Community Quilts from Karin

I have a parade of quilts to share with you today.  They are all courtesy of Karin’s talented work…and the help of the quilt tops makers and donators.

Karin writes:
Good morning Jo, I hope you are over your cold by now. They are never fun, are they? Well, colds are no fun, but quilts are, and boy, do I have some fun finishes for you today. I believe four out of these five have originated with the amazing Cresco ladies, and I am always amazed at how they can take bits and pieces and turn them into such beauties. Helping me out this week was a box of sheets, generously donated by Elizabeth W, of Rockville, Maryland. She had sent them to me directly, and boy were they fitting, no pun intended, lol.

This first one has a very masculine feel to it with the brown plaids and woodsy colors and the duck motifs. I didn’t want to do anything too frou-frou, so I just quilted arcs and wishbones around each fussy-cut duck.


I was planning on leaving the sashing totally unquilted, thinking it would pop out, but all that really did was leave too much open space and I didn’t want the batting to bunch up, so I put some arcs in it. Then, that didn’t look like it was interesting enough so I decided to add some circles to each arc. I have been told, that if you don’t like the way something looks, just keep throwing threads at it and it will get better and better. That is a true statement, and this is… a perfect example of it.


I used a tan thread in the blocks themselves, but then I switched to a variegated blue and green and used my hand-drawn water motif in the wide borders all the way around the edge.

For the backing, I used an outdoorsy woodland-themed sheet and white thread in the bobbin.  This quilt finished up at 42 by 50 inches.

This next one is just a little guy but cute as can possibly be.


He finished up at 32 inches squared, and he is made up of all kinds of kitty cats, doing what kitty cats do.

The alternating squares reminded me of balls of yarn being batted about, so I used that for my quilting inspiration and just did a loose meander, using variegated brown thread on top.


The backing was with the flimsy and is very colorful with assorted kitty cats, hearts, and houses.

Here we have another example of taking assorted, unrelated scraps and making something cohesive out of them.


These are simply four patches of all different colors and prints, surrounded by 2 inch strips of more scraps. I guess you could say, making something out of nothing. It sure does keep a lot of fabric waste out of the landfill, doesn’t it?  It also makes for some great quilts!

The heart sheet for the backing was supplied by Elizabeth and seemed to go perfectly well with the soft pinks of the front.


Several of the front prints were florals with a few butterflies thrown in for good measure, and that inspired my quilting motif of leaves and loops. The center section quilted up so quickly leaving me lots of time and space to practice feathers in the wide border around all four sides. This quilt finished up at 44 by 56 inches.

Elephants on Parade!


I have had this panel in the cupboard for a while now and I have spent quite a bit of time deliberating on how to quilt it and what to use for a backing.

Well, in that box of sheets that Elizabeth sent me was this multicolored stripe. It’s the same colors as printed on the elephants of the panel! How in the world did she know that I needed that? Now, I just had to decide how to quilt it.

I wanted the elephants to stand out, so an all-over, edge-to-edge design was ruled out. I wondered if my tracing and traveling skills were up to the job, and I decided that they would never get better until or unless I practiced them. So, I figured out which elephants I was going to outline, and which motifs on the elephants I was going to accentuate, pulled up my big girl panties, put the needle down, and pressed GO! I traced around the outside of each elephant and their ear and I picked out the largest flowers on their bodies to highlight and using a very light tan did a tight stipple in between each elephant. I was very careful in my stipple path and I was able to move from one elephant to the next seamlessly and without straight lines. I would call that a success :-).


In the outer border of blue, I just put some alternating swirls, reminding me of elephants parading, with each elephant using its trunk to hold the tail of the one in front of it. The Bob & thread was a creamy white and shows only the texture, not even the stitches.

This quilt finished up at 46×44 inches.

And now, the biggest quilt brings our parade to a close. This is another one that has been hiding in the cupboard for close to a year, or maybe more. I believe it came from our mutual benefactor and friend, Annie, from Vashon Island, Washington. It is spectacularly and accurately pieced, with some absolutely gorgeous blue, brown, and cream batiks. Batiks have long been my favorite fabrics to work with, both in piecing and in quilting. Oh, and in petting too. They feel so good and drape so nicely.

Measuring 60×74 inches, this beauty sat a long time, waiting for just the right backing. Again, my deepest gratitude to Elizabeth for supplying a perfectly sized sheet. I did not realize until the flimsy was on the frame and I was a couple of rows into it, but there are snowmen and Holly leaves in some of the prints. Upon closer inspection, the dark blue border fabric could pass for snowflakes. Apparently, this was a winter quilt and should have been done quite some time ago. Well, who knew? I knew it was gorgeous, and I knew it was huge, but I did not know that it was theme specific.
It took me a little bit of time to figure out the construction of these blocks, but I think it is some sort of disappearing block (perhaps a square in a square?) where you make the block, then cut it apart on the diagonal, or maybe horizontal, and then piece it back together, reoriented.  The motif I chose used 3 rulers together to accomplish.  It resembles a lotus flower, for lack of a better description. I oriented them in alternating directions on each row. That left me a row of plain squares and half-square triangles on the top and bottom edges/rows of the quilt. I did simple arcs around each one of those. Going all around the outside I used swirls on a vine. I’m sorry, I just don’t know what to call them, lol. I find that a very relaxing free-hand motif to use after I have used rulers for so long in the center section.
I used a light tan thread on the top so that my travel stitches between the squares would not be so readily visible, but I didn’t have any blue that would blend into the borders, so I used the same tan there. I actually like the way it shows the quilting stitches and design. Usually, I’m a little bit more humble and do not want my quilting to show so readily but I think in this case, it sort of looks like the wind was swirling the snowflakes around.

As always, these will head to the firehouse in the morning, where they will be distributed throughout the county to those in need. Thank you to everyone who had a hand in creating or supplying the fabrics and backing and batting to create these beauties. Your efforts, time, and money spent are certainly appreciated by many. Thank you, Jo, for storing, sorting, coordinating, and contributing the way you do.”

WOW!!  Thanks to Annie…the Cresco Ladies..and to Karin for the great work and a big thanks to Elizabeth for the box of sheets.  You just never know what is going to inspire a quilt to get finished.  I agree with Karin sometimes it’s the backing fabric!!  

4 thoughts on “Community Quilts from Karin”

  1. A lovely collection of quilts – all so different. Very cleverly quilted and finished by Karen. Loved the elephant one! I agree, the Cresco Ladies really do know how to make something’s from nothing. The blue quilt is beautiful. Elizabeth’s box of sheets certainly came in good time – some lovely fabrics there which made excellent and appropriate backings.

  2. Judith Fairchild

    Such lovely quilts. 1st class all the way.y favorites are the elephants and the last blue and white quilt. Very well done to all the ladies involved in the making.

  3. Cynthia from SW MN

    The quilt show today was so nice! Very creative! I loved the fabrics used on the backs of the quilts as well! Great work, and wonderful cause to help those in need.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top