ABC quilt

When I was making cushions before Christmas, I was rummaging in my box of quilt wadding, looking for cushion-sized pieces. In this huge box of quilt wadding, I did not have any pieces big enough. I had to zig-zag wadding together, even for something as small as a cushion!

Box of quilt wadding

A box full of quilt wadding, and no piece big enough for a quilt, or even a cushion front.

I realised it was time for a quilt-as-you-go project to use up the small bits I had been saving.

Without thinking, I knew I wanted to make an ABC quilt using blocks from Kumiko Fujita’s Patchwork Patterns 318.

My quilt-as-I-go tools: wadding offcuts and Kumiko Fujita’s Patchwork Patterns 318.

My quilt-as-I-go tools: wadding offcuts and Kumiko Fujita’s Patchwork Patterns 318.

I have chosen most of the blocks I want to make and enlarged them on the local office-supply store’s photocopier. I am a bit stumped about what to do for J and X, but I will cross those bridges when I need to.

I have no plan or colour scheme. I just grab a block pattern and fabrics from my stash as the whim takes me.

Here is my progress so far.

Kumiko Fujita’s Patchwork Patterns 318

A is for apple.

Kumiko Fujita’s Patchwork Patterns 318

B is for boat.

Kumiko Fujita’s Patchwork Patterns 318

D is for duck.

Kumiko Fujita’s Patchwork Patterns 318

E is for elephant.

Kumiko Fujita’s Patchwork Patterns 318

F is for frog.

Kumiko Fujita’s Patchwork Patterns 318

I is for ice-cream.

Kumiko Fujita’s Patchwork Patterns 318

L is for lighthouse.

Kumiko Fujita’s Patchwork Patterns 318

Brought to you by the letter A. (Who didn’t watch Sesame Street as a kid?)

The button eyes are all just pinned on at the moment, and I have not done any quilting yet.

I am glad I started with the letter A, as I almost forgot about the need to trace mirror images when paper piecing. I have been sewing too many symmetrical blocks where such things do not matter. After that near miss, I will remember and avoid a back-to-front B.

I think I need to add orange portholes to the boat to go with the flag, and I am not sure about my background fabric choices for the ice-cream. I chose a medium fabric as I was worried about the yellow ice-cream cone not showing up on a really pale background. Now it is all a bit uniformly mid-tone. Oh well.

I am chuffed to bits with the purple elephant, even though it was horribly fiddly to make.

My next block might be a zebra, thanks to a very lucky zebra-print fabric purchase (on sale!) this week. After all, without the stripes, it would just be a horse.

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30 thoughts on “ABC quilt

  1. They’re lovely! Simple, but clever. How about Jacket or Jam in a Jar for J? And would a nice black and white X-ray, complete with laughing skull, be too much? Yes, I thought it might….

  2. … and if you want to be really frugal, get some batting joining tape, and you’ll soon have enough for a quilt! It’s good stuff, doesn’t make the joins stiff and it’s very easy to use.

  3. Thank you for introducing me to this wonderful book. My sister-in-law tracked one down for me while they were living in Taiwan. I am thrilled to have it, but am clueless as to how to build the squares since I am so new to foundation piecing (and paper piecing) and I think she does much of her work by hand…any thoughts you would like to share would be most helpful. Some her blocks look so complicated, but I think I could do them if I had numbers…at least for the first couple. By the way, I think there is a jack-o-lantern in the book for J, but not everyone wants to include that in a quilt. Have fun!

    • I realized that I went on and on and didn’t say how pretty your blocks are or what nice work you are doing…they are lovely and this is a really big project to handle. How big are your squares?

    • You are right: she does all her work by hand. I use a weird and wonderful combination of foundation-paper piecing, freezer paper templates sewn by machine and the occasional seam sewn by hand when I just cannot figure out another way. Some blocks are not too bad. Others are enough to make you tear your hair out. Email me a block number you want to try and we can put our heads together on how to tackle it.
      We don’t really celebrate Halloween here, so the jack-o-lantern might get lost in translation (scary pumpkin face). How did I miss block 67? Thanks for the pointer!
      I photocopied them at 285%. A weird figure, I know, but I wanted them to finish at about 8 inches but so the designs didn’t go all the way to the edge of the block. I’ve been making them oversized so I can trim them later.

  4. How great is this! I like what you have so far : ) who doesn’t love a purple elephant!
    Have you seen the batting tape! You lay the tape on the join of your two pieces and zip the iron up it. Done! No zig zag seams to fiddle with. Enjoy your sewing. Looks like fun

  5. i love it! i just bought some circus fabric yesterday 🙂 i have been SCOURING the internet for that book 😥 the clostest i’ve come is a used copy for over $100. not sure i’m ready to pay that much yet :/ you are making great things with it for sure!

    • I bought my copy sometime last year online and second-hand (but in mint condition) via the Amazon Japan website. It wasn’t cheap, but it is giving me hours of fun. It is out of print so you won’t find a new copy anywhere. Good luck with your hunt!

  6. I have a terrible idea for X, xenon, or at least its symbol Xe off of the table of elements, throw in its atomic number (54? Pls google, don’t quote me) put it in a box and bob’s your uncle. . .well I’ve got an uncle Bob 😉 I might suggest appliquéing the 54 🙂

  7. What a fun post Carla! I really love these blocks! And reading all the comments and suggestions is interesting too! You will have a fun quilt when you finish!

  8. I wish I could locate a copy of Patchwork Patterns 318. So sad that this book is out of print, and I have not been able to locate a copy anywhere!

  9. Pingback: C is for pumpkin | Granny Maud's Girl

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