Blogger’s Quilt Festival – Spring 2010

Amy is hosting the third Blogger’s Quilt Festival from May 21 – May 28. It’s not too late to join, so click on over to check it out. She already has links for over 450 entries – places you can click to see what other quilters are doing. I love the quilting/crafting blog community!

My entry is my Neapolitan quilt.

Neapolitan quilt crop

In July 2008 I was out of work, out of money, and out of my mind. Out of my mind in the sense that I was dealing with anxiety and depression, and I couldn’t get my head around much of anything. I wasn’t sewing, wasn’t doing much of anything but sitting in a recliner and reading. I think I read about 50 books in 3 weeks. It wasn’t good. One day I decided it was time to change, so I gave myself a task, something that required attention to detail and focus, but had no real consequences if I failed. I decided to design and sew a complex quilt block. Using EQ6, I came up with a block that I named Anxiety. It opened me up to the possibilities of quilting as therapy, and I pushed on to design the quilt above. It is a modified log cabin, with different widths for the cream and the pink strips. I added a half-rectangle triangle on the ends of the strips, popped the block into a quilt using EQ6, then started rotating blocks using the Serendipity tool. When this arrangement appeared, I thought I might be onto something. I printed it out and carried it around with me for a while. A week or so later I was at a local quilt shop (I was helping with her website and writing patterns for her to pick up a little extra money), and showed her the illustration. She liked it enough to offer me the fabric if I would write up a pattern! She gave me the fabric to make the sample quilt, and then she kept the sample until all of the kits that she made for it were sold. I used a new line that had just arrived in her store – In the Pink II from Buggy Barn for Henry Glass. The fabric reminded me of Neapolitan ice cream, hence the name. I finished the blocks in just over two weeks, and finished the entire quilt in less than a month. (That’s possibly a record for me, since I am a terrible procrastinator.) There were a few issues here and there (thread choices, anyone?), but looking back, I realize that this quilt is full of firsts for me. It’s my first original design, my first pieced back, my first pattern, my first quilt on public display (and it was on display in the vendor booth at a large quilt show, the Wisconsin Quilt Expo), my first experiment with free motion leaves, the first completed quilt I posted on this blog and the first quilt pattern I listed on Etsy.

I love this quilt. It isn’t huge – 63″ square – but it’s big enough to throw over a lap. Best of all, it’s MINE – mine from the conception to the reality. Here are a few variations from EQ6 – I still might make another one (I really love the blue/green and black/red ones).

Neapolitan Variation 1 Neapolitan variation 2 Neapolitan variation 3 Neapolitan variation 4 Neapolitan version 5 Neapolitan variation 6 Neapolitan variation 7



  1. Fabulous take in the log cabin. Enjoyed reading your story. Crafts are great therapy for whatever ails us.

  2. Ohhh, it’s so pretty! What a neat “take” on the log cabin. I looked through your posts, and it looks like this was a real learning experience! The results are just beautiful.

  3. Excellent! I love log cabin quilts and your’s is absolutly wonderful. I must learn to use EQ: I want to be just like you.

  4. Your design is fantastic.
    I too, have experienced what you describe when you were going through your period of depression. Looking back, it is hard to believe I felt so directionless. You were so smart to pick something complicated to focus on! Look at the amazing results! You should be so proud.

  5. What a great way for our LORD to deliver you out of your anxiety and depression !
    And it turned out to be lucrative too ! Praise the LORD.
    I like this one, and the design in the black and red one. I love blue and green quilts, though………so restful……..yeh, make the blue and green one !

  6. All of your log cabin designs are great. I was curious about this because my youngest brother wants me to make him a Log Cabin quilt, so I’m going to start playing around with ideas. Now I’m considering doing a couple of things with one or two of the strips… get the creative juices flowing.

    I love the pink and brown! And your story. Quilting is certainly therapeutic, isn’t it?

  7. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment on my festival quilt. Quilting is theraputic, you are right. It is nice to have something to focus on that will end up with a pretty result.

  8. Wow. That is really quite a nice story. Sounds like the quilt helped you out of that slump. I’ve also spent many hours using quilting a therapy. Thanks for sharing your quilt – I do like the little extra triangles in the log cabin – very cute.

  9. great quilt!! and your story is a wonderful one. i believe doing makes a big difference in our attitudes. have to remind myself of that a lot!!

  10. Wow – gorgeous. I love LOVE when straight lines create the illusion of curves.

    Yours is a really great story, too – thanks for sharing something so personal.

  11. Depression and anxiety are usually married–what a fantastic way for you to motivate yourself and turn a bad cycle into a wonderful work of fabric! Great design and carry through. Thank you for sharing your quilt’s story 🙂

  12. What a wonderful story! I understand that need to do Something or drive yourself mad.

    The second one from the bottom is tantalizingly close to an Escher type design. : )

  13. What a wonderful quilt and a wonderful story. You accomplished so much with this one. I love all the additional layouts, too. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Wow! What a gorgeous quilt. And so many accomplishments sewed into it as well! Interesting to see the other possible block layouts.

  15. What a wonderful story and quilt ! I find quilting very helpful in expressing one’s emotions, memories, dreams. Congratulations ! You did a fabulous work. The colours remind me of my own quilt “Venetian mosaic”, a challenge we did with my quilting group.

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