Jelly Roll Quilt

17 09 2019

Moda’s “National Sew a Jelly Roll Quilt Day” has become an annual event. This year’s date is just around the corner–Saturday, September 21. Mark your calendar, select a Jelly Roll of 2 1/2″ strips, and prepare for a day of non-stop sewing.

The approach of this year’s “Sew a Jelly Roll Day” prompted me to finish last year’s jelly roll project that has been hanging for months in the “ready to quilt” queue. You can read about the beginning of my project here; hurricane Florence’s power outage thwarted my plans to participate in “the day” and delayed the power sewing of my quilt. Click here to read the update posted last November once all 36 “Tea Party” blocks were made.

With light gray polyester thread, I quilted the pantograph “Modern Squares,”  designed by Denise Schillinger and distributed by Urban Elementz. For binding, I used 8 leftover JR strips. I cut them roughly in half and pieced the half strips together with diagonal seams. What a fun, scrappy binding!

This year I’ll also postpone my Jelly Roll sewing, but for a different reason. My granddaughter’s wedding is on September 21! And attending her wedding is much more important than sewing another quilt top. Not to worry, my church’s sewing group is going on retreat the following weekend, and the simple JR pattern I’ve selected will be a perfect retreat project.

Are you planning to participate in National Sew a Jelly Roll Day on September 21?


Beth’s Round Robin Quilt

15 09 2019

From January to July, I participated in the Tarheel Quilters Guild’s round robin. You can see my quilt here and Irene’s quilt here.

Today, I’ll share pictures of Beth’s quilt which I enjoyed working on.

Here is the block Beth submitted as the center of her medallion style quilt. She made it with a pack of 2 1/2″ mini charm squares.

I thought long and hard about what style of border would add interest to this block of “just squares.” I decided to remove the outer border of light gray, turn the block on point and add applique on the light gray triangles. I used several of the colored squares from Beth’s border as centers for my hexagon flowers. Adding applique dressed up the quilt, adding a light airiness and meaning to the solid center.

Four more borders were added by other round robin participants, and here is the result.

Click the picture to zoom in to see the wonderful swirling stars, the framed Four Patches, and the scrappy Nine Patches on point (which marvelously echo Beth’s central patchwork). Beth is working out a scheme to tie the very wide outer border into the other design motifs. Since she is a master longarm quilter, I suggested that she develop an intricate quilting design perhaps in colorful thread.

All the round robin participants are supposed to bring their quilts to our October guild meeting in whatever state they are in. That means I need to elevate my quilt to the top of the “just get ‘er done” list because it would be awesome to have a finished quilt to show my friends.

“Chandelier” Quilt Finished!

12 09 2019

If you need a quick and easy project, may I recommend “Chandelier?” It may be quick and easy, but it packs a lot of visual punch. The light, medium and dark fabrics form scintillating vertical chains reminding me of a chandelier’s hanging crystals shimmering in the light.

I was inspired to make this quilt by the numerous images of it on Pinterest. A little research led me to Vanessa Goertzen’s book, Charm School-18 Quilts from 5″ Squares: a Beginner’s Guide. Her quilt measures 60″ x 60″ and calls for two identical packages of 5″ charm squares (42 per pack). I purchased, instead, a layer cake of 10″ squares and had plenty of fabric to make a 72″ square quilt.

The fabric motifs are so pretty:  feathers, bird nests with eggs, blooming branches, and butterflies. “Nature Study” was designed by Nancy Mink for Wilmington Prints. Click here to see swatches of this lovely fabric line.

For quilting, I chose the “Spring Beauty” pantograph design printed and distributed by Willow Leaf Studio. The panto includes both butterflies and five-petaled flowers with leaves. When my daughter, Trinity, asked what color thread I planned to use, I said, “light green or light blue.” But as I basted the quilt top on the batting and backing, I almost chickened out because the blue was so noticeable on the ecru background. But then I reasoned that the pantograph design would be unnoticeable if I used ecru or tan thread. So I held my breath and used the light blue thread. And I am so glad I did! The design shows up very nicely, adding another dimension of interest.

I bound the quilt with solid navy, but I think an ecru binding would lend a contemporary air.

I am scheduled to teach “Chandelier” at my local quilt shop, Sew There! Quilts and More in Angier, NC. The dates are Saturdays, Nov. 9 and 23 from 12:30 to 3:30. If you live locally, I’d love to have you join our class. Phone Bonnie to register:  919-331-2499.

“Liz’s Quilt” Finished!

6 09 2019

I began “Liz’s Quilt” in January 2019, and I’m thrilled that I finally found time to quilt and bind it.  You can read about the beginning of this project here. To recap a bit of that blog post: The pattern for this quilt was published in the January/February 2019 issue of Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting magazine. “This quilt of mini Nine Patches and Ohio Stars caught my eye as I thumbed through the magazine. I love the scrappiness; I love the sparkling bits of color that dance across the quilt.” Some of the 1 1/2″ squares which make up the mini Nine Patches are from my friend Kathy’s stash, and some are from my collection. The 4 yds. of background shirting and the 1 1/2 yds. of blue micro print are from stash.”

I am so pleased with this quilt, so full of scrappy goodness. However, there is one mistake I will not make again. I selected, of unknown provenance, a shirting-like fabric for the light background because I had 4 yards of it and it coordinated well with the blue micro print for the Ohio Stars’ points. However, I soon realized that it was a poly-cotton blend. Poly-cotton behaves differently than 100% cotton. It must be pressed on a lower setting and it shifts when sewn/quilted. I am an avowed fabric snob; I prefer 100% quilting cottons. Ah, well, the quilt is lovely, and “all’s well that ends well.”

For quilting, I considered three color choices: Williamsburg blue to match the border, ecru to match the shirting background, and light blue. I chose light blue because it shows to good advantage on the border and fades into the shirting fabric with only a hint of the texture. The pantograph is “Abigail” designed by Sarah Ann Myers and distributed by Urban Elementz.

Click on the photo to zoom in for a closer look at the quilted texture.

I enthusiastically talked several of my friends into making “Liz’s Quilt” as well. Karlene has completed hers, and renamed it “The Ninth Hour.” She chose a red theme instead of blue. I love it so much, I might have to make another quilt!

If you made this quilt, what color theme would you choose for star points and border? Interestingly, the stars in the published quilt are various colors, and there is no outer border.

Vintage “Nine Patch”

3 09 2019

I know you all enjoy reading about quilts with a history or story, and this story spans about 35 years.

Renee and I attend our church’s sewing/quilting/crafting group on Wednesday mornings. At the beginning of the summer, she found a box of fabric squares with a cardboard template while helping her mom with cleaning and organizing. They deduced that they were leftovers from a quilt Renee’s sister made as a teenager. (The quilt was simply made of many small squares of a great variety of prints.)

Renee decided to use the leftover squares to secretly make a quilt for her sister’s 50th birthday. Alas, the squares were various sizes due to the gradual wearing down of the cardboard template as it was traced hundreds of times. Renee sewed squares into Nine Patches, and then trimmed the Nine Patches into a uniform size. She sashed the blocks with a royal blue, and then she and her mother hand quilted hearts and shamrocks in the sashing between the Nine Patches. Hearts for love and shamrocks for her sister’s legendary  propensity for finding four leaf clovers.

Renee make a pocket on the back of the quilt and inserted that time-worn template.

At the recent birthday party, Renee’s sister was surprised to the point of tears. She gratefully uses her gift as a sofa quilt, wrapping up in it when viewing TV.


“Dear Jane” Convenience Quilt

31 08 2019

Lest you think I have make an intricate “Dear Jane” quilt from Civil War reproduction fabrics, let me hastily disabuse you of that notion! (Click here to read about the original “Dear Jane” quilt, and do an internet or Pinterest search for “Dear Jane quilts” to see images of hundreds of quilts made by quilters more ambitious and patient than I.) No, this is a “cheater quilt” aka a “convenience quilt.”

The center of this quilt is a panel, a photographic image of part of the original “Dear Jane” quilt. I purchased it about 10 years ago knowing that my mother-in-law liked to hand quilt panel designs. I added borders and gave it to her to finish, but evidently other quilting projects pushed it to the rear of her fabric cupboard. Recently, because of failing health, my MIL has gifted me with much of her fabric stash, and this quilt top was among the treasures.

Since I am in the mood to finish up projects that are just hanging around, cluttering my sewing space, “Dear Jane” was high on the “just git ‘er done” list. A 3 yard piece of rust colored poly-cotton, also from my MIL’s stash, served as a backing. I meandered with a brown/gold thread which blends nicely with all the fabrics. Leftover backing became the binding which was sewn entirely by machine. This quilt is destined for an assisted living facility where it is sure to warm the body and heart of an elderly resident.

What is high on your “just git ‘er done” quilting list?

Charming Seasonal Decor

28 08 2019

What can you make with a package of 42  5″ charm squares? They are so tempting to purchase; we like all the coordinating colors and prints in one tidy package. But sometimes we are at a loss for actually using them in a sewing/quilting project.

Last fall, I designed a wall quilt with a simple star and pieced border that was published in McCall’s Quick Quilts Dec/Jan 2019. Although the “Night Lights” Hanukkah quilt is made from yardage of 6 prints, the design can be adapted for using the many prints contained in a charm pack.

On a recent visit to Sew There! Quilts and More in Angier, NC, I was captivated by a package featuring fall leaves, sunflowers, and tone-on-tones with metallic gold flecks. This “Giving Thanks” collection was designed by Lynnea Washburn for Robert Kaufman fabrics. Purchasing with a plan, I hoped to make a “Charming Star” wall quilt that doubles as a table topper. Besides the Charm package, I needed 3/8 yd. off-white “grunge” for background and 1/4 yd. brown print for binding. The quilt is 24″ square, so I also needed at least 3/4 yard of backing fabric.

After assembling the quilt top, I quilted heart shaped leaves all over with an old gold Magnifico polyester thread. The thread color shows nicely on the grunge and blends well with the fall themed fabrics. When summer’s hot weather gives way to crisp fall temperatures, I’m ready to decorate with a new fall quilt!

Another very fun collection is “We Whisk You a Merry Christmas” designed by Kim Christopherson for Maywood Studio. Won’t this be a fun topper for my kitchen table at Christmastime? For this quilt, I purchased a dark (black) background, but I think the prints would look equally well with a light background.

I quilted an all-over snowflake design with a light gray polyester thread. It shows up nicely against the black background as feathery snowflakes would. I considered binding the quilt with a red tone-on-tone fabric, but felt black would add a solid calm finish rather than additional color chaos.

Which is your favorite quilt–the Fall quilt or the Christmas quilt?