Saturday, February 6, 2016

New Workshops for the Sewing Expo

Just wanted to show you some new quilts that are new workshops. I begin teaching these in March for the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo. First comes Atlanta and then Lakeland, Florida. A week off and then to Cleveland, OH.

Ezekiel's Crown is a paper piecing project that adds curved piecing. It is not for novices but for those wanting to learn several techniques to expand their skills. Not hard, just takes a little time to put it all together. Don't you love the center? It's what I call "When Four Blocks Make Five."

Ezekiel's Crown Quilt
Second is Patty's Summer Parasol, a redo of an old, traditional block. This is a variation on a Double Wedding Ring (can you believe it?) It appeared in newspapers in 1953. Can you believe these templates?

12" Blocks. Paper Pieced Arcs
And the paper pieced arcs:

Pixie Sticks is returning from last fall, since I did not teach it yet in Atlanta, Lakeland or Cleveland:

Pixie Sticks is created using a Charm Pack for the blocks!
Tight Knit Circles also returns (only teaching this in Lakeland)

Tight Knit Circles: 17" x 17"
 English Paper Piecing with Hexies is also returning (Atlanta and Cleveland)

I turned an orphan block into a placemat, adding squares and strips of bright colors:

Scattered hexies in a placemat
Yes, you can even fussy cut the center motif!

Giant 2" hexies fussy cut
 The Zig and Zag of Hexies quilt:
Strings of zig zag hexies
Center of a block full of Grandmother's Flower Garden blocks:

Grandmother's Flower Garden block center

Lots of class samples!

And the class I teach in every city, every year for the past 8 years: Basic Free Motion Quilting!

Pebbles inside a circle

Working with stencils
 I even practice on snow out on my deck table!

An inch of snow can be a great surface to practice your skills!
 This was from my No Sneaky-Peeky class a few years ago:

A class sample quilted with various stitches
 Free motion quilting as seen from the wrong side:

This is the wrong side of the following hexagon mat
 My quilting is hidden by the busy prints:

Super large hexies surrounded by free motion quilting
 And this small sample from my TightKnit Circles class:

Hope you'll join me for some fun if you live in or near these cities. Check out the dates at the main page for the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

2016 Calendar Girls: February's Warm Welcome Home

Here is our second project in my 2016 Calendar Girls Quilt of the Month!

Block a Day Calendar
Read the details about why you need a copy of the calendar in order to participate HERE.

February's project uses TWO blocks from the calendar and a bonus block (the star). I call it Warm Welcome Home.
Warm Welcome Home
The Little House Block appears on February 27 and the Tree Block on the 12th. I added the stars for a simple, folk art quilt easy to make. And I give the option of paper piecing the trees and houses! (The calendar has easy rotary cutting directions).

I used this little house block with a Paula Nadelstern set of fabrics about 10 years ago. Kind of makes your eyes cross, doesn't it?
Four little houses in tropical colors

And here's the Warm Welcome Home quilt submitted by a quilt shop:

Can you see the gorillas and other jungle creatures in those patches?!!
Here are the two blocks from the calendar:
Little House Block 
Lone Pine Tree
The link below will take you to my FREE Craftsy pages where you can download the pattern. This is the only way I will offer this. And as was true with the 2015 Galaxy of Stars BOM, I request that you DO NOT make copies for your friends. Ask them to get it from these links. The ONLY exception I make is for those people who DO NOT have access to a printer or internet. Thanks for understanding.

Here is the link for the Warm Welcome Home quilt pattern with attached newsletter.

And you can see ALL of the 366 blocks in the calendar here: Block a Day Calendar

See you next month (March) for our next Calendar Girls quilt.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Quilter by Design Facebook Page Has Launched!

I have had a personal Facebook page for several years. How else would I see and hear what's happening with my grandkids without a phone call? But I started getting dozens and dozens of "friend" requests from people I never met. I guess they heard that I was a quilter who puts dozens and dozens of quilt pictures on my page (it has a different feel than this blog).

Just last week I had almost 100 "friend" requests from total strangers. My wise daughter said, "Mom. You need a professional page. It's got to be open to everybody. This way anyone can see your quilts, your tutorials, what you're working on day to day and you save your personal page for your family and real friends.

That's what I did:

As you can see, the background quilt is the one appearing in the current issue of McCall's. My photo? Well, old age stinks, right?

Type in Quilter by Design (if you are on Facebook; I know some of you don't do Facebook and I totally understand). You can "like" the page or not. You can always dial in to see what I'm doing. Much of that will mirror my blog, but I tend to update Facebook much more frequently than my blog.

What's happening right now? I'm featuring anything to do with Valentine's Day. I share some free patterns and lots of pictures. I have several dozen (yes, dozen) quilts featuring hearts. The key is to find them on my computer!

Don't worry. You won't miss anything if you don't follow me on Facebook.

Oh, wait a minute. Did I share my chocolate heart shaped donut with you? My dear husband knows I love cake more than flowers.

My blog is always up to date with current projects. I just wanted to pass this on!

Have a great weekend!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Valentine's Day is Coming!

We are done with the red and green; now it's time for the red and white! Remember these luscious reds from Benartex last year?

Selection of red fabrics from Benartex
And then I cut out some mystery letters that got mixed up and I "forgot" what I was going to spell.

Remember these letters?
Here's my technique for cutting out applique. I transfer the template to freezer paper and then iron it to the RIGHT side of the fabric (which has fusible webbing on the wrong side). No need to "mirror image" the template! Cool, huh?

The letter O (easy to see)
 And my Y:

I unscrambled them and made a small quilt out of some of the letters and I have a few left over. I will be sharing my quilt in a post on February 1 in partnership with Benartex. (For those following my Calendar Girls BOM, I will reveal the February project on January 31)

But if you want to make a fun heart quilt, consider this Hearts on Fire quilt I made last year using my Cookie Cutter Hearts pattern. Click the link and there is a step by step tutorial on how to make these awesome blocks!

Cookie Cutter Hearts quilt made with Benartex batiks
 And here's how the 10" block looks:

10" Cookie Cutter Heart block
And the FREE pattern for the large quilt is here:
Hearts on Fire
So, be sure to stop back by on February 1 to see the two projects I made with my mixed up letters!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Candy Stripes Log Cabin Free Pattern!

I never get tired of seeing one of my creations in print. And that goes for this off center log cabin design that appears in the March/April issue of McCall's Quilting.

March/April 2016 issue of McCall's Quilting
I also do not get tired of Log Cabin blocks! Here are a few I shared last year, which are part of this quilt:
Off Center Log Cabin blocks
And here's my quilt. She's so happy to get in print! But I didn't name her Pixie Sticks. I named her Candy Stripes Logs. But, hey, when they write a check, they get naming rights!

Pixie Sticks: 42" x 50" - Machine quilted by Connie Gallant
And how does she look in a flat shot? Can you see my scrappy binding?

Now for the FREE pattern. You can find it at the McCall's web site and in a larger size (58" x 75")

The direct link: Pixie Sticks quilt

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Sewing, Sewing

Card holders for Christmas money
Remember I gave you a link for a quick pattern for these? I made one for each of my 3 daughters and 2 sons in law, along with my 2 grandsons and little granddaughter. Each one has symbols specific to their interests - I even had some bobby pin fabric (the peach colored one) for my daughter Hilary who has always been the Bobby Pin Queen.

I found an wonderful crochet pattern for Ninja Turtle hats for my grandsons. Yikes - way too big.
Ninja Turtle hats for little grandsons
These hats turned out too large! I'll have to remake them. They fit my daughter Valery (29), so yes - these are too big for pre-school boys.

Valery wearing a Ninja Turtle hat which was supposed to be sized for preschool kids!
Daughter Hilary asked for a laptop bag. I even put pockets inside.

Laptop bag with zipper
 And the inside?
Inside bag with pockets.
And yes, I've been quilting. Have another project for an upcoming Keepsake Catalog issue. This uses the new Garden Collection by Windham. Here are a few of the blocks:

Paper piecing and easy raw edge applique
And for the quilt (before binding) . . .

Audrey's Garden quilt
And a companion pillow with flange:
18" pillow (includes the flange)
So, yes, I sew just about every day. Of course, this is how I earn my living and as I always say: I'm only as good as the next quilt. And sewing things other than quilts is rather fun at times.

This morning I'm hemming some safari print fabric for quick table runners for my little granddaughter's 2nd birthday this afternoon. A wild animal theme. I will use long stitches in case I think of using them again in a quilt!

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Adinkra Quilt 2016 Block of the Month

Welcome to my 2016 Applique Block of the Month: The Adinkra Quilt. I've made this wonderful project twice and I still have enough motifs to make a 3rd one!

I will add a new pattern sometime in the second week of each month in 2016. (Remember, I also have another BOM running, my Calendar Girls project, which is revealed on the first of each month.) I need breathing room between each!

I have a personal connection to the Dark Continent (Africa), as I spent 3 years there teaching high school math and English. I lived in a peaceful country called Swaziland, which is landlocked - wedged between South Africa and Mozambique. It has a lot of fond memories as it is there I met and married my husband Phil (who is from Texas). That was in the late 1970s and he has been asking me since then, every few years - "Where's my Africa quilt?" Well, here's one of the two I've made so far.

Original Adkinkra Quilt: 69" x 69"
I am not a purist. I freely mix and match my fabrics regardless of what country they come from. The Adinkra symbols are from Ghana and the fabrics come from Nigeria and Swaziland and America (the batiks used in the applique).The bold geometrics and beautiful blooms in these vibrant quilts beckoned me to keep the patterns simple so the fabric could steal the show. I loved placing these applique patterns on brocade-type cottons in blue and white. Using a simple square in square alternating block gave me a large enough block to showcase the dramatic African prints.

My second Adinkra Quilt was made for Blank Quilting using their Ethnic Echoes Collection of blues and browns. I changed the square in a square block so I could fussy cut the center motif and added another set of triangles.

Adinkra Quilt: 60" x 60", using the Ethnic Echoes fabrics
There are 12 applique blocks in this quilt. The pattern is full size and includes a simple translation of what the Adinkra symbol means. It couldn't be any easier!

You will have to decide on your own color combination. I will include the supply list for both, but the first quilt is very scrappy. The second quilt is color controlled.

This first month will include the supply lists, the pattern for the Square in Square blocks, and the first of 12 applique motifs. Each successive month will reveal a new applique block. The last month will include the finishing information.

Both Supply lists include the cutting and stitching the square in square blocks. Notice that the Square in Square blocks in each quilt are DIFFERENT.

Supply List for Scrappy Adinkra Quilt #1

And our first applique pattern is for ANKOKO NAN - “the leg of a hen”
Symbol of discipline and nurturing, like that of a parent


I use raw edge applique for all my applique patches. By machine. Always! If you prefer hand applique, make sure you add seam allowance to the templates. Enjoy!