My first ever release day is finally here! I designed the Open Window quilt with new quilters and seasoned quilters in mind. This is the first in what I'm calling my Essentials Collection.
The Essentials Collection will be a library of easy-to-make patterns using traditional blocks. My goal is to help new quilters build skills and also to provide seasoned quilters with ways to expand their creativity.
The Open Window pattern does both. Read on for more details on a few ideas on how to make this quilt extra special.
Here she is!
Isn't she a beauty?
The Story Behind the Name
As some of you may know, after a successful two years, I decided to close my fabric shop. My son has some special needs and I found that I was really having trouble balancing my life and work. My son needed me more, but I didn't want to start extending shipping times or neglecting my shop.
It wasn't an easy decision and I had endless worries.
What would I do with my quilting life? Was there anything I could do to stay involved in the quilting community, but find better balance?
I had so many wonderful quilting friends who said I should try pattern design. I was resistant at first. Would I even be able to come up with any pattern ideas? What would my goals be?
Eventually, I let go of my fear of learning new software and just decided to give it a try. This culminated in my first ever pattern, the Open Window quilt!
I named it this because not only does the pattern remind me of window panes, but because this pattern represents how I opened a window when a door was closed to me.
I hope you love this versatile and classic pattern!
About the Pattern
The Open Window quilt pattern is a log cabin block based quilt. I love log cabins for beginner quilters because it is so simple to assemble.
The log cabin block has its origin in the 19th century and is a very traditional block. Often, the center block is red to represent the hearth of the home. But in my quilt, I chose to use white in the centers for a more modern feel.
I made my cover version using a curated bundle that uses all Art Gallery Fabrics (AGF). I used the Foraged Garland print from the AGF Roots of Nature collection and my favorite blenders from the AGF Fanciful collection. These wonderful collections were designed by Bonnie Christine and Sharon Holland respectively.
With a dreary winter ahead, I wanted a quilt that would add a touch of spring, in my favorite signature palette. I always think of a hothouse or conservatory whenever I see this quilt. And I chose White Linen (AGF pure solids) for the centers to echo a window pane.
I also intentionally designed the block to have a larger center square so you can use the space for any of the ideas below.
(And if you love this fabric combo, be sure to get a kit at WildBlooms Quilt Company! Alicia has a few kits for this serene color way. You can find her shop linked here)
Ways to Embellish Your Quilt
As promised, I wanted to create a pattern that would allow all quilters to be creative and also be a functional quilt. Read on for some ideas on how to make your Open Window quilt extra special!
If you have any fabrics that you would love to feature, this pattern is for you! The center block is 6" square and the block doesn't change directions. This means you can easily feature any fabric you love!
Make it a Memory Quilt
This quilt would be PERFECT as a way to remember a baby shower or wedding! Use a permanent fabric pen to have guests sign their names or write a special message for the guest of honor! Talk about an heirloom that would be wonderful to look at as the years pass.
Showcase Hand Quilting or Embroidery
A few years ago, I made a quilt for a friend and embroidered flowers throughout. While I was making this quilt, I knew those panels would be perfect if you want to try some hand quilting or embroidery. There are some beautiful free embroidery designs here to get your creative juices flowing!
Here is a link to one embroidery pattern library I really like by Mary Corbet. So many pretty patterns!
I was also so fortunate to have a small group of testers who helped me with this pattern. Their creativity was so impressive and I loved how each quilt is unique and beautiful!
Look for the asterisks--that means a kit is available if you want to purchase those fabrics.
Conni Frankl, @prairie_hugs
Conni made her dreamy baby version using a collection of Art Gallery Fabrics designed by Sharon Holland. With reds and pinks, the result is feminine, yet bold!
Katherine Elizabeth, @katherineelizabethquilts *
Katherine made a sweet, soft throw version using pale peach and green and a beautiful peony print from Her and History collection by Bonnie Christine. She has kits in her shop, The Solent Quilter, for this sweet, classic version! Shop the kit here.
Sara Gardner, @saralucillehandmade
Sara is one of my favorite quilt designers--so when she offered to test for me you can believe I jumped at that offer! Her quilt is so striking with a tropical feel. Isn't that pop of orange just stunning?
Jenny Gastler, @sewjenquilts
Jenny made a very special scrappy version! Can you believe how beautiful it turned out? The Open Window quilt pattern includes fabric guidelines to be scrap friendly. Jenny recommends planning your colors if you want to do a gradient like she did. She grouped the colors in the ombre effect she wanted by cutting her scraps as she went. It was extra work, but so worth it!
Tania Mogari, @taniamogariquilts
Tania is talented maker from Brazil! She is such a gem of a person and I am so happy I've gotten to know her better! She made this sweet baby version for her sister (who is expecting a boy). Tania fussy cut the adorable birds and used warm, earthy colors for a beautiful and gender neutral baby quilt.
Mary Burroughs-Mayer, @embercraftcompany *
Mary is a pattern tester extraordinaire! She made a gorgeous solid-based version in burgundy and gold. If you love modern quilts, consider using all solids like Mary did! Kits are available at Pasadena Quilt Studio.
Alicia @wildblooms_quiltcompany **
Alicia not only has kits for my cover version, she also curated another kit for her own version. Using light denim blues and yellow, her quilt gives me all the sunflower/summer vibes. You can shop both kits here.
Thank you so much to these amazing quilters who helped make my first quilt pattern a possibility!
I sincerely hope this pattern inspires you! It's a great quilt for a beginner, but it's also a quick make if you need a quilt in a hurry.
Please tag me using @midlife_quilter if you share pictures of your #openwindowquilt on Instagram! I would love to see what you make.
Thanks to each and every one of you who have been as excited as I have been.
Wishing you happy quilting!