“Jelly Weave” Baby Quilt

On Tuesday I shared pictures of my projects published in the December/January issue of Fons & Porter’s Quick + Easy Quilts. Today I want to share a baby quilt designed by Jennifer Strauser also published in this issue. “Jelly Weave” caught my eye as a striking yet uncomplicated quilt. It was as much fun to make as I imagined, and I bet you will want to make one, too!

I followed Jennifer’s example by choosing warmer colors for the horizontal strips and cooler colors for the vertical strips. Since I desired to add interest to the large white background area, I chose a robin’s egg blue thread color and a pantograph of dragonflies and flowers designed by Dave Hudson (patternman.com). For binding, I cut 2 1/2″ x 20″ strips of various colors and joined them with diagonal seams.

“Jelly Weave” is one more reason to purchase this magazine issue! If it is not available at your newsstand, click here for the Quilting Daily shop. It is currently available in digital format.

In the Quilting Room

“It’s not a quilt until it’s quilted!” So I’ve been working diligently to quilt and bind the tops I sewed while on a recent quilting retreat. First up is a table runner for a young couple’s wedding gift. Typical of many brides today, she plans to decorate with gray as the predominant color. I begged her mom for an accent color that I could throw into the mix, and blue was the answer.

I like the juxtaposition of elaborate quilting and the simple patchwork in shades of gray. The color (or non-color) allows the quilting to shine. The quilting design is “Calliope” by Patricia E. Ritter. My quilting consultants advised that the blue binding would add a needed accent. I am pleased with the outcome, but if I make this style of table runner again, I will add a blue diamond in the center square of the “Churn Dash” blocks for more color contrast.

I’ve also completed four baby quilts. Two owl quilts will be perfect for twins spending time in the NICU. The babies will receive quilts of the same owl fabric theme yet different patchwork designs. Owls plus orange plus blue are a gender neutral fabric/color scheme, making these quilts versatile for either boys or girls. Since the fabrics contain large circles, I freehand quilted loops and double loops over all. I used tan thread on the first quilt and orange thread on the second quilt. (I am really liking the jazzy orange thread that blends with the border yet shows up jauntily on the white background!)

Two sailboat quilts were next in the queue. With all the string-pieced blue fabrics, I imagine these quilts finding homes with baby boys. My inspiration for the underlying quilt was “Blueberry Crumble” designed by Megan of the Tiny Orchard Quilts website and You Tube channel. (BTW, I highly recommend Megan’s You Tube channel!) Using the theme fabric as a guide, I used medium blue thread to quilt “Sea Worthy,” a sailboat and anchor pantograph on both quilts.

There are several more retreat project flimsy finishes that need my attention, so I am off to my quilting room!

Memory Quilts from Shirts

Kay’s friend asked her to make two memory quilts from her deceased husband’s shirts. One quilt would be a lap quilt for herself and the other would be baby-sized for an expected grandchild.

After deliberating design possibilities, Kay settled on Rail Fence blocks with sashing and cornerstones for the lap quilt. She cut the shirts in 2 1/2″ strips and spliced the shorter strips together with diagonal seams. She even included partial pockets, sleeve tabs, and plackets. The shirt fabrics with a high polyester content presented a challenge; they were slippery and shifty and didn’t lay as flat as 100% cotton fabric when pressed. But Kay persevered in this labor of love for her friend.

I applaud Kay’s use of yellow in the lap quilt’s sashing. This color brightens the quilt, accentuating cheerful rather than somber memories evoked by the shirts.

The smaller quilt for a baby girl includes some feminine solids and prints from Kay’s stash as well as lavender polka dot alternate squares. The lavender, a cuddly flannel, also serves as quilt backing.

Since both quilt tops contained partial pockets with openings and bulky sleeve tabs, I opted for freehand rather than pantograph edge to edge quilting. Hearts and loops add texture to the lap quilt, and Es and 3s look like puffy clouds on the baby quilt.

Kay has blessed her friend by preserving sweet memories in these quilts.

Starring . . . Charity Quilts

At the end of March, I taught a workshop on Zoom for the Tarheel Quilters Guild. About a dozen of us tuned in at 9 a.m. with coffee cups and fabrics in hand. After chatting for a few minutes, I explained the basics of making “Scrappy Stars.” Incidentally, “Scrappy Stars” is the first block in this year’s QAL, “Options.” You will find links to instructions for this block on the “Options BOM QAL” page of this blog.

Instead of making individual blocks from 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles, most of us strip-pieced 2 1/2″ x 40″ background fabric strips together with colorful 2 1/2″ x 40″ strips and cross-cut them at 4 1/2″ intervals for a speedier finish. We checked in with each other via a second Zoom meeting at lunchtime. Everyone showed her progress, and I answered a few questions. We scheduled a final meet-up at 2 p.m., but technical difficulties beyond our control preempted our plans. Lesson learned: Schedule a 45 minute beginning Zoom session to tell all instructions and tips for the entire project.

Tarheel guild members enjoy making baby quilts for the NICU of our local hospital, and our “Scrappy Stars” workshop increased the number of quilts our charity chairwoman can offer these little ones and their parents.

I recently made Sawtooth Star baby quilt of leftover fabric from the “Hello Spring” BOM I facilitated at Sew There! Quilts and More in Angier, NC in 2020. The instructions for the Flying Geese units for “Hello Spring” yielded large “waste” triangles; I used these to construct star points for my baby quilt.

The center Sawtooth Star measured about 10″ square; I increased the size to 12″ with a narrow frame. This 12″ square became the center of a 24″ Sawtooth Star to which I added three borders, bringing the size to 36″ square. I quilted the “Happy Times” edge to edge design with light pink thread and bound the quilt with fuchsia tone-on-tone fabric. This was a quick and easy way to transform an orphan block into a baby quilt. I will definitely use this idea again!

Colleen’s “Twin Star” Quilts

Did you know that the 12″ and 6″ block patterns for the 2020 “Sisters” Quilt Along are still available for your use? Just click on “Sisters BOM QAL” in the menu and scroll through all twelve designs.

Recently my friend, Colleen, wanted to honor a policeman friend by making a wall quilt for him. Since she had purchased a panel with police related icons and images, she hoped to use them in some way. We measured and determined the images were about 4 1/2″ square. I suggested that she consider the “Sisters” patchwork designs since several have 4″ finished center squares. “Twin Star” seemed the perfect design for the quilt!

One of our quilt guild’s charities is the NICU at Cape Fear Hospital, and our baby quilt chairman is pleading for more quilts. Colleen found an hilarious theme print sure to bring smiles to a baby’s face. Zoom in to see the sharks eating cookies and submarine sandwiches.

Thanks for sharing your quilt projects, Colleen. It’s great that you used the quilt design beyond your “Sisters” sampler quilt project.

“Warm Air Rises” Published!

If the August heat and humidity is wearing on your nerves, escape to thoughts of fall with the September/October 2020 issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine. Pumpkins and potions, bats and candy corn, quilts for guys and teachers, all are featured in this issue.

Introducing my quilt – “Warm Air Rises.” Measuring 43″ x 44,” it’s the perfect size for baby’s tummy time or for a wall quilt. I chose Michael Miller Fabrics; the solids are from the “Sew Colorful” line, borders and background are from “Hash Dots” and “Garden Pindot.” I arranged the colors so that warm colors (orange, yellow, red) are pointing upward with cool colors (blue, green, purple) pointing downward. The negative spaces give your eye a place to rest and provide an area for quilting highlights.

I generally longarm my own quilts, but I asked my friend Charla Jenkins (OBQ Quilting, obqquilting@aol.com) to use her computerized machine for this quilt. The colors and lines of the triangles are so pristine and distinct, I wanted the quilting motifs to be perfect and uniform. Her creativity and patience yielded fabulous results!

Even in the white spaces, some of the motifs point upward, and some point downward. Charla’s expertise and my vision for the quilt meshed beautifully; I couldn’t be more pleased.

A few small flocks of flying geese have flown honking over our lake; perhaps they sense that autumn is approaching. But for us quilters, Flying Geese are always in season!

If you would like to win a copy of this issue of McCall’s Quilting magazine, leave a comment below telling what you look forward to most this fall. The drawing will be August 24.

Appliqued Hearts Quilt Finished!

I am so excited to show you the quilt I made for my expected grand niece!

You can read about the beginning of this project on this blog post. (Be sure to read the comments if you link back to the post.) I appreciate all of your comments and suggestions about cornerstones, sashing, and border. Many readers liked the look of the blocks set side by side with no sashing. The Four Patches that formed in such as setting were very appealing, but I did not plan ahead with pressing the blocks so that seam allowances would oppose. Ah, well! In consolation, by adding sashing, I was able to make a larger quilt. For this project, I had ordered 1/2 yard cuts of five polka dot prints; I used some of the light aqua, dark aqua, and yellow as backgrounds behind the hearts. I used yellow polka dot for vertical sashing and lime green for horizontal sashing. There remained 1/2 yd. of taupe from which I cut 5 strips at 3 1/2″ x wide for the border. Since I was working with fat-eighths, there was not much coordinating fabric remaining after making the framed heart blocks. I did have enough, though, to cut twelve 2″ purple squares for cornerstones and four 3 1/2″ floral squares for corners of the border.

You can see the very fun polka dot print I purchased for backing. The binding color was a toss-up between purple and aqua from stash. I selected aqua because the backing has aqua dots but no purple dots. The quilting motif is hearts and loops, a freehand favorite. Normally I would have chosen white or off white thread to match the background, but I decided to use a very pale pink in order to see the design better as I quilted.

This quilt is ready and waiting to welcome a baby girl into our family!

Hearts for Baby

My nephew and his wife are expecting a baby girl next month, and I want to make a bright quilt for the wee one. At a quilter’s estate sale, I purchased a package of fifteen “Hello Jane” fat eighths (9″ x 21″ each). The line was designed by Allison Harris who blogs at Cluck Cluck Sew. I purchased Riley Blake polka dot prints as block backgrounds from the Fat Quarter Shop.

Hand appliqueing the hearts was a great movie-watching and relaxing-by-the-lake project. I cut the polka dot background rectangles at 6 1/2″ x 7,” but honestly, I should have cut them 6 1/2″ square. The smaller measurement would have given me some wiggle room when cutting the block frame strips and corner squares since some of the fabrics were not quite 9″ wide.

For each pair of blocks, I chose two coordinating fabrics that differ in color and texture, for example “floral print” and “red tone-on-tone.” The floral print was used for the heart and corner squares for the block framed in red, and vice versa. I cut the framing strips and corner squares 2″ wide.

To date, I’ve made the sixteen blocks. The next step is sashing and bordering them with light polka dot fabric.

Which fabric shall I use for cornerstones? (I do have an unused navy print; would that be too dark?) If you have an opinion, please leave it in the comments below.

“Giant Star” Published!

Exciting news . . . the Quilting Daily company has produced a brand new magazine, Fons and Porter’s Quick + Easy Quilts, and my “Giant Star” quilt was selected for publication in the inaugural issue! The magazine editors have included quiltmaker’s stories related to the quilts as well as several yummy recipes.

This is a fat quarter friendly quilt; you need just four fat quarters and 3/4 yd. of background fabric to make the quilt top. Leftovers from making triangle-squares are used for the border. At 37″ square, the quilt is perfect for a wall quilt or a baby quilt.

“Cosmo” from Northcott Fabrics is the line my editor requested for the teal and gray quilt. I quilted Es and 3s freehand overall with gray thread.

I enjoyed making this quick and easy quilt so much that I made a second quilt and persuaded my editor to print a picture as an alternate colorway – “Branded” by Sweetwater for Moda. I ordered a tan fabric for the background and plaid fabric for binding, but my daughter, Trinity, suggested that I use plaid as the background instead of the tan. I love the effect! Trinity quilted Whole Lotta Stars edge to edge (designed by Patricia E. Ritter, distributed by Urban Elementz) with navy thread on this quilt.

Look for this magazine at your favorite newsstand, or click here to link to the Quilting Daily store’s selection of magazines. A digital edition is available for sale.

Beautiful Baby Quilt

My friend, Linda G., sent me a sweet baby quilt to finish for a friend’s new daughter. She used a charm pack of Tonga Batiks “Unicorn” with a white on white background. The pattern was published in a Baby Block book by Missouri Star Quilt Company. (Click here for the “Starcrossed” you tube tutorial with Jenny Doan.)

In addition to the lovely pastel batiks, a pink butterfly tone-on-tone backing gave me the idea of quilting the “Spring Beauty” pantograph of butterflies and flowers all over. I used purple thread which blends with the border yet stands out nicely against the white background.

Such a beautiful quilt for a sweet, new baby!