Thursday, February 2, 2023

Project Quilting 14.3 54-40 or Fight

I liked this third challenge, and, true to form this year (so weird), I knew right away that I would make the block fairly large, maybe even just one giant one, to make a baby quilt. I've called it 'Las Flores' thanks to the name of the green floral.

Thanks to Trish @quiltchicken for dreaming up the challenges, and to Kim of for hosting and organizing etc. This has been such a good jumpstart to my creativity each year!

I found the history of the name of this quilt block fascinating, (check the post to learn about it) but I went one step further, especially with the recent lunatic ravings from certain American quarters about invading Canada - smh, to see just exactly where this 54N latitude line is.

Whoa! Try Prince Rupert in BC(!) which is slightly further north than Edmonton, Alberta, which is 53N; that's the southern half of the entire province! One degree of latitude is 111 km/70 miles, so you can do the math as to how vast this takeover would have been. The bottom line of Kim's white textbox, right about under the P in her last name, in the graphic above is approximately where Prince Rupert is in the pink that is Canada. Just to clarify: that map makes us look like one big blob (because they didn't colour-code our provinces and territories), and smaller than the US, both of which are false. We have a larger land mass by 1.6% than the US, and we have ten provinces and three territories. Getting off my mini-lectern now...

Every one of the four years I've participated, from 2020 PQ Season 11 to this year, I make a full quilt during the challenge, either a baby or throw size.
2020 PQ 11.3 'Smooches' - donated to the Windsor Sexual Assault Centre

PQ 12.4 Mr. Whiskers - For Sale
PS Look below for the link to my post and the link to Patti Carey's free pattern to make a full-size quilt 

PQ 13.2 Mining for Diamonds - For Sale

Because I inserted the photos using their URL, here are the links to the post, patterns, and/or my shop:

Mr. Whiskers post (the link to the free pattern, an original by Patti Carey) is in the post) and Listing in my Etsy shop.

Mining for Diamonds post and Listing in my Etsy shop.

Back to this year's challenge: I opened up EQ8 and resized the block from 6" to 18". I liked how EQ had two background colours in the original block. Since the floral had white and cream within it, I went with those two, popped in similar colours to the deep purple and berry colours I'd pulled, and found a similar floral to pop in for the stars.

Incidentally, this is one of the blocks in my Rainbow Neighbourhood new pattern, the one on the orange house! I like the strong diagonal movement. I started with four blocks but wanted it a bit bigger, so added 1" sashing and 2" borders to bring it to 41" square. Then I hit 'Rotate' on alternate blocks in quilt layout. Yes! The strong diagonal movement grew up, and I had a flimsy.

I used my Wonder Triangles by Marti Michell to strip cut the triangles needed for the star. I love these, and thank goodness that the largest size on them yields the 6" finished patch I needed. You cut off the little points so that when you piece the floral triangle onto the white base triangle, lining up is a breeze. No cut off points!

I did not see this error until I was chain-sewing the next three blocks! Interestingly no one pointed it out on Instagram which means a) people were being polite or b) people didn’t notice because their brains fixed the symmetry, something that actually does happen!

I made an attempt at a second reel for my Instagram feed using some of the above photos, which got more notice than I’d bargained for: I went into our library that afternoon to pick up a hold, and Elaine, the librarian and also a quilter, said she saw my nifty spinning of block patches video on my Instagram! Anyhow, a two-minute chat of all things quilts, and I'm once again invited to be the quilt artist featured at the library this coming September, which will coincide with the publication of one of my quilt designs! The library subscribes to the magazine, in digital format, so this is perfect timing. 

I pulled out a beautiful backing fabric from the Vault of Happiness, one from a few years ago in the sale section of Alma Sue’s Quilt Shop in Sarasota, just enough with a few inches to spare, cut some Warm and Natural off the bolt, and loaded it onto Avril. I did a favourite all-over meander of fat flowers, leaves and loops. I was worried we might not have sun today so I took this quick photo yesterday in the setting sun of the quilt squared up, but no binding on.

Yesterday was a bit of a topsy-turvy day: in the morning I had to rush Bella into our vet for emergency sedation to lance an abscess on her anal gland, poor girl. She is recovering nicely, much better today, though sleeping a lot. I guess they're incredibly painful, and they don't want them to burst on their own, as the pus can invade tissues and cause all kinds of other problems; hence the quick surgery. No stitches, but ten days of antibiotics and a follow-up next Wednesday. I knew something wasn't right for the past few days, as she wasn't her usual perky personality, and hadn't been eating unless I hand fed her (something I do do from time to time).

Anyhow, binding got decided upon (half an hour plus of hemming and hawing). I originally thought I'd use the dark purple, but when I looked in my drawers of under 1/2 yard cuts, just to see, I spied this magenta fabric, 'Antique Crackle' and thought it might be just the ticket, not too dark, tones in with the berry-pink in the quilt (all gone now but for a couple of rectangles), has a bit of bling to it, and ties in perfectly with the backing. Yet it wasn't anywhere in the quilt; hence the hesitation. However, I listened to my gut, and my gut was right!

The photo above shows the quilting as well as the depth in the dark purple fabric that has bits of fuchsia and green. It's a gorgeous fabric, one I have in forest green with hits of reds and deep blues. The green floral is such a pretty fabric, another one I snagged in a sale as a quilt starter or a baby quilt back. 

Here is the back! (Guess what?! It's also on the back of 'Smooches'!

You can see the ditch stitching I did: outlining the stars, and around each block, and between the sashing and borders. Helps to square the quilt, as well as just define it. I do like how your eye notices the strong diagonals, and then the stars float in.

Now to wash it and list it. Someone said I needed some more baby quilts in my shop so this makes eight! If you're seriously interested in this one, shoot me an email and I can give you a discount since I will save on the Etsy fees.😉 This size also is a great 'take to yoga class' quilt. I use them each class to sit my sit bones on, and if someone has forgotten to turn up the heat, well then on my legs!

One last fun fact: I've pulled a green Kona, a different pink, and a gorgeous berry-purple to make a spring tote bag using these fabrics. And yes, I have even more fabric pulls from before I settled on this one, now for some 'more time in the day' pulls...!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: 54-40 or Fight block; setting is my own, done in EQ8
Size: 41" x 41"
Fabric: floral: 'Costa de Las Flores' by Sasha K Studio for EVVI Fabrics, pink: 'Intersections' by P&B Textiles, deep purple: 'Texture Scapes' by SSI Imports; white is unknown; cream: Ann Bruske for David Textiles
Batting: Warm and Natural 100% cotton
Backing: 'Billet-Doux' by Verna Mosquera for Free Spirit
Quilted: on Avril: 46 848 stitches
Threads: pieced with Aurifil; quilted with Essential 50 wt; The Bottom Line in the bobbin

Linking up


  1. The dark purple fabric is really fabulous; I'm so glad you got a good photo of it. I love that you've known right away what you are going to do so far for every prompt this season. This week's took me more time to think about, but I'm definitely enjoying joining in. Oh, and I hope that Bella feels much better soon!

  2. You picked a fun color palette for this project. I love EQ for figuring out designs, expect when I can't settle on one. Congrats on very cool finish.

  3. I like how the blocks go all around in a "circle". Your quilting is lovely.

  4. Great how the four blocks together make a secondary pattern! Nice FMQ!!!

  5. This is so pretty! I love how you took that block and made it work through color and fabric choices. And hurray for huge blocks doing the work!

  6. Your quilt is great! It's very pretty!

  7. A beautiful quilt and the quilting is just lovely. I enjoyed looking at the three years past full size quilts again. Somehow you know the right fabrics to choose and as you say, you do work well under pressure. Congrats on the finish! And the update on Bella answered my question as to where she has been. Hope she feels better soon.

  8. Hi Sandra! Nice job both on the quilt and the challenge. I think it's amazing that you can get a quilt top made, quilted, and bound all after hearing the prompt. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  9. Well done & I so like challenges even when they are my own to spur me on. I need a good push this year, but funny about enlarging a block to super size, as I've done that too lately on my Quilt Wizard program & thought maybe a bit silly. Got me thinking now, though first up is a baby quilt for a car club member's first grandchild. Thanks for sharing the story & lovely pics. Take care & hugs.

  10. Cool! I like the colors and the quilting. Looks pretty wild!

  11. That is truly a beautiful quilt. Quite a large quilt to finish in such a short time.

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  13. Hi Sandra, what a great quilt! Those are really gorgeous fabrics and I love the quilting. Thanks for putting the 54-40 into perspective. I'm sure happy that they were able to negotiate that down! Thanks for linking up to Free Motion Mavericks and all the best to Bella!

  14. Thank you for telling us about the map distortions. We take for granted what we see and there are many ways for maps to present a view of a place. Now, your quilt is perfect and stunning. Love the fabrics you choose and the quilting you did. Congrats on another great finish for PQ!