Free quilt pattern: Daisy’s Garden

September 22, 2020

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Some quilters are the first in their families to pick up a needle and thread. Others are blessed to carry on a tradition inherited from a loved one. As a very young child, APQS Dealer Bonnie Botts fondly remembers crawling around on quilt tops her Grandma Daisy sent to her parents to finish. Daisy sent many, many “Postage Stamp” and “Trip Around the World” quilts back home—each filled with fabric squares from the clothing of loved ones. Bonnie delighted in spotting a square from one of her dresses or her brothers’ shirts!

To finish the quilts, Bonnie’s parents used the ‘birthing method’. They placed the layers with right sides together, then stitched around the edges, leaving an opening for turning. Then they reached into the opening and turned the quilt right side out, and a quilt was born! Next, they tied the layers together with polyester yarn, and Bonnie and her siblings would fight over who got a new quilt for the cold Montana winters.

Sadly, only one of Grandma Daisy’s quilts still survives, and it lives with Bonnie’s brother. While digging around in a quilt store in the “Five Fingers” lake area in New York several years ago, Bonnie ran across the first fabric jelly roll that she could relate to. Most Jelly rolls are a complete line of a new fabric, but this jelly roll was hand cut and included 1930-1940s reproduction fabrics. Grandma Daisy must have been tapping her on the shoulder because Bonnie knew just what she wanted to do with it!

Bonnie combined smaller squares from the jelly roll into 16-patch blocks, reminiscent of the postage stamp quilts Grandma Daisy made. She added stars to commemorate her grandma’s life and influence on her quilting journey. When combined with a contrasting backing fabric and solid-looking star fabric, the quilt is definitely the perfect homage to her grandma’s quilting legacy. And we’re lucky to be included in that heritage as she shares the pattern with us!

To quilt her heirloom, Bonnie did a cross hatch in the 16-patch blocks. She used a medium sized meander design to fill the white areas between the lattice strips and the blocks. Bonnie stitched in the ditch around the lattice strips to help keep the quilt straight, and she freehand quilted a cabbage rose in the center of each strip, which fits 1930’s fabric so well.

Yellow gingham backing fabric and red ‘30s binding are just the right finishing touches to tie two generations of quilters together.

Though Bonnie sewed doll clothes as a child and she made her own dresses and blouses in school, her quilting DNA remained dormant until she was looking for something to relieve the stress of her hectic career in advertising in Nevada. Fashion fabric came with a high price tag, so Bonnie opted to take a quilting class to learn how to use her sewing skills in a different way.

She made a super king-sized rail fence quilt, and just like her parents taught her, she tied it to finish it. After that, she decided she wanted a longarm to help her finish the quilts. In 1997, she purchased her first APQS longarm—an Ultimate II with a wood table and no stitch regulator. After 13 years of quilting for herself and others, she sold that machine and purchased an APQS Millennium, to which she recently added a Quilt Path. Now living in Oklahoma, Bonnie doesn’t quilt quite as much as she once did for customers, but she loves working with longarm customers and is often on the road providing service and support to those around her. Grandma Daisy must be smiling from Heaven as she watches Bonnie carry on her quilting passion!

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