October 7, 2019

Patchwork Picnic

How do you like my star block? I had been looking for a different star block for a quilt my friends Deb, Lisa, and I are working on and was so happy when I found this one! It is beautiful and, surprise, it is super easy to make! I made three blocks just like this one - super fast as it did not involve paper piecing.

Instead, we use the stitch-and-flip method and chain piece all the patches. I think a quilt made entirely with this star in many colors would look fantastic. Yes, I have just placed this idea on my To-Do list!

Ideas abounded in my head as I was looking through the book where that star block came from. Patchwork Picnic - Simple-to-piece Blocks that Celebrate the Outdoors by Gracey Larson, published by Martingale is delightful! We can make the sampler quilt or the other smaller projects and I have already selected fabrics to make some of them as gifts, my current focus since Christmas is right around the corner (seriously!).

All photographs by Brent Kane for Martingale. Used with permission.
The sampler quilt is amazing. Take a closer look and you can envision theme projects such as a bug quilt, a garden quilt, a neighborhood quilt, a pet quilt... And there is the star I love so much! Simple, everyday things and creatures are elevated to stunning gems in Gracey's unique blocks.

The blocks have very detailed assembly instructions with lots of diagrams. I love that Gracey offers them in 6" (for wall hangings or smaller projects) and 12" sizes, making this book a great resource for future projects. It also offers many possibilities for all the fabric scraps we have been saving. The blocks in Patchwork Picnic would shine regardless of the fabrics: reproduction, novelty, modern prints, or solids will personalize the sampler quilt or smaller projects you make, lending a nostalgic, whimsical, or contemporary feel to them.

These potholders are so cool! All you need to know to make them is to sew on a straight line. Perfect for novice quilters and with interesting block designs to attract veteran sewists, Patchwork Picnic is sure to claim permanent residence on our cutting table.

One of Gracey's tips at the beginning of the book is for us to slow down and take time when sewing the small portions of each design. She is absolutely right. In my quilting journey, I have noticed I have slowed down considerably when sewing: fewer points disappear, the seams have the same width, and ripping stitches does not happen so often. Sewing becomes as enjoyable as a picnic!

Speaking of which, I need to check on the bread I am baking for my friends this morning as they will be here soon so we can exchange our star blocks. Although it is a little bit cool to be gathered in the back yard to eat it picnic-style, we will seat around the kitchen table, catch up on each other's lives as this is the first time we get together since I moved away from the neighborhood, and plan other dates for block exchanges.

Not a bad way to begin the week, huh? I hope Gracey and I have inspired you.


  1. I'm inspired! I made 2 blocks from this book so I could complete the zippered laptop tote you pictured above. I need to pull it out and finish!

  2. It sounds like the perfect project for next weekend! :-)


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