Hearts for Baby

My nephew and his wife are expecting a baby girl next month, and I want to make a bright quilt for the wee one. At a quilter’s estate sale, I purchased a package of fifteen “Hello Jane” fat eighths (9″ x 21″ each). The line was designed by Allison Harris who blogs at Cluck Cluck Sew. I purchased Riley Blake polka dot prints as block backgrounds from the Fat Quarter Shop.

Hand appliqueing the hearts was a great moving-watching and relaxing-by-the-lake project. I cut the polka dot background rectangles at 6 1/2″ x 7,” but honestly, I should have cut them 6 1/2″ square. The smaller measurement would have given me some wiggle room when cutting the block frame strips and corner squares since some of the fabrics were not quite 9″ wide.

For each pair of blocks, I chose two coordinating fabrics that differ in color and texture, for example “floral print” and “red tone-on-tone.” The floral print was used for the heart and corner squares for the block framed in red, and vice versa. I cut the framing strips and corner squares 2″ wide.

To date, I’ve made the sixteen blocks. The next step is sashing and bordering them with light polka dot fabric.

Which fabric shall I use for cornerstones? (I do have an unused navy print; would that be too dark?) If you have an opinion, please leave it in the comments below.

“Giant Star” Published!

Exciting news . . . the Quilting Daily company has produced a brand new magazine, Fons and Porter’s Quick + Easy Quilts, and my “Giant Star” quilt was selected for publication in the inaugural issue! The magazine editors have included quiltmaker’s stories related to the quilts as well as several yummy recipes.

This is a fat quarter friendly quilt; you need just four fat quarters and 3/4 yd. of background fabric to make the quilt top. Leftovers from making triangle-squares are used for the border. At 37″ square, the quilt is perfect for a wall quilt or a baby quilt.

“Cosmo” from Northcott Fabrics is the line my editor requested for the teal and gray quilt. I quilted Es and 3s freehand overall with gray thread.

I enjoyed making this quick and easy quilt so much that I made a second quilt and persuaded my editor to print a picture as an alternate colorway – “Branded” by Sweetwater for Moda. I ordered a tan fabric for the background and plaid fabric for binding, but my daughter, Trinity, suggested that I use plaid as the background instead of the tan. I love the effect! Trinity quilted Whole Lotta Stars edge to edge (designed by Patricia E. Ritter, distributed by Urban Elementz) with navy thread on this quilt.

Look for this magazine at your favorite newsstand, or click here to link to the Quilting Daily store’s selection of magazines. A digital edition is available for sale.

Magazine Winners

I drew two names from the seventeen quilters who commented “Done” on June 30th. The affirmative comments means that at least seventeen are keeping up with the “Sisters” block of the month and have finished the “Weathervane” blocks for June. Kudos to ALL of you!

Congratulations Jane-ellen and Rene!

The block of the month for July is “Round Rosie.” You can find a link to the instructions by clicking the “Sisters BOM QAL” tab in the menu. Once on the BOM page, scroll down to July and click the black Download button.

Happy Quilting!

“Frolic” Mystery Quilt Finished!

Each year Bonnie Hunter designs a mystery quilt for her blog followers (quiltville.blogspot.com). Fabric requirements are posted at the end of October, and the first of the weekly clues typically goes live on Thanksgiving weekend. I have participated several times in the past, and decided to eek out time during the holidays to make the 2019 quilt, “Frolic.”

I managed to keep up with the clues until Christmastime when I set aside all the squares, triangles, Pinwheels, and Four Patches for family festivities. The “Stay at Home” order this spring for COVID-19 gave me the excuse to resurrect this project. Happily, I found that it wouldn’t be too difficult to assemble the parts and pieces into thirty blocks. With concentrated sewing and daily encouragement from my accountability quilting partner, Marie, I finished the blocks in two weeks. Several quilting friends helped me choose the navy grunge for sashing (off-white and lime green were the other possibilities). And then came the border of “a million” HSTs. Constructing them took about a week as I used them as leaders/enders while sewing other projects.

For quilting, I chose the “Abigail” pantograph designed by Sarah Ann Myers and distributed by Urban Elementz. Light blue thread matches the backing fabric and adds texture and movement to the front of the quilt without calling undue attention to itself.

If you check out other “Frolic” quilts on Instagram (#frolicmysteryquilt, #frolicmystery, #quiltvillemystery), you will notice that most were set on point with skinny sashing. Conversely, I decided on a straight set with wider sashing. Being able to modify designs is a wonderful characteristic of our quilting passtime, isn’t it?

“Sisters” BOM QAL – July

My inspiration for this block was “Round Rosie,” designed by Pam Vieira-McGinnis (pamkittymorning.blogspot.com) and published in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, Vol. 4, p. 66. I simplified and re-colored the block to utilize a large scale floral print, a small scale green print and a red tone-on-tone.

Are you ready to make “Round Rosie?” Click on the “Sisters BOM QAL” tab in the menu, and then click on the black “Download” button under “July” to link to the printer friendly instructions. After making your blocks, so we can applaud your progress, post a picture on Instagram (#sistersqal) or send a picture to aby.quilts@gmail.com.

“Sisters” QAL – Blog Readers Share

Happy Monday, everyone! As we emerge from the weekend and head toward Independence Day celebrations, I hope you find time to relax with family and time to sew on our “Sisters” block of the month project. Tomorrow, June 30th, is the day you can comment “Done” if you have finished the 12″ and 6″ Weathervane variation blocks. Remember – there’s the extra incentive of winning a current issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine!

For inspiration and encouragement, I have several photos to show you. First up are Rhonda’s blocks. Her palette of primary and secondary colors are the perfect lead-in to summer sewing. It’s interesting to compare the fabric placement between the big sister and little sister blocks; for some, it’s the same, and for other block designs Rhonda changed it up.

Jane-ellen also sent a picture of her blocks. How fun to see the 6″ blocks dance between the 12″ big sisters! The background of a shirting print adds so much interest.

Here are Jane-ellen’s blocks for June, Weathervane variation.

Cindy is using a layer cake of 10″ squares for the foreground fabrics in her “Sisters” blocks. I am drawn to the fussy-cut bird in the “Aunt Dinah” block (upper left corner).

Thank you, ladies, for sharing your progress. I can tell you are enjoying selecting fabrics for each block, and you are piecing with care and precision. The patchwork blocks you have made are a fabulous riot of color and design!

It’s true, we are halfway through our “Sisters” project, only six more designs to create. If you have not made blocks thus far, but you are inspired by today’s photos, it’s not too late to join in! As Rhonda, Jane-ellen, and Cindy would tell you, the designs are not too difficult and the construction process is fun and rewarding. Just click on the “Sisters BOM QAL” tab in the blog menu. You’ll link to the page with instructions. Be sure to read the Introduction to find the fabric requirements, and then begin with the blocks, January – June.

Pop Quiz!

Yes, this blog post is a Pop Quiz for you. What, in your opinion, makes this quilt successful?

My friend, Gigi, sent this lap quilt to me for longarm quilting. We collaborated on a thread color and quilting design, choosing burgundy thread and “Abigail” designed by Sarah Ann Myers and distributed by Urban Elementz.

I like this quilt and bet you do, too. Let’s analyze what is appealing. Think about good design elements. Think about what pleases you in the quilts you see or make. And make a comment below – what makes this quilt successful?

Beautiful Baby Quilt

My friend, Linda G., sent me a sweet baby quilt to finish for a friend’s new daughter. She used a charm pack of Tonga Batiks “Unicorn” with a white on white background. The pattern was published in a Baby Block book by Missouri Star Quilt Company. (Click here for the “Starcrossed” you tube tutorial with Jenny Doan.)

In addition to the lovely pastel batiks, a pink butterfly tone-on-tone backing gave me the idea of quilting the “Spring Beauty” pantograph of butterflies and flowers all over. I used purple thread which blends with the border yet stands out nicely against the white background.

Such a beautiful quilt for a sweet, new baby!

Sisters QAL – Blog Reader Shares

Sarah Y. emailed me pictures of her “Sisters” blocks with some commentary.

“I’m making 2 versions of your ‘Sisters’ QAL project, one in bright spring- like colors and the other in Christmas prints. I’m making the Xmas one just as you instruct, so it’ll be throw sized. But I wanted a larger, rectangular one that would be bed sized, so since I’m making multiple versions of the blocks each month anyway, every now and then I make an extra 12” or an extra 6” or extra of both. I am planning to have 18 instead of 12 months’ worth for my spring quilt.”

“Today I laid out all my blocks to date together for the first time, and WOW I am sooo glad I’ve taken this tack . This is gonna be great!! Thank you for inspiring me to this end.”

Aren’t Sarah’s blocks gorgeous? She also wrote about her fabric selection process. “I’m using stash but for the most part; I started with fat quarters. I was over-enthusiastic and decided to do two quilts at once, even before I knew about the quarantine forcing me to stay home 6 days a week.  For fabric selection, I just winged it, figuring a fat quarter of at least 4 to 6 colors would do it, based on the photo you had of the finished product. I had a couple of specific prints I wanted to use (like the blue and purple and green flower print, left over from a UFO a friend in Florida sent me to figure out). Then I chose solids to coordinate with those prints. The 2-toned purple and 2-toned jade green are both selected to set off the 2-toned flowers in the other flower print (used in the corner 4-patches of the Weathervane blocks). I knew I wanted spring and summer colors, bright and cheerful, for the big bed quilt.”

Thanks, Sarah, for sharing pictures of your blocks! It’s so inspiring to see your progress to date. What a great idea to make extra blocks for a larger quilt!

Be sure to view the progress of other QAL participants on Instagram under the #sistersqal.