McCalls Quilting has so many quilt patterns that I adore in our archives, but one, in particular, has stood out in my mind since my days as associate editor, back in 2009. In addition to the quilt design showing off loads of pretty color with crisp, clean white, part of why I love this quilt so much is because of the styled shot. It’s perfect! It’s simple and beautiful, just like the quilt.
The first morning of Fall International Quilt Market last year, before the doors opened to the attendees, I was passing by a booth on the main thoroughfare that made me stop. It was chock-full of the most unusual quilts. What was it about these quilts that I was attracted to? The fabrics. The fabrics were marvelous! They looked to be from the 1940s. I had to tell the girl in the booth how much I adored her quilts! She politely smiled and thanked me as she was putting final touches on her display and I continued on.
My schedule was full of appointments so I didn’t have an opportunity to stop back by. On the morning of the last day, I had an appointment with Moda, and there it was: that amazing display of quilt heaven! It turns out that the booth I passed by a few days earlier was Jen Kingwells booth, and it was her daughter with whom I spoke. Jen is a new fabric designer for Moda and I was thrilled to know how I, too, could play with such pretty fabrics!
I’ve decided to re-make Starring Repros! using a fat quarter pack of Gardenvale by Jen Kingwell for Moda.
In addition to using Gardenvale, I decided Id dip into my stash and add a few of my 1940s reproduction prints to the mix.
Because I enjoy designing quilts so much, I’m realizing that I’ve never made a quilt using a pattern and so I wondered how this journey would go. I decided to dive into cutting the fabric and start making the blocks without a plan. I wanted to enjoy the process without feeling the need to make my finished quilt exactly like the pattern.
I first made the block centers (Steps 3 & 4 in the pattern). Next came the Flying Geese units (Step 2). Finally, I made the half-square-triangle units (Step 1).
I arranged and made each block, one at a time.
As I made my blocks, I kept looking at the pile of trimmed corners from the Flying Geese units that the pattern doesn’t use and decided to sew them together to make half-square triangle units.
When I was finished ironing the units open, I realized how I could trim them to 2 1/2 half-square triangle units and either use them somewhere in my quilt, or use them somewhere else, such as in a new quilt or even incorporate them into the backing.
I started sketching an idea out. I thought: How about taking 4 matching HST units and make a 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 pinwheel block? So that’s what I did.
Three pinwheel blocks could be used as sashing between two 12 x 12 finished blocks, but I felt I’d be making pinwheels forever if I used them as sashing surrounding each block, and the quilt would visually become too much for me.
To be continued . . .