Canadian Birds Quilt & Giveaway

Sometimes, a quilt becomes a statement and its not intentional. It just is what it is, you know? My statement became my dedication to completion.

As you may remember, I started this quilt in I think 1997, when I took a great workshop done by friend Louisa Robertson.

She taught the "Stack n Whack" technique made very popular in the 1990's and its
originator Bethany Reynolds can  be found on this site, I recommend it for in depth look of the Stack and Whack creator.

( Note: if  you click on each photo, you'll get a larger image and then all the photo can be made larger from the roster at the bottom of the new screen, simple click the X to come back and read again:)

This is me, with my first outing of my stack and whack blocks. I attended the 1st. Annual Quilters Connection Retreat at a farm in Abbotsford. Our organizers and hosts, Heather, Sue and Trish having a good laugh.

Just one of the fabulous quilts by Ursula, one of my roomies and great quilter!

Ursula who retired from teaching school some years ago and has devoted her life to prime quilts. My goodness, she is talented!

Then as that retreat came to an end, I realized I had found a real fun group of people and many new friends. On the last day of the retreat, my new friends hung over the railing, stretched up on tippy toes for me to get this photo.

Retreats are so important and give a busy quilter the time and space to work on a major project or just do something light and relaxing.

My roomie Joycey and I have such a great weekend!!

In between while working on this king size quilt, I make T-shirt quilts on commission, its amazing what you can do if you put your mind to it!

King size quilts in retrospect, are intimidating! This one has been nagging me for 15 years! To my credit of determination, I hand appliqued the plates and grandma's garden blocks. This took time!

Finally, friends met in Telkwa at a quilters retreat and I sewed on the borders and corner sections of this quilt in one evening and then the next day, my friend Nola and I sandwiched it together.

I used all my quilters pins and her's too!

Nola and I spent several hours bent over 4 tables shoved together to layer the backing, raw wool batting & top together.

I settled into the rhythm of hand quilting. Our Bulkley Valley winters start about early November and last until  end of March each year. I watched a few movies while hand quilting, I listen on the speaker phone talking with family from far away. The snow fell softly all our home on the Bulkley River.

I used a handmade frame from Quilters Woodwork in Ontario, Canada to hand quilt this puppy once and for all. This laptop rotating frame goes 360 degrees on a ball. Its simply fabulous. I decided on a clamshell design for the corners and border. All other blocks were outlined along seams. I moved this heavy quilt over my lap hundreds of times.

A king size quilt is hard enough to handle at the best of times. But hand quilting this one during the evening and weekend evenings, I'd watch some TV and quilt. Really only about 2-3 hours per  night and suddenly, 6 months late, its done!

I've always wanted to make the clamshell pattern of old fashioned quilts I've seen made by other people is now something that I can say is my work. I've reflected on the life and times of our adult sons, solved all kinds of issues in the world, thought up new tutorials, listened to my husband at the end of his work day and grew to love the quilt that was made for my hubby. It kept me toasty while my morning tea warmed up my bones and allowed me a few stitches here and there.

Then suddenly as a surprise, it was done,  binding and all!

Its so large, that the size was an issue with hanging it at the previously posted "Jewels of the Bulkley Valley" Quilt show in Smithers that is on for the whole month of July. Too bad, it was a perfect place to get a great photo of it, but alas, its not hung in an art gallery now!

When doing a Stack and Whack quilt, you need to think of the pattern repeat in your chosen new fabric purchases. Sometimes the pattern repeat can be 6 inches, sometimes its 24 or more inches  between. So making a king size stack and whack, took a bunch of fabric! In this photo (above) you can see in a great example of how a simple part can make a stunning Dresden Plate fan.

 In this photo (above) the clam shell design of hand quilting makes a really nice border finish. As I mentioned earlier, this quilt is for my husband, who is a biologist and an avid birder!

Hope you've enjoyed this very special quilt and please check back often or even follow my blog to see more of the work I'm doing in the coming months. I have tutorials being worked on to provide more assistance to those followers who want more help?

Tell me what you need help with and enter my little giveaway at the same time?

I have scraps of this one of kind print from late 1990's up for grabs! Leave a comment here for one entry and another entry on your facebook with a link back to this post.

This contest ends August 1, 2012, get busy and comment!


2 entries per person please, one package, I'd say of scraps to equal a meter of fabric if it was all together!


  1. I've never tried hand quilting before! It looks beautiful--Id love to try it! I need help quilting big projects on my tiny machine! Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. Hi D,
      Hand quilting is beautiful and leaves your quilt as soft as a baby's bottom so to speak! But good news is on the horizon, I'm working on a hand quilting and a machine quilting tute's for my blog, if you follow me, you'll get the notification right away.Thanks leaving me a comment, its so cool to meet new folks!

  2. I need help with my free motion machine quilting. I always have issues with looping on the back of the machine. I also need help with large projects. I don't have room to baste, it's difficult.

    1. HI Mike,
      Thanks for dropping, we're now connected on Google+ and saw some of your quilts, cool quilts! To give you a better idea of the help you need, please email me at carlithequilter at gmail dot com.
      I'm working on tutes for hand quilting and machine quilting. The looping issue may be the following: you're tension is incorrect for the actual machine quilting you're doing, or it could the thread you're using, not all threads work in every machine, or you are trying to go too fast or your machine needs work.
      I plan ahead and break down the whole hand or machine quilting process in advance. More in the tutes. Follow me then you'd see when the tutes are up or maybe that will happen with Google +, I'm still learning about that one. Happy quilting!

  3. I'm new to quilting and I would love to try hand quilting. Your clam shell design is very beautiful.

  4. Hi Hueisei,
    Hand quilting is truly rewarding. In our times of faster and then even faster again, I find hand quilting a retreat of relaxation and meditation. Its like that, soothing to your nerves and so rewarding as you see the resulting stitches hold down the unrulyness of an unquilted quilt.Thank you for your kind comment, I suggest you try hand quilting for soul reflection time and true enjoyment of quilting.


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