Friday, January 3, 2020

TBT #25 - Floral Stars

I hosted the Throwback Thursday Linky party for the past two years, but I am no longer doing it. However, I still have several pre-blogging quilts, so you will see them on the first Thursday, or thereabouts, of the month. This one has been on our bed for the month of December, and still is there. I've shown it before on the blog in Aha! Moment Tip #3: Stick it to Ya, where I discussed the value of using quilt basting spray. My blog was only a few months old then.
I had the lights on in the greenery on the stair rails for extra Christmassy effect. We had got a skift of snow two days ago when I took these, and you can see a bit left on the right side of the sidewalk. This is another Stack 'n Whack quilt (I was the queen back then in my guild, lol), made with fabric I bought at my then LQS, Lori's Country Cottage in Sherwood Park, Alberta.

I combined a block in Bethany Reynold's first book on Stack 'n Whack with a layout I loved in the first quilt book I ever bought, The Quilter's Companion, by That Patchwork Place, such a great book for starting out in quilting. I had to do a little finagling, but I got it to work, and I'm so glad I went to all the effort as it's one of my favourite Christmas quilts.

For those unfamiliar with this method, you stack identical repeats six or eight layers deep, depending on the block (this one was eight because there are eight diamonds in the stars). You need to stack them precisely on top of each other so that when you cut your diamonds, for example, there will be eight identical diamonds. This gives the whirling kaleidoscope effect. The fabric I used is in the border, and once cut up and in blocks, it looks nothing like the original.
This was quilted on my Bernina, using a technique called Quilting in Thirds, which you can read about in that link, where you cut the batting apart into three equal pieces. This, along with quilt basting spray changed my quilting life: suddenly it was more manageable and enjoyable. I'd taken a Sulky threads course at the dealer where I'd bought my Bernina, and I was in love with all the varieties they had.

I used a 30 wt variegated in red, green and white thread to quilt the fancy border motif, out of a quilting designs book by Pat Holly and Sue Nickels. I traced the design onto gold leaf tracing paper, pinned the paper onto the quilt, and then FMQ-ed following the tracings. Once stitched, I tore off the tracing paper. It was pretty painstaking work, but well worth the effort. You can sort of make out the fancy motif I stitched out in the side setting triangles, also out of the book. For the burgundy areas, I used a Sulky rayon. How do I know it's rayon? Even now, several washings and 13 Christmases later, this thread has a lovely sheen to it.

In the blocks, I first SITD, and then followed some of the designs made where the motifs in the fabric intersected. In other cases, I quilted a spiral, or circles inside each other.
I FMQ-ed freehand a poinsettia motif in the four corners, did a swoop-dee-swoop in some of the triangles and holly leaves in others.

The four corner triangles have another motif from the book that fits well in triangles.
I stitched 1/2" inside the green sashing strips on the red to make a rectangle with points at either end.

Here is the back. I hesitated to use up all of this Christmas houses print I found at a discount store in Edmonton, but I am so glad I did, as it's just perfect and I love catching glimpses of it when we use it. I  used up the rest of the original fabric down the side as another reminder of what it looked like pre-stacked and whacked!

Right before that photo got taken, I'd started going up the deck stairs to flip the quilt around, when I heard, as I've heard often this past week, Canada geese flying overhead towards the lake. Maybe they're roosting in a good spot, or floating on the water overnight, but a little before sunset, this is a common occurrence, so I thought, "Oh! It would be fantastic to get a shot with the geese flying overhead!' So I whipped around and grabbed another shot of the quilt with the geese overhead!

Here is the label:

That photo also shows the double-fold binding, machine-stitched to the front, and hand sewn down to the back.

One more full-on shot:

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Original design using Stack 'n Whack blocks by Bethany Reynolds
Size: 56.5 X 77.5"
Fabric: do not recall; I think the red is a Cranston
Backing: do not recall
Batting: Warm n Natural
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads: pieced with GĂŒtermann, quilted with Sulky rayons and 30 wt Premium Sulky cotton 733-4104 (yup I have about half the 450 m spool left!)

Once again, I haven't been promoting much so here is one hella-good deal on at bluprint right now: (note that these are affiliate links and won't cost you any money if you click on them, but I get a small commission, usually around 4%.

Get 7 Days FREE of classes
If you aren't sure where to start watching, I highly recommend any class by the wonderful person above, Christina Cameli. One of my favourites that I own, is her Quilting the Grid class. Any class by Angela Walters on quilting is also another great one to watch for free! Hurry though, this offer is only on until January 7. I think I know what I'll be up to for a chunk of this upcoming weekend!

Also of note is 60% off two bluprint exclusive items with the code NEWYEAR.

Connecting Threads always has a great clearance section, but their current sale is also excellent and one I've taken advantage of,
Thank you for your support of this blog!😍

Update: I succumbed. I've now added 18 yards of fabric to my ample stash, thanks to 60% off at bluprint that I told you about. I've ogled a few items over the past few sales, come close to buying them, moved them to the Wishlist... The oldest ones are still on the Wishlist, though they jumped into and out of my cart a couple of times last night. In the end here's what I bought,  and holy moly (though I said something else in my head) but as I typed 'bought' I got a notification that it's shipped already! Like within 14 hours of ordering!
Wanna see?
It reminds me of Joanna Figueroa's colours. It's called Cutting Flowers, and the fabric is Posy Meadow. Very spring-like. I ordered the queen size, and I'd love to have it made for when we move upstairs...but that's a pretty lofty goal with all the Island Batik stuff planned, working on patterns this year, and the lengthy list of to-do's and WIPs... Anyhow, thought I'd share. Great deal: It is $275CA and I paid $110CA. The US price is $85. That's an affiliate link and yes, I was correct, I get 4% commission, not a lot, but it helps to pay for the inlinkz linky parties. Full disclosure: it has taken 1.5 years to get close to $50 commission, the minimum amount you have to build up for them to send you a cheque. It's definitely not what it used to be for affiliates when it was Craftsy... part of it is I rarely promote it, but I haven't bought a lot either, and I only promote products I do use and love. That said, I'm off to watch some free classes, ciao!

Linking up
Confessions of a Fabric Addict


  1. What a great quilt for your bed at this time of year. The geese in the background are wonderful. I have noticed a lot of bird movement, but maybe its that the weather hasn't really gotten too bad yet...

  2. Very nice. I haven't made a stack and whack in a very long time. I love the effect it creates.

  3. A beautiful Christmas quilt! One of the very first quilts I made was a stack n whack, definitely not quilted like yours at all as I was just starting out back then ( maybe 30 years ago).

  4. You did a great job on that one. Now I am wondering how long you have been quilting.

  5. Absolutely gorgeous! It is a beautiful Christmas quilt.

  6. Hi Sandra! I've never stacked and whacked a quilt, nor heard of the quilt in thirds idea. I will, however, check out the link! I often wonder what the heck I was doing at the beginning of the last decade when I didn't blog or even know that blogs existed. Oblivious is a good description but it seems like we missed a whole lot of good things. Oh well - not meant to be. I think this is a fabulous quilt - I just LOVE that backing! Talk about the perfect whole quilt - why bother piecing houses when there is a really cute printed one already made for you?! The fabrics make a cool design in the stars, rather like a kaleidoscope of sorts. Thanks for the great shots of your quilting! Your choices are spot on, and I think you've always had a natural talent for this genre. I'll have to PIN some photos - I'm always looking for inspiration, and you provide so much of it. Happy Saturday to you. ~smile~ Roseanne

  7. I love stack n' whacks, but I've never finished mine. I took a class and even went back for a refresher, but my blocks were wonky and I just didn't want to go back to it. I have some blocks together so should probably just make a table runner and call it done. I saw a flock of geese heading due west earlier this week and wondered if they knew something we didn't.

  8. So fun to see this quilt, and that you use it on your bed. I haven't noticed geese flying overhead here, but do love to see them. I think I liked stack 'n whack quilts because it was like improv to me back then!

  9. That's a great Christmas quilt! Thanks for sharing it with us, as well as the tale of all the work that went into it. You put a huge amount of effort into that quilting; it paid off. I still like the stack and whack technique; I felt like a magician pulling rabbits out of a hat as the blocks appear. Might have to dust off the technique. And thanks (maybe) for aiding and abetting my fabric addiction- just bought a kit at the Bluprint 60% off sale.

  10. Love that quilt. I've not heard of quilting in thirds like that. I will have to keep that in mind if I tackle quilting another large quilt.

  11. I love the quilt!! It is beautiful! Retiring next year and a stack 'n whack quilt is on my to do list!

  12. A beautiful quilt, how good that you are still enjoying it each Christmas time. A stack and whack quilt is on my one day list as well! I hadn't heard of the quilting in thirds before, interesting. I love the photo of the quilt with the geese overhead!