Quilt Finish: Hey Mr. DJ

There’s rarely a day that goes by that I don’t have music on somewhere. My apartment has the full Sonos kit out, there are speakers on my work desk, earbuds always in my pocket, and where would I be without my gold Beats headphones constantly wrapped around my neck? I have over 20,000 songs in my music library, and now that music streaming services are all the rave, let’s just say that my life will never be silent again. With me yammering on all the time, whoever thought it would be though?!


I remember sitting on a trans-Atlantic flight earlier this year, with legs stretched out, champagne glass in one hand and a pen and sketch book armed in the other. My creative brain hesitated, wondering, what will I design next? With a pumping bass line funnelling through my Beats, I realised that was to be my source of inspiration. While I was sure one existed (as most all things do), it immediately excited me as a piece of our modern culture that hadn’t been pieced to death in quilting. In fact, it seemed quite appropriate to combine such two antithetical cultural pieces, while ironically knowing that many of us quilters are donning headphones while we Netflix and quilt.


As you see from my sketches, it was quite an easy journey to find the right scale and balance with only a few strokes. I mocked it up, and then promptly shut the sketch book while I switched on one of those movies that you can only sit through when on an airplane. I discovered these sketches a few months ago as I was looking for the next best thing. I knew I wanted to create something with my collection of Carolyn Friedlander fabrics, as that was on this year’s list of goals. As I always say, two alcohols in the same cocktail!


For my first few attempts, I crafted the block using traditional piecing. It went together pretty well, but getting those diagonal sections of the band to line up with the vertical and horizontal sections was a ripping nightmare. Enter paper piecing, stage left. Plus, the shapes of this block are anything but complex, so paper piecing it is simpler than shaking my tail feather. If you’re a beginner paper piecer, this would be a great place to start!


After making the four blocks in these bold colours, combined with Essex Yarn Dyed Linen, I wanted to add a little somethin’-somethin’ for a border. I don’t normally do borders (#politicalinuendo), so insisted on keeping it crisp and light–just so the headphones didn’t float away completely. I already knew I would be binding it in white, so these flying geese added just enough of a visual cue directing the viewer back inwards. For the backing I used a CF Crosshatch in Flame which I also used on my Passing Notes in Class t-shirt quilt, as I seem to have an endless supply of it!


After staring at the quilt top for hours upon hours (my eyes were sore, y’all!) trying to decide on the quilting motif, I chickened out and went for a simple stipple. On one hand I regret it, but on the other, it just needed to get done. Like dust on the top shelf where you keep the fedora you thought was a good idea in 2014, done. No matter, I have machinations to make some more of these blocks with a background other than white, and then do some more creative straight line quilting.


Meanwhile, I’ve sent this little guy off to his new home as a surprise present for a dear quilty friend. She was with me in the beginning, and she’ll always be my quilting ninja! I’ve got the pattern pages ready to go for a release, and will be contacting the Glitterati Army soon enough for some testing! Don’t let the music die! #heymrdjquilt

14 Responses

  1. Mary Ann Hayre says:


  2. Karen Seitz says:

    This is great! The flying geese in the border are perfect.

  3. Tina says:

    totally love this quilt.
    And I lost my beats in ear wireless bluetooth headphones this week *weep*
    Can’t live without them, will have to buy new ones.

  4. Joanne Rush says:

    I’m so happy you are going to release this as a pattern!!

  5. Dorothy says:

    I absolutely LOVE it !!! Pattern — please — 🙂

  6. Nancy says:

    Such a great quilt – love the geese – I read them as waves of sound.

  7. Kathy says:

    Thanks Molli for sharing your process for this fun quilt! Love the headphones and can envision this working in a wide range of colors and fabric styles!

  8. I wondered how the corners were put together and paper piecing sounds like the perfect solution. I only have the music in the house off now because my mother in law is visiting and still asleep. Otherwise we always have something going. And the past few days I’ve needed much of everything upbeat to keep me going.

  9. Helen says:

    Love that , two alcohols in the one cocktail. I listened to the one Steve Earle cd once the whole way from London to Christchurch , Whilst my husband made all sorts of complicated play lists . We both got to Christchurch in the end

  10. Lisa says:

    I love that added touch of flying geese to direct the eye inward. Lovely

  11. Tiffany says:

    Love it. And I think the borders are genius.

  12. mary says:

    This is so good, I think my ‘little’ DJ brother would love this…

  1. April 15, 2017

    […] Big Day Out. I originally created the Hey Mr. DJ block pattern last year, and went on to create my Hey Mr. DJ mini quilt. But like a good DJ, this pattern had another record to spin. The original quilt was quite […]

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