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Dreaded Quilt Math Means More Trials and More Errors


Two weeks ago I shared the bridal shower gift I made for a dear friend – travel bags – along with all the tutorials I used. Now that her wedding is only a month away, it’s time to start working on her gift!

Since she announced her engagement, I’ve known I wanted to make her and her husband-to-be a quilt. But what size, what colors, what pattern? I’ve been mulling it over for a while now.




Last week my Modern Quilt Guild met at Del Ray Fabrics in Alexandria and I found this luscious stack of fat quarters – the complete set of Anna Maria Horner’s new Loominous collection. The richness of the colors reminded me a lot of my friend, and I particularly love how the colors shift and shimmer in the light because of the way they’re yarn-dyed and some of them have little glints of metallic in them, too. So divine!

With the fabric selected, I then had to find the perfect pattern for the quilt. My goal was two-fold – to find a pattern that made the most of these gorgeous fabrics, and to find a pattern that captured my friend’s personality.

I didn’t want anything with too much cutting or piecing – not that I wanted to take the easy way out (I really didn’t), but because I wanted the fabrics to stand on their own. There’s enough diversity in the colors and textures that going simpler would definitely be better.




I searched for hours before finally finding a quilt image on Pinterest that I loved. It had good-sized fabric pieces to really show off the Loominous, yet it was still sophisticated. Even better, the design seems to have movement to it – it feels rhythmic and reminds me of dancing, , which was absolutely perfect for my friend. Her family comes from Kenya and Jamaica and this design had a real vibrancy to it that I feel echoes her heritage so well. Score!

Unfortunately the link from the quilt image took me to a class offered in Arizona rather than to a pattern or tutorial. No good. I love my friend but wasn’t about to make a trip to Arizona. So I took to sketching it out to figure it out myself.




I pieced a few blocks based on my sketches and measurements but could not hit the mark. In fact my prototypes were not even close and I didn’t even know in what direction to adjust them.




It should not have been a surprise that my quilt math did not measure up to the requirements of this quilt. Quilt math and I, we’re not the best of friends, you know? I had to come up with a Plan B.

But I was really in love with this design. So after searching and searching for a tutorial or pattern for it, I finally hit upon a lead – a book that had this quilt on the cover (and presumably, the pattern inside). It’s an older book and one that I typically wouldn’t buy for myself, but my choices were to continue torturing myself with useless prototype blocks, or just suck it up and buy the book (which would you do?).

I chose the latter and was lucky enough to find a used copy on Amazon for one cent. Yep, one penny, plus $3.99 shipping. Sold!

And while waiting for the book to arrive, I’ve been passing the time with another project that makes me very, very happy.




Forty blocks down, about 100 more to go. Once the book arrives I’ll have to set these aside, but that’s okay. All in good time!


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