#IBelieveInBlue 2016-2020

We’ve finished all the quilts for the 2020 quilt campaign. This will be the end of the #IBelieveInBlue era. :( But, oh what a run it’s been! :D

During delivery day in 2016 we were asked by Liz to recount how this project came to be.  As I told the tale it made me laugh how crazy that first year was.  “As the story goes we were making one quilt for each win the Vancouver Canucks had on the way to, what we hoped, would be the Stanley Cup. At the time we only made the quilts as the games were won and that made for a very crazy finish. Joan and I were in Powell River on June 4, 2011 teaching a sewing day. The Canucks played and won that night! While visiting a Neighbours home on Maple Avenue we found her husband hosting a bar-b-que for his crew and watching the game. They were so excited for hockey and our project that they sponsored four quilts on the spot. We started out with five quilters willing to take this on and picked up five more quilters as the Stanley Cup frenzy picked up. The first quilt was started in mid April and the last finished at the end of July, 6 weeks longer than the actual playoffs! We delivered 17 quilts on August 3rd, ending the first I Believe in Blue campaign. And, as the story continues, the enthusiasm by the quilters and sponsors was so awesome that they wanted to keep making quilts for the children and their families. On August 11th, 2016 we delivered 17 more quilts to Canuck Place to bring the total to 100.  Such an awesome achievement by all the quilters (22)  and sponsors (18) over the past 6 years.

In January 2017 an email went out asking who was still in to make a quilt for the #IBelieveInBlue quilt campaign. Every year the response was the same, they were in. Over the last five years we’ve spent a few days having a quilting/binding marathon. We did things a little differently this year. Jackie was in town and Joan put her to work piecing backings for the quilts she would do on Maybelline in between customer quilts. I quilted a couple at home and made a couple of trips to Tsawwassen to bind & label quilts. Nine quilts were long arm quilted and the other seven done on domestic machines. The Vancouver Canucks were not anywhere near playoff mode. This was all about the children and their families. This year we had one quilt that was hockey related and the rest had cats, penguins, whales, birds, flowers, hearts and angels. What a difference from 2011! We made a delivery of 16 more quilts on September 14th this year.

The quilters loved last years pattern so much that for the first time in eight years we used the same pattern for the 2018 campaign. This was the year that the Sedins would retire. The end of an era and it saw 4 quilts dedicated to the brothers. And each year we seemed to get a little later in our delivery as we would be delivering again in September. Life gets in the way sometimes and we missed the last two years quiltathon where we would bind and label the quilts. This year the quilts went to our Pt Roberts quilt retreat for the finishing touches of binding and labeling. On September 13, 2011 we delivered another 16 quilts.

The 2019 campaign had a new pattern and 10 quilters. We also saw the Vancouver Canucks begin to win. And this year we had a Calder Trophy winner in Elias Pettersson as the top rookie! :D

We were also able to have our quiltathon this year! It’s one of my favourite few days of the year, getting to spend it with Joan & Jackie and making magic for these quilts going to Canuck Place. This year seven quilts arrived completely quilted & bound. That left nine quilts to quilt and bind. This includes making the batting the correct size. Piecing the backings to the correct size. Making some bindings & then applying the binding to the quilts.  This is usually where the labels get added to all 16 quilts but they took a trip across the border to Pt Roberts again this year for the finishing touch. Delivery day was September 19, 2019.

We knew going in that the 2020 #IBelieveInBlue quilt campaign would be our last one. And what a strange year it has been. Covid-19. We had to use the services of Canada Post to mail out quilt kits when we usually delivered in person. Joan had to do most of the quilting alone this year. When we have our quiltathon Jackie and I do all the prep work and help with the quilting. We finally got to have a physically distanced stitchathon on September 1st. Joan had only one quilt to finish. Jackie and I did the bindings and labels…it was a marathon stitching day! After a wonderful dinner we watched the Vancouver Canucks win game five 2-1.

We’ve spent 10 years celebrating 25 years of Canuck Place and 50 years of the Vancouver Canucks. We have had an awesome run with our #IBelieveInBlue quilt campaigns, finishing with one hundred and sixty four quilts for the children and families at Canuck Place. Delivery day for 2020 will be Thursday, October 8th. A physically distanced drop off in the gardens at Canuck Place. #LoveHowYouGive #LoveWhatYouDo

I’ve finished The Next Five Years photo book. These two books will be included in the delivery with the quilts. This campaign ended the same way it began in 2011, with the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup playoffs. They made it to game 7 of round two. That’s 10 playoff wins in 2020.  Looking forward to more exciting hockey and lots more inspired quilting.

Thanks for making this dream a reality. Happy quilting…Valerie Raye & Joan

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Seaglass Quilt

Seaglass. I love seaglass. There is just “something” about finding these bits of weathered & smooth pieces of glass. I’ve heard it said “it’s garbage, other people’s garbage.” Well, it’s the best kind of garbage! And I love finding it. :D

I think some people think the same way about scraps of fabric. :D I, myself, like scraps of fabric. They hold a tonne of memories from whatever they are left over from. Fairly recently I started to actually organize my scraps into usable size squares & colours. This came in really handy when an online Seaglass Quilt Class showed up on my Instagram feed. I’d been working on blue & green Canuck quilts for a few months and was looking for something quick and easy to do while I waited for the smoke to clear outside.

I had to purchase a background fabric for this project but all the rest came from the 2″-3″ cut squares bin. The squares all had fusible added to them and then I could start to cut organic shapes. This is all random cutting. The next step is to sort colours by gradient &  value and then decide what you will use. Originally I was going to have reds, golds and browns in this piece but I had a specific size I wanted to work on so they got turfed into the seaglass bin! You’d think most of the work would come from the cutting but you’d be wrong. Hours go by while you move your seaglass pieces to where they look their best. Think fuse, cut, place, peel, fuse and sew.

After laying out your pieces you then have to peel the paper off and put them back. Of course they never quite fit the way they originally did so a little more cutting might be necessary. And then as you’ve been working on this piece for “awhile” now you find you need to move a piece! It’s so much fun, just like finding those beautiful little pieces of seaglass on the the beach. For this piece I purchased Basically Grunge background fabric. I’m thinking that a cheaper choice of Kona white would work just as well as it’s covered in seaglass pieces anyway! This is raw edge applique, free motion stitched. Some fabrics might fray a little bit but you get to use all your favourite pieces. I will try this again using just batiks.

This piece is 14″ x 36″ and was pretty quick to stitch down all the seaglass pieces. Another time I may leave a little more background showing so I can free motion between the pieces.

The course was designed by Allie McCathren through CourseCraft, @exhaustedoctopus on Instagram. Check out #SeaglassQuiltClass to see all the other cool pieces. Apparently I am now the proud owner of an “improv quilt.” :)

So, now when I can’t get to the beach for a seaglass hunt, I can get to my seaglass bin for some different beach combing. Kneeling <– on shells was hard BUT, seaglass in NZ! –>Piper’s Lagoon sand is much softer. ;)

Happy quilting…stay safe…stay connected…Valerie Raye

PS: I highly recommend this book by Anita Shreve. It gives you a glimpse into what us seaglass hunters love so much about finding bits of glass. You also learn a little history about textile mills, the forming of unions and brutal conditions that families endured to make a living.

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Five months after our first conversation about “should we or shouldn’t we” make & wear cloth masks we are still doing it. Most of us had no idea what it was we were dealing with. There was lots of controversy around wearing masks and it’s ability to prevent the spread of Covid-19.  At the time, even the top doctors didn’t know whether or not it helped prevent the spread. In the early days, if you went out, you saw a wide variety of masks and gloves being worn. And, like bicycle helmets, most weren’t being worn correctly.  I know it felt weird for me to be wearing a mask out in public but if I was going to do everything I could, physical distancing, & washing my hands, I had to add wearing a mask to that list too. So here we are five months and many masks later.

The first ones I made were from light, flesh coloured fabrics at the request of the receiver. I had a limited supply of elastic so made a few with ties. I tried a couple different patterns but ultimately chose
to make the pleated style of mask, both with elastic and ties. For anyone wearing hearing aids the ties seem to be a little better fit and don’t interfere with the aids, especially if you happen to wear glasses as well. I did try the three layer version, but man oh man are they ever warm. :D I’ve also made them with a pocket to add a filter.

<– This one is made with ties and has no nose wire but there is a slot for one. –> This one has elastic and a nose wire plus a small tuck at the chin, allowing the mask to fit less loosely. For myself, having the nose wire makes a big difference in whether or not my glasses fog up. All the masks I had made up until very recently are made from batiks. They take approximately 20 minutes to make.

For awhile, say late June and July, masks were being worn less and less inside buildings like the grocery store. Several small businesses request you wear a mask & some were a requirement, not a request.  As the cases continue to increase here in BC we’ve seen an increase in the requirement of mask wearing like the BC Ferries, BC Transit & grocery stores. Yesterday, August 28th, we saw 124 Covid-19 cases. This is the most we have had here in BC since April. More than they had in Ontario. We need to continue to physically distance, wash our hands, stay inside our bubbles and wear masks.

So back to the masks, why not have a half dozen different ones available? People may be sick of Covid-19 & the life style change we’ve all had to make but it’s here to stay for awhile. You can make them out of any colour, use novelty fabrics and lead by example by wearing one. ^ The ones above all have chin tucks and are fairly comfortable to wear. Yes, I know when it’s hot it’s not pleasant but all we need to think about then are the healthcare workers and what they have to wear all shift long.

I finally got my e-bike the other day and decided I needed to have a snazzy new mask to keep with me when I was out and about. Get inspired by your fabrics and 20 minutes later you have a new mask for your daily outfits. ;) Check out Quilter on Fire for her version of a face mask. Lots of Youtube videos on how to do it too.  We’re in this together so let’s try and have a little fun.

Happy Quilting…Stay Safe…Stay Connected…Wear a Mask…Valerie Raye

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#IBelieveInBlue 2011-2015

Canuck Place quilts. :D :D We’ve spent 10 years making these quilts. One hundred & sixty four quilts later. Wow! As you know this will be our final #IBelieveInBlue quilt campaign and hopefully we will get the quilts delivered in September. Jackie, Joan and I are normally planning a quiltathon. With Covid-19 that is not happening. Joan will quilt those flimsies that have arrived at her place. Eventually Jackie & I will get to the mainland to label & bind. In the mean time I’ve been compiling photos and memories of our 10 year quilt campaign. <– The quilt here is the very first quilt of that “Run For the Cup” 2011 quilt campaign.

This was clearly a crazy time in the life of a hockey fan and quilter. I was living in Mill Bay on Vancouver Island, Joan was in Tsawwassen and Doris & Wanda were in Powell River (top of the Sunshine Coast.) The first quilt was made from the blue, green & white fabrics I had in my stash. When the campaign really took off we were able to find the Canuck colours in Kona cotton in a couple of stores on both the island and mainland. Same for the backings. We had four different backings that year. All quilts were quilted on domestic machines. Bindings and labels were applied by hand. Each of the labels had the date of the game won in each of the series played.

On June 4, 2011 Joan & I traveled to Powell River for a MLQ Sew Day. While there Larry worked on his Canuck Quilt. “It Takes a Team,” and Larry’s team was right there to help him make a wheelchair sized quilt for the kids. Later that day we watched the Canucks win the 2nd game of the Stanley Cup finals and convinced five more diehard hockey fans to sponsor a quilt.

We asked each sponsor who/what they wanted on the quilt. We now had fourteen quilts and fourteen wins. All the 2011 quilts were named after players and their numbers. Applique, embroidery, fabric crayons, hand quilting and silk screening were all used to make the quilts unique. Plus we had an extra two quilts, two more than the wins by the Canucks. Quilts were all finished by the end of July, six weeks after the last Stanley Cup game. In the end we had nine quilters to complete the seventeen quilts that were delivered on August 3, 2011.

No thought had gone into doing a second year of quilts but when we were asked we shrugged & said “why not?” We were definitely a little more organized this time as we were able to purchase bolts of Canuck blue, green & white. We still had to have an assortment of backings, mostly flannel. I remember feeling sick to my stomach thinking this quilt campaign would be a failure as the Vancouver Canucks lost the first three games in round one. :(   If we were going on the same premise of one quilt for each win we were only going to have ONE quilt for the 2012 campaign. BUT quilters are pretty awesome. They wanted to make the quilts for the children and families and didn’t care if there were any more wins. Even though there was only one win, there were sixteen quilts for the children. :D

Joan purchased her longarm machine in late 2011. Nine of the quilts were quilted on the machine, bindings were also by machine but labels were still stitched by hand. Sixteen more quilts were delivered to Canuck Place on August 1, 2012.

The 2013 quilt campaign was a no brainer. Quilters were still interested in making quilts for the children. It was a very weird year for hockey as there was only half a season due to a lockout. I was still in Mill Bay and remember calling Joan and telling her I’d found an awesome bolt of flannel hockey player fabric at the Duncan Fabricland. I was so excited, I wish they’d had more! And of course this would be the year that cancer and  the treatments played havoc with me. I’m so glad I had these quilts to make and something else to focus on. <—Making Bieksa’s Buddies was so much fun to make and I still smile thinking about it. (He was modeled after Flat Stanley from the children’s author Jeff Brown.) This was also our first quiltathon. Jackie, Joan and I spent the May long weekend quilting, binding and labeling. We made an extra two quilts that year. One completed for the Gift of Time Gala and the other for the silent auction bid winner who requested a Johnny Canuck themed quilt. Sixteen quilts were delivered July 15, 2013.

The 2014 quilt campaign started in February as quilters were eager to get their kits. The new pattern was done at the end of the previous campaign and we were able to get fabrics in Canuck colours a little easier. We also had twelve quilters that year. Canucks weren’t doing a very good job of winning or making the playoffs so the quilters started using hearts, butterflies and inspiring words on the quilts. Yes, there were still plenty of names, numbers and logos representing hockey. This was the year that the scary health news came out about Gino Odjick…chants of “Gino, Gino, Gino” were heard outside his Vancouver hospital. The quiltathon moved to July and delivery day was August 19, 2014.

As soon as the calendar turned to 2015 an email was sent out asking who would like to make or sponsor a quilt. In year five we still had plenty of supporters and the sixteen quilt kits were quickly spoken for. It was definitely becoming an annual event. Delivery day this year was Tuesday, August 18th. For me it began the day before as I traveled to Tsawwassen so I could sew the labels on those quilts that went home to be bound by their owners after the quilting marathon in July.  This year we invited  Lorraine to go along with us. Hers was the only quilt left that needed a label so as we cruised down Granville street in the convertible, top down in the sunshine, I stitched on the label. :) Staff loved her Eddie Lack quilt and were as sad as she was about him being traded away from the Vancouver Canucks. Eddie was a big supporter of Canuck Place and would come for special events and come to play video games with the kids.

Five years, five patterns. :) We purchased some handcrafted Vancouver Canuck ornaments for our quilters this year. So cute, and we’re so appreciative of all our supporters. This was the year that Heather McCartney from the Canadian quilters magazine, Quilter’s Connection, interviewed us about our #IBelieveInBlue quilt campaigns for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice. How cool is that? Most probably the first and last time that happens but, hey! it happened. ;)

As I said earlier, I’ve been collecting photos and memories as I wait for the next stage of our campaign. And what a lot of memories! That’s ten years and soon to be one hundred & sixty four quilts. Gathering all the photos in one place to put into a photobook was a challenge. So many that I had to break it down into two photobooks.  And of course the 2020 campaign isn’t finished so neither is the Next Five Years. And who knows, with this Covid-19 hockey season, anything can happen. How awesome to have the Vancouver Canucks stay in the bubble till October!! No matter, sixteen quilts will still be delivered to Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

Happy Quilting…Stay safe…Valerie Raye

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Happy to Be Canadian

Back in the 1970′s I used to do a little sewing on the off season to supplement the lack of fishing income.  At first I only made clothes and put them on consignment at a little shop in Lantzville. In the 1980′s I opened up my own little cottage industry, The Thread Bear. It was at our home where I sewed and mended for clients as well as making clothes for my family. I made most of the boys clothes and some of my own. I especially remember a lovely seer sucker dress with forget me knot flowers that I made for my grandmother. This would be where my special scrap stash collection began and has followed me around ever since. I didn’t make my first quilt until 1984 and that was all purchased fabrics. The second and third quilt would happen over the next two years, with pieces of all three quilts added to the stash. I just happen to love scrap quilting. It started because of limited funds but it continues because I have so many happy memories in those particular quilts.

Firstly, I found this amazing pattern, Oh, Canada! by Cheryl Arkison, a Canadian quilter and designer. It was first published in 2013 and I’ve had it since 2015. This is what Cheryl had to say: Designed in perfect proportions to the original flag, Oh, Canada! pays patchwork homage to this symbol of Canadian spirit and drive. Make one block or make a dozen. Piece the fabric together from scraps to echo the diverse nature of Canada, or make it solid to showcase the fabric. Secondly, I didn’t think twice when it came to making this quilt scrappy. I had a very large green bin full to overflowing and it was time to get started. I made a giant mess on the carpeted floor of my sewing room just sorting through the colours. Once I had a pile with golds, yellows and beige I separated them as well. There is one yellow and one gold flag in the overall design. In the yellow flag there is a piece of not very good quality cotton but it holds very dear memories for me and there it will be. It was a leftover piece from the stuffed pelican I made my nephew for his 2nd birthday, 37 years ago. :) I made and sold many more over the years.

This was the 2nd last flag. The yellow with blue flowers is in Ty’s Pelican. There’s an even older yellow piece with grey and white flowers. It is from a doll dress made for the rag doll I made for my sister Judy Christmas 1970! See where I’m going? ;) Memories.  Actually, I just now did the math and that last piece is over 50 yrs old!! Yikes!!

This pattern is a scrap quilt makers dream. Build a slab and cut to size. The maple leaf is made from a slab piece too. It is then raw edge appliqued onto the white block. As this was a scrap quilt I used only the white cotton I had on hand. This meant I had to piece some of the white background pieces. I loved making these individual flags.

How do you make a slab? From Cheryl: Take two pieces of fabric and sew them together. Do that a few more times. Then start sewing more pieces to those first pairs. Sew groups together. Add additional pieces of fabric as necessary to get up to your finished size. Start with small bits or big ones, it doesn’t matter. Raid your scrap bins and go with what you’ve got. There is a grey with pink flowers in this flag that was left over from a pair of pants with matching jacket that I used to wear quite happily…wonder if I have a photo?

I started this quilt in June 2019. It is important to me to add a new quilt every year for Canada Day. Target date was July 1st 2020. Being a Canadian, buying Canadian and supporting all things Canadian was something that we grew up with, along with don’t bite your nails & sit up straight! Guess something stuck. :D

This top has been finished since February. I had a few other things to do before starting the quilting but when I finished the PPE gowns I found that I had the perfect size of 100% cotton sheeting left over for the backing. Two more memories to add to the quilt courtesy of Kadi & Velma. :)   After sandwiching the quilt, I stitched in the ditch (SID) around all the blocks. The next order of business was to free motion stitch the maple leaves.  My hands, far too often, don’t cooperate. This can sometimes make quilting a little bit challenging. All twelve maple leaves have their very own unique stitching pattern. ;) Next up was the sides of the flags and lastly the white background. This quilt is 72″ x 48″ and the perfect size for domestic machine quilting. Some time ago I stopped in at Kaleidoscope Quilting in Duncan for no specific reason. Amrit was busy cutting a piece of fabric from the end of a bolt. It was so beautiful I had to buy the remaining piece. No particular idea what it would be for but turns out to be the perfect piece for binding this #ColourfulCanadian quilt.




Did I mention my hands are uncooperative? Must be Covid-19 brain that thought it would be a good idea to hand stitch the binding on. It was 2 hands pulling a needle pulling thread. I’ll be rethinking that next time!! :D But I am very very pleased with this finished product. It has endless memories attached and I can’t wait to see it hanging on Canada Day 2020.

Check out Cheryl’s Blog here —> http://www.cherylarkison.com/ and maybe give slab piecing a try.

Happy to be Canadian…Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye

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#QuiltsForNovaScotia #QuiltsForNS

Like so many, we were shocked and gutted to hear about the mass shooting that took place in Nova Scotia on April 18/19. It’s just incomprehensible. We know how we feel and can’t even begin to imagine how devastated those directly involved are. The Maritime Modern Quilt Guild has asked for 200 blue and white quilts, representing Nova Scotia, for distribution to the families & first responders affected by this tragedy.

On April 22nd at 11:00pm I got a text from Joan saying “Let’s make a quilt for Nova Scotia.”

At 8:00pm on the 23rd I was working on the outside blocks of <this quilt, designed by Andrea Tsang Jackson, owner of  3rd Story Workshop.  https://3rdstoryworkshop.com/home-3rd-story-workshop She is based out of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Andrea wrote a blog post for the quilt drive and posted this pattern for us to use. https://3rdstoryworkshop.com/quilts-for-nova-scotia

I’ve been behaving myself and following Dr Henry’s directions to #StayHome and had to work from my depleting stash. For this quilt I dug into my saved pieces of marine fabrics. It was the right thing to do. As a west coast mariner I have loved spending time on the east coast and in particular Nova Scotia and its marine history. This 3rd Story Workshop quilt is full of my collection of marine fabrics. It was in this quilt that I poured the love and peace of my favourite environment. While making this quilt I decided to make a second quilt using the 2nd pattern that was in the 3rd Story Workshop blog post.

I started the Simple Hearts quilt on May 2nd and finished May 3rd. I found just the right amount of blue and and white to complete this quilt. The Nova Scotia tartan was a 2008 purchase from a trip to Cape Breton Island with my good friend Wanda. It was time to use it. It was time to send it back home. I could feel the energy flowing into the making of this quilt. Such a sweet, easy quilt pattern by Allison, owner of Cluck Cluck Sew.


I was pretty excited to get this text from Joan. When she posted the picture of her Long Arm Quilter box for customers I had wondered if the postie would use it for my quilts. YES! I guess if it’s addressed to Maple Leaf Quilters that’s the place to put it. Canada Post has been amazing. This mailed out May 4th and in the “box” May 5th! Joan had extra work to do this time as it didn’t make sense to mail quilts back and forth. She had to add the binding and labels to the quilts as well.

On the large heart quilt I requested anchors. Joan used Ocean Blue thread to quilt it. Feels so weird not to be able to get that last touch of the quilt once it is finished. Sure be glad when #Covid19 takes a permanent hike!


The Simple Hearts quilt was treated with Harbour Sky thread and a beautiful heart pantograph.

Like I said Joan had to do the binding and was kept company by her binding buddy. That little buddy has garnered a lot interest. She is cool to use.

When Wanda said she was going to make a quilt Joan had her send it to her so she could quilt it and mail all three quilts together. Wanda used the special design for the 10th anniversary of the #IBelieveInBlue quilt campaign for Canuck Place Children’s Hospice.

She cut out and appliqued twenty two hearts to represent those that lost their lives.  People Like You is a song written by Johnny Reid especially for those twenty two people. Johnny just happens to be one of Wanda’s all time favourite singers, so this is for her. These quilts are full of love, peace and hope. They are given with the hopes of helping bring comfort. The motto for the Maritime Modern Quilters Guild says: Our lives are like quilts – bits and pieces, joy and sorrow, stitched with love. And these were. :)

Love in the Storm. 64″ x 64.” 3rd Story Workshop design.


She’s Called Nova Scotia This is a Rita McNeil song and I thought so appropriate as she was from Cape Breton Island and that is where the Nova Scotia tartan was purchased. Finished size of this quilt is 46″ x 48.” Cluck Cluck Sew design. (see link above for the pattern tutorial.)


< Wanda’s Hugs from BC.  MLQ design, 44″x 54.”

When life gives you scraps, make a quilt. That is–> just what I did with the scraps from the two Nova Scotia quilts. 23″ x 25.”


Quilts were all completed and in the mail by Friday, May 15th. The MMQG will receive quilts up until June 30th. From there they will be given to the RCMP for distribution.

Happy Quilting with much love to Nova Scotia…Valerie Raye, Joan & Wanda

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April’s Game

Can you believe it’s April 29th already? Time stops for no one and nothing. Last year (2019) I promised myself that I would write at least one post per month. I managed to miss March and October. This past January I renewed this promise and have very nearly missed April. I really like the idea of writing. I haven’t been at work since March 18th so time is not the problem. I have actually been really busy with sewing and virtually instructing so there is no excuse to have nothing to write about.  I’ve come to think maybe it has been avoidance. Things have changed vastly for everyone these past six weeks. Is this what retirement might look like? Put off today what I can do tomorrow? And then tomorrow is next month? I’ve known for a very long time that deadlines are my friend. They inspire me to get going, get finished and start something new. I guess I’m just not ready to retire even though I might appear to be retired since the #StayHome #StaySafe orders came from Dr. Bonnie Henry.

When Joan posted this to our Facebook page the other day it gave me a focus. I originally stated that I had done 12 of the 25 tasks. It actually might be more.

I couldn’t remember if I had finished a WIP. Well, I guess binding and mailing a quilt is considered a WIP. And since then I have racked my brain to think of any other WIPs that I may have and holy mother, yes I do! :D One hand quilting, one needs to be quilted and two more mile-a-minute sets of blocks to sew into quilt tops. < These last two are Christmas presents and were deliberately set aside to make way for Canuck quilts.

Didn’t have any 1/4″ elastic but I did have elastic that came out of a jacket that I had saved from a t-shirt quilt. And then I remembered I had elastic in my Olympic jacket that could be used. So yes I did cut something up for elastic. And, of course I pinned some pleats! I was asked to make masks that were skin tone. I used my batiks and especially love the forest one.  I made several others with ties and then I cut my 1/2″ elastic in half and used it. I’ve donated a few masks and said no to receiving money but please go ahead and donate to a charity.

Yes to making other things besides masks. I’ve been making heart themed postcards for family and friends and mailing them out weekly. My niece Kristy ^ got a mask and a postcard. #StayConnected I did not break a needle but did change needles as they get sticky from the fusible in the postcards. I also made a heart themed wall hanging for the front window to participate in the show of hearts across the country. This will also serve as my Valentine’s wall hanging. ;)

I made Honey Bear from Fireside backing scraps. It had been a very long while since I’d made stuffed animals.  Those little spaces are a challenge to pin and stitch but well worth it. I had to disassemble a pillow to find enough stuffing to make her firm but squishy. She is a free pattern from Funky Friends. https://www.funkyfriendsfactory.com/blog/ She accompanied the I Spy quilt to Powell River.

Another quilt I’ve made is for #QuiltsForNS. What a devastating time for Nova Scotia. Absolutely breaks my heart and I can’t imagine what pain others are feeling. I used my best marine fabrics in this quilt that is designed by Andrea, owner of   https://3rdstoryworkshop.com/home-3rd-story-workshop. I had to use my seam ripper a few times as I was watching Brad Pitt on Netflix and apparently wasn’t paying attention to right and wrong sides of fabric. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button in case you wanted to know. It’s a long movie, so yes I was up late too. Love how his family owned a button factory.  :)

The last square I can check off is “missed your quilt shop.”
Yes, I miss my favourite quilt shop…Maple Leaf Quilters and my baby sister, Joan. We usually get to see each other at least once per month but #SocialDistancing and #StayHome have made that impossible. Thank goodness for Canada Post. Does this count as curb side pickup? Canuck quilt kits, a quilt ready for binding and batting.

It was such a lovely day last Saturday, April 26th when we participated in the #BCStayAtHomeCampOut. Thank you to all of you who joined us in our #MLQStayAtHomeQuiltCamp. We’re going to do it again on Saturday, May 16th so get your projects ready.

And one last thing, be like Dr Bonnie Henry and Be Calm. Be Kind. Be Safe.

Thinking of all our quilting friends and waiting patiently for the all clear to spend our sewing days together.

Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye

PS: The lovely lady in the top picture is from the Quiltmakers Gift by Jeff Brumbeau. A charming fable for our times celebrates the joy of giving. :)


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Pieces of Love: A Guest Post by Kadi

Jenny, Kelli and I all met while studying at Simon Fraser University and quickly became great friends. When Kelli got engaged last year to her fiancé Jason it was Jenny who suggested we make her a quilt. Jenny found a pattern which we both agreed would be a good balance of modern meets colour for Kelli. There was an option to purchase a kit with pre-selected colours but we decided to choose our own fabrics. For as long as I can remember Kelli’s favourite colour has been teal blue and it is the colour she has chosen for the wedding. We wanted to highlight the colour teal in the heart shape of the quilt so we selected everything to match this.

We took a drive out to Dragonfly Quilting and Gifts in Cloverdale to pick our own colours for the alternating triangles and ended up with several fat quarters. As we chose our own colours we had to number and coordinate them accordingly with the patterns guide, there were over 16 different colours! Now the real fun began – the cutting and arranging of the half square triangles.

We used Joan’s sewing studio to set up shop and laid the fabric out. On weekends Jenny would bring her sewing machine and mom would set up the extra cutting station and iron for us. It was our own little sewing day! I would say Jenny and I are both perfectionists so working with all of those points made us nervous. Mom would continuously say… don’t worry, I can quilt that out! Over the next few months the heart shape came together. 

During a sewing day hosted by Maple Leaf Quilters Jenny and I were able to piece together the flimsy with the encouragement and guidance from Valerie! (It was my absolute pleasure!)



From the editor: On the February 22nd sew day the flimsy was complete. Finished size is 70″x 80.” And from here it went to Joan & Maybelline for a very quick turnaround on the quilting machine.

Joan had to make a trip to the fabric store to purchase backings for a few other quilts and picked up this one for the girls. She also pulled a pantograph from the archives. She said she bought it years ago but felt she wasn’t skilled enough to use it then. Well, I say by looking at this—> she is very good at doing feathers!!

Back to Kadi: After the top was done it was sent to Joan for quilting. She did an amazing job with the feathers which bring the heart shape to life and the whole quilt together.

The quilt was passed back to Jenny to hand bind before Kelli’s bridal shower. She pulled almost an all-nighter to get the quilt finished before the party! (March 8th) We titled the quilt Pieces of Love, pieced by Kadi and Jenny and quilted by Joan.

Working with Jenny on this was great fun, we learned how to read the pattern, and pick the fabric, press our seams, and pin our points. This project was really rewarding to see it come together and I thoroughly enjoyed working on it with Jenny.

Kelli loves her quilt and said it brings her great comfort when she is snuggling up on the couch with her fiancé Jason.

From the Editor: Jenny is a primary school teacher & Kadi is a physiotherapist so both have limited time. It’s the sign of dedicated quilters to find time to quilt for their friend. Joan and I are very proud of our young quilters and how much they have learned.

Thanks to Kadi for writing this…Happy Quilting…Valerie Raye

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2020 International Quilt Day: Quilt Hanging

Saturday March 21st was a beautiful sunny day. A perfect day for an outdoor quilt show. Mavis Reynolds, a Victoria quilter, set up a group on Facebook several months ago with the intention of hanging quilts outside for International Quilt Day. With all the #SocialDistancing amid the Covid-19 pandemic keeping everyone away from the traditional groups gathering this day, it was a wonderful way to celebrate quilting safely. There were posts from all over Canada, the USA and overseas showing beautiful quilts. Some had snow and wind, while others were lucky to have sunshine and a slight breeze. The quilt here^ is my very first guild challenge (2002) and is the inspiration for this blog.

Joan and I have been quilting for so long that we’ve hooked several family members with making quilts of their own. And of course those who haven’t quilted have received quilts from us. We asked all these family members to hang their quilts and shoot us some photos. It was pretty rewarding and gave us lots to smile about during this tough time.

Before my second cup of coffee on Saturday when it was still very frosty out I hung the first set of quilts. These represent an online BOM (2001), MLQ Quilt-a-long (2014), a MLQ read-a-long & Town Square Quilt (2018), and a Timberlane guild challenge (2003). Neighbours walking stopped by at a #SocialDistance to have a look at them.


After finding another length of rope I decided to hang a few more. These represent a gift for my 50th birthday, a pattern testing quilt, three more challenge quilts and a quilt that is waiting for the right time to be given as a gift. I enjoyed hanging my quilts out and really enjoyed seeing all the virtual quilt hangings too.

At 7:40am Saturday morning I received a text from Joan. She was up and had the first row of her godson Kurt’s quilt done. By 1:39pm I received another text with the quilt completed.

This is an amazing paper pieced quilt. It’s a free quilt pattern by Project of Doom. I can’t believe she had it quilted and bound and hanging in time for International Quilt Day.

Joan had two other quilts to hang outside. She chose her 2015 Row x Row H20 quilt to hang as she does live in Beach Grove. Her other quilt was her Outlander quilt with Claire and Jamie.

These quilts to the right are from our good friend Donna in Vernon. They had lovely sunshine too. I see her quilt (blue) from the MLQ online read-a-long and the Town Square quilt. The modern wedding ring quilt in the foreground was a group effort from all the Maple Beach quilters.

The next to report in was my niece and Joan’s oldest daughter Kadi. From their balcony in Ladner. During self-isolation, they were able to enjoy refreshments and their quilts. The red, black and white was given to the O’Neals as a wedding quilt created by another “hooked on quilting 30 something.” :) The red and black quilt is one I designed and hand quilted. A gift for her 30th birthday. Now Kadi does quilt but I guess today we only see those she was gifted. ;)


My son Sean and his wife Kayla had a perfect day for hanging quilts and doing yardwork in Saanich while doing some #SocialDistancing themselves. The brown and gold quilt is Welcome to Tyler sampler quilt made from Christmas fabrics. Shania Sunga’s Homecoming is one of 5 that I’ve made and lastly the Quilter’s Constellation, the first MLQ online BOM.

Our sister Patricia checked in from Nanaimo with these quilts. She makes a Canuck quilt every year and participates in the MLQ challenges. I see a Maple Beach challenge, the Quilter’s Constellation, a Welcome to Tyler and the Town Square Quilt. The quilt on the far right is a scrappy puff square quilt, all sewn by hand when she lived in Falkland on property with out BC Hydro power. That is a treasure and I’m glad it is part of the celebration.

My niece Emily of the Melody Memory Bear post hung quilts in Ladner as well. Seems it was some kind of windy as her very awesome Drunkard’s Path quilt is blowing in the breeze. I believe that was a 21st birthday gift from her mother Joan. On the far left I see a quilt that Emily made several years ago. I can’t quite see what the middle quilt is but the one on the far left is one I made for my grandmother’s 98th birthday and gifted it to Emily after Granny’s passing.


My daughter Angela checked in from Mill Bay where she hung quilts late in the day. There are the boys t-shirt quilts , The Cats Day Out (2001) a jelly roll race and a curves for rectangles quilt, Twilight. I know she has more too. :D

And the last to check in were the Jones’ from Powell River. Harley is my “other son” and so his family gets quilts too. On the right is a Funky Monkey quilt made from left over sock monkey fabrics. Little Charlie Ann looks pretty cute playing on it. And Northern Lights is the other one. I wanted to buy a Jaybird’s quilt ruler and figured this would be the perfect excuse to have it and make the quilt too.

It was an awesome day to hang quilts. So lovely to see some colour and creativity in a world gone a little bit wonky.

Happy Quilting, Stay Safe, Stay Home, Be Well…Valerie Raye


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The Next Generation:Miss Emily Raye 2.0

I love to see the art of sewing returning to our younger generation. Back in June 2013 I wrote about my niece, Miss Emily and her quilting while a student at university. I taught her to sew back in 1996. She is a natural. She seamed ;) to sew with ease through her high school classes.  She has made several quilts over the last few years and now has turned to sewing memory bears. These bears are made from dress shirts.






Funky Friends Factory is a pretty fun website and blog. “Hi, I’m Pauline McArthur, the Australian soft toy designer behind the Funky Friends Factory. When people ask me HOW the Funky Friends Factory got started…I say that it all began with a BUNNY! Pauline has a blog that has amazing tutorials. https://www.funkyfriendsfactory.com/blog/ There is a tutorial on how to make the above bears, Melody Memory Bear, using baby clothes or like Emily’s bears, shirts will do too. Of course you have to purchase the pattern first! I signed up for a newsletter and now have a free pattern to make “Honey Teddy Bear.”

So now with each baby quilt I just may have to sew this cute little bear.

It’s sew much fun to have this next generation join us for sew days each month and to hear that they have space set aside at home to keep on sewing. Next blog post is about “thirty somethings” making a quilt for for their “thirty something” friend.

Happy quilting…Valerie Raye

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