Friday, February 23, 2018


Meet Heartland!  

Heartland is a 28" square wall quilt featuring easy log cabin blocks and simple wool appliqué.  You can find the pattern for this warm and scrappy project in the spring issue of Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine, currently available wherever quilting magazines are sold.  And if you like handwork, this is the issue for you!  There are more than a dozen beautiful projects featuring appliqué, wool appliqué and embroidery.

Here's the story behind Heartland...

I love log cabin blocks!  They're so much fun to make and so versatile!  Usually my favorite layout for log cabin blocks is the barn raising pattern, probably because it was the pattern that I used for my very first log cabin quilt.  Here's a pic:

Barn Raising - 48" x 48"

For Heartland, I wanted to try to use the strong diagonal lines of log cabin blocks to make a different secondary pattern, in this case a Sawtooth Star with a diamond center.  I used narrow logs — 1" wide unfinished — so that the "line" between the dark and light fabrics would seem smoother.  It meant cutting a lot of strips, but it also meant that I got to include a lot of different fabrics and I love the resulting sparkle.

The star layout that I chose also provided me the perfect opportunity to embellish some of the negative space with wool appliqué — another of my favorites!  I chose simple shapes and wools that echoed the color palette of the pieced blocks.

Once I'd finished the quilt top, I got a little hung up trying to figure out how to quilt Heartland.  It took me almost a year to hand quilt my first log cabin quilt and even though I love how it looks, I didn't want to take that on again.  My long arm quilter and I discussed machine quilting it, but realized that it might be difficult to see a quilted pattern on this particular quilt.  In the end, I machine quilted it myself on a regular sewing machine by stitching in the ditch between each block and along the diagonal lines between the dark and tan prints.  I also machine quilted along the outside edge of the wool appliqués.  Much easier than doing it by hand!

I love how Heartland turned out!  It's got a warm, vintage feel and the color palette of blue, green, red and plum is perfect for spring or summer.  But wouldn't it be great for fall with warm tones of red, rust, orange and brown?  Or for winter with blues ranging from gray blue to navy set against a backdrop of warm white prints?  So many possibilities!!

Happy Quilting!


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Home Tweet Home Take Two

I've had some questions about how to make a larger version of Home Tweet Home, my latest Moda Bake Shop tutorial, using charm squares (5") rather than mini charm squares (2½").  If you're interested, here's some rough math to help you out.

For a 30½" square quilt made with a charm pack:

Birdhouse block size:  4¾" x 4¾" finished
Sashing strips:  1" x 4¾" finished (cut 1½" x 5¼")
Cornerstones:  1" x 1" finished (cut 1½" x 1½")
Inner border:  1" wide finished (cut 2 - 1½" x 22½" and 2 - 1½" x 24½")
HST border:  3" x 3" HSTs finished (make in the same manner described in the tutorial using 4" squares to start - you'll have to trim the charm squares first)
Outer border corner squares:  3" x 3" finished (cut 3½" x 3½")

I plugged this larger design into EQ7 and it's looks like you'd need roughly a yard of background fabric and ½ yard of fabric for the birdhouse roofs.

Here's a link to a foundation pattern that I drafted for the 4¾" birdhouse block.  And here, again, is the link to the original tutorial — the cutting measurements are different for the larger quilt, but the construction is the same.

I'd love to see what a bigger version of this quilt looks like and I may even try one myself!  One reader suggested appliquéing a black circle to the larger birdhouses rather than using buttons — great idea Cheryl!  Don't forget to tag me @JenDalyQuilts if you share your quilts on Instagram or Facebook!

Happy Quilting!

— Jen

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Home Tweet Home

I know we still have two months of winter left, but somehow I can't help looking ahead to spring.  And in honor of the sweetest season, here's what I've been working on:

It's Home Tweet Home, my latest Moda Bake Shop tutorial.  This sweet quilt finishes at 15½" square.  You'll need a mini charm pack, a bit of yardage and 16 little buttons to make Home Tweet Home and you can find detailed instructions as well as plenty of how-to photos free at the Moda Bake Shop.

I made my little quilt with "Lilac Ridge" by Jan Patek Quilts.  Her shades of lavender, green, brown and cream are perfect for spring—soft, lovely and warm. 

But if you're wondering what Home Tweet Home would look like in a different color palette, here are a couple of ideas that I think are equally cute.  Each is inspired by a current or upcoming Moda fabric collection.

Mama's Cottage by April Rosenthal available now

Provencal by American Jane available in February

Whichever you choose, I hope you have fun making Home Tweet Home.  And if you share your little quilts on Instagram or Facebook, please tag me @JenDalyQuilts—I'd love to see what you're up to!