I used this quilt in the class (which has been glimpsed here before when it was unquilted)...
It's a lap size quilt (64" square) made mostly from Anna Maria Horner's latest line: Hand Drawn Garden. I don't usually play all with one fabric line, but I issued a challenge to myself to see if I could make two quilts from a fat-eight pack + background solid. This is Quilt #1. Quilt #2 is in progress!
I quilted it using a slight variation on the square spiral pattern from Leah Day (links to free tutorial). It's on point to echo the upward direction of the "birds" in the quilt.
I used Aurifil Thread (50 weight) in off-white for the quilting. (I use either Aurifil 50 weight or Sulky 30 weight for almost everything.) In this case, I knew the pattern of quilting would be rather dense, so I wanted to lighten the look by using the thinner thread.
My students aren't going to be using this quilting pattern (we'll do something simple with a walking foot), but their quilt tops are the same blocks/layout.
A little about this quilt pattern and why I used it in a beginners quilt class...
- This pattern produces a good-looking quilt and can be used with a wide variety of fabrics.
- This pattern covers all the basics of quilt construction without getting too complicated.
- This pattern contains points (a tiny bit of complication), which will give you feedback on how you are doing with your cutting and sewing (you’ll either get points in your patchwork or you won’t!)
- This pattern contains half-square triangles, which combined with squares, are the components of a lot of quilt patterns!
The basic block here is actually a sub-block in over 100 traditional block patterns!
When I decided to use this block for my quilt, I looked near and far for it's name. I looked at the quilts made by a couple of modern quilt designers and bloggers who have used theis block--John Q. Adams of Quilt Dad and Megan Bohrof Canoe Ridge Creations--and they didn’t name the block.
I consulted with my friend Ginia, who is a quilt appraiser, and she consulted her awesome library of quilt books and couldn't find a name for this block either (though she did add substantially to my list of traditional blocks that contain this element!) (That's also her awesome Quilt Stand that I'm borrowing in the picture up top.) (I love knowing rad quilters!)
Ginia told me that because she'd looked in the books that are considered the "go to sources" and it wasn't named, I should name the block. This seems like an act of hubris, naming something that has been around forever, yes? But, people name the stars, don't they? So maybe it's okay. And anyway, I do have a name for it. I call it a "flyer." Why? The block reminds me of a bird in flight. In addition, my cousin Ian spent years playing in a pee wee hockey league called “The Flyers” so it makes sense to me to call a block that I'm using in a beginners quilt class by that name.
Update: Blog reader Pip commented below to let us all know that there IS a name for this block, "Homeward Bound." The block is named in Barbara Brackman's BlockBase software.
Look at my students' lovely Flyer Quilts!
I'm so excited by how great these look! And how different they are from each other and the original.
I'm toying with the idea of of writing up my lesson plans (all the basics of making your first quilt like why to starch and how) as a "your first quilt" pattern to sell on etsy and craftsy. And maybe a "lighter" version for a buck or two that just has the yardages, layout, and tips for efficient construction.
And of course, this being a traditional design, anyone who can tell how to make this just by looking at it can copy it for nothing! But if they use a layout like mine they should credit my design.
My original has been done for a few weeks (I just couldn't get a decent picture because it was on display at Pink Castle Fabrics to promote the class).
I've been making another Flyers quilt as I've been teaching. It's out of Carolyn Friedlander's new line Botanics (available in late November, though you can pre-order it now). Brenda (owner of Pink Castle Fabrics) had a bundle in advance so that she could make a shop sample, and being totally awesome, she shared it with me. It's so pretty...
*While I am affiliated with Aurifil, Sulky, and Amazon; endorsement of their products is genuine and voluntary.