Sunday, November 1, 2015

Industrious Blocks

Please click on the links below to view other Four In Art Quilts.

Catherine Chisholm
delayed due to house flood

Elizabeth Eastmond


Betsy & Ben
Were Industrious Blocks

The Front

The Back

This projects' inspiration came from a children's book called
By Susan Arkin Couture
Illustrated by Petra Mathers

I picked this book up at an overstock book sale in Ann Arbor, Michigan
The book has become a family favorite over the years.
We've read it so many times my husband and I have the 
entire book memorized. Here are a few photos of the book. 

For this project I wanted to make a giant letter B. 
The lead characters in the book are named Betsy & Ben
and they are industrious blocks. So I opened up Illustrator and scrolled
through my fonts until I found a block that I felt suited Betsy & Ben. 

I set up my document page as 13"x13" and tiled the print.
I taped it together then cut out the individual pieces for each piece of fabric. 

I then designed some fabric in Illustrator with the text from The Block Book. 
I managed to use every single word from the book. 
I decided this fabric would be used as background fabric.  

I chose to use the following fabrics for the letter B. 

Here's the metamorphosis of the letter B.

Once I completed the letter B I realized that the mini quilt 
didn't convey any of the fun quirky qualities about the book. 
So I decided to make the letter B the back of the 
quilt and illustrate one of the images from the book.
In the story a neighbor's house burns down. 
Not much of the burning house is shown in the book
 so I decided to illustrate it. 

Here are the beginnings of the burning house.

I wasn't quite sure how to show flames coming out of the house, 
but I happened to have chili pepper fabric on hand. 
Chili's by the way, are HOT.

I wanted a narrow binding, and totally goofed on how wide to cut it, so I ended up rolling the binding under on the backside towards the raw edge of the quilt. 


  1. Oh, Simone, I just love this - it calls my heart!!!!! My husband and I built our home (I was the stone mason) so you had me at the first sentence and now I must have this book. I love how you manipulated the "B" block and that you used all the book words in the front is just over the top! What a wonderful and engaging interpretation. Great job!!!

  2. This is so fun. The chili pepper flames are the best. They certainly are hot! The house you built it's fun and quirky, and I can tell it captures the story we'll. Just wonderful .

  3. I haven't read this book, but you trust I am going to check it out of the library and read it. I like the house and the flaming chilis! The B on the back is great. The design of your word fabric for the back is a wonderful idea (all the words?). Great quilt creation.

  4. How clever! Your letter "B" is brilliant and the chillies lighting up the roof of the house is fun! Another great mini!

  5. Oh, man! I am so in love with this! I love the fabric, the giant B, the flaming house (with chilis--be still, my heart--for such cleverness!), and the general tone of controlled wonkiness on that house. You really scored with this one!

  6. Even if I didn't know what it represented I would love this quilt just for its colours and quilting, front and back. Your chilli flames are inspired! And the little bit of orange in the binding is the perfect detail.

  7. I really REALLY love this one. I'm off to see if I can get that book from Amazon...

  8. This is a delightful quilt to portray a very scary thing -- one's house burning down. The chili peppers add just a touch of playfulness where it is needed! And, being a "B", love how you pieced the back.