Thursday, October 3, 2019

Tutorial Throwback Thursday - Steps to Tranquility

It's Thursday and that means another Tutorial Throwback feature.  And today's feature starts with a little story from our house this week.
 Jessica (who is loving to learn to quilt with me)  is a Freshman in high school and has been running on the Cross Country team.  Sadly, about 3 weeks ago we found she had a stress fracture in her foot.   Which meant she needed to be in a boot, and had to start "training" on a bike so as not to worsen the fracture.   And then two nights ago, she came home upset and informed us she crashed on the bike.  And you guessed it, she fractured her elbow.  So now the poor thing has a boot on the right foot, and a brace and sling on the left arm  (and did I mention she is left handed:)   And it means no physical activity now until the arm (and foot) heal.   
So as you can imagine, it has been a bit of a roller coaster week both emotionally and physically and I just need some calming vibes in our home.   So today,  the Steps to Tranquility quilt just seemed to fit for our throwback!!!

I designed this Steps to Tranquility specifically for my Mother.  She was needing a new quilt for her bed, and I gladly offered to maker her one.  My mom loves classic clean lines with a touch of modern flair so I set out to design something that highlighted that idea.  And you can't go wrong with wonderful framed squares and rectangles.  They fit the concept just perfect and I love all of the secondary designs the quilt creates, while still not being to busy. 

And using calming colors and basic prints were just the perfect finish to the design.  I used Angela Walter's Legacy collection and I just loved that the prints are a take of free motion quilting which gave them all a beautiful flowing feel.   The colors matched my mom's room perfect and it really added a soft, calming, vibe that my mom was trying to achieve in her master bedroom.  Hence where the name for the quilt came from.   

And this Steps to Tranquility quilt is big!!!!  My mom has a queen bed, but she likes a ton of drape, like as in wanted it touching the floor.  So this is actually a King Size Quilt (or a large queen)  finishing at 103" x 103".    And even though it is big, it really does go together fast because of the simple, clean design.     And it is Fat Quarter Friendly, so you just need to pick 20 Fat Quarters and away you go ;)  

And since this quilt was for my mom, I decided to really go all out on the quilting.   In fact, this was one of the first quilts that I really tried to "custom quilt".    But the crazy thing is, which of course I didn't realize at the time, the hopper foot on the long arm was broken.   I remember being so frustrated and wondering why the thread just kept breaking.  I can't even count how many times I re threaded and cleaned the machine while trying to quilt this huge quilt.   The machine was still fairly new at this point, and I assumed it was my user error.   So I just kept plugging away in total frustration.   Let's just say, thank heaven's for repair men that when I finally called, got me squared away in no time :)   So this quilt taught me a huge lesson of when the machine doesn't play nice, it isn't necessarily me and I should take it in rather than trying to push through in total frustration!!!   And I am happy to say, I have gotten much better at knowing when it just needs to be cleaned or something simple that I can fix  or when it needs my handi repair man's help ;)  

And I am also happy to say that this Steps to Tranquility quilt is still the focal feature of my Mother's master bedroom.  And I can't tell you how much it makes me smile when I am chatting with her on the phone and all of the sudden she will say, "I just walked into my room and oh Melissa,  I just love this quilt".  That to me is the absolute best.  And this throws back 6 years so that is saying something!!!  Isn't it just so great that a quilt can bring such joy, happiness, and peace and comfort.   Which brings me back to the beginning of this post, and makes me think Jessi needs a new quilt :)   Maybe a school Color rally quilt that she can use to cuddle up in now while she cheers her teammates on at the remainder of the races, and then she can pull it back out when Softball season starts in the Spring, because we are positive she will be all healed up and ready to go!!!

I hope you have enjoyed today's Tutorial Throwback Thursday!!!    To make your own Steps to Tranquility  quilt  just click on any of the quilt name links for the free step by step tutorial.   And when you are done, I would love to see your quilt!!  You can email me a picture at, post it to social media with #happyquiltingwithmc  or or add it to my flickr group here ;)  I can't wait to see your Steps to Tranquility quilts!!!

Thanks for popping in today and have a very Happy Quilting Day!!!
Pin It!


  1. So sorry about Jessica's mishaps! Your family is fortunate to have you make these wonderful quilts for them! Lovely post and tutorial!

  2. Life sure throws some challenges sometimes! My thoughts and prayers are going up for Jessica. Steps to Tranquility is definitely a fitting inspiration! Thank you for sharing the tutorial again. I have a jelly roll and some yardage that this will work well with this.

  3. Poor Jessica! This quilts a beauty and I’m sure she’d love one, too.

  4. I LOVE but don't need as big. How can I cut down? How do I decide say for a 81 x 81 size before I cut all the pieces.
    Thank you.


Thank you so much for your sweet comments. I just love hearing from you!!
Have a Happy Quilting Day :)