Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Thank You Quilt

An acquaintance and co-worker of Duane's has sons that are a bit older than our younger two. Every six months or so, a couple of bags of clothes they have outgrown come our way. These are not rag tag clothes either. They are always in great shape and sometimes there will be something new that was never worn. The sizes and timing have been perfect for us. She has provided more than half our boy's wardrobes. Duane said recently, "We should really do something to say thank you."

My reply was, "The best way I know to say thank you is with a quilt."

And that is how this project began. I asked if she had any favorite colors. The response: black and white. Any special color I should think about for an accent? Red. I struggled to come up with a design to use, until I saw a recent post on Frances Arnold's blog. Her design is exactly what I wanted to do.

I drew the block out on graph paper to figure out the measurements to use. Here's the basic block construction.

From the black&white, cut two 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" rectangles and two 1 1/2" x 3 1/2" rectangles. From the accent color, cut one 3 1/2" square.

Sew the smaller rectangles to either side of the accent square using a 1/4" seam. Press to the black&white.

Sew the larger rectangles to the top and bottom using a 1/4" seam. Press to the black&white. It's a very simple, yet striking block.

This quilt is made entirely from my stash. The most time consuming part was cutting the fabric. Duane and Erica helped match up each black and white print with just the right red print. I leaned toward true reds and red-pinks and stayed away from red-oranges for the accent fabric.

The assembly line sewing went quickly for the blocks.

There are black on black prints between each block vertically to break up the design. Those are cut at 3 1/2" x 5 1/2" each. Since my design wall is portable, once all the blocks were finished, I moved it right next to the sewing machine while assembling the top to help me keep everything in order.

I kept the quilting simple and quilted straight lines a 1/4" inside each of the accent squares. There are some really fun prints in this quilt. You can see the high heeled shoes and measuring tapes here. There are skulls, martini glasses, cats, and many flavors of dots and flowers.

The borders are each cut 2 1/2" wide. The first border is a red print and the second border is solid black. It is bound in the same black.

The back is a red print from my stash. You can tell by looking at the back that I "eyeballed" my quilting lines rather than marking them in any way. Not exactly straight, but I just say it adds a little whimsy to the project.

At the end of last year, I made a list of the new projects I wanted to complete this year. This "thank you" quilt was one of them. It feels good to check one off so early in the new year. The recipient has no idea that she is going to be thanked in any special way so I'm looking forward to hearing her response when Duane presents her with this quilt in a couple of weeks.


  1. Debora, the quilt is just beautiful! You have a great eye for color and a wonderful quilter!

  2. Looks great Debora. I really like it with the color scheme rather than random scraps like I did.

  3. Beautiful! Seeing this inspired me to finish a quilt I promised to one of Rob's former students. I have been procrastinating the actual quilting part of the job for many, many months. I found myself reflecting on the former student and fond memories of our time in South Georgia while quilting. Making a quilt for a specific person always seems to be rewarding. Now.....the binding....oh my!

    1. Looks like I was logged in on my school email when I posted. This is Carolyn Akridge. Have a great day!

    2. I knew it was you, Carolyn. So glad you were inspired to finish a project. Yes, I love thinking about all the people who put me in that moment, for that quilt, for that person. One of the many reasons I love quilting!


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