“Simple Charm” Project

12 03 2014

Have you seen Kim Diehl’s new book, Simple Charm? All the quilts in the book look so homey and comforting. The photography of the quilts is absolutely wonderful, drawing me into the pictures! Upon analyzation, there seems to be a golden tint to each photograph. This, I think, adds to the rich, homey ambiance.


I want to make a gift for a quilting friend who loves Civil War reproduction fabrics. I am drawn to Kim’s “Four and Twenty Blackbirds” design. Instead of making a large quilt with 16 blocks, I decided to make only one block and surround it with a “Piano Key” border. It can be used as a table topper or a wall quilt.

According to the measurements given, I pieced and hand appliqued a circle onto a 15″ square of mottled tan background fabric. (Kim’s directions call for a 13 1/2″ square, but I cut a larger square to give some extra space between the applique motif and the pieced border.)

appliqued block

Then I strip-pieced nine 2″ x 20″ strips of coordinating Civil War repro prints. The resulting strip set was only 14″ in width, so I trimmed the 15″ background square down to 14.”

block, strip pieced

I cross-cut 4 border strips, 4 1/4″ x 14″ from the strip set, and I cut 4 1/4″ pink print corner squares. I sewed the pieced borders to the center square. Can you see that the seam allowances are pressed downward? By planning ahead when pressing, I don’t have to worry about accidentally flipping the seam allowances when sewing.

add borders

Here’s the finished quilt top. Now, for the quilting!

block and borders

I used a polyester honey gold thread and machine quilted on my Brother PQS 1500. Each quarter circle has a three-petaled motif. The black strips have continuous tiny curves arching from the center outward.


Free-hand curvy “S” lines give a sunburst appearance in the tan background area surrounding the circle. Horizontal and vertical wavy lines alternate in the strips of the “Piano Key” border. Perhaps you can better see the quilting by viewing the back of the quilt.


After the quilting was complete, I drew curves on the corner squares to make quarter circles. I trimmed away the excess batting and batting, and bound the quilt with a dark print.

Interestingly, old meets new in this quilt. The fabrics mimic old Civil War era calicos while the machine quilting is quite modern. Is this unsettling to you? If so, how would you have quilted this quilt?




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: