2019 I Believe in Blue Quilt Campaign

September 19, 2019 saw the best part of the 2019 I Believe in Blue quilt campaign, “Delivery Day.” After months of pattern designing, shipping kits, creating quilts, receiving quilts &  flimsies, marathon quilting & binding and finally labeling the quilts…we got to see #LoveHowYouGive at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice happen.

On May 4, 2011 I wrote this: Two of my favourite activities are quilting and watching the Vancouver Canucks play hockey.  With the Canucks in the race for the Stanley Cup I’ve finally decided to get my plan to make quilts for Canuck Place in gear. Canuck Place is a hospice for children living with life-threatening conditions & is family centered in its care. (www.canuckplace.org ) I’d like to be able to give the children and families as many quilts as the Canucks win games on their way to the Stanley Cup final. My hope is for 16!!! Here’s where I insert “Go Canucks Go!!” I have designed a quilt using Canuck colours of blue, green and white. The two white squares in each of the blocks can be appliquéd or embroidered with your favourite numbers or hockey symbols.

Nine years later! I find that so hard to believe! One hundred and forty eight quilts!! This was the first quilt design, one Crossroads block times twelve. I proposed this to Joan and the Neighbours in the Hood, Wanda and Doris, and then on May 16, 2011 I wrote this:   The dream is a reality. The “I Believe in Blue” quilt pattern and fabric kits are ready to go. We are really pleased with the enthusiasm from quilters and non quilters alike. Canuck fans are purchasing kits for their quilting friends to complete and donate to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. The staff at Canuck Place are equally enthusiastic to receive these quilts on behalf of the children and their families… I chose to applique “Burrows 14″ on my quilt as I am a huge fan of Alexandre Burrows. Burrows made it to the NHL undrafted, working his way up from the lowest of leagues until he was signed by the Vancouver Canucks. On April 26, 2011 he had the overtime, game winning goal in game 7 against the Chicago Blackhawks.

When the 2011 quilt campaign began I called it the Run for the Cup. In 2012 we decided that we would keep on quilting for the children and their families and changed the campaign to I Believe in Blue. Every year except 2017 & 2018 has a different pattern. You can check out the “Evolution of the I Believe in Blue quilts” in the post written in August 2018. <–this is the 2019 I Believe in Blue quilt pattern. As always all the quilts made are in the I Believe in Blue 2019 album on our Maple Leaf Quilters Facebook page.



After displaying the quilts in the Great Room we had a lovely visit with Robyn that included coffee and <— these very awesome double chocolate cookies. They were so good that both Joan and I each purchased the Canuck Place Cookbook so that we can make our own!!

The year 2011 was also the 40th Anniversary of the Vancouver Canucks hockey team. This year, 2019/2020 season will mark their 50th Anniversary. How awesome would it be if they were able to repeat the 2011 Run for the Cup. And, even as a diehard fan, I have to tell you not to hold your breath! But we can still #BelieveInBlue. ;) :) :D

And to that end <—- this quilt will be the 10th and final #IBelieveInBlue quilt campaign. We will have had an awesome run with our #IBelieveInBlue quilt campaigns, finishing with at least one hundred and sixty four quilts.

As you read earlier, my favourite player is Alex Burrows. I’m so thrilled to have a ticket to go see him inducted into the Vancouver Canucks Ring of Honour on December 3rd!! What a run he had as a Vancouver Canuck…what a run we will have had as #IBelieveInBlue quilt makers for the children and families of Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

An especially loud standing ovation to Doris Beckthold, Wanda Shortridge, Jackie Hatfield and Mickey Daniels for being involved right from day one.

Happy Quilting and #LoveHowYouGive …Valerie Raye

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17 years later

It’s September and we’ve just completed our 17th annual Maple Beach Quilt Retreat. As the years go by  You’ve Got a Friend In Me and that’s the truth of it.

Over these 17 years we’ve had some spectacular weather and we would decorate the front of the cabin with completed quilts and relegate the flimsies to the back clothes line. The weather definitely takes the lead in how the weekend unfolds. <– 2006

This was the way we started out…eating civilized at the breakfast table. Over the years I’m sure we could count on one hand how many times we actually ate this way again. But no matter where or how we ate there was always too much delicious food! <– 2003

And it seems that my favourite meal is breakfast. Breakfast on the porch in the sunshine is always the best. And we are still drinking mimosas, Wanda’s tradition to the retreat.  2018 –>

<– It’s always a great day to be a Maple Beach Quilter. Cheers my friends. :)


Over the years we have found other things to do besides sewing. We’ve played games that included Quilto, Quiltopoly and Strip Poker.

We’ve made felted monkeys, cork monkeys, greeting cards and post cards. Lots and lots of creativity.

As earlier stated, the weather plays a part in what we do. Fortunately in 2011 we had high tide and a full moon for a wonderful “Swimming in the Path of the Full Moon” skinny dip ;) This past retreat the weather didn’t allow too much play at the beach.

We had a couple of fairly stormy days. Adam’s crab boat took a hit and landed on the beach. Fortunately all ended well and we were still able to enjoy some crab.

We always seem to be eating and like the proverbial scrap basket, the food never stops growing!


We had a very special event during retreat this year. A Wedding Shower for Kadi. She is the youngest member of our gang and it’s been a joy to watch her graduate from knitting & playing her guitar to be  a full fledged quilter. <– her 2012 tenth anniversary beach quilt.

We’ve watched her graduate from Simon Fraser University. Go on to Queen’s University to complete her education as a physiotherapist. And now she’s getting married! We are all so proud of the young woman she is. From the Maple Beach quilters Kadi received a basket full of all the things mostly pertaining to all that we do at the cabin every September.

Congratulations Kadi! & of course Hayden!

Over the years we have experienced a lot of ups and downs.  But “We’re more than QUILTING FRIENDS…we are like a really small gang.” Together we can achieve most anything. weather or not permitting. ;)

Don’t You Wish It Was True <– for you Kadi

Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye

PS: thanks again Donna for these awesome tees.


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The Singer Featherweight 221

Betty September 19, 1945I’ve owned this Singer Featherweight 221 since 1993. I purchased it from the lovely Mrs Elizabeth Kotyck for $40. The original receipt shows it purchased from the Singer Sewing Machine Company on East Pender Street in Vancouver for $123.25. I’m thinking that was a very large sum in those days. Mrs Kotyck or Betty, as she preferred to be called, used to tell me stories of living in Holland during the war and German occupation.  I still remember her warning me of the arsenic that was in the water in Kelly Creek, a small community south of Powell River. She knew we were moving to Powell River and wanted me and my family to be “very happy, have good health, good friends…” This woman was amazing and someone I’ll never forget. This machine is named Betty. She is one of 20,000 produced on Sept. 19, 1945.

Joan recently received this little beauty from the family of a woman called Trudy in the Nelson area of British Columbia. She was telling Shelley that she was looking for an industrial machine to sew bellows for the cement plant. (She didn’t want to use my Janome 6600 anymore) Shelley had been asked if she herself would like an industrial machine but wasn’t interested. She asked her friend Stuart if the machine was still available and indeed it was and he was more than pleased to send it to Joan. His mother-in-law had used it for years as a seamstress but had developed dementia and was no longer able to use it. When the machine arrived and Joan took one look at it she said there was no way she was sewing bellows on it for the cement plant! (She has since found a real industrial machine.) This machine is now named Trudy. She is one of 10,000 produced on March 4, 1953.

These machines were built in the UK, Canada and the USA. <— this is Betty’s motor and manufacturing label. This —> is Trudy’s motor and manufacturing information. They both say they are made in Canada. Trudy’s states, St Johns, Quebec.

Below are two excerpts from the Singer Featherweight Shop.

“The Canadian Featherweight History is quite unique and can be a little bit confusing, but hopefully we will be able to shed a little bit of light on the topic.  Canada only produced the Tan 221J Featherweights in their Saint John’s Quebec factory, but they made parts like motors and cases for the Black and White Featherweights that were sold there.  It is speculated that the black and white Featherweight bases and housings were made in the Kilbowie and New Jersey factories, but the machines were finished in Canada.  We do not know why Singer would have done this, but there could have been import charges on finished products, and Singer also wanted to be able to label the machines as “Made in Canada.”

“So, what makes a Featherweight a Featherweight and why is it so lightweight? A Singer Featherweight is limited to the Singer 221 or 222 model classification only and is made of cast aluminum, weighing just over 11 pounds. It also has a quick identifying feature with the sewing surface or bed extension that flips up on the left side allowing it to compactly fit into its case.”

The Singer Featherweight Shop has some amazing reading & tutorials. Check out their website here https://singer-featherweight.com/ for tonnes more information. The https://www.stitchintheditch.com/ is a Canadian online company that also sells parts.

Both machines have been in for servicing and we have ordered  1/4″ and walking feet for these girls. We have also ordered the extension tables and they will be here in time for our September quilt retreat. There is a polishing kit that will make these machines shine and protect their decals and paint. Perhaps that will be a winter project.

I confess I have been playing with Betty…and I really should be doing other things ;)    She sews like a dream is a MP4 file that shows her sewing the maple leaf mug rug…that fabric is from my dress from the 1980′s…sewn on another Singer, the 525. And as I was playing with her I was thinking about when I first learned to sew. The sounds of sewing machines have changed and I have to say, I like the sounds of “then” better than the sounds of “now.”

Can’t wait for the September Maple Beach retreat and sewing on Betty with a possible turn on Trudy. Anyone else have a featherweight machine? Story?

Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye, Joan, Betty & Trudy xox

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Canada Day Quilts

Most quilters I know have quilts for certain seasons of the year. Valentine’s Day, Easter, Spring, Summer, Halloween, Christmas. I am amazed at the many Halloween quilts out there. I don’t have any but then it’s never really been anything I’ve been interested in since I made the last Halloween costumes for my sons. I made, and kept, my first Christmas quilt last year. It was a split nine patch scrap quilt, using fabrics from quilts I’d made for others over the years. As I was cleaning out my quilt cupboard I began to realize that my “day” for quilts is Canada Day. I’ve made many over the years including at least 5 quilted flag quilts that I’ve given away. I’ve been hosting a Canada Day party annually since 2006. Since 2015 I’ve lived where I can hang my quilts for display each Canada Day.

There is space for at least 14 quilts, probably more should I have more to hang…and I will next year…perhaps a clothesline in the backyard too! The two banner quilts at the top  left are from the 2017 & 2018 Row x Row quilts from Mrs. Pugley’s Emporium in Amherst Nova Scotia. Perfect for this theme.

<–This is the 2016 RxR from Carola’s in Sechelt. This tag —> is on the maple leaf of my Maple Beach quilt.

<— This is one of my first Canada Day quilts (2009) and it came as a kit from the Quilted Bear in Ladner. The pattern is from Lavender Hutt designs and now out of print. A fellow Canadian saw this quilt online and contacted me for the pattern. She lives in Colorado and wanted to make it for her brother-in-laws golf course office in Ontario. This quilt won a 2nd place ribbon at the Cowichan Exhibition in 2012 for quilting…that was exciting.


The quilt here was an inspiration from a card by Kokirose. The maple leaves were traced from a broad leaf maple tree on my daughter’s property. This is one was finished in 2015. Both of these quilts were recently washed with a cup of vinegar…no red dye running. :)

<– I no longer own this flag, but it was made to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our flag. It’s parts of two different patterns.

The flag to the right is one of 5 that I have made, Homecoming by Shania Sunga, 2017.

<—In the spring of 2018 I received this panel in the mail from my friend Judy.  I hadn’t seen any of the bigger quilts that quilters were using the panel in so I just decided to add a border and practice my free motion quilting. It’s a really cool panel and gets lots of comments even though I keep telling people “it’s just a panel!”


<— I’ve got 8 of the 10 flags made for this Oh, Canada! quilt by Cheryl Arkison. I may make more, I’ll just wait and see how it goes. It doesn’t feel as funny as it did to make the Canadian flag in anything but red. This quilt —–> is anything but red and does and awesome job representing Canada. Another Shania Sunga design.

<— 2017 RowxRow from Huckleberries quilt shop, Comox. This was my 2019 contribution to Canada Day.

I have a few other Canadian themed quilts and will continue to make more. Canada Day is definitely my “day” for quilts. Click on the photos if you want a closer look at the quilts.

Happy quilting…Valerie Raye

PS: I guess you could call my other “theme” quilts, Canuck Place quilts. :)

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Oh, Canada!

Just in time for Canada Day! A blog post that is. I’ve only two of the ten blocks I need for the lap size quilt. Quilt is by Cheryl Arkison at  http://www.cherylarkison.com/ I purchased this back in 2013 and am finally getting around to making or at least working on parts of it. This quilt comes with three different layout options and sizes. I’m going with the ten block layout that will be 48″x 60.”

Like most of you I have a giant bin of scraps. It is full and now overflowing. Along the quilting path I would open the lid and chuck the scraps in. It’s amazing how much gets stuffed in there. There is no room left! Time to get at it!!


Anyway, a sewing day or two ago I dug through Joan’s scrap bag for some blue/greens. (She was really hoping that the scrap bag would go to it’s forever home but alas, it returned.) :D Like I really needed to be digging into anyone else’s scrap bin!! ;) These finish at 24 1/2″ x 12 1/2.”

I sorted through the bin last night. Trick is to start with colours and then divide those colours by value. This pile was browns, golds and beiges. Beiges got tossed and the brown & golds separated. These golds have more motif on them than that of the blue/green flag but like most scrap quilts, it works.

I sewed some of the pieces together last night and finished up this morning. This seems a lot faster to piece than the mile-a-minute scrap quilt. I guess I’ll see as there are still waaaay more scraps left in the piles I created!!

<— There are several different coloured piles laying about on my sewing room floor. I want to have my flags on the darker side with the gold one being the lightest. Dare I do a grey/black flag…seems a little blasphemous for a Canadian flag!

I host a Canada Day party every year and like to have at least one new Canadian themed quilt to hang. I saw this Peace Dove panel and knew it was needed. I’m not really fond of panels as they are often printed off grain and so was this one. I dug into my Canadiana stash for the flying geese but couldn’t resist the border fabric. The Way Home to Canada by Jennifer Pugh. This quilt is 40″ x 56.” A really nice size to practice different free motion quilting patterns.

Well here’s to another Canada Day #152! Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye

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Lightning Strikes…Boomerang

I saw this pattern from Jaybird quilts a long time ago and knew that I would have to make it. The pattern includes paper templates but there is a ruler, the Super Sidekick, that makes cutting a little bit, well, a lot easier. As we all know rulers are pretty expensive and I was hemming and hawing about purchasing one. Do I really need this quilt? Of course I didn’t but I really wanted to make it. :D

One day I was visiting with my son while one of his friends was over. I showed Putney the quilt picture and said that I wanted to make the quilt and buy a new ruler, would he like a quilt? Really? Yes! He loves red and so red and black scrappy it would be. I pulled reds and blacks from my stash and a few other stashes I know about. ;) After working on four blue & green Canuck quilts I decided to change it up.

It’s a really simple pattern. Sew two   3 1/2″ strips together and cut. Sew two mirror cuts together to form the diamond. Now the tricky part is to lay out the diamonds in a pleasing setting.

Since I did not use the 23 fat quarter or 1/4yd cuts suggested in the pattern, my layout is more of a straight line zig zag. Guess the next one will be a boomerang!

I’m really looking forward to quilting this one. I will need to make a trip to the LQS to purchase backing fabric but haven’t decided what I will use. Fireside? Hmmn.

In the meantime, I must finish the last two Canuck quilts…and enjoy the faeries in my woodland garden. Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye


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2018 Canuck Quilt Delivery Day

Just a little late writing this post for September 2018. Three of my favourite things: September, porches and quilts for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. It worked out that delivery day would be in September again this year. All the quilts made the trip to Pt Roberts for the final touches and a small quilt show. I was very content to sit on the porch and work on them.

The quilts took up most of the space but there was a chair or two left for company to sit and visit. 

We used the 2017 pattern again this year. It was popular with the quilters and if it keeps everyone happy, why not? <— The quilt to the left is called Poppy & the Heart Tree. The tree was cut out and appliqued. I used felt fabric pens to colour the hearts. Poppy is an applique, hand drawn by me. I used free motion stitching to add the details to Poppy. I’m so glad that I did a Poppy quilt this year as she passed away on November 14, 2018. We had also purchased the book, The Dog by Helen Mixter, to give to Canuck Place. The Dog in the book was modeled after Poppy.


We arrived at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice on September 13th. It wasn’t a warm sunny day so we laid the quilts out in the sun room. We had just finished getting them laid out for the photography when they had to be moved to the dining room. When the residents need a space in a hurry, you move in a hurry. We scooped them all up and draped them over chairs in the dining room so Nicole could finish shooting pictures and picking the one to go to the Gift of Time Gala in October.

#ThankYouSedins was the quilt chosen to go into the silent auction at the Gala. This quilt looks different but it is the 2017/18 pattern. The blue fabrics are placed in different directions so that it gives it a totally different look. It makes me think of 1st place ribbons. There are several different blues used, all from previous years quilts. The dark blue in the centre is a backing fabric from the 2011 season. I figured this was appropriate since they were the ones there from the beginning and this year was their last year. This is year eight and the total number of quilts is 132! It’s always a great day when we get to see the smiling faces at Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

Check out all the I Believe in Blue albums on the Maple Leaf Quilters Facebook page to see all the awesome quilts. The 2019 album is starting to fill up too!

Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye

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Our 7th annual Maple Leaf Quilters quilt camp was held at Loon Lake Lodge & Retreat Centre April 8-11. Located just 50 km from Vancouver and “tucked quietly in the heart of University of British Columbia’s Malcolm Knapp Research Forest.” It is a most beautiful and serene setting, surrounded by forests and the Garibaldi Mountain range. The weather was a little on the wet side but then we do live in a rain forest. ;) Between the rains we did get out for a little fresh air and explore what the area has to offer. (Next year in May we might just get out on beautiful Loon Lake!)

<— Our main building was the Pan Abode. This is where we did our sewing/playing and most of us slept. (This is a dormitory like setting with bunk beds…only the lower bunks used!) A beautiful facility to say the least. We only had one small criticism and that was with the lighting. It’s a good thing that quilters bring everything they own including individual lamps! :D This photo was taken from outside the dining hall. The meals prepared were amazing. Lots of fresh salads and vegetables. My favourite meal was Wednesday nights “Slow Roasted Turkey Dinner served with stuffing, mashed potatoes, seasonal veggies, gravy, cranberry sauce and a chef’s choice of salad.” Definitely nothing to complain about and the staff are the best too.

Our goodie bags for the quilt campers included chocolate, a needle minder, needles, mug rug, a carrot shaped bag of Reeses Pieces for playing Quilto and the frames for the Retreat Bag project. We played one game of Strip Poker which was won by Jackie. In a twist on the game we used 5″ I Spy squares, won by Wendy. Several games of Quilto saw many winners of books, fat quarters and anything else a quilter would want.

Retreat Bag 2.0 is the project chosen for this years camp. It’s a pretty cool bag and addicting to make. I’ve done two, have one cut out and wondering how many more I can do! :D Here is the free Retreat Bag 2.0 Updated pattern from Emmaline Bags. There is a YouTube tutorial as well. Look for Retreat Bag by Emmaline Bags and you will get a 25 minute lesson. All but one of the Retreat Bags are pictured below. ;) Yes, they are addicting, just ask Cecille.


Loon Lake is a wonderful place to retreat. It is very true about what their website states: “Retreats that Connect. At Home on the West Coast.” We definitely felt welcome.


Joan and I would like to thank all the quilt campers who came to camp and helped us continue with our mission statement. “Maple Leaf Quilters was created for the purpose of sharing [our] passion and assisting others to find their inspiration…[we] sisters believe in having fun while creating quilts and enjoy sharing this activity with friends, both old and new.” Mission accomplished!  Mark MLQ Quilt Camp May 2020 on your calendars. It’s going to be even grander still!

Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye and Joan

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Dark Matter

At our Maple Beach quilt retreat last September Donna gave us each a fat eighth bundle of six fabrics. She challenged us to make something with it in time for our September 2019 retreat.  I had added this to my list of things to do and now I can actually cross it off!  One of the pieces didn’t work with what I wanted to do so I will use it on the back for a label.

I wanted to make the Drunkard’s Path quilt from the Scrap Basket Quilts book by Better Homes & Garden 2002.  It was to be finished at 26 1/2″ but I did a few changes and it measures out at 24.” The template ruler I used was a 4″ finish and I didn’t use a border. One of the things on my list to do is to finish hand quilting my Maple Leaf Rag quilt from 2009. (After 10 yrs it definitely needs to be finished) The reason I bring that up is that I also wanted to hand quilt this small project. I feel it will get my fingers ready for the big push. ;)

I chose this Star Heart template for the centre of the quilt and used the inside star for the solid blue squares. I did an outline stitch on the rest of the pieces.

In my stash of batiks I found a green & blue piece that worked perfectly for a binding. I even hand stitched it down!

<—- This is the original design and the one here —–> is my version. I really like the way the corner blocks give a secondary roundness to the whole quilt. It reminds me of planets in a galaxy.  Dark Matter —->

galaxy is a gravitationally  bound system of stars, stellar remnants, interstellar gas, dust, and dark matterthe primary evidence for dark matter is that calculations show that many galaxies would fly apart instead of rotating, or would not have formed or move as they do, if they did not contain a large amount of unseen matter.” Wikipedia

I like to think of the Maple Beach Quilters as a galaxy. Till September 2019.  Dark Matter, it’s what keeps us all together.

Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye

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Quilting List for 2019

When I was sitting down to write a post about Row x Row quilts I realized that I did something similar last spring. I mostly got laughed :D at by those who have been collecting rows since 2015! The single row wall hangings/table runners to the <— left are from Sechelt 2015, Gibsons 2016, Comox 2017, Amherst, NS 2017 & 2018. I loved the 2015 theme of H2O in 2015. Until I actually saw the “O Canada” pattern I was not interested in the theme “Home Sweet Home.” The same can be said for the next two themes, “On the Go” and “Sew Musical.” Lucky for me red, maple leaves and the RCMP fit perfectly in with my Canada Collection! This year we have “Taste the Experience.” I’m wishing for a “Maple Syrup” pattern. ;)

Of those quilters that I know who have been collecting, I’ve only seen three finished quilts. ;) :) :D  I’m pretty sure most of us who purchase quilt patterns, fabrics and kits are inspired by what we see with the best of intentions to complete said purchases.

So back to my quilting plans for 2019. About 2 weeks ago I posted on the MLQ Facebook page that I’d started a list for things that needed doing in 2019. Some of you replied that you used a list, some said 50% of the time and others did not. When I moved back to the Island in 2010 I decided that I would work out of my stash hoping to get some of those long held fabrics and patterns used. I tend to like scrappy quilts; much of my fabric used to be blue and green so it was pretty easy to mix and match fabrics. I started a drawer for fabrics that were purchased with patterns/or ideas I had. For some reason that drawer never empties! Some of these projects have been waiting a few years. I found that writing a list of what was needed has helped me to organize myself. I have completed 4 of the 18 items on the list. They are small but they are done!! (And I keep adding to the list.)

It’s a Musical Ride was pretty easy to complete after last years Canada 150. What I like about doing single rows is how much easier it is to manage the quilt when you practice your different free motion patterns.

The baby quilt is made using a charm pack and the Disappearing 9-patch block. Again, at 38″ square it is easy to practice free motion quilting. I tried, what I thought of as hearts on the borders but apparently they can me misconstrued as feathers! :D I also made my 5th, and final, Homecoming flag quilt from Shania Sunga Designs. I didn’t even take a picture of it, but it’s definitely staying here with me! And the other item on the list was to re-quilt a stained glass wall hanging I’d made in 2002. Amazing how different a person starts off  quilting and how they evolve after 20 yrs.

I’ve got two slow quilting projects on the go, a hexagon quilt and hand quilting on my scrappy maple leaf quilt from 2008! Yikes!! I’m still searching for a pattern to showcase the seaglass fabric I purchased on PEI last spring. There is at least one challenge and a couple of customer quilts too. Never mind that I bought a $48 ruler to make a Boomerang quilt in red fabrics I’ve been collecting from various people & places. :D The list, it helps me try and stay the course. Hmmn, I wonder if I get to add a 2019 Row x Row to my Canada Collection?

Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye

PS: I forgot to add the Canuck Place Children’s Hospice quilts to the list, but then, that’s just a given. #LoveHowYouGive

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