Different Approaches to One Quilt

Posted by

Most people take a quilt class to improve their skills and to spend time with friends. Both are excellent reasons to take a class, but there’s another, often-overlooked reason to take a class: you get to see how other quilters approach the design. And it’s not just the students in my classes who enjoy this—I do too!

Not long ago I taught Pick-Up Sticks, from The Quilter’s Practical Guide To Color , at The Quilt Crossing in Boise, Idaho. The 8” x 8” finished-size blocks are cut and sewn improvisationally, but I designed the pattern so that you can make four blocks at a time that are not identical. It is a real time-saver! Here’s my quilt:

Here are many of the blocks made in class:

As the Pick-Up Sticks blocks come together, a secondary design forms. You can see it in Linda’s blocks, below. The black sticks are a very nice touch. They give your eyes a place to rest as you take in the other bolder colors.

Cheryl used a variety of gray background fabrics, rather than using the same background fabric throughout. Her original idea was to make each individual block with one background fabric. As she worked, we both got the idea that it might be better to mix it up.

The result is that the different fabrics read together as the background. The exploding design of the sticks is prominent. If each of the squares featured the same background fabric, you would notice the individual blocks first, which would lessen the impact of the overall design.

I made my own quilt using only one background fabric. I had not considered the best way to use multiple backgrounds. Now I know, and you do too!

Pick-Up Sticks blocks can be set in a variety of ways. This setting Debbie used reminded us all of hard rain or sleet.

Before I sign off, I want to introduce you to Lucy, who celebrated her 88 th birthday during class. How cool is that! She is an active quilter who is in the shop often.

Some of her other Piece O’ Cake quilts were hanging in the classroom. I was very impressed! This is Lucy’s version of My Whimsical Quilt Garden :

I think we all want to be just like Lucy, who has no plans to stop quilting any time soon. With that thought in mind, may you all have many happy stitches!


Becky Goldsmith is the author of many C&T titles, including The Quilter’s Practical Guide To Color , Piecing the Piece O’ Cake Way , The Hexie Quilt Garden, and more.

Follow Becky’s blog at http://pieceocakeblog.com/

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

  • My Whimsical Quilt Garden
  • The Quilter's Practical Guide to Color
  • Becky Goldsmith
  • Piece O' Cake Designs

View Comments

Break Out of Your Appliqué Rut!

The best thing about appliqué is that there's so many ways to do it! It can be modern or traditional, pinned or fused, raw-edge or turned under. Teeny and cute or big and bold, combined with piecing or shining on its own, embellished or plain... the possibilities are endless. But it's also all too easy [...]

Read More »

Paper Piece a Forest of Perfectly Precise Trees

Let paper-piecing queen Carolyn Cullinan McCormick show you how to tackle her Trees, Trees and More Trees quilt with ease! For even more patterns, check out her book, In the Pines—A Forest of Paper-Pieced Quilts. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Read More »

Color Theme of the Day: Monochromatic Golden Yellow

We absolutely adore the color golden yellow, so we've chosen it to be the star of its own color theme of the day! In its many tints, shades, and tones—a selection of which you can see below—golden yellow ranges from a pale peachy color to a deep rich, brown, from a buttery yellow to a [...]

Read More »

Adventures in Chain Pressing!

Hi, everyone! Can you believe that August is here already? Here in North Carolina, autumn will soon be upon us with all that we look forward to: back to school, cooler temperatures, the changing of the seasons, and the turning of leaves into glorious colors. Summers are busy for many, and sometimes quilting takes a backseat during the [...]

Read More »

Crazy-Quilting Handwork—Anywhere, Anytime

Lately it seems as if everyone is always on the go and crunched for time, trying to fit in a little sewing between finishing work and making dinner or while waiting in the doctor's office or at the bank. Maybe that's why portable handwork has become so popular again—from wool appliqué to English paper piecing [...]

Read More »

Tips and Tricks for Appliquéing a Dresden Carnival!

In the video below, Yvette Marie Jones, one of the authors of Dresden Carnival, demonstrates her favorite appliqué tools, as well as several of her best tips and tricks!Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Read More »

Starting from the Beginning with Free-Motion Quilting

Have you ever heard of the phrase, “Even a blind squirrel gets a nut sometimes”?  It pretty much sums up my quilting career. Like most professionals in the quilting industry, I didn’t set out to be a professional quilter. It’s not as though that option is in the list of potential careers.  I didn’t grow up with family members [...]

Read More »

Sew Illustrated Blog Tour Kickoff!

Hi Everyone! We are thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour for our book Sew Illustrated: 35 Charming Fabric & Thread Designs: 16 Zakka Projects here on the C&T blog. We’ve lined up an all-star group of designers/bloggers to share the projects they have chosen to make from the book. We are on the edge of our seats to [...]

Read More »

Are You Ready for Back to School?

Whether your kids are back at school now, or they're heading back soon, you've probably already started buying them new shoes, clothes, books, backpacks, pencils, electronics, and all the other items on their back-to-school list. But don't buy them a whole new wardrobe just yet! Think how much happier they'll be if they can create [...]

Read More »