Sunday 21 April 2019

Irene's Rubies

This is my first signature quilt. While I was working as Director of Care in a nursing home, my senior nurse retired. I wanted to make her a signature quilt and have all of the staff members sign it. However, I lost that job - I was going to say "unfortunately," but the only things unfortunate about it were a) my staff were left without effective leadership that genuinely cared about them and b) I didn't get this quilt made before I left. So, aside from my signature, it will be up to the recipient to get the signatures if she so desires. It's an attractive quilt even without the signatures.
Before she retired, I asked her what her favourite colour is: red. So I chose the Boundless Ruby Rue fabric from Bluprint (Craftsy).  
This was my very first signature quilt, so I googled to find ideas. I had the signature block from my Canada 150 Sampler quilt,
but I didn't want such big blocks. There were 70-80 staff members that needed to sign, and this is a 10" block. I did not intend to make a queen-sized quilt. In my search, I found the directions for making the basic signature block I used here, and the layout here
I bought a warm white solid for the signature part and the cornerstones, and cut 2½" squares from from jelly roll strips for the corners.
I have to admit that I really like the looks of this layout. It will hold 100 signatures and measures 36" square (finished size), so it could be finished this size and used as a wallhanging. However, I wanted a throw-sized quilt, so determined to add a border of 12" quilt blocks.
By this time I had made up my mind to call this quilt Irene's Rubies. Irene is the recipient and the fabric is Ruby Rue. Meanwhile I was trying to determine what block to use and I remembered that in the book Lazy and Loving It (companion book for the Lazy Angle ruler), was at least one gemstone block, Sapphires, that might work. But there are still boxes, fabric, books, etc. piled everywhere in my craft studio and I couldn't find that book. I found a picture of it online, so I at least knew what it looked like and that I was looking for a blue book. But I could not find that blue book on my shelf. Until I prayed about it. And there it was on the shelf where I was sure I had checked any blue book on that shelf already! Thank the Lord. He does care about little things like quilt books. And not only was there a Sapphires block and a Diamonds block, but also a Rubies block. 
It is a rather labour-intensive block and between these blocks and the signature blocks, there was a lot of fabric wastage. So the Lazy Angle will not be one of my favourite rulers, but it's nowhere near as bad as the Bias Stripper or the Square in a Square. And now I have completed one quilt using the Lazy Angle ruler (remember I have a goal to make at least one quilt using each ruler I own).
I decided to add a narrow border out of the same fabric as the sashing in the signature section to give it a more cohesive look. 
In keeping with the red theme, I used the Moulin Rouge pantograph by Patricia E. Ritter from Urban Elementz, "rouge" being the French word for "red," and quilted it in a red Glide thread. This is a beautiful pantograph and not too difficult.
I finally put my clothesline up to get a picture of the full quilt. Unfortunately, the wind was strong and I had to have help holding the quilt in place. Allan (my ex-husband, friend and handyman) happened to show up while I was struggling to get the picture, so those are his fingers you see at the top left corner and side of the quilt. Thanks Allan, I couldn't have done it without you. 😊
Now I have to find a box for shipping it to Irene. I'm having a problem with locating boxes of the right sizes for shipping quilts. I may have to buy some from Staples.


  1. Stunning! I love the Rubies block - it took my breath away as soon as I saw the picture.

    1. Thanks Deb. Always appreciate your comments.

  2. This is a fabulous quilt and an amazing story that goes with it. I love the border sapphire/ruby block - it really adds to this special quilt. I am sure it will be treasured by its new owner. Thanks for sharing it. Wishing you well on your quilting journey.

  3. Laura, use one of the free Medium or Large USPS priority boxes free at the post office. Flat rate cost to anywhere in the US, I have shipped queen size in the large ones. that outside block is stunning, well done on your project and effort to use your rulers.

  4. just realize you are in Canada, so the USPS boxes was a bum steer, sorry ;)

    1. No problem. We do have prepaid boxes in Canada as well.