Welcome to Laughing Gas Quilts! I’m thrilled to be part of the Sunshine Quilters hive on the 2018 New Quilt Bloggers Bog Hop, and would like to thank Beth of Cooking Up Quilts, Sandra of Musings of a Menopausal Melon-mmm quilts!, Jen of Dizzy Quilter, and Tish of Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland for their encouragement and counsel. They, along with the rest of my hive, have provided the impetus for me to tackle the technology of blogging, which I find a HUGE challenge. Please visit their blogs. You’ll see lots of quilty goodness and earn a chance at some great giveaways from our sponsors.
I am a maker, one of a long line of makers. As a young woman, my maternal grandmother was “in service” in New York City. On Sundays off, she studied the windows on Fifth Avenue before creating original patterns for her own dresses. When she returned to rural Newfoundland, Nana focused her creative talents on clothing her family in handmade garments, no mean feat, given the resources at hand. My mother worked outside the home, but still found time to sew and knit; her hands were never empty when she finally sat down in the evenings, and she made sure I had some basic needlework skills. I have enjoyed garment sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet over the years, discovering quilting about 15 years ago, when my two daughters were teenagers and I had a little free time. It was love at first stitch.
My favourite part of quilting ? Playing with colour and shape. My favourite quilts? The ones which presented a creative challenge. Hope you like them too.
Meet Christmas Chaos, aka Christmas Throw Up. I made it at one of my first Guild retreats when I had a bag of scraps from bargello tree skirts, and a new squedge ruler to try. My fellow retreaters were divided in two camps: those who applauded the free form piecing, contributing their scraps to the cause, and those who kept asking what pattern I was using. There was no pattern, and I learned how much fun it is to work without one.
A few years ago, Jacquie Gering came to my hometown, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada, gave a trunk show, and conducted several workshops. Through her, I met the modern quilting movement, with its freedom of expression. In the Stitch and Flip Triangles workshop, I started Go Fly a Kite, based on the Swirling Medallion Quilt in her book, Quilting Modern. When the diamond was finished, I thought it looked like a kite, so I gave it a tail and put it in the sky. After a couple years and several machine quilting courses, I screwed my courage to the wall and quilted it, negative space and all. Ta da! Here it is, ready to take flight, restrained only by the firm grip of my intrepid quilt holder and friend, Lorraine. It takes fortitude and strong hands to be a quilt holder on the edge of the North Atlantic.
My daughters have a wonderful friend who is a graphic designer with a beautiful jewelry line, Dory Blue. I was challenged with making her a wedding quilt, and pondered what I could make that would appeal to an artist. Brigitte Heitland and Tula Pink came to the rescue. Shine Through, a ZenChic pattern, was the inspiration for the diagonal design; I used Tula’s City Sampler blocks in place of the appliqued fabrics of the pattern. These pictures are from a few winters ago, taken on solid ice just off the end of my dock. Isn’t that a queenly shadow on the quilt? Just had to share it.
The final quilt for today is an alphabet quilt for a friend’s grandson. Each rectangular block has a free form pieced letter in a colour starting with that letter, and lots of appropriate images. “B” is blue, and surrounded by batman, beaver, bottle, buffalo, bus… you get the picture. Thanks goodness for friends with stashes I could raid. With 26 letters in the alphabet, there is no simple layout, so I opted for 5×5, which left out the “Z”. Poor, lost, Zed. Or Zee. After some thought, I inserted a zipper in the bottom corner of the quilt which, when opened, allows a zucchini coloured “Z”, surrounded with zebras and zigzags, to drop down. The bonus is that the pocket, whose back is the label, is also a place to hide a tiny treasure. Here is “C” is for Charles.
My full time job as an anesthesiologist, and my love of brightly coloured, happy, quilts, inspired the blog name Laughing Gas Quilts. Helpful though it is for fabric acquisition, my work limits my free time, so I am pulled in many quilting directions. Should I finish a lacklustre UFO, or start a shiny new, exciting, project? Should I join a quilt along, or work on an original design? How do you decide your priorities? And then there are the fabric temptations, but I’m not even going there today.
I hope this rather long post has provided a little entertainment or inspiration. What’s even better is that the fun doesn’t stop here. There are seven other new bloggers for you to visit this week, and more to come in the weeks that follow. Please check out:
Velda @ Freckled Fox Quiltery
Carrie @ Carrie Bee Creates
Sharon @ Ms. P. Designs
Nicole @ Handwrought Quilts
Becca @ Pretty Piney
Sherry @ Powered by Quilting
Stephanie @ Lowcountry Quilts & Embroidery
It’d be lovely to read your comments, and your pointers on how to decide your quilting priorities. Thanks for taking the time to visit and share my journey. Hasn’t communication come a long way since 1901 when Marconi received the first transatlantic wireless signal here, at Cabot Tower, on Signal Hill?