Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Quiltmaking By the Book

As a former librarian, I must admit--I love books.  Computers, too, of course, but there's something about curling up on the couch with a new book full of beautiful photos.  I have a large collection of quilting books, from state quilt history books to the newest techniques and patterns.  But when it comes to actually making a quilt, I often fall back on traditional patterns and my scraps.  The books are more for inspiration.
Except recently, when I was inspired to make quilt tops from two terrific books.

This quilt is called "Joy in the Morning", and the pattern is from S is for Scraps:  18 Great Quilts by Gayle Bong.  It's the first quilt in the book.  I passed it over at first, and bought the book for a different quilt pattern, but when I saw how easy this one was, I had to make it.
I bought the book at Half Price Books--a lucky find!

The original quilt was set with a screamingly bright yellow, which I replaced with a turquoise blue.  I knew I would have lots of yellow scraps in my quilt, and not a lot of turquoise.  The original was also much smaller.  I made 56 blocks (7 x 8) instead of 30.  I added a border of squares to the outside of the quilt after the solid border.
My first thought was to use up the 3.5 in. squares I had left from other kid quilt projects, but of course I had to cut even more (this always seems to happen).  Now that it's done, I think I have just as many squares as when I started!  I only used what I had on hand, however, for the whole quilt top. 

I needed to make it at least a twin size, because this quilt is for our charity work at Ties That Bind Quilt Group.  We're making quilts for people who have been homeless, who are now being helped into housing.   They will get to keep the quilts no matter what happens.  I hope this one goes to a child who will love and use it.

 Do you ever check out a book from the library, and then not want to take it back?  That's the problem I'm having with this book:  Dessert Roll Quilts:  12 Simple Dessert Roll Quilt Patterns by Pam and Nicky Lintott.
You probably already know dessert rolls are sets of 5 in. wide strips sold in coordinating patterns and colors in quilt shops.  Once again, I had my mind on a different quilt, when I noticed how easy this one was:
It's called Highland Fling, and all of the pieces for each block are cut from 5 in. strips.  (Seriously.  The triangles too.)  Some patterns with tilting squares are very wasteful, having you make the block on the square and then cut it "crooked".  This one doesn't waste a thing, so of course fabric hoarders like me can love it.

The fabrics were picked out by our wonderful charity quilt chairs, Colleen and Joan L., and put in a shoebox for someone to take home.  I've been trying to figure out what to do with them for months.  I wanted something that would show off their pretty prints.  Great job on the colors, ladies!
All these cherries reminded me of Door County, and that reminded me of dairies, so I added the cow fabric.  It's a cute print by Luella Doss that I've been cherishing for years.  Luella has been involved with the Quilt Museum since the beginning as one of the founding mothers.  It's because of her that I first became a volunteer.
This quilt is also for our charity project.  I'm thinking about making another one in different colors, for me.

Because these are copyrighted designs, I can't pass along the patterns (sorry).   But if you see these books somewhere, like the library or the bookstore, they are definitely worth having/borrowing.  And don't worry, Germantown quilters, I WILL return the book to the library.  Really.  There are a couple more patterns I want to try out first, though.  And did I mention there are recipes?

May all your days be pieceful.

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