This year, I challenged myself to design a large throw size quilt using only charm packs – after I got so lucky as to snag a couple of out-of-print Sweetwater charm packs, I knew it was time! And it had to be just two charm packs of print, because that’s all I had! (Like all my patterns, there are cutting instructions for using squares cut from yardage, scraps, and other precuts as well.)
I also have just wrapped up the Learn to Quilt Series, and really wanted to be able to offer a beginner friendly project as a good next step, rather than my usual quilts full of triangles. Shortly after that, My Tribe was born – a traditional Irish chain quilt with one of my very favorite shapes in the middle…squares on point! Using only two charm packs with coordinating yardage for the chain, it was the perfect project for my stashed out-of-print precuts.
I was putting the finishing touches on the pattern before it had a name – I just have to wait until something clicks. In a way, my patterns name themselves. It came to be known as My Tribe due to many events happening in my life simultaneously in 2018 – the overwhelming family support for my sister who struggles with Lyme disease and an eating disorder, my amazing husband and all he does for us and our marriage, an upcoming visit to the Midwest to see my entire family and in-laws, and my brother and his wife adding a perfect baby girl to their family of three. Like the chain in the quilt, all these connections make up my tribe. More than simply my family or my friends – they are my people, and I’m grateful for each and every one of them.
I started with a baby quilt for my new niece Laila – fitting, I think. As the newest member, she will receive the first finished My Tribe quilt! I haven’t decided if I’ll keep or gift the Sweetwater version – I’ve given many quilts away to members of my tribe. 🙂
You can find the pattern in my Etsy shop – I’d love to hear what charm packs you’ve stashed for the perfect project!
The first one I made was a throw-size using an older Sweetwater line called Feedsack. I managed to find two charm packs and juuuust enough of the black yardage to make it happen!
That’s the beauty of this pattern – it’s often not hard to score two charm packs and some coordinating yardage of out-of-print lines!
How about a baby version using some Little Miss Sunshine charm squares I had laying around – so sweet! Gifted to my youngest niece, Laila.
Below is the newest version – a minky backed baby quilt with no batting in between! I wanted to try a baby quilt without batting to see if I liked the drape and feel of less structured quilt. While the answer to that question is yes – it is delightfully lightweight, soft, and perfect for making tiny baby burritos – it was such a pain to quilt! (And as expected, the quilting is barely noticeable.)
Even though I spray basted the top and back well, quilted slowly with a walking foot, and used quilting gloves, I still struggled with some bunching. Minky has always been difficult for me to quilt with, so I’m not entirely blaming it on the lack of batting. I suspect, however, that the batting may have added a stabilizing layer – curious if any of you out there have tips or tricks to share!
Regardless, I still love this quilt – baby quilts are perfect little projects for trying something new, and I can’t wait to wrap our soon-to-be littlest tribe member up in this one.