Introducing the Pippin Quilt Pattern!

Pippin Quilt

Need a fast, fresh finish?

The Pippin quilt is the pattern for you!

The Pippin quilt pattern came about when the people at Island Batik challenged their ambassadors to “Make It Modern with Hobbs Batting”. Hobbs is one of Island Batik’s industry partners and a supporter of the Island Batik Ambassador program.

What is Modern Quilting?

Of all of the definitions of modern quilting floating around, the Modern Quilt Guild’s definition is widely regarded as the standard.

Modern quilts are primarily functional and inspired by modern design. Modern quilters work in different styles and define modern quilting in different ways, but several characteristics often appear which may help identify a modern quilt. These include, but are not limited to: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work. “Modern traditionalism” or the updating of classic quilt designs is also often seen in modern quilting.

Modern Quilt Guild

My definition hearkens back to Stewart’s test for obscenity: “I know it when I see it.”

Pippin Quilt
Look at all that negative space and the asymmetric placement of the primary graphic element! (That’s far more analysis than I gave it during the design process, which was largely intuitive.)

Designing Pippin

I designed a crib-sized quilt with a transparency element that makes good use of Island Batik’s variety of colors and prints. For the “petal” appliqués, I found two versions of the same print from the Ditty collection: one uses only shades of a grayish purple, and the other is a brighter purple with other colors mixed in.

I chose a background fabric to match one of the colors mixed in with the darker print. I love how the fresh green contrasts with the petals! (The print is from the Flowers collection, and I think I may have the very last of it–but you can readily find other Island Batik fabrics in the Sprout colorway that work just as well. Prefer to shop locally? Check out the store locator.) The solid white in the half square triangles also comes from Island Batik.

Island Batik Flowers Sprout

How to Select Fabrics for a Transparent Effect

Without getting too in-depth into the field of color theory, here’s a brief explanation of choosing fabrics that work well together to create faux transparency.

The most important criteria to consider are value, hue, and saturation.

Value refers to the lightness or darkness of the fabric. The easiest way to determine the relative values of fabrics (especially prints) is to gather them together and take a picture with your smartphone. Then, use a filter to convert the photo to black and white (most smartphones have this capability built in to their cameras–if you can’t find it, read this article).

Hue simply means a color. I chose two purple hues to work with, along with solid white.

Saturation refers to brightness. See how the lighter purple isn’t as vivid as the darker fabric? It’s less saturated.

The trick is look for fabrics that are balanced–pick one of the factors (value, hue, saturation) to vary between the fabrics, but keep the other two factors similar. My Pippin quilt fabrics are varying saturations of the same hue, with similar values.

Prints can be tricky. Aim for small prints without much color contrast. I found that a LOT of Island Batik fabrics would have worked well in this project.

Want to learn more about using transparency in quilts? Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr wrote a terrific book called Transparency Quilts that goes into more detail (and includes ten projects).


After reviewing the qualities of all of the Hobbs products in my sewing room, I decided to use the ever-popular Hobbs Heirloom Premium 80/20 Cotton-Poly Blend. I knew I wanted to keep the quilting very simple for a durable and soft baby quilt that will be used and washed frequently, and 80/20 checked all of the blocks. The 45″ x 60″ crib size batting fits this quilt perfectly. I used a light green 50 wt Aurifil cotton thread and the walking foot on my Bernina 550QE to quilt horizontal lines about every three inches (even over the appliqué pieces). This gave the Pippin quilt a nice amount of loft. It also made the binding really easy to stitch by hand.

Pippin Quilt

Naming Pippin

When I first drew up the pattern, I pictured the appliqué as a blossom. When the top was finished, though, what I saw was appleseeds! As a fifth-generation fruit grower, I dug deep into the lists of green apple cultivars with gusto…probably more gusto than a dignified person such as myself (cough) should admit to. Pippin won the day, in part because I like alliteration and it goes well with Pretty Piney and in part because of this quite-detailed piece from the New York Times.

Buy the Pippin Quilt Pattern

I decided to write a pattern on short notice because my mom was really enthusiastic about the design. Seriously.

And my intrepid pattern testers were up to the task, short deadline and all! Check out their interpretations:

Thank you to Cindy Cope, Deirdre O’Brien, Jordyn Rush, Judy Dunlap, and Lee Bache for their time, talents, and invaluable suggestions to make this pattern the best it can possibly be!

And thank you to Island Batik, Hobbs, and Aurifil for their continued support of the Island Batik Ambassador program!

Island Batik Ambassador
Quilt top and photo by Lee Bache
Need a fast, fresh finish? The beginner-friendly Pippin quilt can be whipped up in an afternoon using simple piecing and fusible raw-edge appliqué.

9 Replies to “Pippin Quilt

    1. Thanks, Yvonne! I sent my testers to your site for tips on selecting their fabrics. They made terrific choices, so thank you!

  1. What a great quilt and so much fun to see the tester’s versions. I love Lee’s dog – it looks a lot like mine. This is really a fun quilt and an easy finish. I love that you just hopped on the pattern writing for it! Congratulations.

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