Karla’s Charming “Bear Paw”

15 10 2017

Karla has accepted the 4th Quarter Challenge – making a quilt from a package of 5″ charm squares!

Don’t you love the bright, fun fabrics? The line is “Fresh Cut” by Basic Grey for Moda. The quilt measures 38″ square, the perfect size for a baby.

Click here to link with Karla’s blog, My Sewful Retirement, to read more about the inspiration for her quilt.

Are you working on a quilt made with Charm Squares?




Four Point Star

13 10 2017

It’s Fall, ya’ll. And since I have completed nearly all the projects on my Summer projects list, I have started a new project–a baby quilt for my soon-expected grand niece. “Flower Mill” by Moda is the beautiful fabric line. Quilt in a Day provides excellent detailed instructions with their On Point square up ruler. This would be a great project for 5″ Charm Squares (our fourth quarter pre-cut challenge). My Four Point Stars measure 8,” finished. I plan to make 16 blocks, total. I will keep you posted on my progress!

Do you have a new project this Fall?

Family Time-Out

4 10 2017

I am taking a break from blogging this week. We are traveling north to celebrate and honor the life of my father-in-law, Harold Dolinger, who passed away 24 September. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers for safe travel and God’s peace and comfort. 

3rd Quarter Challenge–Blog Reader Shares

30 09 2017

Believe it or not, 2017 is 3/4 gone! This year, I have challenged myself and blog readers to actually use those pretty packages of pre-cuts we’ve all been tempted to purchase.  In the first quarter  (Jan.-Mar.) we focused on fat quarters and quilter’s candy (2 1/2″ squares). Second quarter we focused on jelly-rolls (2 1/2″ strips). And third quarter’s challenge was using Layer Cakes (10″ squares). Click here to see my project from the Nordic Holiday line. I’ll teach this quilt at the Sew There! quilt shop in Angier, NC soon. If you live locally, call 919-331-2499 and sign up to join in the fun.

Friend and blog reader, Linda G., sent me several quilts to longarm, and they just happened to be made from Layer Cakes! First up is “Starburst” made with Halloween fabric. The pattern came from Jenny Doan’s Holiday Block Book, volume 3, issue 4. You can view a tutorial for Starburst on you tube; click here. For a quilting design, the Spider Web pantograph designed by Dave Hudson of patternman.com was the perfect choice. I considered using metallic silver thread so the spider webs would sparkle. However, I settled on gray thread thinking it would be more practical and durable for a sofa quilt. In my opinion, metallic silver would be great for a wall quilt.

Linda also made two twin size patriotic quilts for Christmas gifts. She ordered the Layer Cakes and border fabric from Missouri Star Quilt Company. The fabric line is “American Pride” by Timeless Treasures, and the border fabric is “Patriotic Words” from this line.  Jenny Doan calls this pattern her Double Slice Layer Cake. This random-looking design couldn’t be easier to make! If you need some quick quilt gifts for the holidays, Linda recommends this pattern. Let the fabric do the talking! Click here to view Jenny’s tutorial on you tube.

What about you? Have you make a Layer Cake quilt this year? If so, send me a picture to share with blog readers. (aby.quilts@gmail.com)

The 4th quarter challenge is using Charm Squares (5″ squares). On your mark, get ready, get set, go sew!

With special thanks to Aidan, my willing quilt holder!

A Tale of Two Quilts

26 09 2017

My friend and fellow quilt guild member, Yolanda, has a long time friend, Sophia. This is the story of Sophia’s family quilt and Yolanda’s remake in the spirit of the original design. My part was quilting the remake.

Sophia writes “My great-grandmother, Serena Herndon (Richards), started this quilt in Oklahoma in the late 1920’s, but my grandmother, Elzira Scoggins (Herndon), finished the quilt top in Mt. Shasta and Oroville, California sometime during 1930s-1940s. My mother, Serena, born in 1945, quilted this blanket in Oroville around mid to late 50’s.” Be sure to click on the photograph to zoom in. Many of the fabrics are wildly colorful.

Sophia’s mother recently passed, and so she asked if Yolanda would cut up the quilt top to incorporate some of the original blocks into a new quilt because  many of the fabrics were worn out from age and use. Yolanda encouraged Sophia to allow her repair the old quilt instead and also to make a new one that would capture the design of the original. Happily, Sophia agreed.
The inspiration for the quilt blocks came from the original quilt. Yolanda’s goal was to isolate the original block design and set it on point. However when she laid out the blocks to audition them before sewing sashing between them, she liked the look of a horizontal set best. By exercising creative license, Yolanda gave the new quilt its own identity. The angels in the central panel are representative of Sophia and her mother meeting again in heaven. The wording “To God be the glory, until we meet again” is her way of rejoicing for the coming reunion.
Yolanda selected 2 1/2 inch wide strip packs of Civil War reproduction fabrics from Connecting Threads. The border is an end of bolt find from Pineapple fabrics; the backing is 108 inch wide cotton backing also from Pineapple fabrics. I quilted the “Splash” pantograph with old gold polyester thread. The gold blended well with all the patchwork blocks yet showed up nicely in the wide blue border. Since I didn’t want to quilt the panto over the angels, I meandered in the background of the panel and echo stitched around the angels. (It was not easy to interrupt the pantograph in this way, but this treatment suited the quilt.) Yolanda added a label which details the tale of these two wonderful quilts.
In the words of Hattie, another of Yolanda’s friends, this Granny Square block is so reminiscent of lessons learned from those who have gone before us.  Yolanda’s remake of Sophia’s family quilt is a beautiful story of a shared love for this ageless art work.  Isn’t it wonderful how the past can bring out the best in us?

Table Topper Quilt

25 09 2017

Does your table décor need a fresh look? Or do you need a birthday or housewarming gift? Consider making a table topper by adding several borders to a patchwork block. The block design is “Cameo Appearance” which was published in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, Vol. 15. This volume of the bi-annual magazine was published in May 2017. Click here to read my blog post about the block.

The fabrics are from Geri Robinson’s “American Beauty” line for Red Rooster. Aren’t they so gorgeous and homey? The first border was cut 2 1/2″ wide from ecru print background fabric with blue print corner squares. I cut the second border 3″ wide from a tan leaf print. For the binding, I debated between the red print and the blue print. Hubby suggested the red, and I think it pulls out the cheery color from the center of the quilt.

After quilting around the flower motif, I used continuous curves in most of the patchwork. Meandering in the first border adds texture, and leaves and loops continue the leafy idea of the outer border.

I am so pleased with this speedy yet pretty project, perhaps I should delve into my collection of orphan blocks and make a few more table toppers for holiday gifts!


String-Pieced Pumpkins

20 09 2017

Grandson Aidan’s birthday is near Halloween, and he is enthused to decorate (already) for both celebrations. We decided a pumpkin quilt that he could keep “forever” would be fun to make. For inspiration, we used Bonnie Hunter’s string-pieced pumpkin design published in the Quiltmaker September/October 2017 issue. You can see pictures of a table runner Bonnie made with string pieced pumpkins here.

To begin with, we dumped my shopping bag of strips and strings on the sewing room floor, searching for all the orange, rust, tan, and green. After ironing the selected strips and cutting paper foundations from an old phone directory, I changed my sewing machine needle to size 90 and decreased the stitch length to 1.5. Piecing the four pumpkin blocks on the paper was quick and easy; in a couple of hours, all were complete.

Aidan decided he would prefer a long, skinny wall hanging rather than a Four Patch style block layout as pictured above. This layout makes the quilt more versatile as it can also be used as a table runner. Sashing and border strips were cut 2 1/2″ wide from Wilmington Prints black “Criss-Cross.” The quilting design is a spider web pantograph with metallic gold thread. (I suggested metallic silver thread, but Aidan’s choice of gold turned out just fine! Click on the picture, zooming in to see the quilting details.) Lime green binding makes a lively finish. With a hanging sleeve on the back, we are ready to decorate for fall and Aidan’s birthday!