Sunday, March 22, 2020

Bohemian Rhapsody: Benartex Precut Project Blog Hop & Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the Benartex Precut Project blog hop! 'Aha!' you're thinking. 'This is one of her secret sewing projects she's mentioned.' Yup!

I was honoured to have been asked by Benartex Fabrics to create a quilt with one of their new lines. I chose Mabon by Shelley Cavanna of Cora's Quilts. It makes me think of Morocco, spices and heat with its rich colours. I kept thinking Boho as I worked with the fabrics, and it's not too hard to see the small leap to Bohemian Rhapsody.

This is the third time I've made my Pockeful of Sunshine pattern. Why is it that we designers like to remake our patterns? I do not know, but I really do! Not so with books; I rarely re-read them, even favourites, but patterns? Yes. This pattern sews up super-fast, and would make a quick comfort or baby quilt.

Benartex supplied the fabrics for this lovely lap-size quilt.

The pattern is available in my Etsy store, for a limited time at the $6CA price because I am rewriting it, getting it edited, and then re-releasing it so it looks more professional. This was the very first pattern I wrote and published.

You can make this quilt in the size in the pattern with just one charm pack, a little yardage, and a few extra squares cut from that yardage, or you can make it a bit bigger, as I did, with two charm packs or a 10" stacker.

It's a wonderful way to use 5" charms; you don't have to cut them at all. I like that! I wanted to see what a scrappy look would be like with this line...

as opposed to the light to dark effect I did in both previous versions, which I did try with this charm pack too! Shelley did two colourways, a cool one and a warm one, so you could even flow within those two colourways from dark to light. Lots of possibilities. With lots of sunny yellows, you could also do the ray of sunshine layout I did on the pattern cover.
Very pretty too.
I laid the sashing pieces on the scrappy layout to see the effect.

Then I realized some of the charms were the same fabric as the sashing and that didn't work. More shuffling ensued, and a few more charms cut from the 10" stack. This is the first project I sewed upstairs in my new sewing room, with the design wall carefully folded (it is four 2x8' styrofoam sheets)and propped against one wall.

My Bernina is still on the main floor in the IKEA dressers hack drop-in desk MacGyver fashioned for me years ago. It will be there for a little while longer I think, as we wait to purchase the new IKEA cabinets. I plan to replace those 30-year-old IKEA dressers. So I sewed this on my '47 Featherweight, Billie, perched on a corner of the cutting table/pressing station. Not all of my stuff was moved up here at that time either. Now I have my Singer 15-91 in its desk up here, so Billie perches on top of it at present.

Once the flimsy was done I texted Dayna a photo.

She loved it and so did I!

Quilting took place immediately, and I kept it simple, unlike the first two versions, where I used the squares to do a variety of FMQ, ruler work, dot to dot designs. On this girl, I did a relaxing fairly large meander, not paying attention to sashing or squares. I used Essential 100% cotton 50 wt 'Custard' from Connecting Threads. (affiliate link)  I used a royal blue Essential to piece the quilt.

I remember Angela Walters saying one of her favourite colours to use over an entire quilt top is a pale yellow, and I am really pleased with it. This thread glides through both Avril, my Avanté, and my Bernina. It's every so slightly thicker than Aurifil 50 wt. Did you see that Connecting Threads is giving you 20% off your entire order? It ends tonight so don't hesitate.

I did stitch in the ditch on both sides of the inner border. In the outer border I did a flower and leaves design.

Yes I did a flanged binding. I'd actually cut the binding strips when I cut the inner and outer borders, being all prepared. Then the quilt whispered how much it would like a flanged binding, so I obliged. Good thing I had a little extra purple fabric!

Of course I had to do the photo shoot at the end of my street, on Lake Erie's shore.

I haven't done a shot of a quilt in a tree for a while, so I had to in this giant sentinel in 'my' lot's front west corner.
It gives you an idea of the size of the lot too; I like to prop my quilts on the end of that fence just as it peters out at the cliff's edge.

Here is a straight-on shot back at my house.

Here is the back,

the label,

and a look at the flanged binding, front and back.

And one last 'ahh!' shot.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Original design
Size: 49 1/2" x 55 1/2"
Fabric: Mabon by Shelley Cavanna for Benartex
Backing: as for front
Batting: Fairfield 80/20 cotton/polyester (quilted and washed up beautifully)
Quilted: on Avril my Avanté;  43 928 stitches
Threads: pieced with Essential on Billie my 1947 Featherweight; quilted with Essential 50 wt, The Bottom Line in the bobbin.

Giveaways! Now closed.

One: I will give a copy of this pattern to THREE readers. To win, tell me in the comments below one good thing that has come of this awful time we are experiencing. For me, Friday night when I badly needed something light and humorous, it was sitting in bed with my darling husband, who acquiesced, and watched an episode of Schitt's Creek with me. That show kills me. How I love it. We do not have a TV in our bedroom; we do not watch TV in bed, so this was on my MacBook, which he hates peering at, so it was extra meaningful as you see. My regular readers/followers on Insta know another magical good thing for me is walking my dog 'with' my grandson who lives 3000 km away from me. Six days in a row. He said he was taking the weekend off! Be sure to leave your email in your comment if you are a no-reply blogger; otherwise I will have to draw another name. On Wednesday, March 25, I will have my grandson choose three numbers from the number of total comments.

If your name is drawn and you've already bought it I will give you the option of being reimbursed, or picking a different pattern. As I mentioned before, this was the first pattern I published, and it's not as polished as my more recent ones, so that is why it is only $6CA. I am in the process of redoing it, and then I'll re-release it, at which time it will go to $10, so you may want to snag a copy now. I made this quilt from my pattern as yet another test and it's all good!

Two: Benartex is having an ahhh-mazing giveaway, running on Facebook and Instagram 3/14 through 3/27.
Grand prize: an Ever Sewn sewing machine!!
TWO First prizes: THREE precut fabric bundles (one winner each on FB and Insta)
TWO Second prizes: one precut fabric bundles (one winner each on FB and Insta)
I hope you've been visiting the other stops on this hop! See below for the schedule and links. Be sure to head to Shelley's blog today to see all the beautiful quilts she's created with her new line. You may find yourself picking up one of her lovely patterns!

Here are all the designers/bloggers in the hop.

Monday 3/16: 
Tuesday 3/17: 
Wednesday 3/18: 
Modern Quilt Studio -
Thursday 3/19: 
Charisma Horton -
Friday 3/20: 
Saturday 3/21:
Andy Knowlton –
Sunday 3/22: 
Shelley Cavanna -
Sandra Walker -
Monday 3/23: 
Tuesday 3/24: 
Wednesday 3/25: 
Nancy Halvorsen -
Thursday 3/26: 
Friday 3/27: 
Christa Watson -

Stay well my dear friends. PLEASE STAY HOME. READ THIS PLEA FROM A DOCTOR NOW! ONE, NOT 10, NOT 50, 
is the safest number to congregate, he says. We may be able to make more ventilators but WE CANNOT JUST MAKE MORE DOCTORS. And the drain on them and on the nurses, who do the majority of the heavy lifting, as he says, is catastrophic if we don't stay isolated.

One thing about us quilters is that we do spend a lot of solitary time in our sewing rooms. Use FaceTime, WhatsApp to keep in touch. I've limited my news to one article and five minutes per day to help me to stay calm. Zoom is a terrific app I downloaded yesterday so that my little Ashtanga yoga group could do a Led Primary Series practice. Our teacher called the poses, and we were all on the screen in little video squares, sweating our butts off, and finding inner calm. So many Live Instagram events happening! I watched one on Youtube last night with Chris Martin of Coldplay (LOVE!) do a #togetherathome concert. He uploaded it afterwards, which is what I've done with my Yin yoga classes I've done this past week. I'll keep doing them, Tuesday and Thursday 6-7 am EST and then uploading them to my Youtube channel.

Linking up


  1. Very pretty fabric and your pattern is a perfect match. I am working on a DrEAMi squirrel project with some fabrics from my stash right now. May you and yours stay well and safe ... <3 Pat

  2. Thanks especially for sharing the message from the physician. My niece is an Emergency Department nurse near Seattle and they are dangerously short of vital equipment. I never thought we would be in this situation. It is shocking and frightening and the public should do everything they can to reduce the burden on the healthcare system they may soon need themselves. As to the benefits? I am finishing many WIPs. Why do I wait so long to bind things?

  3. #stayhome I love being at home, so I’m very content. The good thing for me in all of this ... I’m working at home again, but I have a team that I can Zoom with. It’s nice to have that connection versus occasional email contact with colleagues in my former freelance jobs. I haven’t touched my sewing machine yet because I have other things occupying my time. Today I need to create for the joy of it. Thanks for sharing your layout process. I liked your light-to-dark version too! Boho chic — you’re quilt is on trend!

  4. I am working on finishing some knitting and quilting UFOs. I had a pair of socks I wanted to have finished by March 29 and they are finished in plenty of time.
    Next up, a Christmas tablerunner that has been a ghost of Christmas past, for awhile, but is about to become a gift of Christmas Future.

  5. Your first published quilt - how fun is that?! I love the light to dark version. I'd love to see those fabrics in your current quilt in real life - I'll bet they glow! Best thing though - you get to walk each day with Brady and your pup! I'm on Day 7 of not leaving the house. Not minding it, but I'm definitely getting creative (cleaned hubs sock drawer - haha).

  6. Your pattern continues to make a lovely quilt! We are going for walks and staying a safe distance from anyone we see. Thankfully I have a nice stash, it came in handy to make my Project Quilting quilt. Stay safe!!

  7. Such a pretty quilt! I love all the photos and the scenery. Your sewing room is looking great with light coming in the windows. Those Featherweights are such good little machines. I love mine. Sometimes wish it had a needle threader and a thread cutter. I'm trying to walk every day but sometimes the wind of the snowy mountains is a little too much. We had a 4.5 earthquake Friday night centered 5 miles south of us. That sure shook things up! Thanks for the advice from doctors. Too much unhelpful info on the web!

  8. wow your quilt is so pretty and fun. I love this pattern. Ohhh the ideas. On December 14, 2019 we adopted two feral kittens. At the time they were 6 and 7 months old. They have been a constant joy. We laugh at their antics. God has blessed us with these two kittens. Yesterday one figured out how to slide between the slates of a gate we have up. Watching this was amazing. The twists and turns she figured out how to do. LOL One smart kitten. They have really helped during this depressing time. Another is being able to talk to my sister and my sister in law, our daughter in CA and our son a few towns over. Family is so important.
    quilting dash lady at comcast dot net

  9. learning to see the good in every situation, but really to see it not just talk about seeing it!!!!!!!!
    ps the quilt is a stunner!

  10. Fewer errands to run while h leads to us what is already in the house, both for food and sewing!

  11. Very beautiful quilt and quilting! I work at a hospital and love to see the community working together to get through this trying time. Be well, stay home and wash your hands everyone!

  12. I love seeing the parade of neighbors doing the one thing we can do, walk and wave from a distance.

  13. I finished a quilt top except for quilting on the border and binding and it will be complete. Would you believe that with my many spools of thread I did not have quite the right shade of turquoise so am ordering that from Connecting Threads. Am starting another throw quilt from a charm pack and pattern I have had in my stash for a while. Would love to win your beautiful quilt pattern--fingers crossed!!

  14. I do love that quilt in all its simplicity & would be able to make it up reasonably quick. Your photo shots are to die for. Thanks for the tips in these trying times & we'll be restricted to staying homes as from tomorrow & only venturing out to by necessary essentials & within a 2km radius from home. Luckily we have our hobbies, a large garden & plenty of birds to keep us amused. I've lots of charm squares & just might have a go at your design over the coming weeks, though I've designed something similar on my Quilt Wizard program, so maybe I'll look at that & see what you think if I do it. Thanks for the lovely post, take care, stay safe & huggles.

  15. What pretty fabrics! Your pattern is so great for showcasing charm squares. We are currently floating gently in turquoise waters in the Bahamas, eating the food we provisioned for the trip, and I'm sewing my stash. We are so lucky to be here, and feel quite safe in this isolated spot. I'm grateful :)

  16. Love your quilt and all the variations you have created! I'm finding lots of time to work on projects for a new great grand baby. I've added some light weight lifting before my morning yoga, and my eager dogs pester me for walks in the afternoon. We have been rewarded by finding new calves in the pastures and the mama cows cleaning them up. It's so much fun to watch the calves get up on their wobbly legs to get their first milk. A special treat is a set of identical twins--black with white faces and black eye "makeup". I always enjoy your posts!

  17. People keep wanting something good to come from this. I suppose you wake up to your own mortality but I am old and have already done that. I hate talking on the phone and I am now forced to do that. I like face to face contact with people. I'm retired so being at home is no big deal to me. Maybe the good is I don't have to hear so many political ads. I miss the social groups.

  18. One good thing is my husband is now home and has helped me reorganize my sewing room to be more efficient. Now I can enjoy sewing so much more. -- soparkaveataoldotcom

  19. Love your sweet quilt and your color choices - one of the positives to take away from this quarantine is the creative meals coming out of our kitchen with my husband helping and making due with what we have!

  20. Fun quilt and great fabrics! Love the photo at the end of your road - what a pretty spot!! ( and wow! thats! the end of your road!!) Hope you are doing good!

  21. Wow, great photos of your fun quilt!!! Love the one with the sun glittering on the lake. One good thing--getting some overdue quilting projects done.

  22. I am enjoying reading. I have always loved to read, but live has been so busy, with raising a family, it got out on the back burner. Now, I am not rushing to get everything do in my day and a half off!! Love your pattern.

  23. I love those fabrics and the quilt is perfect. Your choice of quilting is just right - as usual. I'm working on some charity quilts AND more exciting is that I got hubs to play some Scrabble. I think we will do this every few days.

  24. Hi Sandra! What a fabulous finish. This is just the perfect pattern to really let the fabrics shine. And the flanged binding . . . wowee, that really adds a special punch. I have the cutest story to share that happened because of our stay-at-home order! Dominic isn't able to go to speech and tomorrow he is going to try Google Hangouts for the service. Since he's two, we thought it wouldn't work very well but thought we'd get him more used to it. Sue and I used Facetime with him and Andrea. He couldn't quite figure out how we were in the phone and he could see us! Before long, he was chatting away in his own language. We don't know what the story was about but it involved GG, Grandma, and Zeus. But we asked him questions and he answered - did the head, shoulders, knees, and toes song with him and Addison was patting her head as she walked by in the background. It was SO darn cute! I think he'll be fine tomorrow morning when he 'meets' with Ms. Amanda for speech. {{Hugs}} I sure do love all the photos of your quilt. It is truly lovely. ~smile~ Roseanne

  25. I love the flange on the quilt. It always amazes me the impact that can be made by varying the fabric and color values in a quilt that is designed with simple piecing. Your version with the blue and yellow fabrics looks very different from Bohemian Rhapsody. I had knee replacement shortly before the virus became widespread. The only place I was going was to physical therapy. With NY on lockdown, even that has been cancelled. I have been studiously doing my knee strengthening exercises and happily sketching ideas for future quilts in my graph ruled notebook. I'm amazed at the interesting meals my husband and I have been enjoying using items from our pantry and freezer.

  26. We are self-isolating out on the prairies, but am managing to keep busy in my sewing room - my focus is on quilting ufo's. So far, i have completed 2 of 7.... Love your quilt. and I admire your creative thinking process. Have a great spring

  27. I just retired on the 13th, but continue with some per diem work. After tonight, I think I will just stay home for safety, unless they really need me.

  28. Lovely fabrics! I am the opposite--I love to reread books! On an early date with my now-husband I told him it was like visiting with an old friend. I do make the same quit pattern more than once occasionally, but not frequently. There are just so many new patterns I want to make!

    I've really enjoyed a daily walk with my son, age 6, after I sign out of work from home each afternoon. We've also enjoyed the daily animal highlight from the Cincinnati Zoo. Seeing organizations get creative in how they can help and stay connected has been really moving and comforting.

  29. I have been able to finish several UFO's and try out some new patterns to make Quilts of Valor. Not sure when we will be able to award them, but they will be ready! Also doing some clearing out and organizing, so not so bad for my daughters when I'm not here or not able!

  30. A granddaughter is staying with us after her university closed, and will be here until it is safe for her to fly home. Nancy A: