National Quilting Month: start your bucket quilt (and see ours)

Worldwide Quilting Day 2015March is National Quilting Month!

With 31 days to celebrate quilting—including the crowning jewel of the month, Worldwide Quilting Day on Saturday, March 21—we got to thinking about our “bucket quilts.”

What’s a bucket quilt, you ask?

A bucket quilt is an all-time favorite quilt. Perhaps you’ve pinned a picture of one; maybe you’ve purchased a bucket-quilt book or pattern. And you’ve certainly imagined your bucket quilt in your home—flawlessly fanned out over a couch, majestically hung from a wall, luxuriously spread over a bed. It’s the kind of quilt you want to sew and leave as part of your legacy (before you “kick the bucket,” as they say).

What better time to start a bucket quilt than during National Quilting Month?

In an effort to inspire you to start YOUR bucket quilt in March, we’ve collected our own bucket-quilt stories to share with you. So without further ado, here are some of our bucket-list-worthy quilts.

All Stars quilt

Karen J., Director of Sales and Marketing
Bucket quilt: “All Stars” by Sandy Klop, from American Jane’s Quilts for All Seasons

“I purchased the book and all of the ’30s reproduction fabric I needed to make ‘All Stars’ long before I worked at Martingale. During my first year at Martingale, our administrative assistant, Linda, celebrated her tenth anniversary with the company. This is the quilt she received as a gift, made by Martingale staff: ‘All Stars!’

Linda's All Stars quilt

In the back of my mind I thought, ‘Hmm, my anniversary isn’t that far away. Maybe I’ll just hand over my fabric to Martingale and have it made for me!’ But my friends here tell me that the Y-seams in the pattern aren’t a big deal. I might be ready to give it a try.”

Can you believe it? “All Stars” is on another staffer’s bucket list—and she’s started making the blocks.

Karen S's All Stars quilt blocks

Karen S., Editorial Director
Bucket quilt: “All Stars” by Sandy Klop, from American Jane’s Quilts for All Seasons

“One quilt that’s been on my bucket list—and on my design wall—for a while is ‘All Stars’ by Sandy Klop. Sandy is known for her use of bright, cheerful primary colors and playful prints, but I’m more of a reproduction fabric sort of gal. So I’m switching things up and dipping into my stash of reproduction prints to make this queen-size quilt.”

Chain Link quilt

Cathy, Author Liasion
Bucket quilt: “Chain Link” by Kay Connors and Karen Earlywine, from Link to the ’30s

“When my quilting hobby went from casual interest to active passion, I discovered shop hops: driving to new places to shop for fabric. I needed a focus when visiting all these new shops, so I zeroed in on ’30s reproduction prints. For a couple years, at each shop I visited I bought a fat quarter or two of ’30s fabrics, knowing only that I wanted to make a quilt with them that reminded me of my grandmother. Time passed and along came the book Link to the ’30s. I would like to make every quilt in the book, but the one that reminds me of Grandma is ‘Chain Link.’ The quilt brings back the all-is-well-with-the-world feeling that I associate with my grandparents’ home.

I have my ’30s prints and Link to the ’30s carefully saved together in my project closet. So why isn’t this quilt done? Maybe the feelings the book and the fabrics evoke are more important than the completed project. Maybe the time just isn’t right yet. Maybe I’ll make it a goal to have the project completed to honor my grandmother on the 20th anniversary of her death. Check back with me in three years and I’ll let you know the project’s progress.”

Bubbles baby quilt by Dana Bolyard

Linda, Administrative Assistant
Bucket quilt: “Bubbles” by Dana Bolyard, from the book Modern Baby

“I’ve never appliquéd. But when I’m speaking during Martingale tours, I tell visitors that when my daughter has a baby, I’m going to learn! And this is the quilt I’m going to start with. The appliqué should be easy because it’s raw edge. I’m sure the hardest part would probably be for my machine quilter, who would have to quilt all those bubbles.”

See all 14 adorable quilts in Modern Baby >

Tide Pool quilt from Little Gems

Virginia, Purchasing/Accounting
Bucket quilt: “Tide Pool” by Connie Kauffman, from Little Gems

“Actually my bucket overflows with quilts, but my most recent favorite is from Little Gems. I want to make ‘Tide Pool’ in a much bigger size, in shades of blues and greens. I think the swirling pattern of the little snails over a bigger area will really let the colors dance like the ocean currents. Now when I get to it will be a whole other matter…”

Find 14 more tiny treasures (to supersize, if you wish!) in Little Gems >

Pumpkin Peel quilt

Mary B., Marketing Coordinator
Bucket quilt: “Pumpkin Peel” by Biz Storms, from Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts

“I love all the tiny, colorful pieces that pop on the shirting background in ‘Pumpkin Peel’ (above, left). I did a rough estimate and there are over 1600 pieces! But after reading the pattern, it doesn’t look difficult. I’ve done string piecing on a foundation before and enjoyed it. I also love the antique quilt that inspired this pattern (above, right)—it has even more than 1600 pieces!”

See more stunning examples from Small Pieces, Spectacular Quilts >

Buckwheat Star quilt

Another bucket quilt from Mary: “Buckwheat Star” by Mary Tendall Etherington and Connie Tesene, from Civil War Remembered

“I’ve been saving scraps since I started quilting 30+ years ago (yikes, has it been that long?). I have strong convictions that I will make beautiful, super-thrifty quilts for every bed in my house and use up all my scraps. I have yet to make even one, but this quilt is on my list. It will use up about 800 scraps!”

See more from Civil War Remembered (coming March 2015) >

When do you plan to start your bucket quilt? Tell us about it in the comments!

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