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God Bless America. And… Oh, Canada! Eh!

Posted on: October 30th, 2015 by Lorna McMahon

The testing of blocks for the Forest Friends quilt has begun!


On Friday, I sewed up the American Eagle block. And then marveled at how small it was!

On Saturday, I spent the entire day preparing the pattern for the Canadian Beaver block.

And I don’t know how I did it…. But on Sunday I managed to attend both Bible class and church service, do the dishes, make a lasagna, celebrate at my in laws 50th Anniversary party…. AND get this cute little beaver block finished as well! Perhaps the start of my day helped me make it through the rest of my day?

I did not want to cut into my shipment of Cotton Couture from Michael Miller Fabrics without first testing these blocks out. So I rummaged through  (my stash) and found some suitable fabrics to make these two as a matching set.

All the while I had in mind to turn these blocks into a set of pillows for my niece who lives on the other side of the border from me. Not too far away to be out of my thoughts and prayers.

I added borders to bring each block to the correct size to use for my 13″ x 20″ pillow inserts.

And then quilted them using my signature organic wavy lines. I chose this variegated King Tut in Rosetta Stone thread from Superior Threads. I was torn between using a white or a black thread. So this choice just made the most sense to me!

Each pillow has been made with a hidden zipper closure on the back. If you are looking for a great tutorial for making a pillow with a hidden zipper, check out this post by S.O.T.A.K Handmade.

This was my first time using a home decor weight fabric for the back of a pillow. I hope it holds up better than using a plain quilting cotton. And the zebra stripes are quite striking!

For the binding I finished it off with some more of the Chicopee’s Ladder Dot in Black. I’d love to get my hands on some more of that print! It’s such a great black.

The “American Eagle” and “Canadian Beaver” pillows each finished at approximately 13″ x 20″


and were the 60th and 61st use of my 100 labels
ordered from Ikaprint.




Sandy of UpStairsHobbyRoom has been hard at work, not only on her own designs, but also helping to test blocks for this Forest Friends quilt, too! Check out her Instagram feed here to see!

Linking up to Finish it up Friday with 


Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts

Keep On Quilting On!

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28 Responses

  1. Gina says:

    Great pillows. I love the Beaver

  2. Nancy J says:

    You have been busy, love the quilting design with wavy lines, and your binding, fits in with the other fabrics perfectly.

  3. Love, love your pillows. What a cute Beaver – you have a gift for designing! Beautiful backing and binding for these pillows. What a special gift for your niece!

  4. Carol S. says:

    They both look amazing! The patterns, the fabrics, the binding, the quilting…wow!

  5. Vicki in MN says:

    You are one creative lady-always loving seeing what you are up to!

  6. eva says:

    Oh Lorna, that is a brilliant Canadian add-on to the Forest Friends Quilt! The majestic eagle and the fun beaver make such a great pair of pillows 🙂

  7. The test blocks look great, especially framed with the dark prints. I hope your niece really enjoys the pillows. 🙂

  8. MoeWest says:

    These are so great looking! I can't wait to get the pattern.

  9. Unknown says:

    Awesome! Really nice to see a nod to Canada….will definitely be making that beaver.

  10. Unknown says:

    Awesome! Really nice to see a nod to Canada….will definitely be making that beaver.

  11. Unknown says:

    Awesome! Really nice to see a nod to Canada….will definitely be making that beaver.

  12. Gail says:

    What a great tribute you made to those of us who are Canadian. Where may I get the beaver pattern.

  13. That is so fun! And I love how unexpected the zebra print is on the back of these quilts.

  14. joolz says:

    When will we be able to get the patterns. I love the beaver and I have to send a little something to a couple of people from Canada who are working in Kenya. This would be PERFECT!!!!

  15. legato1958 says:

    Love your pillows! These new patterns are really perfect for both \”featuring\” and on your big new quilt design! How fun is this beaver with the checkered tail??!!Susie

  16. Ioleen says:

    Great looking pillows..

  17. Laura Chaney says:

    That beaver is absolutely adorable. Yay for Canada!

  18. KaHolly says:

    Oh, Lorna, you are just so farmed clever! These blocks are great and the pillows, inspiring! Love that beaver! The hop was great! I look forward to the linky party next week. XO

  19. Love the beaver!! Yet another great pattern. Keep sharing your creativity with us.

  20. How did you ever manage all of that in one day!! I love quilting with variegated threads. The thread is perfect for your pillows. They are wonderful, I love both of them. Lucky niece :)-Soma

  21. GranthamLynn says:

    Fun projects. I love the black and white quilting thread. Love the way you quilted. Thanks for sharing.

  22. I love that little beaver. Honestly, Lorna, you are far too talented (and productive!) I am also pleased that the beaver could be subbed for the eagle (they look to be the same size).

  23. Sandi says:

    Thanks so much for the Canadian Beaver! Sew very cute!

  24. You come up with the cutest ideas for blocks. Love this pair! Going to check out that link for the zipper tutorial, thanks!

  25. Adorable! Love both of these pillows! The beaver is very clever!!

  26. Patti says:

    Both are so darned cute! I must admit a preference for our Canuck beaver though!

  27. Glinda ♥ says:

    You are the busiest person – beavering away at all sorts! How do you fit it all in!?