Tag Archives: postage stamp 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!


A Summer For The Books

Here we are, three days into September.  It’s cooler out and dark at 6 AM; almost like someone flipped a switch to turn summer off.  Fall officially starts on Thursday, September 22 at 7:21 AM PDT.  But, in so many ways, I’ve mentally made the jump and I’ll look back at summer 2016 with fond memories.

We hung out with family and friends.  We made short trips to Victoria, Penticton and Calgary   and enjoyed three wonderful months on Denman Island.  Old chores that have been put off for too long got tackled and I finished several projects that had been starting to weigh on my mind.

Our home on Denman Island is built on a piece of property that was once rented to a stained glass artist.  For some reason, and I honestly can’t think what it would be, he disposed of piles of leftover glass bits in the yard.  When it came time for us to build, we unearthed this glass and I gathered up a small box full.  I’ve saved it for 8+ years, wanting to use if for something.  I found the perfect table for my project at a garage sale in Victoria for $4.  I painted the table, using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. https://www.anniesloan.com  Then, using mosaic glue, I stuck the glass bits to the table top.  Blake took over with the grouting, making a nice flat surface.  It’s been sealed and is good to be used indoors or outdoors.  Here are before and after shots.

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Two years ago our neighbours sold their home on Denman Island.  The new owner inherited three metal fish and was going to send them to the trash.  I asked if we could rescue them and she was thrilled.  Again, using the Annie Sloan paint, I fixed them up and have attached them to a retaining wall.  They don’t all fit into one picture, but here’s an idea.

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Other victories include finishing a pair of socks, a scarf and a rag rug, (6 years later!).  The postage stamp quilt that I’ve been working on since January has been quilted and I’ve just started to hand sew the binding.

Yesterday I competed in a sprint distance triathlon as part of the Americas Masters Games.  A sprint triathlon comprises a 750 metre swim (ocean), a 20 km bike and a 5 km run.  It’s been more than four years since I’ve raced and I was both nervous and excited.   The night before, the weather was terrible with torrential rain and high wind.  Swimming and running in bad weather don’t bother me at all, but cycling is another story.  Thankfully, conditions during the race were ok and I was pretty happy with my finishing time.  (I missed the podium by 10 seconds and have replayed that many times as it was firmly in my grasp.  I’ll have to work on my killer instinct!!)  I realized how much I enjoy triathlon and the challenge and variety of training for three sports.  Such fun and a perfect way to cap off the summer.

Today I’m feeling a bit lost.  We’ve settled back into city life, my projects are all done, the big Modern Quilt Showcase is over and I’ve completed the race that I’ve been training for all summer.  It’s a good time to sit back and take stock of what I’d like to work on and achieve in the next few months.

I hope your summer memories are special and I wish you a pleasant Labour Day Weekend, wherever you are!

Until next time, thanks for reading.


July Bits and Pieces

Hello!  I hope you all had a wonderful long weekend and had a chance to celebrate our amazing country.  We took in some local events; including a dinner at the pub, an awesome Saturday market and a pancake breakfast at the fire hall.

The weather that we’re having is great for sewing.  It’s grey, cool, sometimes drizzly and generally not what we’re used to for July.  My typical plan is to do chores/workout in the morning and then hit the sewing machine in the afternoon.  Having this kind of schedule helps me to see progress. I love having that ‘carrot on the stick’; it makes getting the chores done so much easier.

I’ve got a few things on the go right now.  The big push is on to get my Postage Stamp quilt finished this summer.  It’s been a fun project to pick up and work on in bits.  Now it’s at the stage where I can visualize the end and I’m keen to get it done.  In this post – A Grand Day, – I have a picture of one block from this quilt.  Each block has 256 pieces and there are  16 blocks, so the  completed quilt will have 4,700+ pieces.

Usually, one makes all of the blocks of a quilt before starting to put them together.  I’ve gotten a bit impatient with this one and jumped the gun.  Sashing is the fabric that separates the blocks.  My choice for sashing is more 1″ square pieces, but all using different text fabrics.  Here’s a picture of four blocks with their sashing.


(We’re replacing a window and I love the scaffolding for hanging quilts!)  I’ve sashed 12 blocks and have four more blocks to make/sash vertically.  Then the same sashing, horizontal, will go on and I’ll be ready to get it all assembled.  Moving ahead like this has revived my interest in the Postage Stamp quilt.

I’m also getting things ready for the Denman Island Studio Tour, which will be on August 6 and 7.  This year the Denman Quilters will have a demo area and I volunteered to take that on.  I’ve chosen a small trivet in a Log Cabin with Labyrinth pattern that I saw on She Can Quilt.  I’ll have a completed trivet as well as the trivet in various stages of construction so that people will be able to see the various steps involved.

And, nearly finished, is a quilt that I started nearly a year ago, after listening to a Webinar on using a  wedge-shaped ruler.  I’m just hand stitching the binding on, then it’s into the washer and dryer to be cleaned up and made to look ‘quilty’. This one has me quite excited and I’ll show you a picture next time.  Until then, think Christmas candy!

All for now, time to go after that carrot on a stick.

Thanks for reading.

A Grand Day



Last night we had our final big meal of the holiday season – a beautiful standing rib roast with Yorkshire Puddings and all the trimmings.  That meant today’s slate was free.  I could do whatever I wanted, or I could choose to do nothing at all.  The latter isn’t my style so I mixed it up a bit.

I went for a lovely run alongside the ocean, early enough that I saw only two cars.  It was just 6km and maybe cancelled out 1/2 of a Yorkshire Pudding.  I spent some time on the cryptic crossword and made good progress.

Then I hit my sewing room for an hour or two of stitching while our son hung a quilt rack on the wall.  I’m working on a Postage Stamp Quilt, made entirely of 1 inch squares.  The first 16 square inch block is now complete.  It’s a perfect project to pick up whenever I feel like sewing, but don’t want to tackle something intricate or complicated.

Now it’s getting dark and it’s time to turn on the Christmas lights for the final time this season.  Onwards to new adventures in 2016.