Monday, November 23, 2015

2016 Calendar Girls Projects

The CALENDAR GIRLS© Quilt Shop Program was a 12 month series of quilts based on blocks in the Quilter's Block-a-Day Calendar. It was exclusive to quilt shops in 2008 and NOW is available to individual quilters as my 2016 Block of the Month Program. Each month features a fully patterned quilt with all instructions and color diagrams, PLUS an accompanying one page newsletter full of tips particular to that project.

You have to have the calendar to make sense of the pattern! All cutting info and templates for the blocks are in the calendar. The pattern gives all the yardage info, sashings, borders, etc - just like any pattern.
Example of block pattern in the calendar

Beginning in January, I will share the project and newsletter on my blog. I hope to have sample blocks so you can see them in REAL fabric. I have several project pics of quilts made by participating quilt shops, too. And several of my own. Here is my small Prairie Flower quilt using Fossil Ferns.

Four block Prairie Flower quilt from the January pattern
If you can't find a calendar to buy (online, quilt shop, etc) I have a limited number of Calendar CDs available for sale ($12.99 plus postage). They have all the blocks in the desktop calendar in TWO sizes along with another 12 quilts! I can only mail these within the USA and Canada. I have two remaining desktop calendars also for sale ($19.99 plus priority postage because it's so heavy).


January -- Prairie Flower
51" x 51"

February --Warm Welcome Home
34" x 38"

March -- Patches & Leaves
56" x 68"

April -- Dancing Double Cross
63" x 63"

May -- Trillium Wreath
26" x 26"

June -- Idaho Beauty
35" x 57"

July -- Americana Sampler
56" x 56"

August -- Free Trade Stars
36" x 36"

September-- Union Squares
44" x 44"

October-- Blazing Autumn Leaves
55" x 59"

November -- Glory Leaves Placemats
12" x 18"

December-- Star & Wreath Table Runner
22" x 48"

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Galaxy of Stars - Housekeeping and Updates

I want to catch you all up on what we have so far. Also, I've received requests and questions from several bloggers and I have NO WAY to answer you because your email comes in as a "no-reply" comment. For example:

Pamela had a wonderful comment about how she has all of her fabrics and plans on finishing the quilt in 2016. She's made several blocks already. But I had no way to get in touch with her and tell her "Kudos, Pamela!"

Then there's Sandy:

Do you see what I mean? If you don't get a question answered from me within a day or two, it's probably due to the fact that I can't get in touch with you. Remember my email: Yes, I made that public! You can always write to me there with Galaxy of Stars (or whatever blog topic) in the subject line.

Now for the blocks so far:
  • I've given patterns for eleven 12" blocks (one more coming in December), 
  • one 24" block, 
  • the pattern for the 6" blocks,
  • and the pattern for the Square in a Square border blocks.
  • You should also have the supply list of materials and a layout diagram.
The Galaxy of Stars page (navigates from a button at the top of my blog):

Should be current. I was notified that the link I gave in the November block for the extra Sawtooth Star Variation was broken. Again, I couldn't get back to the commenter because it was a noreply-comment.

I added the Sawtooth Star Variation block as a separate post November 15. There is a picture of the block from the quilt and the link to the pattern:

Sawtooth Star Variation makes 11 blocks so far!
Next week, before Thanksgiving, I will give more info on my upcoming 2016 Block of the Month projects. I actually have a page that shows all 12 of the projects that are based on my Quilter's Block a Day calendar.

Would you like to see them? Would that help you decide if you want to participate? I also have several quilts from when quilt shops offered it, but those won't be revealed until the appropriate month.

And remember, I am also offering patterns for my Adinkra Quilt:

African Adinkra Quilt in blues and browns
And the first Adinkra Quilt I made (and since gifted):
African Adinkra Quilt using authentic African fabrics

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

13 Quilts eBook Now Available

I finally did it - I put all 13 quilt patterns from my 2012 Wall Calendar of Quilts into an ebook. Can you believe it's 92 pages? It is a pdf, of course. And you can see all the quilts here:

Best of Calendar Quilts 2012 (a link on my blog)

Here's the cover with Snow Crystals (also included in the ebook):
Wall Calendar filled with 13 quilts!
Here are just a few.

There's this EASY Winding Ways quilt. That curved unit is a single piece, appliqued to a background square. How simple is that, huh?

Winding Ways Quilt
One of my several Yikes, Those Stripes! quilts. Strip pieced and then rotary cut into triangles for an easy Hourglass block. Very stash-buster friendly!

Big Top Circus Stripes
And the quilt for December is my Holiday Splendor Lone Star quilt. Again, rotary cutting is the way to go for the diamond 9-patch star units.

Holiday Splendor Lone Star
This is available at my Craftsy pattern site. All 13 patterns for one low price of $10. Go check it out. And first, you can see all the quilts and their sizes here on my blog (see link at top of page).

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Galaxy of Stars - Block #11

Yes, it's true. Block #11 of the 12" size has yet to be revealed. Thanks to the eagle eyes of both Amy O. and Suzanne J., they were worried they had somehow missed a block. This is because they are actually keeping up with the blocks, sewing them each month and Suzanne is actually going to finish the quilt top and give it to her brother and sister in law for Christmas! (She did assure me she will take it back and then quilt it as she has time. I thought she was also going to quilt it!)

So, here is the 11th of the 12 blocks that finish to 12". I gave you the center block (24") and the pattern for the small 6" star blocks that are fillers. I lost track. Even though I used to be a high school math teacher, I guess I am getting rusty when it comes to counting!

This is called Sawtooth Star Variation, all rotary cut and stitched (whew!) The last block will be paper pieced, so I had to give you an easy time of it on this block.

12" Sawtooth Star Variation
And what about next year's Block of the Month? I have two ideas and I will probably run both of them. One is all applique based on my Adinkra Quilt. I have made the quilt twice and still own one of them. I also have blocks and patches all cut out for a 3rd one, so I have all the parts to share in steps.

There are 12 applique blocks and 13 Square in a Square blocks. This is easy raw edge applique. The fun part of this quilt is that there is a meaning ascribed to each of these symbols (ie, Friendship, Home, etc). This blue quilt was patterned for Blank Fabrics using their Ethnic Echoes Collection (several years ago). I sold the pattern on CD and in 2016 it will be FREE!

African Adinkra Quilt: 10" blocks, 69" x 69" quilt
Here is a picture of the first Adrinkra Quilt I made (now in a museum collection):

Original Adinkra Quilt, gifted to the African American Museum in Virginia

The other one is based on my Quilter's Block a Day calendar by Martingale. This means that in order to participate you will have to own either the desktop version or the CD version. This is more than a block a month - it is a QUILT project a month! This was a quilt-shop-only program in 2008 and I realized that this could get a lot of traction with all of you!

Block a Day Calendar with 366 blocks
The calendar is available on Amazon, at your local quilt shop and in limited quantities from me. More on that in December. But check out your LQS to see if they have them in stock. This is not tied to any one year; it is perpetual.

What sorts of projects will these be? There will be one a month for 12 months.

Glory Leaves Placemats (based on a November block)
Prairie Flower Quilt (based on a January block)
And for each month I give a tip sheet (like a newsletter) which is specific to that month's project: making half-square triangles, bias strips, etc. All the yardages and steps for making the projects are included, just like a stand alone pattern. Each pattern is 3 pages (pdf) and then the tip sheet.

Each month I also include a line drawing so you can make your project using your own colors.

The catch is that I don't give cutting directions for the blocks because that is in the calendar. You have to have the calendar to get anywhere!

So, think about it. And to see ALL THE BLOCKS that are in the calendar, go to this link:

You can see all 366 of the blocks and get an idea of the breadth of the calendar. Hope you'll join me in one of the two BOMs for 2016!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Thread and Patterns are Key to Sewing

I have a few dozen spools of rayon and polyester thread in various colors. Most of these date back to when I was a quilt magazine editor. I have separated them by color and placed them in zip lock bags. But they are still MESSY!

I found an easy way to keep those threads under control. I had some Glad Press 'n Seal and cut in into 1" x 6" strips and wrapped the spools. I say that they had a bad hair day and I gave them a hairnet!

Sticky plastic wrap which NEVER has been in my kitchen
 Some of my blue threads, which were having a bad hair day!

Blue threads wrapped with self-sticking Press 'n Seal
I'm almost done with the other colors; just have the purples to do.

And patterns? Well, I get paid to write patterns for quilts so I never use other people's patterns. But when it comes to jammies for my grandsons, I have to use those tissue patterns, don't you?

But what's happened to the price of patterns over the years? I have sewn for almost 50 years and I can remember buying Simplicity, McCall's and Butterick patterns for maybe $1.25. Can you see the price on this pattern? Of course, I got it on sale, but that's rather steep. Even that little dinosaur is checking it out!

Today's pattern prices would drive me to shop for kids' jammies!
But here is a picture of the flannel pjs. Aren't they cute? He loves them.

Flannel dinosaur pjs, fabric by Benartex
I ordered another pattern in larger sizes and it should arrive soon. I only paid $4.00. Now that's my price!
Probably 20 years old, but it's uncut and I can't wait to make pjs for oldest grandson
And I was busy making more of those place mats with applique fork, knife and spoon for my little granddaughter. I NEVER could have done this without a pattern. I can only draw stick figures!

What do you think? This way Eva can know where to put her utensils and then on the back she can learn her letters so she knows how to spell knife, fork and spoon, right?

Fun placemats

Lavender background fabric with a fun printed plate
 This is the back of the placemat. Look at all those letters!

Perfect backing fabric
I have several other boy prints to make more pj bottoms for Miles: dinosaurs, camo print, cowboy boots and hats - you know the drill. And what about his little brother? Oh, he has all the pairs that used to fit Miles!

Hope you have a good weekend. I'm going to reveal details about my 2016 Block of the Month this next week so you can be prepared!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veteran's Day Salute

Thank you to all the United States veterans and their families for your service. Freedom is NOT free; it always costs someone and we must never take it for granted. I love this country and all it stands for. We just have to overlook the warts and change the things that can be changed. We're human, after all, and even our founders realized that. So, thanks to all of you veterans!

Today I want to highlight as many of the Americana posts as I can remember, give the links and offer FREE patterns for quilts, banners and other fabric offerings that feature the red, white and blue.

Stitched and hand quilted about 25 years ago
One of those was in the first year I was blogging. I share a quilt I made and then gifted to a family that lost their precious son in Iraq. While I shared it on Memorial Day, the quilt is still appropriate. And the pattern for the quilt is available. This is an easy quilt to reproduce. While you may not have that "wavy" red and white stripe, any red and white stripe will do. Easy applique. I'm sure you can think of a service person or veteran who would enjoy this!

Americana Quilt with Hearts
I love fabrics that remind me of historic prints. Coverlets do that and I've created some quilts using reproduction coverlets.

Reproduction USA flag using coverlets from Windham Fabrics
 And how about a real patriotic quilt with a regal eagle in the center? I designed this for Windham Fabrics, it appeared in my 2014 Wall Calendar of Quilts and my nephew Blair saw it and said, "That's so cool, Aunt Debby." I said, "Would you like it?" You know what his answer was, don't you? Of course! And you can have the pattern for this, too! Click the link to go to the blog page and follow the link to Windham Fabrics.

Regal Eagle in the Patriot's Day Quilt
While this next one isn't exactly Americana, the colors are. This appears in my 2nd book, Supersize 'Em Quilts. Yes, they are all rotary cut stars; no templates!
Farmhouse West Stars. 19" rotary cut blocks; 92" x 92" quilt
Another fabric collection was U.S.A. by Windham and I used three blocks from my Block a Day Calendar (Martingale), supersized them to 18" and made a banner for the Fourth of July. Do you remember this?

Hey, Hey USA Banner
 Let's see each of the blocks, huh? The first is Old Glory Star, 18" square. Can you see my quilting? I had fun with those free form stars in the white triangles!

Old Glory Star
 This block is called New York. I love making this block. Easy rotary cut and stitch.

New York
 And the bottom block is Yankee Charm.

Yankee Charm

My Hey, Hey USA is a FREE pattern at my Craftsy site. It includes a picture of the entire banner and then 3 pdf pages for the blocks.

And how about some awesome projects made by my friend Jeannine who is a 20 year Army vet. She is my walking buddy and also does some amazing sewing.

Not one, but TWO wall banners. These are really beautiful in person.

Two wall banners she made using the same collection as I did for my banner
 Basket liner and mug rug . . .
Beautiful basket liner and mug rug
 Pouch with key fob . . .
Look at the detail on this zippered pouch with key ring! In my dreams!
 Mug rug . . .
And another mug rug
Thanks to Jeannine for seeing that not every piece of fabric needs to be a quilt!