“Favorites” BOM #8 and #9

Here we are in the month of August already! July’s heat and humidity are slated to continue this month as well, so I am helping you out by giving you a reason to hibernate in your air conditioned sewing room. I am publishing Blocks 8 and 9 for you to work on this month. If you are participating in our 2022 Quilt Along, you need to make two blocks of each design. The gals in my Block of the Month “club” at Sew There! quilt shop in Angier are anxious to finish their “Favorites” quilts and are confident they can make all four blocks this month. Are you, my online readers, up to the challenge?

Block # 8 is “Tumbleweed” which is a snap to make using “sew and flip triangle corners.” Wouldn’t it be fun to make an entire quilt from this design? It is Jelly Roll friendly, using 2 1/2″ wide strips. Using batik fabrics would lend a sophisticated air to this block design.


Block #9 is “Pinwheel,” also a breeze a make. The directions call for cutting triangles 1/8″ oversize so you can trim up for accuracy after making the four quadrants. Wouldn’t it be fun to make a baby quilt from this design? Using 30s reproduction prints or bright tone-on-tones would be perfect!


Happy August sewing! To find instructions for these two blocks, click on “Favorites BOM QAL” in the menu, scroll to the end of the list, and download both BOM #8 and BOM #9. Once you have completed two blocks of each, please email me a picture: aby.quilts@gmail.com.

“Economy Block” Favorites BOM #7 Wrap-Up

I have several lovely “Favorites” blocks and projects to show you today! Block of the Month participants have been working diligently on our 2022 Quilt Along. You can find free instructions by clicking the “Favorites BOM QAL” tab in the menu. It’s not too late to join the fun!

First up is Valerie’s quilt project. She is expanding her quilt from throw size to bed size and tells me that she will choose 8″ blocks from last year’s “Options” BOM when making the extra blocks needed.

Valerie’s “Favorites” Project

Joy sent a picture of her “Economy” blocks. Isn’t that swirly colorful fabric fantastic!

Joy’s “Economy Blocks”

Marianne chose to combine the “Favorites” blocks with blocks from her guild’s Block of the Month program. She named her quilt “Circle of Friends.”

Marianne’s “Circle of Friends”

Several of the blocks found a home on the back of her quilt. Congrats, Marianne, your block of the month quilt is already quilted, bound, and named!

And now it is your turn to brag a little. If you completed four “Economy Blocks” in July, comment “Done” to be entered in a drawing for a free quilting magazine.

10-Day Challenge

Sherri McConnell (aquiltinglife.com) is one of the quilters I follow on social media. Earlier this month, she initiated a Ten Day Challenge. The concept is simple — choose one thing you aspire to do every day for ten days and chart your progress. Click here to link to Sherri’s blog post and download the challenge’s chart. Click here to hear about it in a you tube podcast.

The “one thing” I chose was making blocks for the various Block of the Month projects I am working on this year. By focusing on the challenge, I added to my pile of blocks during this extremely busy month. Of course, there were several days I didn’t make it to my sewing room; I compensated by making two blocks the following day.

I am participating in Sherri McConnell’s BOM using the “Ruby” fabric line from Maywood Studio. Here’s the 12″ block for July.

I am also making 9″ blocks for the Moda Blockheads 4 quilt along. Click here to link to the archive of all the blocks. This block is not in the archive, but I’m including it in my quilt. The fabric line is “Frankie” designed by BasicGrey for Moda.

I’m also quilting along on the “Ruby Jubilee” mystery quilt designed by Denise Starck using Bonnie Hunter’s blocks from the “Addicted to Scraps” column of Quiltmaker magazine. The quilt celebrates the forty years that the magazine has been published. There’s a new clue for multiple blocks published in each 2022 issue of Quiltmaker. Here’s the latest installment.

“Ruby Jubilee” Clue #4

The Ten Day Challenge has so honed my focus and yielded such great results, that I have extended my personal challenge. Maybe I can make it to twenty-five or thirty days. Maybe by then I will be all caught up!

“Economy Blocks” – Progress Report

July’s Block of the Month for the “Favorites” Quilt Along is “Economy Block.” You will find instructions for the 8″ finished block under the “Favorites BOM QAL” tab in the menu. Many of the BOM participants have sent pictures of their completed blocks. (Thanks, ladies!)

First up are Helga’s blocks which nicely flank her Half-Dresdens. She used an interesting architectural print as the center squares.

Kathy sent a picture of all her blocks to date. Her quilt is really coming together!

Chris used a Square in a Square ruler instead of following the directions verbatim, so her blocks came out smaller than intended. She creatively added more triangles and trimmed the blocks to 8 1/2″ square. They are so pretty with the additional round of color and the center square “on point.”

Joan is pleased with her “Economy Blocks” as well. The primary colors she’s working with are perfect for a summer-y feel.

Sarah, anxious to finish her quilt, followed the making of her blocks with four “Blooming Love” blocks (designed by Robin Pickens for Moda Blockheads 3, #11). Isn’t her quilt top amazing?!

Sarah is wondering about the “perfect” quilting motifs that will enhance her patchwork. She particularly would like suggestions for filling the white centers of her “Economy Blocks,” the center of the “Friendship Wreath,” and the white 6″ squares that alternate with the “Nine Patches.” Please help by leaving your suggestions as a comment below.

“Economy Block” Baby Quilt Finished

Thanks to everyone who left comments on Monday’s post which showed the following picture of nine “Economy Blocks.”

I asked for suggestions of colors for the sashing and border. The answers: yellow/red, green/yellow, green, fuchsia (to match the number “1” in the taupe print), yellow/blue, medium gray or blue, yellow/gray, pale pink. I had fun imagining how each combination would look! I decided on yellow sashing, green print cornerstones, and a scrappy border of leftover sample fabrics with a base of blue batik.

The yellow sashing contrasts well with the outer triangles of all the blocks, and I followed Lyna’s suggestion of throwing a little green in the mix. I had enough green floral for the cornerstones as well as for rectangles in the outer border. Planning a scrappy border allowed me to use the half-bear-blocks cut from the two sample panels as well as bits and pieces from the other fabrics in the sample pack.

For quilting thread color, I considered royal blue (which would show up strongly against the lighter fabrics), gray (which would blend fairly will with all the fabrics), and pale yellow (which would sink into the lighter fabrics but would show up against the blue and red). I chose yellow and quilted a meandering pattern with loops. More blue batik serves as the binding. The back is a navy flannel, inherited from my mother-in-law’s stash. Of course, the yellow thread shows up really well against the navy, LOL. The NICU at a local hospital actually prefers dark backings on the quilts we donate since they are calming for the preemies.

I enjoyed making these “Economy Blocks” following my own stress-free instructions which are found on the “Favorites BOM QAL” page of this blog. Stats: Blocks are 8″ finished, sashing is 2″ finished, outer border is 4″ finished, quilt is 40″ square.

If you are quilting along on the “Favorites” project, please send a picture of your “Economy Blocks” since I plan to post some pics of your progress next week. aby.quilts@gmail.com

Baby Economy Blocks

Have you downloaded or printed your copy of “Economy Block” from the “Favorites BOM QAL” page? Whether or not you are participating in the Quilt Along, I believe you will find these instructions super helpful for various future quilt-making projects. This past weekend I used the instructions when making nine blocks for a baby quilt.

Economy Blocks

The fabrics were samples stapled together with a cardboard header. Each was not quite a fat quarter, and the two bear panels only had two complete bear squares each. By cutting judiciously and adding a green floral, I managed to obtain all the triangles necessary for all nine blocks from the samples. Look carefully at the top right block to see a pieced outer triangle. 😉

I should have better planned the placement of the bold red and blue fabrics as they relate to the center squares before sewing the blocks together. Ah, well, I hope to make up for the sameness of the center row’s outer triangles with colorful sashing and an outer border that includes scraps of the bear panels.

What color should I use for sashing? What color would tie all the blocks together for an outer border? Cast your vote in a comment below.

“Maymont” Finished

Bonnie Hunter, the queen of scrappy quilt designs, has a new pattern for you to try – “Maymont.” Click here to see all the digital patterns in Bonnie’s shop. “Maymont” is currently second in the line-up.

The many colors, yet planned design, for each block attracted me to this pattern. Each block is a mini “Trip Around the World.” Since my 2 1/2″ square scrap bin was overflowing, I surmised I could make the quilt using these scrap squares. I did find enough coordinating squares in the bin to make three blocks, but then I realized that my bin did not contain the four identical squares and eight identical squares needed. Not to worry, I next raided my stash of 2 1/2″ wide strips. When variety in the strip bin was exhausted, I cut from scrappy yardage.

When you look closely at Bonnie’s quilt, you will note some differences. She used smaller squares, set her blocks on point, and used many colors of corner stones in the sashing. I decided to use a gray fabric with multi-colored Xs for all the corner stones, feeling the fabric added unity and order. Since the sashing fabric was a very pale gray print, I used medium gray thread for quilting the “Drunken Feathers” design by Barbara Becker.

I enjoyed making this “almost free” quilt, and at forty-two blocks it is large enough for our queen size bed.

Are you currently working on a scrap quilt?

“Favorites” BOM #7 Economy Block

Let’s kick off July 4th weekend with the next block in our “Favorites” Block of the Month Quilt Along! You need to make four “Economy Blocks” that will finish at 8″ square in the quilt.

Economy Block

I made four identical blocks for my “Favorites” quilt and sewed them to the left and right sides of the Half Dresden Plate blocks.

As you read the instructions, you will note that the measurements have been simplified, and when squaring up, there is more than 1/4″ seam allowance beyond the corners of the squares. I believe you will enjoy making these blocks with the simplified instructions.

To access the instructions, click on “Favorites BOM QAL” in the menu. Scroll to the end of the page to find the down-loadable instructions for “Economy Block.”

Happy Quilting and Happy 4th!

“Favorites” BOM #6 Dresden Plate Wrap-Up

Here we are at the end of June! Have you made the two Half Dresden Plates for your “Favorites” quilt? If so, today is the day to comment “DONE.” I am also interested to know if you were inspired to use the wedge ruler to make other Fan or Plate quilt projects.

Valerie is planning a square rather than rectangular “Favorites” quilt, so she made four blocks this month.

Joy emphasized purple in her Plates. I love the effect of alternating solid fabric and print fabric for textural interest!

Joan’s blocks are just lovely with pinks, grays and steel blues. Her tip is to fuse the half circle prior to stitching it.

Chris is excited about her quilt coming together. She laments that this project will not use as much of the 1930s fabrics in her stash as she had hoped. Isn’t that the way with scrap quilts? The bin of scraps never seems diminished!

Ladies, thanks for sharing pictures of your blocks this month. We are all inspired by your fabric choices and workmanship! Remember to comment “Done” if you completed your Dresden Plate blocks to be in the drawing for a free magazine.

Quilting and Sewing at Born to Excel Camp 2022

Last week was THE big week at our church, Crossroads Church of Lillington. We held Born to Excel Camp, our brand of Vacation Bible School. Several years before I became the Children’s Ministry Director, the idea was conceived of adults sharing their hobbies, interests, and talents with the children of our community in a day camp setting. The morning is filled with songs and Bible teaching, snacks, activities, skits and . . . each camper can register for two special interest tracks. Tracks include Middle School Bible Study, Woodworking, Fit & Fun, Experiments & Activities, Basketball Skills, Flag Football, Games, Drama and Praise Music Interpretation, Friends in the Garden, and, of course, Quilting and Sewing.

Each year my friend, Michelle, comes up with simple quilt designs with striking visual impact and awesome kid appeal. Two of her grandsons and one of her granddaughters selected Quilting and were in the class.

For the Sewing track, my friend, Melodie, designed and taught a backpack. Yes, those girls really put in a zippered pocket and drawstring casings! The girls were so proud of their bag-making accomplishment.

The Quilting and Sewing tracks have nearly a one to one ratio of campers to adult helpers. For adult help, we rely heavily on the Sew ‘n’ Sews group that meets Wednesday mornings at our church. Born to Excel Camp is a fantastic way for us to share our hobby and to share the good news of our Savior with children in our community.