Holy Family Chapel Quilt

Martha’s Quilters is a group at St. Martha’s church in Kingwood which has a mission of providing prayer quilts to parishioners who are ill. We were recently requested to make a quilt for the new chapel. It would be a special quilt in memory of one of the long time members of our group, Pat Reid, who donated the funds to build the new chapel.

We began by choosing a stained glass image of the holy family that we found on Pinterest. It was transferred to paper as a simple line drawing.

Original line drawing for quilt

Next, we auditioned many different fabrics for the various areas of the design.

We chose mostly jewel tones and batiks. They looked great against the black bias strips representing the leading for the “stained glass”. The faces and halos were painted using acrylics and fabric paint on white fabric.

After cutting and fusing the sections down, the black bias was carefully hand appliquéd in place. The family was then cut away from the base fabric and fused onto a new background of textured beige. The quilt looked good at this point, but needed something more.

Our friend Pat had been an avid gardener and a member of the Kingwood Garden Club for many years. To honor this interest of hers, it was decided to add a border of flowers and include many purple ones, because purple was Pat’s favorite color.

Adding the floral border

The floral border greatly enhanced the quilt by reflecting the colors in the family and introducing small details that could be found by close inspection. Birds, frogs, butterflies and angels can all be found within the floral border, as well as Pat’s own name (which had been on her well-used walker bag).

Addition of “Pat” surrounded by her favorite color : purple

Here is the inscription on the label:


Label inscription

And here is the image of the finished quilt:

Finished quilt

This project was truly a group effort of all of the members of Martha’s Quilters who spent long hours cutting, fusing, stitching, quilting, embroidering and binding the quilt. It reflects Pat’s love of gardens and flowers, her great faith and her love of all things purple. May she rest in peace.

Pysanky- Completed!

The last time I posted about this quilt I had finished piecing 25 egg blocks and was trying to decide how to set them and finish the quilt. I stitched the eggs on point and placed them next to each other to see how that looked.

Preliminary Layout

This was okay, but it didn’t have any definition of blocks, it needed some separation with a sashing to set the blocks off. So, I started looking at sashing designs and came up with this:

Blue and white sashing strips

Yes! The blue and white sashing tied in well with the blue and white eggs.

The next issue to decide was how to quilt it. I went with heavy stippling around the eggs to make them pop. The eggs themselves were quilted along their design lines. Around the triangle border I quilted large feathers and in the navy blue border quilted an on point checkerboard.

Close up of quilting
Marking the border for quilting

Here is the finished quilt. I was thrilled to have it accepted in the International Quilt Festival’s Sapphire Quilts Special Exhibit. It will be traveling to other shows across the country for the next two years.

Finished quilt

A Blue and White Quilt (Part One)

A few years ago I purchased some pretty blue and white batik fabrics at the Houston Quilt Festival.  I was sorting through my fabric collection when I spotted them and decided it was time to cut them up and have some fun with them.  As you can see in the photos, the fabrics have lots of geometric shapes that could be cut up and rearranged into different designs.  I’ve always admired those Ukrainian egg designs (pysanky), that were hand crafted using paints and wax resists and thought I could come up with some of my own designs for eggs using the fabric shapes.  As you can see in the photos, once I started playing with the shapes, it was hard to stop laying eggs!  I now have 25 different eggs that can be pieced into a quilt.  The next step will be figuring out how to set the eggs into blocks and piece them into a quilt top- that will be a future post.