Round Robin

2020 Round Robin Quilt

Way back in 2020, I took part in a Round Robin project with a group of quilters I met at a quilt retreat. We each made a starter block for our own quilt and for 11 months mailed these blocks to each other, adding a block or border on to each one we received. In the end it produced a lap-sized quilt for each person.

The quilt I ended up with turned out amazing! (Read more details about it here: Round Robin #9 – Mine!) It was one of the first quilts I quilted on my longarm back in February 2021, but afterwards it sat folded up waiting for binding. I was stalled because I couldn’t make up my mind on whether or not to add a hanging sleeve, where I would hang it up, or to just use it as a lap quilt on my couch. It eventually got buried under other projects and was forgotten about. Here we are in January 2023 and I finally decided this deserves to be on my wall of my new sewing room! The colors are perfect and it’s such a joy to look at.

It all started from the Table Please – Winter Birds Table Topper!

I had so much fun quilting this. I made a swirly background to represent a windy, snowy day. I added wing details for the birds and flowers, lines on the fence, and some enhancements to the borders.

I’m so happy to finally be enjoying this piece!

Finished Size: 56" x 57.5"
Kim Diehl

Harvest Hill Quilt

You could say I’m a season behind… or I’m working way ahead! Here’s the latest quilt I finished: Harvest Hill by Kim Diehl. I started this one in September at a quilt retreat, finished putting it together during October and then had to wait some weeks before my longarm was re-assembled in my new sewing room before I could quilt it. Nevertheless, it’s going to be a cozy quilt for next Fall!

When I purchased this quilt kit, I was drawn to the pumpkins and the playful quilt blocks inside each one. So much so that I have plans to use some of the leftover fabric to make some coordinating pumpkin pillows for my couch! I’d say the most unique part of this quilt from any I’ve done before is the center. It’s not one piece of buffalo plaid fabric: I cut out all of those squares and pieced them together! It’s an interesting effect, but if I had it to do over I would have added some other blocks between the plaid. More pumpkins?

I was also challenged in how to quilt the middle! I decided I wanted to dress it up a bit and added some swirls and geometric shapes that mimicked the pumpkins. It definitely took a lot of time. The pumpkins, on the other hand, went by quick once I thought up the curved line idea. I love how it gives them dimension!

For the first time I used flannel for a quilt backing. I used Autumn Gatherings Flannel by Primitive Gatherings and I love it! I definitely will try it on another. There was no difference in how I had to quilt it and it will be even more soft and warm!

Finished Size: 64.5" x 64.5"
Pattern: Harvest Hill by Kim Diehl
Fabric: Harvest Hill by Kim Diehl for Henry Glass, Autumn Gatherings Flannel by Primitive Gatherings for Moda for the backing
Fat Quarter Shop, Shortcut Quilt

Layer Cake Spools Quilt

When Fat Quarter Shop invited me to sew along for their new Layer Cake Spools pattern, I jumped at the chance! I love anything sewing-themed and the unique design of these spools really caught my eye. This pattern is part of their Shortcut Quilts series which is designed to be beginner-friendly and fast by using precut fabric. The patterns provide multiple sizes and best yet, they are free!

The spools quilt uses two layer cakes (10″ squares): one for the main prints and one for background. I grabbed the Starlight Gatherings Layer Cake which is my current favorite new fabric line featuring a range of pretty blues with tiny diamonds, stars, and florals. I stepped out of the “white background” box by picking up some yardage of a coordinating light blue color Bella Solids Glacier for the background.

When I looked over the pattern, I was so impressed with the construction of the spools. The main and background fabric are pieced together in an ingenious way to produce the mirrored effect. The pattern recommended using an 8.5″ square ruler to trim the blocks down to size. Since I wanted to embrace the quick nature of this pattern, I bought the Quilter’s Select 8.5″ Square Ruler (my favorite ruler brand) and was so glad I did! Being able to lay the ruler down on the oversized blocks and simply trim around them made it so fast.

The pattern instructions are very easy to follow, but to make it even easier Fat Quarter Shop posted a great step-by-step video tutorial on their YouTube channel: Layer Cake Spools Tutorial. They are also offering a fabric kit if you’d like to make this in the fabrics they show in the pattern: Layer Cake Spools Quilt Kit. You can find more free Shortcut Quilt pdf patterns at Fat Quarter Shop Shortcut Quilts.

The majority of my layer cake was blue prints, but there were some white prints as well. I decided to separate the colors and make sets of blue spools and white ones. When it came to assembling the blocks into the quilt, I tried out many different layouts and in the end put the white blocks in the center. I like how the blue spools create a nice frame around them!

As I always try to do, I took the opportunity to play around with many quilting designs. I used a back-and-forth line to represent the thread, but chose a different design for the spool caps of each spool. I tried out different orientations of straight lines, spirals, waves, and loop-de-loops, make each spool unique! I thought something more was needed between the spools, so I added a flower design.

For the backing of the quilt I used Starlight Gatherings Navy Starlight and I bought Starlight Gatherings Cadet Diamond Dot for the binding. I love how the backing reminds me of star quilt blocks — perfect for the theme!

I really enjoyed making this Shortcut Quilt. It only took a day to piece and assemble!

Fat Quarter Shop featured my quilt and others on their blog! Check it out here:

Finished Size: 61.5" x 61.5"
Pattern: Layer Cake Spools by Fat Quarter Shop
Fabric: Starlight Gatherings Layer Cake by Primitive Gatherings for Moda and Bella Solids Glacier by Moda
Fat Quarter Shop, Sew Sampler Box

Feelin’ Pine Quilt

After working on a string of table runners, it feels good to complete a quilt! The Feelin’ Pine quilt pattern I used came from the November 2020 Sew Sampler Box from Fat Quarter Shop. Besides the pattern, the box included the fabric, which really gives a woodsy vibe if you ask me!

The original pattern was actually designed to be pine cones and stars, but I switched the pine cone layers up a bit, added a stump and they became trees!

Original pattern design

After I had assembled the quilt I decided it needed something more. I came up with the triangle border using scraps from all of the trees and stars. It really completes the quilt!

The cool icy blue fabric with dots that seem like snow creates a wintry woods scene to me. For the quilting design my first thought was to add a swirling wind throughout the sky. Once I started I was committed — even when I realized it was going to take a long time to quilt all of those swirls! I wanted to set the trees apart a bit so I gave them some layers of snow to stand on.

The backing fabric is green with dots similar to the blue fabric on the front. It coordinates well with the elegant striped binding. I can’t wait to pull this quilt out this winter to enjoy!

Finished Size: 59" x 67"
Pattern: Feelin' Pine Pattern exclusive to the Fat Quarter Shop Sew Sampler Box for November 2020
Fabric: Folktale by Lella Boutique for Moda
Fat Quarter Shop, Sew Sampler Box

Jolly Box 2020 – North Pole Quilt

This quilt was actually made by my 9-year-old daughter! Her first quilt! The pattern and fabric came from the Fat Quarter Shop Jolly Box 2020. When the box arrived, she was immediately excited about this fabric and since it looked like a good beginner quilt I told her she could do it!

We added an extra outside border to make it a bit bigger (closer to a lap quilt size for her) and backed it with super soft Fireside by Moda to make it cuddly. It was my first time using Fireside and I love it! I had no problems quilting it with the longarm. I’ve got another piece of Fireside waiting for the back of my cat quilt when I make it.

For the quilting, my daughter and I picked out a couple designs from Designs with Lines books (Border Lines and Basic 8) and used Pam Clarke’s stencils and chalk pounce powder to create a guide. I outlined the deer — well, half of it — and my daughter got on the longarm for the first time to finish it up. She did a great job and luckily has the attitude that “nothing is perfect, Mom!” so she just went for it and wasn’t afraid of mistakes.

She loves her new cute, cuddly couch quilt!

Finished Size: 37.5" x 46.5"
Pattern: North Pole Quilt Pattern exclusive to the Fat Quarter Shop Jolly Box 2020
Fabric: Deer Christmas by Urban Chiks, Fireside Pink by Moda

Atkinson Designs

Desert Stars Table Runner – Version 2

This is the second time I’ve made the Desert Stars Table Runner pattern from Atkinson Designs (first version found here). This time I needed to make a small winter wall hanging for my mom and thought this would be perfect. Because I was trying to make it to fit a particular area in her house, I shortened it by one star. I used blue batiks from my stash and a solid white. I quilted this on my home machine.

I love this pattern! It’s very beginner friendly with great step-by-step color illustrations. It even shows which way to press the seams on each step for best results. I love that it takes the guess work out of it!

Finished Size: 11.5" x 32"
Pattern: Desert Stars Table Runner by Atkinson Designs
Fabric: assorted batik scraps and solid white
Fat Quarter Shop

Charming Christmas Wall Hanging

I came across this wallhanging pattern on an episode of Fat Quarter Shop’s weekly livestream on YouTube. It’s perfectly my style and better yet, the pattern is FREE! I even loved the fabric they used in their example so much that I bought it and used it. It is actually offered as both a 26.5″ x 26.5″ mini quilt (the version I did) and a 59″ x 59″ throw sized quilt. The mini uses mini 2.5″ charm packs and the bigger version uses regular 5″ charm packs.

I quilted this on my longarm (the first non-test quilt sandwich!) and played around with rulers and free-hand.

Finished Size: 26.5" x 26.5"
Pattern: Mini Charming Christmas Quilt by Fat Quarter Shop
Fabric: Naughty or Nice by BasicGrey
Round Robin

Round Robin #9 – Mine!

Starting in January 2020 and ending in November 2020, I was a part of a “Round Robin” made up of 9 quilters formed from a quilt retreat I attended in November 2019. We each started by creating our own quilt block (minimum size of 12 inches) and mailed it to the next person in the chain. The next person would add on to the block in any way they wanted with their own fabric. When they were done they would mail it to the next person in the chain, and so on, until it finally reached the original person who would get to keep the quilt. So, we had 9 quilts rotating through our chain during the year and we would each add on to them at various stages.

See my previous Round Robin posts which show what I added to each one:

This is the finished quilt I received and I absolutely love it! See the original block I created here. It was the trees and applique birds in the middle. From there, someone added the yellow bird house, the next person added the scrappy nest in one of my trees, the next added the picket fence and cat, then came the blue flying geese blocks, then the orange bird house by another person, and each set of borders after that.

I’m so in awe with it! It is totally my style and colors. Everyone did a great job at staying with the theme and the little scene that resulted is amazing! In addition to birds, I love cats, so that was a great surprise! I don’t know any of the women personally, as we only met at the retreat one weekend and didn’t converse with each after that except to mail each other these quilt blocks.

Next up I will need to choose a backing fabric and get this on my longarm! I will have fun quilting this for sure!


Noah’s Ark Wall Hanging

I went to Joann Fabrics looking for the cheapest panels I could find to practice free-motion quilting with my new longarm. I picked up this Noah’s Ark panel because of all the opportunities to trace around the animals and add designs to the background elements. By the end of it, I had a great feel for the machine and it turned out pretty cute! My daughter claimed it, so it worked out well!

Finished Size: 34" x 41.5"
Fabric: Noah's Ark panel from Joann Fabrics