If you’ve been quilting for a while you’ll recognize the name Mary Ellen Hopkins. She was a very creative quilter, with a great sense of humor and a gift for teaching. The first book of hers I owned was “It’s Okay if You Sit on My Quilt.
She was the originator of what she called the “Connector Block” technique. You may know it better as “Slap Back Triangles” – sewing a small square diagonally in the corner of a larger square to add a corner triangle. It’s a great technique I’ve used many times.
She inspired me with many other techniques and patterns. Way back in the 90’s I attended a group at a shop named “On Pins and Needles” in Sauk City, WI. It was a Mary Ellen Hopkins group called “Quilt Sitters Circle”. In it the owners shared loads of great ideas from Mary Ellen. I was even able to attend a lecture by Mary Ellen in Milwaukee. I learned so much there, and one of my favorite patterns was “Bricks and Mortar”. I made a quilt for my son’s bed using it (he was 9 then and is now 37).
I recently pulled out this pattern to make a quilt for my nephew Kevin and his wife Aly. You may remember me making them placemats for Aly’s shower back in August (to read that post click here). They actually were married before they left for their time with the Peace Corps in the Gambia, and yesterday they finally had a reception so family and friends could gather and celebrate them as a couple.
For their “wedding” quilt I pulled out another piece of the African fabric they brought me after their adventure.
I chose the colors for the quilt top from this fabric. It was too beautiful to cut up. I made the top from those fabrics at my guild retreat a few weeks ago.
Here are the measurements for the Bricks and Mortar pattern, in case you’d like to make one of your own:
The center square was cut 5 1/2″; the cornerstones 3 1/2″; the mortar strips 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″; and the bricks 3 1/2″ x 5 1/2″. It’s constructed “log cabin” style. Everything fit together beautifully and it was an easy and fun pattern to make!
I finished it up mere hours before their celebration, and forgot to take a picture of it before I popped it into the gift bag. I will hopefully get a photograph of them with their quilt to post next week 😊.
Have you made a Bricks and Mortar quilt? Do you have any memories of Mary Ellen Hopkins you’d like to share?