“Elbow” Baby Quilt Finished!

21 03 2018

I made this quilt top at a quilting retreat at the end of February. I’m calling the patchwork an “Elbow” block. Pre-cut friendly, it’s made from 5″ squares and 2 1/2″ squares. The gray tone-on-tone and gray swirl print (from Wilmington Prints) wonderfully showcase the bright, scrappy fabric prints.

After assembling the top, I searched my stash for backing and pondered what color quilting thread would be best. The backing question was easily settled by piecing gifted fabrics from Heather and Peggy. (Thanks, friends!) As for thread color, I debated between gray to match the background and lime green to match the backing. My quilting friend, Sana, always encourages me to “take a walk on the wild side” when choosing thread, so I chose daring lime green instead of safe gray. I was surprised and pleased with the outcome; lime green is not as garish as I imagined, and the quilting design texture shows up so much better than if I had selected gray. (Thanks, Sana! I should listen to you more often!)

Some little guy in the Neo-Natal Intensive Care Unit of our local hospital will have a bright, interesting quilt to stare at until he is big enough to use it for “tummy time.”



UFO First Quarter Challenge – Ten Days Remain

19 03 2018

This is an encouraging reminder for all who accepted the First Quarter Challenge of finishing one or more UFOs. About ten days remain in our challenge. Can you dedicate some time to finish your project(s)? Once you complete your commitment/goal, send me a picture to share with blog readers (aby.quilts@gmail.com). For each project you complete, your name goes in the hat for a drawing of a small prize.

Here’s the complete list (if I inadvertently omitted you, leave a comment, please):

  • Pam B. – “Tumbling Blocks” quilt for grandson
  • Kathy H. – “Snowman” flannel throw, whale pillow is complete, heron wall quilt is complete
  • Patti H. – Quilt and finish 4-5 tops
  •             One is twin size, another is spray basted
  •             3 scrappy lap-size quilts
  •             The 16 Patch is complete
  • Cindy M. – “Celtic Wave”
  • Maridee H. – “Farm Girl Vintage”
  • Marie K. – Put Thimbles redwork blocks together
  • Linda – “Millifiore”
  • Debbie – Quilt 3 charity tops
  • Ronda – Two Step Quilt “Miami Sea Shore”
  • Karla – String quilt begun 2 years ago
  • Deb M. – (Inferred) House block exchange
  • Jane-ellen – Scrappy Medallion
  • Helga – 4 projects, 3 are finished
  • Elaine – Paper-pieced Snoopy
  •             Finish “Stitcher’s Garden” blocks
  • Judy B. – “Long Road Home” is complete, retirement quilt for husband is complete, Valentine quilt is complete, Sampler quilt is complete
  • Trinity – Patriotic retirement quilt for Army friend

Happy Sewing/Quilting!

National Quilting Day

17 03 2018

As National Quilting Day (and St. Patrick’s Day) draws to a close, I wonder if you found some time to sew, quilt, or chat with friends who enjoy our hobby. I did! My guild, the Tarheel Quilters Guild, offered a free introductory quilting class at North Regional Library. The meeting room was buzzing with excitement as over 40 ladies tried their hand at patchwork throughout the day. I instructed three people, two of whom are pictured below.


Can you tell Ashley and Cheryl are proud of their creations?

“Summer Safari” Re-make

16 03 2018

Have you ever rummaged through your projects and stash for a certain fabric, but were captivated by another print instead? This happened to me recently. I intended to transform an owl print with coordinating tonals into a baby quilt, but I found giraffe fabric in the same “unfinished/unstarted projects” container. Folded with the giraffe fabric were just enough yellow, green, and purple prints to make another “Summer Safari” baby quilt. So I forgot about the owls and worked on a giraffe quilt instead.

“Summer Safari” was printed in the June/July 2016 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts. If you don’t have a copy of the magazine yet you’d like to make the quilt, you will find basic instructions for the “Simple Pinwheel” block on the Patterns page of this blog. Click here to read my original post about this quilt.

Giraffe quilt done . . . now where are those owls?

Going Green

14 03 2018

Several of you commented favorably on the Valentine table topper I made from 3 1/2″ squares.  Click here to link to the February 5 post. Friend and blog reader, Stephanie, made one for her dining table. She found it was the perfect project to take to a sew day, and it provided some instant gratification in contrast to her two large, time-consuming projects currently underway.

The project was so much fun, Stephanie decided to make a table quilt in green for St. Patrick’s Day!

Did you notice the four light squares in the center? Stephanie plans to applique a shamrock right there in the middle. Your quilt can also have four light center squares if you plan ahead when laying out the scrappy squares for your table topper. Simply place light squares in diagonally opposite corners of the two 5 x 5 (grid) patchwork squares you construct. Then, do not cut through those two corners when slicing the patchwork into triangles. (Refer to my original post for a visual.)

Kathy also sent a picture of her table topper made with 2 1/2″ squares from the “Pine Fresh” line designed by Sandy Gervais for Moda. Kathy used two packs of Quilter’s Candy to make the initial two squares in 6 x 6 grids. She quilted diagonally through the squares. Her topper finishes at 17″ square. It looks simply elegant on Kathy’s round marble topped occasional table.

Who will be next to try out this quick and fun way to use squares, the simplest of all patchwork shapes?

For a full-length tutorial, click here to link to Moda’s Bake Shop and read Karin Vail’s  directions for her “On Point Baby Quilt.”


Magazine Winners

12 03 2018

Thanks to the 21 quilters who responded to my previous post about being published in the latest issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts. The results of the drawing for free magazines are as follows:  Judy Sandman and Janeanne Weidl are the winners this time! Congratulations, ladies!

If your newsstand is sold out of this issue, you can purchase one from The Quilting Company online. Click here to link to the magazine sales section.

It was interesting to learn that most of the commenters favored machine rather than hand applique. I chuckled aloud at Carol Leak’s comment; she wrote, “I like to do both, but very rarely take the time to applique by hand – isn’t that why we have machines – to hurry up the process, because there are so many quilts to make, and it seems like too little time!”

St. Patrick’s Day will be here before you know it. Are you working on a green and white quilt, an Irish Chain quilt, a shamrock project, or other quilt suited to the “lucky” holiday?

Guest Blogger at The Quilting Company

6 03 2018

Do you “subscribe” to the blog of The Quilting Company? If so, you read my article entitled “Shortcut to Dresden” on March 5. If not, here’s a link to the article.

The blog article appeared just as the April/May 2018 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts hit newsstands. What a fun issue this is! And, believe it or not, two of my quilt designs are published in this magazine.

I made the published “Shortcut to Dresden” with the “Flower Mill” collection from Moda designed by Corey Yoder. I enjoyed working with these beautiful fabrics. What a lovely herald to Spring!

When you link to The Quilting Company’s blog, you’ll read a description of the techniques I used to create a second “Dresden Plate” quilt made from Civil War reproduction fabrics. While “Shortcut to Dresden” espouses fusible webbing and machine applique, this second quilt calls for hand applique. It was my take-along project for several trips last summer.

“Ring Around the Rosie” is also published in the April/May issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts. It is a spin-off of the “Garlic Knots” design I’ve been working on this past year. I increased the number of rows from six to eight and arranged every four blocks to form diamonds. I was hoping that the design would resemble “Double Wedding Ring.” What do you think? Have I achieved a faux “Double Wedding Ring” with the advantage of no curved piecing? Interestingly, the fabric line for this quilt is “Abigail” by Dover Hill for Benartex. Of course, I jumped at the chance to create a quilt from fabrics bearing my name!

McCall’s graciously gave me two copies of the magazine to share with blog readers, so we’ll have a drawing. If you would like to win a copy, leave a comment below stating the type of applique you prefer, machine or hand.

P.S. Don’t think, “It’s no use to enter the drawing; I never win anything.” Usually only about 30 people comment, registering for a chance to win a magazine. The next winner could be you!

P.P.S. Click here to link to The Quilting Company’s blog to read my guest blog post.