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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Friday Feature: Michèle-Renée @ Quilt Matters

(if you can't see the text of this post, click to view it from the website as our font is white)

Hi everyone, I’m M-R and I live in Ottawa, Ontario. M-R stands for Michèle-Renée, but people find that a little long so it got shortened to M-R, which I love.

I made my first quilt while I was in university. I had a tiny room at the time, but I wanted a double bed and needed storage space for my clothes and ringette equipment (yes, it wasn't the prettiest smelling room). I couldn’t find a double captain’s bed anywhere, and I was stubborn so I designed and made one IKEA-style. That bed was a tank and served me well for four years. I imagine it's still floating around some campus today.
Well anyways, after I made the bed, I thought it would be fun and fitting to make what went on the bed too. So I went to the library, found a book on quilts to make in a weekend (ha ha), bought some fabric that was on sale (polycotton!), and started an absolutely awful and incorrect Irish Chain quilt . I loved it anyway and it adorned my bed for a number of years. I didn't realize until a few years ago that it actually isn't even close to being an Irish Chain. I have no idea what happened. I thought I followed the pattern correctly, but clearly not. Oh well...we'll just consider it to be my first original design. ;)
I really got bitten by the quilting bug though when I got engaged to my high school sweetheart Charles (a.k.a. Chuck or the Hubster) a few years later and thought a quilt would be a perfect wedding gift. I had a ball designing the quilt and buying the fabrics. It was a sampler quilt of blocks that had personal significance to each of us. Unfortunately, I did not have the skills to make what I envisioned in my head, nor did I have other quilters or the Internet to turn to for help. That became UFO #1 and remains to this date my oldest UFO. That didn’t stop me though and I've been quilting ever since, slowly improving my skills.
A year ago, I pledged to do something quilt-related everyday, even if it’s just for 20 minutes. I started my blog Quilt Matters last May and have been having a blast ever since. I love meeting other quilters online and trying new-to-me quilting styles and techniques. Lately, I’ve been playing with modern quilting in my Modern Block Monday posts, thread painting, reverse appliqué and collage quilts.
In January, I set out a number of goals for 2012. One of which was a Colour My World Challenge, whereby we do a mini quilt/block each month using a different colour. I’m learning so much through this experience and love seeing what the others who are participating are doing. We started sharing February’s challenge finishes yesterday. If this is something that interests you, you are more than welcome to join in!
I’m also one of the co-founders of TGIFF! (Thank Goodness It’s Finished, Friday!), which Laura from Quokka Quilts and I started as a way to motivate us to finish those UFOs and to celebrate our finishes. It’s a touring linky party every Friday and it’s a great way to end the week! If you’d like to learn more about it or sign up to host an upcoming party, check out the TGIFF! Site. I’m hosting next Friday so come on by and link up a recent finish of your own.
On the personal side, I’m currently on leave from my job with the federal government so I can stay home for a few years with my three rambunctious boys: Patrick who is 7 years old, Daniel who is almost 5 years old, and Micah who is 2.5 years old. They are wonderful and spirited little boys who are learning to quilt (among other things).
I made them Wee Spy quilts when they were born and a few other baby quilts. Last summer, I made Bottled Rainbow quilts with Patrick and Daniel for their beds. It was an amazing experience that they seemed to enjoy as much as I did – could we have some future quilters here?
And because I clearly can’t get enough of boys, I’m a Beaver leader to 17 other rambunctious boys and 2 girls. I’m now plotting how I can get them all quilting too. ;) I also play ringette, ski and am currently working on my 10,000 hours of quilting experience to become a quilting expert per Malcolm Gladwell’s theory in Outliers. Even though, I’ve been quilting regularly for the last 14 years, I’ve still got a long way to go…
Thanks Monika and Rita for inviting me to share with you a bit of who I am and what I do. Hope to see you on the quilt side!


  1. Great feature.....I love reading your story M-R. Something the mothers did with my oldest boys grade one class; way back when.....each child made a quilt block at home; then brought it in to school. The teacher got what they needed to layer their quilt after someone pieced it altogether. Then the parents took turns dcoming in on certain days to quilt with the children..this quilt hung in the school for ages. May still be there...don't know.

  2. Hi M-R! Nice to meet you : ) I love your whole name by the way. We will get your links working right away. Sorry about that!

  3. Thanks for sharing your story. I have never heard of ringette - had to look it up! Looking back on our first quilt is so much fun! - Jeanne

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your story...always nice to get to know fellow Canadian quilters :)
    I love those Bottled Rainbow quilts..beautiful!!

  5. oh, M-R, I luv your style and your 'get er done' philosophy. Thanks sew much for sharing from the capital! We westerners are always curious about what is happening 'out east'. Our quilt group meets where the Beavers do and we contend with race tracks and they contend with quilt racks! I can't possibly join one more thing but you tempt me. TGIFF! Modern Monday! ;^)

  6. so nice to learn some more about yoy M-R! Your first quilt is wonderful - I love your story and drive - you'll rack up those 10000 hours before you know it!

  7. Hello, M-R! So lovely to get to know you better. Fantastic to learn how you got into quilting and how you continue to learn and grow your skills. Very inspiring!

    Happy quilting!

  8. I loved reading about you, M-R! I made the 20-minute-a-day pledge in 2010 and started my blog then too.

  9. Great getting to know more about you M-R!

  10. Nice post, MR . Congratulations on being featured. It is nice to get to know more about you. I like that little quilt in the woods. Very pretty!a

  11. It is always fun to put a face to someone you've read or emailed through a blog. It is very
    interesting to read about everyone's life too.
    I can't imagine how you find the time to do everything with 3 young boys!
    Do you downhill ski? we did up until 2 years ago when I got sick but i dream of getting out again sometime.

  12. I think the last photo in your story is spectacular! Such pretty colour choices. It looks like a collection of mosaics.

  13. Very interesting post , really enjoyed learning a little about you and your life in quilting , you do lovely work !!

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