Making a Moonglow Happy Stripes Quilt 

A woman holds a multicoloured quilt.

Has it ever happened to you that you saw a new line of fabric and you just *HAD* to make something with it? Like, NOW?

That’s what happened with my Moonglow Happy Stripes quilt… and I LOVE the way it turned out! Read on to see how this fabulous project came about.

An iPad displays the Happy Stripes quilt pattern on a wooden desk with fabric and a white sewing machine.

When fabric chooses *you*

One day, I was (innocently) scrolling through Instagram (minding my own business), when I saw a layer cake of Moonglow was available for sale at Modern Stitch Co (a local-ish quilt shop in Yorkton, SK). It definitely stopped my scroll!

I wasn’t planning on buying any of this fabric, but when I saw the gorgeous, saturated hues of this line, I knew that I had to drop everything and make a quilt with it!

I snapped up the two available layer cakes and some background fabric in an instant and then had to decide what to make with it. Happy Stripes (pattern by the fabulous Emily Dennis) had been on my to-make list for a while, and I was pleased to see that the large throw version could be made with two layer cakes. Phew!

Adding more fabric

Before getting started, I changed my mind and decided to make the twin-size version of the Happy Stripes quilt so that I could use it on my bed for an upcoming retreat.

The only problem was that I didn’t have enough fabric for the twin-size version. Luckily, I had a number of fat quarters in my stash that looked GREAT with the Moonglow fabric (the FQs are mostly from the Heirloom line by the same fabric designer).

Here’s what my pile looked like before I started sewing anything together. 

Multicoloured strips of fabric, a Stripology ruler, a pink rotary cutter and a cup of tea sit on a wooden desk.

Stripology for the win!

The first step in making a Happy Stripes quilt is to cut a tonne of strips. Y’know what makes that job a lot faster and more accurate? A Stripology ruler. If you’ve never seen one, the Stripology is a slotted ruler that lets you cut multiple strips at once.

It’s one of my favourite notions in my sewing room, and I always reach for it for projects like this!

Strips of multicoloured fabric lay on a wooden desk top.

Choosing a layout

The blocks came together really quickly, and then I had to decide a layout. I used a makeshift design wall in my sewing room and tried not to overthink the block placement.

One of the joys of the Happy Stripes quilt is that the blocks seem to look great no matter how you arrange them. I have yet to see a Happy Stripes that wasn’t cute!

I laid my blocks out randomly, and I think I only switched two of them after the first try. Talk about an easy job!

An overhead view of a multicoloured quilt top laying on a wooden desk with a white sewing machine.

Webbing the top

Once my block placement was decided, I stacked them up so that I could web the top. 

Webbing is the FASTEST way to turn a pile of blocks into a quilt top. If you haven’t tried this method before, you might want to give it a go! 

My only advice is to mark the top left corner of the square on the bottom of your pile (so that you don’t accidentally rotate your pile and sew some blocks incorrectly).

Longarming my Happy Stripes

I knew that I wanted my Happy Stripes quilt to be cozy and snuggly, so I chose a navy 80” Fireside fabric as my backing. Not only is it soft and durable, but the wide width means no piecing a backing. Win win!

I chose Luxe 1 as the pantograph (currently available in our online shop), and I had my project quilted in no time!

A multicoloured quilt is loaded on a Gammill longarm machine.
A closeup of the swirly quilting detail on a multicoloured quilt.

Big Stitch Binding

When it comes to binding, I sometimes want a subtle hand-stitched finish, and other times I want a “Ka-POW, look at ME!” binding.

For my Happy Stripes quilt, I chose a high-contrast combo of a caramel binding fabric with a navy 8 wt perle cotton thread. I love the handmade detail and that it’s obvious even from a distance. I wanted people to SEE all those stitches!! I've also used Big Stitch Binding on a number of projects (including my Scrap Stash Plus quilt - another Emily Dennis pattern). 

A multicoloured quilt lays on the floor with a corner flipped over to reveal navy hand stitching on a caramel coloured binding.
A closeup view of navy hand stitching on a caramel coloured quilt binding.

Bringing my quilt to retreat

I recently attended a quilt retreat where several of us had made Happy Stripes quilts, and I was blown away by the variety of different versions. 

They’re all so cute!

And you know what was even more fun? Emily Dennis (the pattern designer) was at the retreat, so of course we asked her to pose with us!

Five women hold up their versions of a Happy Stripes quilt.

Have you made a Happy Stripes quilt yet? If so, tell me about it in the comments below! 

A multicoloured quilt that has been folded diagonally twice.
A multicoloured quilt lays on the floor with the corner flipped to reveal the backing.
A multicoloured quilt hangs vertically on a white cabinet.

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