Happy Trees

Here we are with only ten months to go until Christmas, so I thought I’d share my newly finished Christmas quilt. Am I an early bird, or what? Obviously, or what. I must confess it was my intention to have it done for 2019. Other quilts got in the way. Please God, I’ll have many more Christmases in which to enjoy this piece of happiness.

87206198_10219183489712637_9145048046877278208_nThere’s something irresistible about a festive Christmas quilt. The pure joy of bright colours and happy images pulls me in every time, so when I saw Amy Smart’s Pine Hollow Patchwork Forest quilt, I had to make it. I was up to my eyes with projects, but it didn’t matter. It had to be made.

I based my colour scheme on a piece of  Helen’s Garden from Festive Forest by Tamara Kate. Many sensible people read a pattern, cut all the pieces and proceed in a methodical fashion to make it. Not me. I picked six fabrics and made six tiny trees.

I found the navy trunks overpowering. I decided I didn’t want all the trees to have the same trunks. It was time for some medium sized trees, and then three big ones.

Stars landed in a couple of those big trees, as suggested by the pattern, but my favourite block was the medium sized lollipop tree. It took a little fiddling to land that star where it should be, but I did it. Here’s the block on my front door. 87174003_10219183466352053_8264080267975589888_nIt was so much fun to assemble the blocks; each added something to the overall effect. Even the little orange trees, which were the last I made, were important. They brought brightness to the quilt; it was the final infusion of life.

Don’t you just love my design floor? I have a wall, but at 4×7′ it is too small for a biggish quilt, so the design floor is important, situated as it is, beside an open stairwell, where I can stand and view things from on high.

The flimsy was finished well before Christmas, but I had more pressing things to make than a quilt for myself, so it waited. The last few weeks I’ve been on a mission to quilt tops, so Happy Trees finally made it onto the longarm and was finished. Each block has it’s own motif, as does each tree. I had lots of fun playing with different designs, confident that they’d never be clearly seen because of the busy fabrics. Then I took it off the frame and looked at the back, which was a solid velour, and every stitch was evident. Luckily, from a distance, it looks fine. In fact, I was rather pleased with it.

It’s been a challenging winter, as you may have guessed from the pictures. Yesterday evening I was a bit too late getting outdoors, but this morning, I put on my snowshoes and ventured over to my friend’s place to take a few pictures. See my tracks?

85251191_10219183489792639_9113988990876254208_n Then, inspired by the banks of snow in her driveway, I staged the first Hogans Pond Quilt Show. Who needs clotheslines when you have snowbanks?

You may recognize the pink quilt as one of my orphan block creations, mentioned in my first blog post of the year. It, too, has been finished, as has the third quilt in the show. You’ll hear more about that one later. For now, here are a couple more winter pictures for those of you who think it is spring.

Happy Quilting!

Linking up with Cyndy at Quilting is More Fun than Housework.




Have you heard of Pliny the Elder? He was a Roman naval commander, scientist, humanitarian and the author of the first Encyclopedia. The phrase “Home is Where the Heart is” has been attributed to him.

84863144_10219050867837173_4807016303506227200_nWhen my younger daughter secured a job in Australia for the winter, I decided to make her a travel quilt. My plan was that it should be small and light enough to take on the journey, and would be a little bit of home to cuddle. After all, she would be saying farewell to her girlfriend and cat for a few months. I set to work.

My plan was to set some  northern creatures in 2×4 blocks. In typical fashion, I started slicing some Harry Potter fabric and some wax prints from Cameroon since both would be meaningful for Maura. I gave no thought to the colour scheme, which resulted in the grouping on the left. Yuck. I removed Harry and the really bold African print, added some pink and peach, and got the group on the right. Better. Not fabulous. My immediate response was to add some yellow, which in my world, solves all problems. My friend Gillian challenged me to make a quilt without red or yellow, my favourite colours, saying other colours could do the same job of adding life. I beg to differ, but a challenge is a challenge. This quilt would be free of yellow and red.

I decided to make some creatures that I didn’t think would be seen in Australia.

These are Elizabeth Hartman’s seal and bear from her North Stars pattern. The quilt needed more wildlife.

84769543_10219050866677144_8060668031266717696_nElizabeth’s fox was joined by John Renaud of Art East Quilting‘s beaver and puffin. Subtlety is not my strong suit. I decided to add “HOME”, which I made without a pattern. Don’t you love the heart in the “O”? I filled in the empty spaces with more 2×4 blocks, keeping to a green/turquoise/orange colour scheme. 85019508_10219050867957176_6493014855241433088_nDid you spot Morris? This is Morris. 83766748_10219050867797172_7270195372205539328_nAs is this. Morris and me and the gypsy wife.My legs are under the quilt85006703_10219051119003452_7139531235721740288_nHe’s the reason this post hadn’t been written earlier. You see, Morris belongs to my daughters. He was Margaret’s cat for five years, and this summer moved to Maura, who fell madly in love with him. When she got the job in Australia, he came to Granny Ann  for the winter. Morris has always been an outdoor city cat, a prize hunter of birds and rodents. After he was with me for a couple weeks, I let him out to explore the country and he didn’t some back. I put up notices, I posted on facebook, I visited the spca. No Morris. We had bitterly cold weather, followed by a record breaking blizzard that shut down the city for a week. We were all up in a heap. Then, after two weeks, when we had given up hope, Morris fetched up on a back step about a kilometer away, meowing to be let in. The kind people there took him in, fed him a can of tuna, put him in a crate and brought him to me. I was never so thrilled to have strangers banging on my door at 11:45pm. Come to think of it, I don’t know if I’ve ever had strangers banging on my door at 11:45pm before. I was ecstatic. My daughters and their significant others were over the moon. Morris seemed pretty pleased with himself too, and took no time settling back onto my bed. Apart from a cut on his cheek, and a bit of weight loss, he was none the worse for wear. It was a miracle. Now that he’s looking at me from across the room, I can write about Morris. I can show off the quilt.85048153_10219050867757171_3699821181101146112_n (1)

Here it is. Please note there is neither yellow nor red, although one of the oranges is pretty close. I backed it with a bamboo rayon sheet, and used Cotton Dream for the batting, but it was still too big to make the trip. It will always be a momento of journeys, both Maura’s and Morris’s, and of triumph over the unknown. Especially, it will be a reminder of home.84446780_10219050867597167_4539814649876447232_nLinking up with Sarah at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

and Dione of Clever Chameleon.