#LarryArt: Dawn of a New Day

<– I received this in the mail in March 2013. I can’t actually remember when I made this–>but then 2013 was the year that cancer & the cure was kicking my butt and I’d lost track of time. I do remember being inspired by Larry’s gift for colour and abstract art. I also remember the happiness I felt when I opened my mail to see this piece. I also knew I wanted to create something from it. I started with       9 1/2″ squares of white Kona cotton. From the scrap bin I cut shapes and stitched them onto the background. I don’t think these even have fusible web. As free as can be!

<– This block was created from a reflection of my stained glass maple leaf on my kitchen cupboards. I remember it being one of those days where all I could do was sit and stare. The sun shining through the window was mesmerizing.

I remember it felt uplifting. I took this photo and soon  after (I think) created <– this block. I used my trusty maple leaf from Maple Avenue for the applique.

Towards the end of 2013 I returned to work. It was in one of my clients homes that I spied this –>The family had built a carriage home on the back of their property. The homes in this area remind me of the heritage homes in the Townsite, my old hood. This window was so delightful, especially so on a sunny morning. This piece was made with raw edge applique and FMS.

The time stamps on the photos is September 2014. When I look at some notes that I made there was supposed to be a 4th block. It didn’t get done but will eventually be made into a separate piece. I did however keep the three blocks, scraps and the remaining white Kona cotton together. (I learned the hard way how different white fabric can be!) I also do not remember when I purchased this Art+Quilt book. Was it the reason I started looking at art quilts? I honestly do not remember. I pulled it out in late January thinking it would inspire me. I feel like I’m having trouble reading and absorbing it BUT for some reason it IS inspiring me. :D :D :D I’ll keep reading and absorbing as I work my way through the book. (I have another bunch of pieces that are even older than these.)

This past March (2021) I decided it was time to do something with them. They went up on the design wall for a day or two and when I decided I liked how they looked I cut the remaining white Kona. It was pretty easy to assemble. From there it was deciding how to quilt it.

I decided to be bold and use a variety of threads and colours. The photos don’t pick up the colours but there is pink, blue, gold, orange, rust, green and grey. I just let the individual spaces talk to me. ;) I used a piece of (ancient) fossil fern for the binding. I wanted it to stand out just a little bit more than the background white but not have too much of a framing look.

Right now I have it hanging on the white blinds in my sewing studio. It is in full view where I look at it frequently. I can plainly see the path I took getting it to this finish. I see the people who inspired the blocks. 18″x26.” “Dawn of a New Day.” This was a really fun piece to do. It makes me happy. It is so far outside the box of anything I’ve ever done. :)   I’m really looking forward to the next one. It will be from the reduce, reuse, recycle bin with lots of happy memories attached.

Please #StayHome #BeKindBeCalmBeSafe…Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye

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Sweet Maple Hearts

This retirement thing is pretty amazing. So much time to sew! Just finished another baby quilt! I wrote in the last post about thirty something friends & family starting families of their own. When I lived in Powell River I had the awesome experience to host Canada World Youth. One of my amazing “daughters” is from Quebec. She delivered her first child, a baby girl, on March 6th. I had recently purchased this beautiful piece of maple leaf fabric with nothing in mind but the fact it was simply beautiful. It’s a non traditional baby fabric but it was perfect for baby Florine & her family. It reminds me of Quebec in the autumn and maple syrup…the best place to get that liquid gold is Quebec. :D

Veronique was a breath of fresh air and into experiencing everything offered during her 3 month stay on Maple Avenue. She learned to quilt and participated in our “Miracle on Maple Avenue” Christmas tree for PRACL’s Festival of trees. (We won Viewer’s Choice for Best Tree!) She ran the 13K Loon Lake run in support of Special Olympics Powell River. Was inclusive of any activity we had going on. Veronique would go on to spend 3 months in her counter parts country, Namibia. She would then return home to Quebec City to become an occupational therapist. Wanda & I were lucky to get to Quebec and be hosted by Veronique and her family in 2008. Where has the time gone?

On my list of “to make” baby quilts was this Simple Hearts quilt by Cluck Cluck Sew. It’s the same pattern I used for the #QuiltsForNS last spring. I thought it showcased the maple leaves brilliantly. I chose wool batting & a heavy flannel backing. Perfect for Quebec winters. FMQ and a little walking foot action.

The label was made from the 4″ size heart. Funny thing here was that the stabilizer I used turned out to be water soluble…not what I had intended at all!!!

This Sweet Maple Hearts quilt measures 46″x48″ and is very soft & cuddly. I so wanted to add a bottle of maple syrup to this package but opted for a book named Canada ABC instead. Lots of maple leaves, syrup, BC & Quebec in there. And here’s hoping it won’t be another 12 years before I see Veronique & her family once again. :)

Stay safe…stay connected…and Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye

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1st Time Making Rag Quilts

I recently retired from work and my 30 something family & friends are having babies. Definitely have time to make baby quilts ahead of delivery days now. ;)   Since I moved back to the Island in 2010 I’ve worked really hard to work from my stash. I mean how long does one really need to keep fabrics? For me it has a lot to do with the sentimentality of where those fabrics came from.

At least two of the flannels pictured above were used to make baby bed jackets for my boys, both born in the mid 1980′s. Those were possibly the last years that little ones wore cotton diapers, flannel nighties and sleepers as the main part of their wardrobes. :D You could dress/layer up a sleeper with a really cool bed jacket.

I have 2 nephews & their wives expecting babies this year and thought I’d make my first rag quilts. I’ve put that off as I just couldn’t take on the cutting required for ragging. I solved that problem by asking the grandmothers to do the cutting after I did the assembling. And thanks to a good neighbour and friend we had the use of ragging scissors.

<– This is definitely a full on scrappy rag quilt. I pulled out most of the flannel and started cutting 6″ squares. I then cut my scrap batting into 4 1/2″ squares. (I saw some instructions about keeping the flannel the same size but that did not appeal to me when I thought about the extra thickness in the ragging.)

It’s pretty mindless work from here. Layer and stitch across diagonally. I decided to make these quilts square and the size to fit into a stroller or car seat. That’s 7 squares by 7 squares measuring out at 36″ when finished. From there they went to the grandmothers. It definitely has a family history to the fabrics. Lots of great nieces & nephews represented here.  This quilt is for my nephew Dustin’s baby due in June. This quilt is still being cut so no photo to show yet.

<— This quilt is definitely less scrappy looking but is still made from leftover pieces. I knew that this baby would be a boy so chose to use the blue and green backing flannel from our Canuck quilt campaign. That “number” flannel has made it’s way into this quilt too. My nephew Jeremy’s baby is the recipient of this quilt. Thank goodness Donna got her job done as little Avery was born a week early! (After cutting the raw edges the quilt gets washed & dried to give it that frayed/rag look.)

Like I said earlier, I pulled flannel and cut. I have lots of squares left. Donna enjoyed the cutting process and thought it would be cool to make one of these. I will soon be doing a drive by with a stack of flannel squares! :D

I’ve also heard that I’ve missed a few great nieces & nephews…guess I’ll soon be able to use up all that I Spy fabric too.

Happy Quilting…stay safe…spring is coming…Valerie Raye

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For the Love of Lighthouses

For as long as I can remember I’ve been in love with lighthouses. In “the Life Before,” I always looked forward to travelling past these amazing structures. All different shapes & sizes. I’ve been fortunate to see & visit lighthouses all along the west coast and many more on the east coast. My travels tend to gravitate towards staying on the ocean. So there too I’ve seen a variety of lighthouses. I may be biased but Canadian lighthouses are the best kind.

^– This pattern, by Susan Teece, was purchased on our 2015 Row x Row H2O Road Trip. It is one of several that I own but will only be the 2nd that I’ve completed. We all know that 2020 was a very long year and when 2021 rolled around I found myself looking for inspiration. I decided to work on something small and that turned out to be this lighthouse that was modelled after Amphitrite Lighthouse in Ucluelet. The other awesome thing was that I could pretend to be away on vacation. :D

I used grunge for the lighthouse as it reminded me of the plaster sides of Amphitrite. It was a whole lot of fun ;) to cut out the trees. This applique was all one piece…next time the trees will be cut separately! The rocky foreshore came from previously cut 2 1/2″ squares although they did need re-cutting to two inches. I had this beautiful piece of spectrum fabric from Hoffman that was perfect for a foggy ocean background: Fly Home Ombre “Evening.” This is a fairly simple piece to put together. Applique the lighthouse and trees on the sky fabric. Stitch the ocean fabric on to create the whole background. Add the rocky shore and start to quilt it.

I had used free motion stitching to work with the trees. This entails feed dogs down. Well the feed dogs down stayed down and when you’re on a roll with lots of quilting ideas you cannot…you just cannot!! I went and rode my stationary bike for 45 minutes, ranted via text and then decided to bring out my 1983 Janome Memory 7 to do some outline quilting. She performed beautifully but my old brain has muscle memory that just won’t adjust. :D You know we get spoiled with our new machines with needle down & no need to use the fly wheel, knee lifter, larger throat area…first world problems I know. I got all the outlining and SID done and then exchanged machines to finish with the free motion quilting in the fog and ocean areas.

The original pattern didn’t call for orcas but I felt the need to have a couple of spy hoppers in this piece. I also quilted a couple of whales under the white water spouts. These two pictures also have a wee bit of snow on them as I wanted to show the true colours of this beautiful piece of bluegrass blue green “evening.” I also added some blue glass beads along the water lapping the shore. The light itself is a crystal from a chandelier. Another exchange happened so I could get the binding on. Good news was the Horizon went in on a Tuesday and came out on a Friday and all is well again.

Haven’t decided on which coast to choose the next lighthouse from but I’ll have time as I need to get working on some baby quilts. ;)

Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye

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Quilting in the Year 2020

What an unusual year it was. We held two sewing days before the rest of 2020 became a cancellation. As a person used to travelling by ferry at least once a month to go quilting, it left me treading water. Just like everyone else. Who knew where this Covid-19 virus was going to take us? Sometime around the middle of March the carpet was rolled up and people were at home with closed doors. And hearts in their windows. I decided to make a heart banner to hang in our front window as my contribution to the movement. Those red hearts are made from a dress I’d made myself back in the early 1980′s, 100% cotton with the texture of batiks. Spring was coming with lots of hearts fading in front windows as Covid-19 wasn’t letting up anytime soon. I’d taken a leave from work as I was working in a job that could possibly expose me & then my 87 yr old roommate. At the time, the bosses figured it might be about 4 weeks. :( Nope.

With lots of time on my hands I figured I might as well start straightening out my scrap bin. I came across this pattern by We All Sew for a St Patrick’s Day table runner using 1 1/2″ squares.  https://weallsew.com/shamrock-table-runner/

In April came the devastating news of the mass shooting in Nova Scotia. I wrote about this in the blog post from May 2020. These photos were taken after they arrived in N.S

It’s hard to believe that it happened less than a year ago. Such a devastating year for so many people.

I made this -> I Spy quilt in January for a beautiful baby boy, Teddy, who arrived in May. Since I wasn’t using the ferry, Joan and I were using Canada Post. Quilts were shipped back and forth in various stages. I know that Teddy’s family loves his quilt and here’s hoping that the two Nova Scotia quilts bring comfort to those who received them.

June saw the start of back to work for some who had been shut down since March.

Amazing how many people have cotton sheets looking for a home. My niece needed some gowns for her job so I collected some sheets, dismantled a disposable gown and sheets became gowns. Flat felled seams were used! Of course many facemasks were made during those first months as well as lots of “thinking of you” postcards. (And here it is 2021 and we’re still wearing masks.)

I’ve written about this quilt too. Was pleased to get it completed in time for July 1st. It is backed with the leftover piece of beige sheet that I used for Kadi’s gowns. This quilt was a long time in the making as in old scraps, a 5 year old pattern and a couple of 1 year old flag blocks. It was the perfect size to practice my free motion quilting. Hopefully this coming July I will be able to show it off at my annual Canada Day party!

Not forgetting that I had been working on Canuck Place quilts since January. I made 5 for Canuck Place and decided to make two more with fabric I purchased from the Calico Cupboard in late 2019. I wanted to have a 10th anniversary quilt <– for both Joan & I using white maple leaf fabrics & the Maple Syrup pantograph. Since we weren’t able to travel freely this year we didn’t have a quilt-a-thon, leaving a lot of the work to Joan. Jackie & I were able to make a quick trip over to apply binding & labels on September 1st. October 8th saw us deliver quilts to Canuck Place outside in the gardens & wearing facemasks.

September also saw us with low air quality due to the fires burning in the states below the border. We not only had to stay home but inside as well. I decided to take an online course offered by Exhausted Octopus. It was rather mindless and invigorating at the same time. It is the first of many “Seaglass” quilts that I plan to make. Sure hope my friends & family like seaglass. ;)

<— This was a huge finish. I wrote about it in October 2020. Twelve years in the making. It has been a wonderful addition to my winter bed covers! When I first finished it I was excited to see it done. But I wasn’t sure that I loved it. But as I see it every day on my bed I see that it makes me smile. The colours are so rich and I love the blues that are in this quilt. They remind me of beautiful blue sky days, especially the blue sky days of June. “Stars on the black background fabrics evoke a night sky, while splashes of blue herald the coming day.” <– from the quilt pattern  description. Yes, I’m going to say that I love this quilt and can see the end of this Covid-19 detour.

I wrote about this —> in November 2020. I was feeling somewhat down hearing about all the crap happening in the world. Perspective seemed to be in very short supply. I know I was feeling like striking out at the stupidity going on. I also made it official & retired on the 2nd. Breathe. I took this piece down to my zen zone to photograph. Fresh air, freedom & the sound of the ocean. :) Best kind. I added my 2020 poppy to this piece and have since received a beautiful wool felted poppy from Joan to add to this “Between the Crosses” piece.

As of November 19, 2020 there were added restrictions as to what you could do and where you could go. Pretty much a person just needed to stay home and not go shopping. Stay out of other people’s houses. December saw my Christmas “workshop” in full swing making pillowcases, placemats, mug rugs, gift bags and microwave bowl holders. Thankfully I have fabrics, patterns and supplies in stock. ;) FedEx did a very good job with deliveries.

It was indeed a very unique year. I’m going to make a list of quilts/projects that I want to do this year. And then see how many get achieved while socializing with my quilting buddies. In the meantime enjoy a little peace… Silver Sea by the Garrison Brothers.  Let’s all Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe.

Happy quilting in 2021…Valerie Raye

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MLQ Virtual Christmas Sew Day

We held a virtual sew day on Saturday, December 12th. We have all missed our sew days. It worked out pretty good, aside from the fact that we couldn’t all get together physically. (But that’s 2020, eh?) The one good thing was that we had long distance sewers! Nanaimo, Comox, Powell River, Vernon, Richmond, Ladner, Delta & Minnesota. It wasn’t what we’d all like but it’s what we have. We are all sew very lucky to be able to stitch and connect and share our creativity. Instructions for everyone: Let’s all post some photos of our work stations, smiling faces and creations. Dress up or dress down…let’s have a great day. :D :D :D

^ My “Christmas Workshop” was decorated and, as I was hoping, I had a productive day. I made 15 fabric gift bags. I started with 17″ x 9″ pieces and they finished at 8″x 5″ x 3″. Perfect size for those small Santa gifts.

Patti lives way out east so was up a couple of hours ahead of us. Using a unicorn panel she was building blocks to surround it for her granddaughter. Juli worked on a very cute Berenstein Bears pillowcase for her granddaughter. Lynn wrapped presents! Kidding, she was hand binding a quilt for Christmas. And Jackie was working on a gift for a friend, Glorious & Free. 

<– If you click here you will see the finished flimsy. She’s just patiently ;) waiting for the backing to arrive. (2020, eh?)

<— Over here we have Donna & Leslie. Donna shared her beautifully decorated sewing area and what she was having for tea as well as her new Christmas placemats. Leslie was busy creating some really cute fabric bookmarks. She and I live in the same park and are part of a 15 Days of Christmas with our sewing group. No we haven’t met for months. (Covid19, eh?) These bookmarks were her contribution. Unfortunately on her day to deliver she had to brave a monsoon! But how fun to go to the mailbox and find a surprise!

To the right here is Lorraine’s beautiful wool applique quilt. So much work but oh so beautiful. She showed us some hand painted ornaments from her tree…painted by her of course.

Shelley completed her Trip Around The World flimsy. Can’t wait to see what gets quilted on this one. —->

And it turns out that <– Emily is also making one of these in the same colours? Is it a kit? Are they the same size? Maybe someone will let us know on the next virtual sew day. :)

One of the cool things about a virtual sew day is that you can drop in at any time. Last year at an actual Christmas sew day Kadi won 11 #UglySweater blocks. She wasn’t able to attend this sew day but sent pictures of two more sweaters and has two more to go before making it into a quilt.

Doris was busy with some other things but later that evening was able to work on a memorial quilt and a couple of Christmas cards. She didn’t say how those cards were made but they are very intricate indeed.

Kathy and Dave were busy working on a 2 1/2″ square scrappy quilt. There will be 8 pieced sections and it will make a 48″x64″ lap quilt. I love it. Again, my favourite kind of quilt, scrappy!

Emily was a little late to the party but we were sew happy to see her. She has an awesome sewing studio and design wall. Merry Christmas Emily. It must be a secret what she’s working on because she didn’t tell us. ;)


Prior to sew day we had two surprise quilt deliveries. Jackie & Joan made a <– Grinch quilt for Kathy. She has been a Grinch fan forever and was thrilled to receive it.  This quilt —> is a Christmas mile-a-minute, free motion quilted with wool batting. It was given to a good friend of our Mom’s. Unexpected quilts that bring joy to their new owners is the best kind of quilt there is.

Wishing everyone the best Christmas you can have & a wonderful and happy new year. We will get through this. Be Kind, Be Calm, Be Safe. And in the meantime please enjoy River by Sarah McLachlan.

Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye

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Flower of Remembrance

November. It is such a somber time and I was feeling particularly down as November 11, 2019 approached. It seems to me that we are not learning lessons of peace. So much hate and anger out there in the world.  Last November I followed my urge to make a small quilt for Remembrance Day. It definitely made me feel happier doing something I love as I remembered those that fought for us and our freedom.  I found this free poppy-quilt-block and decided a small, happy wall hanging would be perfect to hang for the month of November. I purchased a fat quarter of poppy fabric and used scraps for the rest. The centre of the poppies have antique buttons from my stash. (so much fun scouring the 2nd hand stores for buttons.) I don’t know how any of you design quilts but it’s definitely a process. (More on that later.) 

After I’d quilted and bound this small 11″ x 25″ wall hanging I decided to add these really cool button covers to the bottom of the piece. I’d found those for .75 at the Chemainus Ladies Auxiliary. I didn’t know what I’d do with them then but they had to come home with me. Button covers are like jewelry for clothes. Check out the butterflies in the petals of these covers. They attach by fitting over a standard size button. Well, once I got those on I thought something was missing. Crosses. Note to self would be to stitch the crosses and then add buttons. ;) This quilt makes me happy. It is my November wall hanging.  Between the Crosses, Row on Row <–just a little quilt blowing in the wind.

A few days ago I decided that I needed to make another Remembrance Day quilt. I started with blues and greens from my recently cut 2 1/2″ square stash and made a background. For the poppies I used the left over red maple leaf batik from the Homecoming flags by Shania Sunga. All the flowers, stems and leaves are free hand cut. I’m getting braver and braver at that. From past experience ;) I decided to just place the flower pieces on the background and leave it for a bit. It took about 2 days to decide on placement before finally deciding to fuse. Next came the decision to add a border. A few blues & blacks came out to play. Finally decided on this piece designed by Buggy Barn for Henry Glass. It has a red star in the centre of a five petal, line drawn flower. I suspect that it is a piece from Merle’s stash. I free motion stitched all the applique as I was quilting it. Then it hung for a bit. It needed more poppies. I added two Flowers of Remembrance from Novembers gone past. Then it hung for a bit more. I found some red maple leaf buttons in the button box. They were the perfect red & size giving depth. I then decided I needed to add some crosses. They were stitched in white in the sky area. My niece Kristy had this to say: “I like how you put the crosses up high…the piece is like a breath of fresh air… it ends up having a lot of flow…I agree with the crosses being visible but gentle. It keeps the piece elevated and light…like looking up with hope instead of down with sadness.” <– This makes me smile as that is exactly what I was going for. :) It measures 16″ x 22″ and hangs beside the first one.

I can’t remember when I got my first Royal Canadian Air Force button but I was very excited to find this —> one. I believe it was found in the Powell River Ladies Auxiliary store. The button opens up like a locket. I do not know who the woman is in the photo but she’s been with me for several decades. Perhaps one year I will find a way to incorporate these into a wall hanging.

From the Canadian Legion website ( https://www.legion.ca/remembrance/the-poppy) these words: Each November, Poppies bloom on the lapels and collars of millions of Canadians. The significance of the Poppy can be traced back to the Napoleonic Wars in the 19th century, over 110 years before being adopted in Canada. Records from that time indicate how thick Poppies grew over the graves of soldiers in the area of Flanders, France. Fields that had been barren before battle exploded with the blood-red flowers after the fighting ended. During the tremendous bombardments of the war, the chalk soils became rich in lime from rubble, allowing the “popaver rhoeas” to thrive. When the war ended, the lime was quickly absorbed and the Poppy began to disappear again. The Great War Veteran’s Association in Canada (our predecessor) officially adopted the poppy as its Flower of Remembrance on July 5, 1921.

Also a great read here: veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/history/first-world-war/mccrae

Remember and please be calm, be kind, be safe. Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye

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Maple Leaves from 2008: Part Two

The story of the Maple Street Rag quilt begins in 2008. This is where it all began–> in the Tyler Room on Maple Avenue in Powell River.  The fabrics  have been cut and organized. (The pattern used is by Karen Kratz-Miller, Scrap Quilts: Fun & Easy.) I have no recollection of how this quilt actually came together. I’m so glad that I took photos! During this time I was working 24/7.  I was a full time day programmer at Community Living Place. As well, my home on Maple Avenue, was a home share and respite stay for some very important people in my life. :)

FWIW it’s one thing to cut strips of fabric from yardage and start assembling the pattern. It’s a whole other thing and much more time consuming to find and cut enough fabrics from pieces & scraps of fabrics. I do love scrap quilting and this definitely is that.

<– Half square triangles for the leaves are all sewn and squared up as are most of the leaf stems. —> There are six half square triangles for each of the 48 leaves. For me most of the work has now been done as it’s go time for assembling the leaves and quilt top.

I don’t remember when I actually began to make this quilt top but it was mostly finished for the quilt reveal at the Maple Leaf party in November 2008. All that was needed was the pieced border. And as I reread the instructions I apparently changed that. Instead of using 3″ squares for a pieced border I used 10″ rectangles…I’d like to think that was being smart :D not “let’s just get this finished!!”

I don’t know if my original intent was to hand quilt this but it probably was. I loved hand quilting but time was one of those hard to find commodities. <– Here it’s February 2009 and I’m at a Quilted Bear retreat at Harrison Hot Springs. Pretty sure most of my time was spent helping others with their quilts. Makes me realize that I like to be alone when I’m hand quilting, using that time to reflect quietly. ;)

A whole lot of life got in the way between 2010 and 2020. :o As I wrote last post this quilt came out in 2013 but may or may not have gotten a block quilted. It came out again in 2017 and even crossed the border to Pt Roberts for our Maple Beach quilt retreats two years in a row. One year I was missing the heart template for the centre block of the leaf. I decided to use a different template (a star) as I was determined to get this done! I found, misplaced and found that original template a few more times in the last couple of years. Last spring I made a new template and used it for a few blocks when the original template magically appeared again!  When Covid-19 hit last March and I took a leave from my job I found I had more time than I could imagine. This quilt sat out in plain sight and wasn’t going anywhere until it was finished! As September turned to October I was happily counting down and sending updates of how many blocks were left to go.

I started thinking about the binding. Last spring I had started cutting my scraps into usable square sizes. Yikes…but then as I started digging around I found pieces from the quilt. As you can see <— there are lots of small strips ranging from 6″ to 12.” I needed approximately 315″ of binding. To keep the binding from twisting & tangling while I sewed I attached it to a near empty thread cone. A piece of masking tape anchored it and then it was wrapped around the cone. Luckily I have a 5 spool thread stand that held this beautifully. No twisting and tangling! :o ;) :D

I have bound a lot of quilts lately using the machine. But I figured that having a hand quilted quilt it wouldn’t do to have a machine bound quilt. Last night I put the final stitch in the binding! I may or may not have done a happy dance! I’ve also gained a little, red hatted helper hanging out with the remainder of the binding. (click on the picture to see all of her, she’s really cute.)

Twelve years in the making! This quilt measures 65″ x 85″ and has wool batting. It’s been washed and dried and is now on the bed! It most definitely will not win any awards. But there are so many memories of other quilts, friends and family in these pieces of fabric that make up this Maple Leaf quilt. The name of this quilt in the book is the Maple Street Rag. Somehow it’s never quite sat right with me. I think for now I’m just going to think on it and perhaps use Autumn Song by Van Morrison to help me decide on a name.

Be Calm, Be Kind, Be Safe and Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye

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Maple Leaves from 2008: Part One

The Maple Street Gang AKA the Neighbours in the Hood held a few themed challenges over the years. The first of those themes was maple leaves. Due date for the finished project was November 2008 at a maple themed party. It didn’t matter what you made as long as it was maple leaf related.  <— Aileen made scrappy maple leaf magnets. So tiny & so cute. We had two small art quilts, greeting cards with maple leaf photos, one poem and two tattoos! Those two tattoos led to three of us in attendance getting our own maple themed tattoos. :D   There were three more quilts, one finished, one a flimsy and one partially assembled.

Doris was the smartest of us, she made a lap size quilt. All quilted and bound and ready to use.  Love this quilt. —> She also came dressed in a maple leaf coat and tutu. Definitely the Queen of Maple Avenue.


Wanda was working on a queen sized maple leaf quilt. That’s a lot of work in the middle section! She tells me she had to disassemble the top as it was not square enough for quilting. But she does say she will complete it. And I say, FINALLY, I won’t be the last one finished on a challenge project!! :D

This flimsy -> belongs to me. I don’t even think it is complete as I don’t see the 3 1/2″ scrappy borders. ;) And this is definitely a scrappy quilt. I used the Maple Leaf Rag pattern from the Scrap Quilts: Fun & Fast, Oxmoor House 1997.

<– The quilt in the book used many different plaids and autumn colours. ^ My quilt is made from what was on hand and there were no plaids. I definitely had autumn colours and background fabrics like those written in the description: “Stars on the black background fabrics evoke a night sky, while splashes of blue herald the coming day.” These pictures were taken 12 years ago. The “fast” part went out the window when I decided to hand quilt it. It measures 65″ x 85″ and has been in and out of the to do pile for years. I had a big push in early 2013 to get it done. Well, sometimes we take detours in life whether chosen or not. Back in the cupboard it went. It came out again in 2017 for a very short burst. Sometime last winter I hauled it out. It didn’t get a lot of love but it never went back in the cupboard. A couple of months ago I made a vow to myself that it was going to be finished by the end of October 2020. I have 7 more blocks to quilt. And I will have to go digging around for some fabrics to make a scrappy binding. Who knew I shouldn’t have cut my scraps into 2 1/2″ squares? ;) I have 16 more days to get this done. And it makes me so happy to think it will be on my bed for winter with wool batting too! In the meantime I’m sharing a recipe for Potatoes Anna. This was a dish served at our Maple Leaf Party in November 2008. I might just make it again before the end of the month when I do the big reveal of my Maple Leaf Rag quilt. For now enjoy this offering from The Sojourners: The Neighbourhood.

Be calm, be kind, be safe. Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye

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2020 Canuck Quilt Delivery Day

There were 3355 days between our first and last delivery to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. Over the course of 10 years we had 21 different quilters plus an additional 20 sponsors (those who purchased a kit to be quilted for them) making quilts for Canuck Place. :) Each year we were greeted with heart felt thanks for delivering these special quilts to the House.

D/T Covid-19 we met Luigi outside in the gardens. Most of the staff doing office work, fundraising and community connections are working offsite. Covid-19 has affected so much of the day to day operations. The hospice would normally host as many family & friends as needed for End of Life Care. That has changed. Now only the parents are inside. Others can meet in the covered area outside and utilize the gardens and fountain. Luigi told us that this year they are thinking about sending care packages, including our quilts, to those unable to utilize the medical respite because of restrictions.

I made photobooks covering our 10 year journey making and delivering these quilts. They will be added to the Canuck Place library. From the photos Luigi says he recognizes some of these quilts that are used in the Hospice. He says they make the rooms seem like going for a visit to grandmother’s home. He also told us how precious & appreciated these quilts are to the grieving families by being able to keep a quilt that wrapped up their child. There are many things that are offered to Canuck Place but these #IBelieveInBlue quilts were not only anticipated each year but had risen to “legacy” status. That’s what Luigi told us when looking through this last batch. When we looked at him he said, “Ten years, that’s a legacy!” #LoveHowYouGive

Joan & I left there knowing we will, in some way, continue to support Canuck Place children & families. #WeLoveWhatWeDo

To all those quilters and sponsors, cheers to “Ten years & a Legacy!”

Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye

Posted in Charity Quilts | Tagged , | 2 Comments