Play ball!

So, baseball or football….maybe eyeball? What’s YOUR favorite? At the moment, mine is “Bouncing Ball,” the cutest scrappy toddler quilt I’ve made. I spent today writing up the instructions for two versions–one is simple and straightforward. It can be made with 12 fat quarters if you don’t have a big stash. My sample was more complex with pieced balls (using up little scraps!) that are eased, stuffed, and piped to make them puffy and 3D! Now that’s what I call “playing ball”! On sale through the end of the month for $3.50, this one is a winner–can so easily be made for a girl, boy or an unknown. Wonderful gift!

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“Bouncing Ball” Baby/Toddler Quilt cc2304 by LJ Christensen

I made my first real scrappy patchwork skirt in 1968. It was then that I really learned to appreciate scraps. I had played with Barbies like all girls of my time period, and I loved every piece of material my mother let me have, especially the glitzy ones. But my skirt was cotton, made of nine-patches. I gave it a navy background and then picked a solid color for center of every patch, which I then finished with carefully chosen coordinating fabrics.

That must be the thrill of quilting, getting to mull over the design and match up the colors and prints–these were precious pieces of my shorts and tops and first dresses I’d ever made, a few leftover from baby dolls and Barbie doll dresses. Every color is a revelation; every piece was a precious memory. I love that about charm quilts, but even if not every single piece is different, it’s still a challenge to pick and choose like an artist loads the color on her brush.

I’m working on my inventory these days and organizing my fabrics. It’s comforting and appalling–way too many, yet never enough. I love having the biggest box of crayons! Speaking of which, here’s one of my all-time favorite quilts. I made it, but I didn’t design it–it’s “Montana Cartwheel” by Quiltworx. It won the quilt top challenge at an Alabama National Fair a decade ago and was quilted for me as the prize. This is the design that made me WANT to quilt!

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