Hopeful Homemaker

nurturing hope in family life

Tone it Down Quilt Blocks



Like many others, I fell in love with Lissa Alexander’s Tone it Down quilt which was featured in the January/February issue of American Patchwork & Quilting.  I loved the instructions for strip piecing, but loved the scrappy low volume look more and wondered if I’d be up for so many hundreds of little pieces (approximately 2250!).  Early in the year I decided to make a test block, choosing navy blue and green as my two colors, and I loved it.  Still, it sat, in spite of the quilt along.


Last week I made a huge mess in my sewing room, pulling out most of my low volume prints and cutting into them until all the background pieces were cut.   I’ve made one block every day or two since, and with every block I make I like this quilt more.  It makes me happy to be using so many different fabrics that I love, and doing a bit of fussy cutting in a few spots has been a lot of fun.


The block above is the brightest so far, and I really love that little boy in the center, and also the pink typewriter.  I pieced it on my youngest son’s birthday, and it reminds me of his happy smile.


I’ve been starching all the pieces before I sew, which takes time, but I’ve been able to piece the blocks together without any pins.  While not perfect in every spot, I’m happy with the accuracy of my seams.


I love the way they look together, although there will be sashing and lots of little nine patches between them when the quilt top comes together.


After finishing a block I’ve been laying out the next one so it’s ready for me whenever I have a few minutes to sew.  So far I’ve been lucky and no little hands have scattered the pieces.  After the first four blocks I feel like I have a system for chain piecing and I’m getting faster.  What sounded overwhelming at first has become enjoyable in these bite sized pieces and I’m sure I’ll have all twenty blocks done soon.


Maybe it’s just because I haven’t had much time to sew this year, but the sight of my sewing space is really making me happy this week!  It feels so good to do even a little bit of sewing.


Linking to Freshly PiecedAlso, I almost forgot!  My sister is giving away a free Craftsy class over at Sisterview.  You should enter!

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  1. Wow and wow. These blocks are gorgeous.

  2. I love your scrappy quilt blocks! Such fun fabrics!!

  3. I’m still sort of a new quilter so I cannot imagine making a block like that! LOL! They are gorgeous and came together perfectly. I have 3 boys so the blue/green palate is a popular one over here :) Cindy

  4. Oh my! These are gorgeous! And I am so impressed you are taking the scrappy route! I can’t begin to imagine how you are chain piecing this but perhaps after a block or two of trying I could figure out a system! Wow…

  5. Love your blocks! The scrappiness is so worth the effort I think :)

  6. I think you’ve done a great job balancing the scrappy look, without having a blocks that look too busy. nice work! I love the b&w fabric with the little kids printed on it. do you know who designed it?

  7. Great blog. I am very glad to have found it. Keep up the great job.

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