Monday, March 20, 2023

Wild and Wonderful SAHRR Quilt

It's been some time since I wrote a post; I really didn't intend to take more than three weeks off blogging. Hope you check in on me on Instagram because I do post fairly regularly there. If you don't, I'll catch you up with Rounds 5 and 6 for the SAHRR, as well as what I was up to during one of the weeks:
Looks fake doesn’t it, but I assure you it is real, taken with my iPhone, and not photoshopped or colour enhanced.

Ahh, as on our previous two trips to the idyllic island of Cuba, I found several sources of inspiration for colour and design. It felt good to do something normal as well, though I did and will always wear an N95 mask on an airplane. All was well, and we've returned healthy and didn't catch anything, but that is thanks to masking on the airplane and in close quarters in the airports, as well as lots of outdoor time, even eating en plein air, which I love any day!

So Round 5 was square in a square. In keeping with the uneven, little bit whacky, nature of this quilt, I placed two as cornerstones and the other two off-centre. Some of their placement was due to the length of fabric that I had! I also wanted to make a 'calming' round here too after the crazy geese, so it was mainly large rectangles of fabric.

It’s worth mentioning the method I used to make the square in a square or SiaS. It's pretty slick. You use a freezer paper template against which you sew. 

She gives you a chart so you don’t even have to figure out the size of that centre square or the squares to be cut in half to make the corner triangles. Click The Crafty Quilter to check this out. 

The sixth and final round was pinwheels. I got to work shortly after we got home.

I knew right away that I would use some of the bajillion HSTs I’ve saved over the years, but when I came upon this baggie of green and blue and brown HSTs already RST due to having been cut away from the footballs on Brady’s Touchdown! quilt, 80 pairs of the puppies to be exact, I was thrilled. They squared up to 3.5” unfinished, perfect. Also perfect is the wool pressing mat from Prairie Spirit Alpacas. They lie so flat! I love spinning the seams to help with flatness and I get a wee chargeboit of the teeny pinwheels thus formed.

Again I knew I’d scatter the 20 pinwheels I got from the 80 HSTs around the quilt and so I started playing on the design wall.
This was the aha! moment: that lonely little pinwheel on the right side of the quilt in the middle. I 'saw' a flower, and it hit me that I could make a mini to echo the coneflower in the original starting block!
I sketched the basic finished size and shape of the stem, and then found some leftovers (yay for scraps!) in my turquoise scrap box that would work for the flower 'sky'.

Unfortunately, in my zeal, I didn't think through this slash and insert method, so I had to reverse-sew half of each side of the centre stem, then proceed with slash and insert the side stems and re-sew the lower stem. I added another square of turquoise sky for the appliqué to perch upon but I knew I wanted it to be overtop of the previous round, as if it had been planned all along!

The Kaffe Fassett in the corners was originally an idea for filling in around the pinwheels, but there wasn't enough; hence it because the four corners. Left over from the last quilt I made for my mum, it's perfect: brown round pebbles on a purple background.

Slowly coming together. The berry and purple plaids were auditions for fillers. The berry made it; the purple and gold plaid did not. Making the flower threw off my nicely-spaced pinwheels, but hey, it's a wonky zany quilt, so no way was I not using all 20. Two went in the side opposite the mini coneflower.

Due to using mainly scraps from my scraps boxes, I had to improvise a little with the burgundy and berry purples around the pinwheels. Does it ever feel good to have completely used up so many fabrics! Here is the mini coneflower done and appliquéd down with Crafted Appliqué method, and the quilt, now 50" x 54" was complete!

I used up the metre I had of a Jinny Beyer (gasp! the old me would've 'saved' it, but the recent me is seeing my fabric and my age, which is a young vibrant 62 thank you very much, but still, I'm USING these fabrics, even expensive ones, in donation quilts) This RJR Fabrics piece was bought with kaleidoscopes in mind but those are incredibly time-consuming and don't make good use of fabric tbh, which is arguable, because they really do when you see the finished products! However, I'm not as likely to make 50 kaleidoscopes. I have one to finish, and I've made four or is it five, hmm. All good. I had to add some fabric to the top and bottom to make it big enough, and yep, you guessed it, two more chunks, one of which is the Debbie Mumm burgundy used in the final border, are all virtually gone. What little bits remain I've cut into 2.5" or 4" or whatever squares and/or strips I could get.

Hot off the quilting frame: (deadline imminent)

Flowing lines ended up in the centre (inside the blue/black frame) and then I knew I needed to echo the coneflower and outline inside it as well as ditch stitch it. Despite doing an all-over meander over the bulk of the quilt, I still ditch-stitched every round to help it lie flat and straight. I used many scraps of Hobbs wool batting. I like to whipstitch them together as I jigsaw puzzle them on the already-loaded quilt back.

We had some lovely evening sunshine on Saturday evening for a quick photo in the crazy winds, so as soon as it was bound, (which was a bit of a pain because my beloved Bernina was out of commission), out I went. She bravely, with my help on the hand wheel from time to time, 😬 made it through the binding of the magazine quilt, but I wasn't going to put her through one stitch more. I used Billie, my 1947 Featherweight (I have a 1951 as well, named Tillie) to piece the magazine quilt as well as the final rounds of the SAHRR. The Bernina has gone for a much-needed, long-overdue spa treatment. No walking foot on Billie, but she did her best, and although I used a TON of pins, she still had to listen to a few many curse words. I was worried it might be a bit wavy, and it does appear that way on the grass, but wait...

Here's the back in the sunshine. I've put this extra one in because the quilting, and that narrow frame (!) shows up so nicely. Isn't the Jinny Beyer just the perfect colours for the backing for this quilt? I used these two photos for my Instagram post which I linked up for the final parade and to be in the drawing for the prizes!

Again I used up scraps for binding. I've had that fat quarter of Moda striped fabric for a few years, waiting for the right quilt. I used a bit of it in a spool, knowing it would most likely be the binding because of the perfect green, cream, blue and brown. There's the last of one of the berry purples and some striped brown left over. All of it, all of it is now gone. Yes.

Here are a few detail shots of the quilting post-wash. I air dried it for ten minutes and it came out beautifully. These are all taken inside, but the morning was bright with sunshine so the colours, though slightly darker than the two I took outside, are pretty accurate. I quilted it with Essential cotton 'Tea Dyed', a wonderful soft wheat colour that blended well with all the warm colours. I did switch to a brown for quilting the centre coneflower.

A closer look at the different quilting in the centre. Ah, wool is so lovely for showing off texture! Also of note is that the hand-stitched on yoyo for the main coneflower went through the wash and air dry no problem! Phew!

My initials as usual. You can see a few places of wonky stitching as Billie’s foot slipped off the edge. You don’t realize how invaluable a walking foot is on binding until you don’t have one!

A close-up of 'Kitty and the Muse' yellow and green paisley

A close-up of the mini crazy coneflower

Bella doing her thang on a freshly-made/laundered new quilt. She's showing off her yoga-flexible spine here, with a 180+ degree twist.

Here’s one more of the back so you see it turned out pretty nice and flat and not wavy after all. I didn’t even block it, just laid it flat to dry overnight.

I'm not sure exactly to whom this will go, though I've intended it as a donation all along. Perhaps it will be my annual quilt donation to Windsor Sexual Assault Centre, with a child recipient stipulation as I always do. We shall see. It definitely will be a H2H quilt.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: my own design with prompts from the round robin leaders
Size: 50" x 54"
Fabric: scraps and stash
Batting: Hobbs 100% wool
Backing: RJR Fabrics yardage, Moda and SSI scraps
Quilted: on my Bernina
Threads: quilted on Avril 50 656 stitches, with Essential thread 21252 Tea Dyed and 21102 'Bark'; Superior TBL in the bobbin

This was my first time participating in Quilting Gail Gail's SAHRR, and I really enjoyed it. That link will take you to the post with the final parade of quilts - wow! The challenge to my creative and math brains was excellent. I'm looking forward to next year, and already thinking that I should do something with some of the other lonely blocks beforehand! Often these were test blocks, swap blocks, or, as in the coneflower one, an extra because of the way the quilt was constructed. You made 26 blocks but only needed 25 if I remember correctly. It also makes me think that I should make the one other Buggy Barn pattern I have which is cats. All the fabric is in a nice pile with the pattern... it is on my PHD list too!

I will be popping into your inbox a few times this week with the following posts:
1. Project Quilting 14.6 and Summary
2. Seventh Annual Quilt Along teaser
3. DrEAMi on Saturday

Linking up


  1. I love how this came together, Sandra, and though I saw it on Instagram I love reading about the thought process and how it all came together in a longer form blog post. Also - I definitely had a bit of island envy seeing your beautiful photos from your vacation. I look forward to seeing what the trip inspires for you. :)

  2. Fabulous,'s always good to read all the 'ins and outs' in a blogpost so thank you! So nice to hear you had a lovely time in Cuba.

  3. I too like to read the how's and why in a blogpost. This turned out lovely that added flower in the border great idea.

  4. Great quilt, Sandra! Beautiful vacay pic too! I enjoyed reading your process as well!

  5. Thanks for all of the information you provided. I will try that SIAS method. Whether it works for me will depend on my eyes.

    1. sorry, still behind on how to post with my name, it's Laura here.

  6. Great quilt Sandra, I love how it developed. I’ve never done a round robin but I can see the appeal.

  7. Hi Sandra! Each round brought more life to this piece but the final round with the pinwheels is just fab. And that mini crazy coneflower! OMG! It is truly the icing on the cake. I'm so glad you decided to play along this year! I think it will make for a wonderful donation quilt, especially for someone that just might need a little whimsy in their life. Plus, they'll be covered in your love and feel all the care and thought that went into making this special one-of-a-kind piece. Your vacay photo looks heavenly. So serene and peaceful. I hope you absorbed all of that goodness. I'm looking forward to your seventh annual QAL teaser. {{Hugs}} a bunch! ~smile~ Roseanne

  8. Beautiful. Love reading the thought process and having bits pointed out - I somehow managed to miss the mini coneflower on instagram :-( Looking forward to the annual QAL teaser :-)

  9. I laughed when you wrote that you were pushing up against the deadline. Some things never change. As I said on IG, I love all the creativity everyone puts into this challenge and all the wild creations that result with people doing their own thing. I'm on my way home from FL. I made it to the Sarasota Quilt Show, but didn't get to the shop you mentioned in an earlier post. Hope your Benina comes home soon. Mine needs a spa visit soon.

  10. I have figured out how to post with my name, so will use that from now on. I must say the water colour is lovely in Cuba.

  11. Hi Sandra:
    This little quilt has been so much fun, and I love the little Wonky Flower in the last row - it's sooo cute! I bet you have all but forgotten you were on holiday, but at least you missed all the snow, I think we got all of winter in that 3 week period. And we had snow with freezing rain on top twice - it took me 10 days to get the driveway cleared, a solid 4 inches of ice, both the dog and I were walking on the top - couldn't make so much as a dent. Welcome back, and a special pat for Bella, she looks so cuddly on top of the freshly washed masterpiece.

  12. I really love your quilt. The quilting really pulled it all together. Your creative process is so great to read about. I love that you are using some of those "special" fabrics you have saved FOREVER. I'm trying to do that now too. But you are further ahead than I. Congrats on that vacation on the beach. With the winter we had, I wish we could have joined you. (Ha, ha) And so happy to see a picture of Bella.

  13. I love it! That you had those pinwheels at the ready....hooray. I love the second coneflower in the border, just perfect. Cuba looks delightful....we are planning on Ireland in the fall...different kind of trip...but the masking is a good idea! Fun to see that great backing too and the adorable Bella.

  14. I absolutely love your quilt ! I need to loosen up, get a little whimsy into my life.

    If you are using up "saved" special fabrics at 62 I better get busy. I'm 87 and have way too much fabric to ever use it all. Guess It's time to use the ones I really love, and leave the rest to the local guild to use for donation quilts.

  15. Sandra your SAHRR is a beautiful finished quilt. It will be loved by whomever receives it!