Karen’s Quilts

Here are some of my most favorite quilts made over 40+ years of quilting. Most of them have been made for my children and grandchildren, or given as gifts for weddings, graduations, and new babies.

Piecing and quilting has always been done on my Bernina 830 Record or Aurora 440 QE sewing machines. Two of my quilts were pieced by machine and hand quilted–by me.

Beth's Quilt

This brightly colored quilt was made for Beth. Two traditional quilt block designs, Yankee Puzzle and Dutchman’s Puzzle, make up the pieced blocks alternately placed with solid blocks. Beth and I stood in a bookstore, flipping through quilt books until she found patterns that she liked–she is my symmetrical, geometric child. Quilted white work fills the solid squares with wheat plumes matching those stitched in the border, details that were important to her. All solid color and print fabrics were chosen to coordinate with the large border fabric, a fabric collection called Simple Gifts based on the Shaker hymn that inspired her favorite piece of classical music, Aaron Copland’s Variations on a Shaker Hymn.

(Note to self: take a picture of Beth’s Castle Floor quilt.)

After a trip to Germany in 1994, Beth and I created the pattern for Castle Floor. Beth took photographs of the parquet flooring in a number of castles she visited. When she returned home and the family viewed her slides (this was back before digital cameras!), the idea for Castle Floor was born. Beth recreated the pattern on graph paper, allowing us to correctly determine the size of the various pieces. She did most of the work cutting and piecing the quilt top, I did most of the machine quilting. The quilt was completed in 2006. She alternates between these two quilts to this day. They are both queen-sized.

Julie's Sampler Quilt

This is Julie’s first queen-sized quilt. I sewed it while teaching my machine sampler class. She picked the fabrics to coordinate with her bedroom colors. She also helped to select some of the patterns. One particular pattern, Pinwheels, was included for two reasons: it’s a 9-patch (one of the pattern styles taught in the curriculum) and Julie hand pieced this pattern in a block that hangs next to two other blocks in my house. The other two were hand pieced by Beth and me. In the lower right corner of the photograph you can see the quilt’s album block. Julie’s name is embroidered in the center as well as the date the quilt was finished.

Star Flower QuiltThe queen-sized Star Flower quilt below was made for my son, Ethan, when he was in high school. Most of the fabrics are scraps from dresses I sewed for his sisters and baby quilts for family friends. The quilt was machine pieced and quilted. The quilt’s embroidered album block is visible at the bottom left.

When Ethan left for college, I created a twin-sized quilt for him to take. Several times when his dad and I helped move him in or out of a dorm room or frat house, parents in the USC Quilt (God's Eye)hallways asked where they could purchase a quilt like this for their son or daughter. Sorry, the quilt was not purchased in a store–mom made it.

The photograph is terrible, but I had not started photographing my quilts when this one was made. I had to take this picture when I was on a visit to Ethan’s home. The pattern is God’s Eye. The fabrics are all cottons in the colors of his university, the University of Southern California … Fight On Trojans!

USC Quilt (Double Irish Chain)When Ethan became engaged to his wife, Adrianna, I created the quilt shown on the right for her as a Christmas gift. The pattern is Double Irish Chain with a twist, and, of course, the colors are those of USC. The chain was alternated to create a basket weave effect. (My oldest daughter, Beth, says this quilt is one of her favorites.)

Ethan's Wedding QuiltEthan's Wedding QuiltWhen Ethan and Adrianna married, I began a tradition of creating a custom king-sized quilt for my children as their wedding gift.

The pattern on this quilt is called Wreath of Roses designed by Marie D. Webster. Ms. Webster is believed to be one of the earliest quilt pattern designers. The fabrics are solid Kona Cottons in two colors of pink, forest green, yellow, and white, and the design elements were machine appliquéd and the quilt hand quilted.

It’s very difficult to see in this photograph, but within the outside border are hand embroidered messages from the entire wedding party and family members of both the bride and groom, well wishes from their loved ones and friends. Also embroidered in the lower left corner, just out of sight, are their names, the date of their wedding, and a blessing.

I created a queen-sized bed quilt for my Brians quiltyoungest son, Brian, using his favorite color … green. The Log Cabin pattern is arranged as Court House Steps. The “chimney” of each log cabin is a Windsor satin in burgundy as the traditional colors range from orange to red, representing a fire in the hearth.

The photograph was taken while the quilt was hanging in a quilt exhibition. See the album block in the lower right corner?

Brian's Wedding QuiltThe traditional patterns for the colorful quilt shown at the left are Storm at Sea for the body and Monkey Wrench for the border. This color variation is called Impulse designed by Larisa Key. I found the pattern in the August 2006, issue of Quilter’s World Magazine, pages 86-93.

The quilt is king-sized and was a wedding gift for Brian, and his bride, Allison. Like his brother’s quilt, there are messages from the wedding party and family members hand embroidered along the side borders of the quilt. A blessing is hand embroidered along the bottom border. The quilt was machine pieced and hand quilted.

jason quilt

The last quilt I am showing off, at least for now, is this king-sized quilt created for Jason. He is my sons’ closest friend and like a third son to my husband and me. The quilt was a gift for his high school graduation. My son, Brian, also graduating from high school that year, is on the far right, and my other son, Ethan, is on the far left. The pattern is Bear Paw and the blue and yellow cotton fabrics represent UCLA, the university multiple generations of his family have attended. Jason’s grandfather passed away shortly before seeing his eldest grandchild graduate from high school. I was able to coax Jason’s uncle into giving me one of his grandfather’s shirts and painstakingly unstitched every seam, cut the fabric into strips, and used them for the border and album block on this quilt. The remainder of the scraps were used to make pillows for all of the children and grandchildren, something to help them celebrate their grandfather’s life and remember fondly his devotion to UCLA. The quilt was machine pieced and quilted.

2 thoughts on “Karen’s Quilts

  1. How much fabric did you use for this bear claw pattern. I love quilting and have made one quilt so far. I am having a difficult time to figure out how much material to use for this pattern if I want a king size quilt and not use scraps. Can you help me figure this out? I would appreciate it & I love the quilts! They look amazing.!


    • Hi Samantha,

      If you are asking about the blue and yellow quilt I created for Jason … I really have no idea exactly how much fabric I used. There were several fabrics. When I finished the quilt, I made pillows for Jason’s grandmother, mother, two aunts and a bunch of sisters and cousins. I simply used up all the left over fabric.

      So, to answer your question is difficult as there are so many variables. A king size quilt that will drape over the top of a 13-15-inch deep top mattress would be about 104-110-inches wide depending on how far you want the quilt to hang on the sides and about 99-inches tall to allow for the same drape at the foot and the top edge to lie nicely under the bed pillows.

      That would call for 8-blocks across by 7-blocks tall with for NO sashing between blocks and a 6-8 inch border.

      Jason’s quilt has 6-blocks across and 5-blocks tall calling for a 2-inch sashing between blocks and then the border.

      When estimating fabric I often try to figure out the cutting layout for a single block so I can estimate how much fabric is needed for a single block and then simply do the math of multiplying that estimate by how many blocks I plan to cut and sew. For Jason’s quilt there are two fabrics for the Bear Paw block and a third fabric for the sashing and a fourth was added to the border.

      I hope this helps. Thanks for visiting my website. If I can help further, let me know.



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