Quilts for a Cause

Quilts for Pulse, my contribution

I don’t think anyone will forget the emotional toll that 2016 took on so many people in the United States.  From natural disasters, hate crimes, animal abuse, and, yes, our presidential election.  It is so easy to look at situations and only see the bad, and there was a huge amount of bad in 2016.  But out of the bad can come compassion, acceptance of others, change, growth, and love.

I haven’t been active on my blog this year because of two relapses with Chronic Lyme disease.  It has been a physically and emotionally draining battle.  But, I am so thankful for the opportunities presented via Facebook and Instagram to give me a purpose outside of my family to motivate me to not dwell on my situation but to focus on others that are hurting.


After the shooting at the Pulse Night Club in Florida, the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild put out a call for rainbow heart blocks and quilts.  Their initial goal was to have enough quilts for the survivors, victims’ families and first responders.  They received hundreds of quilts and were able to share them with others touched by violence.  Click here for the #quiltsforpulse Instagram feed to see the quilts.

The heart with flying geese blocks are a pattern by Anita from the Blooming Workshop blog.  You can find the original pattern here: Heart with Flying Geese  I increased the size of the block to 12″ so it would be the same as the rainbow heart pattern that was provided by Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew.  She has a tutorial for three different sizes of hearts which can be found here:  Making Heart Blocks Multiple Sizes


Not long after the shooting at Pulse, there was one in Dallas.  The Dallas Modern Quilt Guild, The Fort Worth Modern Quilt Guild, and The McKinney Modern Quilt Guild put out a call for blue heart blocks and quilts for survivors, victims, and first responders.  They also received hundreds of quilts and have shared them with others.  Many of the blocks sent to them contained police department badges and signatures from officers.  Several of the members of my local Prairie Points Quilt Club have family and friends in service and I suggested we make blocks as a way of showing support and also to help them cope with the loss.  As one member told me, “We are all family, no matter where they serve”.  What a beautiful sentiment.  The four quilts tops above are what we pieced and gave to the DMQG along with the supplies needed to finish the quilts.

Click on the guild names above to go to their Instagram accounts to read more about Quilts for Peace and their guilds.  Click here to go to the #quiltsforpeace IG feed to see the beautiful quilts.

This Blue Hearts quilt was pieced using the leftover half-square triangles from the quilts our club made.  When finished, it will go to one of our local police departments.

I used the #BigHeartBlock for Pulse tutorial by Julie at Jaybird Quilts as a starting point for the blocks.  I changed it slightly to use more half-square triangles, as we had very little blue fabric yardage left over.


TQPM Small Kennel Quilt Team is a volunteer organization that connects people with animal shelters and groups in need.  You can read about them on their website Kennel Quilts or their Facebook page TQPM Small Kennel Quilts.  Our quilt club has made about 90 quilts this year.  Some went to Purrs of Hope Rescue in Hammond, LA; Rescutopia’s Happy Tails Island in Baton Rouge, LA; Animal Aid for the Vermillion Area in Scott, LA; and Zeus’ Rescues in New Orleans, LA.  These shelters were in need due to the flooding the Louisiana.

Other quilts went to the Human Society of the Tennessee Valley in Knoxville, TN.  They have taken in animals displaced and injured in the fires in Gatlinburg.

Hopefully, 2017 will be a year filled with good tidings and love.

Happy Quilting!



Smitten quilt top update

Smitten quilt top

Smitten quilt top

I have the blocks and first border pieced, arranged, and ready to sew together.  This is the top size per the pattern, but I have so much fabric left over that I’m going to frame this bit and add another pieced border.  Perhaps with some of those mini Smitten blocks I made using FMM set G.  Hmmm . . .

I offered this quilt as a class in 2015 and don’t know anyone who actually finished the top.  Several people dropped out and some stuck with the classes, cut out some blocks, but didn’t accomplish much sewing.  The quilt top is not hard to piece, even with the Y-seams.  Where the ladies got hung-up was in choosing fabric for their blocks.

*There is a Facebook group that used the English Paper Piecing method to construct the quilt top.  What an awesome idea!  Many of my friends take EPP to their day jobs to work on during breaks and lunch.  I’ve had several quilting friends become EPP lovers.  You can find the post on my favorite EPP tools here.

Some of my blocks are not perfect, color-combination wise, and I did make some replacement blocks giving me a few blocks that will go into an orphan block quilt.  The thing to remember with this, or any quilt, that it is okay to not like your color/fabric choices.  You can change them.  Yes, fabric is expensive, but don’t back yourself into a corner thinking you can’t change your mind.  We’re women!  Of course we change our minds.  Use those blocks in an orphan quilt, put them into a quilt for a women’s shelter, senior’s home, or veteran’s hospital.  Make some funky pillowcases that you can donate to fire departments (they give them to children), or sew some awesome pet beds for animal shelters and rescues.  You’re not wasting fabric, you’re repurposing it and gifting it with love to someone (two or four-legged) who is going to love it.

When you’re on the fence about your blocks, put them up on a design wall, leave them for several days (without looking at them) and then re-evaluate.  If they are not pieced, you can always play with the fabrics.  Again, take time to walk away and come back with fresh eyes.  You may not like them anymore than before, but hopefully, you will stop beating that dead horse and figure out ‘what’ you don’t like, and how you’re going to change it.

I have updated my Smitten quilt gallery if you’d like to see the individual blocks.

Several of my most recent blocks.

The pattern gives you a paper template for the setting triangles on the sides of the quilt.   I didn’t want to make a plastic template, or use a single fabric for the setting triangles, so I pulled out the From Marti Michell templates and found that they can be used to piece the setting triangles.  H52 is the large diamond that is used in nearly all the blocks.  H52b is a shape not used in the blocks.  I used it as the small setting triangles on either side of H52.  You will want the long edge of H52b on the straight grain to reduce stretch.  A 2 1/8″ strip of fabric (cut along the selvage) will give you a enough width to cut the triangles while providing a straight, non-stretchy edge.

Smitten drawing effect

Smitten drawing effect

Happy Quilting!


Welcome to Walnut Street Quilts

Welcome and thank you for stopping by for a visit!


I’m Patty and WSQ is all about my quilts, classes I teach, and helping you to become a better quilter (piecer, actually).  There are tutorials on blocks & quilt labels, a Quilting Journal of finished projects, and Quilts In Pieces (don’t we all have those?).

This Christmas will be our 25th wedding anniversary.  Goodness, where did that time go?  My awesome, supportive quilt husband and I have two great kids.  Emma is off to college this year; well not really since she will still be living at home, and August will be a junior in high school.

The first quilt class I took was hand piecing and hand quilting.  I learned quite a bit, but at the time, hand piecing didn’t appeal to me.  I was so disheartened by a class on a pineapple quilt that everything went into a closet for 14 years.  Have you ever had a class or quilt project that made you want to toss it all away?

While I wasn’t actually sewing, I did visit quilt shops to pet the fabric (you do it too, admit it!) and drool over the beautiful quilts.  I’m also guilty of buying kits that would live in my closet for 10 years.  When the kids got older, I tried another quilt class in 2007.  It’s probably more accurate to say I jumped head first . . .

Twisted Bargello 2008.  Chris Timmons design.  Australian Patchwork & Quilting Vol 8 No 4. Honorable Mention Autumn Gems Quilt Show, Large Wall Hanging-Pieced

Twisted Bargello 2008. Chris Timmons design. Australian Patchwork & Quilting Vol 8 No 4.
Honorable Mention Autumn Gems Quilt Show, Large Wall Hanging-Pieced

The instructor was fantastic and my love for quilting was born.  There were a couple more classes, but I really enjoyed the challenge of working thru a pattern on my own and tweaking the piecing techniques.  My favorite reference book is the Better Homes and Gardens Complete Guide to Quilting and I still dust it off on occasion.  Between 2007 and 2008 I pieced 13 quilt tops and quilted about half of those.  Yep, you can say it, I was obsessed!

A friend and I started teaching Quilt Club at our local shop in 2009 and that lead to  teaching classes shorty after.  In 2011, another friend asked me to teach a class on The Farmer’s Wife Sampler.  I had not even heard of this book, so it took me a while to investigate just what was involved in the making the sampler quilt.  I wasn’t thrilled about making 100 + templates, but soon discovered that there were acrylic templates and conversion charts on the From Marti Michell website.

While traditional methods are great and I believe every new quilter should start there, the acrylic templates are extremely versatile and make cutting and piecing a breeze.  Traditional cutting vs. FMM is like using scissors vs. a rotary cutter.  Scissors will get the job done, but it is quicker and easer to use the rotary cutter.

A few of my favorite quilts (most are from Quilt Club) . . .

I love to teach classes and help students work thru their piecing issues (we’ve all been there), try new techniques, and encourage them in their love of quilting.  Quilts are beautiful works of art (even the ones that have a blemish, or two) that give warmth when you’re cold, emotional comfort when needed, & joy and love when gifted to another.  They also remind us that our ancestors were able to make beautiful treasures from fabric bits and pieces.  While they didn’t have local quilt shops, or a wide variety of fabric, they did have  fabric scraps, hand drawn patterns and templates, and a love for quilting.

My quilting tip is remain open and positive to new experiences.  If your mindset is  I can’t do that, you will be missing out on wonderful opportunities.  You never know until you try!

My blogging tip would be to watch all the videos on setting up your theme and how to add items like widgets and buttons.  I’m not a technical person (I have issues with the Apple TV!), and the WordPress videos were a big help.

My dream vacation is to visit Scotland, and maybe Ireland.  That was on the agenda for this year, but was bumped in favor of a lay-about, relaxing vacation.

I love period show and movies; most anything on Masterpiece classic & mystery.

Fun fact:  I despise shopping for clothes and shoes, having teeth pulled would be preferable.  Now, shopping for fabric is another matter.  I can spend hours in a quilt shop and my husband aka chaufeur, usually finds a corner for a nap after he has made his fabric/quilt requests.  Which is fine, because I can pile my treasures on his lap!

New Bee Button

Please visit the other featured quilter’s in my Hive this week:

Cristy @ www.iloveyousew.com
Sarah @ www.goer.org/sarah
Eileen @ eileeninstitches.blogspot.com/

And the quilters from the other Hives

Sew-Fabulous-Hive-Button sewcial-swarm-outline_zpsiykzozev





Happy Quilting!