See that house quilt in the background of my photo? It’s what I consider to be the overall best quilt I’ve made so far, The House That Kaffe Built. It first appeared in the May/June 2011 issue of McCall’s Quilting, and it was basically a remake of an antique quilt patterned in one of our Vintage Quilts magazines. The look of it, however, is anything but antique, since I made it with Kaffe Fassett prints set on a pure white background. Here’s another view of it:
Even before I became a quilter, I was always drawn to house quilts and house quilt blocks. I’ve been an avid do-it-yourselfer all my life, and have owned homes since I was 24, so the concept of a house as shelter and life center is embedded deep in my heart. I love the idea of “building” my own house or town with fabric, personalizing it any way I like, making it grander than anything I could afford in brick and mortar, or simpler than any real dwelling can functionally be. When you’re making houses from fabric, your only limit is your imagination!
To demonstrate my point, here are a few house quilts and house quilt blocks we’ve featured in McCall’s Quilting magazines over the years:
It Takes A Village by Elizabeth Angus combines Tall House Blocks and oversized vines for a whimsical, wonderful little town. This wall quilt pattern finishes at 47″ x 55″. The pattern is in the May/June 2013 issue of McCall’s Quilting, available here.
The Tall House Block pattern is one of hundreds of free quilt block patterns on our website. I love the elongated shapes that really set this design apart from other house quilt blocks. You can download this free 5″ x 10″ quilt block pattern here.
Cozy Town by Wendy Sheppard is a modern interpretation of the classic house quilt design. The subdued color palette and fun setting make this quilt a knockout in any interior. This lap quilt finishes at 67 1/2″ square. The pattern is in the July/August 2015 issue of McCall’s Quilting. Quilt kits and backing fabric are still available.
The traditional House Block from Cozy Town is also a free quilt block pattern on our website. You can download the free 9″ square House Block pattern here.
Anytown 4th of July is a queen/king bed scarf quilt I made with super simple house shapes. The pizzazz comes from a pieced border and crystal embellishments representing fireworks. It was patterned in the Spring 2009 issue of America Loves Scrap Quilts, available here.
Charmville by Abigail Dolinger features nine-patch houses with flying geese roofs in a simple setting, great for using fabric scraps. This wall quilt finishes at 27 3/4″ x 29″. The pattern is in the February/March 2014 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts, available here.
Quiet Village by Rebecca LoGiudice is one of the most popular, and most intricate, house quilt patterns we’ve ever published. The three-part series wall quilt pattern appeared in 2009 in McCall’s Quilting. It included many unusual techniques and we were thrilled to see many, many reader versions in photos sent to our office after the series concluded. Unfortunately, the pattern is not available at this time.
However, another of Rebecca’s intricate house quilt patterns, House on Willow Hill, is still available in our online shop. Check it out here.
And you CAN get a pattern for Rebecca’s newest house quilt project, Lady’s Slipper Cottages. It is featured in the new March/April 2016 issue of McCall’s Quilting, and it finishes at 64″ x 69″. In typical Rebecca style, the design features lots of fun details such as buttons, embroidery, and rickrack. The pattern is also available as an instant digital download here.
And here’s the miniature version of my The House That Kaffe Built quilt. It finishes at 17 1/4″ x 20 1/4″, and the tiny houses are foundation (paper) pieced. The pattern is available as a FREE web bonus download here.
We also have step by step videos available that teach this pattern and 3 other mini quilt patterns. You can check them out here.
So have I convinced you of the charms of house quilts? I hope you’ll give one a try soon if you haven’t already and leave a comment with your own house quilt story. Grab some fabric and a house quilt block pattern and let your imagination lead you to your own fabric village, city, or town. I promise you’ll enjoy the process!