Introducing Margaret Kennedy: A Back to School Sewer

Several months ago, we announced on Facebook that we were looking for QM readers to work on a one-time project for us. It’s been my pleasure to work with the nine women we selected as the Back to School Sewing Team. I’m happy to introduce them to you this week during Quiltmaker’s Back to School Party.

BTS13 logo 400 Introducing Margaret Kennedy: A Back to School Sewer

Today I’m pleased to introduce Margaret Kennedy from Lake Frederick, Virginia.

Margaret2 Introducing Margaret Kennedy: A Back to School Sewer

Margaret Kennedy from Lake Frederick, Virginia

Margaret sewed with Bali Hai and Bali Handpaints from Hoffman California Fabrics. Her completed quilt is shown below.

QMMP BTS HOF 5001 Introducing Margaret Kennedy: A Back to School Sewer

pin it button Introducing Margaret Kennedy: A Back to School SewerThis quilt is perfect for September because it conjures up changing leaves against deep blue skies. It puts me in the mood to watch football. And that’s saying something! The quilting is especially wonderful.

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Margaret does something that I love to all her photos. She watermarks them to say “Margaret Kennedy, Quilter!” I wish I had thought of that.

I asked Margaret to share a few thoughts with QP readers. Several of the sewing team members have mentioned that the bias edges of the quilt were tricky. Margaret shared a great solution:

After your top is assembled, I recommend that you stabilize the outer edges before trimming away the extra—since the edges will be on the bias and bias is stretchy. I used 1″ strips of fusible (ironed to the back) and it was fast and easy.  These will make no difference to the quilt if you are machine quilting. If you are hand quilting, you can instead run a line of stay-stitching with your sewing machine before cutting the extra off.

This quilt gave me the opportunity to combine batiks and conventional fabrics. It also gave me the opportunity to use a “modern” quilting design. I have a longarm, and I wanted to quilt an overall pattern on the quilt. I selected a fun, modern design that accented the shapes in the blocks and away I went!


marglabel Introducing Margaret Kennedy: A Back to School SewerI made a label identifying the designer, the Back to School Party, and my name, city and the year.


margback Introducing Margaret Kennedy: A Back to School Sewer

I pieced the label into a band on the back of the quilt, accompanied by leftover strips of most of the fabrics. It worked well and I am continuing with this technique.

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Click the image to see Quiltmaker’s Easy Design Wall Tutorial so you can build your own!

It’s very helpful to have a design wall, especially with a diagonal-set quilt like this one. Besides helping you to get all the blocks in the right places, you can stand back and decide which color block should go where.

If you have an opportunity to participate in a special project like Quiltmaker’s Back to School Party, go for it!

On behalf of Quiltmaker and Hoffman California Fabrics, I’d like to extend a sincere thank you to Margaret Kennedy for a job well done. We really appreciate you!

To reinforce my appreciation for Margaret’s efforts, please leave her a thank-you message in the comments below. Thanks!

About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email:
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12 Responses to Introducing Margaret Kennedy: A Back to School Sewer

  1. Pingback: Block Testing for Quiltmaker Magazine | Quilty Pleasures Blog

  2. Thunder says:

    Thank you Margaret Kennedy for sharing your beautiful quilt with us, and thanks for the stabilizer tip :)

  3. Patti says:

    I am working on a farm quilt to donate to my local church.

  4. Julie Dunn says:

    Beautiful job! Thank you for the excellent tips.

  5. Karlene says:

    It was fun to see your back and your label. Good job on your quilt!

  6. Pamela S says:

    What a great idea to use fusible stabilizer for those tricky bias edges! I’ll definitely try that next time I’m challenged with this kind of pattern ~ A beautiful quilt Margaret, expertly designed and created!!

  7. Margaret Kennedy says:

    Thanks so much, everyone! I like the fusible stabilizer trick because it is so quick and easy :-)

  8. Carol Gibson-Weik says:

    You have so many wonderful ideas! This quilt is beautiful. How lucky I am to be your neighbor and be able to see all of your wonderful quilts take shape and share some of your wonderful ideas and techniques.

    Job well done, Margaret

  9. Jenelle Boxberger says:

    I agree with one of the comments before this is my favorite color way for this quilt. I love the way you did the backing with the label. I sometime skip the labels because I have a hard time figuring out how to do it. Now I have a great way. Thanks

  10. Amanda says:

    This was my favorite color scheme of all the examples. Good idea about stabilizing the bias edges. I’ve heard that heavy starch helps, but I’m going to try the fusible trick.

  11. Susan says:

    Thank you for sharing the stabilizing tip. Your quilt is beautiful!

  12. kaholly says:

    You did a delightful job and you provided lots of excellent tips. I really like your backing!!

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