Tag Archives: i spy quilt


Correction from a previous post in which I said that the finished postage stamp quilt would have 4,791 pieces.  In fact, it’s ‘only’ 4,761!  And, it’s all done!  This quilt has been in the works since last Christmas and has been a fun thing to pick up and work at in between other projects.

There are 16 blocks of 16 x 16, or 256 1″ squares.  The pieces were drawn randomly from a large bin.  If I grabbed two that were the same I swapped one out, but otherwise there is no pattern.  I joined the pieces in twos, then made those twos into fours.  Next, I took four of the fours and made them into a block.  These blocks were trimmed to 4 1/2″ square.  Usually I set out to make eight of these squares in one setting.  When I had 16 of them I made them into the 16 x 16 block.

The iron was busy throughout; there are so many seams!  It took some experimenting to find the best pressing pattern.  For instance, all of the four piece strips are pressed to one side and then they nest well when joined.  In places where there is a lot of bulk the seams are pressed open.  Here’s a photo of a section of the back of the quilt.  It looks crazy, but there was a method!img_2894

The sashing is more of the 1″ pieces, all cream with text.  Once the sashing was on I felt that it needed a border so added a narrow strip of Moda Grunge in grey.  This quilt has enough going on, on the feature side, that I felt the back should be pretty calm.  At The Red Barn in Courtenay I found an extra-wide black fabric that has the names of colours written in white.  As it was extra-wide I didn’t need to piece it and I thought the colour names fit perfectly.

I used Superior King Tut thread, in gold, red, orange and grey for the quilting and did a series of wavy lines that run from side to side over the small pieces.  The border is quilted separately with five narrow lines, using the same thread colours.  The binding is a black cotton with white dots of various sizes.  It was attached by machine and finished by hand.  The label went on and then the quilt went through the washer and dryer.  I’ve been using Forever New detergent for my quilts and love the way it makes them feel and smell.

This was a very fun project and I’m thrilled with the end result.  It’s just a riot of colour!  Here are front and back pictures of 4761.  Click on the picture to enlarge.



Thanks, as always, for reading!


The Girlfriend Quilt – Part Two

On January 11 I wrote a post called  The Girlfriend Quilt, which describes a project that I undertook with my two oldest, longest-running gal pals.  Today’s post is about another long-term friend and I’m writing it today in honour of her recent achievement – the successful defense of her Masters’ thesis and the completion of her MA at UBC.

Spring and I met in the fall of 1975, in a first year French Language class at UVic.  We hit it off immediately and a wonderful friendship was born.  We swam and lifeguarded together.  We shared all kinds of adventures, some serious but most were pretty goofy.  Our lives took different directions for several years; fortunately we reconnected in Vancouver in 1997.

Spring’s list of accomplishments is long; take a moment to get to know her by clicking on this link: about Spring. I’ve added Spring’s blog, Compost Diaries, to my list of ‘Great Reads’ on the right side of the blog.

I wanted to make something special for Spring, to recognize both her achievement and our friendship.  What better way than to bring out the Girlfriend Quilt pattern, it’s such fun!  I chose cream for the background as I felt it was pretty safe and it seems to set off the many colours in the squares.  Then I went in search of fabric that had significance – things that Spring likes, or things that we’ve done together.  I found coffee, chocolate, cheese, French words, shoes, whales and bicycles. My favourite was one that I ordered from Spoonflower Fabrics.  It’s a woman in a bathing cap and goggles, doing breaststroke in a pool.  Perfect for all of our swimming memories. The quilt backing is white, with flecks of teal, tan, green and dark brown.  The binding is dark brown and the quilting is simple diagonal lines, about 2″ apart.

It was a pleasure to make this quilt and surprise Spring with it in November, 2014.  She seemed to love it, and I hope you do too!