“Polka Tot” Revisited

5 02 2017

Deb MacDonald, an editor at McCall’s magazines, recently sent me the following picture and story of a mother/daughter quilting duo.

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“My mother Arrabelle Frock of Westminster, Maryland made the Polka Tot Quilt from the August/September 2015 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts.  As you can see from the attached picture it came out awesome!  What a wonderful Christmas gift from my mother.” –Kathy

McCall's QQ Cover Aug. Sept. 2015Kathy also wrote that her mother likes the quilt so much, she is considering making another one for herself. If you need a cheerful project to chase away winter doldrums, make “Polka Tot.” It is quick and fun to make. Display the quilt diagonally as a table topper or hang it in your sewing room or gift it to an expecting mother.

If you are not a Quick Quilts subscriber, you can purchase the magazine for $3.00 from the Quilt and Sew Shop.

 

 





Inspiration for “Quilter’s Candy”

31 01 2017

Our “Use your pre-cuts” challenge for the first quarter is using Fat Quarters or Quilter’s Candy (2 1/2″ squares). Happily, I made my goal already! You can read about a quilt I made from Fat Quarters here.

But I’m thinking maybe some of you need ideas for using the deliciously sweet packages of Quilter’s Candy. To that end, I’ve searched my blog’s media library for examples of quilts made with squares. The photo roll begins with my latest quilt top finish – made with leftover 1930s repro 2 1/2″ squares. Imagine the quilty, home-y feel if muted or Civil War repro fabrics are used, and the blocks are set on-point for visual interest.

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Last June I made a quilt for Charlotte, my baby grand-niece. The quilt is made with 2 packages of Quilter’s Candy sewn into Four Patches. I framed the Four Patches with narrow white strips and inserted alternate squares of navy anchor fabric. My niece declares it coordinates perfectly with the nursery décor.

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“Aunt Sukey’s Choice” 12″ blocks are constructed from 2 1/2″ squares along with 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles for the “Flying Geese” units. This design would sew up quickly if you purchased coordinating Quilter’s Candy and a roll of 2 1/2″ strips from which to cut rectangles.

Postage stamp quilts are a snap to sew when the squares are already cut! Consider alternating print squares with plain white or ecru squares. Mini quilts such as the one pictured make wonderful gifts for wall or table.

A star block with ferns

DSCN7512You could make some color/fabric coordinated placemats. Those pictured were made from 3″ scrappy squares, 35 squares each. Adapt the design by sewing 63 squares in a 7 x 9 grid to yield 14″ x 18″ placemats.

My friend, Tricia, used small colorful squares as cornerstones when making this predominately blue and white quilt. Wouldn’t this idea stretch your tiny package (or two) of Quilter’s Candy into a lap size quilt?

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A sampling of quilts made from squares wouldn’t be complete without a “Nine Patch” example. Cindy made this with nearly solid mottled prints. Set on-point with alternate white background squares, the “Nine Patches” seem to float.

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DSCN6080I made this mini quilt for my sister from a Quilter’s Candy package plus a few fabrics from my stash. I paired each 2 1/2″ colored square with a tan background square right sides together. I drew a diagonal line on the wrong side of each tan square and sewed 1/4″ away from both sides of the line. Then I cut the squares on the drawn lines and pressed the seam allowances toward the darker fabrics. So petite and country, just as my sister prefers!

 

I hope the quilts pictured in this blog post have jump-started your creative ideas for using Quilter’s Candy. I would love to share pictures of your projects for Fat Quarters or Quilter’s Candy with blog readers. (aby.quilts@gmail.com)

 

 





1930s Four Patch Baby Quilt

28 01 2017

This past Thursday I enjoyed a sew day with my friend Heather. We worked on various projects and caught up with what is going on in each other’s lives. While Heather trimmed some patchwork blocks, I rotary cut borders for a lap size quilt and sashing for my Splendid Sampler of 6” blocks (more on that in the future).

fullsizerender-10Another of my projects was making a Four Patch baby quilt. As always happens, I have scraps leftover from a recent quilt top finish. If you remember, I purchased a roll of 2 ½” strips of 1930s prints and solids to make the 6” blocks for a Vintage Farm Girl lap quilt. I decided to use my scraps to make a baby quilt.

I was inspired by a sweet quilt on Pinterest featuring Four Patches each made from four different 1930s prints. The Four Patches combined with white sashing for a pretty, fresh finish. My quilt does not look quite as soft and sweet because of the solids I included. (I HAD to use those solids in order to use up my scraps.) Note the Four Patch in the bottom right corner of the photo; you can see that I pressed the final seam open to reduce bulk.

img_0580 Before beginning my project, I calculated that I needed 32 Four Patches and 32 white 4 ½” squares. Placed in an 8 x 8 grid, the dimensions of the patchwork would be 32” square. By adding 4” wide borders, the quilt measures 40” square – just the right size to fit on 42” – 44” wide backing. I considered purchasing 2 1/4 yds. of 1930s print for borders, backing, and binding, but decided to check my stash first. There I found enough of my favorite lil’ chicken print for borders and a multi-colored polka dot for backing. Neither print is 1930s repro, but both blend with the colors and playful nature of the baby quilt. I am not sure yet what I’ll use for binding. Click on the picture to zoom in for a better view. I draped the quilt top over the front porch of our new home. Here’s hoping the contractors finish in the next week or so.

I had some help from Heather’s five year old daughter with laying out the squares and sewing them together. If you are wondering how such a little girl could reach the sewing machine foot control . . . Christina found a little stool on which to rest the foot control. I pinned and helped her guide the pieces beneath the presser foot. Teamwork at its best! After lunch, when she tired of helping with my project, Christina worked on her own quilt in progress from 6″ floral charm squares.

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What a fun sew day! Including Christina in Heather’s studio was so rewarding – It’s great to motivate and encourage the next generation of quilters!

 





First Quarter Challenge – “Vroom!”

22 01 2017

fullsizerender-7Hey, quilting friends! How are you doing on the First Quarter Challenge? As a reminder, I challenged blog readers and myself to use stashed pre-cuts this year, making a project each quarter. Read about the challenge guidelines here.

In the first quarter, January – March, the challenge is using Fat Quarters (18″ x 21″) or Quilter’s Candy (packages of 2 1/2″ squares). I’m happy to report a fat quarter friendly baby boy quilt top is finished! Simple but fun, the fabric and design show-case vehicles little guys are fascinated with. If you’d like to make “Vroom!,” you’ll find a link to instructions on the Patterns page of this blog.

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I hope you’ll share a picture of your challenge project (aby.quilts@gmail.com). Blog readers love to applaud your creations. And your pictures inspire others to accept the challenge!





First Quarter Pre-Cut Challenge, Fabric Pull

3 01 2017

If you read my post on January 1, you were invited to participate in the 2017 pre-cut challenge. Between January and March, I’m challenging myself (and you!) to turn some Quilter’s Candy or Fat Quarters into a quilt. At the moment, I don’t have any packs of 2 1/2″ squares, so I choose to make a quilt with several Fat Quarters purchased at the year-end sale of Loving Stitches, my local quilt shop. I’m sure I’ll add white fabric and colorful scraps from stash. The fabric with vehicles is for backing the quilt, eventually.

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Now begins my search for the “perfect pattern.” I’ve seen some intriguing ideas on Pinterest, favequilts.com, and Moda Bake Shop. What other online sites or books do you recommend for idea shopping?





“Sock Monkey Circus”

30 12 2016

Today I want to share a picture and comments from Caty who made my modern baby quilt design, “Sock Monkey Circus.”

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Caty made this cute quilt for her friend’s baby who is due in February.  It took one evening to cut out all the pieces and about two evenings of sewing.  She found it very easy to chain piece, and since she backed it in 58″ wide minky fabric, she was able to add a 2 1/2″ yellow border to enlarge the quilt. Don’t you love the scrappy binding?

If you would like to make Modern Baby Quilt – “Sock Monkey Circus,” you will find a link to the instructions on the Patterns page of this blog.  You will notice that Caty replaced my monkey feature fabric with an adorable dinosaur print. The bright, fun fabrics will definitely provide visual stimulation during “tummy time.”

Way to go Caty!  Thanks for sharing a picture of your quilt.  Your friend and her baby are going to cherish it.

 





“Movers and Shakers” Baby Quilt

15 10 2016

One of the easiest baby quilts EV-ER! And it’s fat quarter friendly, too!

Here’s a basic tutorial:  Choose a multi-colored theme print. I only had 25″ of the construction equipment fabric, but I recommend purchasing 1 yard. Cut 2 strips 8 1/2″ by width of fabric. Sub-cut into eight 8 1/2″ squares.

Choose 4 tone-on-tone fat quarters that coordinate with the theme print; I chose red tone-on-tone, yellow swirl, blue tone-on-tone, and green polka dot. From each color cut three 2 1/2″ x 21″ strips. Sub-cut into four 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles and four 2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ rectangles.

fullsizerenderCut eight 4 1/2″ squares from a black and white print.

Sew the colored tone-on-tones to the black and white print 4 1/2″ squares. Press seam allowances toward the colored fabric. Make eight framed squares, two of each color. These blocks should measure 8 1/2″ square.

On worktable, lay out the blocks, alternating the framed squares with the 8 1/2″ theme print squares. Sew together in rows, pressing seam allowances toward the theme print squares. Pin and sew the rows together.

For an inner border, cut four 2″ x 40″ strips of black and white polka dot fabric. Measure, pin and sew to quilt, pressing seams toward border.

My theme print was directional and I only had 25″ initially to work with. As you can see from the photo below, I had enough print for 3 3/4″ wide top and bottom borders, but I had to piece the side borders with leftover tone-on-tone strips.

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From a design standpoint, the pieced side borders with plain top an bottom borders looked like an accident. To make the composition more cohesive, I cut the top and bottom borders and inserted strips of tone-on-tone fabrics.

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“Movers and Shakers,” at 42″ square, is perfect for tummy time!