Do you know how long I've been meaning to write a blog post about Wishbone? Well, I started this draft in August of 2020. The design was a few years old by that point.
Wishbone is the first design I ever released to the public in September 2019, mere weeks after the Longarm League membership started for the first time. I designed it the prior year due to the frustration of not being able to find a design simply referred to as 'Loops' by some Statler Stitcher owners I followed on Instagram.
I spent hours combing the Internet with the intent to buy the looped design, but resorted to making a version of my own when I couldn't locate it. This gave me a chance to use my Intelliquilter's editing tools to create the must-have elements that I wanted: 60º angled lines and meaty "teardrop" shapes that would nest with the rows above and below.
The resulting design lived on my tablet for a long while until I bought Art and Stitch software and was able to export it, save it in different formats, and distribute it to our first group of members (heyyyy, Founders!).
I hesitated releasing Wishbone initially because it seemed way too simple. Over three years later, this first design still remains in the Top 5 most popular in our shop. Now, with a little more experience under my belt, I realize that a design doesn't have to be complicated to be a winner. In fact, the easier and more versatile, the better!
Here's a fun Wishbone story.
Before I released Wishbone to the League and offered it for sale, I was still quilting for clients. Krystina Hopkins sent me her gorgeous modern version of a Double Wedding Ring quilt in 2018. It was her idea to use Wishbone—she'd seen it on another quilt in my Instagram feed. I was thrilled to use it for her quilt!
She was commissioned to make the quilt for Love Patchwork and Quilting, but eventually she submitted it to QuiltCon where it was accepted into the show where I got to see it hanging in person...
At first I was like, oops! Someone made a mistake. And then I thought—wait, this is Krystina's brilliant design choice!
It looked pretty awesome on its side with the teardrop shapes going horizontally instead of vertically. It even seemed exotic 😂 to me having only seen it displayed the other way. Later on, Krystina admitted to not paying much attention when she was sewing the hanging sleeve to her square quilt. What I thought was her AMAZING artistic choice was really just dumb luck!
Btw, I'm pictured in the photo above between Longarm League members Jill Johnson of J.Coterie (now with her own podcast!) and Shelly Moore of Ma Tante Quilting.
If you have Wishbone, think about using it on a quilt loaded sideways. At the very minimum, I'll think it's a spicy design choice and will be very impressed. 🌶
As far as difficulty, I'd call Wishbone easy because I don't think it's fair to put it in the intermediate category. The only thing that could be conceivably tricky about the design is the fact that the rows nest DEEPLY. This can mean that the design might "run into" the sides of the previously stitched rows, particularly if it's scaled small/densely and fabric draw is in play. Read our tips here for how to counteract fabric draw and keep alignment as precise as possible.
I started the project shown throughout this blog post in March of 2022 when I was at a quilting retreat. I wanted an easy sewing project that I didn't have to think too hard about. I looked back through my saved EQ8 sketches and found one from 2015. I originally designed it as a baby quilt for a neighbor and thought it'd be easy and fun to recreate. Here is the quilt that resulted from the EQ plan, meant to utilize my orange scraps:
This time around, I used the Tomato Tomahto line from Kimberly Kight of Ruby Star Society to make a bunch of cute 4-patch units, which really was perfect retreat sewing. For the background "frames", I used selections from a low volume bundle I bought at Stitch Supply Co. And finally, I used a light gray sashing from Kona, although I can't recall the name of the color right now.
The texture is definitely enhanced by Quilters Dream wool batting. I used Essex linen from Robert Kaufman as the backing fabric.
Here are the specifications for how I set up this design using my Intelliquilter (72" x 82" approximate quilt size):
Row height: 3"
Pattern height: 5.769" (measurement from top to bottom of the repeat)
Here's a preview of the included PDF. If you purchased this from us prior to November 15, 2022, it did not come with an included PDF, but you can download it at this link.
Take a look at the video at the top of the blog post to watch the stitch path.
If you use Wishbone on a quilt, we'd love for you to use the hashtag #wishbonepanto (visit the link to see how other people have used it) and tag @longarmleague on Instagram so we can see what you're up to! You can also visit our full digital design shop to take a look at all our previous designs.
If you've read this far (thank you), I'd like to invite you to join our Digital Panto Club! If you aren't a member of the Longarm League, the club option allows you to get each NEW design we release delivered straight to your inbox on the first Wednesday of each new month.
If you don't want or need the business advice that comes with membership and you want to build up your collection of digital modern designs, this is a fun and inexpensive option!
We'd love to share a little bit about how we support longarm quilters through education and community. Updates typically go out on Wednesdays - we'd love to stay in touch with you!