Wednesday, 23 March 2016

We have a WINNER!!!

Laina's quilt won Viewers' Choice!!!
(2016 Canadian Quilters' Association/ACC Youth Challenge)

Laina and her quilt

Laina is over the moon! She truly did not expect to win, which makes this even sweeter.

She will receive a show ribbon, NINE meters of fabric (!!!), and her quilt will hang in the 2016 National Juried Show! Her photo and story will also appear in The Canadian Quilter magazine (summer edition).

"Tag, You're It!" by Laina (ten years old)
Laina has been making art with me since she was old enough to hold a paintbrush. She was very sure of her colour and design choices once she'd made them - though she did say "deciding" was the hardest part of the process!

Adding a ponytail.

Laina mainly needed help with some of my quilting tools (e.g. iron, rotary cutter). She also needed to learn how to work with fusible webbing for the applique, and how to apply a binding (not her favourite part). Oh, and how to make a hanging sleeve (also better when it's finished...).

Hanging sleeve in progress. Patience nearly gone (hers, not mine!), but she wanted to FINISH.

Laina has used my sewing machine before, so was familiar with how to use the foot as a guide, and how to pivot around curves and corners. She started with the tree leaves so she could be practiced up by the time she got to the girls' silhouettes. Sometimes she "fell off the edge" or overshot a pivot by a stitch or two, but we didn't rip stitches unless something was quite obvious. She could usually back up to where things looked good, and carry on from there! 

Laina's favourite part was using my longarm to do the quilting. (I suspect that "carrot" kept her going when she was sick of stitching around applique!)

Laina, at the helm!
Under Laina's direction for placement and size, I used a template to stitch the outline of the sun on the horizon - and then Laina took over the controls! She was able to stitch everything else freehand - even the horizontal lines. I was a bit worried that we'd be ripping stitches at some point, but she loved every line she added!!!

We used an invisible thread so it wouldn't interfere with the colours in the fabric. Bonus - we didn't have to change thread for different areas of the quilt!

Riley Quilts, Too!
My grandson, Riley, also entered a quilt in the challenge!

"Knock Out", by Riley (seven years old)

Riley is a boxer, so we used a photo of him in a boxing stance to make his silhouette, and he drew the punching bag from memory.

He loved Laina's sunset idea, but I thought she would be most displeased if he copied. We rooted through my stash until we found a combination of fabrics that made him happy. He chose a vibrant hand dye for the background, a stripe for the silhouette, and used the challenge fabric for the bag.

Riley, hard at work.

Riley has also used my sewing machine before, and did a super job on the straight runs. He had a hard time judging how to get around intricate shapes, though. We worked together on those, with me leaning over his shoulder to help him steer as he drove and worked the controls for pivoting. (Oh, my aching back!)

The big finish!
Riley had great control of the pedal, and was getting the hang of steering, so the straight-line quilting was much easier (on my back - ha!) for him to manage with the walking foot.

He wanted quilting lines radiating out from the bag (where he "punched it"). He envisioned varying lengths, but I suggested continuing them to the edges of the quilt to hold the layers together. He saw the point, and was okay with the change.  Riley enjoyed using a fancy (programmed) stitch to make the chain for the bag.

Ruh Roh...

So. Both were entered in the same age category, so we knew for SURE it would be impossible for both quilts to win a prize.

Our thinking was that they'd already won, just by participating!
  • Their quilts would be shown on the CQA/ACC website 
  • They had the fun of making them
  • They will enjoy seeing them hanging in their rooms every day!

When it came time to vote, Riley said to vote for Laina's quilt because she did more work on hers.
That was a Proud Granny moment!

Not that anyone listened...I'm pretty sure most of the guys in our family voted for Riley's quilt.

Thank you!
It was hard keeping the kids' quilts under wraps for this long, but I didn't want to influence the vote!

If you popped over and voted, thank you for supporting the challenge! What a great way to encourage young quilters to join our ranks, don't you think?

Linking up with:
Linky Tuesday, at Freemotion by the River
Let's Bee Social, at Sew Fresh Quilts

Try, Learn, & Grow!


  1. How wonderful Carole! Congratulations to Laina on her accomplishment, I'm looking forward to seeing her story in the Canadian Quilter. Also kudos to Riley for his quilt, I really like his design. Two great young people, so lucky to have to you to nurture and share your love of quilting with. A beautiful story, thanks for sharing!

  2. Congratulations Laina on a well deserved win. Love your quilt. Riley also did a great job of his quilt. What a great skill you are giving them Carole.

  3. This is awesome all around. Congratulations to both Laina and Riley: they make beautiful quilts and the smiles on their faces holding them says everything I need to know. <3

  4. What a proud moment for all involved. Your gifts are living on through your grandchildren <3

  5. Congratulations to Laina and Riley. So impressive that Riley could tell others to vote for his sister! And although I am happy to say that my family picked out Laina's quilt, I was really impressed with so many of the ones there, it was a pretty high standard all round I thought, so extra amazing that she won. But I did think Laina's caught a real feeling of movement in a way none of the others managed.

  6. Oh yes...Congrats to Laina and RIley!!! This post just made me smile and I'm so proud of how creative you two are!

  7. Congratulations to BOTH of your artists!! Very well done!

  8. Proud granny indeed, congrats to both of them for creating beautiful art.

  9. Congrats to Laina and Riley. I'd also like to thank you for supporting and helping them.

  10. Congratulations to both of them. They are lucky to have you. I have also helped with steering while hunched over. I feel your pain. ;)

  11. Both quilts are wonderful! I especially love the way Laine used squares for the leaves on her tree. Congrats to both of them.


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