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The Arne Quilt

One of my quilts is in the Spring 2013 issue of Modern Quilts Unlimited!  This is one of my all-time favorites.

The Arne Quilt - the original
The Arne Quilt - published!


The Arne Quilt is an improv pattern inspired by this textile design by Arne Jacobson.


I first doodled this pattern several years ago as I waited in a coffee shop to meet Anna (Noodlehead).  Anna lives in my hometown and after emailing back and forth we agreed to meet next time I was there (La Crosse, Wisconsin.)  Meeting Anna was so much fun, and it taught me that I should get out there and join guilds and meet up with people whenever I can.

Since that coffee shop doodle, I have been slowly working on this quilt.  I remember cutting it out at an Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild sew-in in the fall of 2011.  Only Brenda (Just a Bit Frayed / Pink Castle Fabrics) and I were at the sew-in that day, and I (normally a fairly private person) started telling Brenda about how stupid online dating is, which led her to introduce me to her friend Jon, who is now my boyfriend!  This is a good luck quilt!

It’s also easy to piece and I tend do most of the cutting in one go and then piece it as leaders-and-enders.


What’s leaders-and enders?  Basically, you are always chain piecing and you work on two quilts at once.  The “leaders-and-enders” quilt is the second quilt.  You keep a stack of already-cut pieces of that second quilt by your sewing machine and at the end of every chain of chain-piecing the first quilt (whatever it is), you sew together part of your second quilt.  A leaders-and-enders quilt is sometimes called a “free quilt” because the piecing happens almost without your noticing!

The magazine features a second version of the Arne Quilt:

The Arne Quilt-White Version

(Sorry for the particularly bad photograph…but, you get the gist!  And the magazine has a better photo in it!) Hidden in my studio are several more versions, ready to be put on the design wall and then assembled!

The Arne Quilt- two more in progress

Super fun!  Anyway…here’s some information about the original quilt that didn’t make the cut over at MQU:

(1) The fabrics used are Woven Stripes by Kaffe Fassett which you can currently find at Hawthorne Threads or on Glorious Color (Kaffe’s shop).  I actually bought the stripes as scraps from another quilter (Faith of Fresh Lemon Quilts–you can see her quilt with the stripes on her blog). So believe me when I say you can make this quilt from scraps!

(2) The taupe fabric is from Yoshiko Jinzenji.  It’s hard to find.  In fact I could only find it in other colorways.  Here’s the lighter, more colorful version currently listed at Fresh Modern Fabric on Etsy.

I just love Yoshiko’s fabrics.  Maybe because they already look like quilts?  The possibilities with the Arne pattern are pretty endless.  Part of the reason that I made an alternate version to send in to the magazine was to show how different the same basic block can look with different fabric choices and a little more negative space.

I can’t wait to see what everyone does with it.  Let me know if you make something!

The Arne Quilt up close

You can find the Modern Quilts Unlimited  (Spring 2013) on newstands for $7.99 (try Barnes & Noble or Jo-Ann Fabrics).  A print subscription placed at this time would begin with the next issue, but you can buy an electronic copy of the magazine for $7.99 today via the website.

This Post Has 38 Comments

    1. Thank you. It is hard not to exert too much control over a quilt. I tend to stitch the things together in the first arrangement that "works" for me.

    1. Thanks so much. Yep, I was telling Jon that he'd been mentioned on the blog and why and he said, "I love that quilt even more now!" Awwww.

    1. I have a definite preference for the original over the white, but am really looking forward to finishing more versions and seeing how my taste evolves!

  1. that's so cool! I'm always happy to hear about what inspires your quilts. And whew! that seems like so long ago! We need to get together again soon. 🙂

  2. I love everything about this quilt – from fabric selection to influence to the end result. Bowing down, as always.
    And I love that Brenda set you up with Jon!

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