In religion and mythology, in the stories we tell, in how we mark time and distance and measure progress, twelve is a magic number. Think of all the twelves…

Twelve Apostles
Twelve Sons of Norse
Twelve Sons of Jacob
Twelve Tribes of Israel
Twelve Knights of the Round Table
Twelve Dancing Princesses
Twelve Brothers
Twelve Angry Men
Twelve Years a Slave
Twelve Days of Christmas
Twelve Drummers Drumming
Twelve Months in the Year
Twelve Years in the Chinese Calendar Cycle
Twelve Hours in the Half-Day
Twelve Inches in a Foot
Twelve Steps

And so many more!

Here is a small project that uses twelve. There are twelve seams assembling this quilt top.

I’m making this quilt for our local VA hospital. My guild distributes about 200 quilts a year within the community, and many of them go to the VA. They have requested quilts that measure about 48″ x 60″ (both numbers evenly divisible by 12.) Your local VA hospital may have different needs. If you’re interested in making quilts for them, please check with them directly.

As you can see, the piecing is just strips. It took me longer to choose the beautiful fabrics than to sew it together.

The “center” of the quilt measures about 33″ x 45″. The borders add another 15″ in each direction. You can use any combination of strips, and it’s a great way to use some of those amazing fabrics you don’t want to cut up!

I’m planning to make at least a couple more. If you want to do this kind of a project, really get creative in your color combinations. The next one I have in process will use a brown, teal, and purple border and include a chartreuse and gold fall colors fabric for the interior strips. It sounds weird, admittedly. But I think it’s going to turn out really well.

Special thanks to Jim for taking the picture and putting up with me so well when I grumble! xoxoxo


12 thoughts on “Twelve

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      I did not know that!

      I like the simplicity, too. I MAKE complex quilts, most of the time. But I enjoy looking at simple ones just as much. It really is about the combination of colors and patterns, in the right proportion. I think the proportion is good here, though determined partly as a function of how much of these fabrics I had!!

      Thanks for taking a look.

    1. Melanie McNeil Post author

      Well, if you want the truth, there are. The narrow teal bands were too short, and I had to piece them. Everything else here was unpieced, though. So … 12 seams for assembly, but truthfully more than that. 🙂

  1. zippyquilts

    Hi Melanie,
    I’m planning to link to your posts on color next week, if that’s OK with you, because I like them and think some of my readers would like a more formal approach to color than I’ve presented in my design blogs. Also, I’d like to use your picture from your “about me” page. Is this OK?
    I enjoy your blog!


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