Thursday, February 23, 2023

Why these placemats are taking so long...

My UFO pile is mostly unquilted tops.  I don't tend to leave a project in the middle of piecing it, but I'm not always prompt about actually quilting it unless there's an outside deadline.  I guess that shows which part of the quiltmaking process I enjoy most.

I'd like to say I have a plan to tackle the stack of UFOs, but that would be a lie. Unless there's a deadline, I just let the project sit around until the mood to quilt it strikes.  That's just how it works here in Canuck Quilter land.

Last week I was struck with the need to FINISH something, so I picked a set of placemats from the UFO stack, thinking they wouldn't take long.

This Echo Point set was the one I started to test the concept for this pattern.  It turned out well, but I wasn't sure these colours would be very appealing for a pattern cover.  I set these aside and pieced and quilted a different set for the cover.  Ironically, I didn't end up using that set on the pattern cover either, for convoluted reasons I won't go into here.  It is a really pretty pattern sample though.  You can take a peek here.

Anyway, these should have been finished last week, but I kept getting distracted.  While I was stitching away with the walking foot, I let my mind drift and it started thinking about needing to post more often on social media.  That led my brain to think I thought it would be a good time to try filming a reel. 

So that was a bit fun to do but it took some time to figure out so I didn't finish the quilting.

I stitched a bit more the next day but went upstairs for a snack and started reading while I was snacking. I got sucked into the book and didn't get back to the sewing room.

The next time I started stitching, I ran out of bobbin thread and got frustrated so took a break.  While I took that break, I checked my email and saw some calls for quilt design submissions for upcoming fabric lines.  That led to a detour to EQ, where I spent quite a few hours playing with designs that may or may not turn into actual quilts.  

There were also detours to bake cookies, shovel snow, get groceries, watch a not-so-great Netflix movie, and drive down to Des Moines (the long way because I avoided he interstate, where I'm not a confident driver) to pick up my husband at the airport.

I made good progress on the weekend, until I quilted the runner.

I was pleased with it until I had to decide what to quilt in that center square and my mind went blank.  I took a break and went to browse the library's offerings of e-books.  I didn't actually read a book, because I was browsing and couldn't decide what I actually felt like reading so I just browsed and bookmarked things for a while.  So I didn't finish the quilting, and I didn't read a book either.

Once I figured out what to quilt in the blank, I finished the quilting, but then I had to sew on the binding.  Table sets have a lot of binding.  Just saying.  I wasn't in the mood, so I've been adding binding to one piece at a time here and there through the week.

So here's where these are now.  I still need to join the binding ends on each piece, then fold and sew the binding to the back.  I may or not finish these tomorrow. 

I guess the need to finish something that prompted me to pull these out wasn't as strong as I initially thought. I'm on the home stretch though, and liking how things look so I'll have a finish to share soon.  Just not as soon as I had intended, and that's OK.  I need to remind myself it's fine to set sewing aside until I'm in the mood to enjoy it.  It's supposed to be my stress reliever, not a source of stress!

How are your projects coming along?  Are you focused or distracted these days, and does it matter to you?  

Happy quilting,


Thursday, February 16, 2023

Presenting Cosmic Cloud

When Island Batik put out a call for quilt design submissions for its Fall 2022 fabric releases, I fell in love with the Double Dutch Collection.  It's blue.  Lots of pretty blues.  Of course I fell in love.  Island Batik sent me four blues plus the background to make a sample.

Double Dutch batiks from Island Batik

I was in a rush to get started and neglected to take pictures of the fabrics.  The picture above is the only progress picture I took, because I was "in the zone", too happy to be sewing to pause to take pictures.

Here's a closeup of the finished top so you can see the prints.

Closeup of Cosmic Cloud by Canuck Quilter Designs
Batiks from the Double Dutch collection from Island Batik

As with most of my patterns, all the angles are created with easy stitch-and-flip corners, which explains the pile of triangles in the first photo.  Those trimmed corners create a lot of triangles.  I'd like to say I saved them all for a future project, but no.  These would have been rather small once seam allowances took a bite out of them, and I knew that if I saved them, they would just sit in a bin for a few years until I needed the space and I disposed of them anyway.  So I looked at the pretty blue pile, enjoyed it for a minute or two, then disposed of it.

If you've admired the pretty blue prints long enough, we'll move on to the full quilt reveal.  Here is Cosmic Cloud!

Cosmic Cloud by Canuck Quilter Designs
Fabrics from the Double Dutch collection from Island Batik

I am so pleased with how it turned out!  I love the movement in this design.  I'm also tickled that I figured out how to make it with just two simple units, just switching out colours as needed to create the design.

If blue isn't your cup of tea, there is still plenty of potential here.  You could choose a different monochrome color palette or you could choose multiple colors. You could use modern prints or traditional prints or solids.  My three testers' quilt are great examples.  Thank you so much for the testing help Judy, Tina and Sunny!

Upper left: Judy Juhl (FB: Judy Otte Juhl)
Upper right and lower right : Tina F.
Lower left: Sunny Becker (IG: sunny_4_now, FB: Sunny Becker)

Another photo of my quilt just because I love it so much.

I'm off to sew the rest of the day.  I have some Echo Point placemats that have been waiting over a year for quilting and binding.  I think it's time!  What's under your needle today?

Happy quilting,


Double Dutch fabrics are available in stores now.

The Cosmic Cloud pattern is available as a PDF download in my Etsy shop or you can ask your favourite quilt shop for a print version.  Shops, please my website for wholesale information or visit distributors Checker, Brewer and EE Schenck.

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Mockup Mardi - Crossings edition

Monday was supposed to be the second edition of Mockup Mondays, but I missed it, so how about Mockup Mardi instead?  Mardi is Tuesday in French, and it keeps the alliteration going, so I'm going with it!


I made Crossings last year, though looking through blog posts I see I forgot to share this quilt as well.  I'm seeing a pattern here.  In any case, I've been plotting a second version of the quilt since I made the first.  Of course plotting meant a little trip (or many little trips) down the EQ rabbit hole and I came up for air with options.  Lots of options.

Here's the original.  

Crossings by Canuck Quilter Designs
Made with fabrics by Northcott (Bliss, Crackle),
Robert Kaufman (Chalk and Charcoal) and Benartex (Wave Texture) 

When I wrote the pattern I listed different elements separately, even if I used the same fabric in my sample quilt, to make it easier for quilters to play with fabric choices.  For example, in my sample the pieced thinner border matches the square behind the dark stars, but it could be a different fabric, so I listed fabrics requirements and cutting instructions for these elements separately.  

Look at what happens when I switch the border fabric to match the background.

Crossings by Canuck Quilter Designs
Colored in Winter Wonders batiks from Island Batik.

That pieced border pops now!

How about lightening the squares behind the red stars to blend more with the background?

Crossings by Canuck Quilter Designs
Colored in Winter Wonders batiks from Island Batik.

Now the red stars create a sort of lattice effect around the green stars.

Let's try a dark background.

Crossings by Canuck Quilter Designs
Colored in Winter Wonders batiks from Island Batik.

I think this completely changes the look of the quilt.  With the first two quilts, my eye is drawn to both kinds of stars equally.  With the third, I see the green sawtooth stars first. In this green one, The Ohio star variation in gold holds my eye.  Because there is less contrast between the background and the sawtooth star, the sawtooth star recedes to the background.  It's still there adding a little texture to the background, but it is much more subtle.

I can switch out fabric styles too.  How about a little bit of elegant floral?  That's usually not my thing, but I could be persuaded for the right design and fabric combo.

Crossing by Canuck Quilter Designs
Colored in Chateau d'Avignon by Connecting Threads

This one also places the focus on the Ohio star variation, but the backing squares blends in with sawtooth stars.  The result is that I notice the lattice formed as the stars touch.  Unlike in the third quilt, where the sawtooth stars were still the focus along with the lattice effect, in this last quilt, the light Ohio Star /lattice are the focus.

Am I any closer to choosing a version to make a new sample?  I'm leaning to the green one, because it is most dramatically different from the original.  I won't get to it right away though, so there's still time to change my mind :)

Which version would you make?

Happy Quilting,


You can find the Crossings pattern in my Etsy shop or ask for a printed version at your favourite quilt shop.  Shops, wholesale enquiries are welcome or visit distributors Checker, Brewer or EE Schenck.

Sunday, February 12, 2023

Did I forget Quartz Clusters?

Quartz Clusters was made last year, and I had to sit on the photos for a while before sharing.  I guess I thought about it so often that my brain thought I'd already shared.  I'm not finding the posts I thought I shared here and on Instagram and Facebook .  Oops!

I had a photo shoot at the park and everything so I'd be ready!

Quartz clusters was made with fabrics from the Baroque collection from Island Batik.   The fabric in the points is a multicolor batik print which added variety to the points.  They're all the same fabric, but they all look different.

As in most of my designs, the angles are all achieved with stitch-and-flip corners, so I didn't need to fuss with cutting and sewing triangles.  I didn't fuss with small squares for the diagonal chain elements either:  strip-piecing for the win!

I'd love to make this one again to see what more uniform points or a dark background would look like.  Until I find more hours in the day, or start making more efficient use of my time, I'll have to be content with recoloring in EQ. 

I'm thinking about red and green and gold for a Christmas version too... What colours would you choose?  Would you use a dark or light background?  

Happy quilting,

The Quartz Clusters pattern is available in my Etsy shop as a PDF download.  
If you prefer a paper copy, please ask at your favourite quilt shop.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Temperature Quilt 2020 finally done!

Drumroll please!  Maybe a little trumpet fanfare?  My Temperature Quilt is finally quilted, bound and ready to snuggle under.

It's not a fabulous photo, but it's cold outside, even while doing a happy dance, so I didn't spend too long fussing with the styling.

Here's an indoor shot from when I was quilting it.  The lighting and colours are poor, but you get a better view of the quilting texture.  I quilted these concentric circles with my walking foot.

If you have not been introduced to the concept of a temperature quilt, here's a quick primer.  It's a quilt with one block or unit for every day of the year.  Temperature ranges are represented by different colours or prints.  The daily temperatures dictate what fabric to use to make each day's block.  Some quilters also include a clue about sun, cloud, rain or snow as well, or days when they were in a different location.  I kept mine simple, with just the daily high and low temperatures represented.

You might remember my efforts to include the temperature/color key on the back of the quilt.  I finally chose a plan last September.  Here's how that turned out.

Let's get a closeup so you can see the information I quilted onto the backing before layering the quilt. It's subtle, but it's in there on the left end of each strip.

Did you notice the colourful binding?  I had planned a plain red binding all around, but didn't have enough.  The quilt shop was closed and I was impatient to finish, so I gathered up little scraps of all the colours.

This is the scrappiest binding I have made since my very first quilt over 20 years and 100+ quilts ago.  I absolutely love the way it turned out.  It's so much more interesting than a single colour binding would have been!  I think it was meant to be.  The piece are all approximately the same length (give or take an inch) and I was sure I'd end up with a shorter length that would stand out like a sore thumb where I joined the ends to finish.  Nope!  It just fell into place beautifully, with no extra long or extra short section to mark the join.

The short sections in rainbow order make the binding look almost ombre.

I have seen several quilts that also incorporated the year and location in the piecing or quilting, but I ran out of enthusiasm and left that out of the quilt construction.  I promise I added it to the label I wrote with fabric pen in one corner on the back.

One final picture before the quilt heads to the couch to brighten up the living room.

It's not too late to start your own temperature quilt.  You can use any dates you want:  the current year, January 1 to December 31 or birthday to birthday, or even use old data from a year that holds some significance for you. 

  • You can get my free pattern here, or search the web for inspiration for other temperature quilt designs
  • You can read about how I kept the project organized here and here.
  • In the US, the National Weather Service is a good source of temperature data past and present
  • In Canada, you can find weather information from Environment Canada

Happy quilting,