Monday, March 7, 2016

The Sacred Heart Quilt

Last year we had a really interesting program at the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild where we spent one whole afternoon learning about the drunkard's path quilt block. While this is a traditional block, many quilters are using variations on this block to make very modern quilts.

I'm not really a "block" quilter, but right away this block gave me a few ideas. And, my goal was to finish this quilt for an official Drunkard's Path Modern challenge by a February deadline for the spring International Quilt Festival in Chicago. Unfortunately, in what seems to be an ongoing trend, I missed the deadline due to everyday-life-events getting in the way of sewing. But I think my guild comrades did enter, and I can't wait to see their quilts in the exhibit next month!

But I digress - I saw a way that you could use this block to create a heart shape, which I imagined as a Sacred Heart, and got a few sketches down in my book.

After thinking about it for a few weeks, I changed my design, and finalized it with a little pattern to help me cut and sew the blocks.

So, working at my own pace, I just finished putting the final stitches on the binding last night!

All of the blue and red fabrics were over-dyed in red, medium blue, and dark blue fiber reactive dyes. I really love the look of over-dyed fabrics for patchwork. The different manufacturing processes, fiber content, and finishing in the fabrics results in really great gradations in the colors. Most of the fabrics are pretty new, but there are a few vintage pieces in there - and the vintage cottons seem to absorb the dyes very well.

The flames are scraps of fabrics I hand dyed a few years ago, and are made with simple raw-edged appliqué.

The quilting was a no-brainer, I think I had the pattern for the quilting in my mind before even finalizing this design! Echo-quilting in the heart shape, and an outward aura from the center of the circle shape inside the heart. Just a bit of outline quilting in the flame.

I even managed to sneak a bit of Star Trek TOS fabric in one or two blocks (did you see it in there?)!

I made one other little min-quilt with a different drunkard's path block idea which I'll share with you soon, but I think that's about it for me and this block. Time to move on to something new.

What about you - have you ever used the drunkard's path block? And what do you have next on your to-sew list?


Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I learned how to make the Drunkards Path block in a machine applique class, years ago, but, I've never made any more. I like your quilting on the quilt. If you have some time this next weekend, come to the Pride of the Prairie Quilt Show in Crest Hill. I have a booth with some of my vintage machines.

Mary Francis Drake said...

Hi! I love your sacred heart quilt and wonder if you have a pattern for sale? You can email me at with details. Thanks! I want to make a quilt for a friend's wedding and this one is perfect. Mary Francis

Miss Sews-it-all said...

Hello Mary Francis, and thanks for your comments - I'm so glad you like my quilt! This design is a one-of-a-kind quilt that I worked really hard on, I don't make patterns for my original works of art. I love that you are inspired by my Sacred Heart quilt, and if you make one of your own design for your friend I would love to see pictures! Best - Erika