HOME Quilt Block – a paper pieced pattern

I watched a lot of quilters make house-themed quilts in 2020.  It made sense!  Most of us now spend far more time at home than we once did.  I wanted to make one but didn’t see a pattern I was drawn to.  Then, in October, I suddenly remembered the quilt block I’d drawn up with my sister a couple of years ago, and it was exactly what I wanted.  Meet our HOME quilt block, available now in my Etsy shop

This foundation paper pieced pattern comes in three sizes:  4″, 6″, and 10″ (finished).  It’s a house, made log cabin style – which I LOVE, because log cabin blocks are like comfort food, but sewing.  And we need all the comfort we can get right now, it seems! 

The roof of the house makes the top corners reminiscent of pineapple blocks, as well. I guess you can say that the HOME quilt block combines three different blocks into one:  house, log cabin, and pineapple.  It’s a lot of fun.  Especially that tiny 4 inch one.

I imagine countless ways to sew these blocks, including making different sized houses, depending on where you choose to switch to background fabrics as you sew.  The first project I made was this mini quilt, made with nine of the 6″ blocks.

These blocks make a striking stand-alone project. They would also be fun in a row quilt, or a medallion quilt, or even dropped into a patchwork quilt.  I think the 4 inch blocks would make a fun set of coasters as a gift.

A quick note about my HOME quilt block:  this is a paper piecing pattern that assumes basic knowledge of foundation paper piecing, and also does not include instructions for a complete quilt.  It’s just a block, in three different sizes, ready for you to use in whatever way you’d like.  You need a printer to make the block.  If you don’t have one you can email the file to a local printer for them to print for you.   

And can I make a plug here for two amazing products I wouldn’t paper piece without?  First up, the fabulous Add-A-Quarter rulers, which come in two sizes.  I have both and use them all the time.  They have a nifty 1/4″ lip that sits right over the seam and folded paper for a perfect 1/4″ trim every time!  I highly recommend them. 

Secondly, I discovered the Clover Finger Presser after I made most of my blocks, and I’ll never paper piece without it again.  I was using a seam roller, which never left the fabric flat.  Mine also started leaking oil on my fabrics.  How does that happen?  No idea, but it did.  The finger presser leaves my fabric flat with less effort, which also leads to better accuracy!  It’s small, inexpensive, and my new favorite tool.  I will add, it seems to be made for a right handed person, but I’m a lefty and it is working great for me!

The HOME quilt block is for sale now in my Etsy shop, and I can’t wait to see what you make with it!  I’ll be back tomorrow, because I have a quilt top of homes to share.

 

My Grateful Melody Quilt Top

A few stitches here, and a block or two there…and 43 blocks have become 120.  My Grateful Melody quilt top is complete!  This project was wonderful:  a design and skill challenge, combined with personal memories in a quilt.

The Naive Melody sew along, hosted by Lucy Engels, is complete.  I’m happy to have finished my quilt top on schedule – something I often struggle to do.  

This project evolved as the weeks passed.  I started with a limited color palette, but added more as the mood struck and I used what I’d already cut.  Eventually I found myself with more than 15 fabrics as background, and even more variety in applique pieces.  Such fun!  

I added two shapes of my own to these blocks:  a tear drop, and a house.  I needed them there, for many reasons.  The obvious reasons are common to most of us over the past 11 months, but there were also deeply personal reasons for me and my family.  Isn’t it interesting how closely gratitude often sits to sadness and loss, and how tears often mingle with joy?  

My grateful melody quilt top tells the story of some treasured blessings.  It also holds some sadness I struggle to explain.  How grateful I am to have felt these feelings – to be alive and feeling enough to care so deeply!  In all, it’s a happy quilt.  Happy in color, in design and in making.  I cannot imagine ever being done exploring these possibilities!

This project tempts me to choose and begin my own 100 day project and see where it leads.  That is one creative challenge I’ve never done.  

For now, I’ve got commitments and unfinished projects enough to keep me busy for months!  Additionally, since this is my second quilt top finished in 2021, I’d better get quilting!

My 20 in 20 Finished Quilt Top

Well, here we are in 2021, with January mostly gone!  I have used the last couple of months to stay fully focused on life at home, and for quiet introspection and goal setting in this new year.  There is so much to come, but first:  my 20 in 20 finished quilt top!  

You may recall my sewing goal for 2020 was to spend at least 20 minutes sewing, every day.  Little did I know that a pandemic would send most of us home to do lots of sewing, or that all the changes would have my creativity coming and going at random intervals.  I could never have predicted such random schedules (or lack of them), or so little personal time.  Still, I kept sewing.

Gratefully I included hand sewing in my original plan.  There were MANY days that it was the only kind of sewing I could fit in, or the only kind that sounded nice. 

I made a half rectangle triangle block for every day of the year, with a neutral solid on days I didn’t manage to sew at all, and a yellow on Sundays.  Aqua meant more than 20 minutes; blue was 20 minutes of sewing, and green was less than 20 minutes.  Red was for when I was following a pattern, pink for working on my own designs, purple for old WIPs, orange for hand sewing.

I planned my 20 in 20 quilt to be a celebration of color.  It became something of a journal as well.  After a week or so of watching everything shut down, I decided to record things.  I started adding a few words for events that felt significant.  Weeks turned into months, and I continued adding highs and lows through the rest of the year.

I stitched with two strands of DMC black embroidery floss. It’s done VERY simply (and sometimes sloppily, in a hurry) over my penciled words.   Sewing the blocks was easy, and completed on New Year’s Eve.  The stitching took a few extra weeks.

When I look at my 20 in 20 finished quilt top, I see the celebration of color I planned.  I see the way quilting blesses my life.  In addition, I see the struggle of 2020, the things I wept and prayed over, as well as those I celebrated.  What a year!  I’m excited to quilt this one, and I hope it will become a treasure to my family.

 

 

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