Monday, September 16, 2019

Sisterhood Grows

When Juanita (from Canada) asked for my permission to use the International Sister Quilt Block for a charity wall hanging to be donated to "The Love of Africa", my answer was a resounding YES.  I also offered to send one sister block as a starter, which was received with happy enthusiasm.

My contribution block

Accompanying Letter

Juanita promised to send a picture of the finished wall-hangings. I smiled. Folks promise things but then life happens or they forget. So I was very pleasantly surprised when Juanita actually kept her promise.

Juanita's Wall Hanging for "The Love of Africa"

Thank you Juanita

In another part of the world, Raewyn decided to dip her toes in the pool of sisterhood blocks. Surprisingly (or not) she found herself completely immersed in sisterly hugs.  I so appreciate that Raewyn included the link to the original tutorial in her posts, and it is only fair that I return the favor. Do check out her blog and their lovely dresses.

The third story of sisterhood comes from the village of Deurne, located in the south of Netherlands. Some time ago, Mien found the older version of the blocks (African Ladies), drafted it and started making blocks. Of course she could not stop at one and soon enough, she had a quilt. She also modified the design to add feet to the sister's block. I love that the block is open to modification.  Here is her spectacular quilt.

Vlisco on the Catwalk by Mien Boerekamp

The fabrics are absolutely gorgeous. Mien used Vlisco fabrics manufactured in the adjacent town of Helmond - fabrics she had acquired over the years. You can learn more about the Vlisco fabric at

I saw these fabulously bold and colorful fabrics at the Philadelphia Museum Art in 2016, and shared on my blog.  Read more about the Philadelphia Museum of Art exhibition including a slide show and
Q&A with Wale Oyejide - one of the designers.

And finally, here are my sisters in purple for September edition of the RSC 2019.

Floral Sister

Tula loving Sister

Garden Sister

Oceanic Sister

Butterfly Queen Sister

Bird Sister

What a Hoot Sister

Woodland Sister

Purple Paisley Sister

Bright Blooms Sister

All of the Purple Sisters

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties, see full list on the sidebar.
As usual I'd love to hear from you - my quilty sister (or brother).

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Enchanted Lake

One of the quilter-bloggers I admire is Saija. Her work is bright, modern and spectacular. She also takes excellent pictures. Her Topaz captured my heart from the moment I laid eyes on it. Oh, someday I would make a quilt inspired by it.

And I did. Meet Enchanted Lake.

Enchanted Lake
Here is the story.
This is Lisa. We work together and sometimes even party together :-)

with Lisa

When Lisa mentioned that her mum was not doing well and that she was going to visit her in London, I had a thought.

Me: I want to make a quilt for your mum.
Lisa: Oh, you don't have to.
Me: I want to.
Lisa: That is sweet.
Me: What are her favorite colors?
Lisa: She likes blue but hates green.
Me: She hates green?  But her name is Olive.
Lisa: Go figure. Hates green and brown.
Me (showing Saija's Topaz to Lisa): I have always admired this quilt.
Lisa: I love it too but this is so green.
Me: I was thinking navy, blue and turquoise.
Lisa: That would work.
Me: I am not sure about grey. Grey would make it dull.
Lisa: And she needs an uplifting quilt.
Me: How does she feel about purple?
Lisa: She is fine with purple.

Once I realized that Saija had made the string blocks using the foundation paper/muslin squares, I stopped in my tracks. I wasn't going that route. I had just two weeks to complete the quilt before Lisa left for her trip.

Moreover, if each block was foundation-pieced with white string in the middle, Saija had most probably made a sketch to determine exactly how many Half green-Half blue blocks and exactly how many Half green-Half grey blocks she must make before making a single block.

I needed a different approach. In any case, a sketch is a very good place to start.

Rough Sketch

I decided on 10 blue, 10 turquoise, 6 navy and 6 purple blocks. The blue, turquoise, purple and navy fabrics begged to cut up in strips.  Let's strip - shall we?


Getting darker

Ooh purple!!!
I did not dip my toes. I plunged head first.
For the next ten days, I did little else. I wanted to to nothing else.

Beautiful Blues

Strip set

Four triangles make a block

Made the first test block in turquoise.
Made ten blocks in blue.

First 11 blocks
Made six purple and six navy blocks.  Lots of process pictures follow.

Navy block in process

Navy - Two halves

Purple on Purple
There are metallic accents on some fabrics and they really sparkle.

Assembly Line for Chain Piecing

Dark & Handsome :-)

All the darker blocks - Done

Made the remaining nine turquoise blocks.

Turquoise Blocks in process

All blocks done

Made the setting triangles.
It took one whole weekend to piece and complete the flimsy.
No, I did nothing else.  Paul was on his own.

At the design wall 
One half of the top - Almost

Open Seams = Flat/Neat Finish

And here it is - the finished top.

Finished Top
Paul graciously held her up for me, even when I had been ignoring him.
Goodness, I am so lucky.  But back to the matter at hand.

Thank you, Paul

This was the first time I had paired purple and turquoise.  And I was completely amazed by the effect.
I made the blocks one color at a time and I loved each one of them but the magical effect of placing them together was completely unexpected.

Getting close


How it glowed and shimmered, I was afraid that I would be too engrossed in it to part with it.


Walking Foot Quilting

Pedalling away

Moving along

Do you like the backing?

When I asked Lisa for backing suggestions, she suggested red. Because her mum loves her grandson and red is his favorite color.  Lisa's boy is as adorable as he is charming :-) You will see soon.

I chose the Rhapsody wide backing from Connecting Threads and it provides the perfect hot contrast to the cool blues in the front.

Quilted and Trimmed

Ready to bind
The binding is the same grey solid as the setting triangles.   That would keep the focus on the shimmering squares.

Binding - almost done

Labelled too
Here are some pictures from the photoshoot.  Paul's friend Dan (mine too) took the pictures.

On location

Shimmering Squares

Floating on Grey

Blues and Navy sing together

Quilting Detail

Hot Roll

Cool Roll

Glamour Shot!!!

Hot and Cold

I am so happy it shows

Reflected in the Lake

Backing too

Do you like my matching sun hat?

Thank you, Dan

The quilt delivery to Lisa and her adorable boy was a celebration of sorts.  I was just happy to deliver the quilt the day before Lisa's trip. But Lisa insisted on taking pictures and her little boy was only too happy to pose with it.

Such a cutie 
Camera loves him

He enhances the quilt

This picture makes me so happy!!!
The BEST picture

The quilt reached its destination and was delivered to Olive, Lisa's mum.
Lisa sent me a message saying that when her mum received the quilt, she cried.  I felt overcome too.

Lisa's Mum with her darling grandson

Picture Perfect

Lisa's mum is doing better.  And that is all that matters.

I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties. See full list on the sidebar.
As usual I'd love to hear from you.