I first learned about this project idea when I found this blog post randomly in my blog reader: The 365 Challenge The idea of it struck me right away as I love to journal and I love quilting. I believe Leanne had her squares finish at 4 inches square, which made her a queen size quilt. She went with an array of tan neutrals for her blocks as well.
When I decided to do this quilt, I want to make an actual pattern for my journaling blocks to sit it. Nothing too complicated since the writing would be the main focus. I came up with the idea of having houses because this quilt represented my family and our home and our life together. Plus I have loved all the houses that have been popping up around the quilting community lately.
Once I knew I would do houses, I tried to think of a way to incorporate the houses into an actual scene, a grassy hill with some trees was what came to me next, partially inspired by this mini: Four Seasons So the idea was born! A sky, a hill, some trees and houses. A great little neighborhood to house all my words for a year.
So here again is the pattern I created:
I am by no means a pattern maker, but I will do my best to explain it to you. please feel free to ask questions though!
There are 399 squares in this quilt, they are arranged 19 x 21 and each journal square finishes to 4.5 inches. With a 1/2 inch sashing, the quilt will finish to a King size. 365 of the squares are journal blocks, and 34 are going to have houses and trees in them.
I chose to do my sky in 3 colors that kind of blend through each other, you can stick with one color if you want as well. If you go with 3 colors, pick 3 shades of blue/yellow that go well together and split the total number of blocks you need into 3. You will then arrange the colors in the sky in a step pattern to give it interest.
Cut 133 total 5 inch squares from blue (finishes to 4.5 inches), these are your sky journal blocks.
The row of houses between the sky and grass, will also need some sky fabric, but this will be used when you make your actual houses and trees. So be sure to pick up extra of each sky color to accommodate.
Grassy Hill Portion
My hill is also going to be in 3 color gradation with the darkest at the bottom. Again if you choose to do this, just split the total number of blocks into about 3 and arrange them in a step pattern for visual interest.
Cut 230 total 5 inch squares from green (finishes to 4.5 inches), these are your hill journal blocks.
Once again you will need extra green to use around all the house and trees not only in the line between the sky and grass, but also on the hill itself. You will probably need more extra green than you will need extra blue, since there are more houses and trees here.
Line Between Hill & Sky Portion
This part of the quilt has a good number of houses and trees in it, but I also have 2 journal blocks here. I have not figured out how I am going to do these blocks yet since I want each block to show a bit of the grass and sky. Once I get to the actual making of these blocks I will post a tutorial, but if you feel comfortable winging it yourself, by all means please do!
Trees and Houses
I have never actually attempted to make trees or houses out of fabric yet, but I was hoping to either find a good tutorial or I would just wing it. (Can you see a theme for me yet?) Maybe I'll attempt making a house and some trees today using scraps and put a tutorial up on here for you soon. Keep an eye out! There are 34 squares that have trees and houses in them, 17 of which are in the row between the grass and sky.
For fabric for the houses, you want fabric for the roof, the body of the house and the door. I went with gray for all the roofs and brown for all the doors, but picked 4 different colors for the bodies of the houses. Then for the trees, I got green for the body of the trees and a different brown for the tree trunks. All my trees will be the same color combinations.
I am still undecided on whether I am going to do the sashing or not. If I do not, my quilt will end up being smaller than a King size. The sashing will be a 1 inch stips between all the blocks. There are many ways to add sashing, which I will go over later on. This will be one of the last things we do once we are ready to put the quilt all together.
I ended up buying about 5 yards total for the sky (this was split between 3 colors), 1 yard for the roofs of the houses, 1 yard total for the house bodies (split into 4 colors), a quarter yard for the doors, 1/2 yard for the tree bodies, and a quarter yard for the tree trunks. I am still looking for green for the hill, but I estimate I need about 8 yards (split between 3 colors) for that. Please remember I have never made this quilt before, and I am not a pattern maker, so my fabric estimates are just that. I tend to overbuy my fabric to be safe and I always seem to find a use for the extra later. :)
I hope this helps you out with my pattern. I am sorry I cannot be more fancy with it, but as I said I am by no means a pattern maker I just make this stuff up as I go! I am planning on getting EQ6 very soon, so maybe I can use that to make a true pattern for this quilt. If it works out I will post many more specifics using that later.
If you click on the picture of the pattern, you will be taken to flickr where you can view the pattern in a large size. Please feel free to print it out.
Also please remember you DO NOT have to use my pattern to make this quilt. You can do as Leanne did and just sew neutrals together for journal blocks, or there are quilt patterns out there that lend themselves very well to journaling, like how about a small version of a snowball block? If you want to use my pattern I would be honored, but do not feel obligated to do so!