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!