Bloggers’ Quilt Festival, Fall 2010

Amy's Creative Side - Blogger's Quilt Festival

Once again, Amy is hosting the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival.  If you click on the button above, you’ll find thumbnail photos from the participants and, if it’s anything like the spring festival, you’re in for a real treat with lots and lots of lovely quilts to see and stories about their making to read.  All this in the comfort of your own home!

I debated showcasing Chintz Circles again so soon, but couldn’t resist it as my entry in the Quilt Festival.  When the Inklingo Orange Peel Deluxe collection was released, I had played with the various designs and had a lot of fun doing so.  One of my favourite variations was the Alabama Beauty block and, while I had only made one block of it, it stayed in my mind.  Eventually, the lure of that block, particularly with my aunt’s 90th birthday coming up, and making an Alabama Beauty quilt with shabby chic fabrics was irresistible.

My aunt’s favourite colours are pinks and greens and I remember the chintz that was in her home when I was growing up so, as soon as I started making the quilt, I realized Chintz Circles was the perfect name for it.

Karen Dianne was making Alabama Beauty blocks at the same time and had shown some of hers on a design wall.  As soon as I saw that secondary circular pattern emerge, I knew exactly how I wanted to make my aunt’s quilt and I was off to the races.  By mid-April I had hand pieced 6 blocks and saw the first two circles appear.

Choosing the fabrics for each row became more complex as I had to be absolutely perfect with the placement of the fabrics that would emerge as circles.  I developed a routine for doing that as I finished a row and would sort the fabrics for each block into separate envelopes.  During the piecing, I was often thinking about the rousing games of double solitaire I used to play with my aunt at the cottage during the evenings.  We would be laughing so loudly that my mother, who was invariably trying to listen to a baseball game on the radio, would leave and  go listen to the baseball game out on the porch.  I learned then that long nails, while looking good, were also a great deterrent to an opponent in double solitaire as I developed strategies to avoid getting stabbed by my aunt’s perfectly manicured nails as we competed to be the first to put a card up.

By April 21st, a total of 16 blocks had been pieced together and joined and 9 complete circles had appeared.

As the quilt top grew, it took longer to add more rows and see more circles appear but by May 18, there were 25 blocks joined and 16 circles had made their appearance.

I was then in the home stretch and on June 21 a total of 42 blocks were joined, 30 circles had appeared and the hand piecing of the quilt top was complete.

The backing fabric was found, the quilt was basted and the machine quilting began. On July 20, the quilting was finished, the binding tacked down and this photo was taken very shortly after the last stitch was taken to attach the label.

August 1 was my aunt’s 90th birthday.  That morning I had washed and dried the quilt and it had that wonderful crinkly look that quilts get after being washed and dried.  Then came the best part — when she opened the gift and saw her quilt.  She still has those beautifully manicured nails I so remember from our double solitaire games!

Everything about making Chintz Circles was an absolute joy.  Choosing the fabrics, making the blocks and joining them together, quilting it, even working the thread ends in was fun as I often found myself reflecting on some of the marvelous memories I have of the time I have spent with my aunt over the years.   I still find that I quietly laugh to myself when I remember those double solitaire games and the fun we had.

There is no doubt I would have not made this quilt were it not for Linda Franz‘ brilliant invention of Inklingo. Having perfect shapes with stitching lines and matching points turned what may look like a difficult block to piece into something that was an absolute joy to stitch and blocks that went together perfectly every time.

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42 thoughts on “Bloggers’ Quilt Festival, Fall 2010

  1. Delightful post! I enjoy seeing your work, and reading your stories. I watch a show called Naked Archeologist, which starts out in Toronto- with a street sign “Spadina” and when I see that, I wonder if it is close to you! I am sure the show is now a couple of years old- My son was in Canada (Montreal) last w/e…the pictures were as lovely as they were 36 years ago, where we stayed for our honeymoon….this Nov we will be in Florida for our anniversary- Canada we found out, is QUITE cold in Nov! fondly, Sandy

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  2. What a really beautiful quilt, the shapes look so wonderful and what a fabulous gift – I now have to go and find out what Inklingo is!

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  3. What a beautiful quilt and a wonderful story. I love photos of people loving their quilts. And that is a gorgeous quilt. Love the visual illusion it gives. First it looks like little butterflies, then you see the circles. Very cool.

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  4. Cathi,
    We have so many wonderful tools available to us now so that quilting complicated patterns is easier. This is a wonderful pattern – I have made a Winding ways quilt which is not quite as intricate but I remember how challenging it was to carefully arrange the color placement so I could get the secondary circles to emerge in the quilt.
    Your aunt looks like she loves her quilt- It is obvious that you have enjoyed a really lovely relationship with her over the years.
    The memories are ones that you will treasure all your life- how nice that a quilt helped you remember those special times.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Warmest regards from a Western Canadian quilter,
    Anna

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  5. There is so much work involved in this quilt. It looks stunning. Beautiful fabrics and a great choice of design!
    I really enjoyed reading your story too. What a wonderful woman your aunt must be.

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  6. I enjoyed seeing the progress of your quilt, which is simply lovely to admire. Your great aunt must have been so pleased to receive it. I can’t help you on the fabric – wish I could.

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  7. What a lovely quilt!! And such a fantastic story to go along with it 🙂 I think it’s wonderful you have such fond memories of time spent with your aunt. We play a game called Nertz, that I think may be the same game as your Double Solitaire. Fun!

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  8. Pingback: New Item at Mad Mom Crafts: Memory Quilt With Real Photos | Domestic Disaster

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