Lighthouse Quilt Along Week 1: Quilt Top Design

Welcome everyone to the first day of the Lighthouse Quilt Along! I’m so excited to share the process of making this fun and beautiful quilt with you. And finally share my finished quilt photos with you as well!

Lighthouse Quilt by Fresh Lemons Quilts : Faith

I’m really pleased with how the quilt turned out. I enjoyed working with the new Palette line by Marcia Derse so much. (More on the exact fabrics I used later in the post.)

Lighthouse Quilt by Fresh Lemons Quilts : Faith

So let’s get started!

Lighthouse QAL Week 1: Quilt Top Design

This week we are going to start out the quilt along by focusing on Quilt Top Design. This is when you are going to make 2 very important decisions:

1. Size of the quilt you’d like to make.
2. Color of your quilt blocks/top.

The blocks in the Lighthouse quilt are 8” x 8” finished. My quilt is 5 blocks x 5 blocks, meaning my quilt measure 40” x 40” finished. This is a baby size or wall hanging size. Some of you may want to make this quilt larger.

Type Blocks Finished Size
Baby 5 blocks by 5 blocks = 25 blocks 40″ x 40″
Lap 7 blocks by 9 blocks = 63 blocks 56″ x 72″
Twin 8 blocks by 11 blocks = 88 blocks 64″ x 88″
Queen 11 blocks by 12 blocks = 132 blocks 88″ x 96″
King 13 blocks by 12 blocks = 156 blocks 104″ x 96″

Tip: Keep in mind, each finished block is going to require paper piecing 8 templates. (Easy templates, but still 8 each). So if you are new to quilting, you *may* not want to jump right into a King Sized quilt with 156 blocks, which equates to 1248 paper pieced templates. I’m sure it would be stunning though!

Once you decide on what size you’d like to make, it’s time to plan your colors.

Below I’ve provided PDF download links to coloring page worksheets. Simply download the size quilt you’d like to make, grab some colored pencils and start designing.

Baby PDFLap PDFTwin PDFQueen PDFKing PDF

I’ve shaded in the background with a light grey – but this can be any color you’d like to use as the background of your blocks. (Please understand I am not able to provide all possible combinations of quilt block layouts as PDF coloring pages. If you’d like a different size quilt, you can cut and tape the templates.)

And just to get those creative juices flowing….here are some ideas. You could make a complete rainbow gradient quilt just like mine.

Lighthouse Quilt Along Design by Fresh Lemons Quilts : Faith

Or have a common color component that appears consistently throughout the quilt blocks and ties them all together.

Lighthouse Quilt Along Design by Fresh Lemons Quilts : Faith

And maybe that common color is really several shades of a color (in this case, brown).

Lighthouse Quilt Along Design by Fresh Lemons Quilts : Faith

Or maybe you just have a fabric collection that you want to use in a scrappy way as the focal fabrics in the quilt. That’s great too!

For those interested in making a quilt like mine, I used Marcia Derse’s Palette Fabric line. I just found out that the release date was pushed back a little to January 2014. If you happen to want to wait until then, or stumbled across this quilt along at a later date, do not worry. These posts and directions will live on my blog for as long as my blog is around.

Palette by Marcia Derse for Windham Fabrics

The following are the exact fabrics I used in my quilt (baby sized) and I did have fabric left over. All fabrics are from Marcia Derse – Palette for Windham Fabrics, January 2014.

Quilt Top:
1-1/2 yards of 37098-12 Chalk
1/4 yard each of: 37098-6 Mustard, 37098-13 Saffron, 37098-14 Duckling, 37098-15 Salmon, 37098-16 Cherry, 37098-17 Papaya, 37098-19 Pumpkin, 37098-21 Wine, 37098-20 Cranberry, 37098-22 Cardinal, 37098-25 Concord Grape, 37098-26 Lavender, 37098-27 Blueberry, 37098-28 Dark Teal, 37098-29 Curacao, 37098-30 Mediterranean, 37098-31 Caribbean, 37098-33 Ocean, 37098-34 Spruce, 37098-35 Mint, 37098-36 Grass, 37098-37 Olive, 37098-38 Everglade, 37098-40 Chartreuse
Backing: 2 yards of 37098-98 Taupe
Binding: 2/3 yard of 37098-10 Burnt Umber

NOTE: We will talk more in depth about fabric requirements next week.

As you can tell based on the amount of information and time put into this post, I feel very strongly that good planning going into a project will lead to a beautiful and successful end quilt. I hope you all will enjoy your week of planning and designing.

Next Wednesday we will be making a test block so that we know exactly how much fabric we will need for the paper piecing of the quilt.

Threadbias Blog Tour


Today I’m very happy to have the chance to participate in the Threadbias Blog Tour. Threadbias is an online community built just for you – fabric lover, sewist and quilter. You can create a fabric library, browse and upload projects, participate in discussions and using the new, subscription based Quilt Design Tool…digitally design your next quilt!

This web-based tool is super easy to use. I spent some time over the weekend playing with it to mock up a quilt design. I’ve had flying geese on the mind, so I thought I’d try my hand at making a quilt top.

Creating a new project is very straightforward. I love how the program auto-saves as you are working so you don’t need to worry about losing your project if, say, your 4 year old decides to hit the on/off button on the power strip where your computer is plugged in. Not that THAT has ever happened around here…

Using the Line Tool, I easily created my first Flying Geese Block.

I quickly copied and pasted to create a column of 4 Flying Geese.

Then I filled in the geese with fabric that I had added to my “fabric stash” library, via the Threadbias website. This is my favorite part. I love to be able to see how the fabric will look in the design.

Once I had my set of 4 Flying Geese, I locked them together as 1 block. This made it easy to copy and paste them as a group, and create my quilt top quickly.

So have I gotten you excited? If you are looking for a new, convenient, affordable way to start designing your quilts, I highly encourage you to check out the Threadbias Quilt Design Tool.

Be sure to keep up with the rest of the tour – some stops have giveaways!

Monday, March 25 – Freshly Pieced
Tuesday, March 26 – Don’t Call Me Betsy
Wednesday, March 27 – Generation Q Magazine
Thursday, March 28 – The Sometimes Crafter
Friday, March 29 – Diary of a Quilter
Monday, April 1 – Swim, Bike, Quilt
Tuesday, April 2 – Me!
Wednesday, April 3 – West Coast Crafty
Thursday, April 4 – Sew, Mama, Sew!
Friday, April 5 – Alison Glass
Saturday, April 6 – Pink Castle Fabrics
Sunday, April 7 – Ellison Lane Quilts

Off-Centered Innocence

Off-Centered Front

It’s just a happy coincidence that I finished my quilt using Anna Maria Horner’s Innocent Crush line just in time to post for Valentine’s Day. I am really excited about this quilt because I made it with a new pattern I developed and {shameless plug} am offering up in my pattern shop.

Off-Centered Detail

This quilt is a squares-in-squares pattern where the center square is off-centered in each block. There are 5 different block layouts and I used a combination of solids and prints. Again, I was drawn to the Kona Espresso which looks black in the photos, but in reality is a dark brown. The white is Kona Snow. These saturated colors really sit well with me for winter.

Off-Centered Railing

For the binding I almost picked Kona Espresso again…but at the last minute decided to go a bit crazy and use a red print from the Innocent Crush line. I really liked how the red popped in the quilt and decided to carry it to the edge.

Off-Centered Back

The back is a combination of several Kona solids and some other blocks which were really meant for another quilt. But, I am trying to be realistic this year on what I can finish and that one wasn’t in the cards. I think they look nice here too.

I quilted this one free motion, using clear thread on the top and tan on the bottom. It measures 60″ x 72″.

And now a little more on the pattern. It is offered in my pattern shop for download and my Etsy shop. It is very detailed, 15 pages with 11+ color diagrams. It has fabric yardage requirements, cutting diagrams, assembly diagrams, final block placement diagram – the whole nine yards. Below is a graphic showing the quilt in optionally all-solid fabric. I am *really* excited about it and hope you are too!

Off-Centered Solids