Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Giveaway Tuesday

Sew Cal Gal is giving away a copy of the above book. 
Giveaway ends February 14, 2014
Go here to enter

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Essence of Joy

This is the finished quilt top I've been working on.  The quilt pattern is called Essences of Joy.  It is my own original design. When completed it will be quilted with metallic gold thread.  I can hardly wait to see it complete with binding and all.

Friday, January 24, 2014

New Possibilities for a New Quilt

This was a long day of sewing and napping--a great way to spend a day off. I have 10 of the 14 rows joined on my new quilt--Essences of Joy. I'm excited watching this creation come to life. Just a bit more and it will be ready to be pressed and quilted. As a trial run I tried metallic gold thread stitched on scraps of the fabric. It's beautiful. and the thought of bits of sparkle shimmering through my quilt really excites me. I still need to pick out my backing but that should be done in short order. Watch for the finished top to be posted soon and in a few weeks the finished quilt.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Giveaway Tuesday!

Pile O’ Fabric is giving away a $25.00 gift certificate. 
Click here to enter
Giveaway ends January 22, 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

One Quilt Finished Another On It's Way

Don't Forget About The Baby

Here is my most recent quilt design.  It's nothing fancy but it is made from the quilt scraps from my quilt that was used for the Mercy Covers Raffle.  The quilt is called "Don't Forget About The Baby!"  

Mercy Cover Raffle Quilt.  The design is called "Lily"

Quilt in Process


This is 4 rows of 14 to be completed.  All the blocks and strip sets are sewn.  All that is left is putting each row onto the quilt and doing the finishing.  The quilt measures approximately 72" x 84" and is all mine when it's done.  I'm thinking about quilting it with metallic gold thread.  We will see.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lost in Action...Hopefully Not Forgotten!

Hello blog readers.  I haven't been ignoring everyone, it's just been a very busy start of the new year.  As some of you know, I am a trainer and I had a class start on January 6.  The training was six days a week for two weeks and started at 6:30 am.  It has been a long haul but not things should get back to normal again and there will be more time for sewing and blogging.

I have one quilt recently finished that will be posted soon.  There is another that I've been doing a bit at a time and I just completed all the blocks this morning.  I should have the top pieced together by day's end and will be ready to start showing off the progress.

Until next post...Happy Quilting.  Go create heirlooms and memories.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Quilt Orchard Charities Work Update

This is the sewing machine was donated by Carolyn Smith of Ponca City, Oklahoma to Mercy Covers for their use. The new machine was put in my hands by Carolyn to ensure it reached Costa Rica so that Colleen Connell Mitchell would be able to present it to the group.

Mercy Covers was worked with local women in Costa Rica teaching them sewing skills and helping them make an income to assist their families by making products they sew then sell.

The fabric is also donated.  Lynnette Grant and myself (Jillian Grant) have donated about 100 pounds of fabric, thread and supplies from our stashes and ensured these are received in Costa Rica.  Colleen Connell Mitchell is a missionary who founded the Mercy Covers group and she has received the supplies and has organized the women in making quilts and products they can sell.  One project was to provide quilts to a safe house and orphanage.

Our recent efforts to help Mercy Covers included the Quilt Raffle where money was raised and given to Mercy Covers to help them fund another project.  The quilt was designed and pieced by myself then quilted by Phyllis Nickens and myself.  Our goal help raise money and awareness for Mercy Covers and to assist them in their upcoming projects which include sewing blankets for the homeless in Costa Rica.

The Quilt Orchard will be involved in other efforts to put fabric and thread into the hands of other organizations in the near future.  Our goal is to support non-profit agencies who work with women locally and abroad with learning the skill of sewing so that they can provide for themselves and others.  We will continue to move donated fabric and sewing machines to these groups.  Look for more to come.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Giveaway Tuesday

FaveCrafts is having a Clean Out the Closet giveaway and the lucky winner will win all that is posted above. Giveaway ends January 14, 2014. Go here to enter.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

My Next Quilt Design and Pattern

This is my newest quilt design.  It will be made from Kaffe Fasset fabrics, at least for the flowers.  I don't know that it will be the very next quilt I make but you never know.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Little Miss Shabby is giving away a fat sixteenth bundle 
of the above fabric. Giveaway ends January 12, 2014. 
Click here to enter

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Winner of Quilt Raffle

And the winner is!

This is Lisa Barr of Olive Branch, MS showing off the quilt she won in the Quilt Raffle benefiting Mercy Covers.  The quilt was designed and pieced by Jillian Grant of The Quilt Orchard and the quilting was done by Phyllis Nickens and Jillian Grant. Lisa reported, "It's even prettier in person, you do great work." Congratulations Lisa, we hope you enjoy the quilt.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Giveaway Tuesday

Christa Quilts is giving away a French Rose Bud Quilt kit which includes the pattern and all the fabric needed to complete the above quilt. 
Go here to enter
Giveaway ends January 8, 2014. 

Happy Quilting Melissa is giving away 3 of her quilt patterns. 
 Go here to enter
Giveaway ends January 9, 2014.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

History of Quilting--Part 2: Four Popular American Quilt Blocks

In this segment we will look at four of the more popular quilt blocks used by quilters in America in the Nineteen to early Twentieth Century. We will also explore how these blocks were created.

Nine Patch

The Nine Patch quilt block appeared in the early 1800s and usually was created from sewing three strips together that comprised a balance of light and dark fabrics.  These strips were then cut into crosswise strips to form a row of blocks.  Another alternating strip of blocks (matching the first) was then sewn together and cut into row of blocks.  The first set of strips would be typically a dark fabric, then a light for contrast, then another dark.  The second set of strips would be the reverse of a light strip, then a dark in the center, then another light strip.  Once the strips were sewn and cut into strips of blocks they were then reassembled using an alternating pattern of dark, light, then dark then light, dark, then light.  Once sewn together into three rows of three blocks across the finished block would be nine blocks (patches) that formed a checker board pattern.

Reasons given for the development of the Nine Patch were it is one of the simplest and quickest quilts to sew. The Nine Patch was also a good way to use every small scrap of fabric available. This would typically be the first quilt block a child might learn to sew.

Some historians believe the Nine Patch quilt was used in the underground railroad as a way to signify a safe haven.  Quilts would be hung on clotheslines to signal to runaways they had reached the next stop on their journey.

Log Cabin

The Log Cabin quilt block is one of the most popular of all patchwork blocks.  This pattern represented home due to it's being fashioned out of a similar pattern used to created real log cabins. Generally the center of the block was done in red to symbolize the hearth of the home.

The name, Log Cabin, comes from the use of narrow strips of fabric (known as the logs) that are arranged around a center square.  The strips were straight cuts and a combination of strips the could utilize most fabric scraps.  It was a method of recycling fabric.

Log Cabin patterns were often worked in two color schemes--lights and darks.  They were then divied in the middle so that this represented the rising sun in the east and the setting sun in the west. This technique is sometimes called the Sunshine and Shadow pattern.

It is rumored that the Log Cabin quilts were created by supporters of the underground railroad as a way to provide codes the slave runaways or may have also signified a safe haven like the Nine Patch Quilt.


The Pinwheel quilt appeared in the nineteen century and was a move to a little more decorative block.  Like many other pieced quilts in this time it could be created from scraps of fabric from clothing or left over cloth from clothes making.  It was simply a square block cut from 2 our more fabrics then cut from one corner to another to create triangles.  The triangles were then sewn back together using one of each color then four finished blocks were rotated to create the fan blades of a pinwheel.

While quilts have served many purposes through the ages, in the nineteenth century they were primarily for practical purposes.  The beauty of the quilt was often not a consideration.  Quilts served as door and window coverings, bedding, and wall coverings.  They also sometimes were used to create a privacy wall or to block off areas of a cabin.  A quilt with a little more flare, like the pinwheel, was a welcome distraction.  Nineteenth century women typically did not have a lot of time to spend of creating new designs but the pinwheel would have been easy to create and sew.

Double Wedding Ring
From NPS.gov

In the early twentieth century women's tastes shifted away from dark colors. They began to prefer softer colors and pastels. This may have been in part due to the greige fabric created in textile mills to set of textile runs. This fabric was then used to make flour sacks which in turn was used for clothing and quilts.

The Double Wedding Ring pattern was perfect for these fabrics. By now women could either cut patterns from newspapers to then cut out quilt pieces or they could order patterns and whole kits from catalogues.  Pre-cut kits had finally made their way to the market but often these were expensive and not affordable to all. 

While the Double Wedding Ring is considered quite old, the first published pattern of this quilt did not appear until about 1928 in Capper's Weekly.  The pieces are small curved pieces pieced together to form two curved rows with a center ovalish shape and outer triangles that are curved on their insides.  The quilts were very labor intensive and often given as wedding gifts.

A Foundation for Modern Quilting

The four featured blocks are still very popular in the Twenty-First century and are used in both traditional and modern quilt techniques today.  Many variations of these four have been created to give a fresh look to older ideas.  Quilt of old were for more practical purposes than today however they are still works of art and involve lots of commitment and time to create on behalf of the quilter.


Quilt Discovery Experience: http://www.nps.gov/home/planyourvisit/quilt-discovery-experience.htm

Quilts of the 1800s, Debra Pachucki, eHow Contributor: http://www.ehow.com/info_ 8653323_ quilts-1800s.html

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Aurifil Thread Giveaway

I just found this giveaway on Facebook.
Up for grabs is a box of "Simplify" by Camille Roskelly 
AURIFIL threads... 12 spools in total
to get more details on how to register to win!
Closes 1/7/2014

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Happy 2014.  My New Years resolution is to make more quilts and create new designs.  What's your resolution?