Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Finishing touches

Hello, friends! Welcome back to my quilt odyssey. We've been chugging slowly north, moving away from the hurricane zone and toward pleasant summer weather. And I've been putting together quilts for Covered in Love, using donated orphan blocks and fabric.

Today I'm sharing five quilts that all came to me as large-ish groups of blocks, making for quick assembly and easy finishes. First up is this piece with a Christmas flair. The 25 blocks in the shape of gift boxes all have holiday themes like reindeer, wreaths and ornaments. They were donated by Christine. So cute! But not quite enough for an entire quilt. 

The colors are the standard red, green and gold, with quite a bit of black mixed in. I noticed the same colors in a bag of strip blocks donated by Priscilla. I think they make a vibrant border, and the black binding helped tie it all together.

On the back, I used a big chunk of this "cheater" fabric, printed to look like antique applique blocks. It even looks like the madder reds have "bled" a bit of dye, but nope. That's printed right on the fabric. The last of Priscilla's blocks stretched the backing just enough, and this quilt was in the bag. Or the box, since that's how I ship quilts to Kat.

The next quilt was even easier to put together, since there were plenty of blocks for the entire piece. I don't even think there was one left over! I'm not sure who made these fun 16 patches, but I love the mix of bright colors against black.

And such a great variety of fabrics, too! There must be over a dozen different black background designs. It inspired me to pull out similar pieces from my stash, and use them to create the backing and binding.

They look a bit of a jumble in this view, but in person it has a kind of I-spy feeling. I hope it starts some interesting conversations and offers snuggly comfort to a family.

And moving from black to brown, this quilt came to me as a small flimsy, not just individual blocks. All I had to do was add a few borders to bring it up to size. The darker brown inner border and binding are made from donated fabric. Kat receives not only orphan blocks, but yardage, precuts and premade binding, too.

I love the mix of fabrics in this! Very rich and interesting. It looks like it might be a disappearing nine patch pattern.

For the outer border, I used this caramel map fabric that's been marinating in my stash for a while. You can see the loopy quilting that I started with. I usually quilt the borders first and then work my way to the center. That's backwards from what is often recommended, but it works for me because it keeps the edges from flapping loose and getting caught under the needle. The loopy motif gave me fits on this, so I switched to a plain old stipple once I got out of the outer border. No one will ever notice!

For the back, I pieced together some fun horses in browns, browns, and more browns. This fabric was made into curtains, probably for a child's room, and I bought it on eBay. Yards and yards for just pennies. Score!

The fourth quilt is another one made from two different sets of blocks. The central section is 12 blocks that I think are called Crown of Thorns. Set together, they make some interesting secondary patterns. Do you see 12 blocks, or 6?

Here's the 13th block on the back to help you see the underlying design. Hard to see on the front, isn't it?

And here's a closeup of some of the fun fabrics Priscilla used to make these blocks. I chose a deep red for the border to help accentuate the red HSTs.

The back is a nice panel that features wildlife scenes and picks up that same deep red from the front. I think it adds a masculine touch to the whole piece.

And finally, here is a photo from Kat's blog of an all-cream quilt made by Meg and finished by me. I couldn't take even one decent picture myself, so pop over to this post on KatAndCat quilts for a better look. I added the outer border, thin gold flange and matching binding, plus some fancy-schmancy quilting. 

Which quilt do you like best? Is it the pattern or the colors that catch your eye? Let me know in the comments!


  1. As usual, your quilts inspire me. That first quilt of the presents - I have one all cut out to sew for myself this fall. But you adding the strip block border is genius! If I need to upsize mine, that’s exactly what I’m going to do (especially since I’ve made hundreds of string blocks in the last year!!). I also love the black and bright patchwork blocks. With the scraps I get from Quilts for Kids, there are usually only smallish amounts of the blacks; pairing them with the brights like that, one block at a time, will be perfect! I hope Sean is happily (?) working on the boat repairs/upgrades and that you are enjoying the spring to summer weather. xo

  2. You always go over the top when completing these tops for quilts. I would have never thought to put string blocks as a border. I have a stack of them and wanted to do something different. As always, you did an awesome job on these quilts. Thanks or all of the inspiration.

  3. Great job as usual Louise, love the creative borders and win with the horse fabric, wonderful gifts.

  4. Hi Louise! I kind of figured your machine was buzzing, and boy, you've finished some beauties! For me, it's a toss up between the 16-patch (love the colors) and the Crown of Thorns (love the block and the colors). Glad you are out of hurricane weather, and hope you have smooth going from here on out!

  5. I love the black idea and did not know those were black prints until I saw the closeup. What an attractive quilt that makes. Your quilting on the white quilt is stunning! I had no idea you could quilt like that. Do you have a longarm on your boat? Enjoy your summer locales!

  6. Well I am glad you are not just sitting around idle, as if that will ever happen;) You really do amaze me how you noodle these bits and pieces into wonderful quilts. It's between the 16 patch and the D9P quilt that are my fav.

  7. Good to hear that everything is clear sailing for you these days. All of these quilts are inspired solutions to too small quilts. Glad to know you haven't lost your touch.

  8. Outstanding quilting on the neutral quilt. You are really talented with bits and pieces.

  9. Fabulous work, Louise!! Thanks for updating on a what you've been up to recently. Safe travels, my friend!

  10. Its impossible to choose a favourite quilt!!! I love the way you put them together and do such interesting backings too.... they are all wonderful and will be much loved

  11. Those are all just great, Louise! You are the master of using up orphan blocks to make beautiful quilts!

  12. Those 16 patches are mine :-) I had planned to put them together but they sat around an aged for a year instead. I love all of your quilts and your box got here today!

  13. Louise, all your quilts are wonderful. You give me hope that I will be able to churn out quilts from my eclectic stash.
    Thanks for sharing!

  14. Wow, the backs are just as fun as the fronts, Louise!!!!

  15. Well, all of them, of course, but the Christmas one did catch my eye because I love the way you take different fabrics (the blocks, string blocks and the cheater in this case) and put them together as if it was all planned out ahead of time. I did go check out the other blog post for the last quilt, though, and wow! Your quilting is a lovely addition to the low volume blocks. I’d like to see that in person.

  16. Good to see you back to posting! And wow! Lots of eye candy at your place. You are really putting some lonely orphans to a great use.

  17. Louise, such a collection of quilts here! The quilt with Christmas flair really catches the eye, the border treatment really hold the wrapped boxes together beautifully. The 16 patch - what can I say, I love 16 patch blocks, they can be mixed and matched any way. Brown is not a colour I use very often in quilts but I like the mix of other fabrics in the next to last quilt. The fourth quilt I love! Once again your border treatment really lifts the blocks, beautiful!


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