Friday, December 2, 2011

Tumbling Blocks

Even though I grew up around quilts, I never seriously thought about making one until my sons began to complain that I never made them anything.  Everything I made was for my daughter.  At the time I was making smocked dresses, and it's not that easy to think of clothing items you can make for boys that they will actually wear.  So I told them that I would make each child a quilt, and that would be their big keepsake from me.

I had never pieced a quilt before, but I had read an article on hand-piecing by Jinny Beyer in Sew Beautiful Magazine.  So I got ahold of Jinny Beyer's book Quiltmaking by Hand and dived in.  Of course it took me a long time, but I'm happy with the result.

This is my first quilt, finished in 2008 and given to my eldest son.  The pattern is Tumbling Blocks, and it is entirely hand-pieced and hand-quilted. I used a wide variety of reds, blues and light blues.

I collected as many scraps in those colors as I could, trying to find things that weren't too feminine.  Here are a few closeups of some of the fabrics.
There are some florals, but you'll also find western themes, stars, toile, fish skeletons, fantasy, spiders, and other things.  When I was a child,  I loved to look at all the different little scraps in the quilt my sister and I shared, so while I want the quilt's overall effect to be cohesive, I also want the individual fabrics to be interesting.

I used gray quilting thread.  The blocks themselves I outline quilted.

The borders I quilted along the stripe lines.  Can you see the star quilted into each of the red corner blocks?

The batting is Hobbs 80/20.  It's still a little thin for my taste.  Because I'm making quilts for beds and not for wall hangings, I want something that feels a little more substantial.  I've had trouble finding batting that feels like my vintage quilts that are stuffed with carded cotton.

On the back I appliqued a heart (not shown) on which I embroidered the vitals:  who made it, who it was for, when and where.  A view of the back and the red binding:

Here's the quilt as it looks on the bed.  (Pardon the floor, this IS a teenage boys' room :)

One last look.  I'm finding it's super hard to photograph quilts, or really any kind of fabric.

(I'm linking up to Bonnie's First Quilts post at Quiltville's Quips and Snips.)


  1. Thanks for visiting me and for your comment.. I can't believe this is a "first" quilt! It is AMAZING. I love that it's scrappy, too. I love scrappy projects. Nice to *meet* you. I am now a follower of your blog. :o) Come back by and visit me anytime. :)

  2. What an awesome quilt for a 'FIRST QUILT"!!


  3. Your tumbling blocks quilt is gorgeous!! As are your crocheted pillowcases! You have some serious talent, Angela! I love how you put together colors and patterns in all your work. I agree with you about the beauty of the red roses on the yellow background. That is a color combination that you don't see often, but it is so pretty.


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