Sunday, July 30, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 31 and FREE pattern

How about this? Week 31 already! Thanks for still staying with me as I share Patricia's blocks made using my block a day calendar. 
Quilter's Block a Day Calendar
Some of you are thinking I made these myself. Ha! It makes me feel tired to think I did all that sewing. (I think Patricia is still on vacation after completing these.)

Remember her pile of blocks?

All 366 blocks that Patricia Bryant made from my calendar
Now for this week's show!

July 30: Thrifty

July 30: Thrifty, 6"
 July 31: Town House

July 31: Town House, 6"
 August 1: Angel Fish

August 1: Angel Fish, 6"
Here's my free pattern this week. I made the Angel Fish in the 12" size (as found on my Calendar CD). I pulled out my Kaffe Fassett scraps and my own Arrowhead rulers (which are the same angle as the Tri-Recs rulers) and made this. The paper templates are included for both 6" x 12" sizes.

12" Angel Fish in mostly Kaffe Fassett fabrics
 Here is the second one with some wild and crazy zig zags going on!

12" Angel Fish with some serious striped fins!
And the link to the FREE ANGEL FISH pattern.

August 2: Aztec Jewel

August 2: Aztec Jewel, 12"
 August 3: Beaming Star

August 3: Beaming Star, 12"
 August 4: Broken Dish

August 4: Broken Dish, 9"
 August 5: Broken Windows

August 5: Broken Windows, 12"
See you next week!

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Christmas in July with Nordic Holiday and Fabric Giveaway

Amanda Murphy has done it again! Her latest collection, Nordic Holiday (by Benartex Fabrics) is refreshing, modern and appeals to just about any quilter. Snowflakes, reindeer, bears and a non-traditional holiday color palette combine to inspire all sorts of patterns.

Amanda includes a lovely reindeer in her collection.

Nordic Holiday reindeer
I have a similar one I designed in 2004.

Reindeer from my Merry Merry quilt
I initially was going to bring out my Merry, Merry patterns from 2006. I shared this appliquéd reindeer on my blog last year as a free pattern. What? You missed that? Click here for that quilt pattern (with a Christmas tree, angel and other blocks).

Q. Can we see the fabrics? 
A. Nordic Holiday swatches in the swatch book:
Nordic Holiday fabrics

Nordic Holiday Swatch book
And here is the set of fabrics that Benartex sent. It didn't take long for me to decide on a pattern.
Q. And what did the fabrics say to you? (We know you wait for them to talk to you before cutting!)

A. I did cut out a large hexagon double star (which I will show at a later time), but then decided that I couldn't offer the pattern here because it's a new workshop I teach. (The fabrics forgot about that, so I had to remind them that I needed a pattern I could share.) Plan B was my "go to" very BIG Lone Star. When I say BIG, I mean 29"!

Q. Can we see the steps? And is it easy?
A. Of course, I'll show the steps. And easy is my middle name!

I call this easy because I took out all the y-seams traditionally associated with a Lone Star quilt.

I selected two fabrics with good contrast for my star center. I cut two 3-1/2" x wof strips of each. Offset the red one 3" as shown here and sewed with 1/4" seam, pressing toward the red print (#1885-10). Using the 45 degree line on my ruler, I lined it up with the seam as shown below. Slice off the side. The blue print is #1883-08.

Seam and slice at 45 degree angle on left side 
Cut 3-1/2" wedges as shown. You are measuring from the CUT edge. Do NOT use the lines on your cutting mat for this. It's all in relation to your ruler.
Cut 3-1/2" Two-Patch 45 degree wedges

Place the red diamonds at the pointed ends
Two wedges become a Diamond 4-Patch
 Sew together and press seam open.
Diamond 4-Patch, seam pressed open.
 Make 8 of these units
Make 8 Diamond 4-Patch units
Now we cut the setting triangles, large and small. Remember, there are no y-seams! I selected the wonderful gray scroll print: #1883-13.

Cut four 6-3/4" squares and four 9-5/8" squares. Recut each into two triangles each. You will now have 8 small and 8 large triangles.

Large and small setting triangles
It's important to audition your triangle placement before you sew. It's easy to get things mixed up. Sew the small triangle on first. Press toward the triangle. Then add the large triangle (which is slightly oversized). Again, press toward the triangle.

Make 4 of these units
Make 4 units that are the mirror image of the above unit. This is how they will look when sewn together.
These are mirror images of each other
Use your long ruler and the 45 degree line to help you slice off the excess large triangle. I also like to align the ruler markings for inches along one or more seam line. Sewing diagonal seams can be tricky!

Slicing excess fabric
Now, place the two units together and sew with 1/4" seam; press seam open. Make four.

Make 4 of these units
And what does it look like with all those seams pressed? Here is the 29" star from the back.
Seams pressed open make for a very flat quilt center
Now for the borders. I wanted to use the reindeer print, but I only had enough for 2 borders (without chopping off parts of the reindeer!) So, I took that awesome red snowflake print and used that for the sides. Who says your borders have to match?

I also wanted to introduce a green (which is in the reindeer print, #1880-10). The green is the same pattern as the blue and gray already used: #1883-14). Inner border was cut 1-1/2". Outer reindeer print was cut (VERY CAREFULLY) at 6-1/2". The snowflake print only allowed me to cut two 5-3/4" strips. Again, who says your quilt's borders have to be the same size?!

Here she is: Holiday Star, 41-1/2" x 43"

Holiday Star: 41-1/2" x 43"

I also made some very quick, small projects using my new workshop pattern, Double Hexie Stars. Let me show you!

Double Hexie Star (16" x 18") using the Snowflake fabric for the center

I fussy cut this awesome reindeer for my next star
 And, after you see what's at the Sew in Love with Fabric blog post today, you will understand why I couldn't toss the remaining bits of the red reindeer print. Cut 5 hexagons, set with triangles and this will be a quick table topper for a housewarming gift come December!
Five hexagons featuring those reindeer
Now, get on over to the Sew in Love blog to see my tutorial. Come back here and leave a comment for a chance to win a fat quarter bundle of these fabrics!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Book Panels Become Kids' Quilts

FIRST: Congratulations to Leslie W. of Alpharetta, GA who is the winner of the fat quarter bundle of Christmas fabrics from Windham! Thanks to everyone who left a comment.

Like I always say: to a quilter, anything in fabric can become a quilt! My friend Jeannine Davies likes to make baby quilts for all sorts of relatives and friends' babies. She has found using book panels is a quick way to get that done.

A little history here: about 3 years ago I came across a HUGE group of book panels for sale at my local quilt shop. When I say huge, I mean I had to buy about 15 at once (as they were bundled). But I think I only paid about $15 for the lot. And there were several other bundles there. I came home and called Jeannine and she went back the next day and bought some. We swapped a few and I have since given away many of those. But she and I kept a few and here are some of her most recent creations.

We had about a dozen of the Funky Monkey panels. Easy to cut up, add sashing and backing. She bought a Sock Monkey to go with each of the two she made.

Funky Monkey Quilt #1
 Twin quilts for two babies:

Two quilts

Aren't these sweet?
Then she also took a Pokey Little Puppy panel and added some pieced squares:
Pokey Little Puppy
And she made two of these! She used a pattern from a quilt magazine.

Two quilts with her kitty checking out the dogs on the quilt!
She used part of the panel to piece the back. Very clever, right?

Very clever label from the book panel!
So, if you need a child's quilt in a hurry, consider what Jeannine did. I know there are lots of ideas online. Simple is good enough for a child. After all, they want to see those fun blocks; they're not interested in your piecing skills!

Jeannine is putting the quilt sandwiches together on those Pokey Puppy quilts and will come down the street to my house and quilt them on my Handi Quilter Sweet 16. And, of course, she uses my quick binding by machine technique to get these done lickety-split!

Thank you, Jeannine, for sharing your quilts with us today.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Quilter's Block a Day Calendar: Week 30

Seven more days. Seven more blocks. Patricia does not disappoint!

July 23: Ribbons. (Oh, how I have fond memories of the ribbon counter at the fabric store when I was more craft minded than quilt minded!)

July 23: Ribbons, 10"
 July 24: Ribbon Weave
July 24: Ribbon Weave
July 25: Rolling Pinwheels

July 25: Rolling Pinwheels, 12"

July 26: Lattice Square
July 26: Lattice Square, 12"

July 27: Shooting Squares

July 27: Shooting Squares, 6"

July 28: SpooL and Bobbin (Can you just imagine having ALL those colors available in your sewing room?)

July 28: Spool and Bobbin, 12"

July 29: Stepping Stones

July 29: Stepping Stones, 12"
Patricia does not disappoint! I love seeing all these settings. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed seeing seven more of her blocks made from my calendar of block patterns.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Christmas in July and Fabric Giveaway!

Oh, the weather outside is frightful . . . SO HOT! But, we like to begin thinking about Christmas in July, so here goes! I selected Oh, Christmas Tree by Whistler Studios for Windham Fabrics as the collection to work with. I couldn't resist the drummer boys, the snowflakes and the unexpected golds.

Oh, Christmas Tree by Windham Fabrics
But what really grabbed me was the LARGE (36" x 45") panel.

Oh, Christmas Tree panel
I'll share more on how I plan to use that in a minute. First, I pulled a few fabrics to make one of my LARGE blocks which I call: Big Block Stars. I featured this in my second book, Supersize 'Em Quilts. How large? 30" x 30", that's how large.

The plain squares in this quilt are cut 6-1/2". The fabric for the triangles is cut 6-7/8".
Four sweet prints: Geese, penguins, gingerbread men - Oh, My!
I cut these 6-7/8" for squares that will finish to 6". Drew a diagonal line on the wrong side of one, lined them up and stitched 1/4" on both sides of line.

Right sides together; stitched
Cut them apart along line
Cut apart
Press seam toward the darker print and I have two half-square triangle units. 6-1/2" unfinished.

Half square triangle unit. I made 8 of these (4 gold, 4 blue squares)
Now for the square in square units. According to my pattern (which I wrote 10+ years ago), these are 4-3/4" center squares and 3-1/2" red squares with a diagonal line drawn on the wrong side. Stitch 1/4" away from line, trim and press toward the red.
Stitching the corners
Repeat for the remaining two corners.

Repeat the steps above.
I made two with red corners and two with blue (which I eventually changed the centers of).

Make 2 of each. 6-1/2" x 6-1/2" unfinished

Add 3-1/2" x 6-1/2" strips:

Make two of each
Wanted to see some of this on my design wall. Sometimes that's the only way I can figure out if I like a unit or section.

Design wall patches
As you can see, the green print with the blue triangles just didn't have enough contrast. Back to the sewing machine!
Decided to remake some units

And here's a simple graphic to show my fabric placement:

And the real quilt (just a top so far):

Big Block Stars: 30" x 30"
My plans for that large panel is to have it for the back. I will add some random strips taken from my fat quarters to build the Stars Block up to size. Isn't this an awesome panel. A perfect quilt just as it is! An awesome front and an equally awesome back!

Oh Christmas Tree panel
This blog hop by Windham has other spots to visit with even more chances to win fabric!
And now for the giveaway:
  • Leave a comment on this post for a chance to win a Fat Quarter bundle of a Christmas collection (either this one or another current one). Fabric will be sent by Windham from their New Jersey warehouse.
  • The giveaway will be open from now until 8PM PST on Sunday, July 23, 2017. The winner for this bundle will be picked at random and we will announce the name HERE on Monday, July 24, 2017 (or as soon as I can as I'm traveling this week).
  • This giveaway is open to everyone, USA and International.
  • If you’re a “no reply” or anonymous commenter, please remember to include your email address in your comment!

Happy hopping!