Building Foundations Sampler QAL – Block 1


Block 1: Depression Block, Kansas City Star, 1942.

“Mrs. John L. Waller, Farmington, MO, gives us the Depression Quilt pattern. She ripped, washed and dyed tobacco sacks for the quilt top. Mrs. Waller preferred this pattern in a two-tone color scheme.” (From Jinny Beyer’s book)


from background fabric cut:
4 – 2″ x 2 3/4″ (A)
4 – 2″ x 5″ (B)
2 – 2″ x 1 1/4″ (C)
from light fabric cut:
1 – 2″ x 2 3/4″ (A)
1 – 2″ x 5″ (B)
from medium fabric cut:
1 – 2″ x 5″ (B)
2 – 2″ x 4 1/4″ (D)
from dark fabric cut:
1 – 2″ x 2 3/4″ (A)
1 – 2″ x 5″ (B)

Depression quilt


Layout fabric into rows, sew together using a 1/4″ seam and press to one side. Sew rows together to make a 9 1/2″ block, finished 9″.

Building Foundations Sampler QAL Bock 1

I am using Kona Pond as my background and all sorts of other fabrics from my stash! For this block I used a gradation of hand dyed pinks.  Doris is using a Moda Bella White (#9900-98) for her background with Kaffe Fassett prints. She chose three different textures to use instead of a gradation of color.

Remember to share your pics with us via the Facebook page or the Flickr group!

Happy quilting,


It’s a Quilt-Along!

Building Foundations Sampler QAL button
Today is the start of our Building Foundations Sampler Quilt Along!  (The name comes from our business tag line; which is “Built Upon Classic Foundations”.)

I love sampler quilts! I made a Dear Jane quilt and it is by far my biggest piecing achievement! The sad part is, I can’t have it on the bed because our 60 pound dog sleeps with us. He can sleep on any other quilt in the house, but I draw the line with my Jane quilt!

So I am going to build a sampler quilt (and make a King size quilt that we can use!) and I’d love it if you made one along with me!  (Grab the button above for your blog or FB page). Every other week, I will introduce a new 9″ block with instructions.  Doris and I will both make a version and share the photos here.

I set up a Flickr group for those in the QAL to post pics of their own blocks as we go:  For those that share blocks in the Flickr group, there will be some giveaways along the way. 🙂

Join us, invite your friends, and share this on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… the more the merrier!

Happy Quilting,






















QAL Questions, Answered:

One question came up about how much background fabric we recommend. I purchased 3 yards to make sure I like the fabric that I chose and plan to buy 5 more off the same bolt of fabric. (Doris purchased five yards of white off the same bolt). This is my word of caution about using white (which I totally love). If you are using white make sure it is the same white, (brand and color) keep it away from your other whites. All white fabric is not created equally, and it may look alike today, but “trust” me, it will not wash or age alike. Take a look at some aged quilts, not even antiques with an assortment of white fabrics and you will find the white are not the same color of white & some look transparent. Doris found this out the hard way, with a laundry catastrophe, about three weeks ago. ;-) -TK

Can I use scraps? You bet–we LOVE scrappy quilts, and some of our blocks are scrappy, but our background remains consistent. However, if you have a bunch of light scraps, say shirting prints, that you want to use for your background, you could definitely cut your background from the scrap bin, too!  Or use a different background for each block–just keep contrast and value in mind, and you’ll make a great looking quilt! -DB

Mums for Melissa — “a Ghastly” Quilt

I promised a version of Mums for Melissa, our new pattern, made from Alexander Henry Ghastlies fabric to our Facebook fans over a week ago… It’s just a flimsy quilt top at this point (piecing a fussy-cut Ghastlies back for it, too):

Ghastlies Alexander Henry Mums for Melissa a Ghastlie Reunion Quilt

I knew early in the development of this pattern that I wanted to make a version from my (ahem) sizeable collection of Ghastlies fabrics. I’m not sure Trina trusted that it would turn out until she saw it made up:

Ghastlies Alexander Henry Quilt Mums for Melissa Detail1

Ghastlies Mums for Melissa Detail

And there are more than just Alexander Henry Fabrics in there… there’s a little of Tula Pink’s Nightshade, some Michael Miller Button Up, Riley Blake, Art Gallery Fabrics, and Moda scraps in the blocks.

Ghastlies Mums for Melissa Detail Ghastlies Alexander Henry Ghastly Fabric

Ghastlies Ghastly Fabric Mums for Melissa Detail Alexander Henry a Ghastlie Reunion

My focus print is from “A Ghastlie Reunion”, a more recent release of the fabric line (the first collection came out in 2009, and yes, some of my fabrics are from that release).  The inner border is from the Haunted Mansion line by Sanae for Moda, the same one I used on my Ghastlies Portrait Placemats:

Ghastlies Alexander Henry Haunted Mansion by Sanae for Moda Mums For Melissa Ghastlies Quilt Ghastly fabric

It reminds me of flocked wallpaper but with SPIDERS! (Trina and I both have a weakness for Halloween Fabrics).

So, what will you make your version of Mums For Melissa out of?  Be sure to join our Flickr group and share your creations there!

Until next time, Happy Quilting!


Mums for Melissa – Our Chrysanthemum quilt pattern is HERE!

As many of our followers know, this pattern has been a long time coming.  I first made this quilt for a friend’s 40th Birthday, in April 2010.  I chose this block because the Chrysanthemum is a symbol of love and friendship.  Then it was featured again on my blog and in Quilty Magazine, Jan/Feb 2013 issue:

Quilty Magazine Meet a Modern Quilter Doris Chrysanthemum Quilt

Well the wait is over, we have it ready!  It is hot off the presses and available in the shop!

Mums For Melissa Chrystanthemum Quilt Front CoverFINAL copy

I wanted to make this a pattern back in 2010, when I made this first version… which is based on the Chrysanthemum block, first published via mail-order in the 1930s:

chrysanthemum quilt

But the on-point strips in the block held me up.  I couldn’t come up with a non-paper-pieced way of showing how to easily construct the block.  Eventually it was moved to the back burner, where it stayed until earlier this year.  After a LOT of requests for the pattern following the release of the Quilty feature, Trina and I decided to revisit it.  We were playing around in my studio one Saturday and Trina kept fussing with the Chrysanthemum block while I was chain piecing, and all the sudden a light bulb struck — we had it!  Perseverance paid off!

Mums for Melissa Chrysanthemum Quilt on Lake Superior

chrysanthemum quilt detail Mums for Melissa

After we had it made, and the instructions close to complete, we had to name it.  All of our patterns to date have retained part of the traditional block’s name in the pattern name.  We just couldn’t commit to the name Chrysanthemum, because it’s tough word that is for some people a tongue twister.

Chrysanthemum Mums for Melissa Quilting Detail Modern Quilting

The friend I first made it for, Tonya, seemed natural to use, but it didn’t quite fit with the name variations we tried out.  In 2010, the same year I made this quilt for Tonya, Trina lost one of her dear sisters, Melissa. When one of us suggested Mums for Melissa, we knew immediately we had the name!

Melissa died far too young; her memory lives on with her family, especially among her tight-knit sisters.  She will always be loved and missed by her family; and this quilt is dedicated to her memory.

Chrysanthemum Mums for Melissa Modern Quilt