Nothing beats a classic. The master level quilts that our grandmothers once stitched by hand with precision and care have never been easier to recreate with modern methods. Many of these patterns are surprisingly simply with just a little effort and dedication, but why take our word for it when you can find out on your own!
Thanks to Jenny Doan’s incredible quilt tutorials and patterns, these five time-honored traditional quilts can grace your home as you pass down the gift of quilting to the next generation of makers! Where there’s a quilt, there’s a way!
A quilt by any other name will stitch the same! The Happy Trails quilt has been called many things in its storied past; the snail trail, monkey wrench, Indiana puzzle, Journey to California and Whirligig just to name a few! This beautiful and super easy to make project utilized 5 inch squares of precut fabric to create a fabulous design. Call it what you’d like, but we know you’ll have fun creating it!
We love the traditional look that Jenny created for her tutorial; it fits perfectly with the vintage pattern of the quilt! Pick up a more traditional blue charm pack, such as Indigo Gatherings for Moda Fabrics and capture that beautiful, antiquated look!
The Irish Chain pattern can trace its roots back to the early 1800s, over two hundred years ago! A staple for beginning quilters, this pattern has been widely popularized for its simplicity. Jenny’s twist on the classic, the Irish Change quilt, is a gorgeous new version of the traditional design that uses 10″ squares of precut fabric. The best part about this is that the “chains” of this quilt frame the 10″ squares, so you can feature your favorite fabrics in full!
Have a little fun when selecting a fabric for this quilt! Pick your favorite fabric square that you wish to frame, and if you really want a modern and wild touch on this classic, consider All Systems Glow Glow in the Dark 10″ Squares by Kanvas Studio. These glow in the dark, spaced themed squares will make this a favorite for any young person in your life!
Hexagon quilts have been around longer than you may think! Even in the early 1900s, quilters were creating these wonderful projects as the Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt. This simple yet effective design is a great way to introduce yourself to the world of quilting while creating a beautiful project with a rich history!
This classic may look simple, but to ensure perfect pointed triangles requires care and precision. Flying Geese blocks used to be a difficult pattern to accomplish, but thanks to Jenny’s methods of creating these triangles, you’ll never lose a point again! This block was once used during the Underground Railroad to point the way to freedom, which in turn immortalized this pattern in the annals of quilting history!
The first quilt Jenny Doan ever made was a simple log cabin quilt. Many of us can say the same as this pattern has been the foundation for many quilters for generations. Adding just a little flair to the heirloom project while still honoring its roots, Jenny has created a new twist on an easy classic that is simply stunning!
The contrast between light and dark fabric in the River Log Cabin quilt is just wonderful, so when selecting your pack of 2.5″ strips to make this design, keep contrast in mind. Prose 2.5″ Strips from Maywood Studio will be the perfect starting point; a good contrast of color complimented by beautiful flowers, leaves and stripes!
The next installment of our “My First Quilt” series for National Quilting Month comes from one of our wonderful Missouri Star Quilt Co. team members. Nichole is our fearless senior copywriter, who spends her workdays crafting quilty stories and quips for all of us to enjoy! Read on to learn all about Nichole’s first quilt and why she made it.
Back in 1999, I was a moody teenager, more interested in tattooed boys than my school work. Most Friday nights I hung out at all-ages clubs full of spiky-headed youth, but occasionally I would spend my time pursuing milder hobbies. It was a few months before graduation that my cousin, Joy, suggested we make quilts together. I wasn’t against it, but I had no idea where to start. My generous aunt helped us procure all the necessary tools and showed us how the sewing machine worked. It seemed kind of cheeky to take a quilt, something associated with our grandmothers’ generation, and make it our own.
We planned out our patterns on graph paper. Mine was an ambitious design featuring my favorite mopeds appliqued around the edge with the Vespa logo in the center. I had no idea what I’d taken on. I didn’t even own a scooter, but I loved the idea of hopping on a cute, mint green Vespa and jetting around town. It seemed like a simple enough design in pink and black squares, but reality hit me when I began ironing on all those little scooter pieces and satin-stitching around the edges. It definitely tested my patience! The result wasn’t perfect by any means, but it is a tribute to the ingenuity of ignorance and, of course, scooters.
Now I look back on my first quilt, 19 years later, and I realize how much I’ve learned about myself. I don’t long to own a scooter anymore, and I never did ride on one. As I finished college, I abandoned quilting for a time, but my interest in quilting resurfaced again in a big way about ten years ago when I stepped into the Stitchin’ Post in Sisters, Oregon. The walls were lined with gorgeous quilts and I couldn’t stop myself from purchasing a bundle of fabric and planning to begin another project right then and there.
Once again, it was a pattern that I might not take on today, and in fabrics that I wouldn’t necessarily choose again, but I stuck with it, and 11 months later, I had hand-quilted my second, real quilt. The blocks were a variation on the Schoolhouse pattern, but made to my own specifications in 1800s reproduction fabrics. It was a doozy!
These days, I prefer to work in an eclectic modern palette with brighter colors and playful fabrics. I love Japanese prints and using the entire spectrum of solids. Sometimes I even sneak in a vintage print for fun. And I’m sure my tastes will shift again as I grow older. That’s the beauty of quilting. It grows with you. It changes as you do. It can be as easy or as complex as you wish it to be. However you choose to quilt, make it your own and, most of all, enjoy the process!
If you want to jump into quilting, Nichole recommends Couch to Quilt! This all-inclusive box of quilting supplies includes everything (minus the sewing machine) you need to make a crib-size quilt. Click HERE to shop now!