Bambi, Thumper, and Flower

My friend, Lisa, is expecting her first grandchild in November. She is so excited! An inveterate knitter, Lisa is dipping her toes in the ocean of quiltmaking.

Lisa’s daughter and son-in-law plan to decorate the nursery with neutral tones, and the colors of this quilt qualify. Lisa enjoyed selecting the nature inspired fabrics, cutting the 5″ squares, and arranging them randomly for the quilt top. The sweet Bambi, Thumper and Flower border unifies the prints and also serves as a backing.

We decided that a texture quilting design in light gray thread would be best. “Happy Times” designed by Hermione Agee gives the desired effect.

This simple quilt is beautiful and, once bound and labeled, standsready to welcome the wee one into his world of loving parents and grandparents.

“On the Plus Side” with Owls

Early this summer, I designed a layer cake quilt made with Kaffe Fassett fabrics. In fact, my “On the Plus Side” design has enjoyed quite a run with the customers/quilting students of Sew There! Quilts and More in Angier, NC. It has been so much fun to see their quilts made with various and diverse fabric collections.

All of the fabrics in the Kaffe layer cake are intense and of nearly the same value which evokes a rich, vibrant mood. My design wall was essential in dispersing the colors (particularly yellow) throughout the composition. Soon after making the quilt, I was captivated by another line of fabric, “Hello Fall” by Jessica Flick for Benartex. This line has nearly the same number of dark prints as it does of light/medium prints, so I alternated lighter blocks with darker blocks in the final layout.

An orange/brown from stash makes a nice border, and a tiny brown and black check print, cut on the bias, serves as a binding. I chose a pantograph of leaves (“Dave’s Falling Leaves” – Dave Hudson) and used tan thread which blends well with all the prints.

“Owl Always Love You!”

The quilt is a birthday gift for a daughter-in-law who is celebrating today.

Magazine Winner and a Finish

I selected Kathy Reeves as the winner of McCall’s Quilting magazine; Kathy commented “Done” for the “Pinwheel” and “Tumbleweed” blocks in our “Favorites” BOM quilt along. Congrats, Kathy!

I have been in the mood to finish some of my many works in progress, hoping to clear the decks for new projects this fall. One of my finishes last week was a Christmas lap quilt. You will recognize many of the blocks as they are designs from the “Favorites” block of the month. In order to demonstrate the block construction at the monthly meet-ups in Sew There! quilt shop in Angier, I cut squares and triangles from Christmas fabrics leftover from making the Christmas version of “Sisters.” (You can read more about the Christmas “Sisters” quilt here.)

If you’ve been following along, you know that “Favorites” is comprised of both 8″ and 12″ finished blocks. To bring the four 8″ blocks up to size, I framed them with dark green check 2 1/2″ wide strips. I really like the effect – like built in sashing.

The off-white border was dressed up with holly leaves quilted with dark green thread. I free-hand custom quilted the blocks with continuous curve and leaf designs, using red or green thread.

The stripe binding finishes the lap quilt nicely. After I have enjoyed this quilt for awhile, I will donate it to an elderly citizen who needs some holiday cheer.

“Favorites” BOM #10

Happy September! Today is the tenth installment of our Block of the Month quilt along. You will find instructions at the bottom of the “Favorites BOM QAL” page of this blog. The assignment is to finish the center of the quilt.

Melodie is diligently working on her quilt. She decided to expand her project from twin to queen size, so she is constructing more 8″ blocks for the extra borders. Don’t you love her fancy Dresden Plates?

It is exciting to be nearly finished with your “Favorites” quilt, isn’t it? Only one more BOM pattern remains – the pieced border of Two Patches and the outer border. Once you complete September’s BOM #10, you can begin constructing the 100+ Two Patches from fat quarter scraps.

Happy Sewing – the end is in sight!

“Favorites” BOM #9 Wrap-up

We are moving along on our block of the month project, “Favorites.” There are only two more instruction installments left, and one will be posted tomorrow!

I have some blocks and quilt tops to show you for inspiration. First up are Joy’s “Tumbleweeds” and “Pinwheels.” I know she had a great time making these blocks, and I spy 1/4″ seam allowance beyond all the triangles points. Way to go, Joy!

Joan also sent a picture of her blocks.

Since I am so drawn to the primary colors of her print fabrics, I am impatient to see a picture of the entire quilt. Lo and behold, Joan has been working to put it all together ahead of schedule.

Helga has also put all her patchwork together into a fabulous quilt.

Here’s a close-up of her gray and neutral border. Love all the fun, unexpected prints!

Valerie expanded her “Favorites” quilt to full size. Look carefully at the picture to see 8″ blocks other than “Pinwheel,” “Tumbleweed,” and “Economy.” What a masterpiece, Valerie!

And now it’s your turn. If you finished making two “Pinwheels” and two “Tumbleweeds” in August, comment “DONE” below for a chance to win a quilting magazine.

Pastor Ken’s Quilt

On Sunday we celebrated our pastor’s 25 year tenure of service at our church, Crossroads Church of Lillington. The sermon was followed by a catered lunch and a program honoring Ken and his wife. Click here to view the program. The presentation of the quilt gift is shortly after minute 36.

Pastor Ken Dalton’s Quilt

Plans for the quilt began last spring with a hint from Susan, the church finance director. Truly, making a quilt to thank a faithful pastor is a wonderful, old-fashioned tradition and one worth continuing today. When I passed the suggestion to the Sew ‘n’ Sews group, Melinda piped up, “we should use plaid fabric because Pastor often wears plaid shirts.” Neat idea! We asked for plaid stash fabric from the group and visited two thrift stores in town to purchase plaid shirts in a spectrum of colors.

Melinda and I coordinated plaids with solids or tone-on-tones and cut kits, packaging the pieces for one 12″ block in each reclosable bag. We planned for twenty-five blocks to represent Ken’s twenty-five years of service. The Sew ‘n’ Sews enthusiastically made one or two blocks each, submitting them well before the July 25 deadline. I sashed the blocks with a pale gray textured print with cornerstones of red/black plaid from my stash. Melinda and Judy volunteered to make a scrappy plaid border using left over pieces of the shirts. They included two pockets with snap closures which I avoided quilting through.

Close-up of shirt pocket and quilting design

Melinda found a mottled, faded royal blue for the backing at JoAnn’s, and by judicious measuring, I cut border and binding fabric from it as well. The blue is perfect because Pastor Ken often wears blue jeans with his plaid shirts! Kay embroidered a label for the back which all the Sew ‘n’ Sews will sign.

The cat, or the quilt, is out of the bag, and this behind-the-scenes project is secret no longer!

Has your sewing group planned/made a quilt to honor someone in your community? If so, what patchwork pattern did you use, and how did you procure the fabric for the project?

“Blueberry Hill” Published!

Have you seen the July/August 2022 issue of Quiltmaker? As you can see from the cover, it’s all about color. Editor Tracy Mooney had the concept for such an issue for quite awhile, and she is so happy that her idea has come to fruition.

The title of this blog post will give you a hint at which quilt is mine. You guessed it, the blue and white one! The back story: Tracy emailed seven or eight of Quilting Daily’s frequent contributors and asked if we could each make a two color quilt for the issue. She was betting that Jen Daly would choose blue and that I would choose red (probably because my recently published Log Cabin quilt was bordered in red), but we flip-flopped in our color choices.

The deadline was tight, and I had several other projects and obligations on my plate, so I submitted a design featuring “Simple Irish Chain” surrounded by “Sawtooth Stars.” My first fabric choice was nautical – with sea creatures and accompanying textures. Alas, the fabric was not yet available, so it was back to searching online for blue lines of fabric. I found “Blue Jubilee” designed by Jean Plout for Blank Quilting; it features butterflies, flowers, and paisleys, perfect for the project.

It is always easy for me to create with light and dark fabrics, but I challenged myself to use the medium prints of the line in this quilt. I am super happy with how it turned out. I especially like the inner border of striped fabric, the outer border of floral/stripe, and the bias stripe binding.

In the recent drawing for a free magazine, Valerie chose this Quiltmaker issue, and I think, after leafing through it, she was inspired to make “Blueberry Hill.” I can’t wait to see her rendition!

If you were asked to make a two color quilt, which color would you choose?

“Bloomer” Workshop with the Piedmont Piecers

Last week I had the joy of presenting a trunk show and workshop to the Piedmont Piecers, a guild that meets in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Toby, their programs chair, chose “Something Old, Something New” for the trunk show. I showed vintage family quilts of traditional designs as well as my modern remakes of the same patchwork, techniques, or colors. Of course, there are stories to go with the quilts: who made them, how I came to own them, and how I was inspired to tweak the time-honored designs into something new and meaningful.

The guild chose “Bloomer” and “Giant Bloomer” as an all day Wednesday workshop. “Bloomer” is a table topper or wall quilt and calls for a package of 5″ charm squares. It was published in Fons & Porter’s Quick + Easy Quilts, Feb/Mar 2021. (You can read about its publication here.) “Giant Bloomer,” a lap quilt, is basically the same design made with 10″ squares and was published in Fons & Porter’s Quick + Easy Quilts, Oct/Nov 2021. (Click here to read about its publication.)

Take a look at all the fabric combinations! From winter snowmen to Kaffe Fassett to batiks to 1930s repro to Japanese inspired prints.

I am really proud of the ladies for their progress on their projects and can’t wait to see the picture of the completed quilts.

Lake Gaston Piecemakers

Last Tuesday I was happy to present a “Hearthside Stars” table runner workshop for the Lake Gaston Piecemakers near Bracey, VA. The ladies had a great time sewing and chatting together as you can see from the photos below.

The original design calls for a charm pack of 5″ squares as well as background fabric, but Cindy and Gail are using fabrics from their stashes.

The pattern is five faux-Sawtooth Stars, but Linda is making a longer runner which will look fantastic on her large dining table. We all loved the theme fabric–vintage trucks hauling Christmas trees.

Mary is also making a Christmas/winter themed runner with lovely geometric batiks.

This runner is made from a charm pack by Judy. The fall prints are from an older line by Sandy Gervais.

Bonnie admits to having a stash of pre-cuts in which she discovered a charm pack of Christmas prints perfect for this project. Isn’t her runner lovely?

For my project, I used a charm pack of “At the Helm” designed by Danhui Nai for Wilmington Prints. I plan to quilt a pantograph of sailboats and anchors with medium blue thread. And I am thinking a solid navy binding would frame the project nicely.

If your guild or sewing group would enjoy making “Hearthside Stars” runners in a three hour workshop, please contact me at

“Favorites” BOM Progress Report

It’s mid-month and high time to share progress made by “Favorites” block of the month participants! First up are Trish’s blocks. I can’t wait to see how these fit in with her pansy-themed quilt.

Next is Paula’s lovely patchwork made with Nana Mae V fabrics. This is going to be such a sweet quilt!

Helga also sent a picture of her quilt top to date. She chose to make four “Tumbleweed” blocks rather than making the “Pinwheels.” She will take one more summer family vacation before working on the border.

Way to go, ladies! Thanks for sharing pictures that inspire us to persevere with our block of the month projects.