Think Happy Thoughts Quilt Month 1
Written by Natalie Crabtree
Hello to all the wonderful quilters out there reading this blog! I want to thank you for embarking on this fun quilt journey with us. We hope that you follow along each month as we sew beside you, sharing tips, tricks and insights into this quilt. I want to tell you all about the inspiration and art process behind the making of this quilt, but first let me introduce myself.
I am Natalie Crabtree, writer and quilt designer for the talented Stacie Bloomfield of Gingiber. I’m located in Cincinnati, OH with my husband Joel and daughter Gwendolyn. (Joel is the man behind the lovely graphics & art elements that grace the pages of your pattern!)
Taking part in a BOM is so much more than just working towards the completion of a quilt. Taking part in a BOM means being a part of a community, being part of a shared passion. You and the rest of the participants wait patiently (or not so patiently) each month for your package to arrive. You tear it open together, read over the instructions together and sew together. It’s special to think that there is a community of supportive individuals out there taking part in admiring, cutting and sewing the same fabrics each month to create the same quilt. Taking part in a BOM also means that you trust the fabric designer, quilt designer, pattern writer and kit maker to support you in creating something special.
When Stacie approached me about a potential Panel of the Month program, I was honored and grateful. Within about 10 minutes of receiving that initial email, I jumped on the computer with ideas running through my head. I didn’t want to overcomplicate this design. I wanted to feature simple blocks that let Stacie’s art shine through. I wanted this to be a positive experience for quilters, not one that causes stress or anxiety. Simple was good. The photo below shows the first rough draft image of the BOM.
Stacie loved the design and I was approved to move forward! Now to color it and name the quilt…
The quilt features 39 different Moda Bella Solids and 12 unique exclusive Gingiber panels. The quilt features a jumbled layout and is completed in sections.
The name of this quilt was really inspired by Stacie’s positive and encouraging Instagram presence. Her art and her posts are uplifting, reassuring and inspiring while also offering honesty and sincerity. Stacie does not shy away from letting followers see the good and the bad, and ultimately, I think that leads to support and improved mental health. The Think Happy Thoughts Quilt is about perusing and creating positivity for yourself. Think happy thoughts and nurture your positive energy.
Now let’s dive into Month 1!
Month 1 features simple to create half square triangles (HST) to create faux herringbone blocks, a quarter square triangle (QST) and the “It is Easy to be Kind” panel.
HST are created using squares. Squares are slightly oversized to allow for trimming. Everyone loves a precise and perfect HST! For trimming HST, I love using the Quilt in a Day Triangle Square Up Ruler. Follow the Month 1 pattern instructions to prepare HST, sewing on both sides of a drawn diagonal line as shown in the pictures.
The trick to using this ruler is not to press the HST open until you are done trimming. Trim (1) HST at a time for accuracy. Align the sew line of the HST with the measurement on the ruler for your desired unfinished HST size, and trim excess fabric from two sides of the HST.
Press. Trim dog ears. And Ta-Da! A perfect HST. And you’ll have a pile of lovely sherbet colored trimmings!
A simple QST is made using (4) triangles. Be sure to trim your dog ears!
The HST are turned to create faux herringbone blocks. This was the first block that I created when designing this quilt! I loved the idea of framing a panel with simple patches, while also directing your eye to other parts of the quilt. And thus the faux herringbone block was born!
Sew HST together using a very precise ¼” to save those beautiful points.
Month 1 sews together in a flash. It’s a carefree and fun introduction into this quilt project! We look forward to sewing with you next month!
Follow along each month as we blog about this quilt.