Thursday, November 15, 2018

No-Tricky Card Trick - and FREE Pattern

I came upon a VERY old article I published in Quilt Magazine almost 25 years ago (yes, you read that right). I called it my No-Tricky Card Trick because it's a bit unorthodox in the approach.

The traditional way to make it is as I have it in my Quilter's Block a Day Calendar. Patricia Bryant of Australia made the block which we shared here in 2017.

Traditional Card Trick Block
This is made using ALL triangles. It works and I'm not bashing it. But I think you may like to see my No-Tricky approach. It uses squares and rectangles for ease of construction. What do you think?

The size won't be "normal" due to setting those squares and rectangles on point, but when making a quilt with this block only, who cares? The finished size of my pattern is 12-3/4".

No-Trickey Card Trick
Here is the free pattern in png format. There are no templates; just diagrams and cutting info, so you shouldn't have trouble following the directions.


Hope you enjoy this simpler way to an otherwise "triangle heavy" block.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Veteran's Day Salute - and Two Free Patterns!

This is a post I made about 3 years ago and I think it should run again. Today is a sobering day as we remember what happened so many years ago!

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.

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. 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 appliqué. The pattern appeared in Quilt Magazine several years ago.

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. A FREE pattern for this quilt is available at the Windham Fabrics site.

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. FREE PATTERN FOR REGAL EAGLE!

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), super-sized 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 pattern at my Craftsy site. It includes a picture of the entire banner and then 3 pdf pages for the blocks. These are large, 18" blocks and are fairly simple to stitch.

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!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Festival of Lights by Michael Miller

I was invited to participate in a holiday blog hop using Michael Miller fabrics. I could choose the collection I wanted and when I saw the Festival of Lights, I KNEW I had to work with them. Hanukkah fabrics aren't that often printed and I've just about used up my little bits saved from 10 years ago. While I'm not Jewish, I know that most of us have friends and neighbors who celebrate the Jewish holidays and we want to give them something meaningful. I mean, do they really want Santa and the reindeer?

Here is a sneak peek at these gorgeous prints. I am so excited to work with them. I even have a project or two in mind. I also received a few of their Fairy Frost blenders and this will give me lots of possibilities. You know how I get my inspiration from the fabrics themselves. They whisper to me . . .

Festival of Lights by Michael Miller
We launch the first part of December. Then I will reveal what I have planned. I think you will like it and I may even have a free pattern or two!

Can I show you what I've done in the past with my leftover scraps? Fussy cut some motifs for a bookmark and a gift tag.

Book mark and gift tag
And my favorite, which I've made multiple times - a paper pieced Dreidel made into a gift bag. Maybe I'll make up a few of these. Wait and see!


Paper pieced dreidel made into a gift bag
I even had a few of these published in Modern Patchwork's holiday issue:

Dreidel gift bag
Come back in December and see what I've made. I have enough fabric to also make a small quilt and I have the perfect project in mind. Think "Star of David" with 6 points and you're almost there!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Hexagon Wreath and Stars

A friend is having knee replacement next week and I knew I needed to give her a quilt. I showed her pictures of 6 and she chose my Hexagon Wreath and Stars. Though it's not big enough to snuggle under, she likes it because it is in the colors of her living room! I put a hanging pocket on the back, so Sally has the option of putting it on her wall after she puts it on her lap while convalescing.

Hexagon Wreath and Stars: 39" x 43"
I patterned this for Creative Grids a few years ago. And, believe it or not, there are NO y-seams. Can I show you a few process shots?

One of the six large hexagons
As you can see, everything radiates out of the center. Again, no y-seams! 3 each of the units above are stitched into a VERY LARGE half hexagon. Then the two halves are stitched together and the outside pieced setting triangles are added.

Six large hexagons with diamonds and triangles
I also made this using a novelty Christmas collection by Benartex (very old, but very cute with mice!)

Hexagon Wreath and Stars with novelty prints
I think I may quilt this one soon so it's around when my grandkids come to visit for the holidays.

This is a pattern in my Craftsy shop. It does require that you have a multi-sized, 60 degree ruler (you know you have one!) The 7 page pdf pattern has a line drawing chart for you to plan your fabrics. And very clear piecing directions on the sequence of how to put the units together. And how to use your 60 degree ruler to cut: hexagons, half hexagons, and the 30 degree side triangles. You cut the 60 degree diamonds with your regular acrylic ruler using those mysterious 60 degree diagonal lines (NOW you know what they're there for). There is no need for templates!

I still have a box with the leftover parts from the Christmas quilt. They are calling me today. It will be fun to play around and see if I can come up with something else. I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

November Candy Dish for 2018 Tea Party BOM

Here is the block for November, the Candy Dish. As you can see, I haven't decided which fabric I like best. It is not a large appliqué, so you may wish to make two as shown here!

November Candy Dish
You can find it FREE for the month of November in my Craftsy store: Candy Dish.

I have one more block to share and hopefully, I can begin to put all these together. Not sure.

I'm already thinking about the 2019 BOM and am almost decided. It will be appliqué again, I think. But the background blocks will be pieced. I've shared the quilt already on these pages, and I hope to share it with you soon. I think you will like it!

Until later, enjoy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

I Found Another Set of Log Cabin Blocks!

I think things happen in my sewing room when I'm not around. Fabric and blocks multiply! Does that happen in your sewing room?

Here is a quilt I made several years ago and had it published in McCall's Quilting Magazine. I call it Pixie Sticks. Actually, they called it Pixie Sticks; I called it Candy Stripes Log Cabin. But, hey, they paid me so I didn't really care!

Pixie Sticks made with 6" Log Cabin Blocks
I love sewing with reproduction 1930s prints and pulled together a stack of candy colored fabrics and some white on white and just started sewing some Off Center Log Cabin blocks. These are small: only 6"! There are a lot of logs in these blocks. But, oh so yummy, don't you think?

6" Off Center Log Cabin blocks
Notice that some blocks begin with a colored print center square and others begin with a white square. This will give the movement to the quilt center when they are put together. (Or you may want to call it DIZZY!)

Here are four of the blocks together. Two with the white corner square and two with the blue.

Four 6" blocks

And a flat shot of my quilt. Yes, those are white borders and I pieced the binding.
A flat shot of my Pixie Sticks quilt
And the photo from the McCall's magazine. This was beautifully quilted by Connie Gallant, my trusty longarm quilter.

Pixie Sticks as it appeared in the McCall's magazine
The blocks are set on point: a 6" block on point is about 8-1/4" across. I honestly can't believe I made 72 of these! Only 32 were needed for this quilt. I guess I keep piecing to add to the other 40 blocks until I run out of the white. This is truly a SCRAP BUSTER quilt!

Though McCall's assured me they wouldn't SELL my pattern online, it is now for sale through the "mother ship" of F & W Media/The Quilting Company. Contracts and all their words, huh?

But you can download a FREE version of a larger quilt from their website: Pixie Sticks

If I'm not going to sell it and they insist on selling it, I can at least show you where you can get the pattern for another version free, right? Enjoy!

Friday, October 19, 2018

Yes - More Log Cabins!

Yes, more Log Cabin quilts. Today I'm featuring the Greek Key Spiral Log Cabin blocks. They are really the Courthouse Steps version of Log Cabin with the last log added in a magical position. Very easy and it's a "fool the eye" block that I enjoy making. As you can see, I have two lap sized quilts made from them.

These are 8" blocks that were pieced the old fashioned way - using no specialty ruler. Just precise piecing. I call this Red Hot Logs.

Red Hot Logs: 42" x 50"
 Here is a photo of four of the blocks.

Four Greek Key Blocks
 And 12 of the 20 blocks:

12 blocks of the 20 total
I pulled out my Kaffe Fassett fabrics and proceeded to whip up another version of the Greek Keys. I got in trouble with the center four pink/pink blocks because I wasn't sure how to arrange everything. But it all worked out. This was quilted by Lee Taylor in the Sew Lovelee Quilt Shop in southern Virginia.

Rainbow Log Cabins
Both versions are included in my Craftsy pattern. The multi-colored one is a real scrap buster.

Let me show you two Log Cabin quilts using the Hexagon Log Cabin ruler. These were also fun to make. They were patterns for Creative Grids, and unless you have those rulers, the pattern won't make much sense. But I'm working on an alternate piecing for these, so stay tuned.

Hexagons in Paradise was a popular seller. She sold a lot of patterns! These are Log Cabins with a hexagon center. But you could also see these as Pineapple blocks, too. This has since been gifted.

Hexagons in Paradise
And this second one was also a favorite. Here are a few shots of the blocks in process:

The beginnings of my Hexagon Pineapple block
 Here is one block:
"Squaring up" my Hexagon Pineapple/Log Cabin block
Now for the table topper:

Lucky Seven Hexagon Table Topper
Hexagons and Log Cabins play very nicely with each other, don't you think? I loved using these luscious glittery fabrics from Blank Quilting for the blocks.

And, yes, I have more Log Cabin quilts to share. Probably next week. I'm off to North Carolina to teach for 3 days and when I get back I'll cross a few more Log Cabin quilts off my list.