Saturday, October 3, 2020

Champs et Lacs

In other words, Fields (or Meadows) and Lakes. This quilt needs a French name because it is going to a dear friend who is French. It is the Meadow Mystery designed by Cheryl of Meadow Mist Designs. It was a QAL back in 2016/17 in which I participated, but I hadn't quilted it until now.

It was done on Friday, but I knew we were going into the city, Windsor, on Saturday, so I wanted to get a glamour shot of it on the Detroit River, downtown Detroit in the background. The day was beautiful for a photo shoot, but as per usual, there was a bit of a wind by the water. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, and how well the Warm n Natural 100% cotton batting shows off the quilting. Can I say just how much I love these fabrics and these colours? No, they are not batiks but they sure have the hand-dyed painterly look to them don't they?

The quilt top has been together for a little while, but it has languished on the little stack of quilts waiting to be quilted. I now have just three sitting there. Oh that isn't to say that is it for UFOs, never fear. There is another top that is waiting for quilting but it is getting big-stitch hand-quilting, so that makes four. And then there are ahem, various other quilts in the blocks or almost finished flimsy stage, like my OMG on Instagram for this month.

You know when you have your nose inches above a quilt and you're thinking meh, don't know if this is really going to work out like I see it in my mind. There are the oops, and the whoops, not sure about that, and the bobbles and imperfections. 
And then, you take it off the front frame and step back a bit...

and you think yeah. Maybe...

And then you get up the next morning and the sun is just getting high enough to shine over the fence and through a gap in the trees onto the lawn and you think ooh, that might work...
And you sigh, because yup, it worked. Those 'rays' even work, even though they seemed really weird when I was quilting them in the pentagon shape there.

Bella, of course, gave it her immediate stamp of approval, posing for a photo. Such a little 6.5 pound diva.

The back is the navy fabric, now all gone (yes!) except for a few scraps. This angle shows the texture but not the true colour; in the photo above, it is truer.

It is actually a mottled navy with leaf sprigs all over it.

Here are the cloth and satin labels:

I sewed the binding to the front of the quilt so I could get that perfect 1/4" seam, and then machine-stitched it down onto the back. This gives it the closest to hand-sewing look.
There is the recipient's name in the lower corner of her quilt. Although I bought all the fabrics from Sew Sisters but the navy and the Kona Snow, which were in my stash, specifically for this quilt, and specifically for me, I decided that I really didn't need another quilt in this size and these colours, especially since I recently made, and kept for myself my Summer Stars quilt. When I thought hmm, to whom would I like to give this quilt? Tammy popped into my head.

Tammy was actually one of my students, way back when she and her BFF Anna, were in my grade 10 French class. I was 25; they were 15. The two girls babysat Brianne and Dayna a few times over a few years. When we moved back to Alberta, we kept in touch, me more so with Anna, but still hearing about Tammy from time to time. 
The centre square

Once we knew we were moving back here, we rekindled our friendship, and we get together a few times each year. Tammy is a Director at Children's Aid, and has been my go-between for a couple of Hands2Help quilts, facilitating getting them to a family or person in need. One year I asked if she knew of a refugee family who could use one, and this past year of an Indigenous person who could use one. She was able to fulfill my requests no problem, though I never know any details other than yes, a refugee family or Indigenous person. She always loves the quilts I bring her. So now I think Tammy needs her own quilt.

Here are the threads I used for quilting. I used two rulers, Slim by Angela Walters (6" straight edge), and the BFF by The Quilted Pineapple (small curved ruler).

I am thinking Avril is in need of a spa treatment. Outside of her timing adjustment, she hasn't had anything. She has never balked at any kind of thread, and so when the Madeira polyneon, which I've used before, was giving a fair bit of grief, I switched to Aurifil (not a problem), and thought yup, she's due. Also of note in that photo above are my imperfections. I don't use the stitch regulator (actually, it suddenly started acting up a few months ago, so another indication that she needs some TLC) so I press 'go' and the needle starts going up and down, bam, immediately whether I am moving the machine or not. I free-motion quilted the ribbon candy, and in the corner turn you can see variance in the shapes of the swoops and that a couple of times they overlap. I did floppy feathers in the four corners of the quilt, echoing them here and there. Well, look at those in the lower right navy triangle. There is some kind of weirdo chicken comb-looking feather action there lol. I didn't rip it, and I bet you didn't notice until I pointed it out, and moreover, once it's washed and has that crinkly texture, it'll disappear even more. Personally, I prefer the human aspect of the imperfections over computerized perfection.

The riverfront on the Canadian side, in Windsor, has eight kilometres of trails, and is actually a part of the Trans Canada Trail system. There are parks all along the trail. It's just beautiful.

One last straight-on shot on our deck:

Cannot wait to surprise Tammy with this quilt! This is another one checked off my Q3FAL list too!

Quilt Stats: GIFTED
Pattern: Meadow Mystery
Size: 60" square
Fabric: Artisan Spirit Painter's Passion by Amy Sia for Northcott Fabrics; Leafy Sprigs by R.E.D. for Fabricland, and Kona Snow from stash
Backing: Leafy Sprigs
Batting: Warm 'n Natural 100% cotton
Quilted: on Avril; 129 785 stitches
Threads: pieced with Gütermann and Mettler; quilted with Madeira polyneon, Aurifil 2600 cotton 50 wt and Superior So Fine polyester 402


  1. The quilting is stunning, and I personally think that the bobbles and overlaps give quilts a rich story. I am sure that Tammy will love it!

  2. I love the quilting, the bobbles add character! I used some of those same fabrics from Sew Sisters in Meadow Mystery, which resides at my DD house.

  3. The full back shot of the quilt shows just how amazing the quilting is.
    I totally know that feeling of "ooh, that wasn't meant to happen" but then in the grand scheme, when it is all quilted, you go. Oooh, that looks nice.

  4. Wow - love the colors, love the quilting and love the pattern! What a beautiful and thoughtful gift.

  5. Oh yeah, it definitely worked! What a gorgeous quilt! Always fun to read your thoughts and process as you work through each project, Sandra.

  6. Beautifully done! The colors are perfect and the quilting really highlights the piecing. Congrats on a gorgeous finish.

  7. Another fabulously thought out and executed finish. I love those colours too. It reminds me that I did this quilt but I have no recollection of whether the flimsy is somewhere or there are blocks to assemble. Hope this makes you smile. Thanks for the lovely photos of your neck of the woods.!

  8. It's a beautiful quilt and Tammy is sure to be delighted. I believe Angela Walters has a rule that you're not supposed to point out your oopsies and wobbles. Yeah, I never listen either.

  9. Beautiful quilt and how fun to do a photo shoot with Detroit in the background. Your quilting is fabulous, and I giggle at your oops. Most people would never even notice.

  10. Such a beautiful quilt. I love the colors and was sure it was batiks. I do love the painterly fabrics that add such wonderful texture without distracting from the quilt design. Your quilting is always lovely and I admire how wonderful your quilting is without a computer. Those human blips are just more love added to a beautiful project.

  11. Another knock it out of the park quilt, beautiful 😍😍😍. I have to finish mine, it’s on the pile.

  12. Absolutely stunning both the flimsy and the quilting. I wouldn't have seen the mistakes if you hadn't pointed them out, but that is what we all do isn't it..."it's okay apart from this bit or that bit". Love the picture of Bella :-)

  13. Absolutely lovely Sandra. I'm with you when up close & personal on the machine, but once it's off you see the bigger picture & take it all in differently. You do well with your hand-guided machine & believe me, computerised can also make some really funny mistakes when positioning patterns. I love the quilt pattern, colours & your gorgeous hero shots & am sure your recipient will love it too. Take care, stay safe & huggles.

  14. All I can say is that Tammy is a very, very, very, VERY lucky lady :)

  15. Hi Sandra! No Rufus photobombing the quilt this time, darn it. What a beauty of a quilt. The colors are just exquisite and they really shine next to the water shots. Oh, the texture! And Bella approved! I adore all the photos of your quilting - and I never would have notice the creative human choices of perfection. Tammy will love this, no doubt, and I enjoyed hearing about her and Anna. Those 10 years were a big deal at the beginning of your teaching career but now they make no difference on friendships. {{Hugs}} Lovely. ~smile~ Roseanne

  16. Absolutely beautiful. I love the colours you used, the design is gorgeous and the quilting (warts and all) is fabulous. Tammy is one lucky lady :-)

  17. Another beautiful quilt Sandra. I’m sure Tammy will love it! I love the way fabric choices make for such different looking quilts even when using the same patterns. I expect that’s why I enjoy seeing linkups for QAL’s so much.

  18. It's a beauty! I enjoyed your discussion/description of how your feelings about the quilting evolve as you work, then step back, then walk away. Yup! That's my general process too! Your quilting is much more elaborate than mine though. I have yet to brave ribbon candy quilting on an actual project, precisely because of the bobbles and overlap which I don't notice on yours but seem glaring when it's my own effort!

  19. Beautiful colors, beautiful quilting, beautiful quilt!

  20. Love,love the quilting. It's beautiful. That wuzzy cat goes quite nicely with it, too. :-)