a tale of twin quilts.


Here’s another old one that I finally finished up! I’ve been trying my best to alternate new quilts with older quilts, and it’s been working well so far. After working on something new, I decided it was time for this one to see the light of day.


Maybe you remember this one? After my sister snagged this great vintage quilt at an estate sale (something I had the chance to buy first!), I decided I wanted to remake it so I’d have one too. I made mine out of Liberty of London prints – I scrounged my stash for blue prints and am happy that I was able to find enough to recreate this design.


I love the churn dash block, and think it’s particularly fun when put together without any sashing. I tried to keep my version as similar to the inspiration piece as possible, and I’m happy with the outcome. It’s not a vintage quilt, but it’ll have to do!


I splurged on a Liberty print for backing from Nido and got it basted. I knew I wanted to do a bit of handquilting, but since I don’t really trust my hand quilting skills, I also knew I’d want to add a bit of machine quilting as well. I decided on some diagonal straight lines, and then went ahead and tied the centers of the larger white squares and handquilted a square in the center of each of the churn dash blocks around the perimeter.


I talked my sister and her husband into yet another quilty photo shoot on the frozen lake. They weren’t thrilled with the icy winds and the fact that we were all without hats and mittens… and then Erich fell into a big hole.


I’m not sure they’ll be up for another photo shoot in the near future!


Liberty of London prints can be found here:

Jones & Vandermeer
Westwood Acres
Pink Castle Fabrics

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bespoke. – an itty bitty tutorial


I thought I’d provide you with a couple measurements in case you’re interested in making a quilt similar to my bespoke quilt. This one is nice and easy – it’s really just a few squares sewn together to create some triangles. I love how there’s no precise pattern – just a few measurements which will have you on your way to making these easy blocks – and I love how each quilt will look unique depending on your fabric placement within each block and the block layout.


The blocks in my quilt are 8″ (unfinished), but really they could be any size you desire! For the 8″ block size, you’ll use a mix of 8 1/2″, 8″, 4″, and 2″ squares.

As I mentioned, my quilt uses the prints and solids from the Cotton + Steel Bespoke line (along with a few additional double gauze solids). I separated the prints and colored solids from the background fabrics – for background I used a gray solid, white solid, and the white on white Bespoke print.


The majority of the blocks (2/3s) are large half square triangles. Cut 8 1/2″ squares of the printed and colored solids and a matching number of 8 1/2″ squares of the background fabrics. Mark a line through the diagonal of one printed square and pair with a background square. Sew, right sides together, on either side of the marked line. Cut along the diagonal, iron seams and trim to 8″ square. Repeat.


From here you can leave your block as is, or you might add an extra large or small triangle on either side of the hst. Take one of your 2″ or 4″ squares and mark the diagonal line with a washable marker. Place the square in one corner of your block (either on the background triangle or on the printed/colored triangle) and sew along the marked line.


Cut 1/4″ from your sewn line and flip the fabric outwards to complete the square.

Note: I saved the trimmings from those 4″ squares and sewed them together into smaller hsts which I used for the backing.

I kept some blocks as just the half square triangle, and added a mix of 2″ and/or 4″ squares to the remaining blocks.


For the remaining blocks (approximately 1/3), cut your background fabrics to 8″ square. Add 2 or 4″ squares to any/all of the corners and sew following the same method described above.


(this one already had a 2″ square sewn and flipped, and I decided to add another 2″ and 4″ square to 2 corners)


Lay out your blocks and adjust placement to your liking (or keep it totally random, as I did this time around) and sew together into a fun quilt top.

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Details about this particular quilt (just to give you an idea of fabric requirements):

26 – 8″ background squares
23 – 8 1/2″ background squares
(approximately 2 1/2 yards total of a mix of three background solids)

23 – 8 1/2″ printed/colored squares
50 – 4″ printed/colored squares
38 – 2″ printed/colored squares
(I used a 1/4 yard bundle of Bespoke fabrics plus 1/4 yard of 2 additional colored solids, with plenty left over)

8 block by 9 block layout for a large throw size of approximately 60″ x 68″.

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shimmering strings


This quilt was mostly finished the day I found out that Lake Champlain had completely frozen over, and I decided that mostly finished would have to be good enough.


If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I love it when the lake freezes over, despite that it means we’ve had a really cold winter. It froze last year, which was the first time in seven years, and I took this Lizzy House quilt out there for photos.


This year there was  less black ice and more snow, which isn’t quite as cool (my sister laughs and says that we could be in a snow covered field anywhere, but trust me, the lake is under there!). I know it’s not for everyone – Morgan won’t join me out there – but I think it’s pretty novel.


Anyway, the quilt! It’s made up of a great upcoming line from Windham Fabrics called Artisan Cotton. They’re cross weaves, which I always love. Half the colors are woven with two different colors to create the color you see and the other half are woven with the color and white to create a chambray look. I paired then with some fun Yuwa prints that have been in my stash to create a quilt along the lines of one I saw in Roderick Kiracofe’s book,  Unconventional & Unexpected.


I love the mix of solids and prints, and I especially love these little extras, like that light blue strip above. I often add something like that to my quilts on purpose because I love the look, though this time I really did cut incorrectly and had to add it to get the block up to size!


I made it a challenge to use up all the extra bits, so I saved all the trimmings from the blocks and put them together to create these extra little blocks for the backing. The solid is Robert Kaufman’s Essex yarn dyed in olive, which paired nicely with these solids.


I quilted it with straight lines – which proved to be a bit of a challenge. I did have to unpick several lines of quilting when I found that my pinning job wasn’t up to par. With all those seams, these blocks tend to be kind of stretchy, so I went back and used the spray adhesive and pins.


The thread is a variegated yellow/green and seemed a good match for all these colors. I finished it off with a binding in one of the blues, and you’ll have to trust me that it was a good choice!


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p.s. thanks for all the love on my bespoke quilt top! I love that it can look entirely different each time the blocks are put together, so I thought I’d provide a few measurements in case you wanted to give it a try! Look for that in the next day or two…

Previous post about this quilt can be found here.
Posted in Fabric, Finished Quilts, Posts about Quilts, Quilts, [search] String Quilts | Tagged , , , , , , , | 21 Comments