Mother's Choice Remake Quilt Tutorial

Jenny Doan

Mother's Choice Remake Quilt Tutorial

Quilt Size: 63" x 75"
Jenny Doan demonstrates how to make a quick and easy version of the classic Mother's Choice quilt using 2.5 inch strips of precut fabric (jelly rolls). For this project, Jenny chose "The Emporium Collection One" 2 1/2" Rolie Polie by Liberty Fabrics for Riley Blake. This pretty antique quilt pattern is also called Dove in the Window, Fringed Square, and Laurel Wreath. It's made up of easy half square triangles, flying geese, snowballed corners, and - best of all - zero Y-seams!

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video transcript

Hi everybody, it’s Jenny from the Missouri Star Quilt Company. And I have a fun project for you today. Take a look at this quilt behind me. Now this came about all because I love to go antiquing. And I am a rescuer of old quilt blocks. And I want to show you a little bit about how my brain works. And I’ll show you how I got this pattern from this block. This is an old block called Mother’s Choice. And we’re calling our quilt Mother’s Choice Remake. So to make this quilt you’re going to need one roll of print fabric. And we have used the Emporium Collection by Liberty Fabric for Riley Blake. You’re also going to need a roll of background strips. So the inner border is a half a yard and it’s a little 2 ½ inch strip. So for this outer border you’re going to need 1 ¾ yards of fabric. That makes a nice big six inch outer border. And it also includes all your 4 ½ squares that center your block. For your backing you’re going to need 4 ¾ yards of vertical seams. And we’ve used this gorgeous piece from the line. And for the machine quilting we used the pattern called Drop of Paisley which is a very elegant pattern.

Ok so let me show you a little bit about how my brain works when I use an old block to design. First of all this is my quilt pattern right here, my block. And I’m looking at it and I’m trying to see how I can make this different. And I will often make a photocopy of it just like this. Then I”m going to take my ruler and I’m going to see if I can in fact, you know, make this easier by using a half square triangle in the corner because you’ll notice on these pieces, these are all going to be little Y seams. So I’m going to see if I can make half square triangles . So I literally draw a line, you know, right on the sides like this, in between each square to see if it will work as half square triangles. And you can see right away that it really will. And so this quilt block is actually made up of four or three different blocks. And we decided to keep our block in the center. Obviously that could be a four patch or anything. But we decided to keep that as a whole block. And that’s a 4 ½ inch block. And that actually, that’s the size of all the other blocks. Now we know they all have to be 4 ½. So then I mock it up and I make it with some scrap fabric. And I just mock it up and I see if it’s going to work how I”m seeing it in my brain. And when it works then we have a pattern and we have a go ahead. So let me show you how to do this.

This is our finished block right here. And I just love how it comes together. I love how it works. It’s beautiful. I actually was a little bit leery at first about using this fabric for this block. But in the end it looks like fine china. I mean it’s just beautiful in this. And the lights and darks work well. And also, they all have that same center block so it gives them that continuity. So the first block we’re going to make is this corner block right here. And I want to show you how we cut those out. And so I’m going to take, I’m going to go through my roll and I’m going to find some lights and darks or some colors to put together that are, that have some contrast to them. So here is a pink. And I’m going to get a background strip. And remember we’re working on the corner right here, our pink corner. I’m going to lay these on top of each other and I’m going to make the same cuts. So for the corner we know we need, we have four corners so we’re going to need four 4 ½ inch rectangles. And I’m going to start by cutting off my selvedge right here. And then I’m going to come over and cut four 4 ½ inch rectangles. Now you’ll notice I have my strips stacked so I’m cutting two at a time. So 4 ½ . So now I have four 4 ½ right here of the print and the background. And then I’m going to need some corner squares so I need four 2 ½ inch corner squares for each one. Then I’m going to need some more of the background. So I’m going to cut two of these at 4 ½ right here. I’m sorry, 2 ½ squares and we get four. So those are enough for my squares right here. And then I’ve also already cut two of the snowballing squares in the corners. So you need one, two, three of these for each block. And I have four cut here and so I”m just going to take off this little top strip and I’m just going to keep cutting my strips like this. So I get a little stack of them to make my block. And when I do something like this I like to kind of get all of my cutting out of the way first and so now I”m going to cut for this second block right here. And I’m going to go for, I”ve got this pink right here so I”m going to go for a darker color. And again nest it with a background strip. And this is for, this is going to make that frame block right here. So again I”m going to cut off my little selvedges.

Now for this block, this is actually two flying geese blocks that are stacked. And so we need four of color that are 4 ½. And so I’m going to cut two sets of rectangles for that. So now I have one, two, three, four of color and one, two, three, four of white. And then we’re going to need the little 2 ½ inch squares to make our flying geese. Two of background and two of color. Alright so again for these little flying geese blocks you’re going to need two, four, six, eight of each color of your 2 ½ inch squares. And so just go ahead and cut those and then you are ready to start sewing.

So let’s start with that corner block right now. And how this corner block works is kind of fun. I’m just pressing those squares because they have a little rumple in it. And it’s easier to sew on flat. What we’re going to do is we are going to take our little corner square and we are going to sew a 2 ½ inch square to it. These are both 2 ½ inch squares and we’re just going to sew a quarter of an inch right down the side. Alright. Then we’re going to press this open. And I’m just going to finger press it. And then we’re going to take our four 4 ½ by 2 ½ inch rectangle and we’re going to lay it right along the side of that just like this. And sew that down. Make sure my seam is laying nice and flat there. And then we’re going to press this open like this. And then our two other squares, we are going to snowball these corners so it looks like we did a lot of hard work but we did not. So we’re going to snowball this corner and this corner. And sew diagonally right across here, from here to here. And so let’s do that. Now I am using the diagonal seam tape which means I line up my needle with my tape which is right here on my sewing machine and I just sew from one corner to the other like that. And I’m going to come over here and make sure this one has stayed on here. Right on the corner, just both sides make sure it lines up right with the corner. Alright. And now what we’re going to do is we are going to trim these off just on the other side of that line, like this and then press that back. And you’re going to make four of these. And this becomes your corner block. See how that’s going to fit right in there. That becomes your corner block.

Now on this block right here we’re going to take one of our background squares, we’re going to take one of our background rectangles and one of our color rectangles and we’re just going to prepare them. Get them ready for us to sew. And for the background one I’m going to put two color ones on here. And we’re going to make two flying geese. So we’re going to put our two colors on here like this. And we’re going to put our background on the print piece. So I have my background piece put on the 4 ½ inch print rectangle. And I’m going to sew diagonally right across this square. So again I’m using my seam tape. You can draw a line on that. You can iron a line, whatever it is you’d like to do. And then I’m just going to trim this off right here. And I don’t think I got that first part. And then I’m going to press this back. And we are going to add another background square to the other side. Now the reason you can’t add them both is because our corner squares are actually larger than our rectangle and so we have to cut and trim one off before we can sew the other one on. So again, sew diagonally on this. And this gives you your flying geese. But I’m going to trim this off right here. I already ironed it. I got ahead of myself. I’m like a horse to water. Alright. So this is the top point of our double flying geese unit right there.

So now we have to do the next one which means we’re going to put a print square on each corner of the background rectangle and that’s going to give us the legs for that flying geese. Alright let me trim this and iron it. Once you get going on these it really goes together so fast. And I really enjoyed making this. I love taking something old and making it new. The Mother’s Choice block actually has several different names. It’s also called Dove in the Window. And I think the earliest I found information about it was the 1930’s. And so I just think it’s fun when we are able to remake an old block and make it new again. Alright so right there I added my other print piece on the corner and you get a flying geese like this and a flying geese like this. And we are going to put those together, sew those right together. Let me just scoot this out of the way right here. We’re going to lay these right on top of each other like this and sew right across here a quarter of an inch. And that will make our frame unit. Alrighty. I just love seeing when these blocks come together and it’s like, oh I wasn’t expecting that, you know. And so this goes in here. And this becomes our frame piece. And so as you put your block together surrounding by your center square, I mean, it just all goes together so easily. So I have some pieces that are done over here and I want to show you how we put this together.

So when you go to put your flying geese units together you don’t want to lose this point. And there’s an easy trick for that. When you put these together like this, we’re going to line them up and we’re going to flip this over. And see right here where the threads cross, you just want to make sure that your quarter inch seam is on that point or on this side. Otherwise you’ll lose your point because if you’re down here you’re going to sew across that point. And you’re going to lose it. So I’m going to sew right across here. And I’m just going to slow down and make sure I’m above that point. And so then when you open it up we should have a perfect little point there on the bottom. And we do. And so that’s just a little trick I do to make sure that I’m not going to lose my point. And I have been known to like swerve a hair to make sure that I did it in the right place. So again we’re going to look at this one. Two threads cross right here. Make sure you are on this cross or to the seam side when you sew your seam. So let’s go ahead and line these up and sew down there. And sew across here. I always slow down to make sure. Alright. And this one, you can see right here I have sewn a nice line just above that little point and so that helps us to keep our points when we’re sewing flying geese. It will be the same thing when you set the geese into a seam. It will do the same thing.

Alright so now I’ll show you how to put a block together. I have four of these flying geese blocks and I have four corners here. And I have my center piece right here. We’re going to clean up all these little triangles from trimming. And we’re going to assemble a block. So I always start with my center block which is 4 ½ I cut a 4 ½ inch strip and then sub cut that strip into 4 ½ inch blocks. And then I’m going to put all my flying geese around it. So just like this. And then our corner blocks are going to come in right here and slide right into the corner like that. And this makes an easier version of our Mother’s Choice block that I found in that antique store. So isn’t that cool? Doesn’t that look great? So now you’re just going to sew three rows together. Sew this row and this row and this row. And sew all three of those together and you have a block. So let’s look at the quilt back here. So we have one, two, three, four, five, across. And then one, two, three, four, down. Now normally this would be turned the other way. The size on this is 63 by 75. So it’s a great size. But we wanted you to be able to see more of the block so we hung it sideways. And it just makes a great block. It’s really quick. All we did was sew the blocks directly together. There’s no sashing in between them. We added our little sashing strip on the outside here. And finish it up with a border and it just makes a beautiful quilt. So this quilt comes together quick. It’s a lot easier than it looks. And it’s really fun to see a remake of the Mother’s Choice block. So we hope you enjoyed this tutorial from the Missouri Star Quilt Company.

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