Blog Archive

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

On the wall.

The blocks of my Newfoundland quilt are put together and the finished product is hanging on the wall. As is customary,  I used the Newfoundland tartan for sashing, borders and binding. I think that perhaps it needs a little more quilting, and like many of my projects I've learned from this one, and would make some changes in technique if I were to do it again. But knowing myself, I probably won't make another one. So here is MY Newfoundland quilt, wall-hanging version.

 And as we are now in December and this will be my last blog post before the new year, I wish each of you all the blessings of  Christmas and love, joy and peace to continue with you in the new year.    

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Final blocks for NL quilt

All twelve blocks are now completed for my Newfoundland Quilt/Wall-hanging.  Some worked out better than others, but I am generally happy with the lot. Having to make my own patterns  for a lot of them, or downsize patterns I had been given was a challenge. Next to be added are the sashing and borders of Newfoundland tartan. You can see the tartan in the map of NL block.  Here are the last five blocks.

This block shows two cod fish. In NL if you talk about "fish" you are talking about the cod. These cod somehow seem to have strayed into tropical waters. Or is it global warming?


Next is a typical dory tied up to a stage -  a shed where fish are cleaned and salted or packaged and where fishermen gather to mend nets and have a chat.

 Icebergs are very common around the shores of NL in the early spring and summer months. They can be small or huge, towering over boats and houses on the shore.

 The map of Newfoundland in the NL tartan. (Sorry, Labradorians about leaving out your  part of the province!)

 The pitcher plant is the floral emblem of NL.

And that`s all for this time. With any luck and time to sew, the next blog will show the finished quilt.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My Newfoundland Quilt

Here are a few more of the blocks I've been working on for My Newfoundland Quilt. I use a combination of fusing and applique to make the blocks. They still need some embellishing and quilting but so far so good. I'm halfway to my goal of twelve blocks which will make a good-sized wall-hanging.
The colours in the photos aren't exactly as the fabrics, but close. The first block shows the lighthouse at Cape Spear, the most easterly point in North America.

Next is an old-fashioned stove with fire showing in the firebox, a warming oven on top, where you put your bread to rise, a wood box and rubber boots warming by the side of the stove. There was a cat there at one time, but it disappeared!

Every Newfoundlander (and others too, I hope) will recognize a moose. There are so many moose in NL that everyone's farewell as you leave for the highway is "Watch out for moose!"

The block below shows a boy with a Newfoundland dog standing on a beach looking out to sea. Small boy but big dog.

A seagull on a rock is a common sight in Newfoundland, although you don't see as many these days, since the cod fishery collapsed.

That's it for this month. Keep watching. You may see some puffins or an iceberg floating by, if it hasn't all melted before I get it finished.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Joan's Comfort Quilt

This has got to be a record. Two posts in one month! But I know some of my friends are interested in seeing the comfort quilt I made for my good friend Joan. Her husband, Nelson, died tragically in February of this year. I made the quilt for Joan almost totally from Nelson's shirts which she gave me. It is reversible and made with a quilt as you go technique.
I'm happy to have been able to do this for Joan as Nelson was a long-time friend of ours and we miss him very much.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Coast to Coast

     It's been a while since my last post, but I'm still here, or rather back here as this has been a summer of lots of travel. In June I went to BC to  present a trunk show to the quilters of Parksville and Qualicum Beach. The weather was beautiful and the scenery spectacular; the quilters were warm and friendly and I had a good time. From a car boot sale I purchased a bag of small pieces of brightly-coloured striped fabrics. The challenge was to put them together in a quilt. So far just the quilt top is done. The finishing will come later. Here's the result.
Razzle-Dazzle Quilt Top 

     In July I had a visit from Travelling Jane. The brain-child and creation of quilter-writer-blogger Heather Pearson
 (see:, she was actually a little quilt showing the profile of the famous writer Jane Austen. She accompanied me around Edmonton and later to St. John`s, Newfoundland. You can read more about Jane`s adventures with me in the Winter Issue of The Canadian Quilter.
Travelling Jane 

    While in NL, my quilter friend Stephanie, gave me the patterns for a Newfoundland Quilt and I purchased enough NL tartan fabric to use for the sashings. A Newfoundland quilt features blocks depicting familiar Newfoundland wildlife  e.g. moose, beaver, fish and seagulls, and many things which any Newfoundlander would instantly recognize, such as Purity Hard Bread (used for the NL dish fish and brewis), a flat bottomed camping kettle and a wash board and tub. There are also blocks showing the flag and a map of Newfoundland. The blocks are bordered with the NL tartan. I decided to make each block into a little picture and so far have three almost completed. There remains some top stitching to do before they will be ready to  put together. Here's one example:

 So you see although I travelled from coast to coast I was never far from quilting.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Canada Day Celebrations

Two days ago (July 1) I celebrated Canada Day by cutting out the pieces for my contribution of  8 blocks to Quilts of Valour - Canada (see ). These quilts are given to Canadian Armed Forces personnel who have been injured in the line of duty as a way of thanking them for their service and providing comfort and moral support.

It seemed an appropriate thing to do as I recalled that Newfoundland has, since the first world war, remembered the sacrifice of hundreds of soldiers of the NL regiment who gave their lives at the battle of Beaumont Hamel in France on July 1st. As a girl, I was one of the crowd of people who gathered at the War Memorial in St. John's to pay tribute to that momentous event in Newfoundland's history. It was always very moving to hear the Last Post being played by the solitary bugler and watch wreath after wreath being laid in deepest respect for the sacrifice of so many of Newfoundland's young men.

My blocks will join other blocks donated from across Canada and be sewn together into quilts for the Quilts of Valour - Canada project "quilted hugs from across the nation."

The fabrics in these blocks are from Northcott's  Stonehenge line. Linda  Ludovico  created the fabric collection  OH CANADA in support of Quilts of Valour - Canada. Northcott is sponsoring QOV through the sales of this line.
My blocks are very simple, but go the QOV website using the link above and you will see the amazing variety of blocks and quilts that have been donated so far to this great cause.
Happy Quilting!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Quilts for the little Boys

May has whipped by without a post and this one will have to do for June as well. There have been other priorities; specifically, the arrival of my little 19th-month old granddaughter and her parents from Singapore. They have been with us for three weeks with a few more days to go. And as all grandmothers will understand, every moment spent together is precious. Even quilting has to take a back seat. But I did manage to finish three quilts for  my Edmonton grandsons before the Singapore family arrived.  The bunk-bed size Spiderman quilt is for seven-year old Evan.
His little brothers, five-year-olds Aidan and Iain each get a quilt called Traffic Jam ( the name of the focus fabric in each quilt). These are also twin-bed size. As you can see, I have designed them both the same, but with a variation in the placement of the orange and green fabrics, so each little boy's quilt is just a little different from his brother's. The striped fabric and the orange and green complement the focus fabric and make (what I think, anyway) are two bright and cheerful quilts. These quilts were  hand-quilted around the motifs and machine quilted in-the-ditch elsewhere. The circles in the centre panel were cut from a complementary print, fused then stitched in place as were the letters in the names.
 That's it for now.
Happy Quilting!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

April News

April has been a productive month so far, with two quilts completed, (see photos below), one more just about finished and two more tops completed and waiting to be basted together and quilted.

This baby quilt is for my grand-niece Laura, who is expecting a baby boy at the end of May.  Most of the motifs in this quilt are from a pattern originally published in the 1930s called the Brother Quilt. They were used in a quilt made for her grandfather (my brother) by my namesake Ada Parks. I used some of them in a quilt for my son and then in a baby quilt for Laura, who still has her own much-loved baby-quilt. Now the fourth generation baby will have some of the same patterns in his quilt. But he has his own special and original block as well. Laura and her husband live in Nunavut, in the far north of Canada, so I designed a block with a nanuq (polar bear) in it just for him.

This quilt was made for a friend who wanted a pink and green quilt. The pattern, called Christmas Cactus, was designed by Carol Dawson and published as part of The Quiltmaker  Pattern Collection in 2005. I've had this pattern for a few years and was happy to have a reason to finally make the quilt.

Check in next month for a report on the other three works in progress.

Monday, March 11, 2013

I'm back!

It's been a long, long time since my last post. Since then we have shared Christmas with the family and then travelled to Mesa, AZ for a month and from there to California for three more weeks. One of the highlights of my time in the USA was the opportunity to visit the Tucson Quilters 35th Quilt Show, called Quilt Fiesta!

As all quilt shows do, this one inspired me with several new ideas for quilts of my own. Unfortunately, I always have more ideas that I want to try than time to do them. And I came home with fabric for four quilts for family which take priority. I've started on the first one called "Christmas Cactus" - look for more info and pictures on my next blog. In the meantime, here are some photos of quilts which I took at the Tucson show. Perhaps they'll inspire you too.

 The first quilt on the left is called "Bouilliabasse" by Pamela Ashbaugh.

Below is "Lollypop Trees" by Nancy Arsenault and lastly, Tami Graeber's award-winning "Grand Finale"