“Unity” QAL by Bonnie K. Hunter

My friend, Bonnie Hunter, is designing a medallion “mystery” quilt to keep us focused and energized as we sew in place during the COVID-19 quarantine. As always, Bonnie delves into her stash, including many fabrics organized by color families in this quilt.

Yesterday Bonnie gave yardage estimates, and today she gave instructions for the center block. Click here to link to today’s post of quiltville.blogspot.com.

Bonnie plans to give instructions for successive borders each Monday. Will you be quilting along?

Edyta Sitar’s 2020 Mystery

Are you familiar with quilter Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts? She is a personable and encouraging teacher as well as a designer of beautiful quilts and  fabrics. Edyta designs for Andover Fabrics, and in honor of their 100th year anniversary has designed a mystery quilt of 100  6 1/2″ blocks. Edyta is offering the instructions free on her blog for 15 days, beginning today, March 20.  As I understand it, each day we’ll make 4 or 8 of the same block design. I plan to participate as it will be something to look forward to during this time of social distancing.

Click here to see the instructions for Block #1. I’ll make most of my blocks with “Ruby,” a new line from Maywood Studio. Click here to see swatches of all the fabrics in this gorgeous line.

Are you quilting along with Edyta?

Sisters Sewing “Sisters”

Meet Shirley, Elaine and Lois. They are sisters of the “baby boomer” generation. They live in Virginia, North Carolina, and Arizona, and all three enjoy making quilts.


Interestingly, I met Elaine and Lois at the North Carolina Quilt Symposium several years ago. Symposium, no longer extant, was a yearly state-wide retreat for quilters; it attracted local and national teachers. I offered courses in traditional quilt making, and that’s what they were interested in learning. It was so much fun to meet and interact with them!

According to Shirley, the Arizona sister, Elaine and Lois roped her into the “Sister” block of the month quilt along. “We text off and on all day and share pictures of our projects.  Makes me feel just a little bit closer!”

Thanks, ladies, for sharing pictures of your March “Churn Dash” blocks. I love seeing the different fabric palettes you’ve selected; your quilts will be beautiful!

Leave a comment if your sister is sewing “Sisters” with you.


Best Wishes for St. Patrick’s Day 2020!

Hello Quilting Friends,

The daily news and social media are abuzz with the effects of COVID-19 as well as  precautions for prevention and tips for preparedness. Many of the quilting blogs I read are encouraging their readers to “stay home, keep calm and quilt on.” And I’ve noticed a dozen or so new Quilt Alongs or Virtual Retreats aimed at encouraging and solidifying the quilting community during this global health crisis.

Since we are in the midst of our “Sisters” Block of the Month Quilt Along, I hesitate to add another time-consuming commitment to the Abyquilts calendar. However, some blog readers may like an additional, seasonal project. In honor of St. Pat’s Day, I suggest making a “Single Irish Chain.” Click here to link to a previous post’s tutorial of this table topper made with 2″ squares.

For this year’s “Irish Chain” project, I’ll be sewing along on a lap quilt made with dark print “Nine Patches,” unused in a mystery quilt I attempted several years ago. The picture shows my progress to date.

If you are feeling really ambitious, try your hand at a bed sized quilt that combines “Churn Dash” with “Irish Chain” in alternating blocks.

You will find instructions for the “Churn Dash” blocks under the “Sisters BOM QAL” tab. It’s the block of the month for March.

To make each 12″ finished “Irish Chain” block, you’ll need 6  2 1/2″ green squares, 6  2 1/2″ gold squares, 4  2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ ecru rectangles, and 4  2 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ ecru rectangles.

Following the diagram, if you make 25 “Churn Dash” blocks and 24 “Irish Chain” blocks and add a 2″ inner border and a 4″ outer border, you’ll have a 96″ square quilt.

Whatever your quilting project during this time of self-quarantine, I would like to suggest several uplifting songs that remind us of God’s love and faithfulness and of our hope in his watch-care and mercy.

If you enjoy contemporary Christian music, I suggest “I Know” by Big Daddy Weave. And a favorite hymn from my childhood is “The Lord’s Our Rock, in Him We Hide, a Shelter in the Time of Storm.  

Prayers for your health and safety,  Aby

“Sisters” QAL – March, Blog Readers Share

I am so excited that many of you have already found time to make the March “Sisters” block, “Churn Dash” variation! Thanks for posting on Instagram (#sistersqal) or for sending me pictures of your blocks (aby.quilts@gmail.com).

Joy’s blocks

Judy’s blocks

Trinity’s blocks (she hasn’t decided if she’ll sew the triangles in the corners or not)

Roxann’s blocks

Maureen’s blocks – zoom in to see the sewing themed fabric

Jane-ellen’s blocks

To join the fun and excitement of the “Sisters” quilt along, click on the tab, Sisters BOM QAL. You’ll find links to the Introduction and to the three blocks we’ve made so far in 2020.


“Sisters” QAL – March

What word associations do you have for the month of “March”? Some of the things I think of are as follows — “In like a lion; out like a lamb.” “The Ides of March.” St. Patrick’s Day. Flying Kites. My mother-in-law’s birthday. And now, yes, the third block design for our “Sisters” block of the month Quilt Along!

This month, I invite you to make a “Churn Dash” variation. Interestingly, Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns lists 20 names for this block design. “Churn Dash,” “Hole in the Barn Door,” and “Monkey Wrench” are the names most commonly used. Believe it or not, the design was popular a hundred years ago, as early as the 1920’s! I varied the traditional pattern by adding small triangles in the corners of the 12″ block for interest.

Click on the “Sisters” BOM QAL tab and then click on the link for the March BOM instructions. I think you will find “Churn Dash” delightful to make. Just wait until you see the fail-proof method for making the corner triangle units!


“Twin Star” Check Up

Jane-ellen’s “Twin Stars”

How are you doing on your “Twin Star” blocks? Have you made the “big sister” and the “little sister” for this month? Since it’s a leap year, you have an extra day this month to “git ‘er done.” On February 29th, I’ll give you the opportunity to comment “done” if you have finished your blocks for the QAL. (If you are unsure what I’m writing about, click the tab “Sisters BOM QAL” for all the details. It’s not too late to join the fun!)

Carol’s “Twin Star” blocks

Since Quilt Along participants are now adept at making triangle units, I want to suggest several other patchwork blocks which use 4 “Twin Star” triangle units. (Use the same measurements as well as cutting and sewing tips listed in the instructions for the 12″ “Twin Star” block.)

First up is “Hope of Hartford.” To make a 10″ block, cut a 2 1/2″ square for the center and four 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles of background fabric. To assemble the block, you will use a partial seam technique around the gold center square. Wouldn’t this coloring of “Hope of Hartford” make a pretty Christmas quilt?

“Pinwheel” is a simpler design which also uses 4 of the triangle units per block. The block finishes at 8″ square. I love the interest that two colorings of the block creates in the quilt. Additionally, you can use the triangle units in a pieced border. Since several blog readers regularly make quilts to honor veterans, I have sketched an idea using 30 “Pinwheel” blocks to make a sizable Quilt of Valor.

What other color combinations could you use when making a “Pinwheel” quilt?