Thursday, April 29, 2021

The Ernie Express Quilt, Etc.

It isn’t very often when after a quilt is a finally finished that the weather is co-operative for taking photos outside. This past Tuesday was one of these rare occasions with beautiful sunny skies, warm temperatures with a slight breeze and the landscaping around our house looking presentable thanks to the Master Quilt Holder which made taking photos such a pleasure for once. 
Last August, I purchased a fat quarter bundle of Jen Kingwell Grainline Wovens with the intention of making another Ernie Quilt (You can see the previous ones make here) with this and  my stash of Jen Kingwell fabric scraps. After my strips were cut, combinations decided and strip sets sewn, the project was put away and sort of forgotten until I happened to come across it this past March.  
As I was ready to start cutting the strip sets to sew the 4”x8” blocks, I happened to catch with the corner of my eyes, the 6” Checkerboard Express block which I designed for Moda’s 2017 Countdown to Christmas, (You can see the tutorial here), hanging on the board next to my sewing machine. I thought that I could spice up the Ernie Block if I changed the orientation of the block and make the blocks 12” x 16”.
I also had another idea of instead of using just two fabrics, I would use four fabrics just like the original block I submitted to Moda. I decided that this block would be my “A” Blocks which would be the checkerboard blocks in the center and the rail blocks on the outside. Since I didn’t want all of the blocks to be “A” which then all of the checkerboard segments of the blocks would be lined up and running up and down the quilt, so to offset this, I designed a “B” block with the checkerboards on the outside and the rail block in the center and only using two fabrics. Because of this newly inspired design, I had to add some Cotton+Steel and other bright prints so there was enough fabric and variety for more strip sets.
After the Flimsie was finished earlier this month, I have to admit I was disappointed with the way it turned out. I liked how the “B” blocks with using just two fabrics looked and wished the “A” blocks only had two fabrics also. It’s rather ironic that after the Checkerboard Express Block with the four fabrics was accepted by Moda, I switched to just using two fabrics to keep it simple and because I liked it better--wished I remembered this when I started making this quilt.
But I’m happy to say that once I quilted it with a combination of straight and wavy lines, I really love this quilt now.  The colors and fabrics are so happy. I used an Essential Thread in Charcoal Gray and the binding was a small white polka dot on black print. Also what is nice about the Ernie Express Quilt is that it’s a finally finished but I am feeling a little guilty that I have 12+ flimsies waiting to be quilted and this one jumped ahead of the queue. Maybe it’s because I just purchased yardage of the black and white splatter print last week and knew it would be a perfect backing for the Ernie Express Quilt.
Here are some close-up shots of some of the blocks so you can see the quilting and the happy fabrics.
Before I quilted the Ernie Express Quilt, I was planning on making another one with using just two fabrics for the Type A and B Blocks with my newly acquired stash of Alison Glass fabrics but now am having second thoughts. I’m thinking now of just making just the usual Ernie Quilt unless I see another pattern for these wonderful prints. But if I do make another Ernie Express Quilt, I will provide instructions on how to make it since I’ve come up with a different and maybe a faster way to make the blocks. If the strip sets for this quilt weren’t already cut and sewn, I would have made it this way.
I thought it would be interesting to show a photo of my first Ernie quilt made over four years ago with Jen Kingwell fabrics next to the Ernie Express Quilt, so named since it was inspired by the Checkerboard Express block.
Here’s a photo of the happy Master Quilt Holder who was glad these photos went without a hitch. This quilt measures 60” x 80” which was just the right size to hang it on the garage door with heavy duty magnetic clips which I learned about these from Shannon, The Fleming Nines, who learned about them from Myra, Busy Hand Quilts. Between hanging long quilts from the garage door or from the gutter outside the screen room, I don’t think a clothesline is needed which makes the Master Quilt Holder very happpy.
I had to include a photo of the Ernie Express Quilt with my metal goat Susannah as a shoutout to Mary Etherington, Country Threads, the designer and inspiration for the Ernie Quilts.
Just when I’m thinking that my stash of Jen Kingwell fabrics is dwindling, I’ve decided that I need a new challenge, which didn’t involve falling down and bumping my head and making me forget I have a “fear of Jen Kingwell patterns.” Maybe it’s because of inspiration from my down under quiltTormentor Sue, Patchwork and Play and her wonderful creations she’s been posting lately on her Instagram and Blog.  I have a new “forever” project with Jen Kingwell’s Glitter pattern which I’ve been procrastinating doing since finishing Smitten several years ago. The templates were purchased back then and I admit I was not looking forward to cutting the fabric until I saw that paper pieces were available.  I originally was going to use reproduction fabrics but decided that I needed more Jen Kingwell fabrics so I purchased a fat quarter bundle of WikiPops and a jelly roll of Fine and Sunny, my early Mother’s Day present. Cutting the fabric pieces will be easy with the templates and using 2-1/2” strips, which I am looking forward to cutting up my new stash. I think there might be leftovers and another Ernie quilt would need to be made which now seems to be a tradition.
My first four blocks for the Sandra, mmmquilts, Follow Your Own Path QAL, are sewn and I am happy to say these blocks were a snap to make which is no surprise. After participating in all five of Sandra’s QAL, her patterns are fun, sew easy and quite conducive to wanting to finish the quilts all at once.  I am quite surprised at myself for sewing on schedule and not being the usual “rebel”in her QAL. But I do have a new name for her; the great mmm-tivator. Funny I had visions of Darth Vader and hearing the Empire music as I was typing this.
Thanks to my Accuquilt Go Baby die cutter and Flying Geese die along with my Stripology Ruler and a brand new blade on my rotary cutter, the remaining patches are cut and I am ready to sew the rest of the blocks.  My quilt will be the throw size and my arrows will be going both left and right. But before that, the dreaded Tax Returns must be filed first.

If you have been reading other posts on Blogger, you will know that starting in July, Feedburner will no longer be sending posts through email but you could continue seeing posts through Bloglovin which is a problem for me since my posts are no longer being picked up by them. I’ve contacted them several times and have not yet received a response. For several years I’ve been avoiding link-ups since it seem to be atttracting “strange” activities on my blog but I guess I will start doing link-ups again. Hopefully I can resolve my Bloglovin issues before July.

Linking up with My Quilt Infatuation, Needle and Thread Thursday and From Bolt to Beauty, Brag About Your Beauties.


  1. So the Master Quilt Holder is retiring?? Good to see him on the front side of the quilt. Funny how we don't always like our quilts at first, then we add a little quilting and suddenly they're not so bad! Great finish, Rose!

  2. Fun finish, and it deserved to go to the head of the line. I love how your Ernie quilts morph over time but always look like Ernie quilts. Looks like the next one with those luscious plaids will be a stunner, too. I’ll have to check into those magnet clips. We always use hangers in the trough at the top of the garage door where the siding starts, but they aren’t photogenic. We had the clothesline conversation, too, but are sticking with the door. I still need my quilt helper, though, as I can’t reach that high. Nice for him to still feel needed. Loved that little spot of gorgeous weather. Have fun with the Arrows QAL, and behave! (What is that background?) I think Blogger wants to make sure our brain cells keep working by changing things up on us. I suppose for now the little heads-ups on Instagram will work for some people.

  3. You really do have a Master Quilt Holder. You can't see his hands or feet. I thought it was hanging on a clothes line. Loved all the pics and your journey for this one. Sometimes we forget how much thinking we put into these quilts! I enjoyed going through the journey with you. The quilt looks great. You have been real busy and you have some good projects going.

  4. Wow- "Glitter" is on your to-do list! I'm impressed Rose! I'm sure the rest of your quilts won't mind you moving Ernie Express to the front of the queue! It's a beauty! I have another email subscription option that I've written about in my latest blogpost. I'm happy for you to copy my post if that's easier for you. (Just so you know, the link in this post, to my blog is incorrect and doesn't go any where!

  5. You are amazing. I love the way you mix and mash your prior designs and come up with something new. Glitter is fun, I wish you were interested in Happy Villages.... Any way, love your blocks for Sandra's QAL. Mine are theoretically going both ways but I miss sewed the second set, so we will see what my head wants to do next week! UGH on the bloglovin and email stuff. I hate this crap with them changing things for the worse, not the better!

  6. I agree with Pamela--where are Master Quilt Holder's hands on that first photo??? Are you sure there isn't a secret clothesline there? Your latest Ernie quilt is fun! I have some of the same rainbow Alison Glass fabrics--not sure where they're going yet. I love that Glitter quilt! So you're going to hand piece it? I'm going to check out Susan's email sub option. I've heard of another besides Bloglovin.

  7. Hi Rose! I think there will be a solution for the email change - your fans aren't going to want to miss a post from you, my friend. Follow is coming along nicely - my plan is to get that started this weekend. I love the latest edition of Ernie Express. It looks quite different from the first version of Ernie. I happily await Ernie 3.0 with the leftover from Glitter. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  8. Your arrows look wonderful, Rose! I like the solid arrows with that fun background. I agree - Sandra's patterns are the best to sew with - neat designs and great directions!


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