Oct 22

“Connect the Blocks” Quilt Process (41)

For the one-thing-one-week-challenge, I completed this quilt.

About two months ago, I was sitting in church and the teacher was teaching about church websites.  During the lesson, this image popped up:

Image from mormon.org

I was immediately drawn to the pillows in the back.  Yes, I wanted to make a quilt like that.

So, I drew up some sketches and ended up with one I wanted to quilt.

But while I was blog surfing, I ran across this quilt and thought, “That was the quilt that is in my head and sketched onto a piece of paper, only this one is real”.  Amy from “Diary of a Quilter” had quilted it and had even made a pattern of it.  It was beautiful.  But you can imagine my shock even more when I saw that she had the same exact inspiration for her quilt, only she saw the picture of this lady and her pillows in a magazine (a church magazine, I presume 🙂 ).

So, instead of making the same quilt, I decided to tweak it a little.  So, here goes.

My new sketch:

Koto Quilt sketch

This sketch is not exactly what I made (I didn’t do the extra square in the middle of the connected squares.)

Here is a detail of the two main blocks used for this quilt.  The pencil numbers are incorrect.  The numbers in pen are correct, resulting in finished 7.5 x 10.5 inch blocks.

"Connect the blocks" block pattern

I had a piece of remnant fabric from JoAnn called “Koto,”  I’ve wanted to use it in a quilt for a long time now, and so I decided that this would be the quilt.

"Connect the blocks" Koto fabric

I made 15 of each block, and arranged them so that the Koto pieces would balance themselves out in the quilt.

"Connect the blocks" layout

Then, I organized them into columns.

I decided to sew them end to end first since it required more exactness, then I sewed the columns together.

Here is the quilt top.

Then I had to go back to JoAnn and buy more Koto fabric to make a back.  It’s the vicious remnant cycle all over again.

I had a hard time figuring out how to quilt this thing.  I thought about loopy, or meandering, but something in me wanted to make this more geometrical.  I could do lines following the blues and whites, but I felt that it needed something different.  I had thought of square swirls, or square meandering, but I had never seen it done, and so I didn’t know if what was in my head would look good.  And then, a ray of sunshine!  Elizabeth Hartman used a blocky meandering pattern on her planetarium quilt, and it looks AMAZING.  Thank you Elizabeth for freeing me to do this.  I should trust my own instincts.  I love how it looks!

Blocky Meandering Machine Quilting

So, I bound it with grey fabric, machine stitched to the front, hand stitched to the back.  Before washing, this quilt was 45 inches by 53 inches.  After washing, this quilt was 42.5 inches by 50 inches.  This time, my fabric was pre-washed.  That’s still shrinking 6%.  I used “Warm and Natural” batting, which says on the package that it doesn’t need to be pre-washed and dried and that it won’t shrink.  Well, I’m going to guess that it does.  But, no matter, I love it!

"Connect the blocks" finished quilt

Here is the back, upside down 🙂

"Connect the blocks" finished quilt back

The other fabrics used in this quilt include the green from the bus quilt, an orange from the next quilt I post, a red from a fat quarter, and a square of Kona Maize.



  1. Mama Mel says:

    Lovely quilt! 🙂

  2. Hazle says:

    That is just wonderful!!! The colours and simplicity–and I love the story of how you found inspiration. The quilting design fits so well too–thank you for pointing me the way to another fun-looking blogger in Elizabeth Hartman. As a relatively new P&Q-er, I have trouble knowing how to quilt something when it’s sandwiched up so it was interesting to read how you went about it.

  3. Diane says:

    Love your quilt! Your choice of quilting really reflects the design present in the quilt top and I love that fabric! Thanks for sharing your design process and inspiration too! I’m not quite to the point where I can wrap my mind around designing quilts so it’s nice to get a glimpse of what that’s like.

  4. Jenni says:

    Too funny, I am also planning a quilt similar to this one. I have it all sketched out and planned, but have so much going on who knows when I’ll get to it. I of course, found Amy’s later too:) Yours looks wonderful, love it!

  5. Loved your quilt and really liked the pictures showing the process and different stages. It takes a long time to document the making of a quilt.

  6. Beth says:

    Isn’t it great when the ideas in our head become something we can actually look at, touch and appreciate?! Great job! Have a spledid day.

  7. Great Quilt! Thanks for sharing your process, I am in love with the backing, i love it when quilters add to their backing instead of making it all one solid piece! It’s great inspiration!! Glad you were able to complete your challenge!

  8. Jennifer says:

    Beautiful! I love the quilting!

    Jennifer 🙂

  9. Cathy A says:

    That turned out so beautiful!

  10. Tove says:

    Wow, Love it!!! I have seem other projects simular it may have been Amy’s if she posted it. The first thing I thought of is this quilt wouldbe perfect with Photos of people in the boxes!!!!!!!
    I may have to use you as inspiration. I loved seeing how you worked it out on paper, I love seen other peoples process of creating.
    I think that the quilt shrank up nicely. I like that slightly shrank look it give a new quilt of being a loved item even before being touched.

  11. Rachel B. says:

    Beautiful quilt! I might have to make one like this someday (put it on the list!).

  12. Barb in MI says:

    Great quilt and quilting! Thanks for sharing!

  13. sukie says:

    Wow! I love the backing!! Great job!

  14. Robin says:

    What a wonderful quilt! Thanks for sharing your process. It is so cool to hear how a quilt comes into being from inspiration to finish. And congrats on making your challenge goal! 🙂

  15. Sara says:

    Your whole thought process with this quilt was really interesting and I love the fabric remnant you used to build around the whole quilt top!!!! Your back looks fantastic:) The quilting is a nice added touch to complete the whole vision you had I think:) Thanks for sharing–fun times with Amy!!!

  16. Tanya says:

    Thank you for all of your kind comments. I really appreciate it! If you want to make a quilt like this, let me know and I’ll give you exact measurements, etc.

  17. Amy Smart says:

    This quilt is so awesome!! I love what you’ve done – and SO funny to have the same inspiration. (I’m seriously still trying to figure out how to make a quilt with all the borders around the squares in that pillow!)

    I especially love your quilting. (my biggest weakness). It looks SO GOOD – perfect for the overall quilt design. Love it!