Monday, March 1, 2021

Welcome March! And Join the Sew Along!

Welcome, March! Come on in! Make yourself comfortable and stay awhile! 

Today, we officially launch our sew along. The first order of business is a name for this event. Since we are anticipating the coming of spring, and since the both the inspiration quilt and the quilt I've made scream with spring vibes, I'm going with Spring Dreams. Here's my completed flimsy (quilt top). Do you think spring when you see this? I will provide details on this quilt down a bit in this post.

The Spring Dreams Sew Along was cooked up in early February after some group texting and face-timing with two long-time girlfriends. Check out background details in these earlier posts (click here and here). For now, let me dive into today's post by first giving props to the quilter who (unbeknownst to her) provided the inspiration for our quilt - Helen Philipps. Her blog is the happiest place to spend a few minutes or hours. Her fresh, feminine style is just so bright and cheerful. This particular post contains photos of the inspiration quilt - scroll down for them, and look for a greenish table-topper. And this post has some, too; again, scroll down a bit to see them. 

Actually, Helen's handiwork has previously inspired me. I made the quilt below in January of 2019, and it was based on a Helen Philipps' quilt I'd bookmarked. See what I mean about bright and cheerful?

Getting back to our current sew along, the inspiration quilt is constructed with one of the most basic blocks in all of quilting - the 9-patch. We are using 2.5" squares for the 9-patches, and 2.5" strips for the sashing between blocks. It all comes together quite easily, and the final effect defies the simplicity of the quilt-making process.

Time to get to the specifics for making this quilt. The chart below details information for making this quilt in 5 sizes. Because I used fabric from my existing stash, and did not keep track of how much I had of each individual piece, I do not provide yardage requirements. I recommend determining the size of the quilt you want to make while keeping in mind the amount of fabric you plan to use.

Added later - Cautionary Note! The figures in the first column ('Width x Length') are inaccurate. All figures in the rest of the chart are, I hope, correct. 

When I began my Spring Dreams quilt, my first move was to pull out about 20 happy print fabrics that would be used randomly in the 9-patch blocks. I selected prints in bright, spring-garden colors. I included a couple of unexpectedly darker, more intense colors, and also a couple that were much more muted. I thought this would add interest to the variety. 


Next, I pulled a white-on-white to complete the 9-patches. The inspiration quilt uses a variety of neutrals, but I had plenty of this particular white-on-white, and you can successfully go either way. Personally, I knew I'd begin overthinking things by adding more neutrals, so I opted to just use the one. 

If you are able to accomplish fabric selection this week, then great. That is plenty. Remember, no crush of deadlines here. 

Let us return briefly to my quilt. I will give you a couple more looks at it, and additional details, too. I apologize that my photographs are not as bright and sparkly as Helen's. My amateur pics will have to suffice.


My quilt is made with 72 9-patch blocks. I actually planned to make the next larger size, and I have made all the 9-patches for the larger size, but I had to re-think my plan when I ran short on the sashing fabric. That mint-green polka dot was an older piece and I knew I could never acquire more, so I just scaled down. That's the sort of thing quilters have to do from time to time. My larger objective is to refrain from buying more fabric unnecessarily (use up the stash!); I'm satisfied with a slightly smaller quilt.

Work ahead, if you desire. Take your time, if you desire. We offer no steadfast timeline for completion. Our extended (and still soft) goal is to try to have a quilt top completed by the first day of summer - June 21. 

Take your time this week figuring out the "style" you want - soft and spring-y, like mine (and Helen Philipps')? Maybe you would like something patriotic? Or reproduction? Or holiday-themed? Or totally scrappy? Go with whatever style you can dream up! Just enjoy the process!

Comment below if you have questions I have not answered or covered very clearly. I am sure there are gaps in my instructions. I am going to attempt to post a few related pictures on Instagram, so feel free to check there for some direction, as well. My friends Dee and Sharon will be joining, and I will be tagging them with each post.

Have fun! Grab some sewing friends and sew along with us! You'll have plenty of time for visiting because Spring Dreams is an easy quilt to make. I guarantee it!

Next Monday, I will return for a discussion of cutting strips and strip piecing.

Happy Quilting, Friends!


  1. Your quilt is beautiful! I'm thinking about joining in, I love 9 patch blocks. I already have a basket full of 3" 9 patches, maybe I should just finish that quilt first . . . decisions, decisions. Have a great day and happy stitching!

  2. Oh, it’d be wonderful to have you sewing along, Gretchen! But you could honestly do the same quilt with your existing 3” patches and change the sashing sizes accordingly. That would be a fun variation!


Feedback on my posts is always welcome!