Saturday, December 27, 2014

Mom, Can I Have These Quilts?


Gee's Bend Housetop 4 Block Quilt
She came. She saw. She took away two quilts. Why not? It's a quilt museum here!

My daughters like the modern looking quilts. I designed 8 renditions of Gee's Bend quilts for Windham Fabrics (yes! with permission of the Gee's Bend ladies). They've served their purpose and I got paid for my work.

She promised me she would actually hang these. I'm going to check up on her when I visit in January. Oh, yes I am!

From my No Sneaky Peeky class
This one, she says, will go in my two grandsons' bedroom. The first one will hang in her office.

Now I'm going to look for replacements. Remember I said that my house mimics a quilt museum. Can't have a bare wall, now can we?

Stay tuned for the first block in the Galaxy of Stars Block of the Month for 2015. It comes out January 1. And Happy New Year to all!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Cookie Cutter Trees quilt and candle mat
Merry Christmas to all. I wish you a wonderful year of sewing, quilting, crafting and all things creative.
More trees!
Thank you for making my blog a happy place for my quilts. They send their love and hugs to you!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Galaxy of Stars Supply List

Galaxy of Stars Block of the Month

Galaxy of Stars as it appeared in Quilt Magazine 2006
Well, I have seen (and heard) all the enthusiasm for this 2015 Block of the Month. The elves have gotten busy and informed me that the Supply List should be given out before January. They even included a coloring/planning chart for you to consider your colors.

January Block, Evening Star, is NOW UP!

Remember: this is not a club; you don't have to sign up. You can always remain anonymous. I will not be teaching paper piecing, so if you don't want to make a particular block with paper piecing, just make another one of your favorite rotary cut ones! I may even share some extra blocks I've made for the workshop I taught that are not included in this quilt but use the same colors and are the same size.

Here is the 3 page pdf of supplies (simple supplies; I've included both pictures of the quilts and the planning chart). Choose your own colors. Go wild with scraps. It's your quilt!

Invite your friends and guild members to join in. Please ask them to come to my blog to get each monthly installment. (They may have to sign up to "follow", but I don't hassle my followers, do I?) Don't print and distribute the patterns or I'll get Willy and Nilly to come after you (my copyright protectors).

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Galaxy of Stars Block of the Month 2015

Galaxy of Stars Quilt - 80" x 80"
I'm considering a Block of the Month for this blog based on this quilt. I have used it for classes and even an Atlanta quilt shop BOM. There are twelve 12" star blocks, four 6" star blocks (in the corners) and a GIANT 24" star block in the center. The Twisted Star in the center is very easy to cut and piece, I promise.

What say you, blog followers? Are you interested? I would start the first week in January with one of the 12" stars. Some of them require paper piecing. I assume you either know how to paper piece or can find resources online. I won't be able to walk newbies through that process.

Here's how it appeared in Quilt Magazine:

Galaxy of Stars as it appeared in Quilt Magazine 2006
All files are in Acrobat pdf. I will give yardage requirements in January. Each month I will offer tips for pre-cutting that month's patches. I also have a line drawing planning sheet for the 14 blocks.

The last month will be a whirl with the finishing and assembly information.

I've done all the work. Just need to tweak this for an online version.

Let me know if you're interested. Ask your friends to join in, too. I only want to be sure that this is not printed and then handed out willy-nilly (don't know Willy? He's my copyright protector and will hunt you down and . . . you get the picture).

Leave me a comment if you think you'd like to join the fun. This is not a club; you don't have to sign up. You can always remain anonymous. I'm just trying to get a head count of those who might want to take the plunge.

Of course, if you're impatient, you can buy the CD for $10, plus postage. But it's free if you are OK with one block a month!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

BOOK SALE!

Supersize 'Em Quilts
Martingale is offering my book as an eBook for $6.00! Yes, you can buy it and download it with every single page as it appears in the 110 page print version. It is in pdf format. You can see all of the quilts here:


There are 6 quilts for paper piecing, so you can print the foundations right from your computer. There is so much in this book. Sale ends at midnight December 21, 2014.

And the quilt on the cover? Would you like to see the inspiration for this?

From the Metropolitan Home Magazine - January 1982!!
I tore this page out of the Metropolitan Home Magazine years ago. I carried it with me from house to house. I was so inspired by those spikey points that I just called it The Spikey Thing (though it is called "Flower Pots and Stars", circa 1920.

Here's your chance to get this pattern (minus the pots) along with 21 others for ONLY $6.00.

Check it out, even if just to look at the quilts: Supersize 'Em Quilts

Sale ends at midnight Sunday, December 21.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Quilts, Day Three (and free pattern)

Antique Rose Block: 10"
Today I feature a lovely, traditional applique block called Antique Rose, 10" x 10". It is very similar to one of the two blocks featured in my very favorite Christmas quilt shown below. I remember beginning this quilt thinking I would hand applique. Ha! After a few stitches, I tossed the whole thing in the trash, pulled out my fusibles and happily stitched it by machine. Loved every minute.

Antique Rose and Wreath Quilt
This is an antique block given to me by my then editor, Jean Ann Wright, at Quilt Magazine. It is a whopping 36" square (before borders). What do you think? I added the triple border with Nine Patch to finish it out. And, of course, I machine quilted it!

Antique Rose Quilt
What? You don't have time to sew before Christmas? Well, just save this for those crazy January days when you're housebound with snow. What? You don't get snow where you live? OK. Just save the pattern for when you have the time!

Antique Rose pattern
You can get the pdf file (for more accuracy) here: Antique Rose Pattern

Let's see if I can find more quilts in my Christmas Quilt Vault!

Friday, December 12, 2014

Christmas Quilts - Day Two

Baltimore Album "Cheater Cloth" quilt
Oh, I dream of having a real Baltimore Album quilt. I've even blogged about it last year at this time with my cheater panels (see post here)

This little quilt was made at least 10 years ago and I bought a small panel of pre-printed blocks, set them on point with that deep, rich red fabric, and added a triple strip border. Love this little quilt and it actually hangs in my kitchen year round. It was featured in one of Quilt Magazine's special issues and I know that made her happy!

One of my Baltimore Album blocks
Maybe I'll go looking for that UFO box and play around with them. I just love those rich colors, don't you?

 I have a few more quilts in my Christmas Quilt vault. Hope to show you some more.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

Christmas Quilts - Day 1 (and free pattern)

Holiday Splendor Lone Star Quilt
I'm pulling out my trusty, faithful, colorful Christmas quilts and I remembered this one I made about 5 years ago and turned into a class: One Day Lone Star! The center Lone Star block is about 37" square. These fabrics are so sophisticated, aren't they? They are from Blank Quilting.

I created a second quilt as a pattern for Blank using their Inspiration 4 Collection. It's the same center. Would you  like the pattern?

Star of Promise Quilt
It really is possible to finish the piecing of the Lone Star center in a 6 hour class when all your strips are pre-cut. Many of my students do!

Click here for your free Star of Promise Quilt

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Student Quilt - Cupid's Arrows

Cupid's Arrows by Dawn P. from Atlanta
I love seeing what my students finish, and Dawn took this class at the Quilting Live! Show in Atlanta in September. This is a Palm Block, also called Hosannah. I called the class "Cupid's Arrows" because it was part of a blog hop around Valentine's Day. This is paper pieced and is done in an off-center log cabin approach, so that there are no units to join - when you're done piecing, the block is finished.
My Cupid's Arrows class sample
If you look closely, she used a wonderful paw print in the block and also in the border. Don't you just love you she made the best use of the curvy fabric in the setting triangles? What to GO, Dawn!

The block is 7" finished. It is from my latest book, Paper Piecing Perfect Points. Students learned not only how to paper piece, but also how to set blocks on point. You can see the quilt I made for the book by following the link above. I have many several quilts using this pattern. And would you look at those pointy points? Wow!!

Thanks, Dawn, for sharing this wonderful quilt with us.

If you've made a quilt or table runner, etc using one of my patterns (whether in a class or on your own), please do let me know. I really want to feature them here on my blog.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Christmas Pattern: Tessellating Leaves

One more Christmas quilt from long ago
I remembered this post from last December and thought I'd reshare it with you. These Tessellating Leaves work with ANY fabrics, any holiday and colors. The pdf pattern is still available. If you didn't see this last year, I am happy to offer it to you. It was published many years ago in a Quilt Magazine issue and I'm so glad I have that photo!

I think this would look good in red and white. Or blue and white.

I found this picture from about 10 years ago. I gifted it to someone and I sure hope they are enjoying it for the holidays (can't remember who I gave it to). I realized that I have the pattern in pdf format and you can piece the 4" blocks either in the traditional way by rotary cutting patches or try your hand at paper piecing.

The pattern is written for using fat quarters. Don't you just love the way the shapes interlock. That's what "tessellating" means. Enjoy!

Free Tessellating Leaves pattern

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Crochet 2015

Better than a magazine, the Crochet 2015 desktop calendar
My own calendar publisher, Andrews McMeel, is the TOP DOG in calendars! I didn't realize it until a few months ago when I did some sleuthing and discovered that they publish all sorts of calendars besides craft (quilting, crochet, knitting, etc). To a quilter, everything is a piece of fabric, I guess.

From their web site:
Andrews McMeel Publishing is the nation's top calendar publisher, annually producing calendars based on many top-selling properties such as Dilbert, Thomas Kinkade, and Mary Engelbreit, among other characters and titles, and selling more than 15 million calendars each year.

Anyway, I just received a copy of the Crochet 2015 Calendar and I've pulled out numerous pages of my new favorites. (Yes. Now the calendar is a mess with sticky notes, disorganized pages; who says I have to keep them in order?)

If you are a yarn junkie like me and are always looking for crochet inspiration, this calendar is for you. You can purchase it online in a variety of places, including the official Andrews McMeel calendar site.

Let's see some of the projects I pulled out to work on right away. (I received permission from AMM to use these images.)

First, I want to go beyond square potholders. I've made a few dozen square ones and it's time to work on some circles!

Scrap Potholders by Susan Lynn, Crafts and Things
And I've been working on some wristers, but I've gotten the sizes wrong. Maybe I should be following a pattern . . . ?

Shell Cuff Fingerless Mitts by Claudia Barbo (appleyarns.com)

I have a new granddaughter and her mother loves all things girlie. I've made her 6 cowls (again, a rectangle!); it's time to branch out.

A-Line Jumper, courtesy of Bernat yarns
And I'm back to hats and scarves, but with a little more personality.

Two-Tone Hat & Scarf by Jessica Elisabeth
Can I show you the FIRST hats I've ever made? I found a super easy pattern on the Lion Brand site and used Paton's wool. Easy! Made these over the weekend and mailed them to my two little grandsons. I'm anxious to see if they fit.

Wool blend hats for my little grandsons
Oh, so you're not into crochet? How about knitting? Or hey - I have a great idea! How about quilting?
2015 Quilting Block and Pattern a Day Calendar
This is the 9th calendar I've done for Accord Publishing (a division of Andrews McMeel. I've put the 2016 calendar "to bed" in August and now am working on the 2017 calendar. My brain is empty! I hope you can find it at your local big box store, quilt shop, or even online. Visit the online store of Andrews McMeel to see more about this calendar and order it!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Holiday Love and Dove Ornaments (and free patterns)

Quick sewing 8 dove ornaments with Audrey
"Hi, mom. Can you help me? I need 8 dove ornaments for a Christmas exchange next week."

Oh, sure. I'll put my magician hat on and wave my magic wand and voila! - 8 quick ornaments.

Lucky for me I had a Santa sack of various crafts sitting in my hall closet (honest) that I had pulled out last week looking for something. In there is my trusty Dove Ornament pattern. And I even had a sample ornament to remind me of what they look like.

I did the fusing. Audrey did the cutting out. I quick stitched the gold thread on the outside. I was shocked to see I still had some gold cording. We found that 10" lengths worked best.

Here is a single ornament front and back:

Holiday Dove: 4" x 5"
 Use pretty fabric on the back, too.

Holiday Dove, reverse
You can get the FREE PATTERN at my Craftsy store. It's a one page pdf that also includes a simple heart shape. All you need are scraps of pretty fabric, bits of fusible webbing and batting. Everything is sandwiched, fused and then stitched. I use freezer paper as my template material.

Holiday Love and Dove Pattern

Monday, November 17, 2014

Supersize Quilt Blocks

Diadem Quilt from Supersize 'Em Quilts
My second book is out of print for the hard copy version, but my publisher (Martingale) now has it available as an eBook and it's got a special price through November 23. You don't have to go out of the house, get dressed or get in the car to buy it. The beauty of digital!

Go see the blog post and see the various ways you can use these supersized blocks. The Diadem Quilt uses a 14" block (see first picture).

Rotary cut Lone Star blocks - 19" x 19" EACH!
Now, those are really supersized blocks! I love teaching classes on this Lone Star, too. No set in seams, by the way.

The 16" Album Block by Jean Ann Wright
Go take a peek at every single one of the 22 projects in the book. And check out the fabulous price.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Technique Tuesday with Knitty Sheep


See what those crafty sheep were up to!
Take a visit to the Benartex Fabrics blog - Sew in Love with Fabric - to see how to make these blocks very quick and very easy. And see what those clever Knitty Sheep were up to besides knitting!

Fun fabrics . . .

Monday, November 10, 2014

Baa Baa Sheep Tutorial Tomorrow

 

Tomorrow is Technique Tuesday over at the Sew in Love with Fabric blog by Benartex. Just thought I'd give you a teaser picture. These two sheep have been up to some mischief with my yarn and crochet hooks, so come on by tomorrow, Tuesday November 11 for a peek at some new fabric and a tutorial on how to make this easy quilt.

Goes live at 9:30 am Eastern (USA).

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fabric Postcards

I mailed this to my husband several years ago; still sits in his office
My favorite quilt shop in Atlanta (Intown Quilters) sent their newsletter announcing upcoming classes and one of them is a fabric postcard swap. How fun! I taught a workshop several years ago on making these little gems and I want to share some of my creations here.

I used a tiny yo-yo in the postcard at the top of the page.

Bits and pieces of trim and rick rack add some pizzazz to a card. Notice that I use a decorative/blanket stitch along the edges. That's how I join it to a cardstock backing.
Don't you just love this dancing groundhog?
Tiny bits of trim and fuzzy yarn; wool felt packages
And a few others . . .
My daughter bought me a pair of green sneakers and I sent this to thank her!
 I wore those Saucony Jazz Edge sneakers every day for years. Still have them and love putting them on with some jeans. Very fun.

Then how about using a specialty edge rotary blade to trim the postcard? I straight stitched around the sides first. Used freezer paper to cut the "picture frame"; added fusible webbing to back of red fabric. And yes, there is batting in there. So, this is quilt related!

An excellent way to capture a novelty print
And more, using paper piecing. . .

Little 3" paper pieced boat; sewing machine letters
Here is a jpg of the boat block. Not sure how it translates on your end, but I hope to get some uploaded in pdf:


One of my paper pieced trees

I still have this; postage on back is $.39, so you know it was several years ago!
Now I'm going down to the basement to find the 2 dozen postcards I received in a swap several years ago. Some of them are so awesome and true works of art. I'll take pics and put them up soon.

Hope you enjoyed seeing some of my postcards!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

And a Little Yarn for Texture . . .

Thrift shop find - just discovered it's wool!
There is a local thrift shop that has a "yarn wall" with a variety of plastic bags filled with a vast assortment of yarn. I discovered this marvelous hank two summers ago. I should have known that it would be high-end yarn by the way it was presented. No paper wrapper with generic labels by the main stream yarn vendors (ie,  Lion Brand; Red Heart). I uncoiled it and wrapped it into a giant ball.

The weather is turning cold here and it's time to pull out the crochet hooks and various yarn. I rediscovered this and decided to find out whether it's wool or just acrylic or polyester. Tested it by fire (match) and it turns to ash. If it had melted into a clump and smelled awful, then it would have been synthetic. That bundle above is 100% wool!

Yarn samples
I found a huge assortment of these yarn samples with some serious "bling" last year (yarn wall, of course). Pulled these out and am determined to use them for something. I see that I approach yarn in the same way as I do my fabric:

Buy it because it's pretty.
Stack it up.
Pull it out and stroke it.
Dream about possible projects.
Put it back on the shelf.
Repeat.

I taught in Ft. Worth this past week. Three and a half hour flight back and forth. What to do? Grabbed two skeins of Lion Brand Homespun (again, purchased on that yarn wall) and a size K hook.

Crocheted a scarf on the trip out there . . .
Scarf made with Lion Brand Homespun, Fiesta colorway
Crocheted a second scarf on the trip home . . .

Scarf made with Lion Brand Homespun, Tudor colorway
Needed this scarf when my plane landed at 11 pm, waiting for the taxi to pick me up. Pulled it out of my tote bag and wrapped it around my neck. Cozy!

I never did learn to knit. But I can crochet!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Classes in Minneapolis & Tinley Park

  Final classes for the Sewing Expo in Minneapolis and Tinley Park (Chicago)
FREE MOTION QUILTING, BASICS AND BEYOND:

 This fun wreath is a stencil . . .

Draw with a stencil; complete with free motion outside
 What a FAT CAT! Of course! That's his name. My own pattern that we trace the simple outline shape onto freezer paper, iron onto fabric, stitch around freezer paper, peel off freezer paper and then fill inside this very fat cat!


Fat Cat is a pattern I've had for a very long time



BUZZ SAW

Buzz Saw using a multi-sized 12-1/2" Dresden Plate ruler (included in kit)
This is Dresden Plate blades on steroids! Easy and quick and dynamic.

And then CUPID'S ARROWS:
Hosannah Quilt from my book, Paper Piecing Perfect Points
 Cupid's Arrows is a paper piecing project using just 3 of the Hosannah/Palm Blocks:

Cupid's Arrows
 Check out the Twisted Hexagons!

Twisted Hexagons
This only looks hard. There are no y-seams and the blocks are large. The table runner uses 12" blocks.

TWISTED HEXAGONS

Twisted Hexagons Table Runner
The Table Topper uses 10" blocks (6 of them) and a large, interfaced center hexagon appliqued on last.
Twisted Hexagons Table Topper
 And, last but not least, my Mariner's Compass paper pieced on a 20" coffee filter!
Mariner's Compass drafted on a 20" coffee filter!! Yes, you read that right! Add a paper pieced halo of Flying Geese and then the super-sized background for an awesome 32" block.

MARINER'S COMPASS CLASS
32" block - 20" compass
 And a Mariner's Compass in modern colors . . .

Using solids and grey, with a fabulous floral background
 You can read more about the techniques taught, the supply lists, the class prep, etc at the Sewing Expo site - click the links for the projects above. Hope to see you there.