Friday, November 19, 2021

94Quilt Finished

I acknowledge that I am living on unceded territory of Anishinaabeg (Source: Canadian Encyclopedia) on the shore of erielhonan, (Iroquoian word meaning 'long tail') now called Lake Erie.

Wow, it's been a while since I posted. I've thought about writing an update post a couple of times, but just never did. I do have a finish, a quilt I worked on from July 1 to October 2, making one double flying geese block a day while I read the 94 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action. Not only did I read a Call each day, but I also went to the Beyond 94 website that CBC created, and followed most of their further reading, links to articles, TV shows, other sites and organizations, and literature. I watched We Were Children, the CBC documentary, riveting, heartbreaking, a must-watch for every Canadian, no every Turtle Island dweller, so that means Americans and Mexicans, who are also descended from Europeans.

This is the resulting quilt.

Residential 'schools' are not unique to Canada; known as boarding 'schools', they were in operation as well in the United States. They were not schools in the sense of education as we know it today. Children were forcibly removed from their homes, their families, their culture, forced to speak English, do hard labour, were malnourished, brainwashed, severely punished, abused in horrific ways, raped, tortured, neglected, and murdered. We are finally as a nation starting to deal with the aftermath left by this heinous system, financed and administered by the Canadian government, operated and run by the Catholic Church, and other churches to a lesser degree. With the discovery of thousands of unmarked graves in several 'school' locations earlier this year, and ongoing investigations into many more potential gravesites, the Calls are becoming part of our national consciousness, and we have been asked to do something, as descendants of European settlers, as immigrants, to try to understand the traumatic impact that centuries of this mistreatment of our Indigenous, Métis and Inuit peoples has done.

The post with the flimsy and the last seven blocks is here. I used red (for Canada) and orange (for First Peoples) fabrics from my scraps and stash. Almost every fabric is used twice, with only one or two three times, and one or two just once. The hearts were made from all one fabric, leftover from a Benartex project. At the end of each section I made an orange heart, so these are placed in the quilt according to the Calls. Calls 43 - 94 all fall within the Reconciliation Section, so that is why there is basically one heart from the 44th block to the end of the quilt. I love that it so happened that the first and last column ended with a heart. An orange heart is the symbol for the thousands of lost children due to the residential 'school' system.

When it came to quilting, I only knew that I wanted to do a flowing design to counter the pointy geese blocks and to represent the undulating flight of our Canada geese. At first I thought of flowing lines, then I thought of adding in some large pebbles, which I've done on a few quilts, and then I remembered a new all-over meander I did on my Whimsies quilt. Yep, that would be it. That, and wool batting (franken-batting - I had three nice big chunks of Hobbs and one of Quilter's Dream that worked perfectly) made for delicious texture over the quilt.
It also adds to the random placement of the double flying geese blocks. There are a few set in the Dutchman's Puzzle block set, but I purposely turned them this way and that, for a modern and 'blur' of a feel. I used EQ8 to play with rotating the blocks to get a feel for how the quilt would end up looking. The quilted swirl lines are spaced about 3/4 to 1 inch apart. They do look pretty uniform from a distance. Again, this is another where, when I'm quilting, I'm worried from time to time about the wobbles are uneven distance, especially using the variegated thread where the eggplant section of the thread shows up quite intensely on the background. However. Step back. Ahh. All good.

For the back, I had the perfect red given to me by my aunt in a set of cottons she gave me when destashing. I used it all, adding in all I had of the Dimples orange, as well as a chunk of a totems fabric left from my niece's quilt from about 15 years ago(!)... but I was still a bit short. The orange paisley chunk was the final perfect piece. It feels good to clear out these random pieces.

They all blend well with the front.
Lovely morning sun shows off that texture, doesn't it?

I quilted in my initials along the lower left edge.

I wrote the quilt details on the label, using a Micron Pigma pen, and sewed in my satin label.
The binding is a great Fall-toned striped fabric I picked up a few years ago. I actually used it to make a couple of the geese blocks, and had totally forgotten that I had done that when searching for a good stripe!

Pre-quilting and closeup for easier reading:

The quilt, as I mentioned in the flimsy post, has a recipient. I do not know who she is, only that she is female, Indigenous, and is "the perfect person for this quilt", according to my friend Tammy, who is the director at our local Children's Aid, and has close connections to a few First Nations nearby. The day I contacted her to ask her to keep her mind open to a family or person who would be in need and would appreciate the meaning behind this quilt, she said something had happened that very day that she knew exactly to whom it would go. I love that. The Universe knows.

A final shot on the green grass, a few oak and maple leaves scattered around by nature. It was very windy, but it stayed flat for the photos!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Flying geese and heart blocks in my own setting
Size: 60.5" square
Fabric: scraps and stash
Backing: scraps and stash
Batting: Hobbs Heirloom and Quilter's Dream 100% wool batting
Quilted: on Avril; 91 313 stitches
Threads: pieced with various; quilted with Essential cotton 50 wt; The Bottom Line in the bobbin.

I see just now a couple of my lovely readers have taken advantage of some terrific sales at Connecting Threads (affiliate link) these past few days. Today is the final day and it's a good one, one that I've taken advantage of a few times, 30% off on their wide backing. Use the code BACKING21. Thank you so much for using my links to make your purchase; this pays shipping for my QAL prizes!
This is one I got last time, going to use it for an RSC quilt. It is really soft, just so you know. Here are two I love, Smashing Atoms (which I bought last sale, great fabric, nice hand) and Bloomination, which is calling me. They have some wonderful text prints as well.

Thank you as well to those who purchase Make Modern copies or subscriptions through my links. Issue 43 has just come out and it's another great issue! 
My friend Cindy of Stitchin at Home has a gorgeous neutrals quilt in this issue. You've got to check out her quilting. Marvelous.

It won't be as long between posts; I have another quilt loaded and should have a finish this weekend. I also have another makeup pouch or two to make as I've sold yet another turquoise (custom order) one as well as the second last one in my shop! A good problem to have. Today was also a furniture recovering day, and the first attempt went very well.

We bought this solid wood set secondhand this week. In our main floor remodel, we've lost one bedroom and gained a living/dining room open concept, so we should have a dining set! One chair needed repairing, the pedestal table needed a support board screwing in (MacGyver had to reinstall the screw holder thingies into the wood as the holes had gotten stripped), and the chair covers are filthy and ugly beige. So today, once I did the photo shoot for this quilt, we went into Fabricland in Windsor where I discovered a fan-TAB-ulous sale section of upholstery fabric, indoor and outdoor (hello new covers for patio furniture on a future trip), and came home with this pretty aqua, lime and grey/brown fabric.

For $7/metre. Total cost to do four chairs and possibly a cushion cover for on the sectional to further tie the room together, $11.20.

It is perfect. I cannot say enough about just how perfect. Once I show you the before and after photos of our living room, well, pretty much entire home remodel, you'll die. I did. Have. Ha. It is finally all starting to come together. Flooring is on the horizon...

One more IRL event detracting from my quilting time is a pizza party at work in half an hour. We won the employee satisfaction survey input with 100% of staff completing it, so I'm off to the gym, not to teach yoga but to have a slice or two of pizza with my coworkers. It will be the first group social interaction other than teaching yoga in nearly two years. I won't be staying long though; even though we all are fully vaccinated, I still am not 100% comfortable in group settings where we won't have a mask on.


  1. WOW! I love 94 and the swirls are the perfect quilting choice for this beauty!

  2. 94 turned out so well, Sandra. You've put a lot of thought and emotion into the quilt. I'm looking forward to seeing your living room before and after shots!

  3. Fun that you found a solid wood table that you love. On the topic of love, the inclusion of the hearts in your flying geese quilt is inspiring. My heart bleeds for all children who have been mistreated by bureaucracies that should have been in place to help them. Sadly, this is still occurring, not only for the precious children of First Nations families but for other children as well. I have a saying that tries to make sense of this and it is that "bureaucracies serve themselves first". Certainly has helped me to maintain calm in many trying situations.

  4. You have a beautiful quilt from your 94 days of sewing, educating yourself and educating those who read your blog. Thank you!

  5. So much in this quilt—much more than we can see. I’m in awe of your commitment to the project, and it just seems so fitting that you are donating it to someone who is unknown to you but represents a whole nation of people.
    I love your cushion covers and can’t wait to see how the dining set fits into your overall update to your house.

  6. Such a beautiful quilt - visually, and in its meaning. Just wonderful that it's going to someone who will appreciate it.

  7. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love this quilt. The colours and layout are amazing. Yes, the universe does know. ♥

  8. Beautiful finish and so much thoughtfulness and purpose clearly went into its making. The universe does know and it makes me happy to know this will be heading to the perfect forever home soon. I hope the pizza part was fun (and I can totally relate to not being comfortable in social situations).

  9. Beautiful and amazing quilt in more ways than one. Thank you for taking us on your journey. So pleased to hear it has the perfect home to go to.

  10. Wonderful quilt and, of course, more wonderful is the serendipitous finding of the perfect recipient. I love the way you quilted it - so perfect.

  11. Absolutely fabulous. Love everything about this quilt; the concept, the colours, the quilting and the fact that it has gone to someone who needed it and will appreciate it. You are a wonderful person and put a lot of us, me included, to shame.

  12. Hi Sandra, what an amazing quilt. I'm impressed with all of the reading that you've done on the 94 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Calls to Action and all of the other resources. I've been able to read some but it's really difficult. I'm sure that your quilt will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for linking up to Free Motion Mavericks and have a great week.

  13. Amazing quilt. Thanks for linking up with Elm Street Quilts One Monthly Goal and congrats on your finish.