Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffman’s Asian Quilt

Quiltmaker’s Scrap Squad is a select group of readers who make scrappy quilts from the patterns in our regular issues. Their goal is to inspire you to create by using the fabrics you already own!

QM scrap squadB3 Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffmans Asian Quilt

Today’s quilt is the first one featured from a pattern in the Sept/Oct issue of QM, just out. You’ll find it on newsstands now or at quiltandsewshop.com. You can see all of the quilts in this issue in our online table of contents.

QM10915 Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffmans Asian Quilt

Today’s featured quilt is a variation of Boxing Match by our friend Nancy Mahoney. Nancy’s version is fresh and modern in fabrics from Northcott. We have kits for this version of Boxing Match.

QM151004 Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffmans Asian Quilt

Boxing Match by Nancy Mahoney in fabrics from Northcott; kits available.

I think you’ll enjoy Julie Huffman’s version, too. Julie tells her quilt story below.

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Juliecropped Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffmans Asian Quilt

Julie Huffman

My assignment for the Scrap Squad this time, the Boxing Match quilt, appealed to my love of strong graphics. I really liked how the sashings showed a secondary design, along with the more prominent design of the dark blue accent.

For my quilt I immediately thought of using florals. I have many older florals in my collection, but then I remembered my collection of Asian prints. I have never used them and several of them I inherited from my friend Deb.

I decided I was going to make the quilt longer than the original and determined that if I cut one larger square and one smaller square from each fabric, I needed 24 prints.

I gathered all of the Asian prints with purple in them because purple is my favorite color.

August fabric Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffmans Asian Quilt

My selection of 24 Asian prints with sashings and background

I had a gold metallic fabric, also inherited from Deb, that I thought would be a great accent. I also chose a green that blended and the background was also from Deb, just waiting patiently in my stash. It has wonderful colors in it that blended perfectly.

I initially planned to use the green in the place of the dark blue, but realized I didn’t have quite enough yardage. I also thought the gold might blend in too much right next to the prints which all featured gold metallic.

I started sewing and realized some of the prints were directional but I didn’t worry about that in the end. Using the gold as the prominent color ended up working pretty well.

August sample Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffmans Asian Quilt

My piles of blocks ready to be sewn together

I assembled the quilt and pieced a backing to fit it, and then I remembered there were supposed to be borders! I had even cut the borders, but that’s the way it goes. I think it works okay like this.

August backing Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffmans Asian Quilt

Old Hoffman challenge fabric for the quilt backing

I used an old Hoffman Challenge fabric for the backing. I have had this in my stash for years and even though the colors aren’t the same as on the front of the quilt, I had enough so that’s what I used.

For quilting I chose two free motion designs, one for the larger square and one for the smaller square. I quilted straight lines around all the sashings. I did a random loop design in the wider white areas.

August quilt Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffmans Asian Quilt

My finished quilt on my design wall.

I quilt on a domestic sewing machine so it’s challenging at times. I used a variegated gold Superior King Tut thread and it really doesn’t show much. I used a solid yellow thread on the back. I used one of the prints for the binding.

August finish Quiltmaker Scrap Squad: Julie Huffmans Asian Quilt

Finished quilt in memory of my friend Deb

I named the quilt Deb’s Oriental Garden in memory of my friend.

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Bravo! What a great departure from the original! Please help me congratulate Julie by leaving a comment below.

Get the Sept/Oct issue.

Get a digital pattern for Boxing Match instantly.

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Gudrun Erla online course

If you’re like me, the time I find to squeeze quilting into my life is precious. Given a choice, I’d spend all day, every day happily sewing away in my studio. Unfortunately, that’s not reality! I’m always on the lookout for tips, tricks and tools to let me be more efficient and save time.

I met Gudrun Erla of GE Quilt Designs many years ago and fell in love with her patterns, especially her patterns using pre-cut strips. She has designed a Stripology ruler to make cutting your own strips, as well as 5″ squares, 10″ squares and more, quick, easy and accurate! I had to try it out.

First, I folded the fabric in half (selvage to selvage) and then in half again. I started cutting strips – 2 1/2″ and 1 1/2″ – easy peasy! What I like about the ruler is that you can straighten the fabric edge and cut the strips without having to reposition the fabric or the ruler. Just move your rotary cutter to the correct line on the ruler and cut away.

Stripology 1 300x199 Gudrun Erla online course

2 1/2″ and 1 1/2″ strips cut.

I went a step further with the 2 1/2″ strips. By turning the ruler and positioning on a strip, I cut 2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ bricks.

Stripology 2 300x199 Gudrun Erla online course

2 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ bricks

Next, I wanted to try cutting 10″ x 10″ squares. There are guidelines on the ruler for this shape.

Stripology 3 300x199 Gudrun Erla online course

Two sides cut. I’ve turned the ruler to cut the remaining two sides.


Stripology 4 300x199 Gudrun Erla online course

Four 10″ squares cut from the folded fabric.

The possibilities are endless with this ruler! It’s a great tool for her strip quilt patterns, plus it would make the cutting for her Spin Cycle block in Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks, vol. 9 a breeze.

Gudrun is teaching an online course where you’ll not only learn how to use the ruler with tips and tricks from Gudrun, but you’ll also learn how to make four unique quilt projects! The course starts August 31st, so hurry on over to CraftU, craftonlineuniversity.com to check it out.

Here are a couple shots from her course:


Screen Shot 2015 08 17 at 8.30.25 AM 300x171 Gudrun Erla online course

From Gudrun’s course

Screen Shot 2015 08 17 at 8.39.13 AM 300x178 Gudrun Erla online course
From Gudrun’s course

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From Gudrun’s course


Happy Stripping!


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Bonnie Hunter’s Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

Our Addicted to Scraps gals have been at it again with still more amazing scrap quilts from Bonnie Hunter’s block patterns in Quiltmaker.

bonnieaddicted Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling
Today I have a quilt from Sheri Wonderling who lives in Pennsylvania, and it’s a beauty!

QM10715 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri WonderlingToday’s quilt is made from the Log Cabin Love quilt block which appears in QM’s July/August issue. (Print and digital issues available.)

sheri7 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

Log Cabin Love quilt block from QM’s July/August issue

Sheri decided to use bright spring colors for this project because she already had “bonus” half-square triangles. She’s a devoted user of Bonnie Hunter’s Scrap User’s System.

sheri1 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

Leftover strips were put to good use.

And the last few quilts she made also used strips, so she had some of those left over, too.

sheri2 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

Lots and lots of strips were needed!

Sheri dug into her scraps and started cutting colorful strips—she thought she had plenty but soon learned that many more were needed.

sheri3 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

Sheri made a “kit” for each block by grouping all the parts and pieces together.

Sheri made a “kit” for each block by grouping all the parts and pieces together. This made them easy to grab and go—which is exactly what she did before heading on a camping trip.

sheri4 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

Featherweight goes camping!

She took her trusty Featherweight along.

sheri5 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

Uninterrupted sewing time!

“My very wonderful husband took kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews and anyone else fishing so that I could have a peaceful day at the camper doing what I love without being interrupted,” she says. (He sounds like a keeper, doesn’t he?)

sheri6 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

Blocks and more blocks

She also spent time sewing with her mom, her sister and her niece, who offered their thoughts on layout options.

sheri8 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

Barn Raising?

Sheri says they weren’t shy about sharing their opinions.

sheri9 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

Straight Furrows?

Barn Raising or Straight Furrows?

sheri10 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

Streak of Lightning?

Maybe Streak of Lightning?

sheri11 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

This layout was the winner.

Eventually Sheri settled on the layout above. Everyone agreed it had the most movement and tremendous interest.

sheri13 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

The completed top

Sheri stayed up to the wee hours of the morning to finish the quilt top. Isn’t it lovely?

sheri15 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

Sheri’s finished Log Cabin Love quilt

Back at home, Sheri added a piano key border and quilted with an all-over ribbon design from edge to edge.

One of the things that makes Sheri’s quilt work so well is her fearless use of many, many fabrics in values from very light to very dark. It’s easy to get stuck in The Land of Too Many Mediums, but when you’re brave enough to use very lights and very darks as well, it really pays off.

Quiltmaker extends its thanks and congratulations
to Sheri on a job well done!

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To get started making your own scrappy quilts Bonnie Hunter-style, check out our Addicted to Scraps bundles and starter packs. So much fabric and so much inspiration!

QMATSL1 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling    QMATSB Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling    QMATSD3 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Sheri Wonderling

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A New Cover Quilt Giveaway

The cover of our Sept/Oct issue is a beauty, and the maker of the lovely autumn quilt on the cover wrote a nice blog post about her design and its inspiration. She’s hosting a giveaway of the issue too, so please head on over there to hear what Janice Averill has to say. I think you’ll enjoy it!

QMMP 15100 covers 500px A New Cover Quilt Giveaway

Quiltmaker’s Sept/Oct ’15 issue

Get this issue now in print or digital.

Get the digital pattern for this cover quilt called Rudeneja.

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QM Scrap Squad: Melva’s Log Cabin Quilt Saga

We didn’t have any trouble rounding up a few quilters to be part of our Addicted to Scraps sewing team this year. Their job is to take Bonnie Hunter’s blocks for Quiltmaker and turn them into unforgettable quilts.

bonnieaddicted QM Scrap Squad: Melvas Log Cabin Quilt Saga

Every regular issue has a block from Bonnie in a column called Addicted to Scraps. See all of the past blocks. The summer issue features Log Cabin Love, a nifty little Log Cabin quilt block with a creative twist: its center is a half-square triangle.

QM ADD SCR JA 200 QM Scrap Squad: Melvas Log Cabin Quilt Saga

Melva Nolan from Trinidad, Colorado made a quilt using Log Cabin Love blocks. And it turned out to be no small matter.

Melva1 QM Scrap Squad: Melvas Log Cabin Quilt Saga

A photo Melva had saved for years served as inspiration.

Melva began with the intention to make a throw-size quilt in blues and browns, but about 20 blocks in, changed her mind. She’d been musing over a couple of things in her “save” box, including the layouts above and below.

melva2 QM Scrap Squad: Melvas Log Cabin Quilt Saga

This Log Cabin quilt also influenced Melva’s design.

To pull it off, Melva made 108 blocks using her scraps, supplemented by her Addicted to Scraps friends when she worried about running short. Soon it was on her design wall and then it was ready for quilting.

melva3 QM Scrap Squad: Melvas Log Cabin Quilt Saga

Ready for quilting

Melva used wool batting and loved the results. She snapped a picture of the finished quilt.

melva4 QM Scrap Squad: Melvas Log Cabin Quilt Saga



Look carefully at the left side of the quilt. There are a couple of blocks out of sync. She didn’t see them until she looked at the photo, and Melva was not a happy quilter. She says, “I tossed it aside in disappointment.” I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t feel the same.

melva5 QM Scrap Squad: Melvas Log Cabin Quilt Saga

Melva decided to take everything apart and fix the mistakes.

Melva is a better woman than I am, because she was determined to fix the quilt. Keep in mind that she was sewing on a deadline for Quiltmaker—and deadlines always add more stress to sewing. She took out the quilting, unsewed the blocks, rotated them properly, sewed them back in by hand, and replaced the quilting.

melva6 QM Scrap Squad: Melvas Log Cabin Quilt Saga

The blocks were carefully handsewn back into the quilt.

Here is her second “finish.”

melva7 QM Scrap Squad: Melvas Log Cabin Quilt Saga

Melva’s second finish

She apologized for the rays across the top, but personally, I think that God just decided to bless her persistence. You can kind of hear angels singing the Hallelujah Chorus.

melva8 QM Scrap Squad: Melvas Log Cabin Quilt Saga

Melva’s quilt label


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Itty Bitty Quilt Block Pendant Necklaces

Headshot Itty Bitty Quilt Block Pendant NecklacesBy Shayla Wolf, QM Associate Editor

We may think our Bitty Blocks are small until we get a closer look at these stunning necklaces! I get the pleasure of scouring the internet for new and exciting products to feature in our Inspirations column of each issue. It is really fun to find new quilting notions, books and gifts and share them with our readers!

I stumbled upon these beautiful necklaces on Etsy and was completely mesmerized! Jennifer Heminway opened her online shop, Snippets N Bits, in 2014 and has been creating and selling these beautiful pendant necklaces ever since!

QMMS 150046 INSP 0311 Itty Bitty Quilt Block Pendant Necklaces

Assorted Necklaces made by Jennifer Heminway

Many of Jennifer’s necklaces are custom made for individuals. She has made a necklace for a recent high school grad out of her ragged childhood baby quilt and a 90th birthday gift out of the recipient’s treasured and fragile christening gown. Each necklace has a story behind it and is truly treasured!

QMMS 150046 INSP 0308 Itty Bitty Quilt Block Pendant Necklaces

Color Wheel Pineapple Quilt Block Pendant Necklace

This is the first necklace that caught my eye. The colors and tiny pieces are absolutely stunning. Jennifer encloses the finished blocks into a locket and permanently seals them shut. The block is protected by glass so it will stand the test of time.

QMMS 150046 INSP 0309 Itty Bitty Quilt Block Pendant Necklaces

Tiny Sheep on a Pasture Landscape Quilt Block Pendant Necklace

These little sheep make me swoon! Look how tiny and adorable they are! This appliqué block features itty bitty stitching to create sheep, flowers and a fence. How amazing is that? The necklaces come with or without bling and the chain length can be adjusted.

QMMS 150046 INSP 0310 Itty Bitty Quilt Block Pendant Necklaces

Blue and Purple Log Cabin Triangle Quilt Block Necklace

This necklace now lives with me! I love the elongated triangle shape and subtle color gradation. Jennifer has a variety of pendant shapes including squares, rectangles, triangles and diamonds. Each necklace is approximately 1″ to 1.5″ wide.

QMMS 150046 INSP 0313 Itty Bitty Quilt Block Pendant Necklaces

Assorted Necklaces made by Jennifer Heminway

Each necklace is unique and uses snippets and bits of fabrics (Jennifer’s shop name is cute and clever!). There is a variety of styles to choose from, whether you are looking for modern, traditional, whimsical or elegant.

QMMS 150046 INSP 0315 Itty Bitty Quilt Block Pendant Necklaces

Assorted Necklaces made by Jennifer Heminway

Be sure to check out her shop, Snippets N Bits, on Etsy. It is full of more beauties such as daffodils, birds, houses, trees, hearts, teacups and lots of traditional quilt blocks!

Happy Shopping!

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QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

QMMP BLOG KELLY small QM Bitty Blocks: August Log CabinBy Kelly Eisinger
QM Editorial Assistant

QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

Happy Monday and new Bitty Block day! QM Bitty Blocks are small quilt blocks that we’re presenting monthly during 2015. Each of these free quilt blocks is 3″ or 4″ finished and works up nicely in quilt scraps. We’ve had so much fun with them. You’ll want to check out all the past quilt block designs and patchwork ideas on our Bitty Blocks page.

BittyBlockLogo 300px1 QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

The August Bitty Block is a versatile 4″ Log Cabin. It can be traditionally pieced or foundation pieced, your choice. The Log Cabin block is also a great scrap buster for precut strips. Log Cabin is traditionally made with lights on one side and darks on the other.

Printer Friendly Version here.

BB LC copy QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

The August QM Bitty Block is a 4″ Log Cabin.

Getting Started: The fabrics used in my examples came from larger scraps. I chose light neutral batiks, a variety of warm and cool prints and a variety of focus fabrics for the center square. You can change color combinations as you see fit. Keep in mind the fabrics need to have enough contrast to stand apart from each other.

Fabrics QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

Fabric choices: center square, lights and darks.

The block is simple to piece together. I found that marking the foundation with my color choices helped to keep me organized.

It is very important to watch your seam allowance when working with these small pieces. I found using a scant ¼” seam allowance worked best. I also recommend making at least one complete test block first, before you start chain piecing away. Getting a bit warmed up helps when working with so many small pieces.

Template QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

This template is found in the printer friendly version.

I also tried foundation piecing the block because I’m not the best at getting small pieces together without being a bit wonky. The foundation worked wonders for me in keeping the block square. To foundation piece the block, it is best to cut your patches slightly larger than the dimensions below.

Temp Color QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

Marking your template helps to keep consistency when sewing.

Determine the layout of your fabrics according to the foundation, and cut your fabrics accordingly.


  •  1 (A) 1.5″ x 1.5″
  • 1 (B) 1″ x 1.5″
  • 2 (C) 1″ x 2″
  • 2 (D) 1″ x 2.5″
  • 2 (E) 1″ x 3″
  • 2 (F) 1″ x 3.5″
  • 2 (G) 1″ x 4″
  • 1 (H) 1″ x 4.5″

I do not have very much quiet/alone/distraction-free time to sew, because my one-year-old is usually around, or actually ALL OVER EVERYTHING, ALL THE TIME. Therefore I am all about using many quick tricks to get my prep and sewing completed.

Holden QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

Holden is always everywhere on everything!

Instead of sorting through small scraps to determine which are useable and which are not, I have used my larger scraps (precut strips work great too). It was much quicker and easier for me to layer a few large scraps together and cut 1″-wide strips, and then cut the necessary lengths.

strips QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

Cut sections from 1″ strips. The pieces on the left hand side are scraps.

To organize my pieces, I lay them out on a large piece of paper and label each group. Use any organization method you find works best. Once your strips are organized you are ready to sew!

ORG Fabric QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

Keeping the strips organized helps a lot.

This block is assembled in alphabetical order, following the above diagram. Start by aligning the edges of pieces A and B right sides together.

Sew B to A with a scant ¼” seam.
Add C to A/B
Add another C, then D, another D, then E, another E, and so on.

AB1 QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

A and B right sides together. Sew a scant ¼” seam.

Check your piecing after joining A and B, it should measure 1.5″ x 2″. If you are off it is best to adjust the seam allowance now or the next pieces will not align correctly. Gently press the seam toward the B (the smaller piece).

AB2 QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

Gently press the seam toward the outer fabric.

Continue in alphabetical order. Note that two of the same letter are sewn consecutively. Measure as you go and adjust the seam allowance as needed.

ABC QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

Continue  until the block is complete.

Before you know it you will have a plethora of Bitty Log Cabins!

LGBB group QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

A bunch of Bitty Log Cabins!

Have fun making your Bitty Blocks and remember to visit our Bitty Blocks homepage for all the patterns and more ideas. Use #qmbittyblocks to help us find your work on social media!

BittyBlockLogo 506px1 QM Bitty Blocks: August Log Cabin

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A Heartwarming Quilt Story

dianeharris A Heartwarming Quilt StoryBy Diane Harris
QM Associate Editor



About two years ago I wandered into a Catholic Social Services thrift store in Hastings, Nebraska. I do this occasionally because you just never know what treasures you may find. And as it turned out, that summer morning in 2013 was my lucky day.

jean2 A Heartwarming Quilt Story

The quilt was wrapped with tape and marked $3. at a Catholic thrift store.

I found a quilt, bundled backing-side out and wrapped with tape, marked $3. I could tell it was hand quilted, had bluework embroidery, and was fairly small. The fabric was definitely vintage, and what I could see of the quilt appeared to be in good condition. I didn’t bat an eye. I bought it.

jean1 A Heartwarming Quilt Story

The quilt I purchased for $3 at a thrift store

When I unrolled the quilt at home, a few surprises appeared. The quilt featured hand embroidered nursery rhymes and was in pristine condition. The hand quilting was nicely done and the overall effect was pleasing. But the biggest surprise took my breath away.

jean8 A Heartwarming Quilt Story

There was a full name embroidered on the quilt: first, middle and last.

There was a full name embroidered on the quilt: first, middle and last. This had been someone’s baby quilt.

I knew at once that it did not belong to me.

Many thoughts were racing through my mind: How did the quilt get away from its owner? Was there no one left who would treasure it? What had happened to the person whose name the quilt bore?

Almost on impulse, I sat down and did what any 21st century person would do: I Googled. I typed in the first, middle and last name from the quilt, and then at the last second decided to tack on “Hastings,” the name of the small city where I’d found the quilt.

obituary A Heartwarming Quilt Story

This obituary appeared. (Blurred to protect the family’s privacy.)

With an eerie suddenness, an obituary appeared. Just weeks earlier, a woman in the city had died. Her last name matched the one on the quilt. She had a daughter with the first name on the quilt. Her mother’s name had been Anne, which was the middle name on the quilt. And all donations were directed to Catholic Social Services—same place I bought the quilt.

jean3 A Heartwarming Quilt Story

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall…

My heart beat quickly as I pieced it together. I was excited and heartbroken, and I still didn’t know anything for sure.

A quick check of whitepages.com and I had a home address and a phone number in another city nearby. The internet is a wonderful tool and I couldn’t believe my good luck—but I was also spooked at how easily I had gotten the information.

jean4 A Heartwarming Quilt Story

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe…

I spent the next days, weeks and months pondering what to do. I felt certain I’d found a link to the quilt, but I wasn’t sure how to proceed. It took me two years to work up the courage to go forward.

jean7 A Heartwarming Quilt Story

The Three Bears…

About two weeks ago, I wrote a letter to the daughter named in the obituary, whose name I thought was embroidered on the quilt. I explained who I was and how I’d come to have the quilt. I apologized for contacting her out of the blue and assured her that I only wanted to return the quilt to her if she wanted it, or to know more of its history if she did not want it. I gave her my phone number and my email.

jean6 A Heartwarming Quilt Story

Mother Goose herself

I arrived home one Sunday night to a message. The emotion in her voice was unmistakable. She was the person named on the quilt. The quilt had been lost to her, and she was very anxious to connect.

When I called her back, she felt like an old friend. She believes that her grandmother made the quilt or perhaps hired someone to make it. After her mother had died, several family members had emptied the house, and she surmises that the quilt was accidentally given away. We made plans to meet for lunch. When we hung up, I had a good long cry—for lost mothers, for babies grown up, for quilts that leave home.

jean10 A Heartwarming Quilt Story

I got the quilt ready for its new/old owner.

And then I looked the quilt over once more. I took a few photos. I put it in a gift bag and wrote her name on it. On Tuesday, July 28, we sat down together for lunch in the city, and once more it felt like I’d known her forever. I got to hear the story of her family—her mother, her four daughters, and much more. We talked about the things women talk about. It was delightful.

I didn’t take photos as she opened the quilt. It was emotional, and I wanted to be in the moment. She clutched it to herself like a long lost treasure. For me, she was the long lost treasure. I could not believe I had found her.

jean11 A Heartwarming Quilt Story

This quilt has come home.

The note I put with the quilt said simply, “I’m so happy to know this quilt has come home.”


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Bonnie Hunter’s Log Cabin Love by Barb Johnson

Quiltmaker is pleased to have Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville as a regular columnist. Her Addicted to Scraps feature in each regular issue has a quilt block pattern that is usually easy and always interesting. They lend themselves well to scrap quilts.

bonnieaddicted Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Barb JohnsonThis year we gathered a team of readers to take Bonnie’s block patterns and make scrappy quilts from them. They’re appropriately called the Addicted to Scraps Sewers. Today I have a wonderful scrap quilt by Barb Johnson from Verona, Pennsylvania. She used the block called Log Cabin Love from the current July/August issue of Quiltmaker.

QM ADD SCR JA 200 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Barb Johnson

This is a traditional Log Cabin block with a small twist. The center patch is a half-square triangle instead of being just a square. It’s a nice little detail that adds a surprising amount of interest.

Barb started out making a few blocks, using one focus color in each.

barb1 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Barb Johnson

Barb’s Log Cabin Love blocks

She says her favorite part of this quilt was designing it.

“I had a lot of fun trying to figure out exactly how I wanted to set the blocks. I don’t know why the idea of a rainbow popped into my head, but it did, so I went with my gut and started playing with different layouts. When I design quilts, I either use Quilt Design Wizard or Microsoft Excel. When I use Excel, I resize the cells to be square, then use the shapes and lines tools to make the different shapes.

BarbExcel Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Barb Johnson

An example of how Barb Johnson uses Excel spreadsheets to design quilts

“The color selection in the program is somewhat limited, but there are enough colors to give me ideas about which one to use where. When I designed this quilt, I used Quilt Design Wizard because there was already a Log Cabin block included.

“While I was working on the design, I went to my ‘bin-o-strips’ and pulled out everything that was 1.5″ or 3″ wide, and grouped them into color families. Since I wanted to make this quilt using only the scraps I had on hand, my design had to work with what was available.

I noticed that I didn’t have a lot of pinks or purples, so I had to put those colors in the places with the fewest number of blocks. I ended up dreaming about Log Cabins until I had the design finally worked out!

barb21 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Barb Johnson

Barb’s finished Log Cabin Love quilt with its asymmetrical setting

“I tend to be a bit OCD when it comes to scrap quilting, so the advice I will give is to myself as well as the readers is this:

“Lay out your blocks, move them around until they look OK, then go away for a day or so. Look at them a few more times over the next few days. If nothing jumps out at you, just go with it—don’t spend hours moving blocks around because something will always ‘need’ to be moved!

barb31 Bonnie Hunters Log Cabin Love by Barb Johnson

Log Cabin Love gets a glamour shot!

“The biggest challenge I had with this quilt was quilting it! I don’t have a longarm, and I didn’t want to pay to have it quilted. The quilt is 75″ x  75″, which is about the limit of what I can handle with my Janome 6600P. I just stitched in the ditch around each block. I keep looking at it, thinking that I could add more quilting, but I hesitate to try and wrangle it through my machine. So, for right now it is done, but I’m leaving open the possibility that I may add more quilting later.

I’m really not sure where this quilt will end up. Right now, it is living on the back of my family room couch. It may stay there for my family to wrap themselves in during the winter. Or it might end up being gifted to someone. Time alone will tell!

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See all of Bonnie Hunter’s Addicted to Scraps quilt blocks plus layout ideas

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Scrap Quilt Ideas: Hero’s Homecoming

kathycropped Scrap Quilt Ideas: Heros Homecoming

Kathy Wagner

By Kathy Wagner, QM Scrap Squad







This is my third quilt as part of the 2015 Scrap Squad, and in some ways it was the hardest one for me so far. I challenged myself not to buy any fabric at all for this quilt—it had to be made completely from my stash of Kansas Troubles fabric, left over from other quilts.

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Kathy’s stash of Kansas Troubles fabrics and a few block parts and pieces

I don’t have EQ to plan out my colours and ideas, and I usually make my plan as I go along. Sounds crazy, but that’s really how I make my quilts!  I start happily making block components and see how I like it, making any necessary adjustments as I go. The end result is always a surprise to me and that’s how I like to sew!

With this quilt I figured out how much stash yardage I had of each colour and placed them into the layout according to the yardage requirements. It’s a risky way to plan a quilt, but when you want to use up stash, that’s the best way to decide.

These units were fun to sew, and it was easy to see if you were not sewing the units together in the correct way!

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Spotting mistakes wasn’t difficult!

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You can substitute a similar fabric when you run out of something.


And then (of course) I ran out of red fabric. I had put the red in that particular position in the quilt because I didn’t have a lot of it left, and the pattern did not require much yardage. But I cut it too close, and ran out.

Luckily my friend Deanna had some fabric in her stash that went well with my reds, and she saved the day! I “borrowed” one red strip from these two fabrics to finish my blocks.


The piecing of the blocks was quite labour intensive, and getting the seams to meet up was challenging. I must admit there was a time when I hated this quilt! Does that ever happen to you?

I thought it was dark and ugly, and I was worried about how I was going to get those seams to match up when sewing the rows together. It was a struggle. And there were quite a few negative things said to this “ugly duckling” as it grew.

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My ugly duckling had turned into a swan!


But then when the top was finished and I hung it on the clothesline, I saw that it had turned into a beautiful swan! How did that happen? Honestly I was shocked at how much I liked it!

I have since apologized to the quilt many times for all the nasty things I said in the creative process! I hope all that negative energy doesn’t stick to the quilt!!

And I re-learned another important lesson about quiltmaking –  an ugly duckling can grow into a beautiful swan! Just be patient, and keep on sewing!




Here is a photo of my finished quilt on the design wall.  I machined quilted it on my domestic sewing machine with a large stipple pattern. But now that I see it finished, I can see a circular design that would have been fun to emphasize in the quilting. Maybe next time?!?

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Kathy’s finished Hero’s Homecoming

The quilt measures 67″ square so it hangs off the side of my design wall on the left. There are 22 pieces in each 8″ block, and there are 64 blocks in my quilt, for a grand total of  1,408 pieces of fabric that were cut and sewn! That’s a lot of sewing but all worth it for a great finish!

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QM scrap squadB3 Scrap Quilt Ideas: Heros Homecoming

Get the July/August issue of Quiltmaker

Get the digital pattern for Hero’s Homecoming


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