Friday, March 15, 2019

Serendipity - A Quilt

Every quilt tells a story.

The story of this quilt began with news an unexpected move, paired with the start of a sew along (the community sampler sew along - hosted by designers, Sharon Holland and Maureen Cracknell).

The timing of these two events gave me a unique opportunity.  Packing up our household, (without knowing where we would be moving to), paired with a creative means to stay connected to the beautiful and supportive quilting community! The combination led me to decide to sew along, using only scraps (as I needed to pack and possibly store 99% of my stash...leaving my scraps out to use, seemed a reasonable compromise).

I did not start the sew along with everyone else due to a month long, out of province, work commitment.  Upon my return home, with 6 weeks left before our move, I dove in to sewing the first block (shown above) while in the midst of packing and I continued to sew blocks, while I looked for our next rental home.

Sewing each block as scrappy as possible was therapuetic. It gave me a chance to do something I loved,  which calmed my mind and helped me keep positive thoughts - trusting that things would work out for us. I actually managed to sew half of the blocks for this quilt before we moved (click here to see the blocks)Two weeks before the date we needed to move out, we finally found a place to rent! 

We moved to a temporary rental located on a  mountain, that is home to a ski resort in the winter and mountain biking as well as hiking in the summer.  A beautiful place to live!

I was so happy to set up my vintage Singer Featherweight machine on the dining room table and continue sewing scrappy blocks for my sampler quilt.  The view was amazing!  

My stash was packed away in storage, which stirred my creative juices to use the fabrics scraps I had on hand to their maximum potential.  I pieced some of my tiniest scraps together to substitute for a single cut of fabric in the original block's designs and I loved the results!  I also wanted a rainbow friendly colour scheme for my blocks (shown above) with as many low volume fabrics in the background as possible.

I made my Communtity Sampler as scrappy as possible! (click here to see individual blocks)

I finished the top during the summer, adding my own scrappy take on the borders, to let me increase the size of the original quilt pattern and to allow me to incorporate more colourful scraps.  The above photo was taken of the finished quilt top hanging in front of the living room window of our summer rental on the mountain.  At this point, I had no idea of what I would use for backing or binding and now I was back into searching for our next rental home.

It took until after our second move, late last year, before I returned to finishing this scrappy quilt.  Blessed with incredible views of Okanagan Lake at our next temporary rental home, I unpacked my quilt top to prep it for finishing.
Quilting with a lake view!

Thankfully, this home proved to have space for me to set up my Janome Horizon in our bedroom and space in the living room for basting.

Little details that make me happy - a pattern matched backing!

Thinking ahead, when I packed up my stash for storage, last Spring, I tucked potential backing fabrics into a box and labelled it - to make finding it again a little easier. Still, that box remained stored an hour drive away from where we currently live.  I was sorely tempted to just try to buy something rather than make that drive and rummage through a storage unit, with fingers crossed.

 This winter I decided I might find what I needed for this quilt, inside that box. I was trusting that something would work!  Turns out, I had just and I mean JUST enough of this medium dot on lime green to make a backing (pattern matching the seams included).

Meander quilting worked well in adding texture to the finished quilt and allowed for ease when quilting over the numerous seams from all my scrappy piecing.

The perfect colourful striped binding (which I machine stitched on) for my scrappy quilt!
The final finishing touch was finding a colourful striped fabric in another box I brought out of storage to search through.  It seemed the most fitting choice for such a colourful, scrap quilt!  It was unplanned, but seemingly, meant to be.

So many pieces came together, this past year.  Sometimes, unexpectedly and often, in ways better than we could have managed. Quilting and life seem to have some parallels.
Serendipity - my finished Community Sampler Quilt.

The result?  A quilt I am naming, Serendipity,  made entirely from my stash, colourful and happy - filled with memories (and spectacular views) of two beautiful, temporary homes that we have been blessed to enjoy during these past months.

Linking up this happy finish 
with Julie at The Crafty Quilter 
and with Cheryl at Meadow Mist Designs and friends!


  1. I loved reading the story of this quilt, how you made the most of the scraps of material, and of whatever life handed you in the moment. It's beautiful!

  2. Wow! This is so beautiful! You have used your scraps in a wonderful way

  3. you quilt turned out incredibly beautiful -- I would say far prettier than mine did.
    I just adore all of the jewel tones. Boy wow you are amazing Katherine. You really are so inspiring and you make my heart happy

  4. You always have the most incredible views from wherever you happen to be living! Your quilt is beautiful! I especially love those diamonds in the border!

  5. A wonderfully memorable quilt for that year or so of your life. To be entirely of scraps and stash adds to it’s great story. I love that colorful striped binding, it’s so perfect. The quilt is fabulous!

  6. It's such a lovely finished quilt! Well done on making it all from what you have. Good luck on your next house hunting adventure.

  7. Wonderful finish! What a quilt and a story, thank you for sharing it with us.

  8. I love scrappy and this quilt is just that! Beautifully done and well worth the wait.

  9. A beautiful quilt, and spectacular views indeed!

  10. Great quilt! Especially love the binding :) Fits really well.

  11. I just have to comment again, I am in love with this quilt. The low volume goodness and how it looks like stained glass in the photographs is stunning!

  12. It's "beautiful"!!!! I also love the story behind it & having moved numerous times, I understand how hard it can be having stash, books, etc. packed away & having to make do. I'm at an age now, where I'm trying hard to use my stash. Thanks for sharing & take care.


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