How to: Make a Quilt Feel More “Manly”



First and foremost, this is just my opinion on the matter of “manly” quilts. I have two sons and zero daughters, yet I gravitate mostly towards PINK pink pink pink pink with a little aqua thrown in for good measure. I challenged myself this year to make at least one quilt that I would consider manly enough to proudly place on either of my son’s beds. Yes, there is nothing wrong with pink quilts on beds. Nothing at all. However, I just can’t seem to step away from more feminine colors and patterns.

I have had Samantha’s (Aqua Paisley) Cherry Tree Lane quilt on my list since last December when she hosted her quiltalong. Life was just way too crazy with my own holiday sewing and binding for others that I couldn’t participate. I looked in my stash and realized I only had 1 jelly roll and it was the cool colorway of Blueberry Park. I took it as my sign that this was to be my attempt at a “manly” quilt.


I wouldn’t necessarily consider a trellis style quilt to be very “manly”, but I decided I was up for the challenge. I’ve included Samantha’s cover image from her pattern as a reference. Isn’t it such a stunningly beautiful quilt?!?! Here is what I did to make it feel more “manly”:

1- I used a light gray background to help darken the sashing bits. I do love white and the crisp, clean look it gives, but for a masculine quilt it is a great opportunity to use something other than white.

2- I ended up doing away with the horizontal sashing once I laid it out. I just LOVED the look that was achieved when I took the extra sashing away.

3- Had I sashed the quilt further, I was planning on continuing the same navy blue setting stones I had used in the middle of each block and decreasing the size of the sashing to be similar to the smaller sashing. Getting rid of the scrappy element helps to make it feel more masculine. (Check out Samantha’s “Bert” version of this quilt on Instagram. Having never seen this version, I realized after I planned my changes that she and I were on the same wavelength!)

4- I wasn’t afraid of flowery fabric!! There are still flowers and other more feminine motifs in the Blueberry Park range, however, one can achieve a masculine feel even with flowers!! Don’t shy away from something just because it has flowers in it.

5- I plan on quilting it in a more masculine motif as well. You’d be surprised how much this can change the look of a quilt. The motif I have chosen was recommended by Kaylene Parry (@quilterlove66) and has circles and lines that reminded me of something my older boy would choose, if I left such decisions up to him. Once it’s quilted and bound, I’ll come back and update this post with more photos.

While I do have a buffalo plaid quilt that I made late last year and we LOVE it, I am so thrilled that I challenged myself to make a “manly” quilt that maybe isn’t so obviously manly. What do you think? Did I achieve a “manly” look and feel? What are your favorite things to do to make quilts feel more masculine?



What Shade are You? with RJR Fabrics


Our home computer died and it’s been a long few weeks without it! We just got it back last week and my dear husband has reinstalled everything. Unfortunately, it happened during the time that my guest blog posting on the “What Shade are You?” tour with RJR fabrics came up. In trying to catch up on things I’ve missed, here’s a posting about that!

I feel like there’s a big misconception out there in the quilting world that fabric distributors look around and reach out to people to participate in things. Yes, this happens to some extent, but most of what happens is quilters reaching out to them instead. It is SCARY and hard, but I’m trying to be brave. A good friend once said, “They can’t say yes if you don’t ask.” Yes, you’ll hear lots of no’s, but you’ll also get an occasional yes as well!


I reached out to RJR fabrics last October. This was possibly one of the scariest emails I had yet sent. What did I have to offer that was different than the big names that were already participating in the RJR “What Shade are You?” tour??? I sent the email just asking if they were still doing it and if there was space for me to participate in the future. They said yes, and my date was set for February 10th. They sent a color card containing a swatch of all of their cotton supreme solids and I went to town. They are such a fabulous company with which to work. They are so generous with their product. I picked a basic idea of what I wanted to do and then very nervously got to work. It is terrifying to do these projects for big name manufacturers for me. What if they don’t like it? What if they expected something better? What if what if what if????

In the end, I loved how things turned out. I had my dear friend Kaylene Parry (@quilterlove66 on Instagram) quilt it in this amazing graffiti motif using invisible thread. It is just PERFECT. My sweet 5 year old loves to use the “celebration” effect via iMessage and calls it Confetti Bomb. Confetti Bomb just seemed like the perfect name for this quilt and it will always remind me of my sweet boy.


Be sure to stop by RJR’s blog to see a full write up and a million photos!

My 6″ Sampler Quilt


Well I officially have finished my 6″ sampler quilt. This quilt is one that gets a lot of questions about where the blocks came from. Probably 2/3 of them are from The Splendid Sampler, 35+ are from #jensfillerblocks (all available in my tutorials section), and I think 15-20 are from Tula Pink’s City Sampler book. There are 144 blocks in this quilt, with 1-1/2″ sashing (1″ finished) and a 5″ border around the entire thing. It finished up around 94″ x 94″, perfect for my bed!! It was beyond a labor of love. I cannot even guess how many hours I spent on this, especially with resizing 12″ blocks to fit. 100, maybe? More? All I know is I loved almost every minute of it and I really, really miss making 6″ blocks. They are fast, fun, and very satisfying to make something with pieces so small.

I do quilt a lot of my own quilts at home on my Juki (I also have a few long arm quilters with whom I work), but I knew this one needed an extra special touch. Some quilts just need it. I actually won a giveaway for a $100 credit to Marion of My Quilt Diet and this was the beauty I knew I’d use the credit on to help me make this quilting dream an affordable reality. I saved almost all of my Christmas money and used it to pay for the quilting on this. It was worth EVERY penny I paid.


I chose a 108″ Moda gray solid for the background mostly because I was feeling lazy and cheap, but it was the PERFECT choice. Look at that quilting!!!!!! I chose Marion’s freehand graffiti motif and I could not be happier. She made this a true heirloom for my family to enjoy for generations. That’s the hope, right? 🙂 And now for a dumping of photos because I can’t pick just one or two to share.