My Take on “America The Beautiful”

I’m having a ball piecing my own version of America the Beautiful — our McCall’s 2011 series quilt designed by Lynn Lister. Hope lots of you are stitching with me! In our March/April issue trees and mountains are patterned — lots of trees! My version leans toward traditional colors.

For the trees I looked for green prints that have shading, light to dark, and others with interesting prints, nothing too overt, but still with a little pizzazz. The rounded fruit trees are so darn cute, so I searched my stash for a print that takes on the characteristics of apples amidst the leaves.
Beth Tree Blocks1 300x114 My Take on America The Beautiful

The Mountains Block was a challenge, but fun! Portraying purple mountain majesties was important to me — living in Colorado — so I searched diligently for this fabric. Then, I found the perfect star fabric — a great print designed by my dear friend, Mark Lipinski! I’m going to use this fabric for all the smaller stars in my quilt, too.
Beth Mountains Block 300x110 My Take on America The Beautiful

Let me hear from you if you’re making your own version of America the Beautiful!

Editor’s note: The popular “America the Beautiful” series quilt pattern has been published in its entirety in the McCall’s Quilting special interest publication, America Quilts Together. Print (while supplies last) or instant digital issue download available from our Quilt and Sew Shop—click here.

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22 Responses to My Take on “America The Beautiful”

  1. Christy Rogers says:

    I plan on starting the first blocks soon. I also just put in a subscription request so I wouldn’t miss any issues. Love your color choices!

  2. Kathy Battaglia says:

    Just started picking the fabric. I going for bolder colors to express my feelings of the purple mountains & the green trees & valleys using many patterns large & small…it’s quite interesting!

  3. Mai Nowlin says:

    I also have just purchased a subcription so I will not miss and issues. I can hardly wait to start as I love the mountains and trees.

  4. Joanna says:

    I’ve been following along and am happy with my blocks so far. There are quite a few trees, and they add so much. How can you not love this quilt?

  5. Chris O'Brien says:

    I just finished the second series for this quilt. It is such fun that I look forward to the passing of the weeks so that I can see what awaits for the next installment.

  6. Karla says:

    I’m halfway into the trees and they’re turning out great. I’m also using a darker color scheme: burgundy, brown, gold/cream. It’s the first full sized quilt I’ve made, after several baby quilts. The block size surprised me initially. I also subscribed to the magazine to make sure I didn’t miss an issue.

  7. AJ in AZ says:

    Sent in subscription form and asked to start with this issue. Havent received it yet but am looking forward to making the whole quilt with you.

  8. Kathy Hannah says:

    We’re so glad you all like our quilt. Be sure to send a picture of your quilt to We can’t wait to see what you’ve made!

  9. Brenda says:

    I just bought the issue with the 2nd installation. I have to many projects to finish at this time but went looking for this issue because I want to make sure I do not miss any of the patterns for this quilt!

  10. I’m making this for friends that live in Tennessee. I chose the country colors because that is what my friend likes. It is not my preference and that makes it hard for me when choosing the fabrics. I was anxiously waiting for the 2nd issue to arrive and dropped everything to do the next set of blocks. When I saw your fruit trees with the flowers, I loved that look, so I copied it (sincerest form of flattery?!) If I could make a suggestion for future blocks – it would be helpful to have the finished size of each block, to ensure everything goes together correctly in the end. Thanks for a beautiful project.

  11. Kathy Hannah says:

    Hi Tammy – We do provide the sizes of each block in each issue. If you look in the Mar/Apr issue (for example), you will see “Blocks in this issue and Finished Sizes” on page 69. Make sure and send us a picture of your quilt! – Kathy

  12. nancy gault says:

    My friend & I are also making this quilt. She gave me a subscription to the magazine for Christmas and we are trying to get together each month to work on it together. She lives 150 miles away, so it gives us a good reason to visit. We are both leaning more toward the “Country Colors” but are also very intrigued by Beth’s choices, which seem to me to be somewhere between the total country colors and the featured colors. I am trying to make the quilt entirely from my stash, which is something I have never done, but which should be entirely possible, given the amount of fabric I have collected.
    I, also, wished that there were finished sized given and was pleased to learn that there are. I had missed that, somehow.
    Most of my fabrics are going to be batiks and stonehenge, since I love both so much.

  13. nancy gault says:

    Is the Mark Lipinski fabric Winter’s Grace? How, how I wish I could shop for this quilt! I may have to buy some of that fabric for a future quilt!

  14. I was excited the first time I saw the “America The Beautiful” quilt. I am using Kansas Troubles fabrics to give it the country look. This will be my first full sized quilt. I just discovered your blog and will work on completing my quilt with you.

  15. lizen says:

    Mine is a blue and white color scheme, so will be named “America the Blue-tiful”…this quilt’s style is so different from what I normally sew, but something about it got to me. So far, I’ve been able to use fabric only from my stash, but will probably have to buy some for the long borders. Really having a great time with this quilt!!

  16. carma says:

    I am making the quilt out of some moda fabrics I just finished the church in the 3rd installment-gotta luv the quilt

  17. Mara Eckhardt says:

    I am on the 3rd installment. My son and his wife chose this quilt as the one they would like to have. I find the small blocks difficult to get total accuracy of size. Any hints?
    Also, does the finished size mean the size of the block when integrated into the quilt? Thank you! It is a delight!

  18. Kathy says:

    Mara, some quilters prefer to make small units at a slightly larger size, then trim to exact sizes needed. For instance, if you need a half-square triangle unit that finishes at 2″, you would cut 2 7/8″ squares to begin an exact-size unit. If you cut squares a bit larger, say 3 1/4″, then make the unit, then trim to size needed (in this case, 2 1/2″ so you’d have seam allowances around that finished 2″ square), you’ll be sure units are perfectly accurate. It takes a bit longer, but many of us on staff here wouldn’t want to sew any other way! Give it a try…

  19. Suzanne K. Horne says:

    I would like to buy the past 2011 issues that have the quilt patterns for the America the beautiful designed by Lynn Lister. How may I purchase them?

  20. Valerie says:

    Hi Suzanne, The Jan/Feb and Mar/Apr issues of McCall’s Quilting are sold out. Please email with America The Beautiful in the subject line, and for a small fee, Tricia will be able to get you a copy of those patterns. The May/Jun, Jul/Aug, and Sep/Oct issues are still available for purchase at our online Quilt and Sew Shop.

  21. Mara Eckhardt says:

    What ever happened here? I am still working on my quilt, up to part 5 and would like to hear what has happened with other quilters as they assembled the parts of the quilt. Curious Quilter

  22. Pam Thompson says:

    I have finally put all of my blocks together. I replaced the pieced border with a red border. I can hardly wait to get it quilted. I would love to see pictures of completely quilted quilts. I think it turned out nicely. I exchanged a landscape block for a house block. I made quite a few extra squares because I wasn’t happy with the first ones when I put it all together.

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