“Unity” QAL Progress

Are you quilting along with Bonnie Hunter (quiltville.blogspot.com)? She has designed a twin size medallion for our quilt-making enjoyment while we shelter at home. Although Bonnie’s quilt features red, blue, aqua, and white, I’ve added more colors for variety’s sake.

I have kept up with the clues 1-5, and the 6th is revealed tomorrow. What a cheerful and fun quilt to work on, week by week! If you would like to make a “Unity” quilt, link to Bonnie’s blog and click on the “Unity” tab beneath her header picture.

“Sisters” QAL – May

Here we are on May Day 2020, and instead of giving you the traditional bouquet of posies, I’m giving you the instructions for the May block in our “Sisters” quilt along.

“Four Way Block” was designed by Yvonne Fuchs a.k.a. Quilting Jetgirl (quiltingjetgirl.com) and published in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, Vol. 15, p. 41. I have re-colored the block and modified the instructions to utilize three colors plus a light background.

I am sure the block was named for the four arrows formed by the dark squares in the center Nine Patch combined with the dark triangles in the Flying Geese units. Although black prints were included in my “This & That” layer cake, they contrast starkly with the bright colors in my quilt. I was careful to scatter the blocks with black print units throughout my quilt.

Granted a do-over, I might not include those black prints in my spring-themed quilt. For an alternate color placement idea, look at Lori’s 12″ “Four Way” block. By using a light fabric for the Flying Geese instead of a dark print, she achieved a much softer look. Feel free to take similar liberties with coloring your “Four Way Block.”

Click on the “Sisters BOM QAL” tab to travel to the blog page containing links to all the instructions for the quilt along to date. I know you will love working on the “Four Way” Big Sister and Little Sister blocks.

Happy May Day!



“Aunt Dinah” Potholder

I hope you have found some time to sew between household and family responsibilities this past weekend. Perhaps you are finishing your “Aunt Dinah” big sister and little sister blocks for our quilt along. Are you looking forward to May’s block? I’ll post instructions on Friday.

Generally, I like to give secondary ideas for using each of the QAL patterns, be it a table runner, baby or bed quilt, or pillow. This month, I decided to add a narrow border to a 6″ “Aunt Dinah” block, transforming it into a potholder for my kitchen.

To make my 6″ block, I used fabric from the “free” box of scraps and 10″ squares left over from my “Sisters” quilt. I cut strips for the border from a red 10″ square; I needed two 2″ x 6 1/2″ strips for top and bottom and two 2″ x 9 1/2″ strips for sides.

I cut two 10″ squares of thin 100% cotton batting and layered it with a leftover 10″ square for backing, centering the “Aunt Dinah” patchwork square uppermost. Notice that the backing is right side up, and the patchwork is right side down.

After pinning all around, I sewed the layers together with a 3/8″ seam allowance, leaving a 3″ opening on one side for turning right side out. I trimmed away the excess backing and batting and clipped the four corners diagonally to reduce bulk. After turning the potholder right side out and a quick press, I slip-stitched the opening closed and quilted the patchwork “in the ditch” with white thread. I switched to red thread for simple quilting in the border.

Are you humming “Someone’s in the Kitchen with Dinah” as I was?  . . . “strumming on the old banjo.”

If you are a new blog follower, it’s not too late to join the QAL fun. Just click on the “SISTERS BOM QAL” tab for all the information. Instructions for blocks are posted on the first of each month in 2020.

Edyta Sitar’s “Mystery Quilt 2020” Finished!

I am so excited to show you my rendition of a mystery quilt designed by Edyta Sitar of Laundry Basket Quilts! You can order a pattern for “California” here.

Edyta’s pink and blue fabrics are from her line, “Super Bloom.” However, I translated the instructions to red and brown and used the “Ruby” fabric line designed by Bonnie Sullivan, manufactured by Maywood Studio. The prints and textures are elegant yet comforting and homey. Hubby gives this quilt a thumbs up.

Beginning in late March, Edyta posted daily clues for making the 100 blocks. We were instructed to make 4, 8, or 16 blocks for each of 15 days, and Edyta included a diagram which showed where the blocks fit into the finished quilt. I am so happy I joined in this mystery quilt along. Knowing a clue would be waiting in my inbox each morning gave me something to look forward to while sheltering at home during the COVID-19 epidemic.

If you find yourself with time on your hands and are interested in joining a Quilt Along, I invite you to check out the “Sisters” block of the month on this blog. Just click the tab in the menu to find links for the block instructions. For additional QAL designs,  search for “letsquiltalong” on Instagram; hundreds are listed. Quilting along with others and showing my progress pictorially encourages me to keep sewing and gives me a feeling of accomplishment when I am finished.

“Sisters” – Aunt Dinah, Blog Readers Share

Thanks for your enthusiastic response for April’s block, “Aunt Dinah.” Completed blocks are cropping up on Instagram (#sistersqal) and in my gmail inbox. Showing the blocks made by fellow blog readers is sure to motivate you for making your own.

First up is Marie. Until the recent “shelter in place” rule, she didn’t have time to make any of the blocks. But over the past week, she caught up, making the January-April blocks. It is possible, and it is not too late to join the fun! You may use a layer cake, a stack of fat quarters, or coordinated scraps as Marie is doing.

Like most of us, Cheryl is working from home these days. The household is a bit more hectic with hubby and daughter also working/studying from home, so she escapes to her sewing space each evening to maintain personal balance and to work on several quilting projects. Aren’t the yellow and blue fabrics so pretty?

Cindy also sent a picture of multiple blocks. The muted colors are very soothing; I can’t wait to see the “Aunt Dinah” blocks in her chosen fabric palette. And I think I spy a quilt label in the upper row. Yay, Cindy, for  planning ahead!

Roxann is having fun with this QAL; making the blocks is high on her to-do list each month. It is fun to receive an email note from her when she sends pictures of her blocks; she brings me up to date on family happenings and her other quilting projects.

My daughter Trinity is also making great progress on her “Sisters” blocks.  I must admit she has insider information and is now working ahead on the July blocks. As my in-house pattern tester, she tells me if the instructions need tweaking prior to my posting them for you.

You will find links to the instructions for the “Sisters” quilt along on the “Sisters” BOM QAL page of this blog. Just click the tab in the row listing the blog’s pages just below the header picture. I post each new block on the first of the month. Send a picture of your blocks to aby.quilts@gmail.com or post them on Instagram (#sistersqal).

“Unity” QAL Progress

I am quilting along with Bonnie K. Hunter who designed a medallion quilt to spark our creativity as we stay at home. Bonnie blogs at quiltville.blogspot.comClick here for links to the introduction and subsequent instructions which are posted each Monday. Do you see the blue and gold print I used in the diamond shapes of the Part 2 border? I received 1/3 yard of this fabric at a retreat last September with the challenge to use it by the time of our next retreat. I am happy it fits in so well with the other fabrics I’ve chosen for the “Unity” QAL.

Over the weekend I finished Part 3 – -36 tiny stars. I expanded Bonnie’s suggested palette of red, white, aqua, and blue by adding green, yellow, orange, and purple. By adding these hues, I’m planning ahead. At some point in the QAL I want to incorporate multi-colored “Shoo, Fly, Shoo” blocks made for Bonnie’s “Leader/Ender” challenge this year. (Click here to read about the challenge.) Adding some color to Part 3 will make the quilt more cohesive when I add the scrappy blocks down the road.

I’m ready for Part 4. Are you quilting along?

“Sisters” QAL – April

No fooling – the link for the instructions for April’s block of the month, “Aunt Dinah,” is on the “Sisters BOM QAL” page. Click the tab above to access all the patterns.

The “Aunt Dinah” quilt design was first published in the 1940s. Using my imagination, “Aunt Dinah” could have been the maiden aunt who visited the farms of her siblings for several months in turn. Her joys were helping to preserve garden and orchard crops, sewing clothing for the children, reading stories, and hand piecing quilt patches by lamp light when chores were done for the day. I would be happy for Aunt Dinah to come visit me, wouldn’t you?

Some of the “Sisters” patterns reference the “FREE box.” If you are wondering what that is, read on. The FREE box is a container in which you put all the scraps from making the blocks and/or extra 10″ squares (if you are using a layer cake). You may freely use fabric from the FREE box when making any subsequent blocks.

Once you complete your big sister 12″ block and your little sister 6″ block, post a picture on Instagram with #sistersqal. Or you can email me a picture to share with blog readers, aby.quilts@gmail.com

Happy Quilting! – Aby

Sisters QAL “Churn Dash” Wrap-Up

Today is the day to register your accomplishment, to tell all of us that you have made the Big Sister 12″ “Churn Dash” and the Little Sister 6″ “Churn Dash” blocks. I am so proud of all of you for keeping up with our Quilt Along!

Amanda, a long time friend living in Germany, emailed me a picture of her blocks. Aren’t her fabric choices darling? The cabanas with beach chair, stripes and anchors. I can tell Amanda is longing for summer and a lazy, warm day at the beach!

Now it’s your turn . . . comment “Done” if you have finished the “Churn Dashes” and are ready to move on to “Aunt Dinah” blocks on April Fool’s Day!

“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?