Wednesday, 19 November 2014


I write this post in the middle of a blizzard but I designed this quilt in the middle of a tornado.

Early in the fall I arrived home from work one Friday night to a power outage and the threat of a storm.  I sat by the window with a pencil and some graph paper, using the last of the daylight and then a flashlight to sketch some designs. As I was sketching, we got a phone call saying the roof had blown off of the field house at the local baseball diamond and later learned an F1 tornado had passed within about 300 m of our house, tearing apart our neighbour's barn. I joked that I would name the quilt tornado then decided that the pattern did evoke a sort of swirling motion, with pieces coming apart from the centre block. So Tornado it is.

I designed the quilt around the Color Me Happy line, as I had a fat quarter bundle that needed a project. I loved the blues in the line but wanted blue to be the dominant colour, so used Kona Navy as the background and picked out greens, grey, pink and whites prints. I ended up using only 7 fat quarters and still had pieces of those left over.

The quilt is mostly comprised of flying geese blocks with some parallelograms and a few half-square triangles, along with lots of 3 1/2 inch strips cut into various sized rectangles. It came together quickly.

I cut and sewed the flying geese units, parallelogram units and half-square triangle units first.

Then I started in the centre and worked my way out.

I sewed the outside flying geese in blocks before adding the half-square triangle corner blocks.

I was playing a bit and thought two flying geese blocks together might make a fun baby quilt.

 I'm happy with how it turned out! It's funny to see a sketch come to life. I like the way the prints pop against the navy background and the clean lines, creating order in the chaos. The quilt measures 90 x 90, so it'll fit a bed.

I was having a hard time taking pictures, as it was getting dark, I had to lay it on the snow and the wind kept blowing the outside border. My fingers were freezing!

I plan on writing a pattern for this one. I think it's a good way to showcase some favourite prints without using too much fabric. I think it would also look good pieced with only two colours. Next I'll have to decide how to quilt it. Personally, I think it's begging for some custom quilting, but we'll see...


We had a thaw and I managed to take some better pictures, despite the gloomy sky.

For the free pattern, see this post: Tornado Quilt Pattern


  1. LOVE this top!! Wowsers! I agree - it is begging for some custom quilting! Can't wait to see how you finish this one :)

    Having something go from sketch to fabric feels SO good! Especially when the results are as amazing as this! I'm not really a follow a pattern kind of girl - but if you wrote one for this - I'd be all in :)

    1. Thanks, Judy! I'm just starting to work on my machine quilting with smaller quilts, so I've added myself to my local longarm quilter's waiting list!

      I'm with you on following patterns :)

  2. I'm in LOVE with this! I'd love to make it with some of V and Co's ombre fabrics!!! Soooo when did you say the pattern is coming out ;^)

    1. Thanks, Laura! Oh, that would be cool! Hopefully I'll work on it over Christmas Break :)