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free quilt patterns

BonnieM16 | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi all,  My mother is visiting and is not computer savy.  She is wondering how her neighbor finds free quilt patterns to download from the net.  Does anybody know of any sites?  Bonnie and Ruth


  1. Jean | | #1

    Type Free quilt patterns into the search box at

    http://www.google.com  and plan to surf a while.

    Hope you find what you are looking for.

    1. BonnieM16 | | #2

      Thanks Jean.  We'll give that a try.  Bonnie

  2. faith | | #3

    HI, Bonnie!  Hope you are enjoying your Mother's visit. 

    The site I have found most useful is

    http://www.quilterscache.com   This site has a lot of information--Scroll down to the lower end of the first page to find a button marked The Patterns. 

    There are not only the block patterns, but each one has a set of instructions  along with a sample layout so you can see what it might look like.  Mama Bear adds new patterns each month--there are hundreds (thousands?)!



    1. BonnieM16 | | #4

      Thanks, Faith.  Yes I took her home today , but we had a good visit.  We found a lovely banded fabric to finish off the borders of a " nine patch in a nine patch" that she had completed. (after visits to four fabric stores).  And she bought herself a new Janome sewing machine!  She's eighty this coming weekend - she doesn't keep her medicines straight and gets the doctors orders all confused - but she can sure make quilt tops!  Bonnie

      1. JeanetteR | | #5

        Dear Faith,

        Bonnie's mother sounds wonderful, how lovely to pass these skills and loves on.

        I'm a dabbler in quilting, and want to thank you for posting this quilter's cache marvellous site.  I just got lost in this site for about 40 minutes without even trying!

        After having only made baby quilts, the sort you finish in 2 evenings, late last year there was the most beautiful log-cabin variation in the window of our local Patchwork and Embroidery shop (Sydney, Australia).   Well, I thought, this is beautiful enough for me to actually want to tackle for Eleanor my little twin daughter for when she goes into a bed.  It its shades of turquoise with lime green triangles where the right angles of each colour intersect.  Then decided these were the wrong colours for a little girl and scaled it up to queen bedspread size floor to floor.  It was sooo much trouble and time, including 3 visits to the chiropractor, I swore I'd never make another one.

        Made a small minature quilt with foundation piecing out of the scraps for her dolly pram Christmas present, the poshest dolls quilt ever!  Number 1 1/2!

        Now it's on the bed I really, really love it.  Then I decided to just go and have a look when the shop had a 20% special on...specials are like a red rag to a bull, like most shoppers!  So then another customer, a keen quilter rolled her eyes to heaven after I said about my log cabin,  and I knew why - no quick peicing.  She showed me a Hidden Wells quilt, and I thought, OK, better make another one for my twin daughter Eleanor - this was what I'd set out for originally.  Number 2 1/2!  This is done, in pinks and purpley blues, now making another for James her twin in blues and reds, number 3 1/2!.  The reds are taking over a bit, and re-planned it this morning, difficult when all the strips are cut.

        Then yesterday my older daughter Fiona who's getting married in July has now decided that she wouldn't mind one too for a wedding present.

        I really love my embroidery, it's far more relaxing than all the decisions you have to make with quilting, but seem to be becoming a quilter by stealth!

        A bit of a saga, but I thought you might enjoy a 'non-quilter's' story!  By the way, can you make quilt labels on a laser printer, or must it be a bubble-jet?


        1. rjf | | #6

          ..........all the decisions you have to make with quilting

          I'm not a real quilter (real quilters do a lot of handwork) but I've pieced a few quilts by machine for my daughters when they went off to college.  You're right about making lots of decisions (and then not changing your mind) but don't you think that once that's done, the actual putting together is relaxing?  But then again, you can embroider in front of TV sitting down and there's something to be said for sitting down.                  rjf

          1. JeanetteR | | #11


            the pages and pages of paper I've covered with formulae to work out how to make 4*5 blocks to measure just right for a single bed!  With this quilt two squares off your strip set make one master block, so if it's 10" you can get four across the fabric, anything bigger up to 14" you can only get three, ie 14 strip sets needed...then you're left with all those peiced bits at the side to incorporate into the borders.  But of course the finished block size is bigger than the initial square off the strip set, and ohhh my head hurts again!.

            Then you have to decide the width oe weighting of each fabric and trying to guess what the finished thing will look like is a complete mystery! till you do some sample blocks.

            Embroidery is so much more relaxing, and yes the tele on in the backgound and a nice glass of red wine helps.  With the quilting sewing, you're jumping up and down from the maching to the iron, to the table to cut again, ad infinitum.  Then the sandwiching and pinning and pinning just kill the old back.  As for alligator-wrestling the quilt through the little aperture of a home sewing machine, to do the actual quilting, there's nothing remotely relaxing about making a quilt except sleeping under it when you're done!!!

            Yours truly, stealth-quilter?


          2. carolfresia | | #12


            It sounds as if you need some quilt-designing software! There are a few on the market, and they'll do the math for you--just plug in the finished size of the quilt, the number of blocks you want, the width of the border, etc., etc., and it will create templates to size. Some programs have fabric swatches you can demo into your on-screen quilt design to see what the finished piece will look like. I've heard that people get so intrigued by the software they spend all their time at the computer designing, and not so much time sewing...

            Of course, this doesn't help at all with the rigors of machine quilting, but it does make the design process easier!


          3. JeanetteR | | #13

            Dear Carol,

            Thanks for your suggestions about the quilt-design software!  Electric Quilt looks really good, but actually I'm not a quilter, really!  I set out to make one for Eleanor, in the log cabin variation as displayed at our local quilting and embroidery shop. (I live in Sydney, Australia)  After choosing dark through to light turquoises and a lime green accent, decided it would be better on our bed rather than for a little girl.  It then grew to be a queen bedspread size, floor to floor and 14" tuck in...it's more than 3m*3m! (or 10' *10'), and i do really love it now it's on the bed, washed it Tuesday and v relieved it only shrunk about 1 cm in each direction so that it still reaches the floor.

            Then I was tempted when the shop had 20% off in january, and thought oh well, another go for Eleanor.  Hers is now finished, in bright pinks and purply blues with a touch of yellow, in the Hidden Wells pattern.  Then I thought James her twin would like one too, so his is almost done, some of the binding to do, then the (machine )quilting - his is blues, and red with a bit of green, extremely busy and bright, a real boy's quilt.  Oh and with the scraps from the first one, made a tiny 'pineapple' foundation pieced one for her dolly pram Christmas present.

            Now, my 20 y/o who is getting married has decided she'd quite like one, as I said this was a once and only offer as a wedding present because of the sheer time and effort invloved.  Hidden Wells again, as it's so much quicker than log cabin.

            After this I plan to stop!  Forever!  My unused peices of quilting fabric have even been sold off on ebay.  My best love is embroidery and this is so much more relaxing for me.  However, I guess grandchildren (eventually) could bring this 'stealth quilter' out of retirement for an encore!  Each quilt would have a completely different colour scheme anyway, depending who the recipient would be.

            I can understand the passion of quilters for their craft and realise now just how much time is involved, but sewing, knitting, reading and most esp embroidery are really my thing, not the quilting having had a go now.


            P.S>Oh I just read through the messages again, and I;ve almost done the same message twice, sorry!  What I meant to explain was that the software would not be a good investment though a great suggestion, as I'm not planning to make more, how many quilts does one family need?!!!!

            Edited 3/20/2003 3:26:30 AM ET by Jeanette

        2. faith | | #8

          Dear Jeanette,

          Oh, Quilter's Cache is just wonderful!  It is my very favorite for block patterns.  I get lost there too.

          That log cabin variation color combination sounds yummy!  Perhaps you could barter that quilt to your chiropractor in lieu of payment?  lol

          It sounds as if you may have a calling for quilting, even if you didn't start out that way!   You certainly have made a lot of quilts for a self-problaimed non-quilter.   *g*  I rather like your "quilter by stealth" description...

          As for labels, I am not really sure of my facts, but I believe you can purchase special paper for making iron-on transfers that are laser-printed.  I myself use the Bubble Jet Set 2000 liquid to soak my own fabric in,  then I iron that onto freezer paper to run through my inkjet printer.  Works very well!  I made a special tartan quilt block for my grandson's baby quilt with his name and birthdate on it.  Found the family tartan online, created the block with my PhotoDraw program, and then just printed the whole thing onto my fabric.  It is pretty neat!  I also made the label for the back of the quilt in the same way, just without the tartan print.

          Happy Stitching,


          1. JeanetteR | | #9

            Dear Faith,

            Your tartan quilt sounds very special, must have taken many printouts to get enough fabric! What a lovely way to pass on a heritage.  We have MacKenzies and Armstrongs in my family.

            Thank you for the info about labels, we have a laser here at home, so I'll need to find a friend with a bubble-jet and email the graphics to have a printing session there.  I've never heard of the setting solution being available here in Australia.

            Yes, at 3*$42, spent a third as much again on the entire quilt on going to get my back and neck fixed!!!!  Poor posture when sewing, tend to first slouch, then gooseneck, craning my neck forward.  Rotten back, anyway, even if not sewing.  The shop then said to prop the sewing machine forwards so it leans towards you, and this seems to help - also to sew left footed!

            Sewed two more (second arrangement) strip sets up yesterday,  then into 3 of each of the 2 alternating master blocks for James' quilt, still too much red, but it'll be too expensive to redo, as all of the strips are cut.

            Nice chatting!


      2. faith | | #7

        Dear Bonnie,

        So glad you enjoyed your visit, and I am impressed (jealous) that your mother bought that new machine for herself! 

        "She's eighty this coming weekend - she doesn't keep her medicines straight and gets the doctors orders all confused - but she can sure make quilt tops!"

        Hmmm...exchange 'fifty' for 'eighty' and you are talking about ME!

        The nine patch in a nine patch sounds lovely.  Can you post photos of it for her?

        Happy Stitching,


        1. BonnieM16 | | #10

          Sorry Faith, I don't have that capability with my computer.  Would I ever love to show her the quilt on the computer though.  Once I entered a whole bunch of her quilts and wall hangings in a show and didn't tell her and took her to the show.  I know she was very pleased.  Bonnie

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