A Quilt Finish: Cheddar Bow Ties

In my war on truly catching up in the sewing room I’ve been tackling the pile of flimsy quilt tops.  On the pile was a quilt of Kelli’s, Cheddar Bow Ties.  This quilt has been a top for a long time.  Now it’s finished.


This started as Bonnie Hunter’s 2011 Leader and Ender Challenge.  More info on that HERE.

Kelli didn’t follow the suggestion and use one solid cheddar fabric.  She used many cheddar printed fabrics.  The quilt is comprised of Civil War prints.


I think the color selection makes the quilt look like it’s dancing.

I don’t ever think of a bow tie block as anything special at all but just look…The quilt is really fabulous.  
Kelli is a real natural when if comes to color selection.

The backing is this….


Re-read that label.  Georgia Bonesteel.  For those of you who are newer to quilting.  Georgia Bonesteel is a LONG TIME quilter.  She was very big in the 70s and 80s.  She quilted before rotary cutters.  For me, that’s hardcore.

I took that picture and posted it on Instagram a week or two ago and someone said, “My husband and I were truck drivers for Lowenstein, the parent company of Wamsutta.  We left there in 1988 to work for another company, but the Wamsutta brand had been discontinued for 3 or 4 years before that.  You have a serious oldie!  Save that piece of selvage!”

I bought the fabric at a garage sale in Cresco Iowa a couple years ago and had intended it for Kelli’s quilt.  It aged a few more years and not finally got put to use.  If this quilt ever gets “dated” sometime in the future, it’s going to really confuse the person dating it.


Kelli made GIANT quilt.  Even though there was a big chunk of fabric, if wasn’t quite big enough so I had to add in something.  These are a few orphan blocks leftover from my Nine in the Middle quilt.  (It’s one of my favorites…see that here)

I love the baptist fans design for any Civil War quilt.  I used it on this quilt.


I’m so happy with the finish of this quilt.  Kelli did a great job.


I’m so very happy to have this one off the flimsy pile….

One more note:

This is my Cheddar Bow Ties. (read more about it here)


Bonnie went on to publish a pattern with the challenge blocks.  It is in Bonnie Hunter’s book More Adventures with Leaders and Enders.


Mine used the same printed Civil War cheddar fabric.

Kelli and I both had so much fun with the Bow Tie Challenge.

28 thoughts on “A Quilt Finish: Cheddar Bow Ties

  1. Suzy R.

    Kelli’s bow tie quilt is beautiful. This quilt has been on my “To Do” list for quite a while but after seeing Kelli’s I believe I will cut some for leaders and enders today. Thank you both!

  2. Judy Donovan

    Can’t believe the Bow Tie challenge was 2011! I started it, but only ended up making enough Bow Ties for a cute wall hanging . Mine is also in Civil War prints and it comes out to play in the Fall!

  3. Debbie B

    Awesome job on both quilts to both you and Kelli! Love all the color. Happy Mother’s Day to you and your girls! Enjoy!!!

  4. Vivian

    CW prints, scrappy cheddars and Bonnie inspired? You had me at hello! When you and Kelli collaborate it’s always stunning. Love the Bow Ties in the barnraising block sets, fililng that idea away for the future. Well done and fun ladies!

  5. Anita Connor

    I’m not a Civil War fabric gal, but Kelli’s quilt is Fabulous – that back is wonderful!

  6. Janet R

    Happy Mother’s Day, Jo! Hope you get to see at least some of the family today. We are still social distancing so we won’t get to see them in person, but maybe a video chat. Enjoy your day!

  7. Stearns Carol

    A Georgia Bonesteel story. At our Lutheran church we get lots of donations of yard, fabric, etc. We had two large bins of stuff that had accumulated so we were going through it. Inside was a wooden large lap frame for hand quilting or cross stitch. It was signed by Georgia Bonsteel! I grabbed it! And it is in a closet waiting for something.

  8. Kathleen

    Hi all, just a note. Georgia lives near me in the NC mountains. She is well and active, and was recently busy making masks!

  9. judy

    I have two of Georgia’s books. Both of your quilts are beautiful! They don’t look like they are the same pattern. That selvage will be good for you to put in a selvage tote bag.

  10. Sheri

    I really like both of your quilts. They look very different using the same blocks. Could you please explain Kelli’s layout? Is it a specific pattern? Thank you.

  11. Jean

    Love both bow tie quilts. Isn’t Kelli’s quilt laid out differently adding to the feeling of movement?

  12. MaryBeth Little

    Kelli’s quilt is absolutely gorgeous. I love the way she altered the directions of her bow ties. Really does make it dance! Your quilting really sets it off too. Happy Mother’s Day!

  13. Diane in WA

    Bow Ties is one of my favorite leader Ender challenges. Mine is still a small flimsy. Can’t decide if I want to make more blocks or add a border. So it is folded on a hanger decorating my sewing room!

  14. beth

    I saw this quilt earlier today on Facebook but didn’t realize it was yours! It is stunning. I have a well curated stash of cheddar and I think I know where it goes now!

    Happy Mothers Day!!

  15. Colleen Pflieger

    Georgia was on PBS and I watched her every Saturday. I woukd say she got me started on my love of quilting. Still have her her book of patterns with paper templates.

  16. Susan

    Wow! Both quilts are beautiful. So different, equally stunning. Thanks for the inspiration.

  17. Sue in Westminster, MD

    I love the bow tie quilts! How did you do the Baptist fan quilting on the longarm? Thanks for all that you share with us! Have a great week!

  18. Helen Reimers

    Beautiful quilts. Georgia got me started too. It is nice to see something of hers show up. Thank you

  19. Sue in Westminster, MD

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen bow ties arranged the way Kelli did them. I love it!
    I also love your Baptist fan quilting. How did you do that on the longarm?
    Thanks for all you share with us!

  20. Sue in Westminster, MD

    Hi Jo! Thanks for having a post about how you did the Baptist fans on the longarm. That will take some practice to look as good as yours! Sorry to ask more than once, but I could not see that my posts were getting through!

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