February 10 ~ Quilt of the Day

on February 10 | in Sewing Inspiration | by | with 86 Comments

Little Bear’s Quilt
By Leesa, Square One Studio

Leesa created this quilt nearly a decade ago for her best friend’s newborn son. It measures 48″ x 60″ and the batting and thread are 100% cotton (though she adds that she now uses polyester thread for durability).

Lessa writes, “Except for a 7th grade home economics class, I didn’t really know how to sew when I started it and certainly didn’t know how to quilt but after years in grad school studying art history, I was itching to get back to my roots in design and actually make something myself. Little Bear’s quilt was the result.

It was inspired by the clean, graphic simplicity of traditional Amish quilts and by contemporary quilt artist Nancy Crow’s updated interpretation of the log cabin block. About halfway through the process of making the top, a friend gave me a copy of a recent article in Martha Stewart Living on a ‘young and upcoming quilt maker’ named Denyse Schmidt. The article featured her ‘What a Bunch of Squares’ quilt and I couldn’t believe how much it resembled the top I was piecing together on my design board—right down to the blue center squares! I was struck by the way she randomly swapped out similar tones to give the quilt a truly patched-up and handmade look and incorporated this technique into my own quilt. Needless to say I’ve been a huge DS fan ever since.

I relied heavily on the book Quilting for Dummies to learn the technical aspects of quilt making but readers interested in this particular brand of wonky log cabin design can find instructions in the 2005 book Denyse Schmidt Quilts: 30 Colorful Quilt and Patchwork Projects.

Although time consuming, I find hand quilting to be a soothing, meditative process. It lends a unique and quirky quality to a design that can’t be replicated by machine.”

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86 Responses to February 10 ~ Quilt of the Day

  1. Mandi says:

    I LOVE this quilt. I love the colors, I love the asymmetry, I love it all! Wonderful job and great article!

  2. Glaucia says:

    It´s an impressive quilt, with this lovely color combined with the shapes. I like it very much.

  3. Kate Gadd says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the colors! I’m so attracted to the color combination and the design. Also, I was inspired to read that you really didn’t know how to quilt when you started it. Quilting seems overwhelming to me. But after reading your story, I’m anxious to get started!

  4. Staci says:

    This is exactly the inspiration I was looking for while trying to decide what sort of quilt to make for a friend and her soon to arrive baby girl. It is so classic looking yet not so traditional, I love it. Hmm, I see a trip to the fabric store for pink and green fabric in my near future.

  5. Beth G. says:

    What a gorgeous quilt!

  6. amelia says:

    i am working on the planning stages of a quilt like this for myself, inspired by dsquilts ‘what a bunch of squares’, and it is always fun to see others out there along the same vein.

  7. Suzanne says:

    Very nice! I love how the colours go together.

  8. kylie says:

    What a stunning quilt. Great job. Unbelievable to think that it was your first.

  9. Leesa says:

    Here I wanted to add that after I designed the squares for the top, I enrolled in a short course in quiltmaking at a local arts center which went a long way towards making the first quilt something I could be proud of. Although I think you can absolutely teach yourself to quilt from books and online tutorials, part of the whole history of quilts is its collaborative nature. I truly enjoyed the class at my local art center, the feedback of the group, our very different designs (I think they thought I couldn’t sew a straight line but were supportive nonetheless) and the group input. If you’re a beginner or even an advanced sewer/quilter, don’t discount the value of what others have to share and teach. But hey, you’re already reading this thread so you probably knew that!

  10. Carol says:

    I love this pattern and I’m so impressed by this simultaneous creation! Leesa’s artful eye is very apparent.

  11. Andrea says:

    I love this quilt too!! It is so great to see all the quilts you have found.

  12. Lil' d says:


  13. Karmela says:

    I love this quilt! I always think “oh, I can do this” but my one attempt was required much more concentration than I was prepared to give. But I’m inspired to take it on again! This is gorgeous!

  14. erin says:

    Oooo!!! I like this and can’t wait to read how it was done!

  15. Tex says:

    I thought “Denyse Schmidt!” when I saw the photo. Interesting to read that she hadn’t “met” Denyse yet when she designed the blocks. Obviously a soul-mate. 🙂

  16. Char says:

    This is incredible, especially for a first quilt!

  17. Deborah Fair says:

    What a lovely contemporary quilt that also has a somewhat traditional feel to it as well.

  18. skmparis says:

    I absolutely love that quilt! well done!

  19. alison says:

    That is a gorgeous quilt. Thanks for the recommendation on where to find information on learning to quilt.

  20. Pamela says:

    Love this quilt design! So whimsical with perfect colors for a boy. Great job! 🙂

  21. Katie says:

    Wow! I love this! Totally want to make one too! I’m glad to hear something good about actually doing hand quilting since I’ve been interested in it for a while. Great quilt!

  22. trishia says:

    love it! I am so in love with ds’s drunk love- this quilt shown is so… folky. (can we make up words here? )
    very good color scheme, too. what a lucky child to receive this beauty.

  23. I often fight with my urge to make something perfect. I read on WeeWonderfuls to allow little accidents to happen, because that is what gives the item character. It also allows the viewer to see that the item is hand made (both hand sewing or machine sewing to me are hand made). Imperfect shapes, drawings, lines can be so wonderful. Variation is a key to good design.

    People have often stated to me, after hearing that I am an artist/crafts person, “I can’t even draw a straight line”. My reply to them is that there are no straight lines in nature, so why should you worry about drawing prefect when just trying to draw and create is the adventure. You have some control over the outcome, but the struggles along the way are what make us better crafts people.

  24. Amy says:

    Wow…I love this quilt! Has to be my favorite…or at least in my top five favs!!!!

  25. Annette Samborski says:

    At first look I thought – wow – love that Denyse Schmidt quilt!!! Rank yourself right up there girl… you created a beautiful quilt. Would love to see what you’ve created since. I’ll have to go visit your site. Keep up the beautiful work – you have a wonderful eye.

  26. Sandy says:

    this is gorgeous! the colors are so relaxing and comforting, it makes me want to wrap up and sit in front of a fire and eat popcorn.

  27. Violet says:

    Beautiful combination of colors!

  28. Stephanie says:

    What a great quilt to give a baby. This is something that will grow with him/her forever. A beautiful heirloom for sure!

  29. Liz says:

    This quilt is great – I love the colours.

  30. Michelle says:

    I really like the warm tones.

  31. Michele says:

    This is a fantastic quilt…I love the design.

  32. Jennifer says:

    This is a truly amazing quilt. I love the design and colors.

  33. Jen says:

    Great Quilt, thanks for the inspiration. I’m trying to decide on a pattern for a first quilt – I only have about 200 hundred ideas, but I like this one.

  34. Carrie says:

    Love the non-symetrical look of this quilt. Can’t believe she made this without any quilting experience…it gives me hope!!!

  35. Wendy says:

    Beautiful. I love the simplicity of it, and the colors. Although a baby quilt, this could easily follow someone into adulthood as a throw.

  36. Joanne says:

    That quilt is gorgeous. Very inspiring.

  37. Gina says:

    What a great quilt!

  38. Kieny says:

    Wonderful quilt!

  39. Deb says:

    I’ve already checked out one of the top favorite quilting books (Quilts, Quilts, Quilts by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes). Now I’m putting my name on the list for the one mentioned in this post. I love this quilt.

  40. Angela says:

    Such a beautiful first quilt! I love how the blue pops.

  41. Stacy says:

    I love those colors.


  42. Regina says:

    So lovely -what a lucky baby! I really like the baby quilts that don’t look babyish and use colors that can really grow with a child – they will treasure this forever.

  43. Libby says:

    A spectacular quilt. I really, really want to do one like this.

  44. Leesa says:

    Holy Cow! Thanks for all the kind words about this quilt made so many years ago. It’s great to be “virtually” connected to so many quilt enthusiasts who like the asymmetrical modern approach. Can’t wait to see what everyone else creates as a result of the quilting month tips and inspiration.


  45. kim says:

    very cute quilt- reminds me of Gwen Marston..the liberated quilting.

  46. Kristin says:

    I love it!! Very encouraged that she was a beginner when she started this project. There is hope!

  47. Kate says:

    Amazing. These colors really are beautiful together. I think this would be the perfect quilt for any baby, regardless of gender. It is timeless.

  48. Jennifer G says:

    That gives me great hope for my first one that I am working on! Thanks for all of the inspiration!

  49. Joanna says:

    I had sooo been waiting for the start of quilt month and then last week my computer up and dies. I do get to check in once a week at my office, but it has hampered my momentum some. All the quilts i’ve seen so far have just been beautiful! Hopefully I’ll be able to add some quilt blocks to the photo pool soon…

  50. Karen says:

    Love the colours and how the centres are slightly askew. I think any boy would love this one!

  51. Kelli says:

    The colors work so well together!

  52. Rebecca says:

    That quilt is amazing! I can’t wait to learn more!

  53. Lisa says:

    absolutely beautiful!! I’m really enjoying all of these great quilts!

  54. mikawendy says:

    Beautiful colors and great design! I like how the kinetic feel of the colors and angles are balanced by the calmness of using mostly solid fabrics instead of busy prints.

  55. Red says:

    Probably my favorite so far. I love the colors and the asymetrical nature of it.

  56. Sam VanDerPuy says:

    Wow! That is so cool that this was being design right around the time Denyse Schmidt was breaking through. It’s beautiful, and I love the colors used for a little boy! It’s as cool today as it was 10 years ago~!!

  57. Myra says:

    what a neat idea for a baby quilt!

  58. Susan F. says:

    Very nice, so cozy looking with your color choices. That was one lucky baby that got it!

  59. heather w. says:

    oh that is just so sweet! I love blocks of color!

  60. Alycia says:

    That is a stunner! I love the colors and the flow. Nice design!

  61. mary says:

    Beautiful quilt! I would love to do one in all blue tones!

  62. Claudia~L says:

    Is the DS article in this months MSL? I should go and take a look – I’m assuming March is already out, and that is the one you are refering to?

  63. LadySnow says:

    What a lovely quilt!

  64. stacysews says:

    It’s absolutely gorgeous! I love asymetrical ‘square’ style quilts.

  65. Alisha says:

    I love the colors, the design, everything about this quilt!

  66. Brandy says:

    What a lovely quilt! I think that would be a great one to start for my boys as well as for learning on myself. ^-^

    Thanks so much for all the inspiration!

  67. Sarah says:

    Wow, amazing, especially for a beginner (at the time…)!

  68. renee says:

    I love this quilt! I’ve been so intimidated by doing the off center patchwork. Seems like such a cutting nightmare to me. This makes it look worth it!

  69. Nada says:

    wonky lines give me hope—none of me points meet so far!

  70. alicia says:

    What a cool quilt! I love the simplicity of it!

  71. Terri says:

    That is a gorgeous quilt! Great colors for a boy.

  72. mj says:

    Very beautiful quilt!

  73. Rose L says:

    This is a truly lovely quilt. I love the story behind it, too – very inspiring.

  74. Melissa says:

    This is a great quilt (color & pattern) for a little boy to grow up with

  75. ainhoa says:

    Love the colours!

  76. Amy W says:

    I love everything about this quilt: the non symetrical look,the quilting, and the colors! It’s beautiful!

  77. Cocoa says:

    The first thing I noticed about this quilt was how the blue centers just pop! It is simply beautiful!

  78. Stacey says:

    Fabulous! I’m surprised I like it as I usually have an aversion to harvest gold, brown and avacado green. Maybe I’m getting old enough to appreciate/long for the colors of my youth?

  79. Paige says:

    This is really fantastic – just what I’ve been looking for as inspiration. I’ll have to check out that DS book.

  80. Julia D says:

    I so love this. The blue centers make it so beautiful! Lovely, lovely!

  81. Libby says:

    Oh!! I really like this! Thanks for sharing!! Libby

  82. Cassie Ogle says:

    Reading this article gives me hope, as a beginner, that I can really create a beautiful quilt even though I haven’t been quilting for years. Absolutely beautiful!

  83. Kristin L says:

    I clipped out that same article about DS! I have it tucked away and refer to it every now and then. DS definitely has a unique and fresh look that has captured a generation of quilters.

  84. Jenny says:

    I love this quilt! Wonderful job!

    Jenny in VA

  85. Bess says:

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this quilt!!! I’m on my way to look up Denyse Schmidt – thanks!!

  86. Cara says:

    I really love these quilts that show it doesn’t have to be perfectly geometric to be beautiful. I’m alot better at the slightly wonky squares than the perfect point, and so I’m happiest when I just allow it to be a design element.

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