Anatomy of a Quilt: Day 3 and GIVEAWAY!

I thought I would finish up the examples of my Anatomy of a Quilt terms by sharing the 16 quilts in my first book and referring to the parts in them.

I have my two winners: Aby B. of North Dakota won a hard copy CD of my book. Bonnie B. of Canada won the digital version. Congratulations! And thanks to all of you for your kind words about these quilts!

Bold, Black and Beautiful is the title of my first book (AQS, 2004). The common "thread" was the use of black in my quilts. I still own a few of these (most of the others were part of that theft in 2005). But, in this post, I just want to share ALL of them and inspire you to consider the use of black in your quilts.

1. The Cover Girl is Royal Star. She appeared on the cover of Quilt Magazine and also on this book. She glows full of Benartex Fossil Ferns! This is an updated version of a vintage block.

Royal Star
Here is my book cover:

The SASHINGS between the blocks are composed of 3 strips: black/color/black. Now that you know that trick, I think you can see that my blocks appear to float with those 9 Patch CORNERSTONES. The black of the blocks comes up against the black in the SASHINGS and so it creates an illusion!

2. Grandmother's Night Garden. Block Size: 14" x 20". Quilt Size: 49" x 61". I still have this one! This is NOT English Paper Pieced; I stitched those hexagons with y-seams! And then I appliquéd the large hexagon units to a black rectangle.

Grandmother's Night Garden
I have two different SASHING strips separating the rectangular blocks (see? a block doesn't have to be square). This is a very scrappy treatment with solid strips playing nice with the strips of squares. Notice also in the borders I have two different fabrics and in each corner is a Four Patch.

3. Jeweled Keepsake Hearts. Block Size: 8" x 8". Quilt Size: 32" x 42"
Floral sashing strips with black cornerstones. Technically, NO BORDER! I just carried the sashing strips to the outside edges. How do you like that pumpkin orange block background?

The BINDING is black. Works well with those black CORNERSTONES.
Jeweled Keepsake Hearts
4. The Talking Quilt (you saw this on Wednesday). Block Size: 7-1/2". Quilt Size: 45" x 52"
The squares are set on point for the BLOCKS.

Kids' Talking Quilt
5. Fair Play uses 10" blocks and finishes to 37" x 37". This is a modern rendition of a vintage block from the early 1900s. There is NO sashing. They are set block to block. Simple black print border. Green binding.

Fair Play
This is raw edge appliqué. This was a workshop for a few years. Here is my Asian inspired Fair Play. I spread those rings a little more freely in this one!

Asymmetrical Fair Play
6. 98 Bright Dancing Squares is also hanging on the Giant Quilt Rack in the Sky. She has sent me secret messages from time to time telling me to recreate her. And I did. These are raw edge appliqué blocks of 5", set block to block (no sashing) and two thin borders with the binding repeating the first border.

98 Bright Dancing Squares: 40" x 40"
I just discovered I made so many others with this pattern that I'm going to do a blog post about them soon! I thought I only had two others. Can you say 4?

7. Next is Velvet Stars. Also hanging in the Sky. Sigh. I really loved this quilt. I had a bundle of solid Kona type fabrics in the late 1990s and used them to make this very scrappy quilt. The inspiration came from a tattered velveteen pillow I found in a yard sale. Simple pieced blocks (12" x 12"). Simple sashing and corner stones. Simple borders and binding. The stars are the stars!

Velvet Stars: 48" x 62"
8. Autumn Tessellating Stars also has 12" blocks. It finishes to 58" x 58". The key to this is to use only two colors in the block, then when you place them block to block, you will see the tessellating (interlocking) stars!

Autumn Tessellating Stars
Here is what a single block looks like (in different fabrics). This is from my Block a Day calendar. Patricia Bryant of Australia made this!

Single Tessellating Star
9. Shotgun Wedding Ring (don't you just love that title!) is a cheater's shortcut approach to the traditional Double Wedding Ring. Appliquéd curved wedges on background squares. I've made this multiple times and I even did a blog post for Benartex with this (do a search on the right sidebar here and I'm sure you will find it).

Shotgun Wedding Ring
This is NOT A DIGITAL image! The background fabric is black. The rings are green and pink. The blocks are set with no sashing. Let me demonstrate:

These are the wedges with fusible webbing on the back, ready to be stitched down
And with FOUR blocks (black with tiny leaves), scattered my green wedges

Four 12" blocks
Some quilts are made from a single block. This is true in this Golden Mariner's Compass. Can you believe that I drafted this compass on a large coffee filter (a convenient circle) and then paper pieced it. Two borders (one inner, one outer) and it's done!

Autumn Mariner's Compass: 23" x 23"
Are you still with me? Just a few more!

11. Mini Grandma's Garden uses English Paper Pieced blocks. Brights with blacks. There are a few alternate blocks and squares. Very irregular assembly, but eye-catching.

Mini Grandma's Garden: 31" x 31"
The blocks are the Grandmother's Flower Garden hexie blocks (6" square). Then I arranged them in an irregular assembly (yes, I already said that) and filled in with squares and a few blocks. Simple borders. Done!

12. Butterflies at Night is a Dresden Plate block morphing into butterflies. These are 30 degree wedges. Machine appliquéd to the black background squares. Very similar colors to the one above, but I used sashing and corner stones. 10" blocks.

Butterflies at Night: 35" x 47"
13. Pink and Black Irish Chain was made to incorporate some machine embroidery. Can you see those butterflies? The alternating blocks are a 25 Patch (and finish to 4-1/2", if you can believe it?!)
Double Irish Chain
Two blocks, set block to block. NO sashing. The placement of the pink and black squares in the corners of the blocks give this the appearance of weaving. No inner border. Outer border and binding are the SAME fabric.

14. Diamond Bar, was made by an Atlanta friend Susie Gilroy. It looks a bit like the Double Irish Chain above. 6" blocks.
Diamond Bar: 66" x 66"

There are two blocks: 9 Patch and Rail Fence. They are set to block to block - no sashing. AND - they are set ON POINT with side and corner triangles. That extra set of triple sashing with the corner blocks (squares on point) take our eyes out even further. Love this quilt!

15. Colossal Chrysanthemums  is another Dresden Plate quilt. No sashing. Just blocks. And, after agonizing for at least a month on what to do about a border, my very savvy high school daughter said, "It doesn't need any, mom. It's done."Added that print binding that reflects the bright colors in those dresden wedges.

Colossal Chrysanthemums: 40" x 40"
And the last quilt (#16) is my Sweet Slice of Summer. Actually, it belongs to Diane Leighton of California. It's a replica of my earlier one done in white.

My Sweet Slice of Summer from 2002
And the one in the book with 6" blocks and pink sashing.
Sweet Slice of Summer by Diane Leighton
So, now you've seen the main parts of a quilt. Most of these quilts are fairly traditional. But you do have to say that there are a lot of bright colors! I also have a few more tips to share from the book (like my Ten Reasons to Cut and Sew a Sample Block . . .). That will be along soon.

Which is your favorite? I'd love to know. That's how you're entered into my GIVEAWAY: a copy of the CD of this book (USA residents only) or a digital copy for my International visitors. Make sure I have your email. Many visitors who comment come through as "no reply/anonymous" and I can't even send you an email! I will have TWO winners (USA and International)

Contest is over Monday, January 13 at midnight (EST).

The CD reads just like the original book. You can print the patterns as you wish. This is in pdf format.  I sell it for $10 and you can see all of these quilts on one page here: Bold, Black and Beautiful Quilts.


  1. Wow so many to choose from. I do love Royal Star it is amazing. Jmikebalou (at) aol (dot) com

  2. Velvet Stars is my choice but it is hard to choose as they are all pretty. I also like the black background.

  3. i can't pick only one, either the mariners compass or the shotgun wedding ring!!! gorgeous

  4. I love the Shotgun Wedding Ring - I would make this in the same colors!

  5. Wow, beautiful patterns and fabrics!! I love the Autumn Tessellating Stars really caught my eye. Mariners compass is a close second choice. Thanks for the great giveaway!!

  6. Love the velvet stars, but it's hard to choose !!

  7. Hi Debby! What a lot of eye candy you shared with us today. Each one is better than the next, but I think you shared my absolute favorite first. Hands down, I just adore Royal Star. Those colors, the fabrics, the setting, the cute cornerstones, the block, oh just everything. Thanks for this fun series! And Happy Friday. ~smile~ Roseanne

  8. For some reason, my favorite is 6. 98 Bright Dancing Squares. I am in love with modern quilts right now and I see that quilt as great canvas to practice FMQ fills and motifs. But really, I liked many on your post today and find the bright lively colors joyful, a nice contrast to the dreary rain we get all winder in the PNW.

  9. Hard to choose, but I'll pick Velvet Stars. I am in Canada.

  10. Thanks for sharing these fantastic quilts. It is a hard choice to choose the one I like best. And, since you said to pick only one - it would have to be Royal Star

  11. Beautiful quilts. So sad most of them were stolen. :-( I like many of the quilts, but I guess my favorite would be Royal Star.

  12. the quilts are all gorgeous, but Diamond Bars really speaks to me. Thanks for sharing Debbie.

  13. Sweet Slice of Summer! They are all so pretty! Thank you, Susan

  14. I enjoy seeing all your quilts and reading about them. Today Royal Star is my favorite.

  15. They're all beautiful, but I think Royal Star is my favorite. Second would be Shotgun Wedding.

  16. c d would be nice to save until you need it. I lose things on my computer all the time

  17. Such a variety to choose from. My choice is "Shotgun Wedding Ring" - the title gave me a chuckle, the colors got my attention, and the technique sounds interesting. Thanks for offering this giveaway.

  18. There are too many to choose just one favorite. I like different ones for different reasons. Royal Star was my initial first choice, but then I clicked on the pictures to enlarge them and several others, said pick me, pick me. So I also picked, Autumn Tessellating Stars, Asymmetrical Fair Play, and My Sweet Slice of Summer.

  19. So many great choices! I'd have to say Royal Star is my favorite.

  20. Royal Star followed by Shotgun Wedding. Hard to pick but the brights speak to me!! quilticatatyahoodotcom

  21. I love quilts with blacks and brights! So many beauties to choose from, but I pick Mini Grandma's Garden. Such a happy quilt!

  22. Fair Play is in the running and I love the black and bright colors. Thanks for sharing. I have learned so much from you.

  23. The Royal Star is my favorite, but all of them are beautiful.

  24. So many great choices! But, if I must, I really like DIAMOND BAR -- a beautiful black and white creation. Thanks for the giveaway!

  25. What wonderful quilts! I have several favorites!
    I’d love to make either Mimi Grandmother’s Garden or
    Diamond Bar by hand piecing.

    Thanks for a chance to win!

  26. Ooh, so many lovely quilts to choose from. I like Jewelled Keepsake Hearts, Autumn Tessellating Stars, Butterflies at Night, and My Sweet Slice of Summer as a quick selection. But the way you showed the effect of different colour choices, my favourite has to be Shotgun Wedding Ring - the Four 12" Blocks in green, and used the centre cutouts as leaves on the dark fabric with small leaves . . . it's stunning, and all though I don't think I would be able to pick colours as well as you, it shows how a pattern can be changed and still look as wonderful as the original. Thanks for sharing, it is nice to see all the details in a pattern book and hear a little about tem from the designer.

  27. I like the Talking quilt the best. Love the bright colors on so many of them though!

  28. I love all the bright and beautiful quilts! Royal Star is my pick.

  29. I'm liking hexagons right now, so Grandmother's Night Garden is awesome!

  30. They are all sooo gorgeous but the one that wants to jump into my lap is Velvet Stars. I can get lost just looking at it. lamujererrante (at)

  31. My favorite is Royal Star. When Quilt magazine came out with it on the cover, I made blocks from the pattern and gave them to my secret sister at quilt guild for Christmas. I didn't really want to give them away!

  32. My favorite is Fair Play. But...all the others are great, too. bgk 44@ msn. com is my email address.

  33. Jeweled Keepsake hearts is my favorite.

  34. Oh gosh Debby ~ There are a number of these I really love. I've always been drawn to black background quilts because they are so striking with the white or brights next to them. Actually, since I first started quilting I wanted to make a black, red, and white quilt and still haven't done that.

    As I said, there are a few of yours in this post, but I think my most favorite would be #14 Diamond Bar.

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