Monday, September 23, 2019

4-H "Fair Days" Quilt

"FAIR DAYS" quilt, 47" x 54", featuring Licensed 4-H fabrics for Riley Blake Designs

I'm a 4-H girl.  I grew up on a little 3.4-acre farm in Sunnydell, Idaho.  Dad was a school teacher, and
Mom worked at raising kids; 11 of us total.  We had one cow for milk, a big sow with an annual batch of little piglets, a couple of horses, chickens, dogs and cats.  Dad hunted for our meat and we had a big garden for veggies which we'd harvest and put up.  Mom sewed most of our clothes and hers too, and I could hardly wait to be old enough to learn to sew.  Grandma had taught Mom how to sew, and became her 4-H leader when the program was introduced in Idaho.  Mom became a wonderful seamstress, and even won a trip to a 4-H National Convention in Chicago in 1958.

I was about 10 when Mom started a 4-H club of our own and I remember summers being consumed with 4-H sewing and cooking projects and a host of other topics like Horse 4-H, Geology, Forestry, Photography, Health, and Art to name a few.  We were always going places and making things and getting ready for the fair.  I think it was a good way for her to wrangle all us kids and kept us busy.  I have quite a collection of ribbons as evidence of those busy summers.

When my own youngsters were of age, I became their 4-H leader, and we participated in 4-H summer sewing and quilting camps, held at the county Extension office, and headed up by Debbie Proctor, who worked as our county extension agent over 4-H.  My daughters have become confident with a sewing machine, and even my son mends his clothes and sews his military patches to his uniforms.  I owe it to Debbie for helping to teach my kids to sew, now 4th generation 4-Hers!  You can see some of their projects HERE, HERE and HERE.  And yes, 4-H was a good way to wrangle kids and keep them busy.  😂

Debbie retired after 36 years as an extension agent and we have become good friends and quilting buddies over the years.  When I saw that Riley Blake had come out with this darling licensed 4-H panel, well, this was a quilt that just had to be made!

The adorable panel steals the show, with an adaptation of the 4-H pledge printed around the perimeter.  Here's the full pledge:
Debbie designed and made the quilt and pillow, and as she doesn't blog, I wanted to post about it here.  Sew cute!

She originally had planned a simple border of blocks surrounding the panel, but she wanted to dress it up a bit, so she offset the borders, created a "Ribbon" on the upper right corner, and if you look closely, those bits beyond the ribbon tails are actually H's!  

If the light and dark prints alternate and every other block is rotated, it gives a little woven look to the design.  (Aaand it spells, "Hi")

Here's a little tutorial to make H-Blocks.
For each block, cut:  (2) 2" x 5" rectangles of print
                                  (1) 2" square print
                                  (2) 2" squares contrast/background

1.  Stitch 2" background squares on each side of the center main print square, press seams toward darker print.
2.  Stitch a 2" x 5" rectangle to the top and bottom of the pieced strip; press toward rectangles.
Block should measure 5" square, unfinished size.  Repeat to make as many blocks as desired for borders, blocks or a whole quilt.  Finished block size is 4-1/2".  

3.  Lay out blocks in alternating prints, rotating the alternating block one turn to the right for that woven look. 

H-Block Pillow
For the pillow, use nine H-Blocks, and sew together into a 9-patch;  14" square.  You'll need 2 pieces of backing, each cut at 10" x 14".  Hem one long edge of each piece.  Overlap back pieces on the front piece and stitch all the way around the edge.  Turn right side out and insert a 14-inch pillow form.

Here's a quilt sample using just a couple of prints:

Ask for these 4-H fabrics and panel at your local quilt shop or find them at an online retailer.  
Happy Quilting!



  1. I too grew up in the 4-H community. At that time we had "Boy's 4-H" and "Girl's 4-H". I was in both, boy's for the dairy calf project and girl's for the sewing, cooking, etc. Loved it! It was a good time and we looked forward to the fair every year. Good memories!

  2. I also was a 4-H'er and enjoyed my years in it with cooking and sewing and loved the fair! The quilt and pillow are adorable!

  3. You certainly grew up in a beautiful part of Idaho!! Being a city girl growing up, I was never involved in 4-H, but I love living on a farm now, with my horse, garden and occasional pig or steer. The older I get, the more I love living in the country!!! Love the I need to find it to make for a local 4-H fundraiser!!

  4. That is a fun panel and perfect for 4-H members. It made up so cute too.

  5. I grew up in an area that was big into 4-H. I was in several clubs including sewing which is where I learned to sew as my mom did not sew. I still remember the words to the pledge and have many happy memories of 4-H. I am going to have to look for some 4-H fabric.

  6. It is just beautiful!! Loved seeing it. Your quilt is just the sweetest darn thing! I think it's delightful.

  7. I never did 4-H stuff, mainly because I was a city girl, but I love this quilt!


So happy you stopped by for a visit! Thank you!