Charity Quilt for Ronald McDonald House

After a weekend of feeling listless and uninspired, I somehow now have ideas for three quilts I can’t wait to make. Two of them require fabric. But all the pieces fell into place for this third one, and I ended up finishing the top in two days. Not too shabby.

The first piece came into place several weeks ago when I bought the animal and dot fabrics with the intention of making another pillowcase for the Cincinnati Modern Quilt Guild’s pillowcase drive. That didn’t happen. But I did still have the fabrics out and at the ready for when I came up with a new plan.

The next piece fell into place when I remembered an e-mail I had gotten about a month ago from a friend who volunteers at our local Ronald McDonald house. He included a link that directed me to the Greater Cincinnati Ronald McDonald House volunteer page, where they shared their need for quilts to include in the welcome package they give each family that stays with them. They ask that each quilt be 40 x 40 inches, so each family will be sure to receive the same size quilt. A perfect size to make from fabric purchased for a pillowcase!

The final integral piece was placed when I started rifling through my fabric stash and found that many of my greens, browns, and grays perfectly matched the animal fabric. Hooray!

I sketched out a 40 x 40-inch quilt that would be made up of 6-inch blocks (alternating between the animal print and 4-patches from my stash), 2-inch sashing and a 5-inch border. Once I started putting the center together, I found the dot sashing was getting a bit overwhelming. I probably should have made the blocks a bit larger and the sashing a bit more narrow, but then the measuring and cutting would get messy, and that’s no fun.

With the center complete, I needed to figure out what exactly this 5-inch border would be. I considered a scrappy border with the stash fabrics, but I thought that would end up looking crazy busy. I also wanted to somehow incorporate that now-annoying dot fabric, because only having it in the center looked incomplete to me. Finally, I wanted to use more of the animal fabric since the 6-inch squares weren’t quite enough.

After staring at it a while, I decided to piece the side borders with stash fabric and use the animal print at the top and bottom (I didn’t have enough to use it on the sides, and keep it right-facing, too).

To solve my dot problem, I decided to extend some of the sashing strips into the borders. We’ll file that one under, “Easier Said Than Done.” I know I’m not a very accurate piecer or measurer or cutter. So getting those strips to match up even somewhat took a lot of trial and error. A lot of error.

If I made this pattern again, I would piece the border at the same time as the center so the extensions didn’t need to be separate units. But I really like the way the sashing lines add movement to the quilt. And I’m friends with the dot fabric again, too.

Next, of course, comes the quilting. Because it’s small, I’m hoping I can handle it on my machine with straight quilting lines. And I’m hoping, too, the quilting will help to make those sashing seams less noticeable. I’ll share the finished quilt when it’s done!

Leave a comment


  1. What a great quilt! I love the smiling lions and other animals. This is going to bring a lot of comfort to the child and family who gets it. Great job Chris! Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2012 14:24:01 +0000 To:

    • Thank, Brian! It was fun to make, and now I think I may need to incorporate smiling animals in more of my quilts. Thanks, again, for the Ronald McDonald House info.

  2. I like how you extended the dots into the border.


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