Heart & Soul Fabric Panel by Deena Rutter

I’ve been working on a project with Deena Rutter’s Heart and Soul fabric collection (for Riley Blake Designs) for a few months now and I’m finally ready to share the big finish.

Heart and Soul fabric for Riley Blake Designs

In addition to a 10″ x 10″ stack of pre-cut squares, I also incorporated a few Riley Blake Confetti Cotton solids (Riley Coral, Persimmon, Autumn, Rain Forest, Coastal Blue, and Charcoal) and the new Kisses basic in Vintage White.


Heart and Soul Fabric Panel by Deena Rutter for Riley Blake Designs

In addition to the prints and solids, I was so excited to incorporate pieces from this darling coordinating panel. Besides designing cute fabric, Deena is also a talented artist and graphic designer.  The panel is 56″ x 67.3″. (So really, you could just put a border on this panel, get it quilted and have a CUTE finished quilt.) The panel is available in three colorways – this bright version, a pastel version, and a ‘grays’ version.

The panel contains cheerful messages of love and inspiration. I chose to cut up the panel into individual ‘blocks’ and add some patchwork, just for fun.  I used 10 of the ‘blocks’ – which means I still have 7 left over for other projects (like the cute throw pillow at the end of the post.)

Scrappy Heart and Soul quilt by Amy Smart - Diary of a Quilter

Here is the quilt I created. (I’m still deciding how I feel about it…) I wanted something patchwork-y and scrappy and I feel like I definitely did that. I’m still trying to decide if it works. But I LOVE the sentiments in the quilt, so I’m excited to have this one to snuggle up with – and hopefully inspire us to be kind, happy and show more love in the process.

I’m deciding whether to write up a pattern.

Heart and Soul collection fabric precuts

I really love 10″ x 10″ precuts for making a scrappy quilt. They’re such a great alternative to getting a full fat-quarter bundle. You get all of the fabrics in a collection, but at a much more affordable price. And there’s still plenty of fabric to work with – especially if you’re making patchwork blocks.

Heart and Soul half square triangle quilt blocks

I stared out by making a bunch of half-square-triangle blocks. I made the 2″ x 2″ HST’s into 4″ x 4″ pinwheel blocks and the 3″ x 3″ HST’s into 6″ x 6″ Broken Dishes blocks. I also made a bunch of 6″ x 6″ nine-patch blocks.

Flying Geese from Triangles on a Roll

I also thought it would be fun to make a scrappy roll of Flying Geese. I bought a roll of Triangles on a Roll that I’ve wanted to play with forever and this was the perfect project. Triangles on a Roll is basically a long strip of printed paper for perfectly paper-pieced flying geese.

A long row of flying geese blocks can easily get so wonky – this keeps them accurate, straight, and with perfect points! I’m already plotting more projects with perfect flying geese! I used the 2″ x 4″ finished Flying Geese roll for this project.

Here are a few more close-ups of the Heart and Soul panel ‘blocks’ and the scrappy patchwork.

Heart and Soul fabric panel from Riley Blake Designs

A HUGE shoutout to Melissa from Sew Shabby Quilting for doing such a great job with the quilting. The all-over Soft and Sweet design was PERFECT for this this quilt. Hearts and flowers motifs to give some all over texture to the quilt without clashing with the busy patchwork blocks.

I also used one of the panel blocks to make a quick pillow and it turned out SO cute.

In keeping with my goal of learning how to do more with my Baby Lock Destiny II machine, I learned how to create this custom quilting background around the text in the center. All done by the machine! I’m feeling pretty proud that I added this skill to my toolbox.

See the machine in action here.

In addition to using a new quilting ‘skill’ on for this pillow, I also put in a zippered back for the first time using this tutorial. Hello! It was so easy! Why have I been scared of zippers for so long! I will now put in a zipper on every pillow-back.


So there you go! You can find Deena Rutter’s Heart and Soul collection (including the panels) from the Fat Quarter Shop, the triangle basics + text from Pink Castle Fabrics, Cherry Creek Fabrics, Missouri Star Quilt Company, and various shops from Etsy.

*FTC Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting Diary of a Quilter when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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  • Reply
    Brenda L Rusche
    January 12, 2018 at 5:59 am

    Adorable quilt!! Yes to the interest for a pattern. The quilt makes you smile as you read the words.

  • Reply
    Barbara Opett
    January 12, 2018 at 6:57 am

    Love it Amy! I love when a quilt has words in it, this one takes the cake! Very interested in what else you come up with. Heart and Soul just moved to the top of my wish list, just loving this. A great quilt to gift or curl up with. Thanks for sharing 💕

  • Reply
    January 12, 2018 at 7:36 am


  • Reply
    January 12, 2018 at 8:01 am

    Love, love, love this quilt and the fabrics!

  • Reply
    Robby H.
    January 12, 2018 at 8:45 am

    I can imagine how even a few of these blocks in a quilt would make a great gift to encourage someone or to send someone out into the world with. Well done, as I assume there’s a fair bit of math involved in piecing those word blocks together.

  • Reply
    victoria odea
    January 12, 2018 at 10:58 am

    Your quilt is amazing! I would love a pattern. It is perfect for my soon to be 14 year old daughter. xo

  • Reply
    January 12, 2018 at 11:08 am

    Love this one Amy! So cute and creative!

  • Reply
    Kathie L
    January 12, 2018 at 12:13 pm

    This year my guild’s challenge is to use a panel in a project. This is a great example of what can be done. Thanks.

  • Reply
    January 12, 2018 at 12:21 pm


  • Reply
    January 12, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    Beautiful! Yes to the tutorial please!

  • Reply
    Sharon Henson
    January 12, 2018 at 11:03 pm

    You are so creative! Love the quilt and would definitely want a pattern for it. Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Rose Anderson
    January 12, 2018 at 11:18 pm

    Love it Amy! Now I want all the fabrics that you used. And yes a pattern would be great to have.

  • Reply
    Pam M
    January 12, 2018 at 11:24 pm

    Yes, your quilt does “work”, Amy. The fabrics are lovely – very cheerful. What a great finish – you used so many different techniques: cutting up a panel, using paper piecing, putting layer cake squares to best use, using solids (very “on trend”), machine quilting with your embroidery machine. I’m sure there are more that we just don’t know about.

  • Reply
    Elana goldberg
    January 12, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    I adore your sweet quilt. Thank you for explaining the triangle papers because I’ve always wondered how they work. I love the panel and can imagine utilizing it in many ways, but why is it so pricey? I’m sure Deena Rutter’s work is highly prized but it’s too costly for me.

  • Reply
    Marty Askins
    January 13, 2018 at 2:37 am

    I love what you have done. Will you please tell me how you did that with your Babylock Destiny II machine. I also have that machine and.I’m still learning what all it can do.

    • Reply
      January 13, 2018 at 2:25 pm

      Hi Marty! So many amazing features on this machine that I’m still learning too. I feel like I’m just scratching the surface of what it can do.

      I recommend watching the movie tutorials that are in the machine – that helped SO MUCH. Just click on the ? in the pieced of film at the top of your screen. After you hit the ? button, click Video and then Embroidery Functions. I watched all of those videos. (They’ll show you how to navigate the settings and customize your project.)

      Basically, I put the panel in the largest hoop and scanned it using the IQ scanner. From there I drew the outline of the words portion with my stylus, then “filled” in the background with one of the quilting designs.

      It took me a little bit of fiddling to figure out all of the steps, but now that I’ve done it once, I think I can do it much more quickly next time.

      I still need to take another class from my local dealer so I can learn more, but I’m making myself try new things all the time so that I can learn new skills. Good luck!

  • Reply
    January 13, 2018 at 7:06 am

    Definitely yes to a pattern. Love the use of a panel this way and a layer cake too

  • Reply
    January 13, 2018 at 8:07 am

    It works! Definitely.

  • Reply
    January 13, 2018 at 10:26 am

    I LOVE this quilt! It has a lot of energy, without being distracting in any way. Everything about it is warm and welcoming. Fantastic job!

    • Reply
      January 13, 2018 at 2:18 pm

      Thank you, Melissa. xo

  • Reply
    Carole Poleski
    January 13, 2018 at 10:27 am

    Beautiful quilt! I’d love to see a pattern for this.

  • Reply
    January 13, 2018 at 10:36 am

    WOW I love it. I know someone I would love to make this quilt for
    Thank you Amy for your amazing-ness. Happy Week-end

  • Reply
    January 13, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    This is so beautiful Amy! I have a couple panels that I never know what to do with, and this is such a great idea!

  • Reply
    Gemini Jen NZ
    January 14, 2018 at 1:14 am

    Really gorgeous quilt Amy! Such a lovely way to showcase those fabrics and the panels.

  • Reply
    Cindy Oelkers
    January 14, 2018 at 5:38 am

    Beautiful quilt Amy! I am just starting to quilt and love seeing your great creations.

  • Reply
    Karen Seitz
    January 14, 2018 at 9:59 am

    It works! What a great scrappy quilt with the panels giving the eyes the perfect place to rest. I love the colors too.

  • Reply
    Baa. xxx
    January 14, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    Lovely. I would be interested in the pattern. The pillow is so cute too!

  • Reply
    January 16, 2018 at 12:47 pm

    Oh, this is a gorgeous panel. I’m not usually one for working with panels but THIS I would love to make a quilt with.

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