Thursday, March 01, 2018

Charming Baby Pattern - Make Modern Issue 21

It's here! The March/April issue (21) of Make Modern Magazine. As much as I love this magazine, this issue is special - because from pages 78 to 81 is my baby quilt pattern - Charmed!
First page of the Charming pattern in
Make Modern magazine, issue 21 

What a thrill. This is something that I've always wanted to do. I'm not sure if I will write more patterns (although I do have an idea for another one 😊), but it was a great experience!

This pattern is loosely based on my Beautiful Day Baby Quilt which I made in the spring of 2016. The idea was to put a quilt together, very easily and quickly, that would have lots of negative space for me to practice my free motion quilting (FMQ).

In my original quilt, I had just found a flying geese foundation paper piecing strip pattern and had essentially sewn around them, adding a corner stone at one end. There was very little measuring and tons of opportunity for FMQ.

So when I decided to submit a pattern, I still wanted it to be as easy as possible, with lots of negative space for the quilting.

The first thing I did was to sketch something on grid paper. That's how I plan my quilts (what little planning I do!)

Fabrics used in Charmed baby quilt

In July 2017, I sent a scan of my hand-written grid pattern, a photo of the fabrics that I would be using as well as the information they requested for pattern submissions. I'm happy to report that the information was very clear and the submission process was painless :-)

Of course in July, the March issue sounded very far away.  I was sure that I would get it all done by September....right! I wrote the first draft of the pattern in September, and spent a lot of time thinking about how I wanted to quilt it, but I only started cutting fabric in mid-November.
Fabrics all cut, following my draft pattern
Chain stitching some of the pieces
The most challenging part of writing the pattern was figuring out what to call each part, since they weren't really blocks. I'm not sure that I was terribly successful, but Jane, their editor did a great job of consistently naming sections and pieces.

Since I had no idea what pictures I would eventually send the magazine, I took a few more than usual of the process. I finally didn't send them any, but they are useful for this post!

The piecing of the quilt went well since I really wanted a simple quilt to make.

My favourite but most stressful part of this process was FMQ the quilt. I knew that if I messed up, that I would have enough time and fabric to re-do the quilt, but I was really hoping not to have to make two quilts.
Pieced and sandwiched

The hardest decision was selecting the thread colour. It's hard to find thread that matches, but that also makes the quilting stand out!!! It didn't start off well since I used a thread that was too dark to quilt around the blocks. I ended up working around it, but I was pretty nervous for a while.

For the quilting design, I FMQ three large pinwheels with other secondary designs. Since the quilting really didn't show up in pictures, I used some light orange thread to make some of it stand out more. You have to see the quilt up close to appreciate it. It might not have been the best decision for a magazine, but the images in the pattern are good. It really is about the pattern - the maker can quilt it as they want.

Some of the FMQ 

FMQ details
I always have a great time at the photo shoot. I took many photos in my back yard and some in the house, but they weren't very good. Finally, the best pictures were taken in the usual spot, outside of my office.
Charmed baby quilt and the snowy owl
I had just bought the snowy owl in the Parks Canada Place as a Christmas present for my daughter, so it came along to keep the quilt company.
    Issue 21 - Table of Content
What I learned
  • Because I was writing a pattern, I had to change my quilt-making process. I cut up all of the fabric in one go, making sure to measure many times before cutting. I almost never cut my fabric ahead of time, usually cutting it as I need it. But then, I don't often follow a pattern either :-)
  • I realised when I was writing the pattern, that I am very visual - so that I usually follow the pictures in a pattern more than the directions. I will often only read the directions carefully if the pictures aren't telling me what I need to know. I found that translating the pictures into words was not easy.
  • As I was piecing the quilt, I had a few adjustments to make to the instructions. It did go fairly smoothly.
  • I learned a lot by the changes that Jane made to the pattern. It did make it easier to follow. I wrote many of my instructions in point form so Jane added some important words!
  • I also struggled with making the instructions clear for anyone who might be using directional fabric. Thank goodness, Jane simplified the issue.
  • I want to thank the editor of Make Modern, Jane Kelly for her great editing and Kristy Lee, the creative director, for her help in making this a wonderful experience. Thanks so much!!! 
Cover of
Make Modern, Issue 21
Related Links
Project Details

Charmed Baby Quilt
30" x 30"
Materials: cotton
Techniques: piecing, free motion quilting

Linking Parties

I am linking this post to Sarah Goer's Show Me Something With Squares


  1. A big congrats! Great pattern!

    1. Thanks so much Susan. It was quite the undertaking. It was a lot more work than I expected :-)

  2. Great quilt Andrée. Congratulations.


  3. Hi Andree,
    How thrilling to see all your hard work in print form! Congrats to you for your first publication. I hope you have many to follow. Writing instructions is definitely an art and is a lot hard than you may think. ~smile~ Roseanne

    1. Thanks Roseanne. Yes, writing sewing instructions is really an art. I found it quite challenging but hope one day to write more. It really is amazing to see my pictures and quilt in the mag :-)

  4. Hello Andrée,

    I love the simplicity of this quilt, and it must have been such a thrill seeing it published! I love the way the squares float in the plain background, giving plenty of space for the FMQ.

    Thank you for linking up with Free Motion Mavericks!

    Love, Muv

    1. Thanks so much Muv. I really wanted to be able to practice as much free motion as possible.

  5. Beautiful quilt and congratulations for the publication!


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