“Conflagration” Quilt Top

10 03 2017

This is a wedding quilt for a young couple whose favorite color is orange. But since they bought red couches, the bride asked if I could combine red and orange in the quilt. She said, “I have always liked red and orange together.” Well, personally, I generally do not combine red and orange in the same quilt. I use either red, or I use orange. However, I concluded, after an online search, that orange and red could look really nice together. To see what I saw, search for “images of red and orange quilts.”

I found inspiration for this quilt from a “Nine Patch” quilt on Pinterest made by Leslie with black and white and lime fabrics. I changed the alternate blocks, putting a “Four Patch” on point, square-in-a square style. I purchased quarter yard cuts of 3 red tonals and 3 orange tonals, and I repurposed black and white prints I had saved for a different quilt project. All squares are cut 3 1/2,” and I cut white triangles over-sized so I could easily trim the alternate blocks to 9 1/2.”

I plan and edge to edge quilting design, and the backing is an orange/red and yellow print. But I’m in a quandary over thread color. Red or Orange . . . or Yellow? What is your opinion?

“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.


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.


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

August FQ Challenge – Blog Readers Share

29 08 2016

In 2016 I’ve challenged myself to use several fat quarters each month and share them with blog readers. And I’ve invited blog readers to accept the challenge as well. Admittedly, some months we have more time to sew than others. So don’t worry if you haven’t sewn something with your FQs each month, just jump in when you can. I would love to show pictures of your projects to blog readers. It is so inspiring to see what you are making. Please attach your picture to an email which explains your project:  aby.quilts@gmail.com.

20160805_154957Chris sent a picture of a mug rug she made. “I finished a coaster. Not much, but better than nothing!?” What a fun, quick project, Chris. Thanks for sending a picture.

0721161431Tonya sent a picture of a modern quilt on her design wall. “I had less than a yard of the blue fabric with the “cartoon words” and wanted to make a child’s quilt for donation so I pulled about 12 fat quarters and a little extra yardage for more color.” Click on the picture to zoom in and see all the fun fabrics Tonya included in this bright and bold quilt.

Amanda has been a busy bee. She make two “Triple Star” quilts. She will add borders later. (Wouldn’t the pastel blue and yellow version be a sweet baby quilt?) She also make two smaller Double Stars. With borders, they will be perfect for wall quilts or table toppers. Amanda has plans to make some star quilts for Christmas gifts using printed winter motifs as star centers. (“Triple Star” was my FQ challenge project for June, and you will find a link to instructions for “Triple Star” on the Patterns page of this blog.)

IMG_3924     IMG_3926

Stacy accepted the FQ challenge and made a pillow cover with an envelope style closure on the back. One FQ for the front, plus one FQ for the back and front ruffle, plus a pillow form. And, viola, you have a pretty, decorative pillow.

Stacy's FQ pillow

Thanks, everyone, for sharing your FQ Challenge creations! With a new month just around the corner, it’s time to rev up our creativity for September’s challenge.

P.S.  Please note Stephanie’s comment in the comment section. Here’s a picture she sent to explain her project. This is going to be a gorgeous “Stepping Up” quilt, Stephanie!



Quilt Design Inspiration–A Contest

11 08 2016

This week hubby and I are vacationing with family near York, Pennsylvania. Yesterday we enjoyed a family lunch at Hoss’s restaurant to celebrate Aunt Anna’s 80th birthday.

Quilt sightings! Not only were several framed antique quilt blocks displayed behind the cash register, there was an awesome ceramic tile and glass mosaic decorating the outside of the building.


Click on the picture above to take a closer look. Which part of this crazy quilt style mosaic inspires you? Which section could serve as a springboard for your next quilt? Comment with your design ideas, please. I’ll send a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, Vol. 13 to you if your design idea piques my interest.


“Gemini” Lap Quilt

6 06 2016

DSCN7846Kathy H. sent me a lap quilt to longarm which she made in memory of her mother whose favorite color was green.

Kathy writes, “I used a pattern–actually one of those post card type patterns–called Gemini by Villa Rosa Designs. It uses 20 – 2 1/2 ” strips–so just half of a jelly roll– plus 2 yards of background fabric.”

Several of the batik prints are foliage in nature, and the quilt back is a swirly fern green-on-green batik. The images on the fabrics gave me the idea to quilt fern fronds across the face of the quilt. You can tell at first glance that the design of the quilt is vertical columns of offset “boxes.” I could have loaded the quilt into my machine sideways and quilted stems of ferns that would follow the vertical theme. However, I felt the columns were too wide to effectively quilt this, so I decided to quilt fern fronds horizontally across the quilt using the 6″ wide rows as my visual quilting guide. This orientation gives the viewer’s eye two movements to consider–vertical and horizontal. Here is how I developed the design:


Using my Wave Edge ruler (which is actually for rotary cutting), I drew a line approximately through the center of each row. On the light areas, I used a green chalk; on the darker fabrics, I used a white powder chalk (chalk-o-liner). I then quilted across the quilt on the drawn line.


Next, I quilted a wavy line about 3/4″ above the drawn and quilted line, eye-balling the ups and downs. These two lines form the stem or main vein of the fern. (I have experimented with only one line for the vein, but feel the double lines define the design much better.)

The fun part was filling in the fern leaves between the wavy line. “S” curves, “C” curves, “moustache” curves, and curls were all useful in this step. Some of the leaf tips and curls point left while the others point right. By quilting this way, I achieved my goal:  there is not a definitive left or right, top or bottom of the quilt.


Green is always so soothing, comforting, and calming; I know Kathy will enjoy snuggling under this quilt. Perhaps the fern quilting design will conjure images of lush, cool forest glens, welcome respites from arid summer weather.

Batik Bed Runner

2 06 2016

IMG_20160525_132339_541I am absolutely smitten with this bed runner! Linda G. made it for a former co-worker who is a long time friend. The batiks she selected glow like stained glass on a summer day. Did you recognize the “Disappearing Nine Patch” design? This is proof positive that even a simple patchwork design combined with the right fabrics yields an awesome quilt.

Many of the batiks have floral or leaf designs, so Linda asked me to quilt flowers and leaves all over the 19″ x 87″ runner. I also quilted two coordinating pillow tops made with 2 1/2″ squares. Can you imagine the runner and pillows resting atop a white or light gray bedspread? Gorgeously colorful!

Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, vol. 13 Blog Tour

4 05 2016

Vol13-COVER-125pxHello and welcome to Day 3 of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, vol. 13 blog tour! A special welcome if you’re a first time visitor.

My block, “Everlasting Chains,” is #1265 on page 42.


Granted, by itself, it doesn’t really look like chains. But set 9, or 16, or 25 blocks side by side, and both the horizontal and vertical chains are apparent.

Everlasting Chains

In fact, the quilt looks like a modern, simplified “Double Wedding Ring.” The plus side is no curved piecing!

image2For my test block, I used two shades of blue. The overall effect was “okay,” but my eyes were drawn to the darker blue. In other words, I could readily see the vertical chains but the horizontal chains were not as noticeable. To achieve equal visibility, my friend Karlene suggested that the two fabrics should be equal in value. She was right! The dark royal blue combined with deep magenta, shown in the drawing above, resulted in the effect I had imagined as I designed the block.

An alternate idea for using “Everlasting Chains” is creating four houses with rooftops touching in the center. You could customize each house to represent family members’ homes or the homes of quilting friends.

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Surround the houses with a border of green grass and a house print, and you’ll have a cheerful house-warming or hostess gift! (After quilting, I plan to add the black and white zigzag print as binding.)


Click on the button below to link with Quiltmaker’s blog. There you’ll find links to the other designers on today’s edition of the blog tour. Each of them offers a chance to win a copy of Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, vol. 13.


Leave a comment below to enter the drawing for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, vol. 13. I’ll draw the lucky winners on May 10.

First time guests, I hope you’ll peruse several past blog posts and consider following along. A major activity of abyquilts.wordpress.com this year is the Fat Quarter Challenge. I’m challenging myself (and blog readers) to dig into the stash of fat quarters and sew projects with them, something each month. In addition to showing my own projects/quilts, I invite readers to send pictures of their projects for inspiration. You will find links to instructions for several fat quarter friendly projects on the Patterns page.