17. Beautiful! And so cute to see him peeking around the side.

  18. Sandra, this quilt is so beautiful!! Very nice effect with the 5 gold stars and the corner stars. Super successful scrappy quilt, and I totally agree about putting pretty fabric on the back. Sometimes I piece blocks or strips from the leftovers of the front and set those in yardage from the collection used on the front, or coordinating fabric. More than once I've gotten weird looks for "wasting money on the back," but I just don't like to put all that work into a quilt and then have an ugly back, you know? This quilt here is a two-for-one, even, with that beautiful backing fabric.


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