The Digby Quilt

In 2009 I went to Nova Scotia, Canada with my mom and  aunt and uncle. As on all our vacations, we ventured into the local quilt shop. I thought it would be nice to make a quilt to commemorate our trip. I found a gorgeous pack of batik fabric that was pre-cut into 2-1/2″ strips. It might have been the first time I saw a Bali Pop fabric pack. What a great idea! Have someone else cut the strips so I can get to the sewing quicker! This one was called Strawberry Fields by Hoffman Fabrics. I also bought the pattern to make this quilt at the same shop. I had planned on making it as soon as I got home….

"The Digby Quilt" by Melanie Watson

“The Digby Quilt”
by Melanie Watson

I finally finished it this year as part of our quilt guild’s challenge to see what we could finish for the quilt show. I actually finished this one with time to spare since I decided to stop over thinking it.

Lighthouse at Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada

Lighthouse at Digby, Nova Scotia, Canada


I had very grandiose plans to digitize the lighthouse in Digby and and some of the other lighthouses that we saw on our trip. My idea was to make extra blocks using 1 piece of light colored batik in the centers bordered by darker batiks. I thought I could embroider the lighthouses in the centers of those additional blocks. Maybe add some applique silhoulettes in black on those blocks or over some of the blocks after it was pieced.



After several years not finding time to digitize, I decided it was time to make the quilt anyway. I could wait, possibly years, until I “find time” to digitize the lighthouses, or I could make the quilt. I could keep dreaming of the “perfect” way to memorialize a great vacation, or I could make a beautiful quilt and actually use it!

Mom and I in front of the Digby Scallop Trawlers

Mom and I in front of the Digby Scallop Trawlers

I thought the quilt needed a little something extra when I finished it. At first, I went back to the idea of adding black silhouttes of lighthouses and seagulls and scallops. Ultimately, I decided that no matter where I added a silhouette, I would be covering up the beautiful batik fabric that I so loved. Instead, I took a real leap and cut the edge in a random curve with the rotary cutter. I thought that scalloping the edge would be appropriate since Digby, Nova Scotia is known for its scallops. I learned a valuable lesson. I’d heard of bias binding, but it seemed like more work than necessary for the average quilt. So, I’d always cut my binding straight, not at the 45 degree angle. As I was sewing the binding on, I vaguely remembered hearing that you cut the binding on the bias when you need to go around curves.  Well, my binding isn’t perfect, but I’m still happy with it. Lesson learned.

Things that make me smile:

  • Being in a quilt guild. If you are a quilter and you are not in a guild, then you are missing out. After all, if not for the guild challenge, the fabric and pattern for “The Digby Quilt” would probably still be in their original packages.

Let’s go spread some sunshine!


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