Revisiting BOMquilts.com Free Quilt Patterns

I started my website, BOMquilts.com, because I fell in love with block of the month quilts.  I recall that when I designed my first BOM, the shop that sold the fabric kit ran out more than once – even making a call to Moda’s warehouse in Dallas and making the staff go searching for more fabric in the original fabric line!  The pattern is written for beginners, though certainly not excluding a more advanced quilter who wants to make a quick 12-block quilt.  ALL of my BOM and other quilt patterns remain free and on the BOMquilts.com website.  Sometimes, revisiting a pattern will spark additional creativity for quilters – or it will be a challenge to some who want to make a BOM quilt.  Personally, I know I have made one, if not two, of every quilt pattern I’ve designed.  So, take some time to revisit the oldies but goodies at BOMquilts.com, and if you want someone to put a kit together for you for any of my free quilt designs, give a shout out to Linda at AbbiMays.com and she will definitely assist you!

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    The Necessity of Quilt Labels

    I am fastidious about putting labels on my quilts.  Partly because most of my quilts are original designs, and I want folks to know the name I gave them.  I also know that a written record of the offering of a precious quilt is a great memory for the recipient.

    Some of my past labels have been designed by myself or a friend and are found at QuiltTags.com.   I have been known, while in a rush to get a quilt out to the post office, to just use a fabric marker on the back of a quilt.  More recently, I have found a couple of friends with embroidery machines and they make my labels for me – especially those that the recipients are so very special to me.

    Quilt experts say it’s essential to label a quilt.  Here are a couple of articles that deal with such:

    Unfortunately, a quilt label doesn’t always tell the whole story behind a quilt.  For instance, I made and gave my sista/cousin’s first daughter a quilt based around a heart.  For her subsequent two more children, both quilts retained the heart theme.  And now, she has a fourth child – and I have designed a heart-based quilt for her, too (just waiting on color choices).  My choice of hearts was purely sentimental – her family had taken me in when I was a 15-year-old foster child with no home and the love I have for them is because of their selfless act.

    Another instance of making a quilt and having a story behind it was this quilt, made for a friend’s son:

    This young man not only graduated from high school, he also received his Eagle Boy Scout award.  Hence, the raw edge appliqued words and date are made from official Boy Scouts of America fabric.  HE knows the story of the quilt because I shared it with him and his family, but those types of things aren’t written on a tag – they’re great memories to share, but not written down anywhere for future reference or future generations.

    I try very hard to explain a quilt in my correspondence with people I gift the quilt to….because behind every one of those loving stitches is a story – a reason for the pattern and fabrics chosen.  Hopefully, the thought and subsequent design is remembered and passed down to others, even without them being written on the quilt label.  The point is, each and every quilt I make is designed and pieced for a reason, for the intended recipient.  Make your quilt legacy count – both with a quilt tag/label and with written documentation of why or how the quilt came about.  The new quilt owner will be thankful and future generations will enjoy the lore of the love of a quilt.

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      Free Fabric Opportunities for Quilters

      I recently received a comment from a reader who said she lived on a fixed income and could not afford to purchase fabric to make quilts and it got my brain cogs churning.  The first thing you hear from those who are ‘in the know’ when it comes to quilting is that you must purchase quality cotton fabric for a quilt.  I tend to disagree with that statement – mainly because a quilt is a part of a person’s heart, no matter what fabric is used.  Of course I do realize that if you are making a show quilt, you want the best-of-the-best fabric to do so.  But what if you just want to make a quilt for a hobby?  Or for a homeless person?  Or for a donation to your church?  Does it really have to be 100% quilt cotton fabric? 

      I know my husband’s grandmother brought a dreadful colorful polyester quilt to me and asked me to tie it.  It was very difficult to do, getting a needle and yarn through two layers of polyester and a layer of batting – but, I did it (with a trusty pair of pliers) and realized once the quilt was done that it would be a super-warm for someone who needed it.  I would never make a polyester quilt unless I had an abundance of fabric and lived in a colder climate where my quilted heart efforts would be appreciated by someone who needed quilted heart warmth.

      Here are some ideas I came up with for obtaining FREE fabric to make quilts:

      • There are a number of towns and cities who offer clothing to the poor.  Go through the clothes and take whatever you can cut up to create a quilt.
      • Ask friends, family and neighbors to save their worn out clothing and give it to you to make quilts.
      • Go to a fabric store and ask them if you can have the scraps they cut away (and usually throw away).
      • Make a trade or barter with a quilter!  Perhaps you have something a quilter would like and they have fabric you would like.
      • Go to the dry cleaner’s and ask if they have clothing that no one has claimed.
      • Talk with businesses or your town municipality and ask if they have a lost-and-found that needs clearing out.
      • Talk to a seamstress and/or local tailor to see if they have scraps of fabric to give to you.
      • Old, worn-out sheets work great – contact the hotels and motels in your area as well as the hospital and nursing homes to see if you can take their worn-out sheets off of their hands.
      • Contact quilters and ask them if you can have their fabric scraps.
      • Many fabric manufacturers and/or distributors have fabric they have been unable to sell.  Ask them for it!
      • Offer to make demos for quilt shops, with the understanding that they will provide the fabric, thread and quilting and you get to keep the finished piece, once they are done using it as a display.
      • Using social media, simply ask if people can donate fabric to you.
      • Enter as many contests for free fabric as you can!  These are usually found on various blogs.

      I’m sure there are many other ideas to obtain free fabric to quilt with.  If you have one, please leave your idea in a comment!

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        Lovely Way to Celebrate Two People

        Earlier this year, a well-known lady in our community was moving to be with a long-lost love in Michigan and her church had arranged a get-together to wish them well and send them on their way.  We were sad to see her go, but so very happy she had found love and companionship in a partner that truly adores her (and visa versa).

        Normally, if I were in charge of such a reception, I would have made a quilt that folks could sign.  But alas, a quilt was already made for them – with each of our names machine embroidered on strips of fabric:

        Instead, a novel idea was born and this beautiful piece of wood contained the signatures, well-wishes and love for our friend to take to her new home:

        A beautiful and special tribute to a great lady.  May she continue to find love and happiness in her life.

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          Truly Texas Table Runner

          I believe I started this table runner last year but never finished it.  Although it sat on my cutting table for a year, right in front of me so I wouldn’t forget it – I forgot it <blush>.

          But, I remembered it this year!  There is a lovely lady at church who always makes my kids feel special with her gifts, her hugs and her words of encouragement.  Not to limit herself to my kids, she also loves my husband’s homemade sauerkraut and is anxiously awaiting his first batch of prickly pear cactus wine (which won’t be ready for about a year).  She and I email back and forth about once a week – her catching me up on their lives and me catching her up on ours.  She’s so cute!

          She LOVES the hugs the kids give her and is amazed that our still kids thrive on hugs without being embarrassed, even in their teenage years.

          This table runner is made with two different “Texas Hill Country” fabrics – and to me, it is Totally Texas!

          The pattern for this table topper can be found at QuiltBug.com – albeit theirs is longer than what I made.

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