I love quilting because… and a challenge for you

Hey everyone!  In honor of National Quilting & Sewing Month, Fat Quarter Shop has teamed up with some bloggers to share their quilting or sewing experiences by answering some questions AND to tackle a challenge.  The challenge is to make something that you have never made before.  Now that sounds like fun!  I’ll show you what I made in just a moment.  Plus I’m giving YOU a challenge and a GIVEAWAY (update:  this giveaway is now CLOSED).  Make sure you read the end of this post for details.

Nat Sewing and Quilting Heart Banner-08

I was asked to finish this sentence:  “I love quilting because…”  I was in a silly mood when I came up with “my stash needs a purpose”.  I’m sure many of you can relate!  But on a deeper level, quilting feeds my soul and my desire to create.  Fabric just happens to be my favorite tool in the toolbox!

I love quilting

Being able to share that passion with my students, family and friends (you all) is the icing on the cake.  It fills my cup!  Let me share the questions from Fat Quarter Shop (FQS) and my answers.

FQS:  How did you start quilting?  It started with a pillowcase that I made in a 7th grade sewing class.  Eventually I graduated to garments, home dec, and Halloween costumes.  In 1998 my sister finally talked me into trying to make a quilt.  She had been quilting for 15 years and still does beautiful work. So, when my 4th (and last) child entered kindergarten I decided it was time.  I was hooked after my second quilt.

FQS:  When was the first time you knew you were a quilter?  Probably when I realized that I had a (growing) UFO pile, and that I would never live long enough to use up all of my stash.

FQS:  Do you have any quilting horror stories or faux pas?  Nothing life threatening!  I’ve been lucky so far; it’s just the usual stuff like sewing a few pieces wrong sides together or not reading the instructions before moving ahead.

FQS:  What advice would you give to someone who’s just starting out in quilting?  Great question!  Have fun and allow yourself to make mistakes – that’s how you learn.  Also, take as many classes from as many different teachers as you can.  You’ll find certain teachers and techniques really resonate with you.  We all have different ways of doing things and you may just find a new and better way in a class.

And now for my challenge.  When it comes to sewing and quilting, I’ve just about done it all.  But, I will say that working with something other than quilting cotton is definitely outside of my comfort zone.  The challenge I gave myself was to make something out of voile.  I’ve had several one-yard cuts of voile in my closet and I’ve been afraid to touch them.  Well, I’m so glad I did!  I also have never made a scarf before, so that was also my challenge, to make a scarf out of voile.  Here is my finished product:

Scarf Main W copy

If you’re wondering, “What IS voile?”, I’ll tell you (because I didn’t know either).  Voile is a semi-sheer lightweight cotton fabric that has a beautiful drape. Just as denim is a heavyweight type of cotton, voile is on the other end of the spectrum as a lightweight cotton. Voile is perfect for making garments such as dresses, tunics and scarves.


My scarf was very easy to construct and working with voile was easier than I thought it would be.  Since I had one-yard cuts of two different coordinating fabrics, I decided to make my scarf dual toned.  I love how it turned out!  I’ll have a tutorial with all of the details for you next week. Let me entice you by saying that you can make three scarves out of two yards of fabric and that’s super exciting!

scarf hanging close W copy

Fat Quarter Shop has added to the excitement of National Quilting & Sewing Month with a free pattern for you:  Color My Heart Quilt.

free heart pat (2)

This project is quick, easy and adorable.  So much so, that I have made two so far!

Two hearts

I used one charm pack of Moda’s Simply Color by Vanessa Christenson and cut it into fourths, yielding 2 1/2″ squares – enough to make FOUR mini Color My Heart Quilts (plus additional yardage).

mini charms


The pattern calls for 5″ squares and it makes a 27″ square quilt.  It took me three hours to complete one mini quilt.  That includes quilting and binding by machine.  Each mini quilt measures 14 1/2″ square.  I did mostly straight line quilting, and I used left over charm squares for a scrappy binding.  Love it!


straight lines copy

This got me to thinking of some people that could really use their own little heart quilt. So, I’m going to keep one and send the rest to some friends in need.

HERE’S MY CHALLENGE TO YOU:  Make a mini quilt and give it to someone in need.  No swap, no strings attached, just “I’m thinking of you” kind of thing.  It could be a teacher, a friend, or a stranger you just met who lost their job.  You get the idea.  The Color My Heart pattern would be perfect for this project.

Share the love

I’ve recently encountered two people who have lost their entire quilting stash, tools and supplies due to fire and flood.  I know someone else who has been through some tough times recently. I’m glad to share a mini-heart quilt full of love and care to these lovely people.

To make this challenge more exciting, we’re having a GIVEAWAY compliments of the Fat Quarter Shop!  The first prize will be a $25 gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop and the second prize will be a Bonnie & Camille’s Designer Select Fat Quarter Bundle of Miss Kate.

logo-main-holidaybonniecamille_dsAll you need to do is leave a comment telling me who you would give a mini quilt to and why (optional).  You can earn another chance to win if you actually DO send a quilt to a friend and then leave a second comment saying you did so (quilter’s honor system). I’ll pick TWO WINNERS on October 1, 2014.  (Update:  this giveaway is now CLOSED). That gives you two weeks to make one quilt for you and one for a friend!  I know you can do it!

Thanks for hanging out with me today and have fun spreading the love of quilting!


Similar Posts


  1. I would make one for my friend, who has 4 young children, all of whom are on antibiotics for one reason or another, including one child who was in the hospital for a week.

  2. I waited to post about making a mini until I did it. I was afraid I’d get busy and it would be forgotten. But I made a mini quilt for a previous neighbor and she loved it.

  3. I’m going to make a mini quilt to use as a table topper for a neighbor I had in 2008. I see her and talk to her once in awhile to catch up and she always comments on my quilting.

  4. You have given me the big push I’ve needed. Still have to quilt the coffee shop lady quilt I posted about, but I did send off a flag quilt (wall hanging) that I had made for a neighbor who moved away. And he sent me a photo of it hanging on his wall. Why did I wait that long to send it.

  5. Such beautiful hearts. Thank you for the pattern. I am going to make one for each of my 3 daughters, who have beautiful hearts also.

  6. Delivery completed today! I made the quilt for Kelley because she’s a wonderful person. Little did I know she had been in the hospital over the weekend. At first she thought I had made it as a get well gift. It made her feel better to know that it was made before she became sick and just because I love her.

  7. Wow! That was super easy to make and turned out delightful. What a fun way to brighten someone’s day – I can’t wait to mail mine off to my mom tomorrow. Thank you for the inspiration and challenge!! 🙂

  8. for my friend whom just lost her best friend to a short illness. Her heart aches and she often finds comfort in home sewn items or quilted pillows that I make for her.

  9. I’m making a quilty heart for my mom. We live a plane ride away and I miss her so much. With a beautiful quilted heart, she can be reminded of how much I love her. Thanks for the lovely giveaway! 🙂

  10. I would make one for my Grandma’s friend. The woman and her son are very kind to my Grandma and help her get out and about now that she doesn’t drive.

  11. My husband has cancer and I make lap quilts and give to the other cancer patients that are taking treatment. They sit there for hours at a time and they all love receiving the lap quilts.
    Thanks so much for the opportunity to win.

  12. I would like to make four of these adorable minis–one for myself and one for each of my three grown daughters–because THEY are my heart <3

  13. My mini quilt will be given to a dear friend who is having back surgery on Tuesday. He has such a kind heart and is always doing things for others, but won’t let us do things for him. Thanks for giving us this wonderful idea!

  14. thank you for issuing the challenge…. spurred me to start making hearts. have one finished, which will go to a woman in sicily who just had surgery for stomach cancer. i plan to give it to her before i leave for home in america.

  15. I love, love, love Color My Heart and plan to make several minis as Christmas gifts this year – 1 for my two sisters for sure and at least 2 more for good friends.

  16. I should (and might!) make a mini quilt for my grandmother. She’s getting to the point that she’s losing some of her independence, and I know she could use a pick me up. She’d love a mini quilt!

  17. I would make a heart quilt and give it to a women in need at my local Women’s SHelter – I already make children and baby quilts that I donate on a regular basis to my local women’s shelter in Victoria. The heart quilts are great and very pretty something to hang on to and cherish while building a new life.

  18. I would make and send a mini quilt overseas thru HART (Humanitarian Aid Response Teams) to the Ukraine, to help orphans in need. In fact, I saved the heart pattern you posted, and would love to make that one … Heart for Hart.

  19. I would donate them to the local hospital’s premie ward as my daughter spent some time in it and the things that were given to her brought wonderful comfort and are still treasured.

  20. I am making a mini quilt/table topper for my previous neighbor. It’s made from a mini charm pack and one of the patterns from a book I bought. She is a sweet lady and I don’t see her very often any more.

  21. I would love to send one to my aunt who just turned 90 (as a birthday gift- we don’t usually do that but……….) and another one to a friend (and her husband 80) who at 75+ is helping the daughter get a farm going!

  22. I would love to make one for my Father, who just had open heart surgery 1 month ago. He was given a heart shaped pillow for cush to help support his chest, he now clings to it for comfort. This is a great challenge to give back and I am already getting some ideas together-Thanks!

  23. I would give the heart to my sister in law who has just been diagnosed with breast cancer, or to my other sister-in-law, a nurse, who has been an absolute godsend to our family (my brother chose well!) and has spent the last 3 years going to appointments and supporting and explaining to my 85 to 88 year old mother as she went throughout 2 bouts of cancer, surgery, and rehab and then hospice care.All the while, she supported us and our choices, and made us feel that we were doing all we could do at the time and with the personality we were dealing with. A true blessing to us all!

  24. I am attempting to make a small quilt with the name of a local coffee shop on it for the lady who now owns it – one of her lifelong dreams – to own a business – accomplished in her 70’s. What an inspiration.

  25. I would make a heart mini quilt for my best friend who is having difficulty with her job, it would remind her that I’m there for her!

  26. I’d give a mini quilt to my sister who quit sewing when she had kids and had to go back to work. She just doesn’t have time right now. Her kids are almost grown, and so by giving her a small wall hanging, maybe I could entice her back into sewing.

  27. such a pretty scarf you have made there. Thanks for explaining what voile is here as I know it from the past as a much finer see through fabric, not cotton and have seen people using it in quilts and could not understand why it did not look the way voile in the UK looks

  28. I would make the quilt for my dearest and oldest friend, 40 years and going strong. We live 1000 miles apart but still talk twice a week.

  29. I think I will make a mini for my sister. She loves hearts to begin with, and since she just moved 10+ hours away from family & friends, she probably could use a little reminder of home.

  30. I’m going to make a mini quilt for my daughter. She is a college student and a CNA and a mom, and she needs a hug and words of encouragement (which I would write on the back of the quilt)! Thanks for the inspiration!

  31. I would make a heart quilt for my older daughter. She has had a very hard, sad life and it would make her feel so good.

    xo Linda

  32. Having just received a gift of some fabric from a new friend, I would love to make this quilt for an old friend who is going through some really hard times and needs to remember how much she is loved. Thanks for such a lovely giveaway and challenge.


  34. I would find someone who loved to quilt but couldn’t anymore. I have done that with cross-stitch items before. Love the mini-quilt heart!

  35. This is such a sweet idea. I know of three women whom I would love to remember in this way. I am going to do my best to get these done! Thanks for the giveaway! Helen

  36. Well, I made the quilt by following the print out pattern, instead of your guidelines. It will be for a lady “Michelle” in my bible study called “Calm your Anxious Heart” just perfect. But, my next ones will be 2 1/2 squares.
    Thanks for this pattern.
    It will be on my blog in a few days.

  37. I would like to make the mini quilt for my coworker but I need some Harley fabric would it great. I will be waiting for the scarf instructions. I have been sewing since my 4-H days but then it was garments. I actually sewed my bridesmaid dress for my sister-in-law wedding. I finished the morning of the wedding. They joked I would still be sewing when I walked down the aisle. Thanks for your blog.

  38. I am a newbie at quilting but giving this a try for a dear friend. She fell yesterday, flat on her face, and broke her nose and 6 ribs. The week before her doctor claimed “cancer free” after 2 years of treatment and a year before that the garage door fell on her and she broke her back. TRUE story, I promise!! I feel this quilted heart might do her some good. Wish me luck during the process.

  39. What a lovely idea, I think I will make one for my dear friend and aunt, sort of, by marriage. thanks for the idea and giveaway.

  40. our challenge got me thinking..this would be a perfect gift for Christmas presents. My 2.5 yr old grandson loves to help me sew my patchwork..he loves to feed the pieces thru the machine and sew them together. He is actually very good too. He could help me make thses for his presents to his mommy and other grandmom!! Thanks for the idea!!!

  41. I would make and send a mini to my dear friend L in Arizona. She generously shares her stash and her scraps with me, several times a year. She is constantly making quilts for charity, even though she has her own medical problems to deal with.
    Thanks so much for the giveaway,
    Jacqueline in Pitt Meadows

  42. The scarf turned out well. I too am looking forward to the tutorial. I agree to take on the challenge of making a mini quilt for someone who could use a lift. My friend has been dealing with the loss of her husband to cancer this past year, this will remind her that other love her.

  43. I love making mini quilts and in fact belong to Doll Quilt Swap. I make and send a mini doll quilt to my partner for the month. We can choose to use the suggested theme or go with one of our choice.
    Gmama Jane

  44. I would love to make a quilt for my son Isaiah. I’m always trying to inspire him to do new things and I believe that if I did a quilt for him he would want to try getting into it. Also, I just know he’d cherish it forever. 🙂

  45. I am making a mini quilt for my mother in-law as she is living in a memory care center. She doesn’t remember a lot about her old life but she loves mini quilts. This one will be for Halloween, the last one I made for her was your LOVE mini in greys and pinks. Thanks so much for the challenge!

  46. I would make a mini quilt for my cousin who is suffering through a debilitating disease called scleroderma. He can put it on his chair and remember that his family is constantly thinking of him and praying for his comfort.

  47. I would give it to my niece who just went off to college. First time being on her own. Would be a great reminder of “love” from home.

  48. These would be a good size to pair with handmade dolls. I sew a lot of stuffed toys for charity (The Fluff Project). In fact, with just a minor modification a pocket could be added to the back and the doll could go inside.

    Hmmm, I think I have a new Fluff Project item to add to my list (and I’ve never done triangles yet–I’m intimidated by them–so that would be a good “first” too!)

  49. For my sister. She has had a rough year with her health and her husbands cancer. I would finish the edge in scallops because she mentioned liking them the other day.

  50. This is such a nice idea. I would make one foe a young mother I know who’s baby has a rare heart defect. He’s already had several surgeries and I think she could use a hug ; )
    Thanks for a chance at a win

  51. I am looking forward to your tutorial on the scarf. I have a friend who will lose her job in November. Even though she is losing her income and the stresses involved, she still gives it her all and continues to work hard at her job. She deserves so much more than a quilt, but it will be a continued reminder that we love her.

  52. What a wonderful idea! I would make one for Kristy from Hopeful Threads (we’ve never met, but have made an online friendship that rivals any real life friendship). She has a heart of gold and sews hundreds of items each year for kids in foster care, hospitals and other crisis situations. She also includes the elderly and pets in some of her sewing. She provides her readers with opportunities to join her and collects items from them to deliver to those in crisis.

  53. I’d make a quilty heart for my friend V, who has been my best quilting partner since the day I walked in to the guild meeting for the first time and sat beside her. That was 10 years ago, and we’ve been stitching together nearly every week since.

  54. Julie,
    thank you for sharing the Heart quilt, I just found the charm pack i will use and I know the person who will receive it when done. Looking forward to the scarf, just have to go find my fabric. So much fun.

  55. I’m going to make this great heart design for a friend who’s husband has liver cancer and other complications. She is such a dear,selflessly taking care of others and she loves quilts too.

  56. I simply do not have time to make two lovely small quilts this month as I am traveling for business – Darn Day Job! But if I had time, I would make a surprise quilt as a Pay It Forward for my good friend who does thoughtful things for others day in and day out. Maybe for Christmas….

  57. I’m making that mini heart quilt for my sister living in a nursing home. Won’t it look cute hanging on the wall in her room. I can even use fabric from my stash.

  58. What a great idea! I know exactly who I’m going to send my mini heart quilt to. I am going to send the mini heart quilt to my college roommate from 33 years ago. We used to keep in touch but, as our families grew and our lives got busier, we sadly drifted apart. Now we are both empty nesters. I feel it is time to reconnect. And what better way than through a special hand-made gift. Can’t wait to get a response from her! Thanks for giving me the boost I needed to make the connection.

  59. I am going to make a mini quilt for my best friend, just to pick up her spirits while she deals with her Mom’s dementia. I too love the scarf and look forward to the tutorial. Thanks Julie!

  60. The scarf would also make a great gift! Looking forward to the tutorial. My Friend Kelley is downsizing her life in order to move onto her mother’s property. She’ll be living in camper trailer for about 6 months until her new home is finished. Why? Her mother needs help taking care of the property and her disabled son. Kelley already has a full schedule taking care of her father and babysitting her 3 yr old grand daughter. I don’t know how she’s going to fit her mom and brother into the plan. I guess we never really know just how much we can handle until we HAVE to. The mini quilt would be a nice way to show her I’m here if she needs me. It almost feels wrong to say “Now I need to find time to make one”.

  61. What fun!! I think I’ll make a mini-quilt and gift it to my young friend who just donated her kidney to you older brother. It was a long journey for them both, and certainly not over for him. I will call it her badge of courage!

  62. Hi Julie:

    Enjoyed your post and really like the scarf. I’m planning to make that mini quilt, one of these days, and it would go to my dear friend, Claudette. She’s been through a difficult time over that last few years and I think this would put a smile on her face. Thanks!

  63. I would make a “love” quilt for my daughter. She loves being a mom and being a teacher, this is her 12th year of teaching. Her first year was as an English teacher which she did not enjoy. When she was asked if she was coming back and if she would be the cheerleading coach, she said she wasn’t coming back unless she could teach math and she would be the cheerleading coach IF she could teach math. That was in middle school. The year she got married, she started teaching at the high school from which her husband graduated. She lives in a state other than which she was born and raised. I’d also make one for her mother-in-law. She and I each lost our husbands in 2013. Her husband died unexpectedly in his sleep in December. So that would let her know that she is still loved even though she has days that she doesn’t feel like she is. She needs to remember the truth that family (and God) still love her. Thanks for reminding us of the great pattern and that not quilts need to be the size of the pattern. Have you seen what Jan Patek did with quilt? It is awesome – she added applique to it, of course. Take a peek at her blog. Of course, she is selling a kit in her shop. She is/was having a giveaway, too. I want, I want, I want.

  64. I’d give my mini quilt to my neighbour. She’s on a strict diet, and she has lost 88 lbs so far, after a whole life of weight struggles.

  65. Julie,
    I love your scarf, and your fabric choice is beautiful, as always. Looking forward to the tutorial. Also love your idea of sending a mini heart quilt to someone in need. I’m sure all recipients will be so warmed by the thought as well as the quilt.

  66. I am going to make a mini quilt for my friend Becky who has had to take over the guardianship of her two small grandchildren at the age of 60. She is such a fantastic person and is taking such great care of these two children. She even quit her job to make sure that they are taken care of properly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Some of the links on this site are affiliate links and I may be compensated a small commission when you make a purchase by clicking on those links. I only promote products and services that I use and love myself. Your support enables me to maintain the content of this blog and I am truly grateful!