Thursday, April 22, 2021

TGIFF - Friendly Fences, an H2H Quilt

Welcome to TGIFF! This is a linkup to show our finished quilt projects. And oh yes, pass on some inspiration.
I have finished the quilt for my neighbour who is an essential worker at one of our local grocery stores. You can read the story behind the quilt in this post. That will help you see why I named the quilt Friendly Fences, which may seem to be an oxymoron. It isn't, because our dogs becoming good friends through the chainlink fence between our yards led to us getting to know each other more.

I was really pleased to read that Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict added this category to the Hands2Help comfort quilt drive. Unless you know someone who works in a grocery store or a pharmacy, I don't think we tend to think of them as people like ourselves, with families and homes and lives, you know what I mean? And I don't know about your governments, media, and rich fat cats who own these grocery and pharmacy chains, but mine here in Canada started out regularly highlighting their contributions. One even gave them an hourly raise at first...and then took it back. Now we don't hear so much about their continued efforts, though CBC TV runs a very poignant ad about nurses.

I've photographed this tree a few times and had it in an I Like post. I think the brown/tan of the tree under intense blue skies makes a beautiful backdrop for the quilt. I did get the homeowner's permission. It is a massive silver maple, and actually had an ash tree growing out of its belly. Sadly, the homeowner told me that is what also contributed to its demise: even though ash was pulled out a year or two ago, the soil sitting in there from composted leaf matter over the decades was damp and led to rot. Now one of the five massive arms of the tree is entirely hollow, and the core of the tree was badly affected by the ash tree and soil. So the tree has to come down, which breaks my heart. I've spoken to the owner on two different occasions, once along with the arborist who happened to be there assessing it. They told me the tree is between 140 and 180 years old. 

Let that sink in. 

This tree was about 20 years old or more when Hiram Walker built his railroad from Windsor to Kingsville in 1888 to bring his rich American friends out here to Paradise Grove on the shore of Lake Erie. It would have been a seedling not too long after the War of 1812.... The quilt is 45" wide. A foot or more sticks out on either side of it, so the tree is easily 6+ feet, aka 2+ metres, in diameter. That one front arm above it is easily 4 feet in diameter!

The photo below was taken in the early morning sun so it's not as harsh a light as in the above photos.  This shows up the quilting I did, very simple.

Stitching in the ditch went everywhere, and then two lines an inch apart in each 4" rectangle. It makes a cool kind of woven effect on the back. Everything about this quilt is simple, made for comfort and cuddling, for humans and doggies to use on a couch. 

The backing is a super soft plush microfleece I bought several years ago to make a jacket for myself. I used some of it to back another comfort quilt I sent out to a little boy, L, when his house burned down. The rest of it went on this one, and I had just enough.

I did a scrappy binding with two blue fabrics and one beige. This is a great photo to show how rich that navy microfleece is.

You may recall that after I finished the flimsy, I remembered a certain dog fabric I had that was perfect for the quilt, and that I was going to take out one of the blocks to insert this new, perfect one. Well, here it is!
There's even a Shadow-type dog there, though he's tan, not red-brown. I love the bright and light blues (the RSC colour for April) with the tans and brown, especially because I know they symbolize my Rocco and their Shadow.đŸ¶đŸ¶

I plan to make a cushion cover for S, something a little more feminine and just for her, so I won't be giving this to them just yet. A certain other dog thought it was a great quilt too...

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Original design based on a Rail Fence block
Size:  45.5" x 54.5"
Fabric: scraps and stash
Backing: microfleece
Batting: none
Quilted: on Avril, 36 099 stitches and finished on my Bernina (Avril may be in need of a spa day)
Threads: pieced GĂŒtermann polyester; quilted with Essential 100% cotton in Stone and Exquisite polyester

One other item I posted on Instagram is my blue April string Bow Tie blocks (just love these), and my Temperature Quilt progress. We went from a streak of 21°C temperatures even here by Lake Erie which tends to keep us a fair bit cooler in spring, to snow and just below freezing on Tuesday/Wednesday this past week! That's April. Looks like more of the oranges are forthcoming as of today.😎 Sadly our magnolia blossoms are toast...all brown now, but I saved the azalea ones with a couple of towels for cover.

Linking up
TGIFF here!
so scrappy

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  1. What a great finish, and I love the last photo of the quilt getting a test run. :) Wow, what an incredible tree and I'm so sad to hear it has to come down. I'm glad you were able to get some great quilt photos with it.

  2. Haha, those of us down under are in the line first, love the front, the rich backing and the chair complete with a certain person as a great model to show the comfort of a quilt.

  3. Love your beautiful hero shots of a gorgeous quilt. The tree is amazing & being an avid tree lover/photographer I was pleased to see it & your beautiful dog checking it out the quilt too. Your are very generous & caring. Take care, stay safe & hugs.

  4. Love the shots of your beautiful caring quilt in the tree. And the test run photo adorable.

  5. Beautiful quilt and so nice that you can show your appreciation for your neighbour. So much of our lives have changed, but the social chit chats over the fence or in the park need to continue for everybody.

  6. lovely quilt that I am sure she will enjoy.

  7. It's always sad when a tree has to come down. What stories it could tell! Your quilt is lovely, and I'm sure it will be appreciated. Love that pic with the pup :-)

  8. What a beautiful, snuggly looking quilt! I love the browns and blues together :) That tree is amazing. It's such a shame it's not healthy anymore.

  9. I love how the quilt turned out, especially with the micro fleece backing. That’ll be so cozy! My son started working at Home Depot after his employer was shut down due to the pandemic. He said a lot of people would come in the store just to talk with the employees because they were so lonely. It’s still happening to a lesser degree as more places open up. Truly the people working retail have filled essential needs in more ways than one. Also, I love big trees, so it’s sad when they come down. When our kids were young, we walked to the local library and often paused to admire a huge tree — the sidewalk was diverted slightly to go around its expanse. Like you said: it’s natural history!

  10. As with the other commenters, I am so sad that beautiful tree will be taken down. It is enormous and my gosh when you place it within the history as you did, it makes for quite a story!
    The quilt is perfect - love the fleece backing - sooo cozy!!

  11. Wonderful gift to honor the hard work of your neighbor. Fabulous quilt photo shoot at the special tree.

  12. That incredible tree was the first thing I noticed, but, of course, I'd already seen the quilt on IG. We've lost a lot of trees in our village over the last few years. The number of diseased trees seems to be increasing at an alarming rate, more evidence of the effects climate change and invasive species.

  13. Dogs know a soft spot when they see one!! I'ld love to make our dog her own quilt but she just takes anyone that she finds!

  14. Kudos for making that cozy Hometown Hero quilt, Sandra!!

  15. Hi Sandra! Oh my goodness, that is so sad that the tree has to be taken down. Just think of all the history it would share if it was able to. Even when the ash tree invaded, if only it could have raised the flag saying this punk is going to be the ruin of me. 140 to 180 years old. I adore that beautiful navy backing - the whole quilt turned out great but I can really imagine how cuddly and squishy good this quilt feels. Rufus looks so sweet posing with Friendly Fences! He kind of looks like you shouldn't give it up. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  16. That looks fantastic... & I love the scenery behind the quilt too...
    Well done...

  17. What a super great quilt!! and against that *young* haha Tree!!! It really brings out the colors. What a super hug for an essential worker!

  18. What a lovely quilt, Sandra! It makes me think of sunset colors. A sweet gift for your essential neighbor. So beautiful against the tree, which I’m very sad to know needs to be cut down. I’m always sad about trees being cut down, but this one especially with its long history. And I think it is highly unusual for a silver maple to last that long. They tend to be fragile.

  19. that certain dog is so cute!!! Milo wants to play with him. I like that blue work a lot

  20. So much in this entry - the story of the tree, of dogs, of life. Such a great present. She will be so pleased and it will surely be a comfort to her.


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