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!

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!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

The Sewing Expo Returns to Atlanta March 10 - 12, 2016

This is my 10th year teaching for the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo and I'm delighted to be returning to Atlanta! I lived there for 8 years and always love to be back. And I get to see my favorite youngest daughter, too!

Here are my classes.

1. Ezekiel’s Crown: 
          Thursday, March 10 at 8:30 - 11:30 am

Foundation piece this awesome block and learn how easy it is to incorporate gentle curves for a show-stopper project
Ezekiel's Crown: 9" blocks, 40" x 40" quilt
2. Machine Quilting: Basics and Beyond: 
     Thursday, March 10 from 1 - 4 pm in the Handi Quilter sit down studio 

Machine Quilting using stencils
Using freezer paper for a simple outline:
Machine Quilting using freezer paper applique outline shape

Filling in both inside and outside a simple heart:

Simple heart with free motion fillers

3. Patty’s Summer Parasol: 
     Friday, March 11 from 8:30 - 11:30 am

This is an updated version of a very traditional block based on the Double Wedding Ring. It sews up quick and makes a delightful quilt that only looks hard!

Patty's Summer Parasol: 12" blocks; 42" x 42" quilt
 Easy paper pieced arcs from a traditional Double Wedding Ring:
Easy paper pieced arcs

4. English Paper Piecing with Hexies:
     Saturday, March 12 from 8:30 - 11:30 am

This is wonderful handwork without stress. Learn how rewarding it is to create accurate blocks using these pre-cut hexagons. Kits of pre-cut papers and fabric are provided.

1" hexagons for a triple round Grandmother's Flower Garden block

Beautiful fabrics make beautiful blocks
I will have MANY samples to share of my own Hexie projects (quilts, place mats, etc)
And we'll discuss many ways to use these blocks
5. Pixie Sticks: 
     Saturday, March 12 from 12:30 - 3:30 pm

We all have them: precuts of 5” squares (or make your own). Discover a quick and fun way to use them for mini-blocks and then learn how to set these blocks on point!

Pixie Sticks using a stack of 5" charm squares
Hope to see you there!

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Calendar Girls: January's Prairie Flower

2016 Calendar Girls Program

Welcome to the first of 12 projects in my 2016 Calendar Girls Monthly Program. I can't call it a Block of the Month because these are not only blocks, but whole quilts! The first one features the Prairie Flower from my Quilter's Block a Day Calendar by Martingale.

Block a Day Calendar - not tied to any year
This is FREE to anyone with the calendar. Why do you have to have the calendar? Because I structured it so quilt shops could sell the calendar! This was designed in 2008 as an exclusive quilt shop program. It was to drive traffic into shops for a Calendar Girls monthly group. That was the only way you could get the pattern for the quilt. The calendar has the cutting instructions for the block and you now can get the pattern for the quilt AND a helpful newsletter specific to the type of construction for that particular block.

Here is the Prairie Flower Block:
Prairie Flower Block - January 6
And my own Prairie Flower Quilt:

Prairie Flower
Prairie Flower from a participating quilt shop
Prairie Flower digital version
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 Prairie Flower 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 (February) for our next Calendar Girls quilt.