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Family Reunion QAL- Part 2
Family Reunion QAL- Part 2
Welcome back to the Family Reunion Quilt Along! My name is Susan Vaughan from The Felted Pear, and this week I will be sharing a few tips and tricks about the Granny Blocks and some simple instructions for a bonus pillow project!
If you are joining us, this year’s Moda Bakeshop Summer Quilt-Along is from the book Rollin’Along, by Martingale. Rollin’Along is a collection of 12 quilts, all using Jelly Rolls as the basis of their projects. We are sewing together Family Reunion designed by Christine Weld and will be meeting here weekly on the Moda Bake Shop to chat about the week’s blocks, share helpful hints, and some fun supplemental project ideas. If you haven’t picked up your copy yet, try your local quilt shop or bookstore, then grab a Jelly Roll and join in on the fun!
Last week, Christine shared with us some helpful techniques she used to make the center medallion, Great Granny Block. She shared many different hints on how she chose her fabrics, trimmed up her blocks, and the importance of pressing.
This week we are making the 12 Granny blocks, which are constructed the same way the Great Granny Medallion was made last week.
I found it helpful to lay out the fabrics for each block in a little pile on my quilting desk before getting started sewing. There I could gauge each fabric’s scale, print, and contrast before assembling the block.
Once I had chosen my fabrics, I got started sewing! Since there are fewer rounds to this block, the sewing went pretty quickly. I found it helpful to press my seams open to achieve a nice flat block. Trimming was also a breeze since a standard 12 ½” square quilting ruler helped me quickly line up my blocks to square them to size.
Fabrics featured - Nantucket Summer by Camille Roskelley and Moda's denim chambray. I love the texture the chambray adds.
Bonus Project: Granny Square Pillow
One of my favorite things to do with my quilting books or patterns is to use them as a jumping-off point for additional projects. Our family loves to change out seasonal pillows in our family room. I thought the Granny Block would make a wonderful Christmas pillow, using Joanna Figueroa’s upcoming Christmas Stitched line. It was a quick weekend sewing project, and the quilting and hand stitching added a little extra fun and interest.
If you would like to make a pillow of your own, you will need the following materials:
4 Granny Square Blocks (you can find the directions on page 72 of the Rollin’Along Quilt book)
¼yard Border Fabric
¼yard Binding Fabric
¾yard Pillow Backing Fabric
Optional: Embroidery floss for hand stitching embellishment
To make the pillow top, join four Granny Blocks into two rows of two blocks each. Combine rows to form a pillow center. Add a 2” cut (1 ½” finished) border on all four sides of your block. This will help make your pillow a tad bit bigger and ensure you don’t lose any of your squares in your binding. The finished pillow top will measure roughly 20 ½” square.
I like to quilt my pillows for added strength and texture, and I quilted my project with ½” vertical lines. For added interest, I added some hand quilting roughly ¼” around each block with Aurifloss Embroidery Thread from the Fig Tree Collection.
After you have finished all of your quilting and embellishing, square up your quilted sandwich to approximately 20” square, and attach your favorite pillow back. I opted to put a zipper in mine. Still, an envelope-style back is a great alternative. I love the look of “bound” pillows, so I attached a 2 ¼” double fold binding around my pillow. Stuff your pillow with a 22-24” pillow insert for a snug fit and extra squishiness.
I hope you are inspired to take blocks from a pattern and incorporate them into your own project!
Be sure to tag your Family Reunion progress on social media with the #familyreunionqal and #modabakeshop –we can’t wait to see your quilts take shape!
Some great friends are also sewing along with the Family a reunion Quilt Along, so check out their feeds for some added inspiration!
Susan Vaughan of The Felted Pear
I started quilting almost 20 years ago! My grandmother gave me a sewing machine as a wedding present. I moved away from family (and sun/the beach in Virginia !) to Detroit in the middle of the winter. I was terrified of driving in the snow and had no friends, so I taught myself to quilt. I bought my long arm in 2021 and started a long arm business shortly after. I have taught/worked at various quilt shops and always enjoy road trips to visit local shops to expand my fabric collection.
I’m lucky in that I spend most of my day quilting. I work freelance for a few pattern designers reading over patterns, making sample quilts, and long arming.
If I’m not at the sewing machine, I love to go to the beach, Disneyland, curl up with a cup of tea and a Jane Austen novel, and play around in my front garden. (I am a terrible gardener, but I love flowers and plants, so I try!) Our family loves to explore local hiking trails. I volunteer weekly in my community at a local food bank/homeless shelter and am active in my church; those two take up a bulk of my downtime.
My husband (Ryan) and I have been married for almost 20 years, and he’s my biggest supporter of quilting. He operates the long arm better than me! We have a teenage daughter, Sophie (who loves to be crafty - her favorites are lettering, embroidery, and sewing.) Our black cat William Wallace thinks he runs our family, and he probably does! We are a total cat family.
We live in Southern California and love the sun, surf and mountains. I can’t imagine living anywhere else.