The Big ‘O’ Quilt

It’s already been established that I’m a bad gift giver. This one is um. . . two years late. I just couldn’t get good photos of it. Yep. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I feel bad though because it was made for a dear, dear freind of mine Lori for her 50th birthday. Today she turns 52 and I was able to gift this to her today. I wanted to celebrate her reaching the big 5 “0″ in a fun and sophisticated way. Hence, The Big ‘O’ Quilt (55″ x 69″).


This quilt was part of my continuing exploration in Bias Tape Appliqué. If I had to do it over I would have sewn the bias tape on before it was quilted. It think it would lay flatter and the bias tape wouldn’t pull the fabric as much if it is anchored down by the quilting stitches. You can see a bit of pull in the shot above.

I made a quick trip down to the beautiful Korean Friendship Bell in San Pedro and to a park in Rancho Palos Verdes to finally get a few pics of this quilt. It really was difficult for me to photograph because there isn’t a ton of contrast in this quilt.

The Big

The background is Robert Kaufman’s Essex Linen in Natural, OF COURSE. It’s like the perfect fabric for so many projects.

Close Up - The Big

And the quilting I choose for this quilt is my go to all over quilting design of an organic crosshatch. I love it so much. It takes a lot of time but, it creates great texture.

The Big

I wanted to define what I consider the major and minor lines in the crosshatch so I used two weights of thread. You can’t tell a drastic difference on the front but, you can see it on the back well.

Close Up - The Big

I chose a luscious blue that is a great contrast from the more muted tones of the front. I believe it’s Michael Miller Cotton Couture Nite. Don’t hold me to that, it was two years ago. But, I know it is a Cotton Couture.

The Big

The label at first glance may look a little sloppy but, I wanted to sew it on with my sewing machine instead of hand sewing and I wanted to sew it on top of the same stitch lines as the quilting so the label lines would blend with the quilting on the front of the quilt. I sorta like it.

The Big

I hope Lori knows that I love her even though her gift is two years late. XOXO

[…] blogged about The Big ‘O’ Quilt a few months ago. This is the second quilt in the ‘O’ Series, The Big ‘O’, […]

Hubblebird - July 18, 2014 - 3:28 pm

I love the fact that the cross-hatching is in random widths. Freedom from the tyranny of perfection!

Chelsea - June 4, 2014 - 11:12 pm

I am just loving all your custom quilt labels. What process do you use to create them?

Claudia Gomez - June 1, 2014 - 7:48 am

Latifah, What a fitting gift to mark one of the milestone B-days. Love how you took it out into the world to do the photo shoot. Hello Lori, welcome to the big O!

patsy johnson - May 28, 2014 - 7:47 pm

I was blog hopping this eve and OMG! Latifah, you are the master of bias tape and circles – I bow down to you. Love the design simplicity and the blue backing, label and quilting are perfect! Lucky Lori.

Rachel Dreher - May 28, 2014 - 2:46 pm

What a beautiful gift! I love the simplicity of it!

Alison Marie - May 27, 2014 - 8:46 am

I have been loving seeing this quilt online, but didn’t know the backstory. It is such a perfect gift for Lori. And that label is so true!

Jeifner - May 23, 2014 - 5:39 pm

Love the bright yellow with the neutral linen. That’s my favorite kind of quilting and it looks great. I’ve got a gift quilt that is totally done, well, lacking the label, and my friend’s been waiting nearly two years. She assures me it’s just fine.

Irelle Beatie - May 23, 2014 - 10:27 am

Love the awesome simplicity of this quilt! That quilting must have taken forever but it really does add fabulous texture. Nice job!

NancyinSTL - May 23, 2014 - 8:46 am

Simply gorgeous! I love it and just may make one using a similar technique someday. Please don’t feel bad about giving it late–I’m not yet finished with a wedding quilt that still might not be ready for the third wedding anniversary. Also, I finished my niece’s college graduation quilt on time, but haven’t had an opportunity to give it to her yet. I didn’t want to take it on the plane with me when I attended her graduation and she’s lived out of state ever since.

Sheena - May 23, 2014 - 8:43 am

I think your quilt is just awesome! I had never thought of using bias tape before…and now my creative juices are flowing :)
Would you mind sharing how you make your labels?

Ruthann - May 23, 2014 - 8:40 am

Beautiful Quilt! Saw it on the MQ FB page but somehow these photos just shine more. Welcome Lori to the 50+ club! It’s fantastic!

Lynda M Otvos - May 23, 2014 - 7:58 am

It’s gorgeous and I suspect that even late she will cherish it as she does no other. It’s lovely; the color you chose for the backing just POPS with delight. Many congrats on the finish–you did a great job. Happy 52nd to Lori.

Polka Dot Fox Quilt

A very dear friend is having a baby boy soon. She loves red polka dots. And browns. And polka dots in general. And twice I heard her say she loved the Fox and the Houndstooth fabric. And, I needed to make a full quilt sample for my May Block of the Month, Muffin Tops, that I’m teaching at Sew Modern.

So I killed two birds with one stone. (That’s a really wicked saying BTW.) The quilt will be at Sew Modern until class, then it will be gifted to her. :)  The baby will be here by then so it’s perfect.:)

Polka Dot Fox Quilt
The back is simple and I think it’s kinda perfect. I picked a rust color fabric that coordinates with the foxes. Then I inserted a strip that includes the foxes, the preppy red houndstooth and a label that is in the shape of the half circles on the front of the quilt.

Polka Dot Fox Back

I love that this quilt has sprinkles of metallic in it. I don’t think it’s typical of a baby quilt. Let alone a baby boy quilt. But, I think it kinda works. A bit of Nani Iro, Lizzy House’s Mettallic Pearl Bracelets, and some Mirror Ball Dots! I’m not even a sparkly girl but, I sort of love the unexpected sparkle in this quilt.


And, having made a whole quilt of the Muffin Top block, I’m all ready for Sew Modern’s BOM too. These blocks are so easy and fun to whip up. I wanna make more! Here’s the block in the fabrics that I’m making the BOM quilt out of (Carolyn Friedlander’s yummy Botanics).

Muffin Tops Block

Trudy - August 4, 2014 - 7:43 am

Love this…yes, is there a pattern available? Thank you!

Ellen - July 28, 2014 - 11:56 am

Where can I find this pattern?

Ellie - July 8, 2014 - 12:37 pm

Oh, please share the pattern! This is lovely!

Milagros - May 8, 2014 - 7:44 pm


EuphoriaJessica - May 6, 2014 - 1:37 pm

TOTALLY in love with this!

Kelsey - May 5, 2014 - 12:09 pm

Is there a pattern available for this somewhere for folks who aren’t able to attend the class?

julie - May 5, 2014 - 8:19 am

completely LOVE this!

Seeing Red Quilt & Matching Doll Quilts

Three facts: I started this quilt long, long ago on the first ever LA Modern Quilt Guild retreat. I promised it to a friend shortly thereafter. I’m very bad at finishing and gifting quilts. Very bad.

White Background - Blog

This quilt was my first time working on the technique for Half Rectangle Triangles (HRT’s) that I wrote up for the Modern Quilt Guild website. I was inspired to sketch a series of quilts based on all my time spent on Los Angeles freeways and loved these great triangles on the transition from the 105W to the 405 N. I saw the Nani Iro fabric and thought that it was the perfect marriage of neutrals and the unexpected pops of colors that helped to capture the organic yet industrial nature of the freeway inspiration. I paired it with linen and linen/cotton blend fabric. I was afraid it would be a problem when it was washed because of the different fabric types but, it washed up great.



Each triangle was quilted individually with various echo quilting motifs  in alternating directions.

Quilting Detail2

To enhance the organic nature of this quilt, I added touches of hand quilting around some of the circles and along the width of each solid row.

Hand Sitching Detail

As a consolation for it taking me SO long to finish it up, I made two little doll quilts and matching pillows for her sweet twin girls. Don’t tell mom but, I sorta love them more than the original quilt. There’s something so perfect about something in miniature. I used leftover fabric and leftover HRT blocks.  I found this AWESOME scallop or wave stitch on my Janome 8900 that I fell in love with. It adds the right amount of fun to these tiny quilts. (I love the stitch so much I’ve already used it on another project!)

Doll Quilts on Bed

I backed each quilt and pillow in a different fabric so each twin will know which one is hers. I hope they love them.

Pillow Back


[…] from upper left: Cosmic Kites by holly’s red bike, Seeing Red by The Quiltengineer, Spears Runner by Teaginny […]

Carla - June 6, 2014 - 9:08 pm

This is such fabulous quilting. I love the little quilts. Found you thru IG
Happy to have done that ; )

Maureen - May 8, 2014 - 3:55 am

I found your blog via Jeni Baker’s blog featuring this quilt. I love it, and I LOVE the doll quilts!!

Can anyone come to the LA Modern Quilt Guild sewing days on Saturdays? I have not been to a meeting since I work every Monday night but I wish I could join in somehow. (I live in Pasadena but don’t have any IRL quilting friends).

Sabine - April 28, 2014 - 7:02 am

hello quilt-engineer,

I clicked through all your projects…they are all very interesting and very special! I like your baby-gifts so much.
I hope it doesn’t matter if I use one or the other of your ideas (only for private use, of course), I feel very inspired!

Jeannie - April 27, 2014 - 5:04 pm

Oh my gosh they are adorable and the girls will love them!
Mom’s quilt is pretty nifty too!! Really love the organic look.

Kitty - April 26, 2014 - 2:37 am

Love your quilt!! I saw it on Jeni Baker’s ( In Color Order) Favorites and was intrigued by those little red eyes staring at me. The little doll quilts are too cute!! I’m sure you’ve made two girls very happy!!

svetlana - March 12, 2014 - 8:47 pm

oh, my!!!! both the big quilt as well as the doll ones are amazing!

NancyinSTL - March 12, 2014 - 8:19 pm

Beautiful. Your HRT quilts really do look like the inspiration.

I have three great-nieces under the age of 8 that live far away, which I don’t know them well. So, to let them know that I think of them, I recently thought that I should make doll quilts and matching pillows for each of them. I already had the quilt patterns in mind, but love your idea of making them similar with just different backings for the quilts and corresponding pillows.

The White Stripes Quilt

This quilt is definitely in the “quilts I haven’t blogged about” category. At my last job my co-worker Jean and his wife had a baby boy. Not knowing the mom and wanting to create a quilt that was simple and classic I decided on stripes. Not finding the stripes that I wanted, I decided to make my own stripes. White stripes tie each stripe pattern together.

Fun orange contrast for the back. White binding. Simple diagonal quilting.

Closer look at those pieced stripes.

I thought it would be tedious and time consuming but, it was surprisingly quick and easy to sew stripes together.

Of course the baby got a ball. With stripes.

BULL - March 18, 2014 - 4:42 am

WOW!. That orange quilt is beautiful! Creative Beautiful and still Fun I see. \/

[…] Latifah’s White Stripes Quilt […]

folksmith - February 20, 2014 - 8:51 am

Latifah, beautiful baby quilt. can you tell me where you get your labels? i would love to put those on my quilts. thanks!

Jemellia - November 25, 2013 - 3:27 am

I love the quilt, quilting and the ball! I’m playing catch-up on your blog right now, I should get some work done while no one is awake!

Tina in Boston - November 19, 2013 - 4:04 pm

The stripes are so precise and the white is refreshing! It’s also got a preppy feel that I love. I really like your label, too!

Sunnyincal - November 17, 2013 - 1:31 pm

Love it!!!

Kitty - November 17, 2013 - 8:53 am

Beautiful!! That ball is so cute!

Lynda M Otvos - November 16, 2013 - 7:46 pm

Love it, and the stripes are super. You have a great pattern here. Not that i follow patterns but you get what I mean, lots of people do. This truly is a very neat quilt and the diagonal quilting makes it perfect. Jolly well done.

Mary - November 16, 2013 - 6:07 pm

I love the idea of making your own stripes. Lucky baby. Really fun ball.

Stephanie hicks - November 16, 2013 - 2:10 pm

Love this quilt….so clean and fun! Where do you get you labels from?

Sharon - November 16, 2013 - 12:54 pm

Very nice quilt for baby and beyond! I like the stripey sections

Lady Harvatine - November 16, 2013 - 10:33 am

I love it Latifah! The colors are just great.

More Glam Clam Goodness

You ask and you shall receive. Well sometimes at least. :)  I just posted two things today that some of you have been asking for. One is the video tutorial on how to piece those Glam Clams without pins! You can find it on my brand new YouTube channel:

Second, I had several people including my friends Elisabeth Woo and Lisa Alexakis who requested Glam Clams in different sizes. So, I’ve created templates for a 4″ and 6″ Glam Clam, also available for download on Craftsy. Quick note. The 4″ is very cute but, the larger the curve the easier to piece so if you’re a beginner you might want to play with the 8″ or 12″ first!

Also, the fabulous Elisabeth Woo who can be found on Instagram as elisabew (follow her, she’s awesome) is hosting a casual Glam Clam Quilt Along that you can follow on Instagram. The hashtags are #happyclammers and #glamclamquilt. Follow along and show us your Glam Clams!

This is the little mini that she made out of the new 4″ Glam Clam templates! Cute, huh?



Hope you can play along!

Rachelle - December 13, 2013 - 3:43 am

This tutorial has just made my day! Obviously I’m a bit late catching on to this wonderful bandwagon, but gosh! I can’t wait to get started xox

angela - October 9, 2013 - 4:33 am

Latifah, thank you SO much for doing this. It is extremely generous of you, when you could have easily charged for the pattern. I haven’t tried it yet, but plan to soon. I’m a huge fan!

Heather - September 23, 2013 - 11:37 pm

Thank you for the video! I would never have figured it il out like that. It was so clear and easy to follow. Thank you for the patterns too.

Alexandra Wellington - September 19, 2013 - 4:10 pm

Thank you so much for this video. I have no problem with curved piecing, and this video confirmed how I thought to sew your awesome giant glam clams!!
I got sooooooo excited when I saw your free pattern as I love giant blocks and this just perfect.
Cannot say thank you enough! :)
Love your quilting style and your sharing with us. BTW I live in Sydney Australia, so you can happily say you are international in your following!!!
Take care and happy quilting

becca - September 18, 2013 - 1:05 pm

Totes magoats want to try this. :)

Joanna Jenkins - September 18, 2013 - 11:11 am

Fantastic video!!! I took your class at Sew Modern and LOVE how easy your Glam Clams are to make! The video is the perfect refresher as I’m about to start my second one!

Licet - September 17, 2013 - 8:48 pm

Great tute Latifah! Thanks.

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