My Quilt Story: Towns


Between now and Fall Paducah in September 2017, we invite you on a special creative adventure. Each week we will offer you ideas, techniques, blocks, and embellishments to help you tell your quilt story in stitches. 

If you didn’t catch the beginning of the project, visit here for the quilt story worksheet.

Did you remake your first block? You can find some help here.

Have you decided on the monuments representing the moments that changed your quilt story? Here’s a look at how to start.

Week Four: Towns

Often times quilting takes us to new places. Before long those new places become old favorites, like a friend’s house to share handwork over coffee or a guild where you’ve made lifelong friends. Putting common places together creates towns. Common places may share a same time in your life (like childhood), be the same type (like quilting friends), or have a location in common.

To commemorate these special places you can include these towns on your quilt. Places can be noted with landmarks, symbols, or maybe you want to recreate the actual place in quilt block form. 

To show you one way to create a building block from scratch, let’s take a look at what we at AQS call home sweet home:

First, start with a picture or sketch of the building you’d like to turn into a block.

  • Crop the photo so the building you want to make is how you want it positioned in the block. Notice I’ve removed most of the sky and grass.
  • Save the image the finished size of the block.
  • Print the image on regular quality printer paper (it doesn’t need to be in color) so you can write on it. 

Now we are ready to get to work.

  • Decide on what you want to piece and what parts you want to applique or create with embellishments.

I decided to piece a simple background of the brick building, grass, sky and the side roofs.

To do this I took some basic measurements and decided what the pieced portion of the block would look like.

The center brick building came to 11″ x 4″ adding the seam allowances for cutting brings it to 11 1/2″ x 4 1/2″.

At each end of the center brick I want to add the side brick, roof and sky. These pieces need to equal 4 1/2″ to fit on the sides of the brick center.

Last, I’ll add a strip of sky to the entire length of the top and a strip of grass to the entire length of the bottom. This will give me a nice foundation to start adding the details of the building to. 

To create the applique pieces…

  • Trace the shapes in reverse to fusible sheets. Keep shapes using the same fabric together. Be sure to label each shape in a way you understand.
  • Fuse the shapes to the wrong side of the fabric.
  • Cut out the shapes.
  • Create a placement diagram or eyeball the placement and fuse the shapes to the background block.
  • Stitch and embellish the block securing the applique pieces.

For the AQS building block, I will add a strip to the top and bottom for signatures.

Have fun and create a town of memories that tell your quilting story. What places will you add to your story quilt?

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Wow. Most beautiful. Very interested in doing this. Thank you for the inspiration.