Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Windham Wednesdays with Bird Song

I fell in love with this collection by Clare Therese Gray for Windham Fabrics called Birdsong. Clare is an illustrator who lives in England on a farm with her husband and two young children. Her work reflects the countryside around her, I think!

 I was sent a set of fat quarters of Birdsong a few months ago and I kept taking them out and stroking them. Such lovely, sweet images. Let me show you.
Birdsong by Clare Therese Gray for Windham Fabrics
These prints include butterflies, flowers (of course!) and bird eggs. This color combination is one of my favorites and I put my thinking cap on to see what I could come up with. I was only going to make a few blocks. Ha!

I pulled out one of my upsized birdhouse paper pieced block which I call Home Tweet Home. This design dates back to 2002 when I created 12 paper pieced birdhouses in a much smaller size. This was very quick to paper piece because I had already worked out the cutting size of the different patches!

I made it as large as I could fit onto a standard piece of 8.5" x 11" paper. This is included in my Big Birdhouse Bonanza paper pieced pattern set of 10 Birdhouses (and a paper pieced cardinal) on Craftsy. (There are 10 upsized birdhouse patterns for paper piecing in heights of 10" and 12"; go take a look!)

Home Tweet Home: 7" x 10"
Here are a few more shots of my birdhouses.

Second birdhouse before trimming and adding the door opening
I selected some of Windham's Uncorked to use for the birdhouse doors.

Birdhouse #1 with a deep rust colored circle from Uncorked
 And my lighter birdhouse with the same color from Uncorked.

Birdhouse #2
Now, to prove to you I did use a paper pieced foundation:

Paper removed
Before trimming excess fabrics

I was working with ONLY fat quarters, and so wanted to get more than one or two blocks from each one. I designed a quick Cobblestone block with a rectangular center. I carefully cut 5-1/2" x 7" rectangles from the two main prints with the larger birds. And then moved on to the butterflies and the smaller bird print. And I made a lot of blocks! And kept sewing until I ran out of fabric (but I had the presence of mind to cut my border rectangles (4-1/2" wide) before I cut too many blocks).

The strips on the outside are cut: two 2-1/4" x 5-1/2" (top and bottom) and two 3" x 10-1/2" (sides).

Alternate Cobblestone Block: 10" finished
So, let's see this 55" x 58" quilt. I had to cut some "spacing strips" to add to the two rows that don't have a birdhouse (4-1/4" x 10-1/2"). Yes, I sew on the fly! I just try to stay a step or two ahead so I don't run out of fabric.

I gathered together my scraps and made 3 more blocks (after I finished the quilt below). Don't you just love these saucy birds?
Birdsong Scraps
My 3 new blocks:

Efficiency Birdhouse
Efficiency Birdhouse: 6" x 10"

Room for One Birdhouse (I put the bottom section on wrong, but don't tell anyone!)

Room for One Birdhouse: 6" x 10"
And my third scrappy birdhouse is the 60s A-Frame: 7-1/2" x 10"

60s A-Frame: 7-1/2" x 10"
Here's my finished quilt awaiting binding. Remember, I only had fat quarters! Yes, you can make a good sized quilt using only fat quarters (I had 16). Windham is sending me more of that wonderful turquoise bird's egg print for binding! I just LOVE this quilt. And I used only one of my 10 Birdhouse patterns. You can see some of the others at Craftsy.

Pecking Order: 55" x 58"
Birdsong is scheduled to arrive in quilt shops in August. Check out your LQS so you can look at them up close! Or click that Birdsong link.

Hope you've enjoyed the show today. This may become a class/workshop. I love that it combines paper piecing with simple Cobblestone blocks that AREN'T square in the center.

Friday, July 6, 2018

February Projects in the 2019 Quilter's Calendar

Let's see some more of the upcoming quilts in the 2019 Quilter's Block a Day Calendar. It's more than blocks - there are whole quilts (42 of them).

(For those who want to see 6 months of my 2018 calendar - I'm still uploading - you can visit my Pinterest Board to see 33 projects!)

Here are the ones that appear in February of the 2019 calendar:

The Vintage Redwork Sampler has 9" blocks and finishes to 32" x 32". Borders are your option to finish this larger. Perfect for those who enjoy redwork embroidery. These blocks appeared in the Kansas City Star in the 1930s and I redrafted them (tediously in Adobe Illustrator) 15 years ago. Timeless!

Vintage Redwork Sampler

This hearts Sampler uses 7" blocks (paper pieced except for the Scrolled Hearts in the Center) and finishes to 35" x 35".
Hearts Sampler
Castles in the Air has both 4" and 12" blocks for a 40" x 40" quilt.

Castles in the Air
And the fourth quilt for February is Tulip Time. Blocks are a whopping 16" for a 64" x 64" quilt.

Tulip Time Quilt
I hope you enjoyed seeing the upcoming projects in my 2019 calendar. So many blocks, so little time . . .

Thursday, July 5, 2018

2019 Block a Day Calendar is Here!

It's hard to believe that I've been published these Quilter's Block a Day calendars for 13 years! It's true and the 2019 edition is now available. Here is the cover:

2019 Quilting Block and Pattern a Day Calendar
Let me show you the various projects inside. There are 42 different quilts in various sizes and "personalities." Appliqué, rotary cutting, paper piecing - it's all there.

Here are the January projects:

Celebrate Snowflakes is 40" x 40" and is appliqué. I can almost see this also as a Hannukah quilt, couldn't you?

Celebrate Snowflakes
 MacDonald's Farm is both appliqué and piecing. Size: 40" x 40". Perfect for a child's quilt.

MacDonald's Farm
Stars and Roses is very traditional with both appliqué and piecing. Quilt Size: 72" x 72"

Stars and Roses
This is not available until July 17, but many places give you the option of pre-ordering.

I'll have more blog posts this month sharing the rest of the projects. Hope you also check out your local book stores and these links:

You can find this at Amazon and Books a Million. It will also be available at Barnes and Noble.

And Target carries this for a few dollars cheaper (retail: $16.99; Target is $11.59!)

Sunday, July 1, 2018

July Candlestick for the 2018 Tea Party BOM

Hard to believe that it's already July. Well, maybe not . . . it's really hot where I live and that can only mean Summer! I do hope your summer (or if you live "Down Under, your winter) is going well.

Our 7th block is the Candlestick. It is shown here with the platter, but I haven't released that pattern yet. You will be the first to know about it when I do share it right here!

Two Candlesticks with a Platter (not given yet)
Each Candlestick is 2" wide and 5" high. I always like to think that they come in twos and you may want to make your July block in this way, too. They are very simple appliqué, especially if you use raw edge and machine stitching.

You can find the July Candlesticks in my Craftsy store.

If you missed any of the blocks, you can find the links via my Tea Party page above in the tabs section. All of the blocks are free for the month in which they are released. After that, you can find them in my Craftsy store.

I have a Facebook group where you are welcome to come and share your blocks as you make them. This block is FREE for the month of July ONLY. You can find January - June on my Craftsy site if you are just joining us.

Let us see your blocks on the Facebook page!

Friday, June 29, 2018

July Calendar Blocks

Here are another 31 blocks - in two sizes - from my Quilter's Block a Day Calendar published by Martingale for 10 years (2007 to 2017). This 41 page pdf is packed with all sorts of blocks in a variety of sizes and techniques. I've included patterns for two quilts and a lesson on making a Yellow Ribbon block.

Here are the quilt patterns included:

Old Glory Star is a 12" block with the added 3" Yellow Ribbon blocks for an 18" x 18" wall quilt.

Old Glory Star
And Chain of Squares is a 12" block for a 65" x 77" quilt.

Chain of Squares: 65" x 77"
Here is the block that Patricia Bryant made and I shared here last year:

Chain of Squares block
I actually made a Chain of Squares many years ago. Here is the pic:

Chain of Squares quilt published in Quilt Magazine
Now let's see some of the other blocks that appeared in the calendar for the month of July. Remember that Patricia Bryant made all 31 of them in 2017 and they were featured here.

Illinois Rose

Heart Flower
You can see all of them by visiting the links listed on the right side of this blog; look for the July 2017 links. Patricia did such a lovely job in the stitching and in the staging for photography!

Thanks for stopping by. Remember, July 1 is Monday and my 7th block in the 2018 Tea Party BOM will be released. See you then!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Scraps and Blocks and Making Do

The Bella Collection by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham Fabrics is a favorite of mine. I designed a few things with these modern prints over the years. Let's see the stack of fabrics:

Stack of Bella Fabrics from 2013
 And to see some of the prints even better:

Trees and little birdies - my favorites!
I first designed what I call Bella's House. I had it longarm quilted by Kathy Gray of Manassas. She did a lovely job and I really thought a magazine would pick it up. Nope! Not a one. This hangs in my foyer for all to see.

Bella's House, 2013
Then I put a LOT of EPP hexagons together

Dozens of 2" Hexagons
. . . and made this. I call it my Zig and Zag of Hexies:

The Zig and Zag of Hexies
How did I do that?
Stitched together in long string

What does it look like from the back?

Hexies trimmed and ready to stitch to background fabric
This pattern is available in my Craftsy store. And something else? Of course! This appeared in Modern Quilts sometime in 2014.

Hexagon table topper
Now for what I've done with all the leftovers (ok, maybe not with ALL of them). I had 4 prototype window blocks which were too big for my final Bella's House. They sat patiently for 5 years.

First window prototype for my Bella's House above: too big
 And another. These finish to 11".
But I made another one . . .
And I made two more and they've been sitting in a box with the leftover fabric since 2013. I pulled them out and made 12 more blocks yesterday afternoon. What do you think?

Cobblestones, Windows and Trees
And those extra hexies up at the top of this post? I have 59. I'm going to put a white border on this and scatter those hexies all over the white border. I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Windham Wednesdays, Summer Solstice and Shoreline

It's here, it's here; the middle of the year. That means the Summer Solstice and (sigh) the days start getting shorter. But, we have 3 months of Summer and that means for many folks a visit to the shore/beach or whatever you call it.

Shoreline by Windham Fabrics is perfect for things "beachy." I decided to bring out my crab appliqué and see how he looked in that solid red fabric (hard to see in this pic, I know).

Shoreline Collection by Windham Fabrics
I transferred my half-pattern (because it's so big) to folded freezer paper and carefully cut him out. (OK; I don't know if it's a "he" or a "she."). I transferred fusible webbing to the wrong side of the red fabric, ironed my crab template to the RIGHT side of the fabric. Then I cut it out.

Crab appliqué template of freezer paper
 Doesn't he look awesome (and a bit scary with those claws!) on that khaki colored print?!!

Red Crab (9" x 11-1/2")
He's patiently waiting for me to figure out what I'm going to do. While I do that, I go and play with other fabrics! And since I'm in such an English Paper Piecing mood these days, I'm going to see if I can fussy cut some of these motifs!

Shoreline main print
I figured out that a 1-3/4" hexagon would be the best size to feature these motifs and so I made a window template out of - what else? - freezer paper! I did have some 1-3/4" hexagon papers in my stash (I ONLY use papers from Paper Pieces).

Fussy cutting two of the motifs for use with 1-3/4" hexagons
But I wanted to have something to go with that awesome red Crab! Now what's cooking? (Certainly NOT my red crab, of course!) Next week I'll visit those fussy cut hexagons. Now for my crab!

More hearts using one of the Shoreline prints
And then I auditioned them with my crab. What do you think? I call him Crab Happy.

My crab appliqué with several hearts made with EPP jewels
And here's what I got! I call this Crab Happy and is fat quarter friendly (because that's all I had, anyway). I played around with adding those fussy cut hexagons, but it just didn't work.

Crab Happy Quilt: 28" x 30"
My Crab Happy quilt is on my Craftsy pattern site and is a 5 page pdf which includes the full size (well, half) template for tracing onto freezer paper for raw edge machine appliqué. I also included a printable page for those Jewels to make the EPP hearts (just print on heavy paper or card stock). Well illustrated and fat quarter friendly, too!