Kingston Heirloom Quilters

established in 1979

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KHQ Group Quilt: Tea Leaf Variation, 1985
86" X 104"

Our initial intent was that this be a raffle quilt that we could use as a fund-raiser for our first quilt show. "Something quick and easy", we said. We'd utilize a length of brown Cranston VIP cotton print that had been donated to us and whip up a Tea Leaf quilt.

The trial block that we made looked drab; we'd need to add more colour to bring it to life. Our Director, Margaret Rhodes, burrowed into her cupboard and emerged with a basketful of swatches to try against the trial block. We found a slate blue that gave it some glass, and added just a touch of rust to make it sing.

The pattern was adapted to include our selection of colours and a method of assembly worked out. It was constructed over a two year period, during our bi-monthly work days in Calvin Park Library. Approximately 50 members contributed to its growth.

Thinking that a queen size quilt might be more marketable, we decided to add more blocks. Then, to our dismay, we discovered that we'd left insufficient fabric for the border. The length we now had was slightly less than that of the side it would be sewn to. We managed to squeak by, through reducing the width of the blue and rust strips that surround the body of the quilt, and by butting the corners of the border in lieu of mitering them.

Our Tea Leaf remained a raffle quilt until the day we inadvertently laid a strip of print, from which the leaves had been cut along the border's edge. Once the stunning effect of the scallops was revealed to us there was no turning back. The application was tricky, but our skilled needlewomen were up to the challenge.

Our "variation" of the Tea Leaf had evolved into a masterpiece and we were loath to just raffle it off. It was important to us that its owner would be someone who could appreciate the work and the workmanship that had gone into it. Therefore, we chose to sell it within our membership by silent auction.

This quilt was shown at the Ottawa Valley Quilt Show, 1985, where it placed second in Viewers Choice and at Kingston Heirloom Quilters Festival of Quilts in 1987. It was also featured in the November 1988 issue of Lady's Circle Patchwork Quilts Magazine.

For a more detailed picture, click on quilt.

Send questions and comments to: khq at
Last modified by dhh: January 20, 2006