2nd Quarter Challenge Call for Quilts

22 06 2017

Hello Quilting Friends,

The end of the second quarter of 2017 is fast approaching, and I am calling on you for photos of your projects made with pre-cuts. Blog readers gain inspiration when you show and tell! If you remember, our year long challenge is using pre-cuts, actually making something out of our hoarded packages of pretty fabric. January -. March we focused on Fat Quarters and/or Quilter’s Candy (2 1/2″ squares). April – June we are working on Jelly Rolls. July – September it will be Layer Cakes (coordinated 10″ squares), and October – December we’ll crack open packages of 5″ Charm Squares.

Stephanie and Maridee have sent pictures of Jelly Roll quilts which I will soon post. But I’d like to add a photo of your project to the blog post. If you have sewn the top of your Jelly Roll quilt, but haven’t quilted it yet, no problem, send a photo. If you have finished your (1st Quarter) Fat Quarter or Quilter’s Candy project, likewise send a photo. aby.quilts@gmail.com

Thanks so much!

Aby Dolinger

Quilting It Forward

20 06 2017

This week I am sewing like crazy on a new quilt for publication by McCall’s Quilting magazine. The working title is “Be Mine,” and you’ll see it in your copy of the magazine late winter 2018. In the quilting for publication experience, it has been a learning curve to anticipate seasons and holidays nine to twelve months in advance. I have to quilt it forward. In the editors’ planning, Christmas 2017 and New Years are past, and they are looking forward to magazine issues for spring and summer.

Once again the folks at Wilmington Prints have generously donated fabric for this project. I love all the textured shades of red and pink in their Essential Gems “Ruby Days” strip pack. From deep rich ruby to pastel coral pink, these hues are perfect for my Valentine quilt! (Should you need 2 1/2″ strips of red and pink, My LQS, Loving Stitches in Fayetteville NC, stocks “Ruby Days” as well as other Wilmington Prints pre-cuts.)

Back to the cutting table and sewing machine!

“Double Nine Patch” Gifted

17 06 2017

Prayers would be appreciated for my father-in-law, Harold, who began chemotherapy this week. I gave him a “Double Nine Patch” quilt for warmth during the chilly procedures.


Have you ever given or received a comfort quilt or crocheted/knitted prayer shawl? What exactly is it about a quilt/shawl that comforts during stressful times? I invite your comments.

“Hunter’s Star” Finish

13 06 2017

I began “Hunter’s Star” in a workshop taught by Jane Godshall for Tarheel Quilters (May 2, 2015). Click here to read about the beginning of this project. Jane taught us how to use the Deb Tucker ruler for “Hunter’s Star;” this made the project intriguing and fun!

Along the way, I imagined a Lemoyne Star in the center of the quilt, but discarded the idea after constructing the block and placing it on my design wall. There is just too much of the same fabric, and a thin black flange would cut off star points. I felt a purple star would offer more color contrast, but I didn’t have the right purple in my stash. (The lone Lemoyne Star serves instead as back art.)


The project languished for almost two years. Determined to deliberate no longer, I purchased purple batik at my LQS, Loving Stitches, for border and binding. A stylized leaf edge to edge design is quilted in dark red thread which surprisingly blends well with the mottled magenta fabric.

Another UFO finished and another check mark for my Summer Projects List!

Mosaic Tiles X 2 Finished!

10 06 2017

Bordered in blue, my Jelly Roll Mosaic Tiles quilt is ready to cuddle under. To finish my second quarter pre-cut challenge is exciting! You can read previous blog posts for instructions for the 14″ blocks. 

The quilt bordered in orange was my proto-type for the jelly roll quilt. I used rectangle, square, and triangle scraps with a black and white polka dot to add continuity to all the colorful bits and pieces. 

Both are quilted with a meander that resembles contour plowing. Light robin’s egg blue for the blue quilt and light yellow for the scrappy quilt. 

Now I can move on to the next project on my Summer Projects list!

“Postage Stamp” Quilt – a Graduation Gift

7 06 2017

My young friend Emily has reached a milestone – graduation from high school!

I love to make “Postage Stamp” quilts for graduates. All the tiny squares can symbolize the bits of knowledge they’ve crammed into their brains for the past 12 years. Amazingly, the bits and pieces combine together to make a beautiful and useful whole. I encourage young people to keep on learning.

“Postage Stamp” quilts are also a metaphor for keeping friendships alive by corresponding. Yes, it is an effort to keep up with friends long distance after graduation, but long-time friendships are worth preserving.

I made this quilt with 1 3/4″ squares that I cut from scraps and save in a box. My friend Linda made a portable design board for me by covering a sturdy piece of cardboard with batting and then with gridded flannel. As I lay out pieces for the wall quilt, my squares will easily stick to the flannel . . . unless I’m outside and it’s windy like on Memorial Day. In that case, I pinned each square to the design board, securing them until I sewed the squares into rows. I think alternating light and dark squares helps the eye to focus on the motifs of the dark fabrics. I arranged the 99 squares in 11 rows with 9 squares each. Click here to see a “Postage Stamp” quilt completely made with bright/dark squares.

The following picture shows how I pressed the seams so they would lock together when I joined the rows. Every other row is pressed to the right; the alternate rows are pressed to the left.

I obtained insider information from Emily’s mom for the border color; her favorite color is turquoise blue. I cut the inner solid border 2″ wide and the outer tone-on-tone border 3 1/2″ wide. The wall quilt measures 20 1/2″ x 23.” Straight line quilting with white thread in a cross-hatch design through the squares is simple, yet enhances the patchwork. I echoed the seam lines with white thread in the inner border and meandered with turquoise thread in the outer border. A congratulatory label on the back completes the gift.

Summer 2017 Projects

5 06 2017

It’s June, quilting friends. Summer vacation has begun! Although my life is no longer tied to a school calendar (my children have left college days far behind), I still anticipate carefree summer days. I always hope there will be more time for leisure pursuits like quilting. It occurred to me that I should write down my summer projects since lists of goals motivate me.

Recently I started two projects, one pieced and one hand applique. I am super excited about both! My extensive piecing project for the summer is a very scrappy “Confetti” quilt designed by Augusta Cole. After seeing several renditions of the design at the NC Quilt Symposium show the third weekend in May, my friend Nancy and I decided we had to make the quilt. We were so determined to put a dent in our scraps that we ordered patterns and organized a Sew Day for other interested Tarheel Quilters this past Friday. I’m happy to say that I’ve completed the 245 required “Four Patches,” and now I’m attaching white rectangles to all, leader/ender style.

My hand applique project is from stashed Civil War reproduction fabrics. Twelve blocks should make a nice lap sized quilt. The photo shows the basic layout. Even though I planned this as a take-along project for car trips, I’ve prepped all the Dresden Plates and have already appliqued half during these summertime evenings. I love how it’s turning out!

After hanging my “Summer 2017 Projects” list in my sewing room, I happened to glance at my clothes hanging rack of quilt tops that need quilting. Oh, yeah, I guess I should put those on my list:  Hubby’s retirement quilt (a mother/daughter effort), “Jelly Roll Mosaic Tiles” (for the second quarter challenge), “Hunter’s Star” lap quilt, “Splendid Sampler” of 6″ blocks, baby boy quilt. And then there are the UFO’s:  “Chopped” designed by Joan Ford, “Long Road Home” swap blocks, “House” swap blocks.

And just like that, my project list has grown from a manageable 2 to a challenging 10! Deep breath; here we go! One thing is for sure, I will not be bored this summer, and I’ll have something interesting to write in that back-to-school essay, “What I did on my summer vacation.”

What is on your Summer 2017 Project list?