just one slab

All The Sundays

Sunday Morning Quilts A Month of Sundays Denyse Schmidt

All The Sundays

70'' x 70''

An oh so special quilt is finally finished. I wasn't impatient or anything, but as soon as the last stitches went in the other day I realized how much I wanted this quilt to be done. Only so that it could be real, that it could be a thing I used and loved.

The first bits of piecing in this quilt started years ago. I was teaching a Slab class, the technique popularized in my book with Amanda Jean, Sunday Morning Quilts. In my prep for the class I grabbed a bunch of scraps from making the quilts in A Month of Sundays. They were handy, that's all. I had no specific plan. So I made my samples for the class and that was that. A bit later I was reading Denyse Schmidt's book, Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspirations. Her Shoeman's Puzzle quilt grabbed me immediately.

I'm not sure when the moment was that I decided to combine all these influences into one quilt, but it happened. And it was love at first sight.

Slabs and Low Volume and Shoeman's Puzzle

It wasn't an easy quilt to make. I made freezer paper templates to keep me on track. Those didn't come into play until after I'd made slabs though. The templates were totally necessary to keep lines as they should be, especially important with all those angles and bias edges. Of course, then there is the removing of the paper. Thankfully there are only 3 seams in each block, about the easiest paper piecing you can do.

The quilt top sat for a year and a half in the closet, keeping a dozen other quilt tops company. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do to quilt it and was willing to wait until the right idea hit me. Or, the right person to do it for me. 

Last summer I met Dara from Stitched Quilting Co. Turns out her MIL lives a few blocks away from me. We had a few visits and chatted quilting, dogs, and mothering. Well a couple of months ago Dara messaged to say she had an opening in her long arm schedule and delivery ready, if I had a quilt to go. Seeing as my Quilts Under Construction list is quite long I wasn't about to turn down the opportunity! This quilt made the cut precisely because I didn't have a plan for it and I already had a wide back purchased and ready to go. After a frantic evening of pulling papers and a few repairs I got it to Dara.

Stitched Quilting Co Free Motion Quilting

With so much solid expanse in the whites/creams of the quilt top this needed a special touch. Dara gave it just that! Such custom, detailed work. So much attention to detail. There are secondary and tertiary patterns in this quilt top and her quilting highlighted them. I'm thrilled with the outcome.

For the backing and binding I chose to go back to my dear friend Amanda Jean's fabric, Good Neighbors. She had a wide back fabric in that collection. And the orange dot was absolutely perfect for the binding. Conveniently I'd just ordered a half yard of it, the perfect amount. And lucky for me, because neither are available anymore!

Good Neighbors Fabric Crazy Mom Quilts

My husband will happily tell anyone that we have a ridiculous amount of quilts in our house. He is very obliging if we are asked for donations or gifts. Little does he know that this quilt will never leave my hands. It represents so much to me, not to mention that I think it is absolutely beautiful. I will always think of friendships, how my career has grown, and the history contained in some beautiful fabric. 

Quilts For Fort McMurray

Quilt donations

With a heavy heart I write this post. I also write it from the comfort of my own home, surrounded by family, my quilts, our things, our lives. Sadly, for thousands that will no longer be the case.

If you are here in Canada you've no doubt heard of the wildfire ravaging the city, towns, and area around Fort McMurray, in the northern part of my Province, Alberta. If you are international you may have heard about it too. A city of over 80,000 people evacuated. Large swaths of the city burned to the ground - homes, businesses, hotels, even infrastructure. It is so damn scary.

As people do when faced with a community tragedy we come together. People drive the highway to give away water, food, and gas to evacuees stranded. Oil companies open their oilsands camps to let evacuees stay for free. Homes are open to people living on cots with nothing but their name to carry. And quilters, quilters do what we do best.

There are numerous individuals and group gathering quilts to be shipped north when the right time comes, whether that is in rebuilding or now for people in shelters. Demand will be high, especially for the people who will have nothing, absolute nothing to go home to. I wanted to share information on where you can donate quilts, time, and money. Here is Calgary we know this far too well, but we also know the joy and love that is translated in some cotton sewn together with heart.

These places in the Calgary area are collecting quilts for eventual donation:

My Sewing Room (Finished Quilts) 

Wonderfil Threads (Finished Quilts and donating time on their longarms to finish quilts.)

Erie Quilt Art (Finished Quilts) 

One of the best resources is to join the Facebook page Quilts for Fort McMurray. Under the Events page they have listings of people across the country and internationally volunteering to collect quilts and ship as a group. 

It is still the early days of the fire and it will be a while before details of distribution can be sorted. So please be patient with organizers. In the meantime, gather your friends, makes some slabs, or finish a quilt that needs a new home.

The last handful of the Just One Slab quilts have been waiting for donation and I will drop them off now as soon as I can sew labels on them. That outpouring of love from 3 years ago will still be appreciated. 

Please note that I am not relaunching Just One Slab at this time. The response was awesome and amazing and overwhelming. Finished quilts are what people need now.

It is stories like this one that make your heart break. If you've never lived through anything like this, it doesn't take a big imagination to picture the terror and heartache. But it only takes a little bit of our love to spread some comfort and joy back into people's lives.

And remember, you can always donate to the Red Cross too. Text REDCROSS to 30333 to make a donation.