The Harken Quilt Pattern- Where it Started and Where it Ended Up!

The Harken Quilt Pattern- Where it Started and Where it Ended Up!

The Harken Quilt Pattern is a beginner and beyond pattern.  It comes with 5 size options and two versions, a Classic and a Scrappy.  Two different kits can be found at The Grey Finch Company.

 So I invite you to grab a cup of coffee, tea, lager, wine and sit back to read this very long blog post.  I love this pattern so much and would love to share it's story with you all.  Thanks for reading.

The idea for the Harken Quilt started started brewing way back in Sept of last year.  I had been working on some re makes of older patterns and needed a little diversion, something entirely different than what I normally make... no flying geese, no HSTs, nothing fancy at all; just back to basics, clean and classic. 

checkerboard inspo for Harken Quilt

So it started with this little hot pad (brown and white).  Then progressed, over many weeks, into months, the holiday season, birthdays, other projects, a new job, etc., You all know how that goes, right?

playing with an Irish Chain inspiration

Eventually I got to this little block where I started playing with a take on the traditional Irish Chain.  This one reminded me so much of the quilts my Grandma used to make when I was a little girl.  It was so much like her, no nonsense, straightforward, pretty and full of possibility. 

Blooming Poppies Pillow
Blooming Poppies Pillow 2

I had some fun with this one but felt it just needed to be worked a little more. It wasn't quite right yet and wasn't what I wanted in a quilt pattern offering.


More Harken Quilt play

After lots of drawings and trying out a variety of sizes of squares, poring over old quilt books and family photos for inspiration, I tried this one out.  Still just not quite right.  Who knew, "easy" could be so difficult! 

9 patch play with scraps

When I happened to discover a 10+ year old box, filled to the brim with pre cut scrappy squares, I finally decided to take a little detour and just play.  I knew I had to make something happen with these. Definitely a diversion and certainly off task, but so fun.  

scrappy 9 patch quilt

The blocks were simple 9 patches, not necessarily related to my pattern... but in a way they were.  The quilt was pieced together on the fly just how my Grandma would have done it.  This quilt will end up being a treasured heirloom in our home. It was this energy of my Grandma that I took to heart when realizing this pattern.  My grandma who just quilted out of practicality, her three sons needed bed covers.  She made it up as she went along, took what she knew from others in her family and made it work. No pattern, no real plan, no fuss, but always a charming and sturdy end result. 

scrappy 9 patch quilting

Creating this quilt helped me hone in on the direction I wanted to go with the pattern.  I began to realize how important it was for me to honor my Grandma's creative and no nonsense approach to quilting.  "Stick to the basics and put your own spin on it" seemed to be my mantra!  Words I know my Grandma could relate to and would have agreed with 100%.

first Harken Quilt block

Then somehow it all started rolling in the right direction and really coming together. This ended up being my first official Harken Quilt.  I had finally landed on a design.  When you know, you know!

The first Harken Quilt sample

 After that, it was down to finalizing the dimensions and checking the math, coming up with color combos and quilt sizes.  I was so excited by the possibilities and couldn't wait to make some more samples.  When you're creating a pattern for others to follow, you do have to create a bit of a plan, that part was NOT like Grandma- ha!

Peach Harken
gold Harken Quilt mock up
turquoise Harken Quilt mock up
scrappy harken quilt

Scrappy Harken Quilt

I started with mock ups, lots of mock ups.  These are fun and way faster and cheaper than creating the real thing, obviously! 

Harken Quilt blocks

Then it was just a matter of choosing the one I wanted to commit to making. So many possibilities... how could I begin to choose?  I was (and still am) in a Green phase, inspired by my new kitchen which was under construction at the time.  So I landed on this gorgeous AGF Rosemary and Aurus Pure Solid combination.

Harken Quilt light background

The Classic version, so clean and classic, takes an unapologetic approach to Less is More.  So why not make two to start?  One with a light background, 

dark background Harken Quilt

and one with a dark background?!   I am often afraid of dark backgrounds but this one was just a no brainer. Bold and rich and oh so classic!

scraps for Harken Quilt

Lastly, although I generally prefer working with solids, I really had to try out a scrappy version.  Just to say I did... and because I had all these amazing scraps that were perfectly aligned with the colors of my new kitchen. 

close up of scrappy Harken quilt top

If only quilts were meant to coordinate with kitchens- haha.   

Harken Quilt over ladder

As it turns out the last quilt top I made, this scrappy version, is the one I finished first.  And I absolutely love it.  It even got it's own dedicated blog post that you can check out here.


Harken Quilt Pattern Cover

I am just so excited to share this pattern with you all.  My little team of testers was amazing and they all made gorgeous quilts that showcased their unique style.  The pattern will be ready for purchase in my Etsy shop and on my website THIS THURSDAY!! I invite you to come check it out!

And feel free to drop me a comment telling me what you think of the design.  Are you more of a Classic or Scrappy kind of quilter?  

Lastly, don't forget to sign up for my newsletter for info on kits and maybe some special sales.  

All the best,


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.