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The Home Run Quilt Pattern

Links for the free coloring pages are at the end of this post. See the Riley Blake Designs blog post announcing the Home Run Quilt Pattern.

This beauty began out of my desire to make the technique of foundation paper piecing (FPP) accessible to all quilters. FPP is a great because we can use it to make all sorts of shapes and designs and using paper stabilizes the fabric so that quilt blocks are precise and don't stretch out of shape.

I first tried FPP about 12 years ago and made a block with lots of chevrons in it. By the time I figured out what I was doing and finished the block, I thought, "I could have done this so much faster with traditional piecing." I was done with FPP and I was never going to do it again.... and then I attended QuiltCon in 2022 where I saw an incredible foundation paper pieced quilt by Veruschka Zarate of Pride and Joy Quilting. It's a huge portrait of her holding her two boys, see it here. I immediately knew I had to give FPP a second chance and I came home and began designing "Bubbly Letters", a set of FPP alphabet blocks that can be used to spell anything and can also be made into a quilt.

I came to see that "Bubbly Letters" was not going to be the FPP pattern I could use to teach newbies to the technique. The problem with FPP is that the paper templates that you stitch the fabric to are a mirror image of the finished block. This creates confusion, especially with an alphabet. A backwards "e" does not sit well in the brain. I've even had someone tell me, "FPP is like trying to walk backward in high heels!" I don't want it to feel this way because it's really like riding a bike, once you figure it out, you're good, it's doing the same thing over and over again. This led me to develop a series of quilt block patterns that make FPP simple while still creating captivating designs. I love love love these patterns because anyone can have success learning FPP with them and make beautiful quilt blocks that can be made into quilts, bags, jackets, hot pads, pillows, etc. They're available as PDF downloads to print at home and as professionally printed versions that include the paper templates to make 20 blocks!

As I designed these patterns, I played with block combinations to create so many quilt top options. Some of which you can see here and here. I'd love to make quilt patterns for them all but let's be real, taking an idea and making it into a pattern takes a long time so I don't have individual patterns for them yet but you can make all of the mock ups using the block patterns above. Tip- if using the hexagon blocks, stitch them into halves, then put the halves into rows. Then you don't have any Y seams!

Riley Blake Designs had been looking for some quilt designs that use their Expression Batiks so I plugged images of their fabrics into two of the quilt mock ups I'd made from the patterns above and they liked them both!!! They sent me a box of their gorgeous batiks and I got to work. The first of the two quilts is "Home Run" and the second is a sampler quilt I'm calling "All Together Now" which is coming out early in 2024.

While the Expression Batiks are a new line of fabrics at Riley Blake Designs, the art of batik making has been around for centuries. Tjap, pronounced “chop” is a batik fabric stamp created with thin strips of copper that are manipulated by hand into florals, geometrics, or other motifs. These beautiful motifs are then welded onto a metal base. To create breathtaking batiks, a copper Tjap is dipped into melted wax and stamped onto hand-dyed fabric. The wax sets into the fibers and conceals the color of the hand-dye. The fabric is then prepared for a second layer of color. Once the fabric has dried in the bright Indonesian sunshine, the fabric soaks in a hot bath to remove the wax from the fibers to reveal the striking and colorful design underneath. One thing I learned while working with these batiks is that alcohol based marking pens bleach out these fabrics. I ended up using a chalk pencil with no problems.

As my pattern testers started experimenting with some other Riley Blake fabrics, I fell in love with how versatile this pattern really is. They made it shine! You'll see that some of them really enjoyed the coloring pages, saying that they typically don't use coloring pages but there was so much opportunity to play with this quilt that they colored away!