Poconos Birthday Quilts


More quilts to share! These two were birthday gifts for my dad and stepmom.

Dad’s quilt is a pattern from Heather Jones’s Quilt Local, and Bobbi’s uses blocks from Tula Pink’s City Sampler.

I’ll tell you about Dad’s first… it was supposed to be a Christmas gift. The top came together very quickly in December, but I didn’t get to quilt it in time. So it became a birthday gift instead! Both of their birthdays are in February, and mine and my brother’s are in March, so we all spent a nice weekend together at their mountain house to celebrate.

Fabrics are by Timeless Treasures. Soho Solids for the top (he likes purple so I picked a deep velvet color), Hydrangeas by Chong-a Hwang for the back. Dad passed his love of gardening on to me, and we have a mutual appreciation for this flower. It runs in the family – his father was an accomplished horticulturist.

I free-motion quilted the purple sections with stippling, and added some straight lines near the seams on the neutral sections. I don’t pre-wash my fabrics; I give the finished quilt a wash so it gets cozy and crinkly.



I got lucky with the perfect shade of Aurifil in my stash. Look how perfectly it matched!


close up1

This was my first quilt using only solids, and only two fabrics. I love how it came out, and I keep thinking about how it would look in some other combinations. I love the one on the cover.


Now for Bobbi’s quilt. It was by special request. There was a small wall area in their weekend house that needed some love. She sent me references for color and design, but I couldn’t settle on any fabrics just then, so I kept the project in the back of my brain for a little while.


The February NYC Metro Mod meeting. We had a special guest, Usha Berlin of Handloom Batik. Her family has been making hand-printed fabrics for generations and she gave a wonderful presentation, showing her work and talking about their history and methods. It was totally awe-inspiring. Be sure to visit Usha at a show if you get the opportunity.

usha berlin1

usha fabrics1

I knew Bobbi would love these fabrics and the story behind them, and there were plenty available in the color palette she requested. It took me ages, but I managed to choose a handful of cuts after much agony and consultation with my fellow mods. The fabrics are soft and gauzy, and the colors are so vibrant. Many are made with natural dyes. One of the fabrics I chose was a floral print; Usha told me that the flowers in the design were actually mustard plants, and dye used for that fabric came from mustard seeds!


bobbi holding quilt2

The orange sanskrit print translates to “Finish what you start”. How perfect is that for quilters?

There is one fabric in there that’s not Handloom Batik, and it is the blue & tan print. Bobbi and Dad brought that fabric back from a trip to Singapore. I thought it sat well with the others.

I knew I wanted to use the City Sampler blocks to create an unpredictable geometric design that my stepmom would like, but wasn’t happy with how it was coming together on my design wall at first. The blocks are 6″, and with all the piecing, you couldn’t really appreciate the fabrics. I kept looking at that orange print… finish what you start. So I persevered. Once I cut up some 6″ squares and started arranging them between all the pieced blocks, the design opened up in a new way! I had a lot of fun deciding on the layout after that.


The weekend I gave them these quilts, Bobbi was on a mission to make one of her own. We gathered up the supplies and I showed her what to do. Check out her first quilt, a table topper for their sailboat’s nav station!


I think she caught the bug…


3 thoughts on “Poconos Birthday Quilts

  1. Bobbi Lees

    Hayden, your quilt journey is filled with your beautiful story telling and passion for the art of quilting . I’m honored to be both a recipient and a student of yours! I can’t wait to work on my next quilt!


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