Sylvia is Finished

My friend Ms. M got me hooked on quilting about three and a half years ago. She lured me in by forcing me to buy fabrics in my favorite color (purple) and then she dropped a Turning Twenty pattern on me. She walked me through each step and I quickly progressed from that gateway experience to more hard-core (if imperfectly executed) techniques.

While Ms M was bringing me over to the dark side, I knew that Cindy was also a fabric user, as is Ms. M’s sister. The two other sisters suggested that we make mini quilts from blocks that we could make and swap with one another. They had the perfect book: Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler from Elm Creek Quilts. I was enthralled with this book! It had so many interesting traditional blocks and easy to follow directions. The four of us each selected four blocks to make and then we went fabric shopping. It was fun but stressful as we each tried to find fabrics that appealed to us, but that also worked with the color palettes of the other three.


This book was well loved. The sticky notes helped us keep track of who was making which blocks.

Did I mention that all of this occurred about 3 years ago? Well, last night I finally finished the binding for my Sylvia mini quilt. Cindy had to step in and take over the addition of  the mitered borders — thanks Cindy. But this project helped me master paper piecing. It also got me out of my color comfort zone. I like how brave I was to add some variety and color to my background fabrics.

Today I finally hung Sylvia in my office at work. I know our younger sister in Florida really wants this quilt for her living room, but I think I need to enjoy it for a few weeks before I send it south.


Mini quilt block swap for Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler


Here is Cindy’s version of the Sylvia’s Bridal Sampler — she really got her purple on!

Jelly Roll Quilt

At one of my quilt guild retreat weekends, we all brought  our favorite jelly roll to make a quilt using the 1600 technique.  Below is a photo of my result.DSCN2504I chose a jelly roll with Moda Fabric’s “Table for Two” line by Sandy Gervais.  The colors are bright and cheery with hearts, flowers and other complimenting prints.


Our jelly roll quilting retreat was fun because everyone brought their own favorite jelly roll.  There were lots of different colors, textures and fabrics — a quilter’s dream!  Sewing with jelly roll strips was a new concept for me.  I had to throw conventional techniques out the window and trust that all these strips would really turn into something beautiful.



A jelly roll 1600 quilt is a nice project for beginning quilters.  It’s a good lesson for sewing straight seams (there are lots and lots of them!) and it helps you learn to sew without pinning your seams together.  Here is a link to a good tutorial:  Jelly Roll Quilt 1600 Technique

Once I finished sewing all my strips together, I added a 1 1/2 inch inner border in a solid black fabric.  Then I added a 3 1/2 inch outer border in a large, bold print from the “Table for Two” fabric line.  Ms. JM, my quilter, added lots of curves and swirls to make this quilt even more special.  I gave this quilt to a new bride–I just couldn’t resist passing on the love from these hearts and flowers.

If you’ve never made a Jelly Roll 1600, give it a try!  It’s fast and fun.