Friday, April 5, 2013

Road Home Snuggler for Happy Chemo

Each year, Emily from Em's Scrapbag collects quilts to donate to the Happy Chemo project.  These quilts are given to individuals going through the throws of cancer.  I knew I would see Emily at Quilt Walk, where we are both teaching, and I wanted to have something special to give to her for this amazing cause.  And so I created the Road Home Snuggler.

I wanted to make something warm and cozy that had a feel of home.  So I whipped out my super soft, super snuggly, Wool and Needle Flannels Layer Cake sent to me by the lovely ladies at Moda.  This line will be available in July so it was a treat to get to work with it early,  thanks Moda!!  These beautiful rich colors just make me want to curl up in front of a fire :)    I took some pictures along the way  so that if you wanted to whip one up as well you could!!

 Here's What You Will Need:

(42) 10"x 10" squares.   I loved using the flannels!!  The finish feel is just fantastic!!

You will also need a 60 x 70 inch batting and backing.

Separate your 42 squares into 2 even piles.  I separated mine into lights and darks.

On the wrong side of the darker fabric using your ruler, draw a pen line diagonally from the top left corner to the bottom right corner.  Repeat for all of the squares in the dark fabric pile.

Lay a dark square on a light square with rights sides together.  Pin both sides of each square adjacent to that drawn line.  Make sure to put them out far enough that your presser foot won't hit them as you sew on by :)  Repeat until you have pinned 21 sets.

Now stitch a 1/4" seam along both sides of the drawn line (the black lines represent your stitching lines :)

Chain stitching will save you lots of time here.  So go ahead and stitch a 1/4" seam on on the right hand side of the line on each of the 21 sets, clip your threads between blocks, and then go back and stitch a 1/4" seam on the left hand side of the line for all 21 blocks.  Clip your threads between blocks.

 Cut your pieces apart by aligning your ruler along the drawn line and cutting along the edge of your ruler.  Cut all 21 sets creating 42 blocks.

Press your seams.  I normally press to the darker fabric, but if you are using flannels, I highly recommend pressing the seams open to reduce the extra bulk.

And now you are ready to trim up your Half Square Triangle blocks.  Simply lay a 9 1/2" square ruler onto your block aligning the seam with the diagonal degree line.  Trim around the block on all 4 sides.  There won't be a lot to trim :)  If you don't have a 9 1/2" ruler you can see this tutorial on how to trim HST's with other rulers :)

And your blocks are ready to lay your blocks out.  This is s much fun.  Without worrying about a pattern, simply lay the blocks in a 6 x 7 layout.  The more random the better.  Play around with the color's patterns, and such until you have a look that is pleasing to the eye.  

Once you have a layout you are ready to sew the top together.  Start with sewing the blocks into rows.  I find the easiest way to do this is to stack each row and place some sort of marker on the first block indicating what row it is.  This way you don't lose the layout you just created.

Then just start sewing the blocks together, one block adding to the next, and the next until you have sewn all 6 in the row.   Most of the time I just align as I go, but the flannels tended to want to shift so I recommend pinning if you are using flannels.    Repeat for all 6 rows.

Press your seams.  Normally, I press all my odd rows to the right and my even rows to the left.  But once again, I wanted the extra bulk of flannel to lay flat so I pressed my seams open.

 Sewing the rows together is just like creating them.  Lay the first row onto the second with right sides together.  Nest the seams and pin them and then along the rest of the edge.  Sew a 1/4" seam along the pinned edge.  Press open.  Then repeat adding the third row to the now sewn together first and second row and so on.

And before you know it, you have a beautiful super soft, super snuggly quilt top!!

And all that is left is to Baste it, Quilt it, and Bind It.  I know, I make it sound so easy.  If you are new to finishing your quilt, I have created a video tutorial series that goes over the basics of each of these three steps.  You can find it here :)   I quilted mine with a large loopy stitch as I didn't want to stitch it to much and take away from the soft top. You will need 7 WOF strips for the binding.  

And you are done, one beautiful  57" x 63 1/2" Road Home Snuggler.  Enjoy it for yourself of give it to someone special!!

One final note . . . I wanted to share my inspiration for this quilts name and design.

At the start of this quilt, I was staring at squares trying to decide how I wanted to turn it into a quilt.   I was pondering on Chemo, on family members I have seen go through it, and thinking about how many people struggle through it daily.  I kept coming back to the idea, that in the end, everyone wants to find a road home.  No path would lie straight ahead, it would likely require a lot of twisting and turning, maybe some backtracking here and there, but there would always be that journey to find the road home.  I love that each time I look at this quilt my eyes follow a different path.  They twist and turn, and sometimes backtrack, reminding me of those fighters journey.  I hope that whomever receives this quilt, can find peace and comfort as they struggle to move forward to find that Road Home.

Linking up to Amanda and Sarah :)

Pin It!


  1. An absolutely wonderful quilt for a wonderful cause. This really turned out great and I know that the recipient is going to LOVE it!

  2. Your quilt is wonderful and a great tutorial. :o)
    Some very dear person will enjoy snuggling under it.

  3. Great inspiration and love the colors. I linked your post to my blog for my quilt/fabric shop and encouraged readers to leave you comments. What good is quilting and sewing if you can't share it.

  4. The quilt is lovely. Thank you for sharing the tutorial. I donated one quilt last year to Happy Chemo and will donate another this year through Sarah's H2H challenge.

  5. I am also making a quilt for Happy Chemo. I am starting it this weekend at our sew-in day.

  6. Great idea with the flannels, I'm sure it will be gratefully received

  7. Such a pretty quilt and for a very worthy cause. I love your thoughts at the end of your post. I think you are spot on.

  8. Great quilt. Love your ideas about the road home. Many twists and turns for sure. Your gift will be a resting place on the journey!

  9. Wonderful! I love flannel too. I am making a quilt for happy chemo also. It's fun to see what everyone is creating.

  10. Thanks for the tutorial. Love how flannel feels, especially after you wash it.

  11. A beautiful quilt, and I just love the name you gave it. I have been fighting cancer and getting chemo for over two years now. Quilting is what keeps me going and lets me lose myself in the sewing instead of the pain and ickyness of chemo. You named it the perfect name and actually brought tears to my eyes when you wrote about your inspiration. We all just do want to get home and feel safe and secure. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Some patient will be very happy with your beautiful quilt, Melissa! Such a great effort from you!

  13. Thanks so much for your generosity. The quilt looks great! Looking forward to seeing you at Quilt Walk.

  14. This is a lovely quilt Melissa and it has a wonderful name. I'm sure your generosity will be greatly appreciated by the person who receives this.

  15. that is sure a warm and welcoming quilt, and I'm sure that the recipient will truly love it! Regarding the quilt Walk, do you stay at a hotel or at a friend's house? If at a hotel, which one, or have you heard of any that you can recommend? It looks like a fun event: I'm thinking about attending. Hugs, Helen

  16. your amazing and I would have never thought to buy this fabric until now

  17. This is a wonderful idea. I have been thinking of what to make for this same reason. Our youngest son, who is now 22, was diagnosed with Leukaemia at aged 4 1/2 and we were very lucky to have been involved with the local Camp Quality group.
    I am thinking this is a perfect design to use. Also in kids fabric.... Time to go shopping I do feel!

  18. Just fabulous!

  19. Ooooo! Flannels are sooooo yummy in the fall and winter. I always make flannel PJ's for the kids, and a new flannel snuggly for movie night! This layer cake would be great for a gift for one of my friends!! Half aquare triangles are a breeze with these 10x10 pieces!! Makes me all warm and fuzzy just thinking about it!

  20. OOps! I forgot to say I favorited them on Etsy and Facebook. You can never have too many good Fabric sources!!!


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Have a Happy Quilting Day :)