From 20 blocks into a full quilt

Finally I am posting a description of a quilt I made last year.

In August 2011 Theo and I were teaching at one of our Art and Stitch Retreats, in North Salt Lake. It was my birthday and I thought no one knew...  but before I had a chance to start the class, our students surprised me so much! Each student gave me a signature quilt block of 12x12 inch in red and white.

Can't tell you how great it is to receive such a gift - knowing that each student has spent time creating that block, just for me! It sure made me very humble and grateful.

Due to our very busy teaching schedule, time kept vanishing and the quilt blocks kept waiting for quite some time. 

20 signature blocks

When I finally had the time to start the project, this is what I did: First I drew one block in Art and Stitch, filled with color and then started playing with the Repeat tool to find a nice layout.

playing to find a layout for the 20 blocks
I liked it better with space between the blocks
And the winner is...: colored squares between the blocks

 I just moved the blocks around until I liked the result. I then exported that layout from Art and Stitch as an image. The one with the extra colored squares inside was the winner and I pieced the blocks and the extra squares together and finished the top.

Simply because I invented Art and Stitch, I couldn't use existing quilt patterns of course. I had to make my own designs.
I made a design fitting the signature block, leaving the signature part in the center open. I used round shapes in circles and feathers, to prevent stitching in the ditch:

Designing a pattern to match the block.

Reshape to perfection. The pattern is one continuous path.

Keeping the center open. The circle and feather shapes prevent stitching in the ditch.

I used a small part of the full quilt layout and turned that into a backdrop in Art and Stitch, so that I could create designs fitting the spaces between the various blocks. I designed in the true size (12x12 inch blocks and 3x3 inch colored blocks).

Backdrop for Art and Stitch  to design patterns around and between the blocks

For the larger space between the signature blocks I designed a pattern around the colored square and for all remaining parts I made special designs fitting in those parts. I kept playing with designs, moving them around, reshaping, using parts of them (using the Reshape tool, right-click and "Split" in Art and Stitch) until I had enough patterns to fit all blocks and sections.
This is the Art and Stitch screen when I am working on a design, auditioning patterns for the various parts:

Auditioning patterns for each segment of the quilt top

When everything was in place, I printed the full layout and on the printout I wrote the names of the various patterns. I saved the individual patterns for my IntelliQuilter on a USB thumb drive and loaded the patterns in the IQ.  My printout was my help in knowing where to place the various patterns. And then I loaded the top, batting and backing fabric and stitched away! Loved it:) Reading the names and signatures of our students while finishing the quilt brought me back to that wonderful birthday class in North Salt Lake in August 2011. Thank you again so much to all my students!
The final stage: quilting
In Art and Stitch I placed my first and last points for each pattern in spots that I could easily identify on the quilt. That makes precise placement of the pattern easy.

I just love to watch the system stitch the patterns I worked on :)

A special pattern for the square between the signature blocks

Each little square and triangle got a design made for that shape

Almost done

Finished. Hanging on the gallery to be admired :)


  1. Loes, the quilt looks great. I love all your designs. I also love your house - so bright and open. The quilt is perfect hanging over the railing. Thanks for sharing your development process with us. Great memories were also brought back for me. The retreat was fantastic!

  2. Beautiful quilt! I am so excited to be attending your retreat in August - the software looks so very useful and I can't wait to learn more about it!!!

  3. Loes,
    It is so nice to see it finished. And I love that you documented it so well! Thank you for sharing the process.
    I will be joining you in North Carolina in August with my friend, Crystal, and really look forward to learning from both of you again.
    Liza Anne

  4. Loes,
    That was a great class, and the blocks for you were totally fun. It is fun to see it completed and hanging in a place of glory to be seen by all. Thanks again for a wonderful class and the ability to get acquainted with the software and spend some time with you and Theo.
    Diane K

  5. Beautiful. Thanks for the detailed story. Love the quilting.