First Quarter Challenge – Yet More Inspiration

30 03 2017

This year I’m making a concerted effort to use some of my pre-cuts, and I’ve challenged blog readers to do the same. If you’ve been following along from January through March, you’ve seen creative ways to use Fat Quarters and/or Quilter’s Candy.

Ilse sent a picture of a modern mini quilt using Brigitte Heitland’s Zen Chic collection. She wrote, “At the 2015 Nürtingen (Germany quilt) exhibition, all helping hands received a Quilter’s Candy pack from one of Brigitte’s many quilt fabric series, with the request to transform them into something special to exhibit at the upcoming 2018 show.”

The simplicity of Ilse’s quilt spells sophistication, don’t you think? I love the wavy quilting lines–close together where the colored squares are densest and farther apart toward the edges of the quilt where the squares are farther apart.

It will be so interesting to see all the quilts made with Quilter’s Candy in next year’s exhibition. (Be sure to send pictures, Ilse!)


Several other blog followers were inspired by recent posts. Darla sent a picture of a “Holly Hobby” placemat made by her sister, Anna. My post on the vintage “Little Dutch Girls” quilt reminded her of the placemat made years ago. I love the sweet embroidered flowers on the bonnet and sleeve cuff.

Helga contributed a picture of her “Sternen und Herzen” I Spy quilt in response to my question on the “Eye Spy” post. The quilt is about ten years old and remains at Helga’s house. All the grandchildren and young visitors can enjoy looking at it when they visit her.

Stephanie, inspired by the Polka Tot post, shared a picture of a patriotic quilt she made for Army Chaplain Sam Boone. She increased the block size to 9″ and used scraps and fat quarters from stash. Bowties are Chaplain Boone’s trademark, so this Quilt of Valor design suits him to a T.

With the first quarter of 2017 behind us, it’s time to look ahead to the second quarter’s challenge. Your role is to roll up your sleeves, unroll your jelly roll, and get the ball rolling on a new quilt!




“Eye Spy” Finish

27 03 2017

“Eye Spy with my little eye . . .”

I raided my box of 3″ squares and cut more from conversation prints for the centers of the patchwork blocks. Frames of primary colors were cut 2″ wide, and I cut 2″ corner squares of black and white polka dot fabric. I decided to extend the Nine Patch secondary design in the borders. (The math actually works out for 3″ finished squares in the outer border, but I forgot and cut 3″ squares as I did for the interior blocks. Extra points if you can figure out how I coped with my “Ooops.”)

While looking in JoAnn’s for sashing, I ran into a quilting friend from my guild. She propelled me toward a white with colorful triangles print instead of the white and gray print I was considering. I am pleased with the fun-loving results. Most of the squares in the interior of the quilt have a “twin” in the outer border so the recipient of this quilt has had fun matching the monkey, cat, cowboy boots, construction equipment, etc.

I quilted the quilt with white thread in a meander and loop, freehand design. And I bound the quilt with black Kona cotton.

Have you made an “Eye Spy” quilt? What was the most interesting conversation print you included?

Charming “I Spy” Quilt

27 10 2014


This baby quilt top was made by friend and customer, Tricia. Her niece is having a baby, and the family doesn’t know yet whether it’s a boy or a girl. The niece likes navy and white, so Tricia made a gender neutral “I Spy” quilt.

Generally, the “I Spy” fabrics are larger and take center stage in a quilt. But in this quilt, the largest pieces are 5″ dark blue charm squares. Now take a closer look by clicking the picture and zooming in. All the 2 1/2″ corner stones are conversation prints!


Notice that Tricia placed solid squares of the primary and secondary colors diagonally in the quilt. (Top left corner to bottom right corner.)


Tricia suggested quilting with white thread in the white sashing pieces and quilting with navy thread in the blue areas. That would mean a lot of stops and starts and thread color changes for me . . . so I countered with the idea of quilting objects in the blue squares with white thread. This expanded the “I Spy” idea. I found lots of design inspiration from two books by Laura Lee Fritz.


Using the continuous-line designs in the books for reference, I sketched them onto the blue squares with a chalk pencil as shown in the photo below. I meandered in the sashing and cornerstones and stitched the drawn designs as I worked my way across the quilt.


This quilt was lots of fun, all around. Fun for Tricia to select fabrics and construct the top, fun for me to select shapes to quilt in the navy squares, and it will be fun for the baby as he/she grows into toddler-hood and learns the names of the objects and colors.

Would you be interested in making a similar quilt? We could exchange 2 1/2″ squares of conversation prints. (You would supply your own 5″ squares, sashing and border.) An exchange would work nicely with at least ten participants. Leave a comment below if you would like to participate!


Playmat for Aidan

26 04 2014

While cruising the website for flip-flop fabric, I succumbed to the temptation to buy a “For Boys” bundle of bolt-end fabrics. Because it was on sale. Have you ever done that?  You go shopping for one item and find a couple more to add to the shopping cart.

It was fun to see what the bundle contained; I estimate the total amount was between 2 and 3 yards. I was especially happy to receive a panel with a road and outdoor vacation attractions. My little grandson, Aidan, loves to roll his trucks and cars along the floor. Won’t he have fun rolling them along the road of this panel?


As is often the case with panels, the large motif was not printed exactly “square.” I trimmed the yardage into a rectangle and then added 2 1/2″ red borders.


To make the quilt reversible, I constructed an “I Spy” quilt of 3 1/2″ and 6 1/2″ novelty print squares. I added a 6″ black border to make the “I Spy” quilt back larger than the front panel. Most of this black frame will be trimmed away after quilting.


Fortunately, I had enough cogs and gears left over from another quilt to make most of the alternate blocks. Most of the novelty prints were included in “Four Patches.”


Some of the larger prints received an “elbow” of color, bringing them up to the 6 1/2″ size.


Here’s the finished “road map” side of the quilt. The black and white stripe binding fabric echoes the printed “border” of the quilt’s interior.

Aidan's Road map

The reverse side of the quilt is ready for a game of “I Spy with My Little Eye.”

Aidan's I Spy

Thanks for reading my blog today! Remember to be here on Monday, April 28 for Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks from Today’s Top Designers, Vol. 9 blog tour. You will see my block and quilt that are printed in the magazine and you can register for prizes.


Graduation Gift

13 05 2013

One of the teen girls in our chapel congregation is graduating from high school in June, and I decided to make her a quilted gift.

My favorite small wall quilt design for high school seniors is “Postage Stamp.” I write this on the accompanying card: “This ‘Postage Stamp’ quilt symbolizes all the many-colored friends you have made.  So many people have encouraged you along your life’s journey. In the future, it will require effort to keep in touch with them, but the effort and postage stamps you expend will be so worthwhile.”


To make the 13 1/2″ X 16″ quilt, I rummaged in my container of 1 3/4″ scrappy squares, selecting the bright and interesting. Can you spot Tigger, the green frog, teddy bear, and soccer ball?

There are 9 rows with 7 squares each and a 2 1/2″ wide black border. Construction tip: Press the seam allowances in the odd rows to the right, and press the seam allowances in the even rows to the left. This enables the seam allowances to nest or mesh.


Our graduate plays guitar in the praise band, so I backed the quilt with some musical fabric. I quilted the interior patchwork with a meander design in variegated thread. Loops of variegated thread show up nicely in the black border.