little bits quilting bee

Community Garden — a wall hanging or lap quilt, by Kathreen Ricketson

Throughout February I will be featuring quilts from my book Little Bits Quilting Bee (published by Chronicle late last year). Because designer fabric is often only in print for one season it can be difficult for quilt designers and authors to choose fabrics that will be still available when the book or pattern is published; so to help you out I will be offering advice and alternate fabric choices for many of the quilts in my book. 

This fabric is made with some delicious hand screen printed Ink and Spindle fabric, I collected a few different fat quarters and cut them into charm squares myself. That delicious centre panel of fabric is Birch in Saffron.

More suggestions:

  • Aviary 2 by Joel Dewberry – Southern fabric does a charm pack of the yellow colourway.
  • Or else you could try some delicious organic fabric from Daisy Janie.
  • Or Julia Rothman’s Miscelaney collection from Cloud9 is pretty special (pictured below).

To make this quilt top you’ll need:

  • 2-3 packs charm squares or 72 squares (that is 6 fat quarters), you’ll also need a solid fabric for the background 3/8 yard (35 cm) of natural linen, plus a bit more 3/8 yard (35 cm) for binding.
  • You’ll also need a copy of my book - and they are available in all good book shops and online too.
  • I have quilted this quilt in a free-style leaf design, mimicked from some of the seed pod and leaf designs in the fabric.
All images are copyright John Paul Urizar who did a great job on the photography in the book.

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Constructivist… Wall hanging or cot quilt by Kathreen Ricketson

Throughout February I will be featuring quilts from my book Little Bits Quilting Bee (published by Chronicle late last year). Because designer fabric is often only in print for one season it can be difficult for quilt designers and authors to choose fabrics that will be still available when the book or pattern is published; so to help you out I will be offering advice and alternate fabric choices for many of the quilts in my book. 

Constructivist was inspired by creative kids and their building blocks and was made with Lush by Erin Michael for Moda, sadly I don’t think this fabric is available in online stores anymore – although you might be lucky to find it at your local quilting shop. What I loved about this fabric was that it is a gender neutral and it was a breath of fresh air to find a fabric that doesn’t scream boy or girl. I love that woodsy feel to it, outdoorsy and natural, the green, and blue and brown tones are offset by that occasional pop of colour.

There are woodgrain fabrics available still – they were quite popular last year with several designers (for example Joel Dewberry for Freespirit - if you search on Etsy you will find a few) and, so you could easily find a bunch of woodsy fabrics and combine them with neutrals to recreate this quilt.

If you are looking to use a pre-cut charm pack I made it easy for you by researching current charm pack ranges that would be suitable for this quilt and came up with a few options for you…

  • Or some earth tone solids such as Bella solids in warm pastels (try Fig Tree Olive for the background and Buttercup for the binding)
  • Or try this more feminine woodsy range for a girl: Little Apples Charm Pack Aneela Hoey for Moda Fabrics (try Pencil leaves for the background and Olive leaves for the binding)
  • I also really like Anna Marie Horner’s LouLouThi collection for Free Spirit Fabrics (charm square packs available from etsy store Sunnyside fabrics)
To make this quilt top you’ll need:
  • 1 pack (40) charm squares, you’ll also need a solid fabric for the background 1 1/3 yard (1.2 m) should do it. You will also need to get some extra yardage of one of the prints from your charm pack or a darker solid fabric for the binding 3/8 yard (35 cm) will be enough.
  • You’ll also need a copy of my book – and they are available in all good book shops and online too.
  • As you can see from the close up image above, the quilting on this quilt is done in a whimsical woodgrain pattern, echoing the woodsy feel of the quilt. I used a variegated thread for the quilting to really make it stand out but a grey thread would otherwise suit perfectly.

All images are copyright John Paul Urizar who did a great job on the photography in the book. And special thanks to John Paul’s son who is the lovely model in these photos.

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Summer Sundae: A single bed quilt for a little girl, by Kathreen Ricketson

Throughout February I will be featuring quilts from my book Little Bits Quilting Bee (published by Chronicle late last year). Because designer fabric is often only in print for one season it can be difficult for quilt designers and authors to choose fabrics that will be still available when the book or pattern is published; so to help you out I will be offering advice and alternate fabric choices for many of the quilts in my book. 

Summer Sundae was in part inspired by the fabric that I used for this quilt: the Sweet range from Urban Chiks for Moda. This fabric is no longer available so I searched for fabric that you could substitute, fabric that is sweet without being cloying – here are my choices. (You’ll need a pack of 10 fat quarters plus the background fabric.)

  • Wonderful Folk Heart by Rosalie Quinlan for Lecien Fabrics is a sweet mix of aqua, greens and pinks.
  • Circa 52 by Monaluna for Birch Organic Fabrics could be good for a boy or a girl and has a playful mix of gold, aqua and grey.
  • I am also going to suggest a bunch of Lecien fabrics (fat quarter set sold through JamsaBon).

To make this quilt top you’ll need:

  • 10 fat quarters Plus 1 1/2 yards (2.3m) for the background and 3/4 yard (70cm) extra for binding.
  • You’ll also need a copy of my book - and they are available in all good book shops and online too.
  • I machine quilted this in a playful scribble design.
Quilt images are copyright John Paul Urizar who did a great job on the photography in the book.

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Garnets and Gold: A single bed quilt or couch throw, by Kathreen Ricketson

Throughout February I will be featuring quilts from my book Little Bits Quilting Bee (published by Chronicle late last year). Because designer fabric is often only in print for one season it can be difficult for quilt designers and authors to choose fabrics that will be still available when the book or pattern is published; so to help you out I will be offering advice and alternate fabric choices for many of the quilts in my book. 

Garnets and Gold is a favourite quilt from the book, its clashing colours and jagged edges remind one of a kaleidoscope toy. The colours used here are rich jewel like tones, the Garnets are made up of lapis lazuli, jade, emeral and sapphire tones (blues, aquas and greens) while the Golden tones are ruby and gold (yellows, pinks, and magenta). I used a Fat quarter pack of Anna Maria Horner fabric (from the Good Folks range).

  • Spice Market (garnets) and Persian Skies (Gold) Grand Bazaar by Patty Young for Michael Miller Fabrics  (you’ll need 2 sets of each of these fat quarter packs)
  • Green and Red Kaffe Classics for Westminster Fibers (you’ll need one each of these bundles)
  • Dreamer (Garnets) and Glamour (Gold) Lark  by Amy Butler for Westminster Fibers (you’ll need one of each of these fat quarter bundles) (or the entire collection available at Quilttaffy - pictured below)

To make this quilt top you’ll need:

  • 12 fat quarters of Gold fabric, 14 fat quarters of Garnet fabric. Plus 5/8 yard (76cm) extra for binding.
  • You’ll also need a copy of my book - and they are available in all good book shops and online too.
  • I machine quilted this in a maze like quilting design.
Quilt images are copyright John Paul Urizar who did a great job on the photography in the book.

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Pop wreath — a wreath style applique quilt for a double bed by Kathreen Ricketson

Throughout February I will be featuring quilts from my book Little Bits Quilting Bee (published by Chronicle late last year). Because designer fabric is often only in print for one season it can be difficult for quilt designers and authors to choose fabrics that will be still available when the book or pattern is published; so to help you out I will be offering advice and alternate fabric choices for many of the quilts in my book. 

Pop wreath was beautifully made by some lovely women – it was a fabulous group quilt, Fiona Leche hand appliqued the quilt top, Amish women in Tennessee hand quilted the layers and I bound it. A beautiful heirloom quilt is the result. You can make this quilt by hand too if you like, but you could also certainly machine applique and machine quilt it too – a different result but equally stunning quilt would result.

I used a bunch of my own fabrics for this quilt — I made my own packs of Layer cakes (10 inch squares) from various stripes, plaids, checks and polka dot fabrics. If you would like to use a pre-cut Layer cake pack and want this same look – (soft and romantic yet modern too) here are some fabrics I would recommend:

  • Cape Ann by Oliver + S for Moda Fabrics - (you’ll need 2 packs) this collection of fabrics has a lovely soft appeal a range of pinks, blues and greens. (Pink castle fabrics have this in stock)
  • Reunion by Sweetwater for Moda Fabrics – (you’ll need 2 packs) this collection has a bit of contrast with red and black, yellow, green and grey.
  • If you are looking to make up your own layer cake like I did here then you will need approx 6.5 yards or 15 fat quarters in total to make up the 2 Layer cake packs, you can use a variety of scraps that are at least 10 inches square. Try Essential dots fat quarter pack by Moda (you’ll need 2 of these packs).

To make this quilt top you’ll need:

  • 2 Layer cake packs (or 15 fat quarters), and 4 1/2 (4.1m) yards of soft white fabric for the background. Plus 3/4 yard (70cm) extra of background fabric for the binding.
  • You’ll also need a copy of my book - and they are available in all good book shops and online too.
  • This quilt was hand quilted in an echo design – however if you are machine appliqueing – then feel free to machine quilt it as well.
Quilt images are copyright John Paul Urizar who did a great job on the photography in the book.

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