Sunday, November 23, 2014

Naramata Summer

For the past few summers, my family and I have spent a week or so in the Okanagan - a beautiful area about 4 hours' drive from Vancouver. Much of the fruit we eat in BC is grown in the Okanagan Valley and no trip there is complete without stopping at many fruit stands to buy juicy peaches and other scrumptious fruit.

This past summer, we stayed on the grounds of a fruit winery in Naramata BC and it was fabulous. Because we were there toward the end of the summer, picking season was in full swing. One day I was walking along the road beside the orchard and noticed a few stacks of pallets awaiting their tour of duty holding the big bins of picked fruit. The pallets were mostly brown but two were this bright blue. I didn't have a camera with me but I sketched what I saw, knowing one day it would turn into a quilt. Amazingly, it did, and in record time, too! This is Naramata Summer.

Naramata Summer front

She's about 31"x29" and made entirely of scraps/stash fabric: Robert Kaufman Essex Linen in (I think) Natural, some Kona cotton in some colours I can't remember but they're left over from my Oceanic Supernova, and Kona Stone.

Naramata Summer quilting

The quilting? Well let me tell you about the quilting. I was all set to make this a quick finish with some straight line quilting and call it a day. The short-sightedness of that plan was pointed out to me at my annual Loon Lake retreat, where I had registered for a short workshop with Krista Withers - a preview of the one she's teaching at QuiltCon on Compositional Quilting, an approach to quilting the negative space found in many modern quilts. Thank goodness I have friends who will kick my ass around the block when needed.

Naramata Summer quilting back_
Because in that workshop? Mind: BLOWN. Seriously. I'll never look at quilting the same way again, and even though we didn't sew one stitch in the workshop, my Free Motion Quilting game was upped *significantly*. I didn't realize I had this in me:

Naramata Summer quilting back

I'm so happy I waited. SO so happy. I will enter this in the QuiltCon quilt show but even if it doesn't get in, I'm extremely proud of the work I've done on this quilt: the design, the execution and the quilting (which was done with Aurifil 40 weight in a lovely turquoise (5006)).

Naramata Summer

And one last full frontal just because:

Naramata Summer Front_


  1. Looking wonderful.....I really need to up my free motion game as well. One of these days.

  2. Aren't ass-kicking friends the best? :-) I love it. I'm hoping to one day up my game to your standards, because you're right...mind-blowing! Beautiful!

  3. wow. This is beyond impressive. I think you have the gift, girl!

  4. Felicity, your piece is amazing and evokes the Okanagan area beautifully. The swirling winds and puffy clouds that come off the water, the trees on the hills. The dry hills in the late summer. Gorgeous and amazing, may you gain entry to the show with pride.

  5. It's a fantastic quilt, I love it. I am taking that class at QuiltCon I think, one of Krista's classes anyway and I can't wait.

  6. it is such a fabulous quilt, and will serve as such a good reminder of your fun times in Naramata. I knew you had that quilting in you - it was just waiting to explode out! Beautiful!

  7. Such a lovely quilt - the colours and the quilting (Oh the quilting!!!!)

  8. Felicity, you captured all the best of Naramata/Okanagan summers. We raised our family in Penticton and although we moved away 20 years ago, because our son still lives there I visit as often as I can; it's so different from Toronto. (I know, what were we thinking!?). Nothing comes close to Okanagan cherries! Your quilt and its spontaneity took me back. Thank you.


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