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Instant Color in the Gray Days of February

Happy Valentine’s Day quilting friends!! It would be a shame to let such a colorful holiday go by without a few Valentine quilts to brighten this usually gloomy part of the year. I generally get the Valentine quilts out right after I put the Christmas decorations away. So we have been enjoying these red, pink, and white beauties for a little over a month now.

This 28” x 28” table topper is the perfect size for the end table next to our family room recliner. I found the pattern called Homespun Love in the February 2005 edition of Quilter’s World magazine. As the name suggests it is made from homespun fabric which has a looser weave than regular cotton fabric which works equally well in quilts. I used a raw-edge applique technique and then black thread to blanket stitch around each shape. The center features a free-motion stipple design while the borders are stitched-in-the-ditch.

This Hearts and Flowers quilt is perfect for a door. As a result it found the perfect home this month at the entrance to my sewing studio. This is a Joined At The Hip Wall Flowers pattern that my mother also made with more muted fabrics. This quilt also has a raw-edge applique technique, but this time I used a small zig-zag stitch with matching thread to finish the edges -- the stitches were almost invisible. I quilted the center with a free-motion stipple and used a heart stencil to quilt the outside border.

This was a fun quilt to make!! It is from a pattern called Ragged Hearts by Anna Laura Reidt of Homespun Quilts. Three different sizes of hearts are sewn on to sixteen blocks and then cut into fourths. The fourths are then laid out into sixteen new blocks and sewn back together. The edges are not finished -- thus the “ragged” part of the Ragged Hearts!! I again quilted the center of this quilt with a free-motion stipple and used a figure-eight stencil to quilt the outside border. This quilt is hanging in my sewing studio.

I was attracted to this pattern in the February 2008 edition of American Patchwork & Quilting because of the variety of textures and techniques used. This quilt is primarily made up of applique designs in which I used a blanket stitch to attach to the foundation pieces. It also features yo-yos to form a heart in one block and an embroidered stem stitch in another block. I hand-quilted around some of the shapes and then attached the pink rick-rack by machine to create the remainder of the quilting. This quilt is also hanging in my studio.

Two quilts are decorating my kitchen this month -- one on the table and one on the wall. Both of these patterns can be found in the February 2006 edition of Quilter’s World magazine. The table topper is 33” x 33” and is called Dinner for Two. It features appliqued hearts -- again. I’m sensing a trend here as I have mentioned applique in several of these quilts!!! I outlined the hearts and stitched a free-motion stipple in the borders. The wall quilt is called Made With Love and features pieced hearts -- no applique on this quilt! I used a stipple design in the white fabric, a free-motion heart design in the narrow borders, and a heart stencil in the outside border.

This small quilt -- 25” x 25” -- decorates our entryway. It is from a pattern called Here’s My Heart found in the February 2004 edition of Quilter’s World magazine. Once again there are appliqued hearts, but this time I stitched them with one of the decorative stitches that is programmed into my Bernina 430. I also used a decorative stitch to highlight the narrow borders.

My newest Valentine quilt is hanging on our staircase banister. It is called Keys To My Heart and was found in American Patchwork & Quilting’s January/February 2017 edition. The minute I saw this pattern I knew that I needed to make it. (Notice how I used “need” instead of “want”? That was on purpose!!) It is completely pieced with eight different blocks and I used a heart pantograph for the quilting. I took the finished quilt to my guild meeting in January and a picture of it made the local newspaper!!

The moral of this blog is that there is never a holiday too small in which you can’t use quilts to decorate!! I hope this inspires you to add a little color to these otherwise gray months. So start gathering all of those red and pink fabrics that you have in your stash and start sewing!!

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