A Visit To Mahone Bay

Wednesday past was a glorious day – Remembrance Day. My friend Mary Ann and I decided to spend the day visiting Mahone Bay (to have lunch, visit Have A Yarn Wool Shop (if it was open), and to pick up a piece of used furniture she had seen on Kijiji,).

The day started off with dense fog here in Halifax but by the time we reached Chester the sky was clearing and in Mahone Bay it was sunny and warm – like 20°C warm.

We had lunch outdoors at The Biscuit Eater – mild enough to be without jackets. Then visited Have A Yarn – and of course I came home with a couple of balls of Sisu solid yarns (to fill in missing shades from my stash). We picked up the old table Mary Ann wanted.

Then on our way back to the highway we stopped at Heidi Wulfraat’s Woolworks shop.

Just one section of  the Kaffe Fassett Fabrics – colour sorted

She has some interesting yarns but her collection of Kaffe Fassett/Free Spirit Fabrics (the most complete in the province) is to drool over. The fabric collection is small compared to the quantity of bolts you’d see at Avonport Discount Fabrics (the other must go to fabric spot in Nova Scotia) but this is just about the complete collection of Free Spirit fabrics.

The collection is a lovely quality of quilting cotton. The prints, both large and small scale) are compelling. I spent quite a long time looking through each shelf. It was so tempting to pick out bolts but I already have one drawer in my stash with Kaffe Fassett/Philip Jacobs fabrics – I couldn’t make any decisions. In the end I did come home with a 21 piece fat quarter bundle to add to what I already have.

It’s one thing to go shopping with a quilt idea in my head – quite another to walk into a riot of colour like this and make any decisions! I had the same experience in New York in 2012 at the button warehouse we visited. I walked up and down the isles of buttons unable to pick out anything – what size? what colour? what quantity? Buttons are something you pick out after you have selected the fabrics and made decisions about what you’re making. A tailored shirt needs 11 small buttons, a wool jacket might look good with 5 large bright ones…. It’s the same with quilting fabric – do I want some fat quarters, half yards, full yard cuts? Or am I looking for a specific backing in which case I will need 2 metres. I just don’t know.

So I added some fat quarters to my collection of Kaffe Fassett fabrics:

My Collection of Kaffe Fassett Fabrics

Now I just need to think about what to make with them…. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Blushing Peonies II – Finally Finished

Finally finished, binding and label. I’m much happier with the quilt now that it’s finished. The quilting using a darkish bendable thread tied the Kona cotton elements to the rest of the quilt quite well and I have to admit I did one other thing – I toned them down using a fabric pastel crayon which darkened them a bit and hints at texture in much the same way some of the other fabrics do. Once pressed with a steam iron, the pastel dyes the fabric and will withstand washing.

It has the impact of a modern quilt.

Blushing Peonies II – A Modern Quilt – Top

I used flying geese to make a strip to widen the back – they don’t look like flying geese because there isn’t a consistent “background” to highlight the “geese” – however, the pattern created by the large and small triangles showcases the fabrics. The sashing elements I decided to make asymmetrical and I like how they offset the strip and tone down the red backing.

Blushing Peonies II – quilt Back With Flying Geese

After the showing in Parrsboro, my sister Donna expressed interest in the Bordered Diamonds quilt. I gave it to her. She has it hanging in in this bright green room. I love how the green makes the batik fabrics pop and how the colour flow in the quilt ties in with the navy sofa.

Bordered Diamonds – 2012

The other day I was at the physiotherapist – I was at one end of the room and this photo at the other end caught my eye – at the distance a face popped out – two eyes, the left cheekbone, mouth, the suggestion of a blue hat. It’s actually a photo of a waterfall but for me – it’s a face!

Kaffe Fassett/Philip Jacobs Quilt – Finished

Just finished the Kaffe Fassett/Philip Jacobs quilt this afternoon. Got the in-hoop quilting done yesterday, along with the border. Today I added binding and a label.

I’m pleased with how the quilt turned out. No name on it yet. For now it will live in the collection.

The back of the quilt includes a strip pieced from scraps – again to make the backing fabric wide enough so a single length would be enough. And I like the added detail on the backs – makes the quilts more interesting!

Tipsy Squares

Finally done. I’ve been working on this quilt for a couple of weeks now. It started out as an unequal 4-patch based on an idea for a charm pack (5 X 5 squares). I used the fabrics I bought at the Kaffe Fassett lecture in the spring.

I cut and sewed the 4-patch blocks but they were too small for a 5 x 7 quilt – I needed to add fabric so I added another layer on the edge. BUT I cut the strips too narrow – the blocks were still too small for the final dimensions I was after. So I decided, rather than just add sashing, to add triangles around each block which resulted in a “tilted” block. Seventeen blocks tilt in one direction, eighteen tilt in the other. So I had to lay out the blocks in the order I wanted them and add the correct triangles to each so that the layout I was after would be in the finished quilt top. Finally I added a 3″ border around the outside. The finished lap quilt will be 48″ x 65″.

IMG_4158I worked out the triangles by trial and error – I wanted the tilted block to end up 8.5″ wide – in the end that meant I needed a triangle cut on the diagonal of a 2 1/4″ x 9 3/5″ rectangle. Applying the triangles is tricky – can’t chain the sewing – each block has to be done individually – the first strip is partially sewn on, then the other three sides are added, and then the first side is stitched to the end – that’s necessary to get all the triangles sewn in place equally. In the end, it wasn’t applying the triangles that was difficult, it was sewing the blocks together – I didn’t quite manage to get all the points to align perfectly. But once the top is stitched in the ditch and quilted that isn’t going to show – only a very experienced quilter is going to notice that detail!

These are the blocks before triangles (just the block in the upper left has triangles added).


Lattice Quilt – Kaffe Fassett IX


Yesterday I finished this Lattice Quilt using Kaffe Fassett / Philip Jacobs large pattern fabrics. (The back used a Philip Jacobs fabric with an inserted crazy quilted piece.)

Cutting and assembling this quilt wasn’t the challenge; figuring out how to quilt the “blocks” was. In the end I set up an 8×8 design – 20 blocks in all (leaving some of the sashing unquilted), thirteen 3×8 blocks, two 3×3 blocks and then a design for the border.

This quilt has turned out a wee bit larger than my usual lap quilts – the design forced that – had to use an even number of blocks to make the lattice symetrical.

Some new Kaffe Fassett fabrics


Last evening I attended a lecture by Kaffe Fassett. Three of the local quilt guilds decided to work together and sponsor his visit to Nova Scotia. His talk was about “colour” – I’ve been following his work for years, beginning with his knitting books. His latest work has been quilts using fabrics he designs for Westminster Fabrics.

After the purge of my house last week, including the sewing room (I got rid of a lot of fat quarters and scraps I knew I was never going to use), I promised myself I was NOT going to buy any fabric — NO FABRIC, until I saw those luscious flowers in gold, pink, pale green, turquoise. And beside that bolt was the green dots, and then the pink houses… I added in the strong pink circles and a couple of others, bought a half meter of each. Then I came home and went through my Fossil Fern fat quarter collection (I still have about half of them unused) and picked out eight that I thought would work with the Kaffe Fassett prints.

These are more subtle than my usual quilt fabrics in shades I don’t usually gravitate toward, but last evening they called out to me.

I have no idea what kind of quilt I will make with this fabric collection. It might be several months before I think about using them but something interesting will get made.

Kaffe Fassett Quilt 8

IMG_2836This quilt uses a combination of Kaffe Fassett large print fabrics with contrasting pieces of Fossil Fern (Benartex). The quilt turned out quite a bit larger than my other quilts – not quite a twin bed size. So the back had to have an embellishment to extends the single length of backing fabric I had.


The quilt was embroidered in my 360 X 350 hoop using a large design I created – that allowed me to quilt 4 blocks at a time!

My Kaffe Fassett Quilts

Just got the Pinterest Weekly and found a quilt I’d made (photographed on my bed) attributed to someone else! I thought I ought to set the record straight: I have done seven quilts, either using Kaffe Fassett fabrics, or based on photos of his quilts I’ve found online.

#1: At the time I didn’t have any Kaffe Fassett fabrics so I took his idea (which I’d seen online) and made it using batiks I had in my stash. The backing is a single fabric.


#2: I had no sooner started #1 when I realized I could do something more with the way the colours were assembled and started #2 – setting it up to tell a colour story. The back of this quilt is also a single fabric.DSCF2072


#3: The idea of a colour story grew when I came across the Kaffe Fassett diamonds quilt – this quilt has 650+ pieces including diamonds and borders and partial diamonds on the outer edges. Back of quilt is still a single fabric.DSCF2124


#4: This quilt uses Kaffe Fassett fabrics but is built on a vanishing 4-patch. This was one of the first quilts where I did something interesting on the second side – I had to because the quilt was wider than WOF (width of fabric) and I needed more width than my backing fabric provided.




#5: A Kaffe Fassett idea (from one of his books – although I worked entirely from an image on Pinterest) using batik fabric from my stash. The back of this quilt is a single run of fabric.IMG_1579


#6: This is the quilt I found on Pinterest attributed to someone else! It’s both Kaffe Fassett fabrics for the squares as well as based on a Kaffe Fassett quilt (again from an image of a quilt he did which I found online). This quilt has a pieced second side using left over bits of fabric from the top using a “jellyroll race” technique to make the inserted strip.



#7: This quilt uses Kaffe Fassett fabrics for the central squares of each block – it isn’t a Kaffe Fassett design, I don’t believe. Again the inspiration came from a photo I found online. The back is also pieces using leftover blocks from the front of the quilt.DSCF2615



So these are my Kaffe Fassett quilts to date – either made with Kaffe Fassett fabrics or from images of quilts he’s done which I’ve found online. I still have quite a bit of Kaffe Fassett fabric in my stash so there will be more quilts…

Kaffe Fassett IV – Finished

KFiv-frontThis is the finished quilt! Added the binding this morning.

KFiv-backOther side – I hesitate to call it “back” since what I have is a two sided quilt – either side could be “front”.

KFivClose up showing the quilting – I used a 50wt variegated thread so the stitching is subtle – the point was simply to quilt the piece – not make the stitching the focus. I used a dark variegated thread on the other side so it shows even less there.




Kaffe Fassett IV


I completed the top this morning. In the end I decided to abut the blocks rather than use a black sashing – mostly because I didn’t want to add to the width of the quilt. It was a finicky task – required quite a bit of taking out and resewing to make the points and triangle bases align. Fortunately, the block edges were on the bias so I had a little play room to help me out.

Now to figure out what to do with the other side! I have one block left over from the original 36; I’ve just cut fabric to make four more, So with five blocks and wide sashing between the blocks I should have enough to make a strip the length of the quilt to insert into the backing panel. I’m hoping to have enough of the backing left over to bind the quilt.