Tuesday, June 1, 2021


This quilt ticks two boxes: my OMG for May and my PHD finish for May. I love how it turned out, and I love the motivation I got TO finish it by making it both of those!

This was one of the RSC challenge projects that Angela at so scrappy came up with in 2019. I was quite late to the party, but in actuality I was behaving, focussing on Island Batik challenges and other projects I was supposed to be doing. But then that little turquoise pinwheel in the second from the bottom row grabbed me (thanks Mari) and I just had to make it...along with three others, and I was smitten. Here is the post. We were deep in the throes of the major renovation so it was a welcome and fun little diversion to make a little 4.5" finished block each month. However, although I'd pretty much decided on using the Kona Ice Frappé as the background, I never did put any of them onto the background because I had no clue how I'd arrange them all. Enter PHD and OMG!

Once I had a basic idea, I sewed the background onto the blocks mostly as leader/enders. This brought them up to 7" finished. As the month's end approached it became a little more pressing than a leader/ender project! Here is the flimsy, only finished on May 27!

I was pretty ecstatic when I laid eyes on this in my stash of possible backings or borders (starting points for colour schemes).

I didn't have enough to fussy cut it to line the buildings up, but hey, it's a backing and it still looks fine:
I love the effect of the buildings on a slant; it messes with your eyes/mind doesn't it?

With my DrEAMi, Blossoms Every Which Way, jumping ahead of this one, I wanted a fast all-over quilting motif and had planned to do flowing lines with bubbles interrupting them. After two columns of blocks were quilted (I loaded it sideways due to the long seam the length of the backing), the quilt whispered to me, as they are wont to do, and I thought of giant swirls with giant bubbles here and there, some double, some single, for the middle of the quilt. It is such a neat effect!
It is not perfect circles one would get with a digitized design but it works for me, and once it's washed and crinkly any slight imperfections will fade away. The key is aiming to keep your lines the same basic distance apart. Mine were about 3/4" to 1" apart. I like the centre, not-pointed part of these swirls,  thanks to Kathleen Riggins' book, The Building Blocks of Free-Motion Quilting, which I did on Heading North, published in Make Modern, issue #39, (affiliate link - have you seen the latest issue #40?!).
Here is my friend Leanne's, Devoted Quilter, beautiful quilt on the cover of issue #40:

Just had to give her and MM (they are a sponsor of my QAL) a little plug.

Bella gave it her twinkle toes pose of approval after I'd trimmed it and laid it down to see the effect. I hit upon the name, Whimsies, because it is rather whimsical, front and back, and the animal blocks here and there reminded me of miniature china ornaments we used to collect that were in Red Rose (I think it was) tea boxes, called whimsies. My mum and dad drank a fair amount of tea, so we kids each had a decent collection!

I was pleased as punch to see it made the Sunday Showcase on Aurifil's blog! Should've put Bella's photo on Instagram - I bet they'd have used it!

Here is a draped shot in front of the rhododendron. You get the idea of how well the backing works with the front!

A texture shot, though I was losing light here. Notice my painted cat under a quilt rock is still with me?
So, the outer two columns have the wavy lines with bubble chains, and the centre three columns have the giant swirls with bubbles interspersed. I like the effect.

I thought a turquoise binding would be fun, and would work with the backing. When I spied a leftover chunk of 'Dreamy' by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr, which I'd used in a quilt for Benartex, Stars Aligned, I knew it would be perfect. The little pops of pink work so well for the whimsical nature of this quilt.
I squeezed in my initials in the lower lefthand corner.

I had to finish the quilt on Sunday because on Monday we left at 5 am to take Xena up to Mississauga to the rescue's vet for her first heartworm treatment. It's a 3.5 hour drive. The rescue covers the cost. We'd decided to spend the day in Stratford, since we couldn't pick her up until around 5:30/6. Well, I was on the lookout for some 'quilt in the wild' shots, and I got a few!
So green!

Zoomed in (MacGyver was the photographer; I was crouching behind the quilt)

I haven't done a quilt in a tree shot in some time:
It was a tad windy! This is Victoria Lake, which seems to be a flooded area or maybe a low-lying area, of the Avon River. We wondered if it was manmade.

It's a beautiful spot and gave us several kilometres of paths to walk, a spot for lunch, (takeout from a great Thai restaurant, recommended to me by my good friend Nancy😊) and some quilt in the wild shots.

I like how the backing doesn't look slanted in this photo! Isn't it a cool effect? And isn't this a wonderful tree?

Here are a couple of close-up shots of some favourite blocks. I love the pig which has a special meaning for me, as I used to teach my grade 7s French using the play Les Trois Petits Cochons. I also like the 3D bowtie block, and that I managed to quilt a string of bubbles below and above it without flatteing the centre.

The pig was one of Sally's, The Objects of Design blocks, as is the owl, and the pussycat in a basket. I also had fun with the tiny 1/2" finished squares in the double 9-patch.

It was such a fun make over the year, and a fun finish! I can't wait to see the crinkle once it's laundered: I used Hobbs 80/20 cotton/wool.

One last shot on the bench by that fun tree:

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Tiny Tuesday quilt blocks by Angela Feldman and friends
Size:  49.5" square
Fabric: scraps and stash; background is Kona Cotton Ice FrappĂ© by Robert Kaufman Fabrics
Backing:  Utopia by Frances Newcombe for Art Gallery Fabrics
Batting: Hobbs scraps 80/20 cotton/polyester
Quilted: on Avril: 61 060 stitches
Threads: pieced with various; quilted with Aurifil 50 wt


  1. Love this finish and the backing is to die for. Ok, well not really, but so good to see. I love that backing fabric! So perfect for this quilt. Hooray for another finish!

  2. I love that you altered the setting for each block; the on point versus straight setting really makes a lovely composition! The quilting and binding are also both fun and whimsical and fit beautifully with the whole piece.

  3. The background fabric you picked ties all the Tiny blocks together so perfectly, Sandra! I really love that finish - your photos of it just make me smile!

  4. Love, love, love it. I can see why you wanted to make it and all the photos must have been great to do too. I do like your fun quilting design & realised we've both just recently used the on point & straight setting for one of our quilts. I should be able to get out to my favourite tree for (hopefully) a few snaps of my "finished" FYOPs after this weekend when regional Victoria have some restrictions lifted. take care, stay safe & hugs.

  5. Perfect backing choice for a beautiful quilt! Love the quilting of the bubble variations.

  6. I love the setting with some blocks on point and some set straight. And I most always love a sampler quilt. I don't know why I don't make more of them.

  7. Nice to start the month with a finish! I love the background color you chose. So fresh and clear, and it sets the blocks off perfectly. And the backing is great, too. Congratulations on a happy finish!

  8. What a great finish, and how fun that you could take it out in the wild for some beautiful photos!

  9. Great finish! Congratulations, and thank you for sharing.

  10. It's gorgeous! Love the quilting.

  11. So that explains why you were in Stratford wandering around since I thought Ontario was still in lockdown and there didn't seem to be many people about (in IG photos). I think my favorite block in this quilt was the owl. It was fiddly, but I loved the way mine turned out. The other really fiddly block was the storm at sea which I finally decided was one where done is better than perfect. Almost makes me want to finish quilting mine, but other priorities await.

  12. Stunning - sorry for the radio silence, gone back to work full-time - it's eating away at all my spare time and quilting time and blogging time :-)

  13. LOVE this quilt! I'm not a huge fan of sampler quilts, but this one is really pretty! Love the B/G fabric, the block settings (I'll have to remember to try that sometime!), and especially the backing!

  14. Hi Sandra! What a lovely quilt finish. I just love that you used Ice Frappe as the background fabric. It really sets off all the blocks so nicely. And that backing does go well with the quilt top design. It looks like you found some great nature places in Stratford while you were waiting for Xena. Nice job! ~smile~ Roseanne

  15. omg. I used to collect whimsies, and so did my sister. There may be one or two still about here. I am doing my epp and looking at your beautiful quilt, and photos, and thinking, time I got sewing again x

  16. Love, love, LOVE the quilting you did on this fun finish, Sandra!!

  17. Great quilting on a great quilt top. Kudos for killing two birds with one stone... oops that sounds awful being able to check off two goals with one quilt! Lovely in the wild photos.

  18. Love, love, love whimsies! I would not have thought to leave the little blocks till deciding on a colored bac! Spectacular!

  19. Congrats on the finish!! What a wonderful quilt! And what a difference the quilting makes - I loved it as a top - but as a whole quilt... wow - it just sparkles!! Enjoy it!!

  20. Beautiful, love the background fabric!

  21. I love it - congratulations on your finish!!

  22. I finally finished mine too and it's one of my favorites. Love yours as well and pretty much all of the Tiny Tuesday quilts have been winners. The aqua binding and the buildings backing were perfect touches!