Lover’s Knot Quilt Pattern

I’m excited to share my latest quilt design – the Lover’s Knot quilt pattern that is featured in Make Modern magazine, issue 11!

Make Modern Issue 11 Cover

My work probably fits in the modern traditional style of quilting the best, and this latest quilt reflects that aesthetic.

Lover's Knot Quilt

This is an old block- probably.  Barbara Brackman’s Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns labels it as a “lover’s knot” from the Old Chelsea Station Needlecraft Service (OCS).  This company began in 1933, but this block has no date and doesn’t really look like what most quilters would consider to be a lover’s knot.  Even before this company started, this name has been assigned to a wedding ring-style quilt, a snowball/flowerish quilt block, and various other pieced blocks.

Lover's Knot Quilt

I had never seen this block made before, and I thought it would be a beautiful quilt, so I made the paper pieced pattern for it and made the quilt in bright spring colors against a low volume background.

Lover's Knot Quilt

I really wanted the pink to stand out, so I stitched just inside of the pink spikes.  The diamonds have swirls and pebbles, and the low volume starts have straight line quilting to echo the outside shape.  I quilted some easy curves inside the turquoise centers.

Lover's Knot Quilt

This quilt is 48″x64″, so it makes a nice lap quilt or can be made for a baby that you really, really like.  I love the secondary patterns this design makes, and want to make a larger version in blues if I get some free time this summer.

Lover's Knot Quilt

The pattern is in Issue 11 of Make Modern, which was just released on May 20, 2016.  There are some other great patterns in this issue, as well as interesting articles.  Stacey O’Malley of Slo Studio made an amazing quilt that uses hourglass blocks and inset circles.  Alyce Blyth of Blossom Heart Quilts has an article on the math to do biased binding, and Sandi Hazlewood of the Crafty Planner recaps QuiltCon.

It was also fun to share the issue with Leanne (Devoted Quilter) – who was part of the Round Trip Quilts Bee I did last year (she made the X marks the spot mini with curved piecing and purple!), and Anne (Hudson Valley Quilts) who wrote an article about online learning and is part of the Hudson Valley Modern Quilt Guild with me!

Lover's Knot Quilt Pattern

I also was a featured maker this month, so if you want to see more of my work or hear my opinions on quilting, you can check that out 🙂

Meet the Maker feature

Make Modern has offered a special discount code for contributors to share – enter issue11friends at checkout to get your copy of issue 11 for just $6 AU.  I always love this magazine, and read my copy on the train on my iPad (which is nice, because then I don’t have to recycle it when I get to the city, like I do with most magazines).

Linking up to some of the following: Main Crush Monday @ Cooking Up QuiltsFabric Tuesday @ Quilt StorySew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart QuiltsLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationFinish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom QuiltsWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictTGIFFShow off Saturday at Sew Can She

Liberty & Linen Meadow Quilt

Long, long ago I saw Lizzy House‘s Meadow quilt when she got it back from Angela Walters, and I thought it was such a lovely quilt.  But, she was not selling the pattern.  She was teaching it as a workshop, and was not going to teach down by me (I was living in North Carolina at the time), so I put it out of my mind.

Fast forward a bit, and I moved to New York in Summer 2015.  I had started following most of the quilt groups in the area, to include the ones that were a little far away – like the Central NJ Modern Quilt Guild.  Then, the Central NJ Modern Quilt Guild announced that they had space in their Meadow workshop and that they were opening it up to non-members.  I think I emailed them that same day to find out the details and to get my slot.

This quilt covered multiple bases for me.  I had declared to myself that this year was going to be the year that I tried curved piecing and took classes that would introduce me to new techniques.  I wanted to do more custom quilting.  I wanted a queen sized quilt for my bed.  I wanted to use the beautiful Liberty fabrics I had been stashing.  This quilt covers all of that!

Meadow quilt detail

In mid-August, I set up some podcasts and drove about 2 hours down to this workshop.  It’s always a little weird walking in to a place where you don’t know anyone with your arms full of fabrics and a machine, but the ladies of the Central NJ Modern Quilt Guild were wonderful and welcomed me right away.  Seriously, if live closer than 2 hours from their meetings, you should join their guild because they are a great group!

The entire workshop was such a pleasure.  Lizzy is a very warm and genuine person, and a great teacher.  All of us made at least one block, and had the opportunity to sit down with her and plan out our entire quilt.  I made two blocks (because when I have the opportunity for uninterrupted sewing, I use it), and they are the ones on the left below.

Meadow Quilt Practice Blocks

We had so much fun going through my fabric to make the piles that would turn into a block.  Then I photographed the piles and glued swatches of them to the layout so I could remember how I wanted to do it.

Meadow plan

After the workshop, I intended to get started on the quilt right away.  Instead, it sat in the bag I had brought it home from the workshop in.  My parents came to visit.  Then my Forging Steel Quilt was due for Make Modern.  I had to finish my part of the Round Trip Quilts Round Robin.  In late September, I decided what background I wanted to use and ordered more of it so I would have enough to make the quilt queen sized.  In October, I finally made a couple more practice blocks to make sure I could remember how to do the pattern and finally started my quilt!

Meadow quilt in process

There was a little girl who decided she should get this quilt, and wanted to use it before I even had time to add borders, or quilt it!


I used Quilter’s Dream wool batting for this quilt, and it is my new favorite batting.  It shows the quilting definition so well, and is amazing to sleep under.  The wool is light and breathable and warm and perfect.  I plan to use wool for every bed size quilt I make between now and eternity.  That’s how much I love this batting inside a quilt.

Meadown quilt on longarm

There are a couple thread changes on this one.  I used pink variegated Fantastico for the flower, and a mint So Fine for the flower centers and in the olive border.

I brought the quilt with me on train to school on November 2nd so I could get most of the binding done, and finished the binding and quilt sleeve on the 3rd before running down to NJ to drop it off at the Brownstone Quilt Guild’s show.  That day there happened to be another passenger knitting, and me sewing the binding, so the conductor joked it was the “crafting express.”  I wish there was a such thing!  I would get so much done if I could use my machine on the train…

Binding Meadow on the train

This shot was shortly after I started using it on my bed. I woke up one morning, and the light was absolutely perfect to show off the quilting.

Meadow Quilt on bed

The flower outsides are all assorted Liberty fabrics, and the outer border is Essex yarn dyed linen in olive.  The backing is Shelburne Falls by Denyse Schmidt.  I used Dress Floral in Maple and Multi Floral in Maple.

I wanted to do sort of a medium custom level quilting on this Meadow Quilt.  I knew I wanted the border.  I did the straight lines in the outer most portion because I like the contrast and knew that part would not be seen as much because it hangs off the bed.  The area between the border and the flowers is a loose freehand fill.  I didn’t want something super dense, although that would have been beautiful.

The design I used on the flowers and Liberty portions can be seen better in previous photos.  I designed the pattern used in the Liberty portion, and I really like how it filled the area without overwhelming the beautiful fabric I used.  I saw one Meadow Quilt finished after mine that has a design in the petals that I wish I would have thought of, but I still haven’t seen another one with a design I like better than what I used in the Liberty section.

I am so happy with my queen quilt that I get to sleep under every night.  I had never made myself a queen sized quilt until now, and I wish I would have done it a lot sooner.

Measurements: 88″ x 100″

Liberty and Linen Meadown Quilt

Oh, and I got an Honorable Mention in the Quilt Show that had helped push me to get this finished.  This is a quilt more for use than for show, so I’m happy with it.

Linking up to some of the following: Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt StorySew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart QuiltsLinky Tuesday @ Freemotion by the RiverLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationFinish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom QuiltsWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictTGIFFLink a Finish Friday @ Richard and Tanya QuiltsShow off Saturday at Sew Can She

Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show

Columbus Day weekend marked my first New York quilt show.  The Dutchess Heritage Quilt Show is every other year in  Poughkeepsie, New York at Dutchess Community College and is put on (mostly) by members of the First Dutchess Quilters (but it’s not technically the guild’s show).

They had a wide variety of vendors (16!) and put on a fashion show and workshops in conjunction with the show.

I entered a few quilts, and was quite pleased with my first showing up here.  I like to enter quilt shows because it’s one of the few places that you can receive true feedback on the quality of your quilting and piecing.  Show and Tell at guilds is great, but it’s purpose is to share and celebrate and inspire (not to critique).  Classes teach a new technique, but don’t necessarily help you learn what you need to learn to improve the techniques you already know.

In the interest of removing some of the mystique from quilt show judging and to help others learn from my lessons, I want to share the comments for my quilts.

Forging Steel quilt with ribbon

The first quilt I entered was my Forging Steel quilt, which is in Make Modern issue 8.  This quilt earned 1st place in Pieced Wall Quilt, a Judge’s Choice award, and a Vendor’s Choice award (Amelia’s Garden).  The comments for this quilt (and all the others in this show) were very in-depth and positively phrased even if referring to improvements.

  • Fabrics lend appeal
  • Unexpected quilting choice add so much visual excitement
  • Very good quilting technique
  • Excellent precision in piecing
  • Excellent binding

Square Dance with ribbons

I also entered Square Dance in the Group Quilt category.  It earned 1st place in the Group Quilt category, and a Vendor’s Choice award (Easy Piecing).  If you like this quilt and want to make your own, my PDF pattern is available on Craftsy here.

  • Wonderful color palette
  • Value placement shows well
  • Piecing is excellent
  • Quilting design in good scale
  • Quilting technique very well done
  • Binding excellent
  • Wonderful interpretation of modern quilt

One of Those Days mini ribbon

One of Those Days was a mini quilt I made a tutorial for that had a few issues, which is probably why it did not do as well.  I earned 3rd place in the Miniature category.  I use a smaller binding for miniatures – a 2″ double fold binding, but I guess should go even smaller in the future.

  • Fabrics and quilting design well chosen to keep scale for miniature
  • Traditional look successfully achieved
  • Excellent piecing and quilting technique
  • Binding, although well secured, should be in scale for miniature

Nature of Purple cropped

I also entered my Nature of Purple quilt in the Pieced Wall quilt category, and this quilt just does not show well.  I also used white thread for part of the piecing before I thought about it.  I switched to purple thread later, but after quilting if you look super close, you can see the white thread a little bit.

  • Modern interpretation is successfully achieved
  • Take care with obtrusive piecing thread
  • Complementary quilting design is successfully achieved
  • Excellent binding

How have your experiences entering a quilt show shaped your quilting?  Has it been a positive experience with valuable feedback, or are there things that you wish had gone differently?

Linking to: Tips and Tutorials Tuesdays @ Late Night QuilterLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt Addict


Noodlehead Cargo Duffle

I made the Noodlehead Cargo Duffle (free pattern) along with at least half the online quilting community with the intent of it being my overnight/weekend bag to go camping or traveling with.  I don’t get to make bags as often as I would like because I just don’t need that many!  I carry a diaper bag with my daughter, and a backpack when I go to school, and that covers about 98% of my life.

Cargo Duffle

This is an amazing pattern, considering it’s free!  The only tricky part is cutting out the fabric.  Just take your time, double-check the directions – and make sure you are not cutting out your fabric to the final dimensions before you quilt it.  Cut a little big, quilt, and then cut down to size.  It’s a little safer!

I made a few changes to the pattern… First, I quilted it on my longarm.  I just did straight line quilting because I had intended to make another one, and wanted to test my construction methods before getting fancy.

Cargo Duffle

I also added a lining instead of binding the inside seams.  I wanted pockets inside, and needed the lining to do that.  Lining Tutorial: Small Town Thread

I also never added the snaps to the outside pockets.  They are really more decorative than useful, so why bother?

Cargo Duffle

I added a zipper pocket to the inside, and a water bottle spot.  I’m not a fan of how my water bottle spot works, but the zipper pocket turned out great!  Tutorial for zipper pocket inside: Sew Mama Sew and UHandbag.  I also added a row of straight pockets.

Cargo Duffle

Since using this for awhile, I’ve discovered this bag is not what I wanted for an overnight bag for me.  It’s a little too small, and the handles are shorter than I like to carry.  The pockets would have been great for this use, if it was how I used it.

Cargo Duffle

It’s not a lost cause though!  It’s perfect to put my daughter’s clothes in for trips.  I can fit a week or more of her clothes in here, and fold it up and tuck it away if we unpack somewhere (like we did in the camper this summer).  We lived out of our bags for a month, and only did laundry once, so it was about 2 weeks of a 2 year old’s clothes in here.

Cargo Duffle

This was a fun bag to make, and I have two more bags from Noodlehead next on my list to make.  If only there were more hours in the day…

Fabric used: Linen for the base of the bag, and Chicopee for the handles.  I think the blue leaf fabric may have been from the Denise Schmidt line for JoAnn’s, but I bought it so long ago I can’t remember for sure.  The lining is Ty Pennington Impressions.

– Heather

Linking up to: Finish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom QuiltsWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictTGIFFFabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth FabricLink a Finish Friday @ Richard and Tanya QuiltsShow off Saturday at Sew Can She


Nature of Purple Quilt

I occasionally find myself in an odd place in the quilting world style wise – I am not super modern, yet to a traditional quilter I look modern.  I think one of my old guilds determined I was “modern” simply by my age.  I have embraced the “modern traditional” moniker, but it’s not always an easy category to fit in.

Nature of Purple cropped

This is my first go at a more definitively modern piece.  The pattern is not mine (probably takes away from the modernity, right?), but was a piece for the Carolina Longarm Association.  They are trying to put together a display with modern and traditional mini quilts that will all be the same two designs, but with a wide variety of fabrics and quilting styles.  It should be a really cool display once it’s done.

Quilt Name: Nature of Purple

Size: 29″ x 29″

Nature of Purple from below

I really enjoyed quilting this piece.  I loved combining the straight lines with the curves to create contrast within the piece.  I also really like the design I used inside the rectangles.  It’s a straight-line spiral, for lack of a better description, but is fun to use in a space like that.

I did learn some good lessons from this quilt – such as purple is extremely hard to photograph and the quilting does not show up well unless you are really close to it.

Dense quilting would also probably show up better with either a double layer of batting, or a higher quality puff or mixed cotton/poly blend.  I used a cheap cotton/poly blend I had laying around because I wan’t planning on quilting it this densely when I started.


Unfortunately, it is not an impressive piece when you see it hung next to other quilts.  There is a certain beauty in its simplicity, and the negative space leaves a lot of room to quilt, but it’s still a very simple quilt with very little piecing.   I feel like the photo below is a Where’s Waldo game, but you are looking for a small purple quilt that blends into the black background curtains. (Photo borrowed from Christa Quilts, link to her NQA experience roundup).

Christa Quilts Modern NQA Show

I entered it into the National Quilting Association show this year to get feedback and try to improve my quilting. As far as feedback, I found the comments to be very useful. The judges found a couple things on this quilt that I had missed, and called me out on errors that I knew existed.  It was also nice to receive more than one or two comments, which is more normal for a local level show.

Entering this quilt was a worthwhile experience, and it is pushing me to be better.  When I received the quilt back in the mail, I saw that it had been held for the category and a judge’s choice.  It’s bittersweet news in a way – it was good, but not good enough.  It just means I need to improve my work and make a better quilt next year!

Even if it didn’t win anything, I still like it.  I have it hanging above my longarm in my new setup.  I still love the purple.  I wish it quilted better so I could use it more often, but as you can see below the purple just absorbs all light and makes it look like a purple black hole.  Eventually, it will find its way back to North Carolina, but I’m not quite ready to give it up yet.

Quilting Studio

Linking up to some of the following: Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt StorySew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart QuiltsLinky Tuesday @ Freemotion by the RiverLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationFinish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom QuiltsWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictTGIFFFabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth Fabric


Michigan Quilt

The last quilt I finished before I had to pack up my longarm to move was the Michigan quilt for Anna of Life Sew Crafty.  She finished the quilt and blogged about it before I finished my blog post about the quilting part.  I’ll catch up one of these days!

Michigan Quilted

This was a very large quilt, about 96″ x 108″!  My husband and father in law were luckily both on hand to hold it and protect it so I could take a few photos.

Anna and I decided to do woods and animal type quilting inside the land mass portion of Michigan, and to do water texture with some fish in the blue portion.  In doing so, we inadvertently turned Michigan into an island, but I really love the effect.  I think my husband would be very happy with a whole cloth version of just the blue portion.

Michigan Quilted

There are a variety of animals and trees represented: bears, deer, elk, moose.  I did an outline just inside Michigan to delineate the land/water difference.  I did not stitch in the ditch because the seams were pressed open and did not want to risk having my stitching undo any of Anna’s stitching.

Michigan Quilted

This side angle shows the texture the best of the pictures I have.  I had to ship it off before the movers came so pictures are somewhat limited.

Michigan Quilted

As soon as I pulled this quilt off the frame, we started dismantling the longarm for the move.  Happily, she survived the trek and is up and running again!  I currently have no wait, and would be happy to quilt for you!

Taking down the longarm to move



Longarm Quilting

Before I had to take my machine down, I was able to do actually do some longarm quilting on it!

This first quilt is a stack and whack quilt that a local lady made.  My daughter thought it was the coolest thing every because it had lions and tigers and all sorts of African safari animals.  She is obsessed with Katy Perry’s “Roar”, so animals that roar are the best.

Meander quilting

She wanted an allover meander, and it suited what she was looking for.

Meander quilting

The next quilt was a string quilt.

Baptist fan panto

I quilted a baptist fan panto on it.

Baptist fan panto

The maker of this quilt is donating it, and I hope that the future owner appreciates all the hard work that went into this quilt.  It’s really lovely!  Thanks for trusting me to quilt for you!

Rainbow Mini Swap

I have to admit I’ve gotten caught up in the mini quilt mania that is going around, and also gotten caught up in a few swaps.  It’s not like I really have extra time to be devoting to swaps, which is why I’m probably not going to participate in any more big swaps (until the next amazing opportunity comes up that I can’t say no to), but I really enjoy that they push me out of my comfort zone and challenge me to come up with new designs and color palettes that I wouldn’t necessarily come up with on my own.

Rainbow Mini Swap Complete

The latest swap was the Rainbow Mini Swap.  Rainbow is a big trend right now that I am embracing, albeit as a late adopter.  I made this mini quilt for @SGThings (Instagram).

Rainbow mini ready to be quilted

At my recent Carolina Longarm Association meeting, one of the newer members was surprised that I put small things on my longarm.  I think she felt like it wasn’t worth the effort to load or didn’t make very many small items.  I put everything on the longarm, big or small!

Rainbow Mini Swap detail


I used a light yellow thread throughout the quilt to blend with all the colors, but it may have blended a little too well because you can’t see some of the custom quilting I did at all!  The text on the white background has ribbon candy in it.

Rainbow Mini Swap detail

My partner mention that Anna Maria Horner was one of her favorites, so I tried to incorporate several of her fabrics.  I made a coordinating zipper pouch as well, using the tutorial from The Busy Bean.

Rainbow zipper pouch

This is the mini that I received from @SewGiddy.  I love this block, but it’s on my never-ending list of blocks that I haven’t gotten to making yet.  At least I have it look at in the meantime!  My daughter is going to have a field day with those fabric markers when I let her loose with them.

@Sewgiddy Mini Swap package received


Linking up to some of the following: Fabric Tuesday @ Quilt StorySew Cute Tuesday @ Blossom Heart QuiltsScraptastic Tuesday @ She Can QuiltLinky Tuesday @ Freemotion by the RiverLet’s Bee Social Wednesday @ SewFreshQuiltsNeedle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt InfatuationFinish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom QuiltsWhoop Whoop Fridays @ Confessions of a Quilt AddictTGIFFFabric Frenzy Friday @ Ft. Worth FabricShow off Saturday at Sew Can She

Bamboo Quilt

I recently finished this quilt for Heather at A Reformed Heath’n.  She had created this Bamboo quilt from her month in the Stash Bee in 2014.  She has a tutorial to make these blocks here.

Bamboo Quilting

We talked about how she wanted it quilted, and decided to go with this leafy panto that would bring out the bamboo look.

Bamboo Quilting

I enjoyed giving Heather sneak peeks of her quilt all day on Instagram while it was on the frame.

Bamboo Quilting

This is a pretty dense design, but it adds a lot of motion to the quilt, and evokes that leafy bamboo jungle feeling.

Bamboo Quilting

Here’s the completed quilt!  I am happy to report that it arrived safely back to Heather a few weeks ago, I just haven’t posted it yet.  She’s better than me, and has the quilt completed and entered into the Blogger’s Quilt Festival!

Bamboo Quilting

If you would like to finish up one of your UFOs, let me know!  I am full prior to the move, but once I am set back up there will be no wait.  We are supposed to get into our house on July 1st, so I’m hoping to be back at work mid-July.  I’ll let you know as it gets closer!

– Heather