Thursday, July 7, 2022

BOHO Heart by Jen Kingwell

So many of you know that I've been teaching quilting for over 20 years. Imagine that! I recently read a book -- the Love People, Use Things book. And one of the things they mention in the book is to try and find your passion in life. It makes for a much better life, and I have to say that I lucked out to find two passions -- teaching and quilting! 

One of the best parts of teaching is seeing the end result of the class and the reaction of the attendees to say, "I MADE that!" So show and tell is always the most exciting part (for me) of the class. I'm sure that in this particular class that the attendees said the same thing! More likely, they said, "thank god we are done!"

Before we get to the show and tell, I want to make some comments. There are quite a few pictures here (36, I think), and while I would love to make individual comments, I don't have enough time. Let's suffice it to say that ALL the quilts are different and ALL of them are winners in my eyes.

While everyone used the same pattern, the shape (the heart) made it difficult to change it up too much; however, some people did substitute some blocks for others. The colorways and backgrounds are different, completely changing the quilt's look and feel. 

Some people chose a collection of prints they had been saving for a while. Kathi used fabrics with hearts on them -- all in reds, whites, and blacks! Lois used kid prints, some of which she had used to make masks for her grandchildren. Heather followed the color scheme of the original but used her scraps. Some are very scrappy looking, and others are coordinated scrappy. And a few went wild with their backings and the background. 

As you enjoy the pictures, I have an assignment for you (sorry -- that's the teacher in me!). As you peruse the photos, I want you to find your favorite, and I want you to figure out WHY it is your favorite. Then I want you to figure out the one you like the least, and VERY IMPORTANTLY, I want you to figure out WHY. 

I do NOT need you to post a comment on which you like or dislike -- I will remove the comments if you single out a specific quilt. That is a personal exercise for you to do. Why should you ask the WHY? Because I'm teaching new classes in the fall, and guess what? If you find a colorway that you LOVE -- that can become the colorway of your new quilt. 

Of course, you do NOT need to take my class, but you can use that colorway for whatever your next quilt is!

Why should you figure out why you don't like a quilt? So you DO NOT make one that uses that color, value contrasts, or whatever reason you don't like it. 

Let's face it -- EVERYTHING is a learning opportunity, and I find that people are attracted to contrast first, color second, or both equally. But participating in my exercise is a great way to build your confidence in color and value choices. 

I don't have a closeup of each quilt, so I didn't post a closeup of any of them. You can simply click on a picture to see a bigger version! 

Jen Kingwell is the designer of this quilt, which I should say was taught via Zoom hosted by Thimbles and Things. Thanks to Sue and Paula for the opportunity to bring this quilt to so many of you! More comments on that at the end. 

People either love or hate Jen's patterns, which are often called puzzle quilts. Why? Well, the blocks usually fit together like puzzle pieces and sometimes (and no offense to Jen), but the instructions can be a puzzle or require some knowledge in quilting. I try to structure my classes so ANY skill level can do the class. That is sometimes a challenge, but as I said, I'm thrilled with the show and tell; we had all levels finish their quilts. 

There is an article about Jen in the latest Amerian Patchwork and Quilting issue, which I haven't had time to read yet! 

Jen and her studio from the article

BOHO Heart pattern booklet

I've included the first name of each maker just to give them an identifier. 

Sit back and enjoy, and don't forget your assignment. I'll meet you at the end. 












One note here -- Gillian wanted to make her quilt larger (after the fact), so she added extra background strips to the top of her quilt. Now, WHY didn't we think to do that at the beginning? She made it longer and added a couple of strips to each side, allowing the quilt to FLOAT on the background. 

Gillian remake


























WOW --- isn't that spectacular. I think there are 36 finished quilts. It's pretty hard to choose your favorite but try to narrow it down! 

And here is my quilt, which I'm thrilled with. How do I choose my colors? I try to pick something that I've not used before. In this case, I used pink and oranges (not my first time), and there's a smidgen of yellow and some purple. The backgrounds are black on white. 

My quilt

I'm not sure how many people were signed up for the class -- something like 80, so to get a 50% finish rate on the quilt tops is STUNNING. Like I said -- I feel like a proud parent! I know that some people audited the class, while others got hung up on life along the way. 

Here's the GOOD news for those people. There will be a "last chance" Jen Kingwell quilt class starting in the fall or January. I'm still working out my schedule. It will be for ANYONE who has begun this class -- I will NOT be reteaching the class per see, so if you haven't started, it's probably not for you. But if you got stuck on life or techniques, I'll motivate each person to get their top done, but I WON"T do your sewing! So watch for that. There will be a fee for the class, and I'll teach it privately (not through a store). 

Phew --- that was amazing! And now it's time to get the day started. 

Have a super day!!!



  1. I love how the quilts are so very different. Brights, themes, earthy tones (LQS owner called these dark and dreary because 1 person on staff always made her patterns/kits from these-we always laughed as did that person ;-). Every quilt is grand in it's own way. Congratulations to everyone who finished (I should be able to finish mine in August-speaking of life getting in the way).

    1. I know you'll get your quilt done! And I can't wait to see it. I've never heard of earthy tones being referred to as dark and dreary, but someone (like you) who likes brights - I can see how that would happen! LOL. Have a super day!

  2. Wow! Not only are the quilts amazing, but doing the exercise really opened my eyes to the colour ways I am attracted to - yet do not generally sew with.
    Thank you to all for sharing!
    And allowing me to develop MY colour sense.
    Shirley in BC

    1. Shirley -- so glad you did the exercise. It is AMAZING what we are attracted to but never sew! Good luck with picking NEW colors for your next quilt and have a super day1

  3. All the quilts are fabulous. Yes I did your exercise. I always thought I was a blue girl, but what caught my eye was when there was contrast between blocks and background, and between the colours within each block. My eyes wanted to see and check where every block was within those quilts. I like it also when the hearts were surrounded by background as if they were floating on top. Beautiful quilts everyone. You are star students, one and all.

    1. Merci! Yes -- -it's a bit of an eye opener to say the least. What I think I like, isn't always what I think. And sometimes, I like a certain thing in one quilt, only to dislike it in the next. A very good exercise!!!

  4. They are all winners!! Colleens stood out immediately. I love the textural component and how the background patterned fabric gives the illusion of texture. It makes me want to go and touch it. Heather's (the second Heather pic) is just pleasing to the eye, Her colour pallette is lovely, But honestly they are all brave to attempt a Kingswell.

  5. I love scrappy so I loved them all! The colour combinations were amazing. I tend towards the primary colours and those were my favourites. Paler colours, pinks and oranges are not my personal choice but the completed quilts were beautiful. Tells me I should step out of my comfort zone. A definite plus for me were the quilts that were enlarged so the heart floated. I also liked the addition of small blocks in the bottom area. It gave the quilt a finished look. All in all an amazing job by everyone. Wish I had been able to take the course. Will definitely do it should you offer the opportunity again.