This past summer Fons and Porter’s Love of Quilting published a Shoo-Fly quilt designed by Liz Porter. You can see her quilt and purchase a digital pattern here. Along with several of the ladies I quilt with, I determined to make the quilt. What’s not to love about it? The alternate squares are blue (my favorite color), and the tiny blocks are pieced from Civil War reproduction fabric (of which I have plenty).
The blue print was left over backing fabric from my Just Takes 2 quilt. The mathematical puzzle was making a quilt large enough to use up the blue fabric, but not making such a large quilt that I would run out of blue fabric!
Liz accumulated her Shoo-Fly blocks in an exchange with her friends. A block exchange is an excellent way to gain various fabrics and colors. Her quilt design twinkles with scrappy abandon!
I decided to make Shoo-Fly blocks that finished at 4 1/2″ to speed the project along. My friend, Nancy, showed me how to make 8 HSTs at one time. To make the 2″ unfinished HSTs, I cut a square of shirting and a square of colored print. I drew both diagonals on the wrong side of the shirting.
Layering the print square and the shirting square with right sides together, I sewed 1/4″ away from both sides of both diagonal lines.
Then I cut the stitched squares on the diagonal lines and vertically and horizontally through the center.
Voila! Eight 2″ HSTs. Of course I trimmed off the “dog ears” before sewing the HSTs into Shoo-Fly blocks.
For the quilting design, I selected “Double Plume” by Keryn Emmerson. My two best options for thread color were old gold (a Magnifico polyester with some shine) or dark Williamsburg blue (So Fine! 2 ply polyester). Since I prefer to quilt with the same color of top thread and bobbin thread, I decided on the blue because it blends better with the backing of the quilt. You can see the floral gray/blue backing at the top of the photo.
“With Help from Friends” is currently my favorite quilt!