3rd Quarter Challenge–Blog Reader Shares

30 09 2017

Believe it or not, 2017 is 3/4 gone! This year, I have challenged myself and blog readers to actually use those pretty packages of pre-cuts we’ve all been tempted to purchase.  In the first quarter  (Jan.-Mar.) we focused on fat quarters and quilter’s candy (2 1/2″ squares). Second quarter we focused on jelly-rolls (2 1/2″ strips). And third quarter’s challenge was using Layer Cakes (10″ squares). Click here to see my project from the Nordic Holiday line. I’ll teach this quilt at the Sew There! quilt shop in Angier, NC soon. If you live locally, call 919-331-2499 and sign up to join in the fun.

Friend and blog reader, Linda G., sent me several quilts to longarm, and they just happened to be made from Layer Cakes! First up is “Starburst” made with Halloween fabric. The pattern came from Jenny Doan’s Holiday Block Book, volume 3, issue 4. You can view a tutorial for Starburst on you tube; click here. For a quilting design, the Spider Web pantograph designed by Dave Hudson of patternman.com was the perfect choice. I considered using metallic silver thread so the spider webs would sparkle. However, I settled on gray thread thinking it would be more practical and durable for a sofa quilt. In my opinion, metallic silver would be great for a wall quilt.

Linda also made two twin size patriotic quilts for Christmas gifts. She ordered the Layer Cakes and border fabric from Missouri Star Quilt Company. The fabric line is “American Pride” by Timeless Treasures, and the border fabric is “Patriotic Words” from this line.  Jenny Doan calls this pattern her Double Slice Layer Cake. This random-looking design couldn’t be easier to make! If you need some quick quilt gifts for the holidays, Linda recommends this pattern. Let the fabric do the talking! Click here to view Jenny’s tutorial on you tube.

What about you? Have you make a Layer Cake quilt this year? If so, send me a picture to share with blog readers. (aby.quilts@gmail.com)

The 4th quarter challenge is using Charm Squares (5″ squares). On your mark, get ready, get set, go sew!

With special thanks to Aidan, my willing quilt holder!


More Ideas for Layer Cake Quilts

7 09 2017

Did you know that McCall’s Quilting has a blog? I “follow” the weekly posts and was pleasantly surprised to have two of my layer cake designs featured on Wednesday, August 23. Our 3rd quarter challenge is to make a layer cake quilt; if you need more pattern design ideas simply click here to travel to the blog.

The first quilt shown is “Aunt Lucy’s Baskets” which first appeared in the October/November 2009 issue of Quilters Newsletter. The McCall’s blog gives details on how to order a digital pattern. Following the picture of the basket quilt are links to several videos about using pre-cuts. The final quilt featured is “Berry Patch” which was published in the August/September 2013 issue of Quilters Newsletter. Similarly, details are given for ordering a digital pattern.

Are you working on a layer cake quilt? I’d love to see a picture of your project! (aby.quilts@gmail.com)

Third Quarter Pre-cut Challenge

14 08 2017

Several quilters are new followers of this blog, so at the risk of boring most of you, I’d like to reiterate the details of this year’s challenge and invite you all to participate this quarter. The following is an excerpt from the original blog post in January.

We are all tempted to buy Jelly Rolls (2 1/2″ wide strips), Charm Squares (5″ squares), Quilter’s Candy (2 1/2″ squares), and Layer Cakes (10″ squares), right? And many times they simply become colorful decorations on the shelves in our sewing rooms. This year let’s change our languishing pre-cuts into lovely quilts!

Rather than issue a monthly challenge, I’m issuing a quarterly challenge. Here’s the schedule:

January – March:  Quilter’s Candy or Fat Quarters

April – June:  Jelly Roll

July – September:  Layer Cake

October – December:  Charm Squares

Toward the beginning of each quarter, I’ll blog about my pre-cut choice and explain my intended project. When I finish the project, I’ll share a photo, and toward the end of each quarter, I’ll ask you to email me a digital picture of your challenge project.

Yikes! We are half-way through the 3rd Quarter and I have yet to share a picture of my project. I’ve been busy hosting grandchildren and indulging in other summer activities instead of prolifically sewing and blogging, and I bet you have, too. But summer is fast coming to an end, and back-to-school time is a great time to find time in the quilting room sewing a Layer Cake project.

I used my “Arcadian Garden” pattern to make a fun lap quilt with Benartex’s “Nordic Holiday” line designed by Amanda Murphy. The line features a large scale design of snow white Artic creatures garlanded with wreaths accompanied by beautiful holiday prints. The color palette, as you can see, includes red, white, gray, green, and teal. The quilt is on display at Sew There! Quilts and More in Angier, NC. If you live locally and want to make this quick and easy quilt, call the shop to sign up for the two class sessions in September.

Here is a Work in Progress photo on the “design floor.” Aren’t the elegant prints so vibrant and cheerful?

My friend, Lori, made an “Arcadian Garden” quilt for her daughter with pastel fabrics from Connecting Threads. She achieved the larger bed size by adding a wide border which she quilted with a lovely cable design.

If “Arcadian Garden” would not suit the fabrics in your layer cake, may I suggest “Thrifty Stars”? It is photographed in a beautiful setting at Peace University in Raleigh.

Happy sewing on your 3rd Quarter Challenge project! Quilt shops and magazines are great sources of designs for using your package of 10″ squares, so settle on a pattern, tear off the cellophane, untie the ribbon, and begin. If you would like to order either “Arcadian Garden” or “Thrifty Stars,” send an email to aby.quilts@gmail.com. 




16 07 2017

Blog readers have been busily sewing this summer. I’m sharing pictures of their projects for inspiration. Enjoy!

Linda shares a picture of her Jelly Roll quilt and writes, “After fussing over this for a year, I finished Jenny Doan’s “Flying Geese Log Cabin” from Missouri Star Quilt Company. It was made using Moda Batik “Breezy” jelly roll plus additional bright batiks from my stash. The outer border is Moda Edyta’s Essentials “Cherry Paisley.” I am a penpal with a very nice young lady, age 13, who picked out the fabric for this quilt. After seeing the pattern in Jenny’s quarterly “Block” book, Winter Vol 2, Issue 1, I thought it was a match made in heaven!! It is a beautiful quilt and should be a keepsake that will be treasured for many years.”

Janice writes, “I attended your ‘Get the Point’ workshop in Raleigh and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I get tired of making the same thing over and over, so when I had 30 or so blocks, this is what I came up with using some of the other jelly roll strips as dividers, a black inner border, and another outer border.  I like it and think it looks pretty good.  I wanted to show you how it turned out.  You must indulge me because one of the best picture is with Beamer, my beautiful cat, lying on it.”


Lori made a quilt for her daughter, Anna, with two Layer Cakes and some yardage. The pattern is one I designed, “Arcadian Garden.” Aren’t the fabrics so pretty and feminine? She plans to scallop the edges, following the cable quilting design.

Pam made a beautiful quilt to welcome her granddaughter into the world. The lovely fabrics coordinate with the nursery décor. Click the picture to zoom in; you’ll see “Lilly Kay” embroidered on the quilt. Great idea, Pam!

Just a little reminder that our pre-cut challenge for the third quarter (July-September) is Layer Cakes. If you have a Layer Cake beautifying your sewing room, why not turn it into a quilt? There’s no time like the present!

The 12 Days of Christmas in July blog hop is on-going. Here are the links to the participating blogs. Remember to comment each day to be eligible for prizes.

Friday, July 14th

 Saturday, July 15th
 Sunday, July 16th
 Monday, July 17th
 Tuesday, July 18th
 Wednesday, July 19th
 Thursday, July 20th
 Friday, July 21st
 Saturday, July 22nd


“Soiree” Finished!

22 04 2015


I usually don’t order kits, but I when I saw “Soiree” in a Connecting Threads catalog, I was intrigued. And then came an advertrisement with a sale price. So I ordered the kit, a yard of rust red for inner border and binding, a yard of the stripe for an outer border and a bit more backing so I could make a larger quilt.

I began cutting and piecing the blocks at a retreat at the end of February. It was quick and fun and an efficient way to utilize a layer cake of 10″ squares.


Happy Times” pantograph by Lorien Quilting added interest in the plain alternate squares. For quilting, I used a medium gray thread.

soiree quilting detail

My husband’s Granny, a native of Chilhowie, VA, always kept some quilts in her cedar chest to share with neighbors in need. I plan on following the family tradition by sharing this quilt with a college friend who recently suffered a devastating house fire. I think I’ll rename it “Beauty from Ashes.”