Free Quilt Pattern · Heart's Garden · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt

Heart’s Garden Mystery QAL • Part 5

Heart’s Garden
57″ square• Quilt #263

Gardens can be mysterious. In our case we planted the melons and the round cucumbers and some nocturnal visitor came and dug it all up. Will those seeds pop up somewhere else? Were they get eaten? What’s in the heart can also be mysterious, even to those who might have some experience in the matter. Are we charitable? Are we passionate? Are we kind, snarky, tough or tender?

But in the case of the QAL for Heart’s Garden, the mystery is now solved!

This is the final free pattern for the 2022 Mystery Quilt-A-Long. I will have a Part 6 that will show some embellishments, but that will be a post, and not a pattern release. Heart’s Garden Part 5 will remain free until early June when all the patterns will be combined into one that can be purchased. So make sure you download Part 5 quickly.

I’m sure you’ve seen these images of Part Four on Instagram. Joan’s quilt is a brilliant range of hues from yellows to pinky purples. Lisa has used a wonderful selection of blues, pinky reds and tans to great effect. Linda’s quilt took a different turn when she used the borders from my Evergreen, Ever Life quilt, amending them to fit the center, and Susan (on Instagram or at her blog) has also made changes, using five flowers on two sides. I love them all! [As I receive updated photos, I will post them.]

Heart’s Garden finishes up with a row of heart blocks, like a happy picket fence around our garden. Generally I used medium-dark fabrics with a scrappy low-volume background. All fabrics are by Sherri and Chelsi, from their Sincerely Yours line. I love the brightly colored prints from peach to purple and think this makes a really happy quilt. Sherri is a friend of mine (we both taught English Composition classes) and I think this quilt would also be great in her newest line, Seashore. One reason I love showing all the quilts at the beginning of the post is for you to think of different colorways for your quilt than the one on the front of the pattern.

And speaking of the front of the pattern, Part Five is ready for a free download at my PayHip shop. (Reminder: In case you didn’t get any of the other parts, they are there for sale as well.) But, again, in early June all the parts will disappear to be replaced with a complete Heart’s Garden Sew-A-Long pattern for sale. Now let’s talk construction.

I started with the corners, making a Log Cabin block with darker outside corners.
Then I discarded this block and made the ones you see in the quilt. That’s why I have a full box of orphan blocks!

I like to sew Log Cabin blocks from measurements, but in case you like paper piecing, that option exists for you as well in this pattern. In fact, I made up FPP options for all parts of this border: the log cabin corners, the heart block bottoms and heart block tops.

I ended up using the paper piecing for the heart block tops and was happy I did.

There is a slightly different proportion on these hearts than usual, as I wanted a certain look for the border. I cut out backgrounds and tips and triangles. Detailed instructions for how to do this accurately and carefully are in the pattern. (Tips to make wonky hearts are also there.)

I smoothed out the center onto my design wall, then as I made hearts, I arranged them around the quilt.

There’s always this moment that you wonder: was this quilt worth it? I had only seen it inside, in my room and a lot of time I was sewing at night during winter.

But when I took it outside and saw the natural light hitting all those fun hearts and flowers and birds and patchwork, I was really glad I persevered. And I love the stained-glass photo of the quilt from the back. Sigh. I was content.

When the top was finished, I sent it off to Krista of KristaStitched, who used the Bebop e2e panto at my request. I used a neutral backing and Soft and Bright polyester batting. She did a great job. I bound it with a narrow strip of the geranium color that was in the fabric line. I did have to send away for the half yard, as I’d pretty well used up all my fabrics.

I have one more post about this quilt, showing a few more bits in Part Six, but there won’t be a download for that one–it will live here on my blog. So head over to my pattern shop and get your free pattern. If you don’t have time to sew it now, feel free to save it for later. But please–do not share the patterns with your friends or families. I did this free sew-a-long as a thank you to all my blog readers, and do want you to download your patterns in my shop, not post or share them without permission. Thank you 🙂

For those who have been following along, I hope you’ve enjoyed this Heart’s Garden Mystery QAL. See you soon for Part Six!

Hope you can occasionally piece and quilt–

Something to Think About

Happy Mother’s Day 2022

Well, Happy Mother’s Day a bit early, actually, as tomorrow we are headed to Los Angeles to celebrate my sister’s newest grandchild. We’ll probably wear masks. Our luncheon is outside. Life goes on. Mother’s Day is a day to honor our mothers, and I’m lucky to have a great one. She turns 92 years old at the end of this month, and I am fully in Abraham Lincoln’s camp: “All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”

I’ve had a great mother-in-law, and a mother-in-law that wasn’t so great — or at least that’s how I viewed things in my earlier life. Now that I’m a mother-in-law, I understand the not-so-great woman much better and hope she will forgive me for my failings. I’ve had great women who taught me how to quilt, mothering me into a craft that has sustained me for years. I owe them a great debt.

Where does the beginning start? We think this weekend of mothers and how they give birth to us and raise us. If we are fortunate we have a good mother. If life throws you a brutal curveball, you had a terrible mother. Reams of paper have been used in writing about those two polar opposites; I will not add my words to that pile today.

But somewhere we all had a beginning. Some beginnings are early, and we can locate the source and revere what gave us our start. Other beginnings come later, often after tragedy, pain, death, or divorce, and the reins of life are picked up again in a new beginning. I think it appropriate that whoever you decide is your mother — whether it be a birth mother, or an adoptive mother, someone who took you in, or someone who freed you to grow and fly — I hope that this day you are able to honor and remember them.

I also honor the mothers of all these grandchildren in our laps, a photo taken years ago, those young children giving us such delight (three are missing!). My daughter and daughters-in-law are all devoted to their families. I also love and respect my sisters, my in-laws, aunts, grandmothers. While there are always a few ringers, women who are best at a distance, I am fortunate to have such a great circle of love from women in my life, examples to follow and people from who I can pick up advice about teenagers, babies, husbands and daily living. And quilting.

I wish the same for you.
Happy Mother’s Day!

Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt · Textiles & Fabric

This and That • May 2022

I so appreciate you all: thank you, thank you! I was able to pass on the info to WordPress, my blog software company, a reliable source for writing these past fifteen years and three months. Bugs climb in everywhere and I’m hoping they get this one resolved.

And thank you also for all the beautiful things you wrote. I treasured and read them all–often out loud to my husband. I have the best readers!

Usually I write for a Sunday publication, but this week got tripped up a bit, so I’m late.

Laurie, our Queen Bee for the Gridsters chose a pineapple block, two if we didn’t mind, and she asked for them in yellow and orange. I had made these blocks once before, with a free download of the pattern here, but the crown this time is a little different, a little taller with an extra row of blocks. We also added an extra border of low-volume blocks that wasn’t on the pattern. It took me a minute, but if you treat the extra low-volume blocks as part of a row, it goes better. (The other way is adding strips of blocks when the pineapple is finished: that’s a not-so-great method.)

Started quilting one of my own designs: Triad Harmony. I’ve made several in ombre fabrics which are fun to work with. I picked out all the thread colors for the star points, then went a different direction, decided to quilt them as one unit, so only one color of Magnifico thread was needed. Then I quilted a wrong color (hence the seam ripper).

I like to date-stamp my quilting along with what was finished. Lovely night-time fluorescent-lighting photo.

Here’s a comparison of the two quilt sizes in the pattern. I originally had a working name of Spectral Light for the larger one, but I just changed it up today to Eris. I’ll explain later on, when it’s finished.

Now I’m working on the red stack of nine-patches for another Christmas quilt. There is something so lovely about occupying my hands with nine-patches. It leaves me free to listen to audiobooks like Pachinko.

Those of you who are long-time readers of this blog, know that I am fascinated by and appreciate traditional clothing; the hanbok is no exception, having written about it when we visited the Chojun Textile & Quilt Art Museum when we in Seoul.

I was also interested in this article from the New York Times about the history of the hanbok.

You can make your own! Folkwear Pattern for Hanbok

Mother’s Day is coming up, then the last part of Heart’s Garden will drop. Krista, who is quilting it, has sent me images of the quilt up on her frame, and I’ll be excited to show it to you when it is complete. So far there are four parts:

On May 15, 2022 Part 5 (free pattern) will drop. If you have missed any of the parts, Part 4 is free until May 14th, and Parts 1, 2, and 3 are available for purchase. Part 5 will be free until the pattern comes out. Soon I will consolidate all the parts and have one pattern for sale, but that will come closer to June. I will have one more: Part 6, but that will be a blog post. If you don’t have time to sew this now, be sure to grab the free patterns for later. I have three quilters who are sewing along with me, and I love what they have done. A couple have made changes to the pattern, which are also fun to see. As I remind them, they are not pattern testers, but quilt makers. Feel free to make it your own!

Happy Quilting,

Something to Think About

Polish Pavilion: Something fun for a Wednesday

from here

The Venice Biennale, the art or architecture exhibit in Italy, is shown every other year and it just opened. So all the art world has pictures everywhere about what is being shown and who is showing it. This one, using fabric, caught my eye.

Polish-Romani multidisciplinary artist, educator, and activist Małgorzata Mirga-Tas has been selected to represent Poland at the Fifty-Ninth Venice Biennale. Her “Re-enchanting the World” will occupy the Polish Pavilion during the event’s run, from April 23 to November 27, 2022. Known for a practice comprising sculpture, painting, installation, and large-format textiles, Mirga-Tas challenges discriminatory Romani stereotypes and cultivates a positive image of Roma culture. Her work frequently incorporates clothing belonging to friends and family, which she collages into patchwork screens showing scenes of the garments’ wearers engaged in everyday life, smoking or talking or just sitting around.

Art Forum

There are several places in Venice, Italy where the art is displayed, and many nations participate. I grabbed screenshots from the YouTube video for the pictures below, because hey–it’s FABRIC; the video is a three-minute overview of the art.

from here

Britain took the National High Award (a golden lion) for their music presentation Feeling Her Way, by Sonia Boyce. I mention this also because the backdrop for her presentation are walls that look like patchwork and because the video is kind of cool to watch, to listen to.

I took a lot of photograph and digital art classes when I went to college and went through many “evaluations” or “workshops” of what we produced in the dark room/hovering over a computer. So I kind of laughed at one of the paragraphs in the Art Forum review, as it is so very “art-speak.” I propose some minor edits that can describe any of us and our quilts.

Original phrase: “unusually attractive visual form (opening the pavilion to a wider audience) combined with an original and deliberate ideological concept ‘proposing a new narrative about the constant migration of images and mutual influences between Roma, Polish and European cultures.’ ”

My Souped-Up phrase: I use an unusually attractive visual form, combined with an original and deliberate ideological concept of using various geometric and free-form shapes in order to propose a new narrative about the constant integration of images and mutual influences between traditional, modern and art cultures in my quilting.

Like that? You, too, can art-speak!

Happy Quilting!

P.S. I’ve been having some problems with some software changes by the hosting service and WordPress and I are monitoring how comments are emailed to me. If you have a moment and could help us out by leaving some sort of comment (even a word would do, but I read everything) so we can see if this is a bug, or a problem with their new forms, we’d appreciate it.

If you send me a comment, I’ll enter you in a drawing for all my old clothes, so you, too, can enter the Venice Biennale and be world-famous. I’M KIDDING. But if you could leave a comment, that would be great.

300 Quilts · Christmas Quilts

Evergreen, EverLife • Quilt Finish 2022

Evergreen, EverLife • Quilt #263
87″ wide x 98″ high

Center Tree: Made from a kit from Edyta Sitar. I started this in December 2019, sewing with friends. I changed up the background to something lighter.

Three borders (ric-rac squares, Sawtooth Stars, red with vines); designed and pieced/appliquéd by Elizabeth Eastmond. Binding on and finished this past week.

Quilted by Kelley Bachli.

The game: Find pine trees at quilt level in Southern California without going into the mountains. I think we did okay.

Title: The reason why the evergreen (or pine, fir, what-have-you) tree is around at Christmas is because it is ever green. I’m sure there is the bit about adopting it from pagan festivals, etc. but whatever the original reason, it has become a lovely symbol of enduring life. So I connected those two: ever-green and ever-life in the title, reminding me that I have life forever because of Christ’s birth. The trick is, of course, to do something worthwhile with that life that’s been handed to me. (Working on that.)

Either I’m very early for Christmas this year, or very late for 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Other posts about this quilt:
Tannenbaum Top Finished (early name, taken from Sitar’s pattern)
Tannenbaum, in construction
Decorating Tannenbaum
When I purchased Tannenbaum (at PIQF)


MOVING ON…

We reached a sad milestone this past week: we have decided to stop receiving paper copies of one of our three newspapers. It’s the newspaper we get every day on our driveway, and I read it while having breakfast and eating my granola. We also get a national Sunday paper, and then subscribe to another national one online.

First stop, always: the comics. Then, the advice column, the horoscope. Headlines come next, and then I go through it skimming, catching the tidbits that fall into your lap when you have a paper-paper and there is no algorithm trying to force you into reading what THEY want you to. I read opinion editorials of all stripes, Letters to the Editor, and the regional news (this isn’t our local paper which went off the rails several years ago). This particular morning, I found three comic strips which seemed just for me:

And for that last one, I nominate the people who thought it was a good idea to jack up the prices our “introductory offer” to this newspaper of several years ago. We are diehard newspaper supporters, but when we recently did the math, the price over the years had crept up to nearly $800/year (!) for the subscription price. So good-bye to a life-long tradition, planted in us by our parents. I will miss you. (But don’t you love these comics?)

I MADE A DRESS. SHOCK.

It’s an EVA dress, and I’m wearing it today, accessorized with beads and lightweight jacket (you know — the air conditioning — even though the high today is supposed to be in the upper 80s). I put on 3/4-length sleeves, faced the neckline and put bias trim on the hem because it is a lantern-shaped dress. I first saw it on Lorena of Sydney at QuiltCon 2020 in Austin and fell in love with it. It’s a pattern from Tessuti Fabrics.

This was my first rodeo with online patterns. I was apprehensive about getting the pattern printed so I inadvertently ordered a hard-copy of the pattern in one size, and a downloadable copy of the pattern in another size (they have two sizes with lots of other sizes on it). I ended up using the paper instruction booklet with the downloadable pattern, getting it printed off at my local Staples/OfficeMax store.

Susan of Patchwork and Play is also my inspiration, and I’ve since ordered the Sawtell pattern from In the Folds. That’s waiting in the wings, but I don’t have much to say about this as I’m still figuring it out.

Two more crossed off

NEXT…

Back to Lorena–I also fell in love with her larger version of Ring Cycles on Steroids and that is now in the works. Maybe I want to be ahead of the game with another holiday quilt. After this one, I only have two more to sew that are in the closet (that I know about). I seem to collect Christmas quilt fabrics and ideas.

Pinned up Spectral Light, the bigger version of Triad Harmony. The pattern name is Triad Harmony, but you can see I have other versions: one is called Secret Garden (Kaffe fabrics) and one is called Stella di Natale (Christmas, again). I need to quilt them all.

LASTLY…

She describes this phase of my life pretty perfectly.

But don’t we pressure ourselves to do the first, and beat ourselves up a bit if it’s the second? These dots circle (haha) back around to the thoughts at the top, and about doing something worthwhile with this life I’ve been given.

I’ve always loved C. S. Lewis’ quote (below) about recognizing the potential in others, rather than snubbing or diminishing them. And the Arthur Brooks observation of David Brooks’s column reminds me to pursue that which is important, has value, and not only that which is popular or culturally driven. This is a constant struggle sometimes, and I seem to waste a lot of time, by my own assessment.

I’ve taken to asking myself: What do I want to have finished before I go to bed tonight? My bedtime is earlier now than it used to be, Mary Englebreit notwithstanding, so knowing I’m going to have flat-lining brainwaves at a certain time can help me choose wisely. Sometimes in my days I’m only a quarter-full dot, but other times I’m there all the way. But when it is time to stop, it is time to stop.

A juggling act, but I keep at it–

Happy Quilting!

It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship…All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit…— C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

When the New York Times columnist David Brooks talks about the difference between “résumé virtues” and “eulogy virtues,” he’s effectively putting the ashramas in a practical context. Résumé virtues are professional and oriented toward earthly success. They require comparison with others. Eulogy virtues are ethical and spiritual, and require no comparison. Your eulogy virtues are what you would want people to talk about at your funeral. As in He was kind and deeply spiritual, not He made senior vice president at an astonishingly young age and had a lot of frequent-flier miles.
You won’t be around to hear the eulogy, but the point Brooks makes is that we live the most fulfilling life—especially once we reach midlife—by pursuing the virtues that are most meaningful to us. (Arthur Brooks, from here)

Heart's Garden · Patterns by Elizabeth of OPQuilt · Quilt-A-Long

Heart’s Garden Mystery • Part 4

The Heart’s Garden has been planted.
It is filled with flowers of all colors, and in many sizes. The birds are nestled in, the outer border acting as a fence for the blossoms to climb. Part Four is appliqué, but the appliqué can be done by hand or machine. Examples of appliqué are in this post.

I always like to feature those quilters who are sewing along with us; and who have finished Part 3: Lisa Johnson, Susan Snooks, and Joan Hinchcliff. Their quilts are all so beautiful.

In looking at our home at this Instagram hashtag, I also found the beginning of Linda’s quilt:

I am fascinated by how different all the quilts are. (Linda was my roomie at QuiltCon in Phoenix, in February, and is an awesome EPP-er.)

The pattern for Heart’s Garden Part 4 is now up in my shop, and you can download it for free. As usual Part 3 will be switched to a purchased pattern, but if you are just starting in, all the earlier parts can be purchased individually, or you can wait until mid-summer when the full pattern will be available. More at the end of the post.

My first planting. I started by pinning the stems around the quilt, having them overlap the inner border by 1/2″ on the bottom, as shown.

I take a lot of process pictures, but in reality, everything changes all the time.

Flowers, stems, leaves are all pinned up. Some like to use the glue method, some like the machine method (I do too), some like hand appliqué. I give tips and tricks in the pattern, including how I “dig” that stem into the “dirt” of the inner border, so it looks like it’s planted. You might also want to watch a wee video showing the basic technique for Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Circles.

Part 1 can be purchased here.
Part 2 can be purchased here.
Part 3 can be purchased here.

Part 4 is now live and living in my online pattern shop and can be downloaded for free.

Hope you enjoy making this fourth part–post them so we all can enjoy them.  P.S. If you can’t manage another project, feel free to download for another time. I keep the posts organized on this page (also in the header at the top of the blog). A full pattern with all the parts will be available for purchase in mid-summer.

There is always the option to stop here, with the garden all planted, but there is a reason why it’s called Heart’s Garden. This will be obvious to you when Part 5 is released in May.

Happy Spring and Happy Quilting, and most of all, Happy Easter.

A short video for Easter: Because of Jesus Christ, All Things Are Possible