Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Legends and dreams: Noah's ark and Sugarplum Village

It's Day 3 of our "Cute Quilts for Kids" series !  Today we're featuring different types of cozy shelters, from arks to birdhouses. These enchanting patterns are from Laura Nownes ("From Me to You"*).  Her classic depiction of the legend of Noah's Ark is made with pieced nine-patch blocks and silhouette applique shapes that show the animals entering the ark two by two, safe from the flood.

Noah's Ark, 41 x 67", by Laura Nownes at

Perfect for confident beginners and all levels beyond that, this quilt presents a sophisticated finished look, but is relatively easy to assemble. What a wonderful opportunity to use the earth tones and sky tones in your stash, whether you've saved up batiks, landscape fabrics, or calicos. Suitable for all ages, it can also be a really fun vocabulary lesson for younger kids, as they learn to identify animals by their names.  How many different animals can you find here?  We've counted at least 14.

Sugarplum Village, 64 x 64", by Laura Nownes at

We love quilts with a house theme, and what could be more adorable than a confectioners' collection of lollipops, candy canes, and peppermints? A child would love to dream about living in this village. The use of both polka dot and striped fabric is an example of how contrasting patterns can be juxtaposed to really make a quilt block "pop". Notice how the cheerful rick-rack theme is carefully repeated both in the outer border and the trimming on the roofs, which remind us of yummy decorated cake frosting. This pattern brings out the sweet tooth in everyone.

Left: Q is for Quilt (cover quilt: "Birds Return")
Right: "Our House" quilt pattern, by Laura Nownes
Laura Nownes' highly successful workshops, patterns, and books appeal to all levels of quilters, and her patterns are designed to be easy to follow. A beginning quilter could start out with the simple but decorative "Our House" pattern, right,  which uses simple shapes to create a 62 x 71.5" quilt; we love the pieced bricks and shingles on the house.  The really cute birdhouses in "Birds Return", left, are on the cover of the book Q is for Quilt by Diana McClun and Laura Nownes.

*Image credits and links: Images are shown with the generous permission of Laura Nownes. Many wonderful patterns resulted from Laura's collaboration with co-author Diana McClun, who recently retired. We previously featured their quilts in these posts: Simple Shapes by Diana and Laura and Tumbling Blocks divided by 4 or 9.  Laura's newest venture is See How We Sew,  a collective of four experienced craftswomen—Christie Batterman, Laura Nownes, Jennifer Rounds, and Darra Williamson—who share a passion for quilting and other fiber arts.


  1. This is one of our favorite quilts for kids, and we're so glad to hear that you like it too. It is amazing how Laura makes her patterns with a lot of detail, looking very sophisticated, and yet they are very easy to piece.


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