Saturday, November 18, 2023

X’s and O’s For A

How's that for a cool title! Also I hope I didn’t give you an earworm…great song by that same name, Ex’s and Oh’s” by Elle King (great artist btw).

This is a remake of a quilt I made in 2019 for Island Batik when I was an ambassador. I wrote out the pattern by hand (does anyone else find handwriting to be quite a chore these days?) And then typed it out as I made this one. Yes it’s going to be released in early December. Can’t wait until you see what the testers are doing and have done!

This new version is going to my great-niece, formerly known as Baby Girl, known in the title as A, but once I finished writing this post, with permission from her papa, I can tell you her full name is Abigail. Of course I would make her a quilt for her birth in October, and of course I was hoping I could make it with lots of pink. When my sister-in-law sent me a photo of her room-in-waiting, I was over the moon: loads of pink with a soft green lamp and some hits of grey! Off I went to my stash and pulled fabrics to remake this quilt which I’ve wanted to do for some time. 

Outside of first handwriting directions, and then typing and sewing together, but not simultaneously, lol, it went together in a flash. While I was on my ‘inaugural speaking tour’, I visited No 1 Sewing Centre in Campbellford, Ontario, which is where I was so happy to find the Maywood Studios Woolies flannel.

I’ve heard a fair bit about this lovely, soft fabric, but have never had the occasion to buy any. Well, it is every bit as good as the hype!

I quilted it with my fat flower and swirls and leaves all over meander. Because there is a lot of white space in this baby quilt, I knew I wanted to give her some special quilting, so I did gently flowing vine of feathers down one side. The Sulky rayon I used to quilt it has a lovely sheen to the thread which, sadly, doesn't show in the photos.

Yes, the feathers are vertical down the quilt, and, since April only has 15 inches of quiltable space, it meant starting and stopping the vine.

The afternoon the sun was at the perfect angle here too show the feathers

It really is a simple affair to start and stop feathers, tricks I learned from Angela Walters: start in the centre where you left off, quilting a gentle undulating line, follow that line back, build the feathers which are Kathleen Riggins’ double feathers style. I was even able to flow out of the centre and continue on with the meandering without breaking thread.

I quilted her name in the quilt as well as my initials. You can see them, backwards, under the label in the second photo. I bound it with the medium pink, and I am happy to say I used every last bit of it. My motto has been for the past few years, “Use it and use it up.”
Notice some extra curly feathers here and there. I love doing that.

You may recall the two rainbow quilts I sent to my great-nephews; this little princess is their new baby sister, so now all three have a quilt I made them.

Ever since I took a jersey knits class way back in 1986, the year of Brianne’s birth, I have chain-pieced wherever possible. The makeup bag below, à la Postcard from Sweden style, is what just happened as a leader/ender project while making the baby quilt.

It is listed in my Etsy shop here. Don’t delay if you'd like it, because these never last long. I do have a second one underway, the current leader/ender project. 

I’m also now busy working on a Christmas Tree Farm quilt, Dayna’s request, which is on my #wipsbgone list. The forest is complete.

Also on the #wipsbgone list and now finished is the rainbow gingham quilt but that’s for another post. So yes, I've been pretty busy, but it helps to make pretty things, especially when they're gifts to brighten someone else's day, during this very dark time, that shockingly just keeps getting darker, (al Shifa hospital evacuated with one hour's notice, a UN school bombed both today) and most shockingly that so many people, even liberal-minded ones, are okay with this genocide and incomprehensible, ineffable horrors being inflicted on innocent people, most of whom are women, children, the elderly, medical staff and journalists.

One of the things we can do when we feel so helpless, is help to promote Palestinian artists and voices. Where are all the quilters who did this for Ukraine? Here is one artist who I've started to follow, @faressol2, with a beautiful voice and such love for his country. Read a few of his posts and get to know this incredible human, who writes at the beginning of this beautiful song below, "This track was written and recorded amid the crossfires and under the bombardment of Gaza, Palestine." Click the image to listen.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: (coming soon) Sunset Strip - SandraJaneQuilts
Size: 38.5" x 44.5"
Fabric: mostly Benartex Designer Fabrics; white is Kona white by Robert Kaufman
Batting: Pellon 100% polyester low loft
Backing: Maywood Studios Woolies flannel
Quilted: on Avril: 51 362 stitches
Threads: pieced with Aurifil and Gütermann cotton; quilted with Sulky rayon


  1. Pretty quilt! I love the quilting and all the lovely texture.

  2. The baby quilt is absolutely gorgeous! Your tree farm is looking good too.

  3. I feel like I've watched your quilting evolve and blossom over the years. The detail quilting work on this one is exquisite.

  4. Such a lovely quilt, and the name... it had me line dancing! Yep, I'm in a weekly line dance class that dances to X's and Oh's, among hundreds of other songs we dance too. Great exercise, for an hour 40 minutes every Tuesday morning. That flannel must make the quilt really cuddly. I admire your work, and the way you use your longarm. Your pine trees look like they're headed toward a Christmas finish. I certainly sympathize with what's happening in Israel. I was supposed to visit the Holyland in January, so I've been crushed about my trip too. So much strife in the world is difficult to fathom.

  5. Oh, Abigail's quilt is just gorgeous. I've wondered about the flannel for a long time and now I suppose I'll have to try it. Love your quilting which is certainly very "girlish" and should be well received. Looking forward to this pattern release. And the pine forest is beautiful. Dayna should be very pleased. Hope your list is getting shorter because you have been turning out quilts this year like crazy!!

  6. Hi Sandra! Look at that beautiful quilt! And another pattern release?! Look at you go. Fly, my friend. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  7. I love this...and it would have worked for the new baby I just made one for! I love the bag and the Christmas tree quilt! You have been busy.

  8. A gorgeous quilt for Abigail; I love how you have quilted it too - thank you for introducing me to Kathleen Riggins. It looks like I have plenty to explore (and learn) on her site. You are certainly busy catching up on all your sewing/quilting at the moment, and I agree it's good (imperative) to have something creative to do while worrying about events in the world.

  9. Stunning quilting, Sandra. I look forward to seeing what all the testers do with the fun design. :)

  10. X's and O's is great - your quilting looks so cool in all that open space!

  11. Hi Sandra, what a beautiful quilt for Abigail! I love the quilting. Thanks so much for linking up to Free Motion Mavericks.


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