Reversible Friendship Quilt

In 2022 I exchanged two sets of quilt blocks with two different groups of friends. The friends from my church’s Sew-n-Sews group exchanged house blocks, and the Block of the Month group that I taught at Sew There! Quilts and More exchanged framed square signature blocks. Since the amount of blocks from both exchanges was enough for lap quilts, I decided to make a reversible quilt.

The Sew-n-Sews admired my twin size “Painted Ladies” quilt as I assembled the blocks at our 2021 retreat. They decided, then and there, that we should exchange blocks for throw size quilts at the 2022 retreat. (Click here to see a picture of my twin size quilt. Click here to view the pattern by Eye Candy.) Each of us selected a different door color; mine was a black/white print. We had to make a few partial blocks for the tops and bottoms of the columns. The “Dune” quilting pantograph emulates clouds and faintly echos the spiraling dots in the light background fabric.

After trimming the thirty signature blocks to a uniform size, I arranged them in a 5 x 6 grid. I added a wide border all around so that the patchwork would be larger than the “Painted Ladies” patchwork and loaded the signature quilt as the backing in my longarm machine.

My friend, Bonnie, spearheaded this exchange, explaining that we could use leftover Jelly Roll strips to frame the 6 1/2″ squares. We exchanged a set of blocks each month. The first set contained plain centers, and we signed our full names. For subsequent exchanges, Bonnie encouraged us to ad lib with applique or piecing and simply sign our initials. Aren’t the colors and prints a feast for the eyes?! I listed the exchange participants in one of the plain-centered blocks.

This reversible quilt has found a home on my sofa. It’s perfect for snuggling under while napping or reading a book. I am so happy to have this tangible and cheerful expression of friendship.

Round Robin Quilt, Finished

On Sunday, I wrote about the Quilting Circle’s revelation of their Round Robin quilts. You can read about it and see all the quilts here.

I was so excited to receive my quilt that I wasted no time in quilting it! I am elated to say it totally fits my decorating style!

round robin quilt

Williamsburg blue thread blended with all the fabrics so well. However, if you click on the picture to enlarge it, you can see the “Happy Times” pantograph design in the background triangles of the center square.

Round robin close up

This truly was a cooperative quilt: Thanks to Karlene for designing the center star (Karlene wrote instructions for “Heather’s Star”on her blog; thanks to Marciava, Jenn, Aunna and Kristen for adding borders, round and round, to the quilt.

Quilting Circle Round Robin Quilts Revealed

Thursday was a special day for our Quilting Circle; it was the day of revealing the Round Robin quilts we have been working on for the past four months. We had two groups of five quilters each. I snapped pictures of most of the completed quilt tops. Many are light-struck, but I think you can catch the emotional excitement in the room. You can read about the beginning of the challenge here.

I was so excited to see my quilt top made from Windham fabrics! I was amazed at the border of Four Patches on point.


Jenn was in my group. She wanted an owl themed quilt for her son’s room.


Aunna’s daughter, Abi, selected the brown puppy dog print for the quilt that will hang in her room.


I’m holding Kristen’s quilt because she wasn’t able to attend the Circle meeting. (And Marciava was also absent).


For the second round robin group, I’ll first show Karlyn’s patriotic quilt.


Jaclyn’s quilt was also patriotic in theme. She plans to applique her initial in the center white square.


Heather was simply amazed at the way her lowly star block grew into a potted flower!


Anna was “flabergasted” at the metamorphosis of her birch trees.


Amy’s quilt in pastels was lovely beyond her imagination.


The Round Robin project challenged us to be very creative and to aspire towards our best work. We definitely made memories this spring while working on each others’ quilts.



Farewell Gifts


It’s the time of year when about one-third of my friends move to different military installations. Although it’s sad to say good-bye, I try to lessen the grief by writing notes of thanks and encouragement, to assure them of my prayers during the stressful time of moving, to give some positive comments about the new duty station, and to give a tangible gift of remembrance . . . like a small quilt.

If you look on the Patterns page of this blog, you will find a link to “Steppin’ Up,” a simple baby quilt quickly pieced from 3 1/2″ strips. For this down-sized patriotic wall quilt, I cut 10 strips only 2″ wide and followed the “Steppin’ Up” instructions. However, instead of making a square quilt, I added two more rows. The quilt seemed complete without borders, so I quilted it diagonally through the squares with white thread and bound it in solid navy fabric. The quilt measures 15″ x 18.”


I decided to use the leftover strip-pieced squares to make a second farewell gift. Sixteen of the squares form the center of the Saw Tooth Star, and I raided my container of 2″ scrap squares for the extras I needed to complete the border of squares. Using ecru thread, I quilted diagonal lines through the squares, making an “X” in each. I meadanered in the muslin background. The quilt measures 15″ square.


To make a larger quilt, I cut ten strips 2 1/4″ x 40.” Again, I followed the “Steppin’ Up” instructions for cross-cutting and un-sewing the strip set. I had enough strip-pieced squares to add four rows to elongate the wall quilt. I cut 3″ borders of a mottled navy fabric. After a simplified cross-hatch quilting design in tan thread, I bound the quilt with a tan and navy stripe fabric. The quilt measures 23″ x 30.”


God-speed Jennifer, Peggy, and Nancy: “When this quilt you see, remember me!”


“Half Snowball” – Bible Study Quilt #4

Constructing “Half Snowballs” was ths spring’s project in our Quilting Circle. The blocks are quickly and easily constructed and can be set together in several pleasing arrangements. I chose this pattern as my Bible Study “raffle” quilt this semester. You can read about other Bible Study quilts here, here and here.

Each week I offered a stack of variously colored and printed 5″ squares to the ladies in my Protestant Women of the Chapel class. They each selected one square per week to help them answer an ice breaker question. Sometimes the question related to our chapter of study in Galatians or Ephesians, such as “What is something you want to inherit?” Sometimes the question pertained to life in general, such as “What are your plans for celebrating Valentine’s Day?”

A fabric for bible study q

In my sewing studio, the 5″ squares became “Half Snowballs” as I sewed 2 1/2″ yellow batik squares on diagonally opposite corners. I flipped the resulting triangles outward toward the corners, pressed, and trimmed off the excess seam allowance.

Half Snowballs

With the end of the semester drawing near, I asked my friend, Chris, to help me arrange the blocks on my design wall. I had thought all along that the yellow triangles would look nice arranged as elongated six point stars that floated diagonally across the quilt.

A Stars

But Chris said, “I’m not seeing it.” Perhaps there is not enough contrast between the colorful blocks and the yellow. Perhaps there are so many prints competing for attention. Whatever the reason, we decided to turn the blocks to make diamonds of yellow.

You can see numbered tags pinned to the beginning of each row in the picture below. Notice that “1” is at the bottom. I sewed the rows together beginning at the bottom of the quilt. I find that building the quilt rows upward involves less turning of the quilt between pressing the row just added and pinning on the next row. Try this construction technique on your next quilt.

A rows numbered

After sewing and pressing the rows together, I auditioned fabric for the border. Chris said the quilt would retain its modern quality if I didn’t add a border and simply bound it in the yellow fabric. True. But even with 110 blocks in a 10 x 11 grid, the quilt was a bit small. A border would enlarge it to lap quilt status.

How about a dark navy print border?

Bible study navy print border

How about orange?

Bible study -orange border

How about this soothing green?

Bible study green border

Then Trinity, another design team member, suggested yellow, and we decided that although it was very bright, we liked yellow best of all.

Yellow border

For the quilting design, I meandered in yellow variegated thread, and I bound the quilt with more yellow batik fabric.

B S quilt quilting

Guess who won the quilt . . . Tiffany!


I know she and her two daughters will enjoy snuggling under it; all the colorful pieces will remind her of the discussions we had in our Bible study class this past semester.

Half Snowball quilt

Bible Study Quilt

In my January 7, 2013 post I showed this quilt made from 2 1/2″ squares. About half the patchwork blocks were made from squares the ladies in my Bible study class selected each week of the fall session.


For the spring semester I spearheaded a similar project for our class. Along with our study of Colossians and Galatians, each class member selected a colorful square and answered a question as an ice-breaker prior to each class. “Which square reminds you of spring? Which fabric reminds you of an Easter dress you once wore? Which square reminds you of home?” Class bonding through fabric!


Each week I sewed the squares the ladies selected into a block. Of course, additional blocks were needed to enlarge the quilt. At our last study time together, we’ll draw a name of those present, and a fortunate lady will take the quilt home!

Each quilt block is made with 6  2 1/2″ squares. After sewing the squares together in two rows of three each,  I sewed 1 1/2″ x 6 1/2″ white strips on opposite sides of the block.


The rows of the quilt were simply made by rotating blocks 90 degrees. This quilt has 9 rows with 7 blocks each.


I considered adding a 2″ white border and 4″ green or blue border, but opted instead for a 4″ white border. A colored border would likely draw the attention to the border itself, whereas a white border would allow the viewer to focus on all the fun fabrics on the interior of the quilt.

“Ups and Downs” blocks increased the width of the backing fabric. These are 6″ leader/ender blocks I make with scraps and stock-pile for just such a use.


What a warm remembrance of our time spent studying the Bible and growing closer as friends!


Friendship Signature Quilt Finish

At home I’m a speedy sew-er, chain piecing with my Pfaff or longarming with the Millennium. I rarely relax on the couch with a quilt binding project in my lap. However, binding by hand is a perfect car trip project. Hubby, the driver, doesn’t mind if my eyes are on a quilt rather than on the roadside scenery; he can thus avoid comments or suggestions on his driving! On a recent car trip I hand stitched the binding of my Friendship Signature quilt. The blocks were gifts from my Stuttgart quilting friends. (See 18 August post.)

“Picnic” Signature Quilt

Several leftover signature blocks combined with some “Ups and Downs” blocks enlarged the quilt backing.

“Art Back” of Signature Quilt

Carol Watkins, owner of Loving Stitches quilt shop, recently affirmed that a pieced quilt back is considered an “art back” and adds value to the quilt. It is gratifying to think that my lack of fabric becomes an opportunity for creatively enhancing the value of my quilt!

Friendship Signature Quilt

Prior to leaving Germany, I requested signature blocks from my quilting friends in the Black Forest Quilt Guild and the Log Cabin Ladies of Esslingen. The pattern, “Picnic,” is the cover quilt on Kim Brackett’s book Scrap-Basket Sensations. The vibrant fabrics and signed messages warm my heart and recall fond memories of quilting together.

Evenly distributing the colors of the 6″ blocks was a challenge.  Here is the final result. Can you locate the block you made for me?

Friendship Signature Quilt