Thursday, May 4, 2017

Choose Happy

I'm taking today's title from words printed on fabric.  It's not even grammatically correct, as my English-major daughter would point out.  It should probably say, "Choose happiness", or Choose to be happy."  But the grammar doesn't really matter (don't tell my daughter I said that!).  It's the sentiment that counts.  I used the choose happy fabric as sashing in this quilt.
The pattern for the quilt came from this magazine, American Patchwork & Quilting, June 2017 issue.  I don't know if you've noticed, but they are including a quilt pattern specifically meant for charity/donation quilts in each issue so far this year. 
The column is called Sew Giving, and is hidden in the back of the magazine, after the stapled-in pattern sheets.  The pattern I used is called Positive Effect, and was designed by Amanda Niederhauser (
Here's the original quilt from the article. 
As soon as I saw this pattern, I decided I had to make it.  (Does this ever happen to you?)  No matter what else I had going on in the sewing room, this was gonna get pieced.

I liked this quilt because:
1.  I could use 5 in. squares, which I had been cutting from some of my scraps, and 3.5 in strips, which seem to be multiplying in their shoebox.
2.  The blocks were big (12 in. finished), so I wouldn't need very many to make a good sized quilt.
3.  It was easy as pie.  Or actually easier.

Some of my favorite blocks are:
Cats!!!  Cat is my baby grandson's favorite word.  He says it all day long.  ALL DAY LONG.
My grandmother used to recite a poem about a purple cow.  This reminds me of that poem, even though the background of the center square, and not the cow, is purple.
"I've never seen a purple cow,
I never hope to see one.
But this I can say anyhow,
I'd rather see than be one."
I looked it up (thank you, Wikipedia!).  The author was Gelett Burgess, and it was published in 1895.  I changed it slightly to the version my Gran taught us.
Here's a glimpse of two blocks.  The one in the foreground is so insane I had to lie down after making it.

I sewed these blocks up during my grandson's naptimes, and it didn't take long to get 20 of them. 

The directions were good, and I liked the pattern, but I always have to change at least a few things.
Here's what I changed:
1.  I used bright colored prints and novelty fabrics to make the blocks.
2.  The original used the sashing fabric in the center of each block.  I used the centers to add another print.
3.  I added cornerstones in the sashing to give the top a punch of color.  Doing so used up some 2.5 in. squares from my "collection".  (Don't worry, I have LOTS more.)
4.  I added a 4 in. finished border on the outside.
I took this photo while auditioning border fabrics.  This wild Southwest fabric won!
So here's the top, all done and ready to go to our volunteer long-arm quilters.  With the added border, it measures roughly 66 in. x 80 in., and fits nicely on a twin bed.

So thanks to APQ for including patterns for those of us who sew for donation.  As far as I can tell from a short search of their web site ( these patterns are only available in the physical magazine.  If I'm wrong about that, let me know.

This week, I'm going to do all my usual things, like laundry and grocery shopping and babysitting and cleaning, and, of course, quilting.  And I'm going to choose happy in all the things I do.
I'm doing this because attitude really is everything, and being open to happiness really does encourage joy.  And not just because some fabric told me to.
I hope you can choose happy this week too.


  1. Thanks for sharing I have oodles of novelty scraps and great to see another option to using them up for charity. I will start stalking the arrival of this magazine in Australia at the newsagent!

  2. I'm making something similar in animal prints...trying to use them up. I have to put it away after an hour or so or I get queasy. Too much pattern and busyness for me.
    We had a children's store near here called the purple cow. I assumed it came from the owners--now I know. Thanks for including the poem. I'd have had to look it up otherwise. :-)

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