Friday, August 12, 2022


Well here I am with my first quilt finish since ... egad June 16?! I've made several makeup bags another placemat (purple) and pj shorts, but no quilts. This flimsy has actually been finished since July 13! Ah well, Brady here for three glorious weeks, coupled with lots more glorious weeks of pristine summer weather has meant I haven't had the urge to quilt it. Oh how I love this quilt!

It's got Sandra written all over it: my colours, and an ocean theme.

This pattern, 'Pretty in Pluses', is by Michelle of From Bolt to Beauty. I've followed Michelle for some time, and have recently once again been linking up finishes in her Brag About Your Beauties Friday linky party. Well, she had a giveaway a while back, and I won! I got the pattern and a stack of leftover fabrics from her cover quilt. I turned a good chunk of those fabrics into two makeup pouches:
for sale here

and it hit me that her pattern might be the perfect one to use for my 'Drift' fabric I've had, oh, forever, by Angela Walters. Originally the plan was to make the box-type quilt as I made for my husband, Skulls on Fire. So I guess that would make it five years ago that I bought this fabric. The super-large pluses would work very well with the large scale main print I'd got. I decided upon Island Batik white (love!) as the background, and off I went, cutting and piecing.

I tried to match as closely as I could the fabric motif in those super-large pluses without wasting too much; I had originally planned to use this as a border, but was thinking of putting it on the back of this quilt. I had the quilt centre together, and stepped back to admire it, when I realized (smacks forehead multiple times) I had mixed up the centre bar between the right and left pluses.

I contemplated leaving it, but knew it would drive me nuts, and in reality, it wasn't too much ripping...
Much better!

I opted for narrower outside borders than in the pattern, as this is just a throw for either the couch, where it currently is, or the end of the bed, where it will be, since I usually like at least one extra quilt on my side of the bed!

I loaded it onto Avril and the plan was an all-over line-type design, maybe horizontal in the background, vertical in the pluses. 


After I quilted the first large plus, I wanted something fancier, or the quilt did! From time to time, I send my private Instagram account, from my mmmquilts public account, photos off someone's feed of quilting that I like. This was one. It's a pantograph I think, but I knew I could freehand it. (ONE of these days, I will do a panto!) I practised on paper a few rows and really liked it.

It was the horizontal versus vertical effect I was looking for, albeit a little tighter on the horizontal than I'd intended, but I just love it, and the best part? I still love quilting that design and will definitely use it again. I will be writing up a short little tutorial on how to do it, as it's fun and could easily be quilted on a DSM.

Here is the back of the quilt:
Don't mind the mimosa tree shadow, and the baby tulip tree coming along so very well. Can you spot a Naked Lady Dancing on the lower left?! Neighbours gave me a few bulbs and they've suddenly shot up, and I couldn't be happier. I knew they were later summer bloomers, but there'd been no activity until boop! what's that weird-looking sort-of-gerbera-daisy stem there? A few days later, that's what it is! Also known as Belladonna lilies.

Back to the back. You'll recognize Moda Grunge in a beautiful soft turquoise. It's a wide back, (yes!) available from Connecting Threads. (affiliate link) They have a terrific selection of wide backing fabrics, but sadly, this is gone, though I see it in burgundy, Christmas green and grey. I only bought a yard, or maybe only a half, can't recall, thinking I'd add it to my stash. However. I knew it would be perfect for this quilt, and although, hahaha, I had to piece a wide back (oh the irony), I did have the opportunity to use up this gorgeous Northcott ancient I mean vintage fabric that I just adore. I used it in my first kaleidoscope quilt when I took the class from Paula Nadelstern's protégé, Deb Tilley.

You may notice some largish circles quilted on the quilt. Two of the medium pluses got those. One was simply following the motif in the fabric, and the other I just marked 1" diameter with a Hera marker, and freehanded them. I actually ignored, didn't even stitch in the ditch(!) the mini pluses, just quilting the background motif right across them. I like that it adds to the subtlety of them.

I used that same fabric to bind the quilt because I liked the stripe effect, as well as the fact that it brought it from the centre of the quilt
I followed the rope lines just to make it stand out from the super-large plus

 through the mini-pluses that circle the other pluses, it's a soft shade, it works with the backing.

When I perched the quilt the above photo, I noticed the stack of leftover fabric on my cutting table, one of which I never did use, the beige rope design, and so I arranged it a bit better to show them all. I only have about 15" by 2.25" left of the turquoise rope fabric! And yes, the selvages are upside down but you get the drift (ha!).

Once I had set upon using the Grunge as the backing, I decided to make some new pillow cases, aka shams, for our bed with the large motif fabric.

Here is one of them. I love how they turned out. And oh, that wicker chair? Beloved wicker chairs, 23 years old now... that was one of the reasons I didn't get much quilting done. I painted them. Took me a few days. They were a ton of work!

Here's a before, well, in-process pic actually:

Ten years ago, MacGyver had the bright (not so bright, grr) idea to paint them chocolate brown to match our patio chairs and table. I reluctantly agreed, and he powerwashed them both to remove as much of the original white paint as possible. He painted one, and the little table you see there. I was not happy, actually was pretty upset, and made him stop before he did the other. Well, I finally tackled them, and have them in my 'nook' part of my sewing room, which is the area where the front dormer is, my bookcase, my grandma's treadle, and a TV. It's a cosy area. I'll take a proper photo of it one of these days.

Funny, actually hilarious, story about the painting of them: I actually ended up spattering several of a large Norway maple tree's leaves with this, I found out later, expensive 'excellent coverage' paint, about 12 or more feet high up in the air. How in the world? Well, when I moved the in-progress chair you see in the first photo, out of the sun where I was literally dripping sweat painting, into a shady spot, I tripped. I was carrying the pail of paint and misjudged the height of the step up onto the deck, and wiped out. The paint SMACKED the decked and paint slurped up into the air in a fountain, sprinkling, confetti-like, all over a large area of the deck, and fountaining down like a whale spout onto.... me. Yup, all over the back of my head, my back, my legs. With it being 'good coverage' MacGyver flew down the upper deck stairs, grabbed the hose, and I am saying, "Ow!" and "I'm sorry!" because the deck is NOT white, but pressure-treated (expensive!!) wood, and thinking he's going to spray it quick, but no, he turns the hose on ME! I had not realized it was all in my hair... at first the water was hot because the hose was sun-baked, but then it was COLD, and so I'm feeling ow ow, my knee and shin and foot, and ow, ow, EEEK! it's so COLD on my head and neck despite the temperature being 31C and humid as a steamroom... 

When I went into the shower after he'd got the worst off me, I couldn't stop giggling... When he showed me the leaves in the tree the next day, I had a fit laughing.  Still makes me chuckle typing this as to what I must've looked like.

My dad, and his dad before him, had some pretty spectacular falls... in public... so I am glad that this one was in our back yard, and I hope I do not carry on that tradition!

This is one of my PHD (Projects Half Done) quilts, though this falls under the USO (Un-Started Object) on my list! I'm doing dismally this year, with only three UFOs finished so far. 

All right, the sun is shining, the pool is calling, so I'll end this post here!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Pretty in Pluses
Size: 57" x 69"
Fabric: Drift by Angela Walters for Art Gallery Fabrics
Backing: Moda Grunge wide backing
Batting: Warm and Natural white
Quilted: on Avril: 133 121 stitches
Threads: pieced with Gütermann cotton; quilted with Superior So Fine polyester


  1. Love the quilt and it's story. Now that chair/paint saga is funny, though I do hope you are OK & realise we must have similar tastes. I've some very old cane chairs & table I purchased while still working in the bank, so must be at least 20+ years old & have thought about painting them white to liven them up, so may tackle mine in Spring. Take care & hugs.

  2. Glad you are okay and the chair looks lovely. Thanks for sharing the funny story.

  3. Love, love the quilt and the quilting! I hope you're okay...but I'm still chuckling sorry. I've done some pretty silly things myself and it's nice to know I'm not the only one.

  4. The quilt is so pretty and so you! Your sea glass bowls immediately came to mind when I saw the quilt. I'm still chuckling as a visualize the tripping and paint spray; glad you weren't terribly hurt, though!

  5. Beautiful quilt and great quilting! I am glad you didn't break anything during your fall. I too love wicker chairs, do I own one-nope!

  6. I'm so glad you took that time to be with Brady. And I feel you on no finishes for a while. I'm itching to get back to my sewing machine, but it's still going to be a while. The quilting is stunning, and I giggled when you said you had a simple all over plan. This quilt definitely let you know what it really needed, as they are wont to do. And oh my goodness, our cat Puppy ran through a paint try when he was just over a year old... his belly was coated and he got on top of the soft and piano along with splashing the tray paint all over the kitchen (where it was on top of a counter)... I still giggle thinking about holding him upside down in a cradle and running him back and forth under the tub faucet. Thanks for reminding me of that funny memory!

  7. I adore this quilt and the quilting you did. ROFL at that story of you painting the tree and yourself! I really love this.

  8. Love your Pretty In Pluses quilt, Sandra!!! Great job freehanding Swells pantograph!!! I love how it looks on the background of your quilt!

  9. Such a beautiful and quilt. The fabric, the pattern and the quilting all go together to make this a keeper. How do you ever remember where all your fabric came from? I admire that memory. And the paint fiasco. I was thinking, ow, ow, ow!! and then the water. McGiver is really a wonder and his priorities are so right first! Love those pillow cases. Need to make some new ones for my bed as I've discovered some holes in the last pair!

  10. Sandra this post had me laughing out loud thinking of poor you falling and then getting sprayed! What a shock that must have been when you were just trying to be your usual creative self; finishing your sweet chairs! I do love your new quilt finish. The quilting is perfect and how brave of you to try to mimic a panto. I don't think you need pantos. Just show you one and you can copy it. I snorted when I read you were going to do a simple all over pattern! we know you better!

  11. Gorgeous! Anne-Marie @ Stories from the Sewing Room

  12. How lucky you are that the only damage was paint in your hair, the tree and spatters on the deck (did MacGyver get them out in time?). You could have been seriously hurt. The quilting on your plus quilt is perfect and I love that color grunge you used on the back. Now that you're back on track, I expect we'll see lots of new projects rolling off Avril.

  13. Sandra, i'm so glad you're back, i hadn't seen any posts from you for awhile and i missed hearing from you. elcome back!

  14. Having spent ages comparing the wrong two photos I finally found the mis-match. Like you I would have had to rip it because it would have driven me mad. Love the quilting and the story about the paint; glad you weren't hurt with your fall. Glad Bella or Rufus weren't involved. Reminds me of when my husband and I went for a cycle ride many years ago and he told me not to fall off into the stinging nettles - of course what did I do but fall off. Worst bit was it the ground sloped down and I couldn't get up, and got a fit of the giggles which just made it all worse. We cycled to the local village and I bought camomile lotion and cotton wool and covered myself in it but it was uncomfortable for days.

  15. This is a great quilt - the fabrics look so cool and beachy!! Thanks for linking up to Finished ( or not) Friday!!! Glad to have you!!!

  16. Such a pretty quilt. I love the colors.

  17. Love the quilt, of course, and the chair looks great, but that story! How fun.

  18. A really lovely quilt Sandra. I enjoy the details you share as you talk about the quilts you make, including the quilting details. OH dear with the paint! I thought fountains of paint, as you describe, only happened in movies. Lucky that MacGyvor was there to hose you down!

  19. I love so much about this finish of yours, from the smart placement of those oversize motifs to the adventurous quilting. Between the cool colors of Drift and the wavy quilting, this makes me think of the ocean. : )