Baltimore Album Quilts, Day One

I have created several Baltimore Album type quilts in my 30+ years of quilting. I say "type" because I have used printed panels (often called "cheater's cloth") for the glorious motifs.

Here is one of the first I made about 25 years ago. The date of 2014 was for when I posted about this on my blog. This goes back to my Quilt Magazine days of probably 1998! These little panels were easy to set on point and capture the red and green in the setting fabrics and borders.

Then in 2011 I came across some other printed panels, this time much larger. I can't even remember who the designer was. I cut them out and decided to surround them with Dogtooth units. I had to put my math teacher hat on because this was going to require some serious calculating. The blocks (center motifs) will finish to 10". I wanted 3 dogteeth on each side. My 60 degree triangles were cut at 3-3/8" high. I made a mistake with the first batch and couldn't use them.

This red block now measures 16-1/2" (unfinished). So what? If it is sewn with others the same size, it doesn't matter that the finished size will be an odd 15-3/4", does it?

Red basket block sewn in 2011

Now for the blue block. My points are sharp at the ends but not so sharp where they meet the panels. See - I bet you never noticed, did you?

Blue basket with blue dogtooth units

I love the gold block because it features a fantastic bird.

Here are four of the blocks together. I still wasn't sure how I would set them. I knew it would come to me (but I certainly didn't think it would take 11 years!). Looking at them like this, block to block, didn't inspire me. They all went back into the box!

Four Album blocks made with "cheater cloth"

I set to work last weekend and discovered that the original fabric came with some strips of flowers. I counted up the strips to see how many sashings I could get and realized that with 12 blocks I could just squeeze out what I needed. (Not all the sashings are the same width - some finish to 3", some to 2-3/4" and the horizontal ones finish to 2-1/2".) I was sweating bullets, but once I counted twice and wrote some things down, it all came together.

Here is my quilt top measuring 54" x 72". I had to pin it to my kitchen curtains to get the whole thing flat!

12 Block Baltimore Album quilt: 54" x 72"

I'm going to either auction it or sell it and let someone else finish it. I plan to donate the proceeds to my local guild so they can buy more batting for our charity quilt projects. We make almost 200 charity quilts each year (and I contribute almost 2 dozen) - so we're always buying it.

There are a LOT of seams in the light yellow background fabric (on the dogtooth patches) because I was running short. Once this is quilted, no one will be the wiser.

Come back tomorrow for 2 other album quilts and a FREE pattern for one of them!


  1. Hi Debby. I love these type of quilts. I have a book by Ellie (can't spell her last name---can't say it either) and I love all the patterns in there. Making a quilt with them has been on my list for a while. I know there is a lot of work involved in making them, but they are so gorgeous! Your blocks are really beautiful. I hope you make lots of money from them.


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