I recently spent some time looking at my old blog and walking down “memory lane” of quilts that I did years ago. I thought this quilt “First Grandbaby Quilt” would be a fun one to share. It was simple and made with a lot of love for a wonderful surprise.
Our first (and to date only) grandbaby was a wonderful surprise. Our daughter was and is a planner, and as far as we knew babies were not part of the her life’s plan.
So being a quilter, my mind went into “quilting mode” and what kind of quilt to make for the expected precious little person. The daughter refused to have a sex test done on the baby so any quilt would have to be for either gender.
After much sorting through the stash, I finally decided on cheerful and bright. Some bright scraps, some flower fabrics, some cat fabrics, and a newly purchased piece of Winnie the Pooh fabric for the border.
The grand-daughter arrived as scheduled in March 2015. She was (and is) a precious addition to our family. We are so glad to live only a short distance away which means we are able to babysit a few hours weekly. The years slip by so fast and she is now in kindergarten. She is beautiful just like her mom.
The First Grandbaby quilt is faded and well used, which is exactly what it should be.
Fall is my favorite season and the only one I really decorate for. I believe that is one reason I go to Maine every September – the colors are so brilliant – the blue sky, the leaves, the ocean water. I thought it would be fun to make a log cabin quilt in fall colors. Here is the start of my “Log Cabin in the Fall Woods” quilt.
I started to make a fall themed log cabin quilt from my fabric stash. The goal being to not buy any fabric to make this quilt top. It was not hard to find the right red, orange and purple scraps and cut them into the correct sizes and shapes:
4″ center squares (dark red)
2.5″ strips (purple and orange)
When constructing the blocks, I only did two rounds instead of my normal three. When sewing two of the sides of the block are in one color (orange) and the other two in another color (purple). There is a total of 36 blocks to make this square quilt, or six rows by six rows. I like keeping the math simple.
I cut many strips to start and ended up cutting more to complete the blocks. That really is fine, I am trying to use up scraps.
36 blocks done:
When the 36 blocks were complete, I set them together in what is called the Sunshine & Shadow setting or the Dark & Light setting. Whatever the name, it gave a different look to the purple and orange blocks. I only recently realized how many ways the log cabin blocks can be put together to make designs.
At this point, the top for “Log Cabin in the Fall Woods” is 68” square and needs a border or borders to complete. I lost interest and moved to another project. This project got hung on a hanger in the closet to be finished another time.
Adding the borders
I added more of the leftover strips to make the border to finish this quilt top. There are 5 borders to make the quilt the size I want.
Starting closest to the blocks, first border is 4″ in red print. The second border is leftover 2.5″ leftover purple strips. The third border is leftover 2.5″ orange strips. The fourth border is leftover 2.5″ purple strips. The final border is 4″ wide and a leaf print with metallic highlights.
A completed quilt
The quilt was machine quilted in a large stipple design. The machine quilting was completed in May 2020 by RLM.
Finished size is 88″ square.
The backing is a solid purple sheet.
I did not buy any fabric for the quilt top. It is made of scraps or from fabric pieces already in my stash. Goal reached !!
As a child I was fascinated by the beautiful illustrations and animal stories of Beatrix Potter. When I found this cute border fabric of her storybook characters, it just had to come home with me. This colorful fabric is in my stash whenever I needed it for a project. It would make a cute and cuddly baby quilt. When a family friend’s daughter was pregnant, I made this “Remembering Beatrix Potter Quilt” for the expected baby.
This was a fun quilt to make with the Beatrix Potter border print and strips of coordinating fabrics that I pulled from my stash to make a 45″ x 50″ quilt in 2009.
My notes don’t say what size the strips were, but I can say that I just played with various size strips of scrap fabric until I figured out the right size of borders and strips. All machine pieced.
Batting was polyester, and the back was a plain pink cotton.
Machine quilting is an all over loop pattern done by RLM.
Using strips to piece a quilt top is easy and makes for a great looking quilt. The strips can be cut to the width and length you need for a project. I love being able to adjust a quilt design for my own personal needs without redrawing patterns or doing very much math.
I am sharing this quilt because I thought the readers would enjoy this small quilt. It is another idea for a personal quilt for yourself or someone in your life. I love the ocean, and purchased this panel in Maine on one of my trips there. Eventually, it evolved into the Nautical Scene Wall Hanging. It is another fabric panel quilt.
The actual panel is larger than the part I used for this wall hanging. In the photo, the panel extends from the solid blue inside border (between bubbles and sea shells) to the center section.
I trimmed the panel up and added the blue bubble batik fabric as the outside border. It was cut 2.5″ wide.
I pieced the top while up in Maine and somewhere in my travels the top got dirty. I opted to wash it after completion so that there was no much unraveling and threads to deal with.
For quilting, I used my sewing machine. I outlined around the sailboat and the lighthouse on the panel. I did simple stitch-in-the-ditch around three of the borders.
The backing is a nautical toile. The binding is the same fabric and was cut 2.5″ and ironed in half. It is machine sewed to the front and hand finished on the back.
The hanging sleeve is also hand sewn to the back of the quilt. The finished size is 24″ x 25″.
The Nautical Scene wall hanging (a fabric panel quilt) is a gift to family friends who allowed me to stay at their home while dealing with mom’s final days and funeral. They are wonderful and I really appreciated all their help. This couple is very minimalist and a large quilt would not have worked. However, a small wall hanging in a nautical theme is perfect because they love the ocean too.
And so ends the story of the Nautical Scene Wall Hanging, a fabric panel quilt…
You can do this too
Making personal quilts for other people in our lives is fun and a great way to utilize the fabrics in our stash. Keeping the quilts simple can also make them fast and easy.
Here’s some other ideas for personal quilts using fabric panels:
Have you ever considered making a personalized quilt as a gift for a special person in your life? Below are two examples of lap quilts that are very personal to the quilt recipients. They were fun to make, and I kept them simple and easy.
A personalized Quilt As A Gift – Reversible Sunflower & Ocean lap quilt
My sister loves sunflowers and the ocean (actually any body of water). I wanted to make her a lap quilt for her birthday. Something she could take along on travels and snuggle in. I made her a reversible quilt that includes both her favorite things.
This is the sunflower side. It is five different sunflower fabrics. The medium green separates the sunflowers. The border is a black. I believe the sizes of the strips are six inches for the sunflower and three inches for the green.
For the water side, I started with a lighthouse panel. By adding 4 different fabrics that coordinated with it the theme continued. The fabric right next to the panel is actually two fabrics – the top part is clouds and lightening, with the bottom fabric being waves.
The outside black border is the same on both sides. It is also the binding.
Finished size is 62″ x 53″. Pieced during Dec. 2017.
Machine quilted by RLM in January 2018 in a stipple pattern.
A PERSONALIZED QUILT AS A GIFT – TEAL & YELLOW LAP QUILT
My niece asked for a quilt in teal and yellow for her birthday. I had plenty of scraps to make the blocks. Bought enough of the teal and yellow paisley fabric for the outside border, binding, and the back.
The blocks started out as 8″ squares sewn diagonally and cut apart, so there were two identical triangle blocks. Directions are in this post. Sewed those into rows, and added the border.
Remember that you can easily adjust a simple pattern like this for your own needs. The blocks can be smaller or larger. The border can easily be adjusted to complete the quilt in the size you want.
Machine pieced and machine quilted in Feb. 2018. The quilting pattern is an all over stipple.
Her mom says that she loves it, and that the quilt is on top of her bed over the other blankets. I am always glad to know that quilts I make are loved.
Have you ever been fascinated with a quilt kit? You loved the colors, concept, designer, whatever….. Got it home and said “well what was I thinking?” That is pretty much the story of this quilt – Purple Without Apology.
There is no hard and fast rule that a kit has to be used as is – if there is something about the kit that you want to change then do it. Your project should make you happy.
I don’t know when I purchased the actual quilt kit. Probably between 1998-2001. You know, it had the fabric, pattern, and probably some colored photos all together and looked really nice. I loved the idea of a purple and off white quilt.
I know that when I got ready to piece the quilt together in 2002, I felt that the purple fabrics just weren’t purple enough. So….I traded fabric from my stash (and probably purchased more purples too) so that the purples were, well purple enough.
Then I had to spread all the purple fabrics out again and make sure they really were purple enough for what I wanted. Another problem being that I would not be sewing it at home and didn’t want to pack all kinds of extra fabric “just in case”. Finally I had the purples that I wanted for this project.
I loved the light fabric selection and kept it the way it was. The red center fabric was also from the kit.
Putting it all together:
I did the cutting before heading up to Maine during May 2002. The blocks were pieced while spending quilting time with my great quilting buddy SB. Instead of the traditional log cabin setting, I opted for the streak of lightening (or Zig Zag) setting.
This book is my “go to” book for setting together log cabin blocks:
I did 3 narrow borders on this quilt. The inside and outside ones being a deep eggplant purple. The inside border is a hideous fruit print that both SB and I had purchased years before as a challenge to see what we could do with it. She had already used hers. However, mine was still in my sewing room washed but otherwise untouched – it was just too ugly. Anyway with all the purple fruits in it, it did work well as part of the border for this quilt.
I chopped the rest of the fruit fabric up and used in small portions in several scrap quilts. I still think it is one of the ugliest fabrics I have ever bought. But it worked well as part of the border. Now I think that it would have looked good as the center square too, but there is no going back at this point.
It was machine quilted by RLM in late May 2002 in an all over stipple design.
Finished size: 71″ x 90″.
I used to think that backings should be one fabric. One day I realized that was boring. It was also a waste of money when I had beautiful yardages of fabric that would make pretty backs. So the backing for this purple quilt is two different fabrics – one a deep purple with a gold design running through it. The other fabric is a yellow with large purple flowers.
I originally planned on giving the Purple Without Apology quilt to the daughter for Christmas, but made a different quilt and kept this one. It still looks good. In fact, the other day I was thinking about doing another purple quilt.
Kits are to make life easier since all the pieces and parts are in one place. Just remember that it is just fine to change the kit up. Make the quilt you want. The kit probably has a great idea, but be creative and have fun.
PLEASE NOTE: ALL PHOTOS AND WRITTEN CONTENT ARE THE PROPERTY OF INDIANAQUILTER40 UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
Lettuce Be Berry Christmas Quilt – it is not the average Christmas quilt. This top was sewn together in a day and a half while on my annual trip to Maine in Sept. 2014. It is named for the lettuce and berry fabrics in it. When I decided to make this quilt, I was looking for fabrics that read “red” or “green”, not the theme of the fabric.
The center blocks and inside border are a solid black with gold flecks – perfect for the beauty of Christmas.
I cut the fabric before the trip and took it along to be sewn together. The center squares are 4″ squares and the strips are 2.5″. I did two “logs” around each block. The inside border is 4″ wide and the outside border is 6″ wide. There are 36 blocks.
I got the entire top done in the day and a half except for sewing on the final border on two sides of the top. Here it is at Colonial Pemaquid in Maine:
I finished the top 100″ square in Oct. 2014 and it was machine quilted in Nov. by RLM. I finished the binding on Christmas Eve 2014.
Here is a photo of Lettuce Be Berry this year ready to be shown off for the Christmas season.
Christmas quilts are a wonderful addition to the season:
GRANDMA CAME FOR CHRISTMAS – The last time grandma and I went fabric shopping together, she told me that I didn’t have to buy scraps (I was buying 1/4 yd. pieces of Christmas fabric) because she had plenty and would be glad to share.
I pieced the center 16 Log Cabin blocks in 1988 while living in West Germany. The red center block is 2.5″ and the logs are 1.5″ in width when cut. I used green and red scraps with muslin. I put them away because I wasn’t sure what to actually make with them.
At some point, I added two borders around the center blocks, with the red border being 3″ cut and the cream muslin border being 4.5″ cut.
On one of my trips back home, Grandma and I went fabric shopping – many of those 1/4 yard pieces got put into the piano key border which is 10″ wide (cut). The final outside border was from Grandma’s fabric collection and is 6.5″ cut.
I would piece on it, then put it away for several years (1988 – 1997). Grandma never saw the completed top or quilt since she died in 1996. I hand quilted this in 1997. The binding is also hand finished.
Finished size is 80″ x 80″.
In 1998 this quilt got a blue ribbon at the county fair. Here are the comments from the judges:
Grandma was a huge part of my life growing up. She encouraged me to quilt and be anything I wanted. She insisted on good grades in school and finishing high school because she only was able to complete up through 10th grade. I miss her still. Her wisdom and compassion are something that are missing in our current world.
“Grandma Came for Christmas” is brought out every year at Christmas to be displayed, cuddled in, and talked about. It is a great way to remember a super important person in my life.
Quilters, your quilts can have a story or be in memory of some important person in your life. Quilts can have funny or sad stories. Don’t forget to pass the stories on with the quilts.