The Brown Quilt

Since many of you asked for instructions for the brown quilt, I’ve posted them here.  You can always get there by clicking on “Free Patterns” at the top of the blog.  Not that anyone needs it but I’ll give a little tutorial here on how I chose the fabrics I used.

When I first began pulling fabrics, I thought I wanted close to an equal number of lights and darks and I pulled these darks:

And I began mixing in some lights:

Right off the bat, it was apparent to me that the lights were just too light and what I wanted was a good mix of darks and mediums, with very few lights.

Once the fabrics were chosen for the blocks, I began auditioning border fabrics.  The dark brown Dimples fabric is what I used for the border so I wanted to be sure it wasn’t going to blend in with any of the fabrics that were used in the blocks along the edge of the quilt.  I didn’t mind using fabrics that would blend but I wanted to keep those in the center portion of the quilt, away from the edge so it wouldn’t be touching the border fabric.

Here’s a closer view of the border fabric next to some of the fabrics.

Then I decided which light/medium fabric to use with the dark brown Dimple for the pieced border.

This fabric was the best as far as the color I wanted but this fabric bugs the heck out of me.  Every time I use it, I swear I’m going to throw it in the trash.  Despite heavily spraying with Best Press or plain old starch, it wiggles and squirms and unravels and it’s a name brand fabric!  I’ll be happy when it’s gone from my stash but I wasn’t in the mood to deal with it for this quilt.

This is the fabric that was used and I’m pleased with it.

After cutting all my pieces, which I cut separately instead of strip piecing because I was using a lot of scraps, I spread them out on the longarm to be sure I had a good mix of mediums, darks and a few lights, and to be sure I didn’t need to do some re-arranging so I didn’t have too many blocks exactly alike.

It was a fun and quick quilt to make and I think it turned out nice.


  1. 1

    Sandy says

    Thank you for explaining your thought process as you pick fabrics for your quilts. I always have a hard time deciding what to use and I think I have the tendency to try to “match” everything. I think the brown quilt turned out fabulous and I have never thought to use brown. Maybe it is because I don’t have much in my stash. I am going to start buying brown!

  2. 2


    I don’t know where to post this so here goes–I was able to find Quiltmaker’s 100 Blocks magazine today–the day it came out!! It took me 4 weeks to find one when volume 2 came out. YAY!! What great blocks!!!

  3. 3


    Thank you for the information and the instructions for the brown quilt. I really like the masculinity of the quilt.

  4. 4

    Sue in Scottsdale, AZ says

    Judy, thank you for both your tutorial on how you pick your fabrics for a quilt and the directions. I love this quilt, especially because it is more of a masculine quilt than soft and pretty. This is a wonderful quilt.

  5. 5

    Janet P. says

    Thanks, Judy! I adore brown patterns and had hoped that this one would be up on your site!

  6. 6

    Caroline Dimmick says

    Thanks for sharing all you do to come up with just the right blend of colors. Beautiful quilt!

  7. 7

    Marilyn Smith says

    I want a soft, lovely blue, yellow and white quilt for our bedroom. DH, because he did so much of th remodel work (I did too) has picked stuff I hate. I have to live with it. Problem is he doesn’t want to take the time to reseal the satillo tile. Satillo tile is basically orange. Not the color I want to decorate with. Tile stains in the kitchen with every splatter. I did not want to get it. He said, I am laying it all. After I sanded and sealed over 1500 sq feet of it, I hate it more than ever. It is stained beyond belief under where he eats dinner. He has poo pooed all of my decorating ideas. He is back in Mexico and also in the 60’s. He has done 75% of the physical labor (I was working and only did 25%) (and cooked, cleaned, did laundry and ironing etc). HE HATES THE COUCH I BOUGHT. ONLY BECAUSE OF THE WAY HE SITS IN IT. THE REST LOOKS BRAND NEW. He ruins every couch because he slumps and stuffs it behind him with his arms over the top. And, he is complaining about our bed. He picked that one out and it was fine for about 6 months. He hates it. It is about 8 years old and a pillow top. It was expensive. I would also like another mattress. It is up to me to make it right. I love this man…but he also wants a new computer. I am ready to scream! Things could be worse but I need a break! I think I need to go back out and get a job. We do get along well but I need some me time. It is hard to come by!

  8. 8

    Elizabeth says

    I am so pleased to see that you gave us the instructions for the brown quilt. I did not have the nerve to ask for the pattern since you were so busy with getting organized for you move. THANK YOU!! Liz

  9. 9

    Linda in NE says

    It certainly did turn out nice. It got me to thinking, I haven’t made a single quilt with just browns.

  10. 10

    JoAnne says

    Judy, your brown quilt is absolutely gorgeous! My son recently bought a house and told me he wants me to make him a brown quilt. A brown quilt? I never use browns and was totally at a loss as to what to do and where to start. Now I know what to do and how to do it! You are a gem and I am so grateful to you, so is my son. I wish you the very best. Thank you so much!

  11. 11

    Darlene S says

    Judy, Thanks so much for sharing your pattern and technique for picking the browns with us. I would love to make that quilt in the future too. I’m sorry to hear about you 1883 house, but you know what is best for you. I did like the suggestion that one of us buy it and run it as a B&B for quilters. I’d go in on that proposition!!! I’m not a big Texas fan (have relative there that love it), but I would spend a week or 2 at a quilters retreat each year! Your MO house looks so pretty. Please take some of your iris bulbs for sure to remind you of your good times and friends here in MO. Dar in MO

  12. 12

    Anita R says

    Thanks for the great tutorial! I love how you sorted everything out, great way of editing!

  13. 13


    I do love this quilt! And I love the way you used your longarm table to spread things out! What a great idea!! My longarm is in front of my design wall, so my table surface is a holding place for my blocks. I sometimes forget that I have placed them there!! That can be a no no! lol….thanks for posting the pattern!

  14. 14

    Doe in Mi says

    Thank you, thank you for posting your quilt pattern for us. I absolutely love this quilt. I was so excited to see that the pattern was posted I didn’t bother to look at your color picking post. Had to thank you first now, will go read that!!!!

  15. 15

    Doe in Mi says

    Okay, I went and read the color picking and that was good. BUT, I’m laughing because your stash is looking way bigger than mine and I thought I was naughty!!!! My sister does too and she quilts more than I do. What fun. LOL