AQS Show: Mums for Melissa

It’s here! AQS Week in Des Moines, this will be the American Quilter’s Society’s largest (to date) quilt show–and Des Moines, and the Des Moines Area Quilters Guild have the honor of playing host!


We are excited–because our new pattern, Mums for Melissa is being featured in a demo in Booths 1003-1005 by Denise of the Iowa Falls Sewing Machine Co.–you can visit their booth to purchase our pattern.


Denise paid us the best compliment, she called to order more patterns and asked, “Why didn’t you tell me how awesome this pattern is?” Seriously, does it get any better than that?! She told us she thought it was a snowflake quilt waiting to happen (We Know!) and/or a sunflower quilt waiting to happen (Great idea, Denise!) — so many ideas, so little time.  So stop by and see Denise at booth 1003-1005! Tell her Trina & Doris said hello!

Chrysanthemum Mums for Melissa Modern Quilt

Living History Farms, a living history museum complex in Urbandale (a Des Moines suburb) will be hosting a vintage quilt show, also October 2-6.  It’s always worth a visit!

Also, on Wednesday, a new exhibit opens at the State Historical CenterThe Sum of Many Parts: 25 Quiltmakers in 21st Century America. It will hang until January 31st. This exhibit is traveling from China, but consists of contemporary American Quilts.  Des Moines is the only U.S. city that will host the full exhibit.  I’ll be finding time next week to pay a visit to that one, I think…

Des Moines is a great City in which to be a quilter!  We also happen to be home to Meredith Corporation, publishers of American Patchwork & Quilting, and all of the Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publications.  Just outside of Des Moines, in Winterset is the home of the Fons & Porter Love of Quilting publications.  We are also home base for a major publisher of quilting books, Landauer Publishing.  We have more than one active & thriving quilt guild, a Modern Quilt Guild chapter, numerous quilt retreat opportunities, a handful of great local quilt, fabric & yarn shops, and really friendly people! Like we said, Des Moines is a great place to be a quilter.

Are you planning to be in Des Moines this week?


Happy Quilting,

Trina & Doris

Building Foundations Sampler QAL – Block 3


We are keeping the blocks at the beginning of this QAL simple, but I promise they will become more involved as we progress. Just wanted to start out kind of easy to “trick you” into making the blocks, and then later you will be thankful for the easy blocks! 😉

Block #3 is White House Steps, by Laura Wheeler, published in Paris News, 1933. (Jinny Beyer’s book).

We both used four fabrics for this quilt block, I used three shades of pink and the background fabric.


Background fabric, cut 4 (C) – 1 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ rectangles, 4 (E) – 1 1/2″ squares, 4 (F) – 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″ rectangles, 1 (G) – 3 1/2″ square.

Pink 1, cut 4 (D) – 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ rectangles, cut 4 (E) – 1 1/2″ squares.

Pink 2, cut 4 (D) – 1 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ rectangles, cut 4 (E) – 1 1/2″ squares.

Pink 3, cut 4 (A) – 1 1/2″ x 3″ rectangles, cut 4 (B) – 1 1/2″ x 2″ rectangles.

Layout block as shown:

white house steps quilt block assembly


1. Start with center, join 2 pink and 1 background E squares; 2 pink D rectangles and 1 E background square. Repeat to make second set of each. Press each seam carefully.

2.  Join strip of 3 E squares to the G square; repeat on opposite side of G square. Press.  Join the D/E strips to each side of center, press.  Continue adding sections in this manner for two outer rows.

Voila! Our finished blocks:

Block 3_ White House Steps Quilt Block

Join us, invite your friends, and share this on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram… the more the merrier!  And, remember to share your pics with us via the Facebook page or the Flickr group!

Happy Quilting,


Building Foundations Sampler QAL – Block 2

Thanks for all of your interest in our new quilt along!

Building Foundations Sampler QAL button

One question came up about how much background fabric we recommend. You are probably going to want at least 5 yards; see the bottom of this post for a more detailed answer.

Our latest block is a block known by many names; “Box Quilt Pattern”, Ladies Art Company 1897, “Box Car Patch”, Nancy Cabot, Chicago Tribune, 1934, and “Contrary Husband”, Kansas City Star, Nov 1938. (Jinny Beyer’s book).

Cut 1 – 3 ½” square for the center.

Cut 8 – 3 ⅞” squares from a print and a background fabric, or like Doris’ uses four different fabrics and a background to make 8 half square triangles.

Draw a diagonal line on all background squares.

Sew a scant ¼” on either side of the drawn line (diagram 2). Cut apart on the drawn line (diagram 3) and press to the darker fabric (diagram 4).


Layout the half square triangles and center square as shown. Sew the rows together pressing row 1 and 3 to the right, and row 2 to the left. This will make your seams lock together when sewing rows together.

Here are the finished blocks we made:

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

Happy quilting,

Trina & Doris