“Steppin’ Up” in Pink

14 02 2020

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Marlene, who collects and distributes baby quilts to the NICU on behalf of my guild, says her stockpile is dangerously low. Each month 20-30 quilts are needed to comfort newborns with medical issues. I volunteered to teach a speedy baby quilt design in March at a guild workshop. The completion of 15-20 workshop quilts should boost the pile Marlene keeps in reserve.

In the meantime, I made “Steppin’ Up” in pink prints. The half yard of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ fabric I found in my stash made the perfect border.

You can find a link to the instructions for “Steppin’ Up” on the Patterns page of this blog. Although the pattern calls for 10 strips, I just used 9 strips each cut 4″ x 40.” The addition of a 4″ border yields the perfect size for a baby quilt. I quilted a freehand, all over design of hearts and loops in light pink thread.

The pleasing outcome of this quick project has me wondering what other fabric combinations from my stash would look great in this design. I am sure I have 9 blues, and/or 9 greens, and/or 9 reds that would work, with a fun border print, as a baby quilt. What color(s) would you use from you stash for “Steppin’ Up?”

Magazine Winner

13 02 2020

Congratulations to Judy R. for winning a copy of the March/April 2020 issue of Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine. (I have emailed Judy requesting her USPS address so I can mail the issue to her.)

Thanks to all who commented positively about my “Twisted Hexies” table runner. There were so many thoughtful suggestions on fabrics that would look great made up in this design:  1930’s reproductions, batiks, summer colors, spring florals, Easter, Christmas, Fall, red/black/white, and rainbow. I particularly like Beth’s suggestion of making an “I Spy” quilt for her nephew’s stuffed toy. She suggested cutting the center hexagons from theme prints and surrounding them with trapezoids of primary colors.

I hope you will try piecing this patchwork block; it’s easier to construct than you might think.

If you are not yet a Love of Quilting subscriber, and your newsstand is sold out of this issue, you can purchase a print or digital issue from quiltingdaily.com. Click here for a link to the website.

“Sisters” QAL – February, Blog Readers Share

11 02 2020

I am so excited to share pictures of “Twin Stars” made by your follow blog readers! If you are new to the abyquilts blog, let me explain the current Quilt Along (QAL). On the first day of each month in 2020 I will post instructions for making two patchwork blocks. They are of the same design but different in size. The “big sister” is 12″ square, finished, and the “little sister” is 6″ square, finished. You will find links to the instructions under the “Sisters” BOM QAL tab. You can share pictures of your blocks on Instagram with the #sistersqal tag, or you may email me a picture (aby.quilts@gmail.com).

And now for the pictures sent to me:

Judy chose a navy background to showcase the medium and light prints of the “Day in Paris” fabric line.

Karen is continuing to use her batik stash for her “Twin Star” blocks, lovely in gold and green!

Shirley selected elegant red prints. I wonder if she will make all her blocks from similar red fabrics. I can’t wait to see the entire quilt!

Jenn made her “Sisters” with lovely spring-time fabric. Her placement of the pink striped fabric adds to the spinning movement of the star.

Joy is having a ball, using stash fat quarters from various lines. The colors are so vibrant!

Thank you, ladies, for sharing pictures of your blocks. Are are perfectly lovely! Be sure to take a look at #sistersqal on Instragram; you’ll see blocks made by Cheryl, Maridee , Liana, and several others.

January’s “Dutchman’s Puzzle” and February’s “Twin Star” are quick and easy to construct. It’s not too late for you to join the QAL fun!

Fabric Teaser

8 02 2020

Hello and happy weekend! I hope you have some time to sew today or tomorrow. Perhaps you will work on “Twin Star” blocks from the Sisters QAL. (You will find the instructions under the Sisters BOM QAL tab on this blog.) Or perhaps you have another quilting project to tackle.

Sew Colorful

As for me, I am working on a quilt made with vibrant solids. The “Sew Colorful” line is from Michael Miller. I can only give you a glimpse of the design at this time so you’ll be totally surprised when it appears in print this summer.

Can you guess what Patchwork units I am constructing?

“Marbella” Finished!

7 02 2020

During 2019, I facilitated a Block of the Month program for Sew There! Quilts and More in Angier, NC. “Marbella” was designed by Laura Gilven for 3 Wishes fabrics. The seven ladies in the class worked diligently each month to stay on track with the assigned blocks. I am so proud of them! By our January show and tell meet-up, two had completed their quilts, and the others were nearly finished.

Besides putting the shop sample together, I made blocks with another fabric line for my own quilt. Unfortunately, I used all the background fabric prior to making the four corner blocks and the large central appliqued block. After searching my stash in vain for a “matching” ecru fabric and procrastinating for several months, I decided to make a smaller quilt and to design a star block for the center of my quilt.

Since I used a tan print as background for the star block, I felt I should use it in a border as well. The second border of red print gives a perky accent. Imagine how blah the border area would look without it! The blue theme print frames my quilt nicely.

For quilting, I used tan thread and the “Drunken Feathers” pantograph designed by Barbara Becker and distributed by Urban Elementz. This panto is a current favorite of my daughter’s, so I ordered a copy for myself. I, too, like the all over, interwoven effect of the fluffy feathers.

Although I dearly hoped to finish this UFO in January, an early February finish will have to satisfy my goal-setting soul. I have to extend some grace to myself!

Do you have a project that requires an extended grace period?

“Twisted Hexies” Published!

4 02 2020

Have you seen the March/April 2020 issue of Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine? On the cover is Scott Flanagan’s gorgeous “Fresh Grapes” (based on a “Carpenter’s Star” design) made in batiks from hundreds of diamonds. And if you flip to page 36, you’ll see my table runner design, “Twisted Hexies.” I made it from Civil War repro colored print fabrics and shirtings from my stash.

When I saw the patchwork block on Pinterest, the great quilting research tool, I thought it would be very complicated and time consuming to make. However, it is surprisingly easy to construct. Attach the first trapezoid to the center hexagon with a partial seam, and the other five trapezoids are quickly added.

I enjoyed making this project and hope you will try making some “twisted hexies.” The editors and graphic artists for Love of Quilting are awesome, writing clear directions with plenty of explanatory diagrams. You will have lots of fun making this design! I have a free magazine for one lucky blog reader. Just leave a comment below stating what style or color of fabrics you would use to make a “Twisted Hexies” table runner or quilt. The drawing will be Feb. 12. I can ship to a U.S. address only.

Don’t think, “I never win anything; why bother adding my name to the drawing?” Did you know, only 12 people entered the previous drawing for the March/April issue of McCall’s Quilting? So you have a great chance of winning. By the way, Karlene’s name was drawn as the winner. Congratulations, Karlene!

“Sisters” QAL – February

1 02 2020

Have you been looking forward to today? I have! The February block of the “Sister’s” Block of the Month Quilt Along goes live. You will find a link for the instructions under the “Sisters BOM QAL” tab in my blog’s header. “Twin Star” is the name of this month’s block. If you stare at the black triangles, you notice the “Friendship Star” spinning counter clockwise; if you focus on the lilac triangles, you see another “Friendship Star” spinning clockwise. Thus the name, “Twin Star.” I know you will enjoy making the 12″ “big sister” as well as the 6″ “little sister.”

You need three fabrics plus a background for the blocks. I used the same red, lilac and black fabrics in both blocks, but I varied their placement. Consider fussy cutting the center squares of your blocks from a theme print. Allow that flower, or bee, or bicycle to take center stage and become the focus of your block. Choose two additional fabrics (tonals or small scale prints) for the star points of the blocks. And as for the patchwork  – you’ll learn a technique for making and squaring up quarter square triangles.

Easy, peasy, but be careful! It’s all too easy to inadvertently rotate a triangle unit.


Be sure to post your success or questions in a comment below. If you have an Instagram account, post a picture of your blocks using the hashtag #sistersqal.

Just wondering . . . are any of you a twin with a birthday in February?