Pieced

Mom's Flannel Quilt

I’ve made it a goal to document my earliest quilts, and the quilt I made for my mom was definitely one of those!

My very first quilt was made for my daughter. You can read more about that quilt here.

Katie’s quilt took several years to make because I learned fairly quickly that the pattern I’d chosen for her quilt was simply not beginner friendly. When I finally decided to put her quilt aside to learn the basics of quilting so I could finish it with confidence, I turned my attention to simpler quilts. One of those was the classic flannel rag quilt.

I talk about the process of making a flannel quilt here. Believe me, it’s super easy and very, very doable for an absolute beginning quilter.

After I put Kate’s quilt aside, I looked for advice on how to proceed and that’s when the idea of making a flannel rag quilt came up. The deal was sealed when I fell in love with a beautiful flannel fat quarter packet.

I love the soft yellows, greyed blues, and yellow-browns in this collection. I think it looks beautiful, even though it’s a simple quilt. I also love the mix of plaids and prints in the collection. Even though they look like homespuns, they are printed flannels although you could use homespuns in a rag quilt if you like.

After the quilt was finished, I gave it to my mother for Christmas. She didn’t use it much at first, but after she discovered how warm it was, it quickly became her favorite.

As she got older, the heaviness of the quilt (I’d used flannel on both sides and batting in-between) seemed to help her to sleep. She used it every day towards the end, so it not only got a lot of use but also a lot of washings.

I got the quilt back after she passed. It certainly was loved a lot. As I look at it now, I notice skipped stitches that I need to restitch to restore the quilt and protect it from deteriorating. I love how much she loved this quilt and I want to keep it in the family forever so making repairs to it is high on my to-do list.

I made a photo label for the back of the quilt. It’s one of my favorite photos of my mother and me as a baby.

Here are the quilt details:

"A Mother’s Ragtime Melody"
48" x 62"
Pattern: Flannel rag quilt, my pattern
Fabric: Flannel fat quarter pack, purchased at Quiltmakers, Indianapolis
Batting: Quilters Dream Select
Piecing Thread: Aurifil 50 wt 2314 Beige
Quilting Thread: Aurifil 50 wt 2314 Beige
Pieced and quilted by: Jennifer Fulton
Christmas, 2003

The best thing about quilts is that they continue to provide comfort, no matter how much wear they get. As I took a break from taking photos of the quilt to write this post, I turned to find Zora fast asleep on mom’s quilt. Couldn’t resist taking a photo.

tell me…have you ever made a rag quilt?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

My Very First Quilt

I realized the other day that I have never blogged about my earliest quilts—the quilts I made before I started a blog. So I thought that from time to time, I’d share them with you.

My very first quilt was made for my daughter. I started it while pregnant with her and finished it years later after I’d made other quilts and finally learned the basics of quilting (including piecing, quilting, and binding).

The story of how that first quilt came to be was the subject of my first blog post back on May 2nd, 2014.

I started the quilt when I was pregnant with my daughter, back in 1996. I finished it in October, 2001 when she was four. In between, I learned how to be a mommy and how to be a quilter.

The class I took on how to make the quilt was taught by a hand piecer, so we learned how to make a template and to use it to trace triangles. I doubt that any of those triangles were perfect but I managed to sew a recognizable square in square, and surround it with triangles to create each block.

None of the points match, but my friend Rhonda who was an experienced quilter showed me how to sew it together so it would lay flat. We discussed border options and came up with a doable plan to add a skinny muslin border followed by a scrappy squares border and a wider print border.

After I finally got the quilt top together (I even took the quilt apart at one point and redid some of the blocks) Rhonda helped me come up with a quilting plan for the center of the quilt—straight lines quilted with my walking foot running from corner to corner in each block. For the skinny inner border, I quilted a straight line down the middle. For the middle border, I stitched in the ditch along each side and for the outer border, I stitched two parallel lines down the middle.

I used a flowery vintage looking flannel for the backing and made a scrappy binding to finish the quilt. Rhonda embroidered a quilt label for me on her embroidery machine.

As I said, I finished the quilt in 2001. It was 1999 when we came up with the plan on how to square the quilt top and add borders. I took the two years in-between to hone my skills as a quilter by making simpler quilts and to hone my skills as a mother to my beautiful little girl.

Here are the quilt details:

"Baby Ocean Waves"
47" x 54"
Pattern: Baby Ocean Waves by Connie Lancaster
Fabric: Baby-themed scraps collected from the scrap barrel at Quilts Plus, Indianapolis
Batting: Quilters Dream Request
Piecing Thread: 50 wt Beige
Quilting Thread: 50 wt White
Pieced and quilted by: Jennifer Fulton
October, 2001

I finished the quilt one weekend while visiting Rhonda. While I did the quilting, Rhonda took my leftover scraps and made a matching doll quilt. (28” x 32”). Both quilts are treasured by my daughter, who graduated from college last year. Maybe one day she’ll have a little boy or girl, and pass the quilts onto them.

tell me…what was your first quilt?

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

April Island Batik Challenge

As you probably know, I'm an Island Batik Ambassador. Each month the Ambassadors are presented with a new challenge, and this month the challenge was to be inspired by quilt history to create something new.

Looking Back Vintage Quilt.jpg

Quilt history is a large topic, so at first I was a bit overwhelmed by the challenge. I decided to use the vintage quilts handed down through my husband's family as my inspiration. The collection is dear to me and it contains a lot of examples of classic quilt blocks.

For example, the Grandmother's Flower Garden is a classic setting for hexagon quilts (also known as Honeycomb quilts). In a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt, a hexagon flower center is surrounded by two rows of coordinating "petals." Hexagon quilts are believed to be one of the oldest pieced quilt patterns, although it is thought that the Grandmother's Flower Garden setting did not became popular until the mid-1920s. It's one of my favorite ways to set a hexagon quilt and I know I want to make one some day.

Another classic quilt block is the Churn Dash block (also known as Hole in the Barn Door, Monkey Wrench, Fisherman's Reel, and Sherman's March to name a few). The Churn Dash is often one of the first blocks a quilter learns to make because it contains two classic block units: HSTs and Two-Bar. By changing the fabric placement within the block, you can really change it's look.

Another classic quilt block is the Drunkard's Path (also known as Solomon's Puzzle.) The Drunkard's Path block gets it's name from the wonky curved path the blocks create when set together. I'm lucky to own this version, which is hand-pieced and hand-quilted.

The Drunkard's Path block was used by women to raise Temperance awareness and may have also been used to help slaves find the Underground Railroad.  

I made a Drunkard's path quilt last year, as part of an Island Batik Ambassador challenge involving curved piecing. You can read more about my Sunrise Template quilt by clicking here.

Another vintage quilt in my collection is the Grandmother's Fan. The fan is a great way to use up scraps and can be made with scalloped, pointed, or smooth-edged fans. Fan blocks also show up in crazy quilts and may have been inspired by Asian art.

A classic quilt I've wanted to make for a while now is the Double Wedding Ring (variations of this block are known as Pickle Dish, Friendship Knot, and Endless Chain). The Double Wedding Ring quilt shown here was the first quilt I ever bought. It was made by Amish ladies -- hand-pieced and hand-quilted. I bought it years before I ever decided to learn to quilt. Quite obviously inspired by wedding bands linked together, the Double Wedding Ring is a popular quilt to make for a new bride.

Even with all this vintage inspiration, I still wasn't sure what kind of quilt I wanted to make until one day while driving home I heard the song, "Bless the Broken Road"  by Rascal Flatts. You see, this year is my 25th wedding anniversary and so I've been thinking about how Scott and I met oh so long ago. Suffice it to say that we met and married late in life, and that the road that led us to each other was both broken and winding.

With the words of the song playing in my head, I decided to design a quilt using the classic block Road to Oklahoma and to modify it somehow to reflect a broken road. You see, my darling Scott is from Oklahoma so using the Road to Oklahoma block as my inspiration seemed like it was all meant to be. Here's what a Road to Oklahoma block and quilt would look like in Island Batiks.

Although a Road to Oklahoma quilt would have been fun, I wanted to create a new block.

To create my Broken Road block, I decided to break up the road (the chain of squares that runs diagonally across the block). Here's what my Broken Road block looks like using the Island Batik collection, City Culture.

And here's my Broken Road quilt. I love how the broken road frames the stars formed by the corners of the block.

I'm often challenged to create a design that works with the fabric I was sent for a collection. In the case of City Culture, I was sent a pack of 2-1/2" strips. So first, I had to design the block to work with 2-1/2 squares. That part wasn't hard at all. Next though, I had to find a background that would work in the block.

Luckily, we were each send a set of Basics and Blenders that coordinated with a majority of the fabric collections in our box of batiks. I found two Basics that I thought might work as the background for my block. Trouble is, I didn't have enough of either to make even the smallest quilt so I had to make the background scrappy as well. Hmmmm. I think it works!

Truth be told, this quilt had a broken road of it's own. I originally laid out the blocks so they'd be very scrappy, and the result looked like this.

I liked it and didn't like it at the same time. I also wasn't sure I liked the color of the background and it's scrappiness but there wasn't anything I could do about that. My husband heard me fretting over the quilt and asked if he could help. Since the quilt was meant for him, I decided to let him rearrange the colors as he saw fit since I had to work that day at the quilt store and couldn't work any more on the quilt. I told Scott to take photos so I could show him working on his quilt. Here he is having fun.

I should probably mention here that Scott's Mom was a professional artist and teacher, so he feels right at home in a studio. He was having so much fun recoloring the quilt and recording his progress, that he even stopped to take a selfie!

Needless to say, when I returned from work and saw what he'd done I loved it. I was so happy with his arrangement that I sewed it up that night. The next day I layered and quilted it. For the quilting, I choose to highlight the points of each star and the points of the "broken road". The background was quilted using a simple meander.

The quilt turned out so nice, I may hire Scott as my permanent quilt assistant! <grin>

Here are the quilt details:

"Bless My Broken Road"
24" x 24"
Fabrics: Island Batik City Culture collection and basics Stonehenge and Camel for the background and binding).
Pattern: Broken Road, by Jennifer Fulton
Batting: Warm and Natural
Piecing Thread: Aurifil 50 wt. #2610 Light Blue Grey
Quilting Thread:  Aurifil 50 wt. #2735 (Medium Blue) and #2850 (Juniper), Wonderfil 40 wt #1158 (Dark Plum), and Cotton + Steel for Sulky 50 wt. #753-1020 (Dark Peach)
Pieced and quilted by Jennifer Fulton

What a journey this broken road was! I really enjoyed this challenge and will probably revisit it again soon to create new modern patterns from vintage quilts and quilt blocks.

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Disclosure: The products featured here were provided to me free of charge by Island Batik.

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tell me..does your husband ever help with your quilts?

&nbsp;I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

 I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

My Wicked Envy Quilt

Last October, I created a cute Halloween wall hanging as part of that month's Island Batik Ambassador challenge. I should say, I created the top, but didn't quite get the project quilted before the month ended.

As I made progress with the quilt, I updated you on my blog. After I finished quilting and binding Wicked Envy, the weather started playing tricks with me so I couldn't get good photos of it to share with you. Well, the weather finally turned and I got my shots!

So without further ado, here is Wicked Envy.

Wicked Envy quilted 13.jpg

The Island Batik challenge that month was borders. So as you can see, I really took that challenge to heart! I started with an applique block based on the play, Wicked. Then I added a crossed broom paper-pieced border. Next came a plain border, followed by a checked border on two sides and a paper-pieced witches hat border on the other. I finished it all off with a wide border and a cat applique.

I quilted the Wicked applique block rather simply, by following the applique, then quilting curls and swirls in the background. I also used my quilting to add details to her hat and cloak.

For the brooms, I quilted straw details and more swirls and curls.

I used curls in the checker border and in the wide outer border.

For the witches hats, I quilted diagonal lines.

I hope she was worth the wait!

Here are the details:

"Wicked Envy"
43" x 43"
Fabrics: Island Batik fabrics from various collections
Pattern: My design
Batting: Quilter's Dream Request
Piecing Thread: Aurifil 50 wt. #2610 Light Blue Grey
Quilting Thread:  Aurifil 50 wt #2150 (Pumpkin), Madeira Polyneon 40 wt #1950 (Green), Wonderfil Konfetti 50 wt KT605 (Purple), Wonderfil Invisafil #710 (Deepest Burgundy), Superior Thread Fantastico 40 wt #5041 (King's Crown), and Sulky 40 wt #1135 (Pastel Yellow)
Pieced and quilted by Jennifer Fulton

I love being ready for a holiday months before! <grin>

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Disclosure: The products featured here were provided to me free of charge by Island Batik.

you might also like

tell me..I'm ready for Halloween! How about you?

&nbsp;I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!

 I really appreciate your comments. Please leave an email address so I can thank you personally!