Category Archives: Quatrefoil

A Late Bloomer

Off to the longarm quilter’s one day and ready for pick-up the next! I certainly landed in her queue at just the right time. Here’s a great in-process shot of the quilting Karlee of SewInspired2Day did on my 12-year-old UFO, newly named Lilacs in September:

I was surprised and delighted that Karlee was able to do an edge-to-edge design over the flange on this quilt top. I was sure that folded strip of fabric would get flipped back on itself when the needle traveled over it from the center of the quilt. Turns out Karlee’s longarm has a special foot for sewing over flanges. And she also basted the flange down first, removing the basting stitches after quilting.

The quilting motif is called Abundant Feathers. I was going for a traditional look for this very traditional nine-patch and snowball block design. Here’s a look at the finished front:

A couple of close-ups:

The thread is a pale grey, which blends with all the fabrics. The quilted feathers enhance the quilt without overpowering it.

Here’s a look at the back . . .

. . . including a detail of the singleton Quatrefoil block:

After trimming the quilt, I laid it on the floor to measure it (51″ x 57″) and take photos. Guess who appeared out of nowhere? Yep. Princess Cordelia, aka Coco.

If she’s not on the quilt, she’s under it:

Oh, about the name Lilacs in September. I was inspired by a 1995 British film called Daisies in December, starring Jean Simmons and Josh Ackland. Filmed in Cornwall, it tells the story of a grumpy senior citizen dumped at a seaside retirement home for two weeks by his vacationing family. He’s determined to have a rotten time. Of course he meets someone interesting . . . but there’s a complication. I had a copy of this film on VHS back in the day. It’s never been released as a DVD in the U.S. but it can be seen on Amazon Prime via the Hallmark Channel. I actually signed up the other day for a free seven-day subscription to the Hallmark Channel just so I could watch the movie again.

If daisies can bloom in December, I wondered, can lilacs bloom in September? (I pulled this quilt out of my sewing room closet on the last day of September.) The answer is yes: although many varieties bloom in spring, there are some later-blooming varieties. You could say this quilt is a late bloomer, given the number of years it’s been in my closet.

Now on to the binding. My first fabric of choice would be the medium dark blue fabric of the inner border. It would make a nice frame for the quilt. Second choice would be the light cornflower blue print of the outer border. After 12 years I didn’t have much hope that I’d find either fabric still in my stash. Oh, happy day! After looking just now I found a 16″ strip of the outer border fabric, more than enough for the binding strips. How perfectly providential!




Posted in cats, Quatrefoil, snowball blocks, update | 10 Comments


Isn’t that a lovely block design? It’s called “Quatrefoil,” which means four leaves, and it’s been around a long time. I’ve had my eye on this block ever since a student pointed me to Jenny Doan’s tutorial on the Missouri Star Quilt Company’s website. Jenny’s demo features a charming quilt made from precut 10″ squares from a single line of fabric.

I made one 12″ block — dressed up with a fussycut center — to add a little pizzazz to a quilt backing:

The block really deserves to be showcased in a full quilt because the four-patches in the corners form a secondary pattern. If you search for “quatrefoil quilts” on Instagram or Pinterest you’ll see some wonderful examples. My singleton quatrefoil really doesn’t do the quilt block design justice.

The backing you see above was made for the the quilt top I showed you in my last post, the one with snowball blocks and nine-patches that languished in my sewing room closet for a good dozen years. It was sandwiched and partially quilted but I never got very far with it. When I decided to have it quilted by a professional longarm quilter I knew I’d have to make a new backing because longarmers require four extra inches of batting and backing on all four sides to make sure the layers of the quilt can be loaded properly on the frames of their quilting machines. Quilters using their domestic sewing machines typically don’t need to do that.

Even if I had wanted to finish the original quilt sandwich myself I would have needed a new backing because there were two fade lines in the backing fabric where the quilt was folded. I have no idea how those fade lines got there because as far as I recall the backing was never exposed to sunlight. Can fadelines occur in dark closets?? Inquiring minds want to know.

In any case, I was able to salvage part of the original backing fabric and added a couple of other pieces from my stash that work well with the fabrics on the front. The quilt top and back were delivered today to Karlee Sandell of Sewinspired2Day to work her magic. I expect I will have something to show you very soon.




Posted in Quatrefoil, snowball blocks, update | 2 Comments