Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The making of the True Blue Canadian quilt

I have been absent for awhile in posting on my blog but there has been a good reason for that. Every year, since 2015, during the summer months, I participated in the Row by Row. This year the name changed to Quilters Trek and, even though I knew I would be busy (baby twin grandsons born in the UK in March) sewing and quilting for grandchildren, I just had to participate again. The theme for this year was True Blue. Since Covid-19 was hampering the visiting of quilt shops, we were allowed to order kits online. I only purchased 3 that way and the rest, I just visited the shops - wearing my mask, of course and using hand sanitizer. My husband's idea was to purchase the kits and support the little local businesses and so, that's what I did. All together, I collected 10 kits - one from out of province. In years past, I would just get the free pattern and use up my stash. 

This year there was also a chance to collect tokens. Each kit was supposed to contain a provincial or state token. This was a 2" square of fabric. I was lucky to get a special Golden Token in a kit from Threads That Bind quilt shop in Maxwell, Ontario. You could take a selfie and upload the photo onto a special facebook site if you were lucky enough to get one.

This was the beginning of my idea for the layout. I hadn't gone to get the applique kit yet with the Amish/Mennonite row with the lone stars.

Here are the pieces being put together into some kind of order. Some of those blocks took a long time to put together with lots of seams.

Laying out the letters. They are four inches square and I got them from the Temecula Quilt Company. I had made an alphabet quilt for my grandson Teemu about five years ago and remembered the letters.

Just a little bit of measuring to make sure the other side coincides.

Auditioning background fabrics for the letters. I have a lot of blues in my stash.

Trying to figure out placement of the letters once I decided on the lighter blue as the background. In the end, my daughter suggested bringing down the letters 'True Blue' and leaving the upper part blank - to give the eye a rest. It worked out well because I was able to quilt some maple leaves in that area.

The final layout before putting it all on the frame. I used leftover cuttings for the blocks on the upper and lower left-hand corners.
I didn't think it needed another border.

On the frame and almost finished hand quilting. 

I have my quilt frame set up in the basement and I guess I forgot to use flash. Or perhaps the quilting wouldn't have shown up with the flash.

I just used a couple of different sized maple leaves that I had made cardboard templates out of years ago. They somehow turned up at just the right moment.

I suppose I could have quilted in a darker blue but the quilt just seemed to need the lighter touch.

I just used a plate and a lid for the circles.

All done - the indoor shot.

The outdoor photo.

The label. I embroider my labels on 14 count Aida cloth these days. Before sewing it onto a quilt, I machine stitch the edges down. It makes for a nice clean edge to then hand sew onto the back of the quilt.

This year I brought my quilt into Homespun Designs in Stouffville, Ontario. It was the closest shop and these were my winnings.

This year, each shop could have two winners but unfortunately, because of the virus, many people did not participate and so most shops had no winner. I received 15 fat quarters.

Since I used the block/row that the shop offered (the orange peel flowers on either side of the butterflies) I received an added prize. This is a little organizer to house those little things like scissors and a seam ripper that might get lost in all that fabric. The shop owner knew I had hand quilted it and so she also added a rubber thimble.

And I also got a package of charm squares.

I leave you with this photo. These are the number 7 and number 8 quilting needles that I bent while quilting this quilt. It's a record for me. There were so many thick seams that at times, I had to stab stitch.

And now, I'm back to making even more masks. Then, it's a kitchen set for my soon-to-be three year old granddaughter. Her parents got her a pink kitchen set and her mom asked me to make a few items. I'll show you once they are all done. After that, it's back to quilt making.

Stay safe, wear your mask and wash your hands - lots.


  1. Amazing quilt, and a lot of work! Seeing your needles makes me think how sore your fingers must have been. You won some great prices too.

  2. You outdid yourself with this one Dolores! Of course I love all the blues. Good for you for winning such a great prize too - lots of inspiration in those fabrics.

  3. You have done such a great job. I am wondering where the butterfly block and the block right above it came from? Thanks for sharing your great quilt.

  4. So lovely and I like how you added your blog into the border! Bravo!


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